Sandy, Utah is a city that has a lot of things going for it. It’s close to Utah’s legendary ski and snowboarding resorts is a day trip away from Southern Utah’s national parks and boasts a great variety of entertainment. That’s a lot to pack into a medium-sized city, and we can understand why people want to move there.
However, locals in Sandy want to remind you to look below the surface! We have a list of 17 reasons not to move to Sandy, Utah, that you can read right here. You deserve to get a full story before you move to this interesting city.
1. Sandy Has a Bad Reputation Among Utahns
In spite of recent changes to the actual crime statistics, Utahns hold onto running jokes about cities like Sandy or Ogden. This well-known phenomenon means that coworkers and friends in the state are likely to take shots at your new city if you move there, and some people might actually be hesitant to visit you at your home.
Most of Sandy’s reputation is just a holdover from slightly more questionable times, but some of the concerns are valid. Neighborhood Scout does report that Sandy only scored a 12/100 for crime, which means that it’s only safer than only 12% of US cities. Property crime is the biggest problem, with petty theft and vandalism happening regularly, but more severe crimes like shootings do happen.
If you choose to move to Sandy, make sure to check crime-watching websites for the safety of your neighborhood. It’s always better to make an educated decision. If you live right beside South Salt Lake, you’re more likely to have an issue than if you live near Draper.
2. Traffic Can Be Surprisingly Heavy at Unexpected Times
Many Sandy residents commute for work, and this leads to some consistent issues with transit times and traffic. Utah has limited options for travel between cities, since the mountains take up so much space, and freeway travel can come to a total standstill during rush hour.
While traffic like this won’t be a shock to people from other large cities, that doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying. Traffic is traffic, and it should be accounted for when making a decision. Nobody wants to arrive at work late, after all.
The problem with Sandy is that traffic doesn’t just happen when work gets out or as people are trying to get to work. Since the Hale Center Theater, the Rio Tinto Stadium, and Real Salt Lake are all in the city, traffic can also follow major events. Traffic in the winter is no better since Sandy is also the gateway to major outdoor tourist destinations like Alta and Snowbird.
You’ll learn the traffic patterns eventually, but make sure to give yourself plenty of time for travel if you decide to move here. After all, it wouldn’t do you any good to lose a job right after you get it!
3. You Share the City with Several Stadiums
If you value quiet and peace at night, make sure your new home or apartment is nowhere near the stadiums in Sandy, Utah. Utah’s Real Salt Lake and Rio Tinto Arena are actually located in Sandy, meaning that traffic, crowds, and loud cheering will be your next-door neighbors.
4. There’s No Nightlife
If you value the nightlife of a city, Sandy isn’t for you. The nearest thing would be clubbed in neighboring cities or McDonalds that stay open all night. Most restaurants and bars in the city are closed by 10:00 pm, even if they serve alcohol.
5. Property Crimes are High
Sandy has a problem with vandalism and theft. If you move here, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to own a barking dog or a security system. At the very least, you should have a porch camera to watch for package theft.
6. There’s Very Limited Diversity
Utah is known for many things, but diversity isn’t one of them. The state was settled in the 1800s by pioneers, immigrants, and religious refugees from the eastern United States, England, Denmark, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, and other neighboring countries, so the population tends to be very white. Cultural festivals are usually oriented towards a country’s history, like the Scottish Festival in Payson or the Swiss Days in Midway.
Sandy isn’t the exception to this rule. While locals are learning to be less weird about having neighbors of different races or religions, they can get intense about things like family history. They can ask awkward questions and not realize they’ve even been offensive. Some people are even, unfortunately, just plain racist.
The good news is that many Utahns have lived outside of Utah for at least a few years, and they can be reminded of their own transplanted ancestry, so they do try to be welcoming to refugees and immigrants. Food is diverse, and an African Festival has been going on for the past six years in nearby Salt Lake City.
We’d like to say religious diversity is better, but that’s also up in the air. Much of Utah’s population belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which is the group that originally settled in the area in the 1800s, and the atmosphere is predominately Christian. There are some Hindu temples and large festivals for Holi and other holidays, which are loved by the community, and there are some Mosques and places of worship for non-Christian religions, but they can require some travel to get to.
There’s a large religiously unaffiliated population in Utah, which is the second largest belief system after the Latter-Day Saints. Most people you meet are going to be in one of those two groups, but they can help you locate your church of choice.
7. Schools are Either Great or Very Mediocre
Schools in Sandy are pretty diverse, but not in the way most people want. They’re diverse in test scores and ratings.
Sandy has access to some fantastic schools, particularly high schools, but it also has schools that will let your students down. Make sure to do research on nearby schools and apply for quality charter schools if you’re disappointed with your options.
8. The Population Is Getting Crowded
Sandy has been surprisingly popular in recent years. The combination of family-friendly communities, nearby outdoor spaces, and high-quality work opportunities brings in a lot of people. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably well aware of this phenomenon!
Unfortunately, it’s making things crowded. This is straining infrastructure and water, leading to some long-term problems like increased drought.
9. You’ll Be Living On Top of a Fault Line
The Wasatch Front also is part of the Wasatch Fault Line. While recent earthquakes have been fairly mild, every child growing up in the area has been taught to prepare for “the big one.”
Utah is overdue for a massive earthquake that should occur every 270 years but last happened about 300 years ago. Over 95% of the state’s population lives over or right beside fault lines, and Sandy is riddled with them, which means that we are sure to feel it when the earthquake shows up.
People from other states might scoff and say they’re used to earthquakes, but this is expected to be a 7.5, and Utah’s infrastructure and construction were not made to deal with it. Make sure to read up on emergency preparedness, and make sure your house is earthquake ready if you choose to move to Sandy.
10. Religion Can Be a Heated Topic
If you want to have a conversation about religion in Utah, be aware that people can be pretty intense about their beliefs. This isn’t just talking about the local Latter-Day Saint population, many of whom have actually spent time as missionaries. People who dislike that particular religion, or any religion, can also be unusually opinionated. These topics can really shock anyone who isn’t prepared for the level of emotion they can bring up when talking about religion.
11. Real Estate Prices are Out of Control
Like most of the United States, Utah is seeing some pretty wild real estate prices. If anything, we’re seeing situations that are even worse than the United States in general. Sandy has many homes that have more than doubled in price over the last two years, leaving many locals priced out of their own neighborhoods.
Everyone is hoping that the bubble will pop, but it hasn’t happened yet.
12. Rent is Painfully High, and It Isn’t Going Down Soon
If you think you might want to rent for a little while until you can save up or house costs go down, think again. Rent in Utah is sky-high, and Sandy is particularly bad. When rent in nearby Salt Lake City is literally leaving people with good jobs homeless, it makes sense that Sandy landlords feel comfortable charging more than residents expect, but it isn’t comfortable.
13. Utah Has a High Sales Tax
Utah’s sales tax can vary from 4.7% to 8.7%, depending on the city you’re in. For anyone traveling from a state without sales tax, this can come as a serious shock. It’s one of the reasons that Sandy’s cost of living is 125 compared to a US average of 100, as shown by Best Places.
14. Winters are Intense and Messy
If you hate snow, you’re going to have a bad time in Sandy, Utah. Utah’s trademark powder fills the streets every winter, which gives a unique experience to first-time homeowners trying to shovel their driveway. There’s a reason why so many of your neighbors will own a snowblower, and you will find out about it as soon as you try to shovel that powder onto your lawn.
15. Utah’s Winter Inversion is Terrible for Even Healthy Lungs
If you have asthma, allergies, COPD, or any other issue that messes with your lungs, use caution before moving to the Salt Lake Valley. Utah is known for the thick inversion that wrecks our air quality each year, leaving locals praying for a heavy winter storm to clean things up a little.
The inversion is caused by the shape of the valley and the air currents that blow in. Utah gets all of California’s smog, dust, and pollution, as well as anything that blows in from other neighboring states, and it builds up with our own car exhaust and industrial fumes until you can see it as you drive down from the mountains. It may look like something from a scary movie, but it is very real.
If you do have breathing issues and still want to move to Sandy, talk to your doctor and make sure you stay up to date on any medications. Do not leave your house without an inhaler. Locals with asthma are not above wearing air-filtering masks, even without the threat of a pandemic.
16. Summers are Hot, and Drought Is Constant
If you love lighting massive fireworks and sitting around a campfire with your family, Utah’s current drought situation is going to stress you out. The most recent 4th of July saw multiple fires in the mountains because of illegal fireworks, with some leading to the cancellation of parades and community parties. This situation is not nearly as unusual as it should be.
Summers in Sandy are uncomfortably hot, and they’ve recently become more dry than usual. After 20 years of increasingly severe drought, local children are used to summers without water fights, sprinklers, or green grass, but it can be a shock to newcomers who have to watch their lawns turn yellow.
Gardners, lawn care enthusiasts, and parents of young children are some of the groups most likely to be upset by water restrictions. After all, part of summer fun is playing in the water and watching plants grow green and healthy! It feels wrong to lose those moments, but what can you do? Utah is a desert, and the climate has decided to remind everyone of that fact in recent years.
17. The Great Salt Lake is Drying Up
This problem is becoming increasingly concerning, and there is little relief in sight. The Great Salt Lake, a national treasure and a Utah icon located near Sandy, is drying up. Decades of drought and a massive population boom have taken their toll.
The problem with this, besides the obvious environmental tragedy of losing such a unique ecosystem, is that drying lake beds are surprisingly dangerous to the local human population. Lake beds contain heavy metals and toxic particles like lead, copper, and arsenic, that get kicked up by the wind and blown through the air.
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