Taxes or ...?

One question I often get from buyers looking for property at Lake Tahoe: Why is Incline Village so much more expensive than other areas around the Lake?

The easy answer is: Taxes

With no state income tax, no inheritance tax, and favorable treatment for many businesses, the Nevada side of the Lake has a strong pull. For years, I found it perplexing that the the highest median sales price for a Luxury Home in Incline Village/Crystal Bay (1M+, which rules out PUD housing) was 2009. When the rest of the nation's housing prices fell to rock bottom, the median sales price of an Incline home inched over the $2 million mark. Hmm ...?

Then Covid hit, and in the scramble to pick up a place to escape the confines of city life, Incline sales prices inched even higher. This year so far (as of Sept 23), we've seen 98 homes in Incline Village/Crystal Bay for more than $1 million, and the 'median' sales price has risen to a new high of more than $2.6 million. 

incline village real estate sales market data
Median Luxury Home Sales Prices in Incline Village/Crystal Bay

Taxes aren't the only thing Incline has going for it. All three beaches here are private to Incline homeowners and their guests (Crystal Bay residents don't get beach cards).  That's a pretty unique feature around the Lake. The only other "private" beaches would be those that are part of an HOA like the gated community of Glenbrook, Fleur de Lac on the Westshore and others.

Incline owners also enjoy preferred owner pricing at both golf courses, the recreation center (with its indoor pool & tennis), and Diamond Peak Ski Area, a largely intermediate mountain with unparalleled views of Lake Tahoe. The 3-mile paved trail along Lakeshore Boulevard now also connects to the "Impossible Trial," which, true to its name, was nearly impossible to build. It's a 3-mile paved bike & pedestrian trail that connects Incline to Sand Harbor & it's probably one of the most beautiful walks in the World (really).

Lake Tahoe Eastshore

None of this has gone unnoticed by Pacaso, the shared ownership company founded by Zillow co-founder Spencer Rascoff and former Zillow exec Austin Allison, who jumped in the fray with a new listing for a gorgeous  5-bedroom home on tony Lakeshore Blvd.  At just a little over $1.1 million, it's is turning a lot of heads, but look closer and it's a 1/8 share.  The management company specializes in shared-ownership opportunities in vacation destinations that might otherwise be out of reach for traditional buyers.  (The model has been met with resistance in South Lake Tahoe, Sonoma County, and other locations. And we're beginning to see yard signs popping up in some neighborhoods like Truckee's Grays Crossing, saying No to Pacaso.)

Still, Incline inspires a degree of sticker shock to those who are just beginning their search for a Tahoe home. You can get more house for the money elsewhere around the Lake, but buyers are willing to pay a premium for Nevada taxes and the Incline lifestyle ~ launch your boat at Ski Beach, or hop on your SUP to explore the turquoise coves along the Eastshore.

While sales have been brisk (98 closings so far), inventory is also healthier in Incline this Fall than what we experienced during Covid.  With 89 homes currently for sale (close to half of them marked down), this Fall resents some nice opportunities for buyers.

Call me at 775-391-9443 or email if you'd like to learn more.

Posted by Jackie Ginley on


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