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What do you think of when you think of Arizona? Is it miles upon miles of vast, untamed desert? Endless expanses of the giant maws of canyons? Maybe it’s something as whimsical as a hungry, dynamite-wielding coyote in hot pursuit of a jittery blue roadrunner!
Whatever the case may be, Arizona has so much more to offer potential newcomers than just its stereotypes. This gorgeous state is home to some geographic relics, including, of course, the Grand Canyon. Although this natural wonder is one of the state’s primary attractions, it’s just the beginning.
This state has countless opportunities for visitors and residents alike to hike, mountain bike, camp, swim, and even go white water rafting. Cities like Tucson and Phoenix have large suburban areas, with many large companies, including PetSmart, headquartered in the state.
The state government is the largest employer, with Banner Health coming in a close second. Education, leisure and hospitality, retail, and trade are all important industries here, too. With a reasonable cost of living, about 5% less than the national average, Arizona also has a plethora of blue-collar jobs with one of the largest emerging industrial markets nationwide.
With weather that’s warm and sunny throughout most of the year and plenty of places to kick back and relax, Arizona is a top state for young people and retirees alike.
In short, it’s a place you definitely should consider calling your next home!
As is the case with most states, Arizona has architectural trends that vary somewhat depending on your specific location within the state. Arizona real estate is dominated by pueblo- and pueblo revival-style homes, along with contemporary, ranch, or Spanish mission-style homes. Bungalows and condos are commonplace here, too.
Most homes in the state were built more recently. According to Realm’s data analysis, 2005 claims the title for year with most homes built. House styles vary depending on the specific location, but contemporary homes with neutral painting colors and open floor plans tend to be common. Mediterranean-style homes with red tile roofing are also popular.
Stucco is another common feature that tends to dominate the housing market, particularly in those pueblo- or Spanish mission-style homes. Exterior and interior painting are both among the top five most popular features in local listings. Realm’s data analysis found they were mentioned in 26,978 listings. In terms of painting styles, Arizona homeowners tend to prefer neutral colors and clean, stark lines.
Most Arizona homes do not have basements. That’s not because of flooding — 98% of homes here are not located in a flood zone, according to Realm’s data. Instead, it’s because the traditionally hard, expansive soils of the state make it difficult for builders to dig basements.
Fences are common in Arizona real estate, too. This is due in part to historical construction. In cities with a strong Spanish influence, low walls were often used as statement pieces, not to provide privacy. They were built for decoration.
Today, these fences and walls are still common, but they are typically built to protect swimming pools instead. Swimming pools, as you might expect, are common in this hot climate. They’re the second most popular home feature, showing up in 39,491 recent listings, according to Realm’s data. So what tops the list of most popular home features? Patios, clocking in at 48,724 mentions in recent listings, according to Realm’s analysis. This makes sense given the pleasant climate and proclivity toward outdoor recreation in this state.
The most important thing to remember when buying a home in Arizona is this: it gets hot. Really hot! Because of this, it’s important to keep insulation and HVAC in mind when you start house hunting.
That said, you won’t be totally immune to temperature swings. While summers are hot and winters are mild (there are some spots that even get some snowfall), it is a state that is mostly dry. But precipitation really depends on your location. Arizona has an average annual rainfall of about three inches in the southwest, while the White Mountains of the middle portion of the state average a whopping 40 inches per year.
For most Arizona homeowners, rain won’t be an issue. But when it does rain, it’s likely going to be a downpour. That’s why investing in a home with tiled roofing might be a smart choice. It will be better at shredding large amounts of rainfall all at once.
If you’re looking for a wood floor, you’re likely to find one here, too. But it probably won’t be solid hardwood. That’s because solid wood isn’t recommended for installation directly over a concrete slab. When you do find hardwood floors here, they will likely be made out of local species like oak, maple, and hickory.
With its hot, dry climate, you might be wondering if wildfires would be an issue. But Realm’s data analysis revealed that 99.98% of all homes in this state were not located in a designated perimeter for a wildfire that has occurred in the past five years.
You will, however, find that cultivating a green landscape might be a challenge here. Arizona is not the best state for the homeowner who wants to have a lush green lawn. In most parts of Arizona, it’s tough to grow anything besides cacti and palm trees.
Xeriscaping, a landscaping style that requires little to no watering and is commonly used in arid regions, might be an option for you. And don’t forget to leave room for that swimming pool, too. These two options combined should give you plenty of space for outdoor recreation.
Where is the best place to buy property in Arizona?
That depends on what specific type of value you want to get out of the property. If you’re looking for an investment home, Apache Junction is a safe bet, while homes in the Broadmoor-Broadway neighborhood of Tucson have access to some of the best public schools. It’s all about what you want to get out of the homeowner experience.
What’s bad about Arizona?
Like all states, Arizona has its own fair share of pros and cons associated with living there. The air quality tends to be on the lower side of the scale, mostly due to the intense heat and dry conditions. In some parts of the state, public transportation is an issue, as is a lack of green spaces.
Why are houses so expensive in Arizona?
Home prices vary throughout the state but, as is true of the housing market in most parts of the country, recent real estate prices have reached sky-high levels. Many homes are currently being sold for tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price.
This is caused by a lack of supply coupled with an extreme surge in demand from a growing statewide population. With fewer new homes being built (and being built at higher prices, since lumber costs alone more than doubled from 2020 to 2021), there is a temporary bubble in which home prices are surging.
The good news is that this bubble should pop and prices for new homes should start trending downward in the next couple of years as conditions stabilize.
We currently cover most standalone, single-family homes