Pros and cons of living in Lake Havasu, AZ

Lake Havasu is a great tourist city and one of Arizona’s most beautiful places to visit. Its 600,000-acre lake attracts thousands of people to the city annually. But there’s a difference between spending a week somewhere on holiday and living there for years. So, what’re the pros and cons of living in Lake Havasu?

The advantages of living in Lake Havasu include its high safety metrics, nice outdoor environment, and great nightlife and entertainment scene. But residents here face the challenges of living in a tourist city, its tourism-dependent economy, scorching summer, car dependency, and unaffordability.

Most of the challenges residents face here are common to all tourist cities. But it’s possible to still enjoy the city even with the challenges. Here, we discuss the pros and cons of living in Lake Havasu.

Pros of Living in Lake Havasu

Beyond being a great tourist town, Lake Havasu has several attributes that make it a great place to live permanently. That includes:

1.      Outdoor Environment

Most touristy cities have a beautiful outdoor environment that draws thousands of people from urban locations. Lake Havasu has that too in the form of a serene lake and equally breathtaking environment. Here’s a city in the middle of a desert with a massive lake where you can practice all water activities such as boating, swimming, jet skiing, kayaking, and fishing.  The water here is warm all year round, so swimming can happen anytime. The beautiful outdoor environment is complemented by the many days of sunshine.

The city enjoys 290 days of sunshine, making it one of the best places for snowbirds trying to avoid the cold weather. This place only sees around 5 inches of rainfall annually, and it’s warm throughout the year, with the winter weather around 65 degrees. If you hate snow and cold temperatures, then Lake Havasu might just be the perfect place for you to live.

2.      Great Entertainment Scene and Nightlife

One would think its small-town population will limit its ability to be a fun place. But this community is also fun. The nightlife here is amazing, with over a hundred places to eat and drink within the city. You’ll find plenty of award-winning restaurants and breweries here. The only winery in northwest Arizona is also in the city. If you’re looking for places to unwind, the many clubs, bars, and lounges here are just the perfect place. Many are even by the lakeside, making it possible to enjoy the coolness of the water while also enjoying the environment you’re in.

3.      Very Secure City

The tight knit community of Lake Havasu is also a very safe one, with the crime metrics being lower than the national average. Violent crimes and property crimes are below the national average by 52% and 28%. The city is safer than 55% of American cities, and the chance of being a crime victim here is a slim 1 in 63. It’s equally safer than most cities in the state of Arizona. So, it’s a nice place to stay in this regard.

Cons of Living in Lake Havasu

Beautiful Lake Havasu isn’t the perfect city. In fact, its beauty is responsible for some of its undoing. Here are the challenges residents face in the city:

1.      Tourist City

Visiting a beautiful city is amazing, but living in a city where thousands of people visit annually is entirely different. Lake Havasu is a major destination for people looking to enjoy holidays or escape the snow. As a resident, you have to get used to the congestion resulting from the influx of tourists. Your favorite spots get crowded, and traffic might get a little messy. This happens throughout the year. Although the intensity varies, it’s worse during the springtime.

2.      Hot summers

290 sunny days in the year is pretty amazing until you have to deal with the summer months and the hat that comes with this period. The summer months here are usually over 100 degrees, and you can even get up to 120 degrees during the heatwaves. This heat can become very unbearable no matter where you stay. It means you’ll have to spend a lot more to keep yourself cool during the winter. Another downside of the heat is fatigue and dehydration. So, it’s advisable to prepare well for the summer months when you’re in this city. The summer months here aren’t that comfortable.

3.      Car Dependency

As a resident here, you need your car to get around the city. Mass transport is almost nonexistent, and only a fraction of the population uses them. The city isn’t exactly walkable or bikeable either. So, you should be ready to buy a car when you move here if you don’t have one yet. Fortunately, the commute time here is just above 20 minutes. So, you don’t have to worry about traffic in this town.

4.      Expensive City

Another cause of concern for residents here is the cost of living.  It’s more expensive to live here than in most cities in the US. The high cost of living is mostly because of the large presence of tourists in the city, which drives up costs and makes the city less affordable for residents. The typical value of a home is $461,415, and don’t be surprised if it’s way higher in the next few months, given that it increased by 31.5% in the last year. With the steep prices of homeownership, rent isn’t that better, with the average monthly rent of a one-bedroom apartment in the city increasing by 13% in the past year to be around $1,048. The rising costs of living in the city are simply due to the demand due to its tourist population. So, if you’re planning to live here, make sure you’re earning a decent salary.

5.      Tourism Dependent Economy

Tourism sustains the city, and it’s more or less considered the city of leisure. So, the economy isn’t as strong as that of other cities in Arizona. The job market is quite limited unless you’re looking for jobs in the services and tourism industry.  Finding high-paying jobs here is difficult, and the average income is lower than the national average. This represents a challenge given the high cost of living in the city. It’s a good reason to consider whether the city is good for you or not.

In Conclusion

The beautiful city of Lake Havasu has a lot going for it. But it also has its issues. You have to weigh your options, looking at both sides of the city before deciding whether it’s right for you.