The Cost of Living in Tucson, Arizona: What You Need to Know
Tucson, Arizona, is a city that prides itself on its mild winters, sun-drenched days, and mountain vistas. But before you decide to call it home, it’s essential to understand the city’s cost of living. Whether you’re retired or looking for work, single or have a family, understanding the expenses of living in Tucson will help you make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the cost of living in Tucson, Arizona, and what it might mean for you.
One of the primary expenses of living in Tucson is housing. The median home value in Tucson is around $202,000, with most homes costing between $150,000 and $300,000. Home prices vary significantly depending on the location, size, and age of the home. For instance, the Downtown area is expensive, with a median home value of around $369,000. In contrast, suburbs like Rita Ranch or Vail have a lower median home value of around $250,000. Rent is also variable, with a one-bedroom apartment costing around $850 per month in the city center and around $650 further from the city center.
Utilities like electricity, gas, and water are essential, and the utility bills in Tucson are relatively affordable. A typical monthly electric bill ranges between $100 and $150 per month, depending on the size of your home or utilities you use. Meanwhile, the average cost of water, sewer, and trash ranges between $80 and $120 per month, depending on the number of people in the household.
If you are looking to save expenses on transportation, then Tucson is a good place for you. The city has a well-established bus service known as Sun Tran, which provides public transportation throughout the city. A one-way ticket costs $1.75, whereas a monthly bus pass costs around $50. However, if you own a car, you can expect to spend around $200 per month on gas, which is typically more than what most people spend on transportation.
Healthcare is an important aspect to consider while living in a new place. Tucson has many hospitals and medical facilities, including the Tucson Medical Center, Banner University Medical Center Tucson, and Northwest Medical Center. The quality of care varies depending on the facility you choose to visit. However, traditionally Tucson’s healthcare costs are much lower as compared to other cities of the United States, with lower insurance premiums and co-payments.
Grocery expenses can always vary depending on an individual’s eating habits and preferences. Tucson’s average cost for groceries is somewhat lower than the national average, which is a good thing if you are concerned about the expenses. For instance, the average cost of a loaf of bread is around $2.50, whereas a gallon of milk costs around $2.90. Meanwhile, the cost of a dozen eggs is around $2.50, and a pound of chicken costs around $4.20.
Tucson has plenty of affordable entertainment options. Residents can enjoy hiking in the nearby mountains, movies at the drive-in theatre, or festivals in the downtown area. The University of Arizona also offers a range of cultural events, concerts, and art shows at its many venues. Local residents can enjoy dining out in the mid-range restaurants for an average cost of around $15-$20 per person. Tucson Botanical Gardens, Reid Park Zoo, and the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium also offer reasonably-priced entertainment options for individuals and families.
Another important aspect to consider when calculating the cost of living in Tucson is taxes. Sales tax in Pima County, where Tucson is located, is around 8.1%, which is a bit higher than the national average. The property tax rate in Tucson can also vary depending on the location and value of your home. However, traditionally Tucson’s property taxes are relatively low as compared to other cities of the United States, with a 0.688% on the home’s assessed value.
In conclusion, the cost of living in Tucson is relatively moderate as compared to other cities. Housing, transportation, and healthcare are relatively affordable, whereas the cost for entertainment, groceries, and taxes is also reasonable. Although the prices may fluctuate depending on the location or individual preferences, Tucson is a great place to live for those who are concerned about their expenses. Whether you are looking for a city-centered life or a suburban lifestyle, Tucson has something to offer.