I'm a Stranger Here Myself - When an Agent Moves to a New Location

Real Estate Agent with Utah Homes 9334967-SA00

Years ago I read a book that probably wouldn't have otherwise hit my radar.

I only read it because I had become a fan of the author's other books; so I decided to give his latest efforts a try.

The Author is Bill Bryson, and his book went by the title of Notes from a Big Country. The alternative title, which I felt resonated more, is "I'm a Stranger Here Myself."

Bill was born in America but lived abroad for a couple decades. The country he returned to was foreign to him, and required a few adjustments.

I know this feeling. I'm living it myself.

Not a different country actually, but it may as well be.

My father was a military man. So we moved around quite a bit. I've had 42 different addresses in my life and I've only ever planted roots deeper than 3 years on one occasion.

So when I first arrived in Utah in the early 80's it was for school. I had only recently come into the presence of Mormons to any significance quantity a year and a half earlier. And this place was chock full of them. (They are in the majority actually.)

Though I'd lived in several states before then, Utah was... well... different.

I spent little time getting to know the area. I was there to go to school and that was that.

I kept my head in the books, didn't soak in the amazing scenery (I still don't know how that was possible) and then I graduated and moved on.

What followed was time in South Carolina, Texas, a stint abroad, and then, ultimately Arizona.

--- Fast Forward to two years ago ---

I had become more intrigued by Utah. After some consideration, and with all the preparation of diving right in, we moved. We sold a business. Sold a house. 

And here we are.

I could fill this little space on the web with links to story after story of what's happening in Utah. But it feels so public-relationsy. (not a word, I realize.)

To sum it up: This is not the place I left.

Provo, Utah was a college town. While I was there it ranked toward the bottom of financial charts. Students don't have much money and the stats proved it.

Provo, Utah used to exist below the poverty line.

Now it's a darling. A place where companies start companies. And venture capital is pouring in. And people are moving-on-up right where they live.

Unemployment is low.

Jobs are plentiful.

The place is beautiful.

And I'm starting to plant roots.


If you'd like a pretty even-handed view of what's happening here, you don't have to search the web too deep. It seems everyone is writing about this place. This odd place that does things differently.

One author from Bloomberg decided to offer an in-depth look. It just hit the press a few hours ago.

Megan McArdle examines, among other things, the quandary of how Utah has the highest upward mobility ranking. That is to say, a person born into meager circumstances here has a much greater likelihood of getting ahead financially than anywhere else in the country.

She also examines the battle on poverty, the separation (co-existence?) of church and state, the importance of volunteerism and the next question: Can this plan be duplicated with similar results?

Here's the link: How Utah Keeps the American Dream Alive, by Megan McArdle (a Bloomberg View columnist.)

Comments (8)

Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

During my first ten years in real estate, during the 1980s, I worked in an office which was just down the road from an Air Force Base.  We had an agent, who was retired military, but had a wife who was still active.  They moved every few years.  And, when they did, he understood that having to get acquainted with a new realm, all over again.

Mar 28, 2017 05:12 PM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Myrl Jeffcoat - Was this near Mather Air Force Base? I spent a couple years there. I have fond and sad memories as not everyone made it back from the Vietnam war.

Mar 28, 2017 07:50 PM
Academy Mortgage Team 101
Academy Mortgage Corporation - Draper, UT
Your Mortgage. Simplified!

Great article. Glad you are here in Utah Chuck!

Apr 19, 2017 03:12 PM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Academy Mortgage Team 101 glad to be in the shadow of your HQ

Apr 20, 2017 06:10 PM
Tricia La Motte, CRS
661-212-2896 - Santa Clarita, CA
Santa Clarita Real Estate - Guiding the Way Home!

Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me , having moved as many times as you have must certainly give you persepction on what the buyer is going through, and how to help them adjust to a new place.

Apr 21, 2017 06:22 AM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me

I've also discovered that some have their "must have" list. For each it's different.

Jun 29, 2017 04:21 PM
David Wright
Benchmark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN
Real Estate Refined

Chuck this is a good story. Love to learn more how you find so many houses off the market and not having lived in an area for any length of time.

I love Utah. The Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon with the Hoodoos are awesome! I have never understood how they came up with the name of Hoodoos for rock formations, but they are most interesting to view.

Jun 22, 2017 03:44 PM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me

Oh Utah has so many interesting names- some of them are doozies. The off market stuff I found is through:

a) those who know the area with whom I had an acquaintance in Arizona and

b) hitting every website I could of those who wholesale.

Jun 29, 2017 04:20 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Chuck- I can't believe I missed this wonderful post. I love the work of Bill Bryson and sill have a copy of "A Walk in the Woods" in the office. I've never been to Utah but it must be something wonderful. 

Jun 29, 2017 08:38 AM
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me

I think I've read everything he has written. He's so good.

Jun 29, 2017 04:18 PM
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Time works wonders, for good and for bad. Change can be uplifting or it can cause regrets. Very nice post.

Aug 15, 2017 06:26 PM