Desert Climate, Mountain Views and Grand Canyon: The Best Places To Live In Arizona
Homeownership Moving Guide

Desert Climate, Mountain Views and Grand Canyon: The Best Places To Live In Arizona

By
January 8, 2024 at 2:29 PM PST
Homeownership Moving Guide

Desert Climate, Mountain Views and Grand Canyon: The Best Places To Live In Arizona

By
January 8, 2024 at 2:29 PM PST

Known for its hot weather, dry desert climate and the Grand Canyon, Arizona draws in vacationers and residents every year. Who wouldn’t want to live in a state with incredible views where you can just relax by the pool any time of the year? Between its healthy economy, scenic beauty, job market and an abundance of activities, Arizona is a great place to live. An added bonus is its proximity to major cities in bordering states like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque.

Cities in Arizona like Phoenix and Scottsdale offer well-paying jobs in many industries including technology, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, supply train and construction. The state has become a magnet for young professionals graduating college or working in a trade.

The cost of living in Arizona is a bit higher than the national average, because of the amenities and opportunities it offers. Because of this, homeownership may be more difficult for those on a lower salary. The average home price in Arizona is around $422,243 with the average rent coming in at around $1500 per month. Despite this, the housing market in many Arizona cities is competitive and with families and young professionals moving to the state every year, pricing continues to be competitive.

With a population of over 7 million, the state of Arizona is slightly diverse, with about five percent of Black residents and 31 percent of Hispanic residents. In fact, this state borders Mexico and the primary language in the majority of households in Arizona is Spanish, followed by English, Navajo and Chinese.

Here are some of the best places to live in Arizona.

Phoenix

Phoenix is one of the best places to live in Arizona if you want to live in the largest city in Arizona.

  • Population: 1,644,409
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $417,105
  • Walkability: Moderate

Phoenix is one of the best places to live in Arizona for those wanting to live in the state’s largest city. Great for young professionals looking for a city to thrive in and for families wanting to live in a place with a lot of amenities, Phoenix has a lot to offer. Because the cost of living in Arizona is higher than the national average, the average home value is over $400,000 for many homes.

For Black Families: For Black families looking to move to Arizona, consider moving to Phoenix. With over seven percent of Black residents, the Black population in the area continues to grow with over 100,000 Black residents. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities including Lego Land, the Children’s Museum and the Arizona Science Center.

For Young Professionals: Phoenix is a great city for young professionals. The average annual salary in Phoenix is around $56,610, slightly lower than the national average. A lot of well-known companies like Wells Fargo, Amazon, Honeywell and Banner Health employ young professionals and the job market is healthy.

Scottsdale

Scottdale is a large city in Arizona. It's one of the best places to live for those retiring and those entering the job market

  • Population: 243,050
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $829,000
  • Walkability: Moderate to High

With top-notch schools, a great retirement community and a growing job market, Scottsdale is one of the best places to live in Arizona. Scottsdale is one of Arizona’s more expensive places to live, with the average home price at around $829,000. If you’re an outdoor adventurer who likes the desert climate, Scottsdale is the perfect place for you or your family.

For Black Families: Almost seven percent of residents in Scottdale are Black. For families, this is the perfect Arizona city for those who like to explore and spend time outside. It’s important to consider the higher cost of living in Scottsdale compared to other Arizona cities.

For Young Professionals: The job market in Scottsdale continues to grow with high employment in the healthcare, science and technical services, finance and utilities industries. The average rent in Scottsdale is around $2,045, higher than a lot of major cities in the U.S.

Tucson

Tucson is one of the best places to live in Arizona for hiking and mountain views. Pictured: Tucson, Arizona

  • Population: 546,574
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $380,000
  • Walkability: Moderate

Home to the University of Arizona and over 50,000 college students, Tucson is a vibrant city and one of the best places to live in Arizona. With lots of hiking trails, mountain views and outdoor recreational activities, this is a great city for the outdoor enthusiast. The average home value in Tucson is around $380,000, making the cost of living lower than in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

For Black Families: For families wanting to live in Arizona’s largest city, Tucson is the perfect place for raising a family. The city is slightly diverse with Black residents making up 13 percent of the population.

For Young Professionals: Tucson is an especially great Arizona city for young professionals. With the cost of living lower than other Arizona cities, it’s more affordable for young people. The city offers a healthy job market with opportunities in higher education, hospitality, military and aerospace.

Mesa

Mesa is the third largest city in Arizona and one of the best places to live for desert landscapes and outdoor activities. Pictured: Mountain views in Mesa, Arizona.

  • Population: 512,498
  • Public School Rating: B
  • Average Home Price: 430,803
  • Walkability: Low to Moderate

East of Phoenix is Mesa, Arizona’s third largest city. Known for its desert landscapes and trails, Mesa is another Arizona city that’s perfect for outdoor activities. With so many kid-friendly indoor and outdoor activities, this is the perfect place for raising a family. The typical home value in Mesa is $430,803 with a competitive job market.

For Black Families: For Black people focused on raising healthy families, Mesa is a great place to live, With plenty of outdoor activities, museums and kid-friendly spaces, along with this area being more affordable than other Arizona cities, this is a place that your kids will love. Around four percent of residents in Mesa are Black, making it slightly less diverse than other Arizona cities.

For Young Professionals: For young adults looking to live in a large city, but not quite as large as Phoenix or Tucson, Mesa is the perfect combination. With plenty of mountain view and landscapes, the adventurer or hiker will thrive in this city. The average rent is around $1500 in a city where the job market is decent. The most common employment sectors are retail, health care and manufacturing.

Flagstaff

Flagstaff is one of the best places in Arizona to live for those who love hiking and want to live near the Grand Canyon. Pictured: Mountain views in Flagstaff, Arizona

  • Population: 75,907
  • Public School Rating: A
  • Average Home Price: $600,000
  • Walkability: Moderate to High

Just a short one-hour drive from Grand Canyon National Park is Flagstaff. Surrounded by mountains and desert, this city is the ultimate hikers playground. With a population of over 75,000 residents, Flagstaff is a small enough city where there is still a lot to do without it being overwhelming or too large. It’s advertised as one of Arizona’s destinations for all seasons with activities like skiing, viewing the pine forests, meteor craters and more.

For Black Families: While Flagstaff isn’t as diverse as other Arizona cities if you have a family that likes to hike and frequently go to the Grand Canyon, this is the perfect city for you. There are activities for every season that the kids will enjoy. Homeownership is slightly competitive, with average home pricing around $600,000, so this Arizona city is more expensive to live in.

For Young Professionals: Rent is also slightly more expensive in this Arizona city, with average pricing around $1900 per month. While the cost of living is higher, proximity to the Grand Canyon, along with outdoor recreational activities makes this a fun city to live in. Some of the major industries in Flagstaff are government, tourism and higher education, so if you plan on working in these industries then it’s the perfect place to live.



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