The Phoenix skyline at sunset

Pros and Cons of Living in Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix Arizona

by Matt Lyons Posted on February 21, 2024
With an average home value of around $416,600, it’s easier to find affordable homes in Phoenix than it is in other parts of the state, as the average home value is slightly lower than Arizona’s average. Along with the affordable prices, you can also find a variety of communities and home styles throughout Phoenix to accommodate your needs.Moving somewhere new can feel intimidating — especially if you’re moving to a big city like Phoenix, Arizona. So to help you feel as prepared as possible, here are some pros and cons of living in Phoenix that we think you should consider.
Planning a move to Phoenix? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

What’s it like living in Phoenix? As the state’s capital city — and fifth largest city in the U.S. —  Phoenix is a thriving area of Arizona that offers a strong economy with plenty of job opportunities, beautiful sunny weather, and urban communities with numerous amenities. What’s more, the population surges in Phoenix certainly haven’t slowed down in recent years, as approximately 66,850 people moved to the city in 2021, and 72,850 more new residents joined in 2022.

With 24.5 percent of the population under 18, the city draws in a considerable number of families. And 59.4 percent of the population is estimated to be White, while Hispanics/Latinos take up another large chunk of the population at about 43 percent. 

Fun Facts About Phoenix

Living in Phoenix Pros and Cons — FAQs

Q: What is the downside of living in Arizona?
While the warm weather is enjoyable throughout most of the year, sometimes the heat in the summer months can be a little too hot for comfort for some. 

Q: What are the cons of Phoenix?
The major cons of living in Phoenix include extreme summer heat waves, a slightly higher cost of living, and dealing with an influx of tourists during particular times of the year.

Q: Why do people keep moving to Phoenix?
With job opportunities, attractive weather, outdoor recreation, and plenty of fun things to add to your calendar — among many more perks — it’s easy to see why Phoenix attracts many new residents each year.

Q: What is a good salary to live in Phoenix?
A good salary for a family of four with two working adults in Phoenix is around $119,200 before taxes, while an adequate salary for a single adult living in Phoenix would be closer to $51,400 before taxes.

The Phoenix skyline at sunrise, with palm trees in the foreground

Pros and Cons of Living in Phoenix

Is Phoenix a good place to live? Well, you can’t go wrong with warm weather, lots of outdoor recreation, and an excellent food scene. However, the drawbacks are just as important to consider. Take a look at some of the pros and cons of living in Phoenix to decide whether or not the Valley of the Sun is the right place for you. 

Pro: Sunny and Warm Days All Year

The year-round warm and sunny weather is a major draw to Phoenix. The temperatures typically vary from around 40 degrees Fahrenheit to a little over 100 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, and they rarely drop below freezing — even in the coldest times of year. 

Phoenix is considered one of the sunniest states in the entire country, so the vibes among locals are typically in good spirits! And with more than 300 sunny days a year, Phoenix only receives around nine inches of rain. 

Con: Weather That Can Trigger Allergy Sufferers 

The reason why Phoenix stays warm year-round is because it’s situated right in the Sonoran Desert. While the warm weather is one of the city’s main draws, sometimes the temperatures in the summer can be a little too warm for some. And besides the uncomfortable heat, dust storms are quite common throughout the city in the spring and summer months. Also called “haboobs,” these unpredictable dust storms can form to be miles long and create major issues for those who deal with allergies.

Pro: Strong Economy With Diverse Job Opportunities

Whether you’re just beginning your career or you’re looking to switch jobs, Phoenix is a great place to do it. The city is known for its startups and small businesses, but there are also plenty of larger places to dip into.

You can find your fit at a Fortune 500 company like Magellan Health or get started in one of the city’s booming industries — you’ll be able to choose from opportunities ranging from aerospace and electronics to tourism and service.

Two hikers take photos of the desert buttes outside of Phoenix

Con: Active Tourist Season 

There’s no doubt about it; you will have to deal with an influx of snowbirds during the winter. That, combined with being one of the largest cities in the country, means you’re going to have to deal with issues like traffic from time to time. But, honestly, can you blame them? Who wouldn’t want to enjoy all that sunshine in the wintertime?

Pro: Outdoor Enthusiast’s Paradise

Speaking of the warm weather, it’s perfect for those who enjoy spending time outdoors and staying active! Whether you’re a golfer or enjoy going on walks and hikes among picturesque scenery, there’s something to accommodate just about every hobby.

In fact, there are more than 180 city parks in Phoenix. Some of the best spots to hit up include:

If golfing is more your style, you have hundreds of courses to choose from, including access to lively PGA events, like the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Con: Lack of Nightlife 

So it’s obvious some of the main benefits of living in Phoenix include the ample warm weather and variety of outdoor activities, but the nightlife scene in the city? That’s one area where the city is lacking. Sure, you’ll still have some bars, clubs, and nightclubs to choose from, but your options are more limited for a large city — especially if you’re coming from an area like New York, Miami, or Los Angeles.

Homes in the Phoenix suburbs

Pro: Affordable Homes With Plenty of Options

With an average home value of around $416,600, it’s easier to find affordable homes in Phoenix than it is in other parts of the state, as the average home value is slightly lower than Arizona’s average. Along with the affordable prices, you can also find a variety of communities and home styles throughout Phoenix to accommodate your needs.

Con: Slightly Higher Cost of Living 

The BestPlaces cost of living score for Phoenix is 113, which includes the typical necessities of things like food, healthcare, taxes, and transportation. This is more expensive than both the state average of 106.4 and the national index of 100.

However, because there are so many affordable homes to choose from in Phoenix, this higher cost of living might be more manageable. Phoenix scores a 118.6 average for housing, while the state of Arizona averages 119.7. 

In other big Arizona cities like Tucson — which is more affordable than Phoenix — the average rent for a one-bedroom is around $1,275, while the average rent for similar same square footage is around $1,525 in Phoenix

Pro: Close Proximity 

While there’s plenty to keep you entertained in the city, those who enjoy traveling and exploring will fit right in when living in Phoenix, too! There are plenty of beautiful cities and landscapes to explore across the state just a couple hours away, including the Grand Canyon and Sedona for a picturesque hiking experience. 

And if you prefer to fly to new places rather than driving, you can get to plenty of exciting cities with just a short flight. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Denver are some examples. Taking a vacation out of the country instead? The Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix can accommodate that, as well! 

Cars traveling on the interstate outside of Phoenix

Con: Reliance on Cars

When you think of large cities around the country — like NYC — you most likely picture people being able to walk around everywhere to get where they need to go. With Phoenix, however, you’ll likely need a car to be able to travel around the city.

While traffic can become a problem in Phoenix during certain times of the year (remember those snowbirds?), driving within the city isn’t too difficult, and there’s an extensive road system with carpool lanes that allow for more breathing room on the road. Besides a car, though, you can also use the Valley Metro or light rail system

Pro: Delightful Food Scene

The number of top notch restaurants in Phoenix are endless, whether it's international cuisine, fine dining, or food trucks you’re after. In fact, chefs from all over the world come to Phoenix. Check out some of the top local favorites you can choose from:

  • The Fry Bread House: The Fry Bread House in Phoenix is a favorite among locals, with its pillowy, deep-fried dough that's filled with various ingredients, such as honey and powdered sugar, as well as vegetables, cheese, and beans. 
  • Valentine: This restaurant offers a variety of food and drink options, including pasta, wine, and desserts, and it features soft lighting and leather chairs for a retro feel. Some of the best dishes that are served here are the avocado squash toast and churro waffles.
  • Little Miss BBQ: This authentic Texas-style barbecue establishment in Phoenix serves some of the best pork ribs, brisket, and sausage links around. When you're in the mood for something a little different, try the pastrami brisket. And don't forget to order the red potato salad and jalapeño cheddar grits!

Con: High Crime Rate

Is Phoenix safe? Unfortunately, Phoenix has a high crime rate, with a rate of approximately 37 crimes per 1,000 residents. Your chances of being a victim to either property or violent crime is one in 27, and 92 percent of other communities in Arizona are safer. Along with motor vehicle theft, property crimes such as burglary, larceny, and arson are among the most common crimes that take place in the city. But just as in other cities, though, the crime is likely more concentrated in certain areas. It’s important to do your due diligence when it comes to researching the safety of neighborhoods throughout Phoenix, as there are certainly plenty of great options! 

A family has their PODS container delivered to their driveway, where a driver walks them through how to best use it

Use PODS To Help You Move to Phoenix 

Once you’ve considered the pros and cons of living in Phoenix and decided to make the move, PODS can help you get there with ease. A portable moving and storage container will be delivered right to your driveway, where you can pack and load all of your belongings on your own schedule. PODS will then pick it up when you’re ready and take it to your new Phoenix home — no driving required on your part!

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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