7 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Phoenix

With over 1.6 million residents, Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S. The capital of Arizona draws transplants with its sunny weather, thriving job market, and affordable cost of living. But before you pack up and head to the Valley of the Sun, there are key factors to consider about life in Phoenix. While the climate is enticing and housing is cheaper than many major cities, Phoenix has its drawbacks, too. Being prepared for intense heat, dependence on cars, suburban sprawl, and more unique aspects will make your relocation go smoothly. Learning both the advantages and challenges of Phoenix allows you to make the most informed moving decision. Here are eight key things to know before relocating to Phoenix:

It Has a Very Hot, Dry Climate

Let’s start with the obvious – it gets hot in Phoenix! High temperatures average 104°F during summer. While humidity is low, the relentless sun intensifies the heat. Winters are mild, with highs in the 60s and 70s. Snow is extremely rare. Monsoon storms bring heavy rain but also provide a break from the heat. If you love endless sunshine, the climate is ideal, but heat-adverse transplants may struggle. Stay hydrated and blast the A.C.! Despite the extreme heat, Phoenix offers many compelling reasons to move, like affordable housing, a great job market, and outdoor recreation. With efficient A.C., hydration, and sun protection, the year-round sunshine can be managed for those moving from cooler climates. Weigh the reasons to move to Phoenix versus the intense summertime temperatures. Most find the pros outweigh dealing with the desert heat!

The cost of Living is Lower than Many Major Cities

Housing costs much less in Phoenix compared to coastal cities. Based on the 2022 Cost of Living Index, Phoenix prices are 11% below the national average. Rental rates are affordable, especially for spacious homes, which is not always possible in dense cities. Taxes are also lower than in many metro areas. You’ll keep more money in your pocket living in Phoenix versus New York or San Francisco. The cost savings are significant compared to places like California. What may be a studio apartment in Los Angeles can get you a nice house with a pool in Phoenix. Gas and groceries cost less, too. Unless you must live right on the coasts for career reasons, Phoenix provides a very comfortable lifestyle for a much lower cost.

Job Market Focused on Finance, Tech, and Healthcare

Major local employers include financial services, aerospace, and technology companies. Healthcare is huge, with several major hospitals and facilities. Overall job growth is projected to be over 41% by 2026. Salaries tend to be lower than on the coasts, but so is the cost of living. Unemployment is currently very low at just 3.2%. A solid job market continues fueling Phoenix’s growth. Fields like finance, real estate, healthcare, aerospace, and tech are big in Phoenix. With corporations like American Express and Boeing plus major hospitals, good jobs exist. Growth is forecasted in these key sectors, especially healthcare. Wages may be lower than in NYC or San Fran but go further when costs are lower. Low unemployment combined with affordable living attracts new residents.

Wide Range of Neighborhoods and Housing

Phoenix offers diverse housing options to fit any lifestyle and budget. Luxury urban condos downtown appeal to young professionals. Suburban single-family homes with pools and yards for families make up large swaths. Retirement communities attract seniors who love the warm weather and amenities. Consider your lifestyle needs when exploring the vast array of neighborhoods. From posh condos in the heart of downtown to massive mansions in gated communities, Phoenix has incredibly varied housing. Active adults may like low-maintenance condos or townhomes. Families will find spacious homes in suburbs like Chandler and Gilbert. Retirees are drawn to spots like Sun City with golf courses and activities. Compare neighborhoods, prices, amenities, and more when choosing where to settle.

Outdoor Recreation Abounds

With 300+ days of sun, Phoenix is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Hiking, biking, golf, tennis, and swimming are popular year-round. Local lakes offer boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, and more. Various ski resorts are a short drive away. Mountain preserves and parks provide trails galore. Take advantage of the perpetually sunny weather through outdoor activities. Year-round sunshine makes Phoenix ideal for activities like golfing, hiking, swimming, and boating. Plentiful parks and nature preserves provide trails and picnic spots. Day trips allow skiing and snowboarding in winter. The desert scenery is beautiful and iconic. Just be careful with sun exposure during the intense summers. But overall, the weather allows endless days of fun outdoor exploration and recreation.

Arts and Culture Scene is Growing

Once considered a cultural desert, Phoenix is quickly cultivating arts, music, and culinary diversity. The Roosevelt Row Arts District downtown nurtures creativity. First Friday Art Walks draw crowds. Museums and performing arts venues provide entertainment. Festivals happen often, especially in spring. The food scene includes award-winning chefs and restaurants. Phoenix has blossomed into a cultural oasis. Long seen as lacking culture, Phoenix now boasts great museums, live music, festivals, chef-driven restaurants, and more. Roosevelt Row is a funky arts district with galleries, shops, and events. Large venues host concerts and shows. Spring training draws crowds yearly. A burgeoning food scene satisfies foodies. The cultural offerings are really expanding as the city grows.

Traffic Flows In and Out of Downtown

Navigating Phoenix often means dealing with congested freeways, especially at rush hour. The metro’s sprawling nature, plus its lack of robust public transit, contributes to thick traffic. Gridlock occurs daily on Interstates 10 and 17 and other highways like Highway 51. Leave plenty of time getting in and out of downtown. Phoenix’s car culture has its downsides. Phoenix’s traffic patterns reflect its sprawling suburbs and poor public transit. Rush hours and Fridays mean jammed highways and gridlock. The I-10 and I-17 get incredibly congested. Allow extra time to commute downtown or to the airports. Car dependence leads to inevitable traffic frustrations. Just build in buffers when getting around during busy times.


With mountain views, 300 days of sun, and growing job opportunities, it’s no mystery why Phoenix appeals to so many prospective transplants. Just be prepared for the intense heat, dependence on driving, and suburban sprawl. Weigh the pros and cons as to whether the Valley of the Sun is the right fit for your lifestyle, needs, and interests. If you can handle the climate and will miss walkable density, Phoenix may just become your new hometown.

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