If you’ve been looking into moving to Farmington, Utah, you’re not alone. The peaceful city has grown significantly in recent years due to its ready access to quality stores, a thriving shopping center, beautiful mountain surroundings, and close proximity to a true hidden gem of an amusement park.
Unfortunately, the city is not as idyllic as it might seem. From potentially poisonous dry lakebeds to the weird juxtaposition of goats and millionaires, take it from a Local that this city might not be for you. Here are 17 reasons why you should reconsider moving to Farmington, Utah.
1. Home Costs Are Ridiculously High And Have Been For Years
Farmington is known for being absolutely beautiful, nestled into the base of the mountains, and a great place for hobby farmers. Unfortunately, that reputation has always come with a large price tag on any property near the area.
Now that Farmington is growing, prices are only going up. Lagoon, the Hilton hotel, movie theaters, and a classy and walkable little shopping center make the city attractive, and it has recently become an unexpected tourist destination. Locals are often surprised to hear that people from out of town consider a visit to Farmington a nice vacation, but they really shouldn’t be that shocked.
The unfortunate result of this appeal is that Utah’s already sky-high home costs have been driven even higher. Houses in Farmington have doubled, tripled, or quadrupled in price over the course of the last few years, far beyond the prices that normal inflation would justify. Former locals who want to return to the area are just waiting helplessly for the housing bubble to burst.
2. Apartments Are Scarce And Expensive
If you think you could save some money and save up by living in an apartment until you can afford to buy, think again. Apartment complexes in Farmington are rare, hard to get a spot in, and expensive. The whole thing is a serious challenge to families and individuals, pricing many of them out of the area.
3. Lake Stink Is Something You Can’t Fully Prepare For
The Great Salt Lake produces a unique phenomenon known as “lake stink.” This rotten-egg cloud will show up at your front doorstep whenever a storm agitates the lake, stirring up bubbles from decomposition at the bottom. It isn’t dangerous, but it smells awful.
4. Farmington Is In Danger Of Fire And Floods
This is a simple one. Much of Farmington is below the flood line, and the other half is in the dehydrated mountains, so it’s at risk from fire and floods. Check out local flood maps and fire danger before choosing a house!
5. Education Isn’t Great
Utah’s education isn’t known for being top-notch, and Farmington isn’t helping Utah’s case. The brand-new high school is surprisingly good, but the Jr. High and elementary are struggling. Many locals end up choosing homeschool or charter school options.
6. You’re Probably Going To Commute Over 30 Minutes To Work Every Day
Farmington has jobs for retail managers, amusement park workers, and county officials at the county courthouse or DMV. Besides that, you’re probably going to need to commute to Ogden, Layton, or Salt Lake City for any kind of office job. This isn’t too bad for some people, but it’s a deal-breaking hassle for others.
As a local who watched people make the commute from the Farmington area to Salt Lake City, it gets old after a few years and most people end up trying to move closer to their workplace. The sky-high price of gas at the time of writing this article is only compounding the issue. Commuters could take the Frontrunner railway system to work, but that does require them to factor in much more time to their commute.
7. Winter Snow Makes Living In The Hills Difficult
Winter snow, thaw-freeze cycles that turn everything into ice, and extremely high winds can make winters difficult in any part of northern or central Utah. Farmington’s hilly environment just makes things even worse, stressing out anyone that needs to travel when there’s snow.
8. Many Houses Are On The Side Of A Mountain
Landslides aren’t common, but they are alarming when they happen. Utah’s extreme earthquake risk makes it that much more concerning to have a house close to the side of an unstable mountain. As a local, this has a significant impact on my family’s choice of homes and I would highly recommend you get any scenic locations checked by an inspector before moving in.
Visit any home you buy. Many homes that have a nice front yard and advertise land in the backyard are actually on an extremely steep slope. With a slope like that, the land is functionally unusable for anything but a privacy shield.
9. You’re Very Close To Lagoon Amusement Park
Living close to Utah’s best amusement park has some ups and downs. The upside is that you can get a lot of use out of a season pass! The downside is that your children will want to get even more use out of a season pass, tickets are pretty expensive, and it will mock you every time you pass it on the freeway.
A more tangible concern is that popular amusement parks come with screaming, noise, and traffic at weird hours. A lot of people stay at Lagoon until closing time, which means the freeway exit can be packed at 10:30 PM when someone is trying to come home from work or a date.
Take it from a local that you don’t ever want to try and access the DMV around when the park opens. You’re just not going to have a good time.
10. Construction Is A Constant Issue
The traffic cone is Utah’s state flower, and Farmington is in constant bloom, sun, or snow. The constant freeze-thaw cycle wreaks havoc on any kind of pavement, so it’s a struggle to keep things manageable.
The Utah Department of Traffic does its best to keep up, including keeping people updated on road conditions via TikTok, but the Farmington area is still undergoing massive renovations to the roads. My own recent trip there was confusing for both myself and Google Maps since so many exits were shut off, and a normal drive can be extended by 20 minutes or more if you really need to take a side street.
Unfortunately, things are going to get worse before they get better. Utah’s population boom is putting strain on already overloaded systems and road construction is feeling the stress. Things are moving slowly and getting extended, and new construction means that your commute will continue to be disrupted for years to come. If you want to move to Farmington, you’re just going to have to account for that.
11. Wildlife Will Visit Your Yard Whether You Like It Or Not
Wildlife is all over the mountains in Utah, and any city close to the mountains is going to get cozy with it. Sometimes this is cute, but most of the time it just gets annoying and even dangerous.
Deer are the most common culprits. These adorable little monsters are more like giant raccoons with hooves than anything in a petting zoo, and they would love to ruin your day. You might hit them with your car when they dart out of nowhere, get ticks in your yard that carry Lyme disease, or just spend a decade at war with them when they are bound and determined to get their daily snacks from your garden.
Unfortunately, things worse than deer exist and they also tend to wander down to your garden. Mountain Lions, also known as Cougars, has been known to visit local farms and yards to snack on a sheep or a goat when times are rough. You don’t want to meet one of those guys on a hike!
Rattlesnakes are the other major threat that can land in your yard. These guys aren’t necessarily aggressive, but they are easily frightened and need some space to avoid both of you getting into trouble. Make sure to use caution in your yard in the summer.
12. Mosquitoes Are Unavoidable
I am terribly allergic to mosquitoes. I grew up in and around Farmington, Utah. I have first-hand experience with how incredibly difficult it is to avoid being bitten, and I have tried every possible solution.
At this point, I’m pretty sure that the local mosquito population thinks that DEET is just hot sauce. It doesn’t even slow them down. The only things that mitigate the issue are the trucks that spray permethrin, the entire decision dedicated to reducing the mosquito population, and treating your clothing with clothing-safe permethrin, then covering every inch of exposed skin with even more repellant.
If you’re allergic to mosquitoes or hate them in any way, I am so sorry. There’s nothing you can do to truly avoid being bitten. Good luck, and avoid parks like your life depends on them. If someone calls something “mosquito park,” do not go to watch fireworks there. Just don’t do it.
13. Utah Is In An Extreme Drought, Leaving Farmington Vulnerable
Utah has been in a drought for decades, and it is not getting better. In fact, it’s gotten even worse in recent years. Now the drought is qualified as extreme, and things are getting legitimately dangerous.
The booming population is taking the snow runoff and the water from the mountains, draining streams and reservoirs. Utah doesn’t have groundwater sufficient for all the new residents, and we have no way to get it. If the water is gone, the water is gone.
The state is currently trying to prevent the crisis from turning into something even worse, and that means restrictions. Water usage is restricted, watering gardens is restricted, and lawns are going to turn brown and die. Heaven helps you if you’re in an HOA and are threatened with fines.
Farmington is especially vulnerable because of its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the many small farms and large gardens within the city, and the landslide risk for mountain-edge residents. Droughts make life harder for everyone.
14. Everything Hates Your Garden
Many people move to Farmington because of the charming suburban-rural hybrid feeling that the city has in many areas. County fairs and rodeos are held here, and the city is built on a legacy of farming.
Unfortunately for any aspiring farmers, everything in Farmington hates your garden. Deer want to have it for their own lunch, drought will parch it, insects swarm and eat it, the soil can be sandy and rocky, and weather extremes can kill the fruit on your trees before it has a chance to grow. My own parents have a peach tree without more than a dozen fruits on it because a late spat of freezing storms chilled all the buds, nearly killing the entire garden.
If your garden does manage to survive all of that, water restrictions and Home Owners Associations will be sure to help finish it off.
15. The Great Salt Lake Drying Up Will Be Dangerous For Farmington Residents
The Great Salt Lake is at record low depths, and that is going to be an environmental tragedy. Low water means high salt concentrations, leading to mass deaths of algae and brine shrimps, leading to mass deaths of birds and surrounding wildlife, and the loop goes on.
As tragic as this is for the environment, it’s also bad for Utah residents. The dry lakebed was hiding dangerous soil contaminants like arsenic, copper, lead, and other heavy metals and toxins. As the lake dries, this soil is being exposed to wind and storms that will start driving it into the air.
Farmington is right beside the lake, and it will be hit hard if the lake isn’t saved. There’s no way around arsenic clouds. As a local, this is the thing on the list that I find most concerning, and don’t have anything positive to say. If local leadership can’t get this under control, I’m moving.
16. Locals Are Very Conservative
If you have an LGBTQ+ family member, any kind of non-conservative views, or someone in your household has blue hair, you are going to confuse and distress the good locals of Farmington. They are getting a little better at talking to new people, but there are definitely still issues with discrimination at schools and in neighborhoods based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion.
17. You Need To Travel To Another City For Affordable Groceries
Farmington has one easy-to-access grocery store, and that is Harmons. Few people can functionally shop at Harmons. They have everything you need and a little more, especially for people with food allergies or sensitivities, but they are significantly more expensive than many other grocery store chains.
If you need affordable groceries, you’ll find yourself traveling to Layton or Centerville to visit Wal-Mart or Winco.
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