Phoenix, United States - January 4, 2018: Geese Swim Across the Lake in Encanto Park as Office Towers Rise in the Distance.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Arizona


Are you thinking about moving to Arizona? For many people, Arizona can be a dream destination. However, it’s not for everyone, and knowing where to live in Arizona makes a big difference to your overall satisfaction. Before you make a move, here are some essential things to know about the pros and cons of living in Arizona.

Pro: You Get Great Weather Year Round

Did you know that Arizona has an average of 300 days of sunshine each year?[1] This gorgeous weather makes Arizona an excellent choice for those who love sunny days and time outdoors. Without much rain or snow, you should make sure you pick a place with a nice patio or backyard when researching where to live in Arizona. It is even sunny during winter, so you don’t have to let the chilly months stop your fun.

Keep in mind that the sun shows up on both sides of many pros and cons of living in Arizona lists. The extra days of sun indeed mean it will be warm in the summer. However, most people find the heat bearable as long as you are not trying to go on long hikes at the hottest part of the day.

Tucson, Arizona, USA Downtown City Skyline With Mountains at Twilight.

Con: Most Spots Aren’t Walkable

All that wide, open land does come with some downsides. Cars are typically an essential part of Arizona living. If you are used to walking to a favorite brunch spot or running by the store to grab some groceries for dinner, think again. However, many towns in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area are walkable to local joints, especially Old Town. In most metropolitan areas, you will have to drive to and from your destinations.

Even if you are really dedicated to living without a car, Arizona doesn’t make it easy. The high temperatures that are often mentioned in moving to Arizona pros and cons make it unsafe to walk or bike long distances in the summer. Most towns do not have a lot of public transport available either. The focus on cars can lead to traffic jams and annoying commute times.

Pro: Desert Wildlife 

Arizona’s year-round warm temperatures allow some beautiful animal species to flourish. Some animals a part of Arizona’s natural history are the jackrabbit and the roadrunner! The diverse species that make up the ecosystem are definitely a perk to the incredible state. 

When you think about moving to Arizona pros and cons, the gorgeous desert scenery may catch your eyes. You can expect heart-melting sunsets, stunning cacti, and bright flowers. The desert scenery is truly something to marvel at.

Pro: You Get to Enjoy a Lot of Diversity and Culture

Arizona is a fairly diverse state, so people from all backgrounds can feel welcomed. Most of the other cultures in Arizona are Native American, so a large population of Navajo and Apache speakers lives in Arizona. The region is home to many Hispanic people as well, and there are also groups of residents from Poland, Greece, Japan, and other places.

Thanks to this diversity, Arizona is home to some fascinating cultural traditions. Arizona living includes lots of opportunities to go to cultural festivals, local markets, art exhibits, and more. More significant metropolitan regions like Phoenix tend to have a lot of activities happening all year. However, smaller areas like Window Rock also have some excellent parades, rodeos, carnivals, and other traditional events.[2] 

Con: Unpredictable Desert Weather

Saguaro Silhouette in Lighting Storm in Phoenix Arizona With a Purple Sky

No matter how you choose where to live in Arizona, you are going to encounter some rough weather. Of course, the first danger is heat waves, which can reach around 105 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Storms can also be a little extreme. Most of the year isn’t rainy, but there can be massive monsoon storms that cause flash floods between June and September.[4]

Another thing to keep an eye out for is haboobs. This word might sound funny, but Arizona residents use it to describe dust storms. This causes clouds of dust and grit to whirl around, which can be quite an inconvenience. Most Arizona soil holds a fungus that can cause Valley Fever if inhaled, so a dust storm can leave you with a fever and a bit of a cough for a little while. Fortunately, this scary-sounding condition is very treatable.

Pro: Fairly Affordable Cost of Living

If you are used to spending thousands of dollars each month for big city living, Arizona will come as a pleasant surprise. Out of all the states, Arizona ranks number 32 on the list of cheapest places to live. This puts it solidly in the middle. It might not be as cheap as living in the middle of nowhere in Kansas, but it is still far less expensive than places like Massachusetts or California.[5] 

For those trying to get the most bang for their buck, keep in mind that the cost of living varies from city to city. Some spots, like Tucson or Scottsdale, can be a little pricier, while spots like Yuma are even more affordable. In addition to fairly reasonable costs of housing, food, and utilities, Arizona also has the perk of very affordable pastimes. All the outdoor activities let you have fun without spending a lot.

On a Final Note

Now that you know a little about the pros and cons of moving to Arizona, what do you think? If you have any other questions about what it is like to live in Arizona, we are here to help. As a relocation expert, Peggy Young specializes in helping people transition to Arizona. Our team can provide you with more information or help you get started with the process. Contact us now to learn more.

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