Las Vegas Real Estate – The Newest Gamble

If you are like most people Las Vegas is a city of entertainment, gambling (called gaming in Las Vegas) and escapism.  You can walk down the streets of Paris, New York, or Rome without ever having to get on a plane.  One of the things you won’t usually hear about Las Vegas is that real estate is the second largest industry in Nevada.

So when the Las Vegas real estate market exploded and it drove thousands of investors into the market for investment houses, real estate in Las Vegas became a more riskier bet than the roulette wheel.  Just four years later and nearly two-thirds of all homeowners in Las Vegas are upside down in their homes.  Many of them who got risky loans, but more and more people are being foreclosed that had put 20% down and had loans that were considered “A-paper”, a term used by mortgage lenders as the least risk loans for real estate.

Now Las Vegas is the home of the cheap real estate market with bank owned foreclosures littering the city.  A once glamorous city of endliess possibilities, Las Vegas has turned into a city of despair that is sorting out the dirty laundry of the real estate market while at the same time trying to handle the 13% unemployment rate, a high in Las Vegas since data has been gathered.

This collapse of the Las Vegas real estate market has brought in great opportunities for real estate investors.  Cash buyer of real estate now have the ability to buy homes that sold for $200,000 and up for about $50,000 and condos for about $30,000 (if you can find a renter).  The new type of financing in Las Vegas is cash, just like the casinos.  Las Vegas has become a completely cash town to some extent with the two largest industries, Gaming and real estate, having predominantly cash transactions.

Bank Owned Homes are the hottest thing in the Las Vegas real estate market.  When banks list properties for sale (banks own more houses in Las Vegas than people do) there are typically 20 or 30 offers and those with cash win in the real estate market.

Another hot real estate strategy in Las Vegas is to buy them directly from the Trustee sales.  Traditionally known as buying them from the “courthouse steps” properties in Las Vegas are actually sold at Nevada Legal News instead of a courthouse, but it has the same look and feel.  Real estate investors in droves come out to buy properties with their laptops and hundreds of thousands of dollars to bid on foreclosed properties.

Ultimately Las Vegas will survive this real estate debacle and our city will thrive again.  Until then there are deals to be made in the real estate market in Las Vegas and anyone with some cash and patience will do quite well.

— Todd Miller is a real estate Broker in Las Vegas and owner of Nevada Realty Solutions.  Todd Miller was ranked in 2008 as the #13 agent in the nation with his partner Oana Sterlacci, out of over 1 Million real estate agents having sold over 500 properties in the Las Vegas area.