Where should we look to invest in Utah?

17 Replies

Hello everyone!

My boyfriend and I are real estate investors in Anchorage and looking to relocate to Utah. We currently own and manage 11 rental units, have done a few wholesale deals, and flipping. Realistically I do not want to live in Alaska forever and are projecting a fast growth next year and if we are going to relocate- now is the time to do it. Our ideal market is to buy and hold, but we are flipping to gain momentum and cash. I would like to connect with other investors to network the area. Ideally I want to live in Ogden or north SLC, but we can commute to make our deals. Any recommendations of areas to focus on- what is growing in rental markets, where are the distressed areas?

We are planning way ahead- but are hoping to move by 2018 summer. I will commute back and forth to start analyzing deals and getting a feel for the market. I also have an FHA loan option come the beginning of the year so we may get our first purchase in the spring and utilize it as a starting ground to move from.

@Stephanie Foster If distress is your cup of tea Ogden is probably your best bet, also it is one of the cheaper markets in Utah with a decent sized population. Good cash flow deals are a bit tough now, easier in Ogden, but they are out there. I worked in Alaska for a while its a cool part of the country if you guys are in the area definitely get in touch!

Awesome thank you Scott! I see that condo's and  townhouses have had a substantial growth- it isn't a market that I have touched yet, is that a big focus for this area?

@Stephanie Foster Congrats on moving to Utah. This state is rad!!! The slogan in Ogden with the local is "Ogden is awesome." It really is. I grew up around there and cruised the blvd as a kid!! Ogden is a good place to get started because the price points are lower. There are some great deals out there but you have to find them. I work with an investor that does a ton of stuff in Ogden. Ogden is growing and has a very good mayor. The Ogden BDO is now a huge place for outdoor industry business. You can find deals. Just remember, Ogden is rough some times. But I sure do love that place. 

Let me know if you want help. Im a local realtor that looks for deals daily in Ogden. 

Hi Stephanie, I am sure other people will chime in, but I will give you my two cents. If Ogden is one of the places you are open to, they definitely have some of the best market prices right now. You can easily pick up SFH deals in the $100s, multis not much more than that either. The one thing I would say that is negative about Ogden is the schools. They are some of the worst rated for a large metro area in Utah. Just an FYI. Even with that, the overall market in Ogden is projected to increase in value by about 4.5%, so not bad.

North Salt Lake/Bountiful/Woods Cross areas are quite a bit more for market prices. You are going to struggle to find any SFH deals for less than $250k. Multis are going for anywhere from $250-500k depending on how many units you are looking for. Schools are much better in this area, also obviously closer to the SL Valley.

Hopefully that gives you a bit of starting info to go off of. If I can be of any help to you, let me know. My wife and I are investing in these same areas and I would be happy to be “boots on the ground” for you guys if you see any properties you are interested in. My wife is also an agent so she can pull any MLS info you might want and also help you with any deals.

Just let me know! Good luck with everything up there!

Thanks @Eric Gardiner !  The plan is to just put our money into multi's prior to us fully moving versus buying more up here.  We will still end up with properties this way but will work out a management deal. 

@Brandon Norlund Thanks for the info on the schools.  Helps when we decide to buy our property that we decide to settle.  Don't have kids just yet- but that is the plan!

@Stephanie Foster yay welcome to Utah in the near future!! This is the greatest state ever (although Alaska is quite rad as well). :)

My husband and I have a couple of multi-family properties; one is in Provo and the other is in Salt Lake City. The SLC property is a fourplex is a C-class neighborhood about 10 mins from downtown.

I agree with what everyone else has said here, Ogden has some good deals but a lot of the properties up there seem to fall into the 'distressed' category.

In SLC, there are options but prices are higher. I'm an agent and I've been working with a buyer to find an investment property in SLC; it took us some time to find a good SF home in the $200k-$230k range because of the competitive market. As far as multi-fams go in this area, we are always watching out for fourplexes, and the prices I've seen are between $380k-$440k in recent months.

Let me know if you have any questions. It'd be cool to meet up once you're here!

In the Ogden area you can definitely get to 1% or more in monthly rents but you can get in trouble with really old homes that become money pits or really rough neighborhoods that are high crime and attract low-quality tenants (drugs, late payments, frequent turnover).

That said, I do know some investors that love the North Ogden area, Roy and Centerville for lower-end flips and long-term rentals. 

Have fun and make sure to come to the local investor club meetings and lunch groups. (go to SLREIA.com)

Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, and Weber counties are all awesome. UT’s population is expected to almost double in the next 20-30 years and the vast majority of that population growth will be in the above counties (Salt Lake City is essentially in the middle of them all). You probably can’t go wrong long term as far as the market in whole is concerned as long as you choose winner properties that meet your investment criteria. 

@Douglas Larson - If you have a brother named Dillon I may know him from Colorado!

I definitely appreciate the recommendations, especially for the real estate meetings and groups. We are involved up here and would need to network quickly to maintain our growth that we are planning for the next year.  Do you guys consider the city taxes? Luckily here in Alaska we do not have state income tax and low city taxes in different areas. 

@Ryan E. I see that you are in Idaho which isn't far from SLC, how are rentals and/or flips in that market?  We are projected to do 8 flips this year and doubled our units in one year so I imagine we could consider expanding in the area. 

@Stephanie Foster I’m actually living in UT but originally from ID. I’m more familiar with the UT market but Idaho is also growing. It was third on the list for population growth last year...by percentage...and UT was number one. Not saying too much when your population isn’t that large to begin with but nonetheless still growing. Boise is a very hot market with most of the population growth happening there I believe. 

My best friend started a home building company in Idaho Falls, ID this year and they seem to be doing quite well. PM me and I can give you his contact info if you’d like. He will know a lot more about the area than me. 

I'm an Ogden resident and a realtor. I know this area better than anyone. There are great areas to live and great areas to invest in. I can help you out with any questions you might have about the area. It really is a unique town and a wonderful place to call home. Message me for anything. Love to show you what Ogden has to offer.


I recently bought in the Ogden area and just in case you were unaware, there is a crime heat map feature on Trulia that provides very useful crime statistics by area. This could help you find areas where there will be a greater likelihood of meaningful appreciation as opposed to just the cash-flow game from depressed purchase prices (a lot of Ogden). North Ogden and South Ogden are their own separate cities with different demographics and higher home values. Rentometer.com and Bestplaces.net can also help you get a feel for the local market and prices.

I for one am bullish on the area long term. The Utah job market, i.e. the four counties mentioned above, is very very good: if you look up the individual MSAs they are at or close to the lowest unemployment rates in the entire country. Welcome to the state and we hope you like fry sauce

@Stefanie Jensen Hey! I am still looking for a property in Ogden currently. I have put in a few offers and have been outbid. My goal is to get our first property by the end of the year and I feel like I'm striking out! If you see anything out there worth it for an investor, I'd love to come take a look at it! 

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