We decided to look at some properties in Laveen based on several suggestions we got when we mentioned wanting land. The realtor that put us in our current house (11 years ago!) took us to look at eight houses.
Laveen is near South Mountain, so it would be about the same drive time for me and Mike to get to work in opposite directions. However, the houses we looked at were overpriced for the amount of work that we would have to do. And it was further from the freeway than I thought it would be. I'm still a city girl, and it's a bit out there.
We picked up some great ideas if we decide to ever build a custom house on our own (which I think would be too much work and too much money). The best was a house with tile floors with dark wood-looking tiles set as square outlines. It had a "mudroom" off the laundry room, with it's own door to the garage. It was just a square, empty room, but would be perfect for dog kennels and gear (with some upper cabinets). That house also had a fridge hookup in the laundry room and a water spiget on the water heaters.
We're going to look in North Phoenix before we decide to stay put.