I moved from Malibu to Vegas and bought a $1.9 million home. California is beautiful but it got too difficult – Business Insider India

3 minutes, 58 seconds Read
  • Gus Lira, a managing partner at a jet chartering company, recently moved from Malibu to Las Vegas.
  • Lira said the main reason for the move was financial, citing taxes in California.

This is an as-told-to essay based on a conversation with Gus Lira, a managing partner at a private jet charter company, who recently moved from Malibu, California, to Las Vegas. Business Insider verified the real estate prices. The essay has been edited for length and clarity.

I was born in Los Angeles and was there until the age of 10. After that I spent time in Texas, Florida, and Mexico. I returned to California in 2000.

Just like everyone else who comes to Los Angeles or California, I moved back because it’s beautiful. The weather, the topography. The California coast. I first lived in Hermosa Beach, which is great, but it’s extremely condensed. Malibu is more open, so I moved there and stayed for 17 years.

At first, it was great. Was it costlier to live in California than in Texas or Florida? Yes, but Los Angeles is a big city. But, as time has progressed, it’s become unbearable.

The last five years have been the most challenging, I believe, for everyone. Tax laws have become more draconian, the volatility of real estate. Everything from crime, homelessness, taxes. It’s extremely expensive to work here if you’re a business due to the fees that you have to pay. And they make it more difficult every year.


But for me, really, the main reason, and many of the people that I know who have left, is just taxes. And I believe that’s what the majority of people that I’ve spoken with say, every one of my friends that said, “I’m moving to Miami, I’m moving to Dallas, I’m moving to Houston, I’m moving to Idaho, Wyoming.” It is all financial.

I’m not a California resident anymore. Couldn’t afford it anymore. You can’t get ahead when you get $100 and they take $60.

I was just ready to get out of California.

Las Vegas is a lot more affordable

I had been to Las Vegas many times, but I’d never been anywhere else but the strip. I had a couple of friends who moved here and bought, and they said, “Hey, you really have to look at Vegas.” I’m thinking, “Vegas? The desert? I can’t even imagine myself there.”

Then, I checked out Summerlin in September. Everything was green, green, green, green, green. It’s beautiful. There’s palm trees, there’s mountains, there’s Red Rock Canyon. My backyard is mature palm trees and vegetation. It’s not desert whatsoever. If you stay inside my house and look outside, you think you’re in Orange County.


I paid $1.9 million. I live on a golf course. It’s a beautiful home in a guard-gated community, clean, with no traffic, no crime. My house has a mountain background and has a beautiful pool.

I moved from Malibu to Vegas and bought a $1.9 million home. California is beautiful but it got too difficult to live there.
Gus Lira’s backyard in Summerlin has a pool, lots of greenery, and mature palm trees.Gus Lira

If I had known that Summerlin was this attractive, I would’ve made the move a long time ago.

In Malibu, I had an unobstructed ocean view, but the place was small. It was a condo. The house that I bought here would probably be $8 million in Malibu, on the Pacific Palisades side. Small homes start at $3 million, $4 million, $5 million. It’s outrageous.

Now, I’m a Nevada resident. I’m only returning to Malibu for vacation and a week, two weeks, three weeks, maybe a month, during the hot summers in Las Vegas.

I still love California, but it was very difficult to live there

My wife and I are very, very, very happy with our move. And look again, financial: No state income tax, no inheritance tax, no food tax when you go to the grocery store. And also one of the lowest property taxes in the nation.


I spoke to a friend yesterday and he said to me, “Hey, do you miss Malibu?” Maybe because I’m no longer young, but I don’t. I would’ve thought I would’ve. LA’s overcrowded. You can’t park. In Malibu, I think, “Hey, let’s go to the beach.” Then look outside, and it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic.

If you’re 30, looking for your dreams, and you think you’re going to make it in Hollywood, you come there and struggle. But I don’t have to do that anymore in my life. When I moved back, I was in my 30s. I’m over 50 now. Once you hit the big five-oh you just want everything to be easier.

Do I still love Malibu? Do I still love Hermosa and Manhattan Beach? Yes. I was born there. Do I like the topography? Do I like the ocean? Yes, yes, of course. It’s massive beauty. But everything else just has made it very, very, very challenging. Very difficult.

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