Homes for Rent in Tucson, AZ: What You Need to Know
Tucson in southeastern Arizona is darker than most cities for a good reason. A strict regulation on the number of outdoor lights helps local observatories preserve the right conditions for stargazing and the study of astronomy.
Schools and Education
The University of Arizona, which has 44,097 students, is located in Tucson. The university is well-known for its expertise in planetary sciences and has been part of NASA’s every planetary mission. There are three other universities in Tucson and four colleges within 50 miles.
The city has 319 public schools, serving 120,390 students. University High School and Basis Oro Valley are among the highly ranked schools in the city.
The Local History
The Hohokam Native Americans lived in the area even before Europeans arrived in the late 1600s. Spanish explorers founded the Presidio San Agustin de Tucson in 1775, which was also the founding of the city. Its name came from the Tohono O’odham tribe’s word for Sentinel Peak, Ts-iuk-shan, meaning “black base” for the darker color of the mountain’s base compared with its summit. The Spaniards pronounced the word as “Tuqui Son” or Tucson as we know it today.
The Cost of Living in Tucson
Tucson’s growth (population: 548,073) has driven its cost of living rate upward – it’s 22.6% higher than the national average. The good news is, food and housing costs are 43.8% and 11.1% lower than the national average. Tucson’s median gross rent is $825 while median two-bedroom apartment rent is $893. Arizona’s income tax rate of 2.59% to 4.50% is below average, but its sales tax rate of 5.60% to 11.20% is among the highest in the country.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Residents praise Tucson for its natural beauty and modern amenities. Half of the city’s residents are renters. Downtown is attracting a lot of newcomers, including suburbanites who are trading their big houses for smaller homes and saving on car expenses by ditching their commutes. Downtown offers something for everybody, from affordable apartments and dorm-style housing to upscale condos.
Still prefer the suburbs? Casa Adobes and Catalina Foothills are great choices for their proximity to Tucson and their top-ranked schools. A large percentage of residents in Casa Adobes are renters. Catalina Foothills is known for its pretty mountain views and hiking trails.
Shopping in the City
For a unique shopping experience, visit Mercado San Agustin (MSA) District and MSA Annex, both located along Avenida Del Convento. The shops at MSA Annex are made of modified shipping containers designed by local architect Paul Weiner. The clever design is attracting a lot of attention. Tucson hosts a beloved artisan market twice a year, drawing thousands of visitors. The Madaras Gallery and about two dozen local artists showcase their works during the event.