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Finding bargain homes in metro Phoenix is a lot tougher now that foreclosures have plummeted and home prices have nearly returned to peak levels.
But five ZIP codes made a new top 25 list for the best U. communities for investors to make money buying homes and turning them into rentals.
ONLINE DEGREES: Arizona State University's online bachelor's-degree programs ranked No. BEST FOR VETS: All three of Arizona's public universities made Military Times' November 2016 "Best for Vets" list. 66, the University of Arizona was 74 and Northern Arizona University was 79.
TOP PLACES TO LIVE: Phoenix ranked as the 26th best larger U. city in which to live, down from 19th place last year, in the 2019 study by U. The rankings are based on information gleaned in five key areas: job-market strength (20 percent of the scoring total), housing affordability (25 percent) and quality of life (30 percent), a broad category that includes local crime rates, access to and quality of health care, educational facilities, average commute times and more.
In the latest ranking, Phoenix was hurt most noticeably by a lower score in the broad quality-of-life category.
The city's scores in the four other categories were either identical or only slightly different from last year. MOST SCENIC: Four Arizona restaurants on Open Table's list of '100 Most Scenic' for 2018: Elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort in Paradise Valley (pictured); Vivace Restaurant in Tucson, Arizona; Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill in Sedona; and A Different Pointe of View at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix.
NATIONAL CAPITAL OF COFFEE POD MAKERS: Gilbert, Arizona, has the highest share of households that own a single-cup or pod-brewing coffee maker, at 24.5 percent, according to Wallet Hub. PATRIOTISM: Wallet Hub ranked Arizona 18th in the nation for patriotism.
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FASTEST GROWING CITIES: Two Arizona cities are the fastest growing in the United States, according to population estimates from the U. Meanwhile, Phoenix saw the largest numeric increase during that time frame.