So you’re new to town. One of the first questions anyone has is naturally, “What areas do I avoid?” Well, since Ice-T lives in Chandler, just don’t go near his house. Kidding- I’m sure “Ice” is a very nice, reasonable man. Who happens to be the writer of a song called “Cop Killer.” But doesn’t he also play a cop on Law and Order? You’ll be fiiine.
Intel employs the most Chandler citizens of any employer in the city. Several high-technology manufacturing firms (Orbital Sciences Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor) also setup shop in Chandler and actually employ 25% percent of all workers in the city. For this reason, a lot of transplants who came from out of state to work in Phoenix or thereabouts, end up renting a place in Chandler to further their careers. To illustrate how plain it is, Forbes magazine voted it one of the most boring cities in America 2 years ago. Think of it as a rest stop on the way to a better job/living arrangement five or so years in the future. And that’s not to say anything negative about Chandler, but it’s more of a temporary destination than a final one. Sort of like how your five minute “debut” in Girls Gone Wild a couple years ago was just temporary until your “acting career” took off. Welcome to Chandler! We’re glad you’re here!
This will obviously determine the kind of apartments you can expect to find in Chandler, or anywhere for that matter. For a 1 bedroom place in Chandler, anticipate spending a minimum of $620 to $650 a month rent for an apartment with anywhere from 650 to 700 square feet. But for instance, say you are looking for a 2 bedroom with a price range of $850 to $1000 per month (average median rent in Chandler is just over $1,000 per month); Chandler is loaded with apartments of this ilk and generally a dollar in rent translates to about one square foot of apartment space. That amount of money will get you a nice place in a good, clean part of town (which the whole town is, excluding downtown) with access to strip malls, shopping and any other convenience that you could expect to find in a suburb of a major city.
Availability of apartments in Chandler is never really a concern because there are so many around to house the tech-workers who cycle in and out. Residents are generally only in a space for a year or two; no one is renting an apartment and living there for ten years. A 12-month lease is the standard, but in case you just want to get your feet wet and see what Chandler is like, there is no shortage of “Temporary Housing” i.e. apartments or houses you can rent for a month or two. The town is primarily comprised of young professionals that are renting, or young professionals who work in Phoenix but didn’t want to overpay for a house in Phoenix. There’s a reason why the “median resident age” is just over 31 years old.
One of the areas that sorely lacks in and around Chandler is reliable public transportation. In fact, most locals don’t rely on it because it just really isn’t that great. Having a car is just about the only way to get around with any predictability. The City of Chandler just recently announced budget cuts will reduce the level of service from now until January of 2012, so don’t expect the public transportation option to improve any time soon.
One thing you must know about Chandler (and Arizona in general), especially if you’re a 20 or 30 something, (which the majority of the population is) is that it’s the home of the “Super Extreme DUI,” sort of like how Burger King is the home of the “Whopper”. Even though “Super Extreme DUI” sounds like Judd Apatow’s latest movie offering, it isn’t.
A “Super Extreme DUI” is if a drunk driver’s blood alcohol level is above .200 (“Whoa, how many Apple Pucker shots did you take, braaah??”) it carries a minimum jail term of 30 days. So just be smart, and don’t drink and drive, not like you would anyway, but since DUI laws vary so much from state to state it’s something to be aware of.
Chandler is good place to settle down if you’re trying to avoid the big city rush of Phoenix. The rent is reasonable and the living spaces are many, it’s just up to you to choose what area really fits you most. You really can’t go wrong, regardless of your decision.