Coffee heat rising

And More Neighborhood-Cruising….

So, going in search of Donna Freedman, proprietor of the eminent personal-finance blog Surviving and Thriving, I cruised out to where she’s visiting: her daughter’s home in a sprawling suburb north of lovely uptown Phoenix.

Wow! When we say this place is Southern-Californicating, we’re not kidding. The area looks just like Orange County did when I was passing through high school in those parts: square mile on square mile of modestly built but not unattractive tract houses, mostly indistinguishable from each other.

And yet…strangely, given my longstanding distaste for look-alike architecture….I kinda liked it. All the houses within eyeshot were nicely maintained. And since a place like that has a serious HOA, it’s highly unlikely that any house anywhere in the entire little empire is a care home for juvenile delinquents.

Now…I don’t especially wanna live someplace where I can be bossed around by a club of neighbors. On the other hand…given recent events across the street, there’s something to be said for it. One thing is for sure: a real, every-homeowner-signed-onto-it HOA would be able to limit the use of its houses by private individuals.

We do have an HOA — not one that has a de facto say in what you can and cannot do with your home. But the problem is: the Romanian Landlord has taken it over: his daughter is its president! 😀

At any rate, the tract in question is just vast. It must go on for square mile after square mile. It surrounds a golf course, and it appears to run up against Moon Valley (another upper-middle-class tract) and the north side of the North Mountains. It’s meticulously maintained — nary a weed to be seen in anyone’s yard. It’s an easy drive to the university (toooo late for this retiree! 😀 ). It’s pretty close to a big Sprouts and a decent Fry’s grocery store. It appears not to be directly under the flight path of any local airports. There is a school there, so it’s clearly not a Sun City-style old-folkerie.

Hmm. On the other hand, I could walk to the Sprouts and the Albertson’s here. Now admittedly, I wouldn’t — it’s not safe to walk up Conduit of Blight Blvd. But in theory, it would be possible.

On the other other hand…hmmm… The city’s smog backs up against the south side of Squaw Peak and the North Mountains. That would suggest that even on high-pollution days, the air in that HOA (on the mountains’ north side) would be breathable. Hmmmm…

Well. I may jump in the car, fill up the gas tank, and take a long, lazy tour of that place.


Or…maybe not.

LOL! The build on the houses out there makes my house look like Edinburgh Palace! Just a cruise through photos on the Internet changed my mind about that idea. REAL fast. 😀

The prices are possibly a little less than what I could get for the present palace. But the cost of moving would soak up that difference. Add the usual repairs and improvements one invariably has to make when moving into a house that’s been occupied by someone else…and egad!

It just wouldn’t be worth it to move. In terms of cost of the real estate, it would be about an even trade. But in terms of quality, it would be a large step down.

Soooo…. As for potential places to move, that leaves…what?

* Fountain Hills. Some places out there seem to be roughly comparable to my house. But I’ve seen a number that were clearly cardboard and plaster.

* Sun City. Even if I wanted to live in a ghetto for elderly white folks (I don’t), those houses also are cheaply built. If you don’t have a covered carport along the building’s west wall, any room on that side of the structure is gonna be an oven.

* Central Phoenix. A hot spot for the young and the upwardly mobile. Centrally located houses are outrageously overpriced. The pretty old “historic” buildings require a lot of repair, upgrade, and maintenance work…and it ain’t easy to find workmen who know how to deal with architecture that dates back to the late 1920s.

* North Central. Ritzy-Titzyville. You pay a premium — a large premium — for the address.

* East Central. Ditto.

* Scottsdale. Prices are out of the question and architecture ain’t much better than the junk on the west side.

* South Phoenix. Mostly slum. The areas that aren’t ghetto and slum are less desirable because of the surrounding downscale districts.

Truth to tell, I don’t see any of those places as necessarily better than where I am. The ‘Hood  is one of the choice neighborhoods in the city of Phoenix. No doubt there are fancier or safer areas in Scottsdale or to the north. But face it: every area gets its burglars, its sh!theads, and its lunatics. It doesn’t much matter where you live, as long it’s not truly a slum.

4 thoughts on “And More Neighborhood-Cruising….”

  1. How about Surprise AZ? Also, awesome to be able to visit with Donna Freedman and Abby! Three successful PF bloggers convene!

    • Surprise is a suburb on the west side: once — way back when my parents & I moved here — a scruffy farm town. It’s largely built up nowadays!

      It’s an awful long way from my son, and also from everyplace I go and everyone I know. I’d have to build a whole new shopping routine, a whole new set of friends, a whole new network of service workers, guys to take care of the car and guys to do the yardwork. Blech…more trouble than it’s worth! 😀

      I dunno. A problem with newer houses is they really ARE ticky-tacky. The walls are so flimsy that, at one friend’s home out on the west side, a burglar simply shoved his fist through the drywall next to the front door, reached in, unlocked the deadbolt, and made himself to home! At least my doors and windows are framed in slump block. Imagine what it would cost to air-condition such a place!

      Hmmm… I could move over to the area near where DXH and New Wife live. Problem with that, though, is that they do live there. Just a doggy-walk could bring us nose-to-nose. Do I really wanna do that? Hmmmm…

      And those houses also tend toward bracing power bills. Sooo….I don’t see that as much of an improvement, and it could be a de-provement!


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