There are many things to enjoy about living in Arizona, from the magnificent Grand Canyon, the delicious cuisine, and the beautiful communities to the expansive desert vistas. Moving to the Southwest can be a great decision, but as everyone knows, visiting a new place is significantly different from living there.
Here are a few of the most discussed advantages and disadvantages of making the Copper State your next long-term residence. In some instances, a few of these factors fall into both categories. The warm weather, for example, is a massive perk during the winter but can be a challenge to deal with during the summer. The vast open landscapes might be intimidating to some and a dream to others who enjoy exploring the rural outdoors.
Pros of living in AZ
The desert has charming characteristics that draw visitors in for more permanent and seasonal moves. Everything from mild winters to a varied job market keeps newcomers looking to this warm state for living options.
No Harsh Winters
Many people can’t stand the icy cold winters, so being able to say goodbye to them for good is a big plus for those moving to Arizona. In the northern part of the state, only the higher elevations get snow in the winter and are easily accessible from the rest of the state. Flagstaff has a decent ski resort, and even Mount Lemmon near Tucson in the south has some slopes too. There is rarely a chill, and most days are sunny.
There are no wet, cold days like in many other US states. Other than the relatively brief “monsoon season,” Arizona has dry weather all year. On the odd chance that it snows in the desert at lower elevation levels, it usually melts within minutes or hours.
Because of Arizona’s convenient location, residents may quickly go on a variety of exciting road trips. By car, the journey from Phoenix to Los Angeles or Las Vegas only takes a few hours on average, while a drive to Denver or Dallas should take around a day.
New Mexico is within a few hours, too, with an easy route to cities like Albuquerque or Santa Fe. The state’s closeness to Mexico also makes it a popular travel destination, and people can drive to Mexican beach towns from there.
For those who rather travel in-state, there are plenty of various cities and attractions to explore. From the red rocks of Sedona to the historic Route 66 in mountainous Williams, you will change environments entirely in just an hour’s drive. To see classic desert views, head south to Casa Grande and Tucson, or be in four states at once at the Four Corners National Monument in the northeastern part of the state.
Cost Of Living
Rental or mortgage costs are often comparable to the national average. In relation to major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Boston, or Seattle, the general cost of living there is substantially cheaper, and the dollar stretches a little further in Arizona.
Additionally, rural locations in the state are sometimes even more affordable than the bigger cities of Phoenix and Tucson. Prices for goods like electricity and groceries are often similar to those found around the country.
Diverse Outdoor Environment
Even though the Grand Canyon is one of the most famous things about Arizona, the state has a lot of different geography and landscapes. Northern and Southern Arizona are as opposite as they come, varying from sandy washes with cactus to pine tree forests.
Around every bend, you’ll find access to everything from canyons and deserts to flatlands, hills, and stunning striped or bright red rocks. The state has an impressive 31 state parks and six National Forests to explore and enjoy time in the great outdoors.
The Grand Canyon State is renowned for having quality air and being easy on the lungs, except for fleeting spring tree blooms in March and April. Arizona also has significantly cleaner air and lower pollution levels than many other parts of the country.
Moreover, the dry atmosphere means fewer allergies and mold. The only time humidity is regularly present is during the monsoon months, with steady rain for a few hours a day.
Robust Job Market
Several Fortune 500 companies in multiple industries call the state their home base. Additionally, the strong economic growth in Arizona is largely supported by its busy tourist industry. Millions of visitors go to the Grand Canyon annually, and hundreds of thousands of more seasonal residents come in the winter, contributing to the state’s thriving economy.
Healthcare and technology are two more of this desert region’s fastest-growing sectors, adding to the state’s employment market.
Fewer Flies And Mosquitoes
Insect populations are low in Arizona compared to the rest of the U.S. This is due to the dry desert environment, which keeps the state’s air at a low average humidity year-round. The times that it does get somewhat humid during monsoon season are short-lived, along with bug season. dSince flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and chiggers, like to congregate in damp areas, the dry air of Arizona should keep you relatively pest-free.
Lots of Cultural Diversity
Arizona is a melting pot of cultures thanks to its proximity to Mexico, Indian reservations, and many transplant residents from other states. The southwestern fare served up is some of the best of its kind in the country, and the varying arts are unique and rich. Many towns also have local farmer’s markets, art walks, and street fairs that are great places for seeing and sampling local goods.
Cons of living in AZ
Like everywhere else, the Grand Canyon State has a few less-than-stellar qualities. Desert critters and sand storms may be intolerable to some, while the lack of excellent public transportation will turn others off.
Extreme Summer Heat
Although the thought of Arizona’s mild winters may seem enticing, the state’s scorching summers should be kept in mind. The heat in the summer, when temperatures might reach 115-120°F or more, is unbearable even in arid regions. Several consecutive days with summertime highs of more than 100°F are possible, and the weather seldom drops much at night. The temperature inside a vehicle may rise to intolerable levels as well.
Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to enjoy the outdoors during this season’s heat. Even though the monsoon rains are temporary relief, the heat from about the end of May through August keeps people inside for a good portion of midday.
Poor Public Transportation
Arizona’s more prominent cities are usually built on grids, making navigating simple once you know where you’re going, but sometimes getting there is hard. Several places don’t have enough public transportation, and walking in many places isn’t easy. Almost everything requires the use of a private car. While there are buses and taxis, they aren’t as user-friendly as somewhere like New York City.
Cities like Phoenix and Tucson also have terrible traffic and lengthy travel times. Traveling around the state, there are long stretches of barren land. Rural locations have even less to offer than public transportation.
Despite the lack of pesky insects like flies and mosquitoes, there is a plethora of wildlife that may be encountered. Some of these critters, like scorpions, crickets, and pack rats, may be a nuisance or a minor source of alarm. In contrast, others, like mountain lions, coyotes, javelinas, and rattlesnakes, may constitute a severe threat.
Everyone spending time outside should be aware of the possibility of seeing snakes and other animals and be ready to act accordingly. People with small dogs and cats need to be extra vigilant in leaving their animals outside, as there are many coyotes and large birds of prey even in metro areas.
Most people are taken aback the first time they see a dust or sand storm, although they pass through town rarely and only last for a while. Some storms, occasionally classified as “haboobs,” can be massive and blow hard over arid regions, carrying vast clouds of dust and debris.
It’s unpleasant to go outdoors in one since the elements may quickly enter one’s eyes or mouth. They track in a coating of dust and grime.
Many retirees known as “snowbirds” from colder parts of the nation may flock to Arizona throughout the winter. From time to time, they exacerbate and contribute to the issue of traffic congestion. Although permanent and seasonal residents benefit the economy, more people means getting a reservation at a well-liked restaurant or starting the day on time could be more difficult.
Unsurprisingly, the amount of tourism varies substantially from one area to another. Hundreds of thousands of seasonal residents go to Phoenix each fall and winter, which is the size of another town.
Lack Of Seasons (Most Towns)
Living somewhere warm all year round might get boring even if you occasionally escape the summer heat by traveling north. Particularly in the southern regions, seasons do not exist. Various weather in the south is limited to summer and a short winter.
However, in Flagstaff and the surrounding area, there are more seasons due to having a higher altitude and a different climate, but only some people live in the small towns up there.
The beauty and possible danger of deserts are two sides of the same coin, as in the forenamed pro/con dichotomy. Those who love to hike and camp need to be aware of their location and be prepared while traveling into the desert since there may be long stretches without any kind of assistance available.
Extreme heat may rapidly become life-threatening under these conditions, even if it’s not too hot. There are only so many natural resources out in the desert; finding your path or surviving long periods could be challenging if you get lost.
It’s also easy to become weary with driving through the desert if you don’t like the scenery. Especially when making a road trip through the Southwest, it can be dull and barren landscapes for hours.
Everywhere has its own pros and cons, but Arizona is beautiful, and the Southwest is a great area to live in overall. It’s the sort of location where you may discover real pleasure because of its postcard scenery, abundant sunlight, many career options, and reasonable cost of living.