Dobson Ranch is arguably one of the best-known master-planned communities in Maricopa County. It gets its unique name from William Wesley Dobson, who emigrated to the area in the 1880s from Canada. The Dobson family lives for generations on the land, which itself used to be part of a major farming and cattle operation.
Looking at the community now, it can be challenging to imagine more than 20,000 head of cattle grazing there decades ago, however. Dobson Ranch is now a thriving master-planned community, consisting of waterfront properties and unique home sites that center around world-class resort-style amenities to encourage residents to be fit, active, and socially engaged.
In fact, Dobson Ranch got its start as an upscale residential community in 1973 when the first of the luxury homes were built here. The building of new homes continued through 1990, and Dobson Ranch is now the site of more than 5000 individually styled homes that come in a variety of architectural designs and layouts. The real estate market here now primarily consists of resale attached and single-family homes, which are typically listed through local real estate professionals like Carl Chapman REALTOR and West USA Realty.
Moreover, Dobson Ranch is centrally located in Mesa, making it conveniently close to major interstates and highways, such as Loop 101, the US 60 Superstition Freeway, and Extension Road. It is also just minutes from some of the best shopping areas in Mesa, such as the Fiesta Mall, as well as the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Within the community itself, Dobson Ranch offers a host of amenities and services designed to enhance daily life for its residents. People who live here have access to conveniences like:
- Onsite local public schools
- Churches and other houses of worship
- A municipal complex
- A Mesa Police Department substation
- A fire station
- A branch of the Mesa Public Library
Even more, Dobson Ranch is located close to some of the area’s top employers, including Boeing, Intel and Arizona State University.
Overall, Dobson Ranch plays up to its motto of “The Best Place to Live” by offering top notch amenities, as well as onsite services and conveniences that homeowners need to feel safe, accommodated and relaxed. People who buy houses here often stay for decades and find it ideal for raising a family, retiring or enjoying the best of what Mesa has to offer.
The best of what Dobson Ranch has to offer arguably lies in the expansive luxury homes that populate the community. The variety of homes that make up the real estate market there include large single and two-story single-family homes. However, they also include spacious townhouses and condominiums.
Regardless, the median sale price for a home in Dobson Ranch sits at around $280,000. The current listing prices range from $178,000 to $549,000. Closing prices on homes in the community range from $112,000 to more than $750,000. These prices break down to an average of $179 per square foot for the typical Dobson Ranch home for sale.
Further, homeowners in Dobson Ranch pay an average of $1850 per year in property taxes. They also pay dues to the community’s homeowners association that total around $364 per month.
The typical home for sale in Dobson Ranch can span from 650 to more than 4000 square feet. It is not uncommon for houses on the market to have anywhere from one to five bedrooms and one to four bedrooms. Homes can also sit on lots that range in size from a half-acre to five acres.
The outside of the homes on the market in Dobson Ranch likewise are designed to reflect the beauty and exclusivity of the community. Many homes here have sturdy asphalt roofs that hold up well in all sorts of weather. They also have green landscapes marked with brick sidewalk borders, paved driveways leading to a one or two car garage and brick or rock exteriors.
The insides of the homes in Dobson Ranch likewise come with upscale features like:
- Vaulted ceilings
- Arched doorways
- Recessed lighting
- Tile floors
- Double door entries
- Large picture windows
- Formal dining areas
- Carpeted living rooms
- Quartz counters
- Dens or studies
- Rock or stone fireplaces
- Ceiling fans
- Oak cabinets
- Kitchen islands
- Sliding patio doors
- Screened-in porches
Many of the homes on the market in Dobson Ranch also have large enclosed backyards with privacy fencing. The backyards come with features like covered stone or brick terraces and have plenty of space for additional outdoor additions, such as a fire pit or picnic table. Some of the larger single family homes in the community also have in-ground swimming pools in their backyards.
The comfort and beauty of one’s home withstanding, Dobson Ranch is a community that encourages its residents to get out, get active and become socially engaged with their neighbors and friends. To facilitate engagement and activity in the community, it has its own non-profit corporation to govern it.
The governing entity of Dobson Ranch is called The Dobson Association, Incorporated, and it oversees much of the day-to-day life in the community. The association is headquartered at 2719 South Reyes in Mesa and is open during regular business hours throughout the week. It is closed on the weekends and on holidays.
All 15,000 adult residents of Dobson Ranch are automatic members of the association. They pay quarterly dues, as well as an annual assessment fee, to solidify their membership in it.
Likewise, all homeowners, including those who own townhouses and condominiums, are entitled to one vote in the elections for the association’s board of directors. The directors are fellow homeowners in Dobson Ranch. They, along with the onsite property management company and staff, maintain, repair and improve on shared community amenities that are available year-round and, in general, create a way of life in the community that can be described as “a city within a city.”
Only homeowners who are in good standing with the Dobson Association, Inc are entitled to use the shared community amenities, however. The association owns outright 65 acres of community amenities in Dobson Ranch, including:
- Three recreational centers
- Seven man-made lakes
- Dozens of tennis courts
- Four outdoor swimming pools
- Most community playgrounds
- Most community parks
- Acres of scenic lake pathways
It maintains and improves on these amenities according to the association’s own master plans.
The assessment fee that Dobson Ranch homeowners pay into the association each year likewise goes for the maintenance and improvement of common areas, as well as operational costs and the enforcement of governance documents.
New buyers who are just moving into the community can find out what those governance documents are by visiting the website for the Dobson Association, Inc. They can also find documents for topics like upholding the aesthetics of the community, as well as forms for requesting changes to the paint or architectural style of their homes.
Finally, homeowners in Dobson Ranch can sign up for association emails on its website. They can also find copies of the Dobson Ranch newsletter, which is called The Ranchers Roundup.
As noted, Dobson Ranch is a community that is full of top notch amenities that span a total of 65 acres. These amenities include several high-quality recreational centers that are open throughout the year to residents.
The first, La Casita Recreational Center, offers numerous amenities of its own. These include:
- A junior-size Olympic pool
- A water splash pad
- A shaded grassy play area with playground equipment
- Four tennis courts
- Two racquetball courts
It also has tables and chairs that people can use for hosting parties. There is likewise an onsite kitchen in the rec center that is equipped with a gas range, fridge and freezer, dishwasher and a window for serving food.
The second rec center, Los Altos Recreational Center, also makes available numerous amenities to residents of Dobson Ranch. These amenities include:
- An eight-foot deep swimming pool
- A junior-size Olympic swimming pool
- A tennis court
- Two racquetball courts
- A basketball court
- A playground and picnic area
It also has a lakefront with boat docks.
The Saratoga Recreational Center is the third one found in Dobson Park. Its amenities include:
- An outdoor fireplace
- Two lighted tennis courts
- A basketball court
- A playground and picnic area
- Lakefront with boat docks
All three recreational centers in Dobson Ranch can be reserved and rented for special occasions, such as birthday or holiday parties. They are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Finally, homeowners in Dobson Ranch can enjoy spending time at Laguna Park, which comes with amenities like:
- Exercise equipment
- Boat docks
- A large playground
- Lake views
- Practice disc golf area
- Large open grass area
- Picnic ramadas with benches
- A water fountain
- Barbecue grilling areas
Dobson Ranch also has its own championship 18-hole golf course. The course is open to the public, particularly people who live in Dobson Ranch. It comes with its own driving range where players can perfect their game.
It also has a chipping area, putting greens and a practice bunker available for players of all skill levels. After playing a few rounds of golf, players can head to the onsite dining facilities to grab a bite to eat or enjoy their favorite cocktails.
Finally, the Mesa Unified School District serves Dobson Ranch and the families with school-aged children who live there. Parents can send their children to local schools like Washington Elementary, Dobson Junior High School and Dobson High School.
All of the schools in the Mesa Unified School District perform well in comparison to their other public school counterparts throughout Arizona. In fact, the school district gets an overall national grade of B-plus for the quality of education that it offers to its students. It gets a grade of A-plus for diversity and a grade of A-minus for college preparation.
In other areas, it achieves primarily grades of B. For example, national rankings give it a B grade for academics and teaching quality. It also gets a B grade for clubs and activities, as well as safety and health.
The Mesa Unified Public School District has an enrollment of just over 63,000 students. These students are spread throughout 73 different elementary, middle and high schools. The district has a student-to-teacher ratio of 19:1, just slightly more than the national average of 16 students per one teacher.
Moreover, the state of Arizona ranks the Mesa Unified School District as the sixth-best in the state for athletes, beating out 108 other districts. It is the fourth most diverse district in Arizona and ranks as the 24th best, out of 115, for overall academic excellence.
Further, state standardized test scores in Arizona show that 46 percent of the students in the Mesa Unified School District meet proficiency standards in mathematics and reading. These percentages far outscore the national average for 34 percent in mathematics and 35 percent in reading.
Even more, students who take the ACT college admissions test score higher than the national average. The average ACT test score in the district is 26, beating the 20.6 overall national test score average.
The Mesa Unified School District works closely with in-state colleges and universities to offer advanced placement courses with transferable credits. A large portion of the district’s students go on to attend Arizona State University or the University of Arizona.