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Best Places for Snowbirds

Elk River, MN
13 posts
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Best Places for Snowbirds

Hi,

I'm 48 and beginning to research the Arizona area as a place my wife and I can spend the winters after we retire. I really like the Prescott area because of the greenery but she says it's too cold in the winter- she wants 60s & 70's, ugh! My second choice is Fountain Hills, it has some greenery too but that seems pretty expensive. Anyone have any suggestions of a community and some options to purchase a condo or short-term rentals?

Thanks,

Darryl

Weymouth, MA
3 posts
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11. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

I have to ask....what's wrong with Mohave?

TJ

Williams, AZ
Level Contributor
51 posts
38 reviews
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12. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

I can't really give you any specifics other than to do what I usually do: get info from a variety of sources. I'd find a Tucson magazine and some newspapers (may be available online); contact a Realtor--if they don't work the area you want, you could pick their brain and have them recommend an area based on your description and refer you to another Realtor;do a google.com search for "Tucson foothills pine trees real estate" or something along those lines. And there's nothing like an in-person visit with an "open" itinerary--keep your options open, sometimes Kismet happens!

Oh yeah, and those local free real estate magazines can give you an idea of what areas strike your fancy--as well as to give you a "ball park" on going prices.

Last point: Arizona has plenty of hidden treasures; you may find during your research or from talking to others some place you'd never considered--or even heard of before.

2 posts
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13. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

Just read your enquiry. We have stayed at Lake Havasu City Arizona for the past 10 years. It is a wonderful 'small city' with all amenities. Situated between Las Vegas and Phoenix. Lots of water sports because of the huge lake which is part of the Colorado River. When we started looking for a place to retire, Mesa turned us right off because of the amount of senior RV parks and the long line-ups to get into any eating establishment. Havasu City is just the right mix and not too crowded. Anyone that goes there to see the 'London Bridge' usually stays, as we did.

Elk River, MN
13 posts
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14. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

I think we're evenutally gonna have to take a weeks vacation and travel to several areas in the state to figure out where we wanna snowbird. I like smaller areas adjacent to a larger city. Being a midwesterner, I also have to have a little greenery too.If I can find those qualities in a town and get temps in the 50's and 60's from January to April, I'm there!!!!!

DAS
LAWRENCEBURG,IN
1 post
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15. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

No one ever mentions Yuma. Is it that odd? Yuma seems to be a good embarkation point for the west and northwest including Canada- BC. Plus my wife loves the Am Ind deco.

The only reservation I have would be the realestate market in my price range is almost all prefab or moblie homes. Is there hope for Yuma as a snowbird destination if your not Shining with $$?

California
Level Contributor
36 posts
10 reviews
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16. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

Hi There,

North Scottsdale including Fountain Hills is by far the best place for winters in Arizona, specially if your wife loves to shop. If you can afford it... this is THE winter place to be in Arizona.

Gilbert
Level Contributor
952 posts
2 reviews
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17. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

bbranham,

My husband is a native of Mesa, AZ and we currently live in Gilbert. My in-laws are both 79 yrs old, and my parents, both in their 60's, just moved over from California.

Here are some of my thoughts:

My husband's parents live in Gold Canyon. This is east of Mesa & Apache Junction in the "East Valley". It is a scenic mountainous area with several beautiful hiking trails and golf courses. There are several retirement communities there, and my in-laws have a home in Peralta Trails that is about 1400 sq. ft. with beautiful mountain views. It is very peaceful out there, but there isn't a whole lot of retail there yet (there are grocery stores and a few restaurants, but you'll have to drive about 15-20 min. to the nearest mall).

There are SO many other new & popular retirement communities in the East Valley, particularly in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Ahwatukee. Many of the local retirement communties have golf courses, club houses, community pools and spas, tennis courts, and organized activities. Some even have high-tech computer centers. Of those I listed, Ahwatukee would be a beautiful setting as it is nestled in the foothills of South Mountain and is VERY close to wonderful shopping, dining, & entertainment. Scottsdale is also very pretty, but it is not very affordable for most retirees.

Payson is another suggestion for you. My husband and I own a lot there in "Chapparal Pines", a gated golf community. There are several residents that are retirees, but there is also a nice mix of young families and middle-age couples. The reason I suggest Payson is that it has the tall pines and greenery that Prescott offers, but it is only about 5000 ft. in elevation and doesn't tend to dip below 55 degrees as a low in the winter months. It doesn't get as cold as Prescott & Flagstaff - yet it is typically about 15-20 degrees cooler than Pheonix. It is also more affordable than Prescott, but I think the secret is out because the community has record sales so far this year on lots and on resale homes. You can check it out online at:

crescent-resources.com/communit/…default.asp

Good luck to you!

Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
Level Contributor
4,439 posts
125 reviews
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18. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

The site www.realtor.com is a wonderful resource for checking out the prices in any part of the U.S.

Elk River, MN
13 posts
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19. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

AZ Sun Devil,

Thanks for the GREAT information!!! My wife and I will be out for a conference and mini vacation June 22-26th. We want to check out as many communities as possible. We'll be staying in the Scottdale area and plan to visit Prescott, Fountain Hills and other Phoenix area communities. Is it very easy to get from Prescott to Payson? How far is it from Scottsdaleto the ast Valley area, I'd like to check out the Ahwautee area you suggested as well as Queen Creek.

Are we being too aggressive in visiting this many communites?

Thanks in advance for your help!!!!

Darryl

Gilbert
Level Contributor
952 posts
2 reviews
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20. Re: Best Places for Snowbirds

Prescott might be a 3 hr drive north from Scottsdale, Fountain Hills will be 20 min. east at most (this is all depending on where in Scottsdale you are staying), and to get to the "East Valley" (Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee) from Scottsdale you'll just head straight down (south) on the Loop 101 Fwy - at the US60 Fwy you'll go east to get to Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, etc.

For Mesa, you'll find a lot of retirement communities in the areas between Val Vista & Power Road, south of McKellips and North of the US60.

Gilbert & Queen Creek, head south on Power road (from the 60). Near Queen Creek Rd you'll see Trilogy at Power Ranch which is nice. Solera at Johnson Ranch is an option, but it's pretty far out (Ellsworth & Hunt Hwy)

For Chandler, you'll just continue south on the 101. Springfield Lakes is on Riggs & Gilbert Rds, and if you go to Riggs & Alma School area you'll see more (Sun Lakes is popular).

You'll go West on the US60 to get to Tempe/Ahwatukee (to get to Ahwatukee you'll have to take the 60 West to the I-10 and turn SW, exit on Ray Road and go West). IF you stay on Ray Road, it will lead you back in to the foothills, which are pretty. There is a retirement community near 48th St & Elliot (Elliot is before Ray Road as you drive on I-10). I'm not sure where you'll find retirement communities in Tempe, Scottsdale, or the other areas you mentioned.

Depending on traffic and again, where in Scottsdale you'll be staying, it might take you 20-30 min. to get to most of the East Valley cities.

We just returned from Payson yesterday. It was fantastic up there. It was 81-85 degrees during the day, low 50's at night. I was reading some demographic information while there that said the average resident is approx. 50 years old. Payson will be about 45-50 min. north of Fountain Hills, and you'll find it to be much more green than Fountain Hills (which is still basically desert). It isn't as far away as Prescott, though, which is why we chose to buy a property there. IF you find yourself in Payson, see if you can take a spin through Chaparral Pines (at the 87/260 interchange, turn right onto the 260 and look for the entrance about 3-4 miles down on the left). There is a guard gate but they might let you take a look through. If not, ask for Mike Woolery (a sales rep for the community) and tell him you are interested in taking a look.

Good luck!!