5.4 out of 10


33.6828039532334 -112.453667229995
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
  • Clean & Green
  • Lack of Traffic
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Schools
  • Eating Out
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Editors Choice

"Generic bedroom community for young families and retirees"

Absolutely the single "best" (if only) feature of Surprise is the family-friendliness. There must be few places that are going to be this safe and quiet yet still have a reasonable amount of activities for families with kids under 12. There are neighborhood parks and green areas everywhere and the city facilities are generally good. Too bad you can only really enjoy them for about half the year due to the heat.

That said, Surprise's Dysart Unified School District has historically rated quite poorly (in a state that is already rates very low academically.) Based on what I've observed, it seems like a systemic/organizational issue rather than a lack of quality teachers, as I've met a few that are quite passionate about doing right by their kids. However, I can't speak from personal experience as my son is not yet school-aged.

The shopping and dining is adequate if you're happy with cookie-cutter national chains. Independent establishments are rare, bordering on nonexistent, depending on the month. (My wife and I try to support the few that manage to survive.)

Along those same lines, Surprise lacks any semblance of what one may consider "local flavor." The Surprise "Original Town Site" is little more than a small neighborhood of weary, mid-last century bungalows and is at no risk of gentrification any time soon.

Every one of our single friends has regretted moving to Surprise and eventually moves out or desperately wants to. To be very clear: if you are single with no kids (and under 50), do not move here! You WILL hate it.

So, in conclusion, if you're a family with small children, there's not any one particular strike against Surprise aside from maybe distance to decent jobs. But the simple fact is that there's also no compelling reason to choose to live here.
  • Lots of parks and other outdoor activities (when it's not one hundred and death degrees out)
  • Entirely safe at any time, day or night
  • For home buyers: Lots of cheap (foreclosed) homes
  • Feels like a nuclear chain restaraunt bomb went off
  • Need a "real" job? You're gonna be commuting (alone, by car)
  • For homeowners: Lots of cheap (foreclosed) homes
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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