South Jordan is a city with 75,000 people that is south of Salt Lake. It could be considered a suburb of Salt Lake, but the city has been around long enough that it has begun to develop its own identity. I have lived near and spent a lot of time in South Jordan. I also have several friends who live in South Jordan. Based on my experiences, and the experiences of people I know here are some things that you should consider before moving to South Jordan. I listed 14 of these things, in no special order. Keep these in mind as you consider moving to South Jordan.
For a city its size, South Jordan has a lot of traffic. Part of the reason for this traffic is the way that the city was developed. The city is much longer East to West than North to South. Because of this most of the traffic comes from people traveling to different parts of the city. There are two highways but both of them run north to south. While they can get clogged up with traffic, most of the traffic is concentrated on the inner-city streets.
This means that while South Jordan is close to a lot of shopping locations and restaurants as well as downtown Salt Lake, where many people work, it takes longer than it should get to even nearby places. Traffic gets even worse during rush hour, when the city streets almost come to a standstill, and during bad weather. When it rains or snows people often continue to drive recklessly which leads to car accidents blocking traffic. If you don’t want to wait in traffic almost every time you leave your home, this may not be the city for you.
There are two main parts to South Jordan. The first is the older portion of the city to the east. This part is mostly made up of older family homes and neighborhoods. The newer portion to the west is made up of mixed homes and apartments. This area is constantly under construction and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
The construction tends to stir up dirt that will hang as dust clouds in the air, and even spread to neighboring cities. While construction is active there is a constant stream of trucks and materials being shipped into neighborhoods and when they leave they leave pieces of trash scattered everywhere. If you don’t like the sound of hammering and working or squeezing your car through construction equipment and orange cones, you’ll want to reconsider moving to South Jordan.
12. High School
This is a little more superficial of concern but could be important to you or your kids. There is one main high school in South Jordan, Bingham High School. Now the issue isn’t the school itself, but the perception of the school. Bingham is above average school but is also considered to have some of the best sports teams in the state of Utah. Due to this, there is a certain perception about people who go to Bingham High School.
There is this opinion that everyone who goes to Bingham is an arrogant kid who only cares about sports. While some of this may come down to rumors, or just pure jealousy from other students there is a kernel of truth to this idea. Because of their success with sports, people will move into the school boundaries specifically to join their sports teams. I have also met some people who attended Bingham that might be considered a bit overly prideful about their school. I have also met people who were normal just like you and me.
While this is a small thing, if this is something that you or your child might be sensitive to, you might want to look for other places to move to.
One of the biggest issues with South Jordan is its streets. Besides a handful of main roads, it is extremely difficult to find your way around South Jordan. Different neighborhoods will have roads that feel like a maze or don’t lead directly to the place you are hoping to find. Other neighborhoods will have streets that are more narrow, or that are blocked behind barriers and curbs. I’ve been told by residents of South Jordan how hard it is to get to the highway from their homes, or how hard it is to find people’s homes within South Jordan. Daybreak, an area of South Jordan in particular, is notorious for being difficult to drive around in on their streets.
Religion is a difficult topic to quantify. While it can be a unifying thing for some groups, it can also cause those groups to become divided from one another. Some people value religion highly and others are less comfortable with religion. Both of the positions are perfectly viable ways to live, but you will want to consider where you fall on this scale when picking a place to live. South Jordan is a very religious city, with the majority of the city being Latter-Day Saints. If you want a community that isn’t so focused on religion or where you can find members of your own faith you may not want to move to South Jordan.
9. Superfund Sites
You might not be familiar with the term “superfund sites”. The name doesn’t really give any hints about what it is but trust me, this is something that you are going to want to look into before moving to South Jordan or any other city. Superfund is a term that is used by the EPA for a specific situation they handle. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), shortened to superfund, the EPA finds and designates sites that contain hazardous waste or where the waste was improperly handled. Two of these locations are found in South Jordan.
There is a nearby mine, the Kennecott Copper Mine, that had a runoff of heavy metals over the years leading to high amounts of lead and arsenic in the soil and groundwater. One of these sites sits under a massive neighborhood that is being built on the west side of South Jordan. These materials are not something that dissipates quickly, and despite cleaning efforts the area still has raised levels of lead and other chemicals in the soil and water. If this is something you would like to read about here is a page from the EPA, with information about this specific site, as well as other sites around the United States.
One word describes the weather in South Jordan, bipolar. The weather can switch dramatically from day to day, and sometimes even within a single day. You can leave the house with a heavy jacket, only to have to carry it for the rest of the afternoon when it warms up to 80 or 90. You’ll get a lot of sun and not a lot of rain during the summer, and several months of snow and ice in the winter. If you want to live in a place where you won’t have to guess what the weather will be the next day, South Jordan isn’t the place for you.
7. Home Prices
With many established homes and with many more homes being built every year, there are a lot of homes to choose from in South Jordan. Despite the number of homes available, the price may be a deterrent for you. According to Redfin the median price of a home being sold in South Jordan was $629,900. For comparison, the median price of homes in the US was $424,146 at the same time period. A home in South Jordan is going to cost you over $200,000 more on average.
There is a certain convenience to living in South Jordan. You have access to a variety of stores and things to do, as well as being close to Salt Lake City. You may really like a neighborhood or home you have found. But, do you need these things enough to spend intentionally several hundred thousand dollars more on a home? If you are looking for a cheaper home, you might not want to move to South Jordan.
If you are looking for a place to rent instead of buying a home, you might be looking at South Jordan. You’ll find that most of the apartments in the city are found on the west side of town and most have the same issue, they are expensive. Many of the apartments are part of upscale buildings or are part of more affluent communities. Due to this, you might find it difficult to find an apartment that both meets your needs without breaking the bank.
5. Air Quality
One of the main issues with Utah is the air quality. Due to the mountains ringing Salt Lake and the surrounding cities exhaust from cars and businesses gets trapped in the air. This gets particularly bad during the winter and summer. Without wind or rain to clear the air, this can build up quickly and make it uncomfortable to breathe, especially for people with asthma and similar conditions. South Jordan sits low in the valley and often gets trapped under this poor air quality. If you don’t want to live in a city where you might not be able to see the sky for several days in a row, don’t move to South Jordan.
Politics can be one of the people’s biggest concerns when they move into a new area. Will they find neighbors who agree and support their opinions? Will this be the best environment for their kids to grow up in? Will they have to pay high taxes, do the local schools have high ratings, will the city provide all the services they need, and the list could continue to go on. While this isn’t a topic that can be answered quickly here are some general guidelines from my experience.
South Jordan is a larger city that still holds onto its small-town roots. South Jordan has grown a lot over the past couple of years, but this hasn’t changed much about the city. I’d recommend if you are looking for a small-town community feel, look for a smaller city that is focused on families and the individual. If you are looking for a city where you can meet people from many different places and who have different opinions you’ll want to look for a different city than South Jordan.
3. Size of City
This might seem a bit odd but here me out. While South Jordan isn’t the largest city by population size, it is spread over a large area. The city is long and fairly narrow which makes getting from one end to the other of the city difficult. This becomes important when looking at stores and locations in South Jordan. While you might see that a restaurant or store has a location in South Jordan, based on its location it might actually be faster to go to a location in another city than the one you share a city with. If you want to live in a city you can get around quickly, don’t move to South Jordan.
If you are looking for a city where you can meet a variety of different places, South Jordan probably isn’t the city for you. The majority of the city is made up of young families, many of who have several children. A high percentage of the city is white and most of the city has a college education. If you don’t fit into one or several of these categories you may feel like an outsider in South Jordan.
Despite being a larger city South Jordan shares some traits with smaller towns. One of these things is stores and restaurants closing early at night. Most places won’t be open past 9 or 10 so if you want to spend time with friends, or strangers, you won’t have a lot of options. There aren’t a lot of nightclubs or bars if that is something that you are interested in. While there are some good traits to South Jordan, its nightlife is not one of them.