Right now is a great time to buy up in the White Mountains of Arizona! I live up here full time and can help you with all your real estate needs. Prices have dropped a little up here, but for the most part they are holding strong. I recently did a search for another client and found some lake side homes for around $400k! They are out there, you just gotta know where to find them.
Please go to my web site listed below. You can have full access to the White Mountain MLS. Please give me a call and I can help you with your search!
I hear ya about escaping the heat. Enjoying these springtime temps, knowing the heat is coming. My husband & I opted for a mountain cabin a couple years ago. We researched several mountain communities and found the Pinetop offers temps an average of 25 degrees cooler than the Valley. All 4 seasons including snow (with skiing & sledding at nearby Sunrise Ski Resort). A lakefront property will likely be over 700,000, but there are many cabins that offer wooded lots for a lot less than that. Nearby Lakeside & Show Low are also options. You can search the MLS in those communities on my website.
I am a member of the White Mountain Board of Realtors, so would be happy to help you find the perfect cabin should you decide on this area.
Best of luck!
The Verde Valley does not have lakes, but there is a plethora of river and creekfront properties. We have over 150 miles of creeks and streams in the area. Our area is typically 5-15 degrees cooler than PHX, and the temperature drops into the 60's and 70's in the evenings in the summer.... The monsoons can bring 75-85 degree days in the middle of summer as well!