Is Los Angeles’ high cost of living stressing your paycheck – and you? Overall, Las Vegas is 45% less expensive than LA. Ready for even more savings? Las Vegas housing prices are 152% lower than in Los Angeles – so now, the dream of owning a home can become a reality.
In addition to affordability, your Las Vegas lifestyle can be as exciting or relaxed as you want. If you’re into big-city urban thrills, Las Vegas is the epicenter of buzzing nightlife, fine dining, and 24/7 entertainment. Prefer a family-oriented lifestyle in the suburbs? Welcoming neighborhoods with tons of activities for kids are waiting for you. But before you say, “I’m ready!” let’s dive in to see what a move from Los Angeles to Las Vegas would look like.
What to Know About Moving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
Before you pack up and make your way to Sin City, there are some things you should consider.
Housing and Cost of Living
The median home price in Las Vegas as of Summer 2020 is $273,200 – 152% lower than LA’s $689,500 median. In Las Vegas, home appreciation grew 51% over the past ten years compared to 34% in LA. Maybe you’d like to rent as you transition from Los Angeles. A two-bedroom home or apartment averages $1,120 per month whereas in LA, the same size rental averages $2,000.
Moving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas will lower your cost of living by 45%, mainly because housing is so much cheaper. Probably the only expense that will be higher will be utilities. Your bill will be about 9% higher than in LA because you’ll be enjoying your air conditioner from mid-April to the end of October. Food, groceries, and health costs will be similar to what you pay in LA. The overall family median income in the US averages $70,850. In LA, it’s $61,092, and in Las Vegas, it’s a fraction higher at $62,786.
Moving to Las Vegas from LA means your savings will just keep on keepin’ on. Your Las Vegas sales tax will be 8.38% – over a percent lower than LA’s 9.5% sales tax.
Las Vegas is in Clark County, where the property tax rate is 0.705%. On a home valued at $250,000, your annual property tax bill would be $1,763. Property taxes in Los Angeles are a fraction higher at 0.793%, but considering that homes are more expensive in SoCal, you’re probably leaving behind a higher tax bill.
If you move to Las Vegas, forget about having to pay state taxes on your earnings; Nevada doesn’t levy a state income tax.
Transportation and Traffic
Las Vegas traffic doesn’t hold a candle to LA’s jam-packed eight lanes of rush-hour congestion. Las Vegas traffic actually moves. However, just like in LA, Las Vegas has limited public transportation, so residents rely on their cars to get around town, commute, and head out for recreation. The Las Vegas RTC city bus system is dubbed The Deuce.
Both your transportation costs and time spent commuting will be lower In Las Vegas. Transportation costs are 29% lower than in LA, and your commute will be an average of 25 minutes one way instead of LA’s 31 minutes.
Weather and Climate
Adjusting to Las Vegas’ eight months of heat may require some time, but you’ll figure out how to mitigate the discomfort with hydration, hats, sunscreen, shade, and air conditioning. The average July high is a dry 104 °F, almost 20 degrees hotter than LA’s July high. And in this desert environment, only four inches of rainfall moisten the city annually.
Winter temps come as a relief. But you’ll keep your hats and shades handy because winter days are sunny and bright. Average January highs run 58 and lows drop down to 39, about 10 degrees colder than LA winters. Every few years, storms can bring a slight flurry of snow that melts as soon as it hits the ground.
Economy and Job Growth
Las Vegas’ recent job growth was 3.5% compared to the meager 0.7% in LA. Forecasts predict the next ten years’ job growth to be 39% in Las Vegas and 35% in LA.
Top employment sectors in LA include financial services, technology, education, and entertainment. As you can imagine, the primary employment sectors in the Entertainment Capital of the World are gaming, tourism, and convention-related jobs.
However, with no corporate state tax, Las Vegas has successfully diversified its economy by attracting a range of businesses. High-tech, health, retail, and a variety of companies now enjoy Las Vegas’ business-friendly environment. For example, Zappos has moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Las Vegas; Allegiant Air and Planet 13 Holdings, the world’s largest cannabis dispensary, are both headquartered in Las Vegas as well.
LA and Las Vegas are both located in basins bounded by mountains toward the northwest to the northeast. In both cities, the surrounding mountains offer an array of recreation opportunities.
LA sits at an elevation of about 292 feet while Las Vegas is at 2,030 feet. The Pacific Ocean, with its coves, beaches, and natural deep harbor, is a distinctive contrast to Las Vegas’ arid landscape. However, water sports are hugely popular at Lake Mead, just 30 minutes east of downtown Las Vegas.
Although many LA and LV homeowners enjoy lawns, shrubs, and trees, both cities encourage conserving water resources. Las Vegas restricts daily water consumption per resident, so although trees are a feature of some of the older neighborhoods, you’ll see more and more desert landscaping as xeriscaping becomes more and more popular. Will the city’s 34 golf courses be next?
Culture, Diversity, and Demographics
You live among 4,000,000 people in the City of Angels, but Las Vegas is home to only about 662,000 residents. Just keep in mind that the Las Vegas Valley metro area has over 2,000,000 people, and the LA metro area is home to 12,447,000. In the past 20 years, the Las Vegas population blossomed by 30%, while LA’s growth was just 7%. Density in Las Vegas, at 4,670 people per square mile, is about half that of LA’s 8,400.
Ethnic diversity takes on a different configuration in Las Vegas than in LA. The ratio in Las Vegas is 44% White compared to LA’s 28%, 33% Hispanic compared to LA’s 49%, 12% African American compared to LA’s 8.6%, and 6.5% Asian compared to 11.5% in LA.
Between gambling and the arts, Las Vegas offers the gamut of cultural options. Yes, the city is known for its casino culture (with the most extensive strip of land-based casinos on the planet), but it has so much more. The Downtown Arts District hosts events like the monthly “First Friday” with music, arts, and food plus special presentations. The world-class Smith Center for the Performing Arts offers Broadway shows, ballet, orchestral, opera, jazz, choir, and dance performances.
Crime rates are higher in Las Vegas than in LA. The tourist areas of most cities see higher crime than residential areas, and Las Vegas is no different.
LA violent crime is 29 compared to the Las Vegas rate of 41. LA property crime is 35 compared to 42 in Las Vegas. For comparison, the overall US rate for violent crime is 23/100 and 35/100 for property crime.
Be sure to check online crime maps, such as this one, for the crime rates in your desired neighborhood.
In general, Las Vegas public schools don’t receive particularly high ratings. However, the neighborhoods outlined in the ‘Best Neighborhoods’ section of this guide all feature highly rated schools. Click on ‘find out more’ after each neighborhood to see the school ratings. Also, Greatschools.org is a popular rating resource (use the drop-down to sort how schools are rated), while Zillow’s school reviews give a slightly different picture.
Best Neighborhoods in Las Vegas
Living in Vegas doesn’t mean you have to live in the shadow of The Strip. Here are some of the most attractive neighborhoods in town.
Sun City Summerlin
About twenty minutes northwest of Downtown, Sun City Summerlin has about 12,500 residents and requires that at least one occupant of each household be at least 55 years young. Zipping along by golf cart to the clubhouses, restaurants, five pools, or three golf courses is a popular past time. Sun City Summerlin is Nevada’s and Las Vegas’ number one neighborhood. Click here to learn more.
About 14,557 residents live in Kyle Canyon, one of Las Vegas’ younger neighborhoods where the median age is 30 compared to 37 in greater Las Vegas. Many of the contemporary single-family homes have pools and entertainment patios. Neighborhood restaurants serve a variety of cuisines. Both the elementary and high schools are rated 9/10. Get more information about Kyle Canyon here.
The Tule Springs population is close to 20,000, and like Kyle Canyon and Sun City Summerlin, this neighborhood is about 20 to 25 minutes northwest of Downtown. Life in this suburban neighborhood is enough removed from Las Vegas’ bright lights and excitement to provide serenity and friendly neighbors. Find out more about Tule Springs here.
The Summerlin master-planned communities include Summerlin North, an affluent neighborhood with nine golf courses. Unlike Sun City Summerlin, there is no age restriction for Summerlin North residents. The schools are top-rated, and amenities are plentiful. Homes, many with pools, are generally large and modern. Learn more about Summerlin North.
The Lakes is a popular neighborhood about a 20-minute drive southwest of Downtown. Playgrounds and highly rated schools make The Lakes an excellent choice for families, but it’s also a top-rated neighborhood for young professionals. Considered Las Vegas’s most diverse community, The Lakes has a dense suburban feel. Here’s where you can find out more.
Closer to Downtown than the previous five neighborhoods, Pioneer Park is home to about 15,000 residents. Walking trails connect several parks and give the area a quiet suburban feel. Homes are affordable, and the average rent is under $1,000 per month. Want to know more about Pioneer Park?
A newer development, Centennial Hills is a master-planned community with about 45,680 residents. In addition to single-family homes, housing is also available in townhomes and larger acreage ranch-style properties. Homes range in price from $217,000 to $3,000,000. Children are well-served by the highly-rated public schools. Check out more about Centennial Hills here.
Angel Park Lindell
You can have the best of both worlds in Angel Park Lindell. The median home price is $153,210, and the neighborhood is rated as the #8 best neighborhood in Las Vegas. Conveniently located just 15 minutes west of Downtown, Angel Park Lindell has highly rated public schools and plenty of handy amenities. Care to learn more about Angel Park Lindell?
Cost of Moving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
On average, it costs about $2000-$3000 to move from LA to Las Vegas. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about 270 miles across state lines. The total cost of your move will depend on several variables, including your origin and destination zip codes, the time of year you’re moving, the size of your household, and which services you require. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by scheduling an in-home or virtual (no contact) walkthrough with a licensed and insured interstate mover. Get free moving quotes from the best Los Angeles to Las Vegas movers now!