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Head to head: Comparing home-buying dollars in LA and Las Vegas

Updated May 15, 2021 - 3:30 pm

It has become a given in the current red-hot real estate market that Los Angelenos willing to leave California can get more for their housing dollar in Las Vegas than they might back home.

What does that look like in real life? We scouted Zillow.com to unscientifically compare houses a buyer could get in Las Vegas or Los Angeles for $680,000 — the median sold price of existing single-family homes in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in March, according to the California Association of Realtors.

The homes in Las Vegas tended to be newer and, in many cases, larger than homes in Los Angeles. Most had larger yards. Outdoor amenities such as covered patios and pools were more likely to be seen in Las Vegas. And while central air is nearly universal home fixture here, that’s not so in Los Angeles.

But none of this is any secret, and the difference becomes even more acute when living costs are factored into a homebuying decision.

“I know of so many people who have left California, especially Los Angeles, which is so unaffordable,” said Michelle Hicks of R. Hicks Realty, an Inglewood, California, business founded by her father. Her current listings include a home at 8740 S. Hobart Blvd. in Los Angeles with a list price of $675,000.

Moving to Las Vegas is appealing to Los Angeles residents because it’s more affordable, Hicks said. For many, Las Vegas also is familiar territory.

“It’s somewhere friends come all the time, so you don’t feel like you’re moving to the wilderness,” she said.

Los Angeles expatriates-to-be “expect more for their money here,” Hicks said of Las Vegas.

Steve Hawks of Platinum Real Estate Professionals in Las Vegas, even bills one of his current listings, at 333 Denton Springs Court, as a “California Exodus favorite.”

Hawks has been conducting homebuying presentations for Californians for about 10 years. But, he said, “we’ve never seen an influx from California (like this) before.”

Single-story homes in the valley’s planned communities are popular among Californians, Hawks said, and “for some, a pool is a must.”

For comparison’s sake, here are a few homes in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas that list for about $680,000.

Las Vegas semi-custom

The covered patio and backyard at 333 Denton Springs Court in Summerlin. (SugarMill Studios)
The covered patio and backyard at 333 Denton Springs Court in Summerlin. (SugarMill Studios)

The semi-custom home at 333 Denton Springs Court in Summerlin lists for $675,000. It offers four bedrooms and four baths over 2,514 square feet of space.

The master bedroom’s bath has spalike amenities, and the open floor plan incorporates a gourmet kitchen. There’s a three-car garage and a large backyard with a covered patio and a casita.

Reseda historic

The exterior of the home at 17964 Keswick St. in Reseda, Calif. (Luan Pernia/Luxury Video Tour)
The exterior of the home at 17964 Keswick St. in Reseda, Calif. (Luan Pernia/Luxury Video Tour)

This home at 17964 Keswick St. in Reseda, California, comes with a large yard and a bit of history: It was designed by L.A. architect Edward Fickett, whose work includes many homes and businesses across Los Angeles and parts of Dodger Stadium.

The 1,428-square-foot home, which lists for $690,000, has three bedrooms and two baths. It contains signature elements of both Fickett and the midcentury modern style in which he worked, including dramatic rooflines and touches aimed at bringing in natural light.

The home was built around 1953. It has a brick fireplace, wood paneling, louvre windows and grooved redwood ceilings. There’s a patio in the backyard and a second patio off of the kitchen.

Las Vegas view

The front exterior of 10473 Acclamato Ave. (Jason Almeida)
The front exterior of 10473 Acclamato Ave. (Jason Almeida)

The home at 10473 Acclamato Ave. in Las Vegas, which lists at $685,000, has two bedrooms and two baths in 2,139 square feet of living space.

Set on a large 10,454-square-foot corner lot, it has a large backyard with a pool and outdoor spa and a patio with partial golf course and mountain views.

Granada Hills cozy

The backyard of 11316 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills, Calif. (Susan Choquette)
The backyard of 11316 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills, Calif. (Susan Choquette)

The 1,375-square-foot home at 11316 Balboa Blvd. in the Granada Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles lists for $690,000 and has three bedrooms and two baths.

It has a galley kitchen, a formal dining room and a family room with a wood-burning fireplace and was built in 1959. It has central heat and evaporative cooling and offers a patio and space in the backyard for recreational vehicle parking.

L.A. traditional

The living room of 8740 S. Hobart Blvd. in Los Angeles. (Michelle Hicks)
The living room of 8740 S. Hobart Blvd. in Los Angeles. (Michelle Hicks)

The home at 8740 S. Hobart Blvd. in Los Angeles has three bedrooms and three baths over 1,799 square feet of living space.

Built in 1930, it lists for $675,000. It was designed in Los Angeles traditional style, with a large living room, a stone fireplace and a large dining area. There’s also a galley kitchen.

Las Vegas large

The front exterior at 2005 Golden Trumpet Ave. in Las Vegas. (Erika Yanez-Olave)
The front exterior at 2005 Golden Trumpet Ave. in Las Vegas. (Erika Yanez-Olave)

The home at 2005 Golden Trumpet Ave. in Las Vegas lists for $680,000 and has five bedrooms and three baths over 2,968-square feet of living space.

Built in 1996, it’s at Silverado Ranch and has upgraded floors, carpeting, paint, fans and light fixtures. The kitchen has stainless steel appliances, an island, granite counter tops and upgraded faucets. Surround sound speakers are situated around the home’s interior and outside.

Midcentury L.A.

The home at 9522 Reverie Road in Tujunga, California, lists at $685,000 and has three bedrooms and two baths over 1,446 square feet of living space. It was built in 1965 in midcentury style and has an open floor plan designed to provide ample natural light and a large living room with a fireplace.

It has a sunroom, and refurbished touches include new cask oak vinyl floors. The kitchen has hickory-stained cabinets with original classic fixtures and vintage tile counters. The front yard is designed to be water-efficient, and the collection of mature trees in the yard include a lime tree, a lemon tree and a grapefruit tree.

Las Vegas grand

The front exterior at 865 Haven Oaks Place in Summerlin. (Rocket Lister)
The front exterior at 865 Haven Oaks Place in Summerlin. (Rocket Lister)

The home at 865 Haven Oaks Place in Summerlin features a front grand patio entrance and other upscale touches.

Listing for $670,000, the 1,848-square-foot home has three bedrooms and two baths. The home, built in 2018, has new carpeting and upgraded tile floors.

The kitchen has quartz counter tops, a large island and overhead sconce lighting. The backyard area features mature landscaping and a covered patio with mountain views.

Contact John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

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