Surprise, AZ Community

Located just 25 minutes west of downtown Phoenix along U.S. Route 60/State Highway 93, Surprise encompasses more than 70 square miles. Once a small farming community, Surprise is now a city offering a broad range of lifestyles, from small family subdivisions to a number of secluded ranches. The once irrigated farmlands and orchards are now affordable real estate for residential and commercial use, making Surprise a rapidly growing, thriving community.

Founded in 1929 and incorporated in 1960, the name “Surprise” came from Surprise, Nebraska, the hometown of the city’s founder, Homer C. Ludden. Surprise went from a population of 500 back then, to become the second fastest growing city in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area (after Gilbert). According to the 2005 census, the population was 74,411, however, recent growth rates would indicate the population has now exceeded 100,000.

Surprise lies in the northwest valley, about five miles northwest of Del Webb’s original Sun City development. Sun City Grand, an age restricted, resort-like community, with homes built by Del Webb is located within Surprise. Between the early 1990’s and the early 2000’s, tens of thousands of retirees moved into the area to live in Sun City Grande. This greatly increased the population of the city.

Of course Surprise consists mainly of areas that are not age restricted, and it’s been said that it is growing so quickly that a new home is completed every three hours. Thirty-two of the state’s top 50 homebuilders are catering to new buyers who are attracted by the city’s modestly priced homes. With its property taxes which the city claims are among the lowest in the state, and the proximity to the amenities of Phoenix, Surprise continues to be an attractive choice in purchasing real estate.