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Moving to Salt Lake City

What to know if you're moving to Salt Lake City

When considering moving to Salt Lake City, or any other foreign city for that matter, it is vital to get as much information as possible in order to make the transition run smoothly and with minimum stress. Discover more about Salt Lake City and what is has to offer expats in this article.

Relocating to Salt Lake City

About the City

Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah and is situated on the west side of the Great Salt Lake that provided the city with its name when it was first founded in 1874. The city lies within a large valley, and over the decades since it was founded, has continuously grown into a sprawling urban area with a rich culture.

The population of the inner city is approximately 190,000, however the total population of the wider metropolitan area is around 1,150,000. During the day, the city tends to be filled with over 315,000 people, not including tourists and students. Not only is this due to the city being Utah’s capital, but also because it is intersected by two major crosscut freeways and conveniently located in the center of the western US.

The Climate in Salt Lake City

Unlike many areas in Utah that tend to be dry and semi-arid, Salt Lake City is a little more unique and has a continental climate. The four seasons are very distinct: hot summers, foliage in autumn, white winters, and rainy springs. Many expatriates moving to Salt Lake City relish the varied climate and continuously changing seasons.

Since the city tends to experience snow from November right the way through to April, many movers look forward to taking up winter sports on the mountains that surround the valley. For heat-seeking expats, the long, hot summers are more appealing, although during mid to late summer the area is prone to thunderstorms and heavy rains. The nearby Great Salt Lake contributes to this rainfall, which means that at times, Salt Lake City can be a rather wet place to live.

During spring, as the weather warms up and the snow on the mountains begins to melt, there can be a risk of flooding caused by snowmelt running into streams. In the past, creeks and rivers have burst their banks, so this is something for expats to be aware of when choosing which area they would to live in when moving to Salt Lake City.

Finding Accommodation

Finding a home is the most crucial step during your move to Salt Lake City. One of the easiest ways to look for accommodation is online, using websites such as or, particularly when looking for property to rent at short notice. If you’re in the market to buy, check out the Salt Lake Tribune, a local newspaper which lists thousands of homes on its pages as well as on its website, making it easy to see a wide range of properties on offer.

The cost to rent or buy in Salt Lake City varies throughout the area; generally it is more expensive to live closer to the city center than in the suburbs. The city has excellent transportation systems, however, so if you’re on a slightly lower budget there’s no need to miss out on the bustling city life or have problems getting to work in the city when living in a suburban property.

If you’re unfamiliar with the area, there are a few key neighborhoods which are particularly popular with those moving to Salt Lake City.

The Avenues is built in the classic grid layout that Salt Lake City is known for and is within close distance to Downtown, making it popular with young professionals who want a short commute to work and a lively social life. It is often seen as an eclectic, artsy area, and is one of the most popular in the city.

Sugarhouse is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and boasts lots of green space, incredible views and a slower pace of life. The benefit of living in Sugarhouse is its small, friendly community, which will help any expatriate feel at home when they move to Salt Lake City.

Federal Heights is the most affluent neighborhood in Salt Lake City with many homes dating back to the early 1900s. It is close to the University of Utah and the Wasatch Mountains, but housing, which is very expensive, tends to be in high demand and it may take some time to find an available property.

Updated on: March 19, 2015

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