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Most likely in the next 12-24 months I'll likely retire back to AZ since my wife has a ton of family and friends back there. While I've lived in Arizona several times it has always been in the Scottsdale area. This time I'd expect to live somewhere a bit cheaper and a bit west since that is where most of her family lives and I won't have to deal with a work commute.

I'm wondering since this is a retirement board and more than a few retirees are known to live in AZ, whether anyone have any suggested areas based on the following parameters:

1. Either north of Phoenix or west such as Surprise, Peoria, Glendale, Waddell, etc.
2. Keep to within 45 minutes of the Sky Harbor airport.
3. Safe neighborhood.
4. No or reasonable HOA fees. Not looking for $200+ monthly fees for stuff I'll never use or over the top HOA rules.

All of my past house buying has been pretty easy since I refused to commute more than 30 minutes and then once I factor in budget constraints it was easy to find a neighborhood. I'm quite familiar with Scottsdale but it is costly and a bit further from her family (40-60 minutes). I figure as we get older it won't hurt to have family closer and I get along with most of them and they are handy with helping/doing home repairs.

Obviously budget will be a limiting factor but my main concern is safety/neighborhoods since the areas on the west side are more diverse in income and crime than much of Scottsdale. I did recently live in Surprise for about 10 months but that was during the prime of covid and I didn't get a chance to get out much to explore it.

Ideally it would be nice to get a view of the mountains but that will vary in the neighborhoods. I can do w/o living on a golf course. I've been trying to use some online resources to research crime but the number of homes just seem overwhelming since I can't narrow it down to a few neighborhoods. House wise I think we know what we want (single story, not too big since it is only 2 of us, decent backyard to relax and have some cookouts, nice kitchen and main bedroom/bathroom, etc.).

Just thought I'd post here and see if anyone happens to post something that might trigger me to say "that might work!".

Obviously prices are high but things are a bit less crazy based on stuff I've been seeing (house price dropping by $100K, houses on the market for much longer than in the past year, etc.) and I have a lot of time to look although if we find something nice we can afford to pay cash. And I can retire as early as Dec/2022 (that would be optimum).

If I was younger and single I would stay in Scottsdale, especially w/o covid since I enjoy the restaurants, resorts and people watching but now that I'm older and married, I'm not sure if it is worth paying an extra $200-300K to do so.

We saw a nice home just north of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve but it was bigger than what I think we need since it was over 2,000 sq ft.

Cost wise, obviously the cheaper the better but from I've seen in searches something under $600K would be good, and $500K even better.

As I get older, the extra maintenance, utility, etc. costs I can do without. And even cleaning a large home is tougher as you get older. My time in Surprise in a smaller home (too small at 1,000 sq ft) confirmed that I don't need a ton of space. And I think my wife is beginning to realize that as well since she is a clean freak and keeping a large home clean is a lot of work at any age much less when you are in your 60s or older.

Thanks
Rich
PS. Hopefully I don't have too many typos here. I've been getting up at 0500 and am usually in bed by now but I have a late night airport pickup tonight so I'm still up :)
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I'm familiar with Chandler/Gilbert. Probably no closer to family, but within about 45 minutes of the airport.

There's new stuff out by Goodyear, but that is probably more than 45 minutes from the airport. Ditto for Anthem.

There is an argument to do what the Count is doing, and what malaoshi has done, and move into an all-inclusive adult community. I haven't researched too many of them here, so can't make a lot of recommendations.

I'm musing about leaving AZ. Of course, we already know good doctors here, and we're in a nice area. Anyplace we go we would have to start over in that respect. But we don't have the constraint of family, or at least not enough to keep us here.

I hear the downtown is revitalizing. If you want to go urban, instead of suburban. Supposed to be a lot of dining choices, and activity, and theater.

1poorguy
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I have mentioned Santa Fe a couple of times. More affordable than CA. We liked the retirement home called El Castillo. Right on the Plaza. Clean, good food, complete care available. Assuming you are interested in a retirement home situation.

Better weather than PHX.
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As one other post mentioned, you may want to consider 55+ communities.

I have been looking at one of the Robson properties in Oracle - Saddleback Ranch - because the home prices seem reasonable and the right size. Their HOAs are over $200 though.

The downside for me is the summer heat and my spouse is concerned about future water shortages.

Yes, this property is outside your desired area. There may be other 55+ that do fit your criterion.

Good luck.
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The downside for me is the summer heat and my spouse is concerned about future water shortages.

Exactly! What's the Phoenix area going to look like when a gallon of water is as expensive as gasoline?

My understanding is that in parts of Australia they don't drain a bathtub until at least a half-dozen people have bathed in it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/08/world/australia/water-dro...

intercst
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albaby insists that agriculture will be one of the first things to go. If that happened, then it is likely we would have sufficient water for pretty much everything else. There is big money in agriculture, but there is also big money in non-ag development. I can't say albaby is wrong, but I'm skeptical that all the states that suck on the Colorado River will just stop irrigating fields.
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My understanding is that in parts of Australia they don't drain a bathtub until at least a half-dozen people have bathed in it.

That is called Sunday night on the ranch.

Andy
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At this point in my life, I don't have a lot of desire to start over in a completely new place. Maryland is just terrible weather wise. I've dreaded it since I was a kid. Too many humid, buggy, stormy days.

Water and AZ is a concern but I'll likely be gone before it is a huge concern IMO.

The communities with higher HOAs concern me. It is an expense you don't really need since there are many places w/o any HOA fee, and it is a fee that you have limited/no control over with in the sense it can increase and the only thing you can do is move. And moving is a costly solution.

In retirement I'd rather limit those type of expenses.

AZ is a state (maybe like Texas) that does have political issues where you have some very extreme people and the current situation is very split. I believe the number of Democrats registers is the same as the number of Republicans so the large independent group swings things. This isn't the place to debate this but just an observation.

If I had family or maybe language skills, I'd look to western Europe and find a quiet place with reliable internet and just mostly live there. The less news and people I encounter as I get older the better.

I didn't think finding a place to retire would be so difficult. I thought the difficult parts were accumulating enough money and living long enough to get there :)
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Water and AZ is a concern but I'll likely be gone before it is a huge concern IMO.

Are you aware of this? https://www.hcn.org/articles/opinion-water-shortages-on-the-...

The article says that reductions will hit agriculture first.

Ira
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Have you looked at Hereford AZ Rich? It is at about 4500 feet and an hour from Tucson but nice year round.

Andy
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