Summer in Scottsdale feels like summer in a wok. It is hot. And then more hot. The average daily temperature from June through September is over 100 degrees. Unless you are a mutant, you will use air conditioning, and lots of it. Every unit should have AC in some form, but you’ll want to be doubly sure that it is adequate. You’ll also want to pay extra attention to which utilities are or are not included in your rental agreement. If you are paying your own utilities, and you probably will be, request to see your unit’s power bills for the past couple years so you can calculate your true out of pocket cost per month.
In the greater Phoenix area, there are no clearly visible boundaries between cities. Phoenix, Glendale, Tempe, Scottsdale- they can all blend together, especially to new residents. We think a simple rule of thumb for gauging where you are in Scottsdale is thinking in terms of north and south.
South Scottsdale borders Tempe, home to Arizona State University, and the further south you go in Scottsdale, the more the city takes on the character of its college town neighbor. You’ll find more apartment complexes and simple condos with a residency consisting mostly of students and the youngish, working class demographics. If you’re more record shop than wine bar, this is your part of Scottsdale.
If you’re looking to rent in this part of Scottsdale, though, be sure to compare rents with similar apartments just over the border in Tempe. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to tell where Scottsdale ends and Tempe begins for dozens of blocks in any direction, but you may get charged a few bucks extra just for the perceived prestige of a Scottsdale address.
South Scottsdale is also a good place to consider if you are looking for a flexible agreement. Landlords are more accustomed to a transient student rental pool and may accommodate a month-to-month lease or more creative terms of your choice. The same can’t be said about the north, unfortunately.
Locals sometimes say that if Tempe is for students, Scottsdale is for graduates. And apparently, the further north you go in Scottsdale, the further the graduates have advanced in their careers. The north is what gives Scottsdale its reputation for exclusivity. Sometimes coveted, sometimes derided as “Snotsdale,” this is the posh part of town.
Old With the Old, In With the…Old
Scottsdale’s Old Town area is a major draw. Think of it as somewhere between an Old West reenactment zone and an open-air mall. And while the desert landscape painting galleries, hitching posts, and wagon wheel chandeliers may strike a rather faux feel at times, this is not strictly a tourist trap. Once you learn the lay of the land, you’ll find neighborhood shops and a place to watch the ballgame with locals, too. Most Scottsdale apartments offer some kind of parking, but you’ll want to be extra sure if you rent here. Old Town is abuzz evenings and weekends all year round. As far as the type of apartment to look for, you best bets in “Old Town,” ironically, are newer condos and lofts. The older accommodations have a reputation for being substandard.
Gorgeous River or Icky Canal?
The Scottsdale Waterfront area, north of Old Town, pitches itself as a glamorous hotspot with high end shops and restaurants; and to a degree, it is exactly that. Reviews from the locals are mixed, however, and sales and rentals of the numerous luxury condos built in this area stalled after an initial burst of interest. In short, it is polarizing, so if you’re considering renting here, hang out, shop and have dinner a few times before taking the plunge.
Want to live on a golf course? Yes? Then come on down! McCormick Ranch is mostly residential. This is a potential area for bargains if you are patient. And by bargain, we mean that relatively for Scottsdale, of course.
The New Old
Some are already calling this the new Old Town. It doesn’t have as many hitching posts, but it does have just as much shopping. Don’t miss the spa options, either. The rents around here are climbing, though, so be prepared.
A good mix of the residential and commercial, Gainey Ranch has seen an uptick in popularity recently. It may be a good option if you want to pay a little less than in Kierland, but want more to do than in McCormick.
We said it once and we’ll say it again, if you’re moving to Scottsdale, you’re most likely in the money. Now get out there and find a great spot to enjoy the smooth, financial sailing. Enjoy your stay in the West’s Most Western Town! We’re positive you will.