What’s one of the fastest growing cities in one of the fastest growing states that still has more land per capita than residents by more than several thousand square feet? If you answered Elk Ridge, Utah, then you’re correct on both counts. How fast has Elk Ridge grown? Over 95 percent in just ten years alone. As a bonus for you: Elk Ridge is the second youngest city in Utah. In fact, it wasn’t even incorporated until the year 2000.
That sense of youthfulness also extends to its residents. It’s been estimated that the average age of an Elk Ridge resident is roughly 25 years old. But here’s the irony. One of the youngest cities here in the Beehive State is also becoming one of the most coveted retirement destinations for adults aged 55+ in the nation.
An exercise in contrast? Maybe. But Elk Ridge is 100 percent Utah. And as we’ll happily tell you, it’s not about contrast. It’s about diversity.
Is Elk Ridge A City Or A Suburb?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to many Utah County residents that Elk Ridge frequently gets designated as a suburb of Provo. It’s an understandable classification, but it’s not entirely true. While Elk Ridge may only be 18 miles outside of Provo, they’re worlds apart.
For one, Provo is a trade hub, home to major players in the tech and innovation sectors; a feature that has given rise to its unofficial nickname as “the Silicon Valley’s sister city.”
Elk Ridge, on the other hand, is unquestionably a rural city; one as sparsely picturesque as it seems secluded.
Elk Ridge is a hidden gem; Provo, a bustling college town. And while both cities are known for the sort of cheerful, friendly attitudes you rarely find outside of Utah, Elk Ridge is a city with less than 4,000 residents; making it a tight knit bed & breakfast community where it’s impossible not to look after one another—especially when things seem rough.
Jobs In Elk Ridge
Elk Ridge doesn’t differ too significantly from the rest of Utah in terms of its employment rate. In fact it’s relatively higher, with only 2.7 percent of residents indicating short term unemployment according to recent estimates. But if you’re expecting an abundance of job opportunities, be forewarned.
Elk Ridge isn’t exactly what you’d call a major job sector. Nor should you necessarily expect it to be. Its relatively small size is prohibitive of any substantial trade—perhaps one reason among many why it continues to appeal to many American pre-retirees. In fact, Elk Ridge enjoyed an almost 2 percent growth in size as a result of residents relocating from Salt Lake City County between 2015 and 2016 alone.
That doesn’t mean you won’t find significant job opportunities nearby. Both Provo and Payson have been long running and substantial contributors to Utah’s labor force, representing a combined pool of close to 70,000 jobs.
In addition to technology and innovation, both healthcare and education remain highly visible in the region—owing as much to Utah’s reputation as one of the leading healthcare pioneers in the country as it does to the nearby proximity of Brigham Young University in Provo.
Life In Elk Ridge
Small city living may be laid back, but life in Elk Ridge is anything but inactive. With that in mind, there’s one interesting quirk which is almost exclusive to Elk Ridge: there are no street lights. That doesn’t mean it’s a living road hazard. On the contrary, drivers are entirely more conscious simply because of that eccentricity. But it can still be a little off-putting; at least until you get used to it.
If you’re thinking of moving to Elk Ridge from a city like St. George or Salt Lake City, you might describe it as “sleepy.” We’d prefer humble and understated, but we understand just why you’d use that term. It’s not a bustling metropolis with a big box retail chain or a food truck pop-up on every corner. And you’ll probably never hear Elk Ridge referred to as the “Riviera of Utah County.” Life is serene here; and don’t expect that to change overnight, no matter how young or old we might seem. But Utah County is a region with no small shortage of amenities.
There’s very few other places in the country that are considered top shelf golf destinations than Western Utah. But what about pro level courses? There’s close to twenty ranges in the immediate vicinity that are consistently ranked among the best greens to play on in all of Utah, including one in the very own backyard of Elk Ridge—Payson’s Gladstan Golf Course, an 18-hole, 72 par marvel presenting a challenging reward for players from scratch all the way up to a 20+ handicaps.
It’s only natural that you think of outdoor living when you think of Utah. And the Wasatch Mountain range is as fundamental to the Utah landscape as the Red Rock Country. But where there’s mountains, there’s trails. In fact, there’s almost two dozen hiking, walking and biking trails just a stone’s throw away in Elk Ridge. Some are highly popular with both locals and visitors while others are rugged terrain far off the beaten path. Not the hiking kind? Elk Ridge has no less than three city parks available for visitors and residents who aren’t adventure seekers: Shuler, Loafter and Elk Ridge Meadows.
Crime In Elk Ridge
Unsurprisingly, the crime rate in Elk Ridge proper is roughly 76 percent lower than the national average. Unfortunately, nearby Payson hasn’t been quite as lucky. With a reported crime index of roughly 93 for 2018, Payson is still significantly lower than the national average of 274.
But a higher crime rate is to be expected from a city of close to 20,000 residents. Comparatively, Elk Ridge isn’t just safer. It epitomizes the absolute security you’ll find from small town living.
Cost Of Living
There’s no strong commercial tax base in Elk Ridge. In fact, there’s none at all. Property taxes and essential services are slightly higher than the Utah average, with an estimated $2,090 for the former being reported as a median average in 2017.
Cost of living might seem to be a downside for Elk Ridge; recent estimates indicate the COI index being 20 points higher than the national average and 17 points higher than the Utah average for 2019. But it’s a minor cost to pay, given both the peace of mind and community you’ll discover.
One drawback you might find about living in Elk Ridge is that the seclusion can lead to a definite sense of disconnect from the faster pace of living in major metropolitan cities. But it’s hardly a remote outpost. Nearby cities within a 15 mile radius include Payson, Provo and Orem, giving you all the advantages of rural life while still giving you quick access to metropolitan hubs in a matter of minutes.
Home Ownership In Elk Ridge
The median value of a home in Elk Ridge was reportedly $465,227 according to the most recent estimates. That’s over $100,000 more than the Utah average of $355,000 and $200,000 more than the national average of $249,000! It’s absolutely a seller’s market in Elk Ridge, with a one year increase of close to 6 percent since 2019. But is it worth it?
In our opinion, yes. No, it’s not cheap to purchase a home here. But it’s convenient; particularly if you’re looking to retire. And the benefits far outweigh the cost. It’s secluded, safe and active. It’s friendly, community-driven and authentic. And above all, it can be positively affordable if you plan carefully.
Relocation can seem like a drastic change in lifestyle. But it’s one that can change your entire perspective on the quality of life. And if you’re looking to relocate to a smaller town like Elk Ridge, you might want to think about selling your existing property as quickly as possible.
The process of adjustment has been known to take months on end. That’s why we offer a unique solution at Gary Buys Houses. We’ll purchase your home as is at a price that’s fair; sometimes in as little as 3 – 5 business days. But we don’t just give you quick access to cash for a down payment. Our “Sell Now, Move Later” allows you to stay in your home for as long as it takes for you to adjust to the process of relocating to Elk Ridge—or anywhere else in Utah! And if you are interested in selling your house in Elk Ridge, we do buy houses there.