Downtown Reno is the heart of the Biggest Little City. It’s where you can see the famous Reno Arch, the Believe sign and Space Whale. You can spend days lounging by the Truckee River and nights enjoying exceptional dining and live entertainment. For those who live in Downtown Reno, these attractions and activities are just a few steps from their front doors. To hear more about what it’s like to live in Downtown Reno and buy a home there, I chatted with a few Dickson Realty agents at the Downtown Office. Here’s what J.P. Menante, Chris Galli, and Samantha Reveley, the Downtown Reno condo queen, had to say.
Who is moving to Downtown Reno?
JP: I think it’s a pretty good mix, but it tends to skew maybe a little younger and a little older. Both of those groups don’t need quite as much space and may travel a lot, so they want some pretty easy maintenance.
Samantha: Many young professionals want to live in that urban environment and can afford a Downtown Reno condo. Newly retired people who are really active also want to be Downtown. We do get those snowbirds who live in Downtown in the summer and go somewhere else in the winter.
Chris: People who move to Reno from bigger cities and are urban dwellers find Downtown really appealing. We’re also seeing retirees and empty nesters—people who are downsizing and looking for less home maintenance. Some people own homes elsewhere and enjoy having a second home in Reno.
What are some reasons people love living in Downtown?
Chris: It’s a very easy lifestyle to live in one of the condos in Downtown. I’m planning on moving into one of the high-rise buildings myself. Living in a building with a Homeowners Association where almost everything is taken care of sounds great!
JP: I think they love the area’s entertainment and walk-ability. People who live Downtown like going to all the events. They like walking to Artown. They love that there are so many restaurants to walk to and they don’t have to drive.
Samantha: Downtown is so walkable and full of great energy. I lived in Downtown for five years and it was great! I would literally go weeks at a time and never drive my car. I could just walk everywhere. It was easy and fun.
How has Downtown Reno changed, and how do you think it will continue to transform?
JP: I think Downtown is exciting, especially with what all that Jacobs Entertainment and the other downtown developers are doing. They’re putting their money where their mouth is and creating new opportunities. In 10 years, Downtown will look completely different.
Chris: When I think about the changes from 10 years ago to today, Downtown is already very different. The Downtown Reno Partnership business improvement district is also making a difference. You see all the Downtown ambassadors in blue shirts, giving people directions and helping people. I think that’s a really great addition.
Samantha: I tell people in Reno all the time, if you haven’t been Downtown in the last 10 years, you’ll be shocked! The restaurants and shops have just exploded.
What is the Downtown Reno real estate market like right now?
Chris: Most of the residential units in Downtown are in several high-rise buildings. They each offer something different and have all the amenities you would expect of luxury high-rise living. The 360-degree views of the valley make waking up and looking out your window even more special.
JP: It can be competitive, but the market has started to balance out.
How is buying a Downtown Reno condo different from purchasing a single-family home?
Samantha: It’s a very different buying experience than buying a home. There are a lot more lending restrictions on buying in a high rise. So, it’s crucial to work with a Realtor and lender who have sold and financed Downtown Reno condos. Every building has different rules, different homeowners dues, and various assessments. It’s essential that your Realtor understands all the buildings and which will fit you best.
JP: People think they’ve found a bargain if they see a condo for $200,000. But, the HOA dues are maybe $300 a month, and you have to qualify for that in the loan. You also have to understand all the CC&Rs because they are different than a typical HOA’s. They tell you what kind of curtains you can have, what you can have on your balcony, or how many pets you can have. There can be restrictions that some people won’t like and that some people love.
Chris: I think that HOA dues get a pretty bad rap, and they are very comparable to the cost of homeownership. If you add up all your bills for what you pay to live in your home every month, HOA dues can be about equal. Depending on the building, those dues will also include a fitness center, a pool, security, and maintenance.
What do you think would surprise people most about living in Downtown Reno?
Chris: Living in a high-rise building like the ones Downtown can reduce your environmental footprint. For people who are conscientious about how they impact the environment, this can be important.
JP: I think that people would be surprised at how many people actually live Downtown. There’s a lot of them!
Samantha: We take for granted that we have a stunning, crystal clear river from Tahoe that runs through the middle of Downtown, that anyone can go to for free.