Tips & Guides

Considering Moving to Arizona? 12 Pros and Cons

By Landing | Mar 26, 2024
moving to arizona

Check out 12 pros and cons of moving to Arizona and nine great places to land. Here’s what to expect from the attractions, economy, and climate.

Moving to a new state impacts nearly everything about you — who you hang out with, what you do on the weekends, and even your day-to-day mood. 

Needless to say, it’s a huge decision. But if you love hot weather and a reasonable cost of living, moving to Arizona is an obvious choice.

There are plenty of good reasons to consider Arizona for moving or retiring, from warm and sunny winters to stunning natural attractions. Like any state, it also has its drawbacks. Here’s everything you need to know about moving to the Grand Canyon State before you start packing.

Living in Arizona: Getting To Know the State

Arizona is a geographically expansive state in the Southwest of the U.S. with roughly 7.5 million inhabitants. It’s home to some of the country’s most stunning national parks, desert landscapes, and rivers, all of which make this state a worthy destination for people who enjoy taking in the sights. 

Arizona has several vibrant big cities, like Phoenix and Tuscon, that offer cultural attractions, unique cuisine, and a wealth of job opportunities. There are also upscale suburbs and small cities, like Scottsdale, for people seeking idyllic dream homes and quieter nights.

So, is Arizona a good place to live? The answer depends on your values and interests. The pros of living in Arizona, like being able to explore some of the best landscapes in the U.S., make it perfect for some. But Arizona’s cons (hello, 110-degree weather) are deterrents for others.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Arizona

Get out a pen and paper and start making your moving to Arizona pros and cons list. Here’s everything you need to know about whether this sunny desert state is a good fit for you.

The Pros

Arizona is a gorgeous state with dozens of unique cities and towns — and a strong economy within them. The following pros demonstrate why a move to Arizona could be the right choice: 

Financial Benefits

One of the top reasons to move to Arizona is the cost of living. While the state ranks a bit higher than the national averages for transportation, utilities, and living costs in general, housing and everyday goods are less expensive than in other areas, and healthcare is on par. 

Well-Maintained Roads

If you enjoy long (fast) drives, a move to Arizona can satiate your wanderlust and need for speed. The state has well-maintained roads and a 75 MPH maximum speed for cars, so you can easily zoom between cities and natural attractions.

Natural Paradise 

If you’re wondering if you should move to Arizona, there’s only one question to ask: Do you love the outdoors? In this state, you can hike the Grand Canyon, enjoy excellent fishing on Arizona’s rivers, and explore countless opportunities for mountain biking, camping, and watersports. 

Pleasant Climate

Arizona is often sunny, so if you get a Vitamin D mood boost, this state could keep you happy year-round. Summer temperatures soar, and Arizona’s winter, fall, and spring climates are never too cold, averaging in the 50s from December to February.

Work Opportunities

Arizona stays on par with the U.S. average for job opportunities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are plenty of openings in tech, aerospace, and healthcare, but there are also opportunities in education, finance, and tourism. 

Culture

Arizona’s culture has Latin American and Indigenous influence. From culinary offerings like fry bread and Mexican pozole to local arts and crafts, you can experience and appreciate these influences from the source. 

Great for Sports Fans

Arizonians fill their weekends with exciting live sporting events. Its cities are home to NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, WNBA, and NASCAR teams. 

The Cons

Life in Arizona isn’t perfect. Consider the following cons before planning your big move:

Scorching Summers

Intense heat waves are an unfortunate reality of Arizona living. Summertime temps often skyrocket over 100 or even 110 degrees, making commuting or getting outside uncomfortable — even unsafe.

Water Scarcity

The Colorado River, which supplies Arizona’s water, started a drought in the 2000s that’s only worsened. While there’s enough water for everyone, you’ll have to become more conscious of how and when you use it.

Dangerous Wildlife

Arizona’s arid landscapes provide ideal habitats for snakes, poisonous spiders, and scorpions. While you can still safely spend time outdoors, you’ll need to take added precautions when cleaning out dark corners of your garage or pitching a tent in the desert. 

Limited Public Transportation and Low Walkability

Arizonians depend on their cars to get around due to minimal public transportation options and extensive desert terrain that’s hard to traverse on foot. Even if you live in one of the state’s more walkable cities, like Phoenix, you’ll likely still need a car.

Environmental Concerns

Not only is Arizona low on water and extremely hot during the summer, but this state also faces wildfires, dust storms, and earthquakes. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of fires yearly — some of which take months to extinguish.

The 9 Best Cities in Arizona

If you can stand the occasional scorpion and look forward to tapping into rich cultural, natural, and career offerings, here are nine areas that could be your next home: 

1. Phoenix

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Phoenix is the biggest city in Arizona and has all the urban trappings you might expect: museums, sporting stadiums, and a zoo. It also has stunning desert views and excellent Mexican and Indigenous-inspired cuisine. 

2. Scottsdale

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Scottsdale is a small, affluent city known for its luxurious properties, high-end shopping and eateries, and Sonoran Desert backdrop. It’s also a hotspot for golfers. 

3. Mesa

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Mesa is a smaller city close to Phoenix with an excellent arts center and plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and explore nearby deserts and forests. It’s also home to the Arizona Museum of Natural History, which always has interesting exhibits for kids and adults alike. 

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4. Gilbert

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Gilbert is one of the safest U.S. cities and the perfect landing place if you’re seeking a quaint community vibe. With its retro downtown, family-friendly activities, and farmers’ markets, Gilbert is laid-back and focused on fun.

5. Tempe

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Tempe is another smaller city close to Phoenix and a great option if you want a slow-paced urban stay. There’s a stunning desert botanical garden, an arts center, and plenty of shopping.

6. Glendale

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Glendale is just nine miles from Phoenix and an excellent landing place for football fans, as it’s home to the Arizona Cardinals. Avid shoppers will also find something to enjoy, with several malls and unique local offerings downtown.

7. Chandler

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Chandler is a Phoenix suburb that’s great for families. The Desert Breeze Train, the Veterans Oasis Park Solar System Walk, and the themed Playtopia scapes at Tumbleweed Park are fun for little ones.

8. Surprise

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With huge tennis courts, a fishing lake, and a professional golf course, Surprise is an ideal city for active folks. It’s also home to a couple of baseball teams’ spring training, so sports fans can enjoy outings to the stadium.

9. Tucson

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Tuscon is Arizona’s second-largest city. Moving to Tucson gives you access to stunning Spanish colonial architecture, the cactus-lined Saguaro National Park, and one of the best botanical gardens in the country — you can have it all.

FAQs About Moving to Arizona

There’s more to Arizona than Phoenix or Tuscon. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you see the whole picture and make a decision.

How Much Do You Need To Earn To Live Well in Arizona?

According to a survey from Purdue University and GoBankingRates.com, you’ll need to earn around $60,000 annually — at minimum — to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in Arizona. But the survey says to thrive, you’ll need around $108,000. 

What’s a Reasonable Hourly Wage in Arizona?

The minimum $60,000 salary range for comfortable Arizona living is roughly $30 per hour. 

Is It Hard To Get a Job in Arizona? 

Arizona’s unemployment rate is about 4%, and while it’s on the higher side of average, it’s better than nearby states like Nevada and California. This state’s most booming industries include aerospace and defense, energy, and agriculture, and dozens of big-name companies have set up headquarters here, like PetSmart, Banner Health, and Circle K.

Land in Arizona Like a Local

Find the perfect pad in Tucson, Phoenix, or beyond, and start soaking up the Arizona sun. Landing offers flexible, turnkey apartments that help you feel settled in on day one. 

Learn more about Landing memberships and live life on your terms, no matter where you are. 

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Landing

Ted may be the world's slowest typist and struggle to hold a pen, but he has mastered how to pursue a more flexible lifestyle throughout his airborne adventures around the U.S. Whether you're looking for more information before migrating to a new city or want to find an easier way to rent a nest—erm, apartment—Ted will always be here to share his best advice for where to live and how to thrive.