You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky
Feb 20, 2015, 12:14am MST UPDATED: Feb 20, 2015, 7:33am MST
Patrick O’Grady Managing Editor-Phoenix Business Journal
Let me clear this up: I’m not rich. I have a truck that would make Warren Buffett proud, but that’s about the only thing I have in common with the Oracle of Omaha.
Yet, every year when the Business Journal’s list of the Phoenix metro’s wealthiest ZIP codes comes out, my five digits always seem to make the list. How did I end up there? The short answer is simple: schools. But more on that in a bit.
Every year I shake my head and marvel at the list. Clearly it’s wrong. Our Research Director Dale Brown and Esri, the company that compiles the data, assure me that it is not. I’ll take their word for it.
- Here’s where Arizona’s millionaires live (Slideshow)
- The List: Scottsdale dominates wealthiest ZIP codes list, but wealthy live throughout greater Phoenix
- The top 10 wealthiest ZIP codes across Phoenix in 2014
- Click the accompanying image for a slideshow of the top five wealthiest ZIP codes.
- Granted, I don’t live in the posh Paradise Valley 85253, which once again was tops on the list. I worked at a paper there for a year, so I’m fairly familiar with it. Nor do I live in Tempe 85284 among the high-tech workers whose jobs economic developers are trying to replicate as fast as they can.
- And I can’t claim a home in Phoenix 85045 — the western section of Ahwatukee — or any of the Scottsdale ZIPs that come next. Mine is a little further down the list: lucky No. 13 in north Peoria.
- The biggest benefit I had to living where I do is knowledge. You don’t cover cities and school districts without picking up where the value is in the good neighborhoods, where the best schools are, where freeways and jobs are. That inside information is the best part of my job. Buying a house in an upscale neighborhood is like a perk of knowing things.
- That and what I learned from my parents. You don’t stretch to the outside of town and get a big house for little money. You live closer in, and you find the best schools you can afford.
- Ultimately, that is why I live where I do, and I’d hazard a guess that if you picked up a copy of this week’s issue and looked at the map and correlated it with school districts, you’d find some of the best working today are in those 25 ZIP codes. Money brings a lot of things. Among them, parents who have the time to be more involved. Shockingly, that has a lot to do with student achievement.
- That’s not a knock on other ZIPs. That’s just reality. And it’s not just in Phoenix where this happens.
- I wish it were different. Until it is, I’ll live where the schools are.
- So if you’re interested in that list, it’s on page 22 in this week’s print edition. Unsurprisingly, there are wealthy people in Scottsdale. There also are wealthy people in Glendale, Goodyear, Gilbertand Waddell.
- And if you’re interested in a full year’s worth of research, there’s always the Book of Lists. It’s out now, and you can get it in a print or digital format. I would also be remiss if I didn’t give you Dale Brown‘s contact information in case you want to know about or be included on one of the 110-plus lists we do every year. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-308-6511.
- Patrick O’Grady is managing editor of the Phoenix Business Journal.
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