Pros and Cons of Living in Gilbert, Arizona

With a population of about 280,000 residents, Gilbert, Arizona, is a growing Phoenix suburb. Living in Gilbert offers locals excellent schools, plenty of outdoor activities, and all the shopping and nightlife you could need. If you are looking for a place to call home in the Phoenix Metro Area, but don’t want to dive right into hustling and bustling city life, Gilbert might be just the place for you. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of living in Gilbert Arizona.

Top Pros to Living in Gilbert AZ

Gilbert is an all around great place to live

(according to these publications):

Gilbert is consistently ranked one of the safest and best places to live in the United States. 

  • rated Power Ranch (a Gilbert subdivision) to be the most kid-friendly place in America.
  • Gilbert was named the number one safest city in Arizona by
  • In 2019, the city was considered to be the best city in Arizona for business by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. This is likely due to the booming business sector in Gilbert; which also makes it a wonderful place for career opportunity and growth.

Along with the many awards, the schools and neighborhoods in Gilbert are top notch, rounding out this town with just about everything you could ask for.

image of downtown Gilberts town square, Pros and Cons of Living in Gilbert, Arizona

Great School Systems:

When an area is considered safe to live in, it always attracts families, and those families need schools.  According to, the public schools in Gilbert receive an A overall niche grade. This grade takes into consideration many facets of education, such as academics, diversity, and extracurricular activities. Each category is rated individually as well.

None of the categories in the Gilbert school system receive a rating lower than a B+, which is outstanding. It’s clear that the schools in Gilbert offer well rounded education and a safe place to grow and learn. Even in public schools, an area often oversaturated with students; the Gilbert Public School System has a student to teacher ratio of 18:1.

Gilbert is full of outdoor fun for the whole family:

The gorgeous landscape and temperate weather of Arizona makes it an oasis for those who enjoy getting out into the great outdoors. The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is an excellent place for Gilbert residents to do so. This stunning nature preserve features 4.5 miles of trails, beautiful water features, and is even equestrian friendly. Unique to this preserve, is its water features designed to reuse 100% of the Gilbert effluent water.

The ponds, streams, and tributaries within the Riparian Preserve are full of treated wastewater. This allows local fauna and flowers to benefit from a water habitat within the middle of the desert. Because of this resource, almost 300 species of birds call the park home, and countless fish, amphibians, and insects can be found here as well.

New to the Gilbert outdoor scene is Gilbert Regional Park, located in southeast Gilbert. While the nature preserve is doing just that, preserving the desert nature, Gilbert Regional Park is a place where all the amenities of a city park come together, allowing residents to have a beautiful, manicured place to enjoy family time and green space. When this massive park is finished, it will contain over 272 acres of outdoor fun for the people of Gilbert.

The park offers playgrounds, basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, and even an amphitheatre. Picnic areas and walking paths make the entire park accessible and easy to navigate. As it continues to grow, it only gets better and better.

aerial view of a park in Gilbert AZ, Pros and Cons of Living in Gilbert, Arizona (3)

What list of outdoor fun is complete without the addition of a farmers market? Every Saturday (bimonthly during non-peak months) the Gilbert Farmers Market is held in the Heritage District, also known as Downtown Gilbert. Locally sourced produce and goods fill tables and crates, and vendors sell beautiful hand crafted products as well.

The Gilbert Farmers Market is an excellent place for locals to support sustainable agriculture, as well as small businesses. The produce is of the finest quality and much of it is organic. Where else can you purchase homemade bath bombs, hot sauce, and beef jerky all in one place?! There are plenty of fun things here for the kiddos too, like free samples and face painting. Even if you don’t buy much, the farmers market is a great place to get out as a whole family and enjoy the weather and local culture.

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Heritage District Downtown:

In Downtown Gilbert, you can find anything for anybody! The historic Gilbert Water Tower, constructed in the 1920s, originally served for storage of water for firefighting and later city water. When it was decommissioned in the 1980s, the town rallied around this beacon of desert prosperity, and through city initiative, the tower was protected, restored, and turned into a city park. These days, you can visit the tower to enjoy tower lightings throughout the year, and little ones can cool off from that desert sun splashing about on the splash pad.

Gilbert Arizona water tower, Pros and Cons of Living in Gilbert, Arizona

Downtown Gilbert is the perfect place to catch dinner and a show (more on the dinner part below!) The Hale Theatre, a renovated historic theatre, offers an exceptional theatrical season. Year round Gilbert residents and visitors can enjoy musical, classical, and occasional workshop productions. The talent is incredible and the production quality would make one assume they were off Broadway, not in a little theatre in the middle of the desert! Check out the Hale Theatre website to find the season schedule.

When it comes to grabbing a bite, the options are endless in Downtown Gilbert. There are plenty of family friendly restaurants where the whole gang can have a fun night out on the town. With all the reference to safety, great schools, and family centric fun, you might get the idea that Gilbert isn’t a place for young adult singles. This absolutely isn’t the case. The Heritage District has quite a few bars and craft breweries to be enjoyed by those over 21, and the environment is thriving. With the walkable nature of Downtown Gilbert, it’s perfectly laid out for a pub crawl on a balmy Arizona night.

Cons of living in Gilbert AZ

Traffic and Transportation in Gilbert

Gilbert is a bit “out there” if you are going to be working in or frequenting central Phoenix. It can be pretty congested during rush hour, and because the city of Gilbert is growing, it’s likely to keep getting worse. If you think you could live here and take public transportation to avoid the traffic, think again. The public transportation in Gilbert isn’t great.

Phoenix proper has good public transportation, such as the light rail, which is extremely affordable and fast. But that line really only gets you in and around the heart of the Phoenix Metro Area, and into Tempe and Mesa. Unless you wanted to drive to one of the stops and park there, you likely won’t be able to utilize the light rail on a daily basis if you live in Gilbert. Gilbert is just one of those towns that nearly requires residents to have their own car.

Gilbert AZ traffic, Pros and Cons of Living in Gilbert, Arizona (1)

Rising Cost of Living:

For decades, Phoenix has been touted as one of the best places to live when it comes to cost of living, but this statistic is changing rapidly. Though it’s just outside of the city, Gilbert is no exception. Because it offers a comfortable family vibe, with great job opportunities and somewhat affordable housing, Gilbert is a magnet for newcomers.

As the city grows, that cost of living goes with it. The cost of living in Gilbert Arizona is about 16% higher than the national average, and the housing price is a whopping 144% higher than the national average. Yes, you might be able to find a great home for less than you would pay in Southern California, or New York City, but it still isn’t cheap.

Sweltering Heat:

If you’re considering moving to Phoenix, you no doubt understand the weather is a temperate desert environment. For many escaping torrential rains or endless icy winters, that is one of the many reasons they are choosing to come to Arizona. After all, it rivals Florida as the “Snowbird” Mecca of the United States. But while the winters in Gilbert are lovely, the summers can be downright unbearable.

From May through September, the mercury climbs well into the triple digits, often staying there for days or even weeks at a time. The desert climate does bring the temperature down significantly at night, so there is some respite, but not much. Many locals choose to get out and about in the early morning hours or evening to avoid the relentless heat. If you decide to make Gilbert your home, this will be an unavoidable annual occurrence. (On the plus side, can you think of a better reason to buy a home with a pool?!)

Thinking of moving to Gilbert, Arizona?

Did this list of pros and cons help you make your final decision to move to Gilbert? If so, reach out to me today, and let’s find your perfect home in Gilbert, Arizona.