6 Things to Know When Moving from Sacramento to Las Vegas

Anyone facing a move from Sacramento to Las Vegas is sure to encounter some differences as far as quality of life.

There are some similarities. Both cities have diverse populations and are of similar size. But anyone moving from Sacramento to Las Vegas is interested in more than just the relative size of the two cities. Here are six things to consider before moving to Sin City:

1. Climate

While both Sacramento and Las Vegas get a large amount of sunlight, Las Vegas summers can reach oppressive levels of heat. From May to September, Las Vegas can see temperatures well above 100 degrees and above 110 at times.

And if you are a fan of the famous tree canopy in Sacramento, you can forget about that in Las Vegas, where much of its plant life is imported, and desert landscaping is common. Still, Las Vegas does have mild and comfortable weather outside of summer, with snowfall in the valley a rarity.

2. Schools

The Sacramento City Unified School District has struggled with a high student-to-teacher ratio and low test scores. Families are hoping to improve on that face a hit-and-miss situation with a move to Las Vegas, which is part of the Clark County School District, among the nation’s largest. The Clark County School District does have a better student-to-teacher ratio and test scores, but it is so massive that you can find wide disparities within the district. Both Nevada and California have for many years ranked near the bottom in per-student spending nationally. Both states have large state universities.

3. Cost of Living

The most significant difference in cost of living between two cities is housing costs. Sperling’s Best Places says Las Vegas is 14 percent cheaper than Sacramento, with a 27 percent differences in housing costs. The price of homes has risen dramatically in Las Vegas recently, but average rents remain less than $1,000 monthly, considerably less than Sacramento.

Another area where Las Vegas beats Sacramento is taxes. Nevada has no state income tax.

4. Jobs

In March of this year, Las Vegas had an unemployment rate of 5.1 percent, above the national average of 4.1 percent. Sacramento’s unemployment rate dropped by more than 1 percent in the last year, edging lower than the national average at 3.9 percent.

Sacramento’s status as the state capital makes government the largest job sector. Las Vegas is dominated by its casinos, with tourism and hospitality jobs in the largest sector. Reliance on tourism may make Las Vegas more susceptible to the ups and downs of the economy.

5. Commute

Daily commute times for a resident of any city depends on several factors, mainly how far from your workplace you live. But average daily commutes for Sacramento and Las Vegas are near the national average, which is far from the nightmare that is Los Angeles traffic.

Interstate 15 cuts through the heart of Las Vegas and is the main thoroughfare. Heavy highway construction near the downtown area is a problem until its completion.

6. Culture

Las Vegas culture has evolved beyond the casinos in recent years with the addition of the Smith Center for Performing Arts and a rejuvenated downtown entertainment district. While Sacramento’s poor reputation might well be overwrought. One new addition to Las Vegas causes distress for many Sacramento residents.

A new football stadium is under construction just to the south of the Las Vegas Strip. The stadium is set to host the NFL’s Oakland Raiders for a planned move to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.

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