If you’re searching for real estate in Park City, here are 10 things Brad Jensen would suggest you keep in mind.
1. Location, location, location.
You have heard it before. Real Estate is all about location. Well that is true. First understand that Park City is in a great location, maybe even the best location. Located in the Wasatch Mountain Range just east of Salt Lake City, it is easily accessible from just about anywhere in the United States and even the world. Salt Lake City and the international airport are only 30 minutes away from Park City via 1-80.
Park City’s relation to the Wasatch Mountains provide another reason for it’s great location. The Wasatch Mountains are well inland on the eastern edge of the Great Basin and the northern edge of the great southwestern desert. Most of the weather patterns in Utah come from the Pacific Ocean in the west. Park City generally has a warm, dry climate. It is located far enough north that it is not too hot and just far enough south that the seasonal changes are about equal from summer to winter. It’s never too hot and never too cold. But because Park City is located just east of the Great Salt Lake, and because the lake never freezes, there is a lake effect when storms come through. This is one of the reasons that we receive large dumps of dry fluffy snow which makes for excellent skiing conditions.
When measured against the average price for real estate across the nation, prices are relatively high in Park City. However, when measured against the average prices of real estate in other resort towns in the Intermountain West, Park City prices are in the mid range. This is because Park City in not confined by public land or natural terrain which makes development easier and real estate more affordable. This aspect is changing though due to self imposed bonding for open space which is a good thing. For the past twenty years or so, the City and now the County, have bonded for open space, placing an option on the ballot which in effect allows the citizens an option to vote for a bond to purchase open space. So now when you are traveling thru the city and around the area in general, you will notice large tracts of land that are left in a natural state or as farm land. These parcels are very likely preserved as open space in perpetuity.
The condition of a home is always something to consider no matter where it is. Keeping in mind that as homes get a bit older, they need maintenance. Any home will begin to need a lot of maintenance at about 20 years. This is not always a bad thing, however, you will probably need to consider putting on a new roof and replacing a furnace or boiler. Water heaters tend to last about 12 to 15 years particularly in this area because the water is so hard; saturated with minerals. Plumbing fixtures wear out for the same reason. Carpet and flooring may need to be replaced or refinished. This all adds up and should be considered when purchasing.
Keep in mind that Park City was and is the site of several very rich silver strikes. Park City was first a mining community which was established in the mid to late 1800’s. There is a very rich history in Park City and much of the real estate within the City limits is located within this mining district. Park City is on the National Historic Register. Old Town is the Historic District and you will note that all of the building lots are very small and the houses are built on a hillside very close together. This is a reflection of the glory days of the historic mining town. Old Town is very eclectic with many styles of homes but dominated by a victorian charm, built on a hillside with stairways instead of sidewalks and old churches dotting the landscape. It is charming and fun and located right in the heart of Park City at the base of both Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort, right in the action if you will.
5. Cost of Construction
Because Park City is built mostly in the mountains and almost all of the homes are built on a hillside, the cost of construction is elevated. Design requirements also add to the cost of construction because of the required use of natural elements and architectural relief in elevations. Jensen and Company has put together a list of trusted and recommended vendors to help you with your real estate needs – PC Vendors List (Builders, Architects, Etc.)
6. Style and Design
Styles change through the years and they change often in an actively growing and vibrant community like Park City. Some styles and designs are timeless and others may never come back into vogue. This is true in any community. Park City is at it’s core, a mountain community. Mountain styles are always going to be workable even if the interior design is out of date. With a little bit of updating and remodeling, a used home can become new again.
Everyone loves a good view from their home. Park City has an abundance of beautiful views. The value of a home is often predicated in part on the view.
Transportation is key to any community and Park City is no exception. It is important to note that the Salt Lake International Airport is just 35 minutes away from almost any location in Park City. Locally there is a very efficient, free bus system which will take you to any of the resorts or into Old Town from just about anywhere in the valley. Interstate 80 is the main artery from Salt Lake City and of course it traverses the country so it is easy to get here from just about anywhere by automobile. Many people find that being near a bus stop adds value to their home.
Keep in mind that Park City has 4 distinct seasons and though you may be here in the summer when it is nice and warm, it will snow a lot in the winter time.
- A home that is oriented to catch a lot of sun from the southern sky in the winter is likely going to be more cosy on those cold winter mornings.
- A southern facing driveway is also a nice convenience.
However, it is not always possible to have both south facing windows and a south facing driveway. Also, because we live in a very arid climate we have a lot of micro-climates within the area. You will find big pine trees and forested areas on the north facing slopes whereas the southern slopes will be covered with gambel oak trees and sagebrush. The advantage to living on a southern slope is that the forested mountains will be framed in your picture window from a sunny point of view in the winter time.
10. Uphill vs. Downhill
When choosing a home which is built on a hillside it is important to remember that there will be stairs. Park City is located in the mountains and sits at about 7,000 feet above sea level. There will almost always be stairs in a Park City home. There are homes on the uphill side of a street and homes built on the downhill side of the street. This will be a choice that you will have to make. Generally, an uphill home will have a driveway that comes into a garage on the lower level of the home. This means that the first thing you will need to do when you get out of your car is to hike at least one flight of stairs. A downhill home offers the advantage of driving into a garage that is on the mid or upper level of a home which means that you can walk into the main level of the home without climbing a flight of stairs. This is great if you have a car full of groceries. Keep in mind this is a general guideline. Many uphill homes have a drive that comes into the mid level of the home and also may sport the best views and the most sunshine in the winter.
If you have any questions about real estate in Park City please contact Jensen and Company. 435.901.8333. We can help you with all of your real estate needs.