Photo Credit: Ken Lund
Between the affordability, pleasant weather, and great outdoor activities, St. George has become one of the fastest growing cities in Utah.
This Southwest city has been drawing in retirees looking to get out of the cold as well as young professionals who love its outdoor adventures and the proximity to major cities in Nevada and Arizona.
When moving to somewhere as up-and-coming as St. George, it can be hard to know exactly where to start.
Don’t worry, because this guide has every bit of essential info you’ll need to plan your move to St. George.
- Which St George neighborhoods are most affordable?
- Which neighborhood in St George is the best fit for me?
- How long is the commute in St George?
- How’s the walkability, bikeability, and public transportation in St George?
- How dangerous is St George?
- Where can I find apartments and houses in St George?
- How much will it cost to move to St George?
- Don’t forget, all of these things need updating!
- What’s fun to do in St George?
- St. George has a population of 82,318 and is the 5th fastest growing city in the US.
- In 2018, the average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in St. George was $465 per month.
- The cost of living in St. George is pretty much equal to the national average
And check out this video showcasing some of the amazing sights around St. George.
St. George is roughly 65% homeowners and 35% renters with houses and rental properties mixed throughout the city’s wide array of great neighborhoods.
There’s no sense in looking at neighborhoods outside your budget, so first let’s lay out the costs of different areas in the city.
We’re going to take a look at rental pricing first to get a sense of where the expensive and more affordable areas are around St. George.
As you can see from the map above, the St. George metro area has a pretty wide spread of rent prices.
Here’s how much each neighborhood will cost
- If you’re looking for something affordable, check out Green Valley, Stonebridge and Bloomington Hills for apartments ranging from $550 – $700 per month.
- Downtown, Shadow Mountain and Painted Desert Estates are going to fall towards the middle of the road, costing between $700 and $950 for rent.
- Or, if you’re willing to spend closer to $950 – $1200 for rent, look at places in Entrada or Paradise Canyon.
Once you find a neighborhood you can afford, you’ll also want to look at the type of people that actually live in these areas.
No matter where you’re moving, you’ll want to be around people who share your lifestyle and ideals, but it can be hard to know where that is.
Luckily, Esri has devised a tool to pinpoint the specific demographics of individual zip codes.
All you have to do is plug in a zip code like (84770), for Downtown St. George, any the site will present you with the three largest demographic subsections in that area. Pretty neat, huh?
While liking your neighbors is important, so is being able to get to work on time.
Many people don’t believe it, but St. George typically has extremely light traffic.
In fact, St. George has been ranked as having the 4th best commute in the state of Utah.
The condensed nature of the city coupled with the relatively low population makes for little road congestion (even during rush hour).
Things like potholes and road construction will still slow you down on occasion, but you can use the Utah Department of Transportation website to keep up with road issues.
The lack of traffic is especially nice because St. George isn’t ideal for alternative forms of transportation…
St. George isn’t very walkable, has limited public transit, and is in the process of building up its biking infrastructure.
With a walk score of 29, most traveling within St. George is going to require a car.
Downtown, Green Valley, and South Pointe are closer to the city center and offer more walking opportunities than other neighborhoods.
St. George’s public transit is pretty sparse
There are definitely public transit options in St. George, but they aren’t very widespread, as evidenced by its transit score of 16.
SunTran offers the primary form of bus transportation within St. George.
The bus service offers six routes, each running from approximately 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m..
Many of the routes focus on the centralized areas of the city, but there are a few that go a bit further out, as long as your schedule allows for the specified pickup and drop-off times.
The SunTran interactive map can help you visualize and plan your routes throughout the city.
St. George is working to become more bikeable
Biking in St. George is doable but the city has a ways to go before it’s considered a truly bike-friendly.
Even though there aren’t extensive bike lanes for commuter biking, there are plenty of trails for recreational cycling in and around St. George.
The city also has a strong enough community of cyclists that it celebrates national bike month.
Along with being able to get around the city, it’s important to be aware of where high-crime areas are.
The crime rate aggregation site NeighborhoodScout has given St. George a score of 39 out of 100.
That’s pretty great for a city of this size!
Even better, violent crime only accounts for a meager 8% of the total crime in the city.
There aren’t any neighborhoods or areas around St. George to necessarily avoid.
As long as you stay aware of your surroundings and don’t go actively seeking trouble, St. George is a really safe place.
And now that we’ve gotten through the broad strokes, let’s dig into the process of actually finding somewhere to live.
First, consider which amenities you’ll need
One of St. George’s biggest draws is the extremely mild weather.
The winters will get chilly but rarely ever freezing. Summer can have some pretty hot days though.
Most people will want both heat and air conditioning.
You’ll also want to think about your monthly bills list to make sure you’ll have enough money to actually live int he apartment you’re renting too.
Laundromats are also few and far between, so you’ll probably want a washer/dryer.
St. George Apartment Resources
In a city this size, finding an apartment can be a bit difficult.
To streamline your searches a bit, we’ve collected some of the best resources available to find apartments; each with their own search filters to help you find exactly what you need.
And, while it seems a little sketch, you might want to look at Craigslist to find more affordable rentals that might not get posted elsewhere.
Note: This DOES NOT mean you should trust Craigslist implicitly. Here’s their own guide on how to recognize potential scammers.
St. George Rental Market
At the moment, St. George is absolutely renter’s market.
In the first half of 2018, the average rent in St. George decreased by 18.86%! This is fantastic compared to the 0.4% increase in the national average.
On top of that, the rental vacancy rate in St. George, as of 2015, was the highest in the state of Utah sitting at 21.18%.
Basically, it’s not terribly difficult to find an affordable place to live.
Utah Rental Law
And of course, if you aren’t familiar with Utah rental laws, get familiar to avoid landlord issues.
- Utah Required Landlord Disclosures
- Utah Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines
- Utah Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent
- Utah Landlord-tenant Laws
Not interested in renting? Great, let’s look at buying a house in St. George.
St. George is an extremely family oriented city, which means there are tons of areas both in and around the city that suit people searching for a quiet, suburban lifestyle.
As of May 2017, the Average Home Value in St. George was $228,300, which is a 5.3% increase from the year before. And prices are forecasted to increase by 2.1% in the next year.
Here are a few solid areas to buy a home.
What Washington City lacks in affordability, it makes up for in amenities and a low crime rate. This city is located a mere 6 miles away from St. George and includes many of its charms, along with a wide range of home prices.
Ivins is a bit further away (9 miles away) from St. George, but it does offer some great schools and is slightly more affordable than other surrounding areas like Washington. Here, you’ll find more moderately priced homes that fall closer to St. George’s average.
Use our moving cost calculator to estimate your moving costs to St. George.
Also, if you are coming from out of state, be sure to have a look at our state-state moving guide for more info and tips.
Parking Permits for Moving Vehicles
And, depending on the size and weight of your moving vehicle, you might need to apply for a permit.
To check the details of what type of vehicles are can park without permit, check the Utah Department of Transportation site.
There are just a few things left that you’ll want to get taken care of ASAP after the heavy lifting’s done to make sure you’re a full-fledged resident of St. George.
- Voter Registration: Make your voice heard and register to vote in St. George.
- Driver’s License: It’s important to always have up-to-date ID on you too, so be sure to get a Utah driver’s license as soon as you move.
- Out of State Vehicle Registration: If you’re bringing your car with you, you should probably update your plates at some point too. Here’s where to go to get Utah license plates.
- Trash & Recycling: You really don’t want to be “that guy” with garbage piling up in the corner. Set up trash pickup through Washington County Solid Waste.
- Make Friends and Meet New People: One of the hardest parts about moving is not knowing anybody. There are tons of great resources for building a network though, like Meetup which connects you with people who have similar interests and r/stgeorge which is a great way to keep up with events around town.
When scouting out a town for things to do, their visitor’s site is a solid first step in getting an overview of what it has to offer. Visit St. George lays out some solid options for hiking, exploring, and relaxing in St. George.
People looking for a bar scene…might want to look elsewhere. St. George has a large nondrinking Mormon population, so there aren’t many bars or clubs But, you can find a pretty good rundown of what bars are in St. George here.
Nature enthusiasts, on the other hand, will be ecstatic with the wide array of hiking, biking, and climbing spots in and around St. George.