Things You Should Know Before Moving to Mesa, AZ -
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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Mesa, AZ

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If you like warm weather and luscious mountain landscapes, move to Mesa where you and your family can settle in the desert foothills and make the area your humble abode.

Arizona's third largest city, only 20 miles from Phoenix, is a combination of commerce and culture, giving any new resident the rare opportunity to work and play in the Southwestern United States.

The East and West valley, located in the Sonoran Dessert, is divided by scenic subdivisions, schools and businesses, making it a great place to raise a family. With a rich past dating back 2,000 years, any household can create a fruitful future among the historically beautiful backdrop when they choose to move to Mesa.

To get an idea of all that Mesa may have to offer you, take a look through this guide and get a feel for the area that has so many opportunities available to children and adults alike.

Mesa Climate

Located in one of the largest and warmest desserts in North America, Mesa is known for its hot summers. Though Mesa has been known to reach temperatures as high as 119 degrees in its hottest month of July, its seasonal summer average is around 106.

Unlike the eastern side of the United States, Mesa does not see any snow, making the winters mild and warm compared to other parts of the country. While Mesa has been known to reach as low as 15 degrees in its coldest month of January, the average winter temperature ranges anywhere around 40 to 60 degrees.

Mesa Neighborhoods

With a land area of 133-miles wide, East and West divisions primarily part Mesa's demographic area. Running north to south, Center Street divides subdivisions in the east and west regions. The Mesa Neighborhood Outreach is a collaborative group who are dedicated to structuring strong districts in the area while simultaneously connecting the community as a whole.

From Augusta Ranch to Worthmor Estates, new residents can search out dozens of scenic sites to call home. With the Building Strong Neighborhoods Initiative in place since 2006, Mesa residents have been engaged in enhancing their environment through education and training.

Downtown Mesa is made up of the city's original square-mile registered in 1878. Packed with a plethora of entertainment from shopping to strolling through area museums, Downtown Mesa is a great place to either work during the week or visit on the weekends. With streets lined in sculptures and the Mesa Arts Center downtown, there is always something new to discover in the area.

Registering Your Car

An office for the Arizona Department of Transportation is conveniently located in Mesa, making it easy for new residents to switch over their license and registration. The state mandates that new residents obtain a license immediately if they have moved to Arizona for work or school. You must also obtain a license if you reside in Arizona for more than 7 months a year.

To acquire an Arizona license you can show several types of identification, including a driver's license from your former state, birth certificate, marriage certificate, U.S. passport, social security card, credit and bank card or medical insurance ID. If you present your former state license, you may be relieved of both the written or driving tests, however, you must take a vision test. License costs are based on a resident's age, with 16-39 year-old residents charged $25. The fee is less expensive as a resident's age rises.

To receive an Arizona title and registration, new residents must fill out an application and emission compliance form, present your out-of-state title and license plates, pass a vehicle inspection and show lien clearance or power of attorney if your car is leased. The fee for a new title and registration depends on the vehicle, with minimal costs at around $15.

Mesa Schools

With many Mesa educators receiving the Arizona Teacher of the Year Awards, the Mesa Public Schools excellently educate almost 70,000 students in 56 elementary, 11 middle and 6 high schools. The district also has several alternative schools, including Eagleridge Enrichment Program, East Valley, Mesa and Summit Academies, Crossroads, and Riverview and Superstition High Schools.

If you or your children decide to complete a higher education, Mesa is a great place for schooling, offering some unique learning opportunities to residents. The Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus is located in Mesa, educating more than 6,000 students in technological training. Close by, the Mesa Community College offers more than 200 degrees, making the two-year school a great place to earn a certificate. A.T. Still University and the CAE Global Academy Phoenix are also located in Mesa, making the community a complex district of educational experiences.

Mesa Employment

Mesa Public Schools and Mesa Community College are two of the top employers in the area, making the valley the perfect place for educators to consider moving to. Other top businesses are Banner Health, with almost 9,000 employees; the City of Mesa with almost 3,500 staff members; and Wal-Mart with about 2,500 employees.

Though Mesa averages a 6.5% unemployment rate, down from the American average of 7.7%, the area still offers steady employment for those interested in moving to the desert. The Mesa Employment Resource Center is an excellent source to visit when searching for a job in the area, with useful links that will lead you to both private and public sector services.

Living Costs in the City

The cost of living in Mesa is lower than both the state and national average. It is 8.2% less than the Arizona cost of living and 6.6% less than the American average, making Mesa an affordable community. According to CNN Money, the median family income ranges at $62,189 dollars and the median home cost is around $121,326.

A two-bedroom apartment in the area ranges from $650 to around $1,300 depending on the type of complex you choose. Utilities costs will also vary on the size of your dwelling and family size. New residents are encouraged to research the Mesa City Energy Resources Department, which offers both electric and gas, to see what utility costs will run.

Mesa Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Mesa, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Arizona. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at to get quotes for the following services:

Mesa Transportation

There are plenty of ways to make your way around Mesa. Between riding around town in your own vehicle on U.S. Route 60 and the Apache Junction, and taking a bus or light rail with Valley Metro, it is easy to get around. Accepting cash fare, the public transportation system offers several types of tickets. A one-day, one-way fare is as low as $2 and a 31-day pass is $64.

College students are offered special prices with spring and fall costs from $115 to $230 and summer costs from $77.50 to $140.00. Of course if you're having your vehicle professionally driven into Mesa and you decide to fly into the area, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport would be the best place to land.

Culture & Contemporary Life

Hohokam Stadium, spring training home to the Chicago Cubs, makes Mesa one of the greatest places to see major league baseball games. But watching a game under the night sky is just one of many outdoor activities in the area. With a gorgeous year-round climate, Mesa residents enjoy horseback riding, hiking and tubing 365 days of the year. Exercise and fun can also be found at the Dobson Ranch Golf Course, another popular place residents get to know one another while shooting a round under the southwestern sun.

Mesa art, mountain and convention centers, along with the local amphitheater, set the stage for avant-garde entertainment every season. Residents frequent the facilities daily, making the most of their leisure time. And when it comes time to dining and shopping, Mesa is made up of many restaurants and stores that are sure to tempt your taste buds or make you want to shop till you drop.

Mesa Relocation Tips

  • Before moving to Mesa, research the area. Check out attractions and businesses to see if it is a place you want to work and play. Knowledge is power and the more you know about Mesa, the better.


  • Change your address and turn on your utilities to make Mesa your official residence before you move to the southwestern state.


  • Get to know the area by searching Mesa maps to find your way around town once you arrive. Becoming familiar with the freeways and side streets is a great way to find out all the great places to visit and shop.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on March 1, 2013

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