-Are you commuting into work? Where?
-Are you trying to stay close to family or friends?
-What I your lifestyle like? Hiker? Shopper? Do you dine out often?
Off the cuff, I would say look at DC Ranch or Silverleaf for scenic views. Deer Valley District gives you good schools in the North West Valley. The East Valley has the Kyrene District has a good reputation. Arcadia is great for commuters to Central Phoenix plus it has a great neighborhood feel.
Another thing to consider is that every family has a different idea of what makes a great school. I would suggest checking out GreatSchools.com. You can look at the criterion that is important to you and decide what schools you would consider, that will help you narrow your area so you can zone in.
This is a great market for buyers and I would also encourage you to strike while the iron is hot.
What are your children's ages? If you would like a school report, let me know.
Call me. I can get you some short-sale opportunities and options for schools and area.
I invite you to check out my website for a link to current market conditions by city as well as a host of other valuable information that will help you with your decision. IOf course, 'd be happy to help!
In the $1.1 to $1.5 range you'll be able to find a very nice home. In PV and some parts of Scottsdale and Phoenix this may not buy you your dream home but should put you into a very comfortable one. It all depends on your lifestyle and the ammenities you're looking for...
Finally, every home in Paradise Valley is on at least an acre...so long as you are willing to spend around $2M to get one. Depending on where you lived in PV, you would likely be near one of these 3 school districts.
I've offered this in the past, but with regard to schools, I'd recommend calling my wife's tutoring company, Oxford Learning, in Scottsdale. The education director there has a close working relationship with many of the schools, at all levels, public and private, in Scottsdale and Phoenix, and would probably be able to provide you a unique perspective that goes beyond test scores.