Utah Real Estate and Market Information

Nov. 12, 2018

How to Determine Whether Buying or Renting is for You

Not sure whether you should buy or rent? Well as it turns out we are going to make it very easy for you to decide. We are going to cover a few typical situations that many consumers come across and answer the questions definitively.

Here is when it makes sense to buy.

Your Employment is Steady

If you have been at your current place of employment, or at least a couple years or you have a skill set that is in demand, then buying a home is probably in the cards for you. Buying your first home can create some anxiety. Now you are responsible for a mortgage payment on the first of every month. Plus there are additional expenses like property taxes and HOA fees. But don't despair. A good rule of thumb is to have several months worth of payments in the bank just in case you lose your job. This will create a strong sense of security for you if the inevitable occurs. And if you have a strong skill set, you will be able to find a job in no time.

The Housing Market is Collapsing

This is probably the opposite of what you might expect. But when it's a buyers market, deals are to be had. Over time home values normally do increase. And when the market turns around, the value of your home can increase substantially. You just want to make sure that the home your purchasing has inherent value.

So how would you go about measuring this? Well for starters, you want to buy a home that has a great location and is zoned to good schools. Most people get scared when a crisis hits, but this can be the perfect time to pounce. A good school district is directly correlated to an increase in value for home prices. Parents always want their kids going to the best schools available. And homes locating near popular destinations are almost always in demand.

Here are some typical situations where renting might be best.

The Property Hasn't Shown an Increase in Property Value

The house might be perfect for you. And it even might be in a great neighborhood. But do yourself a favor and check the property value for the last 10 years. If you are not sure where to find this information, ask your realtor. But there should be county records you can access. You want to make sure that home is trending in the upward direction.

Here is what happens if the property value stalls out. You won't get any appreciation in value on your home. So assuming you are making property tax payments and you have a mortgage, you are going to be losing money on the home. Sure you can try and wait it out, but wouldn't it be easier not to. Plus don't forget, the seller is usually responsible for the commission on the home when it comes to sell.

Your Employer is Notorious for Moving Their Employees Around

If this is you, then renting is an easy decision. Some people with families don't like the idea of renting because they need space including a front yard and a garage. Well nobody said you have to rent an apartment. Talk with your realtor who can show you some great houses for lease.

If you are looking for a place to buy or an apartment to rent, Rentkidz finds rentals and homes for prospective clients. Get great service and have all of your needs taken care of in today’s marketplace.

Posted in Buying
Oct. 1, 2018

Utah MLS Home Search – Nine Things You Didn’t Know About the MLS

Utah MLS imageThe mls is sometimes referred to as Multiple Listing System, but more commonly and universally known as the Multiple Listing Service.  The mls is a database with different technologies. In Utah, the largest mls is the Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service “WFRMLS”.  It is powered by Utah REALTORS® and it is maintained by the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. And although the Park City mls and St. George mls have their own mls database and a large and growing number of listings, they make their listings available on the WFRMLS.  

1. Utah doesn’t have just one MLS -

There are different mls databases in Utah (many of which are very small) and over 800 across the country.  Most of the ones in Utah cooperate with the WFRMLS and it has over 95% of all the Utah real estate listings.

2. MLS is a private database based on cooperation -

The Utah mls is a private database which allows competing real estate brokers to cooperate with one another to sell real estate and make real estate transacting smoother.

3. The Utah MLS has been around for a while -

The mls system of cooperating has been around since the late 1800s and is a valuable and collaborative tool for REALTORS® and for the general public.  The Salt Lake Board of Realtors was founded in 1917 and is Utah’s largest real estate trade association.  The Utah mls allows real estate agents to sell property at the best price at right time for their clients.  

4. The MLS is a powerful marketing tool -

When properties are listed on the mls in Utah, it gets broadcast to all the agents and their clients who are looking in that area and are set up to search in that particular area.  Our website has all the properties on the Utah MLS and is updated every 5 minutes.

5. Is the MLS trademarked? –

The term mls is a generic term and cannot be trademarked

6. The Utah MLS includes REALTOR® Information -

There are over 15,000 real estate agents in Utah.  The mls in Utah on the utahrealestate website has over not only includes the vast majority of homes for sale, but it also has a list of Utah REALTORS® in which you can look up real estate agents.  It has over 93% of all the agents in the state. 

7. Innovation -

MLS databases, and particularly the mls in Utah encourage innovation and different business models

8. Rental Properties and Commercial Real Estate listings -

The Utah mls doesn’t just have properties for sale, but includes rental properties as well as multifamily and commercial listings as well.

9. Used by Homeowners to Find Properties -

51% of homebuyers find their home online according to the National Association of Realtors.  Having up to date and accurate information on the Utah mls is critical in order serve the public.  In order to have accurate information, there is a specific form that Utah real estate agents use called the “Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service Listing Input Form”.  It includes detailed information such as price, address, tax information, school districts, lot dimensions, amenities, features, show instructions, real estate agent information, etc.

Real Estate agents are competitive, but they cooperate with one another to better serve their clients.  The MLS helps them work together and is based on the idea that “If you will help sell my listing, I will help to sell yours”

Our website is integrated with the real estate mls in Utah and has every listing in Utah and is updated by the MLS every 5 minutes.

https://www.harvestparkgroup.com  

 

Sept. 18, 2018

7 Reasons to Not Sell Your Home to Try and Time the Market

Every week I receive lots of different questions on real estate.  Some of these are complex such as how to analyze a large real estate portfolio, while others are more straightforward.  I am not an accountant or lawyer and I don’t play one on tv, Utah Homes for Salebut I am a real estate professional who has seen different markets from different angles.  People often ask me about the real estate and financial markets and what I think will happen.  There are economic forecasts that I review, and research I study.  I monitor the yield curve, read history, and I review major national and local leading economic indicators.   

One specific question which many people are asking surprises me.  “Should I sell my home and rent while I wait for a housing correction and then buy again?”

Given how significant the last business cycle was on real estate values, personal finances, and the overall economy, I can understand why many people would ponder this and wonder if they can time the market cycle and harvest their equity while they rent and then buy again.

In addition to having gone through the pain of the last cycle, there are some reasons to rent instead of buying your personal home.  These could include lifestyle, budget, timing (particularly with transitions), personal finances, marital and family situations, and a whole host of other reasons.  Kevin O’Leary aka, Mr. Wonderful, from the hit ABC show, shark tank, thinks that everyone should rent unless they are married and have children.  And while I disagree with Kevin on this (and many other things), renting can be great, and is often necessary for a huge portion of our population to provide a needed affordable option.

Despite all the reasons why someone may choose to rent, one reason that I do not recommend is to try and time the housing market.  For every person who seems to time the market just right selling their home to rent so that they can follow the adage buy low and sell high, there are several others who do not fare so well trying to time the real estate market with their personal home. (particularly if you have a family)

Here are 7 things to consider when trying to time the real estate market with your personal home.

1. Your primary home is not an investment in the traditional sense –   

While in some ways it may be the best investment you ever make, and for many, it is the biggest financial decision of their lives, it is more akin to a forced savings plan that offers ongoing utility.  Most people don’t look at their home as an investment since you must continue to pay out for it every year and so from a cash flow perspective, it is sometimes looked at as a liability and cash outflow.  Obviously, if you can generate positive cash flow from your home or have other investment real estate, it is different.  There are other costs associated with home ownership as well.  And unless you move to a much cheaper area or downsize, you are going to continue to need housing.  So, when the equity in your home rises, so do all the homes in your neighborhood.  

2. Disruptive to your family –   

Moving can be very difficult and downright traumatic for some.  Depending on the attitude, age and the distance moving and network, moving is disruptive and requires a lot of change and adjustments.  Do you really want to move your family to a rental for an indeterminate amount of time, then move again hopefully at a better cost basis?  

3. Transaction costs –

It can cost up to 10% to sell your home.  It can be a bit lower, but 10% is a good ballpark figure.  And while you may not have quite as much cost to buy, you will still have closing costs and expenses incurred in moving and settling into a new place.

4. Impossible to predict with certainty –   

No one has a crystal ball.  Even the best “market timers” miss all the time.   You are just as likely to miss out on more appreciation than you are to miss out on any adjustments.  I have known families in Utah who sold their home a year or more ago to try and capture their equity and get back in at a better time.  Home prices went up in Salt Lake County by 10% in 2017.  The median home price is hovering right around $350,000 as of right now.  They lost out on a lot of appreciation during this past year and a half.

5. Amortization of your loan – 

As any mortgage lender or financial planner will tell you, most of the interest you pay for your home loan is weighted up front and as you get closer to the end of your loan, the amount towards principal and interest flip, and you pay less and less interest.  By resetting the clock by trying to time the market, you end up paying more mortgage interest upfront and you lose out on that continued amortization of the loan.

6. Momentum – 

Do you remember Newton’s first law of motion?  Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change by external forces. Home ownership has been likened to getting on a train.  You jump on as soon as you can, and you hold on.  If you get off, there is no certainty that you will be able to board again.  I have seen people who thought they would sell their home and have all this equity but then are not able to buy a home that they have any interest in living in again because prices have gone up.

7. Other benefits of owning  

In addition to the dollars and sense (pun intended) of home ownership, there are psychological and social benefits of homeownership.  People will tend to invest more time and energy into relationships with neighbors and others when they own.  In addition, there are a host of positive benefits of homeownership including higher test scores and less in children of homeowners, greater civic engagement, and better health outcomes to name a few.

If homeowners decide to sell their home and rent for whatever reason, I hope the reason isn’t to try and time the market and come out financially ahead.   There is a lot of risk to taking this approach and I have seen many more families burned by doing this.  It is important to do the right thing and to do it at the right time, but people get too wrapped up with “timing” in real estate, when “time” can be much more important.  Those who I have seen do the best are the ones who have held onto assets the longest.  Get in, strap on, and hold on.  What are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear your stories and feedback.  You can email me at eliot@harvestparkgroup.com

 

 

For this article and more like it as well as to get an instant free home valuation nationwide and see Utah Residential & Commercial MLS Listings that are updated every 5 minutes, check out my website at https://www.harvestparkgroup.com/

Sept. 4, 2018

The Top Elementary Schools In Salt Lake City, Utah

Top Elementary Schools in Salt Lake City, Utah

For families who have children between the ages of five and seventeen that are looking to move either to or within Salt Lake City, schools are a critical factor in the decision-making process.

This is especially true at the elementary school age level, where young minds are given the foundation for the rest of their academic careers. It is integral that schools are convenient and easily accessible, offer a wide range of both curricular and extracurricular programs, and ultimately ensure a superior educational experience.

Niche put together a fantastic guide of the top Elementary Schools in Salt Lake City for 2018-19 using rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from both parents and students. They also used a wide variety of data directly from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include teacher quality, district quality, state test scores, student to teacher ratio, and student diversity.

Using that ranking guide provided a solid backbone upon which to create the following list that showcases the top-rated elementary schools in Salt Lake City, Utah:

1. Canyon Rim Academy, Salt Lake Public School District

Canyon Rim Academy has just over 500 students enrolled and is located at 3005 South 2900 East in Salt Lake City, UT. It currently has a student-teacher ratio of 23 :1 and boasts math and reading proficiencies of around 70%. This school is currently ranked as the best overall public elementary school in all of Salt Lake City according to the Niche guide.

Canyon Rim aims to help students achieve their academic, social, and emotional potential and offers a wide variety of core knowledge (math, science, english) and liberal arts courses.

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2. Beacon Heights Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Beacon Heights Elementary School is located at 1850 South 2500 East in Salt Lake City, Utah. It has around 500 students currently enrolled and a student-teach ratio of 25:1.

Beacon Heights scores very well academically, as 80% of students are proficient in math and almost 70% are proficient in reading. Staff and faculty are also very well reviewed, as many parents went out of their way to share positive reviews of core subject instruction and quality extracurricular / after school programs.

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Elementary School

3. Ensign Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Ensign Elementary comes extremely highly recommended by students and teachers alike. With an impressive student-teacher ratio of 19:1 and under 400 students currently enrolled, Ensign ensures that each child gets plenty of attention and instruction.

Located at 775 - 12th Avenue, over 70% of students are proficient at math and reading, while the computer, extended learning, and music programs are all fantastic extracurricular activities available to Ensign attendees.

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4. Hawthorne Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Located at 1675 South 600 East in Salt Lake City, Hawthorne Elementary has just under 450 students. Named after famous American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne is currently ranked better than 96.6% of schools in the entire state of Utah.

With a student-teacher ratio of 23:1 and a math and reading proficiency level of around 70%, students are given the proper tools and environment to succeed. Hawthorne also offers an ELP program for gifted students, which has received extremely high praise from both parents and children.

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5. Indian Hills Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Indian Hills currently has just under 500 students enrolled and is one of the top performing elementary schools in Salt Lake City. Test scores are also quite good, as 70% of students are proficient at math and reading - far above state averages. The school is located at 2496 St. Mary’s Drive.

With a student-teacher ratio of 21:1, class sizes are certainly quite reasonable as well. 96% of the teachers at Indian Hills have 3+ years of experience, which is also well above the current average for the rest of Utah (84%).

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6. Uintah Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Uintah Elementary School has been one of the top performing elementary schools in Salt Lake City for quite some time now. The school is located at 1571 East 1300 South and has almost 600 students. Students have excelled in math, reading, and science at Uintah, as around 75% are proficient in all three subjects - far, far above the state average of around 50%.

The current student-teacher ratio is 24:1, which is right around average. Students rave about the computer program and flexible homework options - and school spirit is promoted year round with plenty of unique theme days and events.

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7. Bonneville Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Located at 1145 South 1900 East, Bonneville has over 525 students enrolled and a respectable student-teacher ratio of 22:1. Academically, the school performs well above the state average in English, Math, and Science - with over 80% of students being proficient. This is over 30% higher than the average scores for the rest of Utah.

Bonneville also has an excellent program for students with disabilities, as over 55% are proficient compared to just 22% for the rest of the state. With student artwork on display in the hallways, a dance program, and an excellent music program, Bonneville offers one of the best student experiences at the elementary age-level in all of Utah.

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8. Wasatch Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

With just under 500 students currently enrolled, Wasatch is certainly a medium-sized elementary school that consistently scores 20-25 percent higher on math, reading, and science proficiency tests than other schools throughout Utah.

Located at 30 R Street, the school has a fairly decent 23:1 student-teacher ratio. Students love how much the curriculum encourages and provides opportunities for them to explore the arts - there is even a yearly arts festival.

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9. Highland Park Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Highland Park Elementary currently has almost 750 students currently enrolled, making it one of the bigger schools on this list. However, it still has a lower than state average student-teacher ratio of 21:1. Tests scores are also quite good, as 70-75% of students are proficient at reading, math, and science.

There is also a heavy focus on the arts, as students put on a wide variety of musical performances, dance recitals and plays throughout the year. The “Hands-On-Science” programs are also a big hit with both students and parents. Teachers go above and beyond to establish good relationships with parents as well - culture/learning environment is especially important at Highland Park.

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10. Emerson Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Emerson Elementary School has almost 600 students currently enrolled and is located at 1017 Harrison Avenue S., which is in the southeastern part of Salt Lake City. Students score 15-20% higher on proficiency tests than the state average for K-6 math, reading, and scientific evaluations.

The student-teacher ratio is at a very respectable 22:1, and almost 100% of teachers at the school have 3+ years of experience.

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11. Cottonwood Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Students at Cottonwood consistently score well above the state average on proficiency tests for reading, math, and science. The science program really stands out from other schools in the Salt Lake City area, as 80%+ of students score well on exams.

Located at 5205 Holladay Blvd. East, Cottonwood has just under 500 students currently enrolled. There is a ton of parental involvement encouraged, including a “Dad’s Club” that puts on special events throughout the year. The school also employs several Nationally Board Certified Teachers as well. Cottonwood Elementary School -

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12. Howard R. Driggs Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Howard R. Driggs is located at 4340 South 2700 East in Salt Lake City and has almost 700 students currently enrolled from K-6. The school does extremely well on state-wide proficiency tests, as 75-80% of students excel in reading, math, and science.

Howard R. Driggs also has a fantastic program for students with disabilities, as students in the program score almost 30% higher on average than some of the other programs offered across Utah at the elementary school level. With a friendly office staff, unique online assignments, and a very tight-knit community, Howard R. Driggs certainly has a lot to offer prospective students.

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13. Oakwood Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

With around 600 students currently enrolled, Oakwood is a medium-sized elementary school with a slightly higher than average student-teacher ratio of 28:1. However, Oakwood students score between 70-75% on proficiency tests, which is well-above the state average of around 50%.

They also offer students several fantastic extracurricular options, including the extremely popular Chess Club. The arts and music program is also very highly praised as well. There is a ton of parental involvement and an environment that truly promotes growth, fun, and achievement.

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14. Butler Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Located in the southern part of Salt Lake City, Butler Elementary is a top performing elementary school that consistently scores above the state average in reading, math, and science proficiency. Students with disabilities also do quite well at Butler, as they score almost 20% higher than students enrolled in other programs across Utah.

The school also has a lower student-teacher ratio (20:1) than most of the other elementary schools in the greater Salt Lake City area. Butler also boasts an impressive new building, which really stands out from other elementary schools in nearby neighbourhoods.

Thanks to a $250 million grant approved by voters in 2010, the school re-opened in 2016 and has 30 classrooms with new lighting, audio-visual technology, windows, gym, common areas, and recreation room. There is also a highly-praised French immersion program available to all students as well.

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15. Morningside Elementary School, Salt Lake City Public School District

Morningside currently has almost 700 students enrolled, making it one of the bigger elementary schools in the Salt Lake Public School District. Students perform quite well in reading, math, and science, as the school is consistently 15-20% higher than the 50% proficiency average.

It also has one of the better programs in the entire city for kids with disabilities, especially in English - 65% of students in the program are considered proficient, compared to just 11% across the rest of the state. The French immersion and Magnet (accelerated learning for gifted students with a focus on greater independence, especially outside the classroom) programs are both fantastic as well.

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The Salt Lake City, Utah area certainly provides a number of exceptional elementary schools that have a wide variety of unique programs for students from K-6. It is fairly easy to find a school in the Salt Lake area that performs 30%+ higher than the overall state average. This is also true for students who have disabilities and need special care and attention.

Although this list is quite comprehensive, it only covers 15 out of over 100 elementary schools in the greater Salt Lake City area - there is certainly no shortage of education options. If you are considering a move to or within the city, please contact the Harvest Park Group today for assistance in making the best choice for your family. We have in-depth neighborhood guides and pride ourselves in providing the best available information to help you make an informed decision.

 

 

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Posted in Schools
Sept. 3, 2018

[Guest Blog] First Time Home Buyer's Checklist

Buying a home is undoubtedly exciting. But it can also be a stressful time - especially for first time home buyers. What should you do ahead of time? How does the process work? And how can you guarantee that your first time buying a home goes smoothly? The endless list of unknowns can be intimidating - not to mention, a tad scary.

If you are reading this article, you’ve come to the right place. We will provide you the info to get you started. After all, there is more to buying a home than house hunting!

Get Your Mortgage Pre-Approved

This should go straight to the top of your list. Don’t start viewing homes until you have a financial plan in place - and a budget. Find out what your down payment should be. What is your price range for homes? What is your maximum amount?

And first and foremost, shop around for a decent mortgage rate. Assess your best options and find out if you are eligible. Most people can’t afford a home without a mortgage - and chances are, you can’t either. You’ll need it if you want to become a first-time homeowner.

If you are worried about your credit, work on bumping up your score and reliability if you know you want to buy in the next few years. It may take time to get your finances in order.

Don’t Just Financially Plan Out Your Mortgage, Be Aware of Extra Fees

Buying a house can cost you - and it won’t just be for the actual cost of the house. Real estate agents, closing fees, inspection fees, and eventually, monthly utility bills add up. Make sure you are aware of all these hidden variables. On another note, also look into tax rebates or tax payments that come into play. These should also be top of mind.

Consider Getting a Real Estate Agent

Also known as a buyer’s agent, a real estate agent can help you make good decisions - based on the market and your budget. They know where houses are being sold and can help you with researching places and areas. They also can set up viewings for you. Choose someone who is experienced and has been in the biz for more than a few years.

Don’t Flop Out On The Home Inspection

The last thing you want to do is move into your new place only to find mold or asbestos. Talk about extra expenses! Get that home inspection. Although most home inspections cost 300-500 dollars, it’s worth it. They make sure everything is up to code and can give you a peace of mind - you’ll know you aren’t moving into a fixer-upper with added costs.

And Lastly, Decide On Your Priorities Before Looking!

What matters to you the most? Do you want to start a family in this home? Do you want to be close to your gym? Do you need a 2 bedroom and bath kind of place? Write down your priorities ahead of time. Make them clear to your agent and then, scout out the houses that have them.

And remember, have fun! You’re opening a new chapter as a first-time homeowner. Enjoy the moment!

 

 

Kurtis Forster is a real estate agent for Nu-Vista Premiere Realty Inc. in London, Ontario, Canada.

Posted in Buying
Aug. 28, 2018

The Best High Schools In Salt Lake City Utah

Best High Schools In Salt Lake City Utah

For families who have children between the ages of fourteen and seventeen that are looking to move either to or within Salt Lake City, schools are a critical factor in the decision-making process.

This is especially true for students entering high school, a time where young adults are beginning to slowly transition towards post-secondary education before eventually entering the workforce and full-time careers. It is integral to find a high school that is positively reviewed, has dedicated and passionate teachers, and offers a wide range of both curricular and extracurricular programs to give your child the best chance of success after graduation. 

Niche.com has put together a fantastic guide of the top High Schools in Salt Lake City for 2018-19 using rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from both parents and students. They also used a wide variety of data directly from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include teacher quality, district quality, state test scores, student to teacher ratio, and student diversity.

Using that ranking guide provided a solid backbone upon which to create the following list that showcases the top-rated high schools in Salt Lake City, Utah:

1. Academy for Math, Engineering, and Science (AMES), Salt Lake Public School District

https://u.realgeeks.media/harvestparkgroup/Academy-for-Math,-Engineering,-and-Science-(AMES),-Salt-Lake-Public-School-District

Located in the southern part of Salt Lake City, the Academy for Math, Engineering, and Science (AMES) is arguably the best high school overall within Salt Lake City. Students consistently perform 15-20% above state averages, excelling in English, Math, and Science. With just under 500 students currently enrolled, it is also one of the smaller high schools in Salt Lake City.

AMES students really take advantage of AP courses, as over 80% of those enrolled take advanced classes - compared to just 18% on average across the rest of Utah. Some courses from the University of Utah are also offered to students. With a low 18:1 student-teacher ratio, students really receive a ton of individual attention. 

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2. Salt Lake School For The Performing Arts, Salt Lake City Public School District

https://u.realgeeks.media/harvestparkgroup/Salt-Lake-School-For-The-Performing-Arts,-Salt-Lake-City-Public-School-District

Despite having average test scores overall, this relatively small niche high school receives a ton of praise from its 300 or so students. With a clear focus and dedication towards the arts, the Salt Lake School For The Performing Arts provides students a safe and fun atmosphere to hone their craft.

The sense of community is second to none, and all staff members do a great job combining academics and the love of performing art. Students are provided with college-level drama and music classes by high school instructors who are among the best in the business.

It was recently voted the best Charter School in all of Utah, an extremely prestigious honor. With no extra tuition costs, students from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds have a chance to pursue their love of the arts. 

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3. West High School, Salt Lake City Public School District

https://u.realgeeks.media/harvestparkgroup/West-High-School,-Salt-Lake-City-Public-School-District

West High School is located in the heart of Salt Lake City and currently has over 2,300 students enrolled - making it one of the biggest high schools in Utah. Students usually do quite well academically, routinely scoring around 10-15% above state averages in English while coming just above typical performances in Science and Math.

Despite having such a large number of students in attendance, the student-teacher ratio is right at the state average (23:1). West High School also has one counselor per 400 students, nearly double the average for other high schools across Utah.

The teaching staff is quite experienced, as 100% of the faculty has 3+ years of experience - well above average compared to other high schools. With a flexible AP program and many clubs, teams, and other extracurricular activities available to students, West High School has something to offer everyone.

To top things off, there is a unique blend of racial and socioeconomic diversity that encourages a sense of belonging and acceptance - there is a ton of school spirit and an unmistakable sense of community. 

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4. Brighton High School, Salt Lake City Public School District

https://u.realgeeks.media/harvestparkgroup/Brighton-High-School,-Salt-Lake-City-Public-School-District

Brighton is another large high school, as it currently has over 2,100 students enrolled. Located at 2220 East Bengal Blvd. in the southeastern part of Salt Lake City, Brighton routinely outperforms the state-wide academic averages in Math, English, and Science.

Students with disabilities also see increased academic performances at Brighton when compared with similar programs offered throughout Utah. The student-teacher ratio is definitely quite reasonable for such a large school, as it currently sits at 24:1 - barely above the state average.

For athletes, Brighton’s sports-teams routinely excel against other high schools and consistently are in the hunt for city championships. Many students give high praise to the AP programs offered here as well, although the math and science options are both extremely challenging. 

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5. Olympus High School, Salt Lake City Public School District

https://u.realgeeks.media/harvestparkgroup/Olympus-High-School,-Salt-Lake-City-Public-School-District

Offering courses to students in grades 10-12, Olympus High School currently has about 1,500 young adults enrolled. Although they fall a bit under state averages academically, Olympus has some of the best sports/athletics departments in all of Salt Lake City.

There is certainly no shortage of school spirit and many ex-students rave about how much they enjoyed their time here. “Oly”, as many students refer to it as, also likely has the most extracurricular clubs to choose from as well. Access to these programs really promotes a sense of discovery and creates a balanced lifestyle for teens before they move on to post-secondary institutions or enter the workforce.

In short, Olympus makes sure to guide their students to give them the best chance of succeeding in the next chapter of their lives after high school graduation.  

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6. Skyline High School, Salt Lake City Public School District

https://u.realgeeks.media/harvestparkgroup/Skyline-High-School,-Salt-Lake-City-Public-School-District

Skyline High School is located in southeastern Salt Lake City. Offering courses from grades 9-12, Skyline has around 1,500 students currently enrolled in classes.

Academically, the school performs fairly close to state averages - except in English, where students really seem to excel. Around 50% of those attending Skyline participate in AP classes, which is very high compared to other schools across Utah.

The student-teacher ratio of 24:1 is very close to average, while the number of counselors per student is quite high compared to other high schools in Salt Lake City (one counselor per 400 students). While some students struggle with some of the faculty in the Science and Math departments, the English and History departments are extremely well-liked and widely considered one of the best in the city.

Students also have a wide variety of sports and clubs to choose from as well.

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7. Salt Lake Center for Science Education, Salt Lake City Public School District

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As the name suggests, this high school is known best for its science department - and it shows academically. Students here routinely score 20%+ higher than the statewide high school average in Science.

With extremely small class sizes (17:1 student-teacher ratio, almost six students per class less than the Utah average) and an extremely knowledgeable faculty, the Salt Lake Center for Science Education is the place to go if you love Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. Although lacking in clubs and teams, the school does offer a wide array of unique programs in association with the University of Utah - including a ton of hands-on learning, field trips, and participation in college-level research projects like “Hawk Watch”.

SCLSE currently has just under 400 students, giving it a family-like feel that is often missing at many larger high schools throughout the city that have 2,000+ students enrolled.

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8. Highland High School, Salt Lake City Public School District

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Highland High School is located at 2166 South 1700 East in Salt Lake City and has over 1,600 students currently enrolled in Grades 9-12. The school performs just below average in terms of statewide proficiency tests, however, does have a lot of AP course participation - almost double the average across the rest of Utah.

It also has a low student-teacher ratio as well as a low student-counselor ratio. Spirit Week at Highland is always a big hit with students, while 85% of them agree that there are plenty of clubs and organizations for them to get involved in. 

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9. City Academy, Salt Lake City Public School District

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With barely 200 students currently enrolled, City Academy is a small high school that offers courses to students from Grades 7-12. Performing around the state average in terms of English, Math, and Science, students at City Academy enjoy one of the best student-teacher ratios in all of Utah - 14:1.

The smaller classroom sizes allow for plenty of one on one attention and is definitely a big draw for prospective students. The smaller, community-like atmosphere also creates a safe, comfortable environment for students - many have commented on the lack of bullying and how much they enjoy attending a school that has such a positive environment overall.

City Academy also has a stellar Theatre department- much of the first floor of the school is dedicated to the Arts.

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10. Cottonwood High School, Salt Lake City Public School District

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Located in the southern part of Salt Lake City, Cottonwood High School has an extremely diverse student body consisting of nearly 1,500 students. Although certainly not the best school in terms of academic performance, Cottonwood made this list due to their unique school community that promotes inclusion and acceptance of students who come from a wide variety of nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds.

There are many school-sanctioned events throughout the year that aim to highlight various cultures, traditions, and belief systems. This really helps students to broaden their horizons while also allowing them to see and understand the world better as a whole.

There are over two dozen languages spoken by students who attend Cottonwood, while the faculty and staff does a wonderful job of making everyone feel at home. A food pantry initiative was also recently started to help provide healthy food to students who are in need.

Cottonwood also has an excellent music program and a baseball that routinely is a top-performer in the entire state.  

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The Salt Lake City, Utah area certainly provides a number of exceptional high schools that have a wide variety of unique programs for students in grades 9-12. It is fairly easy to find a school in the Salt Lake area that provides courses or extracurricular activities tailored specifically to your child's strengths.

From Science, Math & Engineering, Athletics, and the Performing Arts, Salt Lake City truly has so much to offer young adults at the high school age. Although this list is quite comprehensive, it only covers 10 out of over 55 high schools in the greater Salt Lake City area - there is certainly no shortage of education options.

If you are considering a move to or within the city, please contact the Harvest Park Group today for assistance in making the best choice for your family. We have in-depth neighborhood guides and pride ourselves in providing the best available information to help you make an informed decision. 

 

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Posted in Schools
July 11, 2018

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City | 2018 Edition

The Top 10 Neighborhoods in Salt Lake City Cover Image

Salt Lake City, Utah offers a diverse range of neighborhoods to suit any budget and preference. Whether you want a small starter home or a sprawling mansion, a home close to the ski hills, or a short commute, Salt Lake City has it all. 

Use our top 10 list of neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, Utah to match neighborhoods to your preferences and simplify your home search. You can find the ideal home within your budget and enjoy the amenities our city has to offer. Just take a look at a few of the top neighborhood choices.

The Avenues

The Avenues is one of Salt Lake City’s oldest communities just northeast of the downtown core.

It offers an eclectic mix of Victorian houses, brick bungalows, and framed cottages, It has a cosmopolitan feel, and it’s a great alternative for people who want to avoid a commute.

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City The Avenues

Salt Lake City uses a grid plan and “The Avenues” refers to the numbered avenues running east-west throughout this section of the city running upwards near Capitol Hill. Homes on the Lower Avenues tend to be less expensive, while those on the Greater Avenues offer sweeping views of the city, large family homes, and steeper price tags.

The Avenues is an ethnically diverse, tightly-knit community with plenty of amenities. You can easily walk or cycle to restaurants, coffee shops, yoga and Pilates studios, and spas.

It has a lively vibe, plenty of schools, and it is popular with families since it is safe and offers plenty of green space by way of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Young professionals appreciate the easy access to the downtown core via public transit too. It’s a great place to call home if you want to shop local, shorten or eliminate your commute, and want to live in a welcoming community.

Quote From Local Resident - As you drive north from 1st Avenue to 18th Avenue, you get to experience the chronological development of Salt Lake City through its architecture, starting with stately Victorian homes at the base of the hill (circa 1890's) and ending up with Mid-Century modern mansions at the top of the hill (circa 1960's) with a few new homes mixed in for good measure. This gives the Avenues an eclectic vibe, and it doesn't have the cookie cutter feel of planned developments found elsewhere in the city. 

Population: 19,751

 

 

Yalecrest

This small urban area offers a rare collection of well-maintained English Tudor, English cottages, Spanish Colonials, and French Norman-style homes.

The tree-lined streets, safe, quiet ambiance, and stunning views of the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains, make it a very desirable location for home buyers.

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City Yalecrest

With decent access to public schools, Harvard, and Yale and a very European feel, it tends to appeal to more affluent buyers wanting mid-range to high-end, well-appointed luxury homes. 

With a good selection of stores, restaurants, easy access to the schools, the University of Utah, Yale Park, and Yale Gardens, it is a favorite for families and professionals. 

It also a short commute to the downtown core, whether driving or using public transit. Commuters can ride the Green and Purple Routes of the University of Utah commuter line for free and connect to the UTA TRAX.

If you’re looking for a neighborhood with rustic charm and want a home that makes a statement, Yalecrest is a great option.

Quote From Local Resident - This is the nicest neighborhood in Salt Lake City! It is diverse, easily walkable, has access to downtown and the great outdoors. If you are thinking of living in Salt Lake City, you need to check out this neighborhood. 

Population: 3,963

 

 

 

Wasatch Hollow

This small urban residential community with tree-lined streets offers mid-range homes in a safe, quiet neighborhood.

They’re well-maintained with excellent access to public schools, so it’s not surprising it’s popular with young families. However, Baby Boomers and Millennials appreciate it’s friendly, welcoming nature and proximity to local shops and good restaurants.

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City Wasatch Hollow

Perhaps its biggest attraction to the area is the access to natural areas along Emigration Creek which runs through the district. The 11-acre Wasatch Hollow Preserve includes meadows, towering trees, trails and a pond. This oasis amidst the city is the ideal place for recreational activities, picnics, and nature walks.

It’s a short 15-minute drive to downtown Salt Lake City and cyclists can get there within half an hour.

Wasatch Hollow is best suited to those who want to live in an area with less congestion and more green space.

Quote From Local Resident - Quiet, safe, walkable - what more can you ask for? Homeowners take pride in ownership and it shows in how they care for their lawn, home, etc. It is a great place to raise children as it is diverse and has tons of good schools around. 

Population: 3,140

 

 

Foothill

This small, primarily owner-occupied residential area offers windy lanes and beautiful homes.

Houses range from the upper mid-range to extravagant in this attractive area at the base of the Wasatch Range. 

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City Foothill

Most of the homes in this area offer plenty of space, fantastic views, privacy, and the area has the lowest crime rate in the city.

It is primarily a car-oriented community with about a fifteen-minute commute to the city center, but you can grab the Salt Lake City Central Station train and arrive downtown in about forty-five minutes.

This affluent neighborhood has easy access to elementary, middle, and high schools, so it’s a great place to raise a family.

You’ll also find the Bonneville Golf Course, Wasatch Hollow Open Space, Hogle Zoo, and hiking and skiing nearby. The area has a limited selection of quality dining and shopping options at the Foothill Village too.

The Foothill neighborhood suits people who want a safe community, and a substantial, stylish home and a good view.

Quote From Local Resident - This is a very safe and friendly neighborhood. I highly recommend it! 

Population: 1,683

 

 

Sugar House

Sugar House is a safe and quiet community and a hotspot for middle-class homeowners.

It’s close to the University of Utah and Westminister College and has a decidedly young, vibrant flavor. It was once home to a sugar beet test factory, hence the unusual name.

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City Sugar House

This area features many 1920s homes suitable for renovation and trendy mid-century bungalows. It is a highly desirable area, because it is close to downtown, but offers every amenity you could ask for and streets lined with sycamores.

Today’s Sugar House is friendly, with artisan flair and a local vibe. This makes it very popular with families, young professionals, or anyone who likes to shop locally. The area also offers a great selection of quality public schools, including five public elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools.

People who live in the area enjoy it because is close to the heart of the city, but it is also a strong community with a hip vibe. You can drive to downtown in 10 minutes, and it’s easy to access the mountains, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding too. Sugar House also offers great transit connections and the S-Line streetcar which connects with TRAX.

Many residents bike to university or college or cycle 5 minutes into the city, but spend their dollars close to home in the local restaurants, bars, boutiques, and bookstores. 

Even though Sugar House has a wonderful family vibe, it also caters to those who want to venture out during the evening for fun. It is home to several of the top ten bars in the city including Fiddler's Elbow and the Campfire Lounge.

This eclectic neighborhood also offers the huge Sugar House Park, with bike trails, lakes and forest, and stunning views. Go for a run, walk your dog, feed the birds, or go sledding in the winter.

The Sugar House neighborhood appeals to people looking for opportunities and community. Residents claim the area feels small town, even though it is near the heart of the city.

Quote From Local Resident - I'm less than five minutes to the heart of Sugarhouse, ten minutes to downtown, and ten minutes to southern Salt Lake County. Beyond convenience, I like the overall atmosphere and vibe of Sugarhouse. I like the abundance of coffee shops, bars, and restaurants.

Population: 41,029

 

 

Capitol Hill/Marmalade

Capitol Hill is home to the Utah State Capitol building which sits high above Salt Lake with sweeping views of the entire city.

It is also a thriving neighborhood with a mixture of Gothic and Victorian homes that attract older residents, young families, and professionals due to its greater location and connections to the rest of Salt Lake City.

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City Capitol Hill/Marmalade

Well-connected by bus and train with easy access to the downtown core, airport, the University of Utah, and south or north of the valley, it also offers stunning natural beauty and the ultimate combination of urban and rural landscapes.

The natural highlight of the area is Ensign Peak and below Memory Grove Park, with Bonneville Shoreline Trail passing through it. The park is the ideal place for biking, walking, dog walking and running.

Marmalade is a district within Capitol Hill that offers more modestly-priced homes and a friendly atmosphere. Consequently, it attracts many young families, young professionals, and seniors. It’s very diverse and has a large LGBT community, plus the offers affordability. Fruit trees line many of the streets here too, but it is far from sleepy. It has a lively nightlife too.

The Capitol Hill and Marmalade neighborhoods suit people who welcome diversity, a bit of nightlife, and transportation connections. They’re historic and offer green spaces and room to live.

Quote From Local Resident - I LOVE this neighborhood! I plan to live this neighborhood forever. Everything is so easily accessible by walking and I can even take the train to work. 

Population: 13,516

 

 

9th and 9th

9th and 9th is a hip residential near Sugarhouse with many long-term residents, young families, and millennials.

It offers many cafes, restaurants, yoga and pilates studios, boutiques, and streets lined with outdoor art.

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City 9th and 9th

The once sleepy neighborhood now buzzes with life. The attraction is the many affordable two-story bungalows, Victorian houses, and condos in the area, plus locally-owned businesses and culture. With just ten-minute commute by car and 20 minutes cycling, it offers convenience near the core without the congestion.

With plenty of room to walk, bike, or run in sprawling Liberty Park and room to relax in nearby Richmond Park smack dab in the center of the community, you might forget you’re so close to downtown Salt Lake City.

9th and 9th suits people who love small cafes, unique shops, and access to arts and culture. It’s vibrant and fun, and anything but boring.

Quote From Local Resident - Incredibly unique area. I love walking around here. It has a very local feel with lots of local businesses. There are tons of places to grab a coffee and relax on a patio. 

 

Cottonwood Heights

Cottonwood Heights is a suburb of Salt Lake City, just between the Salt Lake Valley and the Wasatch Mountains.

While Cottonwood Heights is technically its own town, it is worth a mention because of what it has to offer. It offers easy access to four top ski resorts: Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and Solitude and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and people who love space.

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Cottonwood Heights

You’ll also find the Cottonwood Height Recreational Center in the area with a pool, gym, basketball, tennis, and racquetball courts, ice-skating rink and fitness classes galore. 

Real estate generally appeals to the upper-middle-class families with older children or empty nesters, but you’ll find accommodation at all price points. It offers decent access to public schools, and it is a very safe, clean area. It’s quiet but still has a decent nightlife with plenty of good restaurants.

Cottonwood Heights is about a 30-minute commute to the University of Utah and downtown Salt Lake City.

This neighborhood appeals to fitness and outdoor enthusiasts and it’s a great place to raise a family.

 

 

Rose Park

Rose Park is a very small community in the north of the city.

It is very economically and culturally diverse with plenty of green space. In recent years, it has seen a surge of young families attracted by the reasonable prices and renovation opportunities.

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City Rose Park

This area is very quiet with proximity to the downtown core and the airport. First-time home buyers often buy a small, post-war brick cottage with a large lot to get into the Salt Lake City real estate market. With plenty of good public schools and easy access to the freeway, it’s a good choice for young family professionals working downtown.

Cyclists can get around easily here too. Riverside Park taps into the Jordan River Parkway bike trail. You’ll also find the 18-hole Rose Park Golf Course nearby and Rosewood Park too, ideal for a quiet outing.

The Rose Park neighborhood suits first-time home buyers, empty nesters, and young families that want a safe, quiet place to call home and reasonably-priced properties.

Quote From Local Resident - My family lives in Rose Park and we love it! Rose Park offers a convenient location, affordable housing, awesome neighbors, cultural diversity, and decent schools. 

Population: 12,970

 

 

Bonneville Hills

Bonneville Hills is a safe, quiet neighborhood favored by young couples, families, and professionals.

It’s almost totally owner-occupied homes and a step away from the action, but that’s what appeals to most people that live here.

The Top 10 Neighborhoods In Salt Lake City Bonneville Hills

Homes here are older and well-maintained with tree-lined streets and easy access to major thoroughfares. Whether you need to head downtown, onto the freeway, or out for a meal, access by car is only minutes away. Nearby Sugar House has excellent restaurants and a buzzing nightlife, but Bonneville Hills has a few choice restaurants too.

If walking is more your thing, you can reach Foothill Village for shopping in less than 20 minutes and to the University of Utah in about half an hour. The area also has two dedicated bike lanes running north-south.

Home prices vary widely here, but they do tend to hover around the mid-range and upwards. However, with access to many public schools, parks, and the Bonneville Golf Course, it has plenty to offer.

Population: 2,583

 

 

Choosing a Salt Lake City Real Estate Agent

The neighborhoods listed are some of the most popular, but Salt Lake City has many others that may interest you. Let a skilled real estate agent match properties to your needs and show you what this great city has to offer.

Harvest Park Group professionals live and work in Utah and know Salt Lake City neighborhoods very well. In our competitive market, you need a seasoned negotiator and highly attentive real estate agent by your side. 

Harvest Park Group provides you with the edge you need to find and buy your ideal home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Contact us - we’re here to help.

Do you think one of these top 10 neighborhoods in Salt Lake City could have the home of your dreams? Contact Harvest Park Group today to book house viewings and to receive more information about this incredible city.

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Posted in Buying, Living in Utah
July 4, 2018

The Best Guide To Living In Salt Lake City, Utah

The Ultimate Guide To Living In Salt Lake City, Utah

Finding the ideal home involves many considerations. After all, you’re buying a home, not a house. You’ll want to find the best possible location with the amenities you want and a price you can afford.

If you don’t know much about Salt Lake City, Utah, or it’s one of the many places you’re considering, this guide highlights what this wonderful city has to offer. For many, Utah’s capital provides the idyllic blend of urban and outdoors. It’s historic, diverse, and teeming with potential. Of course, no one can entirely capture the spirit of a city in words, however, Shawn Stinson, Director of Communications for Salt Lake City Tourism, put it well:

“Salt Lake is a great location for visitors and locals alike, particularly those looking for a midsize city on the rise in terms of job growth, dining and nightlife, cultural arts and endless year-round recreational pursuits just out their back door. Since hosting the Winter Olympics in 2002, Utah’s capital city has been investing tens of billions of dollars in its infrastructure, from a completely redeveloped downtown core to performing arts theaters to an extensive transportation network including light rail, and is currently rebuilding its international airport to the tune of $3.6 billion. Needless to say, Salt Lake is enjoying a prosperity planned well in advance by its community leaders.”

Here a bit of information about it and why you might want to make it your new home.

From Anasazi to Thriving Metropolis

The Anasazi, and later the Ute and Navajo natives, were first in the area which was later part of Mexico at the time. The first non-native Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young arrived in 1847 and settled permanently. They founded Great Salt Lake City, aptly named for the salty lake in the desert to the west. By 1848 the area was part of the United States, and by 1850 the Utah Territory.

Old Salt Lake City Utah

Emigrants, Civil War soldiers, and those seeking riches during the Gold Rush added to the numbers in this city with east-west avenues and north-south streets. It later became a popular holiday destination and a booming mining center when it connected to the Transcontinental Railway.

By the early 1900s, present-day Salt Lake City began to take shape. The State Capitol, residential districts, city parks, and paved, lighted roads drew thousands to the area. In the first thirty years of the century, the city's population nearly tripled.

World War II brought industrialization and many restaurants, shops, ballrooms, and theaters. Continued urban and suburban growth during the following decades built a taller downtown skyline, an airport, freeways, the TRAX light-rail transit system, and many communities beyond the historic core.

Despite its growth, the city retains it retains its historic charm. It’s often easy to forget you’re in a thriving metropolis since each neighborhood offers unique character and a world of its own.

Friendly & Diverse

Salt Lake City is in a large valley between the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains and offers spectacular views. The metropolitan area is home to over 1.33 million residents, with around 200,000 in the city proper.

 

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Salt Lake County has a lower proportion of Mormons than in other parts of the state and some areas of Salt Lake City are now very cosmopolitan. According to U.S census and University of Utah data, 21.5 percent of Utah residents are minorities. The median age of residents has declined too as young families move into the area.

Salt Lake City Utah

Contrary to what you might have heard, Utah is not a “dry” state. You can order a drink in a bar just like anywhere else, providing you’re 21 or older. You can also buy beer, wine, and liquor at state liquor stores. However, a few quirky things set Utah apart.

First, if you want to drink liquor (not beer or wine) in a restaurant, you’ll need to eat too. Second, they only serve full-strength beer in bottles and draft is 3.2% alcohol, or less. Obviously, you can still go out and enjoy yourself as long as you drink responsibly.

Salt Lake City is friendly, modern, and welcoming with something to offer all buyers. With single-family and multi-family homes as well as condos and townhouses, you’re sure to find something within your budget.

Fast-Paced Housing Market

According to the CBRE 2018 Salt Lake City Real Estate Market Outlook report, Salt Lake City’s strong economy and quality of life continues to draw people to the Salt Lake market. Lower business and personal taxes leaves more money in everyone’s pockets which should further stimulate the economy and fuel the housing market.

Homes In Salt Lake City Utah

Nonetheless, potential Salt Lake City home buyers shouldn’t feel discouraged. The city offers homes at many price points and the market is still accessible. According to the Salt Lake City Board of Realtors, the median home price is $340,000, but there are many homes above and below this price.

 

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However, prices are on the rise and finance experts anticipate an interest rate increase too. It’s important you act quickly and rely on a qualified, experienced realtor if you’re contemplating Salt Lake City as your new home.

Many Job Opportunities

Salt Lake City boasts one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, sitting around 3%. Businesses need skilled talent in many industries, but particularly tech with Silicon Valley giants such as Twitter and Adobe flocking to the area. 

Working In Salt Lake City Utah

Other booming industries include the construction trades, manufacturing, finance, tourism, professional and business services and government work. With so many jobs available, skilled workers can often pick and choose.

Salt Lake City is also a haven for startups, fast-growing companies, and Fortune 500 powerhouses. Plus, a few companies like the University of Utah Health Care, the State of Utah, Salt Lake County, and Intercontinental Hotels Group made the 2018 America’s Best Employers list on Forbes. Salt Lake City is a great place to live and work.

State Educational Hub

With no less than 10 public and private colleges and universities within its boundaries and many more within commuting distance it is the educational hub of the state. The largest are Western Governors University and the University of Utah, offering degree programs and Salt Lake Community College with many academic options and continuing education.

Schools in Salt Lake City Utah

With 28 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, 5 high schools, and 3 charter schools, the Salt Lake City Public School District covers all the bases. Salt Lake City also has many private schools to address alternative needs too.

Arts & Culture Abound

Salt Lake City abounds with creative energy and offers plenty in the way of art, architecture, music, theater, and history.

 

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The city’s major art museum is the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, but you can visit many other galleries on a Gallery Stroll hosted once a month. Salt Lake City also has specialty museums such as the Church History, Pioneer Memorial, and Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museums for those interested in Utah’s roots. The Leonardo Museum and Clark Planetarium satisfy the curiosity of scientific minds.

Utah Museum of Fine Arts

It’s hard not to notice the architecture in Salt Lake City, because so many spectacular buildings built over the centuries clearly document the growth of the city and changing times. 

The towering Salt Lake City Temple towers above the city and took forty years to build. The Salt Lake Tabernacle with its amazing turtle-back roof looks futurist, but it was completed in 1875. The Joseph Smith Memorial building is a restored hotel from 1911 with an elaborate foyer worth a visit. 

Of course, you can’t miss the Utah State Capitol perched high on Capitol Hill surrounded by other notable buildings. Elegant Kearns Mansion offers a glimpse into the state’s affluent past, and today it is home to the state governor.

Utah State Capitol

The music scene in Salt Lake City is equally compelling. The award-winning Utah Symphony and Utah Opera Company perform here as does the 350-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Salt Lake City also has many live music venues and hosts many major concerts, indoors and out.

Utah Symphony

Organizers screen nearly half the films from the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake City too. The city also has several local theater companies if you prefer live theater.

Modern Convenience & Top-Notch Facilities

Salt Lake City has many shopping malls, all the major retailers, farmer’s markets, and local shops so it isn’t difficult to find what you need. Government, professional, and personal services are also readily available.

Shopping in Salt Lake City Utah

Salt Lake City also has many recreation centers where you can go for a swim, lift weights, take a class, or participate in sports. Professional sports abound here too including Utah Jazz NBA Basketball, Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer, and more. Salt Lake City also has an Olympic Park, Oval, and ice rink after the 2002 games. 

Impressive Outdoor Experiences

One of the greatest attractions to the area is the easy access to recreational activities. Hike, cycle, ski, snowboard, snowshoe, or snowmobile in the nearby mountains. Four of Utah’s premiere ski resorts of Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, Solitude are only a short drive away. 

Ski Resorts In Salt Lake City Utah

Fish, birdwatch, camp, take spectacular photos, visit the zoo or an aviary, or play a round of golf in the region. Scale craggy peaks or tromp through vast deserts. With over 60 national and state parks within driving distance of Salt Lake and many large parks within the city, there’s always variety and plenty of ways to stay active.

World-Class Events

You’ll never miss the action when you live in Salt Lake City. World-class entertainment, events, and festivals visit this city.

The largest venue is the Vivint Smart Home Arena. Big name music performances, NBA and NCAA basketball, hockey, Disney on Ice, and other spectacles fill this 20,000 seat facility often.

Vivint Smart Home Arena

Music lovers adore the Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series. Featuring huge international and national stars in all music genres, this event starts in the summer and runs until the fall. The Salt Lake City Community College Twilight Concert Series features renowned indie-rock, hip-hop, reggae, and blues artists.

Pursue Your Passions

Want to sit in the stands, eat a hot dog, and watch a ballgame? Why not catch a Salt Lake Bees game and soak up some sun? They’re the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels and play in Smith’s Ballpark.

Love cycling and want to see a great race? Watch or join the challenging Tour of Utah with Stage 4 running through Salt Lake in a 68-mile race.

Tour of Utah

Nothing’s more fun for the family than the Salt Lake County Fair. Wagon and pony rides, face painting, a petting zoo, and inflatables make it the ideal place for little ones, the true passion of many families.

Does craft beer interest you? The Utah Beer Festival in Utah State Fair Park features over 200 different beers and ciders, including local, regional and international varieties. Food, entertainment, and games make this a well-rounded, fun event.

Exceptional Food & Drink

Salt Lake City restaurants offer exceptional selection and quality. The diverse community makes it easy to find authentic African, Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, South American, Mexican, French, and Indian food. Of course, it also offers great American fare. Restaurants range from budget to five-star dining experiences. Salt Lake City has many brewpubs, wineries, and cider makers too.

Wasatach International Food Festival in Salt Lake City Utah

Love to try new foods? The Wasatach International Food Festival includes tasty ethnic offerings, food demonstrations, live music, and activities for the kids. This year the event runs August 10th and 11th.

How about some zesty Greek food for a little zip in your life? The Salt Lake City Greek Festival in September offers everything from calamari to souvlaki, lively music, and dance.

Celebrating City Roots

Salt Lake City celebrates traditional holidays such as Independence Day and Labor Day, but they also pull out the stops before July 24th each year. This day in 1847 marks Brigham Young’s arrival in the Salt Lake Valley with the first Mormon pioneers after a very long, arduous journey. Residents celebrate with fireworks, concerts, and more - starting as early as May.

 

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“Days of ’47” events are a big deal here and culminate in a sunrise service at Assembly Hall on Temple Square, the Deseret News Marathon, and the Days of ’47 Parade. 

People from all cultures and religions take in the festivities and celebrate Salt Lake City’s pioneer roots and what it has become today. After all, there’s plenty to celebrate.

Surrounding Cities

Looking for something outside of Salt Lake City? The county is surrounded with diverse and beautiful cities for every homeowner.

Draper Utah

 

Cottonwood Heights aka, "City Between the Canyons" is the 21st largest community in Utah. The town features numerous breathtaking homes, with prices ranging from $250,000 - $900,000, and an average sale price of $475,000. 

Resting along the Wasatch Front, Draper is a gorgeous city of moderate size located approximately 20 miles directly south of Salt Lake City. It is rapidly growing, as it has seven neighborhoods within it, and a total population of 47,328 representing the 16th-largest community in the entire state. Communities such as Steeplechase, Castlehill, and Chandler Pointe are perfect for raising families. 

18 miles south of Salt Lake City, South Jordan is one of the county’s larger cities, with a population of 69,034 people. Its neighbors are Riverton and Herriman to the south, Copperton to the west, West Jordan and the South Valley Regional Airport to the north, and Sandy to the east.

Experience Salt Lake City, Utah

Buying a Home in Salt Lake City, Utah

Buying a home in Salt Lake City can be a challenge if you don’t know the city’s real estate market. Fortunately, Harvest Park Group has the expertise you need to find the ideal home at your price point.

We know Salt Lake City neighborhoods and we’re seasoned negotiators. Let us answer your questions, match properties to your needs, and explain everything during the buying process.

Do you think Salt Lake City could have the home of your dreams? Contact Harvest Park Group today to book house viewings and to receive more information about this incredible city.

Not seeing a home that meets your needs?

  801-232-3434

 

 

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Posted in Living in Utah
June 29, 2018

7 Critical Questions to Ask your Utah Real Estate Agent

Utah Real Estate Agent Infographic

I have heard of stories and ran across some Utah real estate agents that were less than what I would consider a model of integrity and ethics.  Most are honest and try and do their best, but many are sloppy, don’t listen to your needs, and don’t follow through.  Unfortunately, as it is in most professions, it’s the 90% that give the other 10% a bad name.  I jest, well sort of.

But seriously, given that real estate is one of the largest, if not the largest, financial decision you will ever make, it is worth doing a bit of homework on the front end as soon as you talk with a real estate agent.

After an initial conversation with a real estate agent in Utah, head over to the Utah Division of Real Estate (https://secure.utah.gov/rer/relv/search.html) and do a quick search on their name to ensure the following:

1. Confirm that the individual has an ACTIVE Utah Real estate license

2. Don’t have disciplinary actions against them.

3. Check the brokerage or company that the agent is affiliated with to make sure it matches up.

4. See how long they have been licensed.

This is a great first step in making sure that you are dealing with a licensed professional.

Here are some additional questions to ask your Utah real estate agent when buying or selling your home in Utah.

1. Do you do real estate full time?

When someone does real estate full time, they are more up to date on the market dynamics, technology tools, and real estate law.  They will be more professional if they do it full time.  The picture I am attaching to this article shows someone serving up fries and also trying to be a real estate agent.

2. Have you had any unhappy clients and what was the reason?

A real estate transaction doesn’t happen overnight.  There are several steps associated with it and there is a lot of interaction with your agent.  Of course, you can’t please everyone 100% of the time, but you want to watch out for communication issues or other problems.  

3. What’s your fee?

Real estate fees are typically paid for by the Seller.  3% is reserved for the buyer’s agent and 3% for the listing agent.

4. How do you make the transaction go smoothly to save my time?

Time is so precious and I have little patience for people who waste my time either because they aren’t listening to me or they are not prepared.  You want to hear how the agent makes the process seamless and easy for you.

5. Do you represent buyers and sellers on the same house?

Most real estate agents in Utah will from time to time represent both the buyer and the seller in what is referred to as Limited Agency in Utah.  You will lose some services with this type of agreement, but the agent will still have a fiduciary obligation to you.  Here is what it says about Limited Agency in the Utah Association of Realtors:

“A Limited Agent represents both seller and buyer in the same transaction and works to assist in negotiating a mutually acceptable transaction. A Limited Agent has fiduciary duties to both seller and buyer."

6. What sets you apart from other Utah real estate agents?

When you ask this question, you are looking for EXPERIENCE, not just enthusiasm, you don’t need a neighborhood kid to pull weeds.  He or she should be able to answer clearly as to what distinguishes her from other professionals.  

7. Will you provide me 3 references?

Call these references and ask them some of the same questions that you asked the agent.  Look for the answers to match up.

 

 

 

June 5, 2018

National Parks in Utah - The Mighty Five

Utah has an abundance of natural beauty.  Utah is so beautiful, that on social media there is a popular hashtag reinforcing the point with a slight misspelling but emphasizing how common it is in Utah - #beutahful.  

Utah is indeed beautiful and is one of the reasons so many people move to Utah and want to live in Utah.  While many people know that Utah has lots of natural beauty, great snow, tall mountains, and incredible red rock and arches in the south of the state, but did you know that Utah has more national parks per square mile than any other state in the country?  There are only two states that have more National Parks than Utah.  California has the most with 9 national parks, followed by Alaska with 8 national parks.  Utah has five national parks – often referred to as The Mighty Five

Navajo Arch at Arches National Park in Utah

1. Arches National Park

The Arches have more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches.  Some of the more popular arches are Delicate Arch, Double Arch, Rainbow Arch, and Landscape Arch.  These arches and other geological features such as fins, balancing rocks, and pinnacles were formed over millions of years of erosion and water cycles.  The raw beauty, red rock, and unique landscape attract visitors from around the world to hike and take it in.

2. Bryce Canyon National ParkBryce Canyon National Park in Utah

There is no other place on the planet quite like Bryce Canyon with hundreds of tall different sandstone hoodoos which is constantly changing through extreme temperatures.  The area was originally settled by Native Americans and then later by Mormon Pioneers.  It is also one of the best places on earth for stargazing with almost no light pollution.  There are campgrounds, RV parks, hotels, and a lodge where you can stay and enjoy multiple hikes that provide different views of the natural beauty.

3. Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands was formed by the efforts of erosion from multiple different rivers including Green River, Colorado River, and many smaller tributaries.  It was established as a National Park on September 12, 1964, but it took millions of years for the erosion to take place carving through sandstone and salt deposits creating jagged rock and steep cliffs.  There are many hikes and some of the more popular things to see are Island in the Sky and Needles.

Canyonlands National Park in Utah

4. Capital Reef National Park

Capital Reef National Park in Utah is located in south-central Utah and is not the highest visited park in Utah, but it is stunning and displays, in stunning fashion, the diverse geologic layers in earth’s history in what is called the Weatherpocket Fold.  There are cliffs, sandstone dunes, monoliths, and other natural geologic features that showcase geologic history over millions of years.  

Capital Reef National Park in Utah

5. Zion National Park

Located in Southwestern Utah, near the city of Springdale, in Iron, Washington, and Kane counties.  It is where the Mohave desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin meet.  There are 7 different trails with varying distance that people can choose from based on available time and technical abilities that range from beginner to very advanced.  In fact, some areas require a permit.  Popular times to visit are the spring and fall when the temperature is typically much cooler.  There are campgrounds that are available and a lodge as well.   One of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park, is Angel’s Landing.  The hike is about 2.4 miles long.  There are several steep switchbacks and there is a place to stop at Scout’s lookout before doing the last ½ mile to the summit which is much more technical and while they do have chains to help support people, it is still only for those with considerable physical ability.

Picture of Zion National Park from Angel's Landing Hike (Left) and View of Narrows (Right)Angels Landing Hike and picture at Zion National ParkNarrows hike at Zion National Park