Real Estate Blog

With bluebird skies in Tahoe this past weekend, skiers flocked to the slopes to enjoy the amazing snowfall of the past few weeks. From Alpine to Squaw, to Tahoe Donner, parking lots filled up early in the day, so fast, in fact, that Tahoe Donner's downhill ski area sold out early in the morning! (But not for homeowners) Tahoe Donner Ski Area Sold OutOne of the many perks of owning in Tahoe Donner is that members come first. The downhill ski area, for example, caps its sale of public tickets to ensure that homeowners and their guests are not turned away. (The Cross Country center, which has been voted one of the best in North America, offers similar perks to pass holders, with earlier opening times.) With HOA dues of just $1,900/year, Tahoe Donner remains an excellent bargain. From

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Many parts of Tahoe have seen more than 15 feet of new snow in the past few weeks ~ a welcome relief to the drought and an epic start to the ski season. Check out this chart with snowfall from this week's storm and the year-to-date. Sugar Bowl, for example, has seen 34 feet of snow this season, with almost 22 feet this month! Tahoe Ski Season off to Great StartGreat news for skiers, and a little intimidating to some homebuyers new to the Tahoe market who find themselves asking if you can have "too much of a good thing." Falling trees have led to power outages, and road closures have made it difficult for plows to keep driveways cleared. If you are thinking about a home in Tahoe, or have recently bought here, it's important to know this is *not* the norm. Local authorities say we have not

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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 you 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.


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It is pouring rain at Lake Tahoe today; not quite normal for this time of year ... but what I have learned in two decades of owning property here is that there is no consistent "normal." The mercury is in the 40s today, and it's predicted to dip to below zero a week from today. Tips for Winterizing Tahoe HomesNegative -3 to be precise. Temperature 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

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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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A client of mine looking for a lakefront property recently asked me to keep my eyes open for a bargain. You want a great price on a lakefront?  Buy it when the winter winds are whipping Lake Tahoe so hard that it feels like Lake Michigan. 

Check out these pictures taken from Incline's live webcam (very cool tool that updates every 5 minutes) ... to see what a difference a season makes!  

Most buyers align their goals with the season. In the Tahoe Sierra market this summer, we have had 21 lake or waterfront properties sell since June 1. And for ski properties?  Just 8 (half of them at Northstar).  But if you can think snow while everyone else is at the beach, there are some great deals to be had. Consider this awesome 3-bed, 3-bath Village condo

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So you want to build your own home?

What homeowner, over the years, hasn't considered this? Even those of us who have bought fully remodeled homes, come to see over time the little nuances of finish quality or floor plan that we would do differently if we were to do it ourselves ... the kitchen really needed a walk-in pantry, or the formal living room that seemed like such a great idea when you bought the home now feels like a waste of space. The list goes on.

Building is a great idea. Right up there with quitting your day job to take up writing or glass blowing, it's fraught with just about as much risk and unforeseen challenges. I know because I tried it. Almost 20 years ago, after losing a house we wanted desperately with sweeping view of Mt.

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OK, so you have made the decision to move ... or maybe you have to move for work, and you need to get your home sold quickly. Knowing no one in the business, you go with the gal your uncle recommended because she seems like a nice person and she agrees with you that your home is worth more than the one around the corner that sold for less. A week goes by with no offers. Then two. In fact, there are not only no offers; there are no requests for showings.

Now what?  Well, the sad truth is that your home is about to settle to the bottom of the pond.

Real estate is a very competitive business, and in the push to get a new listing, some agents will tell sellers what they want to hear to get a signature on the bottom line. In the industry, it's called

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As a realtor who works both sides of Lake Tahoe, I like to share with my clients the tax differences between the California and the Nevada side of the lake. As many people know, Nevada has no state income tax, no tax on inheritance, and no pension tax. But property tax bills can present similarly significant savings on the Nevada side of lake Tahoe.

Two lakefront properties that are currently for sale present an excellent example of how this is possible.  One is on the California side of the lake in Star Harbor, a marina just outside of Tahoe City fed by a year-round creek, with natural water features, and floating docks (in a good water year). It's Unit 20, pictured here, a beautifully remodeled lakefront 3-bedroom priced a bit above $1.5 million.

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