Something about this photo struck me as so incongruous, that I just had to share it ... Tahoe Donner is heating their oversized family pool for "winter" swimming through January 8. That's in addition to the 3-lane lap pool, which is open year-round at the member-only Trout Creek recreation center. Winter Swimming in TahoeWith dues of just $1,900/year, Tahoe Donner remains one of the best investments for year-round vacation fun. (Click the Christmas sign on this link for a quick video overview of the community.) If you have been interested in exploring cross country skiing, check out the free demo day at the Tahoe Donner Cross Country center tomorrow (Dec. 28) starting at 11 a.m.  With more than 60 miles of groomed trails, it has been voted one of North America's "Best" cross…

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Picture this: You are at Northstar, it's the perfect powder day, and you hit the slopes just early enough to catch fresh tracks on almost every run. Time to kick back with a nice lunch and a comfy chair. But everyone had the same idea as you!  And the lines are out the door.

Option B: Hop on the Zephyr lift, and scoot over to Schaffer's Camp, a private facility for members of the Tahoe Mountain Club and their families. You are greeted at the door and escorted to a member-only locker room where you can shed your boots and grab a pair of furry slippers. Hang out by the massive fireplace with a warm drink, or head into the restaurant for a dining experience with "no" crowds and unparalleled mountain views stretching all the way to Squaw Valley.

Welcome…

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Tahoe weather can be unpredictable. The mercury can be in the 40s one day, and dip to below zero a week. Tips for Winterizing Tahoe HomesTemperature swings of 40 to 50 degrees are common here in the mountains, and homeowners are well advised to take double precautions when winterizing their homes. 

I learned this the hard way. One winter we were out of the country, and advised our departing guests to just leave the heat on at the Truckee house. It was December, we'd be home in less than two weeks, and it seemed easier to just leave the heat on than to explain how to shut the water off to the house and drain the pipes. (Almost all homes here in Tahoe are plumbed with a "low point," such that the water can be easily drained from the pipes with the turn of a key.) 

Ten days later, we…

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Housing prices in Reno/Sparks are up 9% over last year this time, and my investor clients keep asking if the trend will continue (while my first-time homebuyers want to know when the bargains will return.) The answer to both lies in the Job Market.  Tesla aside, Reno has seen more than 100 new companies move to the area over the past five years. That economic growth has driven the price of homes up. Click here for a list of Reno homes priced under the $500k sweet spot.

A press release from the Economic Development Authority today notes that 27 new and expanding companies relocated to Reno this year so far, including Mishimoto Automotive, a manufacturer and distributor of high performance cooling systems.

"Mishimoto looked at several locations in the…

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