Reno, Nevada is the biggest little city in the world, which may make it seem like a great place to live. And while it is a great place to live, but before moving there, it’s important to take a few major cons into account. We have listed 17 reasons why you shouldn’t move to Reno, Nevada in the near future.
Reno is in the middle of the desert, which means that it’s been hit hard by the drought that’s been raging on in the American Southwest for the last couple of years. While the city still has enough water to go around for its residents, it’s in a pretty perilous situation in the long term.
Reno gets its water from the Truckee river, which is fed by snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada mountains. With residential and agricultural water consumption rates continuing to increase and precipitation in the region at a standstill, the city will eventually run out of water if things don’t turn around in the area.
If you’re at all worried about this kind of thing, you might want to rethink any plans you have to move to this region. While Nevada is a lot more water conscious than its neighbors, the ongoing drought will inevitably have an effect on the state if it continues.
Despite the fact that Reno is in the middle of the desert, it still gets pretty cold in the winter. Okay, cold is the wrong term for it. Reno’s daytime lows are in the mid-40s (Fahrenheit), which only qualifies as cold if you’re from Nevada. It gets a lot colder at night because of the dry desert air, but even then it rarely dips below twenty.
While the city does get some snow in the winter, it rarely gets more than three inches even in the snowiest part of the year. If you’re an anti-snow purist, then Reno is the wrong place for you, but if you’re fine with a little bit of yearly snowfall, you should be able to find this amount tolerable.
The flip side of this is that Reno summers are hot, and temperatures can easily break 90 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is a type of dry heat with very little humidity, it can still be a lot to handle if you aren’t used to it. Altogether, the weather here is certainly something to complain about.
Because Reno is situated near several mountains, a lot of smoke from various wildfires in the area ends up getting stuck in the area until it can dissipate. This combines with the area around Reno’s proclivity to wildfires to give the city a lot of smoky days. While it isn’t bad enough to ruin the city’s air quality during the rest of the year, it certainly does make for a couple of bad days in the summer.
Reno sits at 4,500ft above sea level, and the elevation change can cause some side effects in a lot of people. These side effects can include headaches, nausea, insomnia, and fatigue, all caused by lower-density air. It’s also much easier to sunburn in the surrounding area since there’s less atmosphere blocking you from UV rays coming from the sun.
It can also make it harder to keep hydrated, meaning that drinking enough water is even more important in the Reno area than it is in the rest of the country. This particular effect also makes it easier to get drunk and much more likely that you’ll suffer a hangover the day after.
All this combined can make Reno’s environment fairly unpleasant for a lot of people. Whether you’ll be taking advantage of the elevation to get intoxicated or not, you’ll probably want to spend a couple of days in town before you decide to live there to see if you can handle the elevation.
5. The Food is Just Okay
If you’re from a part of the country that has good restaurants, then Reno will be highly disappointing to you. While it’s unfair to expect Vegas levels of culinary greatness from the biggest little city in the world, it’s still going to be a little tough to adjust to the significantly smaller food community in the city.
This is partially made up for by the city’s huge number of all-you-can-eat restaurants. Even if the food you’re eating isn’t the best that you’ve had, at least you can eat a lot of it.
6. All You Can Eat Sushi
If you’ve never had sushi before or if you’ve only ever eaten sushi in the Idaho/Utah/Nevada/Arizona section of the country, you may not realize this, but any time the words “All you can eat” and “Sushi” are in the same sentence, you need to run away before someone causes great harm to your body via the many dark poisons in their evil kitchens.
Jokes aside, the all-you-can-eat sushi is really bad compared to the sushi that you can get on the coasts. It probably won’t get you sick, but it definitely won’t taste good. Considering that there are other places to get buffet-style food in the area you should be able to avoid the sushi, but if you ever forget and accidentally go you’ll be in for a bad time.
7. No Public Transit
Reno is not a very walkable city, and this is made worse by the fact that the only public transit in the city is the single bus line that goes from the north part of the city to the south. It just isn’t a very good place to try to live without a car, which is a common problem in American cities but is especially present in Reno.
The spread-out nature of the city makes it difficult to bike around as well. You probably can get around with just a bicycle, but it’ll take up a lot more of your time than you might want it to, and it’ll be dangerous since the city lacks a lot of the infrastructure to make bike commuting safe.
With gas prices increasing, public transit is becoming an increasingly appealing option for many people looking to save money, but it’s simply impossible to use in Reno.
8. Bad Schools
With the exception of a few charter schools, Reno’s public high schools are pretty much all below average, with extremely low ratings on multiple school rating websites. With middling graduation rates and generally few opportunities for students, Reno is probably not a great place to raise high school-age students.
As for those charter schools, like all charter schools, they only accept a few students at a time. The vast majority of students will be going to the city’s average to bad public schools.
9. Nevada Healthcare
Even in the US, which generally has worse healthcare than most of the developed world, Nevada’s healthcare system is considered to be the fifth worst in the country. People living in Nevada are likely to end up in dire straights if they get hurt or sick.
This is caused by low state spending on healthcare and the fact that Nevada has one of the highest uninsured rates in the country, which means that it’s simply impossible for hospitals to get the money that they need to provide care.
This is especially noticeable in the state’s lack of primary care doctors, which can make it tough to see someone for help if you’re not in an emergency. This contributes to many people’s struggles to find the healthcare that they need.
10. Low Diversity
Reno has a fairly homogenous population, with a little over 70% of the people living there being white. For people who live in more diverse parts of the country, this can be a bit of a shock. If you’re used to being able to meet lots of different kinds of people, that simply won’t be as easy to do in Reno as it is on the coasts.
11. High Property Costs
Since 2019 the median home price in Reno has doubled from $300,000 to $615,000. This is a crazy amount of growth, although not a terribly unexpected one considering that the median home price has been increasing across the board at a high rate in the US.
That being said, the $600,000 figure in Reno is significantly higher than the national median of $428,000, making homes in the Reno area pretty expensive compared to the rest of the country.
This can be a blessing or a curse depending on your financial state. While it’s likely that Reno homes will continue to increase in price over the next couple of years, people who can’t afford to buy a home in the city now are unlikely to be able to afford one in the future without a huge windfall.
That being said, if you’re moving to Reno and can afford a home, the high property costs will likely prove a boon over the course of years. Just hope the housing market doesn’t crash again anytime soon.
12. Far Away from Vegas
If Nevada is known for one thing, it’s Las Vegas, the vice capital of the English-speaking world. While Reno is closer to Vegas than most places on Earth are, it’s still around 430 miles away. With that kind of distance it a commute between the two cities is actually impossible, so if you were considering doing so, you should stop.
Considering that the drive between the two cities is over six hours long, any dreams of day trips to Vegas from a home in Reno might have to be trimmed back.
If you’re a gambler, then moving to Reno is probably a bad financial decision. With the runoff from Nevada’s lax gambling laws, Reno is home to several big Casinos. Anyone with a weakness for gambling will likely find this to be a huge temptation. Unless you have a will of steel, you might want to limit your Reno experience to a short visit.
Reno’s traffic problem isn’t nearly as bad as the traffic you might find in some of the bigger cities in the country, but it is getting worse all the time. Driving all the way through this little town will take about half an hour during rush hour, which isn’t awful, but it definitely isn’t ideal either. This is especially bad when it snows, as it seems like no one knows how to drive in the snow.
15. Improv Groups
People need to have hobbies, but considering the number of small comedy groups in the area, it seems likely that you’ll eventually make at least one friend who does improv and end up getting invited to their show. Actually going to the show is a trap, but it would be so rude to say no to a friend like that, wouldn’t it? Make sure you have excuses locked and loaded at all times if you move to Reno, Nevada.
16. Weird Propaganda
There’s this weird trend on forums that talk about whether Reno is a good place to live or not where someone will get on the forum and leave an extremely long forum post about how they got punched in the head by a homeless lady and jumped by her five friends, which they manage to fight off to keep their purse but lose their money and “vape mod.” What happened to their actual vape is a mystery.
Considering that this exact story is always followed by exactly the same analysis of the situation, it seems like it’s either some kind of weird meme or a propaganda effort by one casino against another (since the punching event always takes place at the same casino). Whatever’s going on, it’s safe to say that people are probably lying about Reno on the internet.
Reno isn’t Vegas, but it does get a lot of visitors for its casinos. This means that especially during the summer, it will likely be fairly tough to entirely avoid the city’s many annoying tourists.
This is especially difficult as the tourists in Reno tend to be the saddest kinds of people, as a significant portion of the city’s economy comes from people coming to the city, losing a bunch of money at the casinos, and then pawning their valuables at one of the city’s many pawn shops so that they can gamble more.
If you don’t like being reminded of that fact, then Reno, Nevada is not the city for you.
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