Considering Moving to Arizona from Texas

Updated on January 24, 2009
S.E. asks from McKinney, TX
24 answers

My husband and I have been considering moving to Arizona ( maybe Chandler or Gilbert). Would love some advice,opinions on best city, neighborhood, school etc. My husband has an uncle in Scottsdale but his family is older. We don't know anyone else. School district is high priority as well as safety and neighborhood quality. Thanks for any help that can be shared.

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S.V.

answers from Phoenix on

Gilbert is an amazing place to raise kids! We have lived in Gilbert for three years and we love it! The Gilbert school district is fantastic. If you go to greatschools.net, you can search gilbert schools and see which ones are better than others. We live in south east end of Gilbert which actually puts us in the Chandler school district, which is fantastic also. I don't know that there are really any bad areas on Gilbert...but I do know that the area near greenfeild & warner and power & elliot has some cow smell issues. My sister lives over there and she says they can't even open there windows at night because the smell is suffucating. We don't have any of that down where we are near Higley & riggs. You may also want to look at east mesa in zip code 85212, as that is within the Gilbert school district even though it's mesa, and I know some people who love it over there too. Hope that helps! Good luck!

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H.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I would say Gilbert, more so South Gilbert or North Scottsdale. Gilbert is very family oriented and has low crime rates. Scottsdale (certain parts) are very nice, high class and family oriented if you are looking for that.

Overall there are nice area's in all of the cities in the Phoenix metro valley.

Best of luck.

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E.M.

answers from Phoenix on

Hello S.,
I live in Gilbert and absolutely love it. We moved here nine years ago from NC. We only had one family that we knew when we moved here. We have also lived in Mesa and Tempe, but Gilbert is where we want to stay. We live in a community called Agritopia it is off of Higley and Ray. You should check it out, they have a website. It is a beautiful community with such a friendly group of neighbors. There is a community pool and fitness center as well as numerous parks. There is a school here also. It is Surrey Garden Christian school. We have heard nothing but great reviews about the school. My children attend a charter school in Gilbert called Leading Edge Academy, perfect for someone seeking smaller class sizes. There are many wonderful churches here also, and recreation centers too. You can check out my church it is at www.crosspointeaz.org. Gilbert is our home, we wouldn't trade it for anywhere else!

Good luck with your decision,
E. Matthews
[email protected]____.com

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K.F.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S.,

Gilbert is a great family area with lots of things to do with your kids. You can can';t go wrong with any area of that city. Lots of parks and the school system is great. You can check out this website for more on schools and demographic info: http://www.schoolmatters.com/

My husband and I moved to AZ 10 years ago. We only my MIL here and the rest of our family is back in NY. i do miss them terribly however, our quality of life in AZ far surpasses what it would have been had we stayed in NY to raise our family. I have made really wonderful friends. I wouldn't say it was that easy at first but, once I got involved in my community our friends and very importantly friends with kids increased tremendously. We have 2 boys (4 and 2). To get things going in that respect I joined some groups with my interest at http://www.meetup.com (moms, crafting, yoga are my interests but they have groups for any and everything). This has made a huge difference in the relationships we have formed and I am very grateful to have found people with like minded interests. If we ever decided to move again I would search on meetup.com to see what the area has to offer. It has made that much of a difference to us. Trying to make friends that you can connect with can be difficult if you leave it just your neighbors and co-workers.

Good luck!

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D.D.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S.,
There are some great neighborhoods in Gilbert and the schools are well rated. On my web site you can look up zip codes of school and read the reviews, but this is a big town and I'd need to know a little bit more about what you are wanting in a home/neighborhood to help you. I grew up here and now live in Scottsdale, but have lived in Gilbert and a few other surrounding cities and sell a lot in the area. You can email me directly at [email protected]____.com a few of your hot buttons and I'll send you a list of home to look at. On a side note I have 2 kids (3 and 8 months) and remember well that last 7 weeks:) My thoughts are with you, but I'm sure you are a pro by now. My sister just had her 4th in bed at home with a mid wife. I, on the other hand requested a valet epidural while entering the parking lot of the hospital.
Be well,
D.
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J.S.

answers from Phoenix on

S.! As a native to Arizona and the East Valley, I think a move to Arizona would be a great choice for you. I grew up and currently live in West Mesa. The Mesa School district is very large and the entire city has pockets of nicer and more run down, older and newer places. The Gilbert area is a really great area as it is mostly newer with newer schools. I suggest you find a realtor in the area (maybe a mama from here) that can help you that knows the area. You can also do research and compare schools at www.greatschools.net. As far as I know, in Gilbert, anything off of Val Vista is very nice. Good luck!

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F.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S., You can't go wrong moving to Gilbert. The area is wonderful, everything is new, the community is nice and the school systems are one of the best. I have 2 typical kids in a charter school and one in a special needs program in public school. I'm also an insurance agent (home/auto/life/health/commercial/Aflac/travel to Mexico)and can help you with that. Also, if you are looking for a 3 bedroom home, they are extremely affordable now. I had a client buy a new one for 107K! The bigger homes are much more. I also know a very reliable realtor and mortgage broker that will not try to rip you off at the last minute like some have been known to do! So if you need anything, especially a realtor to email you some listings, just let me know! Good luck and let me know if I can help!

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C.T.

answers from Phoenix on

S.,

I moved from Austin in 99' and LOVE LOVE LOVE Arizona! I live in Gilbert (Power Ranch to be specific) and believe what people are saying, it is a great place to live. Another gal talked about the neighborhood. Before we lived in Chandler and love it too. I personally think that both are great places to live.

The positive about Gilbert, is that there are young families in the area. The schools in Higley School District are in my opinion are not so great. But AZ is an open enrollment state and has some FANTASTIC charter schools to choose from. Chandler district has several traditional academies that are top notch as well as Mesa. Great Schools.com is a good resource to use it gives parents opinions as well as test scores etc.

Forget about scorpions (we had them back home) say good bye to gigantic flying cockroaches and mammoth mosquitoes!

When I moved here my dad gave me a warning "the people are not the same as they are here" He was right, it was harder to find friends and people are not as open as back home. It took a while to find quality friends, but it is all worth it!

I am on week 27 with #3 for us and wish you the best of luck with your last 7 weeks. Those are the hardest!

P.S. From one Texan to another you will love Arizona!

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A.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Gilbert is defintely the way to go. We moved to Gilbert about a year ago in a neighborhood called Power Ranch. It is very well known for one of the best master planned communities. We love the area and it has lots and lots of families. We found a realtor that we just loved and she lives and works primarily in Gilbert. She helped us out a ton as we were moving from long distance and it was difficult to get all of our ducks in a row. It worked out great, and like some of the other posts, right now is a great time to buy. I have two little ones, a daughter that's 3 and a son that's 1. Please feel free to send me a message if you have any other questions I would be glad to help you out with anything just as a fellow mom.

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A.E.

answers from Phoenix on

I read a yahoo article about a month ago that had the top 10 cities in the US for raising a family. They looked at cities crime rates, average annual salaries, school performance, etc. Gilbert was in the top with the highest annual salary rate. Gilbert is a very nice city, in my opinion (I live in Chandler). As far as neighborhoods go, I wouldn't be the best since I don't live there, though I have to siblings that live around Gilbert Rd. and Ocotillo, it's a nice area.

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K.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Hello,
I live in Gilbert, which is in the East Valley and it is south of Scottsdale. The positive things out here is there is a lot for children to do and a lot of choices in schools (private, public, charter, etc.). I do not like it here at all and if someone warned me about this area, I would not have chosen this city and maybe not this state. The summers are very hot and isolating. You are cooped up in your house and if you don't know anyone - they already have their friends and playdates. It is very religious out here, so if you are religious, you will probably like it. If you are not religious, there is a lot of discrimination socially, politically, etc. and you will feel like a minority. The Arizona natives out here are very clickish and they will not invite you into their click. I have met some very nice friends, but it has taken me a long time. If you have any other questions, please don't hestitate to contact me.
K.

S.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Oh my gosh, you are busy! Congratulations to you and your family. My husband and I moved here 18 years ago (I am 36) and love it. There is so much to do especially if you like the outdoors, night life or traveling in and around the state.

THere are a lot of website to help you determine which area is best for you, I can give them to you or you can google maricopa.com (our county). I am a real estate agent so if you would like to see what is available in certain areas, we can customize an account for you. New homes on the market will be sent to your email so that you can review prices, condition and what you are looking for. I have a lot of charts available once you narrow it down a little on demographics.

Everyone has their favorite so it is just a matter of what you and your family are looking for. But definently check out the maricopa county school districts and their ratings to help narrow down the search.

Good luck and again, please let me know if you want to set up an account, it is easy and free to do of course.

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T.R.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S.,
Glad to hear your interested in moving to AZ. Don't know where your moving from, but AZ is a really different animal when it comes to living here 24-7-365. Gilbert is a nice area, so is Chandler. Tempe is a collage town. I recommend not moving to Mesa. It's a very hectic area and at this time of year when the snowbirds are here the store are unbareable. I find myself going outside the Mesa area just to do my shopping. I don't have children, so I don't know much about the schools, sorry. Word of warning, it's hot hot hot here! Monsoons are not much fun. Right now is the best weather every. That's why everyone north is here. So, if you can deal with the heat in the summer and snowbirds in the winter, come on down. It's all good! T.

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D.B.

answers from Phoenix on

May want to check out this area border of Tempe and Chander, AZ ZIP CODE 85283 OR 85284. Kyrene, school district. Rank 5.Mariposa is one of the best elementry schools in aea.

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K.S.

answers from Phoenix on

Ahwatukee is a great community. Smaller town feel, but part of Phoenix.

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K.R.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi, S. -
Arizona is wonderful. I've lived here 45 years, and can't imagine being anywhere else. We've lived in Gilbert for the past 6 years, and love it. It's one of the fastest growing towns in the nation. All the amenities of a big city while retaining that "small town" feel. Great schools. Scottsdale is Arizona's resort area, and housing there will be more expensive just because of the Scottsdale address.
Good luck!

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A.G.

answers from Phoenix on

One thing to consider is what your husband/you do for a living and for fun. Is one of you a professional of some type that will find most opportunities in the population centers? Lawyer, state or federal government, etc.? Gilbert is solid surbabia, so while it may have lots of smaller businesses, it is a solid hour commuting time to the areas of Phoenix where you'll find those opportunities. It is also on almost the edge of the Phoenix metro area, so if you/he has a specific type of job that may only exist at a particular company, you're more likely to end up further away than if you were more centrally located. Same logic applies if, for instance, you've got kids in soccer leagues playing all over the place -- you'll find yourself doing a lot of driving.

There is an argument that it's harder to get closer in and have the housing [for the price] and school quality of Gilbert, but in this market you might try at least Chandler or Tempe or the older section of Ahwatukee if being more central would be useful to you.

And the religious thing, let's be honest, it's the Mormon church that's so prevalent in the East Valley, particularly Mesa and Gilbert. I've never had particular problems avoiding them, although I haven't lived especially deep into that area. But if you are Mormon, they are fantastic at welcoming you and your kids.

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K.C.

answers from Phoenix on

S.,

I moved here from Ill in 94. I love 9 mos of the year & hate 3-July, Aug & Sept!...besides that its beautiful!!Jobs are hard to come by considering I am an unemployed Realtor...LOL
I have a relocation guide I can mail you if you would like it....

Good Luck!
K.

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C.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I have lived here in Mesa for 3 years. We moved here from Alabama. I would choose where you live based on where your husband will be working. If you find an area you like, drive to it in rush hour to make sure you can handle it. We moved here in the height of the housing market, and while I feel God blessed us with wonderful neighbors and good friends in an area near my sisters who live here, my husband's commute to central Phoenix really stinks. On the map, it didn't look that bad and it's highway the whole way, so I thought it'd be fine. However, traffic is so heavy, it's almost easier and less frustrating to take sideroads. All that said, I like Mesa. We do get a lot of snowbirds, that's true, and there is a wide range of economic levels. But I like the diversity of people, and there's tons of shopping available. There are a lot of Mormons here, but there are also a lot of evangelical Christian churches, Catholic churches, etc. as well. I wouldn't consider this an overly religious town; however, I come from the Bible Belt, so maybe I can't be objective. My children (9, 7, 3, 1) go to a charter school that I absolutely love. Finally, the summers are unbelievably hot, but depending on where you're from in TX, you probably will not be overwhelmed. There are people who stay, and at that point you can find each other at the libraries, play areas at the malls, etc. It's survivable. What I learned was that at 115, you just don't go outside. When in Alabama, it'd be 90 and you'd try and go to the zoo and you'd wonder why everyone was in a puddle on the ground from the humidity. It's all about your frame of mind. I didn't want to move here, and I miss the green of the east coast. But it has been a positive move for my family and we have adjusted nicely. Good luck!

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S.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I will only add that Gilbert does have a rather high property tax rate. So does Queen Creek, as my husband and I recently discovered. We moved from the neighboring city of Mesa where we enjoyed a significantly SMALLER tax bill. Mesa doesn't actually have a property tax, so we were only paying the county taxes. Gilbert, Queen Creek, and (I believe) most other cities in the valley have their own tax to add to the county tax. Our annual tax rate more than doubled when we moved out here and that increased our mortgage payment significantly.

It might not make a difference for you, but it's definitely something I wish I had considered and been more informed about. Then again, I'm a home-schooler, so the quality of public schooling made no difference to me. I'm not sure where Mesa ranks in that.

Anyway, good luck with your decision making!

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D.J.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S.!

My outlook on AZ is a little different than most here. My husband and I moved here from midwest -to get out of the snow 9yrs ago and lived in North Scottdale and most recently in south Chandler. Both areas are very nice - Scottsdale is much more expensive and a lot of the people (not all) show their money and attitudes. Gilbert is a fantastic city, it is always in the top cities to live in.
The issues we have is that, as someone else pointed out, it is a very odd state in that so many people are from other states, yet it is terribly difficult to meet good friends. In the midwest everyone is so friendly & it seems here either people have their friends and don't want anymore or keep to themselves. People come home park their car in their garage & you never see them.
We have no family here, so it is difficult. It was fun while it was my husband and me, but now we have a 3yr old and one on the way in 11 weeks (no too far behind you) and we would prefer to be much closer to family & have our kids grow up with their cousins.
The one thing I didn't see mentioned is the critter situation here - I know it is part of living in the desert,but again coming from the midwest we didn't have to check everything before our daughter played with it or put her shoes on(maybe we are over paranoid). We have lived in our current house for 5 yrs and never saw a scorpion -- we have recently seen 2 inside and 3 out. It is very disconcerting because they are bark scorpions and very poisonous. We have an exterminator, but quite frankly we don't want to constantly be worried about that - our daughter stepping on one when going to the bathroom in the middle of the night -having one in her bed, etc.. YUCK. And, not to mention a new born--it really scares me. Again, it is something you need to deal with when living in the desert. I know they have some scorpions in TX,so maybe this isn't a bid deal to you. Some people never have scorpions, but some do. We also have black widow spiders in our yard--luckly we have never seen one in the house.
We are just tired of dealing with that, the lack of community that seems to exist in our neighborhood and no family --so we planning to move out of AZ once the baby is born - as long as we can find employment.
We have spoken to some people who have wonderful neighborhoods and neighbors --guess we just didn't get that lucky--it makes all the difference.
Best of luck--

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B.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S.! We would love to welcome you and your family to Arizona if you decide! Take the advice of people living in the Gilbert area, schools are fantastic, neighborhoods are family friendly. Don't let anyone discourage you with words of unfriendliness of natives... I have been here since I was 2 years old and most of my friends are from somewhere else. If you have an open mind, you can make friends very easily.
I am not religious and live in Mesa. I've never been bothered by any religious groups. It's all in who you choose to surround yourself with. Snowbirds, while annoying to drive behind bring a lot of money to our economy during the winter months, and I'd hate to think that people would think so crappy of me when I get older and am enjoying my retirement!
Yes, summers are hot, but not unbearable. Being from Texas, I'm sure you have had hot weather too, but our humidity is not like there. Summertime also brings monsoon season with afternoon storms, mostly in August. If you have A/C in your car you can survive. There are plenty of things to do, and many local swimming pools and waterparks.
Best of luck in your decision, and do what is right for you and your family!

L.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S. -

I moved here from California and absolutely love it! We live in Queen Creek now, on the border of Queen Creek and Gilbert actually, but our first house was in Gilbert. I love the area around SanTan Village. Everything is so new and clean, and there is a brand new elementary school (k-8) that I hear is awesome. Our home is (currently for sale, if you're interested) in the Capital Pacific Homes, Cooley Station. There are a lot of families in the neighborhood and like I mentioned, the school is brand new and right down the street! These homes are on Higley in between Williamsfield and Germann. Feel free to email me if you have any questions - [email protected]____.com

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J.S.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi S.,
I don't know where you are moving from, probably "Snow Country". :) But....there are some things to consider before moving to the desert. You should plan a visit to AZ. in the Summer so you can experience the "heat" first hand. The Winter is of course mild, although it does get cold and we do get rain in the Winter. The Summer's are a problem for some people and we do have rattlesnakes etc., after all this is the desert. But, no place is perfect. The "high" country like Flagstaff or Prescott, is not as hot as the valley. The Phoenix metro area is like any other big city, lots of traffic and more and more crime all the time. However, if your main concern is to get away from the "cold and snow" Phoenix is definately a city to concider. Just do your research and plan some trips to the area you are thinking about first. Good Luck, Scottsdale, AZ.

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