The Best Places to Live in Arizona

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Easy access to outdoor recreation, beautiful weather, great schools, and affordable cost of living are all reasons to consider Arizona for your new home. Towns like Catalina Foothills, Sierra Vista, and Chandler are some of the best places in Arizona to settle.
With some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country and year-round warm weather, Arizona is perhaps the best place to call home for anyone who enjoys playing outside. On top of that, there are plenty of towns that are affordable and meet most of the requirements for someone looking to buy a new home or start a family.
With so many options it can be hard to decide where to put down roots. Car, renters, and home insurance broker app Jerry knows understands that, so we have highlighted these 8 towns to help with your decision.

What makes a good place to live? 

Deciding where to put down roots can be a difficult choice. There are so many factors to consider, from the cost of living to access to resources to the geography of the area. And, of course, everyone will have different priorities.
To help with your research, we have considered several factors to present to you our top choices for places to raise a family, live most affordably, and buy a home in Arizona. The list includes both small towns and neighborhoods in big cities to try and provide options for both preferences. The factors that we considered in our search include:
  • Median household income
  • Median home price
  • Cost of living
  • Quality of schools 
  • Crime rates
  • Healthcare
  • Average commute times
  • FEMA risk index ratings 

The best places for families to live in Arizona

Our top factors for places to raise a family were education, crime rate, and community life. Based on these, we have highlighted two Arizona neighborhoods that we think offer the best places for families to settle.

Catalina Foothills

Location: Pima County 
Population: 50,454
Median household income: $92,929
Median home price: $440,100
Catalina Foothills is an unincorporated community located just north of Tucson, at the southern edge of the Santa Catalina Natural Area. It was listed as the #1 suburb to live in Arizona in 2021 by Niche.com, and for good reason.
Catalina Foothills has some of the best public and private schools in the state, some of the highest employment rates in the state, and its proximity to Tucson means that there is easy access to just about every amenity or community hub that you could ask for, not to mention the super close access to all sorts of outdoor recreation. 

Gilbert 

Location: Maricopa County 
Population: 243,254
Median household income: $96,857
Median home price: $328,700
Gilbert has a lot in common with Catalina Foothills. Located just southeast of Phoenix, Gilbert offers great access to community hubs, close proximity to an international airport, and the town itself is loaded with great parks, restaurants, and pretty much any amenity you might need. It is also just a short drive east to enter the Superstition Mountains and a lifetime of natural beauty to explore.
Gilbert also has some of the best schools in the country, low crime rates, high employment opportunities, and the cost of living is comparable to the state average. All of these factors make Gilbert easily one of the best (if not the best) places to raise a family in Arizona.

The most affordable places to live in Arizona

To help provide some more affordable places, we considered the overall cost of living and average commute times and compared that to the other things that we value in a home town like the quality of education, community life opportunity, and crime rates.

Sierra Vista 

Location: Cochise County
Population: 45,308
Median household income: $58,818
Median home price: $230,100
Located near the Mexican border at the base of the Huachuca Mountains, Sierra Vista offers exceptional access to outdoor recreation opportunities, a bike-friendly environment, a cost of living that is 12% lower than the national average, and all of the amenities of a big city but with a small-town feel. 
Even better, the climate is less extreme than in places like Phoenix, and the town still has a high-quality education system, crime rates well below the national average, and low traffic. Average commute times are low at just 16 minutes, and you can likely commute on bike year-round if you please.

Yuma

Location: Yuma County
Population: 99,811
Median household income: $44,166
Median home price: $219,500
Yuma is the sunniest city in the world and it’s one of the hottest cities in the country, which has its pros and cons. If you love the sunshine, then Yuma can be a great place to buy a home. 
House prices are well below the national average, and the cost of living overall is about 12% below the national average. Average commute times are also low, at around 19 minutes, though these times can go up a bit when the snowbirds arrive in winter.

Tucson

Location: Pima County
Population: 541,482
Median household income: $49,110
Median home price: $312,896
The largest city on the list, Tucson has all of the amenities you would expect of a large city. It also sits close to the beautiful desert and mountain landscapes, so living in Tucson provides lots of opportunities for indoor and outdoor activities alike. Perhaps the biggest pro of living in Tucson is the cycling accessibility and access to awesome trails in every direction.
The overall cost of living in Tucson is around 5% less than the national average, and being a larger city there is broader employment opportunity than the other places on this list, although the unemployment rate is fairly high at around 7.7%. 

Best places to buy a house in Arizona

When deciding where to buy a home, the most important things to consider are the housing market and the climate of the area. We looked at realtor.com housing market summaries, and at the FEMA Risk Index.

Chandler

Location: Mariposa County
Population: 252,692
Median household income: $82,925
Median home price: $300,800
Like most of Arizona, Mariposa County has a high FEMA Risk Index, with the largest risks being heatwaves, wildfire, wind, and hail damage. That said, we still think Chandler makes for one of the best places to buy a house due to the growing population, the upward trending housing market, and relatively affordable cost of living
The population has grown 10% over the last 10 years, the housing market has been on a consistent upward trend, the town has a growing job market, and the cost of living is on par with the rest of the state. 

Corona de Tucson

Location: Pima County
Population: 8,470
Median household income: $97,287
Median home price: $321,900
Corona de Tucson is a small town south of Tucson that makes for a great place to buy a home due to the high amount of growth leading to a steadily increasing housing market. The population of Corona has increased by over 50% in the last 10 years, and the housing market has followed suit. 
Corona de Tucson is also a pretty affordable place to live and still offers a small-town vibe despite its growth. For anyone who loves easy access to nature, the ability to bike around town, and who isn’t looking to live in a big city, Corona de Tucson is a great place to settle.

Clifton

Location: Greenlee County
Population: 3,703
Median household income: $69,472
Median home price: $114,000
Greenlee County is the only county in the state with a very low FEMA Risk Score, meaning your investment is at a fairly low risk of damage from mother nature. Clifton is also one of the cheapest places to buy a home in the state, and the housing market has been steadily rising for the past 10 years.
Clifton could have easily made the list of most affordable places as well. The low housing costs help contribute to a cost of living that is 16% lower than the national average.

How to find the most affordable home and auto insurance 

Once you find the perfect place for your new home, you will need to make sure you protect it with the perfect home insurance. 
Insurance super-app Jerry is the #1 rated resource on the App Store for comparing home and auto insurance policies to help you find the best rates for the coverage you need. It just takes a few minutes to sign up, compare policies from the top insurance providers, and select the policy that you want. You can do all of the paperwork in the app, completely hassle-free. You can even find options for bundling your home and auto insurance so you can save even more!
“Since I’m under 25, I thought paying a lot for insurance was normal. Jerry made it easy to find affordable insurance. It was even easy to switch insurance agencies. I went to bed and woke up with new insurance.” —Steven C.
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