Why Green Valley, Arizona Is Good for Snowbirds

Green Valley\'s many low-maintenance, age-restricted communities bring snowbirds every winter.

Green Valley is an unincorporated town in Southern Arizona that is very popular with snowbirds. About 80 percent of the homes in Green Valley are age-restricted, making it attractive for the 55+ active adult, with numerous golf courses, pickleball courts, tennis courts, swimming pools, and other amenities.

Green Valley is very much a snowbirds community, which means that when people go away for the summers there are services such as house-sitting available. Neighbors who live in Green Valley year-round are also used to keeping an eye on the homes of snowbirds.

Geography

Cactus, brush, and mountains in the Sonoran Desert.
Green Valley draws in snowbird because of its climate and nearby outdoor recreation.

Green Valley is 25 miles south of Downtown Tucson  and 135 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, a two-hour drive. Tucson International Airport is 23 miles away, and the border town of Nogales, divided between Arizona and Sonora in Mexico, is 42 miles to the south.

Money Savings

Being unincorporated means there are less public facilities to support, which in turn means lower taxes. Green Valley does have a volunteer fire department, a sheriff’s office, a hospital, a library, a post office, and other amenities, but property taxes are lower and there is no city sales tax added to bills. The cost of living in Green Valley is 2.9 percent lower than the US national average. Property prices are lower too.

One disadvantage is that gas prices are considerably higher than they are in Tucson, and many residents fill up when in Tucson, or drive to the cheaper gas stations in South Tucson, which is about a 30-minute drive.

The other side of this is that Green Valley is a very golf cart-friendly destination. Lots of the roads have designated golf cart lanes, and many residents make a considerable saving on gas costs by using golf carts for all their local trips. Some residents use golf carts and never set foot on a golf course.

Tucson International Airport is also on the south side of Tucson, and a 30-minute drive from Green Valley. For snowbirds who fly to Green Valley, this is close enough for friends or neighbors to come and pick you up, or to get a cheap taxi or Uber.

Climate

Being a snowbird in Green Valley means getting the best of the Southern Arizona climate. Spring and fall are the most pleasant seasons, with almost perfect weather. May usually brings the start of the hot summer season, when temperatures begin to rise above the 100 degree mark, followed by the heavy rains and storms of the monsoon season.

Snowbirds miss the worst of the weather, while escaping winters back home. Winters in Green Valley do usually see several nights when the temperatures will drop below freezing, requiring the covering of water pipes and some of the more delicate plants. Some winters will see a light dusting of snow on one or two days, which never lasts for long, and some winters see no snowfall at all.

Medical Benefits

Green Valley has its own hospital, which opened in 2015, and is also only a 30-minute drive from St Mary’s Hospital in Tucson. Green Valley has numerous medical services including doctors, dentists, opticians, and podiatrists.

This is in addition to the health benefits of being in the warm and non-humid climate of Southern Arizona generally, which is beneficial to people with conditions including asthma and arthritis.

When it comes to dental work, many residents take advantage of the proximity to Nogales, Mexico, which is a 45-minute drive to the south, and see one of the numerous dentists practicing there. Most dentists have trained in the U.S., and some have more advanced equipment than dentists in Green Valley, with prices typically being about one-third to one-half what they are in Green Valley or Tucson.

Green Valley Recreation

Outdoor pool in Green Valley Recreation
Just one of several pools throughout Green Valley Recreation.

Green Valley Recreation (GVR) is a non-profit organization which operates 13 recreation centers and many other amenities, with all members having access to all of the facilities and the more than 60 clubs which GVR operates.

A majority of homes in Green Valley belong to GVR, with membership belonging to the home and not to individuals. Membership is deed-restricted and cannot be resigned. Members who take full advantage of GVR’s facilities regard the annual membership fee of a few hundred dollars as a bargain, even if they are snowbirds and only in Green Valley for part of the year.

If you don’t intend to take advantage of the facilities, you can save money by choosing a home which does not come with GVR membership. If you change your mind you can always buy-in later.

Golf

For the snowbird golfer, Green Valley offers a year-round playing season and six golf courses within Green Valley itself. Four of these are public courses and two of them private clubs, with costs being about the same as elsewhere in Arizona.

In addition, there are another 40 or so courses within easy reach of Green Valley, including many in Tucson.

Pickleball

GVR currently has 12 pickleball courts for use by its members and their guests, and the Pickleball Club at GVR has 700 members. However, the number of courts is set to increase dramatically with plans in hand to build a 24-court dedicated pickleball complex on a former golf course just off Interstate 19 and close to Canoa Ranch.

The center will also have an instructional court with tiered seating, though no date has yet been set for the completion of the project.

So, Green Valley is certainly good for snowbirds when it comes to golf, pickleball, medical services, health, and money savings. In fact, snowbirds are very much a part of its way of life.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

A woman drinking her morning coffee on a balcony overlooking Downtown Miami.

Urban 55+ Communities: You Can Retire in These Cities

There are many benefits to living in a city, from having easy access to daily needs like grocery stores and pharmacies to having an assortment of cultural amenities and entertainment options nearby. Still not convinced? Here are some cities with urban 55 communities that just might pique your interest.

Happy mature couple dancing together in the kitchen at home in a 55+ community.

Top 10 Benefits of Living in a 55+ Community

Living in a 55+ communitiy is so much more than just convienent for active adult retirees. The right community will help them downsize, manage their finances, increase their activitiy, and meet new people. Check out all the benefits of living in a 55+ community.

View of Downtown Provo, Utah during autumn at dusk.

The Best Cities for Aging in Place

Deciding on where to retire is always a challenging question. What do you look for when searching for your ideal place to age in place? There are a variety of factors that come into play when looking for that perfect spot such as health care, wellness, general livability, transportation, or community engagement, just to name a few.

Closed up on a tiny wood home model on green grass with sunlight background.

This Month in Real Estate: A Housing Market Summary

The new year is showing that the predicted changes coming to the housing market were accurate and kept with the trend for 55+ homebuyers. If you’re just entering the housing market as a homebuyer, make sure you’re aware of the changes happening so you’re prepared to make the best purchasing decision. 

Aerial view of a picturesque olive plantation in Bakersfield, California.

The Cheapest Places to Live in California

With almost year-round sunshine, some of the world’s prettiest beaches, world-class shopping and dining, and a never-ending list of recreational and entertainment opportunities, it’s no wonder California is such as sought-after state to settle down in.

A sunset over Huntington Beach Pier in California.

The Active Adult Travel Guide to California

California is known for its diverse regions and cities. This means if you’re an active adult looking to vacation in the Golden State, you’ll have a lot of options. We breakdown the state into its three main regions and find everything you should do while on vacation.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top