NV Home and Life

Reasons to Build a Life In Reno and Northern Nevada

When I was young, I could not wait to escape Reno, Nevada. After attending law school in Chicago and Sacramento and traveling the world, I’ve realized my younger self was crazy.  Reno is an amazing city with unparalleled advantages.  No matter where you live in Reno, you can access the airport and any neighborhood in 15-30 minutes, with the average commute being 20 minutes.  You can access Lake Tahoe and multiple ski resorts within 30 minutes.  If you’re craving a big city, San Francisco is a 4-hour drive.  And, with its recent gentrification there is an amazing craft beverage scene and restaurant scene, which don’t require one to wait hours in line or book weeks in advance for a table.  Talk about spoiled!

In recent years and now with the current pandemic, small and mid-sized cities have seen a renaissance.  So, what makes living in a mid-sized city like Reno appealing? Reno is a smart choice for families who want space to grow, young people who want to purchase a home and grow their careers, entrepreneurs interested in a more balanced life, established businesses seeking to expand, new business seeking to establish a principal place of business, and retirees seeking to maximize their retirement income.  When deciding whether the Reno/Tahoe area is your family’s next home, here are five factors to consider.

1) Cost of Living is More Affordable Than Most West Coast Cities

Whether you are buying or renting a home, Reno is more affordable than most large cities on the West Coast.  Below are the current typical home values[1] and rental rates[2] for a one-bedroom apartment is some of the West Coast’s popular cities:

 Reno, NV  $   545,447      $ 1,557  
 Portland, OR  $   558,008  $ 1,667
 Seattle, WA  $   888,202  $ 2,197
 Mercer Island, WA  $ 2,066,467  $ 2,374
 Los Angeles, CA  $    921,494  $ 2,563
 Santa Monica, CA  $ 1,842,217  $ 3,740
 Manhattan Beach CA  $ 2,936,586  $ 1,300
 Huntington Beach, CA  $ 1,119,792  $ 2,535
 Newport Beach, CA  $ 2,918,379  $ 3,314
 Ojai, CA  $    995,417  $ 1,906
 San Francisco, CA  $ 1,531,716  $ 3,244
 Oakland, CA  $    947,458  $ 2,918
 Campbell, CA  $ 1,640,933  $ 2,578
 Cupertino, CA  $ 2,750,142  $ 3,246
 Gilroy, CA  $ 1,000,633  $ 2,217
 Los Altos, CA  $ 3,962,667  $ 2,901
 Los Gatos, CA  $ 2,551,958  $ 2,946
 Milpitas, CA  $ 1,326,652  $ 2,765
 Mill Valley, CA  $ 1,967,048  $ 3,695
 Morgan Hill, CA  $ 1,260,259  $ 2,629
 Mountain View, CA  $ 1,995,144  $ 3,087
 Pleasanton, CA  $ 1,551,379  $ 2,678
 San Jose, CA  $ 1,332,518  $ 2,741
 Santa Clara, CA  $ 1,558,647  $ 2,814
 Long Beach, CA  $    773,152  $ 2,444
 La Jolla, CA  $ 2,161,109  $ 3,020
 San Diego, CA  $    879,297  $ 2,610

2) Tax Advantages of Living and Doing Business in the Reno/Tahoe Area

The advantages of doing business in Nevada are expansive thanks to Nevada’s liberal tax structures.  From a tax-planning perspective, the return on investment in the form of tax saving dollars can be enormous.

Nevada has:

  • NO personal state income tax,
  • NO unitary tax,
  • NO corporate tax,
  • NO inventory tax,
  • NO estate and/or gift tax,
  • NO franchise tax,
  • NO inheritance tax, and
  • NO special intangible tax.

Additionally, the State of Nevada, through the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, offers a variety of incentives to help qualifying companies decide to do business in Nevada.  These incentives include sale tax abatements on aviation parts, data centers, and capital equipment purchases; sales and use tax deferral on capital equipment purchases; abatements on personal and modified business taxes; real property tax abatements for recycling; assistance with the cost of intellectual property development; and employee training grants.

As a result of these incentives, the Reno/Tahoe area offers cutting edge tech jobs in companies such as Apple, Blockchain, Intuit, Microsoft, Patagonia, Switch and Tesla (to name a few).  These companies create thousands of jobs for all different backgrounds and skill levels.

In addition to cutting edge tech jobs, the Reno/Tahoe area is a hub for advanced manufacturing, technology, and E-commerce.  Nevada provides tax incentives for businesses to relocate and expand, thus supporting continued growth in the region.  Additionally, startup tech companies can flourish in the Reno/Tahoe area due to its proximity to Silicon Valley and its reduced regulatory oversight when compared to other states, especially California.

From 2020 to 2021, the Reno/Tahoe area saw 59 new or existing businesses make the area their headquarters creating 5,516 jobs. No matter the industry, new or established businesses are incentivized to move to the area due to Nevada’s liberal tax structures.

3) Thriving Cultural Scene

Recently, Reno’s downtown and midtown districts have gentrified providing a thriving craft beverage scene, trendy dining spots, events, festivals, an entire month devoted to the arts, shopping, and a beautiful river promenade.

To enjoy the thriving craft beverage scene, visit Saint James Brassiere (old world style craft brewery and restaurant – 901 S. Center St, Reno, NV 89501), Seven Troughs Distilling Co. (distillery – 1155 Watson Way, Suite 5, Sparks, NV 89431, speakeasy – 50 S. Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501) or 10 Torr Distilling and Brewing (490 Mill St, Reno, NV 89502).

For a real treat to your palate, visit Lulou’s (1470 S. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89502) for a hip, modern, upscale French dining experience enjoyed by locals for over 22 years. If you are in the mood for more ethnic cuisines, try India Kebab and Curry (1091 S. Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502), a personal favorite, or Zagol Ethiopian Cuisine (3314 S. McCarran Blvd., Reno, NV 89502).  If you are seeking healthy options, try Great Full Gardens (555 S. Virginia #107, Reno, NV 89501) a local favorite.

Reno also offers year-found fun for all ages with a plethora of family-friendly activities, events, museums, parks and more.  Reno is home to Artown (a month-long celebration of the arts), Hot August Nights, the Reno River Festival, the Great Balloon Race, the Reno Rodeo, and more.  If arts and entertainment is more your style, the Pioneer Center, Nevada Museum of Art, Greater Nevada Field, or Discovery Museum will surely have something to offer.

Additionally, Reno is the gateway to Burning Man, which is an annual nine-day gathering in the Black Rock Desert that includes art installations, performances, and music.  Art sculptures from the event can be found throughout downtown Reno.

4) The Great Outdoors

Reno is an outdoor lover’s paradise.  Locals can go from lake days to desert nights enjoying camping, hiking, snowboarding, paddle boarding, boating, golfing, climbing, horseback riding and more.

Within approximately 30 mins of Reno, you can be skiing the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains at Alpine Meadows/Squaw Valley, Diamond Peak, NorthStar, and Mount Rose.  Approximately 45 minutes from Reno, you can enjoy the water and beaches at Lake Tahoe or Pyramid Lake.

The Truckee River, which flows through downtown Reno offers kayaking and tubing.

Additionally, there are 29 golf courses within 20 miles of Reno.  Finally, the surrounding mountains and valleys offer amazing hiking trails and natural hot springs.  Thrill-seekers and solitude chasers can each find something to love about the great outdoors surrounding Reno.

5) A Top-Flight Research University

Finally, Reno is home to a tier 1 research university – University of Nevada-Reno (UNR).  As a doctoral university UNR is best known for its engineering, medical, and science programs, including biotechnology and earthquake science.  UNR provides a pipeline by which recent graduates often obtain employment in the Reno/Tahoe area mutually benefiting companies and students.

Additionally, locals are avid fans of UNR’s basketball and football teams.  Families have their tailgating spots that have been in their families for generations, and they are eager to share their food, experiences, and memories with everyone.  Attending either sporting event is a wonderful way to meet people and develop lifelong friendships.


[1] Typical home values calculated by Zillow.com on December 29, 2021.

[2] Rental rates calculated by Rentcafe.com on December 29, 2021.