Is Payson, AZ A Good Place To Live?

There are definite upsides to living in major metropolitan cities, but they aren’t for everyone. A lot of folks out there prefer the more relaxed atmosphere provided by smaller towns. If you’re someone who prefers to live in a smaller town, Payson, Arizona should be right up your alley.

Payson is not your typical small town, however. Even within the state of Arizona, the experience of living in Payson is quite unique.

The rugged wilderness surrounding Payson is probably what the town is best known for. Payson also features a cooler climate compared to the rest of Arizona and that makes living there a more comfortable experience. As for the downsides of living in Payson, unemployment there is a real issue and future projections are not rosy either.

Are you interested in moving to Arizona? If so, you should consider the kind of living experience Payson can offer. Find out more about that topic by continuing with this article.

Why Is Payson a Good Place to Live?

Will a small town like Payson, Arizona offer enough to make your stay there a positive experience? That’s the main question we’ll be answering in this section of the article. Go over the pros of living in Payson outlined below in order to find an answer to that question.

The Wilderness

What sets Payson apart from numerous other cities and towns in Arizona is its unique location. Many of the cities and towns in the state have undergone a great deal of development in recent years.  Payson has as well, but you can still easily see the connection the town has to its natural surroundings.

You don’t have to go far from Payson’s downtown area to find yourself in the area’s rugged wilderness.  There are numerous forests surrounding the area. This is a great place to live in if you’re someone who prefers spending plenty of time outdoors.

Camping and hiking are popular activities in the area, but there are other ways to spend your weekend. You can also visit one of the lakes close to the town and pass the time that way. Stock up on the trout and bass that call the lakes around Payson home.

Hunting opportunities are also abundant in Payson. Track down various species of deer, rabbits, or even some turkeys that are known to populate the area. The experience of hunting down your prey can be heightened even further by the challenging terrain.

One of the best parts about getting close to nature in Payson is that there are no long drives involved. After a short trip out of town, you will quickly find areas suitable for your preferred outdoor activities.

Riding on Horseback

Are you and your kids looking for a unique way to pass the time in Payson? If so, why not look into horseback riding. You can find stables in the area that will rent their horses out for the day. They are even located close to ideal riding trails. Bond with your child as you both take in the majestic beauty of Arizona while riding on horseback.

By the way, you don’t have to settle for just renting horses. You can also care for them yourself. Partner with one of the boarding farms in the area if you lack room on your property to accommodate a horse. In exchange for a fee, they will help you care for your new pet.


Arizona is known for its warm weather. You can even find different deserts dotting the state’s landscape. It would be fair to expect that Payson features a climate similar to what other Arizona cities experience. However, that is not the case.

Payson’s unique surroundings contribute to it having a climate that’s dissimilar to what the rest of the state features. The fact that the town is elevated at 5,000 feet serves to make the disparity in climate even more pronounced.

The temperatures in Payson typically peak at around 90 degrees. That’s remarkable because there are some parts of the state where high temperatures regularly exceed 110 degrees. There are also stretches during the fall when temperatures in Payson remain mostly pleasant. You can walk outside and not feel like you’re melting under the intense sun.

In general, Arizona is probably not the place for you if you dislike warm weather. However, if you must live there for whatever reason, staying in Payson is a good compromise. It’s still a warm area, but the heat doesn’t reach oppressive levels there.

Easy to Get Around Town

A definite perk of living in a small town such as Payson is that traffic becomes a very minor issue. Commute times in town are very short. Very rarely will traffic be the reason why you failed to make an appointment on time.

Most of the town’s residents get around town using their own cars. Getting your own car is not a must though. You can rely on public transportation and still not worry too much about being late.

What Are the Pitfalls of Living in Payson?

We are now through with highlighting the pros of living in Payson, Arizona. In this upcoming section of the article, we will spend time discussing the cons of staying in that aforementioned town. Check out the details below to see why living in Payson is not so fun.


The job market in Payson is not particularly good at the moment. Focus on unemployment and you’ll see a big red flag. The town has an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent.  In order to understand the real significance of that figure, you have to remember that unemployment country-wide is at 3.7 percent.

It would be one thing if the prospects only look grim now. Unfortunately, projections for the growth rate in the town aren’t great either. The projected job growth rate for Payson is well behind what’s expected for the rest of the country.

You will want to secure a job offer before you move to Payson. Otherwise, you may struggle to find a good job in town.

Older Population

Any city or town having an older population is obviously not a bad thing automatically. However, it’s also something you must be aware of ahead of any potential move. As a young person who doesn’t know anyone in Payson, you may have a hard time connecting with other residents.

The median age of residents in other American cities is right around 37 years old. In Payson, the median age for residents jumps up to 56.

Housing Prices

New homes in Arizona are actually more expensive compared to what you’ll see in other parts of the United States. The gap isn’t that large, but it is noticeable.

The median home price for a new home in the United States has settled at $231,000. If you’re looking for a home in Arizona, you will have to pay significantly more than that. The median cost for a new Arizona home is closer to $249,000.

The price of a new home climbs even further for prospective Payson residents. You may have to pay close to $265,000 for a new home in town.

Since Payson is a small town, you probably expected home prices to be lower. The fact that they are at their current level speaks to how coveted properties are inside the town.

What Is the Cost of Living in Payson?

The median home price in Payson is just one cost of living expense you have to keep in mind. The bullet points below discuss the other expenses that you must consider before moving:

  • Healthcare – Payson is a bit of an outlier when it comes to healthcare expenses in Arizona. Healthcare throughout most of Arizona tends to be more affordable than the country average. In Payson, the rates are slightly above average, but they are still manageable.
  • Utilities – It’s not surprising to learn that utility costs in Arizona are above the country average. That’s a byproduct of frequent air conditioner usage. You can probably cut down on your utility expenses in Payson since the climate there is more comfortable.
  • Transportation – Transportation costs are low in Payson. Even if you use your car on a regular basis, it’s unlikely that your transportation expenses will get out of hand.
  • Groceries – Getting your hands on groceries in Payson will not be a problem. You may even find that the cost of groceries there is lower compared to what you’ll see in most other cities.

Related Questions

What Are the Popular Spots in Payson?

A lot of Payson residents prefer experiencing the great outdoors whenever they have free time. If you’d like to spend your weekend a bit differently, there are also some notable locations you can visit.

The monument commemorating the Battle of Big Dry Wash is a good place to visit. Drop by there and learn more about the area’s history. Feel free to also check out the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery. You can learn more about the fishes in the area by visiting that spot.

Is Crime a Big Concern in Payson?

The crime rates in Payson are well below the average marks for the country. That holds true for both property and violent crimes. You can feel more at ease during your stay in Payson.

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Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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