With a median sales price of $316,246 in 2019, Payson, Arizona provides an excellent home buying opportunity for both primary and secondary residences. Payson offers a wide variety of home styles and sizes to choose from so you can find a property to suit your needs in a majestic mountain setting. Payson’s close proximity to the Scottsdale/ Phoenix area and our mild climate make Payson the perfect location to either live year-round, or to escape the heat and enjoy all 4 seasons with a vacation home for any size family. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place in the forest or prefer being close to town, there are home opportunities in most price points.
The Lay of the Land in Payson, Arizona
The Town of Payson and the surrounding area is bound by approximately 3,000,000 acres of National Forest. Many prospective residents see pictures of Payson and the wilderness surrounding it and assume there is potential for tremendous development. The reality is that the surrounding wilderness is a combination of three national forests including: the Tonto National Forest, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, and Coconino National Forest. This means that Payson and the surrounding area will always remain a more rural, wilderness setting. This combination of being landlocked by National Forest and Payson’s close proximity to the Phoenix Metro area, along with Payson’s mild climate, rugged beauty and many recreational opportunities put upward pressure on property values. As Payson continues to approach full capacity, this blend of factors creates an explosive brew that could cause property values to eventually increase sharply.
The Town of Payson itself has a diverse mix of available real estate including raw land, site-built and manufactured homes, country club living, luxury homes, and condominiums. Payson offers a wide variety of setting for your home depending upon your lifestyle and preferences. Some of these include properties with mountain, golf course or water feature views as well as horse property, home bordering national forest or nestled in the Ponderosa Pines with a variety of price pointes.
Raw land still remains in Payson including residential or commercial sites. The Town of Payson is zoned so these available residential properties are going to require either a site-built or a manufactured home and cannot be used for camping. Payson’s two large golf communities (Chaparral Pines, and The Rim Golf Club) also contain a number of lots available for site-built homes. Be aware that these lots have architectural guidelines and country club membership requirements.
Payson is a beautiful town with plenty of real estate opportunities to offer. However, a major attraction to this small town is the diverse housing market just outside the town’s borders. Many people move to Payson for its mild climate, peaceful and majestic mountain setting, and the myriad of recreational opportunities it offers. This dream is not only realized in the Town of Payson, but in the beautiful surrounding area. Just 90 minutes from most parts of the Phoenix metro area is not only the Town of Payson, but a variety of other forested communities;
Situated 15 miles north of Payson, Pine is nestled in the dense ponderosa forest. While you will most likely go to Payson for your major grocery runs, Pine has a convenient little market and an abundance of charming restaurants and a craft brewery. There is also a farmer’s market with plenty of fresh produce and handmade gifts. There are a variety of housing developments tucked into the areas lush forest setting. This small mountain town is only a 20-minute commute to Payson through gorgeous scenery.
Just a two-mile jaunt north of Pine is an even smaller mountain town called Strawberry. The surrounding area is dotted with fantastic homes hidden away from the rest of the world. Enjoy the peace and quiet of the woods while being in close proximity to your work and shopping needs. These two areas offer homes at all different price points. Second homes dominate the real estate market here causing the population of these communities to more than doubles during the summer months. There is also raw land available
The East Verde River passes within 5 miles of Payson where a string of communities line the river’s banks surrounded by national forest. The subdivisions that run along both sides of the East Verde are a mix of modestly priced older cabins and newer homes. Undeveloped lots are also available in these subdivisions. The East Verde river offers swimming holes and weekly trout stockings. These communities are popular because they are only 10 minutes outside of Payson yet offer a more rural riverside setting.
About 17 miles east of Payson, the communities of Christopher Creek, Tonto Creek, and Kohl’s Ranch are located at 5800 feet, just below the top of the Mogollon Rim. A 25-minute, scenic drive down East Highway 260 takes you into the core of what makes the Payson area special. Thick pine forests, flowing streams, and mountain views are what this cluster of communities is known for. These communities have less amenities, are more rural, and slightly cooler than the Town of Payson. Real estate includes modest cabins, a-frames, lots, and luxury homes to suit your taste
Star Valley is a community of roughly 2,000 people located adjacent to the east side of Payson. The town has a 100-year plus history as a ranching community and the tradition continues today with many large lots and horse property. Star Valley has a rural small-town atmosphere with many quiet neighborhoods and minimal commercial and industrial areas. The surrounding national forest completes the setting.
Tonto Basin is located roughly 30 minutes south of the center of Payson and situated at 2,500 feet lower than Payson in the Valley of Tonto Creek. The lower elevation and higher temperatures change the landscape from lush pine forest to the Sonoran Deserts iconic saguaro cactus.
Tonto Creek and Roosevelt Lake are two water features that dominate life here. Tonto Creek flows down from high atop the Mogollon Rim before flowing into the Salt River and Roosevelt Lake. Ranches are prevalent along the creek in both Punkin Center and Tonto Basin and residents include year-round residents as well as vacation homeowners who are here for the area's natural beauty and vast recreational opportunities. Tonto Creek overflows its banks from runoff a few times a year impacting residents' ability to cross the creek.