Is Phoenix a good place to live? It may be ideally the perfect place to visit during the winter months if you live up north. Phoenix has 16 million people traveling to the metro area a year. A lot of times, people who are tourist later become residents. Phoenix is known for its high number of transplants from all around the nation. Currently the Phoenix metro area and it surrounding suburbs have seen a large population increase in the past 5 years. It is now home to 1.6 million people and continuously growing. It is getting harder to find true Phoenician residents.
What to Expect Living in Phoenix
Living in Phoenix may take a lot to get used to, no mater where you are relocating from. Daylight savings is not recognized, so you will never have to adjust your clocks. The weather allows for citrus tress to grow easily, and the sunsets… well they are amazing and vibrant.
Not everything in this desert city is a walk in the park. You will coexist with scorpions, coyotes, and one of the deadliest rattlesnakes in the nation. The lack of public transportation is another item the city is currently working on. The issue is it does not cover the entire city and timing on buses is not very user friendly. Of course, we need to talk about the hot summers, hot summers. Phoenix sees temperatures start to climb in late April and can reach above 115 during June, July, and August. Make sure to plan on wearing lots of sunscreen.
This is not a metropolitan city where you do not need a car, if you do have a vehicle you will want to bring it with you. Phoenix does have a bus and light rail system, but both are limited to overall reach and size.
You can bike to work, well that is if you live in downtown. The bike lane stretches 4.6 miles and helps cyclist commute safely throughout the Phoenix metro area.
Commute times are not terrible compared to other large cities like Los Angeles, California. The easy to navigate grid system helps you be able to travel by car or truck easily.
Traffic does pick up in the winter months due to snowbirds. This is what the residents of Phoenix call people that travel to the Phoenix area and stay throughout the months of November and February.
Phoenix also know as The Valley of the Sun, is in the Sonoran Desert. This is the warmest desert in the United States and North America.
If you are moving to the Phoenix area, be prepared to embrace the summer heat and mild winters. Here are the average highs/lows according to weather.com:
- January 67/46
- February 70/49
- March 75/54
- April 85/62
- May 95/70
- June 107/80
- July 110/85
- August 108/85
- September 102/79
- October 92/67
- November 80/55
- December 68/45
Hot weather tips
- Park your car in the shade.
- DO NOT touch your steering wheel or sit on leather seats right away. Invest in an automatic car starter and have the A/C on.
- Never leave children or pets in the car.
- DO NOT leave your cell phone, tablet, or any other electronic device in direct sunlight.
- Drink plenty of water! Make sure to drink at least eight 8 oz glasses of water a day if not more during the summer months.
- Do not throw away all your winter clothes. It may not get very cold during the winter months, but at night it can get down to the lower 30s.
The heat is not for everyone, but just north of Phoenix is Flagstaff. They are bout 20 degrees cooler in the summer and winter months. Flagstaff is located about 2 hours north of Phoenix.
There are other weather patterns to watch out for such as Monsoons and Haboobs (dust storms). Phoenix sees on average 3-4 dust storms a year. Monsoon season brings heavy rainfall to the Phoenix area in the summer months. These storms will cause flash flooding and hazardous road conditions.
Apart from the excessive heat in the summer, Phoenix’s weather is consistently pleasant throughout the rest of the year.
Cost of Living
Phoenix cost of living is significantly more affordable than other cities like New York or Chicago. On average Phoenix is 5% lower than the national average, according to payscale.com.
The surrounding suburbs are reasonable to retirees. You will find cities and towns that are specifically for the 55 and older residents. Places like Sun City have lots of amenities and lower property taxes for those on a fixed income. Unlike other retiree destinations, you will be paying an Arizona income tax. Arizona also has a vehicle tax when you pay to register or renew your registration.
With the home prices being on a steady incline after the housing market crash in 2010, property values still are lower than California and are just slightly higher than the national average.
Jobs in Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona, is becoming one of the fastest growing and dynamic regions for technology and software companies. Costs to run these businesses are 42% less than that of Silicon Valley in California.
Tech companies like Yelp, Shutterfly, and Uber have recently opened offices in the Phoenix area, and Amazon has multiple fulfillment centers here. Arizona officials are doing everything they can to bring more tech companies and jobs to the greater Phoenix area.
Best Places to Live in Phoenix
Phoenix is the largest city in Arizona and is the 5th
largest city in the United States. The city and its suburbs are referred to as Metro Phoenix and Salt River Valley and combined are home to over 4.5 million people.
The metro is located within Maricopa and Pinal counties and ranks are the largest metro areas in the nation. Maricopa county has shown significant growth with an average of 230 people moving to the county each day, according to Census.gov.
RoRo is very pedestrian friendly, and is known for its award-winning restaurants, locally owned boutiques, coffee shops, art galleries, and month First Friday events. This is one of the oldest art districts in the city and has undergone revitalization, making it highly desirable.
Located northwest of downtown, Grand is very much bike friendly. It is an up-and-coming area for art galleries and is a very hip neighborhood.
This historic neighborhood is comprised of 3 districts: Coronado, Brentwood, and Country Club Park. You will find ranch-style and Spanish Colonial Revival style homes, which means there is not lack of culture and charm in the area. It is in midtown Phoenix and is near freeways and downtown area.
You will enjoy amazing views of Camelback Mountain and is home to the most mature citrus trees and greenery in all of Phoenix. This makes Arcadia one of the most desired areas in the Phoenix Metro area. You are also just a hop, skip, and a jump away from shopping in Scottsdale and can experience the nightlife of downtown Phoenix.
Mesa is the third largest city in Arizona and gives you the benefits of living in a growing metropolitan area while stilling maintaining the suburban feel. With plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking the Superstition Mountains or kayaking down the Salt River, makes it a great area for those that want to have plenty of physical activities.
Home to Arizona State University, one of the largest universities in the nation. Located in the east valley and home to over 160,000 residents, Tempe is a bustling college town.
This small-town appeal city is also rapidly growing. Their downtown area is home to many popular restaurants and outstanding farmers markets. Hundreds of people each weekend will travel to the area to purchase locally grown produce and other artisan goods.
Located nine miles outside of phoenix and in the west valley, Glendale is home to over 230,000 residents. It is also dubbed “Arizona’s Antique Capital,” making it a must stop destination for history lovers, as well as sports fans. The Arizona Cardinals (NFL) and Arizona Coyotes (NHL) both play in Glendale at the Westgate area.
Education in Phoenix
Phoenix is home to 30 school districts, and there are a total of 325 public schools and over 200 private and charter schools.
There are also plenty of options for higher education throughout Metro Phoenix. Arizona State University has campuses in Mesa, Glendale, Downtown Phoenix, and the main campus in Tempe. Grand Canyon University is the largest Christian university in the world and offers more than 200 academic programs.
Things to Do in Phoenix
There are so many fun things to do in Arizona, despite the Phoenix heat. The Phoenix area draws in more the 16 million tourist a year. During the off seasons, many resorts and attractions offer deals for Phoenix residents. Phoenix may have invented the term “Stay-cation”!
Top Attractions: Phoenix Zoo, Arizona Science Center, OdySea Aquarium, and Desert Botanical Gardens.
Top Outdoor Activities: Ak-Chin Pavilion, South Mountain Park and Reserve, Salt River Tubing, and Papago Park.
Popular Events: Devour Phoenix, Phoenix Flea, Phoenix Film Festival, MLB Spring Training, McDowell Mountain Music Festival.