AZ Bees – Please tell me about PHOENIX/TEMPE!

posted 2 years ago in Phoenix
Post # 2
109 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Hi! I was born and raised in Phoenix. Basically if you live in the greater Phoenix area you become quite familiar with every city around. By now I’m sure you have heard how Phoenix is a “dry heat,” basically like stepping into an oven from May-September haha. We’ve had a few people at my work transfer here from Dallas recently and they hate it. I guess it just depends on your preference. But from October-April it is quite nice. It hardly ever rains, there are no big beautiful trees except for random pockets in some older (expensive) Phoenix neighborhoods.

Phoenix downtown scene is not very good unless you are going to a game of some sort. There are a few decent restaurants though.

Tempe for the most part is a party city with A LOT of college kids going out. So if you are wanting to go to bars be prepared to see a lot of 18-23 year olds going out partying. I’m sure you could get a decent apartment here for cheap.

Scottsdale is a nice area. It does have a large bar/club scene in an area called Old Town. Housing is much more expensive here than in Phoenix or Tempe. Chandler and Mesa are becoming cities that more people seem to be interested in as far as living goes. There’s newer housing for decent prices, it’s just a little southeast.  

It’s pretty easy to get a job out here if you have experience or schooling. 

Phoenix/Tempe are very diverse. I’m sure it’s fairly comparable to Texas because we are also next to the Mexico border. There is Mexican food almost on every single corner. 

Phoenix does have some awesome hiking though during the not so hot months. I think this is one of it’s best features.  Another great feature is that you can drive a couple hours north and see snow in the winter and do winter sports in Flagstaff.

There are some really great things about Phoenix. I guess it depends on what your situation is and what you like or want. My FI and I are going to get out of here as soon as we get married because we don’t like it here and don’t really want to raise our future family here. But everyone else in my family really likes it. Definitely come for a visit during the summer to see if you like it. I hope this helps in some way, I know I didn’t really give great reasons to move here. It really is OK, probably just not my cup of tea.

Post # 4
26 posts
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Backyard

FutureKS:  I have to completely disagree with your assessment of the downtown Phoenix scene. My FI lived downtown from 2010 -2014 and we LOVED it. Great people, great food, decent nightlife. We’re art people, so we loved the First Friday culture, and being close to the Phoenix Art Museum and the AZ Science Center.

Lily_of_the_valley:  One thing about Arizonans, we LOVE our craft beer. Most of our breweries also have restaurants where the beers are used to make pasta sauces, breads, fried foods, and desserts. Four Peaks in Tempe is my personal favorite, with Arizona Wilderness Brewing, Co. in Chandler/Gilbert a close second.

I’ve lived in Chandler since I was five, but went to school in Tempe from 5th grade to college. Arizona is not known for its stellar educational system, but we do have excellent charter schools. Gilbert Public Schools has a pretty stellar reputation (if there are children in your present or future).

I never really got into the Mill Ave scene (which is Tempe’s downtown area), but if you’re looking for nightlife, Mill is the place to go.

As far as living and working go, I live in Chandler and work in Tempe. The drive is about 18 miles and I can usually make it in as many minutes. The infrastructure in Phoenix is pretty great, since all of the major cities/towns are connected by freeways (and highway patrol won’t pull you over if you’re going 75mph or under unless the cop’s in a really bad mood). When FI lived in downtown Phoenix (25 miles away), I could get there in 30 minutes in moderate traffic, 60 minutes at the peak of rush hour.

Prices: my house in the suburbs is 2500 sq feet, 4 bed, 2.5 bath, and worth about $250k. My FI paid $615/month for a 550 sq ft studio, including utilities and water. Apartments here can range from extremely reasonable prices to extremely unreasonable prices. It’s all about finding the right place. I have a rule of never paying more per month than the square footage of my apartment, and most of my friends are within that margin.

Side note, where are you planning to work? I hear Dallas/Tempe, and I immediately think of the US Airways/American merger.

Post # 6
26 posts
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Backyard

Lily_of_the_valley:  If you’re at the operations center on Priest & Southern, I seem to remember they just poured a lot of money into rennovating that building about a year ago. I may be remembering incorrectly. However, that is right at the junction of I-10 and the US 60, which really opens up your options living-wise. You’re about 10-15 minutes from downtown Phoenix in good traffic, 10-15 minutes from Ahwatukee, 10-15 minutes from Mesa, 15-20 minutes from Chandler, and 20-25 minutes from Gilbert.

As far as people are concerned, Mesa has had the lowest cost of living overall if you get into the right apartment complexes. I have a friend who lives literally behind the sound wall of the US 60 on the Mesa/Gilbert border and is paying about $750 a month total for her apartment.

Another plus of that State Farm location–the local outlet mall is a mile and a half away. 😀

Oh! And, because Arizona is stubborn and a little illogical in our budgeting, we don’t have a single toll road. We call them “freeways” for a reason.

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