5 Tips to Buying Sun City West Real Estate


5 tips to buying Sun City West Real Estate

Sun City West is an affordable Golf Retirement Community located in the West Valley of Phoenix Arizona. I’m a realtor there who has sold properties for over 10 years in the community.  So you can imagine, I’ve worked with a lot of buyers and sellers there. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things that you might not know.  If you are considering buying a retirement home in the community, you will find these 5 tips to buying Sun City West real estate helpful.

Here’s what you need to know about Sun City West Real Estate

1. Right Retirement Community

There are many retirement communities to choose from in the greater Phoenix area. Finding the right one can be a daunting task.  You have zeroed in on Sun City West so be sure the community size, location, amenities, and homes are a good fit for you.  Below is a snapshot of Sun City West for your review.  Double-check you are happy with what you see.

 Sun City West
Age: 55+
* There are exceptions
Population: 28,385
Gated Community:No
S.F and Patio homes,
duplexes & garden apartments (condo's)
Builder: Del Webb
Years Built: 1978 - 1997
Type of Sale:Resale Only
Prices Ranges: $70,000 to $700,00+
HOA Dues:
(Assumes 2 people on title)
$80.00 Month
Floor Plans: 120+
Golf Course(s): 9
Recreation Center(s): 4
Pool(s): 6

How to enjoy retirement without really trying

5.0 rating
June 20, 2020

Sun City West where one can be as busy or relaxed as you want. Almost any recreation pursuit can be found. I favor the Woodshop which is one of the e best equipped in the country. My wife loves the pools and exercise facilities. We both love to play cards at our Bridge club.
Parties, cookouts, and social get-togethers are frequent and fun. In fact, life is fun here.

Pete R

Loving life in Sun City West!

5.0 rating
January 9, 2020

We were snowbirds for several years before we decided to take the plunge and buy a home here in Sun City West. We have made wonderful friends and are as busy as we want to be. If you are bored it’s your own fault. Lots of clubs and activities to choose from. Some of our favorites are dancing, woodshop, and pickleball.

Pickleball Guy
Click for Reviews

2. Type of Homes

Many homebuyers who want reasonably priced homes in a large amenity-rich community choose Sun City West. Once that decision is made the next step is to choose the type of home within the community. There are 3 types of home choices (living options) single-family houses, apartments (condos), and duplexes in Sun City West. The majority of the homes are single-level, two-bedroom, two-bath with two-car garages. Whether you are a full-time resident or a snowbird here for only the winter months, there’s a home and a floor plan that will fit your criteria and lifestyle.

Sun City West Floor plans

Sun City West Floor plans

2. Sizes of homes and floor plans

There are 16,900 homes with over 120 floor plans to choose from. Single-family detached homes make up the majority of homes in Sun City West. They range from 900 Sq.ft. to more than 3,500-sq.ft. You will find varying lot sizes, mature landscaping, and many golf course lots to choose from, as there are 9 golf courses. Buyers often have strong feelings about whether they want a pool or not or a golf course lot.  If you have a dog you may want a walled-in yard.  There are a few 2 story homes in the community so eliminate those if you don’t want stairs.

3. House Price ranges

Homes in Sun City West range in price from $90,000 to over $700,000.  Apartment homes or condos are the most affordable starting at $90,000.  Single-family homes start at around $100,000. Homes on the golf course start at about $230,000.  Pool homes start at about $210,000.  When a low budget or home price is a consideration, knowing about the low property tax areas can be helpful. We’ll explore that next.

5 Tips to Buying Sun City West Real Estate

5 Tips to Buying Sun City West Real Estate

4. Low Property tax area in Sun City West

About two-thirds of the homes in Sun City West are located in the unincorporated area with no school tax. As a result, residents benefit from one of the lowest property taxes in the nation.  Although low real estate taxes, these homes are not a good fit for every buyer.  They are the older homes built when the community was first started.  Most have the air conditioning on the roof and shingle roofs.  The expansion area of Sun City West was the last phase of Sun City West.  It has the newer open floor plans and tile roofs.

As a homeowner, you can expect to pay about $1,250 per year on a home that is valued at $250,000. If you are interested in only the low tax area, your REALTOR should be able to eliminate the taxed area in your home search. Sale taxes is one of the lowest in the state at 6.3%. Typical living expenses and cost of living in Sun City West (not including the mortgage) are quite reasonable and for an average-size home of 1,600 sq ft, you can expect to pay under $700 a month.

5. Do you want to be in an HOA?

Surprising to most and, yes, confusing, most of the homes in Sun City West are not in an HOA. The recreation fee is just that a fee to use the amenities and keep the community looking nice.  They also have CC&R’s for homes. Think of it as a country club.  The organization that manages the recreation centers and the community is called PORA. Everyone that purchases in Sun City West pays the yearly recreation fee and a one-time asset preservation fee.  Below are the fees for buying in Sun City West in addition to regular closing costs.

Sun City West Fees (HOA 623-544-6100)

FeeAmountOccurrenceWho Pays
Resale Transfer Fee (per each resale)$250.00One TimeBuyer
Annual Recreation Fee (per person on title)$480.00AnnualBuyer
Asset Preservation Fee$3,500.00One TimeBuyer
Disclosure Packet Fee$125.00One TimeSeller
Tenant Activity Card (1 to 6 months)$80.00Per MonthTenant
Tenant Activity Card (7 to 12 months)$480.00AnnualTenant
Guest Card (per person)$3.50DailyBuyer
PORA (Property Owners & Residents Association) Voluntary$20.00AnnualBuyer

Some homes, however, have a true HOA. There are over 30 HOA’s in the community, so when buying a home it’s important to read the CC&Rs (Conditions, Convents, and Restrictions) for that particular home. Some HOA’s charge a monthly fee other than the recreation card for things like landscaping, exterior maintenance, water, cable, etc. This can be convenient if your Sun City West home is a second home.

Sun City West Real Estate right for you?

In conclusion, I hope you found this article on the 5 Tips to Buying  Sun City West Real Estate helpful.  I hope you got some questions answered.  If not contact me at any time.

If you are ready to buy, keep in mind Sun City West, as well as, all the Phoenix Retirement Communities are very active during the snowbird season. When is that you ask? Snowbird season is considered good weather time in Arizona, which is winter for almost everyone else in the country except Florida. January through the end of March is high snowbird season with a couple of months before and after a softer shoulder season. That being said, Sun City West’s housing market is active all year long. The best deals, however, seem to be towards the end of the season, as sellers start to get anxious if their house hasn’t sold by the end of April.

Did you like this article? Here is another article you might also enjoy the Top 5 Reasons to Retire in Sun City West.


Sharon Rowlson is a Realtor specializing in Retirement Communities in Phoenix Arizona. Her real estate focus is Active Adult Communities in the West Valley of Phoenix. The 55 plus communities she works in include popular Phoenix Arizona Retirement Communities like Sun City, Sun City West, Sun City Grand, Sun City Festival, PebbleCreek, Corte Bella Country Club, Arizona Traditions, CantaMia, Trilogy at Vistancia and Victory at Verrado. Contact Sharon anytime.

Sharon Rowlson, REALTOR®

Specializing in Phoenix Arizona Active Adult Retirement Communities
HomeSmart International Elite Group
P: (623) 552-0228