Cars parks and driving on main street in Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale is a pricey place to live, but there are bargains to be had in this swanky suburb. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

There are fewer low-priced communities in Scottsdale than in other parts of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area or elsewhere in Arizona. That’s because of Scottsdale’s justified reputation as the upscale and swanky part of town. It’s got high-end restaurants, expensive golf resorts, and a general air of affluence.

Nevertheless, there are active adult communities, both with and without age restrictions, where you can find homes that are more affordable if you want to retire in Scottsdale

Scottsdale Shadows

High $100s - Low $400s

Scottsdale Shadows is the most affordable active adult option in Scottsdale, with condominium homes starting in the high $100s. This gated active lifestyle community consists of 838 condos with no age restriction.

It’s located across the street from the attractive 32-acre Camelback Park, which has a lake and pathways for hiking, jogging, and biking. It’s also a ten-minute drive from Downtown Scottsdale, where you’ll find attractions like the Scottsdale Historical Museum and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Despite its relatively small size compared to some Arizona retirement communities, Scottsdale Shadows offers plenty of amenities to its residents. It has three outdoor pools, a spa, a sauna, two tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, and separate fitness centers for men and women.

The clubhouse provides a billiards room, a TV lounge, and several arts and crafts studios. Activities available include Friday night movies, exercise classes, book club, water aerobics, and organized day trips to local attractions and casinos.

There are a number of models available that start at 850 square feet for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo with an underground parking space (which is very helpful in the hot Arizona summers). There are also two-bedroom apartments of 930 square feet with homes available in the high $100s. Larger homes offering three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a one-car garage cost in the low $400s.

Golden Keys 

Mid $200s - High $200s

Golden Keys, a small community of 184 attached homes for the 55+ buyer, is the next lowest-priced active adult community in Scottsdale. It’s a five-minute drive from the 1,200 acres of Papago Park, with its hiking and biking trails, unusual rock formations, and many other attractions including an 18-hole golf course and Phoenix Zoo. Downtown Scottsdale is less than a ten-minute drive away.

Amenities include an outdoor pool, two bocce courts, and a clubhouse with multipurpose rooms used for various activities. Home models range from 1,394 to 2,318 square feet, providing two or three bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. Homes for sale cost in the $300s, but as a smaller community, fewer homes are available at any one time.

Heritage Village IV

Mid $300s - Low $400s

Heritage Village IV is another small community of 182 attached homes for 55+ homebuyers. Residences here are similarly-priced to those at Golden Keys, and the community is a twenty-minute drive from Downtown Scottsdale.

Residents have access to the desirable facilities of the Scottsdale Ranch Park and Tennis Center, which is a three-minute drive or fifteen-minute walk away. It offers eighteen tennis courts, a squash court, four racquetball courts, and six sand volleyball courts. All courts are lighted, and there is also a desert garden, a playground, and a restroom.

Amenities within the community itself include three tennis courts, a heated outdoor pool, and a community center used for events and activities such as a wine club, book club, bingo, cocktail social events, and jazz nights. Home models at Heritage Village IV range from two to four bedrooms and two to four bathrooms with an attached garage.


Low $400s - Low $1Ms

Terravita is a little more expensive than Heritage Village IV. This gated Del Webb community has no age restrictions and comprises 1,380 single-family homes. It’s on the northern edge of Scottsdale, a fifteen-minute drive into the foothills of the nearby mountains and a 35-minute drive due north from Downtown Scottsdale.

Terravita has many amenities, including two clubhouses, an 18-hole golf course, five eating places ranging from a poolside grill to a snack bar, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and six tennis courts. Clubs and activities range from aerobics to Zumba by way of yoga, comedy nights, writing and computer clubs, and topics as diverse as poker and Bible study.

Home models start at 1,384 square feet, which provides two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage. The largest models offer 3,730 square feet and have three bedrooms, a den, 3-and-a-half bathrooms, and a three-car garage.