Why should you invest in Utah County, from Provo to Payson, from Lindon to Lehi? Simply put, population growth is high; unemployment is low; economic growth is high; cost of living is low. Overall, demand for building is high, so the moment is right to consider Utah County as the place for your investment property. As the Chinese proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now. Here's FIG's Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Utah County.
1 - Silicon Slopes
Utah County makes up the epicenter of Utah's dubbed "Silicon Slopes" region. It's a tech mecca and global destination for business, a unique gathering place just south of Salt Lake valley. "There are a lot of high-tech firms coming in there and expanding," said Nick Dunn, the public information officer with the Department of Workforce Services. "It definitely is a strong area of growth for the state." In Lehi, there's Adobe, Domo, and IM Flash/ Micron. In Orem, there's Blendtec. In Provo, there's Vivint, Qualtrics, IHC, NuSkin, and InsideSales. In Pleasant Grove, there's TestOut. And in Payson, there's Temkin International. Each of these businesses shows patterns of continuing growth which means continuing hiring and thus continuing need for housing. FIG has two developments in Vineyard located in the central-west region of the county, Edgewater and Tucker Row, and The Meadows in Provo.
2 - Well-Educated
Utah County boasts an abundance of local tech talent with Brigham Young University and the state universities proving reliable feeder systems. In a recent study by WalletHub, Provo-Orem ranked eighth on the list of 2016's Most Educated Cities, taking tenth in Educational Attainment and eighth in Quality of Education and Attainment Gap. Provo further impressed having the fourth-highest percentage of high school diplomas and second-highest number of associate degrees or partial college attendance. Plus, more than half the people in Provo speak a second language. With so many smarties entering the workforce and at the helm of Utah County business, growth can be expected to continue.
3 - Start-Up Central
Although Utah County is becoming known for it's big businesses, it is also home to many entrepreneurs and small businesses. People are pouring into the county to use it's fertile ground as the venue for their start-up. With over a dozen contestants on ABC's Shark Tank so far, Provo has become a familiar buzz-word for the sharks. Barbara Corcoran, who bought a ski lodge at a Utah resort, was cited as saying, "There must be a secret sauce in Provo that gives entrepreneurs an extra share of creativity and the energy it takes to build a successful business." Forbes ranked Provo third on their list of best places for business and careers. Plus, Provo was ranked as Utah's second fastest growing city based on a study done by NerdWallet to find which cities were experiencing the most job growth. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Utah County proves to have the fastest employment growth out of the 342 largest U.S. counties. Growth is obviously the name of the game in Utah County, so plant your seed here where it's likely to get watered with plenty of sunshine.
4 - Millennials Migrate
Millennials flock to technology. And since we already know that Utah County is the new tech mecca, it makes sense that we're seeing a lot of young people pile up in the region. The number one place where millennials are buying homes is Utah, and specifically Utah County. According to CodeLogic, Utah county with it's population of over 200,000 is the most popular buying-spot for millennial home-settlers. Utah has the lowest median age in the country, and Utah County has the lowest median age of Utah. The youth of the region infuses the social climate with hope and sense of optimistic opportunity.
5 - High Livability
Provo came in at 19 on Niche's 2016 Best Cities to Live in America, based on crime, public schools, cost of living, job opportunities, and local amenities. And in 2014, Provo was ranked second on Outside Magazine's spread of the Best Places to Live in the U.S., citing access to trails, rivers, mountains, and lakes, healthy eating, bike lanes, and green space as some of the major contributing factors. Plus, five out of the top ten cities cited by Niche as the Best Places to Raise a Family in Utah are in Utah County. Furthermore, not only was Utah ranked the 11th-safest state by WalletHub, ten out of the top 25 safest cities in Utah are in Utah County. Boiled down, Utah County is a place where people want to live. "Each morning its residents wake up to a breathtaking view of the Wasatch Front towering several thousand feet above them," says Val Hale, CEO of the Utah Chamber of Commerce. "It's no wonder that Father Escalante, in 1776, was so impressed by Utah Valley that he wrote in his journal he wanted to return to the valley to establish his permanent home."
6 - Super Affordable
It goes without saying that people want to live in a place that won't break the bank. And Utah County fits that bill. The nine most affordable places to live in Utah are situated in Utah County, and 13 out of the top 20 are in Utah County according to Movoto Real Estate. The study considered food, utilities and miscellaneous costs, median home price, employment rank, and adjusted median income. According to Zillow, Utah County is home to very affordable home prices with a median home value around $229,600. It's rather impressive that affordability has been able to remain so constant despite skyrocketing growth.
7 - Healthy Region
Healthy tenants mean happy tenants, and they're likelier to remain that way in Utah County. Provo ranked fourth on Business Insider's recent list of the 25 Healthiest Cities in America. It had a physical inactivity rate or 14.4%, an obesity rate of 23.8%, and a microscopic 5.4% of smokers. Provo also ranked fourth on Niche's recent ranking of the 2016 Healthiest Cities in America. Five out of their top ten 2016 Healthiest Cities in Utah were located in Utah County. Niche based their lists on smoking, alcohol abuse, and obesity as well as access to healthcare, mental health, and fitness centers. So, not only is Utah County a place of growth, that growth is a happy, healthy population.
8 - Great City Infrastructure
Businesses in Utah County rave about the support of local cities. "Our success has not been dependent on state and local government, but they have been the most supportive, helpful people we could have imagined," says Stuart Orgill, co-founder of Qualtrics. "They have been on-site, they are all ears, just a phone call away." Utah county is obviously a friendly atmosphere in which to grow your business. Provo ranked fourth in WalletHub's recent list of 2016's Best Run Cities in America, ranking ninth in Overall City Services and third in Total Budget Per Capita. Provo also has what they call the "Startup Building," a sort of entrepreneurial epicenter that rents desk space cheaply in a collaborative environment to company founders, graphic artists, computer coders, marketers, and more. Plus, cities like Lehi, Orem, and Spanish Fork have awesome landlord laws that reduce liability and give you more control over your properties.
9 - Retirees Relocate
It turns out it's not just the younger generation who are making their way to Happy Valley. Baby boomers, too, are congregating in the hospitable atmosphere of Utah County. In a study done by the Milken Institute, Provo proved a magnet for older people. Boomers are attracted to the healthy and active lifestyle, and of course the safe environment. The area is low in smoking and binge drinking rates, but high in volunteerism. The older generation can enjoy good access to healthcare in Utah County while also being close to opportunities for entrepreneurship and second careers.
10 - Rural Advantage
Sometimes it makes sense to locate in the boonies. First, there's less congestion and more opportunity for individualization. Many companies find that small towns roll out the red carpet for their arrival, as opposed to a more disinterested reception by larger cities. Plus, small towns provide the opportunity for community pride. The location comes with a unique sense of identity. Utah County is still flush with entertainment, restaurants, museums and more that satisfy the thirst for urban connection. But at the same time, you can still drive by a cornfield or a horse pasture on your way home from work. And that sort of rural connectivity is priceless, not to mention infinitely scenic, especially against the backdrop of the breath-taking mountains.
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