General Area in Phoenix>Question Details

Chris Overton, Home Buyer in Phoenix, AZ

May be moving to Phoenix to work at VA Hosp. What area is most desirable, especially good schools, easy commute to Hosp, safe neighborhood?

Asked by Chris Overton, Phoenix, AZ Wed Sep 16, 2009

We have visited the area once before on vacation, stayed in Scottsdale, so we don't know much about the area. Definitely want to live outside the city. Quality of schools is probably our #1 concern. Don't know at this point whether we will rent or buy a home. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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I have a home that was recently put on the MLS in a gated community in Cave Creek, right next to Dove Valley Ranch golf course. Cave Creek is very close to Scottsdale. It's MLS # 4246605 . I completely remodeled the home and it is ready for new owners. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Bryan Chase
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 7, 2009
I agree with Jay - rent for 6 months and explore the area before deciding where to buy. Even when I moved here, I visited twice and decided on an area to live. Within less than 6 months of living here I realized I need to be on the other side of town (practically : ) Just difficult to know until you have been here a while. With the economy the way it is, I wouldn't want to be stuck in a home in the wrong area. Hope this helps.

Rashel M. Beaver | Realtor® | DevStar Realty
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 27, 2009
"...and there is no real mass transit into city."

Well, there is the light rail. There is a stop at Indian School and Central -- about a five minute walk from the VA hospital.

Granted the light rail doesn't yet serve the entire Valley, but Park & Rides in the East Valley would make a trip downtown to the VA rather convenient.

Agreed with others -- renting first is not a bad idea at all. It will give you time to explore the city. A bit of a hassle if you rent then decide to move into another school district though. Yes, there is open enrollment, but there are no guarantees.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 17, 2009
Hello Chris,

Since real estate agents are prohibited from recommending a neighborhood/area, I can't direct you to a particular neighborhood. There are also a number of factors that would affect your selection, primarily price range followed by home size, yard size, etc. The home search tool on my website is extremely easy to use with a mapping tool and is broken into neighborhoods.

You mention an easy commute and living outside of the city...well...being that the VA hospital is well inside Phoenix, it may not be possible to have both. The easiest access to the VA hospital will be from SR51 (Piestewa Peak Parkway), but you have to get into SR51 from I-10 or Loop 101 or 202. If you will be working "normal" hours, these routes are heavily traveled and there is no real mass transit into city.

Here is a link to information about schools/districts

For crime statistics go to the individual city website and then to their police department. I believe all valley cities have crime statistics on their websites.

As much as I would love to help you find a house to buy, especially with the current prices, you would probably be better off renting first and then finding what fits your family.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help.

Susan Ellis
The Arizona Native
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
ACtually, I gave you the wrong link. Here's one to a pdf document:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Here's a link to the Arizona Buyer Advisory, a 'living' document developed jointly by the Arizona Department of Real Estate and the Arizona Association of Realtors. It's a great source of a LOT of information regarding property in Arizona: Other than that, best recommendation is that you secure the services of a Buyer's Agent to assist you throughout the relocation process.

Best of luck, and welcome to the Valley of the Sun! ;-)

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Your question can't be adequately answered in an email. It's best to chat about your needs and desires on the phone. I'm a Phoenix native and have been a realtor for 30 years......I can help you.

AZ's REBATE Realtor
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Chris... I forgot to give youi the link to our article/blog site... ooops.

Happy reading.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Thank you for your question. The VA hospital is located in Central Phoenix. You mentioned several important desires. Since I live and work in this area, the answer is pretty obvious.

The N. Central Phoenix region meets the requirements stated. The following zip codes are probably the best suited... 85020, 85013, 85028. The Madison School district serves much of this area is very highly rated. In the 85028 zip code you have the Paradise Valley School district... also well rated.

Commute times from any of these areas is very low and both freeways and surface street would have you to work in a jiffy.

Renting is often a good choice when one first moves to an area. Since home prices are generally low and fairly stable, a 6 month rental might be the way to go. If you were looking at buying, we advise our clients they will likely need to hold the property for a minimum of three years or face a loss due to cost of buying and selling the home. I'd advise adding this into the equation.

We have an article/blog site that focuses on this area. You'll find lots of area information, real estae news, restaurant reviews and more. The Downtown Phoenix Journal is another godd site for area information.

Hope all this helps and feel free to email us with any questions... always glad to help.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009

There are many great desirable areas! Cave creek and Anthem are great areas North of the valley. If you would provide me more details of what price range your looking for and could direct you to the right area.

I have many buyers looking at Cave Creek with a large lot or acreage.

Feel free to contact me anytime with more questions.

Lucinda Tkach
Windermere Central
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Hi Chris,

Arizona has open enrollement for our schools. That means that as long as a school has space you can put your child in any school. However, if you are outside of the district you will have to provide transportation and it can be difficult to get into the highly desireable schools.

You can lean a lot about the schools here by visiting the Arizona Department of Education's website:

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009

My next door neighbors both work at the VA Hospital. They probably have a 30-minute drive to work, but they choose to live near Kierland Commons, an area with good schools and good shopping, abundant amenities, etc.

If you could narrow your preferred price range I would be happy to post listings here for you to review. Trying on a neighborhood for size by renting might be a good idea!

Melanie Johnston
Keller Williams Arizona Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Chris, I agree with Vadim about your search for schools. Having grown up in the Phoenix area, if you want to live outside of the City, check out Gilbert or Mesa. Of course, that is definitely my preference, but there are definitely other opinions. Once you narrow down an area, there will be plenty of good choices. With the light rail available, which (I think) goes right by the VA Hospital in Central Phoenix, there is a park and ride in Mesa....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
Hello Chris,

While you wait for some answers, maybe it is a good start to go and check some statistics. Here is one of the sites I found with information in that region:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 16, 2009
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