Real Estate Blog

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. 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 working at

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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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The Town of Truckee, in cooperation with Nevada County is applying for disaster relief funding to help businesses and homeowners impacted by the recent waves of storms that brought epic snowfall to the region. The state of emergency declaration in early January came amid a storm that knocked down power lines, leaving much of Truckee & West Shore without power for as long as several days. (Downed trees, like the one Liberty Utilities photographed across Highway 89, were the culprit behind much of the power outage.) With the Truckee River cresting, the town provided sandbags to residents impacted by the double whammy of rain and melting snow. Motorists were stranded, and some second homeowners were unable to access their residences due to the sheer volume

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If you are thinking of buying a home in Tahoe, maybe you have decided to wait for the snow to melt so you can get a better feel for the topography & landscaping. Makes sense, and many buyers take this approach of waiting till Spring or Summer to start their search. But one thing to consider when buying in snow country is that the winter offers a great opportunity to see aspects of a property that might not be obvious when the sun is shining and the garden's in full bloom. For example, roof design ...  Summer buyers will consider the quality and condition of a roof when buying a home, but not necessarily how it "sheds" snow. 

Snow shedding on entry

 In a snow year like we've had this season, with record depths in the space of a week, shedding patterns can make a big

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The state of Nevada is offering free downpayment grants to qualifying home buyers. If you earn less than $95,000 and are looking to buy a home of $400,000 or less, you might be able to receive grant money of up to 5% of your loan downpayment and closing costs. Free Money to Buy a Home in RenoTo put that in perspective, that's like being "given" up to $16,000 on a standard loan.  No joke.  The program is one of several grant and mortgage assistance programs offered through the Nevada Division of Rural Housing (and don't be fooled by "rural;" Reno buyers can also qualify.) Other grant programs are specifically aimed at helping K-12 teachers, veterans, and 1st time homebuyers. 

Call or contact me today for additional info on how you can qualify. 

Click here for a list of qualifying

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