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Last updated: July 16, 2019 • Spotlight

City of Scottsdale – “Most Livable City”

Located next to Arizona’s state capital of Phoenix, the city of Scottsdale is a serene desert oasis that consistently appeals to home buyers with its charming allure. Since Scottsdale is directly northeast of Phoenix, it shares many of the capital’s major amenities. Residents and visitors of Scottsdale are able to visit the city’s neighboring McDowell Mountain Regional Park to partake in exciting outdoor activities like hiking and biking. Scottsdale is also a few short miles away from Tonto National Forest. Tonto hosts a large cactus desert, forested mountains, rivers, and campgrounds, making it a nature lover’s paradise.

Scottsdale is also known as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” – a term coined by The New York Times – but its moniker is “the West’s Most Western Town.” The city provides endless entertainment and a lively nightlife for adults. The city has several popular nightlife venues, including wine bars, clubs, and lounges. There are also popular malls and shopping plazas, such as Fashion Square.

Scottsdale is also perfect for family living and boasts some of the top school districts. The Unified School District of Scottsdale (USDS) has 15 elementary schools, four K-8, five middle schools, and six high schools. Most of the schools in this school district have earned the state’s highest ranking of Excellence.

Scottsdale real estate agents offer beautiful properties with a jaw-dropping scenery. In the city, home buyers will be able to find many deserts and southwestern-styled single-family homes. Scottsdale has spacious properties that can accommodate families of any size. The city offers affordable real estate with alluring views. Many of Scottsdale’s multi-million dollar mansions are lined along a beautiful backdrop of the desert filled with cacti and desert shrubs that are indigenous to the area, and oftentimes includes a swimming pool to cool off from the summer heat.

Where is Scottsdale Arizona located?

city of Scottsdale position on map

The city of Scottsdale is just a few miles east of Phoenix and hosts a community actively involved in the protection of our planet. 

People in Arizona are very concerned about the quality of the air they breathe so more and more people prefer public transportation over driving alone in a car. The city of Scottsdale is not very easy to reach by public transportation. Phoenix does have a few good services that connect Scottsdale to downtown Phoenix, but the lack of an underground network means less frequent connections, a longer commute, and crowded buses. 

While the most prosperous cities have been fueled by the early railroads and train stations, this is not the case with Phoenix. Although it has more than 1 million inhabitants, it only boasts 25 miles of light rail.

So there is no Amtrak train station in Phoenix. Out of the 8 Amtrak train station in Arizona, the closest ones to Scottsdale are Maricopa Amtrak Station (36.7 miles away / 50 min drive), Tucson Amtrak Station (115 miles / two-hours drive), and Flagstaff (154 miles, two-and-a-half-hours drive).

Two trains stop in Maricopa – Sunset Limited (New Orleans – Los Angeles) and Texas Eagles (Chicago – San Antonio/Los Angeles). However, those interested in visiting the Grand Canyon should consider getting off the Southwest Chief at Flagstaff. However, those who want to get a real feeling of the old west should consider an overnight stay in Scottsdale, as well. They can experience the Grand Canyon thrills before or after that, by boarding the Grand Canyon-bound train. 

Traveling by plane, though, is more affordable than ever, and the city of Phoenix has three airports, with Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) as the main gateway.  A record high of 45 million people used this airport last year. Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is only 8 miles away from Scottsdale, but shuttle services are quite expensive. Rideshares are one of the cheapest options to reach Scottsdale. When going to the airport, Yellow Cabs in Phoenix charge $15 for the first 8 miles and $1.5 for each additional mile. When coming from the airport, the minimum fare is $16, otherwise $5 for the first mile and $2.5 for each additional mile. Also, with UberX, the fare would be around $20. 

Old Town Scottsdale Parking

old town Scottsdale car parking

Many tourists find Scottsdale extremely crowded, especially in the old town area. But the city has spent $230,000 to install over 800 parking sensors that let drivers find a free parking place. But first, drivers must install the free Parker app. The best news for tourists and residents alike is that parking in Scottsdale is free. Time limits may apply, though. So, if you’re not a native of Scottsdale, to avoid any parking infringements, just move your car in a new parking place. So, since Old Town Scottsdale parking is free, take your time to enjoy a delicious meal at one of the top three restaurants in the area, according to yelp[dot]com: Citizen Public House, The Mission Old Town, or Olive and Ivy. What else can you do once you solve the old town Scottsdale parking problem? Visit The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, or SMOCA (founded in 1999) or go shopping. Gilbert Ortega is a favorite shop and gallery among Native American art enthusiasts. After watching the beautiful sunset, you can mingle with the richest at popular venues such as Maya day and nightclub, Dakota, or The Mint Ultralounge. If you are into hiking, climb up the Camelback mountain to get the best mountain view of Scottsdale. Or drive to Taliesin West – the winter residence of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Scottsdale homes for sale near the old town start at $100,000 for a 624 sq. ft. condo in a gated community with access to a heated in-ground swimming pool, while houses start at $324,000 (1,400 sq. ft.). So, the average cost of a home in Scottsdale is quite high.

Scottsdale weather

board sign for city of Scottsdale desert

Arizona faces more drought than downpour, and most residents know that snow never falls in the desert. And this is a good enough reason to motivate snowbirds to look for Scottsdale homes for sale. Snow in Scottsdale is not unusual, though, especially at high altitudes. The last snow in Scottsdale fell on New Year’s Eve – Dec.31, 2018. Humphreys Peak is the highest peak in Arizona where it snows quite frequently, but it is closer to Flagstaff. Had it snowed more often, Arizona would have had far more ghost towns, for sure. 

Nevertheless, during really heavy winters, a thin layer of snow may cover the desert, but it rapidly disappears. So, the Scottsdale weather is ideal for everyone who can’t put up with the cold anymore. Lots of people from the Northeast and Midwest are flocking to Scottsdale – a city with quite a limited supply of dwellings. This summer, though, waves of extreme heat have hit Scottsdale, with temperatures way above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why water features are highly sought after: from fountains and waterfalls to interior water walls, in-ground swimming pools, and mist cooling systems – all keep plumbers busy. 

In Arizona, though, water is precious and people are encouraged to use it wisely. In the US, about 30% of the water is used to maintain the lawns and other plants used in landscaping, but in Arizona, this percentage is 70%. It is highly recommended that homeowners in Scottsdale adjust the watering frequency at least four times a year.

With 299 days of sunlight, Scottsdale weather is among the best in the country. But as we all know, overexposing the skin to the harsh sun rays of the desert may lead to serious skin conditions. About one decade ago Arizona ranked second in the world for skin melanoma. Sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer, though it is one of the cancers that doctors can cure. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) is a new immunotherapy drug that is successfully treating advanced melanoma. Even former President Jimmy Carter benefited from this treatment! 

Dust storms and thunderstorms are other major events that you need to take into consideration. During the months of July and August is the monsoon season when humidity rises and creates the optimum conditions for short and intense storms. Being so hot, though, the rain evaporates in the atmosphere and never touches the ground. But this doesn’t mean that Scottsdale should be among the worst cities for natural disasters

Sonoran Desert animals and pests

beautiful desert sunset with lovely cactus in background

Termites are the number one enemy of homeowners in Arizona. However, being surrounded by desert, you may have more unplanned animal encounters. Rattlesnakes are another threat and they can sneak in your backyard or garage. Among the dangerous Sonoran Desert animals are the centipedes. The Giant Desert Centipede may be a sight to behold for botanists, but most of us would not want to see one for real. Its bite is also very painful and although it is venomous, it doesn’t require hospitalization. 

The most dangerous spiders also live in Arizona and their bites do require immediate medical attention, so make sure you know what the black widow and the brown recluse look like. Be aware of scorpions, too. Bark scorpions, while small in size, have a very toxic sting. So, Scottsdale is in the middle of a desert where all the animals we fear seem to have a year-long party. And it seems that not only us, humans, enjoy the great Scottsdale weather. It will take a while to get used to your new neighbors, but these Sonoran Desert animals shouldn’t stop you from moving to Scottsdale

Rivers, lakes and water parks near the city of Scottsdale

stream running through city of Scottsdale

Because Arizona has a lot of its surface covered by desert it means that water is a precious resource. Most cities are located near a water source, and so is Scottsdale.  At only 4 miles away from downtown Scottsdale you can picnic on the shores of Salt River. Having a length of 200 miles, this river is the fourth longest river in Arizona. Scottsdale, however, takes its water from the Arizona Canal which crosses the city diagonally and is operated by the Salt River Project (SRP). 

Scottsdale is not among the best cities for boating families. Very few waterfront properties can be found in Scottsdale. Instead, The Chaparral lake and the fishing pond in El Dorado Park are great places for anglers. 

A good splash helps the residents survive the heat. There are plenty of water parks in the area. Splashtacular Waterslide at Hyatt Regency is a great place to wind down. The hotel’s 2.5-acre water playground even has a private beach! Big Surf in Tempe is another great water park. Tickets are $34 but hey!, you can surf in the middle of the desert. Hurricane Harbor is another water park only a 40-minute drive northwest from Scottsdale. A day pass costs $36.99 per person. 

Mountains near Scottsdale

view of Scottsdale mountains

Scottsdale sits at the base of McDowell Mountains. Mountaineers will find plenty of trails here. The Camelback Mountain is also a popular tourist attraction. At 2,704 ft, it is the tallest in the Phoenix Mountain range. To get to its peak, experienced climbers recommend the Echo Canyon Trail or the Cholla Trail for those who are tired of exercising at a gym. Here they can have a good cardio workout in a fantastic location. Hiking in the summer though has its pros and cons. The heat is definitely a problem and so are the cacti, yucca and other harmful plants that can scar or hurt you. Wear long pants if possible.  

Finding a property with a mountain view is not hard at all in Scottsdale. The only problem is that low-priced properties here are not abundant and sell very fast. Scottsdale attracts many real estate investors who want to provide student accommodation as well as retirement homes. The average rent here is about 40% above the national average. 

Scottsdale AZ upcoming events

The city of Scottsdale may be famous for its sprawling deluxe resorts, state-of-the-art golf courses and exclusive boutiques, but the events that take place here draw a diverse crowd. In January, secure a spot at the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction. In April, Scottsdale Culinary Festival will spoil your taste buds. And because Arizona is cowboy’s territory, you should not miss the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Other upcoming events in Scottsdale AZ: Powerhouse Women 2019 (7 September), 2019 FITposium International Conference (3 October), Davis Circus of Illusion, Liquid Sunshine Pool Party and many more. 

Is the city of Scottsdale appealing to you? Contact a Scottsdale real estate agent today and explore the types of homes available on the market. The house of your dreams may be waiting for you right here. 

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