If you are considering moving to the Salt Lake City area the following community information, vital statistics and background on local schools can be a useful resource. The information included here is also a valuable tool for finding out about real estate market and homes prices in the city and Salt Lake County.
The Salt Lake City metropolitan area is the industrial banking center of the United States, the center of business along the rapidly-growing Wasatch Front, and the gateway to several national parks, ski resorts, and resort towns, most prominently Park City. Salt Lake City was also host to the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The Wasatch Range rises approximately 11,500 feet (3,500 m) above sea level 5 miles to the east of Downtown. These mountains are the namesake of the Wasatch Front. The Oquirrh Mountains, located 7 miles west of the city, rise to about 10,000 feet. The Traverse Mountains at the south end of the valley rise to 6,000 feet above sea level, partially bridging the gap between the Wasatch and Oquirrh ranges. Within Salt Lake City there is a sharp rise in elevation as one travels north or east from the city center. There is an elevation range of approximately 1,000 feet, from about 4,220 feet at various points in the west near the Jordan River and Great Salt Lake to 5,200 feet in the Upper Avenues and Federal Heights neighborhoods and the upper East Bench.
Three major canyons cut through the Wasatch Range and open into Salt Lake City proper. The northernmost is City Creek Canyon that opens into Downtown, bordered on either side by Capitol Hill and The Avenues. Further to the east is Emigration Canyon, the canyon the Mormons initially used to enter the valley. It opens up on the East Bench just south of the University of Utah, near Hogle Zoo and This Is The Place Heritage Park. Traversed by Interstate 80, Parley’s Canyon opens up at the very southeast corner of the city proper near Canyon Rim, an unincorporated residential suburb.
Salt Lake City has many informal neighborhoods. The eastern portion of the city has higher property values than its western counterpart. This is a result of the railroad being built in the western half as well as scenic views from inclined grounds in the eastern portion. Immigrants find housing more affordable on the west side, which results in demographic differences.
Salt Lake City is divided into distinct east and west sides. The west side of the city has historically been poorer and more crime-ridden, but recently the demographics have evened themselves out somewhat. Just northeast of Downtown is The Avenues, a neighborhood outside of the regular grid system on much smaller blocks. This area is nearly entirely residential, and contains much of the young student-aged population. The Avenues lies along the southern slope of the Wasatch Range, however, and the further one climbs the mountains, the more elegant the residences become. The Upper Avenues, along with Federal Heights, just to the east and north of the University of Utah, and the East Bench, south of the University, contain gated communities, large, elegant, multi-million dollar houses, and fantastic views of the valley.
The climate of Salt Lake City is characterized by four distinct seasons. Both summer and winter are long, with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters, with spring and fall serving as brief but warm transition periods. Spring is the wettest season. Snow occurs on average from November 6 to April 18, producing a total average of 62.7 inches. During the winter months cold fronts typically originate in the Gulf of Alaska and move southeastward into the area. Nearby Great Salt Lake frequently produces lake-effect snow from mid-fall through mid-winter, which can lead to localized excessive snowfalls. In the summertime many city residents escape to the mountain resort towns located in the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City.
The modern economy of Salt Lake City is service-oriented. In the past, steel, mining and railroad operations provided a strong source of income with Geneva Steel, Kennecott Copper Mine, and oil refineries. Today the city’s major industries are government, trade, transportation, utilities, and professional and business services. The city is known as the “Crossroads of the West” for its central geography in the western United States.
In recent years and with plans extending over the next few years, city planners are implementing programs to make the communities of Salt Lake City more sustainable. One example is the Sugar House Streetcar project. Beginning with a study in 2006 and with the aid of federal funding recieved in 2010 the project is scheduled to begin providing local transportation in December of 2013. Seven cars will run a 2 mile route with cars arriving 20 minutes apart. The cities light-rail TRAX station will be one of the stops helping to extend the existing public transportation system.
Additional programs in education, cultural arts, evironment health and safety are designed to maintaining Salt Lake City as one of the most desirable places to live in the nation. But in addition to the extention and promotion of new programs the city also puts a great deal of effort into preserving it’s past. Many historical areas of Salt Lake are vibrant and diverse neighborhoods that provide affordable ownership opportunities and resonable rent.
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Utah Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of Church History and Art are some of the museums located in Salt Lake City. Other museums include the Utah State Historical Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneer Memorial Museum, Fort Douglas Military Museum, and the Social Hall Heritage Museum. Clark Planetarium at the Gateway Mall houses an IMAX theater.
Salt Lake City provides many venues for both professional and amateur theatre. The city attracts many traveling Broadway and off-Broadway performances. Local professional acting companies include the Pioneer Theatre Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, and Plan-B Theatre Company.
Salt Lake City is the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, founded in 1847. The Choir’s weekly program, called Music and the Spoken Word, is the longest-running continuous network broadcast in the world.
Families and youth have always been an important past of the culture of Utah and education has been a high priority since early pioneering days. In recent years Utah has spent more on a per capita on education than any other state but Alaska. Many of the local Secondary programs have successfully competed in national sports and education areanas including the Highland High School Rugby team and the national FIRST Robotics Competition entry of the multi-school team Prototype-X. The University of Utah is the main collegiate institution in Salt Lake with successful academic and sports programs. Other post-secondary education opportunities include Westminster College, Salt Lake Community College, Eagle Gate College, Art Institute of Salt Lake City, LDS Business College and Stevens-Henager College.
Real Estate Market
During the period of declining real estate prices since 2008 Salt Lake City has faired better than many cities in the western United States. Partly due to the strong local economy and favorable employment levels home prices have not suffered as severely as the could have. As of September 2013 prices have returned to the annual average of 2007 – 2008. The average home price in the Salt Lake Metro area as shown a steady growth from it’s low point in 2011 of $200,000 to the current average of $250,000.
Modular homes have become extremely popular in this city due to advances in technology and lower building costs. You can now build a modular home in salt lake for 20-40% less than the cost of a traditional home!
Real Estate Agents
There are plenty of registered real estate agents in Salt Lake City but how do you find the right one? We have taken the time to do the research and have compiled a list of the top realtors in the city. View our list of top real estate agents in Salt Lake City now.