Places

Should You Move to Los Angeles?

Every time you check out Los Angeles real estate, you’re likely to hear stories about people leaving LA for the suburbs. However, despite some highly-publicized downsides, the city still has some unique perks.

Los Angeles is a place like no other. As the epicenter of the movie-making universe, this town is filled with celebrity sightings, tourist attractions, and fun things to do. All the glitz and glamor of Hollywood means that the region is filled with high-end restaurants, shopping, real estate, and more, making it easy for even non-celebrities to enjoy the high life.

Los Angeles Economy & Job Opportunities

Los Angeles is known for its thriving entertainment industry. With a population of almost four million, its residents are mostly Caucasian or Hispanic, well-educated and middle-aged.

In the 1700s, Los Angeles was just a small ranching community. However, the discovery of oil in the 1880s made the city’s economy rapidly expand. And when the city became a center for the film industry in 1910, its economy took a unique turn.

Los Angeles might have the largest number of filmmakers and major studios in the world, but that’s not the only source of jobs. 

The city is also the largest manufacturing center in the United States with the nation’s largest trading port in terms of value exchanged and tonnage handled. 

With a diverse economy that goes beyond its base of aerospace, entertainment, and tourism, there are plenty of opportunities in manufacturing, logistics, hospitality, finance, fashion, furniture, health care, engineering, and corporate management among others.

Los Angeles Real Estate & Cost of Living

The median list price of a single-family home in Los Angeles is $1,250,000, while the median list price of a condominium is $850,000, with the average number of days on the market at 98 for homes and 111 for condos.

According to Altos Research, the city is in a solid seller’s market as of December 2021.

The average rent for a 790 square foot apartment in Los Angeles is $2,563 according to RentCafe.

Three of the top neighborhoods in Los Angeles are Hollywood, Mid-City, and Alhambra due to their gorgeous homes and great entertainment options. However, if you’re looking for more of a suburban experience not too far from the city center, you might want to investigate Beverly Hills, Culver City, and Frogtown.

The kinds of homes you’ll find here are a blend of everything from rundown, outdated apartments to stunningly gorgeous mansions. Architectural styles range from ranch to craftsman to Spanish colonial to Victorian to modern.

Due to high tourism, there is a lot of demand for short-term rentals. Such rentals are restricted to one’s primary residence, must be registered with the city, and the registration number must be displayed on all advertisements.

Enforcement seems to be an ongoing challenge, and some residents worry that short-term rentals are reducing the supply of available homes and in some cases creating a nuisance.

Though the town has a reputation for being pricey, utility costs like electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash are actually lower than national averages. The average cost for utilities is $129 per month, which is $30 cheaper than national averages.

The overall cost of living score of Los Angeles is 173, which is significantly higher than national averages. Furthermore, the livability score is just 54 on a scale of 0-100 according to AreaVibes.

Los Angeles Food, Drink & Entertainment

Los Angeles is a total foodie town, with good restaurants everywhere, from Bestia to Water Grill to The Factory Kitchen. You also have access to delicious coffee shops and breweries like Verve Coffee Roasters, Earth Bean Coffee, and Boomtown Brewery.

Some of its most iconic restaurants include Cole’s Restaurant, Pig N Whistle, Spago, and Musso & Frank Grill.

Nightlife, cinema, and entertainment options include incredible spots like Elevate Lounge, 1 OAK LA, and Avalon.

Grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, Ralphs, and Hughes are easily accessible in every neighborhood.

Fun spots to shop include the LA Fashion District, Beverly Boulevard, and La Brea Avenue.

Los Angeles Attractions & Things to Do

Los Angeles has many fascinating tourist attractions including The Getty, Universal Studios Hollywood, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

There’s also a vibrant art scene in Downtown where you’ll find numerous galleries featuring Ayin Es, Lauren Halsey, and Jibade-Khalil Huffman.

If you’re a sports fan, Los Angeles is home to the Los Angeles Clippers, Kings, Dodgers, and Lakers. Most residents follow the basketball and baseball teams enthusiastically.

The gorgeous weather of coastal California makes the city ideal for nature lovers. For a little outdoor fun, visit Echo Lake Park, Elysian Park, or El Dorado Park and Nature Center.

Los Angeles Transportation

Los Angeles is served by the Los Angeles International Airport, which has a lot of international flights and reasonable wait times.

Getting around on public transportation is challenging. Though the city does have some good buses, subways, and light rails, everything is very far-flung. If you want to travel outside your neighborhood, you’ll probably need a car.

Keep in mind that Los Angeles traffic is notably bad, and finding a good parking spot can be tricky. 

Due to the high risk of accidents, car insurance is much pricier than national averages. The average car insurance in Los Angeles is $2,597 per year, which is pricier than average state rates of $1,966.

Los Angeles Schools

Los Angeles has numerous universities, ranging from private options like Loyola to public options like the University of California. 

Schools in the area are known for providing a good education in healthcare and finance. There are also smaller, private colleges that provide a great education for people interested in media.

The public school system has been rated average to below average by Great Schools, but there are also many highly regarded private schools to choose from including Fusion Academy, Berkeley Hall School, and Lycee International. 

You’ll also find numerous local homeschooling groups as well if you prefer to educate at home.

The library system in Los Angeles is very good, with locations around town featuring programs like ESL classes, summer reading programs, and book clubs for both adults and kids.

Los Angeles Community Groups

If you’re religious, you’ll find a vast array of churches to choose from in Los Angeles including Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Islamic churches.

And if you’re LGBTQ, you’ll find resources like the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Transgender Law Center, and the Trevor Project. 

In general, the city tends to be very LGBTQ-friendly.

Los Angeles also has numerous neighborhood and community organizations that you can become involved in, including Project Angel Food, Heart of Los Angeles Youth, and LA Works, just to name a few.

Other good places to meet people as a newcomer are local Facebook groups, Meetup.com events, and local support groups.

Los Angeles Health & Wellness

As for Covid restrictions, aligning with current state standards, LA requests that all travelers test for Covid within 3-5 days of arrival.

Currently the city is largely open for business, without capacity limits or social distancing requirements. However, masks must be worn indoors in public places.

Large indoor events and some employers may require the Covid shot, while children age 12 and up may be required to get one to attend school.

Keep in mind, these rules are always changing, so check official sources before making plans.

COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and boosters are FREE for everyone regardless of immigration status or healthcare coverage and are being offered based on Federal, State, and L.A. County Department of Public Health vaccine eligibility guidance.

Los Angeles Climate & Safety

Los Angeles’s weather is generally quite comfortable. 

In the summer it’s typically no hotter than 85 degrees Fahrenheit, while in the winter it’s usually no colder than 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall and Spring are equally mild and have little rainfall.

The city has a reputation for being sunny, and there are usually only a few cloudy days in winter.

The city does have some serious problems with crime. According to Neighborhood Scout, it’s only safer than 13 percent of other United States cities. 

There have also been reports lately of crime spilling into the upscale neighborhoods, like Beverly Hills, for example, where homeowners are pooling resources to hire private security patrols to combat the problem.

A particularly concerning fact is that violent crime is almost twice as high as California averages. 

After significant budget cuts in 2020 and a corresponding increase in crime, in the fall of 2021, the police commission voted for a 12% increase in the police department’s budget to combat rising crime rates. 

Seriously, when the head of the police officer’s union says, don’t visit LA because, “We can’t guarantee your safety. It is really, really out of control…” I’d say that’s something to pay attention to.

The city is experiencing what many would call a homelessness crisis, with homelessness up by 13 percent from 2019. There is an especially big problem with tent cities. 

The city is working diligently to build housing and provide support, for example, government-sponsored tiny homes and camping sites that provide security and showers, but it’s a long, slow process, and not everyone wants the help.

Most city residents won’t deal with much wildlife, other than the occasional roach or harmless lizard. However, there are some reports of feral coyotes and the occasional mountain lion sighting if you live in the hills.

Los Angeles Politics, Government & Taxation

The Los Angeles city government has a reputation for moderate corruption according to the Daily News. A current FBI probe into corruption has revealed officials are often careful not to technically break laws, but they do accept a lot of indirect bribes. Overall, the city’s fiscal state is a little uncertain, and it has a very large amount of debt.

The city is decidedly liberal. As of 2021, 53% of registered voters are Democrats and 17% are Republicans.

At 9.5%, sales tax is a little higher than state sales tax, and property taxes are high as well. 

The average homeowner pays $3,938 in property taxes, higher than the national average of $2,471.

On the bright side, Los Angeles recently won the “Most Business-Friendly City Award.”

California income taxes are between 1% to 12.3% which is something to investigate further if you’re moving from out-of-state.

Los Angeles infrastructure tends to get a lot of criticism due to the urban sprawl and congested roadways. And water shortages are a recurring issue.

First responders tend to take quite a lot of time to respond to emergency calls, taking seven to eight minutes which is higher than national standards of six minutes.

The Bottom Line

If you’re single and looking for a lot of nightlife or numerous career opportunities… Los Angeles may be the right choice for you. However, it can be challenging to find housing on a single income unless you have a high-paying job.

If you’re a couple without kids looking for a town with an exciting and unique culture… Los Angeles may be the place for you. But if you’re concerned about affordability and safety, you might want to look elsewhere.

And if you want to raise a family in a diverse environment, Los Angeles may be a great choice… However, if you want low crime rates or good schools, you might want to check out nearby suburbs like Hermosa Beach or Culver City.

And if you’re LGBTQ… you’ll find the city to be very welcoming and accepting.

Where to live in America is a personal choice, because what’s important to us may not be important to you.

To help you find your perfect place, we recommend using a spreadsheet with weighted scores to help you clearly prioritize your choices. Our free template below can save you hours of time as you weigh your options.

Should You Move to Chicago?

For many years, Chicago has had a reputation for being decrepit and dangerous. However, some housing experts predict this is all about to change. 

Chicago’s vibe is heavily dependent on the neighborhood you pick. Whether you prefer cozy, working-class neighborhoods or trendy, modern areas, the city has a neighborhood for you. What people generally like most about the city is its affordable living, reliable public transit, and access to big-city perks such as fine dining and great entertainment.

Chicago History & Job Opportunities

Known as the Windy City due to its unusually breezy weather, Chicago has an enormous population of roughly 2,690,000 people with most being middle-aged, working-class folks. The region has an energetic feeling created by the residents’ can-do attitude.

Chicago is known for being the largest city in the Midwest. Starting out as an industrial town in the 1830s, it was the main source of shipping, manufacturing, and packaging in the region.

Post WWII, the city’s economy dropped drastically as residents fled to the suburbs. It only began to pick up again in the 2000’s when people became interested in big-city living.

Today, the most common jobs are laborers/materials movers, fast food workers, corporate management, registered nurses, and cashiers.

Note that Chicago’s startup scene is exploding and is home to emerging unicorns. Forbes reports startup valuations have topped $1 billion this year, so there’s been big demand for software developers, salespeople, project managers, and related jobs.

Chicago Real Estate & Home Prices

The median list price of a single family home in Chicago is $299,900, while the median list price of a condominium is $339,00, with the average number of days on the market at 63.

According to Altos Research, Chicago is in a slight seller’s market as of December 2021.

The average rent for a 750 sqft apartment in Chicago is $2,059 according to RentCafe.

Three of the top neighborhoods in Chicago are Lincoln Park, River North, and Wrigleyville due to their upscale environment and proximity to great dining and entertainment. However, if you’re looking for more of a suburban experience not too far from the city center, you might want to investigate Clarendon Hills, Long Grove, and Buffalo Grove.

The kinds of homes you’ll find in Chicago are a blend of luxurious new construction projects and historic homes in need of a bit of TLC.

Chicago has strict rules for short-term rentals, requiring all short-term rentals to register with the city. There’s a ban on 1-night stays, annual licensing fees, taxes, inspections, and hefty fees for non-compliance among other things.

High speed internet is available at speeds up to 1000 Mbps from Xfinity, AT&T, and Earthlink starting at $20 per month.

Utility costs for electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash are generally lower than national averages, typically costing roughly $130 per month.

Chicago rates an F on cost of living (it’s expensive!) and scores 111, which is 11 percent higher than US averages. AreaVibes gives Chicago a livability score of 59 on a scale of 0-100, which is below the national average but better than surrounding areas.

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Chicago Food, Drink & Entertainment

Chicago has plenty of fantastic restaurants all over town ranging from Mexican to Japanese to tapas. Popular spots include TopolobampoRoka Akor, and Girl & The Goat. It also has plenty of great places for drinks including Dollop CoffeeDovetail Brewery, and The Charleston Bar.

Due to its long history, Chicago is home to iconic establishments like The Green Door TavernSchaller’s Pump, and The Berghoff.

For nightlife, try options like doing a bar crawl along Clark Street, catching a show at The Chicago Theatre, or dancing at Tao Chicago.

Grocery stores like Albertsons, Cub Foods, Meijer, and Treasure Island Foods are easily accessible in every neighborhood. When shopping for items besides food, try exploring the shops along Michigan Avenue.

Chicago Attractions & Things to Do

Chicago has many fascinating tourist attractions including The Art Institute of ChicagoNorth Avenue Beach, and Lincoln Park Zoo.

There’s also a vibrant art scene in the aptly-named Chicago Arts District where you’ll find numerous galleries, studio rentals, and retail spaces. Local artists like Anna Murphy, David Heo, and Louis Barak are featured at festivals like the Fine Arts Fair.

If you’re a sports fan, Chicago is home to the BullsCubsWhite Sox, and Bears. Since the city is one the few metro regions to have two Major League Baseball teams, there is an avid rivalry between the Cubs and White Sox.

Chicago has some of the largest amount of park space in any major city. Some of their most notable spots are Millennium ParkGrant Park, and the Lakefront Hiking Trail.

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Chicago Transportation

Chicago is served by O’Hare International Airport, which is one of the largest airports in the nation. Unfortunately, it tends to get bad reviews due to a confusing layout and high wait times.

On the bright side, the town does have a very popular and effective public transport system. The CTA has a bus and train system that goes all over town at convenient times. 

You can also rent electric scooters or order a rideshare from Uber or Lyft.

Most Chicagoans skip owning a car, but if you have one, expect to pay up to $30 an hour for public parking. Chicago also has a unique tradition of calling “dibs” on free residential spots. According to neighborhood etiquette, if a person shovels a spot and puts a lawn chair or other belonging in it, they get to reserve the spot for personal use.

Chicago Schools

Chicago is home to The University of Chicago, one of the world’s leading research colleges. There are also many other prestigious institutions like Loyola University Chicago and Northwestern University.

The public school system can be a little rough. A larger than usual number of Chicago private schools have poor ratings on GreatSchools

However, there are some well-reviewed options like Lenart Elementary and Canty Elementary as well. If you prefer private schools, there are also some highly-regarded options like Brehm Preparatory School and Saint Luke Academy.

The library system in Chicago is very good, with locations around town featuring programs like computer classes, tutoring programs, and free ebooks for both adults and kids.

Chicago Community Groups

If you’re religious, you’ll find a vast array of organizations to choose from in Chicago including Soul City ChurchSt. Michael Catholic ChurchChicago Mosque, and Central Synagogue.

And if you’re LGBTQ, there are great places like Center on HalstedHoward Brown Health Center, and the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

Chicago also has numerous neighborhood and community organizations that you can become involved in, including RANCH Triangle Community Conservation AssociationDiversey Harbor Lakeview Association, and ABJ Community Services, just to name a few.

Other good places to meet people as a newcomer are local Facebook groups and at Meetup.com.

Chicago Health & Wellness

As for Covid restrictions… The Chicago Department of Public Health requires that unvaccinated travelers be tested for COVID before and after travel from any state that is on their advisory list and quarantine upon arrival in Chicago. Currently that list includes about 40 states. The quarantine and testing recommendations do not apply to fully vaccinated travelers.

In response to the Omicron variant, all travelers arriving in Chicago from international destinations (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) need to get a negative COVID-19 viral test no more than 1 day before travel into the United States.

The city seems to be strongly encouraging all residents to get vaccinated, even giving out $100 gift cards to those who comply.

Chicago is currently open for business with no capacity limits, no social distancing requirements, and businesses able to operate at normal hours. However, masks must be worn indoors in public places.

The city recommends that large event organizers require vaccination or negative tests for attendees, but so far it looks like the ultimate decision is up to the organizers.

When you need healthcare, try highly rated options like Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Rush University Memorial Hospital. You can also find assisted living at spots like Symphony Residences and Belmont Village.

If you like to stay healthy through fitness, there are plenty of well-known gyms, like Planet Fitness, to choose from. Or you can also try local favorites like River North GymNamaskar Yoga Studio, or Mode Gym.

For pet health, there are clinics like Chicago Pet Clinic and West Loop Veterinary Care.

Chicago Climate & Safety

Chicago’s weather is generally cold and windy. In the summer, it’s often an enjoyable 83°F. However, winter lasts for months, and temperatures can drop to 5°F. WeatherSpark rates the town’s weather as cold from October through May.

One concern to be aware of is crime. The city routinely makes national news for many crime problems including gang warfare. Crime rates are 164 percent higher than the national average, and theft and assault are particularly common, so check neighborhood police data on any area of interest to learn what the risks are.

Approximately 80,0000 Chicagoans are unhoused, but due to the freezing temperatures, the city doesn’t really have tent cities or other common homeless issues. 

Somehow they manage to find places to stay when temperatures drop—in addition to shelters, warming centers or stay with friends, many duck into coffee shops, hospital waiting rooms and trains to escape the cold.

In terms of pests and predators, Chicago doesn’t have many wildlife issues, other than some roaches and rats in poorly maintained buildings.

Chicago Politics, Government & Taxation

Research from the University of Illinois found that Chicago is America’s most corrupt city. Furthermore, they have a very high amount of debt and very little income.

Politically the entire area around the city tends to be quite liberal. 74 percent of voters vote Democrat while 24 percent vote Republican.

Chicago sales tax is fairly high at 10.25 percent, much higher than the Illinois sales tax rate of 6.25 percent. The average tax rate for homes is 2.1 percent of assessed value, also high.

Illinois income taxes are 4.95 percent, which isn’t that bad compared to other states.

The top corporate tax rate is 9.5 percent and ranks 36 out of 50 states, so not that business-friendly compared to other options.

The region’s infrastructure is generally decent-quality. First responders are adequately staffed to serve the needs of the city, but they consistently have response times a minute longer than state averages.

Police response time statistics were harder to come by, so if you happen to know, let us know in the comments. We came across several local articles complaining about slow response times, so it’s something to look into. 

But the police department does provide an online map showing crime data by neighborhood, so look there to better understand the risk in whatever areas you’re interested in.

The Bottom Line

If you’re single and like big-city living for less in a place with nightlife, restaurants, and job opportunities that may not require a 4-year degree… Chicago may be the place for you. 

If you’re a couple without kids looking for nightlife, fine dining, arts, and entertainment… Chicago may be your place. But if you worry about crime and corruption, you might want to keep looking.

And if you have a family and want affordable housing with walkable neighborhoods… this town may work for you. But if you need a super safe environment with great schools, you may want to consider another location like Clarendon Hills or Buffalo Grove.

Where to live in America is a personal choice, because what’s important to us may not be important to you.

To help you find your perfect place, we recommend using a spreadsheet with weighted scores to help you clearly prioritize your choices. Our free template below can save you hours of time as you weigh your options.

Should You Move To San Francisco?

San Francisco has a reputation for being easygoing, innovative, artsy, and beautiful. Driving into town over that festive Bay Bridge, you get the feeling that the possibilities are endless.

No longer the counter-cultural mecca it was in the 1970s, people still love living there for its creativity, culture, excitement, and weather. Today, the city has evolved into one of the leading centers of technology, trade, and business services.

One more fun fact about the city? San Franciscans are crazy about their furry friends, and the town actually has more dogs than children!

San Francisco Economy & Job Opportunities

With a population of just over 880,000 residents, (mostly young, college-educated professionals), the town has a distinct feel of hope and optimism.

Founded by Spanish colonizers in 1776, the city’s rich cultural heritage is still evident today.

But the California Gold Rush of the 1800s quickly turned San Francisco into a center for trade and commerce. Even after the rush subsided, this oceanside city remained a key shipping region, with the influx of influences from many cultures leaving its unique mark.

In the 50’s and 60’s, San Francisco had a reputation for being one of the epicenters for beatnik and hippie culture, resulting in a huge outgrowth of activism, art, and entertainment.

By the 1990s, San Francisco had begun pivoting from tourism and trade to technology. Starting with the dot.com boom, the city became home for hundreds of startups and evolved from there.

Today, with employers like Salesforce, Square, Stripe, Dropbox, and Zendesk, San Francisco is giving nearby Silicon Valley a run for its money when it comes to tech job formation.

There’s always a high demand for software developers, product managers, IT specialists, and related high-tech roles in San Francisco. Other white-collar jobs, such as accountants, administrative assistants, and marketing managers are also common.

There are numerous opportunities in the medical industry and a huge demand for service industry workers such as cashiers, retail salespeople, waiters, and delivery people.

San Francisco Real Estate & Cost of Living

The city has notoriously pricey real estate, some of the priciest on the planet!

The current median list price for a San Francisco home is $1.6 million, with an average 99 days time on market. The median list price for a condo is $1.2 million, also on the market for 99 days on average.

The Bay Area market has continued to grow briskly. Recently, a San Francisco seller received a $3.5 million bid after listing their home for $2.5 million. The city is doing better than the Bay Area lately, driven by local high-tech IPOs.

According to Altos, the city is currently in a strong buyers market as of December 2021.

The average rent for a 740 square foot apartment is $3,102 according to RentCafe.

Three of the top neighborhoods to live are Pacific Heights, Seacliff, and Telegraph Hill due to their stunning water views, neighborhood vibe, and proximity to shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for lively, less expensive options not too far from the city center, you might want to investigate Noe Valley, Cole Valley, or West Portal. 

The kinds of homes you’ll find in San Francisco are a blend of historic Victorian townhomes, modern condos, and luxury single-family estates.

Short-term rentals recently became legal within the city, but they are still highly regulated

First of all, you have to live in the unit you rent for at least 275 days per year. Second, you must be registered with the city as a business and a short-term rental. Third, you may only rent out 90 unhosted nights a year (meaning you’re not on the property during the rental period). 

There’s also a long list of prohibited properties which are not permitted to rent short-term at all, so do your due diligence before purchasing a home for this purpose in San Francisco.

Thanks to the city’s tech culture, high-speed internet is available almost anywhere from top providers like AT&T, XFinity, and T-Mobile for as low as $20 per month.

Utility costs like electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash are generally higher than the national average at varying rates.

The overall cost of living score for the town is 269.3, making it the third priciest city in the nation, and the livability score is roughly 68 out of 100.

San Francisco Food, Drink, & Entertainment

The city has some of the best restaurants on the West Coast ranging from Chinese to Soul Food to gourmet French patisseries.

It also has some inventive coffee shops, such as Mazarine Coffee, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Cafe Francisco, along with tasty breweries like Black Hammer, Fort Point Beer Company, and ThirstyBear Brewing.

San Francisco is also iconic for its incredible restaurants like Rich Table, Brenda’s French Soul Food, and Saison.

Grocery stores like Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Target are easily accessible in every neighborhood.

Areas like Union Square are known for classy cocktails (though many of the retail shops have been recently boarded up due to flash mob robberies) while spots like Mission District are the city’s official party zone (though there’s a pretty severe homeless problem there as well, so stay alert if you go).

The city also has several cultural entertainment venues, such as the Orpheum Theatre, Davies Symphony Hall, and the War Memorial Opera House.

San Francisco also has some great shopping districts including Union Square, Westfield San Francisco Center, Fillmore Street, Haight Street, and the Embarcadero District.

San Francisco Attractions & Things to Do

The city has an array of incredible tourist attractions, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, Lombard Street, the San Francisco Zoo, the Academy of Sciences, de Young Museum and Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, just to name a few.

There’s also a vibrant art scene in the DoReMi district where you’ll find numerous galleries and museums featuring local artists like Alynn-Mags, Kelly Ording, and Fernando Reyes.

If you’re a sports fan, the city is home to the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and Golden State Warriors. The sports that get most residents excited are football and baseball.

There are so many fabulous parks in San Francisco, including Golden Gate Park, Mission Delores, Twin Peaks, Washington Square, Buena Vista, Lake Merced, and Glen Canyon Park.

San Francisco Transportation

This city is home to the San Francisco International Airport and is known for its gorgeous interior design and decor. The airport gets high reviews for walkability and low security wait times.

Getting around on public transportation is pretty easy. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) provides fast, electric trains that can get you to key points in the city and around the entire region. Additionally, the Muni trains and buses can get you just about anywhere in the city.

For traveling shorter distances, try the iconic San Francisco trolleys. Like other big cities, it’s also easy to find Ubers, Lyfts, and various rideshares.

You won’t necessarily need a car in the city, but if you have one, parking can be tricky. Monthly rents for parking spaces run from $150-$500 per month and up. It’s best to get a home with a parking spot, but when you need to park on the street, it can take patience to find a good spot.

And keep in mind that car insurance tends to run a little higher than state and national averages.

The average car insurance rate in San Francisco is $1,488 per year, and drivers living in the city can expect to pay about 4.1% higher than California’s annual average.

San Francisco Schools

The city has many colleges and universities including San Francisco State University and UC San Francisco, one of the top-rated medical schools in the nation. This and many other schools contribute to the city’s innovative and creative environment.

The main public school district contains a high number of above average schools according to Great Schools. However, you’ll need to shop for schools carefully because some do have poorer ratings.

There are also many highly regarded private schools to choose from including Convent & Stuart Hall, Notre Dame High School, and Adda Clevenger School.

You’ll also find a lot of great local homeschooling groups if you prefer that style of education.

The library system in the city is very extensive. Locations around town feature programs like bilingual storytime, summer reading programs, and community events for both adults and kids.

San Francisco Community Groups

If you’re religious, you’ll find a vast array of churches and temples to choose from in the region including Grace Cathedral, City Church, Dhammaram Temple, and Congregation Emanu-El.

As one of the first LGBTQ-friendly regions in the nation, the city is home to organizations like the SF LGBT Center, the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society, and the Tom Waddell Urban Health Center.

If you’re LGBTQ, you’ll find a massive amount of resources. 

The city also has numerous neighborhood and community organizations that you can become involved in, including Grateful Dogs Rescue, St. Anthony Foundation, and Conservation Society of California.

Other good places to meet people as a newcomer are local Facebook groups, hobby groups, and Meetup.com events.

San Francisco Health & Wellness

As for Covid, San Francisco has quite a few mandates, including a note that violation of or failure to comply with the Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

The city strongly encourages people to get all Covid shots and boosters, and masks are required in all indoor public settings, with some exceptions for people who are fully vaccinated.

Organizations are required to report all cases of Covid. Vaccination is required for government and health care workers, and anyone over 12 to attend large events.

Also, the city of San Francisco mandates proof of vaccination for patrons to use certain indoor facilities, like restaurants, bars, clubs, and gyms.

Curiously, there seems to be no provision for people recovered from Covid who enjoy natural immunity.

This area is quite health-oriented, so the city has a lot of fitness options (if you’re fully vaccinated). In addition to all the standard gym chains, there are also local favorites like Live Fit, Body Mechanix, Accelerate Sports Performance, Sunset Gym, and Tribe Fitness and Yoga.

As one of the leading centers for medical care in the region, the city is home to options like UCSF Medical Center, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

Some popular veterinary choices include the San Francisco Pet Hospital, Sunset Veterinary Hospital, and Mission Pet Hospital.

San Francisco Climate & Safety

The town usually has mild temperatures with a lot of humidity and fog. Winter temperatures are usually around 45 degrees Fahrenheit, while summer temperatures are typically around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

San Francisco has quite high crime rates compared to other California regions. While rapes, robberies and burglaries are down in 2021 versus the year prior, sex trafficking, larceny theft, and homicides are up significantly.

After announcing plans last year to move funding from strict policing to community assistance initiatives, the city recently reversed course to cope with the rising crime rates that subsequently ensued.

Homelessness continues to be a huge problem in the city, with over 8,000 individuals counted as of 2019. That number has most certainly gone up given the increase in tent cities during the pandemic, and many believe that the problem is linked to high crime rates.

The city has allocated more funds to provide shelters in converted hotels and sanctioned encampments for approximately people, with plans to acquire 1500 more units by 2023.

But in a city with such pricey housing, mild weather, and tolerant authorities, it will likely take years to make a dent in this problem.

San Francisco Politics, Government & Taxation

The city tends to be highly liberal, with 62% of registered voters being Democrats and just 6% being Republican.

At 8.5%, sales tax is a little higher than state averages. 

Property tax rates are a little high too since they are 1.18% of a property’s assessed value versus the national average of 1.07%.

If you’re moving from out-of-state, you should also know that California has a top individual income tax rate of 13.3%.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, San Francisco might be the right choice if you’re young, motivated, and work in the tech or medical fields. However, if you can’t put a lot of money towards housing or want a more conservative environment, you might want to keep looking.

Good schools and cultural opportunities can make this an ideal place to raise a family. However, if you prefer a place with lower crime rates, try nearby regions like Marin, the Peninsula, or the East Bay.

Where to live in America is a personal choice, because what’s important to us may not be important to you. 

To help you find your perfect place, we recommend using a spreadsheet with weighted scores to help you clearly prioritize your choices. Our free template below can save you hours of time as you weigh your options.

Should You Move to Seattle?

Every year, thousands of people move to Seattle, cementing its position as one of the five fastest growing cities in the United States. While some cities are easy to characterize by a single trait that draws people in, that’s not true of Seattle. 

Whether you’re looking for a thriving tech scene, dynamic neighborhood cultures, or a highly rated higher education scene, the area is a wonderful option for you.

With a population of just under 777,000, most of whom are couples without children, Seattle is a rapidly growing city that is incredibly appealing to young professionals and other people who are drawn to a city with a thriving cultural scene.

One of the most appealing aspects of life here is the mild weather. 

While the city has a reputation for non-stop rain, that’s simply not the case. In fact, on average, there are only 92 days of precipitation every year. Additionally, many people are drawn to the area because of the thriving tech industry, creating jobs in one of the most popular industries in the United States.

There are plenty of interesting historical notes about Seattle, but one of the most fascinating is the fact that it was home to one of the first gas stations in the world. This station was opened near the corner of present day Western Avenue and Holgate Street in 1907.

Seattle Economy and Job Opportunities

When settlers first came to modern day Seattle in 1851, they actually referred to the area as New York. However, these settlers quickly recognized the viability of a protected deep water harbor on the other side of Elliot Bay, and shifted their plans towards that area. In honor of Duwamish Indian Chief Si’ahl (1780-1866), the settlers named the area Seattle.

Built in 1853, Henry Yesler’s lumber mill was the most important part of the city’s early economy. In fact, much of the lumber that went to the rapidly growing San Francisco, California, was milled at Henry Yesler’s. 

It’s also interesting to note that even though the lumber industry was thriving, Seattle would not incorporate as a city until 1869, and Washington wouldn’t even become a state until 20 years later, when it officially became the 42nd state in 1889.

While timbering and the lumber industry still have a presence in Washington, Seattle itself has become one of the most important areas for the technology industry. 

Though many people recognize Seattle as the home of Starbucks Coffee and the grunge-rock music scene of the 1990s, it is also home to Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world.

However, Amazon isn’t the only tech business that is based here, as the city’s proximity to Silicon Valley has encouraged the growth of multiple technology-based companies. Obviously, as technology continues to become more prevalent in every other industry in the world, the demand for jobs in the tech sector will continue to grow, making the city a long-term hub for jobs in the United States.

Finally, there is a thriving startup scene here, ensuring that entrepreneurs, especially those who are focused on the tech industry, can connect with likeminded business owners to start their own companies.

Seattle Real Estate and Cost of Living

The median list price for a single-family home is $854,500, while the median list price for a condo is $599,950, with the average number of days on the market at 64 for houses and 80 for condos.

According to Altos Research, Seattle is a strong sellers’ market as of December 2021.

The average rent for a 692 square foot apartment is $2,169 per month, according to RentCafe.

Three of the top neighborhoods are Fremont, Belltown, and Pioneer Square, thanks largely to the number of cultural attractions ranging from art to music in the areas. The allure of these areas is only increased when you realize how close they are in proximity to virtually all of the job opportunities in Seattle. 

However, if you’re looking for a more suburban experience that isn’t too far from the city center, you might want to investigate Clyde Hill, Redmond, and Sammamish.

The kind of homes that you will find here include Victorian, Tudor, and Craftsman Bungalow. However, there is also a type of architecture known as Seattle Box that is very common in the area and provides a modern look with two stories and a nearly perfectly square shape.

Short-term rentals are heavily regulated. In fact, if you plan on offering a property as a short-term rental, you will be required to obtain a business license tax certificate and a regulatory license for short-term rentals.

High speed internet is available from Xfinity, Wave, and CenturyLink starting at $19.99 per month.

Utility costs such as electricity, gas, water, sewer, and trash are generally a little higher than the national average.

The overall cost of living score is 156 as compared to the US baseline at 100, while the livability score is 65 on a scale of 0-100 according to AreaVibes.

Seattle Food, Drink and Entertainment

There are tons of great restaurants all over town, from Cafe Juanita, to Addo, to Off the Rez Cafe, including coffee shops and breweries like Elm Coffee Roasters and Rooftop Brewing Company.

Some of the town’s most iconic eating and drinking establishments include Beth’s Cafe, Serafina, and Cafe Flora, known primarily for its expansive vegetarian menu.

Seattle has plenty of nightlife options, including Bathtub Gin and Co., which was transformed into a 1920s-era speakeasy in 2009. 

Moviegoers also enjoy the Regal Meridian & 4DX as well as the SIFF Film Center when looking for somewhere to watch movies.

Grocery stores such as Ballard Market, QFC, and Metropolitan Market are easily accessible from every neighborhood.

The town is also home to a number of wonderful shopping options, including the Pike Place Market which is situated Downtown, Westlake Center, Elliot Bay Book Company, and Fremont Vintage Mall.

Seattle Attractions and Things to Do

The city is home to a number of fascinating tourist attractions including Seattle Center, a gorgeous park with playgrounds and attractions where you’ll find the Space Needle, the Chihuly glass garden, and a fabulous collection of eateries. 

There’s also the waterfront, Pike Place Market and the underground attractions in the Pioneer Square Historic District.

Seattle is home to a thriving art scene, including theatre, dance, and music. For theatre lovers, a show at the historic Paramount, or an improv show at Unexpected Productions are must-see. There are a number of live music venues, which have been a part of the city’s culture for more than 30 years. 

Finally, there are plenty of art museums all around the city, including The Royal Room, Vera Project, and The Showbox.

If you’re a sports fan, the city is home to several professional sports teams. The Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball, and the Seattle Sounders of Major League Soccer have called the Emerald City home for years. Most recently, the Seattle Kraken became the newest member of the National Hockey League at the start of the 2021-2022 season.

The city is home to more than 485 parks, so there is never a shortage of outdoor recreational activities including hiking trails, biking trails, jogging and more. Some of the most popular parks include Discovery Park, Seward Park, and Green Lake Park.

Seattle Transportation

The city is served by Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), which is incredibly easy to get in and out of while offering a number of international nonstop flights. Many travelers agree that the best part of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is the number of dining and shopping options that can be found inside.

Getting around on public transportation is easy, thanks in part to the number of quality options available. In addition to King County Metro Transit bus lines, you can also take advantage of Link Light Rail, Seattle Streetcars, and the Seattle Center Monorail. 

Of course, the city is also home to a thriving rideshare scene, allowing travelers the option to get around the city via Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare platform.

You won’t necessarily need a vehicle, but if you have one, it’s important to note that parking varies depending on where you’re at in the city. In addition to limited parking options, some areas are more expensive to park in than others. 

Also, keep in mind that car insurance rates here tend to run around 15% higher than the national average.

Seattle Schools

The city has numerous colleges and universities, many of which have rigorous admission standards to ensure that they can continue to offer another wave of highly intelligent, well trained professionals.

The public school system has been rated as exceptional by Great Schools.

There are also many highly regarded private schools to choose from including Villa Academy, O’dea High School, and Our Lady Of The Lake School. You can also find multiple high-quality homeschooling groups if you prefer to educate at home.

The library system is very good, with locations all around town that offer programs like Story Time, Museum Pass, and Job Resources for both kids and adults.

Seattle Community Groups

If you’re religious, you will find a vast array of churches and religious centers to choose from, including those who practice Catholicism, Protestantism, Scientology, Buddhism, Islam, and more.

If you are a member of the LGBTQ community, you will find plenty of resources and groups, including Capitol Hill, which has long been the epicenter of Seattle’s LGBTQ community.

Seattle also has numerous neighborhood and community programs and organizations that you can be a part of, including Salish Sea Expeditions, Valley Animal Partners, and Big-Brained Superheroes Club.

Other good options for newcomers who are looking to make connections with their new neighbors include Facebook groups and Meetup.com.

Seattle Health and Wellness

Currently Seattle has a vaccination rate of 82% with businesses now permitted to run full capacity. 

There is a statewide mask mandate regardless of vaccination status. King County requires proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter certain indoor and outdoor events and establishments, including bars & restaurants, indoor events, and outdoor events with over 500 people.

As these rules are always changing, check with official sources before making plans for Seattle.

In addition to some world-class gyms such as X Gym, Pro Club-Bellevue, and Studio 3 Fit, there are a number of top yoga studios including Bindi Yoga, Modo Yoga Seattle, and Seattle Yoga Lounge.

Seattle is home to some of the best hospitals in the nation including the University of Washington Medical Center, Virginia Mason Medical Center, and EvergreenHealth Kirkland. For health issues that don’t require a hospital visit, there are urgent care clinics such as ZoomCare and Multicare Indigo Urgent Care.

The city is also home to several world-class assisted living facilities including Truewood by Merril, Queen Anne Manor Assisted Living and Memory Care Community, and Providence Heritage House at the Market.

Finally, for pet lovers, Mercer Street Veterinary Hospital and Aurora Veterinary Hospital provide high-end vet services, while Seattle Dog Boarding can take care of your four-legged family member should you be out of town for a while.

Seattle Climate and Safety

While Seattle has long had a reputation for constant rain, that’s simply a stereotype that isn’t true. In fact, it rains roughly 92 days per year here. Overall, the climate is considered very mild, as summertime temperatures average 75 degrees, and wintertime temperatures generally stay at or slightly above freezing.

Unfortunately, Seattle’s crime rate is significantly higher than the national average. 

The city recently slashed police budgeting after protests to defund the police became more common, and now violent crimes and property crimes have both increased.

Additionally, homelessness is a serious issue in Seattle, as there are upwards of 11,000 homeless people in the city. Officials are planning to add 2000 more housing units by 2023 to help address the issue.

There are several naturally occurring pests and predators here, including raccoons, skunks, mice, rats, coyotes, and various types of snakes.

Seattle Politics, Government and Taxation

Based on a detailed study of anti-corruption laws, Seattle’s city government seems to be considered uncorrupt. 

However, the fiscal condition is lacking, as the city struggles to overcome mounting debt.

Voters here skew heavily to the left based on data collected during the last election cycle. 75% of voters voted Democratic while only 22.2% of voters voted Republican. Additionally, 2.8% of voters voted Independent.

While Washington does not have a state income tax, it has a sales tax of 6.5% imposed by Washington State. 

However, within Seattle, that sales tax climbs to 10.1% since the city adds 3.6%.

Seattle spends more than $650 million each year to improve infrastructure

However, due to recent slashes to some first responder budgets, its police response time exceeded 60 minutes in recent studies.

The Bottom Line

If you’re single and looking for a rapidly growing city with nearly unlimited job opportunities… Seattle may be the right choice for you. However, if you want a small town with a more intimate feel, you may be better served by looking elsewhere.

If you’re a couple with kids looking for an opportunity to expose your children to cultural activities and some incredible educational opportunities… Seattle may be a good place for you. Conversely, if you’re concerned about crime rates and cost of living rates, you may want to keep looking.

If you have a family and you want to live in a community where there’s always something going on, unlimited sources of entertainment, and some world-class shopping… Seattle is a great choice. However, if you prefer a slower pace, you may want to consider another location such as nearby suburbs Clyde Hill, Redmond, and Sammamish.

Where to live in America is a personal choice, because what’s important to us may not be important to you. 

To help you find your perfect place, we recommend using a spreadsheet with weighted scores to help you clearly prioritize your choices. Our free template below can save you hours of time as you weigh your options.

Should You Move to Las Vegas?

Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of the most exciting cities in the world. With world-class entertainment, casinos, and some of the best restaurants in the United States, there is never a shortage of things to do in “Sin City.”

In addition to shopping, shows, gambling, dining, and outdoor adventures, residents also enjoy cheering their local teams—the Raiders of the National Football League and the Las Vegas Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association. You can spend a day at the game or a night on the town, there’s never a reason to be bored here.

Las Vegas Economy and Job Opportunities

With a population just under 670,000 (most of whom are between 35 and 54 years old), Las Vegas is the most populated city in Nevada, and the 25th most populated city in the United States. 

Las Vegas officially incorporated on May 15, 1905, when 110 acres of land were auctioned off by the railroad company who had purchased ground in order to expand the nation’s railroad system. Las Vegas became a railroad town, primarily because of the abundance of water available, which made it an ideal stop for passengers who were traveling from Southern California to Salt Lake City. 

While dude ranches were popular in Vegas in the 1930s, it didn’t take long for gaming to become one of the most important aspects of the city’s economy. In fact, the first themed hotel and casino opened in 1941, and was quickly followed by three more over the next seven years.

Today, the city is known for its entertainment and gaming industries. 

It’s not rare to walk down the famed Las Vegas Strip and see countless shows from some of the most recognized names in the world of entertainment. Additionally, there are countless casinos all around town that cater to gamblers of all experience levels.

While there are obviously multiple jobs within the entertainment and gaming industries, the sales industry is actually the most common employment field for residents, with food preparation, and office administration positions coming in second and third respectively.

Additionally, there are a number of tech startups that are establishing themselves here, operating out of co-working spaces which means you can connect with other entrepreneurs and network to help propel your startup forward.

Las Vegas Real Estate and Cost of living

The median list price for a single-family home is $540,000, while the median list price for a condominium is $245,000, with the average number of days on the market at 86 for homes and 100 for condominiums.

According to Altos Research, Las Vegas is in a strong sellers’ market as of December 2021.

The average rent for an 892 square-foot apartment is $1,341 according to Rent Cafe.

The kinds of homes you’ll find vary in architectural style, and usually include Mediterranean, Pueblo, Ranch, and Spanish-Inspired.

Short-term rentals are regulated here, and are only allowed in owner-occupied homes that have three or fewer bedrooms and are at least 660 feet away from another short-term rental.

High speed internet is available from CenturyLink, Cox, and HughesNet starting at $34.95 per month.

Utility costs like electricity, gas, water, sewer, and trash are generally low when compared to the rest of the country, according to Numbeo.

AreaVibes rates the overall cost of living score at 102, so just a bit over the national baseline of 100, and the city’s livability score at 70 on a scale of 0-100.

Las Vegas Food, Drink, and Entertainment

Las Vegas has tons of good restaurants all over town, from the comfort foods of Honey Salt, to the Taiwanese offerings at Every Grain, to the wildly popular Oyster Bar. 

Las Vegas is also home to multiple coffee shops like Vesta Coffee Roasters and breweries such as Able Baker Brewing and Banger Brewing.

Some of the most iconic dining establishments in Las Vegas include Peppermill Las Vegas, Golden Steer Steakhouse Las Vegas, and Top of the World, famous for its varied drink menu and impressive offering of chilled or raw seafood.

Obviously, Las Vegas is world-renowned for the number of entertainment options available on the Las Vegas Strip. However, there are plenty of other nightlife options to consider. For instance, Chateau Nightclub and the Foundation Room are both wildly popular nightclubs in Las Vegas. 

Additionally, there are plenty of bars and lounges, including The Commonwealth and The Chandelier Bar. 

For moviegoers, Regal Red Rock IMAX and 4DX provides some of the best cinematic experiences anywhere in the country.

Obviously, if you’re considering a move to Las Vegas, it’s important that you know where to do your grocery shopping. Grocery stores like Albertsons, WinCo Foods, and Vons are easily accessible in every neighborhood.

There are plenty of other shopping options in Las Vegas. For instance, Las Vegas Premium Outlets (both north and south) provide more than 150 brand-name and designer stores at outlet prices. 

Other shopping options in Las Vegas include The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, The Grand Canal Shoppes, and Miracle Mile Shops.

Las Vegas Attractions and Things to Do

Most of the tourist attractions in Las Vegas revolve around The Strip and the various dinner shows and casinos that line one of the most famous streets in the United States. 

However, Las Vegas has many other tourist attractions including the Fremont Street Experience, gondola rides at the Venetian Hotel, and helicopter rides over Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

There is also a vibrant art scene located on and around the Vegas Strip. For instance, the Bellagio Gallery partners with foundations and museums from around the world to present a wide variety of compelling art pieces. Past exhibits have included pieces from Warhol, Picasso, and Faberge. 

The Arts Factory, located at the corner of Main Street and Charleston Boulevard, and The Martin Lawrence Gallery, situated in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace are both incredible art galleries in their own rights.

If you’re a sports fan, Las Vegas is also home to the Las Vegas Raiders of the National Football League, the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League, and the Las Vegas Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association. 

In addition to those three teams, Las Vegas is also home to a large number of minor league and semi-pro teams, ensuring there is always something for sports lovers to enjoy.

Las Vegas is also home to a number of parks and trails. For example, the Peccole Ranch Walking Trail is a hit among those who want to go outside and enjoy a leisurely walk in the ample shade, while the Burkholder Trail and the Historic Railroad Trail both provide bicycling opportunities for riders of all experience levels. 

Finally, there are plenty of family parks in Las Vegas, including Floyd Lamb Park and Centennial Hills Park, each of which provide a multitude of activities.

Las Vegas Transportation

Las Vegas is served by McCarran International Airport, which is also referred to as LAS. McCarran International Airport is incredibly easy to get in and out of, has numerous international nonstop flights, and is most noted for its wide variety of duty-free shops and the aviation museum found inside.

Getting around Las Vegas on public transportation is pretty easy, as there are plenty of options. 

In addition to Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing options, many people prefer the Las Vegas monorail that runs up and down the Vegas Strip. You can also take advantage of the strip trams, which run along only one side of the Strip, but are free. Finally, there are multiple bus services in and around Las Vegas, including Deuce, a double-decker bus, and SDX.

You won’t necessarily need a car living in Las Vegas, but if you have one, you’ll notice that parking varies in price and difficulty based on where you’re at in the city. On and around the strip, you can often find parking that ranges between $6 and $10 per hour, while there are plenty of free parking options elsewhere in the city. 

Additionally, you’ll want to account for car insurance, which is around $2,640 per year according to TheZebra.com. That number is around $1,100 higher than the national average.

Las Vegas Schools

Las Vegas has numerous schools and universities that provide students with a variety of degree programs to choose from, ensuring that Las Vegas has another generation of well-educated professionals ready to lead the city into the future.

The public school system has been rated below average by Great Schools

But there are also many highly regarded private schools to choose from, including Building Blocks Child Care, Kids R Kids #2 Child Care Center, and International Christian Academy. 
You’ll also find numerous local homeschooling groups if you prefer to educate at home.

Las Vegas Community Groups

If you’re religious, you’ll find a vast array of churches and houses of worship in Las Vegas, including those that cater to members of the following faiths: Catholics, Protestants, Jewish, Muslims, Buddhists, and more.

Also, if you are a member of the LGBTQ community, you will find several resources in and around Las Vegas, including The LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada, Henderson Equality Center, and Las Vegas TransPride.

Las Vegas also has numerous neighborhood and community organizations that you can become involved in, including the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, Vegas Roots Community Garden, and Spread the Word Nevada just to name a few.

Other good places to meet people as a newcomer are local Facebook groups and at Meetup.com.

Las Vegas Health and Wellness

As for Covid restrictions, Las Vegas is open for business without capacity limits. 

The state of Nevada mandates that everyone wear a mask in public indoor settings, but as of Aug 16, all large indoor events with 4,000 or more attendees may show proof of vaccination as an exception to the indoor mask requirement.

These rules are always changing, so check with official sources before making plans for Vegas. 

There are plenty of places where you can work on your personal fitness. Places such as Power Yoga + Pilates + Fitness, Kintsugi Yoga, and KILO CLUB provide great fitness options.

There are multiple world-class hospitals in Las Vegas, including Valley Hospital Medical Center, Summerlin Hospital Medical Center, and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. There are also several urgent care clinics, including Las Vegas Urgent Care and DispatchHealth Urgent Medical Care Las Vegas.

For elderly residents or those with extenuating health issues, there are multiple assisted living facilities in Las Vegas, including Avamere at Cheyenne, Aegis Living Las Vegas, Oakley Assisted Living, and Silver Sky at Deer Springs Assisted Living.

For pet lovers, there are several vet and kennel options in and around Las Vegas. These include Boca Park Animal Hospital, Pet Health Animal Hospital, and Just Like Home Doggie Hotel and Grooming.

Las Vegas Climate and Safety

Las Vegas’ weather is generally hot. Summertime temperatures in July average around 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are generally mild, but temperatures do drop into the upper 30s. 

Spring and fall are significantly milder, with temperatures that range anywhere between 50 and 80 degrees, depending on the month. 

Because Las Vegas is in the desert, there is a myth that it’s always hot, but that’s simply not the case. December is the coldest month of the year, and even though snow is rare, temperatures often hover around freezing point, especially at night.

Unfortunately, Las Vegas does have a crime rate that is 17% higher than the national average. 

Crime here is rated an F by AreaVibes, however, Las Vegas’ crime rate is lower than metropolitan areas that are of similar size. Property, theft and violent crimes are the top three categories. 

To combat the problem, metro police in Las Vegas have recently started focusing more on The Strip, where many of the crimes committed take place. 

Clark County officials indicate that around 34,397 people, or 1.8% of Las Vegas’ population is homeless, some living underground in the sewers. City leaders are working with local shelters and other outlets to help them get access to the resources they need, but not all of them want the help.

As for pests and predators to watch out for in Las Vegas, you’ll find Cicadas, Scorpions, Cockroaches, Ants, Spiders, Elm root borer, Bees, and Crickets. You also want to keep an eye out for mountain lions and Gila monsters if you venture outside the city.

Las Vegas Politics, Government, and Taxation

Las Vegas city government does have a bit of a reputation for some financial corruption, as reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal, which provided accounts of multiple city officials using campaign funds and taxpayer money to travel and visit expensive restaurants. 

The city received a C from Data-Z.org regarding its overall fiscal state.

In the last presidential election, 53.7% of voters voted for the Democratic candidate while 44.3% of voters voted Republican. 2% of voters voted independent/third party.

Las Vegas’ sales tax is at 8.38%, making it one of the higher city sales taxes in the nation. However, Las Vegas has some of the lowest property taxes in the nation at 0.53% according to Smartasset.com. 

Finally, according to CNBC, Las Vegas is considered one of the most business friendly cities in the nation, as there is no business income tax, personal income tax, or franchise tax.

Nevada does not have a state income tax, which is certainly a bonus.

Las Vegas’ infrastructure is generally considered very good, as is the case with most of Nevada. 

The staffing of first responders is considered good, as is reflected in quick response times. For instance, the Clark County Fire Department has an average response time of around 7 minutes and 34 seconds according to Elite LV Medical Center’s website.

The Bottom Line

If you’re single and looking for a city with an exciting nightlife where you can meet plenty of new people… Las Vegas may be the right choice for you. But if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and slow-paced to call home, there may be better options elsewhere.

If you’re a couple without children and want a place that provides a healthy mix of culture and entertainment… it’s hard to beat the excitement of Las Vegas. However, if you’re concerned about crime and a rapidly growing population, you might want to keep looking.

If you have a family and want to raise your children in a thriving, diverse community with something always going on… Las Vegas may work for you. However, if you prefer a slower paced, laid-back community where you know everyone in town, you may want to consider another location like nearby suburbs Summerlin South, Spring Valley, or Henderson.

Where to live in America is a very personal choice, because what’s important to us may not be important to you. 

To help you find your perfect place, we recommend using a spreadsheet with weighted scores to help you clearly prioritize your choices. Our free template below can save you hours of time as you weigh your options.