The decision to move to a new city, especially in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, shouldn't be taken lightly. It is important for prospective expats to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of relocating to Phoenix so they can make an informed choice about whether the move is right for themselves and their families. 

Below are a few of our main pros and cons of living in Phoenix, which may assist anyone considering a move to the Valley of the Sun. 

Accommodation in Phoenix

Victorian house in Phoenix by iStrfry, Marcus

+ PRO: Diverse range of options

Whether new arrivals are looking for a swanky city-centre apartment, a craftsman bungalow full of character, or a comfortable family home with a pool in the suburbs, there will surely be a home to suit any individual's needs and preferences. Moreover, despite rising property prices, Phoenix remains more affordable than many other big US cities. 

Cost of living in Phoenix

+ PRO: Reasonable cost of living

Although the cost of living in Phoenix is slightly higher than the national average, it is still considered a largely affordable city. While housing prices are rising, most residents consider it worthwhile as homes in the city are fairly large. Everything else from entertainment, groceries, and education costs will remain fairly affordable but will depend on your lifestyle preferences. 

Working in Phoenix

+ PRO: A strong local economy

Not only is the cost of living in Phoenix reasonable, but the economy is also strong, which means there are plenty of great job opportunities for newcomers. Phoenix has one of the largest emerging industrial markets in the US, and new arrivals will find job opportunities in areas such as tourism, technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. Phoenix also has great entrepreneurial spirit, and there's a lot of support for people who want to run a small business here.

- CON: Salaries are low

Compared to other US cities, the salaries in Phoenix are relatively low. This doesn’t mean you can’t live well. Most people report having a better work-life balance in Arizona, and the fact that living expenses here are manageable means that even a small salary can go further. 

Lifestyle in Phoenix

Camelback Mountain hiking peak by Diego Lozano

+ PRO: A dream for outdoor enthusiasts

If you're an active person, you will find no shortage of leisure activities in and around Phoenix. The good weather also encourages residents to spend time outdoors, making the most of nature. Whether it's clambering up to the peak of Camelback Mountain or taking a leisurely stroll through one of the city’s parks or green spaces, it’ll feel like time well spent. 

+ PRO: Arts and culture is flourishing

Art loving newcomers will find many opportunities to get a dose of culture in Phoenix. Museums and art galleries are plentiful. There is a lot to keep residents busy, from the Phoenix Art Museum to the Center for Creative Photography and the Pueblo Grande Museum. Those who prefer the performing arts should catch the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the Arizona Opera or Ballet Arizona in action at Symphony Hall. The Orpheum Theater, the Herberger Center and Talking Stick Arena also host various live performances. 

- CON: Phoenix can be quite conservative

On the whole, Arizona tends to have quite conservative political leanings. The state is certainly on the conservative end of the spectrum when it comes to spending, immigration, and law enforcement. Gun ownership is pretty prevalent in this part of the country, too. Those with liberal leanings might need to make some adjustments to deal with these views. 

- CON: There are no easy weekend getaways

San Diego is 6 hours away, and so is Vegas, and there's not much in between. So those moving from places like California, or Europe, where there's entertainment in every direction, may find Phoenix too remote.

Weather in Phoenix 

+ PRO: 300 days of sunshine a year

For many, the weather is a major draw for Phoenix. With 300 days of sunshine a year, this is a great place to explore the outdoors. The great weather lends itself to fun-packed days spent on one of the many hiking trails or bicycle routes in and around the city. For those who want to enjoy the weather at a more relaxed pace, a day by the pool is always on the cards here. 

- CON: The desert heat and allergies can be intense

While the warm weather is a plus for many, it is important to remember that Phoenix is in the Sonoran Desert. The heat can get intense at times, which is not for everyone. For those with allergies, springtime in Phoenix can also be tough. 

- CON: Dust storms

Dust storms, or haboobs, are common during the summer months in Phoenix. In fact, they are almost a daily occurrence, so this is something you'll need to prepare for as a new resident in the city. 

Getting around in Phoenix

Light rail in Phoenix by Jared Murray

- CON: Public transport is limited

New arrivals moving to Phoenix from cities with extensive public transportation networks might struggle with the limited system here. While there are plans to expand Phoenix’s light rail network, these are still a long way off.

+ PRO: Phoenix is easy to navigate

Although public transport in Phoenix is lacking, newcomers to Phoenix will soon realise that having a car affords them greater freedom to explore the city. Thanks to its straightforward grid layout, new arrivals really shouldn’t struggle to get their bearings. There really is no need for GPS with a layout that is so intuitive. 

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global

Moving Internationally?

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Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!