Previously the host of the SAE Mini Baja 100, you'd think America would have a lock on riding four wheelers in the desert. Montreal managed to steal the gold, though, which might explain why it hasn't been hosted in Green Valley again.
Green Valley, Arizona is located just south of Tucson and north of Mexico and is close to the Santa Rita Mountains. The quiet town of approximately 18,000 doesn't have too much going on and is quite laid back, making it popular with retirees and those who prefer peace and quiet to noise and ruckus. Traffic is virtually non-existent, so you can cruise down the roads without a care in the world. As in all of Arizona, the climate is dry, winters are cold and summers are hot. Cost of living in Green Valley is low – almost 10 percent less than the greater U.S. – and unemployment is lower than Arizona’s average -- probably because most of the town is retired.
Finding an Apartment
When to Look?
Most of Green Valley, AZ has a very high vacancy rate. It's over 30 percent in some parts of the city, which means you will have a lot of places to choose from, even if you're not the most, ahem, ideal applicant yourself. Some of this high vacancy rate, however, is due to seasonal visitors, so be warned that the best time to look for an apartment to rent is off peak season (June through August), when you can snag the choice spots. The worst time to find city apartments is December through January.
What Do I Need?
Because you're likely to find a place right away, bring all the essentials with you when you go to check each place out. You will need all the basics: credit history, employment and salary history, and any rental references that you have. The landlord will likely ask for pet records if you plan on bringing your pets, so make sure your little guys are well documented (at least that obedience school will have finally paid off). Since the vacancy rate is so high in Green Valley -- especially during off season -- you have a decent chance of finagling a deal with a landlord, even if your credit score has seen better days. Be prepared to write a check if you find a place you like.
Neighborhoods in Green Valley, AZ
South Via Cielo Azul / West Calle Tres: It's easy to find rentals here with a vacancy rate of 26%. This neighborhood has mostly small homes and quite a few mobile homes. On the plus side, the prices match the size of these small rentals. Even if you are not retirement age, this might be a great place for young professionals who prefer a quiet night rather than the chaos of clubs. $
South Camino Del Sol / West Camino Urbano: Vacancies are even higher in this area than in Via Cielo Azul – almost 30 percent. If you are looking to find an apartment to rent or a condo for rent, you might find something fantastic the first time out of the box. This area has a large work-from-home community, so telecommuters are a way of life in this neighborhood, and if you don't work from home, you will at least have the road pretty much to yourself. There is a big mix of homes here - some small and medium homes, mobile homes, big apartment buildings and condos. It's fairly easy to find a place to rent and it's a very peaceful and livable area. $$$
North La Canada Drive / West Camino Casa Verde: There are all kinds of apartments and homes here, ranging from small spots to family-size places. You can also find a high concentration of studios and other small living spaces, and rents are slightly higher than South Via Cielo Azul. Vacancy rate is about 20 percent, which is still high. A good place to find apartments with paid utilities. $$$$
South Camino Del Portillo / West Esperanza Blvd: This area has very low crime rates and is super family friendly. You can find small and medium homes for single families, along with a few mobile homes and apartment buildings. There is a considerable vacancy rate (36 percent). Rents are medium for the area.$$
South Abrego Dr / South La Huerta: This area has the lowest vacancy rate in Green Valley, and it is still 17 percent. It mostly has small to medium sized housing and much of it is owner occupied. This is a low crime area, so bring your big screen TV -- it is probably safe. $$
Life in Green Valley, AZ
Green Valley is mostly retirees, with several retirement associations in the area, but it's also close to Tucson where you can find more of the city life for the times when the peace and quiet is making you stir crazy. It is also a place for young professionals who do not yearn for the go-go-go of larger cities. As with all of Arizona, water is always an issue. Sustainability is a concern, and water restrictions can be prohibitive, so the kids will need to find a better way to cool off than running through the sprinklers.
Commuting to work
For the most part, people drive their own cars to and from work, however, public transportation is readily available, going both to Tucson and locally. During the weekdays there is service during rush hour and there are also shuttles and car services that can take you back and forth.