Scottsdale is a city in Arizona’s Maricopa County and has been described as the ‘South Beach of the desert.’ The city has a population of around 236,000 people and is named after its founder who was a retired US Army chaplain. The city covers an area of 353 square miles and shares its boundaries with other municipalities and national forest. Scottsdale has received credit for its high standard of living and being one of the best cities in which to retire in the USA. Anyone thinking of moving to Arizona should definitely consider living in Scottsdale.
Is Scottsdale, Arizona a good place to live? Scottsdale is a city beloved by its residents in addition to being a thriving tourist destination. There is an abundance of amenities, exciting outdoor activities and sports. Scottsdale has great weather even in the summer. It is family friendly and a hub for arts and culture.
Moving to Scottsdale reveals a lush desert landscape which affords numerous opportunities for adventure in the great outdoors. The stunning scenery and breathtaking sunsets make you want to embrace your inner cowboy and saddle up for a horseback ride. Scottsdale has been referred to as ‘the most western town in the west’ and the city’s thriving nightlife, chef-driven restaurants, award-winning craft breweries and wine-tasting rooms are a testament to that. Scottsdale attracts scores of tourists so you will find plenty of resorts, spa centers, hotels and events in the city. The city’s urban flair and desert setting make Scottsdale a must visit the city.
Is Scottsdale, Arizona a good place to live? Prons and Cons.
Living in Arizona has its ups and downs. Scottsdale is a city just like any other meaning it has areas that can be distinguished as opulent while other areas can be aptly described as impoverished. However, the city is quite wealthy so there are few exclusively bad neighborhoods. Generally speaking, the further North you go in Scottsdale, the richer it gets. Good neighborhoods include Dc Ranch, Rio Verde, Kierland, Grayhawk, McDowell Mountain Ranch, Downtown and Paradise Valley. Bad neighborhoods include East Shea, McCormick Ranch, Resort Corridor, Via Linda Corridor, West Cactus, and Indian Bend.
Scottsdale is one of the safest cities in the state of Arizona and the United States. Scottsdale is safer than 52% of the cities in the US and there are about 7 crimes every day per 100,000 people. The general crime rate is 32% lower than the Arizona average and 15% lower than the national average. The chance of being a victim of crime in Scottsdale is 1 in 40. Property crimes like vandalism and theft are the most common crimes in the area. Violent crimes are substantially low in Scottsdale. Most of the city is well patrolled by police so crime is prevalent only in select locations.
Public education in Scottsdale is operated by two governing bodies: the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD), which serves most of Scottsdale and the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD), which serves North Scottsdale. The SUSD serves 25,668 students in 33 schools and employs about 4,000 people. The PVUSD serves about 30,000 students and 3,800 employees in 47 schools. Scottsdale Community College is the most prominent institution of tertiary education in the city. Other noteworthy institutions in Scottsdale include the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, a University of Phoenix campus, Gateway Seminary, and the Scottsdale Culinary Institute all offering hundreds of degree, diploma and certificate courses.
You can access Scottsdale through the SR 101 freeway. Once in Scottsdale, you can use the public bus service, Valley Metro. The city also manages a network of ‘trolley-replica buses’ known as the ‘Scottsdale Trolley’ which is free to board. The trolleys use one of two routes: the Downtown Trolley or the Neighborhood Trolley which merge at the Loloma Station transit center in downtown Scottsdale. Scottsdale also has a municipal airport. Scottsdale municipal airport is a single runway airport with commuter and tour flights. For any other form of commercial air travel, residents go to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Scottsdale is the biggest American city that has never had a rail line.
Scottsdale’s social life is the most vibrant in the state and one of the most active in the US. There are many annual and one-off events and fairs happening in Scottsdale all year round. Prominent annual events include the Scottsdale Arts Festival, the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, Scottsdale Fashion Week, Scottsdale Culinary Festival and the Scottsdale International Film Festival. The Scottsdale Art District in downtown Scottsdale has 125 galleries, studios and museums that are open to the public. There are also high-end nightclubs, restaurants, hotels, lounges and bars.
Is Scottsdale, Arizona a good place to work?
The unemployment rate in Scottsdale stands at 3% which is lower than the national average. Most of the workforce work full-time jobs. The average income per capita in Arizona is $52,000 per year which is almost double the US average of $30,000 per year. Popular job titles in Scottsdale include Executive Assistant, Operations Manager, Account Manager and Software Engineer.
The prominent industry in Scottsdale is tourism which employs about 40% of the city’s workforce. Scottsdale is tied for fourth most AAA Five-Diamond hotels and resorts in the United States. The city’s warm weather and abundant sunshine give Scottsdale tourist appeal, particularly during winter. Moreover, there are many companies headquartered in the city including Discount Tire, Go Daddy and Axon. The biggest employers in the city are Honor Health, CVS Health, Scottsdale Unified School District, Vanguard, City of Scottsdale, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Mayo Clinic, Nationwide Specialty Insurance, Yelp and McKesson.
Is Scottsdale, Arizona a good place to buy a house?
Real estate in Scottsdale is very expensive. The average home price in Scottsdale is $425,000 which is double the state average. The average monthly rent in Scottsdale is $1,200. Given such dear prices, it is advisable to get home insurance in case of any damage to your property. The homeownership rate in Scottsdale is about 65% most of which are owned by a mortgage. However, almost 20% of homes in Scottsdale are vacant; a useful measure to consider before buying a house.
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in Scottsdale is $1150. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1495 a month. The average rent for a three bedroom apartment is $1920 a month. The average monthly rent for a four-bedroom apartment is $2540 and the average rent for a five-bedroom apartment is $3200 a month.
The average buying price of an apartment with a single bedroom in Scottsdale is $236,100. The average price of an apartment with double bedrooms is $297,850. The average price of an apartment with triple bedrooms is $353,420. The average price of a quadruple bedroom apartment is $405,330. The average price of an apartment with quintuple bedrooms is $456,510.
Is Scottsdale, Arizona a good place to retire?
Niche ranks Scottsdale as the number one city in the USA as the perfect place to retire. There are several reasons for such an honor. For starters, Scottsdale is very safe. One of the main attributes retirees desire in a retirement location is safety since most are too old to defend themselves. The second reason is the city’s climate. The warm and sunny climate of Scottsdale is the ideal weather to retire to spend their retirement days. Scottsdale is such a great retirement location that retirees overlook the high real estate prices to move to the city.
If you desire to retire in Scottsdale, the retirement properties are just as many as normal houses and cost the same. Therefore, the above real estate figures can be used for reference when looking for retirement properties.
Is Scottsdale, Arizona a good place to visit?
As stated earlier, Scottsdale is a tourist town. There are countless things to do and places to see in Arizona. You will meet thousands of tourists on any day in Arizona. Popular attractions and landmarks include Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, Taliesin West, Hole in the Rock, OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, Phoenix Mountains Preserve, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Dolphinaris Arizona, Downtown’s Art District and McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in Scottsdale, Arizona?
The cost of living in this city is 14% higher than the national average. Housing is especially expensive being 44% higher than the US average. All other expenses except utilities will cost you more than the national average.
Is Scottsdale a good place to invest in property?
Scottsdale has experienced an incredible real estate price increase in the past decade. A real estate investor can surely capitalize on such price movements in the city. The rental rates are also high ensuring good returns for investors.
Is Scottsdale a good place to raise a family?
Scottsdale is an ideal child-rearing location. The city has outstanding primary and secondary schools. Scottsdale is also a safe city so you will rarely if ever be worried about your family’s security. Scottsdale has one of the most beautiful natural environments in the city which means numerous playing spaces for your children.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.