Thinking about relocating to Las Vegas? Well, there are plenty of good reasons to do that.
“Las Vegas may be known as a convention capital, a party city and a glitzy . . . retreat full of wonder, but here’s a little secret: it’s a pretty place to live. Permanently.
The cost of living “is actually less than the national average – not bad for a city as global as this bustling desert oasis. . . . The lack of state income tax, too, is often a welcome break for new residents.” And there are “lots of job opportunities . . . away from the Strip itself, and the number is growing.”
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn’t it?
Lets’ take a look, then, at what you need to know about relocating to Las Vegas.
Benefits of Relocating to Las Vegas
Las Vegas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US and for some very good reasons. Here are just a few of them . . .
No State Income Tax
Unlike most other states, Nevada has no state income tax, getting the needed revenue instead from tourism, casino resort fees, and sales tax. And the absence of income tax contributes to the relatively low cost of living and makes Las Vegas a great place for entrepreneurs.
Plenty of Job/Employment Opportunities
“Due to the abundance of hotels, resorts, casinos, restaurants, bars, and tourist attractions, job seekers can find plenty of opportunities within the hospitality industry. And . . . technology, global trade, health care, logistics, manufacturing, and financial services are also thriving at the moment.”
Great Place for Retirees
“Retiring in Las Vegas is attractive because of the low cost of living and the ability to lead an active lifestyle in good weather. Real estate is still affordable, the climate is ideal, and the ability to find a great deal on food is very easy.” And this means that “a person on a fixed income could very well find happiness in Las Vegas after retirement.”
Las Vegas offers nearly boundless opportunities to enjoy entertainment on a budget (off The Strip, that is) – for example, the “Smith Center, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, music festivals, and touring shows.” In addition, there are more than 70 golf courses in the area.
There are also plenty of venues like the Valley of Fire State Park and majestic Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area for outdoor activities. You can enjoy a variety of water sports on Lake Mead, and it’s only a 30-minute drive to Mt. Charleston ski resort where you can “escape the valley’s summer heat and mountain bike, hike, horseback ride, or ski.”
If it’s the rich suburban life you’re after, you can choose from among the several master-planned communities throughout the Las Vegas Valley. These communities are noted for the amenities and conveniences they offer. “Because of their sheer size, master-planned communities can incorporate extensive recreational amenities like lakes, golf courses, expansive parks with bike paths, and jogging trails.”
The Las Vegas You Don’t Know
Most of us carry around a mental picture of Las Vegas gleaned primarily from movies and TV shows, but that’s a far cry from the whole of Las Vegas. There’s a lot more to the city than The Strip, casinos, gambling, sports events, and partying.
Besides what we’ve listed just above, “[t]here are many more benefits to living in Las Vegas than most people realize. Contrary to popular belief, there are tons of housing communities that are nowhere near the infamous Strip. There are also thousands of employment opportunities; ones that don’t involve taking off your clothes or working in the casino industry! Sin City is not all about Sin – it is actually a great place to live, explore the great outdoors, start a career, and yes, even raise a family.”
The cost of living in Las Vegas is about on par with the cost of living in largely rural areas like the Midwest. But compared to the living costs in other urban/metropolitan areas, Las Vegas is noticeably below them in many aspects, but especially in housing.
“The median cost for a house in Las Vegas is currently at $256,300. Surrounding states like California, Colorado, and Utah have a median house cost of anywhere from $392,700 to $726,000. While over the last couple of years rent prices have been on the uptick, rent for one- and two-bedroom apartments in Las Vegas are still below the national average.”
As another point of comparison, groceries/food and utilities cost much less in Nevada than in neighboring California. And, as we’ve mentioned (because it’s such a big plus), Nevada has no state income tax, which further reduces living costs.
The common perception is that the largest number of jobs in Las Vegas are in the entertainment/hospitality industry. But in reality, “casino jobs do not even rank in the top 10 employment opportunities in Las Vegas.”
Jobs in the top-10 category are a far cry from casino work. They include chiefly healthcare, business, and IT – “dentists, chief executives, architectural and engineering managers, physician assistants, physical therapists, family and general practitioners, and computer and information systems managers.”
Further, Las Vegas presents great opportunities in certain occupational areas owing to the shortage of qualified people. These are nurses, teachers, and therapists – a great reason to relocate to Las Vegas because many other major cities are experiencing a glut of applicants for such jobs
Food and Dining
Las Vegas isn’t typically known for fine dining and signature cuisine, but it likely will be according to one observer of the scene: “[W]e have one of the most diverse food scenes in the country. Vegas is quickly becoming a culinary landmark, and I could seriously see us being the Culinary Capital very soon.”
One reason for this surprising pronouncement is that “[m]any of the fine restaurants that can be found in the most romantic and exciting cities in the world are now opening locations in Las Vegas. Some examples include Nobu, Border Grill, Hell’s Kitchen, Mesa Grill, and Joel Robuchon.”
Arts and Culture
As with dining, Las Vegas isn’t exactly known as a culture capital, but the city does have a lot to offer. Just one example of the many possible is the Bellagio Hotel.
“The Bellagio Hotel has a museum of fine art that exhibits work from the likes of Warhol, Monet, and Picasso. [It] also hosts the botanical gardens where works of art are created out of the plants and flowers and the theme changes depending on the season or holiday.”
Las Vegas also offers more in the way of higher education than many people are aware of. There is, of course, the University of Las Vegas, “ranked as one of the best universities for veterans by The Military Times.” And there are several outstanding colleges: Nevada State College, College of Southern Nevada, and William F. Harrah College of Hospitality.
Neighborhoods in Las Vegas
Central Las Vegas contains several distinct neighborhoods each with its own identity, as well as outlying suburbs removed from the glitter and bustle of downtown. Here are just a few . . .
The LV Startup Block
“South of Charleston Boulevard between Las Vegas Boulevard and Maryland Parkway, the LV Startup Block is putting its money where its mouth is – metaphorically, anyway – and experimenting with combined live/work spaces for entrepreneurs. The idea is that a micro-community of startups can experience accelerated success thanks to the fact that so much like-minded, collective talent is living and working closely together at a high-energy, high-productivity point in everyone’s lives.”
Located west of downtown, Summerlin is one of the fastest-growing master-planned communities. It is an area sought after by families because of the “private yards, neighborhood parks, premium schools and some level of separation from the glitz of the city . . . [It offers] bucolic alternative for folks who prefer the ‘burbs over Baccarat.”
Situated southeast of downtown Las Vegas, Henderson is Nevada’s second-largest city with a population of around 250,000. “Forbes recently ranked it the second safest city in America. Given that distinction as well as its general affluence, it’s no surprise that Bloomberg Business has called it ‘one of the best cities to live in (in) America.’”
Las Vegas Extras: Walkability and Delivery Services
Las Vegas also has a couple of unexpected pluses . . .
“Downtown is a walker’s and bicyclist’s dream, with cool local bike shops [and] a fantastic transit center with plenty of focus on bike/ped plans. Called ‘the most walkable neighborhood in Las Vegas’ by WalkScore.com . . . it offers residents and visitors the opportunity to walk to an average of three restaurants, bars and cafes within a five-minute stroll.”
Las Vegas also shines in its top-notch food-delivery services. Vons Grocery Delivery, for example, “offers frequent specials, including free delivery to first-timers, online shoppers and volume buyers alike. An added bonus: its system allows users to save past purchases for easy reordering without starting a search from scratch.”
Cons of Living in Las Vegas
Despite all the appealing pros of relocating to and living in Las Vegas, there are a few cons.
The first of these is the many prisons in the area. In fact, Nevada is home to nine prisons, as well as the many local jails and detention centers. A related con is homelessness, particularly in North Las Vegas and the older downtown areas.
The second con is the weather or, more specifically, the heat. You simply can’t live in Las Vegas without air conditioning, and leaving the house during the summer months is nearly impossible for some residents, those with health problems and very small children.
But Choose the Right Agent
Relocating to Las Vegas may be a very smart move, considering all the benefits of living in or near the city. But, as we pointed out, not all neighborhoods are created equal, most often each having a distinct personality, some more suited to singles and others better for families.
So be sure to explore Las Vegas with a local expert, a premier local agent.