Movers are betting on Las Vegas for cheaper homes and big-city perks

Movers are betting on Las Vegas for cheaper homes and big-city perks

Las Vegas.
George Rose/Getty Images

  • Las Vegas has become popular among relocations seeking a more affordable and comfortable lifestyle.
  • According to census data, people are moving mainly from California, Texas, Arizona and Washington.
  • Movers and real estate agents appreciated the area’s relative affordability and variety of activities.

Richard Katz, a 66-year-old optometrist who has lived in Virginia for more than 20 years, was looking for the perfect place to retire.

He wanted to move to a city with a lot of work. An added bonus: Being closer to the West Coast would allow him to visit his sister in Sacramento and his son in Seattle more often. But he wanted to avoid coastal cities because of their tendency to harsh weather.

Richard Katz and his wife left Virginia and retired to Nevada.
Courtesy of Richard Katz

“That easily rules out Florida,” Katz told Business Insider. “Texas just isn’t our cup of tea. Colorado, there’s a lot of snow. Reno has a lot of snow. Seattle’s too hilly, and in California, everybody’s moving here from California.”

Katz moved to Las Vegas in 2022.

He told BI that the weather has a perfect balance: “No snow, no wind and no mow.”

Las Vegas – also known as “Sin City” – offers more than casinos, fine dining, concerts and shows every night to those who want to move..

Las Vegas.
Allan Baxter

“If you don’t invest in Vegas, you might regret it” Las Vegas-based real estate agent Andrew Arevalo told BI in November, citing the city’s relative affordability and rising status among carriers. “This is going to be the new LA. I don’t even call it Las Vegas anymore. I call it Las Fornia.”

According to the Census Bureau, 48,836 people moved from California to Nevada Between 2021 and 2022. Not all of these carriers landed in Sin City, but it lends credence to the idea that people are abandoning expensive coastal markets for landlocked cities that offer more bang for their buck. Movers from Texas, Arizona, Washington and Utah also came to the state during the same period, according to census data.

Those looking to move in find the city of 656,300 people also offers some of the perks of a quiet life – but the key factor is affordability.

The price is right in Las Vegas

The cost of living is high drove many people, even the wealthiest, out of California.

“For a long time, the people who left California were low-income people, but more recently it has been the very wealthy leave to avoid tax difficulties to deregulate, Bob Hamrick, chairman and CEO of Coldwell Banker Premier Realty, told BI. “Las Vegas has benefited from this.”

Michael Too, 31, is one of many people from California to Nevada. The artist and student also lived in a house his family owned in San Francisco, and he realized the cost of living in the Bay Area wasn’t worth it to him.

Too said his family sold a three-bedroom duplex in San Francisco for about $1.1 million and bought a three-bedroom house in Las Vegas for $400,000 to $500,000. The house in Vegas is three times the size of the house in San Francisco and has a backyard, he added.

Michael Too moved from San Francisco to Las Vegas and got a bigger place for half the price.
Courtesy of Michael Too.

Real estate isn’t the only thing that’s cheaper. Groceries, gas and even movie tickets are cheaper in Las Vegas, he said.

With a median home price of $435,900, according to Redfin, Nevada homes are slightly more expensive than the national average of $408,537. But they’re still cheaper than homes in neighboring California, where the median home price is $793,400. With no state income tax in Nevada, the money saved goes further.

“Income tax is zero here,” Arevalo said, which is not the case in California. “At the end of the day, what they really care about is their bottom dollar in their pocket.”

There is always something to do in Las Vegas

Of course, Las Vegas’ casinos are open 24/7, but that’s not the only advantage the city has. The desert city is surrounded by a vast landscape full of outdoor activities.

“There’s definitely a lot of outdoor space, and I became more interested when I moved here,” Too said. “Where else I live, it’s a long drive. Here you can be out in public areas in 30 minutes.”

Admittedly not much of a hiker, Katz said there are several scenic spots just a short drive outside of Las Vegas, such as Red Rock Canyon, Mount Charleston and the Valley of Fire. He also said that even the Grand Canyon is doable, although it’s a little over four hours.

Snowy Mount Charleston in Nevada.
Paolo Becarelli/Getty Images

Outdoor activities aren’t the only non-casino benefits of Las Vegas. A big sports fan, Katz said some of her must-sees in the city are seeing the Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas Aviators, a member of MLB’s Oakland Athletics Minor League baseball team. they will be moving to Las Vegas in the near future.

With the Super Bowl set to take place in Las Vegas in 2024, Hamrick said the city has become a sports “mecca” of late.

Not to mention the city’s new, buzzing entertainment arena. Spherewhere U2 is in residency until early March.

The suburbs are just a short drive from the Strip

Katz bought a home in the 22,500-acre enclave of Summerlin in Las Vegas for about $742,000 and enjoys the neighborhood feel with the option to go downtown for entertainment. It’s only eight miles from the Strip.

Katz and his wife pose in their new residence.
Courtesy of Richard Katz.

Originally from Indiana, he said the energy in Las Vegas mimics that of a Midwestern town more than a Western town.

“When I go to the gym or anywhere within walking distance, I’ll see someone on the sidewalk and I can say hello and they greet me,” she said. “Everyone is so nice and friendly.”

You don’t have to go far from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas to experience this kind of hospitality. Too said he lives just three miles from the Strip, but feels worlds away from Las Vegas’ imaginations.

“Living in Vegas isn’t always a fast-paced, super-glamorous lifestyle, it’s actually a pretty small pocket,” he said. “You can get the glitz and glamour, the flashing lights, the shows and the spectacle, but then you can also retreat to your abode in the suburbs.”

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