The 5 Most Affordable Places to Live In Arizona

Clever Real Estate


Clever Real Estate

July 12th, 2021
Updated July 12th, 2021


Finding the most affordable places to live in Arizona is challenging even if you're a native. Arizona has a median home value of $366,300. When you add in maintenance costs and property taxes, it can be difficult for many to buy and own a home. Because of that, we scoured the data to find the most affordable cities in Arizona, looking at median home prices, cost of living, and other factors to find your best options.

Looking for the most affordable places in Arizona is a start, but you'll save even more money by working with a great agent. The top Arizona real estate agents know the local market and where to find pockets of more affordable homes. They can also help negotiate a better price when you do find your dream home.

Ready to buy? Clever is a free service that connects you with the best real estate agents in Arizona from top brokers, like Keller Williams and RE/MAX.

With a Clever agent, you'll get instant MLS alerts on affordable Arizona homes, on-demand showings, and an expert negotiator on your side. Even better? Eligible home buyers get a check for up to 0.5% of the purchase price back after closing!

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Ready to learn more about the most affordable places in Arizona? These are our top picks.

1. 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.

2. 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.

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3. 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.

4. 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.

» FIND: Top Real Estate Agents in Arizona

5. 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.

How to find affordable homes in Arizona

Whether you want to live in a bustling Arizona metro area or a tranquil small town, there's plenty to love in Arizona. Working with a local real estate agent is the best way to find the most affordable places to live in Arizona.

Ready to start house hunting? Clever is a free service that can match you with the best realtors in Arizona. And, when you buy with a Clever partner agent, you could get 0.5% of your purchase price back as a check after closing. On a $300,000 home, that's an extra $1,500 back in your pocket. That's real money!

👋 Next steps: Talk to an expert

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