16 Pros and Cons of Living in Reno, NV

Updated On October 25, 2023

Reno, Nevada is located in Northern Nevada, at the Nevada-California border.

It’s well known for its gambling casinos, art, and food scenes.

It’s called “The biggest little city in the world” for good reason.

Pros of Living in Reno, NV

Living in Reno has its fair share of benefits.

The city is well known for its wealth of entertainment and cultural experiences.

However, this is just the beginning of the pros of living in Reno.

Reno, NV
Reno, NV

Pros of living in Reno include:

  • No state income tax
  • Great schools
  • Legal Marijuana
  • Plenty of job opportunities
  • Night Life
  • Low property taxes
  • Art and Culture
  • Outdoor beauty and recreation
  • Monthly festivals

1.No State Income Tax

Nevada doesn’t have a state income tax.

This can save you some money at tax time.

Instead of an income tax, Reno gets revenue from “sin taxes” on alcohol and tobacco, and taxes on hotels and casinos.

2. Great Schools

U.S. News and World Report ranked the best high schools in the nation.

Several Nevada schools made the list, with Davidson Academy ranking fourth. Advanced Technologies Academy ranked 84th.

You’ll also find school choice in Reno.

In fact, half of the best-rated Nevada schools are magnet schools, and two are charter schools.

3. Legal Marijuana

If you are 21 or older, you can legally possess up to 2 and 1/2 ounces of marijuana in Reno.

If you enjoy using cannabis recreationally, you can do so with freedom in Reno.

Anyone with a government ID that meets the age requirement can buy up to one ounce of marijuana from a dispensary in Nevada.

If you have a medical marijuana card from Nevada or another state, you can purchase medical marijuana.

It’s important to note that marijuana is permitted, but other controlled substances are illegal, and you can be prosecuted for having them.

It’s also illegal to possess large amounts of marijuana.

4. Plenty of Job Opportunities

Reno, Nevada provides you with a wealth of job options.

In 2022, companies brought 12 new headquarters to the city and created 2,263 new jobs.

The average wage is the highest on record, at $32.67.

You’ll find plenty of jobs in the technology and manufacturing sectors.

Hospitality is another popular industry, given the city’s tourism.

There are also opportunities in aerospace and defense.

The unemployment rate is currently 4.5%.

This is higher than the national unemployment rate of 3.8%, but significantly lower than the Nevada unemployment rate of 5.4%.

5. Night Life

Reno isn’t as well known for its nightlife as its neighbor Las Vegas, but you’ll never run out of things to do.

Try your luck at one of Reno’s many casinos.

You can bet on your favorite sports team, play at the tables, or spin the slot machines.

You can also enjoy a drink at a sports bar or pub, hit the club, or enjoy something unique at one of Reno’s top distilleries.

For variety, consider a pub crawl or wine walk.

If you enjoy music, you’ll find plenty of live performances in Reno.

Performances range from nationally known artists to local favorites.

6. Low Property Taxes

Reno has a very low property tax rate.

The rate is $3.66 per $100.

There are laws that govern how much property taxes can be raised in the state each year, which helps keep the taxes low.

In addition, you’ll only pay taxes on 35% of your home’s value.

For example, if your home is worth $200,000, you will only pay taxes on $70,000.

7. Art and Culture

Reno’s slogan is “Big art, Little city”.

The city’s art program helps to support economic development downtown.

Reno prides itself on preserving its history, including historic buildings and landmarks.

Each summer, Reno holds the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

July is devoted to art and events, with more than 500 events throughout the month.

You can visit the Nevada Museum of Art.

Car lovers should visit the National Automobile Museum, which is rated one of the five best in the nation.

8. Outdoor Beauty and Recreation

Reno has more than 300 years of sunshine each year, and there’s plenty of natural beauty right outside of town.

You can enjoy the great outdoors in Reno, or drive to nearby Lake Tahoe.

When winter comes, it’s time to hit the slopes.

The area has the largest concentration of ski resorts in North America.

You can also enjoy biking, hiking, and rock climbing.

To get away from it all, plan a camping trip and spend some time at one of Reno’s parks.

You can also have a thrilling time off-roading.

You can also enjoy fishing or paddle boarding.

Cons of Living in Reno, NV

Despite all the great things about living in Reno, there are some downsides as well.

Knowing the cons of living in Reno can help you decide if it’s the right place for you to live.

The cons of living in Reno include:

  • High cost of living
  • Extreme weather
  • High housing prices
  • High crime rate
  • Lack of public transportation
  • Poor healthcare system
  • Traffic
  • Windy
  • Poor air quality

1. High Cost of Living

The cost of living in Reno is higher than the national average.

This isn’t surprising, because Reno is a popular place to live, and this tends to raise the cost of living.

You can expect to spend 5% more on living expenses in Reno compared to the national average.

Surprisingly, the cost of living in Reno is higher than in Las Vegas.

In fact, it’s 6% cheaper to live in Sin City.

2. Extreme Weather

The weather in Reno can be extreme at times.

Many residents love that most days are full of sunshine.

However, this can make the temperatures skyrocket in the summertime.

The longest streak with every day being hotter than 90 degrees is 56 days.

The highest recorded temperature for the city is a blistering 108 degrees.

In the winter, temperatures will dip well below freezing.

The lowest recorded temperature for Reno is -16 degrees.

The highest yearly snowfall is 64 inches.

3. High Housing Prices

The average price of a house in Reno is $527,713, compared to $430,300 for the national average.

The cost of housing in Reno is 21% higher than the national average.

23% of homes sold over list price in the last year, and 52% of homes sold below list price.

4. High Crime Rate

Reno has one of the highest crime rates in the nation.

It’s more dangerous than 92% of the cities in America.

The overall crime rate for Reno is 34%.

The rate for violent crime is 5.7, compared to 4 for the national average, and 4.5 for Nevada.

The property crime rate is 29, compared to 19 for the national average, and 23 for Nevada.

The chances of being a victim of property crime in Reno is 1 in 35.

The odds of being a victim of a violent crime in Reno is 1 in 174, compared to 234 for Nevada.

5. Poor Healthcare System

If good healthcare is important to you, think twice about moving to Nevada.

Nevada has the most one-star hospitals out of any state.

It’s the 12th worst when it comes to top-rated facilities, with just one five-star hospital in Reno.

It’s important to note that UMC Hospital is the only Level 1 trauma center in Nevada.

It also has a verified burn center and transplant center.

This means the hospital cares for many of the most critically ill or injured patients in Nevada, which can potentially skew the star rating.

Other factors, including a lack of transportation or support after leaving the hospital, can also affect the rating.

6. Traffic

Reno’s highways were created for a town much smaller than the Reno of today, which makes traffic an issue at times.

Residents say that they sometimes experience mild traffic jams during rush hour.

They say that whether Reno has bad traffic depends on what you are used to.

If you are moving there from a California city, you’ll find traffic a breeze.

If you are from a smaller town, you’ll find traffic to be an issue.

7. Windy

Reno is a very windy city, particularly when fronts come through.

The mountains and valleys are responsible for this.

Valleys cause wind to be pushed through smaller areas, essentially concentrating it into strong gusts.

Mountains slope the air downwards, which also creates stronger winds.

8. Poor Air Quality

Summer wildfires smog from manufacturing plants and car exhaust make Reno’s air quality poor, particularly in the city.

The current pollution level is nearly 2 times as high as recognized as healthy by the WHO.

Reno, NV
Reno, NV

Pros and Cons of Living in Reno, NV – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Reno, NVCons of Living in Reno, NV
1.No State Income Tax1. High Cost of Living
2. Great Schools2. Extreme Weather
3. Legal Marijuana3. High Housing Prices
4. Plenty of Job Opportunities4. High Crime Rate
5. Night Life5. Poor Healthcare System
6. Low Property Taxes6. Traffic
7. Art and Culture7. Windy
8. Outdoor Beauty and Recreation8. Poor Air Quality

Reno Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Reno Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Reno a good place to live?

Reno is a great place to live.

It offers lots of activities ranging from hiking to gambling in casinos.

The strong economy and quality schools are also attractive features.

What should I know before moving to Reno?

There’s a lot to know before moving to Reno.

The city offers world-class skiing, it’s bike-friendly, and it offers an exciting nightlife.

However, you should be aware of the high crime rate and cost of living.

What's the biggest downside of living in Reno?

The biggest con of living in Reno is the high crime rate.

Of course, some neighborhoods are safer than others, but the overall crime rate is much higher than average for the state and country.

Why do people retire in Reno?

People retire in Reno for a few reasons.

You’ll find a wealth of excellent golf courses, lots of restaurants, and casinos.

It has a small-town vibe with all the amenities of the big city, giving you the best of both worlds.

Are people friendly in Reno?

Yes, Reno is well known for its friendly residents.

You can expect to get a warm welcome when you move to Reno.

Many people who live in Reno have moved there from other areas, so you won’t feel like an outsider here.

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