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Old 11-04-2012, 07:21 AM
 
6 posts, read 22,007 times
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My husband and I are newlyweds. We have lived in Connecticut all of our lives, but would like to settle in a much more relaxed area. We are looking for a change from the expensive, high strung environment we are currently in. We've travelled to many spots around the country but we are incredibly drawn to the beauty, pace, and friendliness of the southern Utah/northern Arizona area. We've been reading through the forums and have gotten some good insights, and we think that the Cedar City or St. George area might be the place for us, but we have some questions/concerns.

Jobs: My husband and I currently have high stress jobs that pay a very decent amount of money. We no longer wish to do this. We'd rather have lower stress jobs with enough money to live on. What is the job market like in these two areas?

Cost of living: We are used to high taxes and a high cost of living. We currently rent a 2 bedroom condo for $1200 a month. What's the cost of living like, and what's the apartment rental situation in both areas? With St. George being so hot, are the electricity bills high because of A/C use?

Climate: In Connecticut, we are used to a large-ish amount of snow most winters, periods of super hot, humid days in the summers, and a decent amount of rainfall throughout the year. We understand that Cedar gets snow, and St. George is super hot in the summer. If anyone is familiar with Connecticut weather, can you compare St. George and Cedar to CT?

Droughts: Is there ever a water shortage? If so, how is it handled?

Bugs: Do we have to worry about dessert critters getting into our house?


We are not Mormon, but we don't feel that this is a problem. We would like to live in a safe, friendly community and enjoy all of the natural beauty, national parks, and change of pace that we feel the area has to offer.

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:57 PM
 
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I prefer Cedar City to St. George: it's smaller, has less traffic and we get all four seasons. It's also more laid back. We have the university and nice festivals including the Shakespeare festival and Groovefest American Music Festival to offer a little cultural diversity.

The snow is not unbearable because you can take off to the desert for the weekend when you get sick of it, although there will probably be a few days a year at least where driving is a big hassle. We have less dust than St. George. The cooler summers are a big plus. People from Nevada and St. George come up to Cedar City to cool off in summer. Humidity is very low, so low it may take getting used to. Once you are used to it you'll feel icky when you face even moderate humidity when you travel. Usually annual rain comes mainly in the form of monsoon related summer thunderstorms, which can be short and very intense. We had a strange year with a very dry spring and intense early fire season, where the slightest spark would cause brush fires followed by a very wet summer with almost daily rain. It was more humid than normal as well during the rainy part.

If you like chain restaurants and big box shopping, St. George is probably more for you. If you're a foodie and move to Cedar, there are a few nice restaurants and a seasonal farmer's market and a couple of CSA's but break out the apron because you'll have to do a lot of cooking to stay satisfied, or make a lot of weekend trips to Las Vegas.

The cost of living is low in Cedar City, my house payment for a 4 bedroom in a nice neighborhood is significantly less than your rent for a 2 bedroom. However, wages are lower as well. I brought my own business with me to the area. I would not move here without having a job lined up first. St. George and Cedar can both be a challenge to find jobs in. In Cedar City, the University and area schools are the largest employers, followed by Intermountain Health Care, Walmart and the state and federal government. There is some manufacturing and tech as well as tourism related work.Taxes in Utah are not necessarily as low as they might appear, there is sales tax on food, for instance. Cedar City has a large amount of rentals because of the University, someone from St. George will have to answer in regards to there.

Water restrictions in Cedar City usually consist of limiting the hours one waters the lawn to the evening or early morning. This may change in the future as the aquifer is being overdrawn. Little effort to encourage low water landscaping has been made as of yet, but restrictions might come in that form. There is a proposal to build a billion and a half dollar pipeline to bring water from the Colorado River, and the residents of St. George and Cedar City are expected to repay the loan for this if it happens. So potentially, less than 250,000 people may become responsible to pay for several billion dollars in infrastructure including the interest, although Cedar City has made a motion to opt out. The state may override Cedar City and obligate it to the project anyway. Look up the Lake Powell Pipeline for more info on that.

As mentioned in another thread, in both Cedar City and St. George, be careful to research geological issues before purchasing a home. There is no law making disclosure of issues mandatory.

As for critters, we've had nothing get into the house a diligent cat can't handle. In St. George there are occasional scorpions, but not often enough that it's a huge issue as it can be in other areas.

We're not Mormon, but get along fine.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:13 PM
 
6 posts, read 22,007 times
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Thank you so much! This is wonderful information...
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:08 PM
 
6 posts, read 22,007 times
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Great info. Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Cedar and St. George are very lacking in jobs. Just be aware of that. I live in Cedar and will be moving very shortly as a reality of that situation. Fast food, gas stations, and schools. Not much else. The cost of living is very low but there is a reason for that.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Washington, UT
175 posts, read 478,099 times
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MSCasper,

We moved to St. George last September from IL. Here are my thoughts on your questions:

Jobs - I was able to contue working with my current employer and telecommute, so I didn't have to find work. Many employers are becoming increasingly open to this due to competition for certain skill sets and the improvement in technology. Not sure if that's an option in your current work (which, if high stress, you may not wish to continue). Perhaps find a company that will allow you to do this before moving if you can't find something here. My wife was able to find work in teaching. The housing market appears to be improving, so construction often brings additional jobs.

Cost of Living - Compared to where you live, I think you'll find taxes to be reasonable. Here's a good site that provides an overview of St. George, which you can compare various aspects to your current city. http://www.city-data.com/city/St.-George-Utah.html You can compare cost of living using this site: Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed St. George has a overall index score of 91 (100 is average). Hartford (not sure where in CT you live)has a index score of 124. Cedar City is at 88. This site also compares rent, utilities etc. We found utility costs to be modest.

Climate - Cedarite explained it well. St. George is dry year-round, with a beautiful spring/fall, moderate winters and hot summers. It was 105-107 when we were house hunting in July. It's very dry, so it felt similar to a heat index in the low 90's back home. The sun is hot, but when we found shade, we felt very comfortable even in that heat. A lot of people get their activities done in the mornings and avoid the hottest parts of the day. We found it was significantly more comfortable hot weather than IL, where you get high dew points that leave you soaked and gross feeling. We found ourselves drinking a ton of water too. I will never miss the humidity...

Bugs - very few flying insects due to the dry climate. We often opened our doors in the fall to let the fresh air in without getting many flies etc. Have yet to see any scary bugs. Had a few roaches in the garage, but sprayed and haven't had any since. A non-issue. Way better than the mosquitos of IL.

We are also non-mormon and were warmly welcomed by all of our LDS neighbors, even after they found out we go to another church. Our neighbors are friendly, socialize with us regualry and our kids play together. We may not agree on everything, but most are really good people. I think you'll find most in your last sentence to be true of St. George. It's a very socially and politically conservative community as well. Haven't spent much time in Cedar City, but it seems like a nice place too.

Good luck!

Last edited by Yac; 01-23-2013 at 05:53 AM..
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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I lived in New England my whole life and now live in St George. Sometimes I wish I could combine the good of both places. Neither is ideal.

Jobs are very very hard to find. I gradauted from an ivy league school and it means nothing here. Family and connections are the key to finding employment. Unlike CT, there is no real businesses here. There are hospitals, schools, city workers, so basically all jobs are centered around maintaining the city. Yes life is relaxed, employment is relaxed but so are the standards of getting a job. My neighbor manages a business, she is a high school grad with 2 kids in tow. She is super nice. Her level job in CT would go to someone with an MBA. She got the job from her in-laws. There are many cases like this. Basically unless you are a nurse or teacher education is worthless. I registered with job service over 10 years ago and I had forgotten about it and I have gotten 2 matches in 10 years! with an ivy legue 2 double major undergrad, 2 grad degrees and management and technical experience.

If you do get a job benefits are scarce. There is one health care chain, IHC. If you are uninsured(or dont have a plan they dont take) the cost is skyhigh. Just an example I had a test done at Yale New Haven Hospital & it billed $110 (and the care was excellent), I had the same test done here and billed $650 (and I was treated like a number).

The schools (if you plan on kids) are soooo different. I visited every single school and though they very greatly, the best of the cities is still SOOO far behind CT standards. You are looking at the bottom 5 funded districts in the country. Most people think the bottom 5 are in the south or applichian mtns, no it is here. $3500 per kid a year. Look at where you are in CT, maybe 15k a year or more per kid. My kids go to what if considered the better schools and they don't have textbooks. The high school doesn;t even have information on colleges outside of Utah. They said I am on my own for my kids. Of course special ed/honors programs are lacking.

I like that I never have to worry about weather. I can drive any day of the year and not worry about heavy rain or snow. The heat is okay in the summer. I would not take a jog at 4pm in July but I have no issues with day to day life and the dry 100 degree heat.

What I miss is diversity, community, culture, and just little yearly events that make life special. There are no museums, no small church fair, or apple picking days, no little stores you take a 30 minute drive on the weekends to visit. You are landlocked and what is here (chain resturants and stores) is what you get. If my husband or I had a solid job offer in CT or New england I would go back in a heartbeat. The library is very small(my new england town of 15,000 had a bigger library then st george).

Benefits to southern Utah: LOW taxes, I pay 1/6 the property tax as in new england(mostly due to the low school tax), low utlites if you live in the right part of town. Dixie Escalante is a co-op and the rates range around .03 a khw compared to some areas that are near .20 kwh. That translates for us owing a 3000+ sq ft all electric to $100 for all utlites. Lower violent crime. Consevrative values for youth(im not mormon, husband is but I enjoy the dress codes that are enforced at all school levels in my area).

If you do choose to come here , look at all neighborhoods carefully, they are not the same. St George was built weird, you will have section 8 housing next to million dollar homes. There is not alot of violent crime but drug use is widepsread and it is ahrd to find a neighborhood that is not in a 1 mile zone of drug issues(little valley upper bloomingon hills might be the safest bet but still it creeps everywhere here). There are really no true suburbs. I remember places like Suffield, Longmeadow(I know it is in Mass but so close to CT), little cute towns that aren't part of a city. Everything here is attached to the city. Even in salt lake it is all just one big city with one block labeled one city and the next block another, not even a row of trees in between.

As a single couple no issues not being Mormon. If you drink there are no bars(I think actually the bowling alley might have one?) and limited wine selection. Most people go to Nevada and stock up. Being non-mormon is hardest for young girls. Boys seem to be okay but girls especially girls that want careers or no kids are really put down.

If I had my choice I would have spent a few years here, seeing the sites and then went back east. It was a nice change of pace at first but once real life situations happen it gets hard. Things like taking 4.5 hours to pick up a friend from the closest airport (las vegas, please dont even count st george airport as open, unless you are rich or an lds missionary or work for delta you fly Vegas), get sick and have to travel 4-10 hours for care unless it is rountine sickness, driving 4-10 hours to buy a decent bra (yes bra stores have been vetoed in st george, sorry Im picky I dont want a walmart bra, so for Victoria secert, Soma, any sort of lingere store 4-10 drive), art museums or anything diverse or a concert , you are headed to California 12 hours RT. Yes life is simple..after a few years too simple.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:58 PM
 
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Thanks, GoOutsideAndPlay and silverspoons. Very informative, indeed!!

My husband and I are looking at southern Utah as a new adventure. We are keeping our options open and not relying on it as a final destination, just a new change of pace for a bit...or perhaps longer? We'll see. With this in mind, we are not necessarily looking for careers out there. We're basically looking for something that pays the bills while we check out the scenery. We both have degrees (I have a masters, he has a bachelors), but like I've mentioned, we're beyond ready to sacrifice pay for a less stressful way of life. We have been applying to National Park jobs in the area, though we're not sure what our chances of getting in are. I have also scoped out substitute teaching (through Kelley Services in St George). If anyone in the area has any insight to either of these options, please share!

We've also been looking at the few apartment complex options. From their websites it seems that Falls at Mesa Point is very nice, Oasis Palms is good, and Sunset Springs is okay. Any thoughts/insights on this would be helpful too.

Thanks so much for taking the time to get back to us! It's much appreciated!
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:29 PM
 
119 posts, read 182,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSCasper View Post
Thanks, GoOutsideAndPlay and silverspoons. Very informative, indeed!!

My husband and I are looking at southern Utah as a new adventure. We are keeping our options open and not relying on it as a final destination, just a new change of pace for a bit...or perhaps longer? We'll see. With this in mind, we are not necessarily looking for careers out there. We're basically looking for something that pays the bills while we check out the scenery. We both have degrees (I have a masters, he has a bachelors), but like I've mentioned, we're beyond ready to sacrifice pay for a less stressful way of life. We have been applying to National Park jobs in the area, though we're not sure what our chances of getting in are. I have also scoped out substitute teaching (through Kelley Services in St George). If anyone in the area has any insight to either of these options, please share!

We've also been looking at the few apartment complex options. From their websites it seems that Falls at Mesa Point is very nice, Oasis Palms is good, and Sunset Springs is okay. Any thoughts/insights on this would be helpful too.

Thanks so much for taking the time to get back to us! It's much appreciated!
There really are no good apartment complexs in st george, most are low income/section 8. I actually was just comparing these with a friend building a new home. She just wanted to rent for 6 months and there was nothing & she ended up renting from property management. the falls at mesa point is the only one I would consider. A big no to sunset springs and oasis palms. The falls at mesa point is across the street from a 6-7 grade school and near mostly residenital mix of older (80's) and newer (200'0's) homes. It is the best complex I can think of in the city as far as location, safety, condition, but I have never known anyone personally that lived there. It is not in walkable distance to much. Sometimes you might find a condo cheaper. Craigslist or property management (jensen, preferred, monarch, advanced are the larger ones, property managemnt companies are a pain & not helpful but they do get the best listings). There are condos called hidden valley heights, that are 3 bed/2 bath and include cable/internet/water/trash all you pay is electricity which is dirt cheap maybe $30 and the condo are $795ish(they are privaetly owned so the rent vaires). It is in what I think is one of the better areas and I like the fixed costs. Anywhere you go for apartment living you need to love kids. People have larger families and with foreclosures are forced in smaller quarters or people get married after high school and are married with kids trying to go to college. The college has minimal housing so college students are spread out in the town. Kids riding bikes in the parking lots, playing outside your window, you just have to get used to it. You also might find a good siutaion in a basement apartment. Many houses in nice areas are built with walkout basements with 2nd kitchens and enterances. My house is and almost every house in my neighborhood is built this way. Sometimes families need extra money or the kids have left home and the basement. I feel like it is easier to have just one person above you then a whole complex of people around you. the areas I would look for these is little valley , washington fields, santa clara and bloomington.

As for the parks service , it is hard to get into full time. There are seasonal jobs and that is how people seem to start May-October, then maybe get a holiday job November-Jan to help them make it through the year. My nephew(yikes I feel old typing that buy my husband has older brothers!) , finally got on with the state of utah in the parks department full time after 4 summers. He had military and college behind him and just had to pay his dues.

My husband found sometimes no matter what your backgroud is as far as education and work you have to find what makes money and a need and forget about status of the job or that you spent so much time in school. My husband went to college and after seeing a need for a specific trade he started a very sucessful business. It has nothing to do with what he studied and is not considered prestigous but we live comfortably. My neighbor works in the OR as a trained medical professional and his son makes more an hour working at in and out burger.

You also might want to check out VISTA oppurtunies for one of you. They do not pay alot (but help with healthcare and housing) but you gain alot on your resume and will give you money towards future education. Alot of the jobs are at schools or helping with community projects. There are also lots of volunteer oppurtunies like CASA (which is in desperate need) or hospice. Casa works with kids that are going through divorce or custody issues and they train you to be an advocate for the child(you attend school meetings, court and be a voice), and there are many hospice services since we have an again population that need someone to visit a few hours a week to help give the family a break. I have meet several people just graduated from new england colleges that have come out here for these types of oppurtunies to put on their resume.

Another thing to consider is education is dirt cheap here. Our techincal school offers class at $1.50 an hour, I know coming from CT that might seem like a misprint but it is not! Some classes are just weekends or nights and are short in duration. It is a great way to pick up a skill even if it just helps you aviod a future repair bill.. My husband took a class to change his truck to natural gas (which is popular out west) from gasoline, he took a class in building a website for his business, we all have taken foreign language classes. You can become a CNA quickly and they always need CNA's. Not glamourus work but it would give one of you a job with benefits and steady paycheck.

There is something going on right now with growth and real estate. I hope it is not another bust like 2004-2006. There are alot of projects that have been pending for years starting to be approved, hotel complexes, maybe a new mall, a few new factories, and with that a sudden rise in real estate prices (due to low inventory) just happened. It will be an interesting year. I don't think it will be as crazy as 2004-06 because there is alot of land prepped and ready for build(that was the big problem in 04-06 low inventory and no land ready).
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:58 PM
 
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I am a nonMormon working in Cedar. I just want to address a few misconceptions written by Silverspoons. The mall in St George is getting a Victoria's Secret, just announced last week. I haven't flown out of St George but just purchased a round trip ticket to Boston, from Cedar, for 498.00. This includes FREE airport parking. I agree with everyone on looking at home rental v apartments. Apartment living here is NOT the same as back East (we are originally from MA) look on craigslist to get an idea. There are some sports bar/ restaurants in St George. We enjoy Iggys. You will be about a 40 minute ride to Mesquite, NV should you want to purchase alcohol. Several really good priced shops. As for concerts, you can head north to SLC or south to Vegas. Southern Utah University will soon be breaking ground on an incredible art museum. I would think there are more job opps in St George than Cedar. Cedar has a climate more like CT. However, what no one has mentioned is the elevation. We live at 6000 ft. St George is about 2500 ft. There will be days you wil long for humidity. Usually that will be close to monsoon season when it rains at least once a day for about two weeks.
In either place
you will be close to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. I know I do not want to stay here permanently but I am certainly enjoying exploring this beautiful land.
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