11 Things to Know About (Buying a Home in Las Vegas)

how to buy a home in las vegas
Here are a few things to know about buying a home in Las Vegas

Living in Las Vegas consistently makes the top 100 lists of Best Places to Live and Best Places to Retire. 

Why? With decent housing prices, a rich nightlife, and a dry desert climate that suits most people, what’s not to love about living in Las Vegas?

If you’re planning on buying a home in Las Vegas to escape the busy SoCal summers or simply want to relocate permanently, then here are 11 things you need to know.

1. Las Vegas is a Pretty Hot Housing Market

Last year, Neighborhoods.com ranked Las Vegas as the number one hottest housing market in the country.

The Nevada city reached the number one spot because it had the highest year-over-year gains over any other city. The gains? 13% in just the past year.

This means that construction is increasing the total housing supply, which is good news for a Las Vegas first time home buyer.

With more new construction developments throughout the city, buyers have the advantage of their pick of neighborhoods and properties. It also means that the value of their new home isn’t going to depreciate anytime soon.

In fact, the appreciation value of homes in Las Vegas is one of the biggest factors attracting new homeowners to the area. It’s part of what’s making it such a hot housing market. But, we’ll get into that a bit later.

2. There Are a Variety of Choices

As a new homeowner, price is a pretty important deciding factor in choosing to move somewhere new. Lucky for you, moving to Las Vegas means having a lot of variety when it comes to homes and pricing.

On average, home prices in the Valley average around $300,000. However, what’s so great about choosing to live in Vegas is the variety of styles and community amenties available.

If you’re looking for a fairly-priced condo that you’re aiming to rent out as an investment property, you can find properties in the low $200,000s.  The median price point for condos in Las Vegas is $359,500.

If you are in the market for a luxury single family home, take a tour in MacDonald Ranch in Henderson. This neighborhood has residences that create an aspirational lifestyle with homes on the golf course in gated communities.  Some residences have stunning views of The Strip!

Similar to Los Angeles properties, the Valley area of Las Vegas offers exclusive homes to those looking to enjoy views of The Strip without having to live in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

Think Hollywood Hills but with a more manageable price tag.

3. Understand the Requirements to Buy a House in Las Vegas

Before purchasing property, you’ll definitely need to understand the requirements to buy a house in Las Vegas.

One resident of San Diego purchased a home in Las Vegas and detailed her story on NerdWallet for others to follow. According to her personal story and real estate experts, here are a few things it's helpful to know.

First, you’ll need to be pre-approved for a loan. In the case of the San Diego native, she was pre-approved and then denied shortly after. To prevent this from happening, make sure you're pre-approved by a reputable lender.  Not just a pre-qualification which is in reality just a looksie.

You’ll also need to think about homeowner’s insurance, or the cost of an HOA when budgeting.  Make sure you have your lender try to budget in an HOA if you're intersted in a highly amenitized master planned community like Henderson or Summerlin.

4. Homes Are Selling Quickly

As mentioned, there’s a lot of new construction going on in Las Vegas. This, combined with moderate to affordable home prices (as compared to the rest of the country), means that well priced properties are selling fast.

While a healthy real estate market is good for both buyers and sellers, what it really means is that you need to act fast if you find a home you like.

This means that you have to act fast on a property you want. It also means that you can’t lowball the seller. They have a lot of other offers on the table.

 So, when you’re ready to purchase a property, enter negotiations with a fair offer and prepare to act fast. It’s best not to put an offer in on a home if you haven’t got all your finances and documentation in order.

5. Green Neighborhoods Are Becoming More Popular

Are you environmentally-conscious? Great! Las Vegas is perfect for you.

Despite being a bit of a desert oasis, more and more people are flocking to Vegas for its green neighborhoods and communities.

Southern Highlands, Inspirada, and Green Valley Ranch are just a few of the most popular eco friendly neighborhoods that you’ll find in Las Vegas.

The community of Summerlin was actually ranked sixth in the entire country as one of the most environmentally-focused communities. The builders of the community focused on the integration of LEED technologies when they built homes.

Residents of Henderson enjoy a farmer’s market that’s full of handcrafted items and fresh fruits and vegetables. Sustainability is part of the future, and living in Vegas can help you ensure that you’re contributing to a more sustainable world.

6. Consider Living Away from The Strip

If it’s not evident by now, there are many places to live in Vegas that aren’t right near The Strip.

If you’re looking at buying property here, then you’ll want to research schools, explore amenities, and get a feel for the different lifestyles.  

Other areas of Vegas that aren’t right on The Strip but that offer the same kind of value and prestige include Mountains Edge, Aliante, Coronado Ranch, and  Centennial Hills.

If you have a crash pad in mind to occasionally use and rent out as an Airbnb, then purchasing a property on or nearby The Strip makes sense.

However, for family homes and a desert hideaway, definitely consider looking elsewhere. There’s plenty of elegance to be found further away from all of the casinos and clubs.

7. Think About Negotiating the Price

Okay, while this might seem counterintuitive to the advice offered up in point four (act quickly on a home you love), it’s still smart to negotiate when buying a new home.

Because the housing market is so hot, it’s important never to lowball a seller. This means that you’ll need to be realistic about what you’re offering and you’ll need to understand what the home is actually worth on the market.

However, be smart about your investment! The San Diego native who bought a condo in Vegas was able to shave off $2,000 from the final price because she saw that the floors were in need of repair.

Invest in a pre-sale home inspection and use that as a guide to help you find ways to save money. If you find things that need repaired or that are at the end of their life, try to negotiate a replacement with your agent. 

Saving money on these small things can add up, and this leaves you with more cash to invest in the interior design and furnishigns of your home.  

8. Expect Property Values to Appreciate

It doesn’t look like Las Vegas is slowing down any time soon, and according to Zillow, the property market is likely to continue to heat up well into 2020. 

And, if you analyze the market forecast, the average property value is set to appreciate at least 2%. This is on top of the 7.5% that homes appreciated in 2018.

Realtor.com confirmed these statistics by noting that Las Vegas real estate prices are set to be some of the fastest growing this year.

Overall, they ranked second in the nation in terms of fastest growing home values. The time to buy is now.

9. Las Vegas is Full of Entrepreneurial Growth

The population of Las Vegas is rising. This is in part due to new construction enclaves and in part due to the perfect mixture of housing style, real estate market, and general economic growth.

So, what happens when all of those factors combine? They create a vortex of entrepreneurial spirit that attracts top companies and talent.

Where’s the new Silicon Valley? Las Vegas! Economic experts actually project that employment growth will double that of the US by the end of 2019.

The hottest industries are healthcare, technology, tourism, and food services. This is positive in two ways for those looking to purchase property here.

First of all, it means that if you’re looking to relocate, then you’ll be able to find a top job with a forward-thinking company.

It also means that if you’re interested in purchasing property as part of a rental or vacation investment, then the booming effect of this economic growth will benefit you, too.

Think about all of the job-seeking individuals that are going to be flocking to Las Vegas in the next two to five years. Think about where they’re going to need to live. In your property!

10. Get Creative with Your Offers

Due to the popularity of homes in Las Vegas right now, you might need to get creative with your offers and your search in general if you want to snag the home of your dreams.

A couple of Vegas buyer tips:  

  • Offering to pay for the closing costs (don't ask the seller to credit you for closing costs)
  • Working with an experienced and highly networked real estate agent that is in the know about pocket and whisper listings.
  • Participating in a homebuyer education course
  • Be willing to offer over ask
  • If you are buying a property that you will be remodeling to the studs, consider buying with no contingencies and "as is."  This is only recommended if you have a builder contractor take a look at the property prior to writing an offer and you know what you're getting yourself into.

These are all small strategies that can help ensure your offer is the winning bid on your dream Las Vegas home. However, the idea, in general, is to just get as creative as you can.

Find any way to set yourself apart from other buyers and run with it.

11. Take Advantage of Nevada Taxes

Depending on where you currently reside, you’re likely tired of the state income tax. As a potentially new Nevada resident, you’ll definitely enjoy the lack of income taxes.

Yes, you heard that right. Moving to Las Vegas means that if you’re an individual or a corporation, then you won’t have to pay state income tax.

Property taxes in Clark County are current between about 2.5 and 3.5%. While this is a little bit higher than the San Diego County property taxes, it balances out when you factor in the lack of state income tax. 

And, you’ll also need to factor in the exemption programs for certain individuals living in Nevada. You might be exempt from paying property taxes if you’re a veteran or the spouse of a military member who died or is disabled.

On top of all of this, you’ll also be able to take advantage of the Nevada state sales tax of 4.6%. Compare this to California’s sales tax of 7.2% and you’ve got yourself all set to head off to Las Vegas and enjoy some desert money.

Buying a Home in Las Vegas is Easy

The most important thing you need to know about buying a home in Las Vegas is that it’s a pretty easy process. That is if you have the right team behind you.

It’s important to set a budget, figure out what kind of home you’re looking for, and then go into the process ready to make a deal.

If you’re considering buying property in Nevada, then make sure you’re ready to act fast and take advantage of the hot property market before it starts to cool down. 

Consider your options, look for the right real estate team to help you make the move, and get creative with how you’re prepping and presenting your offers. 

Ready to invest in Las Vegas real estate? Reach out today we are ready to help!

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