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You may have watched movies filmed in Nevada like Casino, Ocean’s Eleven, The Hangover, Swingers, and Viva Las Vegas, and thought that Nevada is your cup of tea. Yes, Nevada does have a lot going for it, and much more than just gambling. But like any place, it has pros and cons. Knowing more about Nevada will help you learn whether or not this state is right for you.
As nationwide movers, we at Bellhop know a thing or two about Las Vegas and the great state of Nevada. This article explores what makes this state so unique. After reading, you’ll know it through and through. We also cover some things to remember when moving to Nevada, or any state for that matter.
In this article, we touch on some crucial parts like:
- Job opportunities
- Cost of living
- Income, Property, and Sales Taxes
- Outdoor life
- Overall vibe and culture
- Which cities are best to call home
It so happens that these points are pros for living in the state, but we also cover many cons too. After all, there are two sides to every coin, and not all choices are up to luck.
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Is Nevada a Good Place to Live?
It is, and for a wide range of reasons. To get a good understanding of this magical state, let’s look at the pros and cons of living in Nevada, starting with the pros. They are pretty strong – particularly economically. You can save a good chunk of money in this state.
What are the Pros of living in Nevada?
Tax Rates: Income Taxes and Beyond
Nevada is known for being one of nine states in the U.S. with no state income tax. It makes huge money from tourism, entertainment, casinos, and dining. Add in residential property taxes, and the state has everything it needs for its infrastructure. At the same time, it has some of the lowest property taxes in the United States, sitting at 00.69%.
The lack of income tax is a huge benefit, but wait; there’s more! Nevadans also don’t pay sales tax on home sales, food, medicine, and other items. All of that savings adds up – especially with home sales. For taxed items, the sales tax rate sits at 4.6% plus local taxes, which can reach a total of 8.265% at the highest. Check your desired area of living to know more.
To make the most of these benefits, it’s a good idea to consult a tax professional.
A Growing Job Market
You may think you’re out of luck if you don’t want to work in the gaming or hospitality industries, but big cities like Las Vegas offer the same wide range of jobs that support other large cities, plus some unique industries. Tech is booming here, particularly in Reno. It also offers employment opportunities in aerospace and defense, construction, agriculture, energy, health care, and its oldest employment opportunity: mining.
Median Household Income
The median household income sits just above $76,000 as of 2019 – the latest figures on record, similar to the national average. This is especially good news when factoring in tax benefits.
Housing / Real Estate Market
The median listing home price runs around $395,000. Like other areas of any state, rates can change higher or lower based on the location. The average monthly cost for renting a 1-bedroom apartment runs around $800. Nevada is a terrific place to buy a home. Their long history of growth results in quality construction, and there is ample land to purchase.
Cost of Living in Nevada
For living costs, BestPlaces gives Nevada an average cost of living index score of 110.50, higher than the national average of 100. This factors in issues like living expenses and home prices. Keep in mind that the single biggest reason for this is the cost of housing (average rent and average home cost). However, it can still be a reasonable cost of living if you factor in salaries and massive tax savings – especially when selling that home.
Cost of moving:
The costs of moving to Nevada can depend on a variety of factors. How far are you moving? Do you need more than one truck? Do you need to storage? One way to gauge the costs of moving to Nevada is to use a moving cost calculator to begin to plan within your budget.
Outdoor Activities: Desserts, Mountains, Lakes, and More!
You may think of Nevada as a dessert, and you aren’t entirely wrong. The Mojave Desert and is just 20 miles outside downtown Las Vegas. But Nevada also has gorgeous scenery and expansive nature, ranging from mountains to canyons, caves, lakes, rivers, and wide valleys.
Nevada happens to be the home to the Sierra Nevada mountains and Lake Tahoe National Park, home to the country’s largest alpine lake and second deepest lake. Lake Tahoe is one of the world’s top lake destinations.
The state also has a total of 24 state parks. Las Vegas is also a 4-hour drive from one of the biggest attractions in the world: Grand Canyon National Park. Lake Mead sits along the Nevada/Arizona border, and Lake Havasu is also a short drive away.
Nevada is the 7th largest state and yet only has 3 million people. You’ll have plenty of space to roam and locations to explore. Enjoy state parks like the Red Rock Canyon and Great Basin National Park and explore the ancient rock carvings in the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area.
Basque in 300+ days of sunshine! Nevada can warm in the southern portion of the state, and we do mean warm! Days over 100 degrees are common. If you plan to live in Las Vegas, hot weather will be a regular part of life. Still, the northern part of the state experiences more diverse weather patterns, including colder, snowy winters.
Outdoor Activities: Rock Climbing, Skiing, Hiking, and More!
The outdoor state and national parks draw outdoor enthusiasts even during hot weather. You can delve into activities like golfing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, fishing, snow skiing, snowboarding, water skiing, tubing, and ESPECIALLY rock climbing. We’re not kidding here. Red Rock Canyon alone has 3,000 rock climbing cliffs.
The Gambling Capital of the US
Nevada is most famous as a gambling destination. The gambling industry has been a huge contributor to its growth and is the financial backbone to why and how hotels and resorts cater so heavily to visitors. Nearly every entertainment venue has gambling positioned around it, enticing you to toss in a coin in a slot machine. You will see slot machines everywhere in the state, including in gas stations.
Entertainment Capital of the World
Nevada is famous for its nightlife, shows, concerts, high-quality shopping malls, and adult entertainment. But there are plenty of other things to do as well. Enjoy festivals, car shows, races, and sporting events. You’ll find plenty to do, especially since the desire to gamble can fade fast for residents.
Access To Fine Dining
Not to be outdone, the restaurants are truly spectacular here. You will find all the major chains, including many by high-end chefs. The buffets are particularly popular and very well done.
Nevada attracts all types of people, and this makes this state a bit hard to nail down. You’ll find everyone from sporks junkies to golfers, foodies, hotrodders, gamblers, clubbers, and devoutly highly religious people here.
The Hoover Dam is Spectacular
The impressive Hoover Dam is a must to see. The dam is truly massive at 726 feet high and 1,244 feet wide. It provides enough electric power to service 1.3 million people.
Nevada Day, Burning Man, and other Events
Nevada Day is a legal holiday celebrating when the state was formed. A parade is held in the state’s capital, Carson City. There are also numerous community events and carnivals, and one of the most unique festivals you will find anywhere: Burning Man. More than 60,000 people attend the week-long event focused on art, self-expression, and more than one or two mind-altering substances.
Nevada Has Professional Sports Now
2020 marked the start of the Las Vegas Raiders, and back in In 2017, the desert city of Las Vegas even got a professional hockey team – the NHL Golden Knights.
The Hotels and Resorts are Truly First Class
Las Vegas boasts over 150,000 hotel rooms, and each hotel is designed to be more appealing than the next. And that’s just Las Vegas. Indulge in large pools, water ballet, restaurants, shows, and plenty of cocktails.
What are the cons of living in Nevada?
Our list wouldn’t be complete without the cons. Even though the pros are strong, the cons could dissuade you from making the big move.
The Desert is Dry and Hot
Like we said before, it gets hot, well over 100 degrees. People who live in areas like Las Vegas and Henderson pretty much hide indoors to stay cool during the hot months. Thankfully, Las Vegas knows how important staying cool is. There are large indoor shopping areas and plenty of pools.
Public Schools in Nevada Could be Better
The public school system is bad, and we mean bad. U. S. News ranks it 40th in the country. You may need to consider private schools in some areas. Still, if you need a college or university education, there are places to go. Some popular locations are:
- University of Nevada
- College of Southern Nevada
- Nevada College
- College of Southern Nevada High School South
- Truckee Meadows Community College
The Gambling Capital of the U.S.
That’s right; this pro is also a con. If you don’t like living in an environment that caters to gambling and the nefarious activities around the scenes, this state may not be for you. What do we mean?
Nevada has areas with legal prostitution. The industry is still regulated, but it does exist.
Nevada does have its share of violent crimes, but nationwide, it is about average. Statista shows Nevada as having 2,386 crimes per 100,000 people. Washington D.C. is the worst at 4,482, and New Hampshire is the lowest at 1,245.
Crime rates are especially susceptible to where you live in Nevada. For instance, Las Vegas is known for having crime, but the neighboring city of Henderson and many rural areas of Nevada have very little crime.
Nevada has vast expanses of open land, but in the big cities, traffic isn’t fun. This is especially true of Las Vegas.
High Car Registration
New cars often require a high fee, and car insurance is also expensive here due to the state’s high number of accidents – especially from DUIs.
Remember, Las Vegas services 42 million people visitors a year. With gambling being strong state-wide, tourists are in every major city.
Party Time is 24/7
Las Vegas and Reno love to party. Casinos happily stay open 24/7 to maximize any chance of collecting money.
It’s Hard if You Suffer From Addictions
Alcohol, gambling, and prostitution are just some of the vices here that people with control issues need to navigate around. It can be like living in the lion’s den.
What are the best places to live in Nevada?
Choose from Large Cities and Small “Western Frontier” Towns. Here are some of the best.
What type of list would this be if it didn’t include Las Vegas? Nevada’s biggest city is home to endless gambling and first-class entertainment, hotels, and nightlife. This city is made for those who feel lucky and for those who like to cater to them. Plus, you are close to attractions like Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Lake Havasu.
Reno is one of Nevada’s most popular cities and is sometimes perceived as being similar to like Las Vegas thanks to its casinos, gambling, dining, shopping, and entertainment, but it brings some unique surprises. It is a historical city with museums and monuments and is also a strong tech startup location.
If you are a car fanatic, you can’t do better than Reno. This city has a love affair with cars. You can visit the National Automobile Museum and attend its famous Hot August Nights event showcasing endless classic vehicles. The city even has four drive-in theatres.
Reno is also only an hour away from Lake Tahoe and a four-hour drive to Yosemite National Park – two of the top nature destinations in the country.
Henderson has experienced huge growth and is now one of the state’s populated cities. It is number two behind Las Vegas, making it the second-largest city in Nevada. It is also just 20 miles from downtown Las Vegas, sharing the same climate, sunshine, and conveniences while being one of the country’s safest places to live. That’s right; one of the safest in the entire United States.
You can enjoy golfing, multiple parks, and outdoor spaces. It is a great place to raise a family and is also a popular retirement community. Homes are priced on the higher side here, but with so much growth in Henderson and Las Vegas and with Nevada’s tax benefits, you’ll be sure to find work and build up savings.
Is Carson City, Nevada, a good place to live?
Carson City is the capital of Nevada but is a small community – and often underrated. One of the best aspects of it is the location. It is just 30-minutes away from Reno and 45 minutes to Lake Tahoe, giving you the benefits of both.
This city is a blend of a small-town feel and a casino location. There is plenty of open nature in and around it and ample golf courses. You can buy larger acreage here and ride horses. The area does get snow at times, and you can ski here. Hang-gliding is also popular.
The city is kept clean (it is the capital, after all) and a good spot for those looking for government employment. There are many traditional jobs here too, like banking and restaurants. Tahoe Regional Medical Center also employs about 2,000 people.
The city has Wild West history, and the historic mining ghost town of Virginia City is located here.
Incline Village in Lake Tahoe
If money is no object, then incline village is for you. This area of Lak Tahoe is home to many of the lake’s most stunning homes while offering access to relaxing beaches. And Tahoe is well known for its first-class skiing and water sports. It is home to no less than 15 ski resorts. The lake marks the border between California and Nevada, and the Nevada side allows for gambling and Nevada’s tax benefits while enjoying the same lake. The job market in the city isn’t strong, but you are a one-hour drive to Reno and all its tech job opportunities.
Sparks may be small, but it still offers plenty of activities. This city sits just east of Reno, which means you enjoy convenient access to many of the city’s parks while also having its share of casinos, entertainment, and shopping. It is home to the upscale outlet shopping at The Outlets at Legends. And if you love ribs, you’ll love West Rib Cook-Off Festival. You can also cool off at Sparks Marina Park, where you can indulge in water sports like swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, and boating.
Boulder City in Clark County
Boulder City is small with a population of 16,000, but it sits directly next to Henderson, sharing its benefits. If you love rural life, you’ll love Boulder City. Life is slower here, but the community is tight. Boulder City ranks high in livability. It has a low cost of living and low crime, and the Clark County School District is considered good. If you love peace and quiet, Boulder City is for you.
Is Boulder City not small enough for you? Then it’s time to look at Battle Mountain. The town has only 3,700 people. You enjoy similar traits as Boulder City like peaceful living and a strong community, and it has above average schools and low crime rates. Work here is primarily in copper and gold mining and gambling.
As the name suggests, the town sits next to a mountain range. As a result, the weather can range from hot to cold. It gets about 17 inches of snow a year, and the area is known for its skiing and mountain biking.
It has ample, gorgeous scenery and is well known for its biking races that bring cyclists in worldwide. Both the fastest man and fastest woman cyclists set speed records here. It is also home to the longest open road race in the U.S. called the Pony Express.
Spring Valley is a city and a municipal location consisting of over 80 towns along the west side of Las Vegas. It is a beautiful community and one of the most popular places to live. It is considered a great place to raise a family thanks to its slow crime rates, high security, ample recreational activities, and proximity to Las Vegas shopping, food, and entertainment. The area is known for its upscale living.
People here make money in the tourism industry, outdoor recreation, agriculture, real estate development, and manufacturing.
Interested in Moving to Nevada?
How do you go about moving from state to state? Well, it is more involved than you may think. Moving isn’t just packing boxes and reserving a truck, and long-distance moves cost more than local ones. It helps to know ways of transitioning into your new home smoothly and cost-effectively.
As nationwide movers, we at Bellhop have extensive experience with state-to-state moves, and we know what you need to keep in mind. We even wrote an entire article on Moving to Another State.
We also know the top considerations to look for when moving into a new home. We created an easy-to-follow, chronological list of steps to make moving a piece of cake. It includes everything from obtaining a new driver’s license to setting up utilities and transitioning bank account, in addition to the best ways to pack. Check out our complete moving checklist.
These tips help save you money while making the entire process smooth. And when you’re ready to schedule your move, give us a call. We offer a wide range of moving options ranging from truck rentals to full, white-glove delivery and at competitive prices.
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