If you’re interested in warm weather, job opportunities, and diversity, then you might want to consider a move to the American Southwest. We understand its appeal – and if you’re planning to relocate there, so do you.
One city that’s getting a lot of attention lately is Chandler, Arizona. Those planning a move to the Arizona desert will want some information – and we’re here to help.
About Chandler, Arizona
Chandler is a medium-sized city located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It’s considered a suburb of Phoenix, and it borders that city on its western side. As of 2016, the estimated population is 247,328.
The city’s history dates to the 1890s, when a veterinary surgeon – the area’s first – settled in the Mesa valley to study irrigation engineering. By 1900, he owned 18,000 acres and had drawn up plans for a town. The townsite office opened officially in 1912, and the city celebrated its centennial in 2012.
In the early days, population growth was slow. That may have been because jobs were limited, but the hot weather likely played a role, too. However, since the 1990s, when several large companies opened sites in Phoenix and the surrounding areas, the population of Chandler has boomed, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States.
Education in Chandler
Do you have children – or do you plan to have them? If so, you’ll want to know something about Chandler’s schools.
Most of Chandler is served by the Chandler Unified School District. However, some areas are serviced by the Kyrene Elementary School District, the Tempe High School District, the Mesa Public Schools, and the Gilbert Public Schools.
Public schools in the Chandler city limits include:
- 25 elementary schools
- 6 junior high schools
- 4 comprehensive high schools
- 3 alternative schools
There are also several private schools in Chandler, including Arizona College Prep and several religious schools.
If you are interested in higher education, you’ll be happy to know that Chandler is home to Chandler-Gilbert Community College, International Baptist College, and Chandler University. Chandler is only 14 miles from the campus of Arizona State University, located in nearby Tempe.
A Desert Climate
It’s impossible to talk about the Arizona desert without talking about the weather. Many people are drawn here because of the sunshine and warmth. There’s certainly plenty of both, but the good weather doesn’t come without its downsides, too.
The first thing you need to know is that Chandler is in the desert. The climate is both arid and hot. While the average rainfall in the United States is 39 inches, Chandler gets only nine inches of precipitation per year. That makes Chandler one of the driest locations in the United States.
If you like sunny weather, you’re in luck. Chandler gets a whopping 297 days of sunshine per year, far more than the national average. However, many of those days are uncomfortably hot. Winters here are mild, with an average low of 41 degrees. Summer temperatures frequently soar above 100 degrees, and the average July high temperate is 105 Fahrenheit.
This part of Arizona has a rainy season, which they sometimes refer to as monsoon season. Most of the area’s rainfall occurs in the winter months. Flooding is sometimes an issue because when it rains, it tends to be intense and can overwhelm the city’s drainage system.
Those moving from cooler climates should get used to wearing sunglasses and sunscreen and carrying water with them. It’s easy to get overheated during the summer, and natives know to take precautions to prevent heat exhaustion.
The Cost of Living in Chandler
As you plan your move, you might wonder how much it will cost to live in Chandler. The good news is that in most areas, Chandler’s cost of living is close to the national average.
Let’s start with housing. As is often the case, housing costs are the single biggest driver of expenses. Housing in Chandler is about 43% higher than the national average. Those moving from big coastal cities will probably find the prices here to be reasonable; those coming from rural areas may experience some sticker shock as they search for housing.
The good news is that other expenses here are low in comparison. Prices for groceries, healthcare, and utilities are all slightly below average. The one exception is transportation costs, which is slightly higher than the national average, but only by about 1%.
We want to note that public transportation in this area is existent but not spectacular. Getting around is certainly easier with a car than it is without one. There is bus service and some train service, but if you’re moving from a place with excellent public transit, you’re likely to be disappointed by what’s available.
Overall, this is a reasonably affordable place to live. If you can find housing that’s affordable, your other expenses should come as no surprise.
Check out our other blog post, discussing police and law enforcement jobs in Chandler, Arizona.
Planning Your Move
Planning a relocation takes time and effort. Packing and organization can be a full-time job, and then you must also hire movers or rent a truck, and make arrangements for your new home.
For obvious reasons, you’ll want to do as much ahead of time as you can. That includes calling utility companies and a host of other things. We do recommend booking a moving company or moving truck as soon as possible. Waiting until the last minute might make it difficult to get what you need.
Here are some links you may find helpful.
Arizona Public Service Electric Company (electricity)
Salt River Project (power and water)
Southwest Gas (natural gas)
City of Chandler (water)
Xfinity (cable and internet)
Comcast (cable and internet)
You’ll also need to register your vehicle as quickly as possible if you’re moving to Chandler from another state. To do that, you will probably need to pass an emissions test and you’ll also need to secure liability insurance for your vehicle. At the same time, you should get an Arizona driver’s license and register to vote.
Culture & Entertainment in Chandler
Outdoor activities are plentiful in Chandler, which makes sense given the sunny weather and lack of precipitation. Let’s start with the city’s parks. In total, Chandler has 65 parks, many of which have playgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, and other amenities. There are also a number of recreation centers, including swimming pools, golf courses, and community centers.
Chandler is home to a railway museum and an environmental education center. The Chandler Center for the Arts features plays, musical performances, ballet, and educational exhibits. The center has several programs for kids, including a summer camp and regular performances. The city prides itself on offering a wide array of entertainment here, and you’re sure to find something for the whole family.
If you like eating out, Chandler has several world-class restaurants. Many feature local ingredients and highlight Southwest cuisine. As you might expect, high-quality Mexican food is abundant here.
It’s worth mentioning, too, that Chandler is within easy driving distance of Phoenix and that city’s attractions. Phoenix has a world-class zoo and a wonderful botanical garden. Museums include a musical instrument museum, a children’s museum and a fine art museum. Those interested in Native American culture won’t want to miss the Heard Museum, a small but carefully-curated collection of native artifacts and history.
Sports fans will note that Phoenix is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. Phoenix is a popular training destination for many Major League teams, too. The Phoenix Suns are here if you like basketball, and the Arizona Cardinals have their stadium in nearby Glendale.
As you prepare to make your move from your current location to sunny Chandler, Arizona, we hope that you’ll find the information we’ve included here to be helpful. When you arrive, Chandler’s sunny weather and friendly people will be waiting to greet you!