Moving from California to Nevada – A Detailed Guide

Full article 15 min read

Is California burning a hole in your pocket? Then move to the neighboring Nevada for a more convenient lifestyle. You may have some misconceptions about moving from California to Nevada, but you could always explore its booming tourism industry. Yes, we’re talking about Las Vegas!

Let’s dive into Nevada bit-by-bit and see the opportunities it offers. We’ll take you through all the good and not-so-good sides of this state.

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Some Points To Explore Before Moving From California To Nevada

Weather

No matter how appealing Nevada might be, its weather is something you should consider before making a decision. If you decide to take the plunge, be prepared for scorching summers and frigid winters in Nevada. Its weather is slightly harsher than California’s. Remember that Nevada is the driest state in the U.S. On the comfort index scale, Nevada scores a 7.3 while California sits at 8.4. Also, Nevada has fewer sunny days and less snow as compared to California.

During the peak summer season, the average high temperature in Nevada ranges between 85°F to 110°F. Now that’s really hot! Night temperatures are a bit warmer ranging between 40°F to 80°F. The heat seems too daunting for you? Mountain lodges are the best way to ease off the summer heat as the temperatures are much cooler at higher elevations. If you’re more of an outdoor person, fishing and camping at the state national parks are the most preferred pastimes by the locals. Don’t forget to wear light-colored clothing, sunglasses and carry a bottle of sunscreen along.

California’s summers are more temperate as compared to Nevada’s. The average high temperature during peak summer in The Golden State is between 80°F to 85°F.

Winters in Nevada are comparably colder than those in California. The average low temperature during the peak winter season in Nevada is between 9°F to 43°F. On the contrary, daytime temperatures in this state are much more lenient ranging between 36°F to 65°F. Both the states receive snow and rain less than the national average, so you won’t have to worry about dampness and moisture. However, do carry an extra set of woolen clothes, scarves, and gloves in your luggage.

Nevada’s Weather In A Nutshell

  • Summers are sharp and rainfall is sparse in Nevada. As a result, wildfires are pretty prominent, especially when temperatures cross 100°F. Avoid moving outdoors during this period.
  • Try moving to Nevada during the shoulder seasons (March to May and September to November) as the temperatures are much milder than summer. Winters can get a bit extreme with temperatures continuing below freezing, making it the worst time to move.
  • Nevada receives the most amount of snow in January (about 4.8 inches) and annually, an average of 22 inches of snow. This is good news for those who are fond of making snow angels.

Cost Of Living

You’re making a wise choice by moving from California to Nevada if it’s to save a few bucks. According to MyLifeElsewere, you will spend 7.3% less in Nevada than in The Golden State. Factors such as real estate, gasoline, taxes, and groceries make Nevada an affordable state to live in. On the other hand, California’s lifestyle is slightly towards the higher end.

Buying a house in Nevada is quite affordable, as the real estate rates are 46% less than the rates in California. The reason is that Nevada boasts of low property tax rates (0.53%) which makes buying real estate attractive. Similarly, California has property tax rates (0.73%) less than the national average, but not lower than Nevada’s. If it isn’t your aim to purchase a house, then renting in Nevada is 34% cheaper than in California.

StateMedian Home ValueAverage Market Rate Per Month
California$608,432$2,526
Nevada$328,153$1,644

Taxes

When it comes to taxes, Nevada will help you save even more money than living in California. Nevada has no state income tax, and its base sales tax (6.85%) makes purchasing appliances economical. On the other hand, California has a higher income tax rate (13%) with its base sales tax sticking at 7.25%.

Love to drive? Then Nevada is the place you should be as fuel prices are 16% cheaper than in California.

Groceries

Compared to California, groceries are 11% cheaper in Nevada. To prepare a meal for yourself in Nevada, a loaf of bread ($3.15), about one pound of cheese ($4.87), a dozen eggs ($2.43), and around a pound of apples ($3.94) will cost you approximately $14 in total while the same items would roughly cost you $18 in California

Utilities

Nevada’s climate is a bit harsh, so air conditioners and heaters will add to the cost of your utility bills. Nevadans pay an average of $136.82 per month, whereas Californians spend approximately $128.05. Even an internet plan will cost you more in Nevada ($75.75) than in California ($65.82).

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Economy

Besides analyzing the weather and cost of living of a state, studying its economy is also vital. The job market is the deciding factor of your move. Looking at the GDP of California and Nevada, you’ll notice a stark difference between them; California boasts of an astounding $2.987 trillion while Nevada has a much lesser $146 billion.

California runs its wheels on its agriculture, manufacturing, and tech industry whereas Nevada earns its income primarily from tourism. You might be familiar with Las Vegas being the gambling hub of the country where people from far and wide come to try their luck. Nevertheless, manufacturing is Nevada’s dominant source of revenue as well, where gaming machines, irrigation equipment, and aerospace equipment are manufactured in bulk. Gold, silver, and mercury are mined and exported to various parts of the country.

Although having a tight economy, Nevada’s (7.7%) unemployment rate is higher than California’s (7.6%). The reason may be because the tourism industry took a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

California’s high cost of living forces people to find lucrative jobs to provide for themselves or their families. Hence, the median household income in California is much higher than in Nevada:

StateMedian Household Income
California$75,235
Nevada$60,365

To support yourself (presuming you don’t have any children) in Nevada, you’ll need to earn around $28,454 per annum. However, living expenses increase when you have children. Let’s say, you’re the sole working person with one child and no other family members to provide, you will need to earn approximately $60,287 (including childcare).

Getting Around In Nevada

California has several modes of public transportation. Services such as SMART (Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit), BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), VTA (Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority), Metro Rail, and Sacramento RT Light Rail commute people to and fro. However, the public translation system in Nevada is slightly limited. A large portion of the population lives in the Reno and Las Vegas metropolitan area. Other parts of the state are either empty or are small towns. Hence, such limited transportation options in Nevada.

For rail transit to Nevada, they have the California Zephyr that travels via Reno, Chicago, and the Bay Area; no trains are commuting to Las Vegas. To travel within the state, Amtrak has a service that stops at Reno, Elko, and Winnemucca.

The bus transit system in Las Vegas is more developed than compared to other parts of the state. There are a couple of express bus routes that will get to your destination in no time. However, these routes are a bit pricier than usual. Plus there’s a shuttle service downtown that takes passengers for free from Fremont Street to the Arts District, the Outlet Mall, and The Smith Center.

What Makes Nevada Special?

  • If you are feeling lucky, visit Las Vegas; the most recognizable gambling destination made famous by pop culture.
  • The economy is still dusting itself off from the effects of the pandemic. Economic growth is a bit slow, but it will catch up eventually. You can make a good living if you get into the tourism industry.
  • With its cost of living less than California’s, Nevada has that affordability factor. You can be sure of saving a lot of money in Nevada.

Read Also: Moving To Nevada – Relocation Guide

Top Places To Move To In Nevada

Henderson

Searching for a big city with a small-town feel? Then Henderson is the place you’re looking for. With its low crime rate, quality public schools, and serene environment, raising a family has never been easier. The city is lined with parks and walking trails, so if you’re a fitness freak, make optimal use of them. Apart from that, this city has a strong sense of community which is shown through the various events it hosts.

Median Home Value: $318,800

Median Rent: $1,292

Reno

For outdoor enthusiasts looking for adventure, Reno is a fantastic destination! This area is known as an outdoor lover’s paradise because there is fishing, hiking, and camping to enjoy. In Reno, you feel like you’re in a small town while surrounded by a vibrant community. In terms of employment, it’s possible to grow and develop your career with the wide range of job opportunities that Reno offers.

Median Home Value: $335,000

Median Rent: $1,029

Paradise

As the name suggests, it is literal Paradise! You won’t get a lot of traffic in this city and the infrastructure is great. Local shops and supermarkets are just a walking distance away from your place; you don’t have to drive to shop for groceries. Plus, the neighborhoods are safe and the overall climate is temperate. Paradise is surely paradise on earth!

Median Home Value: $239,400

Median Rent: $978

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Some Points To Think About When Moving From California To Nevada

  • Driving from California to Nevada will take you approximately 9 hours. A flight will take you just an hour! Choose the latter option as it is less strenuous and time-consuming.
  • Plan your move months in advance. Create an inventory and list out all the potential items that are essential and sell the ones that are expensive to move. It won’t make sense to spend a huge sum of money taking items you rarely use. Set up a garage sale to sell these items. That way, you can earn a bit of side income to fund your move.
  • Searching for your documents at the last moment is not a pleasant feeling. Hence, delegate a separate box only for these items (passports, licenses, property papers, permits). You should not have to return just because you forgot something important.
  • When researching a  moving company, always check its authenticity first. See if they’re registered and insured and if their license is legal. Several moving scams happen even today. Don’t fall for such traps.
  • Moving is quite a strenuous task. To get things done quickly, you might settle for the first deal you find. Don’t do that! Get quotes from at least 3 movers, and then decide what is best for you.

How Much Will It Cost To Move From California To Nevada

The distance from California to Nevada is approximately 418.2 miles via CA-120 E and US-6 E.  A relatively short move, but there are many hidden costs that movers won’t tell you about. Always ask for a thorough breakdown of the cost/estimate before moving forward. You should not feel cheated later. To further reduce costs, you should check the season you’re moving in. If it is peak moving season, moving companies tend to spike up the rates a bit. So, plan strategically.

The time, size, and location of the place also affect costs gravely. The below rates are just a rough estimate of what you will be potentially spending on your move.

Size Of The MoveMoving CompanyMoving ContainerFreight CompanyTruck Rental
Studio/1 bedroom$1,700-$2,500$1,230-$1,665$1,035-$1,495$620-$815
2-3 bedroom$2,245-$3,805$1,850-$2,500$1,190-$1,800$715-$980

If you hire a professional moving company, they will do all the work for you (packing, loading, loading, and unloading). They also offer junk removal for a small fee. However, this is a more expensive option, but at the same time, the most time and energy-efficient. If you prefer a cheaper alternative, hire a moving container or rent a truck. However, you’ll have to do all the hard work.

Some moving companies have an auto shipping service as well. If you want to ship your car, combine both services and get a discount.

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Conclusion

In all, Nevada is a pretty decent place to move to. The housing is cheap, the taxes are low, plus the culture is vibrant. The economy is slowly building itself up, but there are several job opportunities offered by the state. If you feel you can cope with its economy, then Nevada shouldn’t be a bad fit for you.

FAQs

Is Nevada Cheaper Than California?

Nevada has a much lower cost of living than California. Apart from that, the taxes and real estate are cheaper than the rates in California as well. With these facts, it is safe to say you won’t have to be working overtime to live in Nevada.

How Much Does It Cost To Move From California To Nevada?

Without including other services and packages, an estimate would be around $2,303-$3,700. The time, location, and size of the place also affect costs.

Is Nevada A Good Place To Live?

Nevada’s tourism sector has taken a massive hit due to the pandemic. However, the housing and the taxes are lenient. If you think you can make it big in the tourism and hospitality sector, then Nevada is the place you should go for.

See also: Moving from California to Texas | Moving from California to Arizona