Phoenix, Arizona Real Estate

Phoenix (Click here for Phoenix, AZ real estate listings) The name Phoenix applies to mythical birds resembling eagles who burn themselves to death and then out of the ashes, another will arise.  Aptly named, Phoenix, Arizona has risen at least on two occasions of near destruction.

The first was when the land was governed and inhabited by Native American tribes and a meso-american civilization:  Hohokom, Anasazi, Mogollon, and Sinagua Native American Indians and the earliest inhabitants from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. During the years of 1300 to 1450, severe droughts, followed by devastating flooding, ruined the earliest irrigation systems and made the lands inhabitable. The Hohokom disappeared and others dispersed to higher lands.

In the early 19th century, settlers made their way westward, and after the Mexican-American war ended, and the acquisition of the New Mexico Territory (the Gadsden purchase), which included what is now Phoenix, the area became worthy of exploration again.  In 1853 during the Civil War conflict, both a confederate group with the capital of Tucson and an Arizona Territory group with Ft. Whipple (now Prescott) as their capital were fighting over rights to the Salt River.  The largest city at that time thriving was Wickenburg.  Settlers, and the railroad brought population to Phoenix and the surrounding metropolitan cities.

In 1861 Phoenix was founded at the conjunction of the Salt and Gila rivers; in 1881 it was incorporated. In 1912, Phoenix was named capital of the state of Arizona, mainly for its central location because at the time it was smaller than Tucson.  It is located in the northeastern part of the Sonoran desert, has a subtropical desert climate with scant rainfall and only about 40 days out of the year that are not bright sunshine.

In the 1940s, a second decline in Phoenix began with conflicts between army bases, one black and one white, resulting in riots and many deaths; the Army’s official declaration of making Phoenix off limits; a 1944 prisoner of war escape and eventual recapture, and then a devastating fire in 1947 that destroyed the railroad pretty much dealt Phoenix a death blow.  In 1950 about 100,000 people lived in Phoenix, and it took another decade to start bringing in people again.

The 1965, the building of Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and the awarding in 1968 of a major league sports team The Phoenix Suns, were positive signs.  The rising crime numbers, a decline in business, the link to organized crime, gang activity and prostitution along Van Buren Street were all negatives.  A murder of an investigative reporter for the Arizona Republic by a car bomb in 1976, led to a major overhaul of the city and corrupt officials.

Phoenix today is a beautiful city with many cultural events and museums, theaters and tourist attractions.  It now has seven major league teams, dozens of minor and college teams, and the Phoenix metropolitan area hosts 15 major league baseball teams in a summer cactus league and provides them year round facilities.

They are recovering nicely from the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis, when average home prices dropped from $262,000 to $150,000.  Crime is down, and decaying neighborhoods like South Mountain, Alhambra, and Maryvale are stable and recovering.  Downtown business areas are thriving again, with many restaurants and stores.  The city boasts professional theater, a symphony, two opera companies, a professional ballet company, state of the art sporting facilities, two art museums and the Arizona Science Center.  Other parts of metropolitan Phoenix contain a zoo, botanical garden and Arizona State University.

Phoenix is a valley surrounded by mountains; McDowell, White Tank, Superstition, Sierra Estrella, and South.  Phoenix is 517.9 square miles and the 6th most populated city and the 12th largest metropolitan area in the United States with four million people.

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