Adios, California: Thousands of homebuyers flocking to Las Vegas for 'American Dream'
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
There are thousands of them in neighborhoods all across the valley.
There's probably one on your block.
House hunters from California are eyeing your neighborhood. Many are moving out of the Golden State because they simply can't afford to live there anymore.
The Calcaterra family says it's the perfect fit. They are picking out a new home with a great backyard and a big pool.
"I received a promotion at work and we settled on Phoenix or Summerlin," says Sean Calcaterra.
Sean and Julie Calcaterra took their cues from their daughters about deciding where to move next.
They now own a 3,400 square foot home in Summerlin, more than double the size of their condo near the beaches in San Diego.
California's housing market is once again one of the most expensive in the nation.
The median home price is $507,000.
In Las Vegas, it's just $257,000.
It's why people from California move here.
In fact, about 33-percent of driver licenses surrendered at the DMV are from California.
Avi Dan-Goor is the Calcaterra's realtor. He says a quarter of his buyers come from California.
"The options here are almost unlimited. California has an ocean and we don't, but we have everything else there is to offer," says Dan-Goor.
He says buyers are getting more for less.
"A lot of my clients from Southern California move here from townhomes or condos and end up buying 3,000 or 4,000 square foot properties," he says.
Life in Nevada is more comfortable and affordable. The cost of living and housing are cheaper. We also don't have state income taxes.
Economists say more people would equal more strain on our infrastructure.
"The problem with population growth is, you have to provide public services and that costs money," says UNLV economics professor Stephen Miller.
Miller is talking about the need for more roads, schools, and houses.
"A lack of construction workers is a problem. There's too much work, not enough bodies," says Dan-Goor.
"Typically, a builder will complete a home in six months. Now we're looking at 10-12 months", says Miller.
Miller says if you're looking to buy, Las Vegas is a great bargain.
"For a person earning an income in mid 50's, they could purchase probably 60 percent of the homes on the market," says Miller.
As for The Calcaterras, they're still unpacking boxes.
"We've just been pulling stuff out slowly as we need. Surprises in every box," says Julie.
They are happy with their new home in a city where owning a piece of the American dream is still in reach.
"I don't plan on moving again because moving, it is a pain in the butt. (laughs) Once the kids graduate, all bets are off," says Sean.