Good morning Maggie,
If you are willing to drive 10-20 minutes you can live in & about any where within the City Limits (within reason). 85716 is a popular zip code for people wanting to be close to the U of A. As a Realtor, I am not allowed to comment on what is a "safe neighborhood", but please see the attached link for crime rates.
Are you pre-approved? That should be your first step, next find a local agent or Realtor to help you sort through all the inventory based on your criteria. I am sure there will be several agents to pick from just from answering this question. Best of luck, buying a house should be an exciting & educational process.
3rd Generation Full-Time RealtorÂ®
Tierra Antigua Realty
Direct (520) 471-6900
Fax (866) 365-5208