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  1. #1
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    New question here. Moving out to AZ...

    Hi all,

    Gonna be moving out to AZ in 3-6 months. Not sure about work yet but I'd imagine it'll be somewhere in Phoenix. We've been looking at some nice communities online but the listings don't always give you a good 'big picture'. In addition to being close to good riding I'd like to live near good schooling for our kids (two boys: 3 years & 9 months) and convenient shopping, etc. We're flying out there in 2 weeks for an extended weekend to meet with a realtor. Can anyone throw out some names of places that we should look at? Hoping to buy either new or newer resale home for around $250K.

    Also... What's the road riding like out there? I'm mostly an MTB'r but I've got a road bike too so I'm hoping it'll get good use out there. Thanks for your input!

    Excited about coming out there!

  2. #2
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    You need to figure out where you are working first

    Quote Originally Posted by cycljunkie
    Hi all,

    Gonna be moving out to AZ in 3-6 months. Not sure about work yet but I'd imagine it'll be somewhere in Phoenix. We've been looking at some nice communities online but the listings don't always give you a good 'big picture'. In addition to being close to good riding I'd like to live near good schooling for our kids (two boys: 3 years & 9 months) and convenient shopping, etc. We're flying out there in 2 weeks for an extended weekend to meet with a realtor. Can anyone throw out some names of places that we should look at? Hoping to buy either new or newer resale home for around $250K.

    Also... What's the road riding like out there? I'm mostly an MTB'r but I've got a road bike too so I'm hoping it'll get good use out there. Thanks for your input!

    Excited about coming out there!
    Before you can buy anything, you need to figure out where you are going to work first. This is a HUGE metropolous (3.4M people), so unless you want a 90 minute commute to work (each way), you would do best to find a place of employment before starting your house hunt. In almost every part of the city you can find decent housing for $250K with good schools (EXCEPT North Scottsdale/Paradise Valley - the housing prices there have gotten outrageous, although the schools are very good).

    The road riding here is very good. Phoenix has a big cycling community - both road and MTB, and there are always plenty of events going to to keep you busy. Outside of Phoenix there are also a lot of cycling events. In fact, next weekend is the Tour de Phoenix.

    Good luck in your move. I hope you like it here. Even though this is a big city -- smog, crime, traffic, etc. -- I think it is still a very good place to live.

    Thx...Doug

  3. #3
    Steep Hill
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    My suggestions...

    My wife and I were overwhelmed in the house search before moving down from Seattle three years ago. There are many great choices you have in this price range. School system and commute are your priorities, IMO. The best thing we did to whittle down the options was to take a map and draw a 5 mile radius circle around our offices, which are nearby each other, and only consider homes in this area. The trade off is we were not able to afford as big of house and property we could have further away from Scottsdale, but who cares. It turns out that our property appreciates faster than it would have further away, and we are close proximity to excellent road riding and MTB trails (McDowell mountains, T-100, Pima & Dynamite).

    You've heard it before, so just a reminder, that real estate comes down to three things: location, location, and location. Consider your quality of life in regards to commute time, in addition to schools and how big of house you could get.

    Just my $.02 ~ Good luck and I hope this is a fun journey for your family.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info...

    We're gonna come out to AZ in two weeks to "look around". Hopefully it'll help me narrow down 'where' I want to look for work... So far I've only ridden Sedona (last President's Day weekend). I've heard about SO many cool places to ride!

  5. #5
    I bike, I brew
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    *If* your quest finds you looking in the Tucson area (get out of the hustle and bustle of the gross Phx metro ;-) then there are some great opportunities to be had. Most noteably, the NW Tucson area (Oro Valley, Catalina, etc.) are growing by leaps and bounds - Oro Vally was just noted in the top 10 places for raising kids. *Excellent* schools (though I'm a bit biased, teaching in the Amphi district), ,and the views are unsurpassed. Living in NW Tucson will put you within 30 minutes any direction of some of the best riding that the SW has to offer....

    I'd concur with the previous post about having things close to where you work... commuting is a pain when you have to do it every day. What line of work are you looking for?

    Hank

    Quote Originally Posted by cycljunkie
    Hi all,

    Gonna be moving out to AZ in 3-6 months. Not sure about work yet but I'd imagine it'll be somewhere in Phoenix. We've been looking at some nice communities online but the listings don't always give you a good 'big picture'. In addition to being close to good riding I'd like to live near good schooling for our kids (two boys: 3 years & 9 months) and convenient shopping, etc. We're flying out there in 2 weeks for an extended weekend to meet with a realtor. Can anyone throw out some names of places that we should look at? Hoping to buy either new or newer resale home for around $250K.

    Also... What's the road riding like out there? I'm mostly an MTB'r but I've got a road bike too so I'm hoping it'll get good use out there. Thanks for your input!

    Excited about coming out there!

  6. #6
    Ride 'Til Your Knees Hurt
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    Good job! I'm a computer geek...

    Quote Originally Posted by wurensh
    What line of work are you looking for?
    I've spent the last 7 years as a software engineer/consultant. Hoping to find something in the area of project based application development or eBusiness consulting. I'm also thinking about trying something different in the IT realm: Technical Support, Help Desk or Network Administration for a manufacturing or services company... Thanks for the info about NW Tucson. We'll take a look over there as well!
    Last edited by cycljunkie; 03-29-2004 at 01:19 PM. Reason: change title

  7. #7
    Occidental Tourist
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycljunkie
    Hi all,

    Gonna be moving out to AZ in 3-6 months.

    Excited about coming out there!
    Just a tip - In three months it is going to be HOT HOT HOT - if you wait closer to 6 months you may survive.....
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  8. #8
    Saucy Size
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash test dummy
    Just a tip - In three months it is going to be HOT HOT HOT - if you wait closer to 6 months you may survive.....
    Wait...you're telling him to wait until late September? BWAH!

    He'll discover what the flashpoint of human flesh is, at least.

    p.
    Don't be that guy! Read the forum guidelines.

  9. #9
    Occidental Tourist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Wait...you're telling him to wait until late September? BWAH!

    He'll discover what the flashpoint of human flesh is, at least.

    p.
    Beats moving in June or July - I can attest to that first hand...
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  10. #10
    Ouch, I am hot!
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    Try My Backyard

    Quote Originally Posted by cycljunkie
    Hi all,

    Gonna be moving out to AZ in 3-6 months. Not sure about work yet but I'd imagine it'll be somewhere in Phoenix. We've been looking at some nice communities online but the listings don't always give you a good 'big picture'. In addition to being close to good riding I'd like to live near good schooling for our kids (two boys: 3 years & 9 months) and convenient shopping, etc. We're flying out there in 2 weeks for an extended weekend to meet with a realtor. Can anyone throw out some names of places that we should look at? Hoping to buy either new or newer resale home for around $250K.

    Also... What's the road riding like out there? I'm mostly an MTB'r but I've got a road bike too so I'm hoping it'll get good use out there. Thanks for your input!

    Excited about coming out there!
    I absolutely love where I live. The neighborhood is called Sierra Bonita, but many don't recognize the name. It is the area just south of Shea and just east of 32nd Street. Also, next to this is Herritage Heights, which is more recognized and a very good area too. Both areas are awesome in my opinion. First, you are virtually blocks from the T100 system, which has many many trails. Second, you are very close to downtown Phoenix, and just blocks from the 51 freeway. Third, it is very central and close to all areas in Phoenix, Scottsdale, ect. The prices have gone up significantly, close to $300,000 or higher, but it still may be possible to get in a house here for around $250,000. Mine cost $205,000 in 1999, but I would probably list at $280,000 now. The houses closer to Shea (like Shea and 36th Street) are probably within and below your range, and are still nice.

    Moreover, there are several other neighborhoods right next to either T100 access or South Mountain that are in your range too.

  11. #11
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    I moved to Phx from Prescott in July, w/o a job, with a car that did not have AC. Man, were those job interviews fun...

    "Hey, did you see the naked guy in the Bronco. I think he's waiting in our lobby for a job interview."

  12. #12
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    New question here. West of the 17?

    My Wife works with a guy who lived all around Phoenix up until about 4 years ago. He told her that living anywhere West of the 17 was a bad idea because there are lots of shady areas and questionable people... I sort of doubt he knows what he's talking about but I thought I'd pose the question to some locals for input. Is there any truth to this? Please keep in mind that I'm not trying to offend anyone!!! I'm just trying to qualify what this guy said. Thanks in advance for your help. We're coming out next weekend to visit and we're very excited! Our realtor just ordered the "Sign" for our house so I guess we be AZ bound!

  13. #13
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    there are shady areas east of I-17 as well. some argue that east valley is on a high horse, but i dont know. my family lives in the arrowhead area of glendale only 2 hours to flagstaff from there. i now live in tempe, closer to ASU. the schools are great in arrowhead. carefree trails are fun.only move to west valley if your job is out there. maybe I am getting the east valley complex. better riding east valley though.

  14. #14
    I just got goth served!
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    something to think about...

    I live in the east valley, and had a short term(thank God!) gig working in Glendale. The commute was 27 miles and often an hour+, one way. That's two to three hours in a damn car every day. I realize that is normal for some, but quite frankly, three months of that was more than enough for me.

    Sure, there are some "nice" housing tracts going in out there, but you will be far removed from many of the more cultural areas of the valley(restaurants, arts, sports, etc.). Also, alot of these newer developments are a bit lacking in community infrastructure, and it may take awhile for that to develop.

    Also, most of the better riding in the valley(I'm stepping on toes here) is central(SoMo, T100) to east of the valley(Hawes, P&D, Usery, McDowell). Out west, you will have two of the most hated race tracks in the valley(estrella, white tanks), and that's about it.

    Really think about where you and your wife will be working, and keep in close proximity. I personally believe that hour plus commute could be much better spent riding, playing, with family, yard work, drinking a good beer with friends, etc.

    Good luck. Overall, I think the valley offers alot.

    See you when you get here!

    brian
    insert witty comment here

  15. #15
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    since you do not know where you will be working yet might i suggest renting until you know? long commutes really suck when it is 110 or more. also, gas is expensive here, higher than the national average.

    another consideration, if you rent first you will know where the shady neighborhoods are. some of the worst places are adjacent to nice neighborhoods so to say one area is better than another can depend on the subdivision. i do agree that east valley has much better riding opportunities.

    Rita

  16. #16
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    This is a really small world...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I absolutely love where I live. The neighborhood is called Sierra Bonita, but many don't recognize the name. It is the area just south of Shea and just east of 32nd Street. Also, next to this is Herritage Heights, which is more recognized and a very good area too. Both areas are awesome in my opinion. First, you are virtually blocks from the T100 system, which has many many trails. Second, you are very close to downtown Phoenix, and just blocks from the 51 freeway. Third, it is very central and close to all areas in Phoenix, Scottsdale, ect. The prices have gone up significantly, close to $300,000 or higher, but it still may be possible to get in a house here for around $250,000. Mine cost $205,000 in 1999, but I would probably list at $280,000 now. The houses closer to Shea (like Shea and 36th Street) are probably within and below your range, and are still nice.

    Moreover, there are several other neighborhoods right next to either T100 access or South Mountain that are in your range too.
    Wow is this a small world! You live in the same neighborhood as my parents!! They live on 33rd way and Eva. I live just across the 51 at 24th and Mountain View.

    We are actually looking at purchasing a house in Sierra Bonita. Our current house is fine, but our lot is small and I have no place to store our toys. There is a house on a big corner lot with a large amount of square footage (3500) for sale right now for $475K, which is WAY out of line for the neighborhood. We're waiting for him to drop to price to something more reasonable.

    Thx...Doug
    Last edited by dgangi; 04-02-2004 at 06:23 AM.

  17. #17
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    Something more to think about...

    Quote Originally Posted by silversurfer
    I live in the east valley, and had a short term(thank God!) gig working in Glendale. The commute was 27 miles and often an hour+, one way. That's two to three hours in a damn car every day. I realize that is normal for some, but quite frankly, three months of that was more than enough for me.

    Sure, there are some "nice" housing tracts going in out there, but you will be far removed from many of the more cultural areas of the valley(restaurants, arts, sports, etc.). Also, alot of these newer developments are a bit lacking in community infrastructure, and it may take awhile for that to develop.

    Also, most of the better riding in the valley(I'm stepping on toes here) is central(SoMo, T100) to east of the valley(Hawes, P&D, Usery, McDowell). Out west, you will have two of the most hated race tracks in the valley(estrella, white tanks), and that's about it.

    Really think about where you and your wife will be working, and keep in close proximity. I personally believe that hour plus commute could be much better spent riding, playing, with family, yard work, drinking a good beer with friends, etc.

    Good luck. Overall, I think the valley offers alot.

    See you when you get here!

    brian
    On the flip side...here's something MORE to think about.

    Guess what city has the second highest per-capita income in the metro area? It's Glendale, a city WEST of the I-17. Highest is Scottsdale (actually, it's the town of Paradise Valley but nobody really counts that since it is so small).

    Truth is that the West valley has some of the nicest housing and schools in the area. I'm a native east-sider (Paradise Valley) and have always considered the west side as "trash" (east side vs. west side nonesense), but the truth is that has all changed over the past 20 years. Much of the growth has been in the Northwest valley (Glendale/Peoria). I have a few friends who moved out that way and I must admit they live in some very nice neighborhoods that rival the best of Scottsdale.

    And speaking of cultural vacancy, I would rate Chandler/Gilbert/Mesa as *more* culturally vacant than most of the west-side cities. Sure, you don't have to drive as far to get to culture (Tempe), but by and large Chandler/Gilbert/Mesa have really nothing to offer in the cultural/arts scene. At least Glendale will be getting a new football and hockey stadium, so at some point in the near future there will be something to offer. Have you been to downtown Glendale? It's pretty nifty...much better than the downtowns of Chandler (none), Gilbert (none), and Mesa (office space only). And don't forget the Sundome is in Sun City, and many, many cultural events happen there.

    For the most part all of the culture is in Downtown Phoenix, Scottsdale, and around ASU (Tempe). What's really exciting is that Downtown Phoenix is *finally* getting the attention it deserves and will hopefull become the cultural hub of the southwest. ASU is building a new campus down there, new theaters and lofts are being built down there, and the light rail system will be hopefully installed soon. Finally our government has a vision for this place besides urban sprawl.

    So don't rule out west side cities just because of some off-hand comment from a friend of yours. As my own friends have proven to me, the west side is a very nice place to live.

    Thx...Doug

  18. #18
    Steep Hill
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    I have a high horse

    I live in the east valley and I have a high horse.
    ("Clydesdale"..."high horse". Get it? Oh nevermind.).
    I want to post again since Arrowhead was mentioned.

    My parents and my Grandmother recently moved here from Indiana. They currently rent a nearby apartment until they sell, and then buy their new house in the Valley. As I help with their home search, I've found taht I really like the Arrowhead area of Glendale. Good value in properties. Nice homes and investment opps according to area comps.

    In addition, my wife and I will buy a rental property this year and Arrowhead is at the top of that list. Good luck
    ** Obey gravity. It's the law. **

  19. #19
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    Um, I live west of the 17 if that tells you anything :-)

    There is plenty of nice stuff (and bad) stuff both W and E of the 17. I will say this, but probably can get more for your money on the west side.

  20. #20
    Ouch, I am hot!
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    I know that Song, erg House

    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    Wow is this a small world! You live in the same neighborhood as my parents!! They live on 33rd way and Eva. I live just across the 51 at 24th and Mountain View.

    We are actually looking at purchasing a house in Sierra Bonita. Our current house is fine, but our lot is small and I have no place to store our toys. There is a house on a big corner lot with a large amount of square footage (3500) for sale right now for $475K, which is WAY out of line for the neighborhood. We're waiting for him to drop to price to something more reasonable.

    Thx...Doug
    I know that house. It is just one block from me. It has been on the market for a very very long time, I would guess about a year. It is a great house. I checked it out once during an open house. Great house, but the owner is asking way too much. His sale practices also are a bit unusual. I think he has changed brokers at least twice and has also listed it himself. He also had a flyer that basically said buy now while you can before I get a broker and leave the country. Yes, it is the largest lot in the Sierra Bonita area and very nice inside, but I think the price is at least $100,000 too much.

  21. #21
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    West sider

    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    Um, I live west of the 17 if that tells you anything :-)
    OMG...you're a west-sider? Ewwww....I'm not sure I can associate with you anymore. How much furniture do you have in your front yard? Do you still wash your clothes with a washboard and drum? How many non-running cars do you own?

    LOL. My friends have all set me straight on the west side. It's not the haven of poor drunk rednecks I was raised to believe it was.




    Thx...Doug

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    OMG...you're a west-sider? Ewwww....I'm not sure I can associate with you anymore. How much furniture do you have in your front yard? Do you still wash your clothes with a washboard and drum? How many non-running cars do you own?
    None of the above...................yet

  23. #23
    Ride 'Til Your Knees Hurt
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    Where should I ride?

    My Wife and I bought a home out in Chandler... What are some of the good rides in that area? Thanks for the help!

  24. #24
    I am Doctor Remulak
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    Chandler eh?

    I'm in Chandler also. The closest riding is South Mountain in Phoenix, or Hawes & Usery Park in northeast Mesa. Depending on what part of Chandler you're in, it will take about 30 minutes to get to these trails. Most other trails in the Valley take 45 minutes to an hour to get to and I see no reason to drive past South Mtn to ride trails (Trail 100, McDowell Mtn Park, etc) that aren't as much fun. Check the trail reviews here on MTBR.

    Mike

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