Moving to Tempe, Arizona, and Looking for a Church Home?

If you’re searching for a place to worship in Tempe, there are many available resources. As a dynamic city, Tempe’s population is an exciting mixture of long- term homeowners, college students, and new residents. This mixture is reflected by a mixture of churches, temples, and mosques. Additionally, as the home of Arizona State University, Tempe offers some unique worship venues and campus fellowships. 

The following information is just a sampling of the city’s worship communities, to help you as explore your options. 

A large Tempe Community Church Dedicated to Ministry 

Grace Community Church  
Grace Community Church is one of Tempe’s largest congregations. To assist members and seekers along their spiritual journey, Grace has several active ministries. Fellowship and educational groups exist for: Children, Young Adults, College Students, Men and Women, Senior Citizens, The Disabled, and Singles. There is also a Library, a K-8 school, and a gymnasium. 

A Catholic Campus Fellowship for Tempe’s College Students 

All Saints Catholic Newman Center  
All Saints Catholic Newman Center is a busy worship center located just across the street from Arizona State University. The Newman Center functions in service to the students and faculty of ASU, though other members of the community are welcome to attend. Plenty of Masses, social events, educational offerings and service opportunities are frequently scheduled. The engaging atmosphere of the center inspires regular attendees and visitors alike. 

A Modern Jewish Congregation That Honors Tradition 

Temple Emanuel of Tempe  
Temple Emanuel of Tempe is a reform Jewish congregation that honors the traditions of the past, yet looks toward the future. This mixture creates a blended musical approach to the services that many enjoy. An emphasis is placed on worship, celebration, and recognizing significant holidays and life events. A warm welcome awaits visitors. 

Temple Masjid: An Islamic Faith Community near ASU 

For The Islamic Community Center  
The Islamic Community Center, also known as Temple Masjid, attracts most of its worshipers from ASU’s student and staff population. Founded in 1984, the center observes daily prayer rituals, and conducts weekly Friday evening lectures on a variety of topics. Temple Masjid is also open for tours. 

Here are some other Tempe worship resources that may interest you: 

Anglican 

Bethany Community Church 

Lutheran 

Presbyterian 

Roman Catholic 

Day Trips near Tempe, AZ Offer Property Owners Fun

The state of Arizona offers lots of great day trips to homeowners in the Valley of the Sun. Tempe is no exception and offers fun outdoors and in. Check out the following list of fun activities that can be enjoyed with a friend or the whole extended family. 

Tempe Homeowners Enjoy South Mountain Park 

South Mountain Park Hikers, bikers and horseback riders of all ages will really enjoy this park which offers more than 50 miles of trails through the nation’s largest municipal park. Start at one of the 11 trails offered by the park and take in the desert scenery and beautiful spring flowers. 

Just a few miles and minutes from most Tempe homes, this Phoenix park offers plenty of gathering opportunities. Bring a picnic and meet some friends at one of several first come- first service ramadas set aside for just that purpose. Or, for earlier planning and larger parties, the parks service offers several larger ramadas or centers you can reserve for a nominal fee. 

Discover the Superstition Mountains 

Superstition Mountains: To the east of Apache Junction and Mesa, these scenic mountains offer lots of hiking, views and great desert plants and animals. The area offers a museum, ghost towns, wildlife and camp grounds. Visitors looking for less-strenuous ways to enjoy the mountains can relax at the Superstition Mountain Golf Course or enjoy an easy adventure on an Apache Trail Jeep Tour

Explore Papago Park just Minutes from Tempe 

This large desert park offers lots of natural fun for adults and kids. This park is home to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens, as well as hiking, rock climbing and urban fishing. With fabulous views and a variety of easy and challenging trails, you get all kinds of family fun. 

Tempe Property Owners can Spend a Relaxing Day at the Spa 

These are just a few of the resorts in the area offering amazing experiences full of relaxation and luxury. 

  • Amara Resort and Spa: (866) 455-6610. Nestled in gorgeous Sedona, this resort offers everything from massages and facials to body treatments and personal growth appointments. 
  • Royal Palms: (602) 840-3610. This open-air Scottsdale spa offers a large two floor space full of 10 treatment areas. 
  • Omni Tucson National Resort: (520) 575-7559. A fabulous Tucson resort, this spa specializes in providing bliss and relaxation for busy adults. 

Tips for Retirees Moving to Tempe, Arizona

Tempe frequently ranks at or near the top of list of places to retire. And there’s good reason for that. With a consistently sunny and warm climate, a reasonable cost of living, charming homes, and safe neighborhoods, it’s no surprise that so many retirees choose to settle in Tempe. Both locally and across the country, you’ll discover the perfect home in our little part of the Valley. The overgrown college town that is Arizona State University provides a youthful vibe and economic stability, while Tempe Town Lake and the stark landscape that the Southwest is known for offers amazing adventures and outdoor experiences for people of all mobility levels.

 

Financial Reasons

If you haven’t already done the research, there are two big reasons that homeownership costs are so attractive in Tempe. First, we’re one of the few major cities in the West with a median home value under $300,000. Second, Tempe has a below average property tax rate (.802% vs 1.211% nationally). Put it altogether and people find the perfect place to retire, while still being able to meet or even move up their retirement date.

 

Moving Tips for Seniors

Create a plan, and by create a plan, we mean create a checklist and timeline by which things need to be done. Now is the time to be brutally honest with yourself if know you’re an over-planner. Pad the schedule. Hire professionals to help, and then expect those professionals to themselves create a headache or two, even if it’s just communicating your schedule and needs to the moving company.

To this point, one of the most important things for a successful move is choosing a professional moving company. Do the basic due diligence and narrow the list down to a few promising companies. Make sure these companies are licensed, have been in business for at least a few years, and have generally positive reviews and customer testimonials. During the phone call, here is a list of follow-up questions you should think about asking prospective movers:

 

  1. What do your moving packages NOT include? Is the cost of gas already covered? Are there extra fees I should know about?
  2. Are there any items you refuse to move? I have a “piano/grandfather clock/etc.”
  3. Can I expect some type of written contract that lays out the terms and expectations of the moving service?
  4. What should I be sure to do before moving day to expedite the process?
  5. (Optional) If my moving dates are flexible, can I get a better rate?

 

More than just the moving itself, you need to think about cleaning services, storage solutions, and animal travel for any household pets. And, of course, real estate. Take care of your sanity during the moving process, but don’t lose equity on your home by ignoring the value of an experienced real estate agent. We can’t wait to see you out and about the town.

 

Is Metro Phoenix Creating an Affordable Housing Crisis?

For a long time now, one of the things that made Phoenix unique was the preponderance of trailers, mobile homes, and manufactured homes as part of its housing stock. More than any other city in the country, the Valley of the Sun has had a higher rate of residents leaving in factory-built homes. What made these communities so vibrant and healthy was the stark landscape and remote charm that comes with the southwest U.S. and Arizona’s independent spirit. These communities repelled the stigma of lower-class poverty and instead gave off the unmistakable defiance of being removed from society. It was only a partial removal from society, but it was by removal by choice. And that’s what gave these communities value and an identity.

Today, these communities are being threatened by a building wave of real estate investment and development. Tempe Mobile Home Park and mobile home parks throughout the greater Phoenix area are being bought by investors and, in many cases, being redeveloped for other residential and commercial uses. The tenants are given notice that their leases will not be renewed. But more than just a changing housing stock, it’s threatening to put basic housing out of reach for a growing segment of the population. In other words, it’s one thing to close a mobile home park, but when those displaced tenants struggle to find an alternative affordable housing option, this becomes a serious issue.

Affordable Housing Shortages

The idea that mobile home parks are an essential resource for Tempe and the local economy is easily seen in other western cities that are struggling to provide affordable housing. This affordable housing crisis and local economies increasing defined by Have’s and Have Not’s has led to a rise in the homeless population for the first time in nearly a decade. Before this latest wave of real estate development, the greater Phoenix area was better positioned than most cities to insulate its residents from a shortage of affordable housing. We should take lessons from other cities before it’s too late.

 

 

City Planning and Lack of an Urban Core

Most everybody who lives in the Phoenix area and even many outsiders know the metro area doesn’t have a well-defined urban core, but more like pockets of high-density housing and mixed-use development. And while this decentralized layout certainly has some advantages, it can complicate long-term city planning. Part of what we’re seeing with the purchase of mobile home parks is rising land values and development opportunities in places where communities have historically enjoyed affordable living. And while some of this conflict is inevitable, it can be all the more sudden and unexpected as Phoenix falls prey to the same forces that created affordable housing crises in other cities.

Record-Breaking Home Values: Comparing the Tempe Housing Market a Dozen Years Later

Have you heard the news? Record-setting home prices are back. As of June 2018, property values in the Valley surpassed the previous pre-Recession highs of 2006. This, along with renewed concerns of housing affordability, have some people worried that we’re headed toward another housing market crash. This time around, there are a number of important differences that suggest a housing crash is very unlikely, at least on the same scale as we saw a dozen years ago. First, adjusted rate mortgages are all but extinct as home loan vehicles. In contrast, historically-low fixed-rate interest loans have helped a new generation afford homes at higher price points than a decade a half ago. Moreover, and perhaps most important, home building isn’t outpacing population growth like it was a dozen years ago. This means, there tends to be more buyers than sellers overall. Inflation, average rent prices, and wage increases have further risen the floor on how far home prices might drop.

Because, look, we’re not saying that incomes have kept up with the rising cost of living, nor are we saying that Tempe home prices are going to keep going up forever. Furthermore, we personally see something of flattening out of home value appreciation, as housing becomes increasing difficult to afford. To some extent, it also seems like paying a greater percentage of your out-of-pocket costs to housing is the new normal for metropolitan areas with measurable housing shortages and rents that are getting just as difficult to afford. Even still, we do feel confident in saying that there’s little chance that home prices will drop precipitously anytime soon. Moreover, with interest rates poised to keep rising as well, the total cost of homeownership is likely to keep going up in the future.

In one sense, the overall housing picture in Tempe can be feel incredibly stress-inducing, especially for first-time home buyers. In another sense, this type of high-floor, low-ceiling environment can have a moderating effect for the prospective buyer. Look for the home that makes sense for you and your household, and while you may have a ton of new home equity right, you also almost surely won’t regret the decision to buy.

A dozen years later, when we look around at the housing market, we have more concerns about homelessness, housing affordability, and overall cost of living than we do of another crash. The national data is, arguably, even stronger that housing affordability and home prices are not too far out of whack.

 

ASU and the Tempe Housing Market

Tempe, Arizona is home to the first and largest campus of Arizona State University. Around 660 acres in size, this campus has more than 70,000 students enrolled in at least one class. As a result, Tempe’s economy is largely college-driven; it benefits from a healthy flow of students into and out of the city each year. Unsurprisingly, this impacts the local housing market.

According to Katie Walsh of The Walsh Team, the strength of the Tempe real estate market is a constant demand for housing. In an interview with Commercial Café’s Expert Insight, she said, “As students come to ASU, their parents purchase housing for them as an investment, opposed to renting off-campus housing.” When these students graduate, they often find a new place in the area for a home upgrade. The constant movement between renting, purchasing, and upgrading benefits the real estate market.

This, according to Walsh, creates a challenge: “there is never enough inventory between the student housing mentioned above and the families that move to Tempe for good schools in the area.” Even after kids graduate, families often refuse to leave their established neighborhoods. The combination of established households and a consistent influx of new residents creates competition, making for a healthy housing market. If you are planning to sell your Tempe home, bidding wars are likely. If you are planning to purchase real estate in the area, you will be investing in one of the nation’s most interesting housing markets.

Competition, combined with the lack of single-family home development, makes Tempe’s real estate market very exciting. Walsh noted that some Baby Boomers and Generation Y-ers are beginning to downsize, moving closer to ASU and fixing up older homes. Luxury apartments are popping up all over downtown, and Arizona State recently opened a retirement community near campus. No matter the generation or demographic, residents and newcomers alike are moving all over Tempe.