According to a recent study, Utah is the second happiest state in the country. The only state that comes in above it is Hawaii. What this means is that Utah is the happiest state in the entire continental U.S.

However, there are skeptics, though. For many people, they want to know what makes Utah such a happy state? If this is the case, learning more about this state, the real estate options and more will help everyone decide if it is now the time to pack their bags and move.

Roads and Transportation 

Compared to other states, the transportation system in Utah is well-maintained. The highways have been upgraded, and the Salt Lake City International Airport is now one of the biggest Delta Airline hubs in the country. Once new residents have hired someone to help them find houses and settled in, they can access the cities with ease thanks to the light rail system, TRAX, which is growing by the month.

Many people moving to the area are hesitant to use the rail system or public transportation in general. However, in Utah, residents can enjoy the award-winning public transportation system where they can travel safely and efficiently from point A to point B.

Amazing National Parks

Utah is home to five national parks. For people who love exploring the outdoors and enjoying natural sculptures, this state offers unending opportunities and adventures. For example, Arches National Park offers residents access to mountains with open-air arches, natural bridges, and incredible sandstone towers. Other popular destinations are the Grand Canyon, along with the Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon. Visitors to these areas can hike to the top on foot, or they can travel by horse to view the unforgettable view of the sun setting over the water and the sandstone ravines.

Another popular place to visit is Capitol Reef, which may sound like a location filled with tropical fish, but visitors are often surprised to learn it is a huge land expanse that surrounds a pinch point in the earth’s crust. Called Waterpocket Fold, the landform extends for over 100 miles.

The last option is to visit Zion, which is the oldest national park in Utah. New residents and visitors can follow the Virgin River to Emerald Pools or hike the red cliffs. Once at the end of the road, visitors can enjoy waterfalls and hanging gardens. Most people are surprised to learn what a custom place that Utah is.

A Strong Job Market

The unemployment rate around the country is 3.7%. In Utah, it is much lower than this at just 2.8%. Utah also recently ranked number two in the country for job creation. Many believe this low unemployment rate is attributed to the diverse economy of the area. Industries and job opportunities in this area range from software management to hospitality to coal mining and more. Since there are so many opportunities, Utah is an attractive location for college graduates, high school graduates, and people who are interested in pursuing small business ownership.

Growing Housing Market

Planning to move to Utah requires more understanding of the cost of living. While this is not the best feature of the state, it isn’t as bad as some may think. The state has the 28th lowest cost of living in the entire country; however, some factors impact that number.

According to some studies, the average cost to buy a home in the state is more than $300K. However, that number is not indicative of the entire state. For example, purchasing a house in Salt Lake City costs around $200K more than purchasing a house in another smaller city or the suburbs. For anyone interested in buying now and flipping later, Utah is a great place to buy because it is predicted that the value of houses in the state will continue to go up.

For someone moving to Utah who wants to live in Salt Lake City but does not have the funds to purchase a $500K home, they can consider renting an apartment. There is an array of apartment options – even ones big enough for an entire family – that are typically much more affordable. This is a good way to get established in the area.

An Easy to Understand Tax Setup

Utah’s tax systems are not appealing to everyone. It depends on where someone is moving. While this is true, the tax situation in the state is easy to understand and straightforward. This is always beneficial, especially for those who are new to the area.

Utah is a flat-tax state. This means that income tax is five percent across the board. This means no matter if someone makes $20K or $200K, five percent of the yearly earnings will go to the state-run programs and services. While the cost of homeownership is high, the property taxes in the state are low. There are not any estate taxes and no need to worry about other costs from the inherited property.

The sales taxes in Utah are around 6.94% and are not too far from the national average. When taxes are the only consideration, Utah is considered one of the most retirement friendly locations. The state taxes Social Security benefits and withdrawals from a retirement account, which is something people moving to the area should know. However, this is not the only state that does this, and the rates are not that bad. All the taxes collected go to state programs like improving public transportation and better highways.

Moving to Utah

Anyone thinking about moving to Utah should become educated about what the state offers and why it is growing in popularity. By reviewing the information, it is possible to learn more about the state and why it may be a good idea to move. Take time to visit the area being considered before making a move, too. When someone does this, it helps ensure they are ready for what the state offers and will make the most of the move when they finally arrive in their new home state.