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Renter's Guide to Phoenix
Located in central Arizona, Phoenix is the state’s capital city. Its metropolitan area, often called the Valley of the Sun, also includes nearby towns like Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Phoenix is known for its subtropical desert climate, thanks to its location right along the northeastern side of the Sonoran Desert. It is the cultural center of Arizona.
As the largest city in Arizona, Phoenix boasts a desert-like feel with all the amenities of a big city. It is the 5th fastest growing city in the entire nation, having added approx. 25,000 residents from 2014 to 2015.
Boasting more than 1.5 million residents, Phoenix is the sixth-most populous city in the U.S. and the single largest city in Arizona. Phoenix proper encompasses 517 square miles of land – making it about 4 times the size of Las Vegas - while the entirety of the Phoenix metropolitan area includes more than 14,000 square miles.
There are many big cities within driving distance of Phoenix. Las Vegas is about 300 miles away, making it a mere few hours’ drive between the cities. From nearby Sedona and Tucson, it’s only about 100 miles, and from Dallas, Phoenix is 1,000 miles – or a 15-hour drive. For further distances, the Phoenix airport – Phoenix Sky Harbor International – offers national and international flights on more than 15 airlines.
Phoenix has a desert climate, meaning it has long, hot summers and short, very mild winter seasons. In the summer (June-September), temperatures average from 104 to 100. Winter, spring, and fall are slightly cooler, averaging between 66 and 95. On average, Phoenix has more 100-plus degree days than any other city in the country. It has very little rainfall.
Phoenix, AZ Demographics
- Total Population1,574,421
Female 784,828Male 789,593
- Median Age33.3
Cost of Living in Phoenix, AZ
On average, living in Phoenix is more affordable than most major cities in the U.S. In late 2015, it was actually named the eighth most affordable U.S. city to buy a house in.
Phoenix offers several public transportation options, including buses and a light rail system. Fares for the Phoenix light rail and buses range from $2 for a one-time ride to $64 for a 31-day pass. The city offers reduced fares for seniors, disabled persons, children and Medicare cardholders. For those who choose to drive themselves, commute times for Phoenix residents are on par with the national average. They spend about 25 minutes driving to work.
How Much is a Meal in Phoenix?
A meal for two in a mid-range Phoenix restaurant will run about $50. A regular cappuccino costs just over $4, while a one-pint draft beer is about $3. Some of the top restaurants in Phoenix include Durant’s, Lo-Lo’s Chicken & Waffles, Rusconi’s, and Fuego Bistro. Craving for a delicious veggie burger? Check out Green New American Vegetarian - Tempe and Phoenix’ 100% vegan restaurant!Utility Costs in Phoenix
Phoenix residents tend to pay more in utilities than the average American, simply due to the greater need for year-round air conditioning. The average cost for electricity, heating, water, and garbage is about $182 a month, whereas the national average for a 915-square-foot apartment is $146 a month.
Average Rent in Phoenix, AZ
- Phoenix, AZ Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,123 /mo
Phoenix, AZ Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0002%
Phoenix, AZ Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 8% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Phoenix
With a population jump of more than 8 percent between 2010 and 2015, there’s a reason why Phoenix is the second-fastest growing city in the country. Learn more about what moving to – and living in – Phoenix is really like.
Living in Phoenix – Pros and Cons
Like any city, Phoenix has its pros and cons. On the good side, it’s always sunny and rarely ever rainy, there are few bugs and in-home pests, and it’s close to Nevada, New Mexico, and California, making road trips and vacations a breeze. The city is also known for having very clean roads and a great selection of restaurants and shops.
The hot temperatures and arid climate are the city’s main disadvantages, as they make the summer season pretty uncomfortable for many residents. Many in Phoenix also yearn for the foliage and flora often seen in other major cities.
Things to do in Phoenix
Phoenix, like most major U.S. cities, is full of things to do for all ages.
Phoenix is known for its many stately mountains, like Camelback Mountain, Piestewa Peak, and South Mountain. Each offers a great view and plenty of hiking and climbing opportunities. Chase Field, where the Arizona Diamondbacks play, is also a top commodity during baseball season.
One of the best things to do in Phoenix is to catch a Phoenix Suns game. The well-known NBA team plays at Talking Stick Resort Arena from October through May (longer if they make the playoffs!)
If you’ve got kids, the fun never stops in Phoenix. Just a few of its many kid-friendly attractions include the Phoenix Zoo, the Wet and Wild water park, and the Arizona Science Center, which offers an IMAX theater, a planetarium and hands-on exhibits.
For those in need of a good date night, Phoenix has plenty to offer. The Phoenix Symphony is a romantic option for music lovers, while Equinox Hot Air Balloon Rides are a great choice for the adventurous types. Castles N’ Coasters is fun option as well, offering rides, mini golf and an arcade.
If you’re on a tight budget, you’re in luck: Phoenix has plenty for the strapped-for-cash. Outdoorsy types can take a hike around Camelback Mountain, snapping photos or just getting in a great workout. For the more artsy folk, the Phoenix Art Museum offers free admission every Wednesday from 3 to 9 pm.
Phoenix is home to a few annual events, including the Phoenix Comicon, the Phoenix Marathon, the Arizona State Fair and Phoenix Zoo Lights, a holiday celebration boasting 3D light sculptures, holiday music, ice sculpting, camel rides and more.
Filled with numerous mountains and outdoor wonders, Phoenix is home to a number of must-see parks and outside attractions. Some of the tops include the Desert Botanical Garden, Camelback Mountain, South Mountain Park, and the Japanese Friendship Garden, a beautiful tea garden and tea house. As for shopping, the Desert Ridge Marketplace and Biltmore Fashion Park are the area’s top malls, while CityScape Phoenix offers everything from dining and shopping to bowling, comedy and more.
Culture in Phoenix
Culture abounds in Phoenix, as the city is home to dozens of museums, parks, theaters, publications and more. The Phoenix Art Museum and Musical Instruments Museums are popular stops, while the Phoenix Theatre offers dramatic plays and presentations year-round. The Heard Museum of American Indian Art and History is a must-visit, especially for those who seek to understand the multi-faceted spirit of Phoenix.
The city is served by a number of news publications, including the Phoenix New Times, the Arizona Republic and the Phoenix Business Journal. PropertyShark named Phoenix No. 14 on its list of most cultured cities in the U.S.
Phoenix Employment & EconomyThe main industries in in Phoenix are manufacturing and tourism, and as the city grows, the technology and service sectors expand as well. Many major companies call Phoenix home, including Best Western, DriveTime, Knight Transportation, Jobing.com, PetsMart, Sprouts Farmers Market, P.F. Chang’s, and Universal Technical Institute. Top employers in the area include the State of Arizona, the City of Phoenix, Wal-Mart, Banner Health, and Wells Fargo.
Phoenix, AZ Households
- Total Number of Households544,022
Family 345,463Non-family 198,559
Children 195,746No Children 348,276
- Average People Per Household2.86
- Median Household Income$52,080
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,023
Education in Phoenix
A total of 325 public schools in 30 school districts serve the Phoenix area, along with more than 200 charter and private schools. One of the largest high school districts in the country, the Phoenix Union High School District comprises 16 schools, over 27,000 students, and nearly 3,000 employees.
As for higher education, the city is home to a number of colleges and universities, including Arizona State University, Phoenix College, Grand Canyon University, and the University of Phoenix, a college well-known for its online programs across the country.
Phoenix, AZ Education Statistics
- No High School8%
- Some High School35%
- Some College25%
- Associate Degree7%
- Bachelor Degree16%
- Graduate Degree9%
Tips for Renting in Phoenix
Phoenix renters are protected under the Residential Landlord & Tenant Act, which defines landlord and tenant obligations and prohibits landlords from retaliating against their renters. The city also offers landlord-tenant counseling and free educational workshops for renters.
If you’re moving from Dallas to Phoenix, you might be surprised to learn that security deposits are capped. Landlords can only charge you 1.5 month’s rent and it must be returned within 14 days after moving out. In Texas, there is no limit to security deposits, and they can be returned as late as 30 days after move-out.
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