Buying A House In Las Vegas: What To Know And Where To Look
8-Minute ReadFebruary 22, 2021
Many people predicted Las Vegas would face a housing crisis during and after the pandemic, but it has done the complete opposite.
The median local list price is $307,500, which is 7.9% higher than in January Believe it or not, buying a house in Las Vegas could be one of the best investments you make in your lifetime. With its low cost of living, eccentric nightlife, incredible scenery, and rock-bottom taxes, it’s easy to see why millions of people call Sin City home.
Are you ready to move to Las Vegas, too? Here’s everything you must know.
Why Buy A House In Las Vegas?
Las Vegas isn’t just Sin City, it’s one of the least expensive places to live, yet it has some of the most breathtaking views. You’ll find plenty of housing styles to suit many tastes, and you’ll love the low taxes.
Entertainment And Adventure
You already know Las Vegas for The Strip and the downtown vicinity. Whether you’ve visited or not, it’s the most prominent part of the area.
There’s always entertainment available if you love the nightlife and/or gambling. Even if you aren’t a gambler, there are world-class restaurants and shopping at your disposal, many of which are open 24/7.
But that’s not all. Las Vegas is more than The Strip and the downtown area because it has plenty of natural resources and areas for outdoor activities, too.
Hiking, fishing, photography, skiing and taking in the wildlife are just a handful of the activities you can enjoy in and around Las Vegas. Plus, the Grand Canyon is less than 300 miles away from The Strip, making it a great day trip when you want to visit one of the United States’ best natural resources.
Nevada is a no income tax state. If that’s not enough, they also have some of the lowest property tax rates, which makes it one of the top reasons why buying a home in Las Vegas makes perfect sense.
Property tax rates vary from 2.33% to 3.40% per $100 assessed value. Although the sales tax rate is high (8.375%), groceries, prescriptions, medical devices and services are exempt.
Depending on where you move in Las Vegas, you can find homes from $100,000 up to the millions.Overall, Las Vegas is an affordable place to live, making it easier to buy more house for less money.
Top 5 Real Estate Neighborhoods In Las Vegas
Finding the best place to buy a house in Las Vegas isn’t as hard as it seems because there are many great areas to live in. Following are the top 5 real estate neighborhoods to consider.
Located in Clark County, The Strip is the area of entertainment in Las Vegas. With 24/7 activity and plenty to do, it’s no wonder people want to live there. Clark County has a population of 2.3 million, which is a nice majority of the people in Nevada, with a total population of 3.1 million.
Most people living near The Strip are 25 – 55 years old with a median household income of $64,000. To date, there are 843,000 households throughout Clark County, and it’s easy to see why.
With a plethora of entertainment and shopping, there’s always something to do, not to mention the 205 days of sun and the delectable restaurants you can enjoy.
North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas has an estimated 250,000 residents and is one of the top 5 largest cities in Nevada. The average age for residents is 32 years old. The average income in the area is $72,000, and the average home costs around $233,000.
If buying a house in Las Vegas near The Strip isn’t your idea of fun, consider North Las Vegas. This area is quieter than The Strip and boasts great schools and plenty of recreational activities for families. It’s a short drive away from The Strip, giving you plenty of nightlife opportunities should you want them. North Las Vegas is a quiet and cultural area to live in.
North Las Vegas Trend Report
If you don’t want the hustle and bustle of The Strip, Henderson is a great place to settle. With a population of just 300,000 people, it’s much quieter and yet just as beautiful. Perhaps one of the top reasons families move to Henderson is its safety rating, as Henderson is the third-safest city in Nevada.
Henderson is just 106 square miles, but its median household income is much higher than Nevada’s average, with the average household bringing in $84,000 per year. The average age of homeowners in Henderson is 30 – 59 years old.
Henderson has over 50 amazing parks, which may be the reason it has the nickname Tree City USA. Henderson also has some of the highest-rated schools in the area.
If you’re looking for a master-planned community, look no further than Summerlin, ranked number 3 in the United States for the best-selling community. Some of the country's top home builders were a part of this amazing community, and it’s filled with plenty of shopping and dining that you’ll always have something to do.
Summerlin has a population of around 46,000 people, with about 18,000 homes in the area. The average household income is around $82,000, and the average homeowner is in their mid-40s. Summerlin is also one of the safest places to live and is surrounded by the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon.
If you’re looking for a lot of land and/or wide-open spaces, Centennial Hills is the perfect place. Centennial Hills has approximately 45,000 residents and is about 3,700 square feet in size. All homes have an incredible view of the mountains, and the area itself is much quieter than areas near The Strip or downtown.
There are homes in Centennial Hills for all price points, but the average home is around $250,000. Families with young children or people who love the great outdoors love Centennial Hills’ amenities, including The Las Vegas Farm and Floyd Lamb State Park.
Centennial Hills is also minutes away from Summerlin and North Las Vegas, so there is plenty to do within a short drive.
Things To Know About Buying A House In Las Vegas
Knowing how to buy a house in Las Vegas is important. With the housing market so competitive these days, you need to know everything there is to know about the area ahead of time so you can make fast decisions.
Median House Price
With a median house price of around $307,500, buyers need $61,500 for a 20% down payment. At a 4% interest rate, homeowners pay $1,174 in principal and interest for the mortgage payment.
Fortunately, other loan programs are available that don’t require a 20% down payment if you don’t have $61,500 available.
Closing Costs In Nevada
Closing costs are a major expense and usually the next largest expense after the down payment. If you make a 20% down payment, you’ll still need money for closing costs, which average around 2% – 5% of the loan amount.
While each closing differs, the typical Nevada homebuyer pays the following closing costs:
- Lender closing fee
- Credit report fee
- Origination fee
- Attorney fee
- Recording fee
- Flood certification
In addition, all borrowers pay:
- Prepaid interest for the days left in the month after the closing date
- Prorated real estate taxes
- 12 months of homeowners insurance
- Mortgage insurance (if applicable)
Las Vegas property taxes are paid in four installments and are usually due in August, October, January, and March.
The tax rates vary based on where in Clark County you live, but on average, homeowners pay between 3% – 4.8% in property taxes, but each homeowner who lives in the home they own may qualify for an abatement. The abatement may save you as much as $18 per thousand dollars of the home’s value.
Even though Las Vegas ranks low in average electricity costs, it still pays to take advantage of solar panels and free energy.
Solar panels are a great way to reduce the energy you use, and with the 205 days of sun in Las Vegas, you’ll get a lot of natural energy in your home. Solar panels usually last up to 25 years, so they will likely last the length of time you’ll be in the home or close to it.
Homes already outfitted with solar panels may be listed for a higher price because of the value they offer. Before you balk at the higher price, realize the benefit of the solar panels and the savings you’ll have on your energy bills.
Traffic And Crime
Las Vegas has a high crime rate. It’s only safer than 12% of the other U.S. cities if that tells you anything. It has a higher crime rate than similarly sized cities throughout the U.S. and is something you should keep in mind, especially if you have a young family or are a retired couple.
Las Vegas also ranks fairly high for traffic rates in the U.S. It ranks about 600 out of 900 top cities in the U.S. Las Vegas’s streets are most congested in the mornings from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and the evenings between 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Requirements For Buying A House In Las Vegas
When you learn how to buy a house in Las Vegas, you must know how to qualify for a loan. Lenders require you to have good credit and a 3% – 6% down payment. That comes out to around $9,000 – $18,000 for the down payment, but don’t forget about the 2% – 5% in closing costs too.
Home buyers have a few options to buy a house in Las Vegas, including:
- Conventional loans: If you have a 660+ credit score and a max 36% total debt ratio, you’re a good candidate for a conventional loan. These loans have low interest rates and only require private mortgage insurance until you owe less than 80% of the home’s value.
- FHA loans: If you have less than perfect credit, FHA loans are a good alternative. With a 580 credit score, you need just 3.5% down on the home. FHA loans require a 45% max debt-to-income ratio and a 2-year employment history. You’ll pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan, but at 0.85% of the outstanding principal balance, it’s often less than PMI on conventional loans.
- VA loans: If you’re a military veteran, take advantage of the no down payment VA loan option you have available. You need just a 620 credit score and a max of 50% DTI to qualify for a VA loan. As long as you’ve never bought a home before with your VA benefit or you sold the home and reinstated your benefits, you could use the loan to buy a Vegas home.
No matter the loan you choose, all lenders require a 2-year stable employment and income history along with proof you can afford the loan. Show a stable credit history and the ability to maintain a home payment along with your existing bills, and you’ll be on your way to owning a home in Las Vegas.
The Bottom Line On Buying A House In Las Vegas
If you’re ready to buy a house in Las Vegas, you must work with a reputable agent who can see the process through from start to finish. Working with a Rocket Homes® Verified Partner Agent ensures you understand everything needed to buy your dream home.
Whether you’re looking to move to the hustle and bustle of The Strip or a quieter neighborhood outside of the area where you can enjoy the 205 days of sunshine and incredible scenery, there’s a home waiting for you.
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