There has been a lot of talk about more affordable housing in Vail, which is located  45 minutes Southeast of the Foothills. Since I had clients who were interested in finding a community that offered less of a commute than the Foothills or Oro Valley  to Raytheon, we decided to explore Vail.  Vail is only 20 minutes away from Raytheon.  What we found was a sleepy town with no infrastructure.  If you need  groceries, medical facilities, a vet, restaurants, etc., you must travel at least 8 miles to Rita Ranch, or further into Tucson.  There is one restaurant at Rancho Del Lago Golf Course (which just opened and serves good food–we stopped there for lunch), one gas station with small convenience store attached, one coffee shop and very little else. My real estate company, Long Realty, ( which is the largest in Southern Arizona), wisely opened an office in the only small plaza in Vail. There will be a grocery store in Vail in about a year, but they have not broken ground yet. Other shopping and more amenities will gradually be built over the next 10 year period. Our first visit was to the resale houses at Rancho Del Lago Golf Course. We found  they were reasonably priced (in the $300,000s) and were represented by such reputable builders as Pepper-Viner( a local builder) and Lennair -US Homes (a national builder).  The problem with buying one of these homes is that they are likely to depreciate more since on every street there are many “For Sale” signs. This very strong buyers’ market happened because many investors thought Vail would offer great appreciation since most of the desirable areas of Tucson are built up. The lack of infrastructure and  that neighboring Tucson is experiencing a buyers’ market with greater selection of homes than the past few years, has hurt Vail. It never took off the way it was predicted.  As disappointing as the lack of infrastructure was to my clients, they still wanted to explore new construction right down the street. We visited the national builder, Pulte, at Rincon Trails II, who was offering many incentives on new homes.  You had to feel bad for the first owners that did not get the upgrades such as granite as a standard feature. We were amazed that Pulte had some unappealing exterior color schemes–some houses were a putrid green.  My clients did not think they would want a home built next to a putrid green house.  It made the houses that were mostly from the high $300,000s and up, look cheap, even though the interiors of the houses were quite upscale and appealing. I have been in Pulte models all over the country, and never seen such poor taste in an exterior color–what were they thinking? This journey to Vail made me realize, however, that although Vail does not suit  people who want to be close to amenities, it did have a sleepy charm to it, and if you like country living, Vail may be right for you. Just make sure you get a very good deal since prices appear to be on the downswing.

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