South Lake Tahoe real estate is not as straight forward as it might seem. I have compiled a few tips to help you navigate the ever changing market in Tahoe. As an informed buyer/seller, you will be empowered when you have the proper tools and hopefully save money in the long run! I love saving money!
If you drive the neighborhoods in Tahoe you will most likely notice that there is much diversification regarding construction, age and style to note. South Lake Tahoe runs light in the planned community department, so if you are looking for little boxes on the hillside, you may come up short. Being that all of the houses are not the same age, shape and size makes it very difficult for real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia to accurately assess their worth. Coming up with a blanket “Zestimate” for the area will never take the place of discussing each individual property with a licensed real estate agent. Your agent can give you specific details of the subject property along with market comparables to help you accurately assess a homes worth before making an offer for too much or listing for too little. Call your agent!
If you are from out of town and looking for the perfect piece of Tahoe real estate that is close to everything, remember that everything in Tahoe is minutes away from everything in Tahoe. South Lake is only so big and it doesn’t take long to get anywhere given that the traffic is moving. Expand your homesearch to include some of the outskirts and you will be surprised of the ammenities that come from spreading out your tent pegs. Realize that every neighborhood in South Shore has amazing benefits. For me, I need to be close to the trailheads and steer clear of the beach traffic. Will you save money by looking away from the waters’s edge? Possibly…again it is critical to appraise each house individually. Be open!
It is important for you to know now how much house you can afford regardless of what your lender says. Just because you can borrow half a million doesn’t mean you should. Work on your budget before you start your home search so that you have a set price range in your head when doing your hunting. This will help you to stay focussed on the business aspect and not get too wrapped up in the emotional side of a home purchase. Buying a home is emotional, but with some concrete numbers to guide you, you can play it safe and hopefully enjoy your new home instead of being a slave to a mortgage. Plan ahead!
What about building in South Lake Tahoe? We are regulated by a bi-state agency called the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Building your dream home at the lake will yield you a great reward in the end but you will journey to get there. Complying with the TRPA and the county/city regulations is a must. Below are a few links to help you get an idea of what the building process will entail along with applying for an allocation and permits along the way. Your real estate agent is a great resource for weathering this tedious process. Educate yourself!
Living in South Lake Tahoe is a highly coveted privilege and well worth the effort! Rely on an expert to help you through.