I'm a native of Los Angeles and am an agent both in California and Nevada. When I came to Las Vegas six years ago looking to make an investment I already had an idea of where I wanted to put my money. But to be thorough, I made several trips over a couple of months before returning to my first thought. So what's the best place to invest in Las Vegas... why of course, it's Las Vegas.
Everybody in L.A. knows that beach property is golden, the closer the better. It's a big part of what Socal is all about. Well when it comes to Las Vegas, the Strip is the beach. People don't come here for endless miles of of adobe-tiled tract homes stretching off into the desert. The Strip is the dynamo that powers this town and that's what every potential buyer in the world is looking for. Whether it's a new condo or an estate in MacDonald ranch... it's all about the view (or the golf course in some cases.)
Strange as it may seem, the ony true homes on the Strip seem to be the orphans of the Las Vegas real estate market. I'm talking about the Beverly Green and Southridge neighborhoods which include the John S. Park Historic District just east of Las Vegas Blvd. between Sahara and Charleston. These classic homes on 5,000 to 10,000 s.f. lots were built from the late 1930's to the early 1960's and are mostly two to three bedrooms, with larger custom homes as you approach Las Vegas Blvd. to the west. Elvis, Liberace, Bob Stupak, Jimmy the Greek, the Binions, and the Mulaskys had homes here along with prominent politicians and businessmen. I own four, all within blocks of the Stratosphere.
One thing that was particularly familiar and appealing to me were the homes themselves. If it weren't for the Stratosphere, you could be in West L.A.. But the real clincher was the location. Aside from being the only homes more or less on the Strip, the north end of the Strip and Downtown is where most of the redevelopment is going on these days. It seems likely that everything north of Sahara to Bonneville between Las Vegas Blvd and the 15 Fwy will be transformed into what will probably be the most interesting mixed-use neighborhood in town over the next ten or twenty years. I wonder what homes in Southridge and Beverly Glen will be worth when people are staring down at them from their expensive condos? Also, I don't think they'll be making any more single family homes in the heart of all that is Las Vegas again... ever.
Nice, mature neighborhoods with tree-lined streets, big lots and solid construction, close to pretty much everything that matters in Las Vegas... What's wrong with this picture?
Stigma. The area between Downtown and Sahara where the Strip begins seems to be a standing joke among local agents (with a few exceptions like Jack Le Vine) who simply haven't taken the time to investigate. I've met more than one agent who wasn't even aware that there were homes here. The irony is that the 'City of Las Vegas' ends at Sahara Blvd. Everything south of Sahara, including the Strip, isn't even in Las Vegas.
I suppose this is actually the final reason that I chose to invest in this area... price. I couldn't believe the deals that I was getting on what I considered to be first rate, long-term investments. That goes double now that prices have bottomed out pretty much all over the valley. You can get sweet two and three bedroom homes here for around $100k give or take, and some of the larger homes for $50 to 150k more. With rents at around $1,000 to $1,200 for nice two to three bedroom homes and more for larger ones, these investments can really pencil out.
There are other neighborhoods in Las Vegas proper by the Strip worth mentioning as well, though none of them enjoy the 'Beach' factor to quite the same extent. Huntridge is just to the east of Southridge and Beverly Glen across Maryland Blvd. This area also has a good mix of properties, from two and three bedrooms to some really fine custom homes. There are also some great neighborhoods west of the 15 Fwy between Sahara and Downtown that enjoy excellent access to the redevelopment area. From spacious three and four bedroom homes in the Scotch 80's, to larger and considerably larger properties in McNeil Estates on a quarter acre to an acre more, to luxury homes in Rancho Bel Air and some serious estate properties on Alta Drive, there's something for everyone at prices that are more than competitive.
There is one area south of Sahara in Clark County that enjoys good access to the Strip, the Winchester district which runs all along the east side of the Strip has a great variety of neighborhoods built mostly in the 1960's and 70's. Unfortunately, much of this area is directly under McCarran Airports glide path, (but there are a couple of great, older golf course tracts.) Aside from this, the neighborhoods to the west of the Strip are largely blocked by the 15 Fwy and the industrial zone which runs along it. Though some of these neighborhoods built in the 80' and 90's around Spring Mountain and Flamingo enjoy good access to the heart of the Strip, they lack the inate charm and immediate experience of Las Vegas that these older neighborhoods have.
So spread the word and come check these areas out for yourselves. I guarantee that you won't be disappointed and your out-of-state customers will be thrilled. For those of you in Southern California, please call me anytime. I'd be glad to come to your office and personally talk with you and your clients about all of the opportunities available in Las Vegas.
AJonesREALTOR / Andy@JonesResortProperty.com
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