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Southern Utah
Old 06-22-2006, 08:10 PM   #1
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Southern Utah

Curious if anyone out there has the goods on the St. George/Southern Utah area as a place to ER.

From some light research on my part:

Pros: Sunny, dry climate with pleasant winters; beautiful scenery; great outdoor recreation; relatively low cost of living; near world class Natl Parks.

Cons: Isolated; so retirement-oriented could be monotonous; culture dominated by Mormon faith (not meaning to offend those in the faith); chilly winter nights (So Cal weather weenie coming out in me here).

Any first hand experiences? Thanks.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-22-2006, 08:18 PM   #2
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Re: Southern Utah

You want to live in Utah

Good luck.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-22-2006, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: Southern Utah

St. George is one place I would plan on renting for at least a year before buying.* To say the community culture is different is an understatement.

Have you considered communities east of Salt Lake?* Were I to consider Utah they would be the only locations to make my Utah short list.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-22-2006, 10:53 PM   #4
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Re: Southern Utah

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphabet soup
You want to live in Utah

Good luck.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-23-2006, 10:10 AM   #5
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Re: Southern Utah

You might want to take a look at Cedar City Utah. It is a short ride north of St. George, near Zion National Park. My daughter worked there at the Utah Shakespearean Festival for 3 summers and we spent some time there. It is higher elevation than St. George so not as hot in the summer and not as arid. The campus of the University of Southern Utah is there so there are educational and cultural opportunities.

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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-23-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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Re: Southern Utah

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
You might want to take a look at Cedar City Utah.* It is a short ride north of St. George, near Zion National Park.* My daughter worked there at the Utah Shakespearean Festival for 3 summers and we spent some time there.* It is higher elevation than St. George so not as hot in the summer and not as arid.* The campus of the University of Southern Utah is there so there are educational and cultural opportunities.*

* * Grumpy
My suggestion is to come and visit the area. Grumpy is correct about Cedar City. Be aware that St. George is the winter home to many folks from Salt Lake City as well as being a retirement community. It all comes down to what you want. St. George is hot, dry and prone to the same politics as the rest of the state. Taxes are not exactly retiree friendly and housing prices continue to rise at a pretty good cliip. If you like the desert, be sure to look at smaller cities in AZ and NV too. The tax savings alone might be worth it.

If you are a golfer be aware that summer golf in St. George is a morning event. Playing golf in the hot sun when it is 110 degrees usually makes the morning T times very valuable and courses crowded 6 days a week.

Visit and stay a few weeks during the summer to see if you can deal with the place.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-23-2006, 06:32 PM   #7
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Re: Southern Utah

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphabet soup
You want to live in Utah

Good luck.
Hmm.* Less than a ringing endorsement*


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
St. George is one place I would plan on renting for at least a year before buying.* To say the community culture is different is an understatement.

Have you considered communities east of Salt Lake?* Were I to consider Utah they would be the only locations to make my Utah short list.
Thanks, brat.* I have heard "culture" in the area is quirky.* Ski resorts east of SLC are stunning but too chilly for my blood as far as permanent living.


Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
You might want to take a look at Cedar City Utah. It is a short ride north of St. George, near Zion National Park. My daughter worked there at the Utah Shakespearean Festival for 3 summers and we spent some time there. It is higher elevation than St. George so not as hot in the summer and not as arid. The campus of the University of Southern Utah is there so there are educational and cultural opportunities.

Grumpy
Thanks, grumpy.* I haven't looked into Cedar City but I'll do a little research.

Thanks, also, Steve, for insight.* I didn't realize the tax environment was unfavorable in UT.*

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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-24-2006, 09:25 AM   #8
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Re: Southern Utah

Utah has great scenery with smatterings of theocracy.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-24-2006, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: Southern Utah

Perhaps the "theocracy" and resulting cultural quirks of Utah are too much of a disadvantage compared to the positives of climate, scenery and access to the outdoors.*

Sometimes I daydream about cashing out of the house here in SD and moving to a sun drenched outdoorsy place in the Southwest, living mortgage-free and ER'ing now.* *I envision traveling around the parks, mountains, ski areas, golf courses, etc of the West while using the house as a base... sort of a Kaderlis in the Western states model.* *

I suppose I could do this in AZ, NV or NM.* I would prefer a warm-weather base with lots of sunshine.* Just need a pool in the backyard.

Life is good here in San Diego.* But it'll take a while longer to pay down the mortgage.* That means keeping at it on the job... which I don't dread, but get bored with.*

Thanks again for feedback and, of course, I'd welcome any thoughts on "the daydream".
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-24-2006, 09:58 PM   #10
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Re: Southern Utah

My July AARP arrived today - Dream towns article: Las Cruces, Rehoboth Beach Delaware, Memphis, Charleston, and - drum roll please - St George, Utah.

Haven't read the article yet.

heh heh heh
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-24-2006, 10:42 PM   #11
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Re: Southern Utah

Cedar City is a couple of thousand feet higher and has much colder winters but milder summers than St. George.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-27-2006, 11:11 PM   #12
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Re: Southern Utah

As luck would have it, sat next to a woman on the plane from Vegas ... she and her husband are from ... St. George, UT.

Told her about folks concerned about LDS there, and she laughed ... but she is LDS. Still, I've had plenty of LDS friends, and I think concerns are usually overblown.

They love it there, but real estate is getting pricey, she says. Most are $150/sf, with the McMansions (of which there are increasing numbers ... the CA retiree effect) going for $200/sf.

Trying before buying sounds like a great idea. That is a very scenic part of the U.S.

Best of luck.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-27-2006, 11:49 PM   #13
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Re: Southern Utah

One advantage of St. George is you fly in and out of Vagas... cheap flights.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-28-2006, 01:26 AM   #14
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Re: Southern Utah

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
My July AARP arrived today - Dream towns article: Las Cruces, Rehoboth Beach Delaware, Memphis, Charleston, and - drum roll please - St George, Utah.

Haven't read the article yet.

heh heh heh
Thanks for tip on the article, unclemick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mb
Cedar City is a couple of thousand feet higher and has much colder winters but milder summers than St. George.
I'm kind of an oddball with regard to weather.* I love the temperate climate here in So Cal, but if I have a choice of summer heat vs. winter cold, I'll take the heat every time.* Sometimes I even think SD is a little on the chilly side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles
As luck would have it, sat next to a woman on the plane from Vegas ... she and her husband are from ... St. George, UT.

Told her about folks concerned about LDS there, and she laughed ... but she is LDS. Still, I've had plenty of LDS friends, and I think concerns are usually overblown.

They love it there, but real estate is getting pricey, she says. Most are $150/sf, with the McMansions (of which there are increasing numbers ... the CA retiree effect) going for $200/sf.

Trying before buying sounds like a great idea. That is a very scenic part of the U.S.

Best of luck.
I suppose if you're enjoying the great outdoors you can look beyond the whole LDS issue.* I've heard property is appreciating over there.... we're flattening out in SD.* Still, could cash out here and buy for cash there.* Very tempting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
One advantage of St. George is you fly in and out of Vagas... cheap flights.
Yes, I think Vegas is only two or two-and-a-half hours away.* Could be antidote to sleepy lifestyle in St George... as you said, good air service for getaways.

Thanks all for observations and comments.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-28-2006, 09:01 PM   #15
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Re: Southern Utah

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
My July AARP arrived today - Dream towns article: Las Cruces, Rehoboth Beach Delaware, Memphis, Charleston, and - drum roll please - St George, Utah.

Haven't read the article yet.

heh heh heh
Las Cruces NM
Rehoboth Beach DE ? State tax good I think
Memphis where in Memphis?
Charleston getting pricey
St. Geo. not unless I convert and have to live there because of DH... nah..
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-28-2006, 11:13 PM   #16
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Re: Southern Utah

Hmmm, lots of negative opinions on LDS dominated St. George. I recently relocated from New Jersey to Salt Lake and was concerned about this issue. My LDS neighbors are friendly and well, just downright neighborly. No one has tried to convert me yet though I expect that "visit" soon.

Being nonLDS and nonwhite I am definitely in the minority in UT but have not seen it to be a big problem. While on a business trip I was captivated by the beauty of St. George and purchased property there three years ago. I have received unsolicited phone calls from realtors offering more than twice what I paid for the property.

By all means visit the area and see for yourself. My only one caveat is the public education system in UT is ranked near the bottom in the country. So if you have kids you may need to consider private schooling for them.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-28-2006, 11:42 PM   #17
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Re: Southern Utah

Salt Lake is much more diverse than it used to be, in fact LSD members now account for less than 50% of the population.

I agree that children may complicate the decision. Many children's social orgs are a part of religious programs.. including Boy Scouts where programs must accomodate their activities.

Wouldn't be much different if Adventists or R Catholics predominated and it is necessary to work around their religious observances.
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-29-2006, 01:21 AM   #18
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Re: Southern Utah

Found AARP article on St George on internet site. The article describes a couple in their mid 50s or so who relocate from California and love their new surroundings. They enjoy the outdoors, bought mountain bikes, etc. Also mentioned they have very small mortgage after selling in CA (Central Valley IIRC).
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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-29-2006, 06:55 AM   #19
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Re: Southern Utah

California dreamer,
You might want to check out Mesquite, Nevada as well it is just over the border from St. Geoge , it is 90 miles from Las Vegas, and weather is close to St Geoge's weather. The whole area is pretty, not anything even close to San Diego's though. There are many religions in Utah all though Morman is the majority and dictates most of the politics for the state.

We just got back from San Diego this week the weather was really hot and humid which is unusual for this time of year..but we really enjoyed it, we went to Pacific Beach, coming from Vegas it is a great get away.

Kathyet

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Re: Southern Utah
Old 06-29-2006, 01:51 PM   #20
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Re: Southern Utah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outby7
Hmmm, lots of negative opinions on LDS dominated St. George. I recently relocated from New Jersey to Salt Lake and was concerned about this issue. My LDS neighbors are friendly and well, just downright neighborly. No one has tried to convert me yet though I expect that "visit" soon.

Being nonLDS and nonwhite I am definitely in the minority in UT but have not seen it to be a big problem. While on a business trip I was captivated by the beauty of St. George and purchased* property there three years ago. I have received unsolicited phone calls from realtors offering more than twice what I paid for the property.*

By all means visit the area and see for yourself. My only one caveat is the public education system in UT is ranked near the bottom in the country. So if you have kids you may need to consider private schooling for them.
I have lived in Utah for over 15 years and raised two kids in the public school system. DW has lived her over 30 years and also raised two kids and now grandkids in the school system.

The LDS religion is a political concern more than a social one. Utah is a religious state and the predominate relgion has a direct say in city, county, state and local Fed. matters to a very large degree. The good side of all this is that the place is generally clean, well organized and the violent crime rate is low. The state has a "family values" culture so all forms of "sin" are carefully watched and closely legislated. The down side is that you are at the mercy of the whims of the "church" in most every aspect of social life here. There are some problems from time to time with kids and adults not being able to "play" together because of the life styles of the respective families. Case in point...

My family drinks and a few still smoke. We have parties at the house and my neighbors are not invited because they would be offended and would not enjoy themselves. For the same reason, we are not invited to any parties they have. Most of my neighbors are LDS. They are good people and would do most anything to help you out if you needed it. But, they are still first and foremost LDS and that has a MAJOR influence on every aspect of their lives...including their work life.

If you don't have a thick skin and if you don't mind getting creative in your own entertainment...then Utah may not be the place for you. If you are used to the wide open social life of most other major cities or states, then Utah will be a bit of a shock. You can get most anything you would want...it just takes more effort and planning to do so.

There are times when I wished I lived somewhere else but then I look around and see what there is to see and do here and I get over it.
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