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If you’ve been considering a move to Arizona, Prescott is the city you need to consider. Just 55 miles from the geographic center of the state, living in this city will allow you to be in the middle of all the action! It’s close to the Granite Dells, an expanse of granite outcroppings known for its gorgeous natural beauty.
Prescott was founded in the late 1800s as a gold mining town and it’s absolutely drenched in the culture of the Old West. It’s a haven for history buffs, as it’s surrounded by old gold mines and plenty of historical sites and artifacts.
It’s also not far from water bodies like Willow Lake, Watson Lake, Goldwater Lake, Granite Basin, Lynx, and more, along with plenty of hiking trails, like the Peavine National Recreation Trail. You’ll also have easy access to the Prescott National Forest.
All in all, the city has a lot of wild spaces. It has nearly a full square mile of water and, unlike many other cities in Arizona, experiences weather that is decidedly mild and somewhat wet. It even gets some light snow each winter!
Downtown Prescott is quaint and picturesque, home to dozens of independently owned and operated restaurants, shops, and boutiques. Just west of the downtown area is where you will find Prescott College, a small liberal arts college dedicated to environmental and social justice.
Although Prescott is technically considered a city, it has a small population of just over 42,000 residents, lending it more of a small-town feel. The downtown area is speckled with old elm trees and brick buildings that will make you feel right at home. Because Prescott has such a central location within the state, everything will be right within reach.
With high levels of future job growth and higher-than-average annual earnings among residents, Prescott is clearly a wonderful place to settle down or enjoy your retirement (it’s one of the top retirement destinations in the country). The economy’s major industries are retail trade, construction, professional and educational services, and health care.
Prescott has a rich architectural history, with more than 800 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the city’s historical homes were built in the 1880s. These homes have simple roof lines and decorative architectural details indoors, such as quoins (masonry blocks at wall corners), turned posts, spindlework, and sawn-work brackets. Many of these buildings are simpler in their ornamentation than classic Victorian homes, often lacking the turrets, towers, and stained glass windows that you might find in homes of this style elsewhere.
Queen Anne style homes predominate, with steeply pitched roofs and asymmetrical facades taking center stage. Wood shingles are common, too. In addition to these styles, you’ll also find plenty of bungalows and Colonial Revival homes here.
Many of the homes in Prescott, even the newer ones, maintain this classic feel. In fact, according to Realm’s data analysis, most Prescott homes were built in 2005. So if you’re house hunting here, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find more recent builds. But style-wise, while there are certainly contemporary homes to be found, most stick to traditional features like heavy brickwork and simple shapes.
Deep shades of red, amber, and even green are common in the painting styles of these homes. So it’s no surprise that painting was one of the top features mentioned in local real estate listings. Realm’s data analysis found that painting was mentioned in 237 listings.
Also very popular: outdoor features. Realm’s analysis showed that 591 Prescott home listings mention decks, while another 451 have patios. With such beautiful natural surroundings it’s no wonder that Prescott homes are equipped with these features. Additionally, quite a few of the homes here are built at a higher elevation so it’s easy to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding lakes and trails.
One of the biggest benefits of living in Prescott is that the city’s higher altitude (about 5,400 feet above sea level) makes the weather much cooler and more pleasant than other areas of the state.
Of course, the higher elevation does take some getting used to and it also means you’ll have the occasional snowfall to deal with. When you’re looking at potential homes, pay attention to the elevation where they’re located. If the home is higher in the hills, you can expect a bit more snowfall, which might make it tougher to get around. Most storms average only a few inches, though you may see significantly more than that at higher elevations. That also means it’s extra important to get a thorough home inspection that doesn’t overlook the state of the roof.
During that inspection, also make sure the HVAC system is modern, inspected, and updated. Summers can still be oppressively hot and air quality is often an issue at this altitude. If your home doesn’t already have one, installing an air purifier is a smart choice.
When you move in, you may find that your landscape isn’t quite as green as you’d like it to be. Although Prescott does receive moderate amounts of rainfall compared to the rest of the state, it is still relatively dry during the summer and so growing a lush, green lawn may prove to be a challenge.
The two most popular features for homes in this market are decks and patios, with Realm’s analysis revealing these outdoor living must-haves in 591 listings (decks) and 451 listings (patios). Another 281 listings featured fences and 313 mentioned the landscape, which makes it clear that homeowners in Prescott are taking advantage of the gorgeous scenery of the surrounding wilderness areas.
The good news is that safety isn’t a major concern for homeowners in the area. In addition to Prescott’s low crime rate, it also boasts an average fire rating of 100%, according to Realm data. This means that 100% of its homes are not located within a designated perimeter for a wildfire that occurred within the last five years.
Is Prescott, AZ a good place to live?
There are plenty of benefits to living in Prescott. Not only does it have that quintessential small-town feel, but it also offers all the benefits of larger cities with plenty of restaurants, shops, and hospitals. It has a very low crime rate and tons of natural beauty.
What is the best area to live in Prescott, AZ?
There are several neighborhoods to consider when you’re searching for a home in Prescott. Many of these offer decent pricing on new and older homes along with access to the best schools and opportunities for outdoor recreation. Some great neighborhoods include Cliff Rose, Cedar, and Juniper, all of which offer a close-knit community feel.
Is Prescott expensive to live in?
The cost of living in this city is relatively higher and is comparable to that of more densely populated cities in the state, like Flagstaff. Homes tend to be a bit more expensive compared to the statewide average and transportation costs may wind up being a bit more for you, too, since there’s not much in the way of public transportation. With all things considered, however, you’ll still get a great overall value for your money.
We currently cover most standalone, single-family homes