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L, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

We are a family with three boys, ages 2,4,7 and moving to Phoenix from Atlanta. Where do you suggest we look?

Asked by L, Atlanta, GA Thu Jun 12, 2008

given our desire for great schools, easy access to outdoor recreation, kid-friendly n'hoods and lack of congestion/traffic. We're moving from Atlanta by the way. Thank you!

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I provide Listingbook at no cost to my clients. This allows you to create your own searches 24/7 to look at the same MLS (multiple listing service) listings I am searching. I also provide an online buyer's advisory specifically for Arizona communities that have user friendly hyperlinks to examine a neighborhood, particular house or street. These research resources are dependable with real time information. Much of the other websites available contain dated information and often listings of homes already sold or off the market. If you are interested please contact me and I will be glad to help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2013
Start online at! Great resource to do your housing homework before you get into town!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2013
I am an agent, and I also live here, so I am biased, but I think Chandler and Gilbert are the best family friendly towns in the Phoenix metro area. Of course, a lot of that depends on your price range, where you are going to be working, etc. But Chandler and Gilbert are safe, they have low crime, good schools, lots of activities and parks, etc. Most of the homes are newer. Lots of shopping and malls and freeway access.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2012
Doug, I am sure that I still have the documents. but they were sent with my letter of complaint.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
As far as I am concerned he owes me $$15,200. the washer and dryer were old but I was going to give them to my son.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
Julia Norton was the realtor rep the buyers. I adored her. She was honest and kind.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
I have forgiven him because it holding on to this rotteness only makes me rotten too but I want others to know what and who he is so he doesn't to this to someone else and they can find an honest realtor. I did know an honest one in mesa I wish I could recall her name. Funny how the dishonest ones stay with us and the honest ones escape us. The dishonest change our lives and leave a bigger hole in our heart.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
My husband is severally disabled with a brain injury ,I am his caregiver and I was very sick at the time that is why we were moving back to CA. Sam knew this and took advantage of us. He is a liar that is the bottom line , there is no excuse for his disgusting and dishonest behavior. the board of realtors protects its own. It was apparent it was not my signature. I may have mispelled his but I know how to spell my own name.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
I don't see my reply so I will try again,, I see I mispelled Katzenberg.. but at least I didn;t forge his name on a legal document. My name is MaryAnn Gray not Maryanne Grey. The signature was nothing like mine. I not only reported this name to his boss but the realtors assoc. I even submitted several copies of my signature. They did not care.
because of this I lost a washer and dryer I wanted to take. He also talked me into acceptng less than I wanted . I later found out the buyers didn't even want my washer and dryer and they would have paid the 15k more I wanted. Sam only cared about Sam. He is dishonest and a cheat so is his boss .It was very apparent the signature was forged. I know how to spell my own name.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012

I'm not sure what happened in your situation but I'm sorry that you feel the way you feel.

If a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in the state of Arizona forged a document the Arizona Department of Real Estate would be interested and would likely take some sort of action.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
That is not true, I reported him to the Board of Realtors and his boss but they tried to say I lied. It is very apparent the document was forged. The hand writing was nothing like mine, I submitted several copies of my signature. They spelled both my first and last name wrong. MaryAnn Gray not Maryanne Grey.Because of the lie I was forced to leave my washer and drier I had been planning to take with me. He even talked me into taking less than I wanted . I later found out the buyers didn't even want my washer and dryer and would have paid the 15k more I needed. Sam Katzenberg is not someone I would ever do business with again. gee I see below I didn't spell his name correctly, a guess it was a slip but I never forged anything. I am honest , he can't say the same..He is a creep and a liar.
Flag Fri Aug 31, 2012
run don't walk away from this guy.
Whatever you do , do not use Sam Katenberg as your realtor. The man lies and cheats to make a sale. He and his wife forged my name on a document. He even spelled my name wrong and he board of realtors didn't care. His boss didn't care. He cheated me and he will cheat you, it is who he is and what he does. He is a phoney. My husband is disabled and I was very sick and he took advantage of us for his personal gain. Run don't walk from this one. We trusted him because he came across as a nice guy. He isn't, he is a liar and a cheat and wasn't even smart enough to spell my name corrected and it looked nothing like my signature but still the board of realtors didn't care they protected their own.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 31, 2012
We had a wonderful visit with our family from Atlanta. They really liked the Cave Creek area where they can board their horse. We traveled to Flagstaff (mountains that are 2 hours away) and saw all the trees that they have at home. They liked Scottsdale, Chandler was so-so for them.
I wish you luck in your search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2008

We always recommend a "family vacation" for the purpose of involving everyone in the process. You may be surprised at how helpful a child's input can be. This trip should not be for the purpose of buying but gathering information to assist you in fine tuning your search.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 13, 2008
I hope you are looking for a home in the best school district, with acre properties, and amazing location in Happy Valley Ranch area. This is in North Scottsdale area and witrhin the Pinnacle Peak area. We are located in the Paradise Valley School district (look at ratings of Pinnacle High School, Pinnacle Elementary, or Desert Trail Middle School - best in the state of AZ) for home using terms like
happy valley ranch, pinnacle peak, luxury homes, and you will find somegreat web sites to explore......

I've lived in HVR since 1990 and raised three children aas well bee a realtor here since 1992......
John Lynch
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
Hi L! We have 3 kids the same ages as yours, and Arizona is a wonderful, laidback place to raise them! We currently have 2 perfect family homes for sale in beautiful neighborhoods and terrific school districts. One is in south Tempe, which is close to virtually everything, and it's in the Kyrene school district, which is one of the top school districts in the state. It's 3625 sq. ft. with 5 beds/4baths and a 3/4 acre lot with huge trees and lots of grass (which you don't find in most AZ homes). It's completely remodeled with top-quality finishes, and it has a terrific family-friendly floorplan. You can see pics of this beautiful house at:

Our other house is in Gilbert, which has all the restaurants and shops you want but with a small-town feel. This neighborhood is full of kids, and the house has tons of space - it's over 4500 sq. ft.! 5 beds/3 baths with a full finished basement. It was built in 2005, so it's practically brand new and full of upgrades. You can see pics of the Gilbert house at:

Either of these houses would be perfect for your family! Our kids could all play while we show them to you. :) Good luck with your move!

Shannon & Harsha Hakkal
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 5, 2008
Hello to Atlanta,

I am from the Atlanta area. I use to live in Marietta, I been here since 1996 and I love it. You will want to consider where you are working also. If you go to my website and click on community it will give you a breakdown of the areas around town. Phoenix Magazine in May puts out an article of the Best Places to Live in Phoenix area. Would you like a copy? Please let me know if I can be of help. Michelle Quackenbush Re/Max Fine Properties 480-585-5959 or
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 30, 2008
We moved from Chicago and love the West Valley. Lived in Scottsdale and my son was always sick and int he nurses office. It's clickey for kids and he was only 9 yrs old. We were renting and then moved to a purchsed house in the West Valley and he loves it here. We also have a 3 yr old. We are selling our about to sell our home in Waddell, Arizona. There is no traffic at all. It's very secluded and an upcoming area. This part of Surprise Arizona/Waddell are considered the upcoming Scottsdale. Check out as it shows the upcoming bldg already started out here and getting in now will get you great prices before all the bldg goes up and in 2-5 yrs it will be a different market out here and values will go up and up. We are moving to a house just down the street and selling our home. It's a 6,924 sq ft home with 6 bedroom and the entire 3rd floor is a playroom for kids. It's being custom decorated right now in a mickey mouse pirate theme for boys on one side and Minnie mouse on the other with beige/golden walls and lots of black and white and red to go with the pirate theme. It has a $83,000 pool and is fully landscaped. We have been in this house less then a year. There is a huge park just one block down the road with a splash area and loads of kids stuff. My now 13 yr old is always there. They even have sprinklers attached to the volleyball court. The School is in walking distance just a block to 2 blocks and can been seen from this 3 story house. email me if you want pictures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 28, 2008
Scottsdale is the "most liveable city in the United States". It is beautiful but the 101 is a parking lot, starting at 2:00 in the afternoon. It does have wonderful schools and is probably closest in feel to Atlanta.
Other areas to consider are Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert (the East Valley) and the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix.
Everywhere you go there is easy access to outdoor recreation, that's Arizona for you.
You will challenged to find areas with a lack of congestion/traffic that you need but they are out there.
My brother in law is from Atlanta and will be looking at properties in Arizona as well this week. (We own a Real Estate company in Phoenix and we live in the East Valley, we will be traveling all over the Valley of the Sun.)

Happy House Hunting! Good Luck, your family will enjoy living here.
If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact me.
By the way,I could recommend high scoring schools if you would like.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 27, 2008
Consider Scottsdale! Great schools, libraries, downtown, culture, amenities and better value. consider my 4 bedroom house at 9302 E Cortez, Scottsdale, 85260 close to Mayo the 101 Freeway and Shea and only 20 min from airport and 30 min from downtown. You can see it on the MLS or at! Also we are near to alot of walking trails.

Ellen Remenchik
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 22, 2008
Hi Home Buyer in Atlanta. This post caught my eye as I currently have a beautfiful home listed in Hillcrest Ranch, excelling school district on an almost 1/2 acre lot. The mls is 2954173 if you want to look at it on BUT - what's interesting about this house is that the owners are from Atlanta! They moved here 2 years ago and are now relocating back. I'm sure the owner would be more than happy to talk with you and answer any questions you may have about moving from Atlanta to Phoenix. Small world! Let me know if you would like me to connect the two of you up. Cheers!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 20, 2008
Phoenix is a declining market. You may want to rent for a year or two, which will give you a chance to find the ideal location.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 19, 2008
What kind of a price range are you looking at? Our home is for sale in a great neighborhood and schools are top rated (Ishikawa, Stapley, and Mountain View, see, It is 5400 square feet with basement and diving pool, we are asking 1050000. Call for more information it is in NE Mesa. Wendy ;;480-654-4036
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 19, 2008
Phoenix has an area called Ahwatukee, which offers everything. Great homes at buyer's market prices, one of the best school districts in the state, and all your shopping, parks , freeways are nearby. If you are looking for an experienced real estate Broker who also happens to live in Ahwatukee, call me, Sam Katzenberg at (480) 250-8040.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
The Metro Phoenix area is huge and you will want to live close to your employment. Most people don't realise how big the area is and mistakes can be made initially which lead to long commutes (often into the early morning sun). Even at off peak hours it can take an hour to drive from one side of the Metro area to the other. So, the starting point is to establish where your workplace will be and then more consideration can be given to specific areas which might be appropriate. I can send you a Relocation Guide if you wish.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
I can name a half dozen areas of the valley that have a reputation for quality schools. Gilbert, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, Arcadia, and Madison all come to mind. Or a charter school like Basis does too. And then private schools, of course, like Tessaract or Phoenix Country Day.

Last night, I signed a lease with my newest tenants that will live pretty much in Downtown Phoenix. They are 2 teachers that in are the Teach For America program. They will be teaching in schools with at least an 80% poverty rate. These teachers will have amazing support and coaching from the Teach For America program, and have agreed to do their part to try to make a difference in underprivileged areas. Honestly, the kids that have one of those teachers are extremely fortunate, even if those kids aren't in a school that has the reputation of the schools I referenced earlier.

As far as recreation goes, do you mean parks (community, neighborhood, city, county state?) or do you mean golf courses, or swimming? Is that hiking or biking or soccer or baseball or some other outdoor recreation activity? And does lack of congestion/traffic refer to all year round for every street within 5 miles of your home, or traffic on your way to a specific employment center, or right there on the street you plan to live in.

Anyway, good luck with your search. Some more criteria to your home search will help any REALTOR provide some better direction, particularly a location where someone is planning to commute to, assuming someone in the household will be commuting into an employment center.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
Great question that I think deserves some more thought. Is employment a factor? Will you be commuting to a work location? How far (minutes) are you willing to commute if the need exists? Do you need to be near the airport? Near a college?

The house: What price range? How large of a house are you expecting? Do you want a newer home? What is important to you, the area or the most affordable house?

Phoenix as a whole is very large, 70 plus miles across with good locations in many areas. The questions above may help lead you to a more qualified answer that fits your needs.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
Hi, it would "depend" on where you will work. I personally prefer the east valley including Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa and Queen Creek.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
You want to live in Gilbert unified School Dist 41. It is the premier school district of the East Valley.
4 bedroom 2 bath 1700 sq ft single level / family with a pool will set you back about $225K.
Combine that with a FHA mortgage, and you are right in the affordability range.
Gilbert park district, has a ton of activities for the boys.

Here is a quick video of the area, around freestone park

Good Day & Good luck

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
Mr.P, Other/Just Looking in Arizona
There are a couple of areas that would fit your needs. First of all I would recommend Glendale, they have great schools and access to the rest of the valley is very easy. Depending upon where you are going to work, there are some great opportunities in the SE Valley as well. If you know about where you will be working and what your expected commute time is I can give you some better ideas!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 12, 2008
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