6 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Prescott

6 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Prescott

In the middle of Arizona, surrounded by the “Quad City” you will find the city of Prescott. Prescott is a beacon for retirees, former California residents, and fans of warm weather in general. Each year, Prescott attracts new families, students, or anyone looking for a change of pace. And new residents are welcomed into “Everybody’s Hometown” with characteristic earthy good cheer.

Before any big move, however, there are bound to be tons of questions about housing, education, jobs, livability, and just what there is to do in your new city of choice. From the practical logistics to the local cultural specifics, let’s take a look at six things you need to know before moving to Prescott, Arizona.

1. Housing Costs

Plenty of California and New York residents choose to relocate to Arizona for its lower housing prices. A spacious two bedroom family home in the clean Arizona mountain air in Prescott can cost about 30% less on average than a house of the same size in California. The cost of rent is also significantly higher in California or New York than in Arizona in general, and Prescott in particular.

To buy a 2500 square foot home in Prescott will cost you about $600,000; a great deal when compared to the steep $800,000 price tags of a home of the same size in California. The average home value in Prescott, meanwhile, is a cool $257,000, meaning you can live like a king at a fraction of the cost.

2. Tax Breaks

For many former East Coast or West Coast residents, Arizona is a financial safe haven due to its generous tax policies. People who live in California are required to pay nearly double the amount of state income tax as Arizona residents. Individual income tax in Arizona runs at about 4.5%, as opposed to the hefty 9.3% individual income tax rate for Californians. The difference between Arizona and New York tax rates is nearly as high. Residents of New York are required to pay 8.82% income tax.

Property tax is also lower in Arizona, by almost $500, as Arizona property tax runs at $1043 while California’s property tax rate is $1449. And even state sales tax is lower in Arizona, although the difference is not quite as staggering: Californians have to pay 7.25% versus Arizona’s 6.60%.

For recent retirees in particular, these lighter tax rates can make relocating to Arizona an attractive choice, especially given that there is no Arizona state income tax on Social Security benefits.

3. Small Town Community Feel, Modern Amenities

With a population of under 41,000, Prescott is no sprawling metropolis. But for those who want to live in a local community where everyone knows your name, your barista already knows your coffee order when you walk in the local coffee shop in the morning, and you go for regular bicycle rides with your friend, who also happens to be the local physician, then Prescott might be the right place for you.

Living in a small town community doesn’t mean you will be cut off from the rest of the world, however. In addition to all the benefits of a homey, conservative, local downtown, you can still remain well connected to the big, broad world via reliable local high speed internet providers. So for remote workers and digital nomads seeking a change of pace, Prescott serves as a viable option.

4. Great Education

For families considering a move to Prescott, Arizona, there is no more important factor than the quality of the local schools. Luckily, you have your choice of top notch schools to choose from in the Prescott area. Skull Valley, Congress Elementary District, and Owens-Whitney all garnered a perfect ten rating from Zillow, while the nearby Ash Fork Joint Unified District received a highly impressive rating of eight.

Prescott is also a college town that hosts students from around the world. Local colleges attracts alternative, dedicated students interested in pursuing a unique course of study that often combines a broad liberal arts education approach with a focus on environmental concerns. The college campus offers events that bring in the local community, so residents of Prescott can also participate and benefit from the unique cultural programs on offer.

5. The Climate

Arizona is known for being hot, and if you are planning to move to Prescott, you will want to reckon with this fact beforehand. Summertime heat in Arizona can regularly top out at triple digit temperatures, and drivers in Arizona know to avoid purchasing a car with plastic or leather seats- otherwise you might actually melt into your car. Luckily, however, Prescott’s high altitude means that the temperature is somewhat cooler than other parts of the state.

The city is located at 5400 feet above sea level and is surrounded by mountains, so the air up here doesn’t feel as oppressively hot as in nearby Phoenix, which is only one hour’s drive away. In fact, the difference in temperature from Phoenix to Prescott can shift by as much as twenty degrees!

So while you can still drive to Phoenix to enjoy all the attractions and amenities the big city has to offer, your return home will typically be a nice soothing relief from Phoenix’s relentless dry desert heat. You should be prepared to experience the temperature changes of all four seasons in Prescott, however. Since Prescott is high up in the mountains, most winters here you will see some snow.

6. Local Activities, History, and Culture

Prescott offers plenty of local activities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy fun activities like bicycle riding, golfing, and hiking in the local mountains and deserts. The Prescott National Forest offers visitors a chance to experience what the local area was like way back when pioneers were panning for gold in Lynx Creek. The Sonoran desert, meanwhile, presents hikers with the possibility of encountering unique desert plants and creatures. Just remember to take care and don’t poke the rattlesnakes!

For a taste of local culture, residents can visit the Sharlot Hall Museum or the Phippen Art Museum in Downtown Prescott. For a respectful educational experience, residents can visit the nearby Yavapai-Prescott tribe reservation, to learn about this local Native American tribe’s ongoing lifestyle and traditions. And Prescott residents can always look forward to the popular annual events like Territorial Days, Frontier Days, the folk arts festival, and the World’s Oldest Rodeo.

Everybody’s Hometown

Whether you are drawn to the financial benefits of living in Prescott or attracted to the natural beauty in the area, Prescott truly has something to offer every resident. Walk down the streets of downtown Prescott, past red brick buildings, local businesses, elm trees, and friendly faces, and chances are that you, like most Prescott residents, will once again think about how lucky you are to call Prescott home.

 To learn more about the Prescott, Arizona real estate market contact Mike Eastwood CEO of West USA Realty of Prescott at 928-636-1500 or visit us at www.westusaofprescott.com and Mike will introduce you to one of his professional real estate agents. If you like to search on your own, download the FREE home search app http://app.westusa.com/WUSAT1M   or stop by and visit us at https://goo.gl/maps/4y1zgMPaUTbgwcRL6 #Prescottrealestate #Prescotthomes #Prescottland #Prescottvalleyrealestate #Prescottvalleyhomes #Prescottvalleyland #Chinovalleyrealestate #Chinovalleyhomes #Chinovlaaelland #Arizonarealestate #Arizonahomes