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I long to retire (only three and a half more decades to go!) and so I secretly yearn to move to Scottsdale, Arizona, which was recently ranked number three on CNBC's list of 2018's top cities for retirees. The Phoenix suburb enjoys mild winters, along year-round sunshine and dry weather, and is chock full of fun stuff like spas, golf courses, and hiking terrain both mild and more intense. Some of Scottsdale's numerous country clubs offer discounts for seniors, and there are a slew of retirement communities and health centers to boot.
Even non-retirees can enjoy Scottsdale's land of leisure. The 221,000-population city's low crime stats and gated communities are a draw for young families, and easy access to bustling Phoenix is its own bonus. Housing here can get expensive—the median sales price is $450,000, according to Trulia—but the high prices get you sprawling properties with backyards, pools, and cacti you won't kill by leaving on your windowsill for too long. If any of that sounds appealing to you, here's a taste of what's out there.
7630 E Windrose Dr., North Scottsdale
This three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath house, also pictured above, has just about everything: a fireplace, a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, jetted tubs, vaulted ceilings, and recently-remodeled travertine and wood flooring throughout. Other highlights include a remodeled kitchen, which is outfitted with Wolf brand appliances, chocolate cherry wood cabinetry, and a breakfast bar. There's also a gorgeous pool and shaded patio out back. The house is located in North Scottsdale, an upscale section of town characterized by its rambling desert landscape and high-end restaurants. The house is priced at $719,900.
37247 N 103rd St., Pinnacle Peak
Scottsdale's Pinnacle Peak neighborhood, named for its famed granite summit, is another upscale spot replete with golf courses, spas, and outdoor activities (i.e., hiking Pinnacle Peak). This three-bedroom, three-bath, 3,727-square-foot property is one example of the high-end housing you can find in the area, with highlights including a large, granite countertop in the kitchen, a large family room for entertaining, high ceilings, tile detailing, and a fireplace in the living room. There's also a massive backyard with an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, pool, and spa. The house is priced at $795,000.
8238 E Wilshire Dr., Old Town, South Scottsdale
If you're in search of a more low-key spread, consider this four-bedroom, three-bath house in South Scottsdale. The house, which was built in 1959, has been recently remodeled, as evidenced by its new gourmet kitchen outfitted with Quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances. Other highlights include an open floor plan in the kitchen and family room; a remodeled master bath with dual sinks, and a handsome pool and grassy patio out back. The neighborhood is located close to Arizona State University in Tempe, making it a bit livelier than some of the more upscale spots in the north. The house is priced at $549,900.
8255 N 73rd Pl., Paradise Valley Farms, South Scottsdale
For about average sales price of a Manhattan apartment, you can procure this 5,134-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath property in Scottsdale's ritzy Paradise Valley Farms subdivision. Highlights include vintage oak floors, vaulted ceilings, elegant light fixtures, cathedral windows, and a master bath that could fit my entire apartment, complete with a Jacuzzi tub. Outdoor space includes a sunken covered and outdoor patio, along with a finished pool and a gazebo. The house is priced at $1,849,000.
11374 E Jenan Dr., North Scottsdale
Another North Scottsdale property, this four-bedroom, two-bath house features a large eat-in kitchen, a living room with a fireplace, a master suite with backyard access, and bedrooms outfitted with big picture windows. There's no pool, sadly, but there is a cozy patio with space for dining, in addition to a garage and a small yard. The house is priced at a mere $384,000.
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