Moving to Chandler

Located less than 30 minutes southwest of Phoenix, Chandler offers year-round sunshine, a solid economy, a growing real estate market, great schools, and a wide range of outdoor and cultural activities. The year-round sunshine is both a blessing and a curse. Summer temperatures frequently soar above 100 and residents curtail outdoor activities until the fall. But temperatures the rest of the year make up for the summer heat, and that’s when golfers come out in droves. Tee up! Seven championship golf courses are within Chandler city limits.

Chandler’s solid economy and leading employers like Intel, Orbital, Wells Fargo, and PayPal make this a top area for job seekers. You’ll find real estate offerings that range from mansions in luxurious gated communities to mid-size homes, townhomes, and apartments in modest neighborhoods. Big names perform at the Chandler Center for the Arts; city museums celebrate Chandler’s history, art, and culture; boutiques offer unique shopping; aware-winning restaurants serve up international fare, and Cactus League Spring Training draws baseball fans to Chandler venues.

The park system in and near Chandler is extensive and varied. Over 60 parks, ranging from small urban pockets of green space to large wild regional parks, allow you to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities throughout the year. The proximity to the Sonoran Desert offers fascinating wilder adventures like climbing, hiking, and discovering the wonders of regional wildlife. Plenty of local biking and walking trails wind through many neighborhoods.

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Living in Chandler, AZ: What to Know Before Moving to Chandler

Chandler, about 16 miles southwest of Phoenix, is a growing community with a population of about 245,000 that has grown 6% since 2010. With about 330 days of sunshine per year, great schools, a solid economy, and growing cultural amenities, Chandler is perfect for families, young professionals, executives, and retirees.

Pros and Cons of Living in Chandler

Pros

  • Pleasant spring, winter, and fall seasons. Chandler enjoys mild sunny winter days with temperatures in the 60s. Spring and fall days warm to the mid-80s.
  • Job opportunities. Wallethub.com voted Chandler #10 “Best Place to Find a Job in the US.”
  • Golf. Chandler is home to seven championship golf courses.
  • Cultural options. You’ll enjoy museums, art walks, farmers markets, galleries and more.
  • Quality schools. Highly-rated public schools attract young families.

Cons

  • Intense summer heat. Summer temperatures exceed 100 degrees on a regular basis.
  • Growth and sprawl. Most residents need a car for day-to-day life. Public transportation is limited.
  • Rapidly rising home prices. Home prices continue to rise, and real estate inventory can be low, so the market is competitive
  • The high cost of living. Chandler’s cost of living is 23% higher than the national average.

Tax Rates

Property tax, sales tax, and state income tax are slightly lower than national averages and those of surrounding states.

  • Property tax: The average property tax rate of .802% is lower than the national average of 1.211%. Property taxes on a home with an assessed value of $250,000 would be $2,005.
  • Sales tax: The sales tax rate in Chandler is 7.8%. This rate is a total of 5.6% Arizona state tax, 0.7% Maricopa County tax, and 1.5% City of Chandler tax. Chandler sales tax is less than the Phoenix sales tax rate of 8.6% and the Tucson sales tax rate of 8.7%.
  • State income tax: Arizona’s state income tax is 4.54%. This rate is slightly below income taxes in the surrounding states of Utah at 4.95%, Colorado at 4.63%, and New Mexico at 4.90%.

Housing Market

Just over 66% of Chandler residents own their homes. The median home value, as of summer 2019, is $317,400, compared to the US median home price of $226,800. Listing price is a different statistic from home value – Chandler’s median listing price is $349,900. Home prices increased by 5.8% in 2018, and Zillow forecasts prices will go up another 2.4% in 2020.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Chandler is $1,650, higher than the US national average of $1,391. Rental inventory is low, with just 1.6% of houses and apartments available to rent.

If you’re looking for more affordability, the neighborhoods of College Park, San Marcos, Twelve Oaks, The Springs, and Lone Butte Ranch have more reasonably priced housing.

Cost of Living

Often, high housing costs drive up a city’s cost of living, and it’s true of Chandler. The cost of living index of 100 indicates the US average cost for basic living expenses. Chandler’s cost of living index, according to BestPlaces, is 123.2/100.

The following indices reflect the Chandler cost of living: Groceries 95.5/100, Health 101.6/100, Housing 159.6/100, Utilities 101.6/100, Transportation 128.1/100, and Miscellaneous 98.9/100.

The median household income is $72,072. According to the Family Budget Calculator, a family of two adults and two children in the Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale metro area will need $91,024 per year to achieve a “modest yet adequate” standard of living.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Be prepared for desert heat from May through October. The hottest months are July and August with highs hovering around 105-106 degrees F. The most comfortable months are February, March, April, and November when temperatures range between 70 and 85 degrees. Then, in December and January, days cool down to the mid-60s.

Monsoon season extends from June through September. The monsoons appear quickly, drop heavy rain along with high winds and hail, then disappear just as rapidly. Usually no more than nine inches of rain falls during the entire year. At an elevation of 1,214 feet, the UV index is 6.4 compared to the US average of 4.3. When you move to Chandler, you’ll want to be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen.

Natural disaster threats can include wildfires, thunderstorms, flash floods, and dust storms. For more information about weather conditions and disaster preparedness, visit the Chandler Natural Disaster Preparedness website.

Economy & Job Market

Low unemployment and a growing job market mean Chandler’s economy is solid. At 3.6%, the unemployment rate is below the US average of 3.9%. Chandler’s job market has increased by 3.3% over the last year. Future growth is expected to be slightly below average. The economy is expected to grow 30.8% within the next ten years, just a bit less than the US average growth expectation of 33.5%.

The area’s top industries include many technical sectors including Autonomous Vehicles R&D; Aviation and Aerospace; High Tech Manufacturing and Development; Technology and Software; Healthcare and Bioscience; and Business and Financial Services.

Chandler ranked #10 on Wallet Hub’s list of “Best Places in the Nation To Find A Job In 2019.” Major employers are a who’s who of the nation’s top companies including Microchip, Orbital, Bank of America, Intel, PayPal/eBay, Wells Fargo, Verizon, NXP, and Avnet. The Chandler Unified School District and the Chandler Regional Medical Center are significant local employers as well.

The Arizona Works web site lists local jobs and offers helpful job-hunting tips. Before you start the job-hunting process, make sure your resume is current and in tip-top shape.

Traffic and Transportation

Chandler is a car-dependent city because of limited public transportation. The transit score is significantly below average at 24/100, and the walk score is weak at 35/100. However, the bike score of 53/100 indicates that you’ll be able to do some cycling around town, maybe even to commute locally or run errands. Armstrong 74/100, Southmoore 62/100, and Dobson Estates 61/100 are considered the most walkable neighborhoods.

If you are commuting, plan on an average one-way trip of 24 minutes — shorter than the US average of 26.4 minutes. Over 78% of Chandler commuters drive their car alone, 10.2% carpool, 6.6% work from home, and just 0.9% take mass transit.

Valley Metro operates bus service 365 days a year on 13 bus lines. Several bus routes make connections to the light rail, which provides service to Mesa, Tempe, and Phoenix. Route maps and schedules for bus and light rail are available on the Valley Metro site. Chandler residents are looking forward to the regional transportation plan to go into effect. The plan has identified seven future transit corridors, and by 2034, the public transit system will have expanded to 66 miles.

Main thoroughfares include Arizona Avenue, also known as State Route 87, which runs north-south through Chandler and connects to Mesa in the north and I-10 south of the city. Commonwealth Avenue, also known as State Route 202, runs east-west. Taking 202 west will connect you to I-10 and then either north to Phoenix or south to Tucson.

If you fly out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), plan on a 23-minute drive from downtown Chandler. If you take AZ-101 Loop N and AZ-202 Loop W to the airport, your trip to PHX will cover 20.6 miles.

What to Do

Whether you’re looking for outdoor fun, culture, history, art, or want to cheer for your favorite team, Chandler has a lot to offer.

Parks

  • Chandler has over 60 parks — from larger regional facilities to smaller neighborhood parks. Among the most notable are:
  • Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Center. With over 100 acres, this park is home to wetlands, desert habitats, hiking and biking trails, and picnic areas. It also features a self-guided Solar System Walk.
  • Tumbleweed Park. This park is the site of a 62,000 square-foot recreational facility with classes and activities for all ages. The park includes pavilions, play areas, and celebrates the agricultural heritage of the city.
  • Desert Breeze Park. You’ll enjoy a lake, splash pad, sports courts and fields, paths, and a playground.
  • Espee Park. This local park is the site of the Chandler Bike Park, a park exclusively for BMX bike riders.
  • San Tan Mountain Regional Park. Located south of Chandler, 10,000 acres of Sonoran Desert beauty is at your fingertips. Bike, hike, horseback ride, picnic, stargaze, stroll, and enjoy special programs and events.

Culture, history, and art

  • The Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery of Western American and American Indian Art. The museum has a collection of more than 3,000 pieces of Western American and Native American art in a wide array of mediums including basketry, jewelry, sculptures, acrylics, oil paintings, watercolors and more. Admission is free.
  • Chandler Center for the Arts. Three performance spaces: the 1500-seat Main Stage, the 350-seat Hal Bogle Theatre, and the 250-seat Recital Hall, as well as two art galleries. It hosts a wide range of performances throughout its season, from well-known performing artists to dance recitals, symphony performances, and local entertainers.
  • Chandler Museum. This 10,000 square foot facility features local and traveling exhibits that focus on culture, history, and art. It’s adjacent to the McCullough-Price house, a pueblo-style home built in 1938 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s now the Chandler Museum’s administration office.
  • Arizona Railway Museum. Celebrating the railroads of Arizona and the Southwest, this open-air museum includes a re-creation of the local train depot, restored train cars, and railroad memorabilia.
  • Desert Breeze Railroad Express. Located in Desert Breeze Park, this replica of an 1880s engine offers rides around the park in open-air coaches. After the train ride, visitors can enjoy an antique carousel with over 30 ponies. The train runs on weekends from Labor Day through Memorial Day.

Sports

The Phoenix metropolitan area is a sports fan’s dream. Cheer on the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks, or the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. WNBA fans can see the Phoenix Mercury and if indoor football is your thing, catch the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers. Soccer fans support the United Soccer League’s Phoenix Rising FC.

The area also hosts the Fiesta Bowl, the PGA’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, and NASCAR events. In March, baseball fans can catch some of their favorite stars at Cactus League Spring Training where 15 teams train and play.

Golf

Although golf is a sport, we’ve isolated it into its own category because it’s a major pastime of so many Arizona residents. If you’re a golfer moving to Chandler, you’ll want to know about:

  • San Marcos Golf Course at the Crowne Plaza Phoenix Chandler Golf Resort
  • Whirlwind Golf Club
  • Ocotillo Golf Resort
  • Bear Creek Golf Complex (2 courses)
  • Ironwood Golf Club
  • Lone Tree Golf Club
  • Sunbird Golf Club
  • Springfield Golf Resort

Schools and Universities

Chandler’s 42,252 students attend 30 schools in the Chandler Unified District (CUD). Chandler public schools spend $6,894 per student, well below the average US school expenditure of $12,383, although many of the CUD schools are highly rated. The student-teacher ratio is 19:1. According to state test scores, 57% of students are at least proficient in math and 57% in reading. Niche.com named Chandler CUD the number one school system in the Phoenix area and the number three school system in Arizona.

The best schools in the district, all rated 10/10 by greatschools.org include Knox Gifted Academy, Chandler Traditional Academy Liberty Campus, Chandler Traditional Academy Independence, Riggs Elementary School, Arizona College Prep Erie Campus, and Arizona College Prep Oakland Campus. Seven additional schools are rated 9/10. If you have school-age children, it will be worthwhile to check the ratings of your neighborhood school on greatschools.org.

Two colleges call Chandler home. Chandler-Gilbert Community College is in the Maricopa County community college system and offers associate degrees as well as certificate programs. International Baptist College and Seminary is a fundamental Baptist Bible college which offers certificate programs, associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral programs in pastoral ministry, missions, music ministry, and Christian education.

Nearby institutions of higher learning include: Arizona State University-Tempe has a student body of 50,320. US News and World Report ranks it number one for large research university innovation. Mesa Community College and Glendale Community College are other Maricopa community colleges with approximately 20,000 students. They offer a wide range of associate degrees and certificate programs.

Benedictine University is a Catholic University in Mesa with a total enrollment of 4,940 students. The university was ranked by US News and World Report and Forbes as one of the top universities in the nation. The University of Phoenix-Arizona offers certificate, associate, bachelor, and master degrees in a variety of disciplines and offers online and classroom options. Grand Canyon University is a private, non-profit, Christian university in Phoenix. The university offers a wide range of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Over 20,000 students attend on-campus and 70,000 online.

Crime

Crime is lower than the national average in Chandler. Bestplaces.net ranks crime on a scale of 1 to 100 where 1 is a low crime rate, and 100 is a high crime rate. For property crime, Chandler is ranked 34.1, near the national average of 35.4. For violent crime, Chandler is ranked 13.2, well below the national average of 22.7.

Utility Providers

Ask your realtor or agent for the names of the utility providers that service your specific address. Make sure you’ve opened your new accounts before your move-in date. You’ll want to make sure you have the power to run your air conditioner if you move to Chandler during the late spring, summer, or early fall months.

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Best Neighborhoods in Chandler, AZ

Here are some of the best communities in Chandler to call home:

Circle G at Riggs Homestead Ranch

Luxurious best describes this small neighborhood of less than a square mile in size. With a population of 2,447, Circle G at Riggs Homestead Ranch has large homes on lots ranging from ¾ acre to more than an acre. The median sale price is $937,000, and the custom estate-style homes range from 3,000 to 7,000 square feet. Many feature chef-style kitchens, lush landscaping, swimming pools, and large patio areas – features than encourage high-quality indoor-outdoor living. Here, rents are surprisingly affordable. The median rent of $782 is likely because this development consists of 196 homes – no apartment complexes. Some homes have casitas that homeowners rent out. Residents’ median household income is $137,400.

Circle G at Riggs Homestead Ranch is located just west of S Gilbert Road, between E Chandler Heights Road and E Riggs Road. If you are commuting to Phoenix or Mesa, you’ll enjoy easy access to I-10 and the Loop 202 Freeway. The neighborhood is quiet, and because it’s exclusively residential, is doesn’t have a nightlife scene. But convenient shopping, medical facilities, golf, and the Price Corridor high-tech community are all close by.

You’ll need to hop in your car to go out to nearby restaurants such as TosCany’s Coal Fired Pizza and The Perch Brewery. Nearby Folley Memorial Park is a favorite with residents. The park features shade trees, a picnic area, playground, a basketball court, softball/baseball fields, and a community pool.

Students attend Jane D. Hull Elementary School, Santan Junior High School, and Basha High School, all highly rated public schools. There are also several private and public charter schools in the area.

Ocotillo

Ocotillo, a golf resort community, surrounds 165 man-made lakes among 2,000 acres. Some neighborhoods within the community are gated, while others are open-access. The area’s scenic surroundings; winding streets; lakefront views; and walking, running, and biking trails make this a desirable area for over 9,000 residents.

Homes, mostly built between 1987 and 2019, are available in a variety of architectural styles and configurations. You can choose from among one and two-story single-family houses, condos, townhomes, or large estates. Homes range between one to six bedrooms, and from 1,000 to 4,600 square feet; many will have unfinished basements. The median home price is $473,474, and the average rental price is $1,951. The median Ocotillo household income is $83,426.

Ocotillo sits between E Queen Creek Road to the north and SW Chandler Heights Road to the south and is well-situated in the Price Corridor. Tree-lined downtown Ocotillo, at the corner of Queen Creek and Price Road, is where the locals go to enjoy trendy bars, cafes, and some well-regarded restaurants. Popular places to eat include the Living Room Wine Café and Lounge, Keegans Grill and The Ocotillo Grill. The Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery is located in this neighborhood and features excellent examples of native American and Southwest art.

Basha Elementary, Bogle Junior High, and Hamilton High School, all top-rated public schools, serve this neighborhood.

Tuscany

This gated community of 950 residents features homes of 3,500 square feet or larger with sale prices that can escalate to over one million dollars; however the median sale price is $675,000. Real estate inventory, as of summer 2019, is low and prices are competitive in this highly-desirable, upscale neighborhood. Most Tuscany homes have pools, hot tubs, and poolside bars amid professionally landscaped grounds. Median rent for the few available units is also high at $1,792. Homes, built in the 1990s, typically have four bedrooms and feature a wide range of styles and periods.

Tuscany is between W Ray Road and N Kyrene Road. The Kyrene Canal Path, which runs through the neighborhood, is a major feature of the area and residents enjoy the popular walking and jogging trail. At its northern end, the trail also connects to the longer Western Canal Path. Popular local restaurants include Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta or Roys Restaurant for elegant sushi and fusion cuisine.

Students attend Kyrene de las Manitas Elementary School 7/10, Kyrene Del Pueblo Middle School 8/10, and Mountain Point High School 8/10.

West Chandler

West Chandler is a larger community of 37,781 residents. You’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of home types in this neighborhood, from single-family homes and apartment complexes to high rises. Most homes, built between 1970 and 1999, consist of from three to five bedrooms. A few homes were built more recently between 2000 and 2019. With a median home price of $313,779, West Chandler is a moderately priced neighborhood. Even though rental prices are 82% higher than other Arizona neighborhoods, West Chandler is very popular with college students. 13% of residents are college students who pay an average rental price of $1,789. The demand for homes is above average, which means home prices will likely rise in 2020.

W Chandler Blvd borders this neighborhood to the north, S Kyrene Road on the west, McClintock Drive on the east, and W Pecos Rd on the south. Desert Breeze Park, with its train ride and carousel, is a popular neighborhood recreation spot. The  Chandler Museum and the local Huhugam Heritage Center are popular spots to visit. The neighborhood is home to many restaurants. Two of the most popular are Stone and Vine for urban Italian food or Rudys Country Store and Barbecue for some of the best barbecue in the area.

Students attend Kyrene De La Mirada School, Kyrene Del Pueblo Middle School, and Paragon Science Academy charter school as well as area private schools.

Fulton Ranch

Tiny Fulton Ranch, with a population of just 93 residents, is located on the south side of Chandler. Luxury single-family homes dot this beautifully landscaped community that features scenic ponds, walking trails, and pocket parks. It also offers easy access to outdoor sports, downtown Chandler, and shopping. You won’t find apartments or condos in Fulton Ranch as it’s mostly a single-family community. The area’s home prices reflect the natural beauty and convenience of Fulton Ranch. The median sale price is $409,700 and the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment, likely a casita on a single-family property, is $861. The median household income in Fulton Ranch is one of the highest in the area at $148,828. Homes are normally large, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Residents can easily reach downtown Chandler on nearby Highway 87. The community is located north of W Chandler Heights Road, south of W Ocotillo Road, west of Route 87, and east of South Pleasant Place. Two major shopping and dining centers – Chandler Fashion Center and the Promenade – are an easy ride away. Locals enjoy BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse at the Chandler Fashion Center or grab a quick breakfast at the First Watch Café.

Outdoor lovers will find lots to do either in or near Fulton Ranch. The neighborhood is close to the San Tan Mountain Regional Park featuring 10,000 acres of fascinating Sonoran Desert landscape. South Mountain Park and Preserve, the largest municipal park in the state, features 51 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. Nearby Snedigar Recreation Center offers soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and a large recreation center that offers classes and hosts community events.

Fulton Elementary, Bogle Junior High, and Hamilton High serve Fulton Ranch. Preschool and private school options are available nearby.

Downtown Chandler

This 12-square mile neighborhood of over 70,000 draws residents and visitors to jobs, shopping, and the charms of the historic central area. You’ll discover a wide range of housing and a variety of activities. The median home price is $320,000 and is still climbing. The average rent is $1,286. If you’re looking for a vibrant, walkable neighborhood that’s full of things to do, you’ll love Downtown. The public areas are tied together with art and thoughtfully planned spaces.

Condos, lofts, townhomes, newer single-family homes, and older two-bedroom bungalows give prospective residents lots of home choices. In addition to the walkability of Downtown, free shuttles are available from four parking garages – handy for those evenings you’re out sampling craft brews or signature cocktails. Farmers market, weekly cultural events, and friendly neighbors make Downtown a great choice.

Surrounded by freeways, Central Chandler is super convenient for commuters. State Route 87 runs north-south through the center of Downtown. The Price Corridor, Chandler’s main commercial route, runs parallel with Loop 101 through the area; Orbital Sciences and Bank of America have major offices here.

Chandler Fashion Center is the city’s main retail and dining hub with major department stores, high-end retailers, and a 20-screen theatre. Locals love happy hour at Craft 64 for over 20 craft beers on tap, wine, and wood-fired pizza. The popular DC Steakhouse and Murphy’s Law Irish Pub draw locals and tourists. Local craft brewer SanTan Brewing Company specializes in Southwestern-style ales and is one of the area’s major beer-guzzling destinations.

Students attend Knox Gifted Academy, Chandler Traditional Academy Liberty Campus, Humphrey Willis Junior High, and Chandler High School.

Dobson Estates

Dobson Estates may be small in size and population, but it offers its residents a west-established, attractive neighborhood. Only 282 residents live in Dobson Estates, and the community covers just 0.056 square miles. Most homes in this community are midsize, between three and four bedrooms, and were built between 1979 and 1983. Homes range from one-story ranch styles, two-story stucco traditional homes, condos, and townhouses. The median home price of $340,000 makes it one of the more affordable areas in Chandler. Median rent for a one-bedroom is $953.

Bordered by W Eliot Road on the north, N Alma School Road on the east, W Mesquite Street on the south, and approximately N. Central Drive on the west, Dobson Estates is a few miles northwest of Downtown. With a location between Hwy 101 and Route 87, residents have convenient access for commuting. Popular local eateries include Nanay’s for Filipino cuisine, Masa Sushi & Izakaya for Japanese fare.

Neighborhood schools include Franklin at Alma Elementary, Franklin at Brimhall Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Franklin West Elementary, Summit Academy K-6, and Dobson High School.

Chieftain Village

Chieftain Village is a very small, tiny actually, well-established community of about eight streets with a population of only 173. You’ll be able to choose from cozy, reasonably-priced homes, condos, and townhomes. The median home price is $220,000, and the median rent is $876, making this an attractive community that’s popular with singles, young families, and first-time home buyers.

The neighborhood is bordered on the north and east by S California St, on the west by S Palm Lane, and W Pecos Rd on the south. Located just west of Hwy 87, residents have easy access for commuting and running errands. Locals stop by Farmboy Market for sandwiches, sit down to elegant French fare at Cuisine and Wine, or get upscale Asian food at the Singing Pandas Restaurant and Bar.

Students attend San Marcos Elementary School 5/10, Bogle Junior High 8/10, and Hamilton High School 8/10.

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