If you’re considering buying a house in Salt Lake City, then you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of great places to choose from. Commonly referred to as “SLC”, the city is best known for being the headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is also recognized for having the 6th largest lake in the United States.
There is a variety of safe, comfortable Salt Lake City neighborhoods that you can pick between including places like Sugar House, 9th and 9th, The Avenues, Yalecrest, Wasatch Hollow, Liberty Wells, and more.
When searching for fun things to do in Salt Lake City, people living there enjoy skiing, the seasonal Sundance Film Festival, the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Hogle Zoo, and visiting Temple Square.
Salt Lake City’s humid subtropical climate brings hot, dry winters followed by long, freezing winters. The local weather averages about 54 inches of snow per year along with about 20 inches of annual rain.
The cost of living in Salt Lake City is about 19% higher than the national average. Groceries, home utilities, and local transportation are less than average, but you can expect to pay more for healthcare and the local housing market.
House hunting can be a fun and exciting process when you know the proper steps to follow from beginning to end. Otherwise, your experience may be less enjoyable as you feel stressed and overwhelmed as you buy a house in Salt Lake City. If you want to have a great time going through the home buying process, make sure you take yourself in the right direction from the start.
Steps for Buying a House in Salt Lake City
As you prepare to purchase a house in SLC, following the simple strategies below will ensure you enjoy each step. Although every home-buying experience is unique, this procedure will give you a better chance of overall success.
1. Determine How Much it Costs
When first learning how to buy a house in Salt Lake City, it is essential that you know the many considerations that go into the price. Details regarding how much of a payment you can afford and typical home rates around town will make it easier for you to get a good deal that fits your budget.
Your gross monthly income is one of the biggest factors in determining how much you can spend when buying a home in Salt Lake City. Before you make your decision, the best option is to get a location with a monthly payment that is under 30% of your gross monthly income. This means any money you get each month before taxes and other general deductions.
Additional factors that go into your monthly payment are homeowners insurance rates, mortgage insurance, property maintenance, and beyond.
The median home listing price in Salt Lake City is $555,000, an amount that has risen about 23% in the past year. The housing market is fairly competitive as most properties only stay on the market for an average of 13 days. There is a median sale price of about $291 per square foot.
The property tax rate in Salt Lake City is 0.680%, so a $555,000 home will lead to about $3,774 in annual property taxes.
Looking at local Salt Lake City, UT homes for sale is a great way to see what’s out there and determine how far your budget can go.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Home Mortgage
Once you know the costs involved with buying a house in Salt Lake City, the next step is to get pre-qualified for a home mortgage loan. This is key to realizing how much you can afford to spend on a house and what kind of financial assistance you can get.
You’ll find there are several types of home loans to choose from based on details like your credit score, your income, and other financial factors. The main types of mortgage options include:
- Fixed-rate loans: Get consistent monthly payments with interest rates that don’t change during the loan term.
- Conventional loans: You can use a conventional loan for a personal residence, a vacation home, or if you want to purchase a house in Salt Lake City as an investment property.
- Adjustable-rate loans: This type of loan lets you save money upfront with lower rates, which may increase over the term of the loan.
- Government loans: These programs make the Salt Lake City home-buying process possible for many people through FHA, VA, and USDA programs.
Finding a dependable lender is essential as you go through the remaining steps to buy a home in SLC. They’ll do a credit check while also gathering your financial information related to your proof of income and asset verification. These details will help them determine what liquid assets you have available as well as your debt to income ratio, and what kind of down payment you can afford.
As soon as you get your mortgage lender all of this info, they’ll be able to also find out whether you qualify for first-time homebuyer programs in Salt Lake City.
Some of the top local programs offered around this area include opportunities from HomeAgain Loans. Any military veterans living in SLC may qualify for programs through the Utah Veteran First-Time Homebuyer Grant. There are also possibilities available for financial assistance and help with down payments through NoMI Loan and Score Loans.
Going hand in hand with the local programs, anyone relocating to Salt Lake City can also apply for national first-time homebuyer opportunities. This includes help from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which only requires a down payment of 3.5% for a home. There are options through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as well.
3. Find a Trusted Salt Lake City Real Estate Agent
While you may not know everything a real estate agent does, they are often considered the most beneficial resources when it comes to buying a home in Salt Lake City. A good home-buying experience begins when you choose a person who will guide you through each and every part of the process.
If you’re wondering about the specific benefits of a buyer’s agent, it begins with their understanding of the Salt Lake City housing market. It will be easier for you to understand what is available in the area as they narrow down your options and lead you to locations that meet the criteria you prefer. As you find places you like, they can even give you advice and details about the community.
Once you decide on a home, they will handle the paperwork and negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
If you want to know how to choose the best Salt Lake City real estate agent, a great place to start is by looking up online reviews from their previous clients. As you trim down your choices, you can then see how many years of experience they have in the industry. In the end, it also matters that they understanding what kind of house you want to buy in Salt Lake City.
4. Search for the Right Home
For anyone moving to Salt Lake City, the excitement truly begins when you can start house hunting. As you begin your search, it’s always recommended to create a wishlist of features you want your new home to have. This will make it easier for your real estate agent to find locations that closely match your needs and wants.
A major consideration is the type of home you want to buy and what neighborhoods you would prefer to live in across the city. This generally depends on your lifestyle needs and how close you’d like to be to local schools or your place of work. Whether you are a single individual or looking for a place where your growing family can thrive, it’s important to consider what amenities you want near your home.
Along with its location, think about what kind of interior features when you buy a house in Salt Lake City. This may include things like carpet, tile, wood floors, the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, energy functions, property accessibility, and even kitchen options.
Don’t forget to also consider what you want on the exterior of your new property. Make sure you add things to your list such as a pool, specific landscaping features, or a roofing style.
5. Make an Offer on the House
As soon as you pick the beautiful Salt Lake City home you want to call your own, it’s time to put in an offer to the seller. Taking the present housing market into consideration, your real estate agent will help you create a fair offer for the location and negotiate any terms.
Your offer will include any key requests you have regarding the home such as specific repairs or things you want to be left behind at the location such as appliances. Known as contingencies, these conditions will be shared with the sellers who can either accept, reject, or counter your offer with their own.
6. Close on Your New Salt Lake City Home
If the seller accepts your offer, then it begins what is known as the closing process. During this time, the property goes into escrow as a waiting period begins. This includes the time it takes for a home inspection to be completed so any additional issues may be resolved before the sale is finalized.
If at any time the seller refuses to complete requested home repairs or other concerns, either party may choose to end the deal and break the agreement before closing. There is also an option for the seller to simply change the home price to accommodate for any home repairs that are requested prior to the sale.
Once you’ve done the final walkthrough and are happy with the property, it is simply a matter of signing the paperwork. At that point, you have officially purchased a home in Salt Lake City and will receive the keys.
Need Help Moving after Buying a House in Salt Lake City?
It’s easy to see why some people get stressed out during the Salt Lake City home-buying process. But as long as you follow these steps, you’ll be able to find a house that perfectly fits your needs.
Congratulations on your new home! After you buy a house in Salt Lake City, it’s time to hire professional movers to help you with the transition. Give Wasatch Moving Company a call today at (801) 758-0030 or take a moment to complete the Request a Quote form above for a free moving quote!