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Maricopa County Island - What is it?

Jan 24, 2023

Hi there, I'm Michelle Shelton. I'm the Designated Broker at Life Real Estate and I'm also part of Team Shelton. My daughter, Emma works with me, my husband works with me behind the scenes, and today I want to talk to you about County Islands in Arizona. So a Maricopa County Island is something that you may hear if you're looking for homes with no HOA or you're looking for a horse property and I want to explain to you some of the issues that come up with with County Islands. Um No. 1, if we get calls every single week about people, homeowners who bought property on a county Island and they didn't know, the Realtor didn't tell them, it never came up, this is something that we heavily educate our clients on because it's important that you know if you're buying on a county Island and the thing is most people don't even know what a county island is including Real Estate agents, so I'm going to go into that and and show you here. Let's start out with with Gilbert so we're just going to go to Google Maps and type in Gilbert, Arizona and you will be able to see this red dotted outline that is outlining Gilbert, Arizona. If you see some of these areas in here that are tan and they have red outlines excluding them from being part of Gilbert, that is a county Island most likely now it's not 100 fail proof but this will give you an idea of where the county islands are and a county Island does just that you can see these. These are islands here in the town of Gilbert and they're governed by the county so what's happened is as the city has grown certain types of properties, the city grew around, they chose to grow around them. They were governed by the county and the city chose not to Annex some of those areas. A lot of times, it's horse property they don't want to put in the infrastructure. Um, the tax base isn't that great if you have, you know, 41 Acre Properties as opposed to you know 200 or 300 homes on that same amount of land, I don't know how many homes so that's a guess, um but you can put a lot of homes on an acre of land, so it has created islands and that's where the term County Island comes in. Some of the issues that you'll have with County Islands or you potentially could have with County Islands, I'm going to move this up here, is internet fire service could potentially you know affect your insurance possibly, we always have to check those things but internet fire service sometimes water uh usually not usually there is water provided but some of the city services like trash a lot of times will be affected, so when I purchased my property in 2004, it was definitely on a county Island, I didn't get internet here and well I had internet but it was a satellite internet and I was hitting my head on the wall constantly with it because it wouldn't work. I think they've improved that a lot since um I was using satellite years ago but if you want something like Cox High-Speed Internet you may not have that with a county Island. Um, the other thing is typically your trash service is privatized, so now we have Gilbert annexed our home and now we have a consistent trash day, a consistent recycled day so everybody on our street puts out their trash can in their recycle bin the exact same day when you have privatized Trash Services. There's a lot of different choices and so they may not come on the same day, so you're driving down your street to go to work and you have 16 different kinds of trash bins out and they're out every day of the week so that's a downside in my opinion. Also we have a service in some some parts of the valley, I know Gilbert, Chandler, parts of Phoenix, you know they have what they call bulk trash and they try to especially with the acreages but with all homes, they try to get people to keep their properties looking good and so they have a service where a big trash truck comes around once a month you can put things on your curb such as well people put all kinds of things on there, including furniture and mattresses, and all kinds of stuff and sometimes they'll pick it up and sometimes they won't, but if you have a tree break in a storm or you trim your trees you can put all of that debris out on the corner and the city will pick it up for free. It's a super nice service, the biggest problem we have with that is people just put it out you know they come and pick it up and then they're already putting it out again for the next time so there's trash laying in front of their house all the time they do give you dates that you're supposed to follow and they will in enforce it if you call but it is definitely driven by complaint so if you don't want to be that one neighbor in the neighborhood you know complaining about everybody it can get old seeing trash sit out all the time. The other thing so we talked about the internet I have had clients with internet where they've paid, I had one gal she paid I think it was like thirty three hundred dollars it was at the street and she brought it into her property so that can be quite expensive to do also you want to be aware that when you call Cox for years I knew as this city of Gilbert grew around us and there was new construction going on all around us that all of those homes had Cox internet and so I would call and I'd say, hey you know I want to sign up for service, I'd give them my address and they would say oh yes we have it in that area and then the guy would come out and he'd be like oh no we do not have it in that area so um just calling Cox and asking them is not enough we we ask you to talk to the neighbors you know ask them some of these questions. Um, so there's that um what was the other thing I said, so there's trash, Oh fire, so some of the towns have a service and it's wel,l it's it's actually a privatized fire company and it's called rural metro, you can look it up, you can Google it and they have a subscription service where people pay for fire service, if you are in a county Island you definitely want to check to see if that is something you need to do because if you're not annexed by Gilbert or Chandler whatever City you're in, you're not annexed, you may have to pay that privately and it's because it's not included in your taxes with the county, the county may not supply fire service and some of them do so it can get confusing for people, it get quite frankly sometimes it gets confusing to me I know enough to just keep digging and asking questions and point you in the right direction but this would be considered part of your due diligence and in in Arizona contractually that's the first 10 days and it's calendar days so 365 days a year, weekends, holidays everything um so if you are thinking of you know buying and you want a county Island some people actually see County Islands out because they have less governance government involvement than the city does now. I haven't really noticed a difference, we did have one neighbor who was quite junky and they did come in and ask him to move everything to the back of his property but they didn't say you have to get rid of it or anything like that they they try to keep the front of the properties looking nice so there is that and I appreciate that. The other thing that sometimes it's hard to know if it's a county Island because if you drive into the middle of you know you're in South Gilbert and there's infrastructure all around there's malls and you know Costco's and everything, and then you drive over and there's this little set of horse properties and you drive in there you may not know if it's County Island, there's a couple of ways you can check number one you can go on maricopa.gov and and look and see if you go into the utility bills, you can see who they pay their utility bills to that's one that's one clue the other thing is typically when you have a um if you are on a county Island your house number is going to be five digits, so if you're not it's going to be four digits or less, so for example I think ours ours used to be like one five six two one or something like that and now it's four digits so they changed it when they annexed us it's still the same street name but it's a different set of numbers so that's one way you can kind of gauge if it's on a county Island and then if you work with Team Shelton, obviously we are we have a wealth of information around this kind of stuff and we're going to help you with that, so give us a call make sure if you're watching this video, give us a thumbs up, subscribe and ring that Bell so you get regular notifications. We're working really hard to build our YouTube channel and if you leave us a comment and let us know something you want to see, we're happy to make videos on all of this stuff. We're just trying to figure out what you folks want to see so uh you know leave us a comment and let us know. All right, until next time, thanks for watching! Take care, bye.