Real Estate Blog

 What's a Ski Lease?  That's a question I was asked last week, reminding me that as realtors we sometimes assume our everyday jargon is commonplace. A ski lease is a short-term rental of your home for the ski season, usually at a higher monthly rate than what it would fetch as a full-time rental. They typically run from November or December through March or April Skiing at Lake Tahoe(last year's epic Tahoe winter had many asking to extend, as the ski season stretched into the summer months). For those who love Lake Tahoe, but not the winters, a ski lease can be a great way to defray the cost of owning a vacation home.

A nice 3-bedroom home or condo that sleeps eight could rent for for $2,500 to $3,000 per month (luxury properties fetch luxury rates). Multiply that by 5 or

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1. Save Money on Taxes .      With no state income tax, no tax on social security or pensions, and relatively low property taxes, retirees domiciling themselves in Nevada stand to save thousands per year. Smartasset.com has a convenient calculator to determine your savings. For a better understanding of what it means to "domicile" one's self in Nevada, visit Ashley Quinn CPA's website.

2. The Golf Season Lasts Longer .      With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, and a temperate climate, you can golf almost the whole year.  It does snow in Reno (less than 2 feet per year on average), but it doesn't stick around for long. 

Click here to browse homes in Reno's top Golf & Country Clubs

3. Reno Tahoe International Airport .      Many of my

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September seems a little early to be thinking about skiing, but ... Hey, it snowed at Lake Tahoe last week! If you enjoy skiing enough to consider buying a season's pass this year, maybe it's time to think about purchasing a property here instead of renting this year?  With fewer buyers in the market, the shoulder season is a great time to pick up a deal. And the Tahoe real estate market is varied enough to offer something for every taste and budget.

Northstar     From the original Ski Trail condos beneath the Village gondola, to the contemporary homes surrounding the Ritz-Carlton, Northstar has become a year-round resort destination with lodging and activities for the whole family.

Ski-In, Ski-Out     For the ultimate in convenience, skip the

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It's a great old house in the perfect location - walking distance to the lake, good schools and an oversized grassy yard. The price is right, but from plumbing to the roof, it needs a total overhaul. What do you do? Most buyers walk at that stage. Some see opportunity. Location is everything in real estate, and a fixer-upper in a good neighborhood is usually well worth the investment in upgrades. But buyers on a budget often don't have a pile of cash on hand for a costly remodel. One solution is the FHA 203(k) loan that rolls the cost of a remodel and the purchase of a home into one loan with as little as 3.5% down.

Owners and non-profits with decent income and good credit can qualify, but not investors. The remodel must cost at least $5,000 (and up to

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So you want a condo in Tahoe? Or maybe a cabin of your own with a little yard, and elbow room, and no homeowner's fees. Condo or single-family home?  Close to half of my buyers flipped-flopped on this question last year, and buyers who are on the fence ask the same question: which one is better for me?  The answer depends on your goals.

Convenience vs. Constraints    

Most condos and townhomes are maintained by a homeowner's association, eliminating the need for costly exterior repairs, landscape maintenance and snow removal. And the convenience of a turn-key vacation property in your favorite destination is a price worth paying for some.  If you work long hours at a stressful city job all week, the last thing you want is to spend all weekend

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Who hasn't dreamed at some point about a cabin at the lake, especially Tahoe, with its grandeur and year-round recreation. As we round into the final dog days of summer, this week is possibly the best time of year for seeing those lakeside cabins. The days are hot, and the afternoons are often broken by thunderstorms that blanket the forest with cool rain and invite a welcome retreat to the shelter of a covered porch.

In the spirit of summer, I'd like to to offer you 7 of my personal picks for charming cabins at or near a lake in Tahoe (plus a few tips for buying one that will also serve you well throughout the winter).

 

537 Log Cabin Rd, Meeks Bay  $595,000 

Built in 1936, this cabin is a testament to a generation that looked to Tahoe for a

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Buy vs Rent?  For young couples, that has long been a decision motivated largely by the desire to grow a family. But millennials are bucking the trend. In a recent nationwide study, buyers aged 18 to 36  cite their dog's need for more space as the top reason for buying a home. In fact, dogs ranked higher for the reasons to buy than having children or getting married.

A third of the buyers polled said their #1 reason for buying a home was to have more space for their dogs. Maybe this is surprising for a national poll, like the sample surveyed for the SunTrust Mortgage study. But in Tahoe, dogs have long ruled the home front (and the roads, and the beach, and the list goes on).  

Many Tahoe hotels welcome dogs, and some gourmet restaurants like

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When it comes to selling your home, it's worth taking a hard look at the little things you have come to live with over time ... the lightbulbs that are out in those hard to reach places, scuff marks on the walls, or the toilet that's been running so long you don't notice it anymore. In my years of showing homes,  the value of first impressions has always sort of amazed me.

Take two houses with the same floor plan, same finishes, and close to the same location. One is so clean you could virtually eat off the floors. The windows sparkle, carpets smell fresh, and the seller took the time to touch up the paint and re-grout the bathroom floor. The other has stained carpets, dirty screens and a hallway air filter so full of dust it looks like it has never

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Tahoe Donner's Cross Country ski center expects to be open through at least mid-April this season, thanks to record snowfall. Season passes go on sale March 15, and for just $314 pass holders can also ski for free this spring. (Homeowners enjoy discounted rates.)  

With 38 miles of groomed trails, and access to one of the West's most pristine valleys, it's no wonder Tahoe Donner was recently voted one of North America's "best" for XC lovers. You have to experience Tahoe Donner's cross country center to appreciate its beauty. The trail network begins in an alpine meadow at the end of Alder Creek Road. Ambitious skiers (or hikers) can climb up to Hawk's Peak at 7,729 feet and skirt the saddle to Drifter Hut to catch unparalleled views of Donner Lake and

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