Buying South Lake Tahoe Real Estate: California or Nevada?

If you are currently looking at homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe to buy, you may be wondering how to get started. Buying in a tourist town that straddles a state line is exciting, but where do you start and how do you choose which state is the best match for you? While everyone should work closely with a qualified South Lake Tahoe realtor, I have some tips that can help you figure out where to get started.

California or Nevada? Both states have their perks. We know a LOT of people go for Nevada because there are some really fabulous tax breaks, and well California is California. However, note that when looking for South Lake Tahoe homes for sale, Nevada is usually more expensive. Those tax savings and incentives come with a price tag folks. That side of the South Shore (also known as the East to us locals) has one of Forbe’s wealthiest zip codes, after all. Glenbrook, NV is a gated community where most homes start in the millions. The other nearby neighborhoods may not all be gated, but they usually do cost more. You can of course find a lower priced condo up on Kingsbury, so if you have your heart set on Nevada, you have options. Don’t get us wrong, California has some pricey South Lake Tahoe real estate too. However, there are more affordable options in general.

Amenities and proximity should also come into play when trying to figure out where to live. Of course, both sides boast the same amenities. Both sides are beautiful, have plenty of trails, popular beaches and can get you on the mountain quickly. With the casino core being located in the middle of town, you could go either side if you are looking for South Lake Tahoe homes for sale that are close to gambling and nightlife. Now, if you need to get down to the Valley or Incline Village quickly for work, errands, etc. Nevada side would probably be best for you.  The California side does have more local shopping and unique businesses that are easier to get to. The Nevada side is stunning but, one of its sought after perks is that it is a little more secluded and private.

If you have kiddos, both areas have great schools. The California side has more options as far as elementary goes, but for middle school and high school, you have one choice on both sides. If this is the driving force, chat with local parents and check out the schools. Their answers should help you determine where to search for South Lake Tahoe homes for sale.  

What do you want in a neighborhood? When it comes to searching for South Lake Tahoe real estate, you should be able to tell your South Lake Tahoe realtor what you hope for in a neighborhood and they can offer up some matches based on desires and budget. If you want to be walking distance to the beach, but are on a budget and need to be on the Nevada side, they will likely see what is available off of Kahle, lower Kingsbury or Pinewild. Although Pinewild can have some higher priced condos most of the time thanks to lake views. If you need that same criteria, but on the California side, they will likely suggest Al Tahoe, Bijou 1 or 2 and the Stateline area. If you want to be way out of town on the California side with a large yard, they will likely recommend Meyers or somewhere off Pioneer Trail.

The moral of this is really two things: Pick an experienced realtor in South Lake Tahoe and have a good idea of what you want before you start touring South Lake Tahoe real estate. If you give your realtor the list of things that are most important to you, they can help further explain the perk to each state and which one is the best match for you. Have questions? Feel free to reach out!

South Lake Tahoe Real Estate: Selling Before You Hit The Market

If you are getting ready to list your South Lake Tahoe real estate and are hoping for a quick sale, you came to the right place. Hopefully, you have already picked a South Lake Tahoe realtor who has been acting as an informative source and helping you prepare for the market. If not, find one and don’t be afraid to interview as many realtors in South Lake Tahoe as you want. You will want someone who has experience, a proven track record and a strategic marketing plan. If you are anxious to sell your real estate in South Lake Tahoe quickly, there are some things you can do before you even hit the market that can help your mission. It all starts with creating some buzz. Read on!

Let neighbors, friends and family know as soon as possible. They likely have friends and family who are searching for homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe that would love to be the first ones in the door. Mention it next time you run into someone while running an errand and definitely share it on social media. Once again, it is spring, which means there are a lot of folks looking at South Lake Tahoe homes for sale. You never know who you may hit just by using the old rumor mill.

Chat with your South Lake Tahoe realtor about co-hosting a preview open house. You can’t have an official open house until your real estate in South Lake Tahoe is actually listed. However, you can host a “Bon Voyage” party with treats and snacks and let all your friends and family know. Give them the heads up that they are welcome to bring any acquaintances that are looking for South Lake Tahoe homes for sale as well. Once again, this creates a buzz and the more buzz, the better.

Do some “coming soon” marketing. This is all the rage thanks to Zillow offering this as an option to some South Lake Tahoe realtors and brokerages. Your realtor in South Lake Tahoe has to follow local MLS and state laws in regards to marketing homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe that are coming soon. However, there are some things they can do to let folks know your property will be on the market soon. This one has a little to do with psychology as folks love having early access and are more attracted to something that can’t officially be theirs just yet.

Ask your South Lake Tahoe realtor if they can tell everyone at their brokerage to get the word out. A lot of times, we will share with co-workers in case they have a buyer.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in South Lake Tahoe, feel free to give me a call. I have been working in our local real estate market for a very long time and bring an extensive amount of experience and knowledge to the table. I would be happy to help guide you!

South Lake Tahoe Real Estate Update

If you are in the market to buy or list homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe, there are a few things that can help you start the process. The first is aligning yourself with a qualified and experienced South Lake Tahoe realtor. The next is getting an accurate market analysis for your town and your neighborhood.  Details like days on market, average and median sold prices for homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe and month supply can help you as both a buyer and a seller. As a seller, you have all the info that helps you understand your position in the market place as well as what is a competitive list price. As a buyer, you understand your position in the market and can use this information to make an enticing offer. The best place to get this info? From a South Lake Tahoe realtor. So how is South Lake Tahoe real estate doing? Let’s look at the latest numbers!

The average sold price for South Lake Tahoe homes for sale is up 7.8% from this time last year at $530,818. The median sold price for homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe is up 6.8% at $440,000. The median percentage of list price is 98%. This number is a great tool for determining your negotiation power.

As far as inventory goes, the amount of South Lake Tahoe homes for sale is up slightly from 219 last year to 223. New listings are up 12.4%, pendings are up 2.2% and closed sales are down 4.5%. Both the average and median days on the South Lake Tahoe real estate market are down from this time last year. The median is at 71 and the average is at 100. The month supply is up 5.7% from last year and is now at 3.7. To put this in perspective, a balanced market needs 6 months and anything less than 4 is considered a seller’s market.

It is important to keep in mind that this report is for South Lake Tahoe real estate in general, but that each individual neighborhood has its own set of market stats. So real estate in Tahoe Keys is going to be different than Al Tahoe, and both those reports will have different numbers than this blog. If you want an accurate picture of your neighborhood or your desired neighborhood, your South Lake Tahoe realtor can put that together for you. Have questions? Feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help!

Selling: How to Prepare for Showings & Open Houses

If you are thinking of selling South Lake Tahoe real estate this spring, you may think that you can simply throw a sign up and you’ll be swimming in multiple offers within 48 hrs. After all, we are in a seller’s market, which means you don’t have to prepare homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe the same way you would in a buyer’s market. Right? Wrong. While a majority of the neighborhoods on the California side are in a seller’s market, our average sold price is double the national average. According to Zillow, which isn’t always the most accurate, the national average is $213,146. According to the local MLS, which is accurate, ours is $530,818. So while lower priced homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe are moving at a rapid pace, higher priced homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe are moving a little slower. Now, it is important to acknowledge that South Lake Tahoe homes for sale are all unique so every situation is different. However, you still need to prepare to woo buyers and get their attention. From getting your home staged and ready for photos to keeping it clean for the open houses. In fact, The folks over at put together a wonderful blog on how to make your best impression at an open house. Below are some highlights if you don’t feel like leaving my website.

  • Keep your personal preferences to yourself and in their rightful spot. What you do in your home is your business. BUT! When preparing to show South Lake Tahoe homes for sale, it is best to put away all personal items, including family photos, religious or political signs/figures, unusual collectibles, memorabilia, expensive keepsakes, etc. According to the mentioned blog above, one women saw condiments on the nightstand in a bedroom. While many of us enjoy catching up on our favorite shows in bed with our favorite snack, put the food away before strangers start cruising through your South Lake Tahoe real estate. You want people to focus on the potential your real estate in South Lake Tahoe has, not the quirks that make you, you!
  • Vacate the premises. There may be some scenarios where you cannot clear out due to transportation issues, medical conditions, etc. However, ask any South Lake Tahoe realtor, and they will tell you that having the homeowner present can make most potential buyers feel uncomfortable. Not only do they feel like they are invading your private space, but they feel like they can’t talk openly about the property when you are around. Usually, they will cruise through the real estate in South Lake Tahoe, not fully seeing the house. In some situations, a buyer might feel pleased they had a chance to chat with the owner and ask questions, but in most, they prefer you are not there. Same thing goes for pets. Not everyone loves animals, so try and remove them from the home for opens and showings or keep them contained.
  • Speaking of clearing out, do the same with your closets and drawers. Does everyone have a junk drawer at home? Yes. Does that mean everyone wants to see yours? No. Listen, buyers will be opening everything to see how much storage space comes with the South Lake Tahoe real estate. Show it off. You have to pack anyway so you may as well get a head start and toss, donate, pack and de-clutter ahead of time.
  • “Light & bright” is the name of the game. Which means that dark, dungeon feel is not in. Keep blinds and curtains open, remove screens from windows and doors if needed and bring in extra light with the use of strategically placed floor lamps. If you have any dark, heavy drapes, consider taking them down. Also be sure to dust and clean all the corners, cobwebs and any out of reach spaces that haven’t had a good cleaning lately.
  • Feed them! You don’t have to provide catering, but when buyers are scheduled to see a bunch of houses all over town, they don’t always have the luxury of stopping somewhere for food. If they are starving, you don’t want them cutting out early and not seeing your home in all its glory. So have a basket on the counter with individual snack size bags, fresh cookies, easy to eat fruit and some water bottles that are easy to grab and go. Not only will they be able to satisfy their hunger, but they will hopefully stay a little longer and not be distracted by their grumbling tummies.
  • Make it easy for them to see it. Clear pathways (especially during winter), make sure there is plenty of parking and don’t set complicated showing restrictions and odd open house times. 11:00am on Monday may be the best time for you, but most people are working. Also, be flexible with showings. Requiring 24 hours notice and only allowing a small, inconvenient time frame to view is a great way to keep your South Lake Tahoe real estate sitting on the market.

If you are wondering how you can make your property really stand out during an open house or showing, be sure to chat with your South Lake Tahoe realtor. As an expert on the market, they are the best to advise on what buyers are looking for. If you are looking for a South Lake Tahoe realtor to help you navigate this, feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help!