12 Things to Know About Moving to The Valley Of the Sun

Moving to a new city can be both an adventure and a cautionary tale. That’s why you want to know about your new destination before making a final decision. As a popular area of the country that enjoys constant growth, The Valley of the Sun offers new residents a unique culture worthy of serious consideration. Like most cities, the Phoenix area’s local traditions, entertainment options, weather, and business climate should be evaluated carefully before deciding whether this is the best city for you. 


Below are 12 things you should know before moving to Arizona, and more specifically to the Phoenix metro area.  

1. The reason Phoenix is called The Valley of the Sun. 

Movoto reports that residents of Phoenix experience 300 days or more of sunshine during a typical year. While all this beautiful weather is considered a blessing, it is important to realize that about one-third of the year, the temperatures reach 100 degrees. 


Granted, you’ve heard it is a dry heat, but that does not mean that you will always appreciate the extreme temperatures. The word oven is often used to describe the way it feels on a summer afternoon in Phoenix. 


Summers in Phoenix bring scorching temperatures. Fortunately, cooler mountains are just a short drive away.

2. The cost of living in Phoenix is relatively inexpensive. 

SpareFoot Moving Guides reports that Phoenix’s cost of living is estimated to be about five percent lower than the average for the country. As if that is not enough to celebrate, housing expenses are also lower than those found in comparable big cities. There is little doubt that the low property taxes and attractive home prices entice many snowbirds and retirees to the area.  

3. It is not uncommon for drivers to use oven mitts in the summer.

The high temperatures in Phoenix mean you must take special precautions when entering a hot car. If you don’t want to burn yourself, you learn quickly to be careful when there is a possibility that your skin will come into contact with any part of the car that heats up. Metal seat buckles and the steering wheel are surfaces to be approached with caution. 

4. Arizona is experiencing substantial growth as a popular destination for retirees.

Kiplinger reports that 37% of people who relocated to Arizona in 2018 claimed they were moving to the area to retire. Considering the warm weather, affordable housing prices, and the numerous popular, resort-like retirement communities, it is not so surprising that The Valley of the Sun ranks high as a top contender for seniors seeking the perfect spot to spend their golden years.  

5. The wildlife in the area is not to be ignored.

Unlike many areas of the country, you have to be careful when you are outside, especially on the outskirts of the city. You never know when you might cross paths with a rattlesnake, coyote, scorpion or javelina. It is all too common to spot one of these exotic neighbors while taking a stroll in the neighborhood or in your own backyard. 

Beware that the desert has many species of potentially harmful animals – among them snakes and scorpions. 

6. The city offers up a wide selection of tasty Mexican restaurants. 

If you love Mexican food, then Phoenix will not disappoint you. It would take months of dining out before, for you would have to consider eating at the same place twice if you wanted to try something new every day. It is not surprising that this city located close to the border prides itself on serving authentic Mexican fare.

7. The plants native to Phoenix are often prickly and should not be handled without protective gloves.

Even a slight brush up against a cactus plant without realizing it can leave your skin irritated or worse. The needles on the large variety of cacti are worthy of your respect. While they are stunning, they also pack a punch if you aren’t careful around them. 

8. Phoenix is a major tourist attraction.

Reports say that over 18 million tourists flock to the Phoenix area annually. Considering that the Grand Canyon and other attractions such as casinos, resorts, and spas are in abundance, there is little mystery surrounding the popularity of Phoenix as a vacation hotspot. 

The Grand Canyon is one of the many reasons tourists are drawn to Arizona.

9. The Phoenix area gets more than its fair share of snowbirds during the winter months. 

There is a noticeable spike in traffic around town during the cold months of the year as many people relocate to Phoenix to escape the ice and snow. 

10. Everybody in Phoenix has an opinion on immigration law. 

Due to the proximity of Phoenix to the Mexican border, few people can resist a debate on immigration issues. One law that is always sure to provoke a heated conversation relates to a police officer’s right to ask a person for paperwork to prove citizenship on the spot. 

11. Haboobs are frightening dust storms that are common.

If you see a dust storm heading your way, it is best to go inside immediately. The absolute worst place to be is driving when you encounter one of these blinding haboobs.

12. Phoenix offers plenty of outdoor activities.

This area is full of national and state parks, as well as nature preserves. Leisure activities such as skiing, biking, golfing, fishing, hiking, camping, and boating are just a few of the reasons “outdoorsy types” love The Valley of the Sun.