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The Top 20 Neighborhoods in Greater Phoenix? Part one…

This month’s edition of Phoenix Magazine is quite interesting.  It’s dedicated to the Valley’s housing market: trends, concerns, bright spots, property value trends, and several “Top” lists, including the “Top 20 ‘Hoods.”


What I find interesting about the list is that there’s no explanation as to the process used to arrive at, or even who contributed to, the end results.  Was a poll conducted among Realtors?  Homeowners?  Builders?  Phoenix Magazine Staff?  Clearly the results are less-than-scientific, but fun to read and good fodder for debate around the water cooler among fellow Phoenix real estate and Scottsdale real estate afficionados.


Here’s the first of a 2-part posting of how Phoenix Magazine rated the Top 20 Neighborhoods in the Valley:


For the Vertical Dweller: Downtown Tempe.

Numerous condo and loft projects have led to the creation of a whole new skyline for Tempe, especially around Tempe Town Lake.


For the Upsizer and the Downsizer: Chandler.  That’s right, Chandler.

The magazine postulates that housing options are varied, well-priced (!!), shopping and dining amenities abound (agreed!), and that the city is proximal to major highways and the rest of the Valley.


For the Cowboy: Carefree/Cave Creek.

‘Nuf said.  This one’s unanimous.


The Rural Fancier: Queen Creek.

The author seems to equate ‘equine’ to ‘rural’, as most of the description discusses the availability of horse staging areas, paths, and facilities.  Some mention is made of parks and accessibility to shopping and dining which, despite the recent influx of retail and eating establishments, remains woefully under-served, in my opinion.


For the Season Ticket Holder: Glendale’s Sports & Entertainment District, with runner-up Downtown Phoenix.

I would have reversed these, as nobody can deny that Glendale us up-and-coming, but can’t yet compete with the jump-start that downtown has had on the West Valley ‘burb.  Downtown offers more sports bars, more loft and condo projects, and yes, many, many more games over many, many more months.


For Handy Types: Woodlea and Coronado Neighborhoods.

The writer justifies the position by comparing property values to the better-known, pricier Willo and Encanto/Palmcroft neighborhoods, arguing that the ‘handyman’ who’s ready to do some serious work will find great diamonds in the rough.


For the Historian: F.Q. Story Neighborhood.

This is a great little district that stretches from about 7th – 15th Avenues, and is split by I-10.  This neighborhood offers the greatest concentration of the Valley’s oldest homes.


For the Culture Bound: Third Avenue and Palm Lane.

2-3 blocks are within a mile of the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Main Library, Arizona Science Center, and Heritage Square Park.


For the Rail Rider: Sunview Estates.

The community boasts the western end of the first segment of the Valley’s light rail line.  Retail revitalization and proximity to some of the city’s most-highly-regarded private schools are pluses.


For the School District Snob: Madison School District, with runner-up Scottsdale Unified School District.

This category is apt to cause the most heated debate, as general statements such as “low teacher turnover, progams tailored to educate the gifted and those with special needs, as well as a strong parents’ organization” are the bases for the rankings.  Perhaps given the brevity of the article segment or the light-heartedness of the article in its entirety, hard comparative data was noticeably absent.


To be continued…


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