So, I have a small rant to make and it has to do with the vast number of people who think of North Tempe as just ASU student housing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against ASU. Heck, if you have followed this web site at all over the last 6-7 years, you know that I’m a pretty big fan. Rarely do I miss an ASU football game. I think the university is a huge asset to Tempe, and I believe that the city and the university can and will help each other improve in the future.
BUT, here’s the rant. North Tempe is NOT just one big dorm. It isn’t just a rental community, and it has a LOT to offer people from many different walks of life. Heck, I have nothing against someone renting a home, and I certainly have nothing against people purchasing a home to rent to someone. What I have an issue with is the huge misconception from much of the public, some people at ASU, some at the city and some in the real estate industry, that if you are going to buy a home near ASU, you are probably going to do so because you want it to rent out in 5 minutes to students or their parents. Here’s the first line of comments I saw this morning from a new listing of a home on Mill Avenue:
“INVESTORS!! GREAT RENTAL ACROSS THE STREET FROM ASU!!”
The home is on a large lot in the popular Maple Ash neighborhood. It looks like it has been nicely remodeled, and it is one of the most urban lots in the entire state. Walkable, bikeable and just 9 blocks from the light rail station on Mill Avenue. Heck, I think it would be an awesome opportunity for someone to buy it to live there and enjoy it for themselves. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be a good investment, I’m just trying to make a point that I feel needs more discussion in Tempe these days.
Over the last 10-15 years, there have been a lot of people who decided to drive further out of town to buy newer homes. Some of them chose to live in a neighborhood where they could buy a home with a new roof, new kitchens, modern floor plans, etc. In Tempe, there seems to be a very young demographic mixed in with people who have lived in their home for 40-50 years. Interestingly enough, there’s not much in between. Slowly but surely, that seems to be changing. Better loan products are now available to allow people to modernize homes and finance the updates. It is easy to see how much faster and for how much more money a home in a great location sells for if it has already been updated with a more modern look and feel.
ASU is an asset, for sure. I just don’t think they are the only game in town.