10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Utah

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10 Reasons We Love Buying Land in Utah

Bart Waldon

Nestled in the heart of the American West, Utah is a state of incredibly diverse natural landscapes, ranging from red rock deserts to snow-capped Rocky Mountain peaks. This variety of terrain provides stunning vistas and unlimited outdoor recreational activities. Utah is home to five national parks including the iconic Zion and Arches National Parks, as well as many lesser known but equally impressive state parks and recreational lands open for public use and enjoyment.

Beyond its magnificent outdoor offerings, Utah provides a strong economy and business-friendly tax policies which make it an attractive place for companies and families to put down roots. Numerous high-tech companies like Adobe, Microsoft, Intel, and Ancestry.com have major outposts in Utah, drawn by competitive operational costs, great quality of life for employees, and a pool of talented graduates from local universities.

For these reasons and more, an increasing number of people are choosing to purchase their own piece of property in the Beehive State to build homes, run businesses, or simply have a personal retreat to enjoy Utah's natural splendor.

10 Reasons People Love Buying Land in Utah

1. Year-Round Outdoor Recreation and Adventure

Utah's incredibly diverse terrain means endless options for outdoor recreation year-round. The iconic red rock deserts near national parks like Zion and Arches provide world-class hiking, mountain biking, canyoneering, rock climbing, and more. Majestic mountains like the Wasatch, Uintas, and La Sals offer skiing and snowboarding at world-famous resorts like Park City, Powder Mountain, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, and others. Many of these also offer summer activities like lift-accessed mountain biking, concerts, and dining.

Thousand Lake Mountain in the Uintas has gorgeous alpine lakes and meadows perfect for fishing, boating, horseback riding, hunting, and more. Southern Utah has unique subtropical landscapes like Snow Canyon State Park, perfect for camping and ranger-guided hikes among lava flows and petrified dunes. Having your own recreational land allows you to have direct access to these activities right in your region.

2. Iconic Natural Landscapes that Look Straight Out of a Postcard

Majestic mountains, pristine forests, stark and colorful deserts - Utah's incredible range of landscapes look like paintings come to life. Places like Bryce Canyon National Park captivate visitors with its pastel-colored hoodoos and vistas. Zion’s towering sandstone cliffs plunge thousands of feet creating a massive, grand amphitheater of natural beauty. Arches National Park contains the highest concentration of natural stone arches in the world set amidst fiery red rocks.

Owning a parcel of Utah’s beautiful land allows you to wake up to breathtaking vistas every morning. Places like Zion and Bryce Canyon see millions of visitors per year who come just to experience these sights for a few days. By owning property in Utah, you can enjoy them any time you want.

3. Abundant Sunshine and Four True Seasons

While the high mountain elevations see plenty of snow, Utah's lower elevation regions enjoy mild winters with over 250 sunny days per year on average. This allows for comfortable enjoyment of the outdoors majority of the year. Spring, summer and fall enjoy long stretches of blue skies and warm weather perfect for hiking, biking, boating, camping, hunting, fishing, golfing, horseback riding, and any other outdoor activity you can imagine. Utah really does have the best of all four seasons.

The dry climate also means very few bugs to worry about even during the warmer months. The sun and climate have actually given Utah the nickname “The Second Sunniest Place on Earth” - second only to Arizona in terms of solar exposure and clear weather. This gives Utah lands an average 30-50% more solar irradiation compared to other regions, making it attractive for solar power generation.

4. Strong and Growing Economy

Utah has one of the strongest state economies in the U.S. It saw the highest GDP growth rates in the country coming out of the 2008 financial crisis. Key industries like tech, finance, manufacturing, construction and healthcare have fueled expansion through the last decade. This has translated into rapid job growth and low unemployment leading to positive momentum that experts expect to continue. Utah also has high wages particularly in booming sectors like software/IT, aerospace, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals.

A business-friendly tax structure makes Utah attractive for entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow companies here. Tax burdens from property taxes to corporate income taxes are lower compared to most other states. Sustained economic prosperity brings better amenities and services across Utah, making it a great place to buy land both for personal recreational use or as an investment targeted at the growth.

5. Ideal Location for Accessing Iconic National Parks Across the Western U.S.

In addition to having 5 parks within the state boundaries, Utah's central location puts it within reasonable driving distance of many more world-famous national parks in surrounding states. Parks like the Grand Canyon, Arches, Mesa Verde, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia Kings Canyon, Death Valley, and more are all possible weekend road trips away. Utah’s airports also make it easy to access both coasts and regions beyond. This gives Utah land-owners basically endless destinations they can visit to hike and explore new terrain.

6. Family Friendly Culture and Extremely Low Crime Rates

Utah is considered one of the best and safest states in the U.S. to raise a family. It ranks 3rd lowest in the country for incidents of violent crime, robbery, murder and aggravated assault according to FBI crime statistics. Local law enforcement agencies have implemented effective community policing policies keeping neighborhoods safe. Utah also ranks high for family amenities like parks, playgrounds, recreation centers and family-oriented community events and festivals.

The strong economy also means job security and steadily increasing home values over time - two keys’ parents look for when choosing a place to put down long-term roots and provide stability for children. Utah is projected to see some of the highest population growth in the coming decades due to natural growth and in-migration of young professionals and families looking to tap into the high quality of life.

7. Deep Traditions of Outdoor Recreation etched into the Local Culture

From hunting and fishing, to hiking and biking, Utahns have a proud tradition of outdoor recreation etched into the state’s culture. Some of the best ski mountains in the world dot the landscapes here drawing winter sport enthusiasts from around the globe. World-class golf courses carved into red rock landscapes create jaw-dropping backdrops for the links. Utah also has a competitive collegiate athletic tradition with powerhouse college teams in sports from football to lacrosse to rugby and more.

Having your own land gives you built-in opportunities to take part in these traditions year-round. The independent, self-reliant culture also means people take pride in maintaining their own piece of this great landscape. Being able to pass down family property over generations is seen as a great legacy here.

8. Incredible Variety of Terrain and Landscapes to Choose From

One of the best aspects about buying land in Utah is the diversity of landscapes across relatively short distances. Just within an hour or two drive time from Salt Lake City, you can find everything from the iconic red rock deserts near St. George and Zion National Park, to alpine forests and meadows in the Wasatch and Uinta ranges, to high mountain valley plateau regions surrounding Park City, to the Great Salt Lake spanning 2,100 square miles for water recreation.

Southern Utah near Cedar City has areas where the desert suddenly gives way to pine forested mountains that rise thousands of feet to 11,000 feet peaks over just a few miles. No matter what landscape you envision owning, Utah likely has something that will match your preferences - all within driving proximity to amenities you need.

9. Value Opportunities Compared to Other Western States

High demand has driven up land prices in recent decades across popular stretches of the Mountain West like Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. While iconic areas of Utah like Park City and Springdale/Zion have also seen huge property run-ups, there still remain more rural areas and smaller mountain towns where high-quality recreational land can be purchased for well below national averages on a per acre basis.

Most of these value regions still offer proximity (within 1-2 hours) of an international airport, university campus, medical facilities and other essential amenities. Do your research and you can find surprising value if you know where to look. The strong in-migration of new residents also bodes well for long term growth potential.

10. Rapid Appreciation Fueled by Population Growth and Outdoor Recreation Demand

Fueled by both strong natural population growth domestically and ongoing in-migration from other states, Utah is projected to see population expansion continue outpacing most of the country. Combine this with the state’s outdoor recreation assets driving tourism dollars, and demand for property will likely continue exceeding supply across finite geographies.

This supply-demand imbalance creates the fundamental economic conditions for real estate appreciation over the long run. Even through major financial crises like 2000 and 2008, the Utah market held up better than most of the nation. Moving forward, restricted supply coupled with strong demand drivers foretell price appreciation averaging 5-10% per year depending on region over the next decade. This makes land ownership here a smart value investment for wealth creation in addition to lifestyle enjoyment.

Final Thoughts

The reasons above highlight why Utah has become such a coveted destination for people looking to purchase their own piece of the American West dream. Land ownership provides direct access to enjoy iconic landscapes and a lifestyle filled with outdoor adventure and activity year-round. Combine that with economic prosperity and demographic trends and you get a recipe for sustained long term growth.

So, for those seeking gorgeous vistas that inspire the imagination, endless recreational opportunities just steps out your door, a vibrant economy with opportunities to grow businesses and careers, a friendly community rooted in family values, and real estate positioned for steady increasing demand and price appreciation over the coming decades - Utah is truly one of the premier places in the country to buy land.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How difficult is it to get utilities like electricity, water and internet connected on land I purchase in Utah?

Most land parcels, unless extremely remote, will have basic utilities like electricity available via connections to the grid. Getting connected is usually just a matter of contacting the local providers, paying hook up fees and they will handle. Municipal water may have more variability in proximity to pipelines but there are options like group wells to explore if your parcel doesn’t have existing water rights. Internet/cable also varies but providers are usually willing to extend fiber optic cables lengths to service new developments and land owners. Just takes some savvy navigating of the local utility options.

Does Utah allow and regulate use of septic systems for waste management on rural land parcels?

Yes, septic permits in Utah are issued by county health departments and governed by statewide regulations for proper installation and maintenance. As with any land development project, it’s smart to understand what the septic requirements are for the area before purchasing land to ensure the property can support this. If sewer connections are too far, septic systems may be the best waste water disposal option.

What are property/real estate taxes like in Utah? How do they compare to other states?

Utah has among the lowest property tax rates in the United States with an effective rate of just 0.63% based on median home values. This results in over $500/yr less paid compared to someone with an equivalent value home in Texas or North Carolina. Utah also has lower income taxes and a lower overall tax burden compared to 45 other states. Low taxes provide land owners great long-term savings.

Can someone from out of state buy land in Utah?

Yes absolutely. There are no special residency requirements or waiting periods to purchase and immediately start owning property. Utah also provides excellent protections for private property rights compared to other states. It ranks in the top 10 for both ease of buying/owning real estate and legal defenses of owners.

What regions of Utah are seeing the fastest land appreciation currently?

The Park City area in Northern Utah, near the famous Deer Valley and Park City ski resorts, has seen expressive home price appreciation averaging over 10% annually the past decade. equivalently priced homes have doubled their value over that timeframe. Other rural resort towns with access to skiing, biking, boating and NHL like Heber City and Moab have seen similarly hot demand driving increasing values. Really any lands within proximity of Utah’s iconic national parks and recreational assets provide strong price performance.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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