Elko is a unique and lovely place. A city of about 20,000 people, it straddles the Humboldt River and is on I90, about halfway between Salt Lake City and Reno. The seat of Elko County, it is a unique place, mostly due to its continuing reliance on gold and silver mining. This results in a very different real estate market than elsewhere.
How the Mines Affect the Market
Elko is less than thirty minutes away from two of the world’s largest mines. In total, Elko County has over 32,000 active claims across gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc. The Nevada Gold Mines on Mountain City Highway is the single largest gold-producing complex in the world. Elko’s fortunes, thus, rise and fall with the gold and silver market.
This insulates the real estate market from the volatility of other commodities and from changes in the service economy. When the rest of the country experiences a down market, prices and sales in Elko tend to remain high. A high average income from the skilled labor needed by the mines also tends to keep prices higher, yet not so high that people can’t afford to move there. The job market tends to also stay stable. Obviously, the market is affected by volatility in gold prices, but the economy is diversified enough with transportation and tourism to avoid the worst troughs.
This makes Elko an easy place to relocate to, and a great place to invest in real estate despite its small size. There are plenty of opportunities for spouses and family members of agents and brokers.
Why People Move to Elko
A stable, active real estate market is a good reason to become a real estate agent or broker in Elko, Nevada. However, there are also many reasons someone might want to move there. It is a four-hour drive from Reno and three hours and fifteen minutes from Salt Lake City. So, while remote, it is not so isolated that you can never get out. Elko also has a small regional airport offering two flights a day to Salt Lake City, and with facilities for general aviation.
As a small city, Elko offers a great balance of amenities and outdoor living. It is home to the Northeastern Nevada Museum, with an interesting collection of regional art and vintage firearms as well as casinos and a variety of restaurants. And yes, it does have culture, including an annual Basque festival (6,000 Basque people live in Nevada, descended from ancestors who followed the Gold Rush west and stayed in Nevada as sheep farmers) and the Cowboy Poetry Gathering. There’s also the Western Folklife Center, which honors the culture of the American west.
Another reason to move to this amazing place is the wide variety of outdoor activities within a short drive. The scenic Ruby Mountains surround the town with a promise of recreation and beauty. The South Fork State Recreation Area contains a large reservoir which offers excellent fishing and boating. Elko is home to the oldest rodeo in the state of Nevada, and if you feel like following the cowboy trail yourself, nearby guest ranches and trail riding centers can help you out. You can also enjoy amazing hiking, hunting, biking, ATVing and, in the winter, skiing and snowmobiling. To get away from it all, head to the quiet towns of Jarbidge (where the last stagecoach robbery in the West happened in 1916) or Tuscarora. A popular local activity is exploring the various abandoned mining camps.
In other words, Elko is neither a large city where nature is not to be found, nor a nothing town fading away, but a vibrant community with its own character and culture.
Why is this Such a Good Place to be a Real Estate Agent?
Other than the mining and high availability of skilled jobs, Elko offers a variety of real estate, from houses in town to ranch properties, with a wide range of prices to fit the budget of locals and new arrivals alike.
The average household income is $92,554, and the population is relatively young with a median age of 32. Most residents have at least graduated from high school. There is a good amount of income diversity, allowing an agent space to find the right property for the right client. You can offer the client town living or country living within a short distance. Long commutes are not a thing in these wide open spaces. Elko and its surroundings provide a wide variety of both people and real estate that allows an agent to enjoy the challenge of matching clients with the perfect home.
There are also plenty of rental and investment properties that might come on the market. Elko is also growing at a healthy, but not excessive rate, and is considered the best city to live in in the state of Nevada, according to 24/7 Wall St. The study showed that Elko has a high income, low cost of living, and good school spending. (Elko also has a small public college). All of these are factors that are likely to attract potential clients to Elko and the surrounding area.
The city is taking steps to protect themselves from a downturn in gold prices, both by storing reserves and by attempting to diversify. The town is on a major railroad and work is being done to increase its viability as a transportation hub. Tourism is also important in the area, with a strong emphasis on outdoor activities and western heritage (and not so much on the casinos, reducing the risk of the town being Vegas Lite).
If you are looking for a place to raise a family while working as a real estate agent or broker, you could do a lot worse. As a smaller city with good schools, Elko is great for kids who can spend their summers in the outdoors, but has enough culture to satisfy most people. This also attracts good clients who are looking for all of those things for themselves and their families.
How to Become a Real Estate Agent in Elko, Nevada.
The first step to becoming a real estate agent in Elko is to complete Nevada real estate school. This is one of the requirements to getting your real estate license in Nevada. Here at Century 21 Americana, we’re currently offering a 94% discount on our real estate course. If you sign up before February 28th, 2021, our entire course – including all books – is only $45 (regularly $395). The course is entirely online, meaning you can attend from the comfort of your home. We guide students through the whole process from getting their real estate license all the way to finding the right broker and closing their first home. Sign up now and start your real estate career in Elko Nevada!