Las Vegas is indeed the city that never sleeps. It’s also a unique place in many ways. Not many people are natives. Las Vegas is a transient city with people coming and going, and it is always full of tourists.
If you are considering buying a house in Sin City, you first need to consider a few things.
The First Thing – How Much Home Can You Afford?
Regardless of how much the bank is willing to lend you, you are the only one who can determine how much you can really afford each month. A solid rule of thumb is 25-30 percent of your monthly income. For some people, 30 percent might be a stretch. Consider your other monthly expenses and how comfortable that mortgage payment will be to pay each month. Homes in Las Vegas are not cheap, so you need to shop around when selecting the perfect home for you and your family.
Culture Clash – Is it For You?
The colorful culture of Las Vegas may be an adjustment for some people. The economy is built on the entertainment industry, and you can walk around anywhere drinking an alcoholic beverage. Gambling, singing, dancing, and performing, numerous restaurants are going on all the time, all around you. Las Vegas is a vibrant city with bright lights with a lot going on all the time. It is also always under construction, and that is something to consider when commuting to and from work. Where you fit into all this action is something to think about.
However, Las Vegas also offers breathtaking vistas from the mountains, skydiving, snowboarding, and even helicopter tours. The winters even get cold. Living in the desert is not for everyone. It gets incredibly hot, and some days in the summer you cannot go outside.
The Work Situation – Job Market
The job market in Vegas is healthy, but it relies heavily on the service industry. Many bartenders and cocktail servers earn six-figure incomes annually. There is no shortage of money for those willing to work hard to earn it. However, if all the flash is not for you, there are plenty of desk jobs and management positions available, too. Las Vegas is full of opportunity for just about any career path you might be on.
The Las Vegas Housing Market
Although prices of Las Vegas homes are rising, there is a lot of inventory on the market. This excess could be great for buyers, but when it comes time to sell your home, it’s something you need to consider. As of last November, more than 7,000 houses were on the market in Las Vegas. That is 54 percent more than the previous year. So although you will have a lot to choose from, you also have to think about resale value and where the market is headed.
When determining your down payment, you have to balance attractiveness to lenders with closing, insurance, and living expenses. The cost of living in Las Vegas is not cheap. Everywhere you go, you have to tip people. You have to factor that in before laying down cash on a house in the city.
Final Thoughts Before You Buy
Along with the price of your Las Vegas bungalow, you have to consider taxes. Taxes and insurance can add a lot to your monthly mortgage payment. Check property records to see what the taxes are on a specific house before you make an offer.
Be sure to shop around for interest rates too. Even a small decrease in interest can save you thousands over the life of your loan.
Don’t forget about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). If your down payment is less than 20 percent, you will need to tack this expense onto your monthly budget also.
Vegas is growing in a big way. Both population and job markets are rising every year.
Living in Las Vegas can be exciting, fun, and a big adventure but you need to know what you are getting into before making that leap.