Vegas, baby?

It seems that it has been decided ...... we're going to move to Las Vegas.

I know, it's bizarre/shocking - very out of the blue. And I'm not completely thrilled with the idea of yet another cross-country move (though, this time we can hire movers to do it for us, and just drive ourselves and the pets) ... but it seems to be a pretty good idea all around.

Apparently Las Vegas has been hit hard enough by the housing slump that things are SUPER affordable. So much so that we can still do the investment property thing there (and Nevada has the same Business Trust set-up as WV, it's a simple matter of filling out a form and paying fees and it'll be transferred over)! And there is the promise of me being allowed to live in one of the investments (we'll see - I've heard a lot of promises so far), but either way I ought to be able to get out of the house.

It's enough like California (and close enough to it) that my mother is instantly thrilled by the prospect (something that NEVER happens). And it should have fantastic health care for her. I like those things about it too, and that it's a massive city complete with book clubs, writing groups, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation to try out (without having to drive an hour), and a billion other things (and fingers crossed, maybe even a job) to make/keep me sane. We even have some family in the area (a couple of my mother's aunts).

We're only at the online house shopping stage for now, but the decision has been made - and I feel pretty good about it (for a change), it seems like a real light at the end of the tunnel. And I mean no offense to WV - it's lovely here, and the people are the NICEST of anywhere I've ever been. Though I could do without the 4 or 5 inches of snow outside right now keeping us all stuck in the house! Yes, I'm blaming the state for snow in January, LOL ;) I'm just saying there will be some very nice things about moving back out West.

But, OMG, I really don't want to move again! Ugh ... when are we gonna get teleportation technology? Obama better get busy! I'm sure solar powered teleportation was one of his campaign promises, wasn't it? ;) I mean, really - he's been there a day already and he hasn't saved the world yet! LOL ;)

*PS - Shall I start the process of converting my entire wardrobe over to leopard print and gold lame ... or is there some kind of Clothing Bureau de Change at the Nevada border? Last time I was in Las Vegas I was 8 or 9 - leopard print and gold lame were optional for 8-year-olds back then, LOL ;)

*PPS - Yes, I know the leopard print/gold lame comment is untrue and 'culturally insensitive' - and I know that the title of this post is a serious 'no-no' to natives of 'The Valley' (the Las Vegas Valley, that is) ... like calling San Francisco "Frisco" .... but it's cute, funny, and part of my charm - so bite me ;)

*PPPS - I apologize for neglecting my e-mail/facebook/twitter duties of late. I will get back in the groove now :)


K said...

1. I do know a great realtor in Las Vegas should you need help.

2. Good luck when you finally arrive in Saddam, err Gomohorra, err Vegas. (Such an easy mistake to make, I'm sure you understand). :-)

Pacian said...

Vegas? Seriously?! Have you never seen an episode of CSI?

LuluBunny said...

LOL .. you guys with your Gomohorra and CSI :)

Don't worry - I'm much too dull for that stuff ... I'm all twitterpated about the prospect of volunteering at the Natural History Museum ... yes, I am THAT MUCH of a nerd, LOL ;)

Anonymous said...

Vega$ used to be my favourite TV series. -$



I live just outside of Las Vegas; moving there from Southern California (lived in SoCal for 20 years).

You won't find Las Vegas to be anything like the climate of California.

You will find the congested traffic; the night-life much like Hollywood, yet the smog is less than Las Vegas.

You will get very little rain; you will get strong winds - you won't pay state income tax as you would in California.

I happened across your blog using the Stumble Bar; it probably selected your blog because I have Las Vegas, Nevada as part of my search, and now that you've made the post about moving here, it automatically selected it for me.

It is an ideal time for buying any kind of property because of the down-turn; the casino traffic is down by 35%.

We're able to watch the council meetings on television (as you will when you get here), so you can keep current with progress and budget cuts this way.

It will take you about 5 hours to get to the Los Angeles area; I-40, and about 5.5 to 6 hours to get to the ocean (based on the traffic).

Be prepared for a lot of heavy traffic on the I-15 until you get about 20 miles south of Las Vegas if you're visiting California. Then once you hit Barstow, CA, you'll start to incur heavy traffic again if you're traveling on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday.

Las Vegas and the 'strip' is definitely a 'walking city' - don't try driving a car easily down the strip during the evening hours; this is a 24/7 - 365 city, and it's busy all the time.

Don't expect a lot of courtesy from many of the retailers; it's more like how they often treat you in NYC or LA - they simply don't have the time for the 'down-home courtesy and kindness' treatment.

You'll find the University Medical Center to be the most touted place to get medical care; for me, I like Children's Hospital better, and have had to stay there a number of times (as well as at UMC), and that's my reaction to the care I received.

There's always something going on in Las Vegas; much more than gambling - extraordinary shopping (watch the high prices, though).

Las Vegas is home to a 'melting pot' of nationalities; not as much as Los Angeles, but enough so if you're looking to learn more about other cultures and traditions, you'll find it there.

You will find some of the best Asian food; look for the smaller restaurants though - prices are much better.

Lots of strip malls and shopping centers up and down Tropicana Drive.

Make sure you put Trader Joe's on your list for healthy foods; they have 3 locations there.

I looked at the home you saw in Missouri; just beautiful - don't expect to find anything like this out there - and if you did manage to find it, it would be so highly priced (even in this recession), you'd have to be making about $300,000/year to afford it.

Lots of homes have swimming pools - little landscaping in the form of 'grass' because of the high temperatures in the summer.

Climate: Starting mid-March, it will be in the 80's. By late-April, into the 90's. May it holds steady; June, July, August - 100 and above.

September - mid; it starts to get cooler; by October, you begin to enjoy the moderate temperatures.

November/December/January - it can get cold and bitter; you'll probably want to set your temperature at 70 during the day; at 66 during the night, and you'll be comfortable.

The winds are very high in the desert a good deal of the time; you'll want a car cover if you're living where there are open areas because the sand gives your car a 'sand-blasting' that ruins the finish.

Tires wear out sooner because of the heat; anything that's destroyed or adversely affected by heat, will fall apart sooner.

Good news is cars don't rust; no rain - no moisture, so I've appreciated that.

You'll have a much higher power bill/heat bill from about April until October - think of it as your 'fuel/winter heat bill' if you're coming from the cold country.

Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb - lower bills; normally we just open the winds; shut off the thermostat, and that costs us much less.

I over-pay through the winter months; build a credit with Nevada Power, so I have a 'cushion' for the hot months to come.

Be careful of the smaller banks; we have our mortgage through Bank of America, and it was the best interest rate and strongest bank in the area (as well as in California).

Be clear to your realtor about finding a safe neighborhood; many homes have bars on the windows when they're in the higher crime areas.

There are a number of gated communities; gated communites are big in California and Nevada (we live in one) - this afford the needed security. Normally if you pick a place like this, you'll pay monthly dues for trash; water, and security in the range of $150 to $350/month, so put that into your budget if you're considering a 'gated home' or condo'.

There are Wal-Marts; Sam Clubs - and a myriad of chain stores to shop in.

You'll probably be required to make a deposit to hook up telephone and power.

You'll be expected to have a smog check when you arrive; then an annual one each year for your tags.

Car insurance is high in both Nevada and California; when I relocated from Washington to California, my insurance doubled on our vehicles.

You'll want to visit Hoover Dam, Lake Mead - the surrounding areas such as Boulder City.

Nellis Air Force Base is just north of Las Vegas; up that direction, you'll find less traffic and smog as you continue north for a drive or a couple days away from home.

You won't find the type of housing construction that I found in Michigan, Ohio, and New York when I lived in those states. I call these places 'cardboard homes' - it's rare to find a home with real plaster; nothing in the way of wood-work that the mid-west and east have in their older homes.

Be sure your air conditioner is in top-notch condition; you can't live here without it.

Also, if the a.c. goes out, you'll be required to replace the unit under the new federal laws, and that runs about $6,000 to $10,000 for that replacement (we did ours this past 2008, and it was $5600).

I was relocation director for a large company in Ohio - then we started our own independent relocation service in 1996; we retired in 2003, so we've not only lived in a number of state, but in been in all of them and have a real understanding what it is to move since I've moved (before I married my current husband), 37 times; some were local moves - about 10 were 'cross-country', and the rest were about 6 hours from the previous home, so I appreciate what will be ahead of you (thank goodness you have movers doing it for you).

We used to advise those who we moved, to sell anything and everything you don't really need (or want); reduce your cost of your load, if finances are an issue.

Of course if you love everything you have; if it's less than 5 years old, then you should move it rather than run the risk of finding prices higher (to replace your house-hold items)when you get into Las Vegas.

If you're going to drive, it's best to allow only about 300 to 350 hours/day so you don't get overly tired; there are travel coupons at most of the Flying J and Truckstops of America truck-stops where you can save as much as 40% on rooms with the coupon.

Always look at the restaurant's lobby where you eat; look for the wire stands that hold these coupon books that are the same size as most real estate magazines they put there for free.

I wish you a safe journey and a wonderful beginning.

I hope what I've written gives you some additional information that you might need.

Obviously, there are relocation packages and information from Las Vegas you can get - some from real estate web-sites; some from the Chamber of Commerce.

There, I guess that's it.... Diane

LuluBunny said...

Tigger - I actually have a very vague memory of watching Vega$ when I was a kid! My Bapa used to love ALL those 'detective/cop' shows. But I can't claim to have formed an opinion - I only have a sense of Robert Urich running around town and fighting people a lot ... but what's not to like about that, lol ;)

LuluBunny said...

Diane - Thanks so much for all the info! It's been SO LONG since I've been to Las Vegas - it's nice to hear the perspective of someone who is actually there :)

MK Stover said...

No matter where you go, there you are.

LuluBunny said...

@ MK - ain't that the truth! ;)

Larry Coates said...

The cool decision, guys, VEGAS is a paradise! Truly so! My brother and I we are heading out to Vegas in a week and will be there for a week and he isn`t sure what to expect. I know many of you all have been there and I was just wondering what all is a "must do" and what all is just a waste of time. Any advice you guys may have is greatly appreciated. But I have some tips about movers . As always, expect lots of ideas! Thanks in advance.

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