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Salt Lake City relocation -- advice sought
Old 07-04-2020, 02:42 PM   #1
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Salt Lake City relocation -- advice sought

After wandering around the west for the past four years, searching for where to settle for my retirement, the short list had become:
  • Boise, ID (ruled out in a long visit in summer 2019)
  • Santa Fe, NM (ruled out after 4 month stay late 2019/early 2020)
  • Flagstaff AZ
  • SLC, UT
The next logical step is to rent in SLC for several months this fall/winter to explore neighborhoods, etc. as well as smaller towns in the SLC cachement area. Renting would also give me a place to hunker down if there is a "second wave lockdown" in the fall.

Note: I might have tested Flag first, but I have two years of ACA left, and the options in Flag are not good -- and quite pricey. UT options are better.

[Yes, I am aware of the strong LDS presence in SLC, and the potential air quality issues with inversions in the winter. Neither bothers me. Utah taxes are also not a major concern.]


ISSUE: There isn't much reliable information online (that I can find with mediocre Google skills) about areas/neighborhoods (most is click bait from realtors or site like The Niche.)

As I enjoy heading to the mountains year round, as well as skiing, and prefer established older neighborhoods with good (safe) walking and biking, my instinct is to rent in neighborhoods North or East to test. (it seems the south and west are the areas of high tech sprawl). But that might be incorrect.


QUESTIONS:
  • Does anyone here have suggestions for better sources of information about specific SLC areas/neighborhoods? City-Data isn't terribly active
  • Better: is anyone here a SLC denizen who might offer advice if I give more specifics about what I'd like in a neighborhood/area?
  • I could chat with realtors, but how do you find a realtor if you don't have any local referrals? For my first house purchase 30+ years ago I had friend's local referral, and for the next two purchases agents were assigned via corporate relo. One was great, one was dreadful.
Another possible approach is to work with an apartment locating service, but they seem to be fly-by-night, pointing you to rentals that pay them the highest commissions, rather than fit your needs.

Thus, I am staring at a blank slate -- or perhaps a green field. And with Covid-19, my plans for a two week July visit to have another good look around have been pushed to at least September.

Advice gratefully appreciated!
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:48 PM   #2
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I used to live in the SLC / Ogden metro back in the 90's so I'm a little dated here. You said it all. If you don't mind the taxes, the bad air quality, or the quasi-theocratic vibe to their politics, you might enjoy the place. In fact I won't even swear to the tax and air situation because a lot could have changed in 23 years.

The weather almost can't be beat. Winters are "seasonal" in nature but not midwest cold and snowy. But you can drive up to the mountains if you need that. The rest of the year is mild/warm sunny, sunny, sunny. Summers get into the 90's but it's a dry heat and the extreme altitude doesn't retain a lot of heat in the evenings. It's a desert so rain hardly ever ruins a picnic or a car washing.

The altitude might be a problem though. Might take some getting used to. I was young and the difference while exercising compared to places nearer sea level was very noticeable even then.

Sorry I can't give any insight into neighborhoods. It's been a long time and I suppose neighborhood vibes, home values, traffic patterns and such drift over that much time anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbWire View Post
After wandering around the west for the past four years, searching for where to settle for my retirement, the short list had become:
  • Boise, ID (ruled out in a long visit in summer 2019)
  • Santa Fe, NM (ruled out after 4 month stay late 2019/early 2020)
  • Flagstaff AZ
  • SLC, UT
The next logical step is to rent in SLC for several months this fall/winter to explore neighborhoods, etc. as well as smaller towns in the SLC cachement area. Renting would also give me a place to hunker down if there is a "second wave lockdown" in the fall.

Note: I might have tested Flag first, but I have two years of ACA left, and the options in Flag are not good -- and quite pricey. UT options are better.

[Yes, I am aware of the strong LDS presence in SLC, and the potential air quality issues with inversions in the winter. Neither bothers me. Utah taxes are also not a major concern.]


ISSUE: There isn't much reliable information online (that I can find with mediocre Google skills) about areas/neighborhoods (most is click bait from realtors or site like The Niche.)

As I enjoy heading to the mountains year round, as well as skiing, and prefer established older neighborhoods with good (safe) walking and biking, my instinct is to rent in neighborhoods North or East to test. (it seems the south and west are the areas of high tech sprawl). But that might be incorrect.


QUESTIONS:
  • Does anyone here have suggestions for better sources of information about specific SLC areas/neighborhoods? City-Data isn't terribly active
  • Better: is anyone here a SLC denizen who might offer advice if I give more specifics about what I'd like in a neighborhood/area?
  • I could chat with realtors, but how do you find a realtor if you don't have any local referrals? For my first house purchase 30+ years ago I had friend's local referral, and for the next two purchases agents were assigned via corporate relo. One was great, one was dreadful.
Another possible approach is to work with an apartment locating service, but they seem to be fly-by-night, pointing you to rentals that pay them the highest commissions, rather than fit your needs.

Thus, I am staring at a blank slate -- or perhaps a green field. And with Covid-19, my plans for a two week July visit to have another good look around have been pushed to at least September.

Advice gratefully appreciated!
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:02 PM   #3
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This is tangential since the author chose Ogden not SLC but you may find his process and his description of the pluses and minuses of the area interesting.

http://https://www.caniretireyet.com...ld-you-retire/
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:22 PM   #4
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I don't live in SLC, but I live in Utah Valley to the south, and used to live in Sandy (south part of Salt Lake Valley). Based on your description of desiring an older neighborhood, I think your instincts are correct -- East or North. If you want to stay in the Salt Lake Valley, look at Millcreek and Holladay -- nice, older neighborhoods with easy access to the mountains. Another area to look at is just around the mountain from downtown Salt Lake -- North Salt Lake and Bountiful. Both give quick access to the city, but again, have nice established neighborhoods.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:28 PM   #5
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I should also note, you should define "older". I lived in Sandy 30 years ago. At the time, it was the "new spot" for growth. Now that area of the valley is pretty well established. Newer growth is further south in Draper, and even more in the Southwest part of the valley, near Herriman and Bluffdale. If you are looking for 30 year old neighborhoods, add Sandy to your list to look at. Those further North are older -- you'd be looking at homes built in the 50's and 60's.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:10 PM   #6
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I have to say I think you are underestimating the inversion issue. My DB has been in SLC for 50 plus years and says it gets worse every year and it's very unpleasant to be under a red air alert for prolonged periods.

So I'd throw out the mention of Logan UT where I went to school a little cold but a lot clearer and cleaner then SLC... also Cedar City UT.. where you would ski at Brian Head.

Another possibility would be the Tooele area..not as big of an inversion problem yet close to SLC. Price is going to be better in Tooele as well.

I think you'll find sprawl everywhere in SLC.

That's just my 2 cents.. I love Utah and even though I left it over 45 years ago I would be happy in live anywhere in the state now.

Good Luck...
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:59 AM   #7
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I'm a current resident and may be able to help.

I purchased a 2nd home in Sandy in 2004. When we retired in 2015, we made it our primary home.

We visit other people's homes when we attend group socializing events (parties) and the neighborhoods all seem nice. The only region I would avoid is downtown. Homelessness is a growing problem. The recent protests and defunding the police are not what I want in a neighborhood.

I avoided older homes back when I was shopping. Many of the old homes were plain brick construction which is poorly insulated. Also, many homes were too big or pretended to be too big. By this I mean, we looked at small homes in terms of square footage, but had 5 or 6 bedrooms. Every closet was turned into a bedroom along with extra rooms added here and there.

So, starting a home search begins with a selecting a region and setting a price point. Cheaper, newer properties will be way south (Utah county) as well as west of I15 and South of 7200. Good neighborhoods can be found Just north of SLC (east of I15). MY region is east of I15, South of 3300 and north of the southern mountains (Draper). Very nice older homes exist along the eastern section of I215.

Generally, the closer to the Wasatch mountains, the older and more expensive the homes will be. My metric back in 2004 was the prices fell $100K for each mile away (west) of the mountains.

I'm an active skier and used the ski message boards to learn about SLC neighborhoods. But, the information is too diluted to be of any use for you.

Zillow might be helpful to general stats.
New websites might be helpful.
https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ut...0one%20in%2014.
nextdoor.com
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Old 07-05-2020, 02:04 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for these thoughtful replies. Let me see if I can address them without cutting and pasting lots of quotes....

I used to read the "Can I Retire Yet?" blog regularly when it was the blog of Darrow Kirkpatrick; my interest waned as he largely passed the reins to Chris, who is writing for a mid-life audience. I did read Chris' post on Ogden a couple of years ago, and had Ogden on my initial list. It reminded me a lot of Spokane -- also on my initial list: an industrial town being nicely reborn and reshaped by an influx of 30 and 40-somethings. Just -- for a variety of reasons -- not my cup of tea.

I also had Logan on my initial list, as it is a very pleasant university town. And, like Ogden, I may revisit it if I rent for an extended period in SLC.

Cedar City, Toole, N. SLC, Bountiful .... good suggestions. Exploratory junkets will be planned.

Elevation: not a concern. I spend most of my time in the US well above 6,000' hiking and biking, and do not and will not (knock on wood) have issues.

Inversions and air quality: a big unknown, in many ways. This is now an issue in so many metro areas that it is hard to avoid. Fortunately I have never had any respiratory issues. Tolerance for the SLC valley inversions is something to be tested by renting.

By "older" I am indeed thinking 30-60 years old, and I do realize that may mean doing significant renovations. 1800-2000 sq feet. Looking forward until I reach 85 (!) access to public transport may well be important, should driving become an issue. That may suggest something somewhat more central.

Finding a smaller home that is of reasonable quality and has not been chopped up into a "rabbit warren" is always a challenge. My realtors (NJ, OR, NC, TX) in the past have dismissively called anything smaller than 2000 sq-ft a "starter home" and they were, in general, structural junk. One might think that would change with the downsizing boomer wave....

Aside: A pipe dream is to find a 1950-60s MCM house, maintain the exterior aesthetics, and do an interior renovation to 2021 standards, designed for aging in place .... alas, probably a pipe dream.

I had not realized that Sandy is so "old" -- and may well have neighborhoods that are well-established, rather than cookie-cutter homes thrown up at low cost but high price.

I will look at the geographies described by Utah Skiier. Perhaps you could give links to the ski boards? Yet another place to dig.

Holladay and Millcreek are on my radar. Cottonwood is as well. Those may well be the areas I rent in as I explore.

Smaller towns "swallowed up." As so many cities have sprawled (think Austin, Boise, Denver, Sacramento) they have "swallowed' smaller towns, yet many of those towns have retained their character and identity, with their own downtown core, shopping, community feel.

In fact, as one aged (as friends have), one could live an entire existence in that small community, not needing to venture into the greater metro area unless necessary -- while having a sense of "belonging" to a smaller community. (Another example would be the smaller NJ towns across the Delaware River from Philly, such as Collingswood and Haddonfield. They have a strong small town/community feel, yet Philly is just 20 minutes away).

Finding such an area in SLC would be very good indeed.


Again, thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply!
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbWire View Post
After wandering around the west for the past four years, searching for where to settle for my retirement, the short list had become:
  • Boise, ID (ruled out in a long visit in summer 2019)
  • Santa Fe, NM (ruled out after 4 month stay late 2019/early 2020)
  • Flagstaff AZ
  • SLC, UT
The next logical step is to rent in SLC for several months this fall/winter to explore neighborhoods, etc. as well as smaller towns in the SLC cachement area. Renting would also give me a place to hunker down if there is a "second wave lockdown" in the fall.

Note: I might have tested Flag first, but I have two years of ACA left, and the options in Flag are not good -- and quite pricey. UT options are better.

[Yes, I am aware of the strong LDS presence in SLC, and the potential air quality issues with inversions in the winter. Neither bothers me. Utah taxes are also not a major concern.]


ISSUE: There isn't much reliable information online (that I can find with mediocre Google skills) about areas/neighborhoods (most is click bait from realtors or site like The Niche.)

As I enjoy heading to the mountains year round, as well as skiing, and prefer established older neighborhoods with good (safe) walking and biking, my instinct is to rent in neighborhoods North or East to test. (it seems the south and west are the areas of high tech sprawl). But that might be incorrect.


QUESTIONS:
  • Does anyone here have suggestions for better sources of information about specific SLC areas/neighborhoods? City-Data isn't terribly active
  • Better: is anyone here a SLC denizen who might offer advice if I give more specifics about what I'd like in a neighborhood/area?
  • I could chat with realtors, but how do you find a realtor if you don't have any local referrals? For my first house purchase 30+ years ago I had friend's local referral, and for the next two purchases agents were assigned via corporate relo. One was great, one was dreadful.
Another possible approach is to work with an apartment locating service, but they seem to be fly-by-night, pointing you to rentals that pay them the highest commissions, rather than fit your needs.

Thus, I am staring at a blank slate -- or perhaps a green field. And with Covid-19, my plans for a two week July visit to have another good look around have been pushed to at least September.

Advice gratefully appreciated!


Surprised no one has suggested Park City... if it fits your budget.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:44 PM   #10
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Surprised no one has suggested Park City... if it fits your budget.
Cedar City area zeroing in on Brian Head would be the poor man's PC..
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:48 PM   #11
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Park City? No thanks. One of the reasons that I ultimately rejected Santa Fe was that I do not want to be in a place highly dependent on tourism. That skews both the economy and the social dynamics of the community.

And I believe that in Park City a shoebox costs $1M. Not a good value proposition, in my mind. You ought to get at least a boot box for $1M!
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Salt Lake City relocation -- advice sought
Old 07-07-2020, 06:56 AM   #12
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Salt Lake City relocation -- advice sought

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbWire View Post
Park City? No thanks. One of the reasons that I ultimately rejected Santa Fe was that I do not want to be in a place highly dependent on tourism. That skews both the economy and the social dynamics of the community.



And I believe that in Park City a shoebox costs $1M. Not a good value proposition, in my mind. You ought to get at least a boot box for $1M!


Like I said, if your budget allows, but we looked seriously in the SLC area awhile back and Park City was the only area of interest.

Santa Fe, also a place we looked at seriously, IMHO the issues arenít tourism at all. Now crime and water? Absolutely.

Obviously different strokes for different folks...
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:52 AM   #13
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Like I said, if your budget allows, but we looked seriously in the SLC area awhile back and Park City was the only area of interest.

Santa Fe, also a place we looked at seriously, IMHO the issues arenít tourism at all. Now crime and water? Absolutely.

Obviously different strokes for different folks...
Crime, yes. That is another issue in Santa Fe, especially if one travels a lot. Water takes research; it is not a place I would want to have a well.

One can avoid the tourism if one avoids the center of town, though it was love,by to ďhave it emptyĒ during March and April .... though not good for businesses, many of which did not survive the loss of the spring business ...

So .... did you settle on Park City? Or look elsewhere? Sounds like we may have some of the same criteria.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:11 AM   #14
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Crime, yes. That is another issue in Santa Fe, especially if one travels a lot. Water takes research; it is not a place I would want to have a well.



One can avoid the tourism if one avoids the center of town, though it was love,by to ďhave it emptyĒ during March and April .... though not good for businesses, many of which did not survive the loss of the spring business ...



So .... did you settle on Park City? Or look elsewhere? Sounds like we may have some of the same criteria.


We ended up in Bend OR after a short period in Jackson Hole, WY.

Lived in Bend for ten years, but moved back East for aging parents.

Next move for us will be a Barrier Island along the southern coast of the Atlantic.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:21 AM   #15
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We ended up in Bend OR after a short period in Jackson Hole, WY.

Lived in Bend for ten years, but moved back East for aging parents.

Next move for us will be a Barrier Island along the southern coast of the Atlantic.
If you haven't been to Park City in over 10 plus years it's a whole different animal now. And not in a good way.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:28 AM   #16
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I haven’t lived there for 35 years, but lived in Provo/Orem for a few years in the 80s. Our kids lived there for 7 years up until a couple years ago, so we visited often. Personally, I don’t like SLC, or Provo/Orem. But if I had to choose between the two, it would be the latter. That said, I’ve got a friend who lives in Kaysville. It seems like a nice place to live, and my friends really like it there. But if I were to choose a place in Utah to live, I’d prefer Logan. The people there are very friendly, the pace is a bit slower, the air (and the town) are cleaner. But, it is a bit colder in the winter I believe. We moved out of California two years ago, and I did give some thought to Southern Utah, St George/Hurricane/Cedar City, but ultimately we decided on the East Valley of the Phoenix area. Might have been better if we visited Flagstaff first, or maybe Prescott. Prescott is a bit warmer in the winter than Flagstaff and cooler in the summer than Phoenix.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:44 AM   #17
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I havenít lived there for 35 years, but lived in Provo/Orem for a few years in the 80s. Our kids lived there for 7 years up until a couple years ago, so we visited often. Personally, I donít like SLC, or Provo/Orem. But if I had to choose between the two, it would be the latter. That said, Iíve got a friend who lives in Kaysville. It seems like a nice place to live, and my friends really like it there. But if I were to choose a place in Utah to live, Iíd prefer Logan. The people there are very friendly, the pace is a bit slower, the air (and the town) are cleaner. But, it is a bit colder in the winter I believe. We moved out of California two years ago, and I did give some thought to Southern Utah, St George/Hurricane/Cedar City, but ultimately we decided on the East Valley of the Phoenix area. Might have been better if we visited Flagstaff first, or maybe Prescott. Prescott is a bit warmer in the winter than Flagstaff and cooler in the summer than Phoenix.
We think alike here..oddly enough you grouped CC in with SGU and Hurricane yet the climate of the three is pretty different. Was at a open home in SGU and person mentioned they sold out and were moving to CC. The comment was why you would up North and go to all that snow and cold..the horror of it... you would have thought they announced they were moving to MN...
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:23 PM   #18
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If you haven't been to Park City in over 10 plus years it's a whole different animal now. And not in a good way.


Iím afraid that is pretty much true everywhere that is attractive to the monied...
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:59 PM   #19
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Iím afraid that is pretty much true everywhere that is attractive to the monied...
Massive timeshare unit are not aimed at the monied..but ruin small town feel.
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Old 07-08-2020, 11:56 AM   #20
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We ended up in Bend OR after a short period in Jackson Hole, WY.

Lived in Bend for ten years, but moved back East for aging parents.

I love the Tetons and camp up here for a month every summer (here now, in Signal Mtn campground). And I spent 14 years in OR, and Bend is on/off my short list.

Park City, like Santa Fe, has changed dramatically in the past decade, spurred in no small part by the Short Term Rental boom, which — in the neighborhoods I am interested in — changes the small town and neighborhood feel. And in the case of Santa Fe, in the past decade the middle class has largely vanished. — replaced by the financially well-heeled on one end of the spectrum, and not-as-fortunate on the other. It is not a well balanced community.

Hence I have concluded that either a town that is not driven by tourism, or a nice neighborhood (or former small town) in a metro area like SLC might be the best option.
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