Moving to a new city, especially one that you’re not very familiar with, can be a nerve-wracking experience. If you’re planning to move to Tempe, AZ in the near future, allow us to introduce this wonderful, quiet city to you so you will have a good idea of what you’ll find there once you pay Tempe a visit.
While Tempe is one of the smaller cities in Maricopa County, it boasts great local history and a strategic location that will allow anyone to access the other sister cities such as Scottsdale and Chandler easily. The small city saw its beginnings in 1865 when Fort McDowell was first established. The fort needed a regular supply of fresh produce and agriculture soon sprung around it.
Due to the presence of the fort and the availability of agricultural livelihood in the area, the nucleus communities of Tempe sprung up soon after. Tempe is home to the main campus of ASU and several other notable educational institutions.
Like Mesa, Tempe also has Hohokam canals that are still preserved up to this day. The Hohokam canals were used hundreds of years ago to deliver life-giving water to the dry land of the Sonoran Desert. The Hohokan ingenuity allowed people to see that there was agricultural potential in this side of Arizona, even if the Sonoran Desert is right beside the cities of Mesa and Tempe.
Things to Do in Tempe
The bigger sister cities do not have any monopoly over good food, as evidenced by places such as the Hackett House where cooking classes and other programs are held on a regular basis.
The Hackett House, along with many other olden homes in Tempe are considered historical relics because of the age of the structures (many were constructed in the 1800’s) and the architecture being preserved by these homes. Local history and culture are very important to the sister cities, which is why there are often multiple museums, “art walks” and other such spaces where interactions and discussions about art and history can take place.
A good example of this would be the Tempe Public Art exhibits where public art and even temporary art are regularly featured. You can also check out the Tempe Center for the Arts if you’d like to know more about upcoming exhibits and events for art lovers and artists alike. In short, if you’re an artist, you’re very welcome in Tempe, too!
After visiting the museums and art exhibits, you can take the kids (if you happen to have them) to any of the recreational facilities located throughout Tempe. There are many activity centers and public parks that are open for use for the public all year round. And for the golf enthusiasts, yes Tempe has its own golf courses and there’s no need to visit a sister city to be able to enjoy a nice game of golf.
Tempe Housing Market
As of this writing, Tempe real estate prices are varied enough to accommodate all kinds of home buyers. You don’t need to be a millionaire to be able to afford a new house in Tempe, because there are many “super economy” homes that are below the $250,000 mark, which is considered the average price of a single-family detached home.
Why are some homes being sold for ultra-low prices?
There are several factors that come into play when it comes to determining the market value of a home. The biggest factor, however, is whether the property in question has been upgraded and remodeled within the last few years. If the answer is yes, the home seller can list the price at a higher price so he/she can recoup the costs of preparing the home for sale.
However, there are many home sellers that do not bother with remodeling so they can offer the lowest possible price in the neighborhood. This often helps speed up the process of selling the house because people often look for the best prices when shopping around for a new home.
A basic condo-type dwelling that is 800 – 1,100 square feet in size may have up to two small bedrooms (split bedrooms are common) and bathrooms. There are also standalone structures that are not condo-type residences built on large lots. If you’re interested in further development after purchasing a small home, then you’re going to love these small houses that come with .5 to .8 acres of undeveloped land.
If you want something more substantial than a 1 or 2-bedrooom condo-type unit, you need to scale up your house budget to at least $250,000. With $250,000, you will be able to purchase a house with 3-4 spacious bedrooms, at least 3 bathrooms and a large garage for at least 2 vehicles. The total size such houses is at least 1,600 square feet (this figure refers to the average in Tempe and not in other sister cities), with a lot size of 4,500 – 5,000 square feet.
Now, when you scan properties listed online, you will notice small notes that inform the potential buyer of the type of improvements that were done on specific properties prior to being listed. Ideally, the kitchen, bathroom and roofing should have been remodeled or at least updated in the past 1-2 years.
If you can find a home that has been remodeled on the same year as the listing date, consider yourself in for a great treat. Though the price of the house may be higher, you can be sure that the house is truly occupant-ready because the owner has already done all the additional work for you. This guideline applies not just to smaller properties in the $100,000 to $250,000 range but also for the upscale properties that cost $700,000 – $1,000,000 each.
Property remodeling is a very expensive and tedious task and only the best home sellers are willing to go through the hassle of updating the main areas of a house, especially the bathroom and kitchen where expenses can skyrocket fairly easily.