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

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Phoenix Moving Tips

Situated in the southwestern part of the United States, the city of Phoenix has been called "Arizona's Urban Heart". From the Hohokam people to a modern day business hub with around 250 golf courses, Phoenix has definitely come a long way. The city has its own unique cultural diversity that makes it unlike any other big city in the world.

It has the quietness of a sleepy town and yet offers plenty of opportunities. From casinos to golfing to hiking to shopping, Phoenix has something for everyone.

Here is a guide that will help you relocate smoothly to Phoenix.

Phoenix Climate

Geographically, Phoenix is on a desert terrain bordered by lakes and mountains. With the characteristic feature of 325 days of sunshine annually, the city climate can be classified as a subtropical arid climate. In Phoenix, the summers are usually hot with temperatures reaching as high as 110oF. Precipitation is scant, except for periods of heavy rain from early July to mid-September.

Dust storms during the summers and thunderstorms during monsoons are common while the latter bring large hail and winds. Snow fall is a sporadic event occurring only in the month of December, in the more mountainous areas of the state with a higher elevation.

Phoenix Neighborhoods

The city of Phoenix is comprised of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, also popularly called the Valley of the Sun. Apart from being a financial and government hub, downtown Phoenix also houses many performance venues. High-rise office buildings are found in midtown, which is also famous for the Phoenix Art Museum and Museum of Native American Art.

The Thomas Corridor in the midtown area offers a variety of dining experiences from across the world. The Biltmore District is the city's version of Beverly Hills, housing high-end hotels, resorts, and prominent retailers like Macy's, Cartier, Escada, and Saks Fifth Avenue. It also offers interesting options in dining and nightlife. Compared to Biltmore, Arcadia is much more laid back with ranch-style homes set amidst overgrown foliage.

Living Costs in the City

A sales tax of 9.3% is levied by the city authorities. The cost of clothing, furniture and appliances is low when compared to other places. The costs incurred on education are very high, and these include preschool fees, high school fees, and tertiary study fees. Healthcare is very costly as a visit by a private doctor to an uninsured patient would cost around $95. Household accommodation rates are comparatively lesser than other places, but vary greatly from neighborhood-to-neighborhood. You will typically need to pay more in rent for an apartment in a central location, while the same-sized apartment in an outlying suburb of the city would be much cheaper.

Living costs in the city all depend on where you are looking to buy or rent. While most real estate prices in the city of Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs remain quite moderate when compared to most other major cities throughout the country, some areas can be more expensive than others. For example, the neighborhoods of Estrella, Desert View and Paradise Valley have an average sales price of well over $300,000 on real estate properties during the last quarter of 2012.

However, if you move closer to Glendale and away from the city of Phoenix proper, the average real estate prices drop significantly to a shade over $216,000 in Alhambra and $196,000 in North Mountain. If you are looking to rent in the city, a one-bedroom apartment will typically cost you around $750 per month on average, while a two-bedroom will be closer to $900 per month.

Registering Your Car

Upon moving to the state of Arizona, you are only required by law to update two things as a new resident of the state: your driver's license and your registration. You can take care of both at any state MDV location. You are also required to have insurance for your vehicle when you register your car in Arizona.

As with the registration, your driver's license from another state can be transferred to an Arizona driver's license rather simply at any MDV location in Arizona, provided you have the proper insurance and registration for your vehicle.

Phoenix Schools

There are over 30 different school districts located within the Phoenix metropolitan area, and within the actual city limits of Phoenix, the Phoenix Union High School District is the main district that operates the majority of public high schools in the city.

As far as post-secondary education, Phoenix is home to the campuses of several of the biggest universities in the state of Arizona. Arizona State University, which is not only the biggest school in Arizona, but one of the largest universities in the United States as well, with a student enrollment of over 72,000, has several campuses within the city of Phoenix such as the ASU West Campus in Northwest Phoenix, the ASU Downtown Campus in Downtown Phoenix and the ASU Polytechnic Campus in Mesa.

There are also smaller satellite campuses and administration offices for the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University that are located in the city, as well as a branch for the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

The University of Phoenix is headquartered in the city, which is the largest for-profit university in the country, with over 130,000 students enrolled in campuses across the country, as well as online.

Phoenix Employment

The city of Phoenix is home to the headquarters of four Fortune 500 companies, as well as many other large, nationally recognized corporations such as PetSmart, Avnet, U-HAUL International, Best Western and American Express.

Although the city suffered a recession and a drop in employment during the economic collapse of the last decade, as did the rest of the country, it has since rebounded. Many of the employed residents of Phoenix work for the government, being that Phoenix is the state capital of Arizona, and many more are employed by Arizona State University, as well as the numerous high-tech, software, and telecommunications companies that are based in Phoenix.

Tourism is also a large part of the city's industry, and with warm weather all year round, tourists frequently visit the city for their resorts, golf courses and attractions, which brings in revenue to the city of Phoenix and also provides many residents with stable employment throughout the year.

Phoenix Moving Resources

There are hundreds of reputable and reliable moving companies in the city of Phoenix to help you with your move and get you unloaded and unpacked in your new home. Whether you're moving from within the state of Arizona, or whether you're moving from the Midwest or even the East coast, you'll find moving companies that can help you get settled in Phoenix. Here are just a few of the movers you can find to handle your relocation to Phoenix:

  • All My Sons Phoenix
  • Ability Moving and Storage LLC
  • Allegiant Van Lines
  • Muscular Moving Men LLC
  • Horizon Moving Systems
  • Always Professional In Moving

In addition, there are also many storage companies located within the city in case you need a place to store some of your belongings, whether it's for a short amount of time until you get settled in your new home, or for more long-term storage. You can find yourself a Phoenix storage company to help fulfill your storage needs.

Public Transportation

Valley Metro represents the city's public transportation and it operates rail, bus, and local shuttle services. You should check their webpage for details regarding timings and their schedule on weekdays and holidays. Every major sports venue in the city is connected by rail. The routes and stations are adorned with different varieties of art that depict the city's evolution from its ancient Hohokam agricultural days to more modern times. The Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) is a free shuttle bus system that operates across Copper Square and other parts of Downtown Phoenix.

Culture and Contemporary Life

The performances by the Phoenix Youth Symphony, Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, and Phoenix Symphony Orchestra often occur at the Phoenix Symphony Hall. Other venues like the Orpheum Theater and Herberger Theater Center have hosted some major concerts as well. Notable musicians in country music and rock music have made Phoenix their home. Some of them include Stevie Nicks, Buck Owens, Wayne Newton, CeCe Peniston, and Alice Cooper. Since April 2009 Phoenix has featured Janet Echelman's outstanding sculpture called "Her Secret is Patience". The prevalent cuisine that is most commonly found throughout the city, in addition to the traditional diverse fare that can be found in most major cities across the country, is a heavily Mexican- and Southwest-influenced cuisine, owing to the state's geographical proximity to Mexico and the presence of a large Mexican population.

Moving to Phoenix

Phoenix is a desert city which, over time, evolved into a bustling metropolis. Warm weather, better job prospects, low cost of living - whatever might be the reason for your move, you should always have realistic expectations. Phoenix can get really hot during the summer and you should expect your first summer here to be an exhausting experience as you get accustomed to the weather extremes. It is a good idea to do some homework and research the different neighborhoods and the schools both in and around the city before you plan your move to Phoenix. Also, don't leave out any details to the mover, especially regarding parking permits and elevator booking.

Phoenix Relocation Tips

  • Research neighborhoods about where you would like to live. It is better to rent in advance before moving to the city. Ask yourself certain questions like, "Can you afford corporate housing while you search for your new home?" However, if kids you have kids you will be making the move more difficult for them if they have to move from temporary housing.


  • In case you moved into the city in search of a new job, obtain a local address and a phone number as soon as possible. This could even be a friend's address. This will let your potential employers contact you easily.


  • Moving as such can be very exhausting, especially cleaning, organizing, and stocking up on your groceries. Eat and drink intermittently to keep your energy level up.


  • Some of the most interesting places are not just found in the city but in the places surrounding it as well. The city is famous for golf, food, and shopping and offers a ton of outdoor activities.


  • Summers can get really hot in Phoenix. Ensure there is easy accessibility to a pool from the place of your residence, or that you have other means of cooling off and staying out of the hot sun.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on January 8, 2013

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