Buying a retirement home in Las Vegas?
Article by Scott Norton.
One of the challenges of deciding on where to live out life’s next big adventure is making an informed choice about buying a home in an unfamiliar area. All too often, the conversation revolves around the fun stuff; where to play golf, where to store the boat, where to walk, dine, shop, etc.
It’s easy to get so caught up in the retirement dream that the retirement reality kind of slides out of perspective. You might have vacationed in Las Vegas a few times, or every year for that matter, but does that mean you really understand the housing market enough to actually decide to live there? Are you really prepared enough to buy a whole house there?
Yes, of course, that is what real estate agents are for. But how many agents did you talk to before you started looking? Did you do any independent research of your own? It’s tough to evaluate the info that someone presents to you without some background understanding of your own, right? Most of the time, people pick an agent because “we really like [name of agent] he/she’s really nice”. Do yourself a favor – don’t do that.
Remember, the goal is to actually enjoy that active retirement lifestyle you’re working so hard for. Cover all of the bases and treat it like a business decision. Take, for example, you’re seriously looking into buying a home at Ardiente.
Ardiente is a 55+ active adult community with features including easy access to I-15, and the center of the strip/airport area. It’s also close to popular attractions such as Hoover Dam, Lake Mojave, Mt. Charleston, Red Rock Canyon, and Death Valley. Amenities include 30 fitness stations, six beautiful themed parks, a dog park, and a community center that feels like a country club. Nearby golf courses include Shadow Creek, Craig Ranch and Sunrise Vista. All in all, it’s a pretty amazing community of the sort that you’d think would be pretty expensive.
Looking over some of the web sites for Las Vegas realtors, we’ve found that the Las Vegas housing market has fallen an estimated 58% since 2006. For several months up to July 2009, there was an average drop in value of right around $10,000 a month. So while those lovely homes at Ardiente may have been expensive at one time (though it’s patently not fair to tag homes as “expensive” without looking at the value of their efficiency and cost of maintenance), that community is as affected by the housing market as ant other.
This is where smart people ask, “well, what if the value continues to decline after I buy in? Shouldn’t I wait?”
Well, prices in Las Vegas have stabilized recently. In addition, one or two Las Vegas realtor web sites have cited a Brookings Institute study that says, “the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada will become, over the next decade, the next “heartland’ of America. The economic and political power of this area is expected to grow greatly relative to other areas of the country. The Las Vegas area has seen short term downturns before, but historically, anyone who has bet against the vitality of this local economy has lost.