As a long term resident of the east valley, with a good chunk of time in Ahwatukee, I can tell you that it is a lovely community surrounded by mountain views, great parks and amenities, and very nice subdivisions. It has the great benefit of feeling like an "off the beaten track' hamlet, while being conveniently located approximately 7 miles from a major Phoenix artery that will get you to the downtown area in approximately 20 minutes. Additionally, it provides easy access to Sky Harbor Airport, Scottsdale, and even Prescott is an easy hour and 45 minute drive!
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It's amazing that somehow the landscaping and streets are beautifully maintained and the community offers community golf and tennis courts. Ahwatukee is unique also because it offers views of hills that are throughout the area. I think it's a terrific city and hope you decide to take a closer look at what it offers. Homes range from $150K on up. There are also Condos and Townhomes available.
I also took a listing in Queen Creek a few years ago and after doing all the paperwork I said to the seller. "I just need a key for the lockbox and i will be on my way". The Owner said " Hmmm, well I don't have one I just never lock the door!! I was a deer in the headlights!
I'm a local lender here in the Phoenix area. I don't have the statistics to back it up, but I get the general sense that Ahwatukee is a safe and friendly area. Pretty much any of the outlying areas around Phoenix are pretty clean because most of them are newly developed.
Please call or email if you have any mortgage related questions or if you would like to be prequalified once you have startee to make the move preparations.