Moving to Phoenix? 10 Things you Need to Know


Phoenix City Hall

It’s Thursday, and I just received my fifth call this week that started out something like this:

“I’m thinking about moving to Phoenix. What can you tell me about the real estate market and living there?”

A reasonable question that is just begging for a blog post. . .

10 Things You Need to Know about Moving to Phoenix

1. It gets really really hot in the summer. We’re talking burn your hands on the steering wheel, asphalt melting hot. I once cooked a pot roast in a rental car in the summer. Seriously. You could cut it with a fork.

2. The Phoenix winters on the other hand, are idyllic. Today is a perfect example — it’s January 22 at 3:42pm and the current temperature is 73 degrees (23C).

3. The Phoenix Metro area is HUGE. Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the country by population. I live in the southeast portion of the Valley and can easily put 75 miles on the car driving “across town”. The great thing about hugeness is you can find just about anything you need or want in this city. You want “urban life”? Got it. Quiet suburbia? Got that too. Heck, go a few miles out of town and you can hike for days without seeing another human being.

4. Contrary to popular belief, there is more than sand and cactus here. Phoenix is in the desert. But the Sonoran desert is the “greenest of deserts”. So we’re not talking Sahara kinda desert. We’ve got palm trees. And even grass (as long as you water the heck out of it in the summer).

Top 10 11 Reasons to Move to Phoenix

5. Despite being land locked, Phoenix is only 170 miles from the lovely beaches of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. We’re closer to the beach than are Austin, Texas, or Charlotte, NC and WAY closer than Las Vegas (though you can drive to Vegas from Phoenix in under six hours).

6. Don’t want to drive to Vegas for casino gambling? No problem. There are several casinos on Native American land right here in Phoenix.

7. Skiing in the desert? OK, so you can’t snow ski in Phoenix. But you can drive to the Arizona Snow Bowl ski area area outside of Flagstaff in about 2.5 hours.

8. Skiing not your thing? How about golf? With over 200 golf courses, the National Golf Foundation dubbed Greater Phoenix the “Golf Capital of the World”. And if you are really into it, play 18 holes in the morning and drive up to Flagstaff for some skiing in the afternoon. People do it all the time.

9. Prefer watching sports over playing? Phoenix is home to major league baseball, football, basketball (mens and womens) and hockey teams. And don’t forget Major League Baseball Spring Training! Phoenix officially put an end to global warming as apparently hell froze over the day the Arizona Cardinals won a berth in Superbowl XLIII.

10. It’s easy to navigate in Phoenix. It’s laid out in one mile grids. Learn a few major east/west and north/south streets and you can never get lost. Just remember, Streets are east of Central, and Avenues are west of Central.

11. Whoops. We went to 11 things you need to know — the last being Phoenix is the home of the Best Damn Real Estate Blog on the Planet! At least according to Google… Need Phoenix real estate info? Look no further. Missing something? Ask.

Photo credit: Tombo the Tominator

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About the Author
Jay Thompson

I'm a former real estate broker in Phoenix, Arizona, currently work for Zillow Group and am the founder of the Phoenix Real Estate Guy blog. I tend to drive too fast and scream at the University of Texas and Denver Broncos football teams. My two kids are smarter than most adults I know and my wife is simply amazing.

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LiveFyre Comments


  1. greenest of deserts really surprised me alot. Do you have pictures on that?would like to visit phoenix one day. had heard bout it from a few friends for quite some time.How many casinos are available in phoenix

    **don´s last blog post..Mortgage Calculator</abbr></abbr>

  2. Good post, but I must qualify two of your points:

    1. Puerto Penasco may be closer to PHX than vegas, but the beaches of Southern California are closer to Vegas (about 4hrs compared to 5 if you're driving at the right hours). Call me crazy, but I'd much rather be surfing and enjoying the beaches of SoCal than PP.

    2. I think the urban living lifestyle that Phoenix boasts is too premature to advertise. The potential is definitely there, but there is a long way to go.

  3. "Whoops. We went to 11 things you need to know — the last being Phoenix is the home of the Best Damn Real Estate Blog on the Planet!"

    Well Jay, there's nothing wrong with your ego anyways, LOL

    I could think of many reasons that I love living here… in fact, I miss our desert home when I am on vacation too long (more than 2 weeks).

    **Matt´s last blog post..Paradise Valley Sales Report – December 2008</abbr></abbr>

  4. I love how easy it is to navigate the greater Phoenix area. My girlfriend and I came down from Bellingham, WA to watch the Seahawks vs. Cardinals game a couple of years ago and we couldn't believe how easy it is to find your way around. The whole city is on a grid with the 101 Loop going around it. We were very impressed!

  5. I did not realize Phoenix was such a large city, I'll have to get down there one day for a visit.

    Ryan Philipenko – Edmonton Real Estate

  6. Very nice list Jay. I was a contractor in San Diego North County and a client flew me to Phoenix to look at some projects. I remember stepping outside and having my breath swept away by the heat, but loved the area nonetheless.

    I was in Thesis forums and saw you had posted there. You've done a great job with the appearance and everything else with this blog.

  7. Very nice list Jay. I was a contractor in San Diego North County and a client flew me to Phoenix to look at some projects. I remember stepping outside and having my breath swept away by the heat, but loved the area nonetheless.

    I was in Thesis forums and saw you had posted there. You've done a great job with the appearance and everything else with this blog.

    **Joe´s last blog post..Kennewick Homes For Sale</abbr></abbr>

  8. Super useful post! One of the best I've seen. Highlight it somehow. Perhaps in the sidebar.

    **John Wake´s last blog post..VA Streamline Refinance Program (aka The VA IRRRL Program)</abbr></abbr>

  9. True you are closer to beaches Jay, but do you have all you can eat buffets? :) The weather outside today here in Las Vegas is about 70 degrees, can't ask for more than that in the winter. I couldn't believe how big Phoenix has become, the sprawl is incredible from the air.

  10. Arizona's just too damn hot for me. I drove through Pheonix on my way to Texas and couldn't get out of the car it was so hot. Otherwise it's a great State.

  11. That Phoenix in the Winter thing sure sounds good about right now. I have to tell people that, "Logan Utah is ideal in the summer, but the winters are bitter cold and you might have trouble breathing when the inversion gets really bad"…

  12. Do you know your ranked #1 on Google for the search term

    "Pheonix Real Estate"?

    that and

    "Going to Mexico"

  13. This is quite an informative blog about Phoenix. I didn't know that it is the 5th largest city in the US (by population only?) I like golfing and eating. But I could imagine that there are lots of fine restaurants there. I think I'll visit there on my next vacation.

  14. I would definitely rather live in Phoenix than living in Boston MA, here winters are cold as ice, and summers as hot as hell. also the city is very small and people are not as friendly, some day I will get out of here.

    **Nelson´s last blog post..the trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed</abbr></abbr>

  15. Is the heat in the summer humid or more of a dry heat? I don't mind when it gets hot, I just can't stand it also being humid.

  16. @Jerry – "But it's a dry heat" is a phrase often used here. Most of the time it is VERY dry (less than 10% humidity). But we do have a "monsoon season" (late July – August) where the humidity picks up and sometimes it'll be raining when it's 110. That's pretty miserable.

    Still, I'd rather have a dry 110 than 90 degrees and 90% humidity.

  17. Great list Jay, I will have to visit Phoenix sometime. I really have no excuse as my Dad has a house up in Fountain Hills he stays at for 6 months of the year.

    **James Boyer´s last blog post..Liberty Greens Condominiums Morris Twp NJ 07960 Home Sales</abbr></abbr>

  18. I never realized Phoenix was so large, but after seeing the average temperature charts on your previous entry, I can see why!

    Robert Eskiw – Edmonton Condominiums

  19. You put a GREAT list together and I loved number 11; way to go, Jay!

    **Lenda Goulding-Cary Real Estate Expert´s last blog post..In Cary NC, Cooking Oil Recycling Pilot Program goes curbside!</abbr></abbr>

  20. Jay,

    I like your site a lot. I have relatives in Phoenix and have thought for years of buying real estate. Luckily I didn't when I wanted to! But now may be a good time to start exploring. I also have investors I am a "investigator" for. I was looking for second home type real estate, possibly renting out DURING season. I don't mind the heat! I was looking at Verrado. I went there and fell in love with it. How's that commmunity doing? did they build that spa in the cave they were looking at doing? Thanks

    **Scott Allan´s last blog post..Montclair, NJ Real Estate & Relocation</abbr></abbr>

  21. How fun you can go skiing in the desert, lol! That was a great list of things to do in your area!

    **Meg Zoller-Houston Realtor´s last blog post..Houston Real Estate Reaps Benefits of Statewide Population Growth</abbr></abbr>

  22. Thanks for introducing us to Phoenix. Even though it's not on the cards (moving to Phoenix) for me right now, still that's a very useful piece of information for those willing to move to a different place.

  23. Darnit, you are closer to the beach….by about thirty miles too. Hmm…how close are you to the mountains?

    Great post!

  24. How fun! I think I saw the "Rock In Roll" Marathon there on TV today too. I missed part of the show, but it was a Marathon in Phoenix with live rock music at the finish; it looked like fun!

    **Linda Craft-Raleigh Realtor´s last blog post..Raleigh Homeowners Struggling With Their Real Estate Investment</abbr></abbr>

  25. Great list of info! I had not realized Phoenix was number 5 by population-congrats! I liked number 11 too! lol

  26. Follow up to #7: It surprises a lot of people that Tucson has some good skiing in the winter as well as Flagstaff. In fact, I think Mt. Lemmon is the southernmost ski resort in the country!

    **North Phoenix Blogger´s last blog post..FBR Open Swings Into Scottsdale</abbr></abbr>

  27. Congratulations on # 11. Phoenix is dry heat though, right? Because it gets pretty hot in Atlanta as well, but it's also extremely humid, to the point where you can not walk to your car from the grocery store without being drenched in sweat. Phoenix sounds like a great city, I hope I get a chance to visit some day, sounds like a blast to go golfing in the morning, skiing in the afternoon and hitting up the casinos at night!

    **Atlantanomics´s last blog post..Sales Soar at Chick-fil-A</abbr></abbr>

  28. I come by way of Eric Blackwell's recommendation on this post. I see what he means…very informative, well-written and amusing. You obviously put alot of your personality into your writing.

    Cooking a pot roast without an oven could be viewed as pretty convenient. I think the heat in Phoenix would be a little too much for me 4 months out of the year, but the cooler season sounds perfect. I also hear its the place to find beautiful turquoise jewelry.

  29. Cardinals game a couple of years ago and we couldn’t believe how easy it is to find your way around. The whole city is on a grid with the 101 Loop going around it. We were very impressed!

    **Atlanta Travel City Guide´s last blog post..Should Michael Vick be allowed to play in the NFL again?</abbr></abbr>

  30. Im looking to move are company and are employes to pheonex i need help with homes and office space


  1. […] This post on the Jay Thompson’s blog is great because it is IMO a new way to paint a picture for an audince of what life in Phoenix is all about. He acknowledges the hot summers and then explains the other good parts of like there. From a purely SEO point of view, he did a good job of linking out to local sites and attractions in his post. Does that help? Yes. It networks you in the local business community and that is invaluable. […]

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