If you want to retire in Arizona, before thinking about which communities to consider, it’s worth remembering that Northern Arizona and Southern Arizona are two very different places. Southern Arizona is hotter and winters are very mild, with only occasional snow flurries and a few nights below freezing. The farther south you go, such as Tucson or Green Valley, the milder it is in winter.
Also, Southern Arizona is a lot hotter in summer than Northern Arizona, and that might be a factor in your decision. Northern Arizona definitely has four seasons, and some residents of Southern Arizona have cabins there, which they go to in order to escape the intense summer heat.
You’ll certainly see snow in Northern Arizona, which increases farther north and higher in elevation. Remember that the Grand Canyon is in Northern Arizona, and at about 7,500 feet above sea level, the canyon’s access roads are often closed in midwinter.
If a mild summer and a snowy winter sound good to you, here are five attractive Northern Arizona communities to consider.
High $200s – Low $400s
Cornville is a small town of a few thousand people in the Coconino National Forest at an elevation of 3,225 feet. The area appeals to homebuyers who enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle, thanks to its many hiking and biking trails nearby, and it’s also a prominent birdwatching destination.
Dorado at Verde Santa Fe is a gated community of 96 homes for active adults. Ranging from 1,302 to 2,125 square feet, all homes in this community have two bathrooms, two or three bedrooms, and a two-car garage.
Residents have access to two clubhouses, a fitness center, two outdoor pools and spas, an 18-hole golf course, a restaurant, and hiking and biking trails. Dorado at Verde Santa Fe is 100 miles north of Phoenix, an hour’s drive from Flagstaff, and 25 minutes from the popular tourist town of Sedona, surrounded by distinctive red sandstone rocks.
High $400s – High $1Ms
Prescott is a charming mining town, a hundred miles north of downtown Phoenix at an elevation of 5,368 feet. This town has several active adult communities nearby, of which Prescott Lakes is the largest.
This community is not age-restricted and has 1,300 single-family, attached, and condo homes. There are numerous floor plans to choose from, with custom-designed homes available in the upper price range. All homes have a minimum of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage. Some of the larger custom homes may have up to six bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a three-car garage.
Residents are automatically members of the 18-hole Prescott Lakes Golf and Country Club and have the option to become members of the Prescott Lakes Athletic Club. This has a 12,000 square-foot fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, two tennis courts, and a basketball court. Other amenities include lakes, a library, walking and biking trails, and gardening plots.