This is the long sought after Part II of my last post, “You want new?” In that post we discussed ‘what’ type of home people people are looking for. In Part II we’ll look more closely at ‘where’ people want to live in the Valley.
Think we can all agree that the draw of Phoenix is undeniable. Being that we now have the 5th largest population in the country sort of confirms this point. And with all these people spilling in here, Phoenician culture continues to evolve and grow. Even my favorite band Son Volt came this spring. (See Crescent Ball Room). We have arrived.
Believe the cultural growth is rooted in the next gereration growing up here and not being from somewhere else. Gives certain neighborhoods a deeper identity. Communities like Central Phx, Arcadia and North Phx are now more distinctive than they have been in the past. There’s just a more mature selection of restaurants and stores. And with Downtown booming with great musical venues, theater and sports, these neighborhoods provide easy access.
But here’s the thing. Somewhere in this Valley; there is something for everyone. And there are plenty of people who prefer the outskirts of the Valley. In fact the outskirts of the west and east valley’s have always been a sort of a haven for new residents. Why? Cheap new housing. Can’t argue with that. Generally the developments accompany new infrastructure such as the 303 or something like Mesa Gateway Airport that now makes the area viable. Much of the time this will also attract a lot of young first-time home buyers that are looking to grow their families with community around them. It can also be quite scenic out that’er way. But good luck on those freeways eh? And yeah, you better like Chilis and other chain restaurants. (Aint nothing wrong with Chilis.
The opportunity to buy new within the city becomes a little more complicated. As I’m sure most Phoenicians have seen, because of the sprawl, over the years many ‘interior plots’ of land were skipped over. A builder looks at a plot that has a good location, but he can’t build enough homes on it to make a buck. So he finds something a little further out that he can do some volume on. Now years later there have been pockets within the belt-way that are sort of screaming for development. (Looks weird to have big empty spaces in densely populated areas). But builders weren’t make any money unless they built multi-level condos. And after the great recession they have. They sell for 200k+ and hey, they go fast. But if someone wants ‘new’ and still be close to Downtown, a condo is probably the way to go.
Up in Cave Creek is a little different. Development isn’t quite as far along. And the remaining plots of land that have been skipped over are larger than down in the city. Because of this the builders are still putting houses on them. But this isn’t like 25 years ago when they would build 2500 homes over 4 square miles. The new developments are 60-100 homes packed in whatever space they have, zero lot lines. And sometimes, these new developments don’t always mesh with the existing landscape. You may end up with Sanford and Son living across from the entry of your new development. (Sanford couldn’t be bought out). And we’re not talking entry level pricing here either, these places start at 400k and run up to a million+ in various sub-divisions (rhymes with Boll Truthers).
Why pay such a premium? For those that are past the starter home phase or looking to get out of the rat race. Cave Creek is the place to be. Along with having a really cool cowboy town near by, it also has good access to Scottsdale, North Phx and the West Valley. But the main thing that has always been a no brainer about Cave Creek is the fact that it butts up to Tonto National Forrest. This is great if you love boating and the outdoors because the access is right there. But from a real estate perspective it also caps the development moving north. If you go east, west or south in the Valley, sprawl goes on and on. One minute your living at the end of civilization with views of forever, next thing you know your property values have just taken a dive because they started a new housing development across the street and the houses are bigger, but cheaper. Not cool.
Ultimately there are a multitude of great places to live in the Valley. Have even heard people rave about how great Maricopa (the city) is. Will take their word for it, I’ve never been to Maricopa and wouldn’t try to sell anyone on living there. Think for buyers, having these conversations with a Realtor can be very productive and informative. To arrive in this vast valley and think, “I’ll just look everywhere” is probably a little naïve. A person will probably just become more confused by the process. But hey, looking for a home should be fun. Just need to do some homework eh?