Hello Tom and thank for your post.
Surprisingly, there are many towns in California and Nevada that have never incorporated. When a municipality is NOT incorporated, at least here in California, it is called a "town" and when incorporated it becomes a "city."
The difference between an incorporated city and a nonincorporated town has more to do with property taxes and municipal services than with the value of the homes, and that is because incorporated cities are permitted to keep larger portions of property tax and sales tax funds to cover the expense of running the municipal services of the city. On the other hand, towns are paid less from the tax income because they actually pay less to run the town. In many cases, towns share and pay for municipal services to be provided by the Country rather than to hire and establish these same services themselves. For example, in a town, the County Sheriff's department will often provide police services and the County's fire service will be rented to help maintain fire safety in a town. When a town becomes large enough and it is no longer practical to rely on the local County government to provide fire, police, emergency, violation enforcement, tree trimming, road repairs, legal and accounting services, then the local residents will often vote to incorporate the town.
Hope this helps! If not, feel free to email with any other question!
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty