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Is Arizona a good place to live? Pros and Cons of Living in Arizona


Is Arizona a Good Place to Live Pros and Cons of Living in Arizona

Is Arizona a good place to live? Pros and Cons of Living in Arizona. Arizona is a state in the southwestern part of the United States famous for its desert climate and extremely hot summers. Arizona is the 6th largest and the 14 most populated state among the United States. The capital and the largest city in Arizona is Phoenix. The states that share a border with Arizona include Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, California and Nevada. Arizona deserves credit for its amazing landscape which includes plateaus, mountain ranges, canyons, national forests and parks. It is a great state for an expat moving to the United States of America.

Is Arizona good place to live? Arizona is a state with great cities to inhabit. The state has a great natural beauty which encourages a lot of outdoor activity. The state authorities are relatively efficient but the school system could use some improvement. It is a laid-back state with plenty of sunshine.

What will excite an expat moving to Arizona the most is that it is to a very high degree a migratory state meaning most of the residents of Arizona migrated here. The endless months of the desert sunshine don’t have to be a problem. You can getaway to the beach a few hours’ drive away from the city or any other major but cooler area nearby. You will live a leisurely lifestyle on a small budget in Arizona as jobs abide aplenty and the cost of living is relatively low.

Read on to find out why to live in Arizona.

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Is Arizona a good place to live?

If you decide to live in Arizona, you will have numerous areas to choose from where you can rent an apartment or if you are committed, buy a house and settle down. Most places in Arizona are habitable so your choice of residence will come down to human factors such as cost of living, quality of schools, employment opportunities, crime rate and availability of necessary amenities. Based on the above criteria, the best areas to live in Arizona are Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Phoenix, Peoria, Litchfield Park, Prescott, Fountain Hills, Surprise and Oro Valley. The worst areas to live in include Central City, Maryvale, Estrella, Tuscon, Yuma, Casa Grande, Apache Junction, South Mountain, West Phoenix and Alahambra.

At a crime rate of 34 crimes per 1,000 residents, Arizona has an overall degree of crime that is slightly above than the national average. The violent crime rate in Arizona which includes crimes such as aggravated assault, murder, rape and robbery are above the national average and occur at a rate of 5 crimes per 1,000 residents. Property crimes like burglary and motor vehicle theft make up the bulk of the crimes happening in Arizona. Property crime in Arizona is also well above the national average and happens at a rate of 29 crimes per 1,000 residents. Insurance is highly advised for Arizona residents.

The public school system in Arizona is managed by over 220 independent school districts which are overseen by the Arizona Department of Education and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. There are three public universities in Arizona namely University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University which are overseen by the Arizona Board of Regents. There are plenty of private institutions of higher learning in the state-dominated by ‘multi-site universities. Moreover, two-year vocational schools and community colleges abide aplenty in Arizona and are overseen by independent community college districts.

Arizona’s transportation network is extensive, to say the least. For starters, the state is served by an immense road network include US interstate highways and US routes. Interstate highways include I-8, I-10, I-15, I-17, I-19 and I-40. U.S routes include US 60, US 64, US 66, US 70, US 89, US 91, US 93, US 95, US 160, US 163, US 180 AND US 191. The Arizona large freeway system also includes Loop 101. Several cities in Arizona have public bus transit systems including the Greyhound line. There is also a light rail system in Arizona connecting the capital to other nearby cities called the Valley Metro Rail. A line of the national Amtrak system runs through northern Arizona. Airports offering air travel in Arizona include Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Tucson International Airport, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, Yuma International Airport, Prescott Municipal Airport, Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, and Grand Canyon National Park Airport.

The cities in Arizona offer plenty of opportunity for social activities. There are museums, theatres, cinemas, and music venues for social meetings. Professional sports are also popular in Arizona with fans regularly visiting their professional teams’ stadiums.

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Living in Arizona Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. The cost of living in Arizona is relatively low. You will pay less in rent and other expenses than you will pay in other states.
  2. There are good employment opportunities in Arizona, particularly in Phoenix. The industries are many and varied so you will find a job in your field.
  3. The great weather of Arizona allows for many outdoor activities. You will especially enjoy a day out on an Arizona golf course.
  4. Cultural activities abide aplenty in Arizona. There is something for everyone in the state.
  5. Arizona is great for driving especially in Phoenix. The cities are well designed and you will barely need GPS to navigate.
  6. Exposure to tribal cultures is assured when living in Arizona. There is a great Native American presence in the state.
  7. Fewer insect problems than you will find elsewhere. Arizona is clean and hot hence you will barely see flies or gnats.
  8. Arizona is a road trip state. Large cities in California and Nevada make for great road trip destinations.
  9. Arizona is a young state great for young people.
  10. Arizona deserves credit for being one of the least taxed states in the country.

Cons

  1. You need some form of motorized transportation if you live in Arizona especially during summer. Walking is a tall order in the heat.
  2. Arizona is mostly barren and you will see neither lush forests nor extensive farmland.
  3. The heat can be unbearable especially during summer. The case is even worse if you are from a colder climate.
  4. The economy of Arizona is fairly diversified but they heavily rely on the construction and real estate industries which make the economy prone to collapse.
  5. Though the deserts in Arizona may be beautiful, they are also dangerous. A lot of the plantation in the desert is poisonous.
  6. You may not like Arizona depending on your political inclinations. Arizona residents are predominantly conservative.
  7. There is plenty of human traffic in Arizona during winter. Many Americans have holiday homes in Arizona where they come to escape the harsh winters.
  8. Winter is a beautiful season for most people and the lack of winter especially in Southern Arizona can be disheartening.
  9. The water in Arizona is mostly hard water. You have to purify it to drink it and it stains your utensils.
  10. High utility bills especially during summer.

Is Arizona a good place to work?

As stated earlier, Arizona does have a strong sand diversified economy that is highly dependent on the construction and real estate industries. The GDP of Arizona as of 2016 was $267 Billion. Arizona’s GDP is higher than other nations like Ireland and New Zealand. Domestically, it is the 21st largest state economy in the country. Moreover, according to data published in 2019 by the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis, Arizona has one of the highest growth rates among states in the country meaning its economy will continue to grow stronger.

As of 2017, the average annual household income in Arizona was $56,581 which is about $3,755 lower than the national average annual household income. Pertaining to individual salaries, the average income per capita in Arizona is $29,420 which is also about $3,000 less than the national average income per capita. One of the reasons for the low individual salaries is the presence of rural Arizona communities that are largely self-sufficient and engage in minuscule amounts of trade. As of June 2019, the unemployment rate in Arizona stood at 5.2% which roughly equal to the national average unemployment rate.

The largest industries in Arizona as categorized by the number of people they employ are trade, transportation & utilities, government, healthcare & educational services, professional and business services, leisure & hospitality, financial services, manufacturing, construction, IT and mining.

As far as individual employers are concerned, the state government of Arizona is the largest employer in the state. The largest employers as per the number of employees are Banner Health, Wal-Mart Inc., Kroger Co., McDonalds Corporation, Wells Fargo & Co., Albertsons Inc., Intel Corporation, American Airlines, Home Depot Inc. and Honeywell International Inc. respectively.

Is Arizona a good place to buy a house?

With the Arizona economy growing faster than most of its counterparts, there are plenty of opportunities to invest in real estate in anticipation of the job growth and migration expected in Arizona for the next few years.

The Arizona real estate market is strong and shows no signs of slowing down. A homeownership rate of 64% in the state supports that statement. The average home price in Arizona is $235,000 so you may have to get a mortgage to finance your purchase. Other expenses you should expect when buying a home in Arizona is home insurance and HVAC installments. You must have the two to live in Arizona.

The rental rates in Arizona are also affordable. The average a resident of Arizona pays in rent per month for an apartment is $1150.

The best areas to live in Arizona are Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Phoenix, Peoria, Litchfield Park, Prescott, Fountain Hills, Surprise and Oro Valley. The worst areas to live in include Central City, Maryvale, Estrella, Tuscon, Yuma, Casa Grande, Apache Junction, South Mountain, West Phoenix, and Alahambra.

The average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Arizona is $197,500. The average price of a two-bedroom apartment is $235,000. The average price of a three-bedroom apartment is $268,250. The average price of a four-bedroom apartment is $305,450 and the average price of a five-bedroom apartment is $344,750.

The average monthly rent for an apartment with a single bedroom in Arizona is $975. The average rent for an apartment with double bedrooms is $1150 per month. The average rent for an apartment with triple bedrooms is $1370 a month. The average monthly rent for a quadruple bedroom apartment is $1685. The average rent for an apartment with quintuple bedrooms is $1990 a month.

Is Arizona a good place to retire?

Arizona is a good place for an expat to retire for several reasons. First and foremost is the weather. Arizona has the ideal weather for a retiree. After spending decades staring at the sunshine through office windows, you can now bask in it all day long. The warm climate is also good for conditions mostly afflicting the elderly such as arthritis.

The rents and prices of retirement properties in Arizona are affordable. You will not expect a retiree to take out a mortgage so they will typically rent their properties which are almost equally priced to regular properties.

Moreover, Arizona is a good place to retire because it is relatively tax-friendly. The taxes are generally low and you are liable for a tax break for income from a pension.

The best areas to live in Arizona are Gilbert, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Phoenix, Peoria, Litchfield Park, Prescott, Fountain Hills, Surprise and Oro Valley. The worst areas to live in include Central City, Maryvale, Estrella, Tuscon, Yuma, Casa Grande, Apache Junction, South Mountain, West Phoenix and Alahambra.

The average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Arizona is $197,500. The average price of a two-bedroom apartment is $235,000. The average price of a three-bedroom apartment is $268,250. The average price of a four-bedroom apartment is $305,450 and the average price of a five-bedroom apartment is $344,750.

The average monthly rent for an apartment with a single bedroom in Arizona is $975. The average rent for an apartment with double bedrooms is $1150 per month. The average rent for an apartment with triple bedrooms is $1370 a month. The average monthly rent for a quadruple bedroom apartment is $1685. The average rent for an apartment with quintuple bedrooms is $1990 a month.

Is Arizona a good place to visit?

Arizona is a great state to visit particularly for its natural wonders. Must see places in Arizona include:

Grand Canyon National Park

A tour of the Grand Canyon is life-changing. The canyon is basically a 277-mile long river valley. The national park is known for its scenic viewpoints and mile deep geological wonders. The park has many activities for visitors including hiking and white water rafting.

Lake Powell

As far as water reservoirs go, Lake Powell is one of the most attractive ones. Lake Powell has beautiful rock formations such as the Rainbow Bridge. Activities at the lake include boating and fishing.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a beautiful national preserve with over a million acres of water and land that is meant for fun outdoor activities. Activities to be done on the preserve include swimming, taking boat rides, hiking and sightseeing. You can also organize a picnic on a scenic location where your mouth can feast on the food while your eyes feast on the amazing landscape.

Sedona

There are few desert towns on the planet as beautiful as Sedona. The town is located on a canyon valley and is circled by red-rock buttes, tall canyon walls and a pine forest. Despite being quite remote, the town has a very vibrant arts community.

The town is picturesque and is frequented by many photographers for its gigantic sandstone formations and rust-colored rocks. You can also see Native American petroglyphs in the Coconino National Forest heritage sites.

Marta Kovachek

Marta is a true digital nomad, traveling across the USA for the last 10 years and sharing her expertise with a wide range of readers. Read more articles by Marta Kovachek

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