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Buying a House in Utah: An In-Depth Guide

Buying a house in Utah is a multifaceted process. Along with finding a home that meets your needs, you’ll also need to budget for a variety of fees aside from the home’s list price. Use this guide to explore the biggest considerations of buying a home in Utah to avoid any financial surprises.
Buying a House in Utah: An In-Depth Guide

Congratulations! You’re finally ready to take the next step in your life and buy a home in Utah. You’ve saved for a down payment, you know the area you want to live in, and now it’s time to start looking for a new place to call home.

It’s an exciting journey, but buying a home in Utah can come with some surprise complications. Timing the market and understanding the true cost of purchasing a home can make or break your home ownership dreams.

Use this guide to discover more about the home buying process and how to plan for a successful home purchase.

Section I: How to Find a Utah Buyer’s Agent

The first step for any would-be buyer is to partner with an experienced, local buyer’s agent that is an expert in your selected Utah market. Your agent can be an invaluable resource when trying to time the market, negotiate an attractive offer, and navigate the closing process.

Clever can instantly connect you with a top-rated agent in your area that can help you find a great home and even offer cost-saving opportunities like home buyer rebate. Get in touch with a local Clever Partner Agent for a no-obligation consultation.

Learn More: What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for a Buyer?

Section II: Utah Housing Market Forecast for 2019 — and Beyond

Utah’s housing market remains strong, which is good news for buyers and sellers alike. Right now, Utah is experiencing a seller’s market, which means that the supply for Utah homes can’t keep up with demand. Utah’s reputation as a tech hub is growing, boosting its economic outlook. The state has also been touted as an excellent place to raise a family, thanks to a stellar public school system, recreational activities, and a strong job market.

Utah home values are on the incline, with a median home value of $338,700. Values have increased an impressive 14% over the past year and are expected to climb another 8.5% within the coming year.

Housing costs are growing faster than the national average, but buyers may be able to justify the expense by viewing the home purchase as an investment opportunity. Judging by Utah’s population growth and strong economy, home values will likely continue to rise. This means that when you get ready to sell, you have every reason to expect a profit from the deal.

Section III: Best Time of Year to Buy a Home in Utah

Like most real estate markets in the country, Utah’s market is largely seasonal. There are some times of the year that might be better to buy than others, depending on your goals.

Generally speaking, the best time to buy a home in Utah is during the spring and summer, when inventory is at its peak. Many sellers wait until the weather warms up before listing their home for sale, since cold weather tends to slow down real estate activity.

Buying in the spring or summer can work for or against you as the buyer. For starters, there will be lots of homes on the market, which gives home sellers plenty of competition. However, you’ll also face competition from other buyers who might be looking at the same properties you’re considering. Time is of the essence to get the home you really want, so it helps to know exactly what you’re looking for and make an offer before someone else does. Of course, this also might mean not getting as good of a bargain. Homeowners may receive multiple offers during the busy season and will take the most attractive one.

However, buying your Utah home in the winter could be a viable strategy. Even though inventory is lower, you could end up getting a great home for less than what you’d pay during peak season. Homeowners that are eager to sell won’t have as many offers coming in during the colder months, so use this to your advantage.

Learn More: When Is the Best Time to Buy a House in Utah?

Section IV: Calculate Your Property Taxes in Utah

The good news is that Utah property taxes aren’t nearly as sky-high as New Jersey or Illinois. However, this cost can often catch buyers by surprise and should be considered when determining your home-buying budget.

Property taxes are calculated based on the value of the home. The average effective property tax rate in Utah is 1.243%, but the actual rate will vary by municipality.

For example, a $250,000 home in Provo would pay a rate of 0.615% for a total of $1,538 in annual property taxes. That same home in Salt Lake City would see a rate of 0.750% for a total of $1,875.

You can ask to see what the homeowner paid in property taxes, but it up to you as the buyer to determine what your effective tax rate will be and factor it into your overall cost of homeownership.

Learn More: How to Calculate Property Taxes

Section V: How Much Are Closing Costs for Home Buyers in Utah?

Closing costs elude even non-first-time home buyers. These are a list of fees that the buyer will pay at closing in addition to the purchase price of the home.

Typically, closing fees are around 3% of the home’s selling price, but the actual amount of each fee can vary. Common closing costs include real estate transfer taxes, title search, setting up escrow accounts, mortgage insurance, attorney fees, and mortgage origination, among others.

This report from Bankrate gives an excellent breakdown of the closing costs on a $200,000 home in Salt Lake City.

Your real estate agent can be an excellent resource in estimating your closing costs. In some cases, you may be able to ask the seller to pay for some or all of these costs as part of the sales agreement.

Learn More: Who Pays Closing Costs on a House?

Clever Will Help Pay Your Closing Costs!

Coming up with the money for a down payment is difficult enough, but adding closing costs on top of that can further delay your homeownership goals.

Clever can help relieve some of your financial obligations with our Home Buyer Rebate program. Buyers can receive a $1,000 rebate on homes over $150,000 to help cover closing costs. Or, if your buyer has agreed to pick up the tab, you can use your rebate to cover moving expenses, new furniture, home improvements, or other expenses.

Learn More: How to Get a Home Buyer Rebate

Connect with a Clever Partner Agent today and learn how you can find your Utah dream home and save money in the process!

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Jamie Ayers
Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

See all Jamie's Posts
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