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 difference in your quality of life.
 Roofs like this one, which shed on the front entry and in front of the garage bay mean that even if you have a seasonal plow service, you are in for shoveling every time the roof sheds (with a metal roof like this one, that could be several times a day). 
All things being equal, a home designed to keep shedding snow away from entries is much preferred over this example. 

Windows and heat sources can also make a huge difference in how comfortably (and affordably) you winter here in Tahoe. Older homes tend to cost less, but often they are heated with electric baseboard heat, which is one of the least economical forms of heating. If you do purchase an older home, and you want to save on your heating bills, you might consider switching to hydronic baseboard heaters and swapping out the old aluminum frame windows for double pane vinyl. Wood Stove TahoeWood burning stoves, though not quite as attractive or clean as many of today's gas inserts, can also reduce heating costs. And if the power goes out, they also double as a handy stovetop! 

Some of my clients have thanked me over the years for talking them out of a property that might not have been right for them. I believe buyers should make "informed" choices, and that often means pointing out not just a property's strong points, but its flaws. As a realtor in Nevada & California, you can count on me to give you honest advice. Please feel free to call or contact me with questions.

Posted by Jackie Ginley on


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