You can get twice the house for less than half the price in Vegas
- Median income is about the same
- Cash in your California equity
- Reduce monthly housing costs
By Hal DeKeyser
Why are people leaving California for Vegas? Let’s start with the money, because that’s the driving force for most.
The West Coast is an enormously more expensive place to live than Las Vegas in most things in life, but the two huge areas where that rears its hideous head are California housing costs and taxes. We’ll get into the latter in other blogs.
According to Zillow, the median home value in LA is $633,400. In San Francisco, it’s $1,236,700 and a relatively inexpensive $586,800 in San Diego. That’s the prices at writing, and they seem to grow to the sky there.
In Las Vegas, it’s $227,000.
That means you could have the same house in Las Vegas for $369,000 less than the cheapest big city in California. Or to put it another way, you could buy two houses in Las Vegas for the cost of one in San Diego and have $132,000 left over.
That spread between LA and LV is more than $400,000, and in San Francisco you’d pay more than $1 million more for the median house than in Las Vegas.
These are 2017 numbers, and it’s cheaper to live in California away from the Coast and big cities. But then you might as well be in the desert and paying a lot less. Think Barstow or El Centro.
See the entire DumpCal blog series
- 10-plus reasons to Dump California for Vegas
- DumpCal Reason 1 — California housing costs are 2½-5 times Vegas’
- DumpCal Reason 2 — California income taxes are U.S. highest; Nevada, the lowest (as in NO state tax)
- DumpCal Reason 3: — California property taxes are 2½-5 times higher
- DumpCal Reason 5 – Vegas things to do are easier, cheaper, and plentiful
- DumpCal Reason 6 – Republican tax bill will cost Californians more in income taxes
- DumpCal Reason 7 – Las Vegas airport: convenient, flies everywhere, has best deals
- DumpCal Reason 8 – Leaving Las Vegas: easy trips to Cal, Arizona and Utah
- DumpCal Reason 9 – The Las Vegas economy is healthy and growing
- DumpCal Reason 10 – California regulation is killing businesses
- DumpCal Reason 11 — Leaving California – disasters – earthquakes, fires, mudslides …
Median income is about the same
Making more income?
Perhaps it’s that people make a lot more money in California on average, so it evens out?
Nay, nay, nay. You, dear reader, might individually make a lot more money than your neighbors, but the median income is not that much different. According to the US Census Bureau QuickFacts about these cities, here’s the median income breakdown (they’re undoubtedly higher now, but these work for a back of the envelope comparison):
• Las Vegas – $50,202
• Los Angeles – $50,205 (that’s one cup of coffee a year difference)
• San Francisco – $53,889
• San Diego – $61,818
Again, you might make a lot more money, and there are areas near but not in those cities that might have slightly different numbers. But you can be guaranteed that just about everywhere in the Bay Area, LA basin and around San Diego that California housing costs are going to cost two to four or five times more to live than Vegas — with not much of a difference in median income.
Here’s the comparison:
Cashing in on equity
What we’re seeing quite commonly from our surge of California ex-pats are people selling those California homes with equity built up over time, and with the recent run-up. They then have enough money to buy a home for cash in Las Vegas – plus plenty left over to make a significant investment in the future . . . or retire on.
Imagine having a great home paid for with the cash in your pocket – cash that’s now stranded in a house with no more utility there than here. Wouldn’t that financial leg up provide a powerful feeling of liberty? Think of what you could do by trading your biggest financial burden – housing payments – for zero payments?
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to pay.
California exodus? Poll finds voters consider moving due to sky-high housing costs
But that’s not me, some of you say. I couldn’t do that because I don’t own a home in California.
And guess what? If you’re among the median earners there (see median costs and incomes, above), you’re NEVER going to own one either.
But you could in Las Vegas.
Monthly cost of housing
To make the math easy, let’s say you bought a $100,000 house with no down payment and at 5 percent over 30 years. The monthly cost of that (not including taxes and insurance) would be $536.82, according to Bankrate.com.
That means the monthly payment for that $227,000 Las Vegas home (not including taxes and insurance) would be $1,218.58 (or $536.82 times 2.27).
The monthly cost for the $586,800 San Diego home would be $3,150.60 (or $536.82 times 5.868), while the number for the $633,400 Los Angles home would be $3,400.75. And in San Francisco, it would be $6,638.85.
So you would pay $1,932.02 more per month in San Diego for your home for principal and interest alone than in Las Vegas. In LA, you’d pay $2,182.17more, and a whopping $5,420.27 more in San Francisco.
That’s per month.is
California housing costs undoubtedly is a major reason people are leaving the state.
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