In addition to several pairs of sunglasses, you'll do best in Gilbert by bringing along other sun-happy necessities, such as a sunhat, sunscreen, flip flops and oven mitts for opening your car doors. While the oven-mitt tidbit is largely a joke, your car hood can get hot enough in Gilbert summers to fry an egg, bake a cookie or sear anyone silly enough to attempt to sit on it.
Even though many of the housing units in Gilbert were built in 2000 or later, you'll still have money left over after rent to keep yourself stocked with all those sunny weather necessities. Don't expect to rent a place for too much more than the rest of the state, although your rates can increase from there based on exact location, size and amenities, such as a cool, refreshing swimming pool.
A good place to start your search may be in areas in the southern portion of the city which seem to have more vacancies than its northern cousins. You also want to prepare by gathering proof of income, your current credit report and a few reference letters from past landlords, coworkers and friends that outline what a wonderful, on-time-paying tenant you would be.
Gilbert is stocked with newer homes, which mean you may be treated to two crucial amenities not always found in older Arizona residences: air conditioning and a garage. Even a carport will do, as long as you have something to shield your car from the areas searing sun. Older homes in the southwest often have this thing called a swamp cooler which circulates air and is fine in the proverbial "dry heat" but don't do much when humidity hits during summer rains.
The city of Gilbert stretches across 43 square miles, which offers plenty of elbow room with an average population density of 5,148 people per square mile. It also serves up plenty of living options, thanks to the more than 40 different neighborhoods NeighborhoodScout says make up the sprawling, sunny place called Gilbert.
Tremaine/Falfa: Start in the far northwest corner of Gilbert and you start in the Tremaine/Falfa area. You'll be able to find lower rental rates in this area.
S. Power Road/Kiowa Avenue: Jump to the far northeast corner of Gilbert and you land in the S. Power Road/Kiowa Avenue zone. Here you'll find higher rates on rental properties, which consist of a mix of rental homes and apartment complexes offering studio apartments for rent.
S. Power Road/E. Elliot Road: Shimmy kitty-corner to the southeast of the Kiowa Avenue zone. It can be one of the toughest places to nab an home or apartment for rent, with a vacancy rate that dips as low as 0 percent.
S. Val Vista Drive/E. Williams Field Road: Move further south still and you hit the center of Gilbert and the sizable S. Val Vista Drive/E. Williams Field Road neighborhood. You'll see a vacancy rate that creeps up as high as 11 percent, above the national average.
S. Higley Road/E. Chandler Heights Road: Another sizable portion of Gilbert is in its southwest corner in the form of the S. Higley Road/E. Chandler Heights Road zone. Here you'll have even better luck landing a place to live, with up to 15 percent vacancy rates in apartments and rental houses.
Chandler Heights: Scoot a bit to the east and land in another area filled with Gilberts typical slate of newer homes built in 2000 or even later.
Enjoying the sun is a top activity in Gilbert, provided you do it during off-peak hours in the summer. High noon is asking for high risk of dehydration during the summer months where daily high temperatures regularly hit above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Tolerable winters can more than make up for it, however, with average winter temps typically sticking between 50 and 60 degrees.
If you want to the state capitol a whirl, either for work or play, Phoenix is about 25 miles northwest of Gilbert. You can even ride down U.S. Route 60, also known as Superstition Freeway, with a dandy name stemming from the Superstition Mountains farther east down the road.
Gilbert is also a veritable paradise for desert hiking, thanks to its location near at least 10 generous parklands that are anywhere from 14 to 35 miles away in either direction. A handful of smaller, local parks grace the landscape if you'd prefer to keep it closer to home. As you may have already guessed, hiking and outdoor activities are most comfortable and less deadly in the winter, spring and fall than they are in the Arizona summer.
Wait, so you think all folks do is go to Phoenix or the desert trails? No way. Theres plenty to do in the city proper without even leaving Gilberts borders. There's an A to Z shopping (almost), with a bevy of businesses that range from Ace Hardware to Wendys with Macys, Mens Warehouse and Dairy Queen in between. Additional to-dos include the Hale Centre Theatre, circa 1947, which is the longest privately owned and operated continuously running theater in the country. It has served up close-up, intimate theater performances at least once a week since its opening.