Moving to Phoenix? This list examines each suburb based on safety, housing prices, and more.
When you’re looking for homes for sale in Phoenix, it can be overwhelming. Where are the best schools? Where is it safe to live? What’s the commute like? So we created a list of the 10 best Phoenix suburbs to help you start your home search. We compiled this list based on input from local Movoto real estate agent Mary LiBrandi and data from the U.S. Census and AreaVibes. Look for Movoto Agent Pick to see which communities LiBrandi recommends for home buyers. Let’s take a look at the winners.
1. Paradise Valley
- Median household income: $139,524
- Median home price: $1,443,200
- Unemployment rate: 3.6 percent
- Movoto Agent Pick
Paradise Valley kicks off our list of the best Phoenix suburbs.This quiet, scenic suburb is surrounded by natural beauty, from Echo Canyon Park to the south to the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and Piestewa Peak Park in the west. Southwest style single-family homes and modern condos complement the area’s natural beauty. Residents of Paradise Valley have access to plenty of amenities, like Camelback Golf Club, local restaurant Lon’s at the Hermosa, and sophisticated cocktail lounge, Jade Bar.
- Average commute time: 22 minutes
- Unemployment rate: 6.5 percent
- Movoto Agent Pick
In this thriving city of over 221,000, residents don’t need to drive into Phoenix for shopping, arts and culture, dining, or nightlife. Potential home buyers will find plenty of modern architecture and Southwest style homes in Scottsdale. Arts and culture enthusiasts have their pick of museums in Scottsdale, including the Pueblo Grande Museum, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Heard Museum. Downtown Scottsdale is also full of shopping, dining, and nightlife, including local favorites Citizen Public House, Squid Ink sushi bar, and Scottsdale Beer Company.
3. Fountain Hills
- Total crimes per 100k: 1,630
- Movoto Agent Pick
With just 1,630 crimes per 100,000 people, Fountain Hills is a safe Phoenix suburb. Home buyers will find a range of modern Southwest style condos and single family homes. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking the challenging trails at McDowell Mountain Preserve or taking in Arizona’s natural beauty at the Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden. Grab dinner at a local restaurant like Sofrita tapas bar or Sapori D’Italia, or take in local art at the Fountain Hills Art Walks. Desert Canyon golf course provides a scenic and challenging championship course for residents.
- Median home price: $677,000
- Total crimes per 100k: 739
- High school graduation rate: 97 percent
Taking the next spot on our list is Carefree. One look at this cozy, upscale community of 3,487 and it will become abundantly clear why it’s known as the “Home of Cowboys and Caviar, Where the Old West Meets the New.” Custom and Spanish style homes populate this oasis nestled in the foothills of the stunning Sonoran desert. And there’s no shortage of culture in this art-friendly enclave. Carefree hosts a variety of cultural events during the fall and winter festival season, opening with their Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival and closing with the the Christmas Festival.
5. Cave Creek
- Total amenities: 1,332
- Unemployment rate: 5.4 percent
If the thought of living in a big city makes you cringe, Cave Creek may be the best Phoenix suburb for you. The rural, western lifestyle and close knit community make it an appealing spot for residents who want the simple life. Of course, life in Cave Creek isn’t so simple that residents don’t have access to great amenities. Cave Creek is filled with art galleries like Blue Coyote Gallery, local restaurants like Buffalo Chip Saloon and Steakhouse, and great golfing at Rancho Manana Golf Club. Potential Cave Creek home buyers have their pick of new construction Southwest style homes and modern condos with gorgeous mountain views.
6. Litchfield Park
- Total amenities: 24,906
- Unemployment rate: 3.7 percent
The small close knit suburb of Litchfield Park, home to the Luke Air Force Base, has access to all the amenities residents could want. As far as housing goes, Litchfield Park offers new construction homes and modern condos with on site amenities like pools and recreation rooms. Litchfield Park residents have plenty of access to local businesses. Grab a craft beer at Litchfield Taproom, get a bite to eat at Park Cafe, or plan a staycation at The Wigwam, a local hotel and golf resort.
- Median household income: $80,121
- Average commute time: 27 minutes
Gilbert isn’t just one of the best Phoenix suburbs, it’s also a thriving city on its own. Beautiful Southwest style single family homes and condos are common in Gilbert. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking at the Riparian at Water Ranch or hitting the links at one of Gilbert’s many top-notch golf clubs. Residents can also beat the summer heat at Mesquite Aquatic Center or Greenfield Municipal Pool. The Gilbert Art Walk is a great way to meet other residents and see local talent. Grab a local brew at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company or stroll through Gilbert’s Heritage District, which is full of boutique shopping and historic buildings.
8. Queen Creek
- Median home price: $240,000
- High school graduation rate: 94 percent
Queen Creek has one of the lowest median home prices of the places in our top 10 and the cost of living is relatively low. There’s a good deal for a family with children to do. Local Schnepf Farms holds festivals and events every few months, the Barney Family Sports Complex hosts a variety of athletic activities, and the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center provides entertainment for both kids and parents alike.
- Median home price: $232,900
- Average commute time: 24 minutes
Chandler is a community on the rise. It’s a perfect marriage of family-friendly and cosmopolitan thanks to its award-winning school district and thriving downtown area. Residents come together throughout the year for a variety of unique and unforgettable events like the Ostrich Festival, the Indian Market, and for holiday events including the Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Cinco de Mayo Chihuahua Races.
- Median rent: $1,463
- Total amenities: 1,501
The Phoenix suburb of Anthem rounds out our top 10. New construction homes in a variety of architectural styles and modern condos are available in this suburb. Grab breakfast at Sweethearts Gourmet Donuts or dinner and wine at Wild Vines tapas bar. Anthem’s community parks provide plenty of green space for outdoor recreation. Anthem residents come together over regular community events like Java & Jammin’, a family-friendly live music show, or Music in May, an outdoor live music series with food trucks on site.
To figure out which Phoenix suburbs were the best of the best, we took a look at the following criteria:
- Amenities per capita
- Standard of living (cost of living, median home value, median rent, median household income, and high school graduation rate)
- Total crimes per 100k
- Unemployment rate
- Total crimes per 100k
- Average commute time
Then local real estate agent Mary LiBrandi gave us a list the suburbs she thought should make the cut, and we added bonus points to those suburbs and designated them Movoto Agent Picks. We ranked each suburb in the above categories and averaged the scores. The suburbs with the lowest overall scores made our list of best Phoenix suburbs.
To see how the rest of the suburbs we ranked measured up, check out the table below:
If you are looking for a new place in Phoenix, give Jeff Barchi a call. He can help you find the best houses for sale in Phoenix that suit your needs.