The Top 6 Reasons Why People Regret Moving to Arizona

Arizona can be filled with creepy crawlies and scorching summers—among other regrets some have after moving to the state.
Written by Claire Beaney
Scorching summers, pollution, and creepy crawlies are just some of the top reasons why people regret moving to Arizona—but there are more issues that residents may have an issue with.
  • Arizona boasts mild winters, a strong job market, and direct access to the Grand Canyon.
  • Despite its benefits, living in Arizona will come with downsides for some—like scorching temperatures and worsening pollution.
  • Before settling in on a piece of Arizona real estate, learn the pros and cons that can come with living here.

1. Arizona summers can be unbearable

Arizona experiences scorching temperatures in the 90-120°F range during the summer. In the southern desert, temperatures can soar to over 125°F, with an average high of 97°F in July.
People may grossly overestimate their heat tolerance, even if they think they know what they're getting into. Although many move to Arizona in the winter to get away from the cold, they are often unprepared for the state's extreme summer heat.
Thanks to its warm, dry climate, Arizona is also pretty susceptible to wildfires, averaging over 2,200 fires per year. 
According to data compiled on warming rates since 1970, Arizona is currently the
fourth fastest warming state in the country
. There are already more than 50 potentially life-threatening heat days per year in the state, making it the second-hottest state in the country. 
According to forecasts, Arizona will experience nearly 80 of these days annually by the year 2050.
To make it as an Arizonan, you’ll need to be able to tolerate some serious heat year-round. The heat is one of the main reasons people leave the Grand Canyon State. 

Consider instead: California

Think about making
your home state instead of sitting through the hellishly hot Arizona summer. Even though the summers in Los Angeles and southern California can get quite hot, you won't have to deal with the extreme dryness of the Arizona climate—and you could be right by the beach!

2. Arizona has a high cost of living

While Arizona has long been known as an affordable place to live, this is no longer the case, especially in metropolitan areas. 
Yes, Arizona is less expensive than nearby California, but it's not a dirt-cheap place some still believe it to be. It ranks at #29 on U.S. News’s
2021 Affordability Rankings
Arizona's average home price of $445,126 is significantly higher than the national median. And the general cost of living in Arizona is quite high, with food, transportation, and even the sales tax being more costly compared to other areas of the country.
It is estimated that the average person in Arizona needs $36,242 per year to live comfortably—and add more to that if you desire to live in a trendy area like

Consider instead: Iowa or Ohio

If you want to buy an affordable home, here are two options in the Midwest.
offers the most affordable housing prices in the country, and there are many affordable communities in

3. You have to deal with some creepy crawlies

Because of the desert's temperate climate and wild nature, you'll encounter more critters in Arizona than in most other states. Scorpions, snakes (venomous and not), lizards, cockroaches, tarantulas, bats, and other creatures abound in Arizona.
Arizona may not be the best place for your new home if you are frightened by creepy crawlies and wildlife. These creatures typically just want to be left alone and you’ll encounter them more in certain areas than others, but know you’ll likely deal with them at some point. 

Consider instead: Vermont

hasn’t reported an animal attack in the state since 2000, making it one of the safest in terms of wildlife and critters. Though there are some forest dwellers you may face, such as moose, bobcats, and bears, they are far and few between.

4. The desert can be monotonous

Beautiful, towering cacti and desert sunsets have long inspired cowboy songs and waiting room artwork—but there is too much of a good thing. When the desert terrain is all you see every day, it lacks variety.
The landscaping across the valley is gravel and cactus-filled, intending to be low-maintenance and require little to no irrigation. These are beautiful to behold when you come to visit, but if you come from somewhere where deciduous trees shed their foliage in the fall and bloom with thousands of green buds in the spring, you will undoubtedly miss them.
Arizona is home to the mighty Grand Canyon—but if you’re not one for hiking through it, there are only so many times you observe it from above.

Consider instead: Hawaii

This archipelago is the most beautifully diverse state in the country, pound for pound and acre for acre. 
From canyons to jungles to beaches, cliffs, and volcanoes, the Hawaiian islands—seven main islands plus 130 uninhabited islets—offer a diverse range of landscapes that are well worth it if you can afford to move here.

5. Arizona has a growing pollution problem

The American Lung Association named Phoenix
one of the nation's most polluted cities
in 2020. Not only was the state's largest city given a low grade in the ALA State of Air report, but many other cities received F scores, indicating pervasive air pollution throughout the state. 
Arizona's geography puts its residents at particularly high risk, notably from ozone pollution. The severe heat, along with the state's mountains and valleys, creates a "bowl" for ozone to grow and settle in.
The state’s quickly growing metro areas don’t make the problem any better.
Even though small amounts of ozone disappear in a couple of hours, the ozone levels in the Phoenix area didn't go down even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the number of cars on the road was at a record low. You don't have to be up to speed on air reports to notice the pollution in the Arizona skies.

Consider instead: New Hampshire

New Hampshire
ranks as one of the states with the
lowest industrial toxins
and the lowest pollution health risk. In 2020 alone, almost 90% of days in New Hampshire had "Good" air quality.
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