Apartment Hunting Tips
Desert Wildlife. Henderson is surrounded by miles of untamed desert, which is great whenever you see a rabbit or a fox run through the neighborhood, but not so awesome when you see something slither under your house. You see, the deadliest desert creatures are also the sneakiest. Be careful when hiking through the neighborhood parks around sunset; snakes just love to lie out on the hiking trails around this time. There are also some painful, and potentially deadly, breeds of scorpions and spiders, so check your potential apartment's pest control policy, or don’t if you like living life on the edge. And, if you get bit, stung, or poked, don't expect them to pay for a visit to the emergency room. If they do happen to pay for your trip to the emergency room, however, you’re most likely just hallucinating.
Heat. It's the desert, so obviously it's hot. What is not so obvious is that heat is deadly. No, not just for your carefully sculpted wax collection, but it's a leading killer of people over the age of sixty around here. It's also a leading cause of people over the age of sixty moving to Florida where they can beat the heat. However, it's completely bearable as long as you keep hydrated... seriously hydrated. It's best to drink about two gallons a day if you plan on leaving your apartment. And, no, I'm not exaggerating.
New Apartments. From the 110-degree summers to the occasional snowfall in winter, you can at least appreciate the fact that most apartments around here are new and very well insulated. That's great for your wallet and your comfort. However, it's really great because you won't be able to hear every single noise your neighbors make.
Families. Henderson is a family-friendly town. There are parks and pools in nearly every neighborhood, many of which feature great entertainment, such as music, movies, and “theater in the park” showings. In the dog days of summer, you can take the kiddos over to Mission Hill Park to play on the splash pad, or take a short drive out to Lake Las Vegas or Lake Mead for a really cool time (pun intended). The schools are generally good, especially in the Coronado and Foothill neighborhoods of Henderson. As for crime, Henderson is one of the safest places around. While not totally crime free, there are many areas that might as well be, such as Whitney Ranch.
Dogs. Dog owners rejoice! Apartments, parks, and even shopping centers around here won't just tolerate your pets, but welcome them. Many apartments feature their own private dog parks and accept breeds up to 100 pounds. However, it’s very common to get charged a pet rent.
Live on the Wild Side. Living in Henderson and the Valley means one thing: Some excellent outdoor areas and wildlife that’s well worth exploring’ll surround you at all times. Depending on the season, you can wakeboard in Lake Las Vegas or Lake Mead, and then head on up to the mountains for some snowboarding. There are some great fishing spots too, as well as some amazing hiking trails. Head a little farther out of town for some serious hiking that will take you up waterfalls and cliff sides to secluded hot springs below the Hoover Dam.
Henderson neighborhoods are divided between those above the beltway and those below the beltway. Above, you’ll find the safest and most suburban-like areas. Below the beltway, however, there are more casinos, dive bars, and urban neighborhoods, surrounded by a rugged desert environment. Don’t worry about hauling your golf clubs up or down, though, as there are plenty of parks and golf courses both above and below the beltway. It's kind of their thing.
Above the Las Vegas Beltway
Paradise Valley. Sweet sounds of jazz in the park surrounded by traffic sounds from planes, trains, and automobiles on their way into sin city. $$
Gibson Springs. A clean, quiet neighborhood surrounded by shopping centers and casinos. $$$$
Whitney Ranch. Nearly crime-free (remember?), and easily walkable to Sunset Station, the Galleria Mall. The bus routes will take you anywhere around the Las Vegas Valley, just in case that needs doing. $$$ - $$$$$
South Valley Ranch. Another safe neighborhood, and right next to the bird preserve, so keep your eyes on the sky! $$$
Green Valley North. A neighborhood of golfers, shoppers, and Vegas Strip regulars. $$ - $$$$
Green Valley South. Golf course views, quaint market shopping, and apartments that are both new and affordable. $$$
Below the Las Vegas Beltway
Townsite. Also known as the Water Street District, here it's all urban loft living, live music, art walks, and old casinos. $
Green Valley Ranch. Greenbelts, biking trails, tons of parks, and the District at Green Valley Ranch, a masterpiece of upscale shopping, casinos, gourmet eats, eclectic bars, and family-friendly events... and yes, your dog IS a part of the family, so bring 'em along! $$$$
McCullough Hills. Food, spirits, games, and miles of hiking trails all within walking distance of your humble abode? Yeah, you’re not dreaming, but you’ll wish you were once you spot that price tag! $$$$
Mission Hills. On the edge of the city, enjoy living near the Nevada State College, the splash pad at Mission Hills Park, and the quick commute to Lake Mead... all for a price you just can't beat. $$
Black Mountain. A renter's paradise, this location is great for kids and pets with all the neighborhood parks and the Heart of Henderson hiking trails nearby. $$
Valleyview. A rowdy community in far east Henderson with cheap apartments and a quick commute to Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, and the Vegas Strip. $$
So, that's the story of Henderson and I'm sticking to it. Happy travels!
-By Kera Zacuto
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