The best places to live in Phoenix

Whether you're an American citizen moving from other parts of the country to experience life in the Southwest or an expat relocating to Phoenix for a US adventure, moving to a new city brings with it myriad challenges. One challenge is finding a home where you or your family are happy.

There is a lot to consider when looking for a place to live in any city, and we recommend narrowing the search down to a few selected areas and suburbs in Phoenix. Factors that influence a person’s choice of neighbourhood include the following: types of property available, safety, proximity to good schools, road links and public transport networks in the area, and personal lifestyle preferences. With so many things to consider, the decision may seem overwhelming to those unfamiliar with Phoenix.

To help newcomers, we’ve drawn up a list of some of the most popular areas and suburbs in Phoenix:

City living in Phoenix

It's fair to say that public transport in Phoenix isn't great, so those looking for an easy commute might want to consider living close to the downtown area. Naturally, rental rates are higher in these prime city-centre locations, but the upside is that residents here have a wealth of entertainment amenities within easy reach.

Pheonix View

Downtown Phoenix

With mixed-use buildings popping up in Downtown Phoenix, the shopping and dining offerings here are constantly expanding. The advantage of city living in Phoenix is that residents have all the best sporting events, concerts, and nightlife offerings on their doorstep.

When you're considering the distance and traffic that suburban dwellers have to contend with to get into town, it makes sense to be close to the action if city living is a lifestyle priority. Access to the light rail also makes getting around without a vehicle simple.

Roosevelt Row

Not far from Downtown Phoenix is the Bohemian hub of Roosevelt Row, or RoRo, as it is affectionately known. Designated the city’s Arts District, Roosevelt Row links the downtown area with several residential neighbourhoods.

Newcomers will find predominantly humble craftsman homes in the area. Properties are reasonably priced, considering the area's proximity to the city centre. RoRo is popular with young couples finding their feet in Phoenix and creative types, as the area has a great collection of trendy bars, trendy eateries, and eclectic boutiques.

Suburban life in Phoenix

Most people moving to Phoenix are drawn to the quality of life the city affords its residents. The population sprawl means that most people live in outlying suburbs, where there is considerably more choice in terms of property. There are many suburbs to choose from, some of which are so extensive that they are often referred to as city-suburbs. The suburbs offer new residents much more space and value for money when it comes to renting or buying property in Phoenix.


Paradise Valley

Dubbed the ‘Beverly Hills of the Southwest’, what was once a rural outpost now boasts multi-million-dollar mansions, golf courses and luxury resorts galore. Paradise Valley boasts an impressive range of restaurants and shopping facilities, most of which are based along N Scottsdale Road. It’s popular with wealthy families because of the prestigious schools that are located close by. For those with cash to splash, Paradise Valley has it all.


Just a short drive from Phoenix city centre is the family-friendly suburb of Gilbert. Families pick Gilbert because of its large, beautiful homes, neighbourhood parks and, perhaps most importantly, excellent public schools. The suburb is constantly developing, with new housing complexes and numerous child-friendly facilities.

Gilbert is a bike-friendly area with loads of cycle paths and bicycle storage facilities that have been installed to encourage residents to stay active. Gilbert’s nightlife scene is also pretty impressive, and its range of laid-back bars and fantastic eateries means there is no need to travel into town for a night out.


Scottsdale is pretty much a city within itself. There is quite a buzz about the downtown area, which boasts everything from great shopping facilities at Fashion Square to trendy yoga studios, coffee shops, and quaint eateries. The downtown part of Scottsdale is popular with young professionals with disposable income who want to enjoy the perks of luxury-apartment living at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

For those looking for something a little more residential, Scottsdale also has excellent options. The pace of life in North Scottsdale is a little more laid-back, making this part popular with a slightly older crowd. It also has a fair share of high-end boutique shops, fancy wine bars, and luxury spas. Residents keen to take advantage of Arizona’s good weather can head to nearby McDowell Mountain Regional Park, which provides loads of opportunities for hiking and biking.


A 45-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix, Surprise is a suburb-city often described as a green oasis in the Sonoran Desert. It is a great place to raise a family, and many people choose to live here because of its low crime rates, parks, and sports facilities. There are several good public schools, including charter and magnet options, in the neighbourhood, which is another reason it draws so many families.

Surprise’s population has increased four-fold over the last decade and continues to grow at a rapid rate. The area has a glut of lovely green parks, playgrounds and waterfront walkways, which, combined with reasonably priced homes, make it an exceedingly popular area for young couples looking to buy.

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