The Best Places to Live in Utah in 2021

Living almost anywhere in Utah will provide you with beautiful views, plenty of outdoor recreation and a welcoming, family-friendly environment.

The best places to live in Utah are scattered across the Beehive State. Each has its own unique offerings to residents, whether it be proximity to hiking trails or mild weather.

From the chilly mountain town of Logan to the warm, sunny red cliffs of St. George, here are some of the best places to live in Utah:

Snowy mountains in Cedar City, UT.

  • Population: 34,764
  • Average age: N/A
  • Median household income: $48,346
  • Average commute time: 14.0
  • Walk score: 35
  • Studio average rent: N/A
  • One-bedroom average rent: N/A
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $650

If you’re looking for a small-town vibe with the most perks of an urban setting, Cedar City is your place. While it is, in fact, a city, it doesn’t completely feel like it. You’ve got plenty of grocery stores and restaurants, but you’ve also got many residents that own horses and a few farms on the outer parts of town. Southern Utah University brings in a younger population of college students here.

Cedar City is halfway between Salt Lake and Las Vegas, leaving you with about a three-hour drive to reach either. Plus, it’s one of the most affordable places to live, where you can find a two-bedroom apartment for about $650 — which is less than a studio will run you in most other cities.

Aerial view of Logan, UT, one of the best places to live in utah

  • Population: 49,331
  • Average age: 32
  • Median household income: $41,833
  • Average commute time: 18.8 minutes
  • Walk score: 51
  • Studio average rent: N/A
  • One-bedroom average rent: $405
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,124

Nestled in the mountains of northern Utah, you’ll find the quaint city of Logan. It’s home to many mom-and-pop shops, antique stores and one-of-a-kind restaurants — including Aggie Ice Cream, which is known to have some of the best ice creams in the state.

Logan is full of young families and college students, making it a safe place to live, while still being lively. You’ll see friendly people out all the time — even in the winter when there’s lots of snow.

Ducks in the river after a heavy snow in Ogden, UT.

  • Population: 85,508
  • Average age: 37.4
  • Median household income: $50,061
  • Average commute time: 25.6 minutes
  • Walk score: 48
  • Studio average rent: $771
  • One-bedroom average rent: $988
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,127

Ogden may not seem like the most exciting city initially, but there are lots of hidden gemstones that make it one of the best places to live. Rent prices are really affordable and it has a pretty stable economy, which can likely be attributed to the many government jobs offered in the area (including the IRS).

Ogden is also very close to a multitude of outdoor activities, like ski resorts, hot springs and parks. It’s also the home of Weber State University, which is a smaller university that brings some students to the city but doesn’t overtake the city into becoming a “college town.”

Lake and houses in Orem, UT, one of the best places to live in utah

  • Population: 96,820
  • Average age: 34
  • Median household income: $64,590
  • Average commute time: 22.7 minutes
  • Walk score: 49
  • Studio average rent: $1,007
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,113
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,328

Utah Valley University is one of the main attractions in Orem. Many people go there for the university, but end up staying because it’s an easy place to live.

It’s affordable and offers a full suburban experience, with tons of shopping, restaurants and other activities, like arcades, family fun centers and parks galore.

Park City, UT in autumn.

  • Population: 8,251
  • Average age: 42.6
  • Median household income: $111,000
  • Average commute time: 27.2 minutes
  • Walk score: 40
  • Studio average rent: N/A
  • One-bedroom average rent: N/A
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,282

While it’s not the most densely-populated city on the list, you’ll still find loads of people in Park City at any given time. It’s more of a ski town and many residents are seasonal, with plenty of other visitors throughout the year to keep things going and to make life interesting.

You’ll find many beautiful cabins and condos, along with a cute main street full of restaurants and art galleries. Utah Olympic Park, the site of a handful of competitions in the 2002 Winter Games, is still a major year-round attraction. And every January, Park City turns a little Hollywood with the famous Sundance Film Festival.

While it’s a little on the expensive side to live in Park City, it is worth it for the green pine forest views and the free public transportation that can quickly get you almost anywhere in the city.

Downtown area at twilight in Provo, UT, one of the best places to live in utah

  • Population: 115,764
  • Average age: 31
  • Median household income: $48,888
  • Average commute time: 22.4 minutes
  • Walk score: 56
  • Studio average rent: $845
  • One-bedroom average rent: $928
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,495

As yet another college town in Utah, Provo is most well-known for Brigham Young University. Because BYU is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, many of the city’s residents are members of the church and have a heavy focus on family life.

You’ll find many young newly-weds and small families that are just starting out in Provo. It was even named the youngest city in America with the median age being just 25.

National park in Saint George, UT.

  • Population: N/A
  • Average age: N/A
  • Median household income: N/A
  • Average commute time: N/A
  • Walk score: 32
  • Studio average rent: N/A
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,035
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,363

With its mild climate and access to golf courses, St. George is commonly thought of as a retirement town, at least in the winter when many older residents want to trade the cold of northern Utah for the warmth of the south.

But that doesn’t mean that only seniors live there. Dixie State University brings in a younger population.

St. George is a growing city that’s the perfect location for anyone that’s a fan of Las Vegas, but doesn’t want to live there — it’s less than 2 hours away from the famous Strip.

Downtown shot in the evening of Salt Lake City, UT, one of the best places to live in utah

  • Population: 194,153
  • Average age: 38.8
  • Median household income: $60,676
  • Average commute time: 24.1 minutes
  • Walk score: 67
  • Studio average rent: $1,281
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,055
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,752

Not only is Salt Lake City one of the best places to live in Utah, but it’s also one of the best places to live in the country. The city features everything you could want from an urban area, but with all the perks of the outdoors, too! Restaurants, culture, plenty of jobs and public transportation (including the FrontRunner and TRAX that will get you almost anywhere in the Salt Lake Valley). And it’s all within 30 minutes of many hiking trails and ski resorts.

You can enjoy major league sports, like the Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake, as well as college sports with the University of Utah teams. Or if you’re more into the music scene, you’ll find free summer concerts at various parks throughout the city.

There’s a reason SLC was named one of the best places to live for millennials. You’ll always find something to do and see, so you’ll never be bored living here.

River facing the mountains in West Jordan, UT.

  • Population: 112,109
  • Average age: 35.4
  • Median household income: $80,955
  • Average commute time: 28.9 minutes
  • Walk score: 35.4
  • Studio average rent: $933
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,057
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,374

West Jordan is one of the larger cities in the state and it’s still growing. While it’s mostly suburbs, there’s great shopping at Jordan Landing and it’s close to everything else in the valley from Downtown Salt Lake to IKEA and Thanksgiving Point, all of which are only about 20 minutes away.

It has lots of parks, schools and family-centered activities going on, whether it be a grand Fourth of July celebration at the park or a corn maze in the fall.

aerials of west valley city, ut, one of the best places to live in utah

  • Population: 135,102
  • Average age: 35.3
  • Median household income: $66,342
  • Average commute time: 27 minutes
  • Walk score: 51
  • Studio average rent: $745
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,002
  • Two-bedroom average rent: $1,288

You’ll find one of the most popular entertainment venues in the state in West Valley City. USANA Amphitheater is often used for summer concerts and events, bringing in some of the biggest names in music and entertainment.

If you’d rather enjoy indoor sports, the Maverick Center will give you what you’re looking for, whether that be an indoor concert, basketball games or ice hockey.

It’s a diverse, up-and-coming city that’s seeing a lot of growth and revival. West Valley City is close to downtown and the Salt Lake City International Airport, making it perfect for anyone that loves to travel or frequently has guests visiting from out-of-town.

It’s got the best of everything if you consider that it’s only 15 minutes away from the big city, yet you can live there for much, much less. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest cities for renters in the state!

Find your own best place to live in Utah

Really, there’s no way to go wrong in Utah. Its welcoming, family-oriented culture makes any city feel vibrant and friendly — and perfect for living. No matter what you’re looking for, Utah is sure to have a great option in store for you.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments in March 2021. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
Other demographic data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.


A Close Look at Kanye West’s Strange Plans To Build the Wyoming Home of His Dreams

Kanye West is taking his grand plans for his Wyoming real estate empire very seriously.

In September, West reportedly purchased a 9,000-acre ranch in Cody known as Monster Lake Ranch because the nearby lakes are full of enormous trout. It was most recently listed for $14 million, though the final price paid by the rapper is unknown.

What’s abundantly clear, however, is that building his own home on the prairie will cost far, far more.

While the ranch already has two houses, eight cabins, several barns, and a few other buildings, TMZ reports that the singer, record producer, and fashion guru has had permits and plans recently approved to build a 10-bedroom mansion that will reportedly top out at 52,000 square feet.

This bucolic setting will soon sport a megamansion.
This bucolic setting will soon sport a megamansion.

J.P. King Auction Company

In addition to erecting this monster house, West has also secured building permits that will allow him to install two subterranean garages sized at 10,000 square feet each. Not one. Two.

So what will it cost him to put up this manse, plus drill down deep for a pair of massive garages—and how long will he have to wait to move in? Here’s the scoop.

How much it’ll cost Kanye West to build his Wyoming home

The current property configuration includes several lake houses.
The current property configuration includes several lake houses.

J.P. King Auction Company

“I estimate the mansion alone will cost in the high seven figures to build,” says Tyler Drew, CEO of Anubis Properties in Los Angeles. “And you can tack on a couple of million more for the underground parking garages.”

Cara Ameer, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in the same city, agrees that the sum will be astronomical. “He’s looking at costs of at least $50 million for the main structure,” she says.

In addition to tons of cash, West’s dream home will take plenty of time to complete.

“Building a structure like this is on the level of a commercial space, which means it could take two or three years, depending on the availability of crews,” adds Ameer.

Lack of available workers might not be the only holdup. While the township of Cody may have approved West’s permits to build, it will likely continue weighing in throughout the process, slowing things down further.

“The time it’ll take to construct depends entirely on the city of Cody,” says Drew. “And from what I’ve learned from other sources, there’s been serious pushback from the local community, since this small farming town isn’t really a haven for celebrities.”

In fact, it likely took West a couple of years just to obtain the permits for this project.

“The house isn’t something as simple as a set of basic plans that need a rubber stamp,” Ameer continues. “I’d bet the building officials in Cody were not quite prepared to review something like this, so I’m sure it took some time to digest and understand each aspect.”

What are those two underground garages for?

Kanye West can pull trout for days from the freshwater lake.
Kanye West can pull trout for days from the freshwater lake.

J.P. King Auction Company

Granted, one massive garage makes sense for the many SUVs and toys needed for a world-famous family of six and their entire entourage that’s likely to follow. But why build two garages?

Drew notes that this garage is actually the same size as an aircraft hangar. But West isn’t known to be a pilot.

“There’s no real airport in the plans here, so any number of vehicles could be housed in it,” Drew says. “But at first, it’ll probably be built just to store the materials needed to put up the rest of the structures.”

And don’t forget the weather in Wyoming—it’s brutal much of the year.

“Since it gets so cold in winter, he may want the space for four-wheel drives, ATVs, snowmobiles, and other recreational vehicles,” theorizes Ameer.

The engineering alone for this undertaking will be intense, to say the least.

“You’ll need a steel-reinforced concrete structure to support the earth’s weight above, plus hundreds of tons of rebar and other materials shipped to the middle of nowhere,” says Drew. “All before winter comes and prevents your concrete from setting properly.”

All of this sounds daunting—but clearly, West is willing to move literal mountains to get what he wants. Only time will tell whether he can bring his strange vision to life, and what it’s for.


A Points Collector’s Guide to Air France-KLM

Flying Blue is a joint loyalty program of two European airlines: Air France (headquartered at Charles de Gaulle Airport in France) and KLM (headquartered in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands).

In 2004, the two airlines merged and created a combined Air France-KLM Group. Both of the airlines are part of the SkyTeam alliance, which consists of 19 carriers.

Here’s what a strategic points collector needs to know and understand about Air France-KLM and its loyalty program, Flying Blue. We’ll cover how earning and redeeming works, how to get the maximum value from your miles, plus other facets that make this rewards program worth a second glance.

About Air France-KLM

Here’s a quick overview of a few key features of Air France-KLM.

  • Fare types: Air France operates aircraft with economy, premium economy, business class and first, or La Première, class. KLM operates service in economy and either World Business Class (on international routes) or Europe Business Class (on international or domestic routes within Europe) cabins.

  • Main U.S. routes: Both Air France and KLM cover quite a bit of the world with their routes. In the U.S., Air France flies to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas (seasonally), Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis (seasonally), New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. KLM operates service to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami (seasonally), Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, Salt Lake City (seasonally) and Washington, D.C.

  • Points currency and loyalty program: The two airlines’ joint loyalty program is called Flying Blue and it’s free to join. As a member, you’ll earn Flying Blue miles redeemable for award flights.

How to earn Flying Blue miles

Earn by flying

You can earn Flying Blue miles by flying on the following airlines and crediting the flights to Flying Blue. Note that the list includes non-SkyTeam partners of Air France-KLM.

When you fly partner airlines, the miles earned are credited based on the percentage of distance flown, which is calculated based on the fare code of a flight you purchase and vary by which partner airline you are on. You can click through the individual partner pages on the Flying Blue website to get specifics.

When you fly Air France or KLM, the miles you earn are determined by how much you spend on each ticket — minus taxes — and your elite status with the airline. Keep in mind, Flying Blue works in euros. In terms of an exchange rate, 1 euro has typically been worth $1.10 to $1.25 over the past five years.

Elite status

Earning rate

4 miles per euro ($1.10-$1.25)

6 miles per euro ($1.10-$1.25)

7 miles per euro ($1.10-$1.25)

8 miles per euro ($1.10-$1.25)

Flying Blue is an example of a revenue-based rewards program, at least on the earning side for Air France- and KLM-operated flights. The more money you spend, the more rewards you earn.

Earn by spending on credit cards

With the Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard®, Air France-KLM flyers will earn extra bonus miles and a statement credit after spending a set amount on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

After this initial welcome bonus, you’ll continue earning 3 miles per dollar spent with Air France, KLM and other SkyTeam airlines, and 1.5 miles per dollar on all other purchases.

Each membership year you spend $50 on the airline credit card, you’ll earn 5,000 anniversary miles that are automatically added to your Flying Blue account.

Earn by transferring points between programs

Perhaps the easiest way to get your hands on Flying Blue miles is by transferring flexible currency from one of the bank rewards programs. Luckily, Air France-KLM partners with all of the major transferrable point programs.

You can transfer the following points to Flying Blue:

Of all the flexible point programs listed above, we recommend using American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards® or Citi ThankYou Points as they provide the highest conversion rates.

Nerd tip: Occasionally, AmEx and Citi add bonus miles to point conversions. During these promotional transfer periods, the bonus can be as high as 30% more miles in your Flying Blue account, which can make certain mileage bookings really attractive.

Other ways to earn

  • Hotels: Earn Flying Blue miles on hotel stays at brands like Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt, among others.

  • Car rentals: Earn Flying Blue miles on car rentals made with car rental companies such as Hertz, Avis and Budget.

  • Shopping: Collect more miles when you shop with Batavia Stad Amsterdam Fashion, the Bicester Village Shopping Collection and Voyageurs du Monde.

  • Buy miles: In a pinch, you can buy Flying Blue miles starting at around $66 for 2,000 miles. Purchasing as many as 75,000 miles will set you back upward of $2,500. The program sometimes runs bonuses on mileage purchases.

Nerd tip: Since miles are always at risk of being devalued, we don’t recommend making speculative points purchases without a redemption in mind.

How to redeem Flying Blue miles for maximum value

Book award seats early

Flying Blue uses a dynamic-style chart for its award flights. In other words, redemption rates start at a certain point and can increase based on when and where you fly.

Flying Blue sells a certain number of award seats at the lowest redemption level before it hikes the rates based on demand. To find out what that level is, enter a city pair into the Miles Price Estimator and watch what comes up on your preferred route.

For example, say you want to fly from Salt Lake City to Budapest, Hungary. According to the Miles Price Estimator, the lowest redemption level is set at 24,000 Flying Blue miles for a one-way ticket in economy and 53,000 miles for a one-way ticket in business class.

So if you’re flexible with your travel plans, look for dates when tickets are available at the low-level rates for mileage redemption.

Use Promo Rewards

One of the sweet spots of the Flying Blue program is its Promo Rewards. Every month, the airline releases discount routes for certain city pairs, and you can get up to 50% off standard award rates in economy, premium economy and business classes of service.

The promo page is updated the first day of the month, and you have the whole month to book a discounted flight for travel during a specific time period. Keep in mind that some trips sell out quickly — we don’t recommend waiting too long to snag one of these promotional fares if you see one you like.

Delta partner flights

Because Air France-KLM is an alliance partner of Delta Air Lines, use Flying Blue for the following mileage redemptions on Delta-operated flights.

  • U.S. to Hawaii: This redemption will set you back 35,000 miles on a round-trip ticket from the continental U.S. to the Aloha State.

  • U.S. to Mexico: Another great redemption that will cost you 29,000 on round-trip flights from the U.S. to Mexico.

Flying Blue’s elite status program

Think of reaching Flying Blue elite status like playing a game. The more experience points, or XP, you earn by flying Air France-KLM or their partners, the quicker you level up. The number of XP earned per flight depends on travel class and flight type.


Flying Blue flyers are divided into four elite levels: Explorer, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Everyone starts at the Explorer level when they join the loyalty program, then members can make their way up as they fly.

Once you reach a status level within 12 months of being a member, you get the benefits associated with it for 15 months (unless you qualify for a higher tier in that time — then the clock resets). On the flip side, if you fail to re-qualify for the same status tier within 12 months, you’ll drop to the previous tier.

What status holders get

Here are the perks associated with each elite status level. As mentioned previously, Flying Blue works in euros. We’ve listed a typical range in dollars for comparison.

It’s worth mentioning that one of the desirable benefits of holding either Gold or Platinum elite status with Flying Blue is the ability to redeem miles for La Première awards — Air France’s first-class cabin. The redemption option isn’t available to Silver elites or Explorer members of the program.

What makes Air France-KLM unique?

Passengers flying in KLM’s World Business Class cabin receive a unique gift: a miniature Delft Blue house filled with jenever, a juniper-flavored drink of the Netherlands. The airline designs a new Dutch house every year and has presented these souvenirs to KLM premium-cabin flyers since the 1950s.

To add a porcelain Delft house to your collection, simply book an intercontinental flight in World Business Class.

The bottom line

Flying Blue may be a foreign loyalty program, but U.S.-based travelers shouldn’t overlook it.

Its miles are easily accessible via multiple transferrable programs, which means that pooling rewards into a single account when you’re ready to redeem miles for an award isn’t difficult.

Although the program uses dynamic pricing for its redemption rates, it still makes low-level awards available to those whose schedule is flexible. On top of that, transfer bonuses from certain bank programs can drop redemption rates even lower.

If you’re looking to fly a SkyTeam partner on an award ticket, consider Flying Blue and its redemption options.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:


Prep for ‘Prost!’ Season: 9 Bavarian-Style Homes to Inspire Your Oktoberfest

Dust off your lederhosen and steins, because it’s the most wunderbar time of the year!

If you can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest, you can still enjoy a good beer at one of the American events happening all throughout the country in September.

From Frankenmuth, Michigan, to Fredericksburg, Texas, you’re certain to find a spirited group of Germanophiles somewhere during the month celebrating all things Bavarian.

To get inspired for Oktoberfest, check out these nine Bavarian-style homes for sale right here in the U.S.

A taste of Germany on the central coast

For sale: $795,000

Nestled near the heart of downtown Solvang, California — a central coast town with Danish roots — this traditional Tudor gets you all the charm of a Bavarian home with all the modern American finishings you’re accustomed to, like an updated kitchen with granite countertops and hardwood floors. The home also features a bocce court, a large 3-car garage and an elevator from the garage to the second floor.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Solvang homes for sale.

A cozy Bavarian-style cabin

For sale: $399,000

You’ll think you’ve transported yourself to the Bavarian Alps in this tiny cabin in Leavenworth, Washington. Stunning views of the mountains await when you return from a day exploring downtown Leavenworth, which just so happens to be modeled after a traditional Bavarian village.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Leavenworth homes for sale.

An old-world chalet

For sale: $345,000

This Hague, New York, home was designed to imitate a Bavarian-style ski chalet — and it doesn’t disappoint. With a classic gable roof, ornamental balusters on the sweeping back porch, and floor-to-ceiling windows in the large family room, this home is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the mountain views.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Hague homes for sale.

A colorful German-inspired home

For sale: $329,900

This stately Toledo, Ohio, home features hallmarks of traditional German architecture, such as half-timbering and a light-colored facade, but it stands out with a playful yellow bay window in the front. Although it has mixed European influences, such as an Italian tiled roof and some medieval England-inspired stained glass, this house makes you think you’ve suddenly found yourself in the picturesque German countryside.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Toledo homes for sale.

A (gingerbread) cookie-cutter home

For sale: $324,900

It’s not hard to imagine drinking out of a stein and chowing down on some sauerkraut in this adorable Irons, Michigan, cottage. Reminiscent of a traditional German gingerbread home, it features classic German half-timbering, decorative shutters and a colorfully outlined gable roof.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Irons homes for sale.

A Bavarian stunner in the Elka Park mountains

For sale: $429,000

A cross gable roof, a wraparound balcony trimmed with green balusters, and a Bavarian lodge-style feel inside make this Hunter, New York, home truly unique. Top it off with unbelievable mountain views from nearly every spot in the home, and you’ve got a perfect spot to celebrate future Oktoberfests.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Hunter homes for sale.

A perfectly German ski chalet

For sale: $258,000

After a long day at the slopes, come home to this charming Bavarian-style ski chalet in Bartlett, New Hampshire. Tucked away on a wooded lot near hiking trails, this whimsical home has plenty of space for weekend visitors and tons of quirky details, like heart cutouts on the decorative shutters.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Bartlett homes for sale.

A Bavarian home fit for a Grimm’s fairy tale

For sale: $2.4 million

This Saugatuck, Michigan, home looks like it belongs in the pages of a fairy tale rather than a neighborhood near Lake Michigan. Interior designer Dale Metternich once called this house a home, which features classic German half-timbering, wooden shutters, and a stately interior that any royal family would feel right at home in.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Saugatuck homes for sale.

An inviting Bavarian lake home

For sale: $589,900

This Fenton, Michigan, home is quiet and secluded with a location right on the lake. An A-frame roof over the front entrance, multiple storybook-like balconies, leaded windows and colorful half-timbering are just a few of the details that set this home apart.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Fenton homes for sale.

Top photo from Zillow listing.



Impressive 60k welcome offer, great for foodies: American Express Gold card review

American Express Gold credit card review – The Points Guy

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This Stylish Treehouse Is Luxury Off-the-Grid Living

More castle-like than rustic, this forested glamping retreat took the couple three years to build.

Kati O’Toole and her husband, Darin, wanted to create a giant piece of artwork on their private and heavily wooded seven-acre property in Montana. They ended up with what they refer to as the Montana Treehouse Retreat — a two-story, fully finished treehouse nestled among three living trees.

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“Everybody thought we were crazy [at] the beginning, like ‘What are you guys doing building a treehouse here?’ Our parents thought we were crazy,” says Kati.

But the hard work and vision paid off, and now visitors from all over the world routinely come to stay at their carefully crafted work of art. The 700-square-foot treehouse features a master suite with a deck that overlooks the forest, a living area with three benches that can double as sleeping quarters, and two bathrooms. Guests can also prepare a meal in the treehouse’s downstairs kitchen, complete with a refrigerator, a stove, a sink and a dishwasher.

“There’s even air conditioning in this treehouse, because we wanted to create a very luxury experience here. I have to be honest — the treehouse is nicer inside than the house that I live in, so I like to come back here and just have a little retreat away from it all,” says Kati.

Every detail of the treehouse was painstakingly thought out, and most of the materials were either sourced locally or repurposed. The trim and the interior feature wood that Darin himself milled, sanded and finished, and the breakfast table nook was made from the base of a tree located right on their property.

One of Kati’s favorite details of the treehouse, however, is the spiraling exterior staircase, which is wrapped around a large tree shipped in from Darin’s grandmother’s yard, roots and all.

Although Darin handled most of the heavy-duty construction of the structure, Kati’s handiwork is all over the interior.

“We wanted it to be kind of funky and modern — but still have some Montana accents and still be a little rustic too. So there were many things coming into play, and we wanted people to feel like it was a very cozy home away from home when they came here, and just like a one-of-a-kind Montana experience,” she says.

A combination of white shiplap and multicolored wood paneling covers the interior walls, giving the home an eclectic yet polished farmhouse look, and expansive windows create an open, airy feeling in the small living spaces. Modern elements that are dotted throughout the house, like the industrial chandelier in the kitchen and the black hexagon and subway tiles in the bathrooms, are more reminiscent of a boutique hotel than a remote treehouse located near Glacier National Park.

Close to Kati’s heart are the pieces by local artists that don the walls, with some of the pieces coming from guests who created the artwork while staying at the treehouse.

“It’s been really cool to see [how] this place inspires people,” she says.

But the defining characteristic of this home — and what guests travel miles for — is the unique experience of living out your childhood dreams of sleeping in a treehouse.

“It’s a very unique feeling that most people have never experienced, to be lying in bed and seeing a tree — or you’re actually moving. And people have told me that they love the experience, and it’s — yeah, it’s a treehouse. That’s the beauty. It’s a real treehouse,” says Kati.



The ultimate guide to Disney Cruise Line ships and itineraries

The ultimate guide to Disney Cruise Line ships and itineraries

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Tour These Whimsical Cabins Made From Recycled Materials

Some are off-grid. Others cost next to nothing to build. All are hidden among the trees, at the intersection of imagination and creativity.

If you’re going to build cabins inspired by, salvaged from and built around old-growth trees, it is perhaps only fitting to do so in the aptly nicknamed Evergreen State.

Every summer, Jacob Witzling, a second-grade teacher near Boston, flies the 2,400 miles from Watertown, MA, to Olympia, WA, to build whimsical cabins out of old-growth cedar, fir and hemlock.

He salvages lumber from demolished buildings, upcycles appliances and incorporates fanciful geometric shapes along the way, giving the cabins an imaginative, Seuss-like appearance.

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“I always like the notion of sculptures that people can live in, like homes being more than just a place to live. Maybe something like art,” Witzling said. “I’m an artist.”

It makes perfect sense, then, that Witzling’s love for fanciful homes started with a book called “Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher’s Art.” His father owned the early ’70s tome that Witzling fell in love with. That — and the classic childhood inclination to simply build a fort.

“I always made forts as a kid, you know, out of blankets and pillows and in the couch and stuff like that,” he said. “I guess that’s where it all started.”

When Witzling moved to Olympia to attend college, a friend was living in a fantastical cabin in the woods. He saw it and was immediately hooked.

Shortly after, Witzling decided to make a go of building similar homes. Without a budget, he rescued materials: old floors from a bowling alley that eventually became a cabin deck and granite countertops that were discarded from a construction site, among other things. He taught himself the basics along the way.

“I didn’t know what I was doing, and then when I built my first cabin, it was all recycled materials that I scavenged like a vulture,” he remembered. “I built it. It was so tall and rickety and was going to fall down, I thought. But by the time I built my second cabin, I had a stronger grasp on what to do.”

In the decade since then, Witzling has built a number of tiny cabins in the woods, with each home having a footprint under 200 square feet. Some are completely off-grid — all honor the natural environment by using reclaimed or local wood.

A few are even covered with moss, making them living, breathing works of art.

“I want them to meld into the environment. They’re kind of like sculptures in a way — livable sculptures,” he said. “I want them to accent and honor their environment. That’s why I like to use the moss and the local wood, cedar and whatnot. It’s your home, and it’s in its home.”

Being calculated about sourcing the building materials also forced Witzling to think about his environmental impact. (He’s lived in all of his cabins at some point.)

“It forces you to be more intentional about stuff. I can’t have dishes all over the place. There’s no space for it,” he said. “So you use your bowl, you clean your bowl, you put your bowl away. It’s really rewarding to have to be intentional about stuff. I have to keep my two pairs of shoes in their little nest in the corner, because otherwise they take up too much space.”

That doesn’t mean he skimps on details. A recent build included an unusual cabin with an octagonal pyramid roof. The geometric space holds the lofted bedroom.

“I like it because no matter which way you wake up, you’re looking outside,” he said. “I always tell my students you can do things with math and that math is real. The world is built out of math. It’s very fulfilling.”

In addition to his students, Witzling has inspired an even larger audience of dreamers along the way, building a massive following on Instagram. He chronicles his projects and methods and shares insights and tips.

“Building things is really human. It’s something people have been doing for thousands of years,” he said. “I have ideas, and I just want to get them out there.”

Photos by Erik Hecht. 



How Will Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West Divide Up Their Real Estate Empire?

2021 is starting off with a big-time celebrity shake-up: Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West are getting divorced.

Indeed, according to Page Six, the A-list couple have finally called it quits after six years, four children, and who knows how many disagreements about where to spend their time, energy, and celebrity capital.

According to reports, Kardashian West is intent on continuing to work on her prison reform project, while West’s political ambitions (including a fanciful bid for the Oval Office) have kept him rather busy, too. Another source says West has become increasingly frustrated with the Kardashian family’s reality TV star lifestyle. Alas, there also seems to be the issue of West’s mental state, which can test the strongest of unions.

But what inquiring minds really want to know is this: How will their massive real estate holdings be divided?

Jennifer Lenz, a real estate agent at Dolly Lenz Real Estate in New York City, has been privy to many high-profile splits and shares that divorce settlement details typically hinge on the prenups and other contractual obligations that were in place before the marriage.

“However, most prenup terms well exceed the final settlement in order to get a signoff on the divorce, and the properties are divvied up to avoid the appearance of a fire sale,” she says.

For example, one billionaire couple that Lenz’s firm worked with had a $10 million prenup, but the ex-wife was able to get a $60 million settlement to secure her signature—which included two homes and seed money to start her new business venture.

In the case with Kardashian West and West, however, money like this is probably no big object. Kardashian West is the richest of her famous family, and the couple’s combined wealth exceeds $3 billion, which means dividing the properties they share might take on more meaning.

But California divorces sometimes turn out to be quite equitable as all assets acquired during the marriage are to be divided 50/50. In community property states, like California, division of homes purchased while together belong to both parties and are divided equally as well, says Bruce Ailion, a real estate agent in the Atlanta metro area.

So, looking at Kardashian West and West’s biggest real estate assets, here’s how we think the properties will be divided.

The Hidden Hills, CA, home of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West
The Hidden Hills, CA, home of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West

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First up, the couple’s mansion in the star-studded community of Hidden Hills in Los Angeles, which was purchased for $20 million in 2014. Kardashian West reportedly wants to own it outright since this is the one place their children are settled into and call home. It’s also near her mother Kris Jenner’s home and her sister Kourtney Kardashian‘s place.

“Courts want to minimize the impact of divorce on the couple’s children, so often this means the custodial spouse will retain use of the marital residence,” says Ailion.

Before (left) and after shots of a hallway in the Hidden Hills, CA, home
Before (left) and after shots of a hallway in the Hidden Hills, CA, home (kanyewest)

The sticking point? It seems that Kardashian West owns the land in and around the house, but the actual structure belongs to her soon-to-be ex. Complicated!

The couple also reportedly poured a ton of cash (upward of $20 million) into an extensive renovation over the years. West engaged the exclusive Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt to handle the rehab and installed a completely white, monastic-style aesthetic throughout the home. Should Kardashian West take it over, it’s possible she might rip out some of the cold marble and make it a bit homier.

“Since West oversaw the redesign and owns the home, a sensible compromise would be for him to keep it and for her to build on the surrounding land for herself and stay in the home via some type of rent-back until the project is done,” says Cedric Stewart, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties in Washington, DC.

Kimye's ranch sits on 9,000 acres near Cody, WY.
Kimye’s ranch sits on 9,000 acres near Cody, WY.

Somehow we just don’t see Kardashian West feeling at home in a very remote part of Wyoming—so Monster Lake Ranch, purchased in fall 2019, seems to have West’s name written all over it.

“The Wyoming property will go to Kanye as this is where he plans to build his technology, design, and innovation epicenter,” says Stewart.

The spot, which features two houses, eight cabins, plus several barns and corrals for horses, will require a herculean effort to transform it into a livable space for a celebrity of West’s level. Not only is the Wyoming ranch pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but transporting contractors and all the materials needed to build in a barren part of the country is a giant headache.

West’s plans for this compound apparently include a 10-bedroom, 52,000 square-foot mansion and two 10,000-square-foot underground garages, which will likely run him into the $50 million range, according to real estate experts.

The upside for West: The spot is extremely quiet and private (no paparazzi for miles).

The couple purchased this ranch home in 2019.
The couple purchased this ranch home in 2019.

This fixer-upper ranch home isn’t exactly posh, but it’s directly next door to the couple’s Hidden Hills compound, bringing their total property ownership in this area to 8 acres. They bought it in 2019 for $3 million and apparently had plans to create a guest compound here and live off the land, growing organic vegetables and fruit.

This property sports four bedrooms, a pool, and gardens, plus a horse barn and corral. Since this one is also close to some Kardashian family members, we bet it’ll slide her way.

Last up, an undeveloped 2-acre parcel with a whopping price tag of $6.3 million. The plot was quietly purchased through a trust at the end of 2019.

Located two hours from Los Angeles in La Quinta’s Madison Club (a golf and tennis community), this area is a playground for the ultrarich and famous. It’s also close to the location of the Coachella music festival where West performed in 2019, so we’re moving this property to his portfolio.

However, both Kris Jenner and Kardashian’s little sister Kylie Jenner have homes nearby, so this particular real estate holding might cause a tussle in the end.