Phoenix is presently the fifth-largest metropolis in the United States, a sophisticated urban region of more than 1.6 million people. 

If you’re considering moving from Portland to Phoenix, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. Sure, everybody knows about the weather in Phoenix — but many other factors can make or break your experience in the desert.

Moving Process From Portland To Phoenix

Here are some things to consider while planning your moving process from Portland to Phoenix.

How Far is Phoenix, AZ From Portland, OR?

It takes about 1,271 miles to get from Portland to Phoenix. The drive takes about twenty hours via US-95 S, so you’d need two days, maybe three, to make the trip. If you fly, the trip will take around 2 hours and 43 minutes. 

From Phoenix airport to downtown, it’s around fifteen minutes by taxi and around twenty minutes on the Light Rail. It’s $2 on the metro to downtown, but it will be $17 depending on your final destination if you go by taxi. You can also rent a car at Phoenix airport or get a private transfer.

What is the Average Cost to Move From Portland, OR to Phoenix, AZ?

Moving from Portland to Phoenix can cost around $5,000 or more. This price depends on how much you own and whether you need additional services like packing and unpacking. It can be estimated based on how many bedrooms there are in your home. 

Before you move, talk to several reputable moving companies about their rates and services. Then, after comparing each company’s prices and services, choose the one that fits your needs and budget best.

Is Moving From Portland, OR to Phoenix, AZ a Smart Idea?

Moving from Portland to Phoenix is a pretty big change, and there are many reasons why it’s a smart idea. Some people move because they want to escape the dreary weather for more sunshine. Others move because they want more space than in Portland but don’t want to give up their urban lifestyle entirely. 

So is moving from Portland to Phoenix a good idea? It entirely depends on your preferences. Here are some things to consider.


The weather in Portland is very different from the weather in Phoenix. While Portland has cold winters and wet springs, Phoenix enjoys warm temperatures year-round. In fact, you’ll seldom need any type of winter clothing like you did in Portland. Instead, you need to pack up with sunscreen and drink more water than you usually do. 

Physically, the outside actions you did outside in Portland will be far more dangerous in Phoenix. If you do outdoor activities like long-distance running, start it in Phoenix with shorter distances and take plenty of liquids when you do it. It will probably take about six months for your body to adapt to the much higher heat and very dry air.

Nature Scene

If you plan on moving to Phoenix from Portland, you will be leaving behind the beauty of nature, such as the leafy trees and bodies of water. Phoenix is mostly desert and has little change in the seasons. 

If you’d like to experience nature at its best, Flagstaff is about two hours away, close enough for a weekend trip if you need a reminder of Portland’s beautiful nature.

Crime Rates

Phoenix has a higher crime rate compared to Portland. Phoenix has 483 crimes committed per 100,000 people, whereas Portland has 302. The property crime and violent crime rates in Phoenix are also above the national average. The crime rate in downtown Phoenix is four times greater than the average crime rate in the United States.

Although Phoenix has a reputation for high crime rates, the city is generally safe to live in. Most crimes occur in specific neighborhoods, and you can avoid them by steering clear of those areas. Phoenix is large enough that there are tons of great neighborhoods where you can feel safe.

Public Transportation 

Phoenix is generally a car-centric city, but there are still many ways to get around. If you don’t have a car, you can use Uber, Lyft, or public transit. 

The Valley Metro Rail runs from central Phoenix, through downtown, to Tempe and Mesa in the east. Stations are close by and run right by some of the area’s top attractions.


The nightlife scene in the Phoenix area is pretty much limited to Scottsdale and Tempe, with some other areas that pop up and then die out. Scottsdale has a club scene, while Tempe is better for the college bar scene and anything young and social. If you’re into dive bars, Phoenix has plenty of those too.


The biggest downside to Phoenix is that there isn’t much diversity. In fact, according to Data USA, 41% of residents identified as non-Hispanic white, while 35% identified as Hispanic or Latino. Only 7% identified as black, while 4% identified as Asian. If you’re not into that kind of culture, it might be difficult for you to fit in socially.


You’ll be right at home in Phoenix if you’re a sports fan. It has four major pro sports teams, plus WNBA and arena football teams. 

It hosts NCAA basketball tournament games and the Superbowl on occasion. In March, you can see spring training baseball games.

What’s the Cost of Living in Phoenix, AZ vs Portland, OR?

According to NerdWallet, the cost of living in Phoenix is 27% lower than in Portland, but you may earn less since employers typically pay less in Phoenix. Still, the savings on rent can make up for those potential losses. A two-bedroom apartment costs $2,679 a month on average in Portland but only $1,533 in Phoenix—a difference of about 42%.

  • Housing: You can have a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home with a median price of $346,409. In Portland, that same house would cost around $615,500 (as of July/2022).
  • Food: The cost of food and groceries is 13% less in Phoenix than in Portland.
  • Utilities: Utilities are about 20% less in Phoenix.
  • Healthcare: Health-related expenses in Phoenix are 22% lower than in Portland.

What’s It Like Working in Phoenix?

Phoenix is a great place to find a job for those looking for work, with many options in information technology, construction, healthcare, real estate, transportation, and warehousing.

Does Phoenix Have a Lot of Job Opportunities?

Phoenix has a lot of job opportunities. In fact, Arizona’s employment is expected to increase by more than 700,000 jobs, putting its employees at a total of more than 3.7 million. 

The Phoenix area is leading the country as one of the top labor markets, with in-demand industries including construction, professional and technical services; information technology; transportation and warehousing; health care and social assistance; and real estate.

What Are the Best Neighborhoods in Phoenix?

Phoenix is so spread out that if you get bored with one area, you can move to a different side of the city, and the experience will be totally different. 

Many new communities are popping up around the edges of town, widening the Phoenix footprint. Here are some recommended neighborhoods in Phoenix:


Arcadia is the most desired neighborhood of Phoenix. It offers urban living with a family feel, just 15 minutes from the airport and downtown Scottsdale. Arcadia is one of Phoenix’s most picturesque areas and a popular area for residents who love shopping and dining out. The schools are in the exceptional Scottsdale school district, making it a perfect place for families.

North Mountain Village

North Mountain Village is a dense suburban neighborhood that offers residents an easy commute to downtown Phoenix. The area is home to North Mountain Park and nearby Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Residents can go to pubs and sports bars sprinkled throughout the area, as well as casual restaurants serving pizza and Mexican food.

Paradise Valley

This once-rural suburb now features affluent homes on its cliff sides. Paradise Valley is a lively residential area with several golf courses like Stone Creek Golf Club and Orange Tree Golf Resort, as well as plazas for shopping, such as the Paradise Valley Mall. It is known primarily for its many resorts and expensive real estate.

Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix is perfect for college students and young professionals looking for a hip, trendy city living in the middle of all the action. Home to one of the Arizona State University campuses, Downtown Phoenix thrives off of the cocktail bars, pizzerias, and hip shops surrounding the ASU campus.

Desert Ridge

Desert Ridge is a master-planned community with plenty of shopping options, including boutiques along High Street and the Desert Ridge Marketplace. The neighborhood has a sports complex and plenty of parks, making it great for families. In addition to excellent schools, you’ll find safe areas in this quiet little community.

Final Thoughts

Phoenix is a great city to live in if you’re willing to accept the hotter climate and change of scenery.

It’s easy to get around, and the costs of living are so much lower than in Portland. So don’t let the hot summer months stop you if you want to try it out. Just be aware that you might face big changes, and prepare yourself accordingly.


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