Buying a “Starter” Home Vs A “Forever” Home

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you could be on the fence with whether your South Lake Tahoe real estate purchase should be your beginner home or your long term home. Both types of properties have different criteria, and different budgets. If you are not sure what you want or what you are ready for, check out these things to consider.  


Generally, a forever home is a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe that is purchased with the idea that you will grow with it. Which means you are accounting for the future, children, etc. This type of home usually is pricier in comparison to a starter. This is because usually people who foresee some growth in their future (whether in family size or income) will plan to move up later on in life. 

Mortgage Rates

 When buying South Lake Tahoe real estate, snagging a super low mortgage rate is a great opportunity when purchasing for the long haul. You get locked in at a great rate that you may never have again. Which is awesome regardless of what your property costs. Especially since there is no way of knowing when the rates will go up, along with the prices. 


If you think you may change your mind on where you want to live at some point down the line for whatever reason (job, kids, etc.), a long term home may not be your best bet. When buying a long term South Lake Tahoe home for sale, you need to think about whether or not you can stay in the suburbs, city, etc. for forever. If you know eventually you want to get back to a different place, buying for right now is likely best. 

Home Size

If you find yourself thinking you don’t need that much space now, you need a big house now and you will downsize later,  or you want to buy South Lake Tahoe real estate and then rent it out later as extra income, a starter home may be your best bet. 

The bottom line to think about is that when purchasing real estate, you have to think a little down the line. Being impulsive with your purchase can cost you more then money, it can cost you your time and sanity later on. If you are not sure which route you want to go, feel free to give me a call. I would be happy to help! 




Why You Shouldn’t FSBO in Today’s Market

It is a tempting thought, isn’t it? With inventory so low and prices on the rise, you may have visions of extra cash from not paying commission dancing in your head. But will that actually be the end result if you try playing the role of South Lake Tahoe realtor? Likely not and here is why. 

1. You don’t have the exposure a South Lake Tahoe Realtor has.

Unfortunately, you can’t just put a sign up in the yard of South Lake Tahoe real estate and expect it to move like the good old days. Technology has advanced so much that a multi faceted marketing plan is necessary for selling a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe. This is something that an un-licensed non realtor just doesn’t have access to or even know where to start. Nowadays, results comes from the internet thanks to 94% of buyers using online as a search tool. In fact, 51% of buyers that actually made a purchase (as in, did more than just search) found the home on the internet. 34% found their home from their South Lake Tahoe realtor and only 8% found their home from a yard sign. The remaining 1%? The newspaper. In order to get a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe the exposure it needs, it starts with the local Multiple Listing Service. This is a tool for local licensed Realtors to list their seller’s South Lake Tahoe real estate. It includes all the necessary info that a buyer would use for their search criteria AND it is fed to websites all around the globe. When you “For Sale By Owner”, you simply do not get the exposure that a South Lake Tahoe realtor will get you. 

2. There are a LOT of negotiations. 

When you get an offer on South Lake Tahoe real estate, you aren’t simply negotiating with the buyer. Not at all actually. In addition to the buyer, you have their realtor (who’s best interest is not you), the home inspector (also working in the best interest of the buyer), the appraiser (who is working in the best interest of the bank) and possibly an attorney. These are factors that are present regardless, but in our current market things can get a little more tricky. Why? Two words: Multiple Offers. If your real estate in South Lake Tahoe is priced appropriately, you could get multiple offers. Which means you would be reading through multiple contracts trying to figure out which one is best for you. When you have a Realtor in South Lake Tahoe representing you, they see the offers first, which means they can review it and break down which one is the best offer for your current circumstances. 

3. FSBOing is WAY more difficult compared to year’s past

Speaking of paperwork, if you thought selling a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe was a simple contract, you would be wrong. Mandatory industry disclosures and regulations have dramatically increased the amount of paperwork that is involved in the process. So much so that For Sale By Owner’s has dropped down to just 8% over the course of the past couple decades. 

4. You get more money when you use a Realtor 

What you think you will save in commissions can usually be covered by how much extra you get when you use a qualified Realtor in South Lake Tahoe. This is the main reason that most people decide to FSBO. They want that extra money in their pocket. However, studies have shown that those that decide to list their home for sale in South Lake Tahoe on their own usually make about $60,000 less compared to what a Realtor in South Lake Tahoe will get them. Of course every property is different and that is on a national average, but with how hot the local real estate market is, you do not want to leave any extra money on the table. 

If you are thinking of listing, give me a call. I can give you the current market value for your home based on comparable sales in your neighborhood. 

South Lake Tahoe Real Estate Market Update

If you are looking to purchase real estate in South Lake Tahoe, knowing the current market conditions is crucial for making an informed decision. This information is important regardless of whether you are a buyer or a seller, actually. As a seller, you can pick an appropriate price to list at, while as a buyer you can feel re-assured you aren’t over paying. So how did real estate in South Lake Tahoe compare from June 2017 to June 2016? Let’s take a look! 

The good news is that home sale prices are up! This means if you are thinking of selling, you can likely make more compared to if you had listed last year, or even last month. The median home sales price went up 16.3% at $429,000 while the average home sales price was up 14.5% at $510,491. Both the average and median percentage of list price went up around .05%. Not a huge increase, but we don’t like to see that number go down. These are the only categories in which numbers were up though. The amount of homes for sale went down 20.2%, new listings were down 1.2% (thankfully not a huge decrease), pending homes were down 7.9%, closed sales were down 6.3% and the median days on the market went down 8.7% at 84 days. This last one is actually not a bad thing. It means homes are moving quicker compared to last year. Which also explains the decrease in the other categories as proven by the month supply, which is currently 3.4 and down 22.7% from last year. In order to be considered a balanced market, we need a 6 month supply. The current month supply says we are in a sellers market, which is why new listings, pending homes, closed sales, etc. are down. We just don’t have enough inventory to satisfy buyer demand.  For more information on real estate in South Lake Tahoe, give me a call.