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#1 of 18 Old 02-25-2009, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I might be moving to the Phoenix area soon and am wondering where I should look for housing. We will probably need to rent and I am having a hard time finding a place that is friendly to children, dog, and a wannabe gardner. We don't want to live "far out" of the city, and we don't want to live in a gated neighborhood (which feels very unfriendly). Any suggestions?
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#2 of 18 Old 02-26-2009, 01:46 AM
 
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We just moved here so I am not really familiar...just wanted to say WELCOME and I hope you find the area you want. Are you going to be sending your children to school - you might narrow down the area by looking at the excelling charter schools in the areas you are considering.

We moved to Queen Creek...but it seems like some of my favorite charter school options were in Gilbert (San Tan Learning Center) , Phoenix (Keystone Montessori or Khalsa Montessori), Mesa (Montessori Education Centre)

You can list schools that are excelling and go from there...

Good Luck!
Kristin
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#3 of 18 Old 02-26-2009, 01:54 AM
 
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I agree, I would look at the schools and that location. Maybe go to greatschools.com see whichs schools that seem ideal to you, visit that neighborhood etc. That is what I would do if and when we move. I would love to move to a better school district.
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#4 of 18 Old 02-27-2009, 04:02 AM
 
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Really, Queen Creek and Maricopa are indeed the most "far out" suburbs, but they are packed with young families. The cost of rent is way cheaper out there too. The thing with Queen Creek is that it's so spread out. Some places take 20 minutes to get to, the other side takes an hour.

If I were to move here again, I'd pick somewhere in the East Valley: Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler. The West Valley tends to have a higher crime rate in general.
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#5 of 18 Old 03-06-2009, 03:32 AM
 
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Well, I've lived here ALL my life and absolutely prefer the West Side - North Glendale (Arrowhead area), Surprise (a great city that's family-friendly)even Wickenburg (a little further out on Grand, but is supurb). Granted, there are areas where crime is higher, but let's not discount the whole West Side because there's a few bad sections...there's higher crime areas in virtually every city!

Property values are generally lower on the West Side and Glendale and Surprise have so many amenities now that it's a great choice IMO.

There was a thread a while back that got really nasty with someone degrading the West Side and it actually was locked and removed due to UA violations. Don't want that to happen here

...and if you're interested in p.s's - Peoria is actually rated as one of the best with several excelling schools and an excellent gifted program. Ironwood H.S. also has an International Bacc. Program.

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
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#6 of 18 Old 03-06-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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It's funny how different people's perceptions are about the various parts of the valley. I grew up on the west side, am living in the east valley now, (Chandler) but my favorite place to live in right in the middle. Central Phoenix has some great neighborhoods, but is a bit more expensive. I also love the Tempe, particularly the downtown area. My daughter lives in the Maple/Ash neighborhood and it's beautiful. I think it's important to note that the Phoenix metro area is huge and I would start with deciding what kind of a commute you are willing to make. The outlying suburbs are nice and more affordable that the central area, but you may have a long, congetsed commute, depending where you are working. Good luck!

Jenny: 40 Something AP mom to 2 adult kids, 2 teen step kids, and one amazing 7YO. Doula and Brio Birth educator, too!
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#7 of 18 Old 03-06-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azjen43 View Post
It's funny how different people's perceptions are about the various parts of the valley. I grew up on the west side, am living in the east valley now, (Chandler) but my favorite place to live in right in the middle. Central Phoenix has some great neighborhoods, but is a bit more expensive. I also love the Tempe, particularly the downtown area. My daughter lives in the Maple/Ash neighborhood and it's beautiful. I think it's important to note that the Phoenix metro area is huge and I would start with deciding what kind of a commute you are willing to make. The outlying suburbs are nice and more affordable that the central area, but you may have a long, congetsed commute, depending where you are working. Good luck!
I absolutely agree!! Metro Phoenix has multi-million dollar neighborhoods and then some not so nice high crime areas. It just all depends...blanket statements about a particular area seem to be made without a lot of information or thought about those areas and seem quite opinionated for whatever reason.

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
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#8 of 18 Old 03-07-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lovbeingamommy View Post
I absolutely agree!! Metro Phoenix has multi-million dollar neighborhoods and then some not so nice high crime areas. It just all depends...blanket statements about a particular area seem to be made without a lot of information or thought about those areas and seem quite opinionated for whatever reason.
Opinionated for "whatever reason"? How about that statistically, the west valley has a higher crime rate. :

http://phoenix.about.com/od/crimesta.../crime2006.htm

Glendale: Violent Crimes First Six Months of 2005: 667 Per 1,000 residents: 2.79
Total Violent Crimes First Six Months of 2006: 731 Per 1,000 residents: 2.99

Chandler:
Violent Crimes First Six Months of 2005: 365 Per 1,000 residents: 1.56
otal Violent Crimes First Six Months of 2006: 464 Per 1,000 residents: 1.88

Phoenix: Violent Crimes First Six Months of 2005: 5,221 Per 1,000 residents: 3.57
Total Violent Crimes First Six Months of 2006: 5,424 Per 1,000 residents: 3.60

Gilbert:Violent Crimes First Six Months of 2005: 94 Per 1,000 residents: 0.54
Total Violent Crimes First Six Months of 2006: 114 Per 1,000 residents: 0.59

I'm not being rude or "biased", someone asked and I stated fact. Doesn't mean that there aren't lovely pockets everywhere. Tempe was about the same as Phoenix.
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#9 of 18 Old 03-07-2009, 01:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LittleLlama View Post
Opinionated for "whatever reason"? How about that statistically, the west valley has a higher crime rate. :

I'm not being rude or "biased", someone asked and I stated fact. Doesn't mean that there aren't lovely pockets everywhere. Tempe was about the same as Phoenix.
When people say the "West Side" this has historically meant areas west of I-17. Therefore Phx would technically be both on the east and west side. There are several neighborhoods east of I-17 that have been determined to be the "highest crime rate" neighborhoods in all of Phx. So should I disuade someone from the East Valley because of this? I suppose in order to be more exact in our definitions a smaller statistical breakdown would be needed to evaluate it appropriately. Looking at your reference they did mention Glendale, however, there definitely is a difference between south and north Glendale wouldn't you agree? if you know Glendale that is . Glendale isn't the only city on the West Side - there's Peoria (which didn't even have stats) Surprise, Sun City (which has extremely low crime) and so many other cities and towns considered the West Side.

My main point is just to look closer at the "big picture" rather than conclude the "West Side" is a high crime area when ALL the statistics haven't been taken into account.

Personally, there's plenty of areas in Scottsdale and Mesa that I'd rather stay clear of at night. But, like I said and I think you agree, there are good and bad pockets EVERYWHERE. Heck, just think about L.A.

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
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#10 of 18 Old 03-07-2009, 03:10 AM
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OK, well, leaving aside the crime rate, which I don't even know for my neighborhood, I'm going to talk about what I think is awesome about where I live, which is north-east central PHX.

1. The public libraries - they're kid-friendly and offer a bunch of activities, especially during the summer when it's too hot to go out. "Too hot to go out" is a real thing here.

2. Swim lessons at the public pool - kind in PHX *need* to learn how to swim. It wouldn't surprise me if the price went up this year, because the city has been implementing price increases on rec programs, but even predicting a 25% increase we're still talking about less than $20 for a two week session of 45 minute lessons M-TH.

3. The farmers' markets on Saturday mornings.

4. The Great Dane drill team that practices in my local park. I don't have a Dane nor do I want one, but it thrills me that I can wander down to the park after sunset and watch them practicing formations, sometimes to music.

5. A wider variety of cuisines than you find elsewhere in the state.

6. Urban bike trails.

7. First Friday artwalks and art detour in central PHX.

8. The children's museum that just opened last summer. We have a membership, and we use it a lot (see item 1 in re "too hot to go out.")

9. The Matsuri festival every February.

10. Arts and crafts houses from the 1930s and 40s.

11. "You who are about to be consumed by a dancing swarm of fireflies" at the Phoenix art museum. ("The Death of Marat" visited in a touring exhibit last year, that was pretty cool too.)

IMO, if you're going to live in Phoenix, you should live where you can take advantage of all its amenities. The metro area is huge, and it's a lot easier to say "Oh, we'll live in (insert name of suburb here) but we'll go into central PHX a lot" than it is to actually do it. It's, like, 40 miles from here to Chandler, usually in traffic full of bad-tempered people made paranoid by speed cameras. If we're going that far, our frugal nature compels us to combine the trip with Ethiopian food in Tempe and an Ikea run.

My neighborhood is, alas, foreclosure central. This is bad for us and our quest to relocate to another state, but it's good for you moving in - I'm seeing houses for as low as 69K. I know no one wants to buy right now, but my gut says you'd save a bundle over renting. There are lots of rentals on the market too, but at least when you own you know if the bank is about to foreclose and evict you.

I wish we lived closer to central Phoenix - I would love to be on the light rail - but our location is better for my commute to work.

ETA: City zoning laws allow residents to keep up to 8 hens on their property. Gardening is tricky here, as we're in a desert, but I know people do it.
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#11 of 18 Old 03-07-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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stik Your post was GREAT!! It promotes your area and the good things about it, which btw it looks like there are many excellent opportunities provided in such close proximity to you.

Rather than speak of other areas and promote the negatives (which we all know every place has) you chose the high-road and spoke to your specific positives without negating other areas. I applaud you!!

OP - My most honest sincere advice would be to check out the areas your interested in by zip code crime rate and also look at each cities Chamber of Commerce website/or city website. Most of Metro Phoenix and its suburbs have areas to be proud of it just depends on what your specifically looking for. Good luck!!

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
waitin' for my baby

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#12 of 18 Old 03-10-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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Hi desertmarigold! I am excited to hear that you might move to Phoenix. I have been here for a total of twelve years. Five were spent in Chandler (S of Phoenix in the East Valley) and the rest have been in West Central Phoenix. There are great areas no matter where in this huge metroplex you look.

I personally like living smack in the middle of the city. I love the lack of commuting, close proximity to many libraries, museums, sporting events, downtown festivals, and parks. I love the diversity in my neighborhood and the spirit of others who choose to live in the city like us. Our neighborhood is 50 years old, which is old for us in the west! I like our red brick house and the charm of our older neighborhood.

As far as crime, I don't think about it much. We live smart, like you'd do in any large city . Crime is everywhere, including the affluent Chandler neighborhood where my father lives, just like it is here in Phoenix.

I was excited to see that you want to garden. I am sure you can find a rental that would let you dig a little plot of earth. I see houses for rent all over the place.

Good lucK with your decision and give us all a holler if you end up in Phoenix!
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#13 of 18 Old 03-11-2009, 02:37 AM
 
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Good point about commute and housing age. The light rail only has one line and it doesn't connect to the busses at many points, so you really have to drive pretty much everywhere but the "core" of Phoenix and downtown Tempe which caters to the ASU crowd with a lot of busses. It can get patchy the farther out you go.

The Phoenix neighborhoods have a LOT of charm. The newer places look a lot a like from one house to the next.

O/T Do the older houses have gutters? I've not lived in a single new house (built within the last 20 years) that had gutters and yet we get these torrential storms that destrow the landscaping with the runnoff from the roof. What gives?
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#14 of 18 Old 03-12-2009, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all of you for your input - I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the options. I like the idea of living close to a good school or in a good district What are your impressions for good elementary schools?
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#15 of 18 Old 03-12-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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the west side is no exception because don't kid yourself there is crime EVERYWHERE in Phoenix..I lived in great places for years and still heard gunshots on a nightly basis..crime is rampant there! from south phoenix to northern phoenix! but there are MILLIONS of people there that is why. it's not specific to any nieghborghood (though some ARE definitely worse than others!).. I still wouldn't consider the west side unsafe exactly..

I lived in the NW side (and right smack between Glendale and Scottsdale) and it was ok the further west you go..like out in the arrowhead area and west toward Peoria/Sun City/ Surprise. or even east toward scottsdale..it seems to me it is seeedier right around the I-17 but I lived there too..(on Bell Rd.) without problems for awhile too! not sure what it's like now though! (where I used to live was torn down to make a freeway!) Peoria still has a really good school district though from what I hear.

Queen Creek is a GREAT suggestion!!!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#16 of 18 Old 03-12-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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I have heard great things about the Peoria district. Peoria is west of Phoenix. I know moms who have good things to say about the Madison district, too. Madison is Central Phx and Dh and I wish we could move there!

O/T--LittleLlama, I don't know what the deal is with the lack of gutters. We don't have gutters on our older home, so we have literal waterfalls during the monsoons. I don't even bother to plant annuals near the house because I know they will be destroyed when it rains. I guess that the rain is so infrequent the builders thought we didn't need gutters in this town?!
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#17 of 18 Old 03-13-2009, 03:21 AM
 
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I worked in the Peoria School District for 9 yrs. It definitely is one of the premier districts in Metro Phoenix. Actually, I'm trying to get back in that District. I stupidly moved to another district when my best-friend became principal at a new school .

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
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#18 of 18 Old 06-22-2009, 03:18 AM
 
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I've lived in Phoenix all my life and now live downtown in one of the regentrified historic neighborhoods. We love it! Our neighbors are terrific and we live close to everything! It takes less than ten minutes to get to Trader Joes on the I-10, we are within walking distance to the art museum, light rail, library, cafe's, etc. I've never felt unsafe and I walk around a lot. I guess it's just a matter of personal preference. As for schools, we don't have to worry about it for a couple of years. We are going to send DD to private school or homeschool and/or a combination of both.
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