LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- As more people move to Las Vegas, it’s becoming tougher for locals to find affordable homes.
Heading in 2020, the big question on many people’s minds – is it better to buy or rent in this hot market?
Realtors said stories of 10 people squeezed into two bedrooms aren’t uncommon in the valley now.
“All of us were in one bedroom,” Elizabeth Molinar said. “Wee were very cramped. We had three bunk beds, our bed and the cradle in the middle. There was no room at all.”
Molinar knew she and her family needed more space.
“It was 10 people in a 900 square foot house,” she said.
She along with her husband, their five kids and her parents were living in cramped quarters.
“It was just not doing it for the family anymore,” she said.
But it was all they thought they could afford.
“We’ve spoken to other realtors and they shut us down,” Molinar said. “They said there's no way we could do it.”
The family looked at renting but Las Vegas saw a 5% jump in rent prices in 2019.
“A lot of times locals are sharing rooms now, kind of like what they're doing in San Francisco right now to a certain amount,” realtor Steve Hawks said.
“They're paying the higher prices,” realtor Tony Galindo said. “We don't want to see Vegas residents be pushed out of the market.”
In order to buy a house, the family needed to get creative. Galindo explained low interest rates are a big reason why its cheaper to buy than rent.
“Between that and the equity they had, we were able to make this happen,” he said.
To make the move, Galindo said factor in your credit score, any extra equity you may have forgotten about, and consider using money from your 401K instead of taking out a loan and paying high interest rates.
“No matter what your situation is, you don't have to settle for renting,” Galindo said. “You can purchase your own home and own it for less than you would pay in rent right now in this current market.”
Molinar and her husband moved into a 5-bedroom home in North Las Vegas. Realtors said it’s becoming a more sought-after area for buyers.
The big family is just relieved to have found a bigger space, just in time for the holidays.
“Having so much more space everybody isn't in each other's space, so we have a little bit more room to relax,” Molinar said.
Currently, there’s less than a three-month supply of homes for sale in the valley. That’s well below what’s considered a balanced market.