Pros & Cons of Living in Scottsdale, Arizona
If you’ve considered moving to the Phoenix Metro Area, you’ve probably heard a lot of opinions about the pros and cons of living in Scottsdale. You may hear statements such as: “It’s where all the young people live!” “It’s THE place in Phoenix for good nightlife!” “It’s so expensive!” “People in Scottsdale are uppity and rude!” So the question stands, are all these things true about Scottsdale?! Are any of them true? What is living in Scottsdale really like? Luckily we’re going to break it down for you and show you the facts about living in Scottsdale, Arizona.
#1 Pro: The Weather in Scottsdale
You’ll find a lot of the topics on this list to be reader specific pros or cons. If you’re a snow worshiping backcountry skier, the “great weather” pro isn’t going to be much of a pro for you…but we lay it all out there and let you decide for yourself!
For about six months of the year, the weather is perfect for the outdoor lover in Scottsdale. The lover of warm weather sports; that is. Hiking, biking, trail running, golf, all of these activities thrive during the temperate months in Scottsdale. Year round pool season? Yes, please! While winter brings weather that may dictate a windbreaker, or maybe even a real coat (gasp!), you won’t be experiencing the weather extremes much of the rest of the country sees from November through March.
Due to the desert climate, evenings in Scottsdale are chilly, meaning even in the summer heat, a stifling day may turn into a lovely afternoon and night in which you can open the sliding glass doors, and enjoy your dinner al fresco!
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#1 Con: The Weather in Scottsdale
Now for our first con of living in Scottsdale, the weather. Wait, isn’t that a pro? Everything in moderation, friends! The weather in Scottsdale can get really, really hot. Many days in the summer the thermometer climbs well past 100 and into the 110’s and even 120’s. While nearly all homes have air conditioning in the Phoenix area, you still have to leave home to go to work, shop, and if nothing else not go stir crazy.
Residents will always come to the defense of the severe heat by claiming “It’s a dry heat.” Denoting the lack of moisture in the air in the American Southwest (comparative to the southeast where moisture hangs in the air like the bathroom after a shower) still doesn’t take away from the actual numbers. True, the lack of humidity helps to dry perspiration faster, giving a cooler illusion, but it’s still really, really hot.
#2 Pro: Entertainment & Things to do
For every consumer, Scottsdale has an entertainment option. Maybe you are interested in day-drinking at brunch on an outdoor patio, or perhaps a family friendly dog park is more your scene. If you’re a sports person, the arenas are always hosting some sort of sporting event. You’ll find it all. The downtown area of Scottsdale is known for its excess of bars and dining options, and a plethora of art galleries supporting local southwestern art. Perhaps that’s intentional? After a few too many margaritas, you DEFINITELY need to buy that five foot tall Kokopelli statue!
Learn More: Living in Arizona versus California
#2 Con: Tourist Traffic during Peak Season
The wonderful weather that offers Arizona residents an endless summer starts to beckon to others around the country when the snow starts to fall. You’ll find the influx of warm weather seekers evident in the traffic increase.
During the winter months, as tourists come to Scottsdale, you can feel their presence. As annoying as it can be to deal with greater numbers on the roads, in the stadiums, and in the line at Starbucks, most friendly Scottsdale residents just take it as a compliment and welcome visitors to their oasis home. If anything, this is an opportunity to meet people from around the country and make new friends.
#3 Pro: Scottsdale is very clean & well maintained
The attention to detail and cleanliness in Scottsdale is palpable to both residents and visitors. The Phoenix area is huge, but you’ll absolutely notice when you’ve stepped into Scottsdale borders. No graffiti, sidewalks are clean, trash cans aren’t overflowing, and beautiful landscaping is manicured and well kept. All of the parks in Scottsdale are clean and safe. And the general infrastructure here is held to high standards so that the entire town has a cohesive upscale vibe. Some people are interested in a more organic, less cultivated look, but there’s still plenty of natural beauty in Scottsdale, if nothing other than the desert landscape that’s beautiful just the way it is!
#3 Con: The Scottsdale Labels
You can imagine, with upscale areas (and upscale price tags) comes the assumption that the area is full of ‘snobs’. In fact, you’ll surely hear the moniker “Snobsdale” at one point or another if you hang around Phoenix long enough.
Is this true?
Probably to an extent, yes. But you can find rude people (and nice people!) anywhere in America. While multimillionaires, actors and athletes may call Scottsdale home, if you like it, don’t let preconceived opinions and projections of the personalities in the area keep you from calling it home. Even if you think someone looks stuck up, a smile and quick “Good morning!” can quickly melt away most uncomfortable tension, and if not, it’s easy enough to just carry on!
Learn More: What are the pros and cons of moving to Phoenix?
#4 Pro: Outdoor Activities
Whether you want to work on your golf swing, or fit in a quick sunrise hike before work, Scottsdale has plenty to keep the outdoor enthusiast busy. Scottsdale outdoor fans can find everything from weekend camping that costs nothing, to upscale golf courses with exorbitant price tags on a round of golf. But whatever your scene, the wonderful weather coupled with the beautiful desert landscape brings countless outdoor options to life.
While you won’t find too many winter sports in Scottsdale, Flagstaff is a short trip away, as well as skiing destinations that will make you forget you’re even in The Grand Canyon State!
Even if you don’t like to actually get out in the middle of it, the desert environment in Scottsdale is one to behold. Beautiful sunsets paint the sky, and red rocks tower towards the heavens as you get further away from the city. Even for one just driving around, it’s a feast for the eyes.
Interested in visiting Scottsdale?
Check out some local hotels in there area in the map below!
#4 Con: Desert Wildlife
The west was once, and many would say still, truly wild. And with that wild comes wildlife. This might not even be a con to you if you just remind yourself that you are living in their only home, but you’ll definitely see your fair share of desert wildlife living in Scottsdale.
Coyotes, javelina, bobcats, scorpions, rattlesnakes and spiders all call the area home, and most are entirely harmless. Even the ones that could potentially harm you have no intention to if they’re just left alone. What residents do need to pay close attention to, however; is their pets. Backyard chickens, a cat or even a dog is quick prey for a coyote, hawk, or bobcat. Most of these animals are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active at dusk and dawn, so keep that in mind and keep fluffy inside at dinner time…easy enough!
#5 Pro: Scottsdale’s Party Scene
Scottsdale is a big place, and it attracts those interested in the entertainment it offers. In July 2020, Scottsdale was ranked the number one location for millennial remote workers, so look for this town to continue to bring in young people.
The party scene can be a pro or con depending on where you fall on that spectrum, but for the most part, if you don’t want to be involved in the party, don’t indulge in the activities that promote it. Yes, there’s plenty of drinking going on in the bars or at the sporting events, and I’m guessing if you tried to go for walk downtown at about 11:30pm on a Saturday, you’d run into a fair share of drunk people, but it isn’t like the entire city is erupting in Mardi Gras-like festivities 24/7.
The excess of entertainment gives the people of Scottsdale a great outlet for meeting new people from new places, and forging friendships and other relationships that may potentially be lifelong. You never know who you might meet at a party!
Learn More: 10 Things to know before moving to Phoenix, AZ
#5 Con: Is Scottsdale Conservative?
While Scottsdale is predominantly conservative, you simply can’t make blanket statements about entire groups of people, let alone entire communities. If you consider yourself liberal, this by no means should be a deciding factor that you won’t find like minded individuals in your community if you live in Scottsdale. In fact, you will probably find many people who share many of your beliefs, even if they vote differently than you or have different opinions on how the government should operate.
Just because Scottsdale tends to lean red doesn’t mean there aren’t a multitude of opinions and types of people living in this city. Like in any city, be kind, considerate, and respect that others may feel differently than you on certain topics; and that’s ok. In fact, it makes us all smarter, wiser, and better for knowing people who differ from ourselves and our beliefs.
Considering moving to Scottsdale, Arizona?
Just like any town or city, there are always going to be pros and cons to both living in Scottsdale. And that’s why it’s best to find a knowledgeable team to do the work for you and find you the perfect spot.
If you’re thinking about moving to Scottsdale, reach out to us and we’ll use our team’s extensive knowledge to help you find the right fit. So, give us a call, shoot us a text, send us an email or even send the pigeon carrier. However you want to get a hold of us, we can’t wait to help you with your move to Scottsdale or the Phoenix area.
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