Get insider info on Tahoe Donner real estate, events and news from a broker who has owned property there for 20 years

Home Values Gaining Ground in Tahoe Donner

The year is off to a good start in Tahoe Donner, with real estate sales showing a nice uptick from 2023. Despite very low inventory (only 12 homes were available for sale at the end of January), 10 homes changed hands in Tahoe Donner during the first month of 2024.  That's up from just 8 the year before.

The median sales price rose to $1,157,500 (a 3 percent increase over 2023), thanks in part to new construction sales north of $2 million. Brand new homes in Tahoe Donner are fetching close to $700/square foot. That's up significantly from just a few years ago, when new construction prices around $500/sf were raising eyebrows. But it's not greed that's driving the trend; it reflects increasing construction…

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Winter Sales Down by Half

Low inventory, high interest rates, and unprecedented snowfall left the Tahoe Truckee real estate market with a sluggish start to 2023.

Throughout the region, the volume of sales was roughly half of what we had seen in the first quarter of last year. On the California side, including Truckee and the ski areas, only 98 homes changed hands in the first quarter of this year (compared to 182 the year before).

Most Sales in Tahoe Donner

As in past years, the majority of the sales were in Tahoe Donner. The median sales price there fell to $1.2 million (down from $1.3 million the year before). More than half of the homes closed for over $1 million, reflecting an emerging trend toward luxury in Truckee’s largest subdivision.

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Tahoe Donner HOA Fees Explained

With 6,500 homeowners in the hills above Truckee, Tahoe Donner is one of the nation's largest homeowner associations. It's governed by a 5-member Board of Directors who are elected by the owners. The Board voted recently to increase the annual HOA fee to $2,624 a year. 

Tahoe Donner HOA fee

Everyone who owns in Tahoe Donner (even vacant lot owners) is responsible for the annual HOA fee, which pays for staffing and subsidizes the operation of many Tahoe Donner amenities, some of which rely on the subsidy to pay operational costs. Various Tahoe Donner amenities are open to the public. These include:

  • The Lodge Restaurant & Pub
  • The Downhill & Cross Country Ski Areas (as well as the restaurants & bars at both facilities)
  • Tahoe…

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Looking for a Deal in Tahoe?

Meeks Bay Home

What $6 million buys at Lake Tahoe (a small 1950s cabin with a priceless view).

Buyers are back in the driver’s seat in the Tahoe Truckee real estate market.

With more homes to choose from, and fewer buyers leaping at new listings, sharp pricing became key for sellers this summer.  Homes that were strategically underpriced continued to receive multiple offers, but roughly half the homes in any given market lowered their asking prices to make a deal.

In a new twist on the summer market, high-end buyers gravitated away from Lake Tahoe and toward Martis Camp.  The tony gated community at the base of Northstar’s Lookout Mountain saw 11 homes change hands this past summer (more than half of them at or over asking),…

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Despite rising interest rates, high prices at the pump, and the war in Ukraine, buyer demand for Tahoe Truckee real estate remained strong in the first four months of this year.  Some markets showed impressive gains over last year, and some presented the opportunity to negotiate on price.

Overall, buyers showed a strong preference for the very old (or new meant to look old), and the very new. 

One example of this is a Carnelian Bay lakefront that sold for more than $23 million. With pine paneling and a great room framed by log scissor trusses, it looks like it was built in the 1940s, but it’s actually less than 10 years old.  A Bruce Olson masterpiece, it captures the unique charm of homes built with organic materials like granite and the big…

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Median Home Sales Price up 40 percent in Tahoe Truckee

Despite the smoke that kept many would-be buyers at bay through much of August, 2021 was a record-breaking year for Tahoe/Truckee real estate sales.  The median sales price in many of our major markets rose to levels never seen before.

In all of Tahoe/Truckee, which includes Donner Summit, the ski areas and all the neighborhoods around the Lake on the California side, the median sales price rose almost 40 percent over what it had been the year before to $1,175,000

Have an extra few million laying around? How about a home in Incline Village or Truckee's Martis Valley?

Offered at $4,450,000, this Mountain Modern 4 bd/4.5 ba is currently the best priced "Contemporary" home for sale in…

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Unprecedented Christmas Week Snowfall

With more than 9 feet of snow, and precipitation levels exceeding 250% of normal, Christmas week in Tahoe have been tough for travel, great news for skiers, and better news for the drought!

Check out the roads in Tahoe Donner this morning (Dec. 27, 2021), and give a big Thank You to all of our dedicated plow teams with the Town, and the local private plow services!

Here is what it looks like on today's chart from the Sierra Snow Lab:

Tahoe Snowfall

And Tahoe Lake Levels are inching toward the Full Pool of 6,225

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A Seller's Market

In a real estate market that's rumored to be otherwise cooling, Tahoe Donner is bucking the trend.

The median sales price of a home in this community above Truckee rose for the first time ever to more than $1 million this year. And it's been inching up steadily.

By Sept 30 this year, 236 homes changed hands in Tahoe Donner, and well over half of them (58 percent) sold for more than $1 million.  That's a whopping 43 percent increase over last year's Q3 median price of $769,000.  And even more impressive when you consider that just two years ago the majority of homes (84 percent) fetched less than $1 million.

Luxury Homes Now the Majority of Tahoe Donner Sales

The scales have literally tipped, and thanks to the…

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As we move into Fall, I keep hearing one question from my clients: Is the real estate market cooling down yet?

On the heels of last year’s pandemic shutdowns, the value of Tahoe/Truckee real estate skyrocketed. The volume of sales tripled in some markets, and the median sales price rose for the first time ever to more than $1 million in most of our markets.

What goes up must come down. That’s what my clients keep telling me.

But that’s not what the data shows … at least not so far.

We are not seeing the sort of panic buying we did amid the Covid shutdowns last year. Anecdotally, there are definitely fewer buyers in town than we saw earlier this summer. Schools are back to live learning in many of our Bay Area feeder markets, parents are…

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Lake Tahoe real estate is suddenly becoming a commodity available mostly to those who can afford to spend more than $1 million. Luxury sales tripled at the Lake in the first six months of this year, and the median sales price climbed to an unprecedented $1M, a 44 percent jump from the year before.

But most surprising is that for the first time ever, many areas of Lake Tahoe and Truckee saw more homes selling for over $1 million, than under. Last year at this time, for example, luxury sales represented just one-third of the overall sales at the Lake. And this year so far, homes priced over $1 million outpaced more affordable properties.

Lake Tahoe Real Estate

From January to June this year, 383 homes closed at Lake Tahoe for $1 million or more. That's more than…

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