The City of Tempe at a Glance

Named for a scenic vista from ancient Greece, Tempe is a very modern city. The heart of Tempe is Arizona State University, a major college that draws over 50,000 students to the area. Although Tempe reached the limit of its borders in 1974, the city remains vital and vibrant through a constant process of new development and investment in city infrastructure. 

The city of Tempe can be found south of Scottsdale and east of Phoenix. Three freeways, the 202 Red Mountain, the 60 Superstition and the 101 Pima, cross through Tempe, making it a major hub for traffic in the greater Phoenix area. Tempe is a college town, with much of the land here given up to businesses which serve young, active adults and the college itself. Almost all of Tempe is zoned for commercial and residential use. 

Tempe is largely based around a service economy, and the largest employers here reflect that. Examples include JP Morgan Chase Bank, Motorola, State Farm Insurance, Medtronics Microelectronics and the airline US Airways. People can fly into Tempe, put their money in the bank, buy cell phones and electronics, and then insure all their new stuff. 

The major economic sectors of Tempe revolve around business, aerospace, biotech, high technology, retail and tourism. Major players in the business field include JP Morgan Chase Bank and Wells Fargo Loan Services. The aerospace industry is growing in this town thanks to Triumph and US Airways. The local biotech firms are Medtronics and Orthologic. For high technology, Tempe is home to Motorola, Microchip Technology and Calence. 

The Job Market is Always Changing 

A recent job search of the Tempe market discovered over 700 available jobs, in all sorts of fields. The top-ranking fields were customer service, information technology and management. The major employers found in the search were Edward Jones, a financial company, Calence in the technology sector and Arizona State University. 

When the job search was expanded to the closest cities, the number of available positions rose to several thousand. The major fields were health care, management and skilled trades. Tempe is tightly-connected to the other cities in the Phoenix-Metro area, so a commute to the city next door is practical and common for most workers in the area. There are always opportunities for skilled and unskilled employees in Tempe. 

Tempe is a Young and Vital Community 

With a college as the major draw to the area, many workers in Tempe hold degrees. Nearly 40% of the workforce has earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the 27% average for the US as a whole. As a result of the student-oriented economy, the median household income is somewhat lower than the national average at roughly $42,000. Likewise, the population is also rather young compared to other local cities. 

New Licensing and Reporting Requirements for Short-Term Rentals

One of the reasons that Tempe real estate has been and continues to be such a strong investment is the potential for stable income and solid investment return through the short-term rental market. This includes short-term rental apps like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway—as well as independent rental property marketers. For part of the year or the whole year—for the whole property or just the spare bedroom, bath, and kitchenette—it’s been relatively straightforward for buyers to get part or all of their mortgage covered through this rental income.

In 2016, Governor Doug Ducey signed a law ensuring that local cities couldn’t impose restrictions on these types of short-term rentals. However, what we’ve learned in the meantime is that unchecked rental income opportunities has the potential to change the characters of entire neighborhoods. Indeed, one of the reasons why Tempe residential real estate has performed so well over the last few years has been the shared pool of prospective buyers created by both investors and owner-occupied households. Along with the reliability of the rental app companies, the stability of this property rental income is based on Tempe’s popularity as a place to visit.

It was largely with these concerns in mind that the governor signed a new, modified that bill that empowers local cities to regulate certain aspects of short-term rentals. In leading the charge for these modifications and new regulatory ability, Tempe has already come up with a set of new regulations for short-term rental owners.

The good news here is that there’s no reason to think short-term rentals are in any danger of being prohibited. Even now, Arizona limits the types of restrictions that can be implemented. There are two big changes in the works, however. The first is that property owners must provide authorities with contact information when offering rentals through Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, or other apps. The other big change is that owners may need to get and maintain a license.

So people who have come to depend on short-term guests for property rental income or are interested in making an investment in Tempe’s real estate market aren’t going to be run out of town, so to speak. But while these regulations are unlikely to put anybody out of business, it does increase the time demands/management costs placed on rental property owners.

Other Information Reporting for Rental Property Investment

If you are likely to be affected by these new regulations, one of the things you can to minimize its impact is to review the rest of your paperwork and form filing requirements. Many of these requirements are various tax forms, either as a payer or as a payee. There are cheap 1099 software solutions that provide filing support for these types of real estate-based IRS and state tax forms. Here are just some of the potential filing requirements you may be subject to.

  • Airbnb hosts should expect to receive Form 1099-K for facilitating rental payments as Third Party Network Transactions if they reached 200 different guest parties that total at least $20,000 in income.
  • Foreign persons investing in the Tempe real estate market as a rental property owner may need to submit Form 1042-S.
  • If you’re generating revenue through a property management company, you might receive Form 1099-MISC.
  • Finally, if you sell your rental property for more than you paid for it, you may have to file Form 1099-S as well as Arizona Form 140 with capital gains taxes typically applied at 25% and 4.54%, respectively.

Hopefully, property owners, short-term guests, civil authorities, and tax agencies can strike the right balance to maintain a robust real estate market, affordable lodging options, and strong neighborhoods.

Tempe Homeowners Love the Downtown – Mill Avenue

Tempe’s Mill Avenue District is located right next to Arizona State University, one of the nation’s largest public universities, and the Tempe Town Lake. Young people, urban stores, live entertainment, events and restaurants are all part of a hopping scene. Students, families and singles find lots to do and see on this great little street. 

Urban Living in a Diverse Section of Tempe 

Tempe is booming! A number of new loft and condo developments are currently in progress, but you can find houses and older properties in the downtown area as well. As more people move to the area, the daytime shopping and dining gets cooler and the nightlife gets even hotter. 

Eat up on Mill Avenue in Tempe 

From the fancy and swanky, to the cheap and quick, you can find lots of Great Places to Eat in Downtown Tempe. Get a quick burger at Fatburger, or sit down for one at Ruby Tuesday. Go ethnic and chow down on the great chips and salsa at Macayo’s Depot Cantina acayo’s Depot Cantina. Wash down a hearty Shepard’s pie with a pint of Guinness at Rula Bula Irish Pub Rula Bula Irish Pub. Relax with friends over a hot beverage at the Coffee Plantation. No matter what kind of food you long for, you can probably find it here. 

Shopping is Big in this Downtown 

Although you can find lots of nation-wide favorites such as Bath and Body Shop, Borders and Abercrombie and Fitch, there are also plenty of local shops catering to the eclectic nature of the area. Design your very own clothing at Brand X or pick up fun and funky items at Here on the Corner. Pick up a great gift at Lotions and Potions Lotions and Potions or Those Were the Days

Moving to Tempe, Arizona, and Looking for a Church Home?

If you’re searching for a place to worship in Tempe, there are many available resources. As a dynamic city, Tempe’s population is an exciting mixture of long- term homeowners, college students, and new residents. This mixture is reflected by a mixture of churches, temples, and mosques. Additionally, as the home of Arizona State University, Tempe offers some unique worship venues and campus fellowships. 

The following information is just a sampling of the city’s worship communities, to help you as explore your options. 

A large Tempe Community Church Dedicated to Ministry 

Grace Community Church  
Grace Community Church is one of Tempe’s largest congregations. To assist members and seekers along their spiritual journey, Grace has several active ministries. Fellowship and educational groups exist for: Children, Young Adults, College Students, Men and Women, Senior Citizens, The Disabled, and Singles. There is also a Library, a K-8 school, and a gymnasium. 

A Catholic Campus Fellowship for Tempe’s College Students 

All Saints Catholic Newman Center  
All Saints Catholic Newman Center is a busy worship center located just across the street from Arizona State University. The Newman Center functions in service to the students and faculty of ASU, though other members of the community are welcome to attend. Plenty of Masses, social events, educational offerings and service opportunities are frequently scheduled. The engaging atmosphere of the center inspires regular attendees and visitors alike. 

A Modern Jewish Congregation That Honors Tradition 

Temple Emanuel of Tempe  
Temple Emanuel of Tempe is a reform Jewish congregation that honors the traditions of the past, yet looks toward the future. This mixture creates a blended musical approach to the services that many enjoy. An emphasis is placed on worship, celebration, and recognizing significant holidays and life events. A warm welcome awaits visitors. 

Temple Masjid: An Islamic Faith Community near ASU 

For The Islamic Community Center  
The Islamic Community Center, also known as Temple Masjid, attracts most of its worshipers from ASU’s student and staff population. Founded in 1984, the center observes daily prayer rituals, and conducts weekly Friday evening lectures on a variety of topics. Temple Masjid is also open for tours. 

Here are some other Tempe worship resources that may interest you: 

Anglican 

Bethany Community Church 

Lutheran 

Presbyterian 

Roman Catholic 

Day Trips near Tempe, AZ Offer Property Owners Fun

The state of Arizona offers lots of great day trips to homeowners in the Valley of the Sun. Tempe is no exception and offers fun outdoors and in. Check out the following list of fun activities that can be enjoyed with a friend or the whole extended family. 

Tempe Homeowners Enjoy South Mountain Park 

South Mountain Park Hikers, bikers and horseback riders of all ages will really enjoy this park which offers more than 50 miles of trails through the nation’s largest municipal park. Start at one of the 11 trails offered by the park and take in the desert scenery and beautiful spring flowers. 

Just a few miles and minutes from most Tempe homes, this Phoenix park offers plenty of gathering opportunities. Bring a picnic and meet some friends at one of several first come- first service ramadas set aside for just that purpose. Or, for earlier planning and larger parties, the parks service offers several larger ramadas or centers you can reserve for a nominal fee. 

Discover the Superstition Mountains 

Superstition Mountains: To the east of Apache Junction and Mesa, these scenic mountains offer lots of hiking, views and great desert plants and animals. The area offers a museum, ghost towns, wildlife and camp grounds. Visitors looking for less-strenuous ways to enjoy the mountains can relax at the Superstition Mountain Golf Course or enjoy an easy adventure on an Apache Trail Jeep Tour

Explore Papago Park just Minutes from Tempe 

This large desert park offers lots of natural fun for adults and kids. This park is home to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens, as well as hiking, rock climbing and urban fishing. With fabulous views and a variety of easy and challenging trails, you get all kinds of family fun. 

Tempe Property Owners can Spend a Relaxing Day at the Spa 

These are just a few of the resorts in the area offering amazing experiences full of relaxation and luxury. 

  • Amara Resort and Spa: (866) 455-6610. Nestled in gorgeous Sedona, this resort offers everything from massages and facials to body treatments and personal growth appointments. 
  • Royal Palms: (602) 840-3610. This open-air Scottsdale spa offers a large two floor space full of 10 treatment areas. 
  • Omni Tucson National Resort: (520) 575-7559. A fabulous Tucson resort, this spa specializes in providing bliss and relaxation for busy adults. 

Tips for Retirees Moving to Tempe, Arizona

Tempe frequently ranks at or near the top of list of places to retire. And there’s good reason for that. With a consistently sunny and warm climate, a reasonable cost of living, charming homes, and safe neighborhoods, it’s no surprise that so many retirees choose to settle in Tempe. Both locally and across the country, you’ll discover the perfect home in our little part of the Valley. The overgrown college town that is Arizona State University provides a youthful vibe and economic stability, while Tempe Town Lake and the stark landscape that the Southwest is known for offers amazing adventures and outdoor experiences for people of all mobility levels.

 

Financial Reasons

If you haven’t already done the research, there are two big reasons that homeownership costs are so attractive in Tempe. First, we’re one of the few major cities in the West with a median home value under $300,000. Second, Tempe has a below average property tax rate (.802% vs 1.211% nationally). Put it altogether and people find the perfect place to retire, while still being able to meet or even move up their retirement date.

 

Moving Tips for Seniors

Create a plan, and by create a plan, we mean create a checklist and timeline by which things need to be done. Now is the time to be brutally honest with yourself if know you’re an over-planner. Pad the schedule. Hire professionals to help, and then expect those professionals to themselves create a headache or two, even if it’s just communicating your schedule and needs to the moving company.

To this point, one of the most important things for a successful move is choosing a professional moving company. Do the basic due diligence and narrow the list down to a few promising companies. Make sure these companies are licensed, have been in business for at least a few years, and have generally positive reviews and customer testimonials. During the phone call, here is a list of follow-up questions you should think about asking prospective movers:

 

  1. What do your moving packages NOT include? Is the cost of gas already covered? Are there extra fees I should know about?
  2. Are there any items you refuse to move? I have a “piano/grandfather clock/etc.”
  3. Can I expect some type of written contract that lays out the terms and expectations of the moving service?
  4. What should I be sure to do before moving day to expedite the process?
  5. (Optional) If my moving dates are flexible, can I get a better rate?

 

More than just the moving itself, you need to think about cleaning services, storage solutions, and animal travel for any household pets. And, of course, real estate. Take care of your sanity during the moving process, but don’t lose equity on your home by ignoring the value of an experienced real estate agent. We can’t wait to see you out and about the town.