Photos and Videos are Nice, But You Need to Get on the Ground

avatarthumbnail.jpgEnter Sun City West from the south, off Bell Road just north of Surprise’s original square mile, and you’ll see homes built in the late 1970s and early 1980s with all the accompanying features – shingle roofs, siding, even the occasional television antenna (suitable for museum display.)

Enter Sun City West from the east, off Deer Valley Drive, and you see homes built within the past 10 years with all the accompanying features – vaulted ceilings, tile roofs, stucco walls and a more modern style.

The difference between the two areas is about three miles but the 10 years that separate one side from the other often can cause for some glaring contrasts.

Much the same takes place in Westbrook Village, where crossing east across 91st Avenue takes a visitor to Phase 2 from Phase 1 – a ten-year jump in architecture, landscaping philosophy and overall feel. Some people prefer the newer phase over the other and vice versa, depending on your preference between greenery or desert landscape (among other defining features.)

And these are but two of the areas in the Phoenix real estate market where the only way for you to tell where you want to be is to actually be here and see for yourself.

Francy Thompson of Thompsons’ Realty and I were having this debate yesterday. I prefer the West Valley to the East Valley because I can breathe better here. My own personal feeling is it’s more open here than in the East Valley, which reminds my greatly of the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.

Francy prefers the East Valley to the West Valley because the west “feels like Los Angeles.” Odd that we both had the exact same way of describing what we considered to be a drawback to the other side of town.

Which one of us is right? Me, of course, because I’ve lived on both sides of town over the past 32 years while she’s still got her Mesa-born-and-bred blinders on.

Seriously, though, there’s no right answer. East is right for her. West is right for me. The south end of Sun City West works for some, the north for others. And for still others, the waterfront lots of Ventana Lakes trumps all.

What will work for you? Come on down, rent a car, and you’ll soon know for yourself.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Francy 9 years ago

    Just a small correction…… this “Mesa born and bred” lived at 91st and Thomas about 20 years ago. I lived there for over a year. I still prefer the east side of town (southeast actually).

    Phoenix is huge! There is something for everyone here. I have always recommended that my out of state clients first drive the areas that interest them – without the pressure of viewing homes. Once you find an area you really like it will be easier to find a property you want to own.

  • Jim Little 9 years ago

    I;ll weigh in with you Jonathon. Unlike you, I haven’t lived on the east side, but I have lived in LA. East side is LA in the desert.

  • Michael Denis 9 years ago

    Getting on the ground is absolutely a necessity. When touring with you last spring I was completely astounded by the different areas that we travelled through to get to some of the houses that we wanted to see. In fact it was some of the surrounding areas that dropped some houses off the list for us.

    By the way I’m with you on regarding east versus west. We stayed in Mesa when we came down to look but was not impressed by the areas we went to. West side is where it is at.

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