Want to know the biggest secret in the United States? It doesn’t take moving to New York or Los Angeles to realize the American Dream in this day and age. With huge investments moving towards entrepreneurial-minded regions such as Arizona, Texas, and Utah, Phoenix is leading the way when it comes to affordability in living well versus living below your means in other major cities around the United States.
For instance, according to SmartAsset – a New York-based personal finance technology firm – it takes $41,057 to afford a two-bedroom in Phoenix versus $179,529 in San Francisco, $164,614 in New York, $135,686 in Boston and $109,543 in Los Angeles! However, there is always a give and take – Phoenix doesn’t have significant corporate headquarters nor is regarded as a major banking center like other big U.S. cities. It also doesn’t have ocean front property (no matter what George Strait says) and it doesn’t have true geographical boundaries such as water that encourage density which typically pushes up real estate and housing costs, like in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Phoenix isn’t all a bunch of roses, however. In the submarket areas surrounding central Phoenix, cost of living rises due to higher costs in rents. For example, in Gilbert the average cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment is $1300 and Scottsdale is $2000 – quite a ways off from Phoenix’s $958 average. Don’t frown yet though – Gilbert and Scottsdale are premier areas to live, and if you still wanted to live in central Phoenix, the road system accommodates community members looking to make the drive from one spot in the city to the other. Being a native Phoenician, the only pieces of advice I would give as far as driving goes are as follows: understand roads extend 20-30 miles across the city with the same name (Indian School and Scottsdale Rd versus Indian School and 85th Ave are VERY far apart), and watch out for speeding cameras – even on the freeways!
Photo credit: Greater Phoenix Economic Council