Choosing Flagstaff for Your Second Home

Choosing Flagstaff for Your Second Home

Flagstaff, Arizona is a popular choice for second homeowners. Here’s why:

Who hasn’t dreamed about it? A little place just to yourself, tucked away in a forest, on a mountain, or on the shore of a lake — a vacation home. A place not only to call home but something more than home. A place that’s always there, just for you, ready at all times to act as a respite from the stressors of everyday life. A place solely for rest, relaxation, and recreation (that other all-important “r”). A place for weekend trips, fishing or hunting trips, holiday trips, or even to stay in all summer long.

If you’re already a homeowner of one property, finding and purchasing a second home elsewhere might be the next big project or goal on your to-do list or even just another investment you’re hoping to add to your portfolio. But the next all-important question you need to ask yourself is “Where to buy?”

Even if you’re not planning on living in your second home all year long, location is still crucially important in making sure you pick the right place to put down roots — even if only part-time. Plenty of people are choosing Flagstaff to settle down in for our great schools, tight-knit community, and stunning natural surroundings already, but it’s a great location for a second home too. Here are just a few of the reasons why Flagstaff might just be the perfect place to purchase your next property.

Escape the heat! Flagstaff has four seasons and is a short drive from Phoenix Metro.

Sick and tired of 100+ degree summer highs? Looking to escape the heat? If you live in Phoenix, southern Arizona, or anywhere with especially hot summers, Flagstaff might be just the perfect place for you to retreat to for a cool and comfortable summer. Though it might be the most obvious reason to buy a home in Flagstaff, we just couldn’t go without mentioning just how great Flagstaff’s weather is, not only in the summer — but year-round!

At 7,000 degrees above sea level, Flagstaff’s combination of high altitude and abundance of shady Ponderosa pine trees means temperatures far cooler than the rest of the state of Arizona. An average summer high of 82 degrees Fahrenheit means Flagstaff is just warm enough to be able to indulge in all your favorite summertime activities like hiking, biking, camping, and swimming while avoiding the sweltering heat of summers elsewhere that make you not even want to go outside.

And although summer is prime time for high altitude living in Flagstaff, winters can be equally fun. Offering up over 100 average annual inches of snowfall (and making us one of the snowiest cities in the US), Flagstaff is a great place for snow play and winter sports like ice skating, sledding, skiing, and snowboarding (or even just making a snowman or snow angel!). If that sounds too cold and wet for your liking though, you’ll be happy to hear that with an average of 266 days of sunshine per year and relatively low humidity — even in the winter — warmer and sunnier days are always only just around the corner. But no matter whether you’re a snowbird or a snow-lover, Flagstaff’s combination of a distinct 4-seasons climate and diverse terrain means this versatile mountain town has something to offer for everyone, any time of year.

Flagstaff’s golf communities are nestled in the largest Ponderosa Pine forest in the world.

Are you the kind of person who, at almost any given moment, if someone asked, might honestly say you’d rather be golfing? If so, you’re in luck in Flagstaff, where you’ll find 7 different golf courses just within the city, including both public and private clubs, as well as even more opportunities for golfing in nearby Munds Park, Sedona, Cottonwood, and Williams.

And while you don’t have to buy a home at one of these golf communities in order to golf in Flagstaff, there are many other benefits to living in one of our top-class golf communities. Continental Country Club, for example, Flagstaff’s longest-running golf course, offers a variety of stunning, scenic properties (and a wealth of community amenities) to their home-owners. At Flagstaff Ranch Golf Club, home-owners will have their choice of a series of beautiful Craftsman-style homes, custom homes, and access to an 18-hole course and 25,000 square foot community clubhouse to boot. Meanwhile, Forest Highlands Golf Club owners can enjoy community entertainment at the local clubhouse and two 18-hole golf courses while taking in views of Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks, and at Pine Canyon, a gated community, homeowners are provided with peaceful mountain scenery featuring many of the newer and larger homes to be found in Flagstaff.

Flagstaff is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise year-round.

We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again. One of the best things, by far, about living in Flagstaff is having access to such a wide range of outdoor activities. Because of its climate, diverse landscapes, and central location in the heart of the Southwest, Flagstaff is the perfect home base (or second home base) for pretty much any form of outdoor adventure you can imagine.

During the summer, fall, and spring, Flagstaff and the surrounding area are ideal for hiking, running, biking, golfing, horseback riding, camping, and stargazing — did we mention we’re the first International Dark Sky Community in the world? And with plenty of sunny days and little to no air pollution, our skies are some of the best in the US.

The Flagstaff Urban Trail system offers over 50 miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails just within the city, and other nearby outdoor attractions like Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater National Monument, Wupatki National Monument, and Coconino National Forest (a 1.8-acre million-acre wilderness and recreation area) are perfect for outdoor activities liking hiking, camping, and (remarkably scenic) picnicking, too. At Upper and Lower Lake Mary, visitors can even fish, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and participate in other water activities in the warmer months — and the area is great for biking, kite flying, and watching wildlife, too.

As for winter, with plenty of snow (sometimes up to over 100 inches per year), Arizona Snowbowl just north of town, and Jay Lively Activity Center right in town, Flagstaff is great for both downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and ice skating during the winter to late-spring season. And if by some chance you run out of things to do in town, there are plenty of other scenic locations that can be easily reached within a day (or weekend) trip nearby, like the world-famous Grand National Park, the artsy town of Sedona with its striking mountains and cliffs of red sandstone (and including areas like Red Rock State Park and Oak Creek Canyon), Lake Powell, Petrified Forest National Park, and in 4.5 hours driving time, even the spectacular national parks of Zion and Bryce Canyon in Utah.

And for true athletes, our high-altitude mountain town offers an additional benefit: prime training conditions. This is why both Olympic swimmers and runners alike flock to Flagstaff to train for their respective sporting events, whether outside on Flagstaff’s extensive trail system, indoors at Northern Arizona University’s Olympic size pool, or at Hypo2, Flagstaff’s training center for elite and professional athletes.

Flagstaff is a college town worth putting roots down in.

Is your high school student about to head off to college at NAU (or is already there)? Though this won’t apply to all second-home buyers in Flagstaff, one of our major draws of buying a second home here is our proximity to the Northern Arizona University campus, learning institution of choice for over 30,000 students, over 10,000 of which are from out of state, 22,791 of which attend classes at the Flagstaff campus, almost 80 percent of which choose to live on-campus their first year at NAU. And as every parent knows — as proud as you are of your kid going off to college — it can also be really hard to say goodbye to them for a while while they go off to study (or at least accept spending less time with them than usual). If that’s you, what a better time to buy a second home in Flagstaff?

While you may not be able to — or want to — spend the whole of the year in Flagstaff (and your student might not either), having a second home close to where your child is going to school can be a big plus for both of you. A second home in Flagstaff will make it easier for you to come and visit, offer them help and support when they need it, or even just do something fun together on campus, in Flagstaff, or elsewhere in beautiful northern Arizona.

And, if you’re wondering what to do with yourself while your student is busy with classes and homework, not to worry. Flagstaff is not only a prime location for golfers and outdoor enthusiasts (like we’ve mentioned before) but both the campus and the rest of city have tons of opportunities for entertainment and recreation for all ages and demographics, like attending a Lumberjacks football game at the Walkup Skydome, visiting the beautifully constructed Arts and Crafts-style Riordan Mansion State Historic Park (conveniently located just minutes from the NAU campus), tasting locally made craft beers at Mother Road Brewing Company, taking a tour of Lowell Observatory (Pluto was discovered there!), or just strolling around downtown Flagstaff, a historic neighborhood filled with a variety of local businesses — from boutiques and art galleries to coffee shops and restaurants.

Conclusion

Buying one home — not to mention two — can be a scary and intimidating process. It is a big commitment, after all. Buying a second home can mean a second mortgage, a second property to maintain and keep up to date, not to mention additional utility bills, taxes, and home insurance. But if you know where to go and have the right people to help you along the way, it can also be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made — and something that really pays off in the long-term, not only socially and emotionally, but financially, too! That being said, there’s no reason to dive off the deep end head first without getting some outside advice, first.

If you’re interested in buying a home (for the first time, or the second!) in Flagstaff, Arizona, we encourage you to get in contact with our experienced team of REALTORs® at RE/MAX. Whether it’s your first home or your last one, we’re always here to help.