Thinking About Making the Move to Nevada? Read This Guide First.
Table of Contents
- Nevada’s Top Places to Live and Set Down Roots
- What About Employment Opportunities in Nevada?
- The Nevada Real Estate Market
- Can I Afford to Live there? – What’s the Cost of Living Like in Nevada?
- Is Nevada a Good Place to Retire?
- What are the People and Culture Like?
- Some of Nevada’s Coolest Attractions and Things To Do…
- Pros and Cons of Living In Nevada
- Nevada Fun Facts & Strange Laws
Naturally, the first place that comes to mind when you think about Nevada is Las Vegas. And while the “city of sin” is a crown jewel in the state, Nevada is so much more than just one city, having something to offer for virtually anyone.
Whether you’re looking for a great place to retire, being transferred with your job, or simply looking to start a new life, Nevada might just be the perfect place for you! But, before you make your final decision, let’s go over everything that you might need to know before taking the plunge.
Will Nevada be the perfect state for you? Let’s find out!
Nevada’s Top Places to Live and Set Down Roots
Nevada, also known as The Silver State, is filled with a little bit of everything — entertainment, outdoor activities, nature, exploration destinations, and lots of travel opportunities! So, the perfect location will all depend on what type of lifestyle suits you best!
Nevada really is in the center of it all!
“We moved here 10 years ago and work as a pilot and the owner of a flight school & aircraft rental company in Southern Nevada. We are conveniently based in the entertainment capitol of the world, Las Vegas and my clients and I enjoy being able to pick up and go wherever we want, whenever we want, while conducting business or spending our leisure time on the West Coast. We are located an hour-long flight away from so many amazing regional destinations, including the Central Coast and Southern California beaches, Grand Canyon, and the beauty of Zion and Arches National Parks.
As a family man, my wife and I enjoy raising our kids in Henderson, the 2nd largest city in Nevada, that still feels like a closely knit small town, with great schools, community events and some of the best parks and recreation programs in the country.”
Paul Sallach, President – All In Aviation
In no particular order, let’s dive into a few of the top locations in Nevada perfect for a new move!
Sparks is not only known as one of the most affordable places to live, but also for its slogan “It’s Happening Here.” Why? Because if anything is happening, you can be sure that it’s happening in Sparks, NV! From car shows to their world-famous rib cook-offs and unique restaurants to upscale casinos, you will never run out of things to do! Especially if you happen to be a social butterfly, Sparks is the perfect location to meet new people, try new foods, and experience tons of new activities!
- One of the friendliest cities in Nevada
- The most affordable city to live — great for young adults who are looking to rent
- Family-friendly activities in an extremely safe area
Carson City is not just the capital of Nevada, it’s a relaxing small town that still grasps the vibe and amenities of an open, suburban area! Nature lovers will appreciate the amazing view of Lake Tahoe in the Tahoe National Forest as well as it’s Wild West historic culture. Expand your knowledge with one of the many museums or take a ride on the slopes of the mountains at one of Carson City’s many skiing resorts!
- Beautiful mountain and landscape scenery
- Outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, and more
- Historical attractions, museums, and adventurous outdoor opportunities
Spring Valley is perfect for young professionals who are looking for a great job opportunity! With lots of shopping, cool dessert hangouts, and schools that perform better than the national expectation, Spring Valley is perfect for those looking for a spot to raise a family or start a new job!
- Extremely low crime rate
- Above average school system
- High job opportunity location
- Fun recreational activities
Yet another great family-friendly area to raise your kids! Spanish Springs is known for its excellent education system, unique shops and boutiques, and new restaurants throughout the city. Although Spanish Springs is one of the most expensive areas in Nevada, you will always have the comfort of staying safe in this quaint yet exciting town!
- A pricey but extremely safe place to live
- Great for trying new foods, drinks, restaurants, and an exciting nightlife
- Ideal for education and raising a family
It’s no surprise that Las Vegas is known as Sin City — with its nonstop party life and 24/7 entertainment, it is impossible for anyone to experience the harsh idea of boredom! Las Vegas is primarily known for its chaotic lifestyle of gambling, casinos, shows, and a plethora of restaurants and shopping. But what you may not know is that living in Las Vegas is actually extremely affordable! Not only that, but it is quite simple to find a job that supports the cost of living!
- An extremely affordable area with never-ending social events
- Outdoor activities such as mountain climbing, hiking, horseback riding, and camping for those who aren’t into the party scene
- Plenty of employment opportunities
- Great area for those who love to travel
Nevada is very much a tight community!
“I’m originally from Southern California, so moving here was quite easy as it’s only a three-hour drive to Las Vegas. At first, the community felt very much like Orange County in the 1980’s and 90’s, with major developments and growth happening everywhere, especially with so many other California transplants relocating here. What we didn’t expect is that Southern Nevada is a wonderful, tight community where everyone knows everyone. Those who move here will tell you it feels like we are all two-degrees of separation from anyone in town, and people are very welcoming.
As a business owner, I find the professional landscape to be very much a collaborative community where like-minded businesses want to help each other and work together to reach common goals. Las Vegans takes pride in their community, and it doesn’t take long to fit right in and feel like a local. Our family loves to camp, hike and off-road, and we are in the heart of the Southwest, so there are so many places to “play” either locally or within an hour or two’s drive.”
Gina Yager, Owner & Director – GYC Vegas Public Relations
What About Employment Opportunities in Nevada?
The Nevada Job Market
Because Nevada’s growing economy heavily depends on tourism, the best way to start looking for employment opportunities is to find the places that help run popular tourist attractions and nightlife. There is never an overabundance of employment when it comes to casinos, hotels, and the restaurant industry, so finding a job that supports the cost of living should always start with where the tourism takes place.
Having said that, let’s take a look at Nevada’s top industries and careers!
Top Industries In The Market
- Renewable Energy
- Information Technology
- Natural Resource Technology
Top Careers By Income
- Chief Executives
- Marketing Managers
- Airline Pilots
If you look closely at the top careers, you will notice that almost all of these careers are directly related to the booming tourism industry (or support the industry) that Nevada is so heavily known for. So while you’re working your way into one of these top fields, the convenience of tourism still allows you to make enough money to live comfortably.Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (January 24, 2020)
Infrastructure and Global Reach
Nevada is rated number one in the country when it comes to transportation, and it’s no secret as to why. NV has the strongest roads, sturdiest bridges, and one of the best public transportation systems that help to keep the industry of tourism alive and rapidly growing. After all, if you can’t get around the state, then the tourism industry would plummet…
A failing tourism industry would be unfortunate as it is essentially the foundation of Nevada’s steady economy. But luckily, that would most likely never happen!
Nevada’s proclaimed excellence in transportation systems and public transit won’t stop it from continuing to improve beyond perfection as NV has a plan to launch what is called Project Neon in this upcoming year. Project Neon is an ungraded system that will reduce traffic delays and increase motorist safety by implementing new freeways, a rapid bus line, revamped interstate highways, and assuring the safety of travel altogether.
Beyond transportation, NV also has plans to expand the knowledge and skills of workers in the workforce with employment training programs and stronger education systems as a whole. This plan will build an even stronger foundation that will help to support the working class to ensure their short term or long term success.
Nevada is not typically known for having a decent minimum wage; for the minimum wage has been set at $8.25/hr since 2010. But, don’t freak out just yet!
Within the next 5 years, Nevada has passed a plan to raise its minimum wage to $12/hr by increasing the state’s minimum wage by .75¢ every year. The proposed plan was put in place to help get workers out of being stuck in a 10 year endless $8.25/hr job.
Eventually, NV will reach the national high of $15/hr minimum wage, but reaching a $12/hr minimum by the year 2024 is a great start. This steady increase will allow for the state’s economy to grow as its citizens will finally be able to save their money as well as start to reinvest it back into the economy.
Overall, despite its current low minimum wage payment, the future looks bright for anyone looking to move to Nevada when it comes to employment, especially with its plan to increase its minimum wage which starts next year!
Unfortunately, Nevada’s unemployment rate is at 4.1%, which is a bit higher than the national average of 3.6%. But don’t let this scare you off. The good news is that Nevada had the 3rd highest employment growth rate in 2019 as employment rose by 2.2% in just one year! The job increase of about 11,300 jobs has resulted in the total unemployment rate to drop by a whole 1.7%!
In fact, it has been predicted that Nevada’s unemployment will continue to drop while employment continues to steadily rise! With this and their 5-year plan to increase the minimum wage, it looks like Nevada just might be the chosen state for those who are looking for great employment opportunities and personal future success!
The Nevada Real Estate Market
According to Zillow, the prediction for 2020 is that Nevada will have more of a home buyer’s market than a sellers one. It was also noted that people are starting to neglect large, single-family homes as they are on the more expensive side when it comes to affordability. Instead, people are drifting towards townhouses, condos, and even rental properties due to the fact that their prices are drastically lower and way more affordable.Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (January 24, 2020)
But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing as Nevada still stands as having the 4th best market in the country for first-time homebuyers. Not only that, but NV has one of the highest appreciating communities in Las Vegas, which is great news for investors!
Nevada’s real estate market is moving up!
“According to CoStar, the Las Vegas market’s outlook for continued recovery appears positive after initially lagging behind many other metros across the country. Both employment and population growth continues to outpace the national index. Median household income is growing again and is expected to sustain that growth in the near term. Development continues to be elevated, having picked up over the past few years, driven by strong rent growth and healthy demand.
Also, Reno’s multifamily construction pipeline is one of the bulkiest in the nation. Demand for most of this cycle has been intense due to the metro’s evolving economy, strong in-migration, and a tight unemployment rate. Jobs were traditionally skewed towards two sectors—trade and leisure and hospitality—but Reno has gained a number of tech giants, achieved prominence as a distribution hub, and won the presence of a noteworthy corporation.“
Susy Vasquez, Executive Director – Nevada State Apartment Association
So, if you’re interested in Nevada’s real estate market, take a look at…
Nevada’s Statewide Averages
- Median Home Value — $291,523
- Median List Price — $320,000
- Median Sale Price — $282,800
- Median List Price Per Sq Ft — $178/sq ft
- Average Days On The Market — 74
- AirBnB Occupancy Rate — 52%
- Median Rent Price — $1113/mo
Nevada’s Real Estate “Bests”
- Best Time To Buy — Fall
- Best Time To Sell — June
- Best Time To List — March
- Best Places To Invest
- Green Valley North
- Summerun South
- The Lakes
- Paradise Hills
- Best NV Markets
- Las Vegas
- Carson City
One thing to note is that, when selling a home in Nevada, it is highly recommended that you list your home about 3 months before the top month that is known as the best month to sell your home. This is because homes are generally on the market for about 2.5–3 months before they are actually sold.Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (January 24, 2020)
If you’re looking to get top dollar (or at a minimum as close to your asking price as possible), consider listing your home 3 months before the top time period to sell a home. This will give you a chance to increase your home’s value while fielding as many offers as possible before the month of June when competition for homes heats up and you’ll have more bargaining power.
Can I Afford to Live there? – What’s the Cost of Living Like in Nevada?
Lets Talk About Taxes
No matter where you go or who you are, taxes are an unfortunate reality. But Nevada is one of the few states that has absolutely no income tax. This means that while you’ll still have to cough up taxes to “the man” (i.e. the Feds/IRS), the state of Nevada cuts you some slack. The thing is, no income tax could be a good thing and a bad thing depending on what is important to you.
Nevada is a bargain compared to California!
“Nevada is a great place to live, work and play, which is why the state and especially Southern Nevada have been among the nation’s fastest growing metro areas for many years. Nevada and the Las Vegas area again rank among the national leaders in economic, job and population growth. It’s more than just sunny skies and no state income tax, although those are certainly part of the state’s appeal. Nevada has always welcomed new residents and new businesses and is known for a can-do attitude.
Our local real estate markets have rebounded especially well from the Great Recession and have been posting some of the strongest rates of appreciation for home prices since about 2012. At the same time, we still offer residential and commercial real estate prices and opportunities that are considered a bargain compared to comparable properties in neighboring California.”
Cathy Jones, President – Commercial Alliance Las Vegas
The Good News
The good news is that, well, there’s no income tax! That means that you get to keep every penny you earn in your paycheck! This allows residents to save money, reinvest in the economy, and use the money you earn for whatever you want to use it for. Sounds great right? We think so. Especially since money is often tighter than ever for many individuals and families across the nation.
Another great thing about the lack of income tax is that it helps to keep the NV residents in the state because, well, a lack of income tax is an appealing factor. Think about it, if moving away from Nevada means you’ll lose up to 8%+ of your income paying another state’s income tax you too might think twice before making the move.
This is beneficial as statistics show that when residents stay in the area, the state’s economy grows at a much faster rate as it helps to boost the employment rate as well as the general well-being of Nevada’s residents.
If you’re a part of, or believe in helping out the lower and middle class (which most of America falls into), then it is good to note that a lack of income tax means everyone is treated equally from rich to poor.
For example, you may not be taxed on your income, but everyone’s sales tax is exactly the same. This helps to redistribute the wealth of the rich to the poor in a way that doesn’t cause controversy when it comes to someone’s personal annual income. So, now that we went over the good news, let’s talk about…
The Bad News
The average sales tax in Nevada being at 6.85% (yikes) is a lot higher than most other states in the country. The National sales tax average across the United States comes in at about 4.6% at worst. This means NV actually has the 13th highest combined average state and local tax rate in the nation.
What does this mean for you?
As with anywhere you live, there will be costs and allowances to weigh. You’ll need to successfully budget your money and plan on additional money from no state income tax being (in part) used to offset the high sales tax on goods. The actual impact of these factors on your bottom line will depend in part on your lifestyle, purchase habits and income. For most, the lack of state income tax more than makes up for the increased sales tax.
But, let’s take a look at the basic facts. What is the cost of living in Nevada as compared to the rest of the country?
Cost of Living in Nevada Compared to the Rest of the Country
*with 100 as the National average
- Overall — 110.5
- Grocery — 100.3
- Health — 92.4
- Housing — 127.5
- Utilities — 97.2
- Transportation — 116.7
- Misc — 99
All in all, as long as you’re educated on how to budget your money according to fit your lifestyle and basic needs, it is completely possible to live a comfortable and happy life in Nevada that you can readily afford. Especially when you have the opportunity of not being taxed on your income. This added bonus gives you a nice chunk of money to save and budget for living expenses, discretionary purchases and even savings for retirement.Need cheap moving supplies? Fast free delivery (January 24, 2020)
Speaking of retirement…
So Far So Good…But What if I’m Entering Retirement?
Is Nevada a Good Place to Retire?
First of all, congratulations! If you’re currently or on your way to retirement, then you deserve to live the rest of your life in a place that will make you feel relaxed, happy, and completely at ease.
From our standpoint, it’s a pretty safe bet (pun intended) to say that Nevada could be exactly the place you are looking for! From lively Vegas to the relaxing and serene desert, there’s a reason so many retirees call Nevada home. After all, you deserve it! So, if NV sounds like the perfect place for you so far, let’s look at…
The Best Places to Retire in Nevada
Also known as “The Biggest Little City In The World,” Reno is a small city with big ambitions. Retiring in Reno gives you access to fun outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, skiing, and exploring the beautiful mountains and landscapes of Nevada. But not everybody is really a big fan of nature, and that’s okay! Reno also gives you a taste of the party life from casinos and gambling to sipping on drinks on the golf course! So whether you’re into relaxation and exploring the scenic landscapes or living it up with its public outdoor concerts, Reno really is a big little city that appeals to the introverts, extroverts, and everyone in between!
Incline Village is highly known for its million-dollar homes. If you prefer a fancier type of lifestyle, then retiring in a small town like Incline Village where your home is surrounded by precious evergreens, pine trees, and big mountains will be perfect for you! It’s not quite a retirement community per se, but the people that do live there tend to be at the stage of retiring. Incline Village is a great spot to meet some new friends, tell stories, and listen to the sounds of nature that surrounds your beautiful home!
If you think you can keep up with Henderson’s 37 miles of trails and hiking, then Henderson NV is the place for you! But don’t worry, not everybody loves to hike. Henderson also has over 450 different restaurants, major shopping opportunities, and theaters of every size. Henderson is yet another city that really has something for everybody! Enjoy the luxurious spa treatments, a day trip to Vegas, or practice your golf swing on one of its many known golf courses! Henderson is also known for music venues as well as its state-of-the-art healthcare amenities for older (and younger) residents. As the second-largest city in Nevada, Henderson will never cease to bring you relaxation, entertainment, and miles of scenic hiking trails!
Not really into the whole gambling scene? No problem! Boulder City is one of the two cities in Nevada that actually prohibits gambling and casinos. Instead, enjoy common luxuries such as mountain biking or golfing followed by an evening at one of its many culturally hypnotic restaurants! Boulder City is the safest place to live in NV and has lots of different retirement communities for those who want to kick back, experience new perks, and pretty much just enjoy what life brings!Want a free online moving quote? See our recommendations (January 24, 2020)
What are the People and Culture Like in Nevada?
Nevada has a very diverse and exotic atmosphere, so it may come as a surprise that NV was originally a Mormon based society and state. But today, you will hear languages from English to German and Italian to Chinese. The diverse mix of cultures sparks from Nevada’s massive tourism industry, and the tourism attraction is primarily what led Nevada into its reputation of performing arts and endless worldly entertainment!
The people of Nevada, especially in Las Vegas, are known to be welcoming and quite upbeat, so there’s no need to hide in the outgoing nature of Nevada’s society. It has a very large population of retirees as well as young professionals which helps to bring out the best of both worlds — anybody will be able to easily find a group of people that they can relate to!
Some of Nevada’s Coolest Attractions and Things to do…
Of course, there’s an endless string of interesting destinations and attractions in the state of Nevada, and Las Vegas is just one of them! But aside from the ever so famous Las Vegas hotspot, here are some of the coolest things to do around the state!
Pinball Hall of Fame
Remember when arcade games cost just a mere quarter to play? Well, at the Pinball Hall Of Fame, they still are! Take a trip down memory lane and play the nostalgic vintage pinball machines that you had back in the good old days!
If you’re not a fan of clowns, then this motel is definitely not for you! But if you’re into the artistic essence of clown culture, then the Clown Motel is a mildly spooky yet entertaining motel that will have you surrounded by clowns from every century! The fact that it’s located next to an abandoned graveyard may or may not be relevant…but it’s a great time to find out!
Seven Magic Mountains
Visit these 30-foot-tall brightly colored totems in one of the many deserts of Nevada! If you happen to be interested in diving into traveling blogging, then the artistic essence of the Seven Magic Mountains will make a great addition to your Instagram feed!
International Car Forest of the Last Church
For the car lovers — and the art lovers — and also the believers — the International Car Forest of the Last Church is a mix of creatively crafted graffiti-covered cars that have the essence of religion and faith! Some describe this place as an artistic vintage junkyard car forest!Need cheap moving supplies? Fast free delivery (January 24, 2020)
If you happen to be into exploring the deep, dark caves of the world, then the Lehman Caves is the place to do just that! Lehman caves are a place of some of the most beautiful gothic-inspired caves that you will ever see — and you’ll never know what you’ll find in this hidden attraction of curiosity!
If these attractions don’t hit your sweet spot, then take a look at some of the other things to do in Nevada that you can’t experience anywhere else!
- Sugarloaf Pineapple — everything involves a pineapple!
- Atomic Liquors — where your drink comes with a mushroom cloud chaser!
- Erotic Heritage Museum — explore the art of sexuality complete with the world’s largest sex bike! (Yup, you read that correctly!)
- High Roller — why not view Las Vegas from the top of the world’s biggest Ferris wheel!
- Devil’s Hole — nobody knows how deep these waters go, but what they do know is that the fish that live here are extremely rare!
- The Simpson’s House — a literal real-life version of the house in The Simpsons TV show!
- Flamingo Habitat — do you like flamingos? Good. Because this is where all of them are.
- Pyramid Lake — a lake that has naturally formed a bunch of pyramid rocks where legend has it that this is where baby ghosts live!
- Tikaboo Peak — the closest you will ever get to Area 51…go ahead, take a peek!
- Goldfield Hotel — this is where you, quite literally, hunt for ghosts!
- McFarthest Spot — stand in the spot that is the absolute furthest away from any McDonalds in the country! Because why not!
Pros and Cons of Living In Nevada
Now that we’ve gone over everything you need to know about moving to Nevada, let’s take a look at a brief overview of Nevada’s pros and cons!
- Nevada is extremely entrepreneur friendly for those who have great startup and business ideas!
- If natural disasters are on your list of fears, then great news! Nevada is the state that is least likely to experience natural disasters!
- The local and state government is always willing to help and extremely accessible to residents!
- Nevada is dedicated to its economic growth and development!
- There is no state income tax in Nevada, so you keep everything you earn!
- If you love the sun, then you’re in luck! Nevada is in the top 10% of states that get the most sun!
- There are tons of affordable housing options!
- For the foodies — Nevada is known for its collection of world-class restaurants!
- There are businesses that are open 24/7 for those nights of no sleep insomnia!
- Crime rates are high in certain areas of Nevada, but luckily they are secluded to specific areas
- Health insurance is not always guaranteed through employment
- The cost of living is higher than the national average, but as long as you budget your money, Nevada is an affordable state overall
- If you don’t like heat, then Nevada is not for you
- Nevada requires a lot of self-discipline as there are constant parties, gambling, drinking, and 24-hour entertainment
- Despite it being number 1 in the transportation department, Nevada still has a lot of traffic issues that have yet to be worked out
Fun Facts and Strange Laws
Just for the fun of it, here are some cool facts about Nevada as well as some strange laws that you’d never believe were real!
Cool Facts About Nevada
- Nevada only gets about 10 inches of rain per year
- Nevada means “snow-covered,” which is something that it’s not
- Prostitution is legal in Nevada – yikes! (or not, no judgement!)
- NV is known for having the most hotels on the entire planet — over 150,000 hotels!
- The sum of the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666
- There is more shrimp consumed in Vegas in one day than any other country combined — 60,000 pounds of shrimp per day!
- Blue jeans were invented in Nevada
- You may not be able to see it, but Area 51 is located in NV
Strange Laws in Nevada
- It is illegal to ride a camel on any NV highway, just in case you were planning on taking your pet camel for a ride
- It is illegal to pawn your dentures, as if anybody would actually want to buy your fake teeth
- If you have a mustache, it is technically illegal to kiss a woman, so you better shave
- If someone shoots your dog on your property, you are allowed by law to hang them, but we highly recommend that you don’t do that
- Getting a perm requires a state license, because apparently curly hair is extra special for some reason
- It is against the law to hula hoop in the streets of Nevada, so stay on the grass when you’re hula hooping outside
Now that you know that the state of Nevada is way more than just deserts, gambling, and nonstop parties, what do you think? Is Nevada the right state for you? Visit and find out 😊
Further Reading: Looking For More Nevada Resources? Check These Articles Out!
About the Author: Kris Lippi is the owner of ISoldMyHouse.com and the broker of Get LISTED Realty. He actively writes about real estate related topics such as buying and selling homes, how-to guides for around the house and home product recommendations. He has been featured in Inman, Readers Digest, American Express, Fit Small Business, Policy Genius, Lending Tree, GoDaddy, Manta as well as other major websites. Read more about us here.