In this Part 2 of 4 series of You’re Not Buying A Home, You’re Buying A Neighborhood, we dive into the Central Phoenix real estate market, and look at some of the most popular Phoenix neighborhoods to live in. Sometimes when searching for a new home it can be easy to get lost in what the actual house has to offer, and not consider all of the other factors. Home buying is much more than just buying a physical house. In reality, when purchasing a home you buy the entire neighborhood that home is in. Being aware of this can work in your favor because with this in mind you can find an amazing home to reside in and an amazing community to live your life in!
Buying the Phoenix, Arizona Neighborhoods
Phoenix is not only the capital of Arizona, but it’s also the biggest magnet, for both tourists and those looking to move to Arizona, in the state. Phoenix is located in Maricopa County and offers its residents a mix of an urban and suburban feel. The population in Phoenix is 1,633,017 people. So, it’s rather densely populated when compared to other suburbs in Arizona. There are slightly more homeowners in Phoenix than renters. With 54% of Phoenix residents owning their homes, and 46% of residents renting their homes. The median household income in Phoenix is $57,459. The median home value is $235,400. This is very typical for Arizona and is slightly lower than the median home value in other cities within the state. The median rent in Phoenix is $1,053. Which is also standard if not slightly below averages compared to other Arizona suburbs.
Living In Phoenix, Arizona Rankings
Phoenix comes highly ranked in a few categories, but may not have as many awarded rankings as some of the other cities in the state. Nonetheless, Phoenix is ranked #58 for Most Diverse Cities in America out of 228 cities. This is because Phoenix is more heavily populated than other cities in Arizona. Therefore, it has much more diversity and culture to offer its residents. Phoenix is also ranked #64 for Best Cities to Retire in America out of 228 cities. Additionally, Phoenix holds the #92 spot for Cities with the Best Public Schools in America.
Crime rates in Phoenix are going to be a little higher than in the other cities in Arizona, and even slightly higher than the national average sometimes. The rates are calculated annually per 100,000 residents. The robbery rate in Phoenix is 189.3 while the national average rate for robbery is 135.5. The rate for motor vehicle theft in Phoenix is 419. The national rate for the same category is 284. Lastly, Phoenix’s rate for assault is 434.4 while the national average for assault is 282.7.
Local Phoenix School Systems
Phoenix does have a number of excellent school options. The BASIS charter schools are seen throughout Arizona, but they have a few campuses in the Phoenix area. These schools all hold an A+ grade. So, if you’re looking for an exceptional public school to place your kids in be sure to check out the BASIS Phoenix and Ahwatukee campuses. If you’d like to place your kids in a private school, then Phoenix also has quite a few suitable options to fit your needs. Some of the best private schools in the area are Brophy College Preparatory High School (rated #1 in Best Catholic High Schools in Arizona) and Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy ( rated #6 in Best Private High Schools in Arizona).
Phoenix Dining and Entertainment
In Phoenix, you’ll find a variety of activities to engage in. There’s access to everything from amazing mountain parks to fun social events in Phoenix. Be sure to stop by the Desert Botanical Garden. This beautiful garden spans 140 acres and houses over 50 thousand plants. Also, check out the Japanese Friendship Garden for an experience that takes you out of the desert. To see some amazing artwork venture into the Roosevelt Row neighborhood. This is a walkable art district where there is an endless amount of art to see and little boutique shops to explore. Also, be sure to join Phoenix’s First Friday celebrations. On the First Friday of every month, Phoenix hosts a variety of different food trucks, art galleries stay open late, and people explore all the neat activities lining the streets.
Buying the Scottsdale, Arizona Neighborhoods
Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the biggest hot spots in the state. Scottsdale is located in Maricopa County and has a population of 250,602 people. This city provides its residents with a dense suburban environment. The people living in Scottsdale are typically young professionals or retirees. Residents here are primarily homeowners. With 66% of people living in Scottsdale owning their home, and only 34% of residents renting their homes. The median household income in the city of Scottsdale is $88,213 per year. The median home value in Scottsdale is $475,300. Which, as you can tell, is slightly higher than many of the other median home prices in Arizona. This is because Scottsdale has a lot of amenities to offer those living in the city, and is a hugely popular place to live for this reason. The median rent in Scottsdale is $1,365. So, not too much more expensive in the rental department when compared to other cities in Arizona.
Living In Scottsdale, Arizona Rankings
Scottsdale has collected a number of high-ranking spots both within Arizona and within the country. For one, Scottsdale is ranked #1 for Best Cities to Retire in America out of 228 cities. No wonder 24% of Scottsdale residents are 65 years or older. Scottsdale is also ranked #22 for Cities with the Best Public Schools in America out of 228 cities. So, if you’re looking to move your family into the best Scottsdale neighborhoods you’ll find a selection of great schools to place your children in. If you’re interested in overall quality of life Scottsdale ranks highly in this category. Coming in at #24 out of 228 for Best Cities to Live in America.
When it comes to crime and safety Scottsdale has crime ratings below the national average all across the board. To illustrate this we’ll look at a few statistics. These are calculated annually per 100,000 residents. When it comes to robbery Scottsdale has a rate of 42.2 while the national average is 135.5. For motor vehicle theft Scottsdale comes in at a rate of 101.4. Which is less than half of the national average rate sitting at 284. Assault is going to be even less than half of the national average. With Scottsdale assault rates coming to 63.7 and the national average is 282.7.
Local Scottsdale School Systems
The schools in Scottsdale also come highly rated so you won’t have a hard time finding a great learning environment for your kids. Public schools in this area come more highly rated than private schools. But you won’t have a hard time finding suitable options for either public or private. When it comes to public schools, one of the best in the area is BASIS Scottsdale. This school has an A+ grade and is ranked #1 in Best Charter High Schools in America. Another great option is Phoenix Union Bioscience High School. This school also has an A+ rating and offers a 17 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio. For private schools look into Notre Dame Preparatory School. This school also holds an A+ grade and is ranked #3 for Best Catholic High Schools in Arizona.
Scottsdale Dining and Entertainment
Entertainment and social events in Scottsdale are bottomless. The state of Arizona, in general, is known for having a lot of urban sprawl and not a lot of centralized urban areas. However, Scottsdale is one of the exceptions to this rule. Scottsdale’s popularity has made it one of the most centralized urban metropolises you can find in the state of Arizona. This is why you’ll find no end to the activities you can participate in Scottsdale. If you want a high-class shopping experience then make sure to go to the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. Here you’ll find designer stores like 7 For All Mankind, AG Jeans, AllSaints, Hugo Boss, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, and many more. To experience a mixture of Arizona history and unique culinary experiences be sure to venture into Old Town Scottsdale. In Old Town, you can walk down Fifth Avenue and venture into the variety of shops to try on Native American jewelry, and look at Scottsdale’s historic art selection. While you’re there you must stop into FnB for some farm-to-table cuisine that’s mostly local to the valley. If you want a Mexican option check out The Mission. Be sure to order the guacamole that they make right there at your table for you!
Buying the Tempe, Arizona Neighborhoods
Tempe, Arizona is a very popular suburb in the state. This suburb is located in Maricopa County as well and is rated #7 for Best Suburbs to Live in Arizona. The population of Tempe is 187,454 people. The majority of people living in Tempe are going to be young professionals and even college students. Unlike the other cities we’ve looked into so far, Tempe’s residents are primarily renters rather than homeowners. With 59% of Tempe residents being renters and 41% of residents being homeowners. The median household income in Tempe is $57,994. The median home value in Tempe is $272,900. Which is very standard for Arizona, and is competitive price-wise with other cities in the state. The median rent in Tempe is $1,164. Which is still very standard for Arizona, but is not the cheapest rent you can find. This is because, as stated earlier, the majority of residents are renters.
Living In Tempe, Arizona Rankings
Tempe holds a few notable rankings within the state, but not as many as some of the other neighborhoods we’ve explored. Even so, Tempe holds the #39 spot out of 228 for Best Cities for Young Professionals in America. This is why so many young business professionals flock to the area, and even college students come to Tempe to get their careers started. Tempe is also ranked #46 for Best Cities to Live in America out of 228 cities. Not to mention, the neighborhoods in Tempe also hold the #51 ranking for Best Cities to Retire in America out of 228 cities. So, don’t worry about being too overwhelmed with all of the youths living in the area. There is still a good mix of ages that won’t leave you feeling like you’re living in a college town.
When it comes to crime and safety Tempe does fairly well, falling below the national average in some categories but not in all of them. Using the same measurements as above (calculated annually per 100,000 residents), Tempe’s robbery rate is 106.4 while the national average is 135.5. In fact, Tempe’s rates fall below national averages for most of the violent crime categories. When it comes to motor vehicle theft Tempe’s rate is 308.9 while the national average is 284. However, when it comes to burglary Tempe also falls below national averages coming in at 469.2. The national average is 500.1.
Local Tempe School Systems
Tempe is home to Arizona State University, and for this reason, also has many excellent grade schools in the area. Some excellent public schools to consider are Tempe Preparatory Academy (ranked #8 in Best Public Middle Schools in Arizona) and ASU Preparatory Academy – Polytechnic High School (ranked #24 in Best Public High Schools in Arizona). Both of these schools are A+ graded schools. However, Tempe doesn’t have many highly rated private schools within its district. Still, if you’d like to place your kid into a private school check out Bethany Chrisitan School and Grace Community Christian School for some great choices.
Tempe Dining and Entertainment
Since there are plenty of young residents living in Tempe, there are also a ton of unique activities to do in the area. Mill Ave is definitely one of the most popular spots to hang out in Tempe. The whole strip is lined with restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops. Stop into Snakes & Lattes for a unique experience combining coffee or alcoholic beverages with their selection of hundreds of board games that you and your friends can play while you sip. Loco Patron is a popular nightclub on Mill Ave that’s perfect for dancing the night away. Tempe Town Lake is also a must-visit. It’s beautiful to walk around the water any time of the year. But during the summer take advantage of being able to kayak on the water or rent a segway to ride around the lake.
All in all, the cities we explored in this article all offer unique amenities to their residents. Phoenix offers a connection to everything that surrounds the city and will place you in a diverse environment. Scottsdale has many high-end shopping and dining options and is visited frequently by people living in surrounding suburbs for this reason. Tempe brings a fresh, young vibe to the area and will always have a variety of exciting things to do. No matter what, you can’t make a wrong choice when deciding between these three Arizona cities.