Gilbert, Arizona is one of the largest cities in the state, yet it seldom attracts much attention. That seems just fine to most of the residents of this town which is modern and progressive but has retained its small town feel.
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The city is located southwest of Phoenix in Maricopa County and, like its neighboring municipalities, prides itself on always scoring high on neighborhood/city ranking surveys. Gilbert consistently ranks among the highest in the U.S. for “Livability”. In fact, CNN/Money Magazine recently ranked Gilbert at number one as the best place to live in the entire U.S. Read More...
Unlike the “shoot’em up, wild west” reputation of other Arizona towns like Tombstone, Gilbert’s origins are just the opposite. It was founded as an agricultural town with an important train hub.
At the beginning of the 1900’s it was crowned “The Hay Shipping Capital of the World”. At the time, the people of Gilbert actually took great pride in the newly acquired label.
Besides hay, Gilbert also got an economic boost during the construction of the nearby Roosevelt Dam in 1911. Moreover, during that period many families from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints moved into the area from Mexico which was turning out not to be as hospitable as they had hoped. The “Mormons” brought with them a determined work ethic, strong moral and religious values that can still be seen today.
Gilbert’s growth was on steroids too. In 1950 there were about 3,000 people living there. By 1990, the population had grown to almost 30,000. Today, Gilbert is a thriving suburb with over 250,000 people. Gilbert has a strong business community and is ranked as the most prosperous city of its size in the U.S., according to the Economic Innovation Group. It’s also the second safest city of its size in the country. In 2018 – 2019, when crime was increasing in many American metropolitan areas, Gilbert actually saw crime decrease.
Over 40% of the adults living in Gilbert have a BA degree. That may explain why the city’s schools are so good. All six of Gilbert’s high schools are top ranked. According to Niche, a ranking company that rates schools and neighborhoods, Gilbert’s public schools are among the top 15% in the entire nation.
A few years back, Gilbert scored a homerun, ranking number one in the U.S. for median income, according to a 150 city survey by WalletHub. To their delight, Gilbert beat out neighboring Chandler and Scottsdale who ranked 4th and 7th, respectively.
Finally, it's always good to know if you become ill or injured, there’s a facility nearby that can take care of you. Mercy Gilbert Hospital does more than just take care of you. It’s an outstanding hospital and recently ranked in the top 5% in Healthgrades’s “America’s Best Hospitals” survey out of 4,500 hospitals.
All and all, Gilbert’s performance is pretty impressive. But it’s not all about dollars and cents. Lifestyle, entertainment, community, health care, and the surrounding environment also play an important part when it comes to ranking a city.
While nobody would call Gilbert a mecca of wild, late night entertainment, there actually are quite a number of both indoor and outdoor activities to keep pretty much anyone happy.
You’ll find just about every type of restaurant in Gilbert from fast food, BBQ, to more refined European and Asian cuisines. In the Heritage District alone, there are over 30 restaurants.
Many consider the Heritage District the center of Gilbert. With a smattering of funky architecture, an energetic vibe, and no shortage of entertainment venues, the Heritage District is a fun place for almost everyone.
If you’re looking for a cocktail, don’t miss the White Rabbit Bar. You’ll take a step back into a Prohibition Era Speakeasy. All that’s missing is Al Capone and a chorus of 1920’s flappers.
However, it might be a good idea to eat something before you imbibe. Locals love SoCal Fish Taco Company, Barrio Queen – considered the best Mexican food in town – or Sushi Brokers. Gilbert Town Square has tons of entertainment venues for all ages. There is a bowling alley, movie theater, office space and restaurants and plenty of other things to see and do.
Everybody’s favorite shopping mall is San Tan Village in Gilbert. Calling it a “super regional lifestyle center” doesn’t do it justice. This open air shopping mall is massive with over 3-million sq ft of shopping, restaurant, entertainment, office and hotel space. You can find just about anything you want here. Among others, there’s a 16-screen cinema, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Best Buy, Shake Shack, and don’t miss the gelato at Frost.
Just down the road, you can enjoy an outing at Top Golf, a multi-story, multi-activity venue focused on improving your swing, of course. You can have dinner, host an event, work on your drive, or just enjoy the view.
With over 300 days of sunshine a year, Gilbert and the surrounding area has truly magnificent outdoor venues including some of the most spectacular desert scenery in the world.
Like many cities adjacent to Phoenix, Gilbert is just a hop skip and jump away from some of the nation’s most beautiful state and national parks including the famed Grand Canyon National Park or Petrified Forest.
Moreover, the city prides itself on having 54-miles of bike trails and countless areas where hiking is so popular, you’d think half the town was out on the trail.
People enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran Desert or flock to the Riparian Preserve and Water Park where they can see seven ponds, hiking trails and even a dinosaur-bone dig site. You can also enjoy the great outdoors at the new Gilbert Regional Park which was just completed in 2019.
There is also the Nichols Park and Water Ranch which, if you are originally from a British Commonwealth country, you’ll find particularly appealing because it is the home of the Arizona Cricket Club.
If you want to buy a home in Gilbert, you’d better act fast. On average, a home stays on the market for only 16-days and those homes sell for 4% above their asking price. And speaking of prices, homes in Gilbert rose by a whopping 34% from the year before.
There are around 350 homes for sale in Gilbert. The median price is slightly over $500,000. That is about $150,00 above the national median price. So, before you go house hunting in Gilbert, make sure you have a seasoned professional real estate agent with you. There is no substitute for a real person – a “pro” - who knows the area well.
You should consider contacting Arizona Network Realty because they are trustworthy and know Gilbert like the back of their hand. Check out their website or give them a call.
They’ll make buying a home in Gilbert as easy and pleasurable as a hayride. Show Less...
Last updated - February 15, 2023
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