10 Best Neighborhoods in Metro Phoenix

Home is where the heart is.

It's also where you'll find the best location, architecture, views, school district and mortgage rates to fit your lifestyle. Because contrary to how the saying goes, not all mi casas are su casas.

With so many avenues to explore, so to speak, it helps to have an inside scoop on the city's most up and/or coming suburbs. Here to do the neighborly thing is Jackalope Ranch with our 10 best recommendations for real estate in the Valley.

See also: 10 Most Expensive Houses for Sale in Metro Phoenix Right Now

Windsor Square Camelback Road and Central Avenue Average price of homes for sale: $424,000

Phoenix could hardly be described as a pedestrian-friendly city, unless you happen to live in Windsor Square. The historic neighborhood sits behind one of the most happening intersections in Central Phoenix featuring businesses such as Windsor, Churn, Federal, Tammie Coe Bakery, Postino, Frances, Stinkweeds, Practical Art, and the Uptown Plaza. A tad pricier than other historic 'hoods off Central, yes. But as they say, location, location, location.

Del Norte Place 15th Avenue and Encanto Boulevard Average price of homes for sale: $544,000

The historic district of Del Norte is often overlooked -- or rather driven by -- as downtown locals tour through more prestigious neighborhoods like Palmcroft and Willo. Hiding in plain site, this eclectic suburb of atomic ranches and early 19th century tudors sits across the street from the Forbes-featured Encanto Park and is located within walking distance to the Arizona State Fairgrounds. Plus, compared to historic mansions nearby, these more modestly-sized lots make for a real estate bargain.

Alameda Estates Broadmor to Alameda drives; Mill to College avenues Average price of homes recently sold: $401,000

Tempe has taken on the burden of being a college town, but that doesn't mean there aren't some frat-free pockets hidden around. Travel just a short distance south of the ASU campus, and you'll find yourself in the family-friendly, red-cup-free neighborhood that is Alameda Estates. A wide assortment of housing styles situated near one of the best K-5 schools, Broadmor Elementary, Alameda Estates is the kind of neighborhood where you can watch your children grow up (especially if they attend college in state).

Southwest Village Indian School Road and 68th Street Average price of homes for sale: $391,000

It should come as no surprise that some of the cutest mid-century homes in Old Town Scottsdale sit directly behind its cutest mid-century hotel. And yet, young home owners have been slow to notice the colorful collection of retro ranch homes located just west of the Valley Ho. Southwest Village is affordable, adorable, and no doubt a time saver for anyone venturing into the many shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, museums, and galleries in Old Town. As an added bonus it also sits beside the canal, giving exercise enthusiasts easy access to outdoor running or biking.

Sherwood Heights Oak Street between 56th and 60th streets Average price of homes recently sold: $438,000

We first discovered Sherwood Heights during the Arcadia Edible Garden tour. While Arcadia is often considered the golden child of Central Phoenix, we were caught off guard by the large mid-century finds located in Sherwood Heights. This hilly, secluded Scottsdale 'hood sits elevated between Arcadia and the Papago Mountain Preserve. This small suburb offers varied styles of architecture, nearby hiking trails, and the benefit knowing you're in the center of town but without ever feeling like it.

Rancho Ventura 40th and Oak streets Average price of homes for sale: $329,000

Thanks to Arcadia's ever-increasing popularity, the area's housing prices have gotten as ridiculous as the La Grande Orange parking lot. That is why forward-thinking home buyers are heading south to Rancho Ventura, where an assortment of genuine Ralph Haver homes are patiently awaiting a little TLC. True, some houses are in more desperate shape than others, but for the motivated home improver these perfectly placed fixer-uppers are serious financial investments.

Paradise Gardens 36th Street and Mountain View Road Average price of homes for sale: $458,000

Okay, we know the word "gem" is thrown around far too often in real estate, but there's really no other way to describe the oasis located just off the 51 freeway and Shea. Paradise Gardens was originally developed by Robert Altherr and designed by Al Beadle. However, at some point during there construction, Beadle removed himself from the project making the authenticity of some estates a bit iffy. But that doesn't discredit these beautifully modified and well-preserved homes from the architectural applause they deserve. An aesthetic foil to the Southwestern stucco homes nearby, Paradise Gardens is a short trip to the 1960s and even shorter trip to shopping conveniences like Paradise Valley Mall, the Tatum and Shea shopping centers, and hiking destinations like Trail 100.

Mount Central Place End of Central Avenue and North Mountain Average price of homes for sale: $362,000

Mount Central Place is a solid exception to the usual Sunnyslope stereotype. This gated community, located at very end of Central Avenue and up against the North Mountains, offers close hiking trails and stunning southern views of Phoenix. While this newer neighborhood is more improved than other Sunnyslope suburbs, the area as whole has taken great strides to restore the community with events like historic home tours and the biannual Sunnyslope Art Walk.

Indian Hills Lincoln Road and Squaw Peak Drive Average price of homes recently sold: $383,000

It's hard to believe more people aren't talking about Indian Hills. The late 1960s neighborhood, which branches off Squaw Peak Drive and sits at the base of Piestewa Peak, is about as close to everything as you could possibly be, without being anywhere close to the price you'd expect. In Indian Hills, residents can easily walk to some of the most popular hiking trails in the Valley, shop nearby at Biltmore Fashion Park, or hop onto the Piestewa Freeway to quickly access other parts of the city. Indian Hills is also located in the highly rated Madison school district, making a home in this neighborhood a great family purchase.

Marlen Grove 10th Street and Bethany Home Road Average price of homes for sale: $319,000

This Bethany Home batch of Haver homes sits central to some of the most up and coming attractions in Phoenix including the Dreamy Draw Recreation Area and the 16th and Bethany Home intersection of shops and restaurants like The Vig, Dick's Hideaway, Luci's Healthy Market, Poor Little Rich Girl, and Hobe Meats. Between the manicured lawns, and restored home exteriors, Marlen Grove is a magnet for mid-century-minded home buyers both single and situated.

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Katie Johnson
Contact: Katie Johnson