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Living a College Town Lifestyle in Tempe, Arizona

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Where to Retire in Tempe and Home Prices

The farther south you travel in Tempe, the newer the neighborhoods you find. Like most of the state, Tempe was hit hard by the real estate bust, which has created some real opportunities for buyers.  Retirees should note that Tempe is not a city with many 55+ communities. If you want to live in Tempe, you will most likely be the kind of people who like the ability to interact with neighbors of all ages. For retirees who want to live in the community itself, there are plenty of good places at most price points. The Zillow Home Value Index in Tempe was $477,965 in late 2022.

What Is Special about Tempe

The presence of ASU makes this a college town and a fun place to live and visit. The mountains and desert are near, and Tempe Town Lake is also a nice addition. Tempe is above average in walkability when compared to other communities.

What Is Not Special about Tempe

It is pretty darn hot here in the summertime. For conservative oriented people, living in a liberal college town could be frustrating.

Climate and Physical Environment

Tempe is about 12 miles southeast of Phoenix, although they tend to run together.  The average January temperature is in the mid 50s whereas the average July temperature is 90. It is typical to have 3+ months of 100 degree days.  It is dry heat, but it is still hot!

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Mill Avenue area has many restaurants and shops. Those include two Irish bars/restaurants, a sophisticated brew pub, a couple of popular Mexican restaurants, some other enthic restaurants, and sandwich shops that round out the food offerings in this part of town. The presence of ASU means there are many cultural activities for Tempe residents to enjoy. The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed ASU Gammage Auditorium seats 3,000 and offers a variety of plays, Broadway shows and other forms of entertainment throughout the year. Tempe has a very active senior center that is part of a municipal complex that also includes recreation facilities and a modern town library.


The crime rate is almost exactly equal to the national average.

Medical Facilities

There are acute care medical resources in adjacent Mesa and Chandler, plus major hospitals and specialists of every description in the Phoenix area.


There is the METRO light rail system to Phoenix, as well as some free shuttle bus service near the ASU campus. Phoenix Sky Harbor is a major airport.  Tempe has a high Walk Score of 61.6 from

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