Land for Sale in Arizona
Arizona. The name brings to mind vast open spaces, cowboy movies, and a few particular sports teams… but what is it really like there?
More than one big desert
Well, a few of the stereotypes are true. A lot of people do ride horses in Arizona, though hardly ever in the cities. It does get pretty darn hot in the summer, but the winters are mild, and the spring and fall seasons are to die for. It is not just one big desert, either. The north of the state is quite green. While there are a few semi-arid places, those aren’t where people tend to build towns and cities without very good reasons.
But let’s look into all this in detail, to really give you a feel for the state. Only then can you really know if, despite all the Arizona land for sale, Arizona is somewhere you’d actually like to live.
Things to Do
Tourism has been an important industry in the region since before Arizona was a state. There is something to do almost everywhere in the state, and plenty of reasons to explore its more out-of-the-way corners.
Two of the best places to go and things to do in Arizona must include:
The Musical instrument Museum in Phoenix. With more than 6,000 rare and unusual instruments on display and a 300-seat musical theater, the Musical instrument museum is well worth a visit if you are in Phoenix. It has another 10,000 exhibits in storage, so each trip should let you discover something new.
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Located just outside of Tucson, this is more than just an art gallery. Most of the exhibits are outdoors. These include extensive botanical gardens displaying the diverse plant life of the state, an AZA-accredited zoo with plenty of the local animal life on display, a desert museum, a natural history museum, and two art galleries.
Before the region was even known as ‘Arizona,’ it was part of a wide swath of land claimed first by the Spanish in the days of European Imperialism, and then later by Mexico when it broke away from Spain in order to rule itself. The land was ceded to the US from Mexico in 1848, and it became a Territory in 1863. It did not actually become a state until 1912, the last of the contiguous 48 states to do so.
Before all that, of course, the land belonged to the native peoples of the area. The region was, as near as archeologists can tell, first settled by humans between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago. These ‘Paleo-Indians’ had a long and complex history of which we only know a few traces, but by 0 CE or so they had become the ancient people we know today as the Patayan (in the west), the Mogollon, the Sinagua (around the area that would come to be Flagstaff) and the Hohokam, whose territory stretched from the Valley of the Sun to parts of what is now Mexico. By the 16th century (the 1500s CE), most of these civilizations had fallen. Spanish conquerors and explorers found a largely depopulated region dotted with ruined cities and stone fortifications that could certainly be called ‘castles’ in any but the most technical sense.
In fact, the oldest continuously inhabited place in the US is the Hopi village of Oraibi, which was established some time before 1150 CE (and is possibly a great deal older than that).
Many of the descendants of these peoples and others still call the region home. Arizona has the largest per-capita population of Native Americans of any US state, including groups like the Ak Chin, the Cocopah, the Colorado River Indian Tribes, the Yavapai, the Fort Mojave Tribe, the Gila River community, the Havasupai, the Hopi, the Hualapai, the Kaibab Paiute, the Navajo Nation, the Pascua Yaqui, the Quechan, the Pima-Maricopa community at Salt River, the Juan Carlos Apache, the San Juan Paiute, the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Tonto, White Mountain and Yavapai Apache communities, and more.
The origins of the name ‘Arizona’ are actually a bit of a mystery. Some scholars trace the name to the region’s time as a Spanish territory, and say the name means ‘Place of Oaks’ in Basque. Others suggest that it means something like ‘The Place of the New Spring’ in the language of the native Tohono O’odham.
More modern history includes the discovery of copper in the region in 1854. Copper mining became Arizona’s chief industry for more than 100 years, until the advent of refrigeration and air conditioning in the post-WW2 period opened more of the state up to settlement.
After the war, the population of Arizona skyrocketed, and Phoenix became one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Ever since the 1950s, Arizona’s population has been mostly urban and suburban, though there are still plenty of sparsely settled rural areas given over to farming, ranching, and mining, among other activities.
Arizona had a population of just over 6,300,000 as of the last census in 2010, but the population now is estimated to top more than 7,150,000. The population is spread over 113,990 square miles, though most Arizonans live in large cities or towns.
In addition to being one of the largest of the United States by area, it has the highest percentage of that area dedicated to reservations and other types of Indian tribal land.
Most of the state of Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time. Indeed, the only part that does so is the Navajo Nation in the Northeast of the state.
More than 74% of Arizonans speak English as their first and primary language, with Spanish coming in second at 19.5%, Navajo at 1.9%, and only 4.5% of Arizonans reporting another language as their primary.
Arizona Climate & Weather
Arizona Climate & Weather
Again, Arizona is a big place, and it has a very diverse geography. A winter day could see deep snow in the far north of the state, while the southernmost portions enjoy a warm, sunny afternoon. It is famed for being able to produce both the lowest and highest temperatures in the US in a single day a few times a year.
The lowlands of the state are mostly semi-arid or desert, offering very mild winters and hot summers. The northern parts of the state are much greener, though, and have a climate and vegetation more akin to that of Montana.
Overall, November, December, January, and February are the coldest months, with temperatures ranging from 40F to 75F. Frosts are not uncommon, but heavy snowfall is rare. Fall and spring in Arizona are known for warm days and cool nights. June, July, August, and September often see highs between 90F and 120F, though temperatures exceeding 125F have been known in the middle of summer out in the deserts.
The record high temperature in Arizona was 128F, recorded in Lake Havasu City in June of 1994. The lowest recorded temperature in Arizona was in Hawley Lake in January of 1971, when it dropped to -40 (C or F, that is the magic temperature when both systems give the same number).
Arizona has 2 rainy seasons, one in the winter and a ‘monsoon season’ at the end of summer. The average statewide rainfall is only 12.7 inches per year, though. Thunderstorm lovers will enjoy the monsoon season, as brief, torrential lightning storms are common.
Parks & Public Places
Parks & Public Places
Of course, each of Arizona’s cities and towns will have parks and public gathering spaces, and we’ve already highlighted some of the most important state-wide attractions. However, there is plenty left to explore in the Grand Canyon State.
Other important and/or impressive parks and attractions in Arizona include the exposed volcanic cores of
Monument Valley, beautiful Antelope Canyon, the Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River, the Pueblo ruins at the Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Oak Creek Canyon near Flagstaff, Chiricahua National Monument, and more.
Nearby Schools & Colleges
Nearby Schools & Colleges
Arizona has more than 24,000 public high schools, so we could never give them all the attention they deserve.
The number one ranked public high school in Arizona is BASIS Chandler, part of BASIS Charter Schools, Inc. It is also #8 in the nation. It has a 99% graduation rate, and 100% of its students took and passed at least one AP exam. It has a very high minority enrollment, and boasts a College Readiness Index of 100%.
University High School (Tucson) came in second place. It has just over 1,000 students enrolled at any one time, with a 21:1 student to teacher ratio. University High School also has a high proportion of minority students, and a 100% AP participation rate. It currently sits at rank 17 in the US, and #1 in the Tucson Metro Area.
Arizona College Prep (Erie Campus)
has just under 700 pupils most years, with a student to teacher ratio of 22:1. They have an AP participation rate of 94%, and they rank only 133rd in the nation, out of many hundreds of thousands of schools. They are the number one school in the Chandler Unified district, out of some 80 schools.
Top Reasons to Buy Land in Arizona
Top Reasons to Buy Land in Arizona
While there is plenty of cheap land for sale in Arizona, most people don’t move here just for the prices. Arizona land is popular because people want to experience the amazing sunny weather, become part of the state’s many vibrant and diverse cultures, and perhaps because they will never have to shovel their driveways again.
So, in order, the top 10 reasons to move to Arizona (which is exactly why you want to buy land in Arizona) are:
The warm, sunny climate
The happening social scene in cities like Phoenix
The strong economy (Arizona ranks 3rd in the US for job growth)
The low cost of living
Proximity to areas of incredible natural beauty, like Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon
Outdoor sports – Arizona is a paradise for horseback riders, water sports enthusiasts, hunting and fishing enthusiasts, rock climbers, mountain bikers and hikers, just for starters
The low traffic density
The great NBA, NFL, MLB, and hockey teams
The growing popularity of Arizona’s wine country
The retirement possibilities
With people flocking to Arizona in droves, it is a wonder there is still so much land for sale in Arizona. However, it is a huge state – a true ‘big sky country’, and it won’t fill up quickly. Before you make any decisions, visit Arizona for yourself, and see what all the fuss is about. Odds are, you’ll never want to leave.
Are you looking to sell your house in Arizona?
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