55places.com announced the top 10 active adult retirement communities in Arizona for 2009. Communities were evaluated based on location, amenities, lifestyle, homes, and value. The results were compiled after an extensive two-month review. The information was gathered via community tours and interviews with homeowners, potential buyers, and local real estate agents.
"Identifying the best communities is never an easy task," according to Bill Ness, the CEO at 55places.com. "Factors that are very important to one person may have little relevance to another person."
Each community was graded on five key factors including the community's location in respect to nearby shopping and entertainment venues, the quality and quantity of amenities, active lifestyle options, the desirability of the homes, and overall value. Further, the study included both new construction and established "resale" communities.
Some of the popular long-standing communities ranked very high for location and value but low for amenities and home desirability. More newly constructed communities tended to rank higher for home desirability and available amenities but lower for lifestyle options and location.
This community has it all. SaddleBrooke by Robson Communities is nestled at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains northeast of Tucson. It has a rich lineup of amenities including three clubhouses and 63 holes of golf. The 40 and older age-restriction draws a particularly active crowd. There are both new construction and resale homes available.
2. Sun City Festival
Del Webb's latest masterpiece in Buckeye is like an oasis in the desert, literally. Sun City Festival is situated north of the White Tank Mountains, 10 miles beyond any hint of civilization in untainted Arizona desert. The world-class amenities and highly upgraded, yet inexpensive, homes are worth the trek.
3. Mission Royale
Location and price catapulted this Meritage Homes community to number three. Casa Grande, AZ has emerged as a popular outpost that offers big-city amenities and small-town charm halfway between Tucson and Phoenix. Mission Royale is renowned for its proximity to great shopping, low home prices and easy access to I-10.
4. Trilogy at Vistancia
For buyers who want the latest in luxurious age-restricted living, look no further than Shea Homes's Trilogy at Vistancia in the Vistancia master-planned community northwest of Phoenix. The home desirability and available amenities scored very high with active adults.
Finding nearly new homes in a good location at reasonable prices is difficult, to say the least, but Del Webb hit a home run with their popular Solera community in Chandler. It is conveniently located near the many attractions of Phoenix's East Valley.
6. Quail Creek
Robson Communities combined over 20 years of active adult building experience into the design of this gem in Green Valley--20 miles south of Tucson. Quail Creek offers quality homes at reasonable prices, top-notch amenities, and a great lifestyle.
7. Sun City West
"An oldie but a goodie." The 20-year-old homes in Sun City West are a bit outdated but it is tough to leave out a community that offers a premier Northwest Valley location, four clubhouses, nine golf courses, and over 100 clubs.
The National Association of Homebuilders liked Province so much they proclaimed it the best active adult community in 2006. The community offers a good mix of amenities and lifestyle in the quiet town of Maricopa, 38 miles south of downtown Phoenix. Even a recent bankruptcy by the builder has not deterred buyers from snatching up bargains in this popular community.
9. Canoa Ranch
Canoa Ranch is part of Green Valley Recreation, which is a consortium of age-restricted neighborhoods in the town of Green Valley that provide residents an unparalleled lineup of amenities and social activities. Canoa Ranch is a Meritage Homes community that offers some of the only new construction homes in town.
10. Sun City Vistoso
Sun City Vistoso, a well-established community north of Tucson, has an ideal mix of reasonably priced homes, great amenities, and an active lifestyle.