Making your Home in the Desert

By: Wayne Hemrick

When you buy your Phoenix Arizona condo or single family home, you're making your home in the desert. Human habitation in a desert environment provides great opportunities, but also poses many challenges.

The first rule of living in the desert is respect. The deserts of Southern Arizona are different that the great sandy wastelands found in North Africa and the Arabian peninsula; deserts in North America form diverse - and delicate - ecosystems. The Arizona desert is a carefully balanced web of life, from the sage brush to the coyote. Human activities have a tremendous effect on this ecosystem, and not always for the best. If you plan to purchase Phoenix Arizona real estate or one of the Phoenix homes for sale in the desert, you'll need to accept the local environment on its own terms - don't try to make it over into something that it isn't.

This means giving up the idea of a lush, green lawn. The tradition of a lawn was imported from England - a relatively cool, rainy country. Phoenix may receive less than 8 inches of rain in a wet year. The local flora has adapted well to the dry climate; lawn grasses have not. They require tremendous amounts of water, which is always at a premium in a desert environment. The wisest choice of landscaping your Phoenix Arizona property is to go with native plants and locally obtained rock. Not only will this be far less expensive and resource intensive, it will be much more environmentally friendly and make your Phoenix Arizona property fit in with the surrounding country much better.

There are hazards to desert living as well, not all of which is related to the sun, and these should be kept in mind not only when hiking, but when landscaping as well. While using native plants is an excellent idea, cacti can be a problem if there are young children in your home or nearby. The same is true about oleander, a popular local shrub. The leaves and colorful petals are quite toxic; this should never be planted in an area accessible to toddlers or pets.

Numerous venomous animals are native to the Arizona desert, including the rattlesnake, coral snake, gila monster and scorpion. While bites and stings from these creatures are rarely fatal for adults, they can cause serious, painful and unpleasant symptoms. Be sure to wear good, sturdy leather boots when enjoying the Arizona desert, and if you encounter one of these creatures, walk away calmly; typically, they will not attack unless threatened.

That said, making your home in the desert can be a tremendously rewarding experience. Simply take the proper precaution, and learn to accept and embrace the desert for what it is.

Real Estate
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Real Estate
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles