Factors Influencing Neighborhood Choice, by Location

I hope this post provides some insight to our followers, as I used the current situation with our neighborhood as an example. As always, please contact me with questions or comments.

My Thoughts as 14 Year Fountain Hills Resident and 12 Year Real Estate Professional

It’s taken me a while to gather my thoughts and formulate a post in regard to Fountain Hills (a neighborhood we’ve loved for 14 years) and the recent Master Plan Development regarding the 152 corridor, soccer fields, new schools, our entrance, etc.

Some of my thoughts for what they are worth:

Potential Cons, let’s get them out of the way and end positive:

  • Construction traffic (temporary).  Yes, it will be a temporary pain in our ass, but I know of other things (and people) that are much worse.  Further, it is my opinion that the development will work to keep construction traffic to a minimum as much as possible within Fountain Hills and around our entrances; similar to how construction is supposed to avoid our main entrance.  “But they do it all the time!”  So do teenagers (and their adult parents) speeding through our streets.
  • Commercial traffic (TBD).  We don’t really know the impact until the area is developed.  Platte Purchase will be divided and have four lanes like Tiffany Springs, so at least it won’t be a total cluster.  The soccer fields won’t be occupied 24/7, nor will the new middle school or future high school campus (in the future based on growth numbers).  Have you seen MODOT doing their surveys?  MODOT is in charge of the Platte Purchase bridge over 152.  They will be working to make it more convenient, less dangerous, and easier to navigate.
  • Commercial Development at our entrance.  Remember this one, because it will show on the Potential Positives later.
    • People missing the turn lane and driving in to our neighborhood, having to turn around.
    • More people at our entrance. 
    • Noise – when have you last sat in a parking lot for a movie theater and/or restaurant and heard noises like the 4th of July?  Car noise?  Yes.  But then again, it’s right next to a busy highway.
    • Lighting – positive side, more lighting equals better for video identifying crime in the commercial area.  Further, potential to identify cars for neighborhood crime (which car break ins have happened for all 13 years I’ve been here, not just lately with the development).

Positives, I’ll be as objective as possible. 

Here are the top factors that influenced buyers’ decisions in 2019 according to the National Association of Realtors (I’ll update as 2020 data comes out, but I think we all agree to forget 2020).  I will be using this with our current environment/climate, mainly the Suburb/Subdivision Column.

  1. Quality of Neighborhood.  Does anyone really feel we don’t have a quality neighborhood?  Argument:  but the commercial area will bring it down.  Keep reading. 
  2. Convenient to Job.  We have great proximity to get around
  3. Affordability.  Debatable, depending on location, but our neighborhood will continue to appreciate regardless of the latest developments.  FOUNTAIN HILLS values range from $250,000-new phase build jobs in the HIGH 500s! 
  4. Friends/Family.  Thank you to those that have helped me bring in more great people to our neighborhood. 
  5. Design of neighborhood.  One of the best pools in the area.  Sidewalks and trails.  Access to the Tiffany sidewalks.  B+ in my opinion.  What would make it an “A”?  Get us sidewalks so our children may safely walk to school without worrying about traffic.
  6. Quality of School District.  We are in close proximity to the elementary and middle schools.  Add in the fact this new Master Plan has a brand-new middle school and future high school in “x” years (depending on residential, and, yes, commercial expansion).  Voting YES on April 6th means the new middle school will address some of the inequities currently between Barry and PC Middle.  I know there are many who wanted a high school, and full disclosure I do, too; but right now the population density isn’t there.  When will it be?  I’ll be bold and say in 5-7 years (economics staying constant).
  7. Convenient to entertainment/leisure.  Hmmmm.  How nice will it be to walk, ride a bike, ahem take your golf cart, etc. to go pick up donuts on Saturday at the convenience store.  Leave the pool and get a cocktail with friends at a restaurant?  Use a restaurant like our personal neighborhood clubhouse?  I think that sounds awesome.
  8. Convenient to schools.  See number 6.
  9. Convenient to parks/recreation.  Soccer fields coming soon.  Walking and biking trails/paths coming soon for commercial development and connection to Line Creek Trail.  Hopefully golf cart paths, coming soon…
  10. Larger lots, acreage.  We’re in a subdivision.  Trust me, I hear it all the time “I want land”.  You know what, so does everyone else right now.
  11. Walkability.  Currently NOT FOUNTAIN HILLS.  I’m pushing for the private walk way over the highway to schools and Costco.
  12. Last 6, we’ll lump together.  Aside from public transit, CHECK.  We’re in a suburb, not urban, so public transit is not a factor for me when selling our neighborhood. 

From a real estate perspective, our neighborhood will continue to be a go-to neighborhood now and in the future. 

I plan on being here a long time, especially now with the new developments; I think its terrific for our community, schools, $$$ appreciation in housing, and yes, Fountain Hills. 

I don’t want this to be an advertisement for me, I just want you all to realize the good things we have going, and I’m here to answer questions or provide my professional insight, for what it’s worth.

What do you all think?

Derek Espeer

14 year Fountain Hills resident