Tips for Out-of-Town Buyers in Park City

Posted by Osiris Cabral on Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 at 2:54pm.

Hot air balloons over Park City, Utah

Park City is quickly gaining a reputation as a go-to destination for tourism and as a fantastic city to relocate to.

That comes as no surprise to those of us who know this city well.

The fantastic landscapes, recreational opportunities, and small-town atmosphere are difficult to beat - not to mention the awesome location, with Salt Lake City just over the mountains.

So, if you're interested in Park City real estate - either for an investment property or to relocate here - then read on for some useful details and inside information.

Living in Park City, Utah

First off, if you're relocating to Park City with a family, you're probably looking for some great schools, right?

No one wants to spend an hour in traffic just to take the kids to soccer practice.

If you have older kids, then they'll be attending Park City High down on Kearns Boulevard. Any younger than that and you'll want to be further north near Summit Park, Pinebrook, or Jeremy Ranch. These areas have some great elementary and middle schools.

The Jeremy Ranch Golf Course is a big plus as well, and access to the I-80 puts you less than 30 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. Pretty good!

Problem is, now you're some distance from downtown Park City. That might be okay if you're interested in keeping to yourself mostly, but if you have business in town, or want to travel in when the tourist season is at its peak, this could get tiresome.

There are lots of other neighborhoods to choose from around the I-80, Highway 189, and 244/248 loop - so think carefully how you want to balance commute times versus peace and quiet, or access to recreational or cultural opportunities.

Living closer to downtown puts you where the action is, which can be fun, but be prepared to contend with tourist crowds and strict liquor laws. Although fortunately, Park City operates a pretty good public transit system, so there's that.

If you're a film buff, then this is definitely the place to be when the world-famous Sundance Film Festival comes to town in January.

Check out the Park City New Residents Guide for more detailed info.

Learn more about Park City communities and find the perfect home to relocate to.

Park City from the mountains at night

Buying an Income Property in Park City, Utah

You may only want to visit Park City some of the time, say, for the ski season. Or maybe you're looking for a solid investment to park your money. Or perhaps you're looking for a way to generate rental income in Park City.

To begin with, you'll have to adjust your expectations.

After HOA fees, insurance, maintenance, taxes, and management costs, you're unlikely to make a huge profit from a rental income property in Park City. However, if done properly, with sufficient leg-work you could do well for yourself, and definitely get the property to cover itself.

A few things to consider though...

Location - Make sure the property is in a desirable area. A handy rule is: If you would want to live there, then that's a good area. Plus, this adds value for when you want to use the property yourself.

Keep it legal - Although not everyone gets one, rental properties require a business license. You could get away with not having one, but this means you might not have yourself covered should there be a safety issue, and you could be in trouble as soon as the city finds a way to monitor and crackdown on those who aren't playing by the rules.

Also, rules and regulations will differ by neighborhood, and by building/development as well. You'll need to take on some local knowledge and expertise to find these out. In the meantime, brush up on your landlord and tenant laws for Utah.

Do the math - check the market prices in the area, check the HOA and management fees, factor in maintenance costs, taxes, and so on. Don't just assume that a rental property will give you the return you want. Do the math!

Go pro - Getting all the business around a rental done requires a certain degree of commitment and professionalism. From getting it listed in the right places at the right time, to getting attractive photos, to cleaning - you're probably going to have to hire some help. Or, hire a full-service management company and forget about it - although you may have to give up 50% of the potential income.

View of Park City Utah buildings in Winter

Short-Term Rental Laws in Park City, Utah

Something to note: Short-term rentals are a big topic right now. Some people are doing well with them and making enough money in just a few weeks of the year to keep their properties vacant for the rest. The popularity of short-term rentals is starting to change the character of certain neighborhoods, putting the issue on the radar of city administrators, who are now looking for a way to regulate the whole business.

Bottom line: Going this route means being prepared for change. Laws are coming and they will alter how short-term rentals work, likely in the near future. At present though, the situation is pretty permissive, so short-term rental is probably a good way to go. Short-term rentals have the added benefit of allowing you to easily set aside time for using the property yourself.

Do It For You

In the end, you should be buying a property in Park City for YOU. Where do you want to live? What amenities or attractions do you want to enjoy? Take care of that and it's unlikely that you'll regret your purchase.

Park City is a great city - both to visit and to live in. It's a small town with a lot of charm and character, but with some big-city events and shine, and some of the best all-season outdoor recreation in the country.

Stay smart, keep it fun, and, if you really want a good experience, let someone else handle the details.

Get more useful advice from the experts. Connect with our team today and we'll help you look for and buy the perfect property in Park City.

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