Depending on where you all will be working and what community amenities you require, you might also look on the other side (east) of the Santa Rita Mountains. It's a grassland at 5,000' msl with the major communities being Sonoita, Elgin and Patagonia. Search those zip codes (85611, 85637, and 85624) on Trulia and feel free to contact me for more information.
Lori Adamson here answering you. I have been a Realtor here in Rio Rico for 15 years and love our community and perfect climate. You are right about being able to have a nice large yard without a fence if that is what you want. We are served by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Dept. and part of Rio Rico is served by the Tubac Fire Dist and the majority is served by the Rio Rico Fire Dist. I don't know where you work so can't answer that but I do know that it takes me an hour to drive from my Rio Rico home to the Tucson Airport and I know it takes some close to an hour to get across Tucson. I-19 is an uncrowded commute if you are driving to Tucson it does not matter what time of day or night. You can get a lot more house and lot for the money in Rio Rico and our temps are cooler in summer and about the same in winter as Tucson. Rio Rico is at 3,400 ft. which explains our more mild summer plus we turn lush green due to a very active monsoon season in July and August. If you visit my web site you will be able to see some homes for sale and also read some interesting articles about the area. Lori Adamson, Connect Realty.com 520-313-9575
Rio Rico is a beautiful area, that really is not that far from Tucson, as well as other smaller communities. Yes, they do have their own police & fire departments, (I believe they have 2 fire depts) and as far as the closest hospital, that would be in Nogales, AZ, about a 15-20 minute drive. My office currently has a home listed in Rio Rico, you could look up on this site with the address...1231 N. Pendleton Dr. It is a beautiful home on a huge lot. It really is beautiful there! If you'd like more information on the area, or would like to see the home, you can contact me directly at (520)490-8634. Thanks!