I can forward you some of those websites but talking with people you will be working with may give you some insights as to area's you want to consider home.
As a real estate professional you can not steer a potential client to certain areas or tell them our opinion as to what is a good area or what is not.
Someone may not want to be close to a school or church where someone else may find those area's very desireable.
Regarding crime rates, contact the local police department and or check on the website for crime statistics for xyz zip code...that way you can find out information on your own.
Do some driving around and follow your instinct.
Hope this helps.
Keller Williams Realty
You've heard right (sort of)! South Phoenix is not good. In general stay away from South Phoenix, and stay away from the West. Yes, you can find cheap newer develpments in the West, but those are not good areas (hence cheap) and in a few years it will be worst.
There are many good areas around Phoenix. I specifically like Chandler, Gilbert & Ahwatukee (safe and very family oriented), but those may be too far from you. Tempe is also good. Scottsdale has some nice and expensive areas - although it also has some not-so-good areas. If you want to stay in Phoenix, try to stay in the "streets" and avoid the "avenues" (meaning stay east of Central).