Understanding Basic South Lake Tahoe Real Estate Terms

Navigating home buying lingo can be a bit overwhelming. Especially if you are a first time buyer! Knowing what everything means can give you confidence in a world that involves a lot of moving parts and in-depth nuances. Your South Lake Tahoe realtor will be able to explain everything in depth so it is important to choose someone who is knowledgeable about what is happening in the South Lake Tahoe real estate market. Below are a few of the most basic terms to get you started!

Credit Score: Most know what a credit score is. However, some underestimate how important a good one is for buying a South Lake Tahoe real estate. This determines the likelihood that you will repay future debts to lenders. So getting your credit report cleaned up before applying for a home loan is super important.

This brings us to mortgage rate. The better your credit is, the better your mortgage interest rate is on the money you borrow to buy a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe.

Pre-Approval letter: This is a letter from the lender that approves how much you have to spend on a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe.

Down payments are generally 3%-20% of the purchase price and what you need to put down on a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe. There are also 0% down loan programs, but your lender will advise what loan amount is best for you.

Appraisal: This is a required step in determining the homes worth to both yourself and your lender which secures your financing.

Closing costs: These are the fees that are associated with purchasing South Lake Tahoe real estate. Paid at closing, they include taxes, financing costs, title insurance and more.

It is super important to work with a South Lake Tahoe realtor who is able to explain all the different steps and terms so you understand what is happening along the way.

If you are looking for more information on buying South Lake Tahoe real estate or a South Lake Tahoe realtor to guide you, feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help!

Affordable Curb Appeal When Selling Your Home

If you are selling your South Lake Tahoe home for sale, you already know that making it look phenomenal both inside and out before it hits the market, is crucial. Your realtor in South Lake Tahoe will be able to advise on the various things that need to be done in your home for sale in South Lake Tahoe. Their expertise is definitely something that should be taken into consideration as every home is unique. However, the folks over at realtor.com put together an awesome blog on how to spruce up your curb appeal with $200 or less. Here is a recap that you can utilize for your South Lake Tahoe home for sale.

Pressure Wash

You want potential buyers to have the best first impression when they drive up to your home for sale in South Lake Tahoe. Mountain living can get pretty dirty and we get used to that but a fresh set of eyes may be turned off by the exterior of your home looking shabby. A pressure washer is a great way to make your South Lake Tahoe real estate sparkle.

Use lots of mulch and drought-tolerant plants

Landscaping is pricy. Especially in a town where the environment isn’t always kind to every single flower and plant. Don’t rack up thousands in pro landscaping or spendy flowers that may not last. Put in some of the work yourself with fresh mulch and easy plants. Affordable options include honey suckle, lavender and salvia.

Symmetrical planters

Symmetry is home stager’s secret weapon. Use terra cotta or ceramic pots as anchors either by the front door or garage if you have space and fill them with some bright plants or flowers. This adds a pop but also balances the home for sale in South Lake Tahoe from a visual aspect.

Freshen up your front door

Adding a fresh coat of glossy paint to the front door it always a great affordable way to make a home stand out. With bold front doors being a major trend, you really can’t go wrong here. Also consider updating the house numbers and giving your mail box the same treatment. Even adding a cute new welcome mat adds a cheery tone, that is, well…welcoming.

As always, your realtor in South Lake Tahoe will let you know what needs to be done around the house. You may have some projects you think need to be done, but an experienced and qualified realtor in South Lake Tahoe will have some great advice on what buyers are looking for and what gets the most ROI. Don’t spend time, effort or money where you don’t need to. For more information on South Lake Tahoe real estate, feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help!

Hot Tips For Selling During Summer

Summer time seems to be a fun blur of vacations, beach days, BBQ’s, live concerts, weddings….and home selling? Yeah. It is one of the peak seasons for selling South Lake Tahoe homes for sale. While the past couple years have caused a desirable atmosphere for sellers, summer time has increased inventory and with so many things happening, buyers sometimes find themselves distracted. If you are serious about selling before Labor Day, try these tips along with any advice your South Lake Tahoe realtor has.

Embrace the “coming soon” and advertise often

Creating a buzz before your home hits the South Lake Tahoe real estate market is key! No pun intended. Ask your South Lake Tahoe realtor what “Coming Soon” advertising is allowed and what isn’t and then do what you can to get the word out. Tell your neighbors, friends, co workers and make sure your South Lake Tahoe realtor is telling their fellow brokers. Once the listing is live, continue spreading the word. The more eyes on your home, the higher chance you will attract the right buyer, and quick!

Host an open house during ‘rush hour’

The standard is usually hosting an open during the weekend, when working folks are off and not getting through the weekly 9-5 grind. During the summer time, a lot of those weekends are spent camping, on vacation or at weddings or annual BBQ’s. Which can make for a slow and quiet weekend open house depending on where you live. Chat with your realtor in South Lake Tahoe about hosting an open on a weeknight after work. It adds a little extra activity to the weekday, but you may get more traffic AND get to enjoy your weekend.

Don’t compete with major events

So many South Lake Tahoe realtors host open houses on major holidays. While there is definitely more traffic in town, they likely are focusing their attention on getting to where they need to go. If your open house is along a main stretch of traffic, more folks might pop in if they are serious buyers. However, find out from your realtor in South Lake Tahoe what major events are happening and maybe consider holding an open before or after so as to not compete.

Turn your open house into a summer affair

You don’t need to throw a fully catered luau or a pool party, but entice people to spend 30 minutes out of their summer day by coming to your open house. If your open is during the day, consider blended mocktails and popsicles to keep home buyers happy and if it is later in the day, maybe have margaritas and ice cold beers to help folks relax and beat the heat. Making homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe fun to tour is a great way to get more foot traffic.

Emphasize the outdoor living spaces.

Lake Tahoe is a very outdoor friendly town. If South Lake Tahoe homes for sale show off the great ways the outside can be used, buyers will feel like they found their outdoor oasis. Add string lights, cozy outdoor furniture and cute lanterns. Make the back deck or front porch feel like a space they never want to leave and they likely won’t!

For more information on selling homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe during summer, feel free to reach out. I would be happy to help!

Two Ways To Get The Best Price When Selling

When it comes to listing homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe, sellers usually have two goals: Sell fast & sell for the most money possible. Depending on the market, that can either be really easy or really hard. Regardless of the current South Lake Tahoe real estate climate, there are two consistent ways you can achieve this goal. Check them out below!

  • Choose a qualified South Lake Tahoe realtor. Someone who has been working in the market for a long time will know the ins and outs of each neighborhood. This helps them understand the current comparable solds and what the market values are. Your South Lake Tahoe realtor will use this to help you list at a realistic price. Anything too high can backfire. One, folks that could afford the number you are hoping to get won’t see your home for sale in South Lake Tahoe in search results because it is outside of their parameters. Second, if a home for sale in South Lake Tahoe is over price for the market conditions, it can sit and get a stigma that causes buyers to think there is something wrong with it.
  • Price it a LITTLE bit lower than the current market value. This always freaks sellers out, but the reality is buyers love a deal. When you price the home a little bit lower, you attract more attention which can result in more activity, more offers and hopefully closing at over asking, or atleast what you were hoping to get in the first place. Your South Lake Tahoe realtor will advise on this topic, but if they bring this up, be open. Especially if you are on a tight timeline!

One thing to note is that a lot of sellers looking to list their homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe think that if they FSBO (For Sale By Owner), they will save money on commissions. While listing your South Lake Tahoe real estate is not free, the guidance you get from a realtor in South Lake Tahoe is worth its weight in gold. Not to mention, experts and studies have proven that FSBO’s actually make less money in the long run. And you don’t have any help with the paperwork!

Also, stay flexible and take into account what your realtor in South Lake Tahoe has to say about pricing. A lot of seller’s get attached to a certain number fed to them by Zillow or compare their South Lake Tahoe real estate to recent homes that aren’t even comparable. You are hiring an expert so they can guide you and help you achieve your goal of selling quickly and for the most money. Trust them and you should have success. Have questions about this process? Feel free to reach out! I would be happy to help!

Buyers Are Not Held Back By Increased Mortgage Rates

When interest rates are low, buyers are encouraged to take advantage. After all, the slightest increase can impact a buyers power when it comes to purchasing homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe. If your budget is concrete and you can’t afford for wiggle room, the smallest hike can price you out of that dream South Lake Tahoe real estate. Since the start of 2018, rates have gone from 3.95% to 4.52%. At the same time, there has been a slight slow down in demand. Particularly in the younger age groups from 21yrs old to 35yrs old.  Whether it is for a growing family or their first investment property, younger buyers understand the value of owning South Lake Tahoe real estate. So why the sudden slow down? Is it due to increased rates? Surprisingly, no. Our country is seeing the biggest shortage in housing supply in nearly 60 years. South Lake Tahoe real estate is currently at a 3.8 month supply, which is definitely in a seller’s market. This is making it difficult for first time buyers to find homes for sale in South Lake Tahoe in general, not to mention within their budget. As the demand has increased and the inventory has decreased, prices have gone up. South Lake Tahoe homes for sale are well above the national average at over $538,000. This number has also increased monthly! This means that millennial buyers, in general, are not being priced out due to increased rates and prices for South Lake Tahoe homes for sale, they simply don’t have enough inventory to choose from.

This means that if you are a buyer, the best thing you can do is work with a South Lake Tahoe realtor. They can get you into homes that match your criteria quickly, which increases your chance at making the first offer. They can also guide you on how to make a competitive offer that sellers will find attractive.

Sellers, if you are in a position to sell, now is a great time. Inventory is low and you still have control of the market. If prices continue to go up, buyers that were able to afford your home, may not be able to.

If you are thinking of buying or selling South Lake Tahoe homes for sale, or are looking for a South Lake Tahoe realtor, feel free to give me a call. I would be happy to help!