Life in Reno: 10 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Reno, NV

September 26th, 2022

Life in Reno: 10 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Reno, NV

Living in Reno

Are you considering moving to Reno, Nevada? Make sure you know these ten things about life in Reno!

Reno is located seven hours from Las Vegas and only 22 miles from Lake Tahoe in the northwest section of Nevada. Nicknamed "The Biggest Little City in the World" due to its wide range of amenities but relatively small size, Reno quickly became a resort destination in 1931 when Nevada legalized gambling. Now best known for its neon lights and lively casinos open 24/7, Reno is calling your name.

Compared to Las Vegas, Reno is much smaller than Sin City and cheaper, setting the two cities apart. While Reno may be most famous for its gambling and world-class entertainment, the city is also known for its unique museums, diverse culture, outdoor recreation, and renowned dining scene.

Reno is one of the most sought-after cities in the American West, attracting many young professionals, singles, retirees, and families to the area for its low taxes, top-paying jobs, and natural beauty. Considered one of the best places to live in Nevada, Reno has been ranked as the 17th best place to live in the United States for quality of Life, the 38th in the best place to live, and 99th in the best place to retire.

If you are wondering if moving to Reno is a good idea, keep reading. Whether you have visited before or are just now learning about the area, we have put together this go-to moving guide to help you decide if Reno is for you. Keep scrolling to learn more about why you should move to Reno, Nevada!

Downtown Reno, NV at night with bright lights

Here is what you should know before moving to Reno!

Cost of Living

Reno is considered expensive, with a cost of living that is 8% higher than the national average and 3.7% higher than the Las Vegas average. While Reno may be more affordable than living in San Francisco, New York City, and Portland, it is less costly than Fresno.

Ranked 21 out of 100 of the least affordable cities in the country by the RealtyHop Housing Affordability Index as of April 2021, Reno households will need to be making at least a salary of $80,000 to live comfortably. While housing costs are the most costly expense in the city, transportation expenses such as bus fares and gas prices are 19% higher than the national average. In comparison, utility prices are 17% lower than the national average.

Reno, Nevada lit up in different colors at night

Housing Market

The housing market in Reno is a whopping 27% higher than the national average due to the lack of supply and rising demand for housing. With home values increasing by 21.7% over the past year, it is predicted that home prices will continue to grow over the next year but at a slower rate. Thankfully now that demand is cooling down, homes can stay in the market longer, which is good news for homebuyers that are ready to act now.

Named the second-best city in the United States to buy a home for its low property taxes and high incomes, Reno is an excellent place to invest in real estate overall. While the typical value for a home in Reno is around $584,256 as of July 2022, the median listing home price seems to be trending upwards by 13% yearly.


Known for having a semiarid climate and an average of 300 days of sun per year, Reno is a sought-after place to live for its weather alone. Providing the perfect hybrid climate with four distinct seasons due to its mixture of desert temperatures and Lake Tahoe's high mountain weather systems, Reno experiences hot and arid summers and cold and snowy winters.

While the summers can reach high temperatures in the 90s due to its elevation of 4,500 feet, Reno receives an average of 22 inches of snow annually. Reno also receives around nine inches of rain on average. The temperature typically varies between 23 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely dips below 13 degrees or rises above 97 degrees throughout the year.

Job Market

Did you know that more than half of all new Reno residents relocated from California? Drawn to the area for its low taxes and fantastic job opportunities, it is no surprise to learn that Reno was ranked number one in the nation for job growth in 2019. Seeing an increase in 10,700 jobs since March 2021, the Reno area is full of opportunities to advance your career since it has many job openings.

With an economy based around the gaming and entertainment sector, Reno has been focused on diversifying its economy over the past few years as it has expanded into the healthcare, technology, and manufacturing industries. Some of the best companies to work for in Reno right now are Microsoft, Intuit, Ormat Technologies, and Northern Nevada HOPES.

The average annual salary in Reno is around $50,085. As of June 2022, the average hourly wage in Reno is $25.36, which is about 9% below the national average of $28.01 an hour, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Truckee River in Reno, Nevada with purple flowers

Crime Rate

Unfortunately, Reno has a higher crime rate than other similar-sized metro areas. With a crime rate of 39.31 per every 1,000 residents, your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime is one in 177, while your chance of becoming a victim of property crime is one in 45. Locals that live in Reno generally consider the southwest part of the city to be safest.

While the crime rate may be on the higher side, some areas and neighborhoods in Reno are certainly safer than others. Make sure to learn about the crime rate in the neighborhood of your choice before buying a home in Reno.

For more information about how to stay safe, especially if you are moving alone, refer to our Living Alone: Home Safety Checklist.


As part of the Washoe County School District, Reno has one of the highest concentrations of top-ranked public schools in Nevada. Home to a total of 111 public schools, there are over 64,584 students in the district. There is a district minority enrollment of about 60%.

Check out these top-rated schools in the Washoe County School District:

Elementary Schools Middle Schools High Schools
Hunter Lake Elementary School Kendyl Depoali Middle School Reno High School
Roy Gomm Elementary School Coral Academy Middle School Earl Wooster High School
Caughlin Ranch Elementary School Archie Clayton Middle School Damonte Ranch High School
Ted Hunsberger Elementary School Doral Academy Northern Nevada Galena High School

Data sourced from GreatSchools.

For those looking for higher education opportunities, Reno is also home to the University of Nevada Reno, a public four-year university, and Truckee Meadows Community College, a public two-year college that offers both certificate and associate degrees.

Art and Culture

Reno is a leader in arts and culture and is home to various performing arts centers, galleries, and historic architecture. Reno is constantly inspiring its residents to be creative, featuring spectacular murals around every street corner and special events that celebrate the achievements of local artists.

Check out these art museums, art spaces, and galleries in Reno, NV:

  • Nevada Art Museum: This is the only American Alliance of Museums accredited art museum in Nevada which showcases contemporary art, landscape photography, and western art.
  • The Theatre - Reno: Home of "Magique," a resident production show that features 20 illusions, seven showgirls, and special effects; this performing art center, gallery space, and venue is a must-visit for unique productions.
  • McKinley Arts and Culture Center: This display space features two art galleries and arts and crafts workshops.
  • Stremmel Gallery: This gorgeous art gallery features work from local artists and specializes in contemporary paintings, drawings, and sculptures.
  • Art Obsessions Gallery: Offering a great collection of local artists in a vibrant space with paintings, photography, and sculptures for sale.

Family-Friendly Parks

Surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the American West, spending time outdoors and breathing in the fresh air is one of the best things you can do when living in Reno.

Check out these beautiful parks in Reno, NV:

  • Idlewild Park: This large, 49-acre park is located near Downtown Reno and the Truckee River. This park hosts multiple events and celebrations throughout the year, including the Reno Street Food Truck Event and Reno Earth Day, featuring a rose garden, playgrounds, a skate park, a public pool, and duck ponds.
  • Damonte Ranch Park: Known to be a place to hang out with the whole family, there is plenty of open space for kids to run around and walking trails that you can walk your furry friends on.
  • Anderson Regional Park: Featuring 70 acres of ranchland with hiking and equestrian trails and two picnic areas, this is a beautiful place to walk and spend time outdoors.
  • Crystal Lake Park: This five-acre well-maintained park features dog-friendly walking trails, a basketball court, tennis courts, covered picnic tables, and plenty of room to run around.
  • Crissie Caughlin Park: Featuring shady spaces and walking paths, this is a beautiful park to bring your kids to.

Idlewild Park during the sunset in Reno, Nevada with a fountain


With more than 140 restaurants in Reno, it can be hard to pick just one. Offering a large variety of cuisine choices, the restaurants in Reno focus on using high-quality ingredients and friendly service to create not just a nice meal but an experience.

Check out these best restaurants in Reno, NV:

  • La Strada: Earning a spot on the Food Network's 2019 list of the best pasta in the country, enjoy traditional Italian cuisine at the Eldorado Resort Casino.
  • Bistro Napa: Found at the Atlantis resort, dine on classic California cuisine, including oysters from the Pacific Northwest and a raw seafood bar.
  • Bimini Steakhouse: This upscale steakhouse at the Peppermill resort features tropical decorations and some of Reno's finest steaks and seafood.
  • Bricks: Perfect for any occasion, whether a date night or birthday celebration, dine on classic New American cuisine in an elegant and romantic atmosphere.
  • Wild River Grille: Located in the historic Riverside Hotel, this modern restaurant serves an array of American entrees alongside craft cocktails in an inviting and spacious interior.

Casinos in Reno

From poker to slots, Reno is home to some of the most dynamic casino action in Northern Nevada. While there is undoubtedly more to Reno than just gambling, spending a night or two on the gaming floor is a rite of passage for new residents.

Visit some of these top casinos in Reno, NV:

  • Peppermill Resort Spa Casino: Open 24/7, this resort and casino is only a two-minute walk from Virginia Lake and two miles from the Reno Airport and features spacious rooms, 11 restaurants and bars, two outdoor pools, a fitness center, and a nightclub, there is always something to do.
  • Atlantis Casino Resort Spa: Located across the street from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and 2.2-miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, this lively casino is a AAA Four Diamond resort destination with beautiful rooms, a spa, and up to 11 different dining options.
  • Silver Legacy Resort Casino: This four-star contemporary casino resort is located four miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and is a 13-minute walk from the National Automobile Museum.
  • Siri's Casino: Located on North Virginia Street, this hotel and casino are known for their fun atmosphere, great bartenders, friendly service, and reasonable prices.
  • Eldorado Resort Casino: Found around the corner from the National Bowling Museum, this resort casino offers polished rooms, a 24/7 casino, live entertainment options, a fifth-floor outdoor pool, and fitness center, and nine dining options.

Inside a colorful casino with slot machines at night

Pros and Cons of Moving to Reno, NV


  • Low taxes
  • Incredible outdoor adventures
  • Exciting nightlife
  • Vibrant art and culture scene
  • World-class dining options
  • Desirable weather
  • Excellent education system
  • Top-rated jobs
  • Popular resort casinos


  • High cost of living
  • High housing prices
  • High crime rate
  • Winters can get cold
  • Limited public transportation options

Moving to Reno, NV - Final Thoughts

Not only does Reno offer an excellent quality of life, but its ability to perfectly blend urban living with small-town charm makes this northwestern Nevada city so desirable. Even though living in Reno may be more expensive, its top amenities, high-quality entertainment, and access to outdoor recreation make Reno a sought-after place to live and vacation. If you are interested in searching for homes for sale in Reno, then make sure to reach out to one of our Realty Specialists. Contact us today to kick start your home-buying journey in Reno, Nevada!

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.