Welcome to Tempe

About Tempe

Named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece, Tempe is an east valley suburb of Phoenix, AZ. At a population of over 185,000, Tempe is densely populated suburb to the southeast of Phoenix and is surrounded by the suburbs of Scottsdale, Mesa, and Chandler in addition to Phoenix.

Home to Arizona State University, the north part of the city has a college town vibe and many of the older neighborhoods, including several historic neighborhoods, are located here. To the south, you will find the newer parts of Tempe that tend to blend in with the surrounding suburbs of Chandler and Mesa.

Tempe is a highly desired area in the valley of the sun. Many businesses like Carvana, State Farm Insurance, Silicon Valley Bank, and more have added their headquarters or a large business presence in the area, which draws the attraction from homebuyers seeking to be close to their place of work.

The city of Tempe is one of my favorite cities in the Phoenix metro area. It is also where I call home. If you are interested in moving to Arizona, it is important to work with an agent who is an expert in the entire region and can guide you in selecting the perfect location considering your budget and criteria.

I am an Arizona native and have lived all over the Phoenix metro area throughout my life. You can trust me to help you and your family find the perfect home. Please feel free to reach out and schedule a consultation to discuss your upcoming plans.


The Hohokam were indigenous to the area and built canals to support their agricultural communities. For reasons unknown, they abandoned their settlements during the 15th century.

In the recent era, Fort McDowell was established approximately 25 miles northeast of present downtown Tempe on the upper Salt River in 1865. This allowed for new towns to be built farther down the Salt River.

Hayden’s Ferry, named after a ferry service operated by Charles T. Hayden was an early settlement of Tempe. At the time, the Salt Rover was not dammed and it flowed freely through the area. The ferry became the key river crossing in the area. The Tempe Irrigating Canal Company was soon established by William Kirkland and James McKinney to provide water for alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, and cotton.

Darrell Duppa, a pioneer of the time, is credited with suggesting Tempe’s name, adopted in 1879, after comparing the Salt River valley near a 300-foot-tall butte, to the Vale of Tempe near Mount Olympus in Greece.

In 1885, the 13th Arizona Territorial Legislature chose Tempe for the site of the Territorial Normal School, which became Arizona Normal School, Arizona State Teachers College, Arizona State College and finally Arizona State University.

The Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad, built in 1887, crossed the Salt River at Tempe, linking the town to the nation’s growing transportation system. The Tempe Land and Improvement Company was formed to sell lots in the booming town. Tempe became an economic hub for the surrounding agricultural area, and the city incorporated in 1894.

The completion of Roosevelt Dam in 1911 guaranteed enough water to meet the growing needs of Valley farmers. On his way to dedicate the dam, former President Theodore Roosevelt applauded the accomplishments of the people of central Arizona and predicted that their towns would be prosperous cities in the future. Less than a year later, Arizona was admitted as the 48th state, and the Salt River Valley continued to develop.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, Tempe has expanded as a suburb of Phoenix, and as a center of education and commerce.

Residential Areas

Tempe consists of four zip codes: 85281, 85282, 85283, and 85284. In the northern area of Tempe (85281), there is massive development underway near the Arizona State University campus and the Tempe Town Lake recreational area. The population of 85281 is expected to grow exponentially over the next two decades. Expect to see luxury condominiums and mixed-use development along the riverfront and Rio Salado Parkway.

85282, directly to the south of 85281, is similar to 85281 with regard to the types of homes found. Most of the neighborhoods in these two zip codes were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. The most common architecture found in these neighborhoods fit with mid-century and ranch styles. Homes here range between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet, on average. The lot sizes in these zip codes are quite large compared to other parts of Tempe and the surrounding suburbs.

85283 to the south of the US-60 freeway is a mix of older and newer neighborhoods. Most of the homes here were constructed in the 1970s and 1980s as Tempe’s population grew. The homes found here are a mix of homes similar to 85281 and 85282, but there are also many “starter” home tracts that were built during a time when mortgage interest rates were high, and housing was much more expensive. Here you will find many homes in the 1,200 to 1,500 square foot range. This zip codes is where The Lakes community is located, a premier lakefront community with a lifestyle uncommon to anywhere else in the Phoenix metro area. It is also home to one of Tempe’s largest parks, Kiwanis Park, around which you will find many of the “starter” home communities.

85284 is the southern most zip code in Tempe, and the newest. In the zip code, you will find many of the newer master planned communities built in the 1990s. It features gated communities, horse & ranch communities, and custom homes. Many people enjoy living here due to the high school, Corona Del Sol, one of Tempe’s highly rated public schools.

Property Taxes

If you are relocating to Arizona from California or the Northeast, you will likely be shocked by how low our property taxes are compared to where you are moving from.  In fact, Arizona residents benefit from lower property taxes than the national average for all states.

In Tempe, the average annual tax bill for a 2,000 square foot home is approximately $2,400. This will of course vary depending on the size of the lot, the size of the home, and special taxing districts, but it is a good rule of thumb to use as a baseline.

We can always help you understand the property tax bill for homes you are interested in purchasing and help you compare them to the surrounding area, including the other suburbs of Phoenix and similar property types.


Tempe is the headquarters to several companies, including Insight Enterprises, DriveTime, Carvana, Limelight Networks, LifeLock, First Solar, the Salt River Project, Circle K, Fulton Homes and Mobile Mini. Edward Jones Investments and State Farm Insurance have regional headquarters in Tempe.

Tempe prides itself in assisting burgeoning businesses and has a variety of resources and programs available, such as FABRiC (Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center) and BRiC (Business Resource and Innovation Center).

Tempe is also home to the first and largest campus of Arizona State University. It was the longtime host of the Fiesta Bowl, although the BCS game moved to University of Phoenix Stadium, located in Glendale, in 2007. It then began hosting the Insight Bowl which is now known as the Cheez-It Bowl.


Tempe rests at the northern most edge of the Sonoran Desert and features a hot desert climate. The average year-round high temperature in Tempe is 87 degrees and the average low is 63 degrees. Those not used to desert heat will find it dry and surprisingly comfortable since we do not experience high humidity and have air conditioning readily available everywhere.

The summer months (May to September) are very hot with temperatures regularly exceeding 100 degrees. We have very short fall and spring seasons and consider the winter to occur between October and April. Temperatures get close to freezing in the traditional winter months. With that said, the winter months in Tempe are very satisfying and comfortable. Winters here are the main reason so many people love calling Tempe home.

It may look dry due to the lack of natural rivers; however, at one time the Salt River and Gila River ran through the region untamed. They have since been dammed to form several reservoirs found north and east of the valley. These reservoirs now provide power and water, not to mention outdoor recreation, to the entire region.

The Phoenix metro area averages only 8 inches of precipitation per year and often experiences extended droughts, making water conservation an important issue in the city.


Tempe is served by multiple school districts. Most of Tempe is within the Tempe Elementary School District and the Tempe Union High School District; however, other portions are served by the Kyrene School District (K–8), Scottsdale Unified School District (K–12), and Mesa Public Schools (K–12).

James Madison Preparatory School and Tempe Preparatory Academy are charter schools located in the area.

Tempe also contains one of the state’s three major universities, Arizona State University, the Maricopa County Community College District administrative offices, and the headquarters of Rio Salado Community College.

Arizona State University is known for its numerous studies and innovations, particularly in the fields of science, education, business, biomedical engineering, engineering, and political science.

Tempe is also the home of several other schools, including the University of Phoenix, Brookline College, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Bryan University and Lamson Junior College.


Tempe Marketplace, a large open-air mall featuring live music and water and laser shows, is located just southeast of Tempe Town Lake. It features over 100 retailers, complete with outdoor fireplaces, water features, and landscaping. There are two distinct areas for shopping and dining at the center: an outer ring of Big Box retailers, and the central area of smaller shops and eateries called The District. In the center of The District is a large courtyard with a stage, where various local and national musical acts have performed free concerts.

Mill Avenue, near the campus, is a shopping and entertainment area in the city popular with pedestrians and students. Here you will find a mix of luxury condos, boutique stores, hip eateries, and college bars, not to mention lots of people watching. The northern bounds of Mill Ave meet with Tempe Town Lake and the recreational activities located there.

Tempe Town Lake, a commercial and high-rise development along the reservoir, is a great attraction for pedestrians, runners, and cyclists. You can also rent paddle boards and boats at the marina for a fun day on this man-made reservoir. Tempe Town Lake is home to many national and international events, such as Ironman Arizona and the Rock N Roll Marathon.

One of Arizona’s largest shopping malls, Arizona Mills, sits at the intersections of I-10 and US-60. It contains approximately 200 retailers and is currently anchored by Forever 21, Harkins Theatres, H&M, IMAX, Legoland Discovery Center, Rainforest Cafe, Sea Life Aquarium, Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, Conn’s, and Burlington Coat Factory.

Tempe was the location of the first and only IKEA branch in Arizona. It is located along I-10 at Warner Road.

Arts & Culture

Tempe houses several performance venues including Gammage Auditorium and the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Gammage Memorial Auditorium is a beautiful mid-century auditorium that hosts touring Broadway shows year-round. It bears the name of former ASU President, Grady Gammage, and is considered to be one of the last public commissions of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Tempe Center for the Arts is a new venue that sits on the western shores of Tempe Town Lake. It is a multi-theater venue that hosts local and regional symphonies, plays, and other acts. Opened in September 2007, it is a community crown jewel for performing and visual arts. The $65 million venue houses a state-of-the-art 600-seat theater, a 200-seat studio theater, a picturesque 200-seat multi-purpose space, a 3,500 square-foot art gallery.


Tempe does not currently host any permanent sports leagues, although a recent proposal was sent out by the city seeking input on developing a sports complex to host a professional sports team.

The city is the spring training host city of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Games occur in February and March, and they are played at Tempe Diablo Stadium on the west side of Tempe near I-10 and Southern.

The Arizona State University Sun Devils compete in football, basketball, baseball, as well as a number of other sports in the PAC-12 Conference of the NCAA. The Sun Devils football team plays their games at Sun Devil Stadium. Their nearest rival is the University of Arizona Wildcats, in Tucson. The two teams compete in the “Duel in the Desert” for control of the Territorial Cup.

The City of Phoenix is home to several sports franchises and is represented by all four major professional sports leagues. For basketball, we have the Phoenix Suns; they play in Downtown Phoenix at Footprint Center. For baseball, we have the Arizona Diamondbacks; they play in Downtown Phoenix at Chase Field. For football, we have the Arizona Cardinals; they play in Glendale, AZ at State Farm Stadium. For hockey, we have the Phoenix Coyotes; they play in Glendale at Gila River Arena. We also have a Professional Women’s Basketball team, the Phoenix Mercury who also play at Footprint Center in Downtown Phoenix, an Indoor Football League team, the Arizona Rattlers, who play at Footprint Center, and a Professional Men’s Soccer League team, the Phoenix Rising, who play at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex at Wild Horse Pass.


Tempe is one of the most densely populated cities in the state and serves as a crossroads for the area’s largest communities.

Freeways make up the major transportation system for the Valley. I-10 traverses the western side of the city and connects to Phoenix and Los Angeles to the west and Tucson and El Paso to the south and east. Loop 202 crosses the northern side along the north shores of Tempe Town Lake. Loop 101 intersects with Loop 202 at the northeast border and create the eastern border of the city. US-60 runs east and west through the center of the city just south of the ASU campus.

Tempe residents and commuters make extensive use of public transit and service is offered on a more frequent basis than elsewhere in the greater Phoenix valley, or in the entire state.

Valley Metro operates bus routes and the Valley Metro Light Rail system serves Downtown Tempe and Arizona State University, providing service to Phoenix and Mesa.

The City of Tempe operates a free neighborhood circulator service called Orbit involving five free shuttle routes near Arizona State University that operate on a regular basis seven days a week.

Three other FLASH (Free Local Area Shuttle) circulate in northern Tempe around the university. Most Tempe buses offer 15-minute service during rush hour and 30-minute service throughout the rest of the day.

Tempe is in the process of installing a streetcar system that connects with the Light Rail service that runs through Downtown Tempe. The streetcar will provide a loop around Downtown Tempe, the ASU campus, and the office complexes north of campus along Tempe Town Lake.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is located 2 miles northwest of Tempe. It can be accessed by car within 15 minutes from anywhere in the city. There is also a light rail station located at 44th Street that connects to an inter-terminal rail shuttle. This station is easily accessible from light rail stations located in Downtown Tempe.


The Phoenix metro area is served by over 50 hospitals and medical centers. The largest hospital network in Phoenix is Banner Health, operating nearly half of the hospitals and medical centers in the region. The Phoenix Children’s Hospital is ranked nationally for numerous pediatric specialties. Barrow Neurological Institute at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Central Phoenix is the world’s largest dedicated neurosurgical center. Ranked one of the best hospitals for over two decades, The Mayo Clinic operates one of its world-renowned centers here in North Scottsdale.

Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital and Banner Desert Medical Center are two major hospitals serving the area of Tempe.

Tempe Sales Stats

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Schools in Tempe

Tempe is served by multiple school districts. Most of Tempe is within the Tempe Elementary School District and the Tempe Union High School District; however, other portions are served by the Kyrene School District (K–8), Scottsdale Unified School District (K–12), and Mesa Public Schools (K–12).

James Madison Preparatory School and Tempe Preparatory Academy are charter schools located in the area.

Public Schools

Tempe Elementary School District (North Tempe)

Kyrene Elementary School District (South Tempe)

Tempe Union High School District


Charter Schools

James Madison Preparatory School

Tempe Preparatory Academy


College & University

Arizona State Univeristy

Rio Salado Community College

Homes For Sale in Tempe, AZ


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