The Valley of the Sun is certainly attractive, what with its promise of sunny skies, absence of gloomy winters and plenty of golf courses. Phoenix is a city that is steadily growing, as more and more people realize how well-suited it is to calling it home. But is moving to Phoenix, Arizona in your best interests? From your salary to your daily commute, there’s a lot that goes into answering such a question. For the time being, read up on our relocation guide for moving to Phoenix to find out just what the city is all about.
What Should I Know Before Moving To Phoenix?
Phoenix is the biggest city in the state of Arizona, and is also the state capital. It has an estimated 2020 population of 1,703,080 and is also the 5th largest city in the United States. Its current annual growth rate is 1.27%, and spanning 519 miles, it has a population density of 3,290 per square mile.
The city was named after the mythical bird that represents rebirth the world over; legend has it, pioneer Phillip Darrell Duppa saw the ruins of the prehistoric Native American Hohokam and predicted that another civilization would rise in the same spot. He sure was right, as Phoenix is a buzzing myriad of cultures and ethnicities that adds life to the barren desert around it.
One thing undeniable about Phoenix is its diversity. There’s a range of ethnic groups here that call this city home, 5 of the biggest being White (Non-Hispanic) (42.3%), White (Hispanic) (34.7%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (6.83%), Hispanics (5.48%), and Asian (Non-Hispanic) (3.34%). Not a native English speaker? Not to worry, as 38% of the people in Phoenix speak a language other than English. And this is not the only diversity Phoenix offers, as it has something for everyone.
One of the fascinating aspects of the city is its golf clubs, as there are over 200 of them within the city itself. Apart from golf, it is also an excellent city for culture lovers as it is home to the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, the Center for Creative Photography and the Pueblo Grande Museum. The Phoenix Symphony Hall hosts the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the Arizona Opera as well as Ballet Arizona. It is accompanied by the Herberger Theatre Center, the Orpheum Theater and the PHX Arena.
Chalking up its progressiveness, Phoenix is also home to several people who are a part of the LGBTQ community. One of the city’s biggest events is the annual Phoenix Pride Festival. Nationally recognized and taking place in April, the 2-day Festival attracts over 40,000 people.
Crime Rate in Phoenix
Of course, all the frills a city offers can pale in comparison to the crime rate. The violent crime comparison per 1,000 residents in Phoenix is 7.29, a few marks higher than the national average of 4. The property crime comparison per 1,000 residents is 34.77, again higher than the national average of 24.
Of the property crimes, thefts happen the most, while burglaries and motor vehicle theft don’t take place as much in comparison. The overall crime rate in Phenix is 42 per 1,000 residents, which may seem like something to be concerned about. However, when compared to other cities its size, these crime rates are normal, neither too high nor low. To make sure you stay as safe as possible, ensure you pick out a safe neighborhood to live in.
Phoenix is known as the Valley of the Sun, and the sun does indeed flood the city with its warmth for a majority of the year. Its geographical location means that Phoenix experiences a hot desert climate, dry and with little to no precipitation. Annual highs range around 87°F, and lows around 59°F. It experiences an annual rainfall of around 8.5 inches and snow never really comes around.
Summers in Phoenix are very long and hot, and the heat can go as high as 105.8°F. Most people recommend staying indoors when the mercury hits such highs, drinking loads of water to avoid heatstroke. This goes on from May to October, with July seeing the temperatures peak. November and December are slightly cooler, with temperatures averaging around 39.2°F. However, since the sun is shining for most of the day, it can feel a few degrees hotter than what it actually is.
As great as it is for people who hate the cold, damp and rain, the heat in Phoenix is not to be underestimated. At least 100 days in a year have temperatures as high as 100°F, some even higher. Plus, there are dust storms that plague the region in the summers, affecting visibility. Heed the storm warnings and stay safe, and the rest should be fine.
How Expensive Is It To Live In Phoenix?
If you haven’t yet chalked out a moving budget, now would be a good time to start. From taking into account your salary to the sort of monthly expenditure you incur, there’s a lot that can determine whether or not you can afford to live in a particular city. We’ve roped together some estimates about various costs when living in Phoenix to help you come up with a better estimate.
Cost Of Living In Phoenix
So, how much do you have to shell out to live in a city as amazing as Phoenix? Turns out, not much! Phoenix is surprisingly and pleasantly affordable, with a cost of living that is 5% below the national average. A family of four living in Phoenix will have to spend around $3,058.30 a month on expenses, excluding housing expenses. Likewise, a single person in their own house in Phoenix will have to spend around $876.56 on monthly expenses.
Groceries in Phoenix are 4% lower than the national average. You’re likely to pay around $3.24 on a loaf of bread, and a dollar and 89 cents on a gallon of milk. A bunch of bananas costs $3.27 and a carton of eggs is $1.76. Healthcare is also 2% lower than the national average, and a visit to the doctor will cost you around $108.16, while a visit to the dentist will cost around $92.92. Not forgetting your furry pals, a visit to the vet costs $48.23.
Buying a House
Housing expenses in Phoenix are also 5% below the national average. The median home price for a house in Phoenix is $330,344, and the typical house value is $295,481. The house value has risen by 15.4% over the last year and is predicted to rise by another 11.8% next year.
Renting A House
The average monthly rent for an apartment in Phoenix is $1,175. Apartments in Phoenix are fairly affordable to rent, and a good 52% are rented for between $1,000 and $1,500. Another 33% are rented for between $700 and $1,000. Overall, 36% of the households in Phoenix are renter-occupied.
Like the groceries, utility costs are also 4% lower than the national average, with a monthly energy bill coming to around $161.12. Your average monthly phone bill will be around $171.75, while gas is $2.39 a gallon. The average family in Phoenix spends $41.69 on water bills per month. Since January 2020, the municipal government has been charging a 6% hike i.e. an additional $2.37 per month for the average customer.
Phoenix Economy And Employment Opportunities
Phoenix has a strong economy, of which aerospace, manufacturing, technology, media, business and healthcare are top players. In terms of salary, the average salary of anyone living in Phoenix is $67k. In terms of jobs, there’s loads to be found; Honeywell Aerospace, American Express Co. (AMEX), and Intel Corporation are three of the most popular employers in the region. These are joined by Banner Health and Arizona State University. Operations Managers, Project Managers and Software Engineers are some of the highest paid occupations in Phoenix, collectively paying between $68k to $80k.
Education is certainly something that the residents of Phoenix value, with an 82% rate of people who have completed high school. Residents have over 325 public schools and around 200 charter and private schools to choose from. Kids in Phoenix attend school based on their address, i.e. they attend the school within their qualifying school district. However, in some cases, parents can apply for boundary exemptions.
There’s also a range of high quality higher education options, including the Arizona State University Campus, the Grand Canyon University, and the Arizona Christian University.
Getting Around Phoenix
There’s one thing Phoenix has that not a lot of cities can boast about, and that is being an exceptionally car-friendly city. The road grid makes the streets super easy to navigate, and there’s parking in abundance. Of course, this also means traffic, but traffic is something that plagues every big city in the United States. Phoenix is also well connected to other destinations via the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
When it comes to public transportation, Phoenix has Valley Metro. It is the regional public transportation agency providing coordinated transit services to residents of metro Phoenix.
Buses by Valley Metro run along the city’s main arterial roads. There are regular buses as well as 20 Express and RAPID bus routes with fewer stops covering longer distances. You will pay $2 for a one-way cost, and $4 for an all-day pass on the local bus. The Express and RAPID bus routes are more expensive, costing $3.25 for a one-way ticket and $6.50 for an all-day pass.
Valley Metro operates a street-level light rail route that cuts through Phoenix. The single route runs for 26 miles, connecting Phoenix to Mesa and Tempe, and has 38 stops. The PHX Sky Train gives you that cheap and quick way to get to the airport. Trains operate 18-22 hours per day, seven days a week, and stop every 12-20 minutes. It costs $2 for a one-way ride and $4 for a one-day pass.
Phoenix Dial-A Ride is a system that provides transportation to those who can’t utilize the local buses due to a disability. Different parts of Phoenix provide slightly different services with different fares, so visit the Dial-A-Ride website to know more.
Grid Bike Share
Phoenix’s very own bike share system, Grid works with the help of an app. Enter in your account number and PIN into the bike keypad, unlock it, and head off. Simply park it at a Grid docking station or public bike stand to end your ride. Paying as you go is 12 cents per minute with a $7 deposit, while it costs $10 for a 7-day pass and $20 for a monthly pass.
Best Neighborhoods In Phoenix
Everything about Phoenix so far is sounding great; good connectivity, good weather, loads of things to do. But if you’re still onboard with calling Phoenix home, it is important to understand its many neighborhoods to decide which one suits you best.
First built upon former citrus groves, Arcadia is now one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Phoenix. Wide streets are lined with trees, and the locale is bustling enough for youngsters. The excellent schools and warm residents make it great for families. There’s plenty to offer, including a range of great shopping and dining destinations. The typical home value here is $1,081,006 and the average rent for a three-bedroom house is $3,539.
Located in the northwestern quadrant of Phoenix, Glendale is practically a mini-Phoenix, self-reliant and armed with all the amenities you could think of. There’s a range of restaurants and shopping boutiques, cafes and antique stores. There’s diverse living options to choose from, and a botanical garden to pass the time. The average rent in Glendale is $1,096, and the typical house value is $281,785.
3. Paradise Valley
Luxury shopping, sprawling golf courses, resorts and spas, the high prices that come with life in Paradise Valley are totally justified. Paradise Valley is the wealthiest municipality in all of Arizona. Sometimes referred to as the “Beverly Hills of the Southwest”, you can reside in a multi million-dollar house and make the most of the area’s high-end living here. The average rent of an apartment in Paradise Valley is $1,509, and the median home value is $2,092,949.
Is Phoenix A Good City To Live In?
Phoenix seems to tick all the boxes when it comes to selecting a good city to call home. It not only has great public transportation, but is exceptionally car and bike friendly. The city is affordable, yet has its wealthy neighborhoods for those of you who desire the lush life. The average salary may be lower than other cities, but there’s loads of jobs to be found. Couple this with the affordable pricing and you have yourself a comfortable life in Phoenix.
Make sure you choose the right moving company for your move to Phoenix, whether you’re coming from within Arizona or from across the country. We can help you narrow your search pool by giving you a list of movers that match your requirements and budget.
See also: Best Moving Companies in Phoenix AZ