The unparalleled success of the Del Webb Corporation’s first master-planned community for active adults, Sun City, led to its beginning a new community in 1978 in the desert 2 miles to the west – Sun City West. Looking at the desolate desert, an early rancher declared “this country isn’t fit for raising anything but lizards.”
John Meeker, president of the Del E. Webb Development Company, had a different vision for the land. He saw a new, larger community with facilities unmatched elsewhere. At its core, an “Emerald Valley” would be the focal point as the “largest golf course development project in Arizona history got underway”. Adjacent to it would be a recreation center, “the largest private facility for recreational and creative activities in Arizona.”
In less than a quarter of a century, the desert yielded to Meeker’s vision. By 1997, 31,000 people had come from the 50 states, Canada and other countries to make Sun City West their home. With construction completed in Sun City West, the Webb Corporation opened nearby Sun City Grand.
Sun City West is a self-contained and self-governed 55+ community with recreation, shopping, places of worship, and a nationally ranked hospital. All of this is in place right now — not promises of things to come.
Sun City West is an active adult retirement community located northwest of central Phoenix, about 45 minutes from downtown and a short distance from Luke Air Force Base. An expanding network of freeways makes it easy to access any part of the Valley of the Sun including the impressive Sky Harbor International airport, exclusive Scottsdale shopping, and the beautiful University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL Cardinals and 2015 Super Bowl.
Within a 20 minute drive are two baseball spring training stadiums. You can find all of the Cactus League stadiums here. Next to the University of Phoenix Stadium is the arena home of the NHL Coyotes.
The beautiful Lake Pleasant with its miles of fishing, sailing and boating pleasures is also close by.
The Arrowhead Towne Center offers major department stores a short distance east of Sun City West. Two multi-screen movie theaters with stadium seating are also nearby along with many fine nationally known restaurants.
Two hours north, you will find the spectacular red rock country of Sedona. It’s only a short drive further to Flagstaff, the jumping off point to the Grand Canyon, magnificent Lake Powell, and the Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations.
Two hours south lies Tucson with many cultural and botanical delights. Another hour and you are in Old Mexico. Arizona is a wonderland of mountains, canyons, cacti and incredible desert sunsets at no extra charge!
Sun City West has Four Recreational Centers Available To Residents And Guests.
Each of the 4 recreation centers offer residents fully equipped fitness centers with state-of-the-art equipment. These include treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, free weights, and limbering and stretching equipment.
Each center offers whirlpool spas along with heated pools for low-impact aerobics. Swimming pools are separated into lanes for lap swimmers and a section for leisurely walking.
Special ramps facilitate access for the handicapped, and the “Handicapables Club” provides pool exercise routines weekly.
There are a variety of vigorous exercise groups that meet regularly. Perhaps the most popular is the “Jazzercise” class that has been held for many years and provides a full-body workout.
Indoor and outdoor walking tracks are available to help maintain a healthy lifestyle for those interested in less strenuous exercise. Morning walks and bicycling are everyday activities.
Other popular forms of exercise include biking, tennis, pickleball, hiking, line dancing, round and square dancing, Latin and ballroom dancing.
The R.H. Johnson campus includes many activity sites, some of which are: Arts & Crafts Clubs, Bocce Ball, Lawn Bowling, Pickleball, Racquetball, Table Tennis, Outdoor Walking Track, Two Doggie Parks, Library, Billiards, Sports Pavilion, Tennis, and a Wii Game Center. Additional information can be found here: http://suncitywest.com/rhjohnson.html
The Palm Ridge Center offers three pools – two indoor and one outdoor — large fitness center, indoor walking track, pickleball, ballroom and clubrooms. Additional information can be found here: http://suncitywest.com/palmridge.html
The Beardsley Center features an Olympic-size indoor pool, fitness center, clubrooms, mini-golf course, horseshoes, greenhouse, G-scale model railroad track, children’s playground, and a park with shady ramadas. Additional information can be found here: http://suncitywest.com/beardsley.html
The Kuentz Center includes an exercise room, outdoor pool, tennis courts, walking track, softball field, clubrooms, woodworking shop, and the Stardust Theatre. Additional information can be found here: http://suncitywest.com/kuentz.html
Single Family Dwellings: These comprise the majority of our homes and are from 920-sq. ft. to more than 3,500-sq. ft. with large lots, small lots, golf course lots and some homes in neighborhood associations which handle landscaping and other services for a monthly fee. Prices range from $100,000 to more than $500,000 depending on age, size and location.
Duplexes: Side-by-side units, each individually owned and from 1,200 to more than 2,000-sq. ft. Prices range from $95,000 to $220,000.
Garden Apartments: Several units attached in a row that range from 700 to 1,400-sq. ft. and priced from $70,000 to $120,000.
Grandview Terrace offers luxurious condos in a six-story building complete with fine dining, indoor pool, walking track, craft and clubrooms and an active calendar of events.
The Madison offers apartment style living, and takes care of the details of daily life so that you may enjoy your retirement years to the fullest.
The Heritage Tradition offers independent living in luxurious, resort-style apartments, patio homes with private garages, heated pools, and more, and the finest in elegant Assisted Living.
Fees, Taxes and Cost of Living
Asset Preservation Fee: Assessed on all first-time home purchases in SCW, these monies fund capital improvements and minor maintenance of recreation centers and other community-owned facilities. The buyer also pays a Resale Transfer Fee.
Annual Recreation Center Fee: All property owners pay for membership in the Rec. Center Association. Golf and bowling fees are paid when participating.
The majority of SCW homes do NOT pay school takes because they are not in a school district.
SCW homes utilize either an “electric heat pump” for both heating and cooling or a natural gas heat system and an air conditioner. Solar power is also available and could reduce the electric cost substantially.
There is a 6.3% sales tax in Sun City West on most purchases. There is no sales tax on groceries.
Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions
Among the key CC&Rs that Sun City West property owners are to follow are:
•One member of the household must be at least 55 years of age and no one under the age of 19 may reside in SCW. Visiting children may stay a maximum of 90 days in one year.
•No motor home, boat, RV, trailer, bus or commercial vehicle may be parked at a residence for more than a total of 72 hours in any one month, and may not be used as living quarters at any time. (Note: a secured storage area is available for Sun City and Sun City West residents at a very reasonable fee.)
•Shrubs, trees, grass and plantings must be kept neatly trimmed, free of trash, weeds and other unsightly materials at all times.
•All properties must be kept in good repair and adequately painted. Carports and garages must be kept in a tidy manner if visible from the street.
•Only generally recognized household pets are permitted. Maricopa County leash laws apply.
•Residential properties may not be used to conduct business.
•No storage buildings, sheds or other structures may be erected.
How Sun City West Is Governed
Sun City West is a “city” in name only as it is an unincorporated community. As such, it does not have the usual city government structure. Maricopa County provides street maintenance, building and zoning codes, law enforcement and public health services.
Two organizations manage community affairs:
•The Property Owners and Residents Association (PORA), and
•The Recreation Centers of Sun City West, Inc.
Each has a board of elected residents who volunteer their time, experience and energy to the community.
The Property Owners and Residents Association (PORA) has a board of 9 elected residents. The board maintains liaison with Maricopa County, state and local governments to address issues that confront the community. PORA also sponsors the Visitors Center which provides information to more than 13,000 people annually. PORA operates a Consumer Services Department that helps residents locate licensed and bonded contractors. More information can be found here: http://www.porascw.org
The Recreation Centers of Sound City West, Inc. is responsible for operating and maintaining the community’s $100-million worth of recreational amenities. A Governing Board of 9 elected residents sets overall policy and hires a General Manager to run the day-to-day operations. Members of the Governing Board head various committees that are advisory in nature and which take advantage of the great wealth of experience existing within the community. More information can be found here: http://suncitywest.com/home.html
Benevilla is an ever-evolving nonprofit which seeks to weave a safety net for those who may be isolated and need assistance to maintain their independence. By cultivating a caring community of neighbors helping neighbors, Benevilla is able to provide extensive support for older adults, adults with intellectual disabilities, children, and the families who care for them through a variety of programs such as: Adult Day Programs, daily home task services, home-delivered meals, referral services, caregiver support groups, child daycare, parenting classes, intergenerational programs, social gatherings at Birt’s Bistro, and volunteer opportunities. Benevilla services are supported through donations from individuals, congregations, service clubs, and corporations, and by the loving hearts and hands of nearly 1000 volunteers. More information about Benevilla can be found here: http://www.benevilla.org
The Recreation Centers of Sun City West, Inc. maintains 7 golf courses. These include 4 regulation-length courses and 3 executive-length (Par 60) courses. Our Grandview course hosted the 2012, 2013, and 2014 LPGA Legends golf tournament. Additional information about our courses is available here: http://suncitywest.com/golf.html
Two additional regulation-length golf courses are available within the community:
•Briarwood is a private club, with dining facilities, a swimming pool and tennis courts. Briarwood offers both Social and Proprietary Equity golf memberships.
•Hillcrest is a public course. The course has hosted Senior PGA and LPGA tour events.
Golf fees are among the lowest in Arizona.
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home within the Sun City West Arizona real estate market, I encourage you to start by obtaining up to the minute facts about the market in your neighborhood. As a specialist in the Sun City West Arizona real estate market, I can help you price and stage your home for a fast and profitable sale. If you are a buyer looking to purchase a home in the Sun City West Arizona real estate market, there are many choices available. I can help you find the right neighborhood and help you negotiate the best price.