Best Places to Live in Phoenix

Have you ever thought about moving to the state of Arizona but have no idea where to live? You’re in luck because we will be discussing the top 10 places to live in Arizona! All these places are based on the KRI (Kelly Rating Index) rating system and the research I’ve done and my own experiences of living here and being a realtor for 16 years. We’ll be judging off 5 factors – housing affordability, entertainment, employment, commute, and school systems. 

Coming in at number 10 in the city of Peoria. Peoria is in the northwest corner of the valley, being a very long and newer suburb. It has a lot of great things, such as Lake Pleasant, which is one of the largest lakes accessible to people who live here. Peoria comes in at 4/5 for housing affordability since prices have gone up and the affordability is above that 100-median index for the housing. Entertainment comes in 3/5 because it’s not a nucleus for entertainment. Employment also comes in at 3/5 because there isn’t a huge employment center in Peoria. The commute would be 4/5 since it’s easier to get around the city since they’ve done a great job with the grid pattern throughout. Lastly, schooling comes in at 4/5, with a total of 18 out of 25 for the city of Peoria! 

Number 9 is Mesa for the best places to live in Phoenix! Mesa is a large suburb with it being more of an urban area. The population of Mesa is 478,000 with the average age being 42 years old. Housing will come in at 4/5 depending on where you live in Mesa. The west side is going to be more affordable. The more East you go, there are more outdoor activities and you’re surrounded by mountains. For entertainment, that’ll come in at 3/5. Mesa has an awesome arts district in the downtown area. If you like baseball, the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s are based out of Mesa for spring training. Mesa is a pretty decent employment center with major companies like Boeing being located there. That’ll come in at 4/5. Commute comes in at 4/5 with the 202 loop being around and schooling systems will come in at 3/5. Mesa scored at 18/25 for the top ten places to live in Phoenix. 

Have you heard of the town of Prescott? The beloved town of Prescott comes in at number 8 for the best places to live in Phoenix. Prescott is in the Northwest area of the state an hour and a half from the Phoenix area. Prescott is a small western town that gives an amazing small-town feel if you’re into that. Prescott has a population of 42,000. The housing comes in at 4/5 because it’s affordable and has gone up quite a bit due to people wanting to get second homes in the area. Entertainment comes in at 5/5 because there are so many outdoor activities, such as biking, hiking, and more! From a job standpoint, this will be a 2/5, not ideal for the younger crowd. Since Prescott is going to be on the smaller side, getting around will be a 4/5 and schooling comes in at 4/5 for a total of 19/25. 

Tempe comes in at 7 for the best places to live in Phoenix. Tempe is popular with Arizona State University and is the center of the Phoenix metro area. Tempe is a phenomenal employment hub and getting anywhere is convenient. The average age is 29 with local colleges and young professionals. Housing comes in at 2/5 for Tempe because it’s expensive due to older development and no additional plots of land. You’re essentially paying for the convenience and location. Entertainment comes in at 5/5 because of the walkability to all the bars, restaurants, and nightclubs with a light rail running right through the downtown, also making the commute a 5/5. Employment is rated a 5/5 because there are plenty of job opportunities there for bigger companies. The schooling system for Tempe is a 3/5, which is a little bit above average but not the best. The city of Tempe comes in at 20/25! 

Phoenix comes in at number 6 for the best places to live in Phoenix. Phoenix is massive, being the 5th largest city in the entire country, with a population of 4.6 million people. Housing is a 4/5 because it’s spread out. There is a diversity of housing here to choose from, so there’s something for everyone! Because Phoenix is populous. Entertainment is 5/5 because there’s anything you could want, from professional sports to arts and theater. Employment is a 5/5 because there are opportunities from downtown to uptown Phoenix. Schooling comes in at 2/5 because of the Phoenix Unified School District not being highly rated, however, you have plenty of options from charter schools to traditional schools. Overall, Phoenix comes in at 20/25!


Now, get excited because we’ll be going into the top 5 cities now! The city of Glendale is well known for being the center for big sporting events, with the Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Coyotes, the Fiesta Bowl, U.S Soccer Friendlies. The Westgate area has plenty of shops and restaurants. The average age from Glendale is 39 years old. Housing comes in at 4/5 because housing is still fairly affordable in comparison to other cities in Phoenix. Because of Westgate, entertainment comes in at 5/5. Employment is a 4/5 because they do have some presence with employers with a large number of businesses there, and the commute anywhere you go in Glendale is easy. I would rate that a 5/5. Lastly, the schooling system comes in at 3/5, being just a little bit above average. If you would consider Glendale, the total is 21/25 for the best places to live in Phoenix

The 4th best place to live in Phoenix according to the KRI is the town of Gilbert. Yes, the town, not the city of Gilbert. Gilbert has grown tremendously with an average age of 37 years old. Gilbert is affordable for housing, so we’ll give that a 4/5. It is a newer, clean, family-oriented town. The entertainment comes in at 4/5 because there are mom and pop shops, good restaurants, the walkability of downtown Gilbert is quaint. The job sector is a 4/5 since Gilbert is not a huge employment center in terms of big companies, but there are some forms of employment in the town. The commute around Gilbert is good with the grid system but if you’re going towards downtown Phoenix, Gilbert is close to the freeway, but then you’ll have to be willing to drive quite a bit. The schooling system is 5/5 because the schools are phenomenal guys. The Gilbert schooling district is really good on a national scale. Gilbert comes in at 21/25 for the best places to live in Phoenix!

Scottsdale comes in 3rd place for the best places to live in Phoenix! You can make the argument for it being the number one spot, but it comes in at number three on the KRI index. Scottsdale has a population of 240,000 with an average age of 49. The average age is a little higher because the housing is more expensive. The housing sits at 3/5 because the affordability isn’t great when it comes to the average price point, however, Scottsdale does have a bunch of different types of properties that one could buy. Two-bedroom condos come in the low two-hundred-thousand-dollar mark to the high three-hundred-dollar mark. The best part about Scottsdale is the entertainment, I would rate it a 5/5. Scottsdale is the golf mecca of the world, there’s indoor skydiving, casinos, top golf, nightclubs, shopping, dining, you name it, we have it! The job sector would be a 5/5 too because it is the second-largest employment center in the state of Arizona behind downtown Phoenix. If you want to get anywhere around the area, the commute is 5/5 because loop 101 runs right through the city. Scottsdale is pretty narrow and is very long. The schooling also comes in at 5/5 because the Scottsdale Unified School District is highly rated in the Phoenix valley, there are plenty of options if you have kids. The total for the city of Scottsdale is 23/25. 

Now moving on to number two, Flagstaff is one of the best places to live in Arizona for several reasons. Flagstaff is located two hours, depending on where you’re coming from in the Phoenix area. The weather changes significantly, being 25 to 30 degrees cooler than the Phoenix valley any time of the year. The population of Flagstaff comes in at 71,000 with an average age of 35. Housing is at 3/5 even though I use to rate it a 5/5. Ever since Covid, there’s been a rush of people pouring in from not just Phoenix, but also out of state. Because of that, now homes are ridiculously overpriced. I would rate entertainment a 5/5 because there are plenty of outdoor activities, such as skiing, biking, off-roading, hiking, and more. For employment, Northern Arizona University is in Flagstaff and there are plenty of job opportunities there, but if you’re looking outside of that, then there is a lack of opportunities elsewhere. I would give that a 3/5. Commuting around Flagstaff is a 5/5 with it being a smaller town and the I 40 and I 17 going right through the city. Schooling would come in at 3/5 because it’s just a little above average but nothing great in terms of the public school system. Overall, Flagstaff comes in at 19/25, but the reason it comes in at number two is the variety of uniqueness and the small-town feel that’s in the proximity of Phoenix. 

Finally, it’s time to discuss the number one area to live in the state of Arizona, it’s Chandler! I would rate Chandler the top place to live in Arizona. Chandler is known as the next Silicon Valley of the southwest or west coast. There are plenty of tech investments that are going into the city. The city can expand South so more land is available for more urban development. The average age of Chandler residents is 39 years old with a population of 245,000. There are many tech sectors and defense contractors based out of Chandler. Housing comes in at 4/5 because of the job growth and the housing market exploded. Entertainment is 4/5 because the downtown Chandler area has come a long way over the years. There are trendy restaurants and bars, and the walkability of the city is great. Employment is a 5/5 because of the reasons we’ve mentioned before. Major companies are investing in Chandler for their businesses to grow. Companies such as Intel are now located in Chandler and that has brought plenty of great jobs to the area. The commute is 5/5 because it is easy to get up and down the grid system within Chandler, with many major roads and freeways that run all through the city. Schools, again, are one of the best school districts in the entire state of Arizona. Chandler comes in at 23/25, which ties with Scottsdale, but Chandler in my eyes takes the prize.

To end this all, I hope this content about the best places to live in Arizona was informative. We have so many people contacting us who are moving to the Phoenix area, and we are so happy to make the transition easier for them. If you have additional questions about any of the places we’re discussed in this blog post, reach out to us at