Fountain of the Sun
540 South 80th Street, Mesa, Arizona 85208
Large, Settled 55+ Fountain of the Sun Outside of Phoenix Has a Variety of Home Styles, Reasonable HOA Fees, an 18 Hole Golf Course, a Clubhouse and a Good Menu of Activities
Outside of Phoenix in southern Arizona, Mesa is the setting for Fountain of the Sun, a large 55+ community with a variety of home styles built on an old cotton farm over a 12 year period from 1975 to 1987. The builder was the now-defunct UDC Homes.
This gated development sits on 600 acres and has nearly 3,000 manufactured homes, townhomes/condos and single family, low maintenance homes in numerous neighborhoods. The manufactured homes have about 1,100 to 1,900 square feet with two to three bedrooms and two baths. The town homes have roughly 1,000 to 1,500 square feet with one to two bedrooms and one to two baths. The single family homes have 1,220 to 2,100 square feet with two to three bedrooms and two to three baths. All properties are single story and have an attached garage (the manufactured homes have either a garage or a covered carport).
Exteriors are muted colors (tan, gray, yellow, etc). Most single family homes feature Mediterranean architecture. Landscaping consists primarily of bushes, cacti and decorative rocks, although some homes have patches of grass.
Prices start in the low-$100,000s and top out in the $300,000s. HOA fees are reasonable at about $855 per year ($71 per month). There are, though, some other fees, as well, including a transfer fee ($200) and a capital improvement fee ($1,300 one time). Please verify these prices with a Realtor as they may change over time.
Amenities include an 18 hole golf course (membership required), which winds around neighborhoods, giving many homeowners a fairway view. Swimming pools are sprinkled throughout the community but are only for residents in each particular neighborhood.
The main clubhouse is not large (4,800 square feet) but it has a heated swimming pool open to all homeowners, as well as a fitness center, a restaurant, a library, a coffeeshop, horseshoe pits, an auditorium and more. Residents also enjoy a long menu of groups and activities, everything from yoga classes and a quilting club to domino games and Karaoke events. There is also an on-site post office.
Mesa is primarily residential but home to Arizona State University's Polytechnic Campus and Maricopa County's biggest community college. The Mesa Arts Center has a comprehensive arts education facility, a five-gallery visual arts complex, four theaters, and a museum. The Arizona Museum of Natural History and the Mesa Historical Museum are among the city's other cultural institutions. Celebrations in the city's walkable downtown include Mesa Live and Second Friday Night Out.
Banner Desert Medical Center is accredited by the Joint Commission and is a primary stroke care center.
Summer temperatures are in the 90s and low-100s, and winter temperatures are in the 40s, 50s and 60s. On average, the area receives seven inches of rain per year.
Visit fos-az.com for more information. Go to tinyurl.com/yd4fw4ta for listings.
On February 14, 1912, Arizona became the 48th state to join the Union. In the southwestern region of the United States, it borders New Mexico to the east, Utah to the north, Nevada and California to the west and Mexico to the south. The Cactus Wren is the state's bird, and the Saguaro Blossom is the state flower. The capital and largest city is Phoenix.
Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon, one of the nation's oldest national parks, and the Hoover Dam. It covers 113,000 square miles, making it the nation's 6th largest state. However, only a small portion of the land, about 15%, is privately owned. The rest of Arizona belongs to national parks, state parks and Native American reservations.
Interestingly, the majority of Arizonans - everyone except those in the Navajo Nation - do not observe Daylight Savings Time.
Population - 6,931,030
Persons 65 years old and over - 17%
High school graduates, persons age 25+ - 86%
Bachelor's degree or higher, persons age 25+ - 27%
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin - 31%
White persons, not Hispanic - 58%
Median household income - $50,225
Median home value - $167,500
Social Security taxed? No
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Why Choose a 55+ Community?
Most people who choose to live in a 55+ development are looking for a sense of community with other people of similar backgrounds. Many of these developments are gated and guarded, adding to a sense of security. Often the homes are low maintenance or "lock and leave," giving owners the freedom to do things other than mow the lawn, shovel the snow or replace the roof. The biggest draw is often the amenities, ranging from lavish clubhouses to activity directors and championship golf courses, making some developments akin to country club living (or summer camp for adults). While 55+ communities are not for everyone, they continue to be a popular choice for many people.
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