Best Phoenix Neighborhoods to Raise a Family
When you’re looking for the best Phoenix neighborhoods for families, it can be overwhelming. The city is huge, how do you know where to go? We all want the best for our children, right? There are plenty of family friendly suburbs in Phoenix, but each family is different and has different needs. Maybe you want a big yard, or a home with a lot of space for your family to grow? Or perhaps more important to you is a community feeling with involved neighbors who drop by bearing casseroles. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it in one of our top Phoenix neighborhoods to raise a family!
Best Family Friendly Neighborhoods in Phoenix, Arizona
This one should surprise nobody, as Gilbert, AZ, is consistently rated the safest place in America, as well as the best place in the U.S to raise a family. As you can imagine, with claims as such, this Phoenix suburb is all about family. Everything about Gilbert is family centric. There are parks and playgrounds everywhere you look. The schools are some of the best in Phoenix. Without a doubt, this town knows where it stands and what it has to offer. Seasonal events like Trick or Treating, or holiday parades are taken seriously in this part of town as well, so there’s always something fun to get out and about and go take part in. With its safe nature, this is a place where kids can grow up feeling secure, and parents can breathe easier than those in more crime ridden areas.
Gilbert isn’t very large, and the residents like it that way. Unlike other parts of the valley, Gilbert isn’t really growing all the time. It’s plenty big, meaning you can find everything you need when it comes to shopping, or activities, but it’s still a small town. The downtown area is very quaint and walkable. Almost all of the restaurants have outdoor seating, and welcome not only our human children, but the furry kind as well!
During the holidays, downtown is extremely festive. You’ll see lights and decorations adorning the streets, and parades the ring in the season. When the summer months roll around, this same area is alive with a bustling little farmers market, where residents can purchase beautiful locally crafted goods and fresh produce. Because it remains a small town, and it thrives on a safe, family vibe, rather than industrial, there are limited job opportunities in Gilbert, unfortunately. This is one of those neighborhoods that might be the best fit for a family that has already established a steady employment situation.
Learn More: Living in Arizona versus California
Goodyear, Arizona (and Estrella Mountain Ridge):
This part of Phoenix has really only started to develop significantly over the last twenty years. Because of that, most of the homes are pretty new, and you see a lot of new construction homes for sale as well. Goodyear is full of families, so if you want a neighborhood vibe where the kids can ride bikes, and everyone meets up for backyard cookouts, this is an excellent fit for you. The schools are absolutely great, especially the high school, which is renowned all over the Phoenix area for its excellence in STEAM subjects.
The types of homes you will find in Goodyear and Estrella Mountain Ridge range all the way from small, single story two bedrooms, to large homes nestled up against the desert nature preserve. You can really find anything on almost any budget here.
Speaking of budget, the affordability is one of the most attractive aspects of Goodyear and Estrella Mountain Ridge. Currently, it’s somewhat “out of the way,” making its accessibility an issue, and lowering housing costs. But multiple highway projects are connecting the area to the rest of Phoenix, so it’s becoming easier to get wherever you need to go from Goodyear. With this new accessibility, the housing market is already seeing the homes go up in value. If you think this area is a fit for you, it’s an outstanding time to buy, because your property will almost certainly go up in value over the next decade or so.
Even as affordable as it is, the Goodyear and Estrella Mountain Ridge area is absolutely beautiful. The community center could easily be mistaken for an all inclusive resort on an exotic island. It even has a water park! Again, this location is just GREAT for kids. Aside from the bit of a drive to get there, it’s also worth mentioning that the airport is about forty five minutes away, more with traffic. With everything it has to offer, this location still might not be great for a frequent flier.
Learn More: Best Schools in Phoenix, Arizona
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The Phoenix suburb of Chandler is truly a “little bit of everything” town. For young couples looking to buy their first home, there are beautiful, affordable homes that are within most budgets. If price isn’t as much of a concern for you, there are also parts of Chandler where you can find multimillion dollar homes with giant yards and sparkling, Jay Gatsby worthy pools. Chandler is a perfect place for families who want to buy their first home in Phoenix and settle in. Yes, it’s affordable, but there is still so much going on, so families won’t feel like they have “outgrown” Chandler.
Though extremely safe and friendly, Chandler isn’t the kid-centric place Gilbert is. In Chandler, there’s also a lot for the adults to do, much of which you won’t always be expected to bring your children to. Between the symphony, and pub crawls downtown, mom and dad can get out and have a little bit of fun on their own in Chandler.
Also unlike many on our list, Chandler has a booming job market. Nicknamed “Silicon Desert,” mimicking California’s tech Mecca, Silicon Valley, Chandler has a huge presence in the tech and science world. With medicine, technology, finance and aerospace all having a significant stronghold in the area, career opportunities are endless. Even if that doesn’t sound like the career path you want, the draw of the town brings to life thousands of other employment opportunities.
The schools in Chandler are fantastic as well. Though we wouldn’t likely have anything on our list with horrible schools, they are particularly great in Chandler. Best of all, there are some really outstanding private school options here as well as public, if that seems to be a better fit for you and your family.
Chandler takes dining and entertainment seriously, so you’ll never struggle to find something delicious to eat or something fun to do. Downtown Chandler is a vibrant, thriving part of town that is home to over 40 bars and restaurants. But don’t expect to find a Chili’s or Applebees anywhere in this area, Chandler prides itself on the many mom and pop shops and restaurants throughout downtown. There is always something totally unique to try, and best of all, your patronage is supporting local small businesses. When you aren’t indulging in a delicious burger or a perfect cappuccino, you can take a stroll downtown and enjoy its many seasonal offerings. A farmers market, art walks, countless festivals, and live local music can be found downtown at almost any time during the year, so there’s no excuse to stay at home. And speaking of that affordability, most of these events are free!
Learn More: Pros & Cons of Living in Chandler, Arizona
Arcadia is one of the oldest, most established neighborhoods in Phoenix. Because Arcadia was once home to large groves of trees, most of the lots here still have expansive yards. Arcadia is an especially good fit for those who might be used to having more yard space, and want that, even if it means more upkeep. While much of Phoenix has opted for the no-grass-sand-and-succulent landscape, you don’t see too much of that in Arcadia. Because of this, it has a luscious green feeling that makes the neighborhoods seem somehow cooler, even if that isn’t actually the case.
West Coasters relocating to Phoenix might also find this neighborhood to resemble the landscape and architecture of Southern California, as there is a plethora of Mediterranean and Spanish style homes. Among them, you’ll notice a great deal of single story dwellings. For one reason or another, Arcadia doesn’t have too many multi-story homes. But don’t by any means take that as meaning small homes! This sprawling ranch style is luxurious and economical, as many homes built in hot climates before air conditioning avoided having a stuffy second floor because the summer heat rises.
You might have guessed that with all of these beautiful homes and yards, this is a private, upscale part of town, and you’d be accurate. It isn’t cheap, but for some, the many gated communities are worth the higher price tag. Due to the private nature of Arcadia, if you are looking for an extremely walkable suburb for your family, this might not be the best fit for you.
Thinking of moving your family to Phoenix?
Are you and your family ready to make the move to one of these amazing, family friendly neighborhoods? Reach out to me today, I would love to help you find a home in the Phoenix Metro Area!
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Phoenix offers a number of large variety of cities and suburbs to choose from. Whether you are a young family with kids or you are looking for somewhere to spend your retirement. You will have a love affair with the beautiful desert landscape and the 350 plus days of sun we get a year.
Chandler has got to be one of the most boring cities to live in. It was voted so, according to several folks on facebook. We are very bored here, yes, there are some cute places to visit but the kids and teens are very boring, No one ever goes outside, and everyone keeps to themselves indoors. Avoid this city, I’d love to move to Scottsdale or North Scottsdale.
Hi Colette. Thanks for your feedback. What I have found is that the area is not as important as the people who you are surrounded by. I have several people that have reached out to me that for whatever reason, don’t feel a connection with their neighbors/neighborhood. Could be due to age, religion, politics, lifestyle, etc. I’ve lived in Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek and have now lived in Phoenix for the past 13 years. Phoenix has definitely been the favorite for multiple reasons but primarily because I found a neighborhood where I feel the most connection with my neighbors. Hope you can find that for you and your family as well.