16 Pros and Cons of Living in Scottsdale, AZ

Updated On November 7, 2023

Scottsdale, Arizona could be a great place to live.

However, before you take the jump there are several advantages and disadvantages you should consider.

Whether you have a family or are alone, Scottsdale could be a perfect location.

Maybe you’ve heard people mention bad things about Scottsdale such as it being too expensive, or the people there are rude and uppity.

This guide will help break down these things, so you can determine for yourself whether they are true or not.

Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ

Pros of Living in Scottsdale, AZ

1. Plenty of Entertainment

No matter what you like to do, you are certain to find it in Scottsdale.

Whether you like to day drink at various bars or enjoy nice brunches outside, there’s something for you.

There are also plenty of dog parks and sporting events.

Downtown Scottsdale is known for its many dining and bar options, in addition to art galleries.

One thing is for sure, you will enjoy yourself in Scottsdale.

2. Beautiful Weather

If you are an outdoor person, you’ll enjoy about six months of beautiful weather in Scottsdale for you to bike, hike, run, golf, and more.

If you’re a pool person, you can depend on year-round swimming, whether indoor or outdoor.

The winters in Scottsdale don’t bring too much extreme weather.

Most of the time, you can get away with just a windbreaker.

This is mainly due to Scottsdale being located in a desert.

Evenings can get chilly, but overall, the weather is extremely tolerable.

3. Plenty of Outdoor Activities

Besides having a list of options for entertainment in Scottsdale, there are also plenty of outdoor activity options available.

You can enjoy a weekend of camping or even hiking in Scottsdale.

There are plenty of immaculate golf courses surrounded by beautiful scenery and landscaping.

However, there aren’t many winter outdoor sports in Scottsdale.

But, if you must participate in these activities, Flagstaff is just a short drive away and offers skiing and more.

4. Clean Place to Live

Cleanliness may be important to many people when looking for a new place to live.

Scottsdale is well-maintained, and it will be immediately obvious when you enter the town.

You’ll never see trashy sidewalks, or overflowing trash cans in Scottsdale.

All parks are well-maintained and safe.

You’ll definitely get an upscale vibe in Scottsdale as people are more intrigued by a more natural and less sophisticated look.

5. Great Public Schools

Scottsdale is home to more than 31 public schools.

All of them are highly rated and consistently rank among the best in the entire country.

The students that attend these schools have above-average reading and math skills.

Some of the schools in the area include Basis High School, Basis Scottsdale Primary School, Great Heart Academies, and several others.

Approximately 97% of residents in Scottsdale have graduated from high school.

About 84% of these people have completed at least some college.

6. Thriving Job Market

If you’re looking to relocate to another area in the country that has a thriving job market, Scottsdale is perfect.

Whether you’re looking for a job in healthcare, tourism, or aviation, you are certain to find it here.

Many people just starting off here have higher salaries compared to other towns in the country.

Some of the most common employers in Scottsdale are Scottsdale Unified School District, Honor Health, and Vanguard.

7. Excellent Options for Healthcare

Healthcare is extremely important, no matter where you go.

Having access to good quality healthcare, unfortunately, is not everywhere.

However, these options are available in Scottsdale.

There are plenty of well-known healthcare institutions located right here in Scottsdale including Mayo Clinic, Banner Behavioral Health Hospital, and HonorHealth Hospital.

Furthermore, Mayo Clinic is rated as Arizona’s top hospital with above-average patient care.

8. State Taxes Are Fair

While living in Scottsdale, you will never have to worry about a huge income tax burden.

The state’s income tax rate is 2.5%, which is relatively low compared to the national average.

Additionally, you won’t be taxed anything additional from your social security earnings.

Furthermore, there is no estate tax in Scottsdale.

While Scottsdale’s taxes still exist, everyone has different tax situations.

So, it’s important to speak with a tax professional to learn about your unique tax benefits prior to moving to Scottsdale.

Cons of Living in Scottsdale, AZ

1. Lots of Bugs

If you dislike bugs, Scottsdale is definitely not the place to move to.

Let’s face it, no matter where you live, you will indeed have to deal with bugs getting into your home.

There’s no such thing as a home being bug-free.

However, you have to remember that Scottsdale is located in a desert, which means that the bugs and critters you may be used to seeing will be different here.

It’s not uncommon to see scorpions and snakes in Scottsdale.

2. Not Public Transportation Friendly

If you are someone who is used to or depends on public transportation, you should know that it’s extremely limited in Scottsdale.

This means you will need to rely on a vehicle.

There’s a lot of traffic congestion in Scottsdale, particularly on Highway 101 as most people work in Scottsdale.

Valley Metro Rail is closed, but the system can use some expansion.

The train runs from Phoenix to Mesa.

3. Lacks Diversity

Due mainly to the cost of living in Scottsdale, there’s not a lot of diversity in Scottsdale.

80% of the residents living here are white, while 15% are either Hispanic or Asian.

The makeup of residents is mainly well-educated and work great jobs, or are retired.

This type of environment may not be suitable for you if you prefer an area with a lot of diversity.

4. Cost of Living Is High

While the cost of homes has decreased, they are still considered very high, especially in Scottsdale.

In Scottsdale, the average price of a home is 1 million dollars.

The average home value is much higher.

However, it’s still possible to find cheaper homes that may cost between $400,000 and $500,000, but the locations may not be ideal.

The saying “You get what you pay for” still holds true.

5. Dust Storms

Living in Scottsdale means you have to deal with dust storms, which can be quite unpleasant.

This is due to the sand and dust particles that get blown around in the air during a storm.

They occur when conditions are dry and lack humidity.

Breathing in the air during a dust storm can pose a lot of risks to your health, especially if you suffer from certain respiratory conditions.

Scottsdale typically can see anywhere from one to three dust storms per year, with very little warning.

6. Humid Temperatures

Scottsdale’s temperatures frequently reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more during the summer.

These temperatures can last all the way through the end of September.

While many homes have AC, you will still need to leave your home to travel for work, or go shopping.

If you and the heat don’t get along, you won’t do too well living in Scottsdale.

7. A lot of Tourist Traffic

During peak season, tourist traffic can be a real pain to deal with.

During the winter months, you will see more tourists than usual in Scottsdale.

Many people try to escape harsh winter conditions in other parts of the country, and Scottsdale is the perfect location for that.

This could be frustrating to deal with as you experience longer lines at some of your favorite coffee shops and much more congestion on the road.

8. People Labeled a Certain Way

Living in an upscale area can sometimes bring about more rude and uppity people.

While this is merely an assumption, this may hold true in Scottsdale to some extent.

However, rude and nice people can be found anywhere in the world.

But, if you don’t like the fact that Scottsdale is labeled as such, this may not be a good place to relocate to.

Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ

Pros and Cons of Living in Scottsdale, AZ – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Scottsdale, AZCons of Living in Scottsdale, AZ
1. Plenty of Entertainment1. Lots of Bugs
2. Beautiful Weather2. Not Public Transportation Friendly
3. Plenty of Outdoor Activities3. Lacks Diversity
4. Clean Place to Live4. Cost of Living Is High
5. Great Public Schools5. Dust Storms
6. Thriving Job Market6. Humid Temperatures
7. Excellent Options for Healthcare7. A lot of Tourist Traffic
8. State Taxes Are Fair8. People Labeled a Certain Way

Scottsdale Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Scottsdale Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do so many people choose to move to Scottsdale?

Most people move to Scottsdale because they see it as family-friendly, cheaper, and smaller compared to other major cities in the United States.

Naturally, people are drawn to safety, affordability, and towns that are perfect for the entire family.

Does Scottsdale have a homeless problem?

Scottsdale is known for its luxurious apartments and multi-million dollar homes.

However, in the past several years, the town has experienced an increase in homelessness.

It’s typically seen as a common issue no matter what major city you go to in the United States.

Is Scottsdale good for single people?

Scottsdale is known to be one of the best places for recently divorced, or single people.

Scottsdale was also ranked as the fifth-best place to live in the country and be single by WalletHub.

Is it possible to live in Scottsdale if I don’t have a car?

Depending on where you move to in Scottsdale, most areas are just not public transportation friendly.

If you don’t have a car, Old Town Scottsdale is your best option.

This is because Old Town offers bike rentals, golf cart services, and electric scooters to help residents get around.

Why do people choose to retire in Scottsdale?

Like some areas in Florida, Scottsdale is a popular retirement spot.

This is mainly due to the low humidity and beautiful, sunny weather.

This makes it a bonus for those who spend most of their days partaking in their favorite outdoor activities.

Scottsdale has more than 300 sunny days throughout the year.

This makes it perfect for biking, hiking, golfing, and more.

2 Comments on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Scottsdale, AZ

  1. One of the things I love most about Scottsdale is the lifestyle. The people here are generally very healthy and active, and there’s always something to do. Coming from an eastern European country for me this was a huge leap but I never felt out of place once. If you’re all about the busy, busy city life, yeah, Scottsdale might not be for you, at least from my point of view. But if you want a quiet, balanced life with a lot of activities, indoors or outdoors, this is the right place.

  2. J
    Julianna says:

    Of course, there are also some challenges to living in Scottsdale. The cost of living can be high, especially for housing, even more so now. And the summers can be very hot. There are over 200 golf courses in Scottsdale, and they’re some of the best in the world. I’m an avid golfer, and I love being able to play golf every day of the year. You also have the outdoors, shopping, and nightlife. For us it was the best decision to relocate here in 2019, we feel safe and there’s always something to do.

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