My fiance just got a job in Gilbert at one of the high schools, and I might be going with her. We’ve never been there before, and don’t know anyone there. We know it’s close to Mesa, Tempe, and Phoenix, but that’s about it. Can two lifelong Michiganians deal with the desert? Tell me what you know, please!
Hmm. I’ve been living in the East Valley for about three years now, and while I’ve been around in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and Apache Junction, I don’t go into Gilbert much. Figures, dunnit?
I can tell you what I do know, though. It’s hot. Especially coming down from Michigan. You’re going to feel it. You can get acclimated over time, and there’s not a single building without AC, but it can be rough on newcomers most of the year aside from December and January when you might actually need to wear a jacket outside. :eek: A friend of mine moved here from North Carolina last year and hasn’t stopped complaining about the heat. (Granted, her car is a beater without AC and she hasn’t been able to scrape together the funds for a real car until recently. I don’t know how she’s survived up till now.)
To talk about Gilbert specifically: if my memory serves, it’s one of the more underdeveloped towns in the East Valley, but it’s growing quickly. There’s a lot of development on the outskirts of Phoenix, especially to the east. They’re finishing up the highway that extends out there, making it easier to get to Phoenix Metro. Gilbert’s got some farmland and some fairly new shopping centers, but when I last saw it the place was pretty sparse. Like I said, though, it’s growing. According to Wiki, the demographics are skewed pretty strongly toward nuclear families; not as many seniors as there are in other areas of Phoenix.
What else… Gilbert is adjacent to Chandler, which is a more upscale area of Phoenix, similar to Scottsdale further north. Very pretty place, if you’re into suburban development. There’s a lot of fun things to do there. On the downside, it’s in the southeastern most part of Phoenix, so if you have to drive to the west side for whatever reason, expect a lengthy trip.
I know I’m being kind of hit and miss with this, and I’m probably not addressing any concerns you might have other than the heat issue, but like I said, I’ve only driven through Gilbert maybe once or twice. I can tell you that IMO, the East Valley is the best part of Phoenix. It’s expanding rapidly, so much of it is brand new development. I think Gilbert’s a relatively inexpensive place to live, too; Chandler can be pricey, but the further you are from the center of Phoenix the cheaper it gets.
Gilbert is a really nice suburban smallish city with an excellent school district. Population growth has been huge in the last ten or fifteen years, but the city is flexing and absorbing the newcomers fairly well. There has been a lot of new retail construction recently, but the housing market is slowing markedly.
Getting used to the desert is not really a big deal. I’ll confess that I do miss distinct seasons and perpetual good weather can get kind of tiresome. On the other hand, rarely do desert dwellers make outdoor plans and then wake up to rain. Air conditioning is your friend.
Next winter you will laugh at the people wearing coats and shivering when the temperature is 60F. In a couple of years you will join them.
Feel free to email me for details, wmulax93!