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Las Vegas, this super-hot state in the summer with just less than 500 thousand residents in the 1970s has quadrupled in the last 4 decades. Local news stations have been reporting about a bunch of Californians moving to town because it is getting more difficult to afford to live in their state. The high cost of living is the main reason why Californians are leaving their home state. For them, Las Vegas is the best option as it is close, it has more affordable housing and there is no state income. The average house price in Las Vegas is 250,000 dollars, which is about almost a third of the price of a house in Los Angeles and just a quarter of the average cost of a house in San Francisco. Can you imagine if thousands of new residents flock to Las Vegas and each one of them wants to buy a new house? Consider the traffic. Is everyone ready to face a gridlock similar to that of Los Angeles’ if it gets too crowded? Many people assume that the problem with housing is just one of the many consequences of domestic migration.
In his article “Nevada sees population boost as people leave California in droves,” Tom George stated the biggest batch of new Nevadans is originating from Los Angeles. When he visited the DMV’s office, most of the cars parked in front of it are from California. George mentions that currently, Las Vegas’ economy is growing. But the arrival of the new residents is causing the housing price to increase. The law of supply and demand asserts that the low supply of goods with a high demand will increase the price. Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors is now seeing a big problem of supply, as people from California move to Las Vegas to buy a home. Maria Ubaldo, a professor at the University of Las Vegas and a 12-year resident in Las Vegas bought a 3-bedroom house in 2015 with her husband. She bought it for $190,000. She put down $10,000 upfront. She still pays the monthly mortgage of $1200. She and her husband have a full-time job, so they find it a reasonable price. Her home is now valued at $260,000, a dramatic increase of 27 percent from its previous price. She has earned almost $90,000 in home equity, which a substantial amount considering she only moved there 3 years ago. When asked whether she plans to buy another house, she is a bit hesitant. For her, this year is not the best time to purchase another property. “The real estate market always fluctuate so I want to wait until the housing market goes down,” she said.
Las Vegans are facing another problem today, the rising price of rent in the city. For many Americans and immigrants, buying a house is no longer attainable; so most people opt to just rent a house. But the renters are not seeing any positive outlook in the coming months as the lease price continue to increase in the valley. I myself is a renter. I came here 2 years ago to do some research about rent prices and check whether I can afford to rent a one-bedroom apartment. Back then, I was able to find a one-bedroom home at West Charleston that would only cost me around $650 a month. Today, it would cost me around $750 per month to rent in the same area, which is a dramatic increase of 23%. I could not find any other affordable housing in a safe neighborhood. I realized it will be cost-efficient to just share the house. As a result, I just decided to rent a room in my friend’s house. She owns a 3-bedroom house in Warm Springs, just 20 minutes by car to my school. Now, I only have to pay $400 a month including the utilities. I am just lucky to get that deal because she is my friend. Otherwise, I would have paid $650 per month for a room, like what other international students pay for. I do not plan to rent my own space, so I can just save the remaining money I would have spent in renting.
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