Reno just got ranked the No. 2 best city to buy a family home — how’d that happen?

Reno just got ranked the No. 2 best city to buy a family home — how’d that happen?

A national study just ranked Reno as the second-best city in the United States for buying a family home. Wait, what?

That’s right, the Biggest Little City is No. 2 among the top 100 metros in the nation for families looking to buy a house, according to financial technology firm SmartAsset. The ranking is a big jump for Reno, which placed 19th in 2018 — the first year that SmartAsset did the study. Only Fremont in California ranked higher than Reno.

Reno’s high spot might come as a surprise given the city’s recent issues with housing affordability. A study released earlier this year by a mortgage information site ranked the city among the 2% least affordable cities in the United States. The Reno housing market also has been struggling with low supply in recent years.

RGJ investigates: As evictions, rents spike in Reno, renters struggle to make ends meet.

Reno, however, earned its spot by placing well across several metrics tracked by the study, said AJ Smith, vice president of financial education for SmartAsset. The rankings rely heavily on Census Bureau numbers, particularly the agency’s American Community Survey data. The metrics that make up the overall ranking are:

  • Change in median home values in the last five years.
  • Change in median rent costs in the last five years.
  • Average effective property tax rate.
  • Percentage of homes with at least two bedrooms.
  • Median housing cost as a percent of median income.
  • Percent of homeowners who are housing-cost burdened.

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Stonegate Reno Supports Recreation

StoneGate Reno Supports RecreationStoneGate Reno is taking many crucial details into account while planning the master planned community for Northern Nevada, like water and traffic. StoneGate Reno is also dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the historic Heinz Ranch by investing in recreational activities for the new residents. At the end of the 10 years, StoneGate Reno will include 3,815 single-family homes and 320 multi-family homes–all of which will want some outdoorsy things to do.

Of the ±1,378 acres of private land StoneGate Reno will encompass, about 25 to 30 percent of its total acreage will be maintained as common area/open space for its residents.

The project provides over eight miles of an extensive trail network that connect to the adjacent U.S. Forest Service property. StoneGate Reno’s 12-acre community center will combine a multi-purpose recreational building, neighborhood retail and accessible amenities such as a pool, fire pit and amphitheater.

What surrounds the StoneGate master planned community?

The property is surrounded by mostly vacant land to the north, south, east and west. U.S. 395 and the Cold Springs residential community border the land to the north. Forest Service lands abut the property on a portion of the east and south sides, which will be included in terms of trail networks. A small community of Unincorporated Washoe County single-family parcels is located along the northwestern corner.

Lack of Affordable Housing for Reno

LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR RENOTesla, Switch, Apple, and many other large businesses have relocated or expanded to Reno. This is fantastic news for the growing northern Nevada economy, but it does do a wonder on housing. With so many people relocating to the area, where will they all live and can they afford it? This has been top of mind for decision makers and economic development leaders in our region.

“[A]s we look at the many challenges we face as a region, there is one challenge that could derail our economic success and impact on the quality of life for not only our new residents but for our existing residents as well: our growing shortage of housing, especially affordable housing,” said Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada in a recent editorial published by the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Reno and its smaller surrounding cities are dealing with a housing crisis. There is not enough supply for the demand. As a result, homeowners and renters are facing an inflation of housing costs.

“Lack of supply — not growth — is the problem: Some say we are growing too fast, so let’s stop the growth,” said Kazmierski. “While our population growth is robust, it is not unusual for our region. In fact, according to the EPIC Report projections, we will continue to grow at essentially the same rate over the next 20 years as we have over the past 20.”

Looking at the issue of affordable housing, the answer seems clear—we need more housing in the area.

“We’re just not keeping up with the production of housing (at half the rate of pre-recession construction), and every housing project that gets delayed or every additional fee or requirement that gets tacked on just drives up the housing prices and makes things worse,” said Kazmierski.

StoneGate is a housing development planned for Reno. Although it cannot solve the housing dilemma on its own, it can start things in the right direction by adding extra housing where it is desperately needed.