It's been six years since my last critique of the community, and in that time, Sun City has invested 40 million dollars in our remarkable amenity package. Of course our biggest challenge is the perception because we were the first, we are the most outdated.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Knowing we are the oldest (Jan, 1960) has been the driving force for the original Sun City to act in ways most would never expect or consider. Drive through the community and as you pass by the 7 recreation centers and 8 golf courses, you will note the investment in solar panels. But they don't sit atop buildings, we built structures over our ample parking spaces to provide shade as well as cutting our utility costs dramatically. Residents love them and just what you wouldn't expect from the first age-restricted community.
As impressive as they are, it barely scratches the surface of the bigger picture Sun City. We raise 6 to 8 million dollars per year for our preservation and improvement fund (PIF), and it all comes from buyers at the point of sale of a Sun City property. Started in 1999, by 2025, we will have generated well over 100 million dollars to update, remodel or rebuild our amenities.
It doesn't stop there, as buyers over the last 15 years have been remodeling homes at a record pace. Sun City homes were built from 1960-1978. They had great bones and with almost every interior wall being removable, they are tailor made for creating the open concept living sought by so many boomers. For anyone with a vision of what they want, being able to buy right and fix up a property with their own stamp on it is pure joy.
While we are talking about housing, we have it all; literally. Del Webb called it his "6 modes of living," and it is one of the reasons Sun City is so unique. From single family homes, garden court units, patio homes, doubles, quads and apartments, we have it all. Often i read about how newer developments are out of many boomers price range, buyers can still find options under 100K. And for those with bigger budgets, we have homes on our two man-made lakes that top out around $500,000. With 27,000 rooftops, there truly is something for everyone in Sun City.
It wouldn't be right to end this without touching on the Sun City way of life. Last night we attended a free concert for residents at the Sun Bowl. This gorgeous grass amphitheater packed 8,000 happy people in for a Bob Seeger tribute show. It was the kickoff of our Sunday night concert series, which is starting after an incredible indoor concerts at the Sun Dial auditorium where we average 1500 ticket buyers to some of the best entertainment in the West Valley.
That's just one aspect of what Sun City is all about and why most coming here are amazed. We have 130 plus clubs that run the gamut of things to do. Our new pickleball pavilion leaves visitors for the many tournaments we host drooling. Three years ago we spent 150K to create a long term fish habitat program so residents could enjoy year round fishing, and the addition of 4 paddle boats have spiked interest in the spectacular area around View Point lake.
As always, i tend to ramble on, but when it comes to Sun City, there's never enough time to cover just how special it is. From music ( a dozen different options to preform or just listen), to sports, to crafts, to the more cerebral things like our own Life Long Learning club, the options are endless.
I cannot end this without perhaps our most endearing quality... we are affordable. Our yearly lost assessment is under $500 ($41 per month). We have no local school taxes, so we average about $800 per year. Golf cars are street legal, and there is roughly 10,00 of them here (making for very cheep transportation). Our streets are wider than every other age restricted community and our lots are bigger as well. We are a great value, and we are a community built on having great values. We aren't the newest, biggest or shinny-est, but pound for pound you will not find a better value for your retirement dollar.
No matter where you end up buying, you owe it to yourself to try Sun City. It has been the gold standard for every community that came after us. If nothing else we will give you an idea of what you are looking for as a benchmark on your expectations for your place in the sun.
We came out in the summer of 2014.Not knowing anything about Sun City, we spent a weekend. We looked at just a few places and knew it was the place for us. We purchased a home. And never looked back. There is so much to do here. If you do not use the ammines. Then that is on you, because there is so much to do. So many clubs, shows, activities to do. We feel blessed to have found our little home.
I just closed on my home in Sun City. The properties and amenities are well-maintained, with a cool retro vibe that just works. People are friendly and actively pursuing old and new interests. In deciding whether to return to Arizona from overseas or find a new locale in the U.S., Sun City was my choice as a young (56) baby boomer. I love it and highly recommend it. 55 Places was the best site to handle my questions about Sun City.
We are very happy to be hear in Sun City. There is so much to do, and see. Living here year round will be a daily treat.
Jeff & Janina
By using 55 places.com I was able to search and find the "right house for me". This site was very easy to navigate and find excellent information on not only the homes, but everything else(rec centers,HOA's if any,safe neighborhoods etc.) Once I saw how easy the site was and how many properties they listed, I only used them. The one thing that does stand out is that there are "actual phones numbers" to contact agents that work these specific area's that actually call you back if you leave a message.
If I ever move again (hoping I don't have to) I will use this site again because it's easy,simple and just plain good to use.
I am thinking of moving to Sun City. What advice can you give to very active 55 singl,e female. I need to rent, not buy.
We love our home in Sun City. The neighborhood is neat and well taken care of. We're happy with all of the activities we can participate in, and with all of the available ammenities.
Almost any resident of Sun City can (and will if given a chance) give you a long dissertation about the virtues of living here. We all seem to love the active lifestyle, the many amenities, and the fact that all of our neghbors are pretty much the same as us in terms of age and interests.
That being said, however, the best way to get a feel for Sun City living is to stay here for awhile, as the previous reviewer did. Rent here for a few months in the Winter, purchase a privilege card that gives you access to the wonderful recreation centers and join clubs that have similar interests as you. It is very inexpensive to do this. Or, if you are a golfer, get involved in the golfing activities. Park your RV in our excellent, secure, and inexpensive RV storage facility. Stable your horse in the Sun City stable. Man we have it all!
If you do what I have suggested above, I can almost guarantee you that you will want to spend your retirement years living here.
Sun City grows on you. When I moved to Arizona 10 years ago, I rented while looked around to decide where to buy. I dismissed Sun City at first because I thought everything and everyone was old. After all, the place opened in 1950.
Well, after almost a year of investigation, I ended up buying a home in Sun City because: It is very affordable; the homes, although built 30-50 years ago, are mainly upgraded and modern; the ammenities are excellent (including 11 golf courses and 7 rec centers)it's near to the 101 Freeway and only a half hour from Sky Harbor Airport; it's safe; the people are nice; there are restaurants, shopping, live theatre, movies, medical facilities (really whatever you could ever need) within a mile or two.
I could go on and on, but will end with the comment that now that I'm 10 years older, I like it even better and (guess what) people don't seem as old any more!
Great to see this review system in place. One of the first things we learned about Sun City was there was a sense of sharing and caring that we hadn't always found in non age restricted settings.
I am a frequent poster to the 55places website and find the articles interesting and the analysis of other communities fascinating. For example, a recent column was regarding "affordable" California communities.
Which is the perfect segue into living in the original Sun City AZ development. Affordable is a relative term and Sun City (in my opinion) is the best buy for the money. More amenities at the lowest cost imaginable. My wife and i pay $432 per year; we have 8 golf courses and 7 rec centers, all within reach on our golf cars which are street legal (electric by the way). Throw in the fact our 2700 sq ft home has property taxes at $1000 a year and we are truly an "affordable" place to live.
As long as I am gushing, let me tell you the rest of the story: While Sun City is a great value, more importantly are the values that have come from 50 years as a self governed community. We run ourselves with millions of hours per year given back by residents. We have a wonderful hospital within the walls and our medical services are extraordinary.
Perhaps the best of all worlds is that age in Sun City is immaterial. My folks lived here and I refused to come to Sun City because i didn't want to be with a bunch of "old people." At 49 I broke down and within 1 day of being here I called my wife back in Minnesota and said this is where we will retire; she started laughing at me. She visited 3 months later and found the same attachment.
At 51 we bought a place, rented it out in the winter months and at 55 retired and moved to Sun City permanently. We are baby boomers and i was a flaming workoholic (please note "was"). I have never once looked back as the community has afforded me the opportunity to be a part of something very special.
Come visit us, you will be as amazed as i was. Nice to know love at first sight is still out there eh?