Compared to other places in the United States, Nevada is an expensive place to live. But exactly how much more expensive is the cost of living there compared to the national average?
No matter where you choose to live in Nevada, there are multiple factors and costs you need to consider to project your total cost of living. Whether you’re relocating to Nevada from another state or simply switching cities, it’s important to understand what impacts the cost of living in your town to guarantee you can afford to live there.
Your best bet is to work with a local real estate agent. They can be a valuable resource in helping you calculate how much house you can afford, set realistic expectations for your home buying journey, and consider the ongoing living expenses specific to your area.
Typical Home Prices in Nevada in 2019
One of the biggest telltale signs of Nevada’s higher cost of living is the value of its homes. According to May data from Zillow, Nevada’s median home value is $293,500, which is significantly higher than the national median of $226,800. Nevada’s real estate market has cooled down in recent years as far as sales, but values remain high.
In general, home values have increased by 9.2% in 2018 alone and are expected to climb by another 3.7% within the next year. For current homeowners, this is great news that builds confidence and value in their home investments. However, valuable real estate usually means paying a higher price for it, which could make it difficult for newcomers to find a good deal.
However, it’s important to remember that each city and market within Nevada has its own dynamics. For example, cities like Elko and Las Vegas have median home values that are below the state’s median, while hot spots like Reno are higher.
Like all real estate markets, Nevada’s market is affected by seasonality. Nevada summers are hot, which is also when the real estate market slows since most people don’t want to tour homes in the heat. This could work in the buyer’s favor, though, since they won’t have as much competition and homeowners won’t be receiving as many offers.
If you time the market just right, you could end up with a great home for a lower price than you think.
How Much Are Nevada Property Taxes?
As a Nevada homeowner, you’ll have to pay annual property taxes on your home. The effective tax rate in Nevada is 0.77%, which is below the national average of 1.19%. However, the actual rate depends on the county where you live.
For example, for residents in Las Vegas (Clark County), the tax rate is 0.996%, so on a home with the median value of $293,800, you’d pay $2,923.26 in property taxes each year. Compare this to Reno (Washoe County) where the tax rate is 0.888%, and that same home would only cost $2,606.28 in property taxes.
It pays to do your homework on your local market to see how ongoing expenses like property taxes stack up. In some cases, you may find that living one county over from where you want to be could save you some serious cash each year in taxes alone.
Average Homeowners Insurance in Nevada
Unless you’re paying cash for your home, your lender will require you to maintain homeowners insurance on your home so they can protect their investment. But even if you’re not required to have insurance, it’s still a good idea. Nevada is prone to natural disasters like landslides or wildfires that could leave you homeless.
The good news is that Nevada homeowners insurance averages about $703 per year, which is about 43% below the national average rate. The actual rate will depend on a variety of factors, including the insurance provider, claims history, home size, and the city where your home is located. In general, larger homes will cost more to insure.
It pays to shop around to find the best rates. Many insurance providers will offer discounts if you bundle other insurance services with them. Also, you may be able to reduce your bill if you have home security features, a good credit history, or don’t make any claims within a given time period. Don’t be afraid to ask your provider about discounts or what you can do to lower your rate.
Common Home Maintenance and Repair Costs in Nevada
If you rented a home in the past, you never had to worry about coming up with the money for repairs or renovations. But when you buy a home in Nevada, those expenses will fall to you.
It’s good practice to put away money each month specifically for repairs, as things like appliance failures or roof leaks can happen unexpectedly and need to be taken care of right away. Having an emergency fund will ensure you have the money when you need it so you don’t have to take out a loan.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much you need to save to pay the cost of homeownership, since there are hundreds of things that could break, fail, or otherwise need replacing at any given time.
In general, here are a few major costs you’ll want to consider:
- New roof: $5,000-$10,200
- Installing new plumbing: $350 for small sections and $15,000 for all new plumbing pipes
- Installing a new furnace: up to $7,000
- Installing a new air conditioner: up to $7,250
- Toilet installation: $525
- Exterior paint: $1400-$4,000
- Interior paint: $975-$2,750
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it should give you the idea that home repairs in any capacity aren’t cheap. Your real estate agent can better guide you on what repairs cost in your specific market.
Other Costs of Living in Nevada to Consider
Aside from major home expenses, you’ll also need to consider other costs of living. You’ll need electricity and water, both of which might be more expensive than what you’re paying now. Typically, the larger the home the more expensive these costs will be. Nevada’s hot summers will keep your AC unit running constantly, so expect a spike in your energy bills during the spring, summer, and even early fall.
Also, you’ll likely need a car to get around your town. Most cities in Nevada don’t have a strong public transportation system, so you’ll need your own vehicle, car insurance, and gas money.
Also, things like food, entertainment, and everyday items can vary in price. If possible, look at the grocery stores in your unique market to see what you might end up paying for food and staple items each week.
Find a Top Nevada Real Estate Agent
The cost of living in Nevada may be higher than many other states, but don’t let that stop you from finding your new home sweet home here. The state has a lot to offer in terms of jobs, economic reliability, and quality of life, which can help to justify the higher cost of living.
Knowing how much home you can truly afford is an important part of the home buying process and your local real estate agent is the best resource to help you weigh your options. Your agent not only helps you find your dream property in Nevada but can also help you calculate your total cost of living and make a savvy financial decision.
And, since the sellers pay all commissions, you’re essentially getting their services for free.
Let Clever introduce you to a top-rated real estate agent in your chosen Nevada market. Our Partner Agents give you the same services and expertise as a traditional agent, along with a $1,000 Home Buyer Rebate that you can use to pay for moving expenses, closing costs, or even your down payment to buy your home.