Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Green Valley Arizona Retirement Communities

Green Valley, Arizona has been a popular retirement area for nearly fifty years.  The first age restricted retirement community in the United States, Sun City, was built here in the 1960’s, and more have been developed in the area since that time.  

Why Green Valley Appeals to Retirees

Green Valley has a warm, sunny climate and a fairly low cost of living, which makes it an appealing location for many retirees.

Green Valley is located approximately twenty miles south of Tucson, Arizona, and 40 miles north of Nogales, Mexico.  Currently made up of about 59 Homeowners Associations, this charming area at the foot of the Santa Rita Mountains occupies 26.3 square miles and has a population of about 20,000 – 25,000 residents.  Most of the homeowner’s associations are restricted to individuals and couples with at least one person over the age of 55 in the household.  However, there are a few homeowners’ associations that are designed to allow families of all ages.

Green Valley, Arizona is one of the largest retirement communities in the world.  Median home prices in the area range from about $100,000 to $200,000, although luxury homes can sell for $600,000 or more.  Green Valley Recreation operates thirteen recreation centers in the community that include golf courses, fitness centers, swimming pools and similar facilities.  The winter months are quite temperate, with an occasional hard freeze at night; in the summer it can be extremely hot during the day.  After all, it is located in the Arizona desert!

Green Valley is a popular location for snow birds who choose to spend their winters in this high desert community.  Short term rentals are available, many of them in the $1,000 to $2,000 price range, although a few can be found both above and below that range.

Concerns about Green Valley

Retirees who are planning to move to Green Valley should confirm the current status of the water problems that have been a serious worry for the residents and businesses located in this area.

In a 2007 report, Pima County expressed concern about the water supply for Green Valley.  In fact, the report concluded that water supplies will be critical by 2017.  This is because of local mining operations, agriculture, golf courses and residential usage.  However, since 2007 steps have been taken to join with the US Bureau of Reclamation to transport and use Colorado River water and reduce the local reliance on excessive pumping from the aquifer.  It is hoped that these efforts will resolve the water crisis.

In addition, another concern is that the crime rate is considered somewhat high in Green Valley, particularly because of the drugs and illegal aliens that have infiltrated the area.  However, although the overall crime rate for the area is high, residents of many of the gated, age-restricted communities do not see crime as a serious local problem.

The final issue that could concern some retirees is that the nearest hospitals are in Tucson, about 24 miles away.

Bottom Line on Green Valley Retirement Communities

This has long been a popular area with retirees, and members of the local residential and business communities are working to resolve the ongoing water problems.  However, before buying a home in this area, you will want to do research on whether or not you should expect water rationing or other limitations on your water usage.  If you are concerned about crime, you may also want to live in one of the many gated communities in the area.

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Photo of Green Valley golf cart path courtesy of


  1. Thanks for presenting the cons as well as the pros of living in Green Valley. Nice report.

  2. It would be great to retire in a place that provides your with everything that you need. 55 and over communities on long island just want as much as that for you.


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