Are you thinking about moving to Arizona? Here’s our guide telling about the pros and cons of living in Arizona, one of the most sought after destinations in the US.
Arizona is more than just the sweeping Grand Canyon or a vast arid desert. There’s an array of exciting cuisine, diverse topography, and an interesting job scene waiting for you here. If a change in scenery is what you are looking for, Arizona is the perfect option.
Why is everyone moving to Arizona these days? Maybe the weather here is perfect for achy bones. Arizona has summer all year round and you are spared from the callous winter when you need to shovel snow for half a year. It’s not that the people rush here blindly.
Hundreds of Americans call this state their home after weighing the pros and cons of moving to Arizona. For the residents, apart from the opportunity to explore the natural beauty created by forests and mountains, it’s like living in a natural museum.
Whether you’re a snowbird planning to permanently relocate to Arizona or someone sick of the Northwestern rain, there are some pros and cons of living in Arizona. Let’s have a look at them in detail.
The pros and cons of living in Arizona in 2021
Arizona is always warm
One of the big merits of Arizona is the absence of a harsh winter. If you don’t have a soft corner in the heart for cool mornings and chilled winds, Arizona is the best place to reside in.
The climate is semi-arid to arid at lower elevations, with pockets of continental and alpine types in the northern highlands. A mountain state, the summers here are exceptionally hot and dry with temperatures usually in the 90°F to 120°F zone. The average high temperature reaches a peak of 97°F in July.
Even during the winter, average daily highs touch 70°F. There’s barely any snowfall in the southern region of Arizona and snow accumulates only in the high mountains of the north.
There is a reasonable cost of living to expect when Arizona is your home
For a four-member family to survive in Phoenix, the biggest city in Arizona, the cost of living will be $2,700 per month. This excludes housing costs. If you’re on your own, this will again drop down to about $800. The cost of living in Arizona is 5% lesser than the national average.
The families moving to Arizona rent for the first year, so expect to pay around $1,000 per month for a two-bedroom apartment.
A house will cost somewhere near $285,000, which worked out to $154 per square foot. Compare this with Washington DC where the median listing price is nearly $599,000, at $554 per square foot, or in California where the median listing price is $544,000 which is $320 per square foot.
Arizona’s economy is larger than Ireland
Arizona is not just a desert state as you may assume but it is one of the richest economies in the US with a gross state product of 270 billion. Had Arizona been a country, its economy would have been larger than Ireland, Finland, and New Zealand. Arizona ranks 39th in per capita income and the economy here is diverse and healthcare, transportation, and government remain the largest sectors.
Arizona’s economy is always forward-thinking
Arizona, unlike many other states, has always been pro-innovation. And this has prompted many start-ups to launch their business from Phoenix or Tucson or some other Arizona city. It was one of the first states to open up its cities to ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft.
Uber is soon planning to relocate its self-driving car division headquarters to Arizona and Apple is planning a 2 billion expansion, one of the biggest in the company’s history. Google also launched a self-driving vehicle program in Arizona. Lucid Motors is launching an e-vehicle manufacturing unit in Arizona.
All these prove how investment-friendly the state is and if you are planning to be an entrepreneur, start seriously thinking about moving to Arizona.
In Arizona, the job market is too robust
Arizona’s job market is growing and this contributes to high job opportunities in the state. One of the richest economies in the country, Arizona has a strong base in the defense and tech sector supported by healthcare, manufacturing, and aerospace.
Phoenix and Tucson are two major cities with several industries and offices, creating many blue-collar jobs.
There’re a lot of golfing opportunities here
One of the best things about Arizona is the huge number of golf courses. In Phoenix alone, there are about 200 different locations to do golfing, from small neighborhood locations to destinations for the world championships.
Two golf courses considered the best on the planet are in Arizona – Chiricahua in Scottsdale and Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree.
Driving is easy in Arizona
Moving to Arizona, one of the best things you will experience is how easy it is to drive a car. Be it in a city like Phoenix or outside, you’ll be surprised to see the planned grid when you look at the map. You can drive without checking the GPS and can figure out where you are heading to. Even the highways here provide you a straight shot to your intended destination.
However, just up on gas before taking a road trip. Because much of the state is desert, you will go for extended periods before finding a place to refuel.
There’s plenty of sunshine in Arizona
Arizona has seven mouths of nice weather. And instead of dealing with chilly winters for the next five months, you will be managing hot temperatures. There will be 320 days of sunshine here and only a handful of days of rain, which can be both a pro and con of living in Arizona.
The sunlight is nice as you can spend time in the outdoors than in any other state, exploring the wild landscapes and mountains of Arizona. But the extreme sunshine can also be boring after a particular period.
Road trips are more fun packed in Arizona
When you are in Arizona, you are just next to California and Nevada for a fun road trip adventure. Take a day’s drive to Las Vegas or hit the road for a couple of hours to reach California. If you take I-10 west toward California, you’ll be able to explore the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Drive a little further to make it to Joshua Tree National Park. Hoover Dam and Death Valley are also close enough.
This means your weekends and vacations will no more be the same. Instead, it will be loaded with fun and adventure.
Arizona is culturally diverse
About 25% of the population is Native Americans and they have a great influence on Arizona’s culture. Apache and Navajo are some of the spoken languages in Arizona. Moving to Arizona is the best way to raise your child in a culturally diverse environment.
The wildlife here is really wild
Arizona is famous for its never-ending vast lands packed with unlimited and unknown creatures. There’s probably no other places in the US with such an amazing range of species – peccary, bobcat, Mexican wolf, tarantula, great horned owl, rattlesnakes, and mule deer are just some among them.
Here’s a list of 15 state parks in Arizona where you can meet the Arizona wildlife
- Alamo Lake State Park
- Buckskin Mountain State Park
- Catalina State Park
- Cattail Cove State Park
- Homolovi State Park
- Lyman Lake State Park
- Oracle State Park
- Picacho Peak State Park
- Sonoita Creek State Natural Area
- Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
- Red Rock State Park
- Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park
- Dead Horse Ranch State Park
- Kartchner Caverns State Park
- Verde River Greenway State Natural Area
There’s a strong sports culture in Arizona
One of the best things about Arizona is the robust sports culture here. There are many professional sports teams including football, baseball, and basketball including the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Suns respectively.
Soccer culture is getting developed in Phoenix. Soon the city will see a team competing at MLS.
There’s a lot of hiking and biking options in Arizona
When you learn about the pros and cons of living in Arizona, you will realize that the state is a paradise for adventure lovers. The landscape is amazingly perfect to measure your adrenaline rush. During winters, when the rest of the US will be covered under the blanket of white snow, thousands will influx to Arizona to take the best of its climate and natural beauty. Living in Arizona, you can explore the wild landscapes of the state at any time you desire.
Some of the best adventure activities you can explore in Arizona are:
- Hiking the Havasu Canyon trail
- Finding your way to Verde Hot Springs
- Mountain biking in Prescott
- Whitewater rafting the Colorado through the Grand Canyon
- Off-roading in Sedona
- Floating the Salt River
- Hot-air ballooning over the Sonoran Desert
- Walking in Geronimo’s shadow at Chiricahua National Monument
- Staying on a dude ranch and riding off into the sunset
Arizona is not always a perfect destination. Before you take a final call, you need to analyze both the pros and cons of living in Arizona. Till now, we were looking at the plus points, and let us now walk over to see what the cons of living in Arizona are.
A huge part of Arizona is barren
If tall, green trees, lush lawns, and plenty of forests are your concept of home, then southern Arizona is not the place for you. Even in the north, you will not find in terms with the concept of the forest if you had grown up watching Oregon or Washington. A big part of the state is desert and moving here, you should readily expect plenty of cacti, lots of sand, and palm trees. It’s always red landscapes around and green wetlands are not something that Arizona is famous for.
It’s good to look but don’t touch anything in Arizona
There’s no doubt that the Arizona desert is simply stunning and fabulous. But almost everything in the desert can be poisonous – plants, herbs, fruits, tiny insects, bugs, reptiles, or even something unknown but beautiful. There’re a plethora of things there but who knows what is dangerous. So always the safe bet is not to touch anything in Arizona. Keep that in mind while living here.
The summers are unbearable in Arizona
If you will love the Arizona winters for its not too cold nature, it is just the opposite for the summers. In a state where there will be no shortage of sunlight in winter, the summer temperature will cross 90°F and may touch 120°F. The southern desert occasionally registers temperatures above 125°F. And this means summers are unbearable in Arizona.
In summers, you cannot go out in the afternoons as it is dangerous. Similarly, to stay inside, you need to have AC as coolers will be of no use at this time of the year.
There’s heavy traffic in Arizona, especially in winters
The roads in Arizona are crazy as they are packed with vehicles throughout the year. This gets severe in winter when thousands of snowbirds migrate to Arizona in search of pleasant weather. During the peak hours, the roads and intersections get chocked and you will hear residents cribbing about the traffic all the time.
This is more severe in cities like Phoenix and Tucson and maybe the interiors of Arizona are spared.
You need a car to live in Arizona
Arizona’s landscape is breathtaking but to explore it, you need a car. The public transport system in Arizona is too pathetic that even in cities like Phoenix and Tucson; there is no access to the remote parts. Since everyone drives to the office and back, the traffic problem is severe in the state.
In summers, you need gloves to drive as steering wheel burns are quite normal in Arizona.
You will need sunscreens and umbrellas here
Arizona has about 300 days of sunshine and for about three months, it will be extremely hot. And to venture out, you need sunscreens and sunglasses without which it can be hazardous for health.
In the same way, from mid-June to the end of September, the monsoon provides half of the annual rainfall. Flash flooding is common and you need to carry an umbrella while going out these days. Also, flash flooding can make driving a tedious task.
Valley fever is a serious concern in Arizona
While speaking about the pros and cons of living in Arizona, you cannot miss out on valley fever, which impacts a major population here. Especially in the south of Arizona, valley fever is a serious concern.
Moving here, you should be prepared to have it, either earlier or later. Some are luckier to have a minor impact but everyone will get infected. However, this is not a serious disease and now treatments are available at most medical clinics across Arizona.
There are creepy creatures everywhere that can scare you
Scorpions, black widows, giant lizards, and tarantulas – you will find them everywhere. You can get have a panic attack during the early days in Arizona when you find a tarantula in the drawing room at night. But soon you will realize that in Arizona, you cannot avoid them. Rattlesnakes and giant lizards might frequent the garage. You need to be extremely careful as these are venomous creatures and can even cause death.
You need to learn to live with Haboobs
Haboobs are dust storms in Arizona that can strike across the state at any time of the year. For locals, haboobs are common and they just drive through them. In your initial days, you may crib about haboobs but will soon realize that there’s no escape from them. Unless they go through your house, do not worry about them because then you’ll have to clean up the entire home.
Arizona is an incredible state and you should seriously think about moving here – as long as you can stand a little summertime heat, are cool with giving up the snow in the winters, don’t mind keeping an eye out for the occasional rattlesnake, and enjoy a thriving tech scene.
Get deep into the pros and cons of living in Arizona and analyze them and you won’t mind calling Arizona your new home. About thousands of people are already calling it and hundreds will join them soon.