18 Pros and Cons of Living in Sierra Vista, AZ

Updated On October 9, 2023
Sierra Vista

Sierra Vista, Arizona is a beautiful area that is southwest of Tucson.

You’ll find that there are some amazing things that the city has to offer as well as some downsides.

By doing some comprehensive research on what you’ll have to look forward to, you can decide if this is where you want to reside.

Knowing about the area can help you to prepare yourself for what is to come.

Pros of Living in Sierra Vista, AZ

Sierra Vista is a large area with over 100,000 people.

This offers quite a few perks, which can make this a desirable place to live.

1. Cost of Living is Low

Overall, the cost of living is low in Sierra Vista.

You can live for less than in many parts of the U.S. in terms of your mortgage or rent payment, groceries, and even healthcare.

There are also various government programs designed to help you when you have a lower income.

2. The Crime Rates are Low

Crime is low, which is important anywhere you’re thinking about living.

You need to know that you’re safe inside your home and when you go out and around town.

Although you’re close to the US-Mexico border, crime is still relatively low.

The majority of crimes are property related, which includes theft and burglary.

Of course, adding a home security system can reduce the likelihood of you being a victim.

3. Educational Opportunities are Abundant

Education is important if you have young kids or you’re thinking about starting a family.

There are plenty of public schools in the area – and Arizona does a great job of making sure that there is plenty of money being spent per student.

Even beyond primary school, there are various trade schools nearby – and about an hour away in Tucson, there are colleges and universities that can help with an even higher level of education.

4. The Climate is Beautiful

The climate throughout the year is beautiful in Sierra Vista.

There’s not a lot of snow – on average, there are about two inches per year.

Summers are hot and winters usually never get below 30 degrees.

The most rain happens in July and August.

With all of this factored in, it can lead to a lot of recreational opportunities where it can be a joy to spend time outdoors.

5. There’s a Small Town Vibe

When you don’t like the idea of living in a big city like Phoenix or Tucson, Sierra Vista can be perfect.

It allows you to enjoy more of what your community has to offer without being overwhelmed.

You may get onto a first-name basis with the people in the stores, the bank, and other places that you go.

There isn’t a lot of traffic, and there’s a whole lot of charm throughout the area.

6. There are Lots of Green Spaces

When you enjoy spending time outdoors, you’ll love the many green spaces that are found throughout Sierra Vista and the surrounding area.

You can hike through Montezuma Pass, spend time on the San Pedro River, and explore the Coronado National Memorial.

With a good pair of hiking boots, you’ll never run out of places to explore – and many places are dog-friendly if you have a four-legged friend who also likes to enjoy outdoor time.

7. Various Events Take Place Nearby

You’ll find that a number of events take place in Sierra Vista or within an hour’s drive of where you live.

This can ensure that you’ve always got something fun to do.

Art fairs, craft fairs, concerts, and more happen throughout the year.

Many are family-friendly, making it easy for you to do something with the kids.

Some of the events are even free, offering an even bigger pro to seeing what’s on the calendar.

8. Lots of History is Nearby

The Sierra Vista area is immersed in history.

There are various neolithic and archaeological sites where you can see evidence of life from 11,000 years ago, including mammoths and tapirs.

There are also pueblos and such throughout the valley so that you can learn about Native American history.

A short drive away is Tombstone where you can experience the wild west.

9. There’s a Significant Amount of Diversity

When you’re interested in living in a place that is diverse, you’ll find it in Sierra Vista.

The racial makeup is approximately 73% White, 15% Hispanic, 10% Black, and the rest are Asian or two or more races.

This can help you to be more culturally aware and ensure that you are getting a good mix of demographics at school as well as in the workplace.

10. It’s a Good Place to Start a Family

When you’re looking for a good city to start a family, Sierra Vista can be that place for a  number of reasons.

The median age of residents is 36, which means that there are a lot of other families in the area.

Most households are between three and four members large, so you’ll find that quite a few of your neighbors already have kids.

The cost of living is low, making it easier for you to afford the costs of starting a family, too.

Cons of Living in Sierra Vista, AZ

There are cons in every city, and Sierra Vista is no different.

By knowing the cons ahead of time, you can decide if they are deal-breakers or if you can get past them to call this part of Arizona home.

1. Population is Declining

The population has been rapidly declining over the past several years.

Depending on the year, the population has been dropping by 1 to 5 percent each year.

While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can highlight bigger problems.

With fewer people in the city, it can reduce funding, cause businesses to close, and more.

It’s always important to look at why the population is declining so that you can decide if it’s something that will have a negative impact on you and your household.

2. It’s Very Close to the Mexican Border

Sierra Vista is only about 15 miles away from the Mexican border.

This can be problematic because of the number of illegal immigrants who cross the border without going through the necessary legal avenues.

It can lead to an uptick in crime.

It can also cause a drain on the city’s financial resources when there are suddenly more people who need homes, food, and education.

3. The Job Market is Poor

Due to the declining population along with other factors, there’s a poor job market.

You won’t find a lot of opportunities, especially ones that pay well.

The income per capita is only $32,000 – and the average household income is just under $60,000.

One of the reasons for people leaving the city is to go to the bigger cities where it’s easier to find higher-paying job opportunities.

4. The Poverty Rate is High

The poverty rate is extremely high in Sierra Vista at around 12.5%.

Many people struggle to make ends meet.

There are various state and federal government programs to help offset some of the expenses.

Food banks and other things are in the area, too.

With so many people needing help, resources tend to be limited.

5. There’s No Nightlife

Sierra Vista has a small downtown area, but the restaurants and bars will typically close by 9 or 10 in the evening.

You won’t find any nightclubs, which means that you’re looking at having to drive into Tucson or even Phoenix to enjoy any kind of vibrant nightlife.

If you’re still single and looking to live it up, Sierra Vista may disappoint you because of the limited options.

6. Shopping Can Be Far Away

Sierra Vista is a small city without a lot of shopping opportunities.

While you’ll find grocery stores and some basic shopping stores around, you’ll need to drive to Tucson to do any luxury shopping.

You won’t find many specialty stores nearby, so your options will be to drive an hour outside of town or order what you want online and wait for it to be delivered.

7. The Nearest Airport is Tucson

If you plan on traveling anywhere, the nearest major airport is Tucson, which is around an hour to an hour and a half away.

This can be inconvenient when you want to go anywhere for business or pleasure.

Phoenix is a bigger airport, which is even further away.

As such, you may end up spending quite a bit on airline tickets when you do decide that you want to go somewhere.

8. Home Options are Limited

The inventory of homes in Sierra Vista is limited.

It can be difficult to find a home that is for sale – or that is in good condition.

The amount of new construction is almost nonexistent because of the declining population.

Most new construction is via private builders, which can add quite a bit to the cost of a new home.

Pros and Cons of Living in Sierra Vista, AZ – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Sierra Vista, AZCons of Living in Sierra Vista, AZ
1. Cost of Living is Low1. Population is Declining
2. The Crime Rates are Low2. It’s Very Close to the Mexican Border
3. Educational Opportunities are Abundant3. The Job Market is Poor
4. The Climate is Beautiful4. The Poverty Rate is High
5. There’s a Small Town Vibe5. There’s No Nightlife
6. There are Lots of Green Spaces6. Shopping Can Be Far Away
7. Various Events Take Place Nearby7. The Nearest Airport is Tucson
8. Lots of History is Nearby8. Home Options are Limited
9. There’s a Significant Amount of Diversity
10. It’s a Good Place to Start a Family

Sierra Vista Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Sierra Vista Safety Review

Safety Index:
Sierra Vista

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the sales tax in Sierra Vista?

The sales tax in Sierra Vista is 8.05%.

This is a combination of the state sales tax of 5.6% along with the city and county sales tax rates.

What schools are around Sierra Vista?

The Sierra Vista Unified School District contains a total of 10 schools, which are comprised of 6 elementary, one middle, and one high school.

There are also magnet schools and private schools throughout the area, providing plenty of educational opportunities.

What is the crime rate in Sierra Vista, AZ?

Sierra Vista is approximately 26% safer than other U.S. cities.

The crime rate per 1,000 residents is 1.81 for violent crimes and 19.6 for property crimes, respectively.

As a whole, Sierra Vista is safer than in many other parts of Arizona.

What is the average cost of a home in Sierra Vista?

The average cost of a home in Sierra Vista is lower than the state average as well as the national average.

Zillow estimates that the average home will cost around $283,000, which is single-family home.

What are the top employers in Sierra Vista?

As you explore job opportunities, some of the top employers in Sierra Vista include Wick News Corporation, Sierra Vista Emergency Physicians, Pioneer Title Agency, and Target.

9 Comments on 18 Pros and Cons of Living in Sierra Vista, AZ

  1. R
    Randy Wagner says:

    I lived there for one year, curtesy of Fort Huachuca. 1966-67. I really enjoyed this small town of population of maybe 5000 or more. The Fort was a big supporter of the town ,people were friendly. The guys I ran around with would go to Tucson for entertainment and over to Tomestone and Bebe and Nogales. I should have bought land there and stayed there.

  2. A
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the info

  3. J
    Jabalí says:

    Fort Huachuca, an Army Intelligence base, is the dominant employer of Sierra Vista. A huge percentage of the population are military affiliated as active duty Soldiers, family members, retirees and contractors. Many jobs on the base require a security clearance.

  4. A
    Anonymous says:

    Everything is a joke here especially with law and code enforcement because there isn’t any! You’re pretty much on your own if you move here so don’t expect much! But it might be a great place if you’re seeking to live with a bunch of uneducated hicks that seem to be from another planet?

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      You’re correct about the people. They’ve really made this place a miserable place to live. They’re gung-ho trump supporters, and don’t much care about anyone than themselves. It used to be different.

  5. A
    Anonymous says:

    Property Managements corporations from out of town, raise the rents pass the amount of salary for some families. They lie to your face about what they think you want to hear. They DO NOT HONOR ANYTHING.

  6. The population at the 2020 census was 45,308, up from 43,888 at the 2010 census, for a growth rate of 3.2% over the decade.

  7. B
    Belen Walker says:

    Sierra Vista offers a slower pace of life, but that might be a con for those who thrive in more bustling urban environments.

  8. A
    Anonymous says:

    The article is right and wrong. It quotes statistics for the Metropolitan statistical area which includes a very large land area and several small towns. These small towns and the rural areas are generally poor with rapidly decreasing populations (as are small towns and rural areas across the state and nation) whereas Sierra Vista itself is middle-income and growing moderately. Sierra Vista is typically American in diversity of race, income, education, and political affiliation. Most of the small towns and adjacent rural areas nearby are decidedly less diverse and more conservative bordering on right-wing extremism. Sierra Vista is a small city with a suburban feel. Yes, our big city ( Tucson) is a 75-minute drive away but it offers a lot of cultural, shopping, and entertainment opportunities that would normally be only available in an even larger city. I moved here mostly for the climate which is about as comfortable as can be in a place that isn’t too hot or cold but still gets a bit of snow and has an almost unbelievable amount of sunshine. I’ve lived in large cities, coastal California, and on a Caribbean Island and I find Sierra Vista a very comfortable, geographically beautiful, and safe place to live with plenty to do.

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