buying a home in Phoenix
Hopefully, my response will be a little more specific.
When you say Phoenix, you are talking about several cities in the valley. I live in Mesa and my location is just a block east from Tempe and 2 blocks north of chandler. Then there's Glendale, Peoria, queen creek, apache junction and several others within 30-60 minute drive. And you can't forget Scottsdale. They are often generically referred to as Phoenix.
What you plan to do when you are here will factor into where you want to buy. Lots of seniors in Apache junction with tennis golf etc., but you're far away from downtown, museums etc. Someone did mention that there are nicer places to buy and they're right. Sedona is very pricey, Prescott, (my favorite) has come down in price from the highs and you get 4 seasons.
Summer in Phoenix is a killer and it is long. However, right now it is 70's and I have windows open.... there are tradeoffs.
Crime is subjective. We have it, but I came here from Philadelphia and know I am much safer...