One major consideration in Shopping Homes is the crime risk in areas where we might decide to settle. I found a real estate appraisal website, eppraisal.com, where area demographics for a given locale may be found. The crime data that they use is almost ten years old, so it has likely changed some; the data came from year 2000 census statistics. I’m sure that the crime rates, even though they may have changed, will have remained in proportion to those shown.
I chose to compare between Phoenix, the largest city in Arizona, Tucson, second largest and two neighboring smaller towns, one close to Phoenix and one close to Tucson. The numbers in the graphs are incidents per 10,000 people and break down to Personal and Property crimes. (We tend to take property crimes personal, however, but that’s beside the point.)
First, let’s look at Tucson and Marana, both in the southern Valley of the Sun and in Pima County. Interstate 10 runs through or beside both, and both are considered good places to retire. Both towns have a fairly high property crime rate but have a relatively low violent crime rate when compared to cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
Note that the scale and the personal property crimes are considerably higher than in Tucson proper. Auto theft and burglaries seem to be the major problem in Marana and, to a lesser extent, in Tucson.
Next, let’s look at Phoenix and Wickenburg, closer to the center of Arizona and both in Maricopa County (think Sheriff Joe). Phoenix and the surrounding area are also considered to be nice places to retire. Again, the Phoenix Metro area experiences a lot of property crimes and has been growing in personal crimes due to illegal aliens and drug cartel problems. Wickenburg is isolated from the Northwest Phoenix metro area by virtue of a small range of hills and a distance of about thirty-five miles from the town of Surprise, AZ. Us Highway 60 connects the two.
The vertical scales are different between these two graphs, but inspecting the numbers reveal a very low rate of both personal and property crimes in Wickenburg. We’re inclined to believe that the combination of lower new home prices and lower crime rates makes Wickenburg our very likely choice.