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    Long known as a major destination for snow birds as well as aviation lovers, Arizona is a major desert state that soaks the sun and boils in the summer. With picturesque landscapes, the state has often been used as a movie set for westerns that needed tall geological spires in the background and red sand for a setting. The state is also home to the famous Grand Canyon as well as one of the biggest asteroid craters in the world. With major population centers in Phoenix and Flagstaff, the state is also famous for its universities and education centers. For those looking for a retirement home in a warm climate, Arizona fits the bill, with extensive networks for retirees to settlement down and find the right community.

    Arizona is one of the larger states in the United States; its population of nearly 6.5 million people ranks 15th in the union. The state's GDP is an impressive $259 billion, giving Arizona an economic output larger than many smaller nations such as New Zealand. Although the state government is the largest employer, there are also large private employers. The top ten private employers in Arizona are Wal-Mart, Banner Health, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, McDonald's, Apollo Group, Kroger, Raytheon, JP Morgan Chase, and Honeywell International.

    Here are two interesting facts about Arizona: the largest telescope in the world is located in Sells, AZ, and the state's Parker Dam is the world's deepest dam.

    The Cities of Arizona

    There are a number of interesting cities in the state, some of which are well known and others that are hidden gems. Here are the five largest cities in Arizona:


    Population: 1,445,632

    Easily the best-known AZ city, Phoenix is the state's capital, its largest city by population, and the sixth largest city in the United States. The city's economy is very diverse, with job opportunities ranging from high tech to government jobs to tourism. Phoenix is home to four companies listed in the Fortune 500: Avnet, Freeport-McMoRan, PetSmart, and Republic Services.


    Population: 520,116

    Tucson, the state's second largest city, is located in southern AZ. Home to the University of Arizona, Tucson's population skews younger than the rest of the state. The largest employers in the city are Raytheon Missile Systems, the University of Arizona, the state of Arizona, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and Wal-Mart.


    Population: 439,041

    The third largest city in AZ is home to a variety of interesting cultural destinations. These include the Golfland Sunsplash waterpark, the Mesa Grande Ruins, and the Mesa Arts Center. Mesa's largest employer is the city's public school system.


    Population: 236,123

    Chandler is one of AZ's hotbed for high technology. Companies such as Intel and Orbital Sciences have locations in Chandler, and high tech firms employed about 25% of the city's population in recent years.


    Population: 226,721

    Glendale is a city located less than 10 miles away from Downtown Phoenix. The city is home to the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the National Football League's (NFL) Arizona Cardinals.

    Banks and Credit Unions in Arizona

    Consumers in AZ can find a wide range of financial institutions to take care of all their banking needs. Here are a few banks that are headquartered in the state:

    • AM Trust
    • Arizona Business Bank
    • Bank of Arizona
    • BBCN (Center Bank)
    • Canyon Community Bank
    • Capital Bancorp Limited
    • Central Arizona Bank
    • Colonial Savings, F.A.
    • Fireside Thrift Company
    • First Savings Bank
    • Foothills Bank
    • Mohave State Bank
    • Yuma Community Bank

    National banks located in Arizona include Bank of America, Bank of the West, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and Fifth Third Bank.

    Arizona Home Loans

    Whether you're shopping in Phoenix, Chandler, or anywhere else in the state of Arizona, you'll have a lot of options for obtaining your AZ home loan. Ratezip.com is designed to help: providing homebuyers valuable mortgage rate comparisons to find the right lender for a purchase or refinance. Keep reading and then get started by comparing quotes from multiple lenders.

    As of this writing, the average home value in AZ is about $180,000, an improvement of about 12% from 2012. This is a great sign, as Arizona was one of the hardest hit states during the recent housing crash, along with other "sand states" like Nevada.

    Compare quotes on fixed rate mortgages, ARMs, jumbo & FHA loans using RateZip's financial search engine. We've been helping consumers in Arizona find a great mortgage rate since 1997!

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