Investors regularly do the above activities to understand an area. I also to encourage you to check out Schnepf farms for the Pumpkin and Chili Festival going on this month at http://www.schnepffarms.com/ My family and I reside in the Queen Creek/San Tan Valley area and attend this festival every year. Should you have additional questions please visit my trulia profile where you can contact me in a number of ways and learn more about the services I provide.
Take a look at the crime and school maps in the area:
Hope this helps, please let me know if you need any additional insights!
Ali- Community Manager