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Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

Pennsylvania
2 posts
Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

Hello: We are very interested in moving to Ft. Hills and have been in contact with several realtors and have been looking at houses. But, I have a few (well actually a million) questions about the town and hope someone will answer. First, how really ugly are the summers? Everyone says there is no hunidity and I live in the NE (pennsylvania) where is it very humid and teh temperature in the summer gets to about 85-90 with 90% humidity and it is just awful. How bad is June, July and august when it is in the 100's but with your low humidity?

Second, do you just love living there? and are the people nice? we live in the NE and people are miserable. Are the people polite, say hello, thank you, etc.

Third, what about those darn scorpions, rattle snakes and black widows? Do you fear you are going to die any minute if you live there (LOL)? no, really, how bad are they and do you preventative spray and how often and is it just outside or in your house too?

Fourth, housing prices seem like you need to spend about 400-450 for a decent little house is that about right?

Fifth, all of the crime(what little you have) seems to occur in the NE corrider of the city? looks like car theft, vandalism, etc. Is that because that is the most populated area of the town or because that section is just "bad" somehow.

How fun is the casino and the nearby Indian reservation?

Ok, that's it for now...i don'

t want to wear you out....thanks to anyone who responds.

Melissa

Chandler, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix
Level Contributor
858 posts
5 reviews
1. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

Hi Melissa,

Where in NE PA are you from? I'm also from that area...the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. I've been out here in AZ for over 10 years now.

Here are some replies to your questions:

1. No, the summers really aren't too bad. Think of them like your winters now. When it is that warm, you usually don't go outside other than to/from your car. EVERYTHING is air conditioned. The few times I am outside are in the pool. When you want to do exercise or yard work you get up early (like 6 or 7am) and get it done early.

2. The people really depend on your specific neighborhood. I rarely talk to my next-door neighbors (don't even know their names), yet the people across the street I know and say Hello to regularly. Most people are friendly when shopping, but we are a fierce bunch on the freeways.

3. Yes, I do see scorpions, but have never seen a rattle snake (outside of the zoo), and black widows rarely. You learn to get an exterminator or do it yourself. No big deal.

4. For Fountain Hills, I think you'd be well over $500k. Housing really depends on the city and neighborhood. Fountain Hills is a bit 'exclusive' and tends to be high like Scottsdale. If you want less, look at Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, etc.

5. I think the crime may be on the edges of the city, perhaps close to the casino and AZ-87 (the Beeline Hwy). That is a VERY busy road, connecting up to Payson and down to Mesa. Again, specific to your neighborhood.

Yes we have Indian gaming very close to the Phoenix area. When I first moved here I went a few times...now I usually only go when people are visiting from out of town and want to go. Vegas is only an hour flight (and cheap if you buy in advance) and I'd much rather go there.

Good luck!

Oro VAlley Arizona
Level Contributor
280 posts
1 review
2. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

Hi. I would recommend that you visit in the summer to see how you would adjust to the climate here in the summer, although its true that May and June are really hot, the humidity is really soooo low then. However in July/August the temperture drops a little, and the humidity gets really high and then we get a "monsoon" season.

About the critters, Yes there are several types of rattlesnakes out here, you just learn to be cautious, I swore the first time I saw one, I would either die on the spot or move, I did neither and survived, but I am still afraid and don't like them.

Scorpions are here also, we have them in our garage a lot, have only had a few in the house.

Black widow, have never seen one out here, but we have tarantula's which are really interesting I think.

The wildlife out here in the desert is part of the charm of living here.

lately we have had a bobcat strolling the neighborhood, probably dispalced because of all the construction. Still hear the coyotes a lot and javelina's come thru at night.

Good Luck

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
41 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

We will be going to The Copperwynd Resort in Fountain Hills, AZ on Sunday March 19, 2006. Where is the closest casino with blackjack? My old lady wants to do the spa thing but I couldn't care less about that stuff. Can you knowledgable AZ folks possibly tell me what else there is to there (besides golf and tennis). Thanks a lot.

Chandler, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix
Level Contributor
858 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

The Fort McDowell casino is VERY close to Fountain Hills, not sure if they have blackjack or not though...haven't been there for a while. Just head east on Shea Blvd to the Beeline Hwy (AZ-87) and go North, you can't miss the casino.

Harleysville...
Destination Expert
for Fountain Hills
Level Contributor
5,418 posts
452 reviews
5. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

Most of your questions about the heat, spiders, etc. have been well answered. I have a condo in Fountain Hills and we dearly love the town. We spend about 3 months a year there. The real estate has risen dramatically since we bought, but there still are some very good deals to be had. We love the community and the people. There are so many activities there to keep you busy. BTW, we are sort of from your area also - suburb of Philly. Good luck in your decision.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
41 posts
6 reviews
6. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

desert gecko, thanks for the quick reply. I just called Fort McDowell casino and asked about blackjack and they do have it 24/7. I can hit a soft 17, double on any 2 cards, double after splitting, 6 deck shoes, but no surrender option. My other questions though, besides golf and tennis....what would be a list of interesting things to do or see around the Phoenix/Scottsdale area? Check out Barry Bonds and see if he is still jacked up on the juice? Thanks.

Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
24 posts
31 reviews
7. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

Hi, Melissa,

We moved here 12 years ago when my husband retired from the AF, where we lived all over the country, and my husband and I love it in Fountain Hills. (We grew up in NJ.) The people here are friendly, except when they're zooming on the freeways, as you have already read from a previous post. We all seem to be transplants from somewhere else, like CA, the midwest, especially Chicago, and the Northeast section of the US, and we are a welcoming bunch to newcomers. I know all my neighbors,socialize with many of them, and it's easy to meet people, except in the summers.

Re the heat, yes, it's ungodly hot here in the summers! No question about it! And many people can't stand it and they move away to Prescott, Payson, Flagstaff. Many residents either have access to a pool, or access to a mountain vacation home to get away for a weekend, week or a month to escape the heat. You can't comfortably walk outside for very long in the middle of the day in the summer. It's just too darn hot. People do their errands in the early a.m. before it gets too hot, or they go out again in the evenings, but it's just too uncomfortable to be outside for long periods in the middle of the day in June,July and Aug. It didn't bother me or my husband since we worked inside air conditioned buildings, and then drove to and from home in our air conditioned cars. Your tolerance to heat is a personal preference, based on your situation, and only you can decide how you feel about it by coming here for a week or so in the summer.

Now re critters, they are really very rare! My back yard adjoins a wash (empty river bed), so there is supposedly more wildlife living near me in the wash (since it's undeveloped, vegetated land). I have seen only 2 scorpions in 12 years, none in my house, both outside on my porch looking for crickets to eat. Also I've seen only 2 tarantulas, not aggressive, just slowly crossing the outside wall of the house, probably again looking for crickets to eat. They just wander off, and they eat bugs, small rodents. They're really cool to watch, and they don't attack people. If you tried to grab one, it might bite you in self defense, but that's about all. In all the years of walking my dog around the neighborhood a.m. and p.m., we have only seen 3 rattle snakes, just crossing through the yards. And that was years ago! The town of FH has a snake removal service if you see one in your yard. My neighbor had a rattle snake removed from his front yard years ago. I think the incidence of snake sightings has decreased due to all the people and developments coming into FH. I've never seen a black widow here in FH, altho there were several in Tucson, AZ and Sacramento in the '80's when we lived there. If it makes you feel any better, you can have a pest control service come monthly or quarterly to your house to spray inside and out along the walls of your house. A lot of people use "Sam the Bug Man", a really nice, friendly guy, who we used for awhile. And you will have no bugs at all. I think his stuff kills any potential scorpions also. But it's not like the bugs, scorpions, spiders and snakes are crawling all over the place! They're a rare sighting! I saw more gross insects in Hawaii when I lived there!!! I see coyotes occasionally crossing through the backyard as well as a group of javalinas (wild pigs), so you can't leave pets outside at all! A cat or dog is just food to them! Your pets must be indoor pets only, or have a tall back fence that the coyotes can't jump over. This place is more dangerous to pets who go outside due to coyotes and bobcats, rather than to people! And coyotes and bobcats are fearful and very wary of people, so they are not threatening.

Crime rate is very low here, and many people move here because of it. Any crime seems to be property crime,like a car being broken into or car theft. We have always felt very safe here. We walk outside late at night, sometimes we even forget to lock the doors. And sometimes people will forget to close their garage doors, and the main problem about that is possibility of a javalina (wild pig) looking for food in your garage.

Real estate pricing seems to have leveled off recently, and there seem to be more housing on the market now. The realtors know more about this. I think a 10 year old 1700 sq ft home sells for about $400,000. Many condos sell for less than that, but they have less sq footage and are older. Realtors can tell you all about the current r.e. market.

The casino is not frequented by many residents I know here. I am sure that there are some that go there, tho. If you want to drop a couple hundred bucks, knock yourself out!:) Ft McDowell Casino will certainly be eager to have you enjoy yourself while you lose your money! Las Vegas is a lot more fun, with lots more choices for entertainment, and more bargains for hotels, buffets, etc. I haven't been to the local casino for awhile, so I don't really know much about it.

Well, good luck with your choices. If you think of more questions, just ask away! We are very glad we moved here, and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we do. And not many places have this beautiful scenery, which we enjoy daily!

Diane

Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
55 posts
15 reviews
8. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

I'll second the comments that critters are not really a worry and the people are generally pretty friendly. I know nothing about the casinos, but the restaurants at Ft. McDowell are pretty good. Crime is not a worry. Housing is ridiculously expensive.

I would also say that there is no way anyone can tell you how you will react to the heat. Even you probably can't figure that out very well after a week - though that's not a bad idea. I moved here when I was 4, and although I hate the summers, I would have told you that they're not that bad when you just spend your time indoors. But my husband moved here a year ago from the northwest, and for a while just doing errands when it was 95 degrees made him physically ill. He still drinks 8 bottles of water a day and claims 80 degrees is hot, but he says it's gotten much better. People tell him it takes a year or so at least to get used to it. So I'd say it's possible you will eventually find it bearable even if you hate your first summer. But if you can possibly avoid it, do not do the heavy labor of moving between June and September. Even early mornings after mid-June can be 90+.

Which brings me to my second point related to the weather - another commenter said it's like our winter, and she's right. Summer is not the same experience here that it is in other climates, where it's this special time of baseball and picnics and barbeques and sunshine. We do all that from October to March, which is a disconnect from the 'kids out of school' downtime of summer. It's disconcerting for some people who have particular fond summer memories, but if you can make the psychological shift, I think that makes it a lot easier.

Enough rambling. Good luck!

nanticoke,pa
Level Contributor
196 posts
47 reviews
9. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

Melissa:

Lucky you if you move out of this dump. We were originally from NEPA but lived in NJ for 30 years. We loved NJ but thought it would be cheaper to move back here. Well, my husband couldn't get a job in education because as you probably know, you have to be politically connected or pay someone for your job. also, there's nothing to do here and the people are ignorant and nasty. We did get twice the house for half the price of Jersey but the area looks like Iraq. I miss New York and the Jersey shore. We hate it here but don't want to move again. Good luck in whatever you decide.

Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
24 posts
31 reviews
10. Re: Thinking about moving to Ft. Hills

Hi, Melissa--Just wanted to give an update re Ft. Hills. The town was just awarded the #1 top places to live in the Phoenix metro area by Phoenix Magazine, based on several factors including low crime rate, low property tax rate, and best student-teacher ratio. Care Free and Cave Creek came in second and third places. Fourth place was a tie between Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Of course, nothing beats a visit to really check out the town, especially in the most difficult time of year, the summer! Good luck in your search!

Diane

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