Home Buying in Las Vegas>Question Details

Nizar, Home Buyer in Seattle, WA

Investing in Las Vegas

Asked by Nizar, Seattle, WA Thu Aug 14, 2008

I visited from Canada last month and wish to invest in real estae in Vegas.
I don't have a lot of money to invest and my objective is to put some money down and invest for my family. Is this the right time to make an investment in Vegas or should I wait some more time. What area would be best to invest in Vegas for good appreciation. I want to be very prudent in making investment because of my finacial limitations. I have little money which I have saved for working in last ten years. I know that No risk is no gain. Can I take a chance in Vegas?

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26
nonrealtor,

First of all, let's clarify. I was born and raised in Las Vegas (grew up in a not-so-great area). As a kid, I never "packed heat" when outside riding my bicycle. Las Vegas is like LA in a lot of ways, but we have yet to develop any area comparable to Compton or Englewood. Yeah, we have the "naked city," but really, your comments are meant to sensationalize (it's obvious).

Some of your comments are sensible, but according to your Trulia profile, you answer questions asked by people seeking EXPERT advice in Williamsport, VA, San Francisco & Riverside, CA, Sarasota, FL, New Haven, CT, and more. Your answers are all the same: "Don't buy now, prices are still going down." That tunnel-vision-inspired answer is simply not a national panacea. Economics indeces are extremely intricate models, taking into account various factors and trends. So, if you care to quote data and its sources, please do so...everyone will be receptive to rational, substantiated information because numbers don't lie (but disclosing partial numbers can mislead). But, be careful when quoting stats. If your info is slanted or incomplete, there are plenty of experts on Trulia happy to show the whole truth through a "big picture," and not just a snapshot or sliver of what is happening in local economies. That way, those seeking EXPERT advice, get impartial information and can make better decisions.

Also a note about gated communities: An electric gate is in no way a single indicator of a community's "safety level." The bar began to be raised about 10 years ago when median, suburban neighborhoods began offering an electric gate as an added amenity to homebuyers. Now, many builders install them to maintain pace with competition. Also, most insurance companies offer small discounts to homeowners who live in a gated neighborhood (akin to the discount for having a security/alarm system installed), because it can provide another barrier to break-ins. It has long been known that a community gate provides a somewhat false sense of security since the process is so automated. So, according to your argument, any neighborhood that is gated has gang-involved neighborhoods adjacent?? Please provide your source(s) for this.

Thanks,

Linne Karstensson
http://www.OwnLakeLasVegas.com
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
The will rent because a lot of people can't afford a down payment, or they have recently lost their home and still need a place to live, or they simply don't think now is the right time to buy....like you nonrealtor.

BTW, every community in my neighborhood is either guard gated or gated...Every country club is gated, does that mean it's a bad area and you can't walk down your street at night?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
Nizar:

In my opinion, the short answer to your question is that if you do not have a lot of money to invest, you should probably not be investing in real estate at this time. Real estate is a highly illiquid investment. You should have a substantial down payment prior to purchasing a property, while maintaining a balanced portfolio. Also, real estate can dgo down in value, and can be difficult to liquidate if you need access to the assets you have put down on the property.

If you have a solid base of investments including at least 6 months worth of you monthly liabilities in a savings account, a sound retirement plan, few debts, and a comfortable amount in other investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds etc...then investing in real estate may be a good fit for you.

If you are not at this level, you should work on your financial foundation first. In m opinion, real estate in Las Vegas is a sound, long term investment, but it is certainly not a fit for everyone.

If you need any help, or have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Tony DePasquale
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 16, 2008
Gene:

You would be surprised what's out there right now. My firm had a clieny that tried to purchase a 3,100 square foot 4 bedroom home in Southern Highlands. It was a ona 9,000 square foot lot with a pool. It was a banked owned home and was listed for $274,000. The home was in very good shape. Our client put in an offer at $288K. The home had been on the market for only 4 days and the property already had 10 offers on it! I don't know what the actual sales price was, but at a bid of 10K over, I don't think our client was close. I would be willing to bet that the home went for around 300K.

Check out http://www.VegasUnder200K.com

There are a lot of homes on that website around 60K, and in not bad areas.....Like I said, you would be surprised.

Tony
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
I'm sorry, Paul, I have to disagree. Just because the barber (or Real Estate Agent) thinks you're ready for a haircut (to buy a home) doesn't mean they're wrong or dishonest. The reason you pay for a haircut is because the barber does a better job than you do (or you would simply cut your hair yourself). The reason why people hire Real Estate Agents is for contractual representation as well as for their industry expertise. Of course, I have heard stories about some "bad apples," but if you do your own research about your Real Estate Agent, you will be able to get sound, responsible advice for your purchase (or sale).

Just because my insurance agent makes more money if I upgrade my homeowner's policy doesn't mean his/her recommendation to do so -- based upon my expressed needs & desires -- aren't reliable. Sorry, but your logic is flawed.

I apologize if this is blunt, but this perception is insidious and reflects poorly upon those agents like myself who work very hard at being informed, highly ethical, and maintaining a solid reputation. As I'm sure you know, over time, a Real Estate Agent's best investment is in his/her own reputation.

Linne Karstensson
Toll-Free, Direct: (888) 696-4658
Email: Linne@VegasUnder200K.com
Web: http://www.VegasUnder200K.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 16, 2008
Nizar,

As you've already seen, there both pros and cons to investing in real estate in Vegas now. I'll leave it up to you to determine whether it's a good/bad time to purchase anything in Vegas; yet, I'll also share that I was in Vegas earlier this month (for CES), and I stumbled upon several interesting prospects (upon which I'm current conducting my due diligence).

You have several options for purchasing a property in Vegas as a foreign national. Bill is correct that "you will be required to place 35-40% down on the mortgage"--provided you seek to fund the deal using conventional financing. However, that's not the only way to work that deal. If you were to partner with an American investor (via an entity [like a LLC]), and have either your partner or the entity to obtain the loan to purchase the property, then you'd only have to deposit the normal 20%-30%.

You could also opt to fund the deal using creative financing (of course only if the seller is also willing). This way you could negotiate an even lower deposit with the seller.

Yet, if creative financing isn't your thing, then you could opt to fund your deal using private or hard money. There are plenty of other ways to fund a deal, but I don't want to overwhelm you with a list of techniques. Just know that you have several options, so don't allow yourself to be pigeon-holed into selecting one with which you're uncomfortable.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 28, 2009
Wait a few years. Prices are still declining. Plenty of foreclosures and more coming.
8/15/2008
Las Vegas
21,149 foreclosures
31,561 homes for sale
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 15, 2008
Hi Martin,

How is your expereince with the 2/2 condo in Corte Madera Townhomes? By the way, do you hire a property management company to manage the property and how has it worked out so far? I ask because I also live in Europe and I am interested in buying a property in Vegas as an investment. I am a bit concerned about the prospect of managing the property from distance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 19, 2009
I have a sensational 2br2ba condo that I will owner finance. contact me if you want more info.
Web Reference: http://brtgroup.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 29, 2008
Gene:

I appreciate your confidence and would be happy to find you a competent agent here in Las Vegas. As of now, I only represent current clientel and very unique transactions when it comes to real estate. That being said, when the time is right, feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to assist you.

Tony
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 26, 2008
Hi Linne,
Trulia Voices is about "advice and opinions"(see green part at the top of the page). A little common sense goes a long way. Maybe you can rent Martin's condo for $900 / month close to Texas Station Casino. Have you bought any condos for investment? Let me know, I'll give you my opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
If that condo was 120K at peak. It is in an are where you can go for a walk, just don't go beyond the gate unless you're packin heat. I think there is a big difference in this area, and say Summerlin, for example. I do agree with one thing Tony said, "people can't afford a downpayment" and that's the reason there is such a mess in financial / real estate sector. I guess it's time to pay the piper, so to speak. Gated community on the golf course--how many foreclosures on your street? Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
Now you know why it is a gated community. Don't go for a nice stroll at night. Why would someone rent your condo in a bad neighborhood for $900 / month, when they can buy a 3 bedroom, 1600 sq ft house in a nice neighborhood for $1000 / month. It's a gamble, that's Vegas. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
Tony,

I paid cash. Thanks for the comment. I completely agree with you. Not the best or worst etc. But for £33k Sterling it was a bargain for me.

Thank You.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
Martin:

Did you buy cash or did you finance? The only reason I ask is because I have a forign national looking to buy right now from the United Kingdom. Just wanted to see how your experience was.

BTW- That area of town is not the best, but it is certainly is not the worst either. I think for over 1000 square feet, for 60 grand on a rental property, you should be just fine.

Thanks,

Tony

Thanks,

Tony
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
here is a link to another property on the same development. Any advice welcome.

http://vegas.yahoo.leadfinders.com/details/start.aspx?vip=Cl…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Hey Guys, you are scaring me !.

The property is in Corte Madera Townhomes. It is a electic gated community. I visited last week and it seemed really nice.

Quite close to Texas Station Casino.

Well it is my first go in Vegas at property, It is only for rental. If it works out I may buy again, if not then I will sell up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
I am in the UK. I just bought my first property in Vegas and what a bargain ! a 2 bed 2 bath townhome for $61,000 !. The bank foreclosed on this property with $120,000 owing and they sold it for 50% of that figure.

It is only a 9 yr old property.

Rental I am told will be around $900 per month.

These figures are impossible in the UK.

Bought it of realtybid.co
Web Reference: http://www.realtybid.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Paul:

Thank you for the comment. We try very hard to give people honest, ethical advice that fits their circumstances.

Regarding your situation, I do not personally deal in real estate brokerage activities, with the exception of some of our high net worth clients whom I have had a relationship with for a long time. However, I would be more than happy to meet with you and learn more about what you are trying to accomplish. We have very good people here and I can refer you to one of our agents who will take good care of you. My website is below, feel free to contact me whenever the time is right.

Thanks,

Tony
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 19, 2008
Tony:
I like your advice inre having enough money to take care of essentials like retirement and living expenses before investing. And thank you for reminding readers about the illiquidity of real estate as well as its price volatility. I wish more people had taken this to heed over the past 6 or 7 years. I'm looking to buy next year sometime and I like how you think and advise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 17, 2008
Linne:
I challenge you to find one thing in my post that states anything about dishonest agents or wrong advice. I NEVER WROTE THAT. But I also challenge you to introduce me to salespeople in any field who tell a prospective client/buyer not to buy his or her products or service. Imagine walking into a sales office or store and the employees telling you to go away because we can't or won't sell you anything. What a great basis for repeat business and referral that would be!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 17, 2008
Also remember that a salesperson will always tell you it's a great time to buy. There's an old saying: "Never ask the barber if you need a haircut."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 16, 2008
The average home price in the Vegas Valley has dropped every month for the past two years. Things will be getting worse for a while. These stats are from the Las Vegas Realtors Association.
June 2006 median home sale price (resale) $319,000 Median list price on these homes was $324,000.
July 2006 median home sale price (resale) $316,000 Median list price on these homes was $326,000.
August 2006 median home sale price (resale) $310,000 Median list price on these homes was $315,000.
September 2006 median home sale price (resale) $313,000 Median list price on these homes was $319,000.
October median 2006 home sale price (resale) $308,000 Median list price on these homes was $311,000.
November 2006 median home sale price (resale $306,000 Median list price on these homes was $310,000.
December 2006 median home sale price (resale) $305,000 Median list price on these homes was $310,000
January 2007 median home sale price ( resale) $309,000 Median list price on these homes was $312,000.
February 2007 median homes sale price (resale) $305,000 Median list price on these homes was $310,000.
April 2007 median homes sale price (resale) $304,000 Median list price on these homes was $310,000.
May 2007 median homes sale price (resale) $300,000 Median list price on these homes was $308,000.
July 2007 median home sale price (resale) $297,000 Median list price on these homes was $305,000.
September 2007 median sale price (resale) $295,000 Median list price on these homes was $300,000
October 2007 median sale price (resale) $283,000 Median list price on these homes was $290,000.
November 2007 median sale price (resale) $274,000 Median list price on these homes was $282,000.
December 2007 median sale price (resale) $263,000 Median list price on these homes was $270,000.
January 2008 median sale price (resale) $248,000 Median list price on these homes was $255,000.
February 2008 median sale price (resale) $243,000 Median list price on these homes was $248,000.
April 2008 median sale price (resale) $237,000 Median list price on these homes was $243,000.
May 2008 median sale price (resale) $235,000 Median list price on these homes was $ 239,000.
June 2008 median sale price (resale) $224,000 Median list price was $224,000. Average per sq. ft $262. Days on market average, 71.
July 2008 median sale price (resale) $216,000. Median list price was $215,000. Average per sq. ft. $259. Days on the market average, 64.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 16, 2008
Nizar,

Now has been the best time to purchase real estate in Las Vegas in a long time! There are great properties available for great prices right now. You don't need to be rich to obtain these great deals either.

I actually just started working with a few other buyers from Vancouver recently. I definitely understand your concerns. I would be happy to discuss all your options if you would like to contact me. I am excellent at what I do and I will find you the best deals around. There are some great communities in the Las Vegas/Henderson area that I would recommend for the best appreciation over the next few years.

Please call me right away to discuss your options and get started. I would be more than happy to share my knowledge and expertise with you about my local market. Hope to hear from you soon. Have a great day!

Len McGuirk
Prudential Americana Group
(702) 203-6688
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 15, 2008
Nizar,

Las Vegas is a great town in which to invest, especially right now, when there are so many homes on the market. But just like any other investment, you need to spend time doing your research and then make a decision based on facts. There are no "better" areas to invest in the Las Vegas Valley, if the market is going up, it all goes up, and vice versa. Where you invest is largely dictated by how much you have to put down, how much of a mortgage you can carry, and how much you need from the lease the property in order to have positive cash flow..

You do need to be aware that there are certain guildeines concerning foreign nationals purchasing property in this country. For example, you will be required to place 35-40% down on the mortgage.

To answer your question, should you "take a chance in Vegas," thsi is a great town in which to invest. Our growth is continuous, several thousand new people move into the Valley every month, and they all need somewhere to live.

I would be pleased to help you with your search for the perfect investment, but will need a good deal more information before I can give you any specific assistance. If you would like to continue this conversation, please give me a call on 702-553-6543.

Thank you for your interest in investing in Las Vegas.
Bill Johnson (702) 553-6543
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 14, 2008
Nizar,

There are many properties here that are already at great values that you would be able to use as rental units right away.

Keep in mind, there are still close to 5,000 people moving here each month, and there are nearly 150,000 new jobs coming to the area between now and the next 3 years. Sure, places like Echelon and The Shops at Summerlin Centre are on hold right now, but there are still tens of billions of dollars worth of projects still being built, and all over the valley I might add.

The M Resort on the South Strip just topped off, parts of CityCenter are quickly topping off, and even the Cosmopolitan which was making headlines with its foreclosure proceedings is still in full swing with construction, because even the banks still believe in Las Vegas.

With all of the negative headlines, I still challenge anyone to name any place in the United States that is experiencing the growth that the Las Vegas valley is currently seeing. In a global scale, the only places in the same league are Dubai, China and parts of India. Las Vegas will rise from this troubled economy, and rise quickly, and the smart investors are getting in now while the getting is good.

Mike Dobranski, REALTOR®
Prudential Americana Group, REALTORS®
Las Vegas / Henderson, NV

702-370-3521
Mike@PrimeRealEstateLasVegas.com
http://www.PrimeRealEstateLasVegas.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 14, 2008
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