Phoenix, Arizona

(5 reviews)


“While the east coast is shovling snow, I'm sipping on a margarita.”

Pros:

When I moved to Phoenix many years ago I wasn't really thrilled about living in Arizona coming from California but I've taken a real liking to the city. It's just a generally peaceful place. I would recommend living close to work if possible because the highways do get congested during rush hour but generally speaking the city is well laid out and easy to zip around. I like sitting on a patio sipping on a margarita while the east coast is under a blanket of snow. There's cooler cities but Phoenix has a lot to offer with it's long term growth and potential. As long they don't keep passing laws that drive people away, does anyone doubt the economy will recover? I don't at all.

Cons:

The summers are hot, real hot. It's a trade off though, you get nice winters-really nice winters but don't expect to be sitting on you're porch in August on a Saturday afternoon. The sky is always blue and cloudless and it doesn't rain often which I prefer but it rains so little that I find myself wishing for some clouds and rain now and then. I read the other reviews about everything looking the same and it's true all the buildings and homes are the same color. Everything is desert themed which can get old.

Best Neighborhoods

To be honest I really can't see myself living anywhere in the Phoenix area but Scottsdale. Scottsdale has the most entertainment, restaurants, bars, shopping, and everything else. Then again my wife and I don't have kids and we live in townhome. When we have kids we will relocate to more suburban north Scottsdale or maybe Chandler.

Popular Activities

Scottsdale is actually a happening little suburb. You have decent bars, restaurants, a nice greenbelt, and old town Scottsdale which is a road that offers shops and restaurants. Being from California, it's only a short flight or drive away.

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“I love it here!”

Pros:

Phoenix is great for so many reasons. It's safe, it's got fabulous weather, the cost of living is low, and there is lots of pretty scenery all around. The economy is going through a rough spot but that won't last forever. Because of the desirable nature of this city, the jobs and people will flow once again.

Cons:

Not as much entertainment as the east valley but its okay with me. Some areas of west Phoenix and Glendale have higher crime rates.

Best Neighborhoods

A lot of the reviews talk about the east valley but don't discount the west valley! We may not have all of the amenities or glam of east valley but what we do have are quiet communities and some of the most affordable housing in the valley. Scottsdale is great but who wants to deal with the traffic or housing costs? Come over to GOODYEAR and you won't regret it!

Popular Activities

Check out a ball game at the new stadium in Glendale.

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“I wouldn't mind moving back at all. ”

Pros:

Phoenix seems to have lots of attractive singles, it's clean, safe, easy to get around. It's a cheap place to live especially since the real estate bubble burst.

Cons:

The summers are hot. The nightlife is just adequate. Everything is desert themed and the same color...this gets old really fast!

Best Neighborhoods

I lived in Tempe which borders Phoenix throughout college and for a couple years afterwards. Tempe is mixed families, professionals, and student area. It's where ASU is located.

Popular Activities

You can visit the shops down Mill Avenue which runs through ASU and is filled with shops, places to eat, bars, and other things to do. This is a very young area. Old town Scottsdale is similar but skews much older.

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“Relocated here form the Northeast and we're not looking back”

Pros:

I moved my family here from New York City so that my kids could grow up in a safe, clean town. I'm sorry but NY is just too rough. My husband and I choose to reside in Gilbert which is a suburb in southwest of Phoenix. It has good schools, nice affordable homes, its quiet, and the people that live here mainly families or retirees.

Cons:

The summers are hot and the heat extends well into the fall. Now, this is a pro during the winter but not in August when it's 110 degrees. Other than that you have no complaints from me.

Best Neighborhoods

As I described above Gilbert is the perfect area for families. We also looked at Chandler which is similar.

Popular Activities

We don't really do anything Gilbert or Phoenix specific. We just do regular family things.

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“Hot summers but still cool”

Pros:

What's good about the valley: Mild winters/springs, city is built on a grid so it's easy to navigate, affordable, beautiful desert and mountains surrounding city. The phoenix area definitely feels safer than other large cities. It's quite nice to drive down a palm tree lined road in February with the windows down in a tshirt. One the best parts of living in Phoenix is your proximity to some cool parts of the country. Jump in the car and you're 5 hours from LA, San Diego, and Las Vegas. During the winter you're a couple hours away from skiing.

Cons:

Not terribly diverse but there is a significant Native American presence. The valley has a real cookie cutter look and feel to it. Lots of chains everywhere-there are cool local places but you have to really look for them. I always loved Oreganos (awesome cookie/ice cream dessert)and NYPD pizza (you wouldn't think of Phoenix for great pizza but trust me NYPD pizza can hold its own with any place in the country.

Best Neighborhoods

The metro area is really split into the east valley and west valley with Phoenix proper in the middle. In the east valley you have Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Mesa, In the west valley you have Goodyear, Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, and others.

I feel like the west valley has more bedroom community feel to it-lots of affordable homes and not much else out there. In the east valley is where you'll find the better restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and more upscale homes.

My picks:
1. Tempe- young feel to it (ASU is in Tempe) Parts of Tempe have shops and dining within walking distance. Tempe is in a centrally located part of the city so you everything close by.
2. Scottsdale- Not inexpensive but popular with many nice communities and upscale shopping/dining/nightlife.
3. Chandler- I think it's the best all around family suburb given its proximity to other interest and overall value.

Popular Activities

Hiking, exploring the desert, strolling through old town Scottsdale. Working out is a big pastime in Phoenix for some reason. Tempe has more collegiate type nightlife while Scottsdale is more adult focused.

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