Henderson, Nevada, may sit in the shadow of Las Vegas, but it’s a pretty fantastic city in its own right. In 2019, areavibes.com ranked Henderson the #1 Big City in Nevada, and in 2017, Forbes ranked Henderson as the 2nd Safest City in America. Henderson’s history began with industrial development when it supplied magnesium for World War II, and now it’s known mainly for residential and commercial development. The city gets accolades for its 50 beautiful parks, highly rated schools, hiking trails, great quality of life, and gorgeous master-planned communities.
If you’re heading to Nevada to take advantage of zero state income tax, Henderson is a great place to establish a home. Despite being the second-largest city in Nevada, Henderson still retains a small-town feel. It’s also golfer’s paradise. You’ll be able to play year-round on courses throughout the city and outlying areas. Plus, with Las Vegas just a twenty-minute drive north, there is no limit to the nearby activities you can find to enjoy.
Living in Henderson, NV: What to Know Before Moving to Henderson
Henderson, located about 16 miles southeast of Las Vegas, has a population of 310,389 as of 2018. Its many master-planned communities provide a suburban feel, despite the large population. Just southwest of Henderson, Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, in the McCullough Mountains, offers opportunities for outdoor exploration. And the proximity to Las Vegas means a taste of exciting big city life is in your backyard.
Pros and Cons of Living in Henderson
Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks to ponder when considering a move to Henderson, NV.
- Desert climate means minimal humidity and moderate winters
- One of the safest cities in the country
- Zero state income tax
- 20-minute drive to the Las Vegas Strip
- Extremely hot summers
- The unemployment rate is above the US average
- Above-average cost of living
- Property Tax: The average county tax rate for Henderson is 0.966 percent. On a home at the median price of $326,900, you can expect to pay $3,158 in annual property taxes.
- Sales Tax: For Henderson, the combined sales tax rate is 8.25 percent. The US average sales tax is 7.3 percent.
- Income Tax: Rejoice! There’s no state income tax in Nevada.
About one-third of Henderson residents rent their homes, paying an average monthly rent of $1,521. That’s slightly higher than the national average of $1,470. As of September 2019, the median home cost was $326,900. That’s higher than the national average of $231,200. However, not having a state income tax helps level out the above-average home and rent costs.
While the rent and home costs are above the US averages, there are cheaper neighborhoods in Henderson. The most affordable neighborhoods, as of 2019, include Townsite, Black Mountain, Green Valley South, River Mountain, Clark County, Highland Hills, Foothills, Whitney Ranch, and Pittman.
Cost of Living
Bestplaces.net rates a city’s cost of living on a national average index of 100. Above 100 means living costs are more expensive than average, while below 100 means they’re cheaper than average. The cost of living index for Henderson is 127.5. The Housing score, 166; and Transportation, 137; are the biggest contributing factors in Henderson’s above-average cost of living. Groceries, 97; Healthcare, 95; and Utilities, 100.7; are all below or near the national average.
Henderson’s median household income is $63,830. According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, a family of four would need to earn $6,422 each month, or $77,068 annually to get by in this city.
Weather & Natural Disasters
The hot desert climate that defines Henderson means you’ll have extremely hot summers and mild winters. The average highs for July and August are 103° and 100°, with average lows of 69° and 70°. December and January are the coolest months, with average highs of 53° and 55° and average lows of 31° for both months. The average annual rainfall is about seven inches, and the wettest months are January and February. Snow doesn’t happen in the city, but you’ll see white dustings on the mountain peaks after a storm.
Drought, flash floods, wildfires, and earthquakes are the common natural disaster threats in and around Henderson. The city of Henderson has a helpful site for developing your plans before an emergency strikes.
Economy & Job Market
The job market in Henderson has increased by 3.5 percent over the past year, and you can look forward to an estimated increase of 42 percent over the next ten years – almost 10 percent higher than the US average of 33.5 percent. The unemployment rate is 4.5 percent, which is just a tick above the national average of 3.9 percent.
Top industrial sectors are government, healthcare, tourism, and gaming. The top employers are the City of Henderson, St. Rose Dominican Hospital – Siena Campus, Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa, Sunset Station Hotel & Casino, M Resort, Barclay’s Services LLC, St Rose Dominican Hospital – Rose de Lima Campus, Fiesta Henderson Casino Hotel, Titanium Metals Corp of America, and Sunrise Carpentry. Nevada JobConnect is a good resource for finding work.
Traffic and Transportation
In Henderson, the average one-way commute of 23.2 minutes is less than the national average of 26.4 minutes. Most commuters, 83 percent, drive themselves to work, while 7 percent carpool, 5 percent work from home, and 1.4 percent take mass transit. Bus service is available from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTCSNV) mass transit system, which offers many routes 24 hours a day. The Henderson transit score is 24, indicating that you’ll likely need a car to run errands and commute. McCarran International Airport serves the Las Vegas valley and is the 11th busiest airport in the country.
Interstate 11 runs along the west side of Henderson, and then south of the city, it turns east toward Hoover Dam. I-11 turns into I-515 north of Henderson and connects to the east side of Las Vegas. I-215 runs west of Henderson and is the most popular route to connect to McCarran International Airport. State Route 582 runs through the center of town and connects to Las Vegas at the north and connects to I-11 south of town.
Henderson has a below-average walk score of 30 and a bike score of 37. But downtown has a 60 walk score and 45 bike score, so once you park downtown, if it’s not too hot, you’ll be able to run some errands on foot.
What to Do
In Henderson, you can have Las Vegas-style fun without ever leaving town. Sunset Station Casino, the M Resort, Green Valley Ranch Resort or the Fiesta Henderson Hotel & Casino will welcome your gambling dollars. You can hit the slots, play table games, or bet it all on your favorite team at a sportsbook. If outdoor activities are more your speed, you can hike in the nearby mountains or hit the links on one of Henderson’s many golf courses.
Animal lovers may enjoy the Lion Habitat Ranch, which houses the retired lions from the MGM Hotel & Casino. You can become a lion trainer for a day and find out if you’re more Siegfried or Roy. If bird watching is more your thing, you’ll likely enjoy the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. Others might want to get their Willy Wonka on at the Ethel M Chocolates Factory and Cactus Garden, which is decorated to various themes throughout the year. You can rent paddle boats on Lake Las Vegas or a short drive east of the city brings you to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which is two times the size of Rhode Island! At Lake Mead, you can boat, houseboat, stand up paddleboard, water ski, tube, and fish. And a trip to see the Hoover Dam is inspiring to every member of the family.
On hot summer days, you’ll probably want to cool down at Cowabunga Bay Water Park. Or you may prefer a cold one at Bad Beat Brewing, Crafthaus Brewery, or the Las Vegas Distillery. You can also find great shopping at The District at Green Valley Ranch.
Fans of museums have a few options in Henderson. Clark County Heritage Museum shares the city’s interesting history and includes an outdoor area with historic homes and a general store. In nearby Boulder City, you can check out Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum, Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum, and the Nevada State Railroad Museum, which runs an excursion train over seven miles near the Hoover Dam. Las Vegas also has a handful of unique museums, like the Mob Museum downtown.
There aren’t any professional sports teams in Henderson, but Las Vegas has a few. Hockey came to Las Vegas with the Golden Knights in the NHL. For football, the Raiders will play their home games in Las Vegas, beginning in 2020. The WNBA’s Aces are also a Las Vegas hometeam. Baseball fans will also enjoy outings to see the Aviators, which is a Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The UNLV Rebels also offer opportunities to check out some college athletics.
Schools and Universities
Clark County School District, the fifth most populous school district in the nation, serves Henderson. District-wide, most schools have favorable ratings. Greatschools.org rates schools on a scale of 10. Eight elementary schools rate a perfect ten, including Gordon McCaw, Selma F Bartlett, John Vanderburg, Frank S Lamping, Elise L Wolff, Shirley & Bill Wallin, Marlan J Walker, and James E & A Rae Smalley. For middle school, Del E Webb, Bob Miller, and Jack & Terry Mannion are the top-ranked. The College of South Nevada High School South scores a 10/10.
For those seeking higher education, Henderson and the greater Las Vegas metro area have several options. Nevada State College is a four-year public university in Henderson. Touro University Nevada is a private four-year college. The Art Institute of Las Vegas, Everest College, and Roseman University of Health Sciences are two specialized four-year private colleges in Henderson. Altierus Career College is a two-year private university in the city. The College of Southern Nevada, based in Las Vegas, has a campus in Henderson.
Bestplaces.net rates a city’s crime score on a scale of 100. Henderson is considered a very safe city. The violent crime score is 11.5/100; the US average is 22.7/100. The property crime score is 29.6, which is also below the US average of 35.4/100.
Be sure to open your utility accounts well before your move. During the summer months, you’ll especially want power to run your air conditioner so your home will be cool on move-in day.
- Electric and water service:
- NV Energy, 1737 Hunkins Drive, North Las Vegas, NV 89030. (702) 402-5555
- City of Henderson Department of Utility Services, 240 Water Street, 1st Floor, Henderson, NV 89015. (702) 267-5900
- Gas service:
- Southwest Gas, 5241 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89150. (877) 860-6020
- Internet/Cable service: DIRECTV, Cox, dish
Best Neighborhoods in Henderson, NV
According to niche.com, Henderson is the #14 ‘Best City in America to Retire In.’ It’s also one of America’s best places to live and one of the safest cities in the US. Speaking of ‘best,’ let’s take a look at some of the best neighborhoods within the amazing city of Henderson.
Green Valley South
This neighborhood of 21,964 residents is not only ranked #1 in Henderson; it’s actually the #2 overall neighborhood in the state of Nevada. Green Valley South is less than a 15-minute drive west of downtown Henderson and boasts a suburban feel with many of the modern, terra cotta roofed homes featuring swimming pools. The median home value in Green Valley South is $221,486, and the median rent price is $1,032; both prices are slightly lower than the average for Henderson.
Residents in Green Valley South can get their hot dog fix at the Steamie Weenie, rated 4.5 stars on Yelp, where you can get a classic Chicago dog, which they call the Windy City. Sammy’s Restaurant and Bar is a great spot to grab duck tacos or a pizza, with a menu that also accommodates the gluten-free crowd.
Students in Green Valley South attend John Vanderburg Elementary School and Selma F Bartlett Elementary School, both rated 10/10. Bob Miller Middle School and Jack Lund Schofield Middle School serve this neighborhood. Coronado High School is rated 10/10.
Black Mountain is the #2 rated neighborhood in Henderson and #3 rated neighborhood in all of Nevada. The neighborhood is about a six-minute drive south of downtown Henderson.
Black Mountain, population 7,111, is one of the more affordable neighborhoods in the city. The median home value is $198,157 and the median rent price is $576, both well below the averages for Henderson. There’s fun for the whole family at the Black Mountain Recreation Center and Aquatics Complex, including a fitness center, indoor cycling area, racquetball courts, and tennis courts.
Locals get their Chinese food fix at China Wan Wan, rated four stars on Yelp. If you enjoy a cold beer while watching a game, head to Hammer’s Grill & Bar, rated four stars on Yelp.
Gordon McCaw Elementary School is rated 10/10. Older students attend Lyal Burkholder Junior High School (unrated) and Foothill High School, which has a 7/10 rating.
Located less than a ten-minute drive southeast of downtown, Highland Hills is another neighborhood that ranks among the best in the city and state. The median home value for Highland Hills is $163,471, and the median rent price is $1,309. The homes in this suburban-feeling neighborhood of 10,583 residents aren’t right on top of one another and many have attractive yards.
Highland Hills is very close to the northeast tip of the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, which incorporates nearly 50,000 acres of desert beauty. The highlight is the Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site, which features around 300 rock art panels created thousands of years ago. Speaking of thousands of years ago, the Shan-Gri-La Prehistoric Park is also in the neighborhood. You can get a tour of the park from sunrise to midnight daily and every visitor gets a free dinosaur!
The neighborhood mostly has chain restaurants, but just a short drive outside of Highland Hills you’ll find Ohjah Noodle House #2, rated 4.5 stars on Yelp.
Marlan J Walker Elementary School serves Highland Hills and is rated 10/10, while B Mahlon Brown Junior High School and Jack & Terry Mannion Middle School serve 6th-8th grades. The College of South Nevada High School, serving students in grades 11-12, rates 10/10.
With 15,093 residents, McCullough Hills has a dense suburban feel with homes ranging from the Henderson average of $326,900 to mega-view mansions on the market for millions of dollars. The median home price is $344,600, and the median rent is $1,822.
McCullough Hills is about a 10-minute drive southwest of downtown. If you’re craving pizza, Bistro Pizza, 4.5 stars on Yelp, is a favorite no-frills spot to grab a pie and some wings. If you’re in the mood for something a little nicer, check out Il Chianti Italian Steak & Seafood, which has live entertainment on the weekends.
John Vanderburg Elementary School has a 10/10 rating, Bob Miller Middle School serves students in 6th-8th grades, and Foothill High School has a 7/10 rating.
The Gibson Springs neighborhood of 13,650 residents is rated #5 in Henderson and #6 in Nevada by areavibes.com. Niche.com rates it as the #4 ‘Best Neighborhood for Young Professionals in Henderson’ and the #5 ‘Most Diverse Neighborhood in Henderson’.
Here, the median home value is $196,456 and the median rent price is $1,160, which is part of the draw for those young professionals. Renters occupy more than half of the homes in the neighborhood.
Residents can get their gyro fix at The Great Greek, rated 4.5 stars on Yelp, while Distill (4 stars) is a popular bar with tasty cocktails, a large menu, and tended by friendly bartenders.
Selma F Bartlett Elementary School has a 10/10 rating, Lyal Burkholder Junior High School, and Barbara and Hank Greenspun Junior serves 6th-8th grades, and Coronado High School has a 10/10 rating.
Green Valley North
Green Valley North is just over a 15-minute drive northwest from downtown. You know a neighborhood has something going for it when it has a Trader Joe’s. Green Valley North has a population of 39,727 and is rated the #6 ‘Best Neighborhood in Henderson’ and #7 ‘Best Neighborhood in Nevada.’ A few more ‘bests’ – Niche.com considers Green Valley North the #2 ‘Best Neighborhood for Young Professionals in Henderson’ and #4 ‘Most Diverse Neighborhood in Henderson’.
The median home value in Green Valley North is $202,938, and the median rent is $1,229. The neighborhood has a suburban vibe, and some of the homes are better described as estates.
Check out Chavelos Mexican Bar & Grill, rated 4.5 stars on Yelp. If you’re craving classic deli, Weiss Restaurant Deli Bakery, four stars on Yelp, is not to be missed.
Nate Mack Elementary School has a 9/10 rating, Helen C Cannon Junior High School and Barbara and Hank Greenspun Junior serve 6th-8th grades, and Coronado High School has a 10/10 rating.
If you’re not yet convinced that Henderson is one of the best places to live in Nevada, check out Westgate. Westgate is the #7 ‘Best Neighborhood in Henderson’ and #8 ‘Best Neighborhood in Nevada.’
The median home value in Westgate is $291,546, and the median rent price is $1,403. With 22,063 residents, the pleasant suburban feel of Westgate features large, modern homes. There are many retires in the Westgate neighborhood but it’s also the #2 ‘Best Neighborhood to Raise a Family in Henderson’, according to niche.com.
Crêpe Expectations is popular among residents, as seen by its 4.5-star Yelp rating. If you’re craving BBQ, check out Big B’s Texas BBQ where you can get brisket, tri-tip, pulled pork, and more.
Elise L Wolff Elementary School has a 10/10 rating, Del E Webb Middle School, Charles Silvestri Junior High School, and Bob Miller Middle School all serve 6th-8th grades, and Coronado High School has a 10/10 rating.
MacDonald Ranch is rated the #8 ‘Best Neighborhood in Henderson’ and #9 ‘Best Neighborhood in Nevada.’ Located about a 20-minute drive southwest of downtown Henderson, the MacDonald Ranch neighborhood is just north of the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, making for some beautiful views.
The median home value in MacDonald Ranch is $339,727, and the median rent price is $1,041. One quick scroll through the home listings for this neighborhood, and you’ll understand the higher prices. Beautiful modern homes with yards and pools sit on generous lots in this attractive neighborhood of 13,069.
Kitchen Table is popular for breakfast and brunch with its New American cuisine and four stars on Yelp. Served, with 4.5 stars, is another popular spot for Asian fusion food.
John Vanderburg Elementary School and Frank S Lamping Elementary School both have a 10/10 rating, Del E Webb Middle School serves 6th-8th grades, and Coronado High School has a 10/10 rating.
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