Where to live in Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona, is one of the most desirable cities in the country to live in. Beautiful weather, fun things to do, great food…the list goes on. Living in Scottsdale can look different in each part of town, though; so we’re going to pinpoint the five best neighborhoods in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scottsdale, AZ Top Neighborhoods to Live

South Scottsdale:

South Scottsdale is the oldest part of Scottsdale, but with it comes a bit of history and mid century charm. Because many of the homes here are single story, two or three bedroom homes built in the 1960’s and 70’s, the area can look a bit dated. Many of these homes have little to no renovations, but the plus side is this makes them more affordable to young couples and families on a budget. These homes are perfect to buy with the intent of making upgrades along the way.

To purchase a home in South Scottsdale, buyers are looking at a price of around $500,000 for a three bed, two bath home. Some of the more expensive homes might have renovations, or have been kept in particularly good shape. But for the most part, South Scottsdale is the least pretentious part of Scottsdale.

South Scottsdale is not only an affordable place to live; its prime, central location makes it close to everything residents could need. From South Scottsdale, the major highways are easy to access, and this means getting anywhere else in town is easier. Also nearby is a zoo, Tempe Town Lake, The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Arizona State University campus. The college campus is of course bustling with life and fun places to eat and drink, so even in this sleepy little part of Scottsdale, there’s plenty of fun to be had if you know where to find it!

aerial view of Scottsdale Arizona, Where to live in Scottsdale, Arizona 5 Areas in Scottsdale to live in


Old Town Scottsdale:

Old Town Scottsdale is by far the most well known and iconic area of Scottsdale. This area is known for its plethora of shopping, dining, and nightlife options. The scenery is beautiful, and this neighborhood does an excellent job keeping the landscaping pruned, sidewalks nicely paved, and promoting a general lovely aesthetic. Throughout the year, a wide variety of events are hosted in Old Town. Everything from Wine Walks, to a Native American Heritage festival, to farmers markets pop up here. Though more expensive, this part of town is known for being a “young person’s spot,” due to the nightlife and entertainment options. Of course, drinking and dining isn’t just limited to the night. You’ll find countless places to indulge in a weekend patio brunch in Old Town; after all, those millennials would die without their avocado toast.

When it comes to neighborhoods in Old Town, you’ll see a very diverse spectrum. Much of the housing looks similar to what you would see in South Scottsdale, which isn’t surprising because the areas are very close when you look at the map. Though there are older neighborhoods all over Old Town Scottsdale, you can also find some of the most upscale, new, expensive condominiums in the entire state. Being so close to the action is important to many people, and where there is a market that will pay it, prices will be high. This price range can vary drastically all over town, but don’t be surprised to be paying a million dollars or more to purchase a home in the Old Town neighborhood of Scottsdale.

Old Town Scottsdale sign, Where to live in Scottsdale, Arizona 5 Areas in Scottsdale to live in

Central Scottsdale:

Central Scottsdale is one of the largest areas on our list, and the general agreement on where neighborhood lines lay can be a little muddied. That being said, this area encompasses the zip codes 85250, 85258, and 85259.

Central Scottsdale might be one of the best areas to live in Scottsdale because it’s beautiful, close to everything, somewhat affordable, and full of charming niche neighborhoods and fun things to do. There are a lot of entertainment options in Central Scottsdale, like great dining, shopping, and golfing, but whatever you can’t find here, you can get in Old Town which is just a hop and a skip away.

Central Scottsdale is known for hosting a great deal of small neighborhoods, each with a very distinct vibe of its own. This is a highly walkable area, so many of these spots have a few restaurants and shops all near to each other. You can grab a cup of coffee and walk to a boutique, or meet friends for happy hour at one place, then walk to dinner at another. Central Scottsdale cultivates a community feeling that is well received by residents and visitors alike.

In Central Scottsdale you’ll find communities master-planned communities like McCormick Ranch, and Scottsdale Ranch. These are communities designed to provide residents with walkability, great community amenities, and close access to all major needs like grocery and drug stores.

The average home price in Central Scottsdale is about $900,000, but because this area is so big, you can absolutely find something more affordable, closer to the $500,000 range. With its great location, fun things to do, beautiful neighborhoods and affordable options, it’s hard to find negatives of living in Central Scottsdale.

Scottsdale condos on the water, Where to live in Scottsdale, Arizona 5 Areas in Scottsdale to live in

North Scottsdale:

Like Central Scottsdale, the boundary lines of North Scottsdale can be somewhat ambiguous with such a large area. Some of the newest, most exclusive neighborhoods in Phoenix are located here, so the entire feel of North Scottsdale is different from the other neighborhoods we have described thus far. Areas such as Silver Leaf, Grayhawk, DC Ranch, and McDowell Mountain Ranch are all known for being some of the priciest real estate around, where homes are easily a million dollars or more. Most of these new developments have been built in the last twenty years, so even the “less new” of those are much newer than the midcentury housing you’ll see in the rest of Scottsdale.

North Scottsdale is on the outer edges of Scottsdale, and life here looks a little bit different than it does in the heart of the city. Here, you are closer to the desert and the mountains, and the people who want to live here value the views and connection to nature over being able to walk to a coffee shop. That doesn’t at all mean there isn’t plenty to do in North Scottsdale when it comes to entertainment, it’s just a bit more sparse, especially the closer you get to the mountain preserve.

North Scottsdale has some of the most amazing views in all of Phoenix, not only of the desert and mountains, but stunning cityscape views peering out over the valley. As you might have expected, with the views and privacy, you’re looking at homes starting in the one million and up category. In some of the neighborhoods mentioned above, this is easily a few million. You could potentially find something for less, but if you do, act fast because it won’t last for long. This area is desirable and the real estate here moves quickly.

single family homes in Scottsdale, Where to live in Scottsdale, Arizona 5 Areas in Scottsdale to live in (1)

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North North Scottsdale

(or Further North Scottsdale, or Way North Scottsdale, call it whatever you want, its way out there!):

As you can gather from the name, this part of Scottsdale is just about as far out of town as you can get. It’s worth separating North North Scottsdale from North Scottsdale on our list, however; because it truly does have a different vibe and offer different things to its residents. These few key differences really change the lifestyle of locals the further north you go away from Scottsdale. Some of the well known neighborhoods in this area are Desert Mountain, Desert Highlands, Pinnacle Peak, and Terravita. The affordability in North North Scottsdale is probably the least attainable on our list. Without even giving a starting point (because the homes here vary so much) let’s just say this is a very expensive part of Phoenix to live in.

North North Scottsdale homes with view of Camelback Mountain

Much of the high price tag comes from the sheer size of the homes in North North Scottsdale. It’s not uncommon to see stunning desert mansions with sparkling pools, and the people who can afford them like their privacy. Privacy is one of the biggest perks of living in this area. There is more space, less people, and it’s just generally more difficult to access. Perfect for a desert oasis! There is less traffic, and the area as a whole is just quieter. Because North North Scottsdale ascends up the mountains a little bit, the higher elevation here even makes for cooler, more bearable temperatures.

The views in this neighborhood can’t be beat, and the homes reflect that aspect of the environment, with many having long floor to ceiling windows and French doors to allow the desert breeze in of an evening. Some people might think the drive all the way out to this part of town makes it less desirable, but the area never seems to fail to attract people that want it just like that.

Thinking of Moving to Scottsdale, Arizona?

If you think any of these unique areas of Scottsdale sound like the perfect place for you, reach out to me, I love answering questions and helping people find their dream home in the Phoenix Metro Area!