There won’t a single soul in this whole wide world that has visited Vegas and not dreamt of living here. A paradise that truly oozes of grandeur in an exemplary fashion from every corner. The sheer magnificence of Las Vegas gets all the more augmented by the fact that this stunning concrete jungle is actually a modern-day luxurious oasis built in a raging hot desert. Who wouldn’t want to live in such a city where luxuriating is the order of the day?
The thing about Las Vegas is that it often single handedly boosts the reputation of its state Nevada. Hospitality, Entertainment and Gambling, all conspire to make Las Vegas one of the most popular tourist destinations across the planet. From “Sin City” to “Resort City”, Las Vegas’ reputation can sometimes make one wonder, what would it be like to live a normal life in a city that’s majorly driven by tourists?
As dreamy as Las Vegas might seem, there’s a lot that you should know before you even consider moving to Las Vegas. The city is not all about gambling and casinos. There’s more than meets the eye.
So here’s a guide that shares all the essential information about the city to help you decide if moving to Las Vegas makes sense for you.
What Should I Know Before Moving To Las Vegas?
Las Vegas being a city that attracts so many people has its own population at 651,319, which is only going to keep increasing. The population density of the city is 4,593.71/sq mi, which by no means is bad. Although, it is quite interesting considering the fact that it was only back in 1911 that Las Vegas was officially formed. If you roll back the years a tad bit further, it was the year 1905 when Las Vegas actually happened to be settled.
When it comes to Business Conventions, Las Vegas doesn’t shy away from taking the center stage, as it’s one of the top 3 cities in the country for the same. Beyond everything that Las Vegas gets its reputation from, the city’s display of art and history in the form of museums is something that often goes under the radar. The Mob Museum, Neon Museum, the Last Vegas Natural History Museum and the city’s great Art District bear testimony to that fact.
Crime Rate In Las Vegas
As glorious the city is, the Crime Rate in Las Vegas is not something for the city to boast about. With the national average for Violent Crimes being at 4 for every 1,000 residents, the average of Las Vegas etches upto 6.11 per 1000 people. That’s also higher than that of Nevada which is 5.41. Unfortunately, even Property Crimes follow the same trend, with the national median being 24 per 1,000 people, and Last Vegas experiencing 29.15 property crimes for every 1,000 residents. Even Nevada stands at 24.38 per 1,000 residents, as shared by Neighborhood Scout.
Also See: Moving To Nevada – Relocation Guide
Las Vegas Weather
We’re talking about a city that’s literally surrounded by deserts. So don’t expect the summers in Las Vegas to be a coddling experience. If anything, the summer here is a warning for you to brace yourself for the scorching dry heat that can make even the mightiest bow down. So a sunblock, functioning air conditioner, light cotton tees, sunglasses and plenty of hydration should be your daily ammunition to go to battle with the Vegas summer heat. The temperature does tend to hit the 40 degree celsius mark, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Monsoon? What monsoon? There’s no such thing here in Las Vegas. Well, it does rain here, but those are few and far between. December to March and July to September is when you can expect some rains in Las Vegas. It’s in the winter months when the monsoon here is prominent. But compared to most other states and cities, it’s not really torrential downpour. The rains do provide a welcome respite when they occur in the months of July, August and September.
The winter is far more comforting here in Las Vegas. They’re not insanely frigid like the northern states, and are much needed after persevering through the sweltering summers. Winter temperatures here normally wander around 8 degree celsius or so. On peak winter nights, it can be as cold as -1 degrees though. The highest average temperature that Las Vegas normally experiences tends to be in the range of 12 to 15 degree celsius.
All in all, you need to have a really thick skin to be able to handle the Las Vegas heat. But depending on the lifestyle and if you have a completely indoors job, that shouldn’t be a massive problem. On the bright side, Las Vegas does experience over 300 days of clear sunny skies, which can be a pretty sight if you could forget about the heat for a second.
Is It Expensive To Live In Las Vegas?
To begin with, you must know that you can expect to pay approximately 8.38% just in sales tax when in Las Vegas. This would be a combination of state level, county level and other local level tax rates. There’s also a 22% marginal federal income tax levied in Las Vegas. Moreover, an approximately 9.10% effective federal income tax rate also applies to the city.
Beyond these taxes, there are many other factors to consider when determining whether it is an expensive city to live in. Perhaps cost of living is one of the most important factors in determining the same. So let’s just get to it.
Cost Of Living In Las Vegas
For a city as extravagant as Las Vegas, things don’t always come cheap. So naturally, the cost of living in this city is not everybody’s cup of tea. For instance, as compared to the US national average, the cost of groceries in Vegas is 4% higher. To give you a bit of idea, you would be paying $3.46 for a loaf of bread, which is slightly higher. Similarly, even a gallon of milk is $2.02, alongside $1.88 for a carton of eggs. For a bunch of bananas, $3.49 would be a fair approximation, as shared by PayScale. Now these prices typically don’t burn a hole into your pocket, but it’s still a tad bit higher than the likes of Charlotte in North Carolina.
Even the cost of healthcare in Las Vegas is marginally higher, which is 3% more than the average of our country. A visit to the doctor specifically can cost you $113.70 and the same would be $106.54 for a visit to the optometrist. If you have to make a visit to the dentist, prepare yourself to shell out $97.68, because that’s the average price, as shared by PayScale. If you have a pet, you will be paying around $51.52 for a visit to the veterinarian.
While the costs we shared above are only marginally higher than some of the other big cities, it’s the cost of transportation where Las Vegas starts making a dent into your bank account. In fact, the general transportation cost in this city is a whooping 14% higher than that of our country. The cost of buying gas in this city is approximately $2.96 per gallon.
Buying A House
Cities like Las Vegas are what dreams are made of. And sometimes, living a dream comes at a hefty price. With the cost of housing in Las Vegas being as much as 8% more than that of the country’s average, you will surely be paying a significant amount towards your mortgage. Data shared by PayScale reveals that the median home price in the Sin City tends to be as high as $376,148 on an average. But Vegas must be worth the price, right?
Renting A House
Similarly, when it comes to renting in The Entertainment Capital of the World, you will be paying roundabout $1,178 each month. If you ask us, that’s still not half as bad. Although, the price mentioned is more often than not just a 1-bedroom apartment. Which would still make sense if you’re a bachelor or will be living alone. But there are still many 2-bedroom apartments which touch as much as $1,800 per month in rent. It all boils down to the size of your apartment and the neighborhood in which you decide to rent a place for yourself.
Fortunately, at least one aspect of this city’s cost of living is a bit kind on its residents, which is Utility Bills. What reflects this fact is that the US national average for utility bills is actually 10% higher than Las Vegas. Your combined Energy Bill, including electricity and gas bill is going to be around $151.23 per month. Honestly, in a city like Vegas, that should come as a surprise. Even your Water Bill will only be approximately $32.93 per month here in the Sin City. If you include a phone bill to the list, there will be an additional $161.21 per month for you to pay.
Las Vegas Economy And Employment Opportunities
Like we had mentioned earlier, tourism happens to be one of the chief contributors of the Las Vegas economy. It is the “Resort City” after all. Hospitality and Gaming are a couple of the other major industries that add to the city’s economy and create massive numbers of employment opportunities. However, in recent years, a subsidiary of Amazon called Zappos has also entered the Las Vegas economy as an online footwear retailer.
Interestingly, those in the aviation industry in Las Vegas are also known to earn well. Zippia shares that Airline Pilots, Copilots and Flight engineers earn approximately $238,320 on an average. However, some of the most commonly available jobs in Las Vegas can be that of a Retail Salesperson, among others. Quite frankly, you really need to be on the top of your career ladder to get a well paying job in Las Vegas. Ideally, at least $60,000 annually to be able to live a decent lifestyle without strict budgets.
Getting Around Las Vegas
Arguably, the most exciting way to commute in Las Vegas for newbies is The Deuce. It’s usually accessible around The Strip, which covers the grounds between Mandalay Bay and the Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas. The Deuce is nothing but a touristy looking double decker bus which is available every morning starting 7 until 2 am. The frequency is pretty reliable too, as you can easily hop into one every 15 to 20 minutes or so.
There’s also the Monorail in Las Vegas which you can access between 7 am and 2 am from Tuesday to Thursday. However, on Mondays it only runs till midnight. The starting time is pretty much the same for weekends, except that the service is accessible all the way till 3 in the morning. What’s great about this city service is that it’s an electric monorail, meaning the carbon emission from this mode of transportation is absolutely nothing at all. A day pass for the monorail will be approximately $13 with no fee charged for kids below 5 years of age.
We’re talking about Las Vegas, so Uber and Lyft would definitely be accessible here if you are someone who prefers getting around the city in a cab. But beware of those special events in the city which become a reason for these services to have massive surge prices. If you want to make a grand entrance and travel around the city like a VIP, you can always rent a Limousine in Las Vegas. Oh come on, we’ve all dreamt of it. Interestingly, airport limos are positively deceptive, because they only cost around $10 per passenger at times, which is a great deal honestly.
Best Neighborhoods to Live in Las Vegas
1. Downtown Las Vegas
Every city has a Downtown neighborhood and Las Vegas is no different. If you want to treat yourself to scrumptious delicacies each day, the local restaurants here won’t disappoint. The local favourite Carson Kitchen is one such example. But there are many other amazing diners and steakhouses in the city too. In case your palms itch for some gambling action, Downtown Las Vegas also has the Golden Nugget Casino for your indulgence. Need a bit of Vegas style thrill? The SlotZilla Zipline will surely get your adrenaline pumping.
Median Home Value – $303,304
Average Rent – $912
While not technically in Las Vegas, Henderson is just a few minutes away from most of the Vegas action. But then again, this friendly neighbor to Vegas has much to offer of its own. Most importantly, it is considered as one of the safest places in all of Nevada. Not only is it close to Vegas, it is also just a stone’s throw away from the gorgeous Lake Mead and the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area. The city has enough for you to shop till you drop and some really good schools too for the education of your children.
Median Home Value – $317,100
Average Rent – $1,324
For all the notoriety that Las Vegas is at times known for, the neighborhood of Summerlin is one that has a warm and welcoming character, designed especially for families. Situated on the western periphery of Las Vegas, Summerlin boasts of the mighty Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area as its western neighbor. Those with a love for outdoor recreational activities will surely love Summerlin. This community which was the brainchild of the legendary Howard Hughes, features some enticing walking and biking trails. At the same time, you won’t have trouble living the fancy life, as spectacular shopping complexes and diners are also aplenty in Summerlin.
Median Home Value – $349,000
Average Rent – $1,244
Is Las Vegas A Good Place To Live?
Quite frankly, locals have often been vocal of young irresponsible tourists visiting Vegas and creating a nuisance in their city. But such cases mostly occur in the more glamorous and the most popular parts of the city. In terms of lifestyle, Vegas might seem exciting and inviting, but it might not necessarily be for everyone. Especially not for those who are thinking about moving here first and then finding a job. But if your career is fairly on track, your lifestyle and energy levels match that of the city and you’re financially stable, Vegas will embrace you with arms wide open. To sum it up, if you can make your peace with the crime rate, the city is no doubt a good place to live in, even for retirees and families, especially if you pick your neighborhood wisely.