Hey Phoenix, I have a few questions about Mesa…
I have lived here most of my life in some of the better and worse parts. Central and west mesa north of the 60 is generally much poorer until you get north of Brown. There are some very nice areas around Gilbert Rd and anywhere east of there. The benefit is that you also have easy access to the 202 which gets you into Phoenix in 15min and scottsdale in 10min. South East mesa (60 east of Lindsey) also generally nice, but almost nobody in this sub knows that it even exists.
I live in the north east mesa. Power and Mckellips. (Not LaSendas) It is nice. good houses, low crime, lots of diversity, lots of families. It's not a heavily mormon area, like Mesa used to be so there are wine bars, and sports bars if you like to hang out. That part of mesa also is SUPER close to hiking and mountain biking trails. Its easy to get out and go camping, or to the river (5 miles).
I personally like it better than Gilbert because it is a bit more accessible even though its far east and has some more character because its not as new.
Mesa is a nice place, the city puts good money into parks, has amazing libraries, low taxes, a really nice downtown that they are putting some serious work into. There are some poorer pockets, but not as big as anyone makes it out to be.
Mesa is actually a very good city. I am by no means a fanboy of the town, but I hate how people so blindly disregard it. I would be happy to answer other questions if you want to PM me.