When the Pros Hit the Residential Scene

Vegas Golden Knights and Raiders players have money to spend in a prime housing market

Even before goalie Marc-André Fleury became the de facto face of the Vegas Golden Knights at June’s NHL Expansion Draft, he and his wife, Véronique Larosée, were reportedly sizing up the city’s housing market on the chance that he’d be selected to the team.

Fleury’s $5.75 million salary means his housing options are wide open, and even though many of his teammates make less, the NHL minimum wage is $650,000 for the 2017–2018 season.

That’ll get you a lot of house, and make a lot of local realtors happy.

“It’s good to be in real estate in Las Vegas right now,” says Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices president and COO Gordon Miles, whose organization has partnered with the Golden Knights to help relocate players, personnel and their families to Southern Nevada.

The market, he explains, is healthy. Inventory is tight, but don’t assume you can price your house at pre-recession levels and expect these incoming athletes, or anyone, to buy.

“If you look back, those prices were totally out of line,” Miles says. “Now, if it’s not priced correctly, it won’t sell.”

And where will our Golden Knights, with NHL dollars to spend, look to get the best deals on homes?

“There’s a lot of interest in the Summerlin area because of the team practice facility,” Miles says, adding that some of the youngest players will probably choose convenient and accessible over gaudy and excessive. Located on Pavilion Center Drive, the practice facility is adjacent to Downtown Summerlin.

Either way, they’ll be saving money. A state without an income tax ranks high on the list of priorities for athletes and agents negotiating contracts and contemplating trade scenarios.

“[Nevada] is just an easy place to live and it makes sense financially,” says Dave Tina, Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors president. “There’s enough action on the Strip to compare with a Chicago or San Francisco or Los Angeles.”

Tina, who also heads Urban Nest Realty, agrees that Summerlin will likely be the first choice for Golden Knights players. But when the Raiders arrive and start scouting “super-high-end” homes, the commute to practice won’t mean as much.

“Summit in Summerlin, The Ridges, Ascaya in Henderson, Southern Highlands Country Club,“ Tina says, rattling off a list of ideal landing spots for the multimillion-dollar athlete.

“We’re already a market that is attractive to high-end entrepreneurs who are moving themselves and their companies [here] from Southern California,” he says. “That’s already happening before you throw in the athletes.”