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The 9th Island – Calling Las Vegas Home!

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LAS VEGAS!!! Why do so many of us Hawaii residents dream of, yearn for, and down right love Las Vegas? What is it about that place? While many just think of Las Vegas as a vacation destination more and more are calling it home. It is called the 9th island for a reason! Believe it or not, beyond the buffets and gamblers paradise, Las Vegas has qualities that make it a great place to live and invest in. Let’s discuss those reasons!

First, before I get to the list I must confess, I once was the Hawaii girl that left the islands behind. Living my whole life on O’ahu, growing up on the beach in the small country town of Waialua, graduating from UH Manoa, and just ankle deep into both my teaching career and my relationship, it was then that we started our house hunt. Low and behold, let’s skip to the chase just as fast as it took us to skip to the conclusion that we would not be buying our home on O’ahu. Imagine, this is in 2004 when we could have bought a brand new Mililani home in the $300,000s. In hindsight, I want to kick myself for not doing so and building double that in equity alone, but for a first time homebuyer the prices at the time were daunting. However, in all honesty, what we viewed as a massive mortgage payment at the time was not the only reason we decided to move to Las Vegas. Vegas was our vacation destination and what better than to live permanently in a vacation!? Housing prices were tens of thousands cheaper than those we were considering in Hawaii, they were twice the size, twice as upgraded, and new home construction was booming with an abundance of homes to choose from. I think you can put it all together from here! We found our match, purchased it, and moved to Vegas. We spent 7 wonderful years living in our vacation. Then we got older, had started a family, and as many of us locals do, we returned home to the islands and to family 7 years later.

Although we have been back in Hawaii for over 6 years Vegas has gone back to being our vacation spot and after having lived there will always hold a special place in our hearts. Our home there is now a rental that we plan to return to one far out day in retirement. Fortunately, my career in real estate and being licensed in both Nevada and Hawaii allows me the opportunity to travel between the two and work both markets.

With all that said, it may have been more than you’d like to know but I wanted to lay a foundation, give myself some credibility, and also show that I too went through it. I left the islands for the experience and to own a home.

Let’s get to this list shall we…in no particular order, here are 10 reasons to call Vegas home:

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1. Legalized Gambling

I said in no particular order, but I think this one takes the cake. Those slot machines and card tables seem to have a gravitational pull on these islands. I myself am not a gambler; I’d rather spend it on something tangible instead of seeing it disappear into thin air. That is an opinion that I know many others don’t share, those that can’t resist the adrenaline rush and temptation to win it big! Sports book or video poker, whatever your taste, gamble morning, noon, and night.

2. Affordability

Cost of living in Las Vegas is much lower than that of Hawaii. The current median price of a single family home in Hawaii is $766,750, while in Vegas it’s right at $300,000. A gallon of milk averages $2.89 while the same in Hawaii lands at about $5.49. One more to mention is healthcare, with a wider variety of health insurers and options one will find health insurance premiums to be almost half of what one would pay in Hawaii. You’ll find lower prices in Vegas for almost everything.

3. Weather

Depending on your opinion, this can be a pro or con. Vegas experiences over 300 days of sunshine per year with low humidity levels. The extreme heat that goes along with a lot of those sunny days is left to perspective. However, winters in the desert are considered quite mild. When snow flurries fall people run out in excitement to experience the rare event. If you love warmth, this desert oven may be your match made in heaven.

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4. Entertainment

I did mention legalized gambling, right? Although it’s the most obvious, it is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the entertainment this city has to offer. World class venues and endless accommodations, Vegas is the supreme hosting location for anything and everything. From major headliner entertainers, shows, concerts, sporting events, award shows, conventions, festivals, there are always multiple things going on in Vegas. Plus dining options galore and let’s not leave out shopping from high end to outlet malls. There’s something for everyone.

5. Opportunities

Las Vegas is a hospitality mecca which in itself offers an abundance of job opportunities. However, with an over 2 million population encompassing the main cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, and other surrounding areas, the job possibilities are endless. Companies big and small, commercial and industrial, you name it have all flocked to Vegas to set up shop.

6. No State Income Tax

Don’t need to emphasize on much more here. Gambling revenue fuels much of what a state income tax would cover. Keep more income to gamble with. (That might be an oxymoron)

7. 24 Hour City

Referred to as the city that never sleeps. It’s not just the resorts and casinos that stay open 24 hours 365 days a year, but most grocery stores, fast food restaurants, bars, and pubs throughout the residential areas also operate 24/7. In the mood for a steak dinner at 2am?

Photo by Michael Rodock on Unsplash

8. Beauty & Outdoor Activities

Vegas is not only glitz and glamour. With only a short travel outside of the city you have Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, and Mt Charleston to name a few. The beauty of the desert can be enjoyed by a multitude of hiking trails, picnic/camping/RV sites, and ski resorts that are only a drive away.

Photo by Michael Browning on Unsplash

9. Foodies’ Paradise

While I put gambling in the #1 spot, the food and eateries are a force to be reckoned with. Fine dining, restaurants of the stars, all you can eat buffets, chain restaurants, fast food joints, one of a kind restaurants, and hole in the walls are available for every pallet and are so plentiful that I don’t think one could cover them all in a lifetime.

10. Education

Vegas is a transient town with a rapidly growing population. Those reasons alone create education challenges, but Clark County School District has done a stand up job in managing that and providing quality public education. Aside from your standard public education, there are a variety of education options including charter and private facilities. There are a number of early childhood care options able to fill the evergrowing demand. Also, higher education options are widely available and include the well known UNLV, private and community colleges, and trade schools for culinary, medical, and hair and beauty, to name a few.

Want to Know More?

That concludes the list of 10 great reasons to call Vegas home. It truly is an amazing place. If you are thinking of moving to or investing in this spectacular city or it’s surrounding areas I would love to help and be a resource. With rising prices in Hawaii many are turning to the affordability of Vegas. With the stabilization of the Vegas housing market over the past few years and constant and steady rise in home values many have regained confidence in real estate there. Whether it be a residence, a rental, or a vacation home for those frequent visits to the 9th island, I work with a team of professionals located in Vegas that can help with home buying, selling, and property management. If you have a home to sell in Hawaii and are relocating to Vegas, I can help get that home sold and coordinate a seamless transition with your new home purchase. Or if you live in Vegas and are looking to relocate or return home to Hawaii and need help with selling and/or buying, please don’t hesitate to contact me for help in making that happen.

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