Thinking of living in luxury home phoenix? How about those smaller outlying communities in Arizona, such as San Tan Valley, Maricopa, or Cave Creek?

Well, I’m here to help you make up your mind!

Almost five years ago, I made one of the more drastic moves when I picked up and left Rhode Island, my birthplace and home for 33 years, and decided to “go west”. I ended up in Tempe, Arizona.

At first there was quite a culture shock, and homesickness, of course. I won’t lie or stretch the truth here… It was pretty hard to make that move and for a few weeks after arriving, I doubted my decision.

Things finally calmed down and came together, as they often do, and I found a decent job in Scottsdale, Arizona, got myself a car, and started to really enjoy living in the Phoenix-metro area of Arizona.

Now, I know what you may have heard, especially if you are living in one of those states that has all 4 seasons. You’ve heard it’s terribly hot in the summer, unbearable almost. Well, the truth is, it’s pretty darn hot. BUT, and this is a big “BUT”, it IS a dry heat! As cliche as it sounds, it’s true. That being said, you really must have air conditioning and/or a pool (which most folks do) to live comfortably through the hot Arizona summer.

The great thing about living in Phoenix, Arizona, is that the real heat only lasts about four and a half months, and then the climate settles into a “paradise-like” winter, and that weather cannot be beat! It’s absolutely beautiful!

Now that we’ve gotten the weather out of the way, let’s discuss the economy a little.

Truthfully, the economy in Arizona seems to be on a slow rebound. There seems to be lots of jobs in different fields available, and I’m thinking it’s on the upswing. However, there are challenges here as with every state. As for the cost of living in Arizona, most of the research I’ve done has it just a little higher than the US average. I suspect that may be because of higher energy costs during the summer months.

How about activities in Arizona? Well, if you love hiking, camping, fishing, mountain biking, swimming, and even skiing, then you’ll love Arizona!

When most folks think Arizona, they think barren desert and no water. That statement couldn’t be more misguided. In fact, Arizona boasts more than 120 lakes (as well as many man made ponds), comprising of approximately 16,000 acres. Arizona is growing rapidly as more and more young couples flock to Arizona every year to build their “American dream”. Retirees have also jumped on the bandwagon, finding affordable homes, agreeable weather, and plentiful golf courses very enticing.

If skiing is your thing, you can always travel up north to Flagstaff and ski Snowbowl, where you can ride any of 6 ski lifts to the top of some 40 skiing trails. You can enjoy skiing in Arizona from mid-December to mid-April.

If you are like me and are obsessed with largemouth bass fishing, then Arizona might be right for you. Some of the best freshwater fishing can be found here within an hours drive from Phoenix. Lakes Pleasant, Roosevelt, Apache, Canyon, and Saguaro are well known for providing anglers with an abundance of lunker sized bass! It’s important to mention that there are many other activities to enjoy at the lakes, such as camping, swimming, hiking, and boating.

If sports is your thing, Phoenix has top notch sports teams in just about every professional sport. Most sports fans have heard of the Cardinals, Suns, Diamondback and Coyotes. As for college sports, all one has to do is visit Arizona State University in Tempe to find those!

Arizona’s night life is also fantastic, with Scottsdale hosting a great night club scene. Tempe’s Mill Avenue District and Tempe Marketplace are also hot spots, boasting some of the best sports bars and restaurants in central Arizona.