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!


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