A Question for Tucson Residents

So mrAru and I are considering a move to Tucson, and know nothing about the surroundings. If I wanted to be between 10 to 15 miles outside the city center itself, what communities are reasonably nice? It would have to be reasonable to commute in to the university by car and have good supermarkets, and reasonably safe/low crime. I have no problem living in a neighborhood that is predominately hispanic or black as long as it has a reasonably low crime rate. I know that sounds racist, but I am a realist and realize that ethnic groups will frequently settle in next to each other for mutual cultural comfort creating china towns, or little jamaicas, or little mexicos. I want to start looking at rental properties as we are looking at about a year from now, as we have to get the farm ready for sale.

Since the OP is seeking advice, this is better suited for IMHO than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Considering Tucson is 50% white, 40% hispanic, and 4% black, I doubt that you’ll find many predominately black neighborhoods there.

How much are you budgeting spend on rent per month? That will dictate more where you can live than what the ethnic population will be.

A genera description of the Tuscon neighborhoods can be found here.

I lived in Tucson for something like 15 years, but my experience with Tucson is primarily everything north of the university campus. If you’re looking for something south or east, I can’t help.

That said, north Tucson and Oro Valley are pretty nice. You may not want to consider Oro Valley due to distance (it takes something like 30-60 minutes to get to campus) but pretty much anything north of the campus is solid. My apartment in my senior year was up by the Tucson Mall, and I enjoyed the location very much. Just about everything between there and campus should be viable for you, and there’s plenty of shopping available.

North of that, and you start getting a wee far from campus for commuting, and property values also start going up as well, so affordability might be tougher. But that whole Casas Adobes area isn’t bad at all; mostly retirees and families.

ETA: Addressing race for a moment, I will say that although there are as always plenty of exceptions, the general breakdown in Tucson is everything north of Speedway (and the campus) is predominately white, and everything south is predominately Hispanic. For all I know there’s some excellent neighborhoods in the south part, but since my parents settled in Oro Valley and I went to the university, that’s just my field of knowledge.

Also, I know you said you’re looking at 10-15 miles outside the city center, but I do want to add that you don’t want to consider the neighborhoods around campus (Stone to Tucson east/west and Grant to Broadway north/south). There are a lot of students so it’s not a very quiet area, and it’s also got a pretty high crime rate. My place was broken into twice when I lived by Euclid and Grant.

Well, we currently spend $2000 on mortgage, electricity, cable/internet and phone service. Since we are selling the house, it would actually give us the $25000 left on the current property and anything over that [around $75000-$90000 depending on what it ends up selling for] we would actually shoot for a lesser expensive property in the $50000-$85000 range, so we would actually be able to use the $50K either as the more or less total for the property or as a down payment on anything up to about $150K and that opens up a lot of areas. Most of the properties I looked at online randomly scattered around town seemed to be ok in the under $100K range. Hubby likes working with his hands so being a bit of a fixer upper is not a downcheck.

Thanks, I will check out the link =)

Loud doesn’t scare me, and I would actually be going to school there anyways. Hubby would be telecommuting, and we have a roomie that would be tagging along as well so chances are someone would be home all the time and we have a fairly territorial dog. I have actually lived in some pretty dodgy neighborhoods in my past =)

That being said, I will check the website, and we have plenty of time to look. In a pinch we can live in a rental and look further when we get down there. Since I am handicapped, we do have some restrictions on what we buy. I know most people would just get something custom built, but I think it is irresponsible building new when there are so many properties sitting empty and for sale.

As always check on the Tucson forums at City-Data (dot) Com