South Lake Tahoe Real Estate: What To Look For At Open Houses

If you are buying a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe, chances are high that you have either walked through a lot of homes, or are about to. A couple years back Realtor.com wrote a blog comparing real estate to dating. It was tongue in cheek but it was accurate. When shopping for a home, you need to look beyond the name brand appliances, recent upgrades or the layout of the home. Of course if these things are important to you, take note. However, there are more important things to keep an eye out for and you should not be distracted by professional staging or recent upgrades. So what should you really be looking for? Read on.

Red flag No. 1: Does it smell to good to be true?

Yes, if you are selling South Lake Tahoe real estate, you should make sure your home smells good. However, that means getting to the root of the smell and banishing it for good. It does not mean putting air fresheners in every single room and baking fresh cinnamon rolls. As a buyer, if you walk into a home and the smell is over the top, start inspecting to make sure the sellers aren’t trying to cover something up. Go into each room and let your nose do the detective work. If you can’t pick anything up, look for smoke, mold, mildew or pet accidents.

Red Flag 2: Bad tiling

Make sure there aren’t any gaps or slightly uneven tiles. If the house was flipped or the owner did some DIY projects around the home for sale in South Lake Tahoe, it could mean other projects were done on the cheap and cost you down the road with more expensive repairs.

Red flag No. 3: Signs of neglected maintenance

Speaking of……pay attention for anything that may indicate the homeowner let basic home maintenance needs slide. This could be old paint, burned out bulbs, leaky faucets, full gutters or even a damaged screen on a window. These are easy and affordable fixes and can be signs that the home has not been well maintained. Of course, you can always ask your Realtor in South Lake Tahoe for a list of repairs or recent upgrades. If you really want the home for sale in South Lake Tahoe, you can make an offer and wait for the inspection report to come back to determine any issues. If it turns out pricy repairs are needed, you can walk away or use this knowledge to negotiate price.

Red flag No. 4: Foundation issues

Foundation is important and it is normal for South Lake Tahoe real estate to have some hairline cracks due to settling. Large gaps mean there are possible issues afoot but how can you tell without an inspection? Uneven floors, cracks above the window frames and doors sticking are just a few. Be sure to chat with an inspector or your South Lake Tahoe realtor ahead of time to find out what you should be looking for.

Red flag No. 5: Flooding

It is no secret Lake Tahoe and our surrounding area has had a crazy winter complete with flooding. While the California drought is over (for now) and we are all very thankful, look for water when you are buying real estate in South Lake Tahoe. Is there a possibility having the Truckee River close by could mean flooding in your home? If so, you will need to look into flood insurance and what your options are. It also means you will want to pay close attention to possible water damage.  Whether from a flood or a burst pipe (also something that can happen during our snowy winters), check exposed pipes and make sure they aren’t leaking or have rust or water stains. Also, you may not see water damage but if there is a musty odor, find out what the source is.

Red flag No. 6: Mold

While we are on the topic of water damage, check for potential signs of mold in the South Lake Tahoe real estate for sale. Open up sink cabinets to look for any grey or black spots around drains or pipes. The caulking on tubs or faucets are also a good place to look for black or grey spots. In fact, if you see any black or grey spots anywhere in the house, it could mean mold. Tread carefully if you spot these!

Red flag No. 7: Weird windows

New windows are expensive, so make sure that you do your due diligence and check for windows that slide easily and don’t have lopsided frames. If you run into these problems it could be foundation issues as we already covered, OR a poorly done install.

Red flag No. 8: Visual enhancements

Who doesn’t love a little cosmetic rejuvenation? Just make sure it isn’t a distraction to cover something up.  Like ONE freshly painted accent wall could be hiding something sinister….like mold. Since South Lake Tahoe realtors generally advise home owners to go neutral, a bright or dark freshly painted wall could potentially mean a cover up. Also look under rugs, behind big furniture or art pieces if they seem oddly placed. Move furniture if you feel the need, so long as you put it back. It isn’t just mold you are looking for. Check for animal accidents, holes, scratches and other damages such as improper ventilation which can result in mold, peeling or bubbling paint.

The reality is this: When you walk through South Lake Tahoe real estate, take note of the upgrades and furniture layout. This does impact if the home is a good fit for you and your lifestyle. However, what is happening below the surface is more important and should be the focus. If something doesn’t seem right, bring it up with your South Lake Tahoe realtor. For more information on purchasing real estate in South Lake Tahoe, give me a call.

North Lake Tahoe Real Estate: 1st Quarter Market Report 2017

When looking at the stats for North Lake Tahoe real estate, it is important to note that these numbers do not include the West Shore, Squaw Valley, Truckee and Northstar and Tahoe Donner.

The first quarter showed there were about the same amount of homes sold while the dollar amount of the total solds did decrease. While the amount of homes sold stayed roughly the same, the average sold AND median sold price  went up. Which is great news for sellers. This means they likely get more money at the time of resale compared to last year. On the other side, this means buyers will also have to spend more compare to last year. The days on the market also saw a little bit of an increase, but minimally. While this particular side of the lake is known for a higher price point, this month’s highest sale was between $3,000,000 – $4,999,999 while this time last year saw the highest sale between $5,000,000 – $7,999,999. When looking at some of the other stats for the communities we didn’t include (mentioned above) on this side of the lake, all of them saw a dip in active listings, solds, etc. I am going to chalk it up to this crazy winter we have had. Snow and road closures make it hard to get to listings so I am keeping an eye on the numbers as it starts to warm up. For more information on North Lake Tahoe real estate, give me a call. 

North Lake Tahoe Real Estate Market Report 2017 2016
North Lake Tahoe Real Estate Market Report 2017 2016
# of Listings Sold 31 33
Average Price $745,168 $715,340
Median Price $625,000 $520,000
Days On Market 113 93

Lake Tahoe, NV Real Estate: 1st Quarter Market Report 2017

If you are looking to purchase Lake Tahoe, NV real estate, the numbers for the first quarter are in and the results are looking pretty good.

The number of sales is higher this year compared to last year. Also good news is that both the average and median price for Lake Tahoe, NV real estate have gone up by a pretty impressive amount. If you are buying real estate in Lake Tahoe, NV this means you are looking at higher prices compared to the past few years. If you are selling real estate in Lake Tahoe, NV, this simply means you likely will get more at the time of resale. 

The dollar per square foot has also gone up. The list to sale price (the percentage of the list price the home is receiving) has dipped a little bit, but nothing significant. Speaking of decreases, the median days on the market has also dropped compared to last year. On the day this blog was published, there were 72 active Lake Tahoe, NV real estate listings with a median price of $1,987,500 and 13 homes were in escrow with a average price of $1,539,030. For more info on buying real estate in Lake Tahoe, NV, give us a call as I would be happy to help! 

LAKE TAHOE, NV MARKET COMPARISON 1ST QUARTER 2017 1ST QUARTER 2016  
# of Sales 117 101  
Median Price $850,000 $670,000  
Average Price $1,345,546 $958,004  
Sale to List % 94.3% 94.6%  
Median Days on Market 158 170

South Lake Tahoe Real Estate: 1st Quarter Market Report 2017

The South Lake Tahoe real estate market had several positive notes when comparing March 2017 to March 2016. In fact, almost everything was up. The closed sales were up by 6.4%. The median sold price was up by 13.3% and the average sold price was up 14.4%. If you have been thinking of putting your South Lake Tahoe real estate on the market, the chances are high that the amount you can sell for will be more than last year. The percentage of list price went up slightly, by 1% along with the days on the market.

Now month supply, which determines what type of market we are in, went down 33.3%. Anything under 4 is considered a sellers market while anything over is considered a buyers market. This is good news for sellers. It means they have control of the market because supply is low and demand is high. The result is higher listing prices which generally means sellers stand to make more at the time of resale. Now buyers, on the other hand, have to be a little more aggressive with their approach. While Real estate in South Lake Tahoe isn’t so low that bidding wars and over asking offers are a common thing, buyers do need to get serious about taking swift action. Chances are if you wait to view a home or make an offer, it will gone by the time you decide to make a move. 

Of course it is important to note that these stats are for 96150 as a whole. Every neighborhood has it’s own statistics as well. For example, Tahoe Keys has the highest median and average sales price, but with a month supply high enough that they are in a buyers market. If you would like information on a specific area or general South Lake Tahoe real estate information, give me a call. I would be happy to help! 

South Lake Tahoe Market Comparison 2017 2016
Number of Sales 765 719
Median Home Price $408,000 $360,000
Average Home Price $496,405 $434,055
Average List to Sale Ratio 96.7% 95.7%
Average Dollar Per Square Foot $285 $254
Days on the Market 89 90
Month Supply 3.4 5.1