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Finding a New Life in The Crossroads of the West - Everything You Should Know About Moving to Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah Salt Lake City

by Matt Lyons Posted on August 29, 2023
If you’re planning on moving to Salt Lake City, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s the seventh fastest-growing city in the U.S. But what makes SLC so unique? Let’s find out!

A Little Background About Salt Lake City

The majestic outdoors never get old when living in Salt Lake City, as you have gorgeous views of mountains, canyons, and deserts. This means that outdoor recreation activities are abundant in the area, and there is always something fun to do for people of all ages! And while The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is headquartered in Salt Lake City, fast growth has led to more diversity throughout the city. There are almost 205,000 people living in SLC, and the median age is around 31 years old.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Salt Lake City

The pros of living in Salt Lake City go beyond the great outdoors and diversity, such as great weather and fantastic job opportunities. But while there are many advantages to living in such a popular city, it’s always important to take a look at some of the possible downsides. What are the cons of living in Utah? Similar to other major cities in the region, tourism and harsh winters can be somewhat of a nuisance. Check out these additional pros and cons of living in Salt Lake City.

Lots of Sunshine 
You will see lots more sunny days than rainy ones while living in Salt Lake City, as there is an average of 222 sunny days per year. High temperatures in the summer can reach above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but the average is 73 degrees. 

Winters Can Be a Pain 
If snow isn’t your thing, you might not love Salt Lake City. You can expect to see a lot of snow while living here, as there is an estimated 54 inches of snow per year. Temperatures can often fall below freezing during the winter months, as well.

Fun Winter Sports 
While the heavier snowfall can be a pain, it’s an advantage for skiers and snowboarders living in the area! Fun local ski resorts include the Brighton and Snowbasin Resorts.

An Influx of Tourists 
Since Salt Lake City and Utah are home to top-tier skiing and snowboarding destinations, there’s typically an influx of tourists during the holidays and on long weekends. If you live in the city, you will notice it can get quite crowded due to the tourism. 

A Strong Job Market 
A major reason why so many young professionals have been moving to Salt Lake City is because of the solid job market and opportunities. Some of the main industries include trade, transportation, technology, and utilities. 

It’s Not Always the Place to Be for a Nightlife Scene 
If you enjoy going out with friends and enjoying the nightlife scene, Salt Lake City might not quite live up to your expectations. Because of its Mormon roots, alcohol is not as widespread as it is in other major cities.

 A young woman is shopping at a produce stand at the Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s smiling as she examines a bag of herbs and speaks with the farmer behind the stand.

Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake City, Utah
(Source: Visit Salt Lake via Facebook)

Salt Lake City Cost of Living

As one of the largest cities in the West, you’ll find that the cost of living in Salt Lake City is a bit higher than the nation’s average. The cost of living index in Salt Lake City is 122, compared to the U.S. average of 100. The income tax rate in Utah of around 4.65%, however, is much lower than that of other major cities. 

Q: Is it expensive to live in Salt Lake?
A: While the cost of living in Salt Lake City is higher than the national average, other major cities like Miami, Washington D.C., and Seattle are even pricier. 

Finding a place to live in the area may seem a little daunting due to the housing prices. Because of the influx of people who have been moving here in recent years, housing prices have certainly increased. The average home value in Salt Lake City is estimated to be around $540,000. The good news, though? Similar major cities in the region, like Denver, have higher average home values. Denver’s average comes in at $563,300.

And as for renting? The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Salt Lake City is $1,650. 

Q: What salary do you need to live comfortably in Salt Lake City?
A: It’s estimated that a single individual living in Salt Lake City should make a little over $1,000 per month, not including rent, to live comfortably. This varies, though, depending on your individual lifestyle.

Getting Around Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City has put in a lot of effort to create a user-friendly public transit system to transport residents around the metropolitan area. You can easily take advantage of the TRAX light rail, FrontRunner commuter rail, and bus options, so a car isn’t required for many. You can also travel on the extensive bike lanes throughout the city.

An aerial view of a large residential area in Salt Lake City. The neighborhood consists of mostly two-story homes with green lawns and the occasional mature tree sprouting up from a side yard. A range of mountains is rising up in the distance.

Best Places to Live in Salt Lake City

There are plenty of great neighborhoods to call home in Salt Lake City, which is why so many people choose to move here. Check out three of our favorites.

Greater Avenues 
Greater Avenues has been named the best neighborhood to live in Salt Lake City by Niche. This neighborhood comes with many green spaces to explore, like Memory Grove Park, along with gorgeous views of both Salt Lake Valley and the Utah State Capitol. It also has plenty of trailheads that lead to some of the area's most popular hiking spots, such as City Creek Canyon and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail

For housing options, this neighborhood is known for its abundance of beautiful, spacious condos, as well as classic and vibrant Victorian-style homes.

Sugar House 
Sugar House has been ranked #4 on Niche’s list for “Best Neighborhoods to Live in Salt Lake City.” The name "Sugar House" might seem a bit peculiar, but it comes from the settlers who first planted sugar beets in this area over 150 years ago. Since then, this place has become one of the most progressive communities in the valley. You'll find a wide range of bars, restaurants, and stores within the neighborhood, as well as a beautiful park with sweeping mountain views.

Whether you're craving a bite to eat, a drink to quench your thirst, or just want to have fun, this area has it all. A great place for young professionals and families alike, it’s full of colorful Victorian homes and charming bungalows, as well as many tree-lined streets.

The neighborhood of Foothill has been ranked #5 on Niche’s list of “Best Neighborhoods to Raise a Family in Salt Lake City.” It’s located away from downtown and comes with plenty of peaceful amenities for residents to enjoy. It comes with easy access to Interstates 80 and 215 and great hiking trails like Jacks Mountain and Parley’s Canyon Overlook. It’s also home to several condominium complexes and townhomes with amenities like private pools and clubhouses.

A view of the Lake Blanche Trail outside Salt Lake City, Utah, as it winds around a body of water. There are mountains and rocky formations in the distance, as well as trees sprouting up here and there.

Things To Do in Salt Lake City

There is so much to do and see in Salt Lake City, it can feel overwhelming narrowing down all of the available options. Residents can always find fun events to attend, along with plenty of places to see and explore any time of year. Whether you want to spend time outdoors or you’d like to shop and grab a bite to eat, Salt Lake City has you covered.

There’s a Delectable Dining Scene
In Salt Lake City, there are a wide variety of restaurants serving up cuisines from different cultures. Nighttime food truck stops and breakfast spots are also popular. A few local favorites include Mr. Shabu, Oasis Cafe, and Red Iguana.

You Can Always Head Outdoors
Situated at the base of Wasatch Mountain, Salt Lake City is known for its great hiking. The city's surrounding foothills offer easy access to trails, ideal for both morning and afternoon activities. Some of the area's most popular local attractions include Mount Olympus, The Living Room Hiking Trail, Ensign Peak Hiking, and the challenging Lake Blanche Trail.

Skiing Is a Wintertime Favorite
The Greatest Snow on Earth is located in Utah, and there are 11 ski resorts — all within one hour of Salt Lake City — waiting to be explored. Those who want to experience world-class skiing should visit, as these facilities offer beginner-friendly slopes and terrain parks. During the summer season, many of these resorts are also open for mountain biking and even hiking. 

There Are Plenty of Shopping Opportunities
When it comes to shopping, it’s important to consider the experience in addition to the products that you end up buying. Local businesses often have a strong sense of their city's culture, which is why local shops and boutiques are abundant in SLC. Looking for the big names, though? One particularly popular place to shop among locals is City Creek Center.

A family of four is working together to load the last of their things into a PODS portable moving container in their driveway. The mother and daughter are carrying framed pictures and a moving box from inside the house. The boy has a red wagon with some sports equipment, and the father is standing by the door of the container, ready to load it with these final items.

Moving to Salt Lake City

When moving to Salt Lake City, you will need to do a bit of planning first to determine the most effective way to get there. From economical to completely hands-off, you have options. 

DIY With a Rental Truck 
For cross-country moves, renting a truck may be more affordable than using a full-service company, though it may take more time to finish the job. If you’re willing to trade your time and muscle for money, then taking the DIY approach might be a better option. Just remember that you’ll have to figure out how to get your car over to your new home along the way.

Full-Service Movers 
If you’re looking to save time and you have a flexible budget, hiring one of the many full-service moving companies in Salt Lake City may be just what you need. Remember that research is important with this step, though. We recommend researching and then contacting three to five companies for a good amount of quotes, along with what each of their services includes. Some companies will actually include the cost of moving boxes and loading and unloading in their estimates.

PODS Portable Moving Containers 
Finally, our favorite method is the hybrid approach. It’s easier to manage costs this way, along with the timing of your entire move. You’ll only pay for what you need, and you can do it all on your own schedule. 

First, you’ll need to determine the size of container that you need. From there, you can easily set a time frame for the delivery of your portable storage container. This allows you to pack and load on your own time, at your own pace. Once you have everything ready, just call PODS and set a pickup date. They’ll deliver your container to your new home in no time!

The Cost of Moving to Salt Lake City

The overall cost of moving to Salt Lake City will ultimately depend on how much you’re actually moving, how far you’re moving, and the moving services you decide to go with. Want a free local moving quote? Go to PODS.com, or call 877-350-7637 for a long-distance quote. Below are estimated costs* for the three most common moving options.**

The Cost of Moving to Salt Lake City

Moving Route: Las Vegas to Salt Lake City

  • Distance: 420 miles
  • PODS (includes transport and 1-month storage): $1,138-$1,564
  • Full-Service Movers (includes transport and loading/unloading): $2,145-$5,536
  • Rental Trucks (plus fuel costs): $630-$972
  • Moving Route: Phoenix to Salt Lake City

  • Distance: 660 miles
  • PODS (Includes transport and 1-month storage): $2,251-$3,095
  • Full-Service Movers (includes transport and loading/unloading): $2,083-$5,375
  • Rental Truck (plus fuel costs): $914-$1,411
  • Moving Route: Los Angles to Salt Lake City

  • Distance: 690 miles
  • PODS (includes transport and 1-month storage): $3,114-$4,281
  • Full Service Movers (includes transport and loading/unloading): $2,083-$5,375
  • Rental Truck (plus fuel costs): $914-$1,411
  • Moving Route: Seattle to Salt Lake City

  • Distance: 830 miles
  • PODS (includes transport and 1-month storage): $3,814-$5,224
  • Full-Service Movers (includes transport and loading/unloading): $2,952-$7,087
  • Rental Truck (plus fuel costs): $914-$1,411
  • *Based on estimates from PODS and MoveBuddha for a 2-3 bedroom household (800-1,200 sf). Costs don’t include insurance or taxes. Prices will vary based on specific locations, dates, size of household to be moved, and available discounts. For a detailed quote, call PODS at 877-350-7637.

    **PODS estimates include transport and 1-month storage. Full-Service Mover estimates include transport and loading/unloading. Rental Truck estimates do not include fuel costs.

    Choose PODS for Your Salt Lake City Move

    Make your move to Salt Lake City a flexible one with PODS. Have a container delivered right to your driveway for easy loading on your own schedule. Once you’re ready, PODS will pick it up and deliver it to your new Salt Lake City home. Need a little more time to get settled in? No problem! One month’s storage is built into every PODS move. Need a little more help along the way? You’re covered! PODS can connect you with local packing and loading experts. 

    Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.


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