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Moving to the greater SLC Utah area September 1st, where should we live?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I wasn't sure which forum to put this in, but figure it falls under Travel!


My GF and I are moving to UT at the end of August, more than four years after our original "house hunting" trip in 2007.  Thank a layoff and a bad economy for the long delay.  We are looking for some advice on where to live.



We are mature (late 30s/early 40s) and looking to rent a 2 bedroom condo for 6-12 months before buying a house if everything goes well and we find the right location.

I am bringing my job with me, and only really need to be within reasonable (2 hours) of a major airport.  She is not bringing her job.  She is taking a voluntary layoff on 10/31, so will work from home until then.  She is currently a manager of a team of 15 programmers and analysts, and this is the likely role she will shoot for in SLC.  She would like to limit her commute to 45 minutes or less.  Needless to say, shorter is better, but this is probably the one reason why we can't live just anywhere we chose.

We love to be outdoors.  We run, hike, camp, telemark, XC ski, snow shoe.  We are not extreme nor winter hikers/campers.  She is an intermediate telemarker, and I am an expert.

I might be interested in doing some light backcountry and skinning at some point, I'm sure I will once we get out there.

I spent about two months living in Breck a few years ago, and I loved it.  I wasn't working, so it was basically just fun, but I did like living in a town with walkable stuff and bars.  That said, I am cheap and this move will cost a bundle so we will rarely be going out on a regular basis so this is not a major priority.  Having one bar we could walk to would probably work for us!

We are not wealthy, so we have limitations on how much we can spend.  Rental-wise we are probably looking around $1200 for a two bedroom, but of course I would like to go cheaper if I can, especially while my GF finds a job.



I would like to "live where I play," or at least as close as I can get.  I recognize that my GF will likely not be able to get a work-from-home role, so our compromise would be living closer to the city than I would like.  As long as I can get places within 45-60 minutes, I should be in good shape.

Walkable towns are great, but I'm probably dreaming about that.  I guess safe places with a non-conservative feel would be my best bet.  I don't care what race/religion/orientation my neighbors are, but I don't want them to care about my business either.  (We're not married and not planning on it)

I would like to be out of the inversion if possible.


What we know:

We did some house hunting in SLC a few years ago.  We thought Sugarhouse was cool.  We looked at some things in Cottonwood Heights.  My GF did not like the 70s vibe of the houses, but I'm less picky and would trade that to be closer to skiing.

We have skied nine ski areas in the SLC area.  Basically everything but Wolf Mtn and Sundance.  We like them all.  I think I would love Alta/Snowbird, but I have never hit them on a good day.

I hate crowds.  One reason I love places like Snowbasin and Powder, at least based on prior experience, was the lack of crowds.  I would trade worse snow for less people almost every day.

I like the idea of living in Park City, but given that it is so much lower than the Cottonwoods or Huntsville/Eden, is that a problem snow-wise?  I also suspect it's just too expensive to settle into long-term.  However, it seems like we could afford to rent there for a season and check it out.  Not my favorite ski areas there, but anything is better than where I am now.



If one cannot live in a "ski town" like Park City, or close to skiing like in Hunstville/Eden, are we better off living in SLC?  Are there any happy mediums?  Towns that are not just suburbs, and will make me think I'm in the countryside?  Sandy and such seem too generic for me.


If we live in SLC, any recommended areas?


If we live in PC for a season, will my GF have weather-related issues commuting to SLC?  Anyone with experience in that area?


I know the questions are fairly wide open, but we really would appreciate any help and direction you can help with.


Thanks for indulging my questions, it's a big move and we want to get it right!

post #2 of 9

I'd do a search pretty sure this has been discussed before.

The higher snowfalls occour in the cottonwoods and most would consider better skiing. last season everyone got it pretty good, but the season before the northern resorts and wasatch back didn't get  very good or much snow. I myself have never understood the mystic of sugarhood, but being able to walk down for a $6 cup of jo don't do much for me but being 2 turns and a mile away from the mouth of the lcc and bcc is more of a priority.Seems like you can get a lot more square footage/house value on the E bench or Riverton/Draper I have 2 friends that live in "walk to" neighborhods who have had people walk in and take all their stuff where as ,knock on wood, in 15 years in Sandy/Comptonwood Heights,  We've yet to be a crime victim.

I think Heber might work for you if you don't mind the commute, less pretentious than Park Snippty, but again farther from better quality lift served skiing.

Eden /huntsville are both  pretty nice, and similiar elevation to pc though

Check the KSL classified they get almost as much traffic as Craigslist here.

No need to sacrifice snow quality for crowds

Skin 2 Win


after of course properly oufitting yourself w/ safety gear and appropiate bc/snow safety knowledge

post #3 of 9

If I were moving to Utah, I'd look somewhere north of 2100S.  For me it's better to live in a nice neighborhood wtih an easy commute to work.  I work 200+ days a year, and ski maybe 50 or 60.   Even for skiing LCC, the difference between Cottonwood Heights and the airport is only a few minutes on the Interstate, going the easy way against traffic. 

From what I can tell, outside of a few SLC neighborhoods, all of northern Utah is either tourist towns or boring suburbs with way too much religion for me. 



post #4 of 9

As skifishbum said, you are likely to get a ton of information by searching the different threads on this forum.


That said, my initial thought was Mountain Green.  It sounds like it would offer much of what you are looking for, except for the walking town/bar.  If that is high on your priority list, then you would want to look elsewhere.  Mountain Green is relatively close to SLC (about 35 - 40 minutes), but feels much further away as it is surrounded by mountains.  Also, since it is through the canyon via I-84 in Morgan Valley, you escape the inversions, similar to PC and Ogden Valley.  It is primarily a small residential community with only a few businesses to speak of.  Any real shopping, restaurants, bars, etc would require a trip to surrounding towns like Eden, Huntsville, Morgan, Layton, Ogden, etc.  As for skiing, you would be about 10 minutes to Snowbasin, 25 minutes to PowMow, 45 - 50 minutes to PC, and a bit over an hour to LCC/BCC resorts.  Condo rentals may be somewhat limited, but you should be able to find something to suit your needs.


Other options would be some of the East bench suburbs of SLC (Cottonwood Heights, Sugarhouse, Foothill, Millcreek, University Heights, etc.), Park City, Heber, or further north in Eden/Huntsville.  Of those listed, my first choice would be Eden/Huntsville.  I am partial to Northern Utah and just love the Ogden Valley with Pineview Reservoir and all the surrounding peaks.  However, the commute to SLC would be more like an hour.


When we moved to Utah about 4 years ago, our initial plan was to live in Park City.  However, the more we researched and investigated our options, we seemed to gravitate to the north, especially the Morgan Valley and Ogden Valley areas.  We ultimately ended up buying a place on the bench right at the mouth of Weber Canyon, about 15 minutes to Snowbasin and a 30 minute work commute for me.  BTW - the commute from the north has been dramatically improved with the opening of Legacy Parkway.


Best of luck on your search.

Edited by NeedToSki - 7/20/11 at 10:13am
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks you everyone for the feedback, this is very helpful.  Particularly to NeedToSki, I appreciate the specific town suggestions, I think you have hit on what we are really looking for.  In the end, I want to be somewhere where I can chose to stay home for the weekend and chill on my deck with a beer, versus always having to head out of town to "experience" the outdoors.  Not sure yet if we'll be able to manage this.


I would say that I hate overpaying for anything, so walking to a bar is not helpful if they charge me $6 for a beer or a coffee!  I would rather live in the country and drink my own beer on my deck/patio!  Always nice to walk somewhere, but I can do without.


I am curious about the Sugarhouse comments, and I think the comment is to point out that, if one lives downtown or closer to downtown, there is crime and such.  To be honest, I would prefer to live somewhere pretty safe.  We live in an impossibly dull suburb now, but then again, no one has ever broken in to our car (unlocked always) nor our house, nor taken stuff off our deck.  So, I would like that.  Again, I primarily work from home, so I want to be somewhere decent.  I don't have time to walk to lunch, etc., so not a concern.  Nor do I want to spend the money of course.


We discussed locations last night and figure we are likely to rent for the first year somewhere between Sugarhouse and Cottonwood Heights.  This should give an idea of the area and good central location from which to do a proper house search.  As much as I might want to live outside of the city, I'm just not sure how reasonable that will be during this first transition year.  However, I do think I'll spend a lot of time looking at the towns up the various canyons as that would be my ultimate goal.


Keep them coming, and I'll do some more searching of the forum.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi folks,


Just wanted to post an update on our situation.  We decided to start our Utah move with temporary housing for about two months.  Because it is such a short period of time, we jumped on a cheap one bedroom up near Deer Valley for starters.  Although unlikely to stay in this exact area due to cost during the high season, we did think this was a unique opportunity for us.  Plus, my GF can work from home for the next two months, so a rare time that we can both live further from the city.


We arrived on 9/2, so just getting a feeling for things.  However, the fact that we can hike from the door of the condo is great, and really reminds me that I would like to live in a four season area.  Old Town is about a mile, and we are also on the bus route so all-in-all pretty good.  The biggest problem is that we stuck our bikes in storage, and clearly we could use them for the next two months!  We are working on borrowing some or buying cheapos on Craigslist, but no luck so far.


We spoke to a few locals this weekend, and found out that some folks are actually renting places at pretty reasonable rates if you sign a 12 month lease now.  The idea being that they can know they have income coming in all year round, and they don't have to worry as much about just renting during the high season when the economy is down.  They live in a 2/2 bed for $1200, and a 3/3 for $1500.  I think that's pretty good for walking distance to lifts.


Although the snow quality is no doubt a lot better in the Cottonwoods, I really think we may have to compromise based on 4 season activities and try to stay here, at least for this first winter.  We'll see once we start looking at the rental market a little more closely.  Of course, we do eventually want to buy somewhere, but I hear prices are still on their way down here, so it's a good time to wait and see!


Thanks for all of the input, I'm sure I might hear some more opinions on the snow quality issue!


post #7 of 9


post #8 of 9

Sounds like you already like where you're at.  I'm happy skiing any one of the three Park City areas; hope you are too.  Good luck.


When I lived in the area from 1998-2001, I had a house in Stansbury Park.  The nearby town of Tooele was rapidly growing with good cheap housing - might still be a better deal out there.  The drive isn't too bad into SLC, and you don't have to go through the Parley's Canyon racetrack on a daily basis.  No matter how fast you're going up Parley's, there's always someone else going faster.

post #9 of 9

Sorry I was late to this post- it's summer.

 You're in a great place. Park City is a little bit of heaven on earth. I'm not sure what Skifishbum is smoking, but he does live in, well... er...  Sandy, with it's Stepford wife(s) bland vanilla monoculture, strip malls and horrible suburban seventies architecture, year around smog and 100+ heat in summer. Sandy's a local joke, so sorry. Pass the Jello. The only consolation is the Cottonwoods up the road, and um, we have that too, with a short drive... 

  We lived In the Avenues in SLC for eight years, and many friends live in Sugerhouse or Marmalade (Capital Hill), all pretty hip, for Utah, and with great historic houses... but we've been in PC 8 years now and can't believe we waited so long to move here. The summers are clear and temps are in the 70's, the winter's are mild (I grew up in the northern midwest) The snow is plentiful and champaign powder. We are a lovely little town and everybody knows everybody. The 19th century old town is charming, walkable and it's a great town for kids.  Year round rents are reasonable, and even houses are more affordable than they've been in years. You're 6 miles from Alta as the crow flies, and it's 40 minutes on uncrowded highways with gorgeous views on that big pow day...unless you stay in town and ski at one of three world class resorts. Two share ropelines and you can hit PCMR from the Canyons with a rock. We're the home of the U.S. Ski Team- Ted Liggity, Picabo Street, and countless world class skiers, past, present and future. Having had a season pass to Alta for 8 years and Bird for two, I thought the PC resorts were the booby prize. They're not, not by a long shot. They get  somewhat less snow than Bird's 711" last season, being on the back-  but it is Utah snow. Yo-yoing 30" of champaign powder at DV in a snowstorm with just your buddies and all the tourists sheltering in the lodge is a much different experience than the LCC feeding frenzy- which is just 'round the mountain anyway, if you like. I head over once a week, but in PC, you can step outside and catch a lift every day for an hour or two...


Also, PC has a good deal of culture for a small town, not to mention Sundance. Concerts at the Eccles Center, Outdoor music in DV,  The Egyptian Theatre, the Kimball Art Center, and galleries everywhere. We are a cosmopolitan town with people from all over the world. Our school system is the best in the state and supported by double taxes on second homes- but even then, Utah taxes are quite low compared to the coasts.


 Did I mention the huge system of well maintained mountain bike trails? We just voted another $20 m bond to buy more open space and expand them.

 My wife makes the commute to SLC three days a week. Get a good set of Blizzacks and you'll be fine.





 so, Welcome to town. P.M> me and I'll show you where the stashes are come winter. 


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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Moving to the greater SLC Utah area September 1st, where should we live?