Some of our clients express a concern regarding the drive up the mountain to Estrella Mountain Ranch. They want to know how long it will take to get to the shopping center, the airport, their job. Todd and I feel that it is an obvious choice: the trade-off – the beauty and safety of the Estrella community vs. a slightly longer drive to retail and concrete strip malls.
Mike Roberts of Lakeside Pools in Goodyear, Arizona, was kind enough to provide this piece for use as a guest blog for our site. He discusses the decision to move from Avondale to Estrella Mountain Ranch and a conversation between he and his wife regarding the length of the drive.
Seven More Minutes to Paradise…
By Mike Roberts of Lakeside Pools
Kathi and I were not seriously looking to move. We had a nice home in the Garden Lakes area of
Avondale, near the freeway, shopping, and not too far from work. The last two of our kids had been
graduated from High School there, and we had a wedding reception there. In just 14 years, we had
established roots, and the home was paid for.
But Kathi had a number of insurance appointments in Estrella, and I had begun installing swimming
pools there. As we continued to visit with folks in their homes, we began to discover some of the many
amenities this Community offered. We took a few Sunday drives, visited some model homes, walked
around the lake, and soon were nearly hooked.
At first, we looked at custom home sites. Kathi wanted this and I wanted that. We nearly purchased a
one acre site off the Estrella Parkway, but the parcel we wanted was sold before we could make an
offer. For a few months, we drew back, but everytime either of us had an appointment in the area, the
conversation was renewed. Then one day in early 2007, Kathi called me all excited. “Michael, you have
to get up here right now, I found the perfect home!”
“Can it wait until Sunday?”
“Maybe. It’s not completed yet, but I know you will just love it!”
So Sunday we took the drive. We visited the model home, not quite completed. The floor plan was
tremendous. It was a tract home with custom features. It was unlike any we had seen before. I agreed,
this was perfect! But it was not yet on the market, so we would have to wait a couple weeks. That gave
us time to reevaluate.
The issue of how far off the freeway became our next discussion point. “Gosh, it’s a long way from the
freeway…” So we sampled the various commutes, from my work to the new site, from her work, from
our current home, from the freeway. Bottom line; it added seven minutes to our commute.
We reviewed the amenities; lake with a yacht club and free boating, a workout center, a great
waterpark for our now eleven grand kids, a designer golf course for her sisters and brothers-in-law who
would visit from Nebraska, a huge park for camping, horseback riding, hiking and picnics at the bottom
of the hill, bicycle trails and hiking paths around the corner. And low HOA fees (we visited other planned
communities and Estrella was the most reasonable) and a secure environment with safety patrols and a
constant police presence.
And it was only seven more minutes time. And look at that drive. Saguaro’s dotting the hillside,
mountain views, landscaped vistas…
So we pulled the trigger and took possession in the spring of 2008. We were permanently moved in a
few months later. Since then, the floor plan won an award as most original submitted in 2007. We
discovered Taste of Italy and welcomed Chase Bank, Safeway and Walgreens as well as the other
businesses. We gas up at the Shell Station, get our propane there as well. We occasionally dine at the
Golf Club. And we have attended concerts by the Lake, trivia night as well as other social gatherings.
We have seen the area grow, one of the top 40 selling communities in the United States last year, as an
eclectic mix of builders and homes continue to break ground and sell out throughout the community. It
has one of the top performing high schools in the area, parks galore with tennis, basketball (and yes, I
still shoot around even at my retirement age), green areas for volleyball, kids play areas, ramadas for
picnics and even a desirable Club House that is often the scene for weddings and other galas.
We now have roots that will keep us here. We love our neighbors, the views, the amenities. This may be
the best life decision we ever made. And it was only an additional seven delightful minutes to arrive in