Whether you’re a full-time resident of Utah or live elsewhere but are looking for a getaway close to some of the country’s best outdoor recreation, the state is a great choice for a place to buy a second home. Once you settle on the Beehive State, you then have to determine where, when, and how you’ll make your purchase.
Tips For Buying a Vacation Home in Utah
Pick your ideal location, but be open to areas nearby.
Utah skiing draws thousands of visitors each year. Park City is the most popular ski destination and is a great place to buy or build for the family that’s looking for more time on the slopes. However, just 20 to 30 minutes from Park City are Midway and Heber — two historic Utah towns with beautiful scenery, close access to Wasatch Mountain State Park and Deer Creek Reservoir, and ample space for building a new home. Any of these locations are perfect for a vacation home; it’s all about determining what’s most important to you and, of course, how much you’re wanting to spend.
Look at the market. Get a better idea of how, where, and how much homes are selling for.
This is important, especially in a rapidly changing market like Utah. Do a bit of research before diving into the home search process. Look into median home prices, the average number of days homes are on the market, and other statistics that will give you a clearer picture of how to approach your own search.
Decide whether you want to buy or build. Weigh the pros and cons of both.
Buying a new home offers faster gratification; you could be moved in and enjoying your new place in just weeks. However, the historically low inventory and highly competitive market means buying a home requires fast decision-making, a larger budget, and the willingness to compromise — things you may not be open to at the moment.
Building, of course, takes more time and requires more decision-making, yet the benefits are enticing. Building a custom home means getting everything on your wish list, whether that’s a large mudroom or a chef-style kitchen. It also offers the ability to select your location without being limited to the existing inventory.
Learn more about what to expect with a custom-built home in our recent article.
Settle on a budget. Create a budget that fits your lifestyle but is realistic for the area.
Hot housing markets like those in Park City, Heber, Midway, and other areas of Utah, mean prices have risen substantially on existing homes, lots, and new homes. Talk with your financial advisor or banker to determine what you’re comfortable paying. It’s a good idea to also research the process for applying for a second mortgage or line of credit. Once you have a budget in place, review your ideal locations to see what your budget will afford there. At this point, remember to look at other areas nearby. A city just a bit further from your favorite ski resort or natural area could be the perfect spot you simply haven’t considered yet.
Build a Vacation Home in Park City or Heber
If you’re ready to take the leap and buy your vacation home in Utah, consider building with Highland Custom Homes. In this competitive housing market, building is a great way to make sure you get everything you want in your favorite Utah locations like Park City or Heber.
Contact Highland Custom Homes today to learn more about our home building process or to take the first step toward your dream vacation home.
Is now the right time to buy a second home in Utah?
There’s truly nothing like a getaway that’s all your own. A second home, or vacation home, can be an amazing way to create a memorable retreat for your family to enjoy in the summer, around the holidays, or whenever you get the itch to head out of town. And when it comes to a location for your second home, you can’t beat Utah.
Utah continues to be a desirable place to live. Its wide range of outdoor recreation with unbeatable access drives many people to the mountains or desertscapes of this Western state. In addition, an influx of young homeowners arriving here from around the country is making Utah’s population more diverse than ever before. On top of recreation, Utah also boasts the #1 fastest-growing economy in the country.
Is it a good time or a bad time to buy a home in Utah?
Utah is facing the same competition and hot housing market as much of the rest of the country — yet on an even greater scale. Utah homes are a hot commodity; Realtor.com just named the greater Salt Lake City area as the #1 housing market in the country for 2022.
While demand remains sky-high, interest rates are still relatively low. Projections show interest rates rising from the historic lows we saw in 2020, yet they are forecasted to top out at just 4 percent — a still comparatively low rate, historically.
If you’re in the market for a new home, this may not sound like ideal conditions. However, it’s important to realize that experts agree: the Utah housing market is only going to continue to grow at record-breaking speed. Now might just be the best time to buy a Utah vacation home.
However, for those selective homeowners looking for a dream property, it’s important to realize that inventory remains low and extremely competitive. This is especially true in popular destinations like Park City, Heber, or Midway. In fact, Park Record reports that in Park City, active listings peaked at a little more than 2,000 in May of 2020, yet the number has been decreasing ever since. At the end of September 2021, there were just 394 residential properties for sale — an 80% drop from the year before.
In this type of highly competitive market, it’s a good idea to also consider building a custom home in Utah to get into the house and location you want.