Whatever brings you to Glendale, Arizona – be it work, play, retirement, or just a change of scenery – you’ll be happy you made the transition. Nestled in the western part of the Valley of the Sun, you’ll have breathtaking views of the White Tanks Mountains and the most amazing sunsets you’ve ever seen. With Westgate Entertainment District, Xeriscape Botanical Gardens, the historic downtown, restored and preserved 19th-century ranches, festivals, the Summer Band Concert Series, and serious spectator sports, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do.
The sports scene in Glendale is active and exciting. The University of Phoenix Stadium is home to the Arizona Cardinals, and this imposing building with the giant cardinal head also hosts the Fiesta Bowl every year. You can also watch an Arizona Coyotes hockey game at the Gila River Arena or head to Camelback Ranch and catch Chicago White Sox or Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training games. If you prefer to participate in sports rather than watch them, you’ll also find no shortage of golf courses, parks, gyms, bike paths, and hiking trails to stay fit and entertained.
Living in Glendale, AZ: What to Know Before Moving to Glendale
Glendale, Arizona, once completely undeveloped desert, is now a city of about 237,723 residents. Conveniently located just nine miles northeast of Phoenix, Glendale isn’t only popular for retirees but for professionals who appreciate doing business in the diverse economic sectors. Young or old, locals value Glendale’s strong community spirit and small-town feel.
Pros and Cons of Living in Glendale
Just like every city, there are pros and cons to living in Glendale. Let’s take an honest look at the reality of moving to this desert city.
- Sunsets – The sunsets over the White Tanks Mountains are breathtakingly beautiful.
- Location – Glendale is in the perfect spot for road trippers. In less than six-hours you can drive to San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, or Tucson.
- Fall, Winter, and Spring – These three seasons are wonderful in Glendale. The evenings are cool, and the days are warm and dry.
- Sports – The Arizona Cardinals and Coyotes play right in Glendale, and the Diamondbacks and Suns play less than 15 miles away. Also, Arizona is home to Spring Training Baseball. Half of the Major League teams compete in The Cactus League and train in and around the Glendale area.
- Diverse economic base – From aerospace and defense to signature sports and tourism, Glendale offers advanced business opportunities.
- Summer – The best way to describe summer weather in Glendale is brutal. The average temperature in July is 106. There will be times when you feel you are walking into an oven, but you’ll see that with a lot of water – and a lot of time spent indoors – you can get through the hottest of days.
- Monsoon Season – Not only does the summer bring intense heat, but in July and August, you also get the monsoon storms. These rapidly forming and intense thunderstorms are beautiful, but they also bring flash flooding, hail damage, and humidity.
- Tap Water – The tap water in Glendale has a taste that many residents dislike. You can drink it, but you most likely won’t enjoy it. Many people take advantage of water delivery services.
- Traffic – With such a large concentration of sporting venues, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment, you’ll find that at times, the traffic in Glendale is overwhelming. Pay attention to road closures and special announcements to make sure you don’t get caught in traffic snarls.
- Property Tax: The property tax rate in Glendale is 0.802%. This rate is 0.04% lower than the rest of Arizona and 0.409% lower than the national average.
- Sales Tax: The combined sales tax rate in Glendale, Arizona, is 9.2%. This rate includes the 5.6% sales tax for Arizona, the 0.7% sales tax for Maricopa County, and the 2.9% sales tax for Glendale.
- State Income Tax: The income tax rate in AZ is 4.54%. This rate is on the lower end of the scale compared with other states in the country.
As of October 2019, the housing market in Glendale is very hot, with a median home price of $235,200, which is slightly lower than the national average. Home values rose 3.9% over the past year, and according to zillow.com, they’ll rise another 2.2% in 2020.
The majority of people who live in Glendale buy their homes, with 38.8% of the population renting. The median rental price is $1475, which, like home prices, is lower than the national average. To find the most affordable housing in Glendale, look in the southern area of the city, closer to Highway 10.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Glendale, Arizona, is slightly higher than the national average. The website bestplaces.net uses a cost of living index based an average of 100. Cities with a cost of living index under 100 are less expensive, while cities with a cost of living over 100 are more expensive. The cost of living index for Glendale is 112.9.
When broken down into separate categories, Glendale scores over 100 in housing, health costs, utilities, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. Glendale scores under 100 in grocery expenses. The median income in the city is $46,855, which is lower than the national average. According to the Family Budget Calculator, a family of four would need to earn $92,295 a year to live in Glendale.
Weather & Natural Disasters
According to locals, Glendale has three seasons: summer, monsoon season, and the rest of the year. The hot, dry weather in Glendale is quite typical for a desert city. You’ll find the hottest months of the year are June, July, and August, with the average high temperature of 103 in June, 106 in July, and 104 in August. The coolest months are December and January, with average highs in the mid-60s and lows in the mid-40s.
The total annual rainfall is 9,” and you’ll never see a flake of snow fall from Glendale’s desert skies. Monsoon season begins at the end of July and continues through August. During this time, humidity can be higher than usual, but it’s nothing compared to the constant humidity of the southern US.
Glendale isn’t prone to natural disasters. The risk for earthquakes and tornados is low, and there’s no risk for hurricanes. Flash floods from sudden monsoon thunderstorms are the greatest risk, and power outages can result from storms. The city of Glendale has a webpage devoted to tips on how to handle weather-related emergencies.
Economy & Job Market
Glendale’s economy is growing. Between 2018 and 2019, the job market increased by 3.3%, and the job growth for the next ten years is projected to be 46.1%, which is higher than the nationwide projection of 33.5%. Given these optimistic numbers, the unemployment rate is a bit high at 4.3%.
The top industries are retail, healthcare, education, aerospace, manufacturing, and construction. Top employers include Honeywell, Bechtel, Delta Dental, AAA, Coca-Cola, Conair, and Humana.
If you’re seeking a job in Glendale, you’ll likely find a position in retail sales, education, tourism, or a service industry. The area is rapidly expanding, which will also increase the need for educators. The state of Arizona as a whole is suffering a teacher shortage, both in full-time classroom teachers, and substitute teachers.
Traffic and Transportation
Glendale is proximate to several major freeways. I-10 connects to Phoenix and then south to Tucson, or west to California. I-17 runs north to Flagstaff. Hwy 303 forms a loop around the northwestern part of Glendale, and Loop 101 circles along Glendale’s northern border, then curves south and runs through the central part of the city. Highway 60, which is also known as Grand Avenue, runs diagonally through the heart of the city, connecting southeast to Phoenix or northwest to Wickenburg. Mornings and evenings, traffic can be very heavy especially on Grand Avenue and I-10.
Public transportation is limited to a small bus service. Most residents choose to drive or utilize rideshare apps such as Uber or Lyft. If walking is your thing, Glendale isn’t the ideal place to get around on foot. According to walkscore.com, the city has earned a walk score of 40, which means residents depend mostly on their cars. However, the bike score is 53, and the transit score is 34. The most walkable areas of Glendale are downtown, Sands Estates, and The Heart of Glendale.
What to Do
You’ll never run out of options to keep you busy in Glendale. Without leaving the city, you can catch any one of the major sports teams, explore the beautiful regional parks and preserves, golf, or be entertained by live music, performing arts, shopping, and dining.
The City of Glendale has over 75 parks available for public use, with hiking trails, swimming pools, dog parks, playgrounds, and sports fields. Thunderbird Conservation Park offers 15 miles of trails through a 1,185-acre prime desert preserve and is popular for horseback riding, picnicking, hiking, and strolling. The beautiful outdoor Westgate Entertainment District has 20 movie theatres, live music venues, a splash pad, shops, restaurants, and a casino. The Glendale Historic District will give you a taste of what life used to be like in the city, and if you’re up for some fun and quirky history, you can take a tour of the Arizona Doll and Toy Museum.
Explore the 10 square blocks of the pedestrian-friendly historic downtown with its brick-trimmed sidewalks and charming gas lamps that guide you along to cafes, bistros, breweries, antique shops, and boutiques. Catch the Annual Front Porch Festival and other events that the community hosts annually.
Westgate is the home of the Gila River Arena, where you can catch the Arizona Coyotes hockey team. The Arizona Cardinals play in State Farm Stadium, which is also at Westgate. During basketball season the Suns are just a short drive away, and during baseball season the Diamondbacks are just down the road plus Spring Training is a major draw for baseball fans.
Schools and Universities
The Glendale Union High School district serves students in grades 9-12. It has nine different high schools. The Glendale Elementary School district serves students in grades K-8. All of the schools in the district receive Title I funds and serve a diverse student body.
According to greatschools.org, the schools with highest ratings include Legend Springs Elementary School 10/10, Highland Lakes School 9/10, Hillcrest Middle School 9/10, Sierra Verde Elementary School 9/10, and Jefferson Preparatory High School 9/10.
There are also several private and charter school options, including Desert Heights Charter School, Camelback Academy Charter School, and Challenge Charter School.
Glendale is home to Grand Canyon University, the Arizona State University West Campus, and Ottawa University Phoenix, which is only five miles away in Surprise. Community college and technical school options include Glendale Community College and Arizona College.
When ranked on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 designating the highest crime rate, Glendale has a rating of 72.5 for property crime. This rate is significantly higher than the national average of 35.4. When it comes to violent crime, Glendale has a rating of 27.3, which is also higher than the national average of 22.7. The worst pockets of crime in Glendale are in the southeastern part of the city, near Phoenix.
Obtaining utility service when you move to Glendale is quite simple. Make sure you set up your new accounts well before your move-in date. Following is a list of utility providers:
- Gas Service – Southwest Gas provides natural gas service. You can request new service simply by visiting their website and following the link that says, “Start Service.”
- Electric Service – APS is the primary electricity provider for Glendale. You can request new service by visiting their website and following the link that says, “Start Now.”
- Water Service – The City of Glendale provides water service. You can request new service by visiting their website and following the link that says “Start/Stop Utility Service.”
- Trash and recycling – The City of Glendale provides trash and recycling services to residents. Request new service by visiting their website and following the link that says “Trash and Recycling.”
- Internet/Cable Service – Many Glendale residents rely on a combination of AT&T and DIRECTV for their internet and cable services. You can request new service by visiting each website and calling the number listed under the tab that says, “Check Availability.”
Best Neighborhoods in Glendale, AZ
Following is a list of the eight best neighborhoods in Glendale:
The Arrowhead Lakes community sits in northeast Glendale, north of the 101 Loop and 59th Avenue. It’s nestled between Belinda Lane and Beardsley Road. Although there are plenty of houses to choose from, some of which are available to rent, there are no apartments in Arrowhead Lakes.
- Population – 1025 Homes
- Home Price – Median home value $549,000
- Rent Prices – $2500
- Schools – Legend Springs Elementary School, Hillcrest Middle School, Mountain Ridge High School
Arrowhead Lakes is a quaint neighborhood of 130 acres dotted with small lakes. An impressive 75% of the 1025 homes front the many lakes. The HOA stocks the lakes so that residents can catch-and-release fish from a boat or a home dock.
Many residents enjoy going out for a hike in Thunderbird Conservation Park. You will find several delicious dining options and ample shopping in the nearby Arrowhead Town Center.
In the northernmost part of Glendale, you’ll find the prestigious Arrowhead Ranch community. With Loop 101 to the south, Deer Valley Road to the north, and nestled between 75th and 67th Avenues, this rapidly expanding area is far away from the hustle and bustle of the Westgate Complex, but close to Arrowhead Town Center.
- Population – 84,661
- Home Price – Median home value $395,000
- Rent Prices – $1,800
- Schools – Legend Springs Elementary School, Hillcrest Middle School, Mountain Ridge High School
Whether you are looking for a spacious home or a luxury apartment, you’ll find it in Arrowhead Ranch. The wide-open feel of the neighborhood will make you forget that you’re just a short distance away from one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. You can enjoy world-class dining and shopping, and a wide range of entertainment options in this bustling community.
Birds of Paradise
Tucked away in the eastern part of Glendale, Birds of Paradise is a comfortable and inviting small neighborhood. With a wide range of single-family homes and apartments, you’ll find modest, affordable housing to suit your needs.
- Population – 1471
- Home Price – Median home value $260,000
- Rent Prices – $1500
- Schools – Horizon School, Apollo High School
Located south of W Olive Ave, north of W Northern Ave, and in between N 51st and N 48th Avenues, this community is a convenient distance from the Westgate Entertainment Complex and all of the adventure to be found there. Whether you want music, sports, dining, or dancing, you’ll find it’s just a short drive from this unique area. Built in the 1970s, Birds of Paradise is a well-established neighborhood that’s almost exclusively residential. You’ll need to drive to run your errands.
Manistee Ranch is home to the historical Manistee Ranch House and Park. The house is now a museum where you can learn about Glendale’s ranching history. The ranch was once a successful producer of citrus and dates, and now all of its charming original structures are completely restored.
- Population – 67,526
- Home Price – Median home value $290,000
- Rent Prices –$1600
- Schools – Horizon School, Glendale High School
Located between N 59th and N 51st, south of W Northern Ave and north of Orangewood Avenue, Manistee Ranch is a quaint, older neighborhood. You’ll find a mixture of apartments, condominiums, and one to two-story single-family homes. Most homes have from 3 to 5 bedrooms and sit on desert landscaped lots.
In addition to the Manistee Ranch House and Park, the historical Sands Park is a fascinating area to explore. Historic downtown Glendale is just two miles south of Manistee Ranch, between N 57th Ave and N 59th Ave. City Hall, Glendale Library, and Murphy Park are all located within the historic center. You’ll also find all kinds of restaurants, bakeries, coffee spots, boutiques, and entertainment. Manistee Ranch is within easy access to several major freeways that will take you anywhere in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
Just north of Peoria Avenue, between N 67th and N 51st Avenues lies the neighborhood of Oakhollow. Just a short walk from Sahuaro Ranch Park, this small neighborhood of single-family homes is an ideal location for families. Sahuaro Ranch Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features both historic and recreational experiences. Oakhollow residents can enjoy the playgrounds, explore the old ranch grounds, play softball, soccer, and volleyball, and even take their four-legged friends to the off-leash dog park.
- Population – 529
- Home Price – Median home value $290,000
- Rent Prices – $1900
- Schools – Cooperwood School, Ironwood High School
You’ll find a wide range of dining options near Oakhollow. There are several chain restaurants, as well as unique local places such as Rosario Ristorante, Mi Pueblito, and Kimmy’s on Greenway. Take time to get to know the area and enjoy all that this historic location has to offer.
Just north of Grand Canyon University, O’Neil Ranch is a quaint older neighborhood with single-family homes, condominiums, and apartments. Centrally located to shopping, dining, and entertainment, it’s a convenient and affordable place to call home. Being close to the campus, this is an excellent neighborhood for students who want the comfort of a community while still living close to the school.
- Population – 10,421
- Home Price – Median home value $225,000
- Rent Prices – $1200
- Schools – Don Mensendick School, Independence High School,
You will find no shortage of things to do in O’Neil Ranch. You can catch a baseball or basketball game at Grand Canyon University, head down to Westgate for a night on the town, or go for a walk through the Conservation Park. Located between N 67th and N 59th Avenues, with Bethany Home Road to the north and Camelback to the south, O’Neil Ranch is a residential oasis in the heart of the city.
If you’re looking for a small neighborhood near all of the excitement that Glendale has to offer, Sweetwater Estates is the place for you. With a mixture of apartments, condominiums, and single-family homes, you’ll surely find something to suit your needs.
- Population – 1833
- Home Price – Median home value $300,000
- Rent Prices – $2500
- Schools – Desert Valley Elementary School, Ironwood High School
Sweetwater Estates is north of W Cactus Rd and south of Thunderbird, between N 67th and 59th Avenues. The community sits centrally between the Westgate Shopping center and the Arrowhead Town Center, so you’ll never run out of things to do. You can catch a game, go for a hike, watch a movie, or go out for dinner and dancing, all within a short drive. Sweetwater is an excellent location for people of all ages, including retirees, students, and families.
Rovey Farm Estates
South of Northern Ave, north of W Glendale Ave, and nestled between 92nd and 83rd Avenues lies the unique neighborhood of Rovey Farm Estates. The central attraction of this community is the working Rovey Farm, specializing in artisan sheep cheese and beef sales. You can call ahead and make an appointment at the store, or drive by to see the family hard at work.
- Population – 12,073
- Home Price – Median home value $350,000
- Rent Prices – $2000
- Schools – Cotton Boll School, Raymond S Kellis School
This affluent community boasts single-family homes. If it’s an apartment you are looking for, then this community isn’t for you, but there are homes to rent as well as buy. The nearby farmland gives the area a rural feel, and you can easily forget that you’re in a major metropolitan area. Of course, if it is adventure you seek, a five-minute drive down Northern Avenue will take you into the heart of the Westgate Entertainment District, where you’ll find great entertainment, food, and shopping.
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