Wondering if Provo, Utah, is the right fit for you? This post breaks down the pros and cons of living in Provo to help you decide.
Pros of Living in Provo
The Great Outdoors
Sandwiched between mountains and a lake, Provo offers a host of natural attractions to keep you active.
Pick a direction, any direction. If you go right, you’ll bump into Utah Lake – an ideal locale for fishing, boating, and tent camping. Now step in the opposite direction, and you’ll run into Wasatch Mountain Range, which offers a selection of trails for hiking and biking.
There are also plenty of parks around the city for you to stretch your legs or enjoy a picnic. Did we mention the skiing? This is Utah after all, and you’re just a distance away from some of the best powdery slopes you can imagine.
Provo, Utah is like a hidden gem when it comes to real estate. Housing prices here tend to be noticeably lower than the U.S. average. Whether you’re planning on renting or buying a home, your wallet will thank you.
You get the dream house and the dream price, all in one package. If starting a family or saving money is on your mind, then Provo ticks the boxes with its affordable housing options. The reduced cost of housing provides you some room to breathe financially and also offers the potential for home ownership to a broader range of income levels.
One of the big pros of living in Provo is the wealth of educational opportunities available to you. Brigham Young University (BYU) is right in the backyard, and it’s one of the top universities in the nation. You’ve got top-notch programs in subjects like business, law, and education. And the best part? You get all these benefits without having to fight thousands of students for a parking spot.
But it’s not just about BYU. Let’s not forget Utah Valley University with its wide array of degree programs or Mountainland Technical College known for its vocational and technical programs.
And if you’re looking out for your kids’ education, Provo doesn’t disappoint. The city’s public schools consistently score above the national average. Plus, parents have the chance to choose from several charter and private schools to match their children’s educational needs.
Low Crime Rate
You may not think about it often, but the crime rate of a city is a fundamental factor when considering where to settle. Provo is an excellent player in this field. It has a significantly low crime rate.
According to the FBI’s crime data, Provo’s crime rate per 1,000 residents stands significantly lower than the national average. That means, on any given day, the odds of you becoming a victim of a crime in Provo are quite slim.
Clean and Safe Streets
Clean roads are the norm here, not the exception. The lack of litter alone is enough to make you stand in awe. You see, the people of Provo take pride in their surroundings. They believe in pitching in to keep their city clean. If you’ve always had a soft spot for cleanliness, Provo might just steal your heart.
Access to National Parks
If you’re the type who loves mother nature, Provo is the place for you. The city has convenient access to a bunch of national parks!
Take a short drive and you’re at the doorstep of some real natural eye candy. We’re talking about the world-renowned Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park. These are places where the landscapes look less like Earth and more like Mars. You can lose yourself in these wild places.
Provo is also a stone’s throw away from Capitol Reef and the undisputed jewel of Utah’s national parks – Zion. Don’t forget the mighty Rocky Mountains – they’re not national parks, but they’re still beautiful! And if you’re into big-horn sheep, wild turkeys, black bears, and cougars, these parks will never disappoint you.
Even though Provo is known for its predominant Mormon population, there’s room for all sorts of beliefs in this town.
From Catholics to Protestants to Buddhists, you’ll find a variety of religious institutions for different faith groups. There’s a surprising mix of spiritual expressions that may inspire you to exercise your faith muscles!
Low Cost of Living
From your weekly grocery bill to utility costs, everything here tends to be on the lower side compared to national averages. We haven’t even mentioned housing costs yet, which, as previously pointed out, are very affordable.
And spoiler alert: the state tax in Utah isn’t too high either. So, if you’re cost-conscious and looking to make your paychecks stretch that little bit further, Provo might be just the ticket.
Cons of living in Provo, Utah?
Like any place on this lovely planet, Provo has its own drawbacks. Let’s look into the downsides of living in Provo, Utah.
Looking at the facts, 89% of its residents are of European descent. If you’re someone who thrives in a multicultural environment, this could be a bit of a challenge for you. The lack of diversity might limit your exposure to different cultures, languages, and ways of life unless you seek them out yourself.
It’s not to say there aren’t attempts to increase diversity, it’s just they’re moving at the pace of a snail.
High Mormon Population
Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can have many positive sides, like a strong sense of community and shared values. But the fact is, over 80% of Provo’s residents identify as Mormon.
If you come from a different religious background or you’re not particularly religious at all, this might feel overwhelming. You might feel like an outsider. If attending church isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll find yourself skipping most local communal activities, as they are often church-oriented.
Also, the predominant Mormon lifestyle influences such matters as alcohol regulations. This might be a downer if you’re fond of enjoying an afternoon wine or a late-night beer after a hard day’s work.
If you’re a cold-weather enthusiast, this is your paradise! Pull out your wool socks, and your oversized scarves, and embrace the frosty wonderland.
But if you’re the type that shudders at the thought of a chilly breeze, you may find these winters a little tough to swallow. You’ll need to be ready for heating cost spikes in the winter months. And then there’s the car: get ready for occasional snow tires, de-icing, and those early mornings spent scraping ice off your windshield. You might also want to become best friends with your local snow plow driver.
Too Much Outdoor Activities
Yes, you’re reading that right. Provo, arguably one of the top nature-rich regions in the country, might even overwhelm you with its sheer volume of outdoor activities. This might sound ironic, but let’s break it down.
Provo is a haven for those who adore hiking, camping, fishing, snowboarding, and just about every outdoor activity you can think of. But can too many options become a con?
Well, for adrenaline junkies, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who were born with hiking boots strapped to their feet, it’s a blessing. The Adventure Bucket list will probably never end. There would always be a new trail to hike, a new river to raft, or a new mountain to climb.
But if you’re someone who can’t distinguish a kayak from a canoe,. Provo might drive you to the brink of outdoor madness. The social scene is built around such activities, which means on weekends it’s not uncommon to see a mass exodus of people heading towards the mountains or the lake. If this isn’t your cup of tea, you might feel a bit left out or pressured to join in activities that don’t necessarily align with your preferences.
So, in this perspective, for some, outdoor activities could indeed turn into a con. But again, it pretty much depends on personal preferences.
Less Job Opportunities in Certain Fields
Think about the movie industry, finance, software development, or advanced medical research. The job opportunities in these fields in Provo won’t have you jumping for joy, that’s for sure.
Provo’s strength lies in education and services-related jobs, due to Brigham Young University and several large health care organizations. But, if you’re looking for a high-profile corporate gig, you might find the options a bit…thin on the ground.
Is Provo a Good Place to Live?
Provo is a good place to live, particularly for retirement, thanks to its affordable living costs, low crime rate, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy.
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