Need help finding the right neighborhood for your home search? There are lots of great communities in the San Tan Valley or Queen Creek area. Here are five factors that should figure prominently in your thinking.
Even if you don’t have kids, the quality of the schools in a given neighborhood should be high on your priority list. That’s because property values are higher in communities with strong school districts, meaning that your home will appreciate more. Here in Arizona we also have great Charter schools like ALA and Benjamin Franklin. So you want to keep an eye out for those as well. It is not always about just the school district.
Aside from the school quality, you should look at local trends in home prices to get insight into that community’s future. If property values have been in steady decline for several years, you’ll likely face issues when it comes to reselling down the line. Instead, look for up and coming neighborhoods where home prices are climbing. With all the new construction in the San Tan Valley and Queen Creek area it is a great idea to see what new homes are selling for in the area. Sometimes there are great deals available on spec homes. These are homes the builder has completed or partially completed in hopes of finding a buyer. It will also tell you where the values are trending. If the new home prices are higher then you will likely see an increase in resale also.
Remember: if you’re buying a home, chances are you plan on living there for a long time. Heavy traffic may not seem like a big deal now, but in five years you (and your wallet) may feel differently. If you look at the growth along Hunt Highway you will know right away what a headache traffic can be. Lots of San Tan Valley and Queen Creek will have tremendous growth in the upcoming years. All the new shops and restaurants may help your property value but they will create more activity in the area also. I am sure that once the new Harkins Theater opens, the Queen Creek Marketplace will be much busier than it is now. Congestion can also have health and safety implications with respect to air pollution and car accidents.
Emergency and Medical Services
In the event that something bad happens, you want to be sure that emergency responders can reach you quickly. It’s also one thing to be close to a hospital, and quite another to be close to a good hospital. With the opening of Banner Ironwood it not only brought jobs but also better trained and equipped medical professionals to the San Tan Valley Queen Creek area. It is very important to know exactly what services are provided by the city and county. Most of San Tan Valley is in unincorporated Pinal county. Unlike most other areas, emergency fire service is not included in your property taxes. It is provided by Rural Metro fire department at an extra cost. This is an annual fee based on the value of your home.
Don’t rely on looks alone when evaluating the safety and security of a neighborhood. Information on local crime rates (and most common types of crime) are commonly available from your local police department and the FBI website, and real estate sites like Zillow and Trulia aggregate data from several sources to provide their own reporting. The state and county provide tons of info on crime stats including sex offenders. It is very important that you as a consumer do you due diligence when it comes to crime. Some of these things are not required by law to be disclosed by the seller. This is also a trick subject for your Realtor. Often talking about these things could be considered steering, which is a violation of federal law. Your agent may not be able to talk directly about these issues but they should be able to direct you to a great source.
Would you try and give yourself a tattoo? Would you give yourself an appendectomy? I’m sure that you could find info on the internet about how to do it yourself. That doesn’t mean that you should. There are lots of resources available to help in your home buying decision. I always recommend hiring a professional, and I really hope that its me.