Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas Real Estate’

Great Event for Las Vegas Dog Lovers

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

The Desert Breeze Aquatic Park (8275 Spring Mountain Rd) began an end of summer tradition seven years ago that has proved to be very popular with Las Vegas dog lovers. Each year Desert Breeze closes their outdoor pools right after Labor Day weekend, but before they do, they host the Dog Daze of Summer swimming event. This Saturday September 10th beginning at 9am residents are encouraged to bring their dogs for a swim in the pool!  Small and medium size dogs have the pool to themselves from 9am until 10:15 and large dogs take over the place from 10:45am until 12 noon. This is a full scale canine celebration with about two dozen vendors on hand and doggie contests such as smallest and largest dog of the day. You have to give credit to Clark County Parks and Recreation for coming up with such a cool end of summer special event. All dog owners must bring proof of current rabies vaccine so the health of all dogs is protected. No, you cannot jump in the pool with your dog and swim, but it’s still great fun and a great way to meet fellow dog lovers and share a few laughs as the pooches splash around. Even if your dog is not a big swimmer, Las Vegas is still a great place to own a dog and enjoy outdoor recreation together. Las Vegas dog parks are to be found all across the valley and feature off-leash play areas that are divided by size for the safety of your pet. I encourage you to find the nearest dog park to your home and try it out. You will meet some very nice people with some equally nice dogs and will notice right away that “regulars” at your local park have established a very pleasant social circle as a result of exercising their pets. In so many ways, community amenities associated with Las Vegas homes are often more than what people initially expect. It’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised.

More Positive Signs for Las Vegas

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is predicting that Labor Day weekend will be solidly successful for our city this year. Also, the major travel websites report that New York and Las Vegas are the two top online booking destinations for the 2011 Labor Day holiday. In fact, visitation to the Las Vega Strip is up 5.1% through the first six months of this year and weekend occupancy rates are running at 92% as well.  As I am sure you noticed, gas prices have recently begun to moderate and this is very important for Las Vegas tourism. Roughly 40% of our visitors on any given weekend (especially Labor Day) are drive-in from California and other neighboring states.  How is the airport doing these days?  Passenger counts have actually risen for seven straight months at McCarran International Airport which is very exciting news. The total number for every month of this year has beaten the number for the corresponding month in 2010 and we are very encouraged by this. As always, Southwest Airlines continues to be our busiest carrier. McCarran International is also predicted by aviation analysts to be one of the top ten fastest growing airports in the nation over the next five years. Last but not least, the  Southern Nevada Index of Leading Economic Indicators recorded its second gain in a row for August. This is an especially important measurement because it tabulates economic activity throughout Greater Las Vegas and not just Strip-based spending data. Two months of positive gains are not yet enough to establish a stable upward trend but we have to make a start somewhere. Increases in valley-wide economic activity should lead to gains in employment over time and this is the most crucial factor of all in restoring the health of our community. The state of the Las Vegas economy and the eventual recovery of the Las Vegas real estate market are deeply intertwined as you might imagine, so we will be watching the Southern Nevada Index very closely over the coming months. Thus far in 2011 the signs of recovery are modestly encouraging.

New Developments on the Las Vegas Strip

Friday, August 26th, 2011

It will be some time before the skyline of the Las Vegas Strip is again dotted with construction cranes the way it used to be during the boom years. While a 20-year construction binge has come to an end (for now), this doesn’t mean that things have gone dead on the most dynamic street in America, not hardly. The emphasis now is on making the most of what we already have and that involves a continuous cycle of upgrades and improvements. Here are some examples of what is going on in a city that is supposed to be dead in the water. Between now and the end of the year the Bellagio will complete a $70 million project to upgrade and renovate every room in the hotel. Caesars Palace recently announced that the Centurion Tower will be completely transformed into a 180-room Nobu boutique hotel complete with opulent Japanese elegance and of course a Nobu restaurant and lounge for the finest Japanese dining in the world. A new project has also been announced that will create a retail, restaurant and amusement venue across from Mandalay Bay (spanning 11 acres) complete with the Skyvue Las Vegas Ferris Wheel at 475 feet with 40 viewing cabins. Last but certainly not least, the “Linq” has just been announced by Caesars Entertainment as a $550 million fully financed “open air” entertainment village right across the street from Caesars Palace. The completion date is 2013 and will also include a massive Ferris wheel aptly named the High Roller. All of these projects will generate hundreds and hundreds of construction jobs during the building phase and as many or more once they become fully staffed and operational. All of this is welcome news for the Las Vegas economy and the Las Vegas real estate market due to the fact that they both suffer from a number of ailments but none more prominent and significant than a currently weak job market.

The Most Affordable Housing Market in America: Las Vegas

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

According to a study just released by Trulia, the Las Vegas real estate market is #1 in the nation from the standpoint of purchasing a home as opposed to renting your residence. On the basis of this side-by-side cost comparison, southern Nevada is now considered to be the most affordable housing market in America. As perhaps the most dramatic indicator yet that housing across the entire United States has corrected severely (and some say over corrected at this point), in a staggering 74% of the 50 largest cities nationwide, buying a home is now cheaper than renting a home according to the Trulia analysis. Here in Las Vegas, the fact that newly purchased homes can be turned into rentals at rates that exceed the monthly mortgage by a handsome margin explains why investors are trolling our city with gusto and accounting the majority of all completed transactions. A positive cash flow investment in one of the most unique and exciting cities in the world is a hard thing to resist for real estate players, especially these days. Second home – vacation home buyers are also highly enthusiastic about purchasing Las Vegas homes at prices significantly below replacement cost and why shouldn’t they be?  The moribund state of the Las Vegas new home market makes clear that current prices on short sales and foreclosures are so far below what builders can compete with that there is literally no point in trying. Thus far in 2011, sales of new homes across southern Nevada have been at rock bottom levels and are on track to set a new record low by years end. Taking all this together, you might be wondering why every person in Las Vegas with a decent job and a decent credit history isn’t finishing their rental lease and buying a home straight away. The answer to that question has nothing to do with data and everything to do with emotions. People in Las Vegas and indeed across the country feel highly uncertain about their future economic prospects in many cases. This explains why record low interest rates on mortgages have done so little to stimulate housing demand. Many people are worried about their jobs, worried about their future and in no mood to take out a 30-year loan despite the fact that the cost of money is incredibly cheap. Even incredibly cheap money doesn’t look tempting if you are uncertain about the ability to pay going forward in a very cloudy economic environment. It should also be mentioned that accumulating a 20% down payment in this economy is not the easiest thing to do for many people either. All this explains why cash is king and why the majority of homes scooped up at fire-sale prices in Las Vegas are bought by out-of-state investors rather than local owner-occupiers. It will probably continue that way for awhile longer still.

Plenty of Encouraging Signs for Las Vegas !!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

There are plenty of encouraging signs that Las Vegas is making a comeback. One of our most serious problems has been a sky high unemployment rate for the last three years, but employment across Southern Nevada actually increased in March for the first time in 38 months. Our labor market recovery still has a long way to go but you have to make a start somewhere and March was significant for that reason most of all. As one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the globe, the status of the Las Vegas economy can also be gauged by statistics from McCarran International Airport. March clocked-in as the third consecutive month of increased passenger counts and Southwest Airlines continues to be our most important carrier. In terms of overall tourist traffic for the Las Vegas Strip, February gave our city it’s 12th consecutive month of increased visitation numbers. Based in large measure on these highly encouraging data points, finance magazine Kiplinger included Las Vegas on their list of  “11 Comeback Cities for 2011.”  Without question, Las Vegas is fighting back from a very difficult phase in it’s colorful and interesting  history. It might be a good idea to remember the old adage that no one ever got rich betting against Las Vegas, a city like no other. The future looks brighter by the day …

Las Vegas Real Estate Activity Surges in March

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

For a city that is supposed to be dead or dying, there sure is a lot of aggressive buyer activity going on for residential real estate across Southern Nevada. Clearly, there is a strong consensus among many that Las Vegas homes are an excellent long-term investment at current prices and March can best be described as a stellar month for proponents of this point of view. Let’s take a quick look at the numbers. Sales of existing homes in March hit the highest level in 17 months, and this without the artificial stimulus of a government tax credit to spur buyers to act. Not surprisingly, foreclosure sales dominated the playing field, accounting for roughly half of all transactions in March. Another encouraging statistic was the 24% of all transactions last month that can be attributed to a successful short sale negotiation. Another point worth mentioning is the relatively minor role played by the mortgage market in this flurry of activity. In fact, the number of homes in Las Vegas purchased by means of a mortgage has hit a 17-year low. Yup, you guessed it, cash is King in this market. Would you believe that roughly half of all purchases in the Las Vegas real estate market are executed on a cash basis? It’s true! In fact, this statistic has fluctuated between 40 and 50 per cent for well over a year now. That’s a huge amount of economic and financial confidence rolling through the valley in the form of cashier’s checks. People often speculate that so called “outsiders” are swooping into Las Vegas with bags of money and scooping up homes left and right, but in actual fact more than half of all cash buyers live right here in Clark County, with the next biggest group of  real estate players living in next door California. It seems that the people closest to the situation understand it the best … and spend their investment dollars accordingly.

Las Vegas Foreclosures and Military Families – Operation Home Relief

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The Michelle Sterling Las Vegas Real Estate Team would like to draw attention to an especially important campaign launched by the National Association of Realtors through  its consumer website HouseLogic.com. The campaign is called Operation Home Relief and one of it’s highly important functions is to engage support and raise money for USA Cares, a nonprofit that provides foreclosure assistance and counseling to post-9/11 active duty and veteran U.S. military service personnel. This is an issue especially close to our hearts here in the Las Vegas community. While we are often thought of as the gaming capital of the world, we are also proud to be home to Nellis Air Force Base in North Las Vegas and Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada (about 45 minutes northwest of the Vegas valley). Both installations are full of men and women that serve our nation faithfully and we care about them deeply. It is an unfortunate fact that military personnel and their families have been hit especially hard by the foreclosure crisis nationwide and Southern Nevada is no exception. HouseLogic and the NAR are there to support USA Cares in their efforts to provide financial and logistical support that keeps more military families in their homes where they truly belong.

On another note of importance to the military culture that makes up such an important part of our community, McCarran Airport recently announced the grand opening of the new USO at McCarran International Airport facility. This is a lounge that provides comforts, services and privacy to military personnel and their families traveling through our city. It is expected that 55,000 troops and family members from all branches of the military will make use of this facility annually. We are so proud to be part of a community that is dedicated to serving the needs of our men and women in uniform in this way. A special thanks goes out to Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak who played an important leadership role in making the new McCarran USO Lounge a reality … and thanks most of all to the men and women that protect our freeedoms every day all over the world!

Sustainable Living Practices and Las Vegas Homes

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

There are so many 21st century terms and phrases being thrown around these days concerning the environment and various earth-friendly lifestyle choices. Often times it’s rather difficult to put these ideas into context, let alone understand how these concepts can be applied to your every day living spaces. Not to worry, help is on the way! The Las Vegas Springs Preserve is holding a seminar this Saturday beginning at 10:30 am that is sure to help you integrate “sustainable lifestyle” practices into your every day life. The program is called the “Sustainable Living Tour” and is designed to help you better understand the many options you have for adopting a more earth-friendly lifestyle in your Las Vegas home. What exactly is sustainable living? This is a term that is commonly meant to describe practices that pay respect to the symbiotic relationship between humanity and the earth’s larger ecology. The goal is to leave as small a “carbon footprint” as you reasonably can in your everyday life, and to adopt habits and practices that reduce individual usage of natural resources.  One simple example would be the complete replacement of all incandescent light bulbs in your home with more energy efficient LED light bulbs. Please attend the Sustainable Living Tour presentation at the Springs Preserve this Saturday for more great ideas on how you can easily achieve a more “green” daily life process that will benefit the earth for generations to come.

Plenty of Chances to Walk and Run in Las Vegas!

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Maybe it’s our weather, or the scenic beauty all across the Greater Las Vegas valley, because it seems as if there are terrific outdoor walking & running events in Southern Nevada at least once or twice a month. October is no exception to this rule and Las Vegas has two great 5K run-walk events scheduled for Saturday, October 16th that you should know about.

The first event we would like to draw your attention to will be held in the Mountain’s Edge homes community in the southwestern section of the Las Vegas valley. The purpose behind this 5K charity event is to draw attention to the dangers of cardiovascular disease and stroke, which claim about 5,000 lives every year in the state of Nevada alone. Pursuant to that goal, the American Heart Association is asking for donations and participation in  Start! Heart Walk and Run on Saturday, October 16th at 8 a.m. As you might expect, there will be additional activities throughout the morning including free health screenings, entertainment for the kids and great food of course!

The second event we would like to feature celebrates the 20th anniversary of one of the most outstanding residential master-planned living environments in the entire country, the Summerlin homes community. This 5K run is especially suited for early birds and starts at 6:30 a.m. if you can believe it! The Summerlin run & walk anniversary event is sponsored by the Summerlin community with additional support and great food from Agave Mexican Restaurant, which is where the non-competitive race will both begin and end. Continental breakfast will be served before the race and great tacos will be grilling afterwards. This is well worth getting up early for!

Free Eco-Friendly Drip Irrigation Class for Las Vegas Homes

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

It’s incredibly important to be “water smart” in Las Vegas, Nevada and desert landscaping with properly installed drip irrigation plays an important role in the water conservation process for Southern Nevada. The Michelle Sterling Las Vegas real estate team would like to draw your attention to a great free class this coming Saturday afternoon (Oct 9th) from 2pm to 5pm at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. For the investment of just three hours of well spent time, you can learn how to design a drip-irrigation system, select and assemble the necessary components and install it at your Las Vegas home yourself. Conservation experts from the Southern Nevada Water Authority will be providing the instruction. Again, the class is free but a reservation is necessary and can be easily completed by calling 702-822-7786. If you have not yet visited the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, you are in for a very pleasant surprise. The Preserve is a 180 acre cultural and ecological gem in the heart of the Las Vegas valley that features museums, galleries, outdoor special events, colorful botanical gardens and of course instructional opportunities like the drip irrigation class for example! Not enough to get you interested? How about a healthy and delicious meal at Springs Cafe by Wolfgang Puck. The outdoor patio dining is simply exquisite and the view of the Las Vegas Strip at dusk on weekend evenings is to die for.