16 Pros and Cons of Living in Glendale, AZ

Updated On October 9, 2023
Glendale, AZ

For a city that started out as a flat desert, Glendale has come a long way.

New Yorker William John Murphy came out west to the territory in order to bring water and help build a settlement.

His hard work panned out in a big way.

Today, there are almost a quarter of a million residents who call Glendale, AZ home.

Despite Glendale becoming a sort of desert oasis, there are still reasons why living here may not be the paradise you think it is.

So, stick with us as we count all the pros and cons of living in Glendale, Arizona.

Glendale, AZ
Glendale, AZ

Pros of Living in Glendale, AZ

1. Diversity

A positive aspect of living so close to another country’s border is the inevitable mix of cultures.

Remember, this part of the country was once considered Mexico.

So, many families have been here for generations and have deep, personal ties to the location.

With that being said, it’s nice to see the town have a variety of people.

The ethnic breakdown of Glendale is 45% European American, 39% Latin American, 8% African American, 5% Asian American, 2% Native American, and 1% Pacific Islander.

2. Proximity

When it comes to adventure, this part of Arizona is really lucky.

To the south is Mexico and to the east is New Mexico.

To the west is southern California, which is one of the most happening places in the entire United States.

Northwest is Las Vegas and directly north is Utah.

Let’s not forget that the northeast is Colorado. Glendale is just a relatively short drive in any direction to the fun. 

3. Cost of Living

When evaluating aspects such as average income in comparison to housing costs, facts are important. 

You want to make sure that the typical person in an area is able to become a homeowner based on that salary.

Luckily for Glendale, the price of housing isn’t so extraordinarily high that it keeps people from achieving that goal.

The cost of everyday necessities is also just below the state average.

So, reasonably, a good portion of residents can own a home or rent a property as well as not go broke paying for utilities and groceries.

4. Things to Do

When it comes to wildlife refuges, national forests, national parks, and mountain ranges, Arizona is in luck.

Specifically, here in Glendale, you’re never too far away from some great outdoor activity.

Of course, you might want to refrain from spending an abundance of time outside during the summer.

That’s OK though.

We have the Westgate Entertainment District to keep us air-conditioned and busy.

Not to mention, downtown Phoenix is a short drive away for more activities.

5. Education

Public schools here have something many schools in the US would love to have; a low student vs teacher ratio.

Many of the classrooms have only 20 students for every teacher.

So, students end up getting a lot more one-on-one time and the teacher is not overwhelmed.

That’s why the school system for Glendale ranks so high.

There are also a number of private schools to choose from that hold that same level of excellence. 

6. Job Opportunities

The hustle and bustle culture of Glendale is the reason several big and well-known brands have locations here.

Types of jobs are quite varied as well.

Everything from fast food to executive-level jobs is available.

It’s encouraging to know that as children grow up, they don’t have to leave the metro area of Phoenix to find employment as they rise up the career ladder. 

7. Winter

Not having to plow your car out of the driveway is one major benefit of living in Glendale.

The coldest time of the year is at the very end and very beginning.

You can expect a nice range where the highs are in the 60s and the lows don’t drop below 40 degrees.

If you’ve come from a colder climate, this is paradise.

If only it could stay this nice all year long, right? 

8. Taxes

The one thing none of us want is more taxes.

Glendale has heard the complaints and we’re lucky to enjoy some lower rates.

First off, the property taxes are a touch lower than at the state level and a half percent lower than in the rest of the country at .8%.

State income tax is also on the lower end, in comparison to other states.  

Cons of Living in Glendale, AZ

1. Need for Cars

Not sure if the owner of a big car dealership decided to make a claim for Glendale or not, but it sure would appear that way.

There seems to be an overabundance of automobiles on the road for a very simple reason; there has to be.

This isn’t a city that was meant for alternative means of getting around.

The lack of walkability, biking lanes, and sidewalks has pushed residents to own and manage a vehicle every single time they leave the house.

2. Traffic

When you live in a place where you’re forced to drive to get anything done, traffic is to be expected.

While it may be par for the course, that doesn’t make it any easier to live with.

The city has gone above and beyond to turn Glendale into a tourist destination.

So, tourism and extra cars collide to make rush hour unbearable.

If you want to go anywhere around town, it’s imperative to plan ahead and take backroads, not that they are much better.

3. Crime Rate

Unfortunately, Glendale has one of the worst crime rates in the US.

Nationwide, property crime is at 35.

In this Arizona town, though, it’s 74.

Violent crime comes closer, only five points off from the national average, but still alarming.

The nearer you are to downtown Phoenix, the worse the crime gets.

Law enforcement doesn’t seem to be doing enough to keep the problems in check.

The safest areas are West Deer Valley, Union Hills Drive, College Park, and North Litchfield.

4. Summer

When most of the summer averages over 100 degrees, it’s hard to enjoy the season in the tiniest bit.

If just opening a door can lead to a feeling of hot oven air being blown into your face, what is the point of going outside?

Sadly, hibernating in the cool, indoor air isn’t a helpful way of dealing with the onslaught of heat.

That strikes out any activity that involves the sun, though.

That’s usually the point of summer, but not in Glendale. Don’t forget the monsoons!

5. Tap Water

Technically, the water is safe to drink.

It does hit all the safety standards set in place to avoid any problems.

So, there’s no official word from anyone with information about why tap water is so abhorrent.

It is, though.

Science says that pure water should have no flavor to it.

That means, if there is a taste, something has altered it.

Now, what exactly that is in Glendale is up for debate.

There are honestly a few different things it could be but until it’s dealt with, many locals have their water delivered.

6. Public Transportation

Knowing that the city wasn’t built for people to get around through alternative means, seeing public transport listed as a con was only a matter of time.

The system in place is a bus line with the very limited operation.

The fares are a little bit on the pricey side and many residents have called them out as being unreliable. 

7. Lack of Solar Power

For whatever reason, one of the sunniest places in the US has a shockingly low percentage of homes using solar panels.

If they were looking into sustainability and the longevity of the community as a whole, the local government would help create incentive programs.

It would be good for the environment, the people paying utility bills and the city.

With all the constant running of the air conditioning going on, you’d think this would be a no-brainer.

8. Non-existent Nightlife

If you’re looking to do stuff at night, Glendale is not the place.

In some ways, this part of the metro area is very much suburban.

Glendale could almost be called a sleepy town, due to everyone turning in at what seems like just past sunset.

To be fair, Phoenix is a short drive down the road and there’s more nightlife there.

So, if you’re in need of a party, that’s where you’d do it, not Glendale. 

Glendale, AZ
Glendale, AZ

16 Pros and Cons of Living in Glendale, AZ – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Glendale, AZCons of Living in Glendale, AZ
1. Diversity1. Need for Cars
2. Proximity2. Traffic
3. Cost of Living3. Crime Rate
4. Things to Do4. Summer
5. Education5. Tap Water
6. Job Opportunities6. Public Transportation
7. Winter7. Lack of Solar Power
8. Taxes8. Non-existent Nightlife

Glendale Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Glendale Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Glendale LGBT+ friendly?

While the city leans more on the conservative side, it seems that the locals have decided their social views are more progressive.

In 2021, Glendale became one of the first in a handful of cities that passed an inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.

It was passed without any hassle as everyone on the council approved it.

Are there any notable people from Glendale?

One of the most successful American Idol participants, Jordin Sparks, grew up here.

From the science community, half of the duo who discovered the Hale-Bopp comet, Tom Bopp, lived in Glendale for many years.

Also, you know you’ve endeared yourself profusely to a community when they have a day named after you.

That’s an honor Marty Robbins can tell you all about.

He may have sung about El Paso, but his heart was in Glendale.

What is special about Glendale?

One fun fact that most of the country may not know about the town is that it’s called Arizona’s Antique Capital.

That’s because there happen to be about 70 antique shops downtown alone.

That seriously increases the odds of finding anything you can think of.

Is the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale?

Yes, it’s actually the first in North America to come with a retractable roof and a grass field that can be transported.

The stadium is a pretty big deal, locally.

What are the most popular attractions in Glendale?

A few of the highest-rated places are Adobe Mountain Desert Park, Westgate Entertainment District, and everything going on at State Farm Stadium.

In addition, there are a bunch of festivals that roll through to keep people getting out of the house all year, such as the Jazz and Blues Festival and the Glendale Chocolate Festival.

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