NerdWallet, a company dedicated to helping you guard your hard earned money, analyzed the 47 cities with populations greater than 15,000 in Utah to determine which cities have characteristics that are favorable to homebuyers. Their analysis answers three main questions:
1. Are homes available? This company looked at the metro area’s homeownership rate to determine the availability of homes. A low homeownership rate is likely a signal of competitive inventory, more options for renters rather than buyers and expensive housing. Areas with a high homeownership rate led to a higher overall score.
2. Can you afford to live there? NerdWallet looked at median household income, monthly homeowner costs and median home value to assess affordability and determine whether residents could live comfortably in the area. We used monthly homeowner costs to measure cost of living. Areas with high median incomes and low cost of living scored higher.
3. Is the area growing? They measured population growth to ensure that the area is attracting new residents and showing signs of solid growth. This is likely a signal of a robust local economy, which is another attractive characteristic for homebuyers.
The Top 5
1. Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs has the highest population growth on our list at 21.8%. The lakeside location offers gorgeous views and easy access to the lake with the 8-acre public City Marina for boating and other water sports. The area was originally a resort built around the natural hot springs and still maintains a quiet, rural atmosphere with convenient access to the larger metro areas of Salt Lake City and Provo-Orem. It is also near three colleges, including Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah Valley University in Orem and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Skiers and snowboarders enjoy the close proximity to resorts like Snowbird and Alta.
2. Eagle Mountain
The high homeownership rate (87.6%) and low homeowner costs at 27.4% of household income make home buying in Eagle Mountain easy and affordable. At its incorporation in 1996, there were just 250 residents, and that number has since grown to more than 23,000, making it one of the fastest-growing communities in Utah and the third-fastest growing on our list at a rate of 18%. Located at the western base of the Lake Mountains, residents enjoy plenty of open space in a community that includes more than 30 miles of jogging, bike and horse trails in its master plan. The local government offers incentive packages to new businesses, including land and utilities concessions, with extra incentives for the tech industry, which dominates job growth in the area.
Syracuse is extremely buyer-friendly with 92.5% of its residents owning their homes – the highest rate on our list – and contributing only 23.5% of their household incomes to homeowner costs – the lowest percentage on our list. It is next to the Great Salt Lake, and skiing is less than an hour away at Snowbasin and Wolf Mountain. Known as the “Gateway to Antelope Island,” Syracuse offers access to myriad outdoor activities, including camping, boating and snowshoeing. With close proximity to Hill Air Force Base, the federal government is the top employer for this area.
4. Herriman City
The second-fastest growing city on our list, Herriman grew by 19% between 2010 and 2012, and residents like its family-friendly atmosphere and safe neighborhoods. The 1,000 acres of open space, parks and trails, a community garden, a skate park and the largest recreational center in Salt Lake County offer a rural atmosphere with plenty to do. Strong consumer demographics – a median age of 24.7 and median household income of $76,509 – predict continued economic growth, making it a great place to start a business. It’s also a great place to seek an education – the University of Utah in nearby Salt Lake City is among the top 100 universities in the world.
New residents needn’t worry about their pocketbooks because Clinton City has the lowest median selected monthly homeowner costs at $1,376, and 85.7% of its residents are homeowners. The federal government is the top employer for this area, as it is close to Hill Air Force Base. The city has a diverse mix of farming, residential and commercial areas. Though much of the farmland has been replaced by housing, the city still maintains a quiet, rural atmosphere, but lies close enough to Salt Lake City for easy access.
Rankings – The Numbers
Development is coming near the Mountain View Corridor and Rosecrest Road. I have had some requests recently from residents to outline what is planned for this area of Herriman. A new development just east of Mountain View Corridor, The Meadows, will begin to develop this Summer as Rosecrest Road will be extended east of the MVC in June of this year. I anticipate homes being built in The Meadows this Summer, which will stimulate more development in this area of Herriman. I will mention that Juniper Crest Road will not be extended this year. I anticipate this extension to be at least two years out.
It is also noteworthy that plans are continuing which will bring Salt Lake Community College to Herriman. The attached map will help to see how this development will be oriented with respect to roads and homes that already exist in town. As more details become available regarding this development, I will continue to share what new information is available.
Spring is right around the corner and members of your family may want to know where to sign up for Spring sports and recreation programs that are offered in Herriman. Check out all that Herriman has to offer by going to our sports and recreation section of our website. With soccer, baseball, lacrosse and more, there is something for everyone.
Herriman Live! talent show auditions will be held this Friday, February 21st from 3-7pm and Saturday, February 22nd from 1-3pm at the Herriman City Hall. Register for an audition @ www.herriman.org. Herriman Live! is March 1st at 7pm at FHMS.
The Herriman Arts Council is gearing up for their musical production of SHREK. Auditions will be held April 4th and 5th at Herriman City Hall. Sign up for an audition time at http://www.herriman.org.
Kali Buhler, our very own Miss Herriman, participated in a clothing drive to help out Big Brothers Big Sisters a few days ago, receiving several donations. We appreciate Kali’s work, as well as Munchkin Radio, Smith’s Food and Drug, and all those who donated items to assist this program that works with children to help them realize their potential and strengthen communities. For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, go to http://www.bbbsu.org/site/c.5oJJLRPpFiJYG/b.6431485/k.4674/Big_Brothers_Big_Sisters_of_Utah.htm
2013 was a busy year in Herriman! I wanted to give a brief sketch of some of the happenings in our city, reporting what different city departments have accomplished in our community.
One of the biggest accomplishments in the past year for the Streets Department was the persistent amount of crack sealing done in preparation for the chip seal project on Rose Crest Road and portions of Main Street. Not only did the Streets Department crack seal almost every inch of both roads, they saw-cut and laid down over 200 tons of asphalt to these roads. This work was accomplished in the hot temperatures of the summer months.
In addition to keeping all 242 lane miles of road in the city plowed in the Winter, the Streets Department also worked on the Valley View spillway, constructed 7 ADA ramps on the parkway, and replaced a hundred sections of sidewalk. Herriman City is fortunate to have several gifted fabricators and welders that are able to save the city money by constructing many of our own storm drain grates and other items that require this skillset. They also replaced over 360 street signs which include the new city logo. Street sweeping, storm drain maintenance, new development street sign installs, heavy equipment operating, the list is endless of what these people can do.
The Building Department has been committed to be active, engaged and involved in the safety of our community. The Building Department processed 492 new single family dwellings and 159 residential townhome units – a total increase of 153 residential permits over last year. This has kept the office busy and the inspectors even busier!
The Engineering Department has kept busy with a large assortment of new subdivisions to review, approve, and inspect. Our city engineers were also heavily involved in the construction of improvements to the Blackridge Reservoir Park, Blackridge trails, and sidewalks along Herriman Parkway and 5600 West to the new Copper Mountain Middle School. The city also constructed a storm drain line across 13400 South through Riverton City to Rose Creek, and then widened 13400 South. City engineers are currently in the process of updating the Transportation Master Plan.
Herriman City hosted many events in 2013. Herriman City participated in over 30 successful city sponsored events and 50 special permitted events. In addition, our partnerships with the local sports and recreation associations as well as Herriman Arts Council have kept Herriman Events staff busy. Their Motto: Divide and Conquer and of course work every weekend.
Herriman City has a wonderful partnership with the UPD and UFA. Whether getting rained on and blown away by inclement weather at our neighborhood meetings, flipping pancakes at the annual Memorial Day breakfast, roping and hog-tying a firefighter for the Rodeo crowd amusement or participating in a tug-of-war at the Black Ridge beach, the employees of UPD and UFA are always involved in our community. The UFA collaborated with the city on placement and design of the Firebreak Trail which later ensured Station 103 and 123 could gain quick control of the August 24th fire. Together with city employees, these individuals searched for a missing child, conducted emergency drills, corralled young children at Farm Field days, mopped up after a flood, and much more. I am grateful that we have such a great relationship with our associates of the UFA and UPD.
The John D. Stillman Well was drilled last winter, finishing in early 2013. This well will produce 3,000 gallons a minute and will provide culinary water throughout the entire city beginning in 2014. The Water Department also completed a Parks and Open Space tie-over to the Hamilton and the John D Stillman Well line. They began connecting parks water services to raw water transmission lines from wells to reduce costs, thus saving money for the entire system, which translates to greater efficiency and savings to the entire community. This tie in will save by not watering Butterfield Park with Jordan Valley water and by not having to chemically treat the water before using it for outdoor irrigation. Our water department is currently working on plans to increase our culinary storage capacity by another 5 million gallons as they get ready for construction of a new water tank near 118000 South.
2013 was a busy year for the Parks Department. The Valley Vista Park is finally complete after being suspended in 2008 due to the recession. This park was one of the first projects tackled by the Parks Department.
The Black Hawk 2 Park, seeded with a wildflower and tall grass mix, is a new low-maintenance and low-water consumption exercise park located at the very north end of 6400 West.
The Parks Department removed the older play structure at the Roselina Park and replaced it with a new formation that the kids love. Herriman is working towards a gaining more trails in our city. The Firebreak Trail will provide not only a safety component to our city, but will provide recreation opportunities for trail runners and those seeking outdoor adventures.
The Parks and Events Departments were presented with a concept by Edge Motorsports to build a Mini Motocross Track and allow participants from all around the County to race and train in Herriman. After negotiations and approval, several departments including Engineering, Streets, Water, Street Lights, Facilities and of course Parks and Events collaborated to construct this track. Herriman employees work together to accomplish great things!
Finally, the park at Black Ridge Reservoir was completed. This was a huge accomplishment for the whole city! Together, staff completed the landscaping and completed a snack shack. Every department contributed to our success in opening on a tight deadline. We installed a new play structure and rubber surfacing, a new large pavilion, smaller pavilions and new picnic tables, and finished a new portion of the trail system on top of the reservoir and below.