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Pros And Cons Of Living In Sierra Vista, AZ

Located in southern Arizona, Sierra Vista is a quiet town that offers a peaceful way of life.

However, before choosing any place to live, it’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons of the place and decide which factors are the most important to you.

Welcome to sierra vista green road sign
Welcome to sierra vista green road sign

Key Takeaways

  • Sierra Vista offers a low cost of living and a low crime rate.
  • A declining population makes for fewer job and social opportunities.
  • The area’s weather is beautiful and warm for most of the year.
  • Sierra Vista’s small-town feel is cozy and welcoming but leads to a lack of nightlife and entertainment.
  • Wide open natural spaces offer many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
  • Sierra Vista is located less than two hours from Tucson but is close to the Mexican border.

Cost of Living

One of the biggest benefits of living in Sierra Vista is that you won’t spend too much money on rent, a mortgage, utilities, or necessities, as the cost of living is well below the national average.

A single person can expect to spend about $650 per month on living expenses, not including rent. The average cost of a home is about $260,000. Rent is also quite inexpensive.

A three-bedroom apartment averages about $1,300 per month, while a one-bedroom apartment is only about $660 per month.

Crime Rate

Sierra Vista is only about 20 miles from the Mexican border, so many people imagine that the crime rate is high. However, the opposite is true. Sierra Vista has a relatively low crime rate.

The most common crimes are property crimes, including burglary, and violent crimes are relatively uncommon. Even the property crime rate isn’t too high, and people in the town generally feel safe as they go about their business or spend time in their homes.

Map of Arizona

Declining Population

Sierra Vista’s population has been steadily declining for the past few years. A declining population isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it can make for a quieter, more peaceful town.

However, a decline in population can also lead to a decline in the economy. Businesses may see fewer customers, which can force them to close.

A lower population also means that the town may receive less funding for education or public works, such as road maintenance.

Job Opportunities

One of the reasons why Sierra Vista’s population is declining is because there are few job opportunities available.

Many people leave the town and head to a larger city where a more diverse range of positions are available. The jobs that are available in Sierra Vista don’t generally pay well, either.

The average salary is only about $32,000 per year. Working a remote job that pays well can help you save money while living in Sierra Vista.


The cost of living in Sierra Vista is well below the national average.

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Climate and Weather

Like much of central and southern Arizona, Sierra Vista has a beautiful climate, and the weather is pleasant almost all year.

Temperatures during the spring, fall, and winter are mild, and winter temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Summer temperatures can be warm, with temperatures in June and July reaching into the 90s, but even these temperatures are cooler than in major cities like Tucson and Phoenix.

Rain is infrequent in southern Arizona, so anyone living in Sierra Vista can expect clear skies most of the time. The most rain falls in July and August during the monsoon season.

During these months, rain usually occurs during the late afternoon and evening, so you can still enjoy sunny weather for most of the day.

Eastern Sierra Vista, AZ
Eastern Sierra Vista, AZ

Small-Town Feeling

Phoenix and Tucson are two of the largest cities in Arizona, and they offer a range of job and entertainment opportunities, but they can be overwhelming, busy, and crowded for anyone who doesn’t enjoy city life.

Sierra Vista, on the other hand, offers a much more relaxed, peaceful feeling. As the town only has about 50,000 residents, most people are friendly and recognize neighbors or customers.

This also means that the area has a low amount of traffic. Together, these factors make Sierra Vista an excellent place to raise a family.

Country House Restaurant, Sierra Vista, AZ
Country House Restaurant, Sierra Vista, AZ – Attribution: Heidi Donat, CC BY-SA 4.0, no changes made

However, the small-town feel of Sierra Vista also means that some entertainment is lacking. If you’re interested in concerts, fine dining, fun bars, or taking in a show, you will miss these activities in Sierra Vista.

Shopping is also limited. Although the area has plenty of essential grocery and hardware stores, shopping for furniture, clothing, or any specialty items can be difficult. Many residents of Sierra Vista either shop online or travel to Tucson to shop for specific items.

Although the nightlife is lacking in Sierra Vista, though, there are still plenty of things to see and do. The town hosts several arts and crafts fairs, and there are usually several large concerts, festivals, or farmers’ markets that happen during the cooler months.

Natural Spaces

Sierra Vista is ideal for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, mountain biking, or horseback riding.

The town is located not too far from the Coronado National Memorial, which offers many fantastic trails. The nearby San Pedro river also provides beautiful views, many trail options, and the opportunity to spend some time fishing or rafting.

Sierra Vista itself is also home to many large parks, so it’s a great place to get outdoors, have a picnic, start a game of soccer or frisbee, or walk your dog. Thanks to a lack of traffic, Sierra Vista is also very pedestrian-friendly.

couple walking small dogs

Proximity to Nearby Cities

Although Sierra Vista is small and can feel a bit isolated, it’s not far from some of Arizona’s larger cities. Tucson, for example, is only about an hour and 20 minutes from Sierra Vista.

The city is much larger than Sierra Vista and offers many options for entertainment and dining, but it has a similarly cozy, welcoming feel.

Phoenix is about three hours from Sierra Vista, so it’s still possible to visit and return in a short amount of time. As Phoenix is home to the state’s largest airport, this also makes it relatively easy to drive to the airport to catch a flight.

Phoenix, AZ with cactus and mountains in the background
Phoenix, AZ with cactus and mountains in the background

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