The 5 Most Affordable Places to Live In Arizona

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Clever Real Estate

Updated 

November 23rd, 2020

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Are you considering a move to Arizona? That could be a good financial decision given how cost-effective living in the state can be. This is our list of the most affordable places in Arizona.

Choosing a city to live in based on affordability is harder than it first seems. You can’t make a choice simply based on the numbers since that could lead to a compromise in quality of living and employment opportunities. In order to make a wise decision, you have to take multiple factors into consideration.

Overall, Arizona is known to be one of the more affordable states in the country in which to live. But even within the state, there is a large degree of variance in the cost of living between different cities. Here are the most affordable places to live in Arizona based on factors such as home prices, household income, and employment opportunities.

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Oro Valley

Oro Valley is a suburb located 6 miles from Tucson and 110 miles from the state capital Phoenix. The town was incorporated in 1974 and the population has grown from 6,670 in 1990 to 44,350 in 2017.

Much of that growth in population has been fueled by Oro Valley becoming a small but important tech hub in Arizona. A number of technology companies including Honeywell and Ventana Medical Systems have offices in the city. Oro Valley’s authorities have taken steps to expand its Economic Expansion Zone so that more companies can move into the area.

Due to its location, Oro Valley has become an area with high earning potential for residents along with a low cost of living. The median household income in Oro Valley is 50% higher than the national median. According to data from Zillow, the median value of a house in the city is $304,300 and is expected to increase only by 1% in the coming year.

Gilbert

Gilbert comes in at number 40 on WalletHub’s list of cities with the best “wallet fitness” factor in the entire country. The study took into considerations factors such as earning power, credit standing, and risk exposure. Gilbert had the highest median household income on the list.

It isn’t surprising that Gilbert’s residents show healthy financial indicators given the city’s dedication to inviting employment opportunities. In Mid 2018 the Gilbert town council approved a 100,000 square foot Deloitte delivery center that brought 2,500 new jobs to the area. Such agreements have ensured that people who live in Gilbert have ample opportunities to get employed in well-paid roles.

The median value of a house in Gilbert, Arizona, is $337,600. The median income in the city is $82,424.

Phoenix

Generally, capital cities and highly populated regions tend to be more costly to live in. Phoenix is both the capital of Arizona and the most populated city in the state. However, it is also among the most affordable cities to live in — not just in Arizona, but the entire United States.

A study named Phoenix as the 13th most affordable city to live and work in 2019. The average salary in the city is $74,519 while the average monthly rent is $1,178. That means that the average Phoenix resident has 81% of their salary leftover each month after paying for rent. To put that in perspective, Manhattan residents spend about 59% of their household income on rent.

Phoenix is especially well-known for the affordability of housing in the city. For that reason, it has quickly become the second-tier metro of choice for those looking to move out of some of the costlier cities in the country. The almost year-round sunshine and growing entrepreneurial community are further reasons to consider a move to The Valley of the Sun.

Prescott

Prescott is a city located in Arizona’s Yavapai County. The most recent data from the US Census Bureau has the city’s population at 42,513.

Prescott has been named as one of the most affordable places to live in the United States. In 2016, the MintLife blog found that you can live in the city on a very modest annual budget of $27,396. The current median household income in Prescott is $45,190.

Apart from the very affordable cost of living, Prescott also boasts great weather. The city experiences four distinct seasons and a generous amount of snow in the winter thanks to its location 1,600 meters above sea level. There is a vibrant cultural scene driven by events such as the New Year’s Eve Boot Drop.

Chandler

Chandler was initially an 80-acre piece of land purchased by veterinary surgeon Dr. Alexander John Chandler to study irrigation practices. He went on to acquire 18,000 acres of land in the area and christened it the Chandler Ranch.

By 1980 the town had a population of 30,000 thanks to the agricultural plots being replaced by residential communities. Today Chandler has a population of almost 250,000, 30% of whom are under the age of 18.

The median value of a house in Chandler is $317,300. The city has a low cost of living, with groceries, transportation, and utilities all costing well below the national average. Along with the affordable living, Chandler offers residents plenty of interesting activities year-round, including annual chihuahua races and an ostrich festival.

Choosing a city based on affordability can be hard due to the seasonal fluctuations in real estate prices. Working with a local real estate agent can help you understand how house prices vary in your city at different times of the year.

Clever can help you connect with the top-rated real estate agents in your area. Clever Partner Agents are highly-experienced, full-service agents have extensive knowledge of the local market. Working with a Partner Agent can qualify you for a $1,000 rebate that can cover for part of your closing costs.

Let Clever set up a no-obligation consultation call with a Partner Agent who can help you identify affordable houses in your city.

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