South Lake Tahoe Real Estate Tip: Buying A Vacation Rental

Summer has ended and you may feel like you don’t want the fun to end. Enter in the idea of buying real estate in South Lake Tahoe for the purpose of a vacation rental. It is perfect! You can stay in it and then rent it out when you are gone. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, not so fast. Buying South Lake Tahoe real estate for the purpose of a vacation rental isn’t the same as buying a primary residence. Here are some “know before you go” tips. 

1.) A Vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe usually requires a bigger down payment compared to real estate in South Lake Tahoe, unless you are paying cash. Depending on the property, your credit and your financial status, the typical non owner occupied property requires 20% to 30% of the sales price. Of course, every situation is different, so consulting your South Lake Tahoe realtor is important who knows the ins and outs of both the South Lake Tahoe real estate industry AND the South Lake Tahoe vacation rental market is huge. As the president of the board AND the owner and broker of Pinnacle Real Estate, which also happens to manage vacation rentals and long term rentals, this is an area I take a lot of pride in. 

2.) Your real estate in South Lake Tahoe will need to go through the new VHR rules and regulations set forth by the city. Meaning, you will need to apply for the permit, get an inspection, make any changes the city requests and then wait to see if any of your neighbors within a 300 ft radius protest you using your real estate in South Lake Tahoe as a vacation rental in South Lake Tahoe. Once again, using a qualified South Lake Tahoe realtor is important as there are changes that take place in regards to the VHR. 

3.) You need to account for the additional costs that come with buying a Lake Tahoe vacation rental, like furnishings, textiles, houseware, etc. The whole reason people book a vacation rental in Lake Tahoe over booking a hotel is because it is a “home away from home”. They can basically walk into a South Lake Tahoe vacation rental and have everything they need at their fingertips and it doesn’t cost extra like at a hotel. If you don’t adequately furnish the property, it can have a negative impact on your future bookings. 

4.) You will need to have someone on speed dial for emergencies if you don’t live near your South Lake Tahoe vacation rental. Life happens, and it seems like it is always at the most inopportune times. Let’s say it is the middle of winter and there is a ton of snow and the roof on your vacation rental in Lake Tahoe starts leaking, or worse. The guests need someone to call in the event of an emergency. Which means, this is someone you will be paying. Speaking of people you will be paying, you will need to have someone who can go to the property and clean between bookings as well as perform routine maintenance, snow removal, trash, etc.  

If you are looking to buy a vacation rental in Lake Tahoe, you will need to consider these aspects. However, as a full service company that not only manages vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe, long term rentals and real estate, I’d love to help and answer more questions. 

South Lake Tahoe Summer Concert Series

Harrah’s and Harvey’s recently announced their line up for the outdoor summer concert series and it consists of some major award winning artists. Whether you own South Lake Tahoe real estate or you are renting a Lake Tahoe vacation rental, you will not want to miss some of these incredible artists.

Slightly Stoopid, Saturday, Jul 2, 2016 06:00 PM $37.50.

Slightly Stoopid hails from Ocean Beach, California and is known for their blend of reggae, reggae rock, punk, dub and blues. This concert will unveil their latest music experiment “Meanwhile….back at the lab”. This project started back in 2013 at their own record label Stoopid Records. This touring act is a local favorite and not to be missed as one of the first concerts in Harrah’s & Harvey’s outdoor summer concert series.

Widespread Panic, Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 6:30 pm $49.50

Since Widespread Panic came on to the scene in 1986 in Athens, Georgia they have achieved elite status among American jam bands. Their blend of Southern rock, blues-rock, progressive rock, funk and hard rock genres is constantly resulting in them being compared to Grateful Dead and Phish. This group is widely known for their live performances and record sold out performances.

James Taylor, Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 7:30pm $59.50-$129.50

James first came on the scene in 1970 and ever since then has won multiple Grammy’s, been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and is one of the best-selling artists of all time thanks to selling more than 100 million records worldwide.  He is best known for articulating moments of happiness and sadness in his music in a way that fans and listeners resonate with.

Tim McGraw, Saturday, July 23, 2016, 7:30 pm $89.50-$179.50

Tim McGraw’s performance will be a major highlight to the 27th Annual American Century Championship which is happening the same week as Tim McGraw’s performance. This is the country’s premier celebrity golf tournament and is broadcasted live on NBC Sports television. Selling more than 40 million records globally and having 36 #1 chart singles, winning multiple Grammy’s and other awards, Tim McGraw is an iconic performer and this show is sure to be one for the books.

Don Henley, Sunday, July 24, 2016, 8:00pm $59.50-$149.50

If you love the Eagles, you won’t want to miss this. Don is one of the founding members before he launched his own solo career which turned out to be very successful. As a solo musician, he has sold over 10 million albums globally, has had 8 top 40 hits, won multiple awards and was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the 87th greatest singer of all time.

Sting & Peter Gabriel: Rock Paper Scissors, Friday, July 15th, 7:00pm, $97.56-$277.95

Two of music’s most iconic artists will come together in Lake Tahoe to put on an unforgettable concert.  These two first toured in the 80’s and we will reunite to perform both solo and with each other’s bands during this event.  Peter Gabriel was first known for the band he co-founded, Genesis. Since leaving the band in 1975, his recording career has included eleven studio albums, film soundtracks, multiple Grammy Awards, the creation of the Real World Records label, and the creation of WOMAD, a festival that has launched over 170 festivals in 30 countries along with the careers of many world music artists. Sting is known for his involvement in The Police. Since then, the band released five studio albums, received six Grammy Awards, two Brits and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As a solo artist, Sting has released fourteen solo albums and received additional awards including 10 Grammy’s, a Golden Globe, two Brits, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations and so much more. This dual performance is sure to be a huge hit.

Keith Urban’s ‘RipCORD World Tour 2016’, Wednesday July 27th & Friday July 29th, 7:00pm $63.24-$114.20

Keith Urban has long been considered  one of the music industry’s best live performers giving his audience unpredictable shows with amazing production and a set list that is filled with many of his No. 1 songs. Keith Urban’s concerts are said to be “electrifying and emotional, face-paced and inclusive” and a “concert event not to be missed.” This World Tour is debuting on the heels of his 8th studio album release.

Steve Miller Band, Thursday August 18th, 7:00pm $39.50-$139.50

Formed in neighboring San Francisco, The Steve Miller Band is an American rock band best known today for a string of mostly mid-1970s classic rock hit singles. The band’s Greatest Hits 1974–78 sold over 13 million copies. The band has continued to produce more albums and has toured with Journey. In 2015, Steve Miller was nominated as a solo artist for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Sammy Hagar and the Circle, Friday August 26, 2016, at 7:30 pm $69.50

For almost forty years, Sammy Hagar has been known as one of rock music’s most dynamic and prolific artists. Known as the “Red Rocker”, Sammy is recognized for the seminal hard rock band Montrose, his multi-platinum solo career and his role as front man of Van Halen. He’s earned a Grammy Award, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Van Halen and is currently on his fourth platinum run with the group Chickenfoot which is made up of some pretty big names in music.

Stevie Wonder, Friday September 2, 2016, at 7:00 pm, $99.50-$249.50

Known for both his music career and humanitarian and philanthropic leadership, Stevie Wonder  has created 49 Top Forty singles, 32 #1 singles and worldwide sales of over 100 million units. He has also won 25 Grammy Awards, a prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Golden Globe and more. As a live performer, Stevie continues to astound audiences around the world. Be sure to snag your tickets while you can, this is one of the most anticipated shows of the summer.

For more South Lake Tahoe events, be sure to visit Tahoe South. If you have any questions about buying South Lake Tahoe real estate or booking a South Lake Tahoe vacation rental, be sure to call me. I would be happy to help!

Things to Consider When Buying Your Lake Tahoe Vacation Home

Flip's Lake TahoeLake Tahoe is a year round destination. During the winter, Lake Tahoe is a world class ski destination and during the summer people escape here to enjoy warm weather, sunny blue skies, beaches and pretty much every outdoor activity one could imagine. If you happen to fall in love with the area and find yourself visiting often as many people do, the thought of a vacation home in Lake Tahoe could be very alluring. Especially when you think of the potential financial benefits.  For example, many people rent their second homes out when they are not using it. However, as exciting as buying a vacation home in Lake Tahoe is, there are some things to consider and really think about before the entering the process.

First, think to yourself realistically “What Can I Afford?” According to the National Association of Realtors Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, the 2013 median price for vacation homes was $168,700. That does not include the extra costs accrued when purchasing a home. You need to keep in mind that you will also be paying for insurance, year round utility costs, winterizing/de-winterizing, property tax,  exterior landscape maintenance (old tree’s must go!) and potentially a caretaking/maintenance service. There are other potential costs such as HOA fees if applicable, furnishings for the home if your purchase did not include them as well as a security system if you must have that extra reassurance while you are away.

“Location, location, location!” You have heard this phrase several times when it comes to marketing Lake Tahoe real estate. While this is your vacation home, and you should buy what you want, you also need to think about the resale and renting value. After all, a house located in the middle of nowhere may be attractive to you, but chances are the masses want to be conveniently located close to all that South Lake Tahoe has to offer. Especially with current housing trends showing that the young professionals are moving away from “suburbia” and moving more towards cities and all their attractions. Thankfully in Lake Tahoe, there are several  areas that are away from the heavily tourist populated areas, but close to all the best beaches, trails, resorts and more and still minutes to the nightlife.

Even if you plan on purchasing a Lake Tahoe vacation home without the intention of selling it (we see cabins and homes that stay in the family for decades), still view the property as an investment. Look at what it is located next to, the walkability score, the safety of the general surrounding area and the amenities readily available from the front door. While you may never intend to sell the property, it could eventually happen and if it does, you will want a smoother transaction with a bigger pool of buyers.

Be aware of the local rent prices. While you also may not intend to rent the property out for various reasons, it could be something that appeals to you at some point. After all, you can rent your property out for up to 14 days tax free every year. This gives you some extra cash without the responsibilities of being a full time landlord.

Think about the travel time. The median driving distance between a primary residence and vacation residence is 3 hours according to the National Association of Realtor’s. Truly, the best vacation home is easy to get to.

Also be sure to spend more than just a few long weekends in Lake Tahoe. Get to know the local spots and chat with the locals about any limitations or annoyances they experience from living in Lake Tahoe. While we are sure you won’t hear much, there may be some grumbling about heavy traffic on holiday weekends, or construction on roads during the summer time. Also ask about their favorite neighborhoods and why certain areas are their favorite. The more familiar you are with the area, the higher the chance you will find a property perfect for you.