Phoenix, the capital of Arizona is located in the Salt River Valley in the southern central area of the state and is surrounded by mountains on all four sides. More than 20 surrounding communities cover 514 square miles situated in the lush Sonoran desert, considered to be the most beautiful desert in the world. The climate is warm, with low humidity and average temperature of 72.6 degrees and sunshine approximately 325 days per year. For this reason Phoenix is popularly known as the Valley of the Sun.
Over the last decade Phoenix has experienced a 24% population increase making it the 5th largest city in the country. With 4.3 million people and counting, Phoenix is ranked the second fastest growing metro area in the country. Approximately 50,000 people choose to relocate to the Valley of the Sun each year. Much of Phoenix's popularity for those moving into the area can be attributed to a strong job force, quality schools, friendly business environment, reasonable cost of living, affordable housing thus offering something for everyone from growing families with children, young singles as well as retirees .
10 million visitor annually, making tourism a major contributor to the city's economy. Phoenix is home to many high profile luxury resorts such as the Arizona Biltmore Resort, Arizona Grand Resort and the recently remodeled Camelback Inn. Visitors are offered an endless variety of activities and attractions from sightseeing to arts and culture and festivals that keep them coming back year after year. Phoenix is also a popular spot for business conventions. The Phoenix Civic Plaza and Convention Center has been the city's premier meeting venue for over 3 decades.
Phoenix offers an exciting diversity of old west history, culture and activities for every age. It is home to major professional sports teams including Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns and Arizona Cardinals. Outdoor lovers can enjoy miles of hiking and biking trails offering breathtaking scenery. Valley Metro recently developed a 20 mile light-rail transit system that navigates throughout Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. There are dining options for every palate, a shopper's paradise of malls and charming boutiques, Vegas style casinos and resorts and top ranked entertainment of all types. Healthcare is second to none with over 100 top healthcare facilities to serve both residents and visitors.
Phoenix has long been recognized for its strong job growth, especially in the areas of aerospace, bioscience and high-tech. Even after the recent economic slowdown, the Phoenix job market continues to grow at a steady rate, thus making it highly attractive for those looking to relocate for this reason. Phoenix houses a notable list of top Fortune 500 employers from education, government, healthcare, technology and manufacturing sectors. Some employers of note include Intel, US Airways, Honeywell Aerospace, Raytheon and Bank of America.
Schools are always an important consideration when choosing to relocate. Phoenix offers quality education and its commitment is evident in student's performing above national averages in reading and math on standardized tests according to the Arizona Department of Education. With the recent upsurge in population each school district has been successful in expanding to accommodate this growth. There are currently 58 school districts with 400 public schools. In addition, 200 unique charter and private schools offering specialized course work serves over 600,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Higher education offers students exceptional opportunities to excel in over 79 colleges, trade schools and universities such as internationally renowned Arizona State University, University of Phoenix and Grand Canyon University to name a few. The huge Maricopa Community Colleges network offers 11 colleges located on various campuses. It is nationally known for its programs in gerontology, dental hygiene, fire science, mathematics art and graphic design.
It is without question that Phoenix is a great place to live. From the urban city charm of numerous historic districts, contemporary loft living and lush condo developments sprinkled throughout a vibrant downtown to a variety of quiet suburban neighborhoods, there is a lifestyle option for anyone looking to relocate to Phoenix. The overall median home price in Phoenix has experienced steady growth thanks to the nation's strong economic recovery. The good news is that despite steady growth, prices still remain very affordable. As of June 2013 the median price of a single family home in Maricopa County (Phoenix Metro) was $ 211,000. Based on a finance rate of 4.5% and 10% down, your base mortgage payment would be approximately $ 1,100 plus property taxes and homeowners insurance. Wherever you choose to live in the beautiful Valley of the Sun, you'll find the perfect neighborhood to suite your unique lifestyle.