Phoenix is the capital of Arizona, and with more than 1.4 million residents, it is the most populous capital in the United States. If you add in the city's many suburbs, more than 4 million people live in Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Just a few of the most well-known attractions in this major city include the Phoenix Zoo, Wet 'n' Wild Waterpark, Heard Museum, Chase Field, Castles N' Coasters Amusement Park, and Phoenix International Raceway.
The median home sales price in Phoenix is $150,000, and that number has been rising in recent years. About 50% of the residents here own their home, while about 36% rent property. Since about 13% of the homes in this area are vacant, you should not have much trouble finding a house that you can buy, rent, or rent to own. In addition, considering that about 4500 homes were sold in a three-month period this year, you can expect to have plenty of options when it comes to housing in Phoenix.
Phoenix has improved its public transportation system in recent years, since it used to be rather limited. Most of it consists of buses operated by Valley Metro. The fleet includes more than 500 buses that can take Phoenix residents from downtown to the many suburbs of this major metropolitan area. In addition, the light rail was built in the last decade and now has more than 20,000 passengers per day. People use it to do everything from commuting to work to going bar hopping around this city. But many residents still prefer to drive, which is easy due to the state's simple grid system for streets. The average commute in Phoenix is about 23 minutes, and most drivers use the local freeways to get to work, with the I-10, I-17, Loop 101, US 60, and State Route 51 being the main local highways. Additionally, Phoenix is home to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which serves around 40 million passengers per year.
If you are into live tunes, Phoenix won't disappoint, since plenty of bars, clubs, and coffeehouses offer all kinds of music. Since this is the Wild West, country music is big here, and there are lots of country-themed bars and restaurants that feature live acts. You will also find clubs that play a lot of jazz or even have dueling pianos. If classical is your style, you can check out shows at Symphony Hall, Herberger Theater, or the historic Orpheum Theatre. Concerts with all types of music are usually held at Chase Field, US Airways Center, and Ak-Chin Pavilion. And of course, there are lots of nightclubs that play the latest hits to encourage dancing. Downtown Phoenix is a particularly popular area when it comes to nightlife, and it features a mix of new, posh nightclubs and hipster bars in tiny, historic cottages. Examples of some popular downtown bars include Alice Cooper'stown and the Rose and Crown, which is a small, unique British style pub set in a former historic home. In general, there's something for everyone when it comes to the nightlife in Phoenix.
Phoenix is a diverse mix of historic homes, gated neighborhoods, and high-rise apartments. You should get an overview of some of the largest communities and base your decision on both your budget and the attractions you want to live closest to.
Arcadia: This area is very close to Scottsdale and shares some of its reputable schools, but it's also only minutes from downtown Phoenix and the Phoenician Golf Course. Many of the homes here are older but well-kept and recently upgraded, often with lots of land. Despite the age of the homes, the houses here tend to be costly since the area is considered desirable.
Biltmore Estates: The homes here were built mostly in the 1990s and tend to be spacious and luxurious. In fact, it's a gated community that happens to be minutes from numerous resorts, spas, golf courses, and the upscale Biltmore Fashion Park.
Ahwatukee: This neighborhood is so large that many people forget it's not a city, but a community within Phoenix. South Mountain separates it from most of Phoenix, and also is a great location for hiking and jogging. This area is just off the I-10 freeway, so it's convenient for commuters who work downtown but want to live in a fairly new, family-friendly area.
Downtown Phoenix: If you work in this area or simply want to be close to most of the amenities in this city, you need to move downtown. You'll find everything from older, inexpensive houses and condos to newer, costly high-rise apartment buildings and lofts. This area is very close to countless concert venues, bars, museums, and other typical downtown attractions.
Encanto: This is in Central Phoenix and is considered rather family-friendly due to the modest, affordable houses and close proximity to Encanto Park. This park is so large that it comprises two golf courses, a pool, a lagoon, an amusement park, and other kid-friendly attractions.
South Mountain: This area has a mixture of older homes and new, gated communities. The main draw here is that it is an easy commute to downtown Phoenix, and that it's also close to the South Mountain range.
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