Reno is a tiny city with a population of 246,500 people. Many residents appreciate the fact that it is a tiny city with big-city advantages. They don’t have to worry about crime or traffic, but they can still enjoy fantastic restaurants, thrilling events, and some of the best shopping in the country.
Reno is also great for individuals who enjoy the desert atmosphere. The weather is pleasant most of the year, and while there isn’t much variation from season to season, the spring wildflowers are spectacular.
Reno’s cost of living is 8.3 percent more than the national average, a 4.5 percent decrease from the previous year. That’s fantastic news for Reno residents, especially given the city’s average rent. However, rent isn’t the only factor to consider when considering whether or not a location is good for you. We delve deep into what factors contribute to the cost of living in a place so you can decide whether Reno is the best option when it’s time to relocate.
Reno’s Housing Expenses
Reno’s housing market is not for the faint of heart. Reno’s average rent has risen by 63 percent in the last year to $2,353 per month. Overall, the cost of housing in this city is 28.8 percent higher than the national average.
While there are a few more expensive neighborhoods (such as South Meadows, where the average rent is $3,101), there are also more cheap possibilities. If you’re looking for a place to live for less than $2,000 per month, the neighborhoods listed below might be a good option.
- Wildcreek: $1,392
- Smithridge: $1,129
- Sharlands: $1,663
- Mae Anne Avenue: $1,663
- Panorama Village: $1,392
You can also locate rentals in Downtown Reno that meet your budget (average = $1,811) and keep your Reno living costs lower than the national average.
Rents in Reno are, on average higher than in the rest of the state.
Another option for finding low-cost rent in Nevada is to look at rental properties in Reno or other surrounding cities. Here are a few cities with affordable rents that can help you save money on living expenses.
- Sparks: $2,198
- Kingsbury: $1,072
- Incline Village: $1810
- Carson City: $1,046
- Gardnerville: $944
Reno Home Prices
If you actually want to live the American Dream, you should consider purchasing your own home at some point. Is Reno the perfect place for you to do so? Perhaps. Right now, the average price of a home on the market is $500,000.
In this city, housing prices have risen by roughly 18% since last year. The housing market is competitive, with some properties receiving numerous offers. The average home sells for 2 to 5% more than the asking price. Homes typically sell between 5 to 20 days of being advertised.
Reno’s Food Prices
Food is another element that can drastically increase the cost of living in Reno. Whether you dine out frequently or prefer to cook at home, you’ll wind up paying around 7.6 percent more than the national average. Fortunately, food prices have dropped by 6.3 percent in the last year.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the grocery shop costs and how they compare to the national average.
- Fried chicken: $1.23 in Reno; $1.32 – national average
- Tuna: $1.00 in Reno; $0.99 – national average
- A dozen eggs: $1.80 in Reno; $1.47 – national average
- Half-gallon of milk: $3.04 in Reno; $2.10 – the national average
- Sausage: $4.24 in Reno; $4.09 – national average
- Ground beef: $5.56 in Reno; $4.10 – the national average
The average cost of a meal out (for one person) is about $17, while certain places (such as Fork Kitchen) charge $19 per person, without including beer or wine. And, if you’re like most people, you’ll undoubtedly eat out on a frequent basis – for both fun and convenience. You’re in luck because Reno is home to several fantastic restaurants. Mexican, Thai, German, Eastern European, Italian, French, Northern Californian, Korean, Chinese, and Farm-to-Table cuisine are all available.
Of course, it’s crucial to remember that if you’re on a budget (and who isn’t? ), you might have to limit how frequently you eat out if you’re paying Reno’s average rent. The combination of higher shopping prices plus the comfort of having someone else cook for you can quickly drive up the cost of living in Reno.
Reno’s Utility Costs
Utility expenses are one area where Reno’s cost of living is lower than the national average. Utility bills are 17.2 percent lower on average.
Reno’s average monthly energy cost is $160.97, which is around 0.14 percent less than the national average. Other utility costs are as follows:
- Internet: The average package is $63.30 per month.
- Cable: Prices vary depending on the company and plan selected but can range from $39 to $65 per month.
- Service for mobile phones: Prices vary depending on the provider and package selected but typically range between $39 and $90 per month.
- Water: Rates vary depending on usage, but the average is $70.39 per month.
Additional utility charges include garbage and recycling collection, as well as home security.
Reno Transportation Costs
Reno’s transportation and walkability scores (34 and 52, respectively) are poor. However, the bike score (59), owing to existing bike infrastructure, demonstrates that the city is above-average for people who choose to get around by bike. And this can help homeowners save money on their Reno living expenses.
However, because a bike isn’t perfect for every errand, you may have to choose between using RTC Ride, Reno’s public transportation system, and having a vehicle.
A single fair at RTC Ride costs $2, and a day pass costs $3. A 7-day or 31-day pass is available for $14.50 and $65, respectively.
If you decide to purchase a car, you must take in the costs of fuel, maintenance, registration, and insurance into your Reno budget. Gasoline costs $3.31 per gallon (the national average is $2.76), which is expensive but still less expensive than Sacramento, California, which costs $4.49 per gallon. Tire balancing and rotation is a regular maintenance expense that experts recommend conducting every 5,000-7,500 miles or every two years. The cost of this service in Reno is $60.67.
Reno’s transportation costs are 17.6 percent more than the national average. While this appears to be a significant increase above the national average, transportation costs in Reno have decreased by 12.8 percent in the last year.
Reno’s Healthcare Costs
It is difficult to predict how much healthcare costs will affect the cost of living in Reno. Healthcare is such a unique topic because everyone has different needs. Some people are prone to illness because they have chronic illnesses or a low immune response. Those people’s healthcare costs are unavoidably higher.
Reno’s healthcare costs are 6.1 percent higher than the national average. Fortunately, this had decreased from last year, when it was 16.9 percent higher than the national average.
Here’s a look at some common healthcare costs and how they compare to the national average.
- Doctor check-up: $125 in Reno; $112.81 – national average
- Dental check-up: $110 in Reno; $99.44 – national average
- Eye exam: $105 in Reno; $105 – national average
- OTC Ibuprofen: $11.46 in Reno; $9.80 – national average
- Prescription medication: costs 3.87 percent less than the national average.
Reno’s Prices for Goods and Services
After you’ve spent your hard-earned money on necessities, it’s time to think about non-essentials: miscellaneous goods and services. These are things you buy to have fun and make your life more enjoyable. Items in this category include:
- Salon visits
- Pet grooming
- Going out to the movies
- Date night or girls/guys night out
- Personal sundries
Surprisingly, these prices are 2.9 percentage points lower than the national average. Reno residents have it easy in this department!
Assume you have a fun day planned. You’ll begin the day by going shopping (you really need a new pair of pants). Then you’ll go to your stylist to get your hairstyle updated. Following that, you decide you really need to work out some tension (it’s been extremely stressful lately), so you attend a yoga class. When class is finished, you go home, clean up, and then go to the movies with your friends, ordering pizza and beer. This is what your day’s expenses would look like:
- Women’s pants: $23.66 in Reno; $30.37 – national average
- Haircut: $23.33 in Reno; $20 – national average
- Yoga class: $17.50 in Reno; $15 – national average
- Movie: $10 in Reno; 11.12 – national average
- Pizza: $11.49 in Reno; $10.49 – national average
- Beer: $9.24 in Reno; $9.66 – national average
- Totals: $95.22 in Reno; $96.64
As you can see, these “extras” quickly add up and have a significant impact on the cost of living in Reno. Make an effort to determine how much you spend on these items so that you can determine whether you can afford Reno’s average rent or if you need to look for an apartment in a more affordable neighborhood.
Nevada is a great place to live if you want to save money on taxes. There is no income tax in the state. Instead, the government raises revenue through sales taxes, property taxes, and “sin” taxes on items such as alcohol and cigarettes. In addition, because it is a large gambling and hospitality state, the government collects taxes from the casino and hotel industries.
Property taxes are also among the lowest in the country. So, if you decide to buy a house, you will save money on this expense! A $500,000 home will cost $3,100 per year in taxes at the current Washoe County rate (0.62 percent). In comparison, New Jersey has the highest property tax rate in the country. Property taxes on a $500,000 New Jersey home will be 2.39 percent or $11,950 per year on average.
The state sales tax is 8.27 percent, which combines the Nevada sales tax rate (4.6 percent) and the Washoe County sales tax rate (3.67 percent). If you spend $1,000, you’ll pay an extra $82.70 in sales tax.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live in Reno?
How much you need to earn to live in this city is determined by all of the aforementioned factors, as well as how close you want to be to the action.
According to the US Census Bureau, the average Reno resident earns $58,790 per year. Reno’s average rent is $2,353, or $28,236 per year. If you pay the average rental fee, you will spend nearly half of your income on rent. Is that something you’d be able to afford?
If not, keep in mind that there are several more affordable neighborhoods and suburbs with available apartments that fall within the recommended 30 percent maximum. If you’re not sure if you can afford a Downtown Reno apartment, use our free rent calculator to figure out what rental fees work best for you.
Is Reno, Nevada a Safe City to Live?
Reno has lower overall crime rates than similar-sized cities, making it a relatively safer place to buy a house and call it home. However, crime rates in the suburbs are even lower than in the rest of the city, making it the best place not only to buy a home but also to raise a family.
What Is Attracting So Many People to Reno?
Low Cost of Living in Relation to Other Cities.
“With high prices and political uncertainty in California, people are relocating their investments to Reno and selling their primary residences in the Bay and surrounding areas.”
Moving to a new city is a major undertaking. Going somewhere new and beginning a new chapter in your life can be a lot of fun. But, before you take a leap of faith, it’s a good idea to do some research. Examine the cost of living in Reno to see if it fits your budget. Try to learn as much as you can about your new city so you can be confident that you’re making an informed decision, and we hope this article has helped you in doing so. If, after all of your research, you decide that Reno is the city for you.