You’ve gotten a lot of good advice here. Read it all again.
If you’ve been living in SoCal, do you REALLY think you would do well in a much colder, or hotter/far more humid place? What if you’re stuck there FOREVER?
Someone suggested renting for a year or so, and that is a good idea. Just because an area looks good to you doesn’t mean the ‘home folks’ will think the same of you. You’ll be an interloper.
If you’re looking to buy, don’t take anyone’s word for anything, including the quality of the soil. And check all of the local regulations, esp about water. If the place has a watersource, you may not be able to use it, or use the land near it for anything. Check with a local insurance agency to find out what flood zone it’s in; A is bad, B is not quite so bad, C is pretty good, X is best. There’s probably some in between, but those are the basics.
In UT, you may be driven to carrying a weapon because every clerk will ask you the same question: “What ward are you in?” I’ve driven in a good many states, and UT has my vote for having some of the stupidest people driving almost between the lines. No place could touch them until I moved here to WA.
I would advise you to stay away from Effing Stupid Central (WA State). I’ve lived in this pit of despair for 23 very long years, and I’m finally getting out this summer. At least 70% of the people here (maybe more) are the most stupid, ignorant, obnoxious, arrogant, lying, thieving AHs that I’ve ever met. The average local zombie vocabulary has about 100 words in it, certainly not more than 200 (and none of the words have more than two syllables). They can’t think, don’t even know the concept of cause and effect, can’t drive, can barely park, and can’t back up w/o hitting something. Okay, these are the business people! The rest of them are worse.
If there’s meth use in the area (practically the whole state), they will steal everything that isn’t welded down, and if they have darkness and a hacksaw, they’ll take everything that’s welded down, too. NEVER sell a car w/o immediately letting the DMV know about it. The buyers are bad about doing it themselves, plus being lousy drivers, so you don’t want the cops at your door, saying that car ran down a pregnant woman pushing a baby stroller.
You’re not going to find perfect, so you’d better do your homework so you can find something you can live with. Everything is going to be an uphill learning experience. Try to homeschool, if you can; the public school system in the U.S. is the worst of all the industrialized nation, as well as being the most expensive.