While I was busy hating Vegas, and hiding from Vegas, a funny thing happened. I grew to love Vegas.
-J. R. Moehringer
The Best Thing About Las Vegas?
Low cost of living and no sales tax.
Vegas features an ultra-reasonable cost of living, with affordable prices on everything from housing to utilities to groceries as compared to most major cities across the nation. If you’re moving to Vegas from a high-cost city, prepare to be thrilled.
But, if you’re looking for work, beware. The service sector job market has suffered and wages are not great not to mention, the Clark County school district is not impressive.
Here's a local on living here:
My two kids are going to a charter school that has amazing numbers and I got them into an awesome tutoring class so they can keep up their Chinese language skills. (Before they went to a Chinese speaking school and there aren’t any here)
The house we bought was a fraction of what we would pay anywhere in the Bay Area and our neighbors seem nice with kids playing nicely at the field up the street and kids biking/scootering around. We also have a community pool that will open in spring with covid guidelines. I haven’t met them but I’m sure that’s probably a covid thing.
The Worst Thing About Las Vegas?
July and August
Yeah yeah, the humidity is non-existent but peak summer is brutal. Vegas can be unforgiving. There are plenty of “desert rats” around -- old, salty, bitter people. It’s not all fun and games.
Here's a local on living with the heat:
Las Vegas is in the Mojave desert. It is always this hot in the summer. That part is not global warming. The global warming part is that there are more days over 110 now. We drink lots of water or tequila depending on which part of town you are in.
Lifestyle Of Las Vegas
The lifestyle elephant in the room is the idea that everyone in Vegas spends their time gambling. Given that the house always wins, that is statistically impossible. No one could afford to stay here if everyone gambled all the time. So, if you aren’t gambling all the time what do people do? For starters it may surprise some that Vegas is a huge city for families. Inexpensive real estate, no state income tax, warm weather, and exploding housing developments dedicated to serving families are pulling them in.
Vegas is a bit odd though in that if you avoid the strip then it is much more like a huge suburb than anything else. If the lifestyle you seek is suburban, OR if you want to get into the gambling / tourist industry lifestyle then you’ll do fine here. If you’re looking for the “downtown” lifestyle of a conventional city not connected to gambling culture you have to work much harder to find it in Las Vegas.
Check out the Vegas calendar of events. There is really no city on the planet that can match the volume of activities:
Workstyle Of Las Vegas
Obviously the Travel/Tourism (including gambling) industry is a dominant employer in Vegas but the largest employers are actually in national defense. Nellis Air Force Base employs both military and civilian employees in the flying wing of the Air Force and the USAF Weapons School. There are also a large number of jobs in health and medicine. UNLV offers training in public health and has a big research lab component and this has attracted employers. Tech/IT has also grown in Vegas as companies from California have moved or started here for tax advantages. Ultimately though most move here to directly or indirectly work in the Tourism/Gambling industry.
The majority of the workforce here will need to work in person but you can also anticipate growth in population for those looking for inexpensive real estate who will work from home. This growth is likely to come from families from California looking for less expensive housing who are now full-time wfh’ers.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
Home prices, low property taxes and affordability.
Whether you’re a first time home buyer (because you couldn’t afford to get into the market in your hometown) or you want a 4 bedroom, 2,500 SF house in the low $300ks, a move to Vegas is an instant raise in the money you get to keep and the distance that it goes.