Tempe, Arizona, is a Phoenix suburb with about 161,000 residents. It is the home of Arizona State University, which has almost 60,000 students enrolled at its Tempe campus alone. Though students have definitely made their mark on this city, there are also many families and young professionals who live and work here. Most areas of Tempe are within short distance of major freeways like the 60, 101, I-10, and 202. These are the main lifelines to nearby cities where many Tempe residents work, such as Scottsdale, Mesa, and downtown Phoenix. If you're looking for a rent-to-own house or somewhere to buy and put down your roots, Tempe might be a great choice.
The number of owners and renters in Tempe is about equal, and that's not surprising since this is a major college town with lots of apartments, condos, and rental homes near campus. The many students is also why Tempe has an annual residential turnover rate of about 28%, with the average time for residents to stay in a home lasting about 2 years. The median sales price of homes in Tempe is $195,000, and the vacancy rate is about 10%. As you search for houses to rent or buy, as well as rent to own homes, take note that the houses in this city are about 30 years old on average.
If you're anywhere near Arizona State University in Tempe, you'll find it hard to ignore Sun Devil Stadium and its thousands of passionate fans. It's safe to say college football is important to the residents of Tempe, but that's not the only sport that people pay attention to. Wells Fargo Arena is also located on campus and is the site of college basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, and volleyball competitions. In addition, for almost 20 years, Sun Devil Stadium was where the NFL's Arizona Cardinals played all their games. Even though the games moved to Glendale, many Tempe locals still root for this team. Other sports with teams here include mixed martial arts, rugby, and rowing, to name a few options for athletes in Tempe.
Not surprisingly, Arizona State University is by far the top employer in Tempe, with more than 11,000 employees in the area. Maricopa County Community College District is another top employer, with the Kyrene School District not far behind. Clearly, education is the main industry in Tempe. Another well-known employer is the Salt River Project, which provides the city with water and electrical power. Other major employers here include US Airways, Honeywell, and a few banks and grocery stores. Take note that additional common industries in this city are food services, construction, and healthcare. Like most cities, the unemployment rate in Tempe changes often, but one pattern that doesn't change is that it is typically a few points lower than Arizona's average.
Tempe is known for its incredible nightlife, and ASU plays a large role in that since it has frequently been named one of the top party schools. The main nightlife district is Mill Avenue, which is a large street lined with nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and small boutiques. Some of the most popular are Mill Cue Club, Rula Bula Irish Pub, and Tavern on Mill. Due to its popularity with residents and visitors alike, high-rise apartments and equally tall business buildings have been built around Mill over the last few decades, creating highly sought after commercial and residential properties. But a single street is not large enough to house all the bars demanded by the college crowd, so the places to drink tend to spill over onto University Drive, which intersects with Mill. Of course, sprinkled around the rest of the city are additional hot spots, including dive bars, dance clubs, and hookah lounges. Casey Moore's Oyster House - which is supposedly haunted - is just one of the popular bars in Tempe. And then there's Tempe Marketplace, which is newer and just a few minutes from ASU and Mill Avenue. It's an outdoor shopping center with dozens of big-box retailers, upscale restaurants, small shops, trendy bars, and a large movie theater. Thirsty Lion Pub and Grill is just one option for food and drinks here. There are also outdoor fireplaces surrounded by comfortable seating so you can enjoy the live music coming from the outdoor stages of this shopping center.
Residents of Tempe like to get out of the house and be active. Tempe Butte, which the locals call "A" Mountain due to the large letter "A" on it, is right by ASU and is a great spot for hiking and biking. Papago Park, which is located near the Phoenix Zoo, is another popular place for hikers and bikers to go. Tempe Town Lake is a man-made lake within walking distance of ASU, and it provides a beautiful backdrop for bike riding, walking, or jogging. And of course, fans of water activities use it for rowing, boating, and fishing. Tempe Beach Park is next to the lake, and it has a splash park for kids, as well as plenty of sports fields. Kiwanis Park also offers sports fields, as well as tennis courts, an indoor wave pool, and more. Golfers tend to flock to the ASU Karsten Golf Course, and many more courses in surrounding cities are just a short drive away.
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