The View from the East Valley

avatarthumbnail.jpgYesterday was … strange … yes, that’s the best word for it.

I’ve read with interest while friends in Colorado have described going through all four seasons in the span of a few hours. I was amazed myself last month when it was 82 degrees in Denver the day before I went and 38 degrees and snowing on the day I arrived at RE/MAX International headquarters.

We don’t do severe swings in weather, at least not to this degree – 108 degrees at the start of the week, 58 degrees with gusting winds and sometimes horizontal rain two days later – and especially not at the end of May.

While watching Arizona State beat Northwestern in the opening game of their NCAA softball Super Regional yesterday, all of the locals kept shaking their heads. We’ve never seen anything like this so late in the spring. Heck, our spring ends around tax day.

A Visibly Different Skyline

Almost as shocking was the view from the press box at Farrington Stadium. (I was at the tournament writing for the Chicago Sun-Times … you can read my enthralling game story on the Sun-Times website if you so choose.)

Virtually nothing on the east side of ASU’s athletic complex was there when I graduated from Arizona State in equally surprising weather (28 degrees and snow flurries) back in December 1990. And there were no high-rise condos to the west, no Rio Salado to the right (just the dry Salt River bed), no Loop 202 or Loop 101 connecting east and west.

The same can be said for the Phoenix skyline, which doesn’t look so much like the photo in my header at this point. There are lofts behind Chase Field (which still is Bank One Ballpark in the photo) and there are at least two other high-rise buildings that have been constructed in the interim in downtown.

Getting to the east side is easier than it used to be but it’s still not a common trip for most of us in the west Valley, especially with gas as high as it is.

The Valley, as I’ve mentioned before, is an improbably large place. East is east and west is west and rarely the twain shall meet.

Where Do You Want to Be?

Yes, I stole that from RE/MAX’s jingle but I’m sure Dave and the folks will forgive me as it’s a valid question. The one thing it’s almost impossible for me to help you with is trying to decide where you want to live in the Valley. If you tell me the amenities and quality of life kinda items that are important to you, I can help you narrow it down.

But at some point you’ll need to narrow it down, for your own sanity as much as anything else. More than 60 miles separate one side of the Valley from the other (and a bit more separate Maricopa in the south to Anthem in the north). There simply are too many homes, too many choices to look everywhere at once.

If you’re unsure where you want to be when you come to town, take a day and drive the Valley. Get a feel for different cities, for different areas. DO NOT visit the new home models as you’ll be completely hooped – you can’t have independent representation once you walk in solo. But aside from that, figure out what feels like home to you.

Once you know that, finding your actual home will be a much less stressful endeavor.

Unless you’re coping with driving rain and biting winds when you’re supposed to be able to be by the pool catching some rays.

[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