15 Pros and Cons of Living in Gilbert, Arizona

Arizona has a particular climate and lifestyle, which can be relaxing and exciting for some, but disappointing for others. It depends on your relationship with the sun and how much you enjoy outdoor activities like hiking through national parks.

If you’re looking at different cities in Arizona, consider Gilbert, which is a fantastic place to live. It isn’t much different from most Arizona towns, but it has unique features which make it a great place to live. For most people, it’s one of the best towns in Arizona, but there are some drawbacks to keep in mind.

In this list, we’ll determine the greatest pros and cons of living in Gilbert, AZ, so you can decide if you want to live there. We’ll try to keep a universal and unbiased perspective to provide you with the best advice. In the end, you’ll know if Gilbert is the right town for you! 

Photo of a famous church in Gilbert. A line of palm trees leads to a white temple

8 Benefits of Living in Gilbert, AZ – Pros

Let’s start the article on a positive note! Here are the most significant advantages of living in Gilbert, AZ. 

1. Safe Place to Live

The first thing you need to know when moving to a new town is whether or not it’s safe. If you have a family or not, you want to live in a town with a low crime rate, and you don’t have to worry about your safety. Fortunately, Gilbert does not have an above-average crime rate. 

Gilbert experiences about thirteen crimes for every 1000 residents, making them about average in terms of crime for towns this size. Their rates for burglary and theft are far below the national standards at less than half. They have less than one murder per year. 

Your chance of being a victim of a crime is 1 in 77. You’ll still have to lock your doors while living here, but you don’t need to worry about serious danger. 

2. Relatively Safe from Natural Disasters

In today’s world of the impending climate crisis, you need to select a place to live that will be protected from natural disasters. Large portions of the United States are susceptible to climate catastrophes like the Tornado Alley of the midwest and the hurricane-devastated gulf coast. 

Arizona doesn’t experience many disasters beyond droughts and heatwaves. They don’t experience nearly as many earthquakes as their neighbors California and Utah. Most of the hundred or so earthquakes the state experiences annually go unfelt

The main natural problem that Arizona has is wildfires. During their highest season, Arizona’s state parks can have extensive infernos which burn everything in their path. Fortunately, Gilbert is far from the nearest forest and isn’t often impacted by fires. 

3. Close to Phoenix

If you enjoy taking weekend trips to the city, then you’ll be happy to hear that Gilbert isn’t too far from Arizona’s biggest city: Phoenix. It’s only thirty minutes by car to get to Phoenix, and then you can spend the entire day there. 

There are tons of things to do in Phoenix, AZ, including better shopping and nightlife than in Gilbert. If you work in Phoenix, then you can also easily commute from Gilbert on Highway 60. The towns of Scottsdale, Tempe, and Mesa are also nearby. 

Tempe is a great little university town by the Salt River and has the famous Arizona State University. Mesa is also on the Salt River and has a Walmart supercenter. Scottsdale is the third biggest city in Arizona and has plenty to see as well. 

4. Desert Botanical Garden Is Right Across the River

The famous rock hole in the Papago Park. A large red rock is surrounded by desert plants.

If you live in Arizona, then you live in a desert. That might mean you have to deal with a ton of smoldering afternoons, but it also means you’re surrounded by some of the most unique foliage in the United States. 

People who love the desert environment will have a blast at the Desert Botanical Garden in Papago Park. The Garden exhibits all the natural plants that grow in the Arizona desert, like beautiful cactuses and tumbleweeds. 

There’s plenty to see, and it’s worth multiple visits as the gardens span more than 140 acres and contain more than 50,000 plants. Once you’re done, you can get a bite to eat in the cafe or visit the library. 

5. Golfland Sunsplash

There’s no better way to escape the sun in Gilbert than a trip to Golfland Sunsplash. The fun-filled amusement park is just a few minutes from Gilbert’s center and offers everything you could need to escape the heat. 

The park has several different waterslides, a miniature golf course, and even laser tag. This is a great place to bring children or a date for a warm afternoon of entertainment. Afterward, you can pass by one of their refreshment stands to get ice cream. 

6. Perfect for Families

If you’re moving to Gilbert, then your family’s enjoyment is just as important as your own. Fortunately, Gilbert has several features which make it an excellent location for raising a family. First of all, Gilbert has an adequate school system with good bus transportation for all students. 

Secondly, it was voted the #2 Best Place to Raise a Family in the Phoenix Metro area. Beyond their positive grade for schools, they also received a B+ mark for housing and an A- for diversity. They also got a B- for crime and safety and an A overall for families. 

7. Awesome School System

Speaking of raising a family, Gilbert’s school system is one of the best in Arizona. There are more than 90 public schools in Gilbert, and all of them have high review ratings and an excellent record for graduation and test scores. 

Because of their high graduation rate and test scores, you’ll be safe sending your children to any of these schools. They will even have a priority admittance at most Arizona state colleges and city colleges in Gilbert, Phoenix, and any of the other neighboring towns and cities. 

8. Incredible Wilderness Nearby

While the woods are far enough for you to be safe from forest fires, it’s also close enough to go hiking or trekking on the weekends. Arizona is full of incredible desert and dry forest stretches, which are fantastic for exploring on foot or mountain bike. 

Less than thirty minutes from Gilbert, you’ll find tons of stunning natural wonders like Apache Junction, where you can check out Superstition Shadows Park, Silly Mountain, Prospector Park, and Siphon Draw. 

If you want to go a little further, you can also drive up into the desert to see Bulldog Canyon Gate. You also have South Mountain Park and Preserve to the southwest with the legendary Wonder Rift and Hidden Valley hiking trails.  

7 Drawbacks of Living in Gilbert, AZ – Cons

Now that you’ve heard all this positive information about Gilbert, you’re probably already packing your bags to move there. Wait for a second! Read these cons of living in Gilbert, AZ, before you rent a moving van. 

9. It’s Hot

A digital graphic showing a huge thermometer approaching 100 degrees. A red hot sun is seen in the background.

As we mentioned earlier, living in Arizona is living in a desert. So, you should expect some scorching days. July is the hottest month in Gilbert and has an average high of 105°F and a low of 77°. You can also expect the heat to be arid as there are only two days of rainfall on average.

June can get just as hot as July, but it and May are even drier. On average, they have 0 days of rainfall throughout that entire 60 day period. 

10. It’s Expensive

The cost of living in Gilbert is much higher than the average small town in the United States. Gilbert has an overall cost of living grade of 116.3, which is more than 16 points above the national average (100).

This overall total comes from a few different above-average factors. First of all, housing is much higher in cost at $332,800 for the average home, more than $100,000 above the national average ($231,200). Utilities, transportation, and rent are also much higher in Gilbert. 

11. Traffic

Gilbert can be a thirty-minute drive from Phoenix. It can also be an hour and a half, depending on traffic. Like with any suburb, you’ll experience high volumes of commuters during rush hour. This can result in a congested mess on the highway that will make your morning miserable. 

We recommend heading to Phoenix during off-peak hours so that you can avoid these traffic jams. Otherwise, you’ll spend more time behind the wheel than you’d like to. 

12. Transportation

If you think a bus will help you avoid the stress of driving, you can think again. The buses in Gilbert are few and far between. Unfortunately, Gilbert is too small to have a larger transportation system like a metro or a streetcar.

The Light Rail in Phoenix is probably one of the best transportation options in Arizona. However, it only stops in Mesa and Tempe. If you want to use the Light Rail, you’ll have to drive to a stop in one of these towns and park there. 

13. Small Towns Can Get Boring

Being young in Gilbert might get a little mundane. While the city is full of great daytime activities for families and kids, there isn’t exactly a booming rave scene. The bars all close around midnight, and most partying is done outside the town in Phoenix or one of the university towns. 

If you like to get wild after dark, then you’ll probably find yourself bored more often than not in GIlbert. 

14. Too Many Houses

Gilbert used to have more of an old western vibe, but the influx of suburban homes and families has changed that. Now, most of what you see from your lawn is the back of another person’s house instead of a stunning desert mesa. 

Some of the streets in Gilbert will go on for miles and be entirely residential. It means your kids will have plenty of people to play with, but there won’t be much to look at when gazing out your car’s window. 

15. Some Parts Might Have a Bad Smell

About 10 cows of various colors  standing in a green field eating.

There’s a lot of cattle farms near Gilbert. As a result, some of the residents have complained about a certain… smell. This was not a universal complaint by any means, but a few people on the city-date message board mentioned an overpowering smell of cow poop as you passed through the city. 

Conclusion

If nothing else, Gilbert is an interesting little town. There is plenty to see, and the location is really convenient. 

Take some time to weigh the pros and cons of living in Gilbert, AZ. Every place has its disadvantages, so you need to carefully choose which possible cons you can live with. In this case, consider if you can live with the higher prices and heat.

Whatever you decide, you should consider giving Gilbert a visit to see for yourself! 

Related: 17 Pros and Cons of Living in Scottsdale, Arizona