So you are looking for greener pastures? A move to Utah for better job opportunity, being closer to family or whatever the reason... maybe the right move for you. I just want to make sure you have all the information you need before making such a large decision.
Can I afford a house here?
Utah recently went through a large housing price jump. The market appears to be leveling out, but housing is not as affordable as it once was. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to not trust those cost of living calculators. Check out the housing market. If you are coming into town for a job interview bring your significant other if you have one and meet with an agent or visit an open house for something similar to what you would want to live in. Make sure your expectations are on the right level. Here in Utah I was surprised to find that home square footage includes unfinished areas. Then meet with a lender and see if you can afford the type of home you want to live in with the new salary. Don't just go with the your pre-approved for $500,000.00 ask what the payments will look like or even better say I want my payment to be this with taxes, insurance and everything.
Will I be shunned because I am not LDS?
NO! While LDS (Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints) is the prevalent religion in many areas of Utah, everyone is very welcoming. A few things to note:
They are assigned to their churches or Wards by geographical locations. So your neighbors aren't more friendly to each other because they are LDS- they see each other all the time- in church multiple times a week and in the neighborhood. My neighbors are amazing. They are always willing to help out, invite me to neighborhood events and even to events at the church and no one is insisting I join ;).
They have been moving away from being called Mormon. I don't know why I just respect it
They are not polygamist. There are polygamist in Utah; it is just not LDS practice.
They for the most part do not drink alcohol or use profanity.
They are big on family.
I heard I can't get REAL beer...
That depends on what you call REAL beer and if you are unwilling to go to the liquor store.
Utah does have unique alcohol laws. DUI is .05 not .08 (new 2019). While they have removed the Zion law that required partitions in restaurants between patrons and the bar there are several chains that do not have bars in them, like Chili's. Good NEWS you can get regular beer you just have to purchase it at the State owned liquor stores. Not so great news the state decides when and where to put them so it can be a drive sometimes. WIne and hard liquor are available there as well. The grocery stores carry what is called 3:2 beer it is by weight not volume. That equates to roughly 4% alcohol by volume. So not shabby but not standard. There is a link under resources to Utah Alcohol laws.
What about the other stuff?
Car insurance tends to be high here, but grocery are considered reasonable. i have lived in quite a few states and they are not high like California but not cheap like Georgia. Water is a bit higher here as you are allotted an amount for irrigation and the price goes up the more you use. I find everything else to be pretty reasonably priced and you can find clothing swaps for kids stuff in a lot of neighborhoods.
What is there to do?
Outdoor life is amazing here in Utah. National Parks, State parks Ski resorts there is so much to do. Moab and southern Utah has some absolutely beautiful outdoor adventures and are a reasonable drive from the Salt Lake City area. Moab is a large draw for the Jeep owners and trails made for them. There are also parks closer to the Salt Lake Area. If you like winter sports it is a dreamland, with several ski resorts, snow machine trail areas and even snowshoeing. ATV and UTV riding is popular and there are locations close to Salt Lake and some sand dune riding not too far away. Shooting is also a popular activity on public land. Make sure you have the proper ammo and know where you are allowed to discharge.
There is nightlife in Salt Lake City, our side of that area the night life is a bit milder. However you can find theater both local and professional and there are plenty of movie theaters and entertainment options.
There are a few amusement parks though while small are entertaining, and if you have kids you will find there is a ton of activities for families.
One of my favorite discoveries is that despite being a very dry (weather not alcohol lol) state Utahans love their fire works! Fourth of July and New Years are popular but there is also Pioneer Day or as some of the younger generation has renamed it Pie and Beer day. Pioneer day is July 24th and commemorates the arrival of the Pioneers to the area. Many cities offer fireworks and many places along the Watsach front offer spectacular views of a plethora of fire work shows. I haven't had the opportunity to explore the Pie and Beer day portion but plan to attend some of the events in Salt Lake City this year.
Any downside to living in Utah?
I don't know if I can call them downsides, but it is very dry here. Lots of fires during the fire seasons. There is also an inversion that holds a layer of smog at ground level at times in the valleys. I haven't had any bad experiences yet other than sinus symptoms and there are air quality updates whenever it is an issue.
There is no gambling and no lottery. However, there is Windover to the north and Vegas to the south. :)
If you have any other questions about living in Utah please let me know. I am happy to help.
#movingtoUtah #Utahliving #UtahFamilylife #SaltLakeCity