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As you research, explore, and consider moving to an Arizona community, here’s an overview of what you can expect when living in The Grand Canyon State.

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Climate & Geography
Entertainment & Recreation
Cost of Living

Arizona's master-planned communities provide perfect living within a desert landscape. But this sun-baked state is much more than just cacti and canyons. Diverse in both terrain and culture, Arizona caters to homebuyers of many tastes, preferences, and ages.

Imagine sprawling developments meticulously crafted to integrate modern amenities with the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert. Picture rows of stunning homes nestled amidst community parks, sparkling pools, and walking trails. Arizona communities and surrounding areas often boast top-rated schools, renowned medical facilities, cultural and entertainment opportunities, state-of-the-art fitness centers, and championship golf courses—all wrapped up within a close-knit, social atmosphere.

Arizona has long been touted as a premier destination for retirees and snowbirds seeking ideal living conditions with its balmy summers and gentle winters. In the 1960s, Del Webb recognized Arizona's potential as a haven for retirees, leading to the creation of Sun City, among the earliest retirement communities in the nation. While many retirees bask in the luxury of Arizona's comfy retirement residences, urban hubs like Tucson and Phoenix are gaining traction among younger homebuyers and families in search of urban/suburban living and mixed-use communities.

Whether you crave an active retirement lifestyle with pickleball courts and community events, or a family-friendly environment with playgrounds and splash pads, there's a master-planned community in Arizona waiting to welcome you. Offering a sense of security and convenience, these carefully planned developments are a popular choice for those seeking a slice of Arizona sunshine with all the trimmings.

Arizona Climate & Geography

Arizona's diverse geography and climate create a fascinating environment for both residents and visitors. From the scorching deserts to the cool pine forests and awe-inspiring mountains and canyons, the state offers a unique experience.

Regional Landscapes

  • The Desert: The Sonoran Desert covers much of southern Arizona. Other desert regions include the Mojave Desert in the northwest and the Chihuahuan Desert in the southeast. Each desert has unique plant and animal life adapted to the arid conditions.
  • The Colorado Plateau: Northern Arizona features a significant portion of the Colorado Plateau, a high-elevation region with dramatic canyons, mesas (flat-topped mountains), and buttes (isolated hills with steep sides). The Grand Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a prime example of this awe-inspiring landscape.
  • Mountain Ranges: Several mountain ranges cut through Arizona, including the Mogollon Rim, which separates the high Colorado Plateau from the lower deserts. Mountain peaks like Humphreys Peak (the highest point in Arizona at 12,637 feet) offer cooler temperatures and opportunities for winter sports.


  • Arid and Semi-Arid: With its inland location and rain shadow effect from surrounding mountain ranges, most of Arizona experiences an arid or semi-arid climate. This translates to low annual precipitation (around 12 inches) and high rates of evaporation.
  • Desert Heat: Phoenix, the state capital located in the Basin and Range, exemplifies the hot desert climate. Summers are scorching, with average highs exceeding 100°F (37°C) for several months. Winters are mild with occasional frosts.
  • Mountain Relief: Arizona's mountainous regions offer a welcome respite from the desert heat. As elevation increases, temperatures drop significantly. Northern Arizona experiences four distinct seasons with cooler summers and snow in the winter months.
  • Monsoonal Rains: During summer, brief but intense afternoon thunderstorms, known as monsoons, can bring dramatic shifts in weather patterns. While these storms provide some relief from the heat, they can also lead to flash floods.

Arizona Entertainment & Recreation

Arizona is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts (hiking, biking, camping, rock climbing, white water rafting, fishing & boating) and culture lovers (big cities, fine dining, Native American heritage, western history) alike.

Grand Canyon National Park: A must-see for any visitor to Arizona. Hike, camp, or simply marvel at the awe-inspiring geological wonder.

Monument Valley: This iconic valley features towering mesas, buttes, and rock formations sculpted by millions of years of erosion. It has served as a backdrop for numerous movies and TV shows.

Sedona: A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Sedona offers stunning red rock formations, hiking trails, and opportunities for spiritual exploration.

Antelope Canyon: This slot canyon is famous for its mesmerizing light displays, especially at sunrise and sunset.

Horseshoe Bend: Another iconic natural formation, Horseshoe Bend is a dramatic meander of the Colorado River.

Phoenix and Scottsdale: These vibrant cities offer a variety of entertainment options, including art galleries, museums, nightlife, and sporting events. Be sure to explore Old Town Scottsdale for its charming shops and art scene.

Native American Culture: Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, each with its unique culture and traditions. Visitors can experience their heritage through museums, pow wows, and cultural centers.

Western History: Explore Arizona's Wild West past by visiting ghost towns, mining towns, and historical sites like Tombstone.

Sports Scene: Sports fans enjoy the presence of professional NFL, MLB, and NBA teams, along with annual spring training baseball—a beloved tradition drawing fans from across the country to witness major league teams prepare for the upcoming season. The Cactus League, comprised of 15 teams, utilizes Arizona's warm spring weather and state-of-the-art facilities to host a series of exhibition games in intimate, laid-back, fan-friendly stadiums.

Arizona Cost of Living

  • Overall: The cost of living in Arizona is 6% higher than the national average.
  • Housing: 18% higher than the national average.
  • Taxes: 
    • Income tax: Flat rate of 2.5%
    • Property tax: .63 percent of a home’s assessed value
    • Sales tax: 8.37 percent (average combined state and local)
    • No tax on Social Security benefits

Arizona Healthcare

Arizona offers a variety of healthcare options for residents, but navigating the system can be complex. Here's a breakdown to help you understand your choices:

Health Insurance

  • Marketplace: Arizona utilizes the federal health insurance marketplace. This allows individuals and families to compare plans and potentially qualify for subsidies to help with monthly premiums.
  • Medicaid/AHCCCS: Arizona's Medicaid program, AHCCCS provides healthcare coverage to low-income residents, families, pregnant women, children, people with disabilities, and seniors.

Hospitals and Medical Centers

Arizona has a robust healthcare landscape with hundreds of hospitals and medical facilities. Among them, a few stand out for their national recognition:

  • Mayo Clinic in Phoenix: A world-renowned name in healthcare, the Mayo Clinic brings its expertise and cutting-edge treatments to Arizona.
  • University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson: This academic medical center leverages the power of research and education to deliver top-notch patient care.
  • Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center in Scottsdale: This facility is known for its advanced technology and commitment to patient-centered care.
  • St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix: A leader in innovative treatment options, St. Joseph's provides comprehensive healthcare services to the Phoenix community.

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