Retire to Surprise...we did in 2004...and you wouldn't expect a website owner to say anything bad about his hometown would you?
I will not disappoint you in that regard, we are very happy we've chosen Surprise. With a population over 100,000 people, a lot of folks agree with me as well.
The growth of Surprise has been truly amazing...from a census figure of 38,000 in 2000, to an estimated 78,000 2007... Surprise been one of the fastest-growing cities in Arizona.
In 1938, the city was founded by a Flora Statler...she was quite a pessimist, the original 2 acres had one gas station and two houses...she said, "I would be surprised if anyone moves out here".
Until 2010, it was thought that the name Surprise, came from Mrs. Statlers husband, who was from Surprise, Nebraska.
He was a local politician.
Yes I get comments, when I give my address over the phone...Surprise Surprise.
The community we live in, is called Sun City Grand, it was started in the late 1990s, by Del Webb... it is 5 miles the original Sun City the Del Webb developed in the 1960s.
This is one of the four golf courses, that the 20,000 residents, have to choose from... There are 9800 homes, 100% of capacity, in Sun City Grand..
Some of the other amenities of Sun City Grand, include two large community centers with huge gyms, pools (indoor and outdoor), tennis courts, pickle ball, bocce and lawn bowling.
We first discovered Surprise, in 2003 when I visited a friend from Oregon and played golf at Sun City grand.
Not just because of the golf, my wife and I were both enamored by the active retirement lifestyle that the community offered.
We were not yet ready for the rocking chair and Sun City Grand...where we bought in February 2004, certainly fits the image of active retirement, that was at the top of our retirement checklist.
Delaying the decision to buy for one year ended up cost an additional 10% in purchase price... but that was 2003 to 2004.
If all the above activities sounds a little too strenuous...not to worry, you have lots of other activities to choose from at Sun City Grand.
The lady at the left, is enjoying the facilities set aside for pottery...don't know a pottery wheel from a Ferris wheel?...not a problem, there are regular classes for beginners.
For those that choose to be less active, there are also computer labs, a very popular activity...stained glass studios...art studios..a large billiard roomcard rooms, libraries, and ongoing education classes on a variety of subjects.
The sunset photo above was taken by Dr. Eugene Willis an active member of the photography club in Sun City Grand... just another activity to choose from.
How much this is lifestyle cost? The golf averages out to $25-$30 a round...the community homeowners association fees, are $1100 a year... Property taxes for a 2300 square foot home are a little over $2000 a year.
This is the best Arizona retirement living in a country club atmosphere without the country club prices.