Cave Creek, Arizona is an amazing little town that I love calling home! I grew up just down the street in North Scottsdale and spent many a weekend exploring the fun shops and restaurants as a kid. When we decided to purchase a home here a few years back, we were enamoured by the quaint town and the beautiful desert scenery. While we were distracted by the surrounding beauty (and signing purchase contracts!) we failed to miss a few items that come with living in Cave Creek. Nothing was a deal breaker and we’ve worked through most of it but, through my experience, there are definitely five things to know before moving to Cave Creek!
Here Are 5 Good Things To Know Before Moving To Cave Creek, Arizona
There Are Two (and Kind of Three) Different Parts of Town
While small, Cave Creek does have a few different areas within its zip code. There is what is commonly referred to as “The Town Core”. This is pretty much anything north of Carefree Highway. The Town Core is where you’ll find little saloons, biker bars and custom homes dotting the hills of Spur Cross and Black Mountain.
Next, we have everything that is south of Carefree Highway and/or west of Cave Creek road. This is where you will find many of Cave Creek’s commercial shops like Walmart and Sprouts. It’s also more of a concentrated area with newer track homes. There are also some custom homes with horse rights in the Desert Hills area!
The third one, you ask? While it’s technically its own town, Carefree is so close to Cave Creek that they sometimes run together. While the two towns are notorious for their political feuds, there are areas where the town lines are definitely blurry!
Internet Is Somewhat of A Challenge
So, here’s a little story for you. When we moved back here from Boston I fell in love with our home. I came out here to see it and FaceTimed my husband in to see it as well. We both fell in love, put an offer in and badda bing badda boom, we moved. What I failed to understand was the fact that much of Cave Creek still doesn’t have access to high speed internet. And my husband works from home…
So, is it like dial up or something? Not exactly. Most of the homes in that “south-of-carefree-highway” area have high speed internet but if you are looking to be in The Town Core, be sure to do your research. We landed on Desert iNet which offers a service that uses receivers to deliver some sort of internet. When it works, it’s fairly decent. If there’s a storm cloud over the house…it’s not so great. So, before you move to Cave Creek, make sure you know our technological limitations.
There’s A Good Chance Your Home Will Have A Septic Tank
There are some homebuyers that are vehemently against onsite wastewater treatment facilities (AKA septic). However, there really isn’t anything to be afraid of as long as they are properly maintained. Many of the homes in The Town Core (like ours!) are on septic. A separate septic inspection is required to close on a home with a septic tank and they need to be maintenanced every year or so. Check out my post Owning A Home With A Septic Tank for more information!
Our Fire Department Works A Little Bit Differently
Another thing that came as a surprise to us when we moved to Cave Creek was the fire department situation. In short, taxes in Cave Creek don’t pay for fire protection. This means that each homeowner (or homeowner’s association) independently contracts with Rural Metro Fire. What if a homeowner doesn’t do this? The fire crew will still come out to save your home but they will slap you with a bill for the services (think many thousands of dollars!)! It’s basically an added layer of insurance and, since our property taxes are lower, than say Scottsdale, it really comes out in the wash.
Wildlife Is Actually A Thing!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that wildlife is really a thing. The intensity to which you will experience wildlife will greatly depend on where you live. The closer you are to Spur Cross Ranch and the more land you have around your home the more opportunities you’ll have to see some of our desert friends.
When moving here you’ll be accustomed to checking under bushes for snakes, shaking out your shoes for critters and putting your fall pumpkins in a protected spot so the javelina don’t ravage them.
So, there you have it! Five things to know before moving to Cave Creek! All in all, it’s really an amazing place to live and these oddities are a small price to pay for such an amazing place to live! Ready to make your move?!
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As a Cave Creek resident and Realtor, I know all the ins and outs of living in Cave Creek. Let’s find your dream home together today!