20 Things to Know Before Moving to Las Vegas

Quick Facts

Founded in: 1905

Population: Approx. 560,000

Just the mention of the words Las Vegas tend to conjure up images of flashing neon lights, scantily-clad women and slot machines. However, while these images can be rather exciting, they hardly represent what living in Las Vegas is truly like (unless, of course, you plan on moonlighting as a showgirl). Your move to Las Vegas will be significantly easier if you have a realistic vision of what it's like to live there and if you understand the true city instead of just the nightlife. Below is some information that can make your acclimation to Las Vegas as easy as possible.

Climate

Because Las Vegas is located in the Mojave Desert, the city experiences short, mild winters and hot summers where the temperature frequently rises above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The city receives very little rain each year, so you may want to ask your Las Vegas movers whether it's truly necessary to bring your umbrella or rain boots.

Housing

The average cost of a home in Las Vegas is about $200,000. You may want to consider renting when you first move to Las Vegas, as rentals in the city are extremely affordable, and this will give you time to find the perfect neighborhood. A 1-bedroom rental apartment costs approximately $720/month, while a home with 3 or more bedrooms can cost $1100/month or more.

Las Vegas offers a myriad of housing options, from family-oriented neighborhoods to retirement communities. Over 550 neighborhoods make up the city of Las Vegas, leaving sufficient options for families, individuals and those with specific housing preferences. In addition, many suburbs of Las Vegas are connected to the city by the RTC Transit bus system, so if you're concerned about public transportation options, you can surely find a neighborhood that will be easily accessible.

Economy

The cost of living in Las Vegas is about 3.8% higher than the national average cost of living. Gas prices cost around $2.80/gallon, which is shockingly cheaper than the price of gas in other large cities such as Seattle, where gas costs about $3.89/gallon. It is hardly surprising that the bulk of Las Vegas' income comes from tourism, the gaming industry and construction, which, until recently, was an industry that was growing exponentially to meet rising housing needs. Although the construction industry has been hindered in recent years, forecasters hope for a revival as the US economy rights itself.

Crime Rate

Contrary to what you may see on the big screen, the crime rate in Las Vegas is not among the worst in the nation. In fact, if you're moving to Las Vegas, you should be relieved to know that as of 2008, Las Vegas ranked 41st for murders and non-negligent manslaughter (in the whole country), 40th for burglary and 24th for total property crime. You may, however, want to steer clear of Henderson, NV, a nearby neighborhood whose crime rates are significantly higher.

Sports and Entertainment

Las Vegas has perhaps the most bustling nightlife of any United States city, if you enjoy taking in late-night shows or heading to the casinos. However, after you've been living in Las Vegas for a while, the pull of the casinos may diminish (as you realize the expense of the gambling), and you may begin searching for other evening activities. Unlike other large cities, Las Vegas hosts no major league sports teams. The city does, however, host many annual boxing fights. Alternatively, if you prefer playing sports instead of just watching them, you can take advantage of the city's dozens of golf courses and a plethora of family-friendly hikes that are located in close range of the city.

In addition to gambling, many of the local hotels host interesting (and often famous) shows, from Cirque du Soleil to CS: The Experience at the MGM Grand Hotel. You can also enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the city's nearly 4,000 restaurants.

Las Vegas may be known as Sin City, but when you move to Las Vegas you'll see that there are many wonderful opportunities besides the obvious. With great weather, affordable housing and unparalleled entertainment venues, you're sure to love living in Las Vegas.

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