The Tiny house Blog

Moving to Mesa, AZ: What To Know

Updated on:
March 20, 2024
Moving to Mesa

Image Source: Canva

Mesa, AZ, offers a unique blend of urban living and outdoor recreation, making it an attractive destination for many. Nestled in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Mesa provides a warm, sunny climate year-round, with more than 300 days of sunshine annually.

This weather is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who can enjoy hiking, biking, and golfing without the worry of a rainy day. Mesa's population is growing steadily, reflecting its appeal as a place to live, work, and play.

The Climate of Mesa, AZ

Mesa, AZ, is characterized by its hot desert climate, offering very mild winters and extremely hot summers. The city enjoys over 300 days of sunshine annually, making it a prime location for outdoor activities throughout the year. 

During summer, temperatures frequently soar above 100°F, emphasizing the need for hydration and sun protection for anyone spending time outdoors. Despite the intense heat, Mesa receives an average of 10 inches of rain per year, which is significantly lower than the US average of 38 inches. Snow is virtually nonexistent, with an average of 0 inches per year, compared to the US average of 28 inches.

The climate data highlights the significant temperature variations Mesa experiences, with the coldest month averaging low temperatures around 40°F and the hottest months peaking at averages around 105°F. 

Humidity levels in Mesa are generally low and comfortable, although August, July, and September can feel more humid. Rainfall is most common in August, characterized by short bursts that do little to alleviate the heat. 

This climate contributes to a unique living environment where residents can enjoy a wide range of activities under the sunny skies almost year-round, though it also necessitates preparedness for high temperatures and occasional precipitation during the monsoon season.

Housing and Cost of Living

The housing market and cost of living in Mesa, AZ, have seen significant changes recently. The median sale price for single-family units in the Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Mesa, has seen fluctuations with a decrease from a high of $475,000 to $443,000 since June 2022. 

This indicates a 7% decline in median sale prices over the year. Additionally, the inventory listed for sale has decreased by 20%, and the average number of days on the market has increased from 30 to 66 days. These statistics suggest a cooling off in the housing market from its peak in the summer of 2022.

Regarding the cost of living, Mesa offers a competitive scenario compared to the national average. The overall cost of living is rated slightly lower, at 2% less than the national average, with housing prices also being about 1% lower. 

The average rent for a 2-bedroom home in Mesa is $1,625, reflecting a 10% increase from previous averages. Furthermore, the median home price is reported to be around $425,000. 

These figures, combined with Mesa's cost of living index of 98.6%, present the city as an affordable place relative to many other U.S. cities. Potential movers need to consider these financial factors carefully, especially regarding housing affordability and overall cost of living adjustments.

Employment Opportunities

The employment landscape in Mesa, AZ, as part of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area, reflects a diverse and dynamic economy. 

The region has seen a steady increase in jobs, with significant growth in sectors such as construction, which reported a 6.8% year-on-year increase, and a robust performance in the mining and logging sector with a 9.7% increase. 

Despite these gains, manufacturing showed a slight decline. Overall, the area's unemployment rate has improved, dropping to 3.4%, indicating a strong job market for prospective job seekers.

Education System

The education system in Mesa, AZ, is a significant part of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area and is characterized by a diverse range of public schools that cater to the educational needs of its students. 

The Mesa Unified School District, for instance, is a large educational institution that operates 78 schools, serving a total student population of 58,343. This district prides itself on a relatively low student-to-teacher ratio of 16.41, indicating a commitment to providing personalized education and ensuring that each student receives adequate attention from their teachers. 

The district employs a substantial number of classroom teachers, totaling 3,554.70 full-time equivalents (FTE), highlighting its capacity to cater to the educational needs of its large student body.

Financially, the Mesa Unified School District demonstrates robust support for education, with total revenue amounting to $630,987,000 and instructional expenditures comprising 56% of total current expenditures, reflecting a strong emphasis on direct educational services. This allocation of resources underscores the district's priority towards instructional quality and student achievement. 

With a comprehensive staff comprising instructional aides, coordinators, guidance counselors, psychologists, and other support services, the district is equipped to provide a well-rounded educational experience. 

The diversity of staff roles within the district points to a holistic approach to education, emphasizing not only academic learning but also emotional and psychological well-being.

Crime Rate and Safety

Mesa, AZ, presents a nuanced picture of crime and safety, with recent analyses offering insights into its crime rates relative to both the state and the nation. 

According to NeighborhoodScout's data, the chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Mesa is 1 in 44. This places the city's crime rate above 81% of Arizona's cities and towns of all sizes. 

However, when comparing Mesa to cities of similar population sizes across the United States, it emerges as one of the lower crime rate locales for its size, suggesting that, for its population, Mesa is relatively safe.'s analysis paints a more challenging picture, assigning Mesa an overall crime grade of "F," indicating that the rate of crime is significantly higher than the average U.S. city. Mesa is in the 1st percentile for safety, meaning 99% of cities are safer. 

Specifically, the rate of crime in Mesa is 1,838 incidents per 1,000 residents in a standard year, with variations across different parts of the city. The northeast area of Mesa is generally considered the safest, whereas the southeast neighborhoods experience higher rates of crime. This highlights the importance of understanding local nuances when considering safety in Mesa.

Transportation and Commuting

Mesa, Arizona offers a variety of transportation options suitable for its over 500,000 residents. The Valley Metro public transit system, including Light Rail service to Downtown Phoenix and bus services throughout Mesa and neighboring cities, facilitates mobility. 

Additionally, the Maricopa Express Shuttle provides intercity and airport transportation. For cyclists, Mesa has dedicated bike lanes and bike-sharing systems like Grid BikeShare. The average one-way commute time in Mesa is 24.8 minutes, shorter than the US average, with the majority of commuters driving alone.

Outdoor Activities and Recreation

Mesa, Arizona, offers a wealth of outdoor activities and recreational opportunities, catering to enthusiasts of all types, from hikers and bikers to kayakers and golfers. 

Image Source: Canva

Located in the Sonoran Desert, Mesa is surrounded by a landscape rich in natural beauty and outdoor adventures. Visitors and residents can enjoy hiking through the legendary landscape, kayaking along calm rivers, and experiencing the thrill of hot air balloon rides. 

For those who enjoy water sports, paddle boarding in canyon-carved lakes and visiting popular waterparks and pools like the Flowrider offer fun ways to beat the heat. The city also provides scenic tours along the historic Apache Trail, inviting explorers to immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring surroundings that define the region.

Adding to Mesa's appeal are its expansive park systems and trails. The city boasts over 200 parks, including dog parks with designated off-leash areas, and covers more than 2,000 acres, offering ample space for outdoor activities. 

The Maricopa County Park System, one of the largest regional park systems in the United States, includes Usery Mountain Regional Park, which provides stunning views of the metro area. For those looking to explore further, the nearby Boyce Thompson Arboretum and Lost Dutchman State Park offer additional opportunities for discovery and adventure. 

Whether you're a resident or a visitor, Mesa's outdoor offerings ensure that there's always something new to explore and enjoy, making it a prime destination for those seeking adventure in the great outdoors.

Cultural Attractions and Events

Mesa, Arizona, is a vibrant city teeming with cultural attractions and events that cater to a wide range of interests and ages. The city boasts an array of events throughout the year, including improv comedy shows, live music performances, and large annual festivals that celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of the region. 

For instance, visitors can enjoy the Downtown Mesa Farmers’ Market every Saturday, where they can browse artisan vendors and savor local flavors. The Mesa Arts Center hosts the Día de los Muertos Festival in the fall, which is a testament to the city's rich Latin American cultural contributions, offering art, cuisine, and celebrations in honor of this significant Mexican holiday.

Additionally, the city's calendar is packed with unique events such as the Arizona Celebration of Freedom for Independence Day, showcasing local vendors, family activities, and live music, culminating in a stunning fireworks display. 

For arts and culture enthusiasts, Mesa does not disappoint with its venues like the Hale Centre Theatre and the Neighborhood Comedy Theatre, providing entertainment ranging from stage productions to musical performances. 

Whether you're looking to explore the local culinary scene through food festivals, experience the thrill of outdoor concerts, or immerse yourself in cultural celebrations, Mesa provides a dynamic and enriching environment that invites exploration and enjoyment.

Dining and Shopping

Mesa, Arizona, offers a diverse and vibrant shopping and dining scene that caters to a variety of tastes and preferences.

Downtown Mesa is a shopper's paradise, boasting a collection of local artisan shops, boutiques, and more, providing a unique shopping experience where you can find everything from handmade jewelry to the latest fashion trends. 

Additionally, Mesa Marketplace Swap Meet offers a treasure trove of reasonably priced goods in a flea-market setting, making it an ideal spot for bargain hunters. For those seeking a more upscale shopping experience, the Village Square at Dana Park offers high-end retailers in a luxurious setting with pedestrian walkways and al fresco dining options.

The dining scene in Mesa is just as diverse, offering an array of options from casual eateries to fine dining experiences. Whether you're in the mood for local southwestern flavors or international cuisine, Mesa's culinary landscape has something to satisfy every palate. 

The city's largest retail and dining hub, Mesa Riverview, features over 30 brand-name retailers and a variety of dining options, making it a popular destination for both shopping and dining. UrbanMatter Phoenix highlights the top places for shopping in Mesa, including Superstition Spring Center and Mesa Grand Shopping Center, showcasing the wide range of shopping destinations available in the city.

Pros and Cons of Living in Mesa

Living in Mesa, Arizona, offers a blend of pros and cons that can significantly influence one's decision to move there. On the positive side, Mesa provides a relatively low cost of living compared to other major cities, which includes affordable housing and rents, making the dream of owning a home accessible for the average person. 

The city is known for its friendly and outgoing populace, decent air quality, and relatively safe environment. Mesa enjoys great summers with mild winters, offering ample outdoor activities for its residents. Additionally, the low unemployment rate and the convenience of living in a sizable city are highlighted as significant advantages. Mesa is also bike-friendly, enhancing its appeal for those who prefer cycling over driving.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider. The public transportation system in Mesa is not as developed as in other cities, which might necessitate owning a car for efficient commuting. 

The desert-like environment, while unique, may become monotonous for some, and the city's hot climate might not be suitable for everyone. Water scarcity could become a concern due to the area's arid conditions. 

Although Mesa provides the basics for a comfortable life, it may not offer the extensive shopping opportunities found in more glamorous cities. The city's education system and medical infrastructure, while adequate, may not match the highest standards found in other parts of the country.

Neighborhoods and Living Areas

Mesa, AZ, offers a diverse array of neighborhoods catering to various lifestyles, from families and retirees to young professionals. Each neighborhood in Mesa has its unique charm, amenities, and community vibe, making it important to choose one that aligns with your needs and preferences.

For example, Eastmark is celebrated as Arizona's top master-planned community, offering a mix of award-winning schools and ample recreational activities, making it ideal for families seeking a vibrant community life. 

Las Sendas is another noteworthy neighborhood, particularly appealing to golf enthusiasts with its luxury amenities and exclusive golf club. For those prioritizing safety and a serene environment, Alta Mesa stands out as one of Mesa's safest neighborhoods, featuring newer community developments centered around a large golf club.

On the other hand, neighborhoods like Mesa Grande are known for their accessibility to public transportation and local amenities, including schools like Franklin Elementary and the East Valley Institute of Technology, making it a versatile choice for various demographics. 

Northgrove, with its quiet atmosphere and access to parks and shopping centers, is perfect for families or older professionals looking for a peaceful living area with gorgeous homes.

When considering moving to Mesa, it's essential to weigh factors such as the cost of living, local amenities, access to outdoor activities, and the general vibe of the neighborhood. 

Whether you're looking for a bustling community with easy access to city life or a tranquil area with stunning natural scenery, Mesa's neighborhoods offer something for everyone. For detailed information on the best neighborhoods in Mesa, you can refer to sources like Mentors Moving and eXp Realty, which provide comprehensive guides to help you make an informed decision.

Health and Wellness

In Mesa, AZ, health and wellness are prioritized through various programs and facilities catering to the city's residents. The Mesa Wellness 360 Program stands out as a notable initiative aimed at improving the health and well-being of city employees. 

This voluntary program, which started accepting participants in November 2021, encourages employees to engage in wellness activities, classes, and coaching, potentially earning points for financial incentives. It's open to employees enrolled in the City of Mesa's medical plans and their benefited spouses or committed partners. 

Activities include challenges, competitions, educational programs, health fairs, and on-site screenings, emphasizing a holistic approach to health management.

Beyond the employee-focused programs, Mesa also offers integrative healthcare solutions to the general public through facilities like Rose Canyon Health & Wellness and Nerve 2.0 Health & Wellness Center. Rose Canyon Health & Wellness adopts an integrative approach, focusing on understanding patients' wellness goals and identifying the root causes of illnesses to develop personalized treatment plans. 

This method aims to treat not just physical ailments but also consider emotional, spiritual, and mental health for overall well-being. Meanwhile, Nerve 2.0, led by Julie Taylor Zafuto, a nurse practitioner with a comprehensive background in various medical fields, offers specialized treatments like body shaping, neuropathy treatment, hormone therapy, weight loss services, and vitamin infusion therapy. 

Nerve 2.0's approach emphasizes creating long-lasting and trusting relationships with patients for holistic care.

Moving To Mesa, AZ

Moving to Mesa, AZ can be an exciting prospect for those seeking a blend of urban convenience and natural beauty in the heart of Arizona. Known for its year-round sunny weather, Mesa attracts with its breathtaking desert scenery and a plethora of outdoor and cultural attractions. 

The city is home to landmarks like the Mesa Arts Center, the Arizona Museum of Natural History, and the expansive Superstition Wilderness, appealing to art enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Mesa's proximity to Phoenix's vibrant job market and nightlife offers the best of both suburban tranquility and big-city living.

Mesa's economy is thriving with a focus on technology, healthcare, retail, education, and manufacturing, making it a promising location for professionals and families. 

With a population exceeding 500,000, Mesa provides a diverse and skilled workforce, supported by local higher education institutions and top employers like Banner Health System and Boeing. For those considering moving to Mesa, the relocation process can be significantly eased by engaging with professional movers in Mesa, AZ.

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