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.

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