This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Why you should, and shouldn't have invested in land in Phoenix


One of the most common things that I hear people is say is that they wish that they had invested in land in Phoenix.

I really have no idea how buying land works, and I have to admit that it kind'a puzzles me. From what I understand, you get a loan, and then you pay it back, with interest, for years. Of course, the idea is for the land to become attractive enough that someone else will buy it, for more money, or that you will be able to sell it to a developer who wants to build something there. And I know many places that would have been a good investment, such as the land in the photo at the top of this post, which is looking northeast on Camelback Road at about 24th Street in the 1940s. Of course, you'd have to invest in the land before it started to get pretty darn expensive, which started to happen in the 1960s. And of course you'd have to put up with your friends wondering if you're crazy for buying land "way out in the middle of nowhere". But you would the last laugh, right?

The Sun Valley Parkway and Bethany Home Road. The White Tank Mountains are in the background. You are looking east.

Well, for some land in the Phoenix area, people are still waiting. I'm talking about the Sun Valley Parkway here. If you're familiar with the Sun Valley Parkway, I'm impressed. If not, don't worry about it, it's way out in the middle of nowhere, on the west side of the White Tank Mountains. And, yes, you can still invest in land there, the same way that my neighbor from the apartment complex where I lived years ago invested in the 1980s. So, let's see, as of this writing, he would have been paying for the land for over thirty years, and his chances of getting rich quick are pretty much over. He was an old guy, older than I am now, so I suppose that his children, or grandchildren, have the land now, either paying for it, or at the very least paying the property taxes on it.

So, if you think you should have invested in land in Phoenix, rest assured that you still can. I see a lot of empty land around, and I'm sure that you can buy it if you want to. And maybe it will be as valuable as 24th Street and Camelback. And maybe it will be the Sun Valley Parkway.

Thank you for history adventuring with me.


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