Review of Flagstaff, Arizona


Some Honest Thoughts on Flag.
Star Rating - 4/23/2019
Lived here for 1 year, and don't think it will be a final landing spot. It depends on what you are looking for.
PROS:
-Clean Air
-No massive superfund sites or radon issues (some, but very minor, do your homework before moving to the Denver area folks)
-Nice Weather, very mild seasons compared to other places I have lived
-Beautiful views
-Grand Canyon, San Francisco Peaks, Sedona, etc. all out your back door
-Short commutes
-Nice people
-Decent trail system
-Mountain Biking
-Shooting ranges
-Skiing (both cross country and downhill)
-Fairly Quiet
-Dark Skies Compliant (Beautiful Night Skies, Seriously)
-Decent Snow (If you like snow!) and it melts quickly
-Beautiful monsoon season and wildflowers
-Fun Holiday events
-Arizona has very low income and property tax compared to other places we have lived

CONS:
-No water. Lake Powell is over 2 hours away, Lake Mary is more of a storage tank for the city drinking water, it's muddy, and you can't eat the fish if you are lucky enough to catch because of high mercury content.
-Expensive, our house was almost half a million for a basic 3/2 but we didn't want to live in Phoenix. Thinking we can sell in a few years and go somewhere cheaper.
-Many of our neighbors are second/vacation homes which is good and bad
-Many homeowners (in the non HOA areas) do not maintain their properties
-The HOA neighborhoods are ridiculously expensive, one of them is over $800/month. Seems to keep everything a 2-tier society
-Bad infrastructure - the traffic in the winter near the ski resort is terrible, all the cars funnel into one intersection, one main road, and NAU traffic is a disaster. Roads are not maintained well
-Litter. People from Phoenix come play in the snow, clog up the roads, and leave litter everywhere. We have been trying to clean it up but the county/city need to step it up
-Homeless people: there are constant bums wandering around our town, bathing in the public library bathrooms, etc. Our recent headlines have included fatal stabbings, shootings, a police officer suicide, vandalism, bodies dumped in canals, etc. It's relatively quiet compared to Phoenix, but much more riff-raff than we were expecting for a smaller community. We have reported bums living in the woods near our home and people "permanently camping." in RVs on forest service land.
-Limited public parks, lots of bums in said parks. Buffalo Park is the one good exception.
-Limited daycare and healthcare options
-Limited decent church options, lots of non-traditional folks which is a Pro or a Con depending on your preferences
-High Sales Tax
-Crowded grocery stores and don't even attempt to go to the Wal-Marts
-Limited Health Club options
-College town and transient/non-permanent for a lot of people
-Public schools in Arizona are ranked very low nationwide, not sure how the schools are here but the facilities seem very run down
-Do your homework about sex offenders before moving into a neighborhood. We were happy that we did.
Mandy | Flagstaff, AZ
Reply to this Comment

4 Replies


I’ve owned homes in Flagstaff on and off for 25 years. I think your review is very balanced, with one exception: cost of living. First, I’ve been shopping for a winter home in Phoenix for about the last 18 months. To my surprise I’m finding that a quality home in a decent part of the Phoenix metro is about the same price per foot as an equivalent house in a decent Flagstaff neighborhood. Property taxes, however are much higher in the Phoenix metro than Flagstaff. Likewise for annual utilities. Five years ago this wasn’t the case, but a lot of western alternative cities have taken a wild ride on the inflation train. To me, Flagstaff is starting to look like a bargain.
Brian | Flagstaff, AZ | Report Abuse

What a great and helpful review on Flagstaff, AZ. So many real life issues addressed, so politely. As someone also looking to relocate, I have considered Flagstaff, but not now. Those are the issues I am running from. I'm thinking of Reno, NV.
Nancy | Hollister, CA | Report Abuse

Mandy, What a great and helpful review on Flagstaff, AZ. So many real life issues addressed, so politely. As someone also looking to relocate, I have considered Flagstaff, but not now. Those are the issues I am running from. I'm thinking of Reno, NV.
Nancy | Hollister, CA | Report Abuse

Yes... very nice review! Thank you for painting a good, but also fair, picture. I've been considering the Flag for retirement for many years... but yours and other reviews have caused me to lower it to maybe #12 on my candidate list.
John | Seaside, CA | Report Abuse
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