When you think of Arizona, do you picture the wild, wild west? In this episode of The Great Escape, I’m going to give you a walkthrough tour of Gilbert, Arizona, to show you why it’s not the wild west anymore. If you’re looking to move to Gilbert and want to know what it’s all about, I’ll give you all the information you need.

A Tour Of Gilbert, Arizona

If you’re a little unsure about Gilbert, you should know that the population is 266,97, doubling every five years since 1980. Did you know that Gilbert used to be a farming community? In the 1920s, it was the hay capital of the world. Then in 1902, the Arizona Eastern Railway started to build the rail line between Phoenix and Florence. They stopped and established a rail siding on a parcel of land owned by William Gilbert, and the town grew up around it. It was incorporated on July 6th, 1920.

I’ve been living here in Gilbert, Arizona since 1994, though I’m originally from Minnesota. When I first came here I moved to the Phoenix area, but I really missed the greenery, lakes, and farming communities. This made Gilbert the perfect place for me. It was also the perfect place for us to raise our two sons, and I’ve been here ever since. 

The Water Tower Plaza And Farmer’s Market

One reason that people moved to Gilbert, Arizona, is the Water Tower Plaza. The original town water tower was constructed in 1925 and cost $40,000 to buy the land, build the tower, install the underground pipes for the 500 residents at the time, and create the pump house. The pump house later became the town jail. 

In 2008, the Water Tower Plaza was constructed. Here you can find plenty of music and art festivals along with a splash pad for the kids. Just west of the Water Tower Plaza is the Farmer’s Market, held every Saturday. During the winter months, it’s held from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. It’s a must-see event that everyone in the town loves, drawing people in each week. There’s plenty of parking across the street and you can find produce, meat from local farmers, and products from local stores and restaurants. Even better, there are food trucks for both you and your dog.

Downtown, Food, And Shopping

Gilbert has two parts to its downtown, one older and one newer. One of the reasons Gilbert has become so popular is that in the last five years it has been transformed into a vibrant dining hub. There are restaurants like Postino and Zinburger, the Culinary Dropout, and so many more.

I love all the different personalities of Gilbert, such as the quaint little shopping centers like Heritage Square with its many restaurants and stores. It also has a facility for you to rent for all your events. We also have modern, open-air shopping centers like San Tan Village—conveniently located, just like everything in Gilbert. There you can find everything you need with plenty of shopping options.

Real Estate

Now that you have an idea of what it’s like to live in Gilbert, you’re probably wondering about real estate. How much does it cost to live here? What do you get for your money? Well, one of my current favorite subdivisions is called Morrison Ranch. It’s located just straight east of downtown, about three miles, close to shopping, hospitals, schools, and anything you need.

Morrison Ranch is a 3,000-acre master-planned community with tree-lined streets and setback sidewalks, perfect for walking, biking, and jogging with a two-rail white fence all along. It has a great small-town feel where kids can ride their bike to soccer practice and you can take a walk to the store. It also has a beautiful park here with a lake where there are all types of activities.

Most homes here were built between 2006 and 2020, ranging in size from 1,300 square feet to 4,500 square feet. Prices start from $310,000 up to $1.1 million, with an average price of $500,000. 

What about the greater Gilbert area? There is such a large variety of homes in Gilbert, such as the older ranch-style homes within walking distance of downtown. These were built from 1916 through 1974. Those built pre-war were frame homes built on a crawl space, while those built post-war are block homes on a slab. Most range from $265,000 to $390,000. You can also find new construction and existing single-family homes, as well as one and two-story track homes with tile roofs and two to three-car garages.

Then there are the custom homes, some on larger lots or in lake subdivisions. They range from $800,000 to $1.5 million. In the last few years, we have seen contemporary homes of 3,500 to 4,400 square feet and ranging from $650,000 to $750,000. Finally, there are condominiums and townhouses all over the area. The three-level units here are very popular, sized mostly at 1,100 to 1,600 square feet with two or three-bedrooms. Units range from $280,000 to $355,000. 

Whatever your preference, you will find the right style here for you in Gilbert.

Is Gilbert, Arizona Right For You?

So what’s not to love about Gilbert? A couple of the important points to make is that Gilbert is proximate to both the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport with easy freeway access within 30 minutes. It’s been the number one safest city in the United States.

After the great recession, Gilbert, Arizona had the best overall ranking in the United States of economic distress, with Chandler and Scottsdale trailing not too far behind them. Gilbert has been ranked as the fourth-best school district in America, and it has been consistently in the top 10 of the best places in the United States to raise a family.

So what do you think? I think it’s one of the best places to live, but you should come and check it out for yourself. If you have any other questions about the area, the real estate market in general, or particular properties, please feel free to reach out to me. You can also subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of The Great Escape. Stay tuned for my next episode to see what I highlight next!