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Renter's Guide to Tempe
Tempe, Arizona welcomes you with open arms! This city is much more than just a suburb of Phoenix; Home to Arizona State University, Tempe made Forbes’ 2015 list of best cities for millennials, as well as WalletHub’s ranking of best city for singles, where it ranked 3rd – making it a great choice for young adults.
Named for a valley in Greece, Tempe is a relatively young city. It was officially incorporated in 1894 and was once known as Hayden’s Ferry. Originally a farming community, agriculture is still an important component, but the city has grown by leaps and bounds into a modern center of education and business for both Maricopa County and the state.
As of 2016, Tempe is the sixth largest city in Arizona and about a ninth the size of neighboring Phoenix. Compared to other Arizona cities, Tempe is about 30% the size of both Tucson and Mesa, 70% of Scottsdale, and three times larger than Flagstaff. This size allows it to offer all the conveniences and benefits of a large city, without the problems that stem from overcrowding.
Tempe is located approximately 10 miles from Phoenix and six miles from Scottsdale. Chandler, AZ is 15 miles from Tempe. The distance between Albuquerque and Tempe is 415 miles, while Los Angeles is 380 miles from Tempe.
Tempe has a desert climate with hot, dry weather. Summer highs easily exceed 100ºF and even the lows in January rarely drop below freezing. Rain is usually scarce, almost never reaching 2 inches in any month. Sun enthusiasts will love the warm environment and clear skies.
Tempe’s climate lacks a true autumn, with winter occurring November through February, spring in March through May, with the remaining months consisting of summer. Dust storms are something to watch out for, particularly during July and August.
Tempe, AZ Demographics
- Total Population178,339
Female 94,065Male 84,274
- Median Age28.8
Cost of Living in Tempe, AZ
Transportation-wise, the Valley Metro, a combined bus and rail public transportation system, serves Tempe and the Phoenix metro area. The price for a single adult fare is $2, while kids under 5 can ride free of charge if accompanied by an adult. A 31-day pass can be purchased for $32 and semester tickets are available for students at an average price of $200.
Multiple taxi companies, such as Apache Taxi, Clean Air Cab, Yellow Cab, and Tempe Taxi serve the Tempe area. With so many choices, finding a cab isn’t difficult. The average commute time is 20 minutes, a little less than the national average of 26 minutes, but the shortest time among large cities in all of Arizona, which saves you valuable time.
A three-course meal for two at a mid-priced restaurant costs from $30 to $50. On average, a regular cappuccino will set you back $4.27.
Electricity, heating, water, and garbage for a 915-square-foot apartment in Tempe costs $171 per month, on average. This is greater than the national average of $147.
Average Rent in Tempe, AZ
- Tempe, AZ Average Rental Price, September 2019 $1,382 /mo
Tempe, AZ Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0009%
Tempe, AZ Rent Trends
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Living in Tempe
Like any other city, Tempe has its ups and downs. For example, the city has an incredible food scene, offering fusions of Mexican, Guatemalan, and Native American cuisines. Also, if you love sunny days, Tempe is the place to be. You’ll never see a snowflake there.
Conversely, Tempe is prone to flash floods during the summer months. Parking can also be a hassle at times, particularly near the Arizona State campus.
Tempe is a diverse city with a sizable Hispanic population and a robust Native American community. While much of the population consists of students, there’s a good mix of families and non-student singles as well.
Culture-wise, the Tempe Center for the Arts is the epicenter of local culture. It offers films, lectures, showings, and performances throughout the year. Though many say that the best of Tempe culture can be found in its food; from artisan ice cream to Navajo churros, Tempe cuisine provides you with a combination of the Southwest’s best.
Things to do in Tempe
Tempe has some great shopping opportunities for you. Chief among these is the Tempe Marketplace, a huge open-air space full of stores, restaurants, and the Harkins Theatre.
For outdoor family fun and things to do with kids, try the Tempe Beach Park. It is perfectly fitted for your favorite outdoor activity, be it cycling, playing with your dog, or just enjoying the sun. You’ll also find a splash playground here.
Another great attraction is the Tempe Town Lake. This man-made area has paddle boats for rent and is a popular picnic site. Two annual events, the Independence Day Celebration and the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, are held here. Both are excellent choices for quality couple or family fun.
For free attractions, you can go visit the ASU Art Museum, featuring Native and contemporary ceramics. Additionally, ASU’s School of Music hosts free concerts throughout the year.
Couples will enjoy a fun, yet instructional art class at Painting With a Twist. Four Peaks Brewery also makes for a great date destination, and you can always enjoy a perfect blend of dinner and comedy at the Tempe Improve.
Employment & Economy
Tempe’s economy is made up largely of the education, environmental, finance, and science and technology industries. ASU is by far the largest employer in Tempe, but the Salt River Project also has numerous job openings available in the fields of public works, agriculture, and environmental management. For those in finance, JP Morgan Chase Bank and Wells Fargo both have a large presence in the city. Finally, NXP Semiconductors (formerly Freescale Semiconductor) and Honeywell Aerospace have career opportunities for engineers and scientists.
Tempe, AZ Households
- Total Number of Households68,795
Family 32,909Non-family 35,886
Children 14,240No Children 54,555
- Average People Per Household2.44
- Median Household Income$51,829
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,058
Top Colleges in Tempe
Without question, the biggest college in Tempe is Arizona State University. ASU offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees and is known for their programs in the visual and performing arts. Rio Salado College also has a campus in Tempe. It provides a variety of courses and majors, as well as online learning options.
Tempe, AZ Education Statistics
- No High School2%
- Some High School25%
- Some College25%
- Associate Degree7%
- Bachelor Degree25%
- Graduate Degree14%
Tips for Renting in Tempe
When you rent in Arizona, you’ll find that the city offers renters a decent amount of rights. For instance, landlords are required to inform tenants of all parties authorized to enter the residence, of what their security deposit covers, and to provide information on bedbugs. You also have the right to withhold rent payments if the landlord hasn’t fixed certain critical problems, such as broken heaters.
Additionally, landlords in Arizona must give their renters 30 days notice before raising the cost of rent and five days notice before beginning eviction for late rent. Finally, Arizona law limits the amount of security deposits to one and a half times the monthly rent cost.
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