California transplants favor Henderson or Summerlin

Editor’s note: This year we have launched a new section called “Real Estate Insights”. We have invited some of our local property experts to weigh in on different segments of the market. This column is the second in a series that we hope to run throughout 2022.

The migration of out-of-state buyers continues to ignite the luxury real estate market in Las Vegas. This influx is fueled by the mass exodus of Golden State residents as they flee high taxes and tight restrictions.

Las Vegas offers what potential buyers are looking for: lower taxes, luxurious and secure upscale communities, breathtaking views and incredible lifestyle amenities.

I saw a high percentage of these affluent buyers choose between two distinct areas of the valley: Henderson and Summerlin.

I find buyers have a lot of confusion between Henderson and Summerlin. And the majority of luxury home communities fall under both of these areas, so it’s important to understand the difference.

The upscale communities of Henderson and Summerlin offer contemporary designed homes with a desert landscape, gated security, breathtaking views and extraordinary amenities.

Understanding the amenities found outside the community’s doorstep is a deal breaker for out-of-state guests. There are great benefits and features in both.

Before beginning the home selection process, affluent clients want a comparison of schools, lifestyle necessities, recreation options, and airport accessibility.

I think it’s important to guide my clients in both areas. It turned out to help them make a better decision on where they wanted to focus their house hunting.

Often it comes down to the feel of an area. And, interestingly, what part of California they’re from.

I have found that customers from Irvine or Orange County gravitate towards Summerlin. Those from greener communities, like San Diego, lean toward Henderson.

Main points of difference

As the second largest city in Nevada, Henderson exudes a small town charm. It was voted one of the 50 Best Places to Live in America by Money Magazine in 2018 and ranked as one of America’s Safest Cities by Forbes in 2017.

The city is known for its lush greenery and mature landscaping with 1,400 acres of parks and landscaped trails.

Along the southern rim of the valley, Henderson extends from Interstate 15 east to Boulder City, near the region’s lakes: Lake Las Vegas and Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

People who come from small towns tend to like Henderson. They love that it operates independently as a city with its own police and fire department.

The Las Vegas Raiders have a strong presence in the city with their iconic practice stadium across from Henderson Executive Airport. The city’s newest sporting addition is American Hockey League affiliate Henderson Silver Knights. The Silver Knights arena, the Dollar Loan Center, is set to open later this year.

summerlin, a premier planned community, is nestled against Red Rock’s Spring Mountains National Conservation Area.

At the center of this self-contained community is a vibrant, walkable urban center. Downtown Summerlin offers an eclectic mix of world-class dining, shopping, events and entertainment.

Summerlin looks like a small town. It is well organized and thought out.

Designed by Howard Hughes Co., the community boasts of an extensive trail network comprising over 250 parks and 150 miles of trails carved into the desert oasis.

It is home to the Las Vegas Aviators – Oakland A’s AAA baseball franchise and the training ground for the Las Vegas Golden Knights.


Private and public academic options abound in both Henderson and Summerlin.

School is one of the main deciding factors for families. And whether their children go to private or public schools.

Henderson is known for its top-rated public schools, consistently surpassing state standards in proficiency tests. The school district has 113 schools, including 60 private, 40 public, and 13 charter.

Summerlin is home to more than two dozen schools, including 10 nationally recognized private schools and 16 public schools, as well as magnet and charter schools. The community also boasts of some of the highest ranked public schools in the state.

Airport accessibility

Another decisive factor is the accessibility to the airport.

Henderson offers a slight advantage to California commuters with Henderson Executive Airport and generally quicker commutes to Harry Reid International Airport.

If customers travel a lot or fly to California for work, distance to airports is a major factor for them. Henderson Airport is a convenient gateway to the Southern California market.


Summerlin takes the lead on access to incredible outdoor opportunities nearby. Community residents are a short drive to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Mount Charleston Ski Resort.

Guests who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and rock climbing love being in Summerlin. Guests who love boating turn to Henderson because of its proximity to Lake Mead.

Darin Marques Group is the founder of the Darin Marques Group, Huntington & Ellis.

About Susie Jones

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