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!