Where Americans Are Moving This Spring: Wanna Gamble a Guess?


Spring brings out the moving trucks en masse, as people start itching for a change of scenery. And new research suggests that one state is raking in new residents more than any other: Nevada.

That’s according to ATTOM’s Pre-Mover Housing Index, which compared the number of residential mortgage applications with the total number of single-family homes in a given area during the first quarter of 2018 (so, January through March). Basically, a higher mortgage-to-housing inventory ratio means more people are slated to be moving to the area within the next 90 days. That means Nevada, scoring the highest of all states, should expect a whole lot of newcomers from April through June. Nevada was followed by Delaware, Florida, Colorado, and Virginia.

Granted, Nevada (and its glittery epicenter, Las Vegas) is a fun place to visit—to, say, play some slots or blackjack before you bail (typically with less cash than you had going in). But why are more and more people deciding to stick around?

According to local real estate experts, there’s a lot more to Nevada than all-you-can-eat buffets, craps tables, and Celine Dion. Let us count all the reasons why Nevada’s an increasingly popular place to live.

Low taxes and cost of living

First off, who are all these Nevada-bound home buyers? According to real estate agents, the latest wave is dominated by a mix of cash-strapped millennials and well-off retirees, both of whom are drawn to the low cost of living that Nevada provides in a variety of ways—starting with low state taxes.

“A large number of home buyers that are moving from out of state into Nevada, specifically Las Vegas, are moving here primarily because of our favorable tax structure,” says Arnée Dodd, a real estate agent at Keller Williams Southwest, in Las Vegas.

Namely, Nevada residents pay no income tax; meanwhile businesses bask in a favorable environment with a low payroll tax and no inventory or franchise tax (hmmm, maybe that’s why Amazon just built a new warehouse here).

Most of the home buyers Dodd’s seeing are moving from New York City, Chicago, Oregon, and (most of all) California—the last of which makes particular sense given these states are next-door neighbors.

“Many are ‘tax refugees’ who move to Nevada from California to escape the high taxes,” says Jason Hartman, president of Platinum Properties Investment Network. “If you stay away from the casinos, Las Vegas is a very inexpensive place to live.”

New businesses (and jobs)

A recent influx of new businesses and sports teams has also turned Nevada into more of a magnet.

“We’re seeing the impact of the new Raiders Stadium, the Golden Knights, the Las Vegas Aces WNBA team, and Amazon’s new fulfillment warehouse in North Las Vegas,” Dodd says. “All of these new jobs are bringing with them existing employees that will be relocating, and residents from other states to fill these new positions, making Las Vegas an attractive destination.”

And it’s not just Las Vegas, but also Reno, which bills itself “The biggest lilttle city in the world,” and nearby Sparks that are all seeing fast-paced growth.

“Now Reno is booming, too,” explains California developer Tyler Drew. As for Sparks, “When Elon Musk said that’s where the Gigafactory would be built [to create lithium-ion batteries to power Tesla cars], companies and people flocked to that otherwise sleepy town.”

Cheap homes

Last but not least? The houses in Nevada are bargains—and plentiful due to tons of construction.

“This is a city that invests in itself—never have I seen so much construction in a city not for repair, but for forward expansion,” says Nevada resident Alex Felice from BrokeIsAChoice.com. In addition to residential homes, “Las Vegas is working on roads now, widening them for future growth over the next 10 years.”

Currently, according to realtor.com/local, the median price of homes in Las Vegas is $275,000. Compare that with San Francisco’s median of $1.3 million, and you could easily live in Vegas and fly to work in S.F. and still end up ahead (by as much as $1,124 a month by one account).

“Part of this is a symptom of California’s housing crisis issues,” Drew says. “Do you have an education? Skills? Can afford a home that’s $500,000 but not $800,000 for your family? Nevada is a smart option. The California exodus for millennials is very real, and Nevada is reaping the benefits.”

In addition to having cheaper homes, programs exist in Nevada to make them even more affordable through financial assistance.

“Incentive programs for first-time home buyers, like the Home Is Possible down payment assistance program, have also been a catalyst for people moving to Nevada,” Dodd says.

So, deals abound—come ‘n’ get ’em now! Because these bargains may not last for long.

“Real estate prices here are growing fast due to this demand,” says Felice. “If you want to move to Nevada, the time is immediately, as prices are going up daily and there seems to be no end in sight.”

Sounds like a pretty good wager to us.

The post Where Americans Are Moving This Spring: Wanna Gamble a Guess? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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