I've tried to hype up Rose Park to buyers for decades, and people always look at me like I'm crazy. When first-time buyers couldn't afford bungalows in Sugar House, I've verbally blindfold them and headed out to American Beauty Drive, just six minutes from downtown. The area was originally settled by railroad workers, laying lines that physically split the east and the west sides of Salt Lake. First known as Oakley Park, it consisted of wetlands, cow pastures and even some smelly hot springs. Buyers didn't consider homes there until after WWII when developers began building subdivisions for newly married war vets and their brides. Sadly, these cute new homes were sold to whites only, and the deeds had restrictive covenants clearly stating that any resale of a home had to be sold to other Caucasians. Those kinds of deed restrictions became illegal shortly after I got my real estate license. State law now says that if a title company finds such language on a deed, they can automatically remove it when recording the documents into a new buyer's name.
Rose Park is one of the more diverse areas in Salt Lake City. It has great history and homeowners and renters from countries all over the world call it home. Most of the WWII veterans have died or gone to assisted living, and their homes have been sold or flipped. The area has gentrified with a swell mix of African immigrants, Mexicans, Russians, LGBTQ residents and so many more. But now Rose Park is getting pricey. The Trax line along North Temple has helped pique interest in the area, and affordable prices have attracted first-time buyers. What sold for $49,000 in 1984 (when I got my license) is now going for $325,000, though the home's been gutted and updated. Now where am I telling people to look for affordable housing? Where's the next frontier for real estate gentrification?
Magna. There, I said it.
It's a 12-minute drive from Colosimo's Standard Market (famous for making their own Italian sausages and salami) on Magna's Main Street to downtown Salt Lake City. I just sold a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home there for $169,000. Magna's always been a place of diversity as a town created by white farmers, mine owners and miners—a notoriously immigrant workforce. You can still have cows and livestock in this little town that will be exploding soon. The new prison is coming, as is the inland port and main transportation hub. I've seen many maps and plans over the years as a Salt Lake City planning and zoning commissioner and as UTA trustee. Look west young buyers, look west!