There’s a town in Arizona that has a remarkable “old west” pedigree few can match. In the “olden days” this frontier town saw a Christmas Day battle between the Apaches and the U.S. cavalry, and even a mad-dash gold rush where prospectors sought their fortune digging holes in the ground A little after the battles and gold rushes wore off, rustic cattle ranches began to dot the landscape. It even has a cave with Native American etchings dating over 2,000 years. The town is Cave Creek, north of Phoenix, and it’s smack dab in the middle of Maricopa County.
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Today, few signs of its wilder days remain – although local merchants try hard to retain much of that heritage. One of the popular watering holes in town is named the Buffalo Chip Saloon. You can’t get more “cowboy” than that. There is an amusement park called Frontier Town where guests can relive life in a rough and tumble frontier town. It remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. Read More...
Antiques aside, Cave Creek looks a lot like other affluent Southwestern cities. With a population of a little over 5,000. Cave Creek neighbors the town of Carefree. It’s often hard to tell which city you are in because, to a degree, they are both very much alike and both wonderful places to call home.
Certainly, in the state of Arizona there is no lack of sun, and Cave Creek offers plenty of venues to enjoy the welcoming weather. There are some wonderful state and national parks in the area, plenty of nearby ranches to go horseback riding, and, it goes without saying, golf courses can be found everywhere.
Spur Cross Ranch is one of newest conservation areas added to the Maricopa County Parks System and it’s a local gem. It is 2,154 acres of rugged Sonoran Desert beauty sprinkled with wild flowers and cacti. Where you can still see traces of the area’s past, includingremants of old cattle ranches and gold mines can be foundalong many of the trails.
Known as one of the town’s best workout trails, Black Mountian Trail can help you work up a sweat in no time. The trail is a bit rocky and quite steep in places but you will be rewarded with brilliant views. Black Mountain Trail got its name from the black hue created by its slate surface. So, bring your mountain bike or a good pair of running shoes and enjoy this wonderful outdoor paradise.
For those looking for an outdoor experience that is a little less taxing and easier on the knees, there, of course, the state’s favorite pastimes – golf. Take a few swings at the Rancho Manana Golf Club and afterwards, enjoy a cool cocktail in the clubroom.
The Cave Creek that existed well before mountain bikes, golf courses, and running trails has a very interesting history. One that is uniquely Arizonan.
Before the arrival of European settlers, Native Americans called the Cave Creek area home. The first intrusion of non-Native American outsiders occurred in 1870 when a group of American soldiers rested their horses in what is now the center of Cave Creek.
Three years later those same soldiers had their first skirmish with the Apaches where the exchange of gun fire echoed over the desert. These periodic run-ins occurred for several years until, by weight of numbers, settlers began to dominate the area.
When prospectors struck gold on what was appropriately called “Gold Hill” around Cave Creek, the rush was on. Other deposits were found in upper Cave Creek and for about 20 yearsgold miners hacked away, pulling specks of gold dust and shiny nuggets from the ground.
In the 1880’s, as gold deposits dwindled, cattle ranches began to sprout up in the area. The ranchers and settlers knew civilization had arrived when a one-room schoolhouse was built during that time.
Modern Cave Creek was slowly being born.
Today, Cave Creek is one of the most desirable towns in Arizona, and some say, in the Southwest. Let’s start with schools. Lone Mountain Elementary School in Cave Creek scores an A- by Niche, the neighborhood ranking company which profiles and scores areas throughout the U.S. Black Mountain Elementary School is close behind with a B+. In fact, the Cave Creek Unified School District comes in among the 20% of all school districts in the state.
Crime in Cave Creek is 60% below the national average, so you don’t have to worry about coming home after a night on the town and finding out that someone has run off with a flat screen TV.
If it’s shopping or restaurants you’re looking for, Cave Creek has the Stagecoach Village mall which features a unique collection of shops, restaurants, and even an on-site brewery. You’ll also find beauty salons, dentists and just about anything else you likely to need.
The Stagecoach Village mall is just one of the reasons why Cave Creek has achieved an “excellent” Livability score from another ranking company, AreaVibes.
Finally, household incomes in Cave Creek are well above the national average, same as the number of residents who have college degrees.
Like elsewhere in the U.S., home prices in Cave Creek are increasing at a fast clip. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Phoenix metropolitan area has seen the longest sustained runup of price increases of any area in the U.S. Much of this is due to the hammering the area got after the 2008 real estate crash where the bottom fell out of the housing market, prices along with it. The Phoenix metro area and Maricopa County have more than recovered.
The average price of a home in Cave Creek, is 33% more than the national average. Demand is incredibly high and consequently, homes sell for around 2% below their asking price, and they sell quickly.
Popular neighborhoods with a lot of single family homes include Willow Springs, Rancho Manana and Mesquite Ranch. Many of the homes are in the classic Southwest ranch style, while others express a more ultra-modern and contemporary feel. Prices range from $5.7 million for a luxury home to $139,000 for an empty 1.75 acre lot waiting to be developed.
If you’re looking for a condo, you can find a 2-bedroom, 2-bath 1,056 sq. ft. place in a lovely development for around $300,000. For a little under $450,000, you can pick up a fine single detached adobe-style home with 3-bedrooms, 2.5-bathrooms in the well established area called Tatum Ranch.
But before you saddle up and head out looking for a home, make sure you have a companion along with you who knows the market. There’s nothing worse than “winging it” when you go to buy a home. Home buyers can’t go wrong if they contact Arizona Network Realty. These professional real estate agents don’t “wing” anything. They know the market cold and can help you navigate an unfamiliar area.
Besides knowing pretty much everything about Arizona real estate, they are real experts in the Cave Creek, AZ area. Check out their website or give them a call. They’ll come riding in like the dependable U.S. calvary and show you the way home. Show Less...
Last updated - February 15, 2023
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