Your Guide to Moving to Las Vegas, NV: Tips, Secrets and Local Insights

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Brief Overview of Las Vegas

From showgirls to Cirque du Solei to the Statue of David, Vegas is unlike any other American city. No place in the nation more firmly or defiantly embraces the wild, the outrageous and the brazen than Sin City. Where else could you dine at the Eiffel Tower, float down the Grand Canal and pay tribute to the Statue of Liberty all within an hour?  

This city of 656,274 has seen rapid population growth since 2010, and newcomers flock here for the dry and sunny weather, the corporate job base – and sometimes the tantalizing dream of stardom — and the sprawling suburban communities that surround this unique city with its exotic — if manufactured — appeal.  

The encompassing terrain around Las Vegas is similarly alluring. The rippling red canyons and the sparkling waters of Lake Mead, the rocky scrambles in the La Madre Mountains and the Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert are almost irresistibly enchanting…if you can handle the heat of summer. 

Whether you’re thinking of moving to the Entertainment Capital of the World to escape New England winters or you’re just in search of a bold, new life (they don’t call it the Divorce Capital of America for nothing), read our guide to moving to Las Vegas below to get the ins and outs of this singular city. And why not learn a little more about life in the Silver State in our Moving Guide to Nevada

Benefits of Moving to Las Vegas

Job Opportunities and Economy

The job market isn’t exactly thriving in Las Vegas right now, with an unemployment rate of 5.5%, which currently exceeds the U.S. average by two points. Still, figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that Vegas usually runs hot when it comes to unemployment, and rates even burned into the double digits in the past ten years. The good news is that most Vegas industries have experienced growth over the past year, and any industry contractions have been minor.  

One of Vegas’ smallest industries — manufacturing — has seen the most growth, expanding by more than 13% this year. And only information endured a noticeable loss — 2.2% — less than what the sector suffered in other major Western metros.  

It should come as no surprise that in this tourism-centric city, the largest single nonfarm civilian sector in Las Vegas is leisure and hospitality, which employs 303,000 residents — more than a quarter of the workforce. This sector grew roughly 5% between 2022 and 2023, climbing above even pre-pandemic levels. Trade, transportation and utilities, the city’s second-largest base, now employs nearly 217,000 residents and professional and business services expanded by more than 7% to employ 176,800 workers.  

So, within these broader sectors, where do people work in Las Vegas? Naturally, the gaming industry itself is at the top of the employment game in Vegas, where Harrah’s Entertainment, MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming are all headquartered. Reno gives Vegas a bit of competition in this arena, and companies like Caesar’s are based there. But Las Vegas is also the main stage for footwear and apparel giant Zappos, Allegiant Airlines and Amerco (owner of U-Haul), and the city’s McCarran International Airport handles some of the greatest volume of air traffic on the planet.  

Tax-Friendly Environment 

Las Vegas households bring home an average of $68,905 per year, compared with the national average of $75,149, which makes it harder to avoid their higher-than-average expenses. Families in Vegas earn a median of $81,748 and married couples bring in $103,757, but non-family households take home only $45,786. 

The city and state offer several tax incentives to individuals and businesses, and those can offset some of the costs of living in Vegas, depending on how you prefer to pinch your pennies. There is no personal income tax in the state of Nevada, and the state also has a low property tax rate of 0.56%, but the effective tax rate in Las Vegas is 9.6%, which is how Nevada earns the state tax income necessary for it to function. The Tax Foundation ranks Las Vegas 7th in the nation for its business tax climate but only 18th for its overall tax burden. 

Please note: We are not tax experts and are not offering tax advice, other than you should consider obtaining additional information and advice from your legal and/or financial advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances. 

Challenges and Considerations About Living in Vegas

Climate and Weather

Las Vegas, known for its sunny climate, receives less than five inches of rain annually. Ranked among the top three sunniest cities in the U.S., it competes with Yuma, Arizona, and Redding, California. The cloudless skies and the desert air have long lured visitors looking to escape the cold and changeable weather of the coasts. But Vegas has its extremes, and those who can’t take the heat should heed that well-worn imperative — get out of the kitchen and into a casino.  

Summer in Vegas is no joke, with temperatures consistently surpassing 100 degrees in July and August. The dry heat, although different from humid places like Houston, can be overwhelming, especially with evening temperatures lingering in the 80s. June and September are also hot, but the 70s at night provide some relief. To survive, stay out of direct sunlight, wear breathable clothes, apply sunscreen, stay hydrated, and relax in a shaded pool, preferably with great cocktails. 

The rest of the year in Vegas is reliably mild. In the winter months, temperatures rarely even flirt with freezing, and highs climb into the 50s- 60s F. March and April have a true springtime feel, with lows in the 50s F and highs in the 70s F, and October and November give residents a taste of crisp fall weather. You might be surprised how many pumpkin patches there are around Sin City, but everyone — even Vegas residents — needs a break from the high-octane debauchery of the Strip.  

Cost of Living 

The cost of living in Las Vegas is something of a mixed bag. Compared to the national average, Las Vegas costs a bit more for housing, transportation, food and personal insurance/pensions, so those trips to the grocery store will drain more from your bank account, as will your utility bills.   

The median home value in Las Vegas is now $365,000, and compared with the U.S. average of $281,900, that sounds like a lot. But real estate costs in Vegas are less than what you’d pay in other major cities in Nevada, like nearby Henderson, Reno or Carson City. Compared to nearby Southwestern cities, Vegas is far more expensive than Albuquerque but comparable to Phoenix. But, when you look at prices in L.A. and San Diego, where houses average between $700,000 and $900,000, Vegas seems reasonable for a busy city.  

Rent in Vegas is also only slightly elevated above national levels, with Sin City residents paying $1,356 per month compared to $1,268 nationally. 

Local Insights and Tips for Settling in Las Vegas

Community and Neighborhood

Downtown Vegas is filled with trendy condos, lofts and high-rise apartments. If you are looking to live farther away from the action, pleasant suburbs await in North Las Vegas, Henderson, Paradise and beyond.  

To the west of the city, Summerlin is a coveted address next to the Red Rock Canyon. Spacious and well-appointed single-family homes are the norm in this tiny, residential area, where good schools, great entertainment and dining amenities and well-manicured landscapes keep home values well above the Vegas norm. Most of the homes are Summerlin are new construction, and the sprawling district has a strong California vibe. Summerlin South has a median household income of $110,911 and nearly half of all residents have earned a college degree or higher.  

Just a stone’s throw from Summerlin, The Lakes is a planned community with a true resort vibe. The acres of waterways create a South Floridian atmosphere, and if you live dockside, you might just pop into your boat to meet a friend at their place for dinner or paddle on over to the tennis courts to get in a couple of power sets on your work-from-home lunch hour. The Lakes were designed to be an all-inclusive community, but you can easily access all the other amenities in Summerlin and beyond. Many of the homes here were originally built in the ‘80s and ‘90s, which can feel a little dated by Vegas standards.  

Southwest of the city, Sovana is a part of the larger Spring Valley area, which has a similar demographic composition to Vegas, but there is a larger Asian American community here, and residents are only a few miles from Chinatown and the Las Vegas Strip. Real estate in Sovana varies from stucco single families with Spanish tile roofs to contemporary row house-style units and comfortable, modest apartments. The Eagle Valley Reservoir provides ample outdoor space for recreation and a respite from city life.  

Note: If you’re planning to move to Las Vegas, it’s important to thoroughly research the neighborhoods and areas in the city you might be interested in living. Before you decide where you are going to reside, make sure you understand the neighborhood’s cost of living, commute time, tax rates, safety statistics and schooling information. 

Entertainment and Lifestyle

When you live in the entertainment capital of the known universe, at least some of your free time will be spent patronizing the establishments that put Vegas on the map and keep it there: the MGM Sphere, the fountain at the Bellagio (no vault heist required for viewing), dinner at the Eiffel Tower replica, a burlesque show at the Luxor or Wayne Newton at the Flamingo. But the city is, of course, more than just casinos and entertainment venues on the Las Vegas Strip.  

For a look at Vegas’ more recent (and sordid history), a visit to the Mob Museum is certainly in order, but the Atomic Testing Museum is also eerily eye-opening.  

When you want an off-the-wall experience in Vegas, visit Meow Wolf, the mind-blowing second location of this art-immersive adventure. Meow Wolf Vegas takes the big box store as its backdrop, but visitors are encouraged to not just peek behind the curtain here, but to travel through dimension-bending portals…by way of the freezer section. You never really know what might be lurking behind the sprinklers in the produce aisle, either.  

If your energy for the eccentric is still flowing, check out the other attractions at Area15 — the Haley’s Comet Zipline, the Birdly flight simulator or the LIFTOFF Sky Ride. 

Local Secrets and Hidden Gems

You may not think of Vegas as a place to get outdoors, but the mountains and desert landscape surrounding this oasis of excess beg to be explored. You can trade the slot machines for slot canyons and 750 miles of shoreline at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This enormous manmade body of water was formed by the creation of the Hoover Dam. Visitors to Lake Mead can swim, boat and fish from the mile-wide, sparkling basin.  

The mountains of the Mojave Desert make for enchanting (if arduous) hiking and camping but do watch out for the park’s resident scorpions and snakes, and be sure to carry plenty of water, especially in the height of summer. The Owl Canyon Trail is one of our favorites, as the trek through the towering canyon walls can transport you to another realm in under three hours.  

If you’re into hiking, climbing, and mountain biking, head to Red Rock Canyon, just 20 minutes away. Book an astronomy hike for a special nighttime adventure. 

Vegas is also within driving distance of two of the most astonishing places in the country: Grand Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park, and Lake Tahoe is only about seven hours north, so when you need a real getaway, don’t forget about these not-too-distant wonders.  

If you want a little more structure to your outdoor adventure, Springs Preserve combines the educational entertainment of a botanical garden with a natural history and living history museum. Kids will love the train rides, splash pads and flash flood simulator, and everyone will learn about the history of the city, starting with prehistoric times.  

If you only have time for a short Sunday drive, take everyone out to see Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains on Interstate 15. These Stonehenge-size, fluorescent cairns beckon visitors to this remote desert outpost with an inimitable allure. Fans of the bright and artificially illuminated will no doubt also enjoy a trip to the Neon Museum, where good signs are lovingly put out to pasture. Just off the Strip, Nancy Rubins’ Big Edge — built from hundreds of retired watercraft — floats like a windborne blossom. At the same time, Tim Bavington’s Pipe Dream gives Aaron Copelands’ composition “Fanfare for the Common Man” a colorful, physical reality.  

Resources and Tips for Moving to Las Vegas 

Wishing you could find pro tips on the best way to plan for your move to Las Vegas? Well, you can! Check out our guide to hiring the best movers, which will help you understand how a moving quote is calculated, as well as the moving process.  

Get a moving quote for Las Vegas from Mayflower. 

As America’s Most Trusted Mover, Mayflower can help you relocate to Vegas from anywhere in the country. Working with a trusted moving company like Mayflower takes the hassle out of cross-country moves to Nevada. Our customized, full-service moving packages cover all your moving needs.

Making a local move to Las Vegas? Mayflower’s interstate movers can in Nevada and Las Vegas help you move locally under their businesses and brands. 

Moving to Sin City on your own? Avoid common pitfalls of moving by consulting Mayflower’s helpful moving resources, which offer advice to keep your move on track, on budget and on time with packing tips, moving checklists and area guides.

Our Moving Guide to Nevada will give you an inside look at life in the Silver State, including specialized information about living in a non-coastal Western state.  

Get a quote today on moving to Las Vegas

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