Nestled in the heart of the vibrant Phoenix metropolitan area, Chandler, AZ presents itself as an attractive and thriving community. With a unique blend of modern amenities, convenient location, and a robust list of things to do, it’s no wonder that many individuals consider Chandler as their potential home. But is Chandler, AZ a good place to live for you?
In this Redfin article, we delve into the pros and cons of living in Chandler, exploring the aspects that make it a sought-after destination and the considerations to contemplate before calling this city home. Whether you’re thinking about moving into an apartment in Chandler, AZ, or a house in the city, we interviewed several locals about the major pros and cons of living in Chandler to help you decide if this city is a good place to call your next home.
Pros of living in Chandler, AZ
1. Cost of living
Chandler, AZ is known for its affordable cost of living, making it an appealing destination for residents. Beyond its picturesque landscapes and vibrant community, Chandler offers a reasonable expense for housing, utilities, and everyday necessities. The housing market in Chandler provides a diverse range of options, from budget-friendly apartments to more spacious homes, accommodating various lifestyles. In fact, the median sale price for homes in Chandler, AZ was $540,000 in November 2023. While this figure exceeds the national median sale price by about $130,000, the unparalleled quality of neighborhoods and amenities in Chandler makes it a compelling choice for prospective homeowners.
Additionally, the city’s commitment to maintaining a balance between economic growth and affordability makes it an attractive choice for those seeking a cost-effective yet vibrant living experience in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area.
2. Things to do
“One of the best parts about living in Chandler is visiting Merchant Square for a fantastic and charming shopping experience,” says local color consultant, blogger, and speaker, Tabitha Dumas. “Adjacent to it is the American Way Market, where you can indulge in the town’s best barbecue and savor the tastiest Tattered Aprons cookies. Additionally, each month you can enjoy the unique offerings of the Highland Yard Vintage market located behind them. It’s the perfect ‘ladies day out’ and it supports hundreds of local artists, makers, and creatives, all in one spot. It’s one of the coolest places in the state of Arizona right in our backyard.”
“Chandler offers a diverse range of activities for residents,” states Downtown Chandler Community Partnership. “You can catch a live performance at the Chandler Center for the Arts, where a variety of cultural events and artistic displays unfold. For those in the mood for laughter, the Mic Drop Mania Comedy Club is a popular choice, providing an evening filled with humor and entertainment. If you’re looking to unleash your creativity, consider a Paint and Sip session at Burst of Butterflies, where you can enjoy artistry alongside a relaxed atmosphere. Downtown Chandler also features live music seven days a week, spread across various locations throughout downtown, ensuring that there’s always something musical to enjoy in this vibrant community.”
“Closer to South Mountain, avid outdoor enthusiasts can explore a network of bike trails, offering a scenic and active way to appreciate the natural beauty of the area,” shares Feringhee Modern Indian Cuisine, a local restaurant specializing in diverse Indian cuisine through the infusion of modern gastronomy techniques and novel flavors. “If you’re seeking a more rugged adventure, the majestic Superstition Mountain stands as an enticing destination, beckoning with its awe-inspiring landscapes and hiking opportunities.”
They go on to say, “The Premium Outlet and Chandler Fashion Center provide an endless shopping experience. Whether you’re in pursuit of high-end brands at discounted prices or the latest fashion trends, these shopping destinations cater to a variety of tastes and preferences. From boutique stores to well-known brands, these centers offer a diverse array of options for a fulfilling and enjoyable shopping spree.”
“Tumbleweed Park in Chandler is renowned for hosting the Ostrich Festival, making it one of the best events in the area,” states Feringhee Modern Indian Cuisine. “The festival offers a vibrant and entertaining atmosphere, bringing together a myriad of attractions, activities, and performances suitable for all ages. With its lively ambiance, diverse food options, and a range of family-friendly experiences, the Ostrich Festival at Tumbleweed Park has become a standout annual celebration that promises lasting memories.”
3. The restaurant scene
“The food scene in Downtown Chandler is incredible,” states Rebecca Hill, CEO and executive director of Downtown Chandler Community Partnership. “We take pride in fostering a community of locally owned and operated businesses, ensuring that our entertainment district is free from chain establishments. Our array of restaurants and bars is committed to serving fresh, craft food, and cocktails. Downtown is not just a location; it’s an immersive experience where you can opt for a laid-back outing or elevate your night out. Among the highlights is our beer trail, featuring nine downtown breweries. Personal favorites include the sophisticated Elliott’s Steakhouse, the renowned DC Steakhouse, and the exquisite Mediterranean/Seafood restaurant, Acqua Di’ Mar. For those seeking a more casual atmosphere, we recommend popular spots like SanTan Brewing Company, Wing Wednesday at Murphy’s Law Irish Pub, Charm Thai, and, for a sweet treat, Crispy Cones.”
“Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta is the Little Italy of Italian comfort food right in Arizona,” explains Nicolette Kay, owner of Semi-Budget Travel, offering budget-conscious travel recommendations. “Shimogamo Restaurant serves up some of the most authentic Japanese cuisine this side of Tokyo. And, don’t miss the gourmet tacos and queso at urban taqueria Ghett Yo Taco.”
“Chandler is home to the fantastic Mexican restaurant known as Rita’s Burritos, known for their wonderful food,” shares Steve Chadwick Photography. “Owners Darcy and Gilbert are active in the community and love to engage with restaurant-goers. Actively involved in community initiatives, they often lend a hand behind the scenes, particularly in supporting first responders with nourishing meals.”
4. The neighborhoods
Chandler boasts a diverse array of neighborhoods, each contributing to the city’s unique character. From the tree-lined streets of historic districts like the Chandler Original Township to the modern developments in areas like Ocotillo and Fulton Ranch, the city offers a spectrum of living experiences. Chandler Heights and South Chandler provide spacious suburban living, while Downtown Chandler exudes a vibrant urban energy with its mix of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. The neighborhoods in Chandler are not just residential areas; they are vibrant communities that cater to various lifestyles, making the city a dynamic and appealing place to call home.
“Fulton Ranch, nestled in South Chandler, offers residents more than just a place to live,” shares Feringhee. “This picturesque neighborhood is an ideal setting for beautiful walks and runs, with well-maintained pathways and green spaces enhancing the overall aesthetic. Fulton Ranch provides a welcoming environment for residents of all ages and the community’s thoughtful planning and amenities blend comfort and leisure.”
Escape Chandler, an escape room entertainment venue, explains why the Ocotillo neighborhood is their favorite. “The Ocotillo area is a picturesque retreat with lush greenery, flowers, and tranquility, complemented by a beautiful golf course. Fulton Ranch, nestled within, features stunning homes seamlessly integrated into the natural beauty, creating a perfect backdrop for beautiful photo ops.”
5. The convenient location
Chandler’s location is a key highlight, as it sits conveniently in a central part of the Phoenix Metro Area. Whether you reside in the heart of Chandler or its outskirts, quick access to major highways traversing Phoenix is a distinct advantage. This makes commuting into the city for work or enjoying suburban living equally feasible. For frequent travelers, the airport is readily accessible, and navigating the west, predominantly by car, is effortlessly facilitated by the nearby highway network.
“For a weekend getaway, just hit the road to Tucson, AZ,” suggests Nicolette Kay, owner of Semi-Budget Travel. “It’s close enough for a quick trip, but packs in enough activities to feel like a real vacation, with its historic downtown, Saguaro National Park, and an equally exciting food scene.”
“Chandler is an incredible place to live if you’re looking for varied climates,” says Escape Chandler. “A few hours north and you’re in our favorite northern city, Pinetop/Lakeside, where you can enjoy the snow. Head west for the hustle of San Diego, CA, East to quaint and quirky Bisbee, AZ, and South to Rocky Point, a great beach town in Mexico with lots of music, drinks, and great Mexican food. All are great weekend trips by car from Chandler.”
Cons of living in Chandler, AZ
1. HOA fees
The well-maintained appearance of many neighborhoods in Chandler can be attributed to the implementation of Homeowners Association (HOA) regulations. These associations establish guidelines, acting as a set of “ground rules” for all residents. HOAs define expectations, ranging from the placement of mailboxes to landscaping details and even the permitted colors for roofing on homes. While the stringency of regulations varies, the overarching purpose is to ensure the satisfaction of all residents by maintaining a cohesive and well-kept community ambiance. Given that HOA oversight extends to communal elements like sidewalks, these associations often involve higher fees, contributing to a continuous pool of funds to uphold the pristine condition of shared spaces.
As Arizona’s population continues to surge, the once idyllic oasis towns in the desert are losing their sense of exclusivity, absorbing individuals from across the nation. As individuals seek refuge from pricier coastal states, charming neighborhoods surrounding Phoenix become the ideal choice for establishing a home base. Proximity to the city, spacious accommodations, and family-friendly amenities make these suburbs a tempting option for those fatigued by big city life. However, for newcomers, especially those arriving from densely populated areas like Los Angeles, the perceived crowding in Chandler might feel relatively sparse compared to their previous urban experiences.
3. Longer commute times
The increasing population has resulted in heightened traffic congestion. The growing number of residents translates to more vehicles on the road, inevitably prolonging commute times for individuals working both within and outside the city limits. Particularly during peak hours like morning and evening rush hour, travel times are steadily on the rise each year. Despite not covering vast distances in terms of mileage, residents may find themselves dedicating more time to commuting than initially expected when choosing Chandler as their new home.
Similar to the crowding concern, if you’re relocating from an area with notoriously heavy traffic, the situation in Chandler may not appear overly burdensome. Nevertheless, for long-term residents, the issue is progressively worsening. It’s essential to acknowledge that every pro has its cons, and while the worsening traffic might be a drawback, many believe that the numerous advantages Chandler presents far surpass the slight inconvenience of spending a bit more time commuting to access its wonderful amenities.
Is Chandler, AZ a good place to live? Final thoughts
Living in Chandler, AZ entails a blend of pros and cons, much like any other place. The city boasts a multitude of amenities that draw in a diverse population, with many residents believing that the benefits of living in Chandler far exceed any drawbacks. If you appreciate affordable housing, a strategic location, and an abundance of entertainment choices, Chandler might be the perfect match for you.