Attention Relocation Buyers: There’s a Best Way to Find the Right Home and Neighborhood to Live in!

The residential real estate market in the Phoenix area is looking a lot like it did in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. In those days, many buyers were relocating to the valley from out of state. They often used a relocation company which were initiated from work related transfers or new job opportunities. The only thing a buyer had to worry about was finding the right home and neighborhood.

The only thing? As if that’s secondary to all the other stresses related to their move? Let’s think again.

I know first-hand (from numerous occasions) how stressful moving is. I’m in the business, but I dislike, no, I REALLY dislike moving. But it’s what we put up with to accomplish the future goal of a new home. And often, finding the new home is, dare I say “fun,” experience? Yes, at least most of my clients think so. But that’s not the crux of today’s blog.

Much has changed in 20 years of how buyers find their homes. Today of course, the internet has become the buyer’s chosen pathway of finding a home and neighborhood to buy into. Online sites like Zillow and plus school related sites such as can be terrific helps. Online reviews, if you can trust them can be very helpful as well.

But how do out of area buyers find out where they want to live? I mean, the Valley is HUGE. There’re literally thousands of communities in the Phoenix area. Where does one begin? It’s a great question. There’s a best way to know this, and I’ll just say it up front, though many fellow Realtors don’t want you to know this. If you’re moving here (or anywhere for that matter) and don’t have much time to do up-front due diligence on neighborhoods, the straight forward anti-real estate answer is: Rent. Rent short term, learn the areas, learn the neighborhoods, and work with one excellent real estate professional who is willing to show you anywhere you want to look in the Valley without a time constraint. Of course, knowing how to find one excellent real estate professional is worthy of its own blog.

The benefits of having time to do that are obvious. The downside is no small thing either, it means two moves. And many of you are like me, you hate moving to begin with. It’s a choice.

“…the straight forward anti-real estate answer is: Rent.”

So, if you’re to make just one move, and don’t have a lot of time to research, the Realtor will be key. We don’t profess to know every community; no agent can. Most agents have their favorite areas they like to work in, but that may not be the best place for the buyer to live. If a buyer is coming to the Valley blind, so to speak, they should work with a Realtor willing to show them many neighborhoods within all their parameters.

About the Author

     I was born and raised in San Rafael, California, from the mid 50’s to the early 70’s. I had super parents who worked hard to provide 5 kids with a good Catholic education – despite my best attempts to overthrow the knuckle-cracking regime of Sister Mary Anselma. My dad worked as a self-employed butcher until his retirement at 65 and enjoyed many wonderful years until mom passed away in 1992.

     Dad passed away in the fall of 2006 having lived a great and full life into his early 90’s! In California, I attended college in Chico and Sacramento as a “Sosh” major, but like many of my contemporaries, I did not have a clue what I wanted to do when I grew up. Because of my age, I missed the Vietnam War and into my early 20’s I had many typical youthful indiscretions.

     Thankfully, that was a brief period of my life, and with greater thanks, not too much damage was sustained in those early and rebellious years. And by the way, those thanks are due to the answered prayers of faithful relatives who prayed for years that a wayward Michael would turn his life over to the Lord, and in January of 1982 that’s what happened.

     I lived in Sacramento, California in the mid 70’s, and later moved to Truckee, California, which is near Lake

Tahoe and Reno, Nevada. Truckee’s often labeled the “coldest spot in the nation.” Why did I move there?

My father-in-law was a real estate broker in Donner Lake, California, and despite his cantankerous disposition, he seemed very successful in his real estate endeavors. I joined him in sales in July of 1976.

    The Truckee and Lake Tahoe area was a wonderful place to raise a family, but a difficult and cold environment to live in, but we did so for 18 years. In 1994, my wife, Karen, and I visited Scottsdale at a friend’s request, and within 8 months, our family of 5 had relocated to “the valley” – or is it a desert? Whatever it is, it’s warm. At any rate, 24 years have gone by since we made the break from the late great state of confusion, uh, California, and it’s turned out to be a great move.

     As for hobbies, I enjoy family, friends and travel. My kids Robert, Kendra, and Jonathan are now 40,

34, and 31 respectively. I recently became “gramps” for the 4th time as well. It’s a nice time of life. Karen remains as lovely on the inside and outside as the day we were married. We continue to wonderfully grow together as the years advance. As an ordained Christian Chaplain, I volunteer Preaching at Florence Prison with Along Side Ministry. The ministry helps make the formerly incarcerated able to function, even thrive, on “the outside.”

     Should you choose to have me represent you in the sale or purchase of your home, you’ll be receiving my 40+ years of real estate knowledge, counsel, and experience (including negotiation experience).

    Beyond the transaction, I’m always available to you, should you ever need my real estate advice.