Home Buying in Maricopa>Question Details

KP, Home Buyer in Scottsdale, AZ

We are relocating to Arizona. My husband will be working in Tempe. I've looked in Gilbert & Chandler, but is Maricopa a decent place with

Asked by KP, Scottsdale, AZ Thu Jun 28, 2012

good schools

Help the community by answering this question:


We moved here in 2011 and rented here for 3 months and then bought a house.
While it is true you get more house for your money, not one person has mentioned the outrageous utility expenses! The electric bill is extremely high especially with 2 AC units to cover the larger amount of square footage. If you don't go on a time of use program or turn your AC up, and you have children, you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $700 per month. I have talked to many other home owners and have been told they would not move here if they had known about the utility costs and they are waiting for a chance to move back to Chandler or Gilbert..
And the water company is privately owned and the water bill is a minimum of $88 a month. If you use $3.59 worth of water, you can expect to pay about $95 per month and that's without a pool or hot tub. We have no children and no other people living with us just a dog and we have had extremely bad service with the water company. If you want grass, flowers and a drip/sprinkler system, you will pay for it...only desert landscaping which doesn't need a lot of water is ok but drive through some of the neighborhoods and see what their front yards look like. Aslo, most people have dirt lots for a backyard...again, landscaping and keeping it up are too costly..
Oh, did I mention that there are plenty of vacant houses on almost every street? Some areas are called "ghost towns" like Tortosa. Rancho El Dorado is nice in some areas; not all, just like very other community here. And check out the crime rate for your self. You wouldn't think in such a far out place that there will be much crime but ask any of the other review writers if they have a security system in their home?.
Sorry but we are here until we can sell...
Yvonne Brown
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
We live in Maricopa and just moved here 6 months ago from Washington. I am not an agent or broker. We LOVE living here!!!
It's a Great place to raise kids, the people are friendly and unlike any area close to Phoenix (Gilbert/Chandler) it has that small town feel but yet only takes me 20 to 25 minutes to hit Phoenix proper.
I love that everything I need is 5 minutes away without any traffic ever!!!
There are many Charter schools in Maricopa, that are very good schools! There are a few neighborhoods in Maricopa (Rancho El Dorado/Cobblestone) that buses from schools outside of Maricopa will pick up your children and take them to schools in Chandler, if memory serves me right.
Our child goes to one of the charter schools here and Loves it!
I would find a local real estate agent who lives in Maricopa, they would know more regarding what schools bus kids from Maricopa.
No home invasions here like they have all over Phoenix either!
Hope this helps :)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 3, 2012
Well said!. I work and live here and I love it!.
Flag Tue Jul 3, 2012
I am a Realtor living in Maricopa. I have heard the Pima Butte at Rancho El Dorado is a good school. One of the most popular school districts in the south east valley is the Kyrene school district. As a matter of fact, many children living in Maricopa take a bus into Ahwatukee/chandler area to attend this school. It always pays off to do some research. And many people have provided you with some. Maricopa is a great place to live if you are raising a family and are more of a home kind of person. If you like the social life or night life maybe chandler would be best (or Gilbert).
When I married I relocated here because #1. Low crime
#2. More house for your money
#3. I like the quiet and I love being home and don't like to go out much at night time
#4. The extensive green areas
#5. I wanted a city that would grow with us. When I moved there was no movie theatre but now they are building one. I think when I have children and they are teenagers this city would be a lot bigger and have malls for them. I like that.
#6. The houses are newer. Built after 2005

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
I have lived in Maricopa for about 8 years and I would not want to live in any of the other cities in the area. In fact I had a chance a couple years ago to purchase another home and I chose to stay in Maricopa even though I had the ability to live in any of the nearby cities. For me Maricopa is just a better area and you can get a much better home for the money. If you would like to check out the schools here or anywhere else then that information is available on my website at http://www.PinalCountyAZHomes.com. Tempe is probably about a half hour drive from Maricopa. If you would like to visit more about the different areas then please feel free to contact.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
Hello KP,

My husband and I have lived in Maricopa for the last 9 years. After you have reviewed the school ratings around our valley, if you have any other specific questions about living in Maricopa, please feel free to contact us anytime.

Deborah Farhat
Designated Broker
Farhat & Associates
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
Hi, Is it true the utilities are very expensive? How much is electric/gas per month, and also water per month with a pool. Houses are "cheap" in Maricopa.....why? I am interested in moving to Arizona from ND..... tired of the cold.
Flag Sun Mar 30, 2014
It would be a matter of cheaper property but farther away from the center of everything. If you don't mind the drive each time you go to work or to go to a mall, Maricopa could be alright. Homes are generally newer as well.

Winsome Homes USA
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
In addition to the other links provided for school research in all of the answers below, you may want to also visit the report cards from the ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION :


Best Wishes,
Deborah Farhat
Designated Broker
Farhat & Associates
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
The school system here is very young and poorly managed, and none of the elementary schools have a rating of higher than 5, and if you have a kindergartener, and want them to be in school for a full school day instead of "half-day kindergarten," which amounts to 4 hours a day, either in the afternoon or morning, you have to pay tuition of $150 per month, which isn't much, but we shouldn't have to pay tuition to a public school, especially when we already pay taxes that are outragious, and the schools are sub-par at best. My daughter started kindergarten this year at four years old, and the work I'm seeing sent home is stuff that she's known since she was two years old (she's exceptionally smart, but I don't think time should be wasted teaching ANY kindergarteners their basic shapes and colors when any 5 year old should have already mastered that, and could be concentrating on reading and math. I've yet to see a single sheet of real math work being sent home, excet for number identification, which again, even an average kid should have figured out by the time they're three or four, I would imagine, so I print out addition and subtraction worksheets online so she can be taught real math at home.) There are also very few options for extra curricular activities and kid's sports leagues (
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 19, 2013
Maricopa is a great place to live in if you don't mind driving a little for city life. I am a realtor who lives in Glennwilde, Maricopa. Contact me if you need someone local to work with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 19, 2012
Hi KP,
Katie has a great description of living in Maricopa. Rancho El Dorado is a very convenient location within Maricopa - it is pretty with its parks, and trails and water features, and you are closer to the highway.
Let me know if you'd like to see any homes in Maricopa.
Web Reference: http://www.talktosteffy.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 4, 2012
there is a 16 mile stretch of road leading into/out of maricopa before you reach a highway. god forbid there is an accident on a tuesday morning on the 347. 2 lanes each way and 16 miles of backup. no thank you!
Flag Wed Sep 5, 2012
When you are looking at schools, if you haven't already done so, you may want to look at the Great Hearts Academies located throughout the Phoenix Metro area. They are public schools with different standards. You can find more info & their locations here: http://www.greatheartsaz.org/.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any further questions, I'd be glad to help.

All the best,

Roswell Moore, CMPS
Certified Mortgage Planner
480-422-5095 direct

We are a Direct Lender, Mortgage Bank where we originate, process, underwrite, fund, AND SERVICE our loans, in-house, with FHA (starting at a 580 score AND still only 3.5% down), FHA Streamline loans (NO minimum credit score, NO appraisal required) Go Green rehab loans, HomePath, Investor Friendly (10 financed properties), VA, USDA, Jumbo, Conventional, plus, we allow Escrow HoldBacks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
Hi Karyn,

First, I welcome you here to Arizona, It's a wonderful place to live.

I have lived here in Scottsdale and now in Gilbert. I can tell you that each area presents its own pluses and minuses. Since you are in Scottsdale (your profile) I would suggest a drive to Maricopa to investigate that area further.

I like Gilbert because I find it much more affordable based on personal experience. Gas and food costs seem lower and there is a pulse to the area. Scottsdale is more of a seasonaly active kind of destination. Hosting the TPC Golf Championship, Barrett Jackson Auto Auction and other events draws snow birds and enthusiasts with money to spend.

Gilbert is more community with varied communities, some older farm type dwellings and shopping very near with Santan and Dana park malls and a bunch more.

Now I have never lived in Maricopa, but the one thing I have not been a big fan of is the distance from the city. If that is something you can overcome then you're in a good place. New type construction is still cheap.

Check the Arizona Buyers advisory and do some on line investigation of each township. A little of that can go a long way. Have you. onside red old south Scottsdale as a possibility of picking up an older home that has been improved? You might consider that cause the griping to Tempe is a breeze.
there's lots of ammenities and there are several areas that still have that home town kind of feel.

Anyway, if you need help let me know. You can go and check out my web page, http://www.stewkeene.com and look for the buyers assistance guide where I wrote a basic page outline that helps explain what you should expect in general when buying a home in arizona. The is also a link to eat Buyers
advisory I spoke of.


StewKeene - Professional Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
Hi Karyn,
As far as school ratings, go to http://www.greatschools.org and you can see the scores for schools all over. You will get more for your money in Maricopa, but it's a lot further out and not as built up as the other areas you mentioned. Gilbert has a reputation for having a good school system which you can check out on that site.
If you need any help in your search, I specialize in working with buyers and would be happy to help you.
good luck with your move.
Lorrie Feld
Keller Williams Integrity First
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
I live in Chandler and specialize in the east valley. While we can not categorize and area as good or bad, we can provide you with the tools to make that decision based on what is important to you. Below is a URL to a page with links to school ratings, crime reports and other useful information.

Also please remember that the general pricing of an area is in part determined by its desirability. A highly desirable place will have higher home prices, and a less desirable place will have lower home prices. Although desirability is relative places with good schools, low crime, etc... tend to be more desirable.


Carlos J Ramírez, PC
Broker/Realtor, ABR, CNE
Certified Negotiation Expert
602-512-5825 direct
602-749-6327 fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 28, 2012
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