The Cost of Living in Scottsdale, AZ: What New Residents Should Know

With a population just shy of 250,000 residents, Scottsdale is a popular destination in Arizona. Families, retirees and celebrities move from all over the world to enjoy the beautiful desert landscapes, renowned nightlife and thriving dining scene.

Scottsdale also boasts luxury homes and extravagant amenities – making it one of the most luxurious cities in Arizona. Of course, these features come at a price, but those who can afford Scottsdale living know that it is worth every penny. Moreover, even though Scottsdale is known for being of the most expensive cities in Arizona, it is still one of the most affordable luxurious cities in the country. Needless to say, Scottsdale is a hidden gem for established professionals and affluent families.

To help you gain more insight into the cost of living in Scottsdale, I’ve provided some valuable details about common Scottsdale amenities below.

Goods and Services

There are numerous items and services we all need to purchase on an everyday basis. Fortunately, even though Scottsdale is a rather upscale city, pricing for basic goods is typically not above average. Whether you need to purchase paper towels, toothpaste, or other common household items, you will be able to find them at a fair price in most Scottsdale stores. Additionally, the vast majority of these stores carry numerous brands, which means you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for.

However, when it comes to supplementary goods such as clothes, jewelry and cars, expect to pay more than residents in other Arizona cities. This is due to the fact that Scottsdale mainly carries high-end brands, stores, boutiques and vehicles, so homeowners are paying extra for the superior quality they are receiving. This same is true for Scottsdale’s services, as the city contains many top-tier salons, tailors, spas and hotels.

Groceries

 

If you like to make home cooked meals without overspending, Scottsdale is a great place to live. This wonderful Arizona city gives residents a variety of grocery stores to choose from, which ensures you will find a grocer that meets your budget and personal dietary preferences. Additionally, most grocery stores in Scottsdale are very welcoming and well kept.

If you are looking for a basic grocery store with great deals and prices, you can frequent a Fry’s Food and Drug store or Safeway store in the area. Because there are several scattered throughout the city, you won’t need to drive far and can reserve your gas money. If you prefer smaller grocery stores that carry more unique and healthier options, there are Trader Joe’s and AJ’s Fine Foods stores in the area as well. Best of all, you can find several farmers markets around town offering fresh, local produce at fair prices.

Health Care

According to the PayScale Cost of Living Calculator, Scottsdale’s healthcare costs are only 3 percent above the national average. Yet it is considered one of the less-expensive places to receive medical care when compared to other major cities. For example, PayScale data reports that Scottsdale healthcare costs are 5 percent lower than costs in San Diego.

A few examples of healthcare prices in Scottsdale that are lower than the national average include general care consultations, vision care and medication costs. The exception is dental care, which does tend to cost more in Scottsdale, according to data shared on the Movoto Real Estate website. However, most Scottsdale dentists are very established and experienced, so they are able to provide residents with superior treatment and care.

Housing

Homes in Scottsdale can be expensive, but considering the high-appeal standards of the city, the average values fair well when compared to major cities nationwide. For example, Zillow reports that the average Scottsdale home sells for around $438,000, while the average Los Angeles home sells for around $753,000.

However, many Scottsdale homes exceed this average price by a large margin because they are considered luxury homes. In other words, they feature extravagant amenities such as wine cellars, remote-controlled curtains, resort-style pools and spectacular views. Luxury homes can dramatically improve a homeowner’s quality of life, making their high prices well deserved.

When you consider real estate and economic trends, it’s clear that buying one of these homes could be a wise investment for your future. Scottsdale home prices have increased by at least 5 percent in the last fives years, and the market continues to push values upward. Knowing this, new Scottsdale homeowners can expect their home’s value to increase by the time they are ready to sell.

Transportation

Most Scottsdale residents own at least one car, and they rely on this vehicle as their primary method of transportation. If you own a car and plan on using it to navigate through Scottsdale, AAA Newsroom reports that you can expect the annual cost to run you somewhere between $6,700-$10,600 per year, depending on the size of the vehicle. This includes gas, maintenance, insurance, and registration.

Although the gas prices in Scottsdale don’t veer far from the national average, other motor vehicle maintenances costs are quite lower. According to Scottsdale Muffler and Automotive, “The average cost of simple maintenance and repairs breaks down to about $80 a month.” Moreover, most Scottsdale car repair shops have a fantastic reputation for being honest and helpful, so these prices are certainly a steal.

If you don’t currently own a car, or if you plan on selling your car before moving, public transportation is another option for getting around Scottsdale. The most convenient and comfortable methods of public transportation in Scottsdale are driving apps like Uber or Lyft. Due to their practicality and safety, residents often use these apps when attending special weekend events.

Utilities

Water, gas, power and Internet service are simply must-haves no matter where you live in Arizona. Of course, most of these bills will vary based on how much you use and how large your home is, but 2014 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the average electric bill in Arizona is $120.51. Regarding Internet, Scottsdale is home to numerous providers whose costs vary quite dramatically. You will quickly learn that sometimes it is worth paying a bit more for consistent and reliable service. This applies to cable providers as well.

Although the cost of living in Scottsdale is higher than some Arizona cities, it is only the fourth highest in the state. Scottsdale is an upscale community with enhanced safety, top-tier amenities, clean neighborhoods and marginally cooler temperatures. With that in mind, living in Scottsdale will noticeably enhance your everyday life. Contact me at your convenience if you are interested in relocating to Scottsdale. I would be happy to show you around!