Questions About Buying In The Original Sun City and Sun City West in Arizona

Discussion in 'Sun City New Members' started by Schaumburger1, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. Schaumburger1

    Schaumburger1 New Member

    Hello to TOSC:

    It will be a few years until I can retire, but I am researching 55+ communities in Florida and Arizona. I am looking to get out of the snow, cold winters, high property taxes and higher cost of living in Chicagoland. I have some questions about the original Sun City and Sun City West in Arizona.

    Are late baby boomers (age 60 to 55) buying more homes in SC and SCW?

    It looks like there are a lot of activities/clubs for the residents of Sun City and Sun City West – that is what I am looking for in a 55+ active adult community. Any comments on the variety of activities and clubs in Sun City and Sun City West are welcome.

    How active is the singles communities SC and SCW?

    Do many SC and SCW residents “go north” during the summer months, or do most residents stay in Arizona year round?

    Even though SC and SCW are retirement communities, do some of the residents work on a part-time basis?

    Do most residents of SC and SCW own golf carts?

    As a single woman concerned about security and living in a safe place, how safe are SC and SCW especially considering that Phoenix is fairly close by.

    For a detached home or condo, 2 bdrms of about 1,200 square feet, what are the electric bills like in the hot weather months when the A/C is running 24/7?

    Property taxes are a major consideration for me as property taxes in suburban Chicago where I have lived for many years are quite high, and will probably be too large of an expense in my “golden” years. I have looked on line at several homes for sale in Sun City and Sun City West in my price range, and the property taxes are usually less than $1,000. Are the property taxes so low because there are no school districts within Sun City and Sun City West?

    Some listings in Sun City show a Preservation and Improvement Fee of $3,500 (please correct me if this number is wrong) when a new owner buys in SC. Is this fee paid by the new buyer at closing? Does this fee apply to all homes in Sun City, whether for condos or single family detached homes? If someone buys a home in Sun City, pays the fee, sells that home in a few years and buys a different home in SC, does that buyer pay the fee again, or is this a one-time fee for the initial purchase of a home in SC?

    Does the Preservation and Improvement Fee also apply when a new owner buys a home in Sun City West?

    Hopefully I can schedule a visit to Sun City and Sun City West by spring 2017 to check it out for myself. Thank you in advance for answering my questions.
    David Martin likes this.
  2. g47

    g47 New Member

    For SC. Late boomers are buying. Not most people but many own golf carts. Some people work. Very safe. AC about $125 to $140 in the summer for 1200 sq.ft condo. Taxes about $400 a year. If you live in SC, paid the PIF, then buy another home you pay the PIF again. You will get a refund if you sell your first home in less than a year. It is $3500 at this time. More for less money in SC than in SCW. Clubs for just about any interest you would have. New ones added if enough people show interest. Many singles. Maybe a third of the people leave in the summer.
  3. pegmih

    pegmih Well-Known Member

    When you come to Sun City, go to the Visitor Center and take the bus tour.

    I have lived in Sun City for nearly 10 years and absolutely love it. You get more for your money here than in SCwest.
    We do not pay any school tax but I think SCW does.

    I am a Sunbird. That is someone who does not leave in the summer. The heat isn't all that bad
    There is no comparison to Florida with its humidity.
  4. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Wow. Lotta questions. Hope I get them all.

    We are 56 and 54, still work, and will do so until we retire. We purchased about 3-1/2 years ago in Sun City while we still lived on the East.Coast.

    We have a 1650 sq. ft condo, 2br/2ba with enclosed AZ room and patio. Taxes are roughly $600 a year. The most expensive utility bill we had was last year in either July or August at about $250. We are all electric.

    The rec fee per property per year is $474. The PIF fee is $3,500. There are 7 rec center in Sun City.

    Our monthly condo fee is $190, which includes exterior maintenance, pest control, roof repair and replacement, water, garbage pick up.

    We narrowed it down to SC and SCWest in the end choosing SC.

    Having been to FL many, many times it wasn't even in the running. Humid weather, bugs, property taxes and insurance costs are higher in FL.
  5. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Oh I should mention, I am female and I walk very early in the morning, either with my dogs or by myself. Very safe.

    I forgot to mention we have one car garage with a lot of storage.

    Also, there are more and more folks like us in our age group. Although you won't see those of us who still work during the weekdays during business hours. So if you take the tour during the day, keep that in mind.

    I can't speak about SCWest because I don't live there, but I did like what I saw back in 2012.

    If you're thinking of commuting into Phx from SC, depending on your work hours, traffic can be bad.

    One of the things I really love about living here is the proximity to everything. I can walk to the bank, the CVS, the grocery store, a Dollar Tree and several restaurants. I am also within walking distance of Bell Rec and Big O Tires. I am roughly 3 miles from Banner Boswell and my dentist. Although we are still in great shape, there will come a day when we will appreciate this convenience even more.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  6. Schaumburger1

    Schaumburger1 New Member

    Thank you all for your answers. I appreciate the information and feedback. My only experience with desert temperatures was a 4 day trip to Las Vegas in June several years ago. If someone is thinking about living in Sun City full time, is it recommended to schedule a visit to SC during the summer months to see how one tolerates the temperatures?
    David Martin likes this.
  7. J_and_V

    J_and_V Member

    HI, and welcome. A scheduled visit might be helpful.

    We moved to SC in Feb of this year. We have friends who live here part time, so we had the luxury of visiting the area and hanging out with people who live here.

    Obviously, this is our first full summer here and we haven't had any problems. We moved from the Seattle, WA area and liken the summer here to the winter in Seattle. It's hot here, but not so restrictive that you can't get out and do what you need or want to's grey and rainy in the Seattle are in winter, but not so restrictive that you can't get out and do what you want to do.
  8. pegmih

    pegmih Well-Known Member

    I am also from Seattle area - Whidbey Island.
    What I really, really, like about AZ is waking up to sunshine! Well, most of the time anyway.
    It makes you want to get out and about.

    In the summer I do my shopping early in the morning.
    Both to avoid heat and people. Not that I dislike people, mind you.;)

    Another nice thing about summer in Sun City is that with the snowbirds gone,
    traffic both on the roads and in the stores is lighter.

    Also, in the summer a lot of the groups and clubs are inactive for 3 months.
    It's kind of like a vacation for me, no meetings and no volunteering.
    That's when I take care of medical and dental needs.
    There are even days when I don't go any place.
    A good time to do some housecleaning. Yuk!
  9. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    You're very welcome.

    We had been out to Vegas a number of times so we had experienced the heat. We did come out in July for a visit to see how bad it could get and if we could live with it.
  10. David Martin

    David Martin New Member

    As a Phoenix resident who has been in Az since ‘87 I came to realize quickly that the summer endurance is a mind over matter situation for me.

    To those friends who don’t understand I use a phrase;

    No S’s here? No Scraping, shoveling, slipping or sliding here.

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