This week’s real estate headlines

Here are a few national real estate-related stories and news pieces that came across my screen this past week…

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This week’s real estate headlines

Here are a few national real estate-related stories that came across my screen this past week…

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RSAR Monthly Market Report – December 2016

The Reno/Sparks Association of REALTORS® (RSAR) has released its Market Report for the month of December 2016.

From December’s report…

“With the recent slowdown in sales and the leveling in median price, many are asking, “Are we looking at another real estate bubble?” said John Graham, 2016 president RSAR. “All the indicators say no. If you look at pending sales, unit sales, new listings and median price there is no one factor that is out of alignment or indicating signs of a bubble. They are all following a more seasonal trend.”

  • The median price at $299,950 is down 3.2% from November and up 3.6% from December 2015.
  • December unit sales at 518 are down 3.2% from November and up 3.2% compared to December 2015.
  • December new listings are down 27% at 316 compared to November and down 13% from December 2015.
  • The Reno market remains in a seller’s market, at 3.0 months supply of inventory. A months supply of inventory is the time it would take to exhaust the active and pending inventory at the current rate of sales.

Click on the graph below to see the entire report for December.

Related post: RSAR Monthly Market Report – October 2016

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This week’s real estate headlines

Here are a few national real estate-related stories that came across my screen this week…

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FCT’s Market Condition Report – December 2016

Our friends at First Centennial Title Co. of Nevada have released their Market Condition Report for the northern Nevada area for the month of December. (Click on the report below to enlarge.)

FCT Market Condition Report – December 2016

The ratio of housing supply to demand fell slightly in Reno and Sparks, Nevada for the month of December. Other housing markets, such as Dayton and Fernley, Nevada also tightened in December. Available inventory typically decrease this time of year. Compare December’s numbers with November’s.

Related post: FCT’s Market Condition Report – November 2016

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Considerations when purchasing a home at Lake Tahoe

TRPA, HOAs, CCRs — these are some of the things Cassell von Baeyer, Attorney/Partner at Incline Law Group, LLP, addresses in her recently published LinkedIn piece Things to consider when buying property at Tahoe. If you are considering purchasing a home at Lake Tahoe you will find this article helpful and informative. (Follow Cassell on LinkedIn) – Ed.

Things to Consider When Buying Property at Tahoe

Winter is a great time to buy in the Truckee/Tahoe area. Whether you are looking to purchase a new primary residence or just a vacation home, there are a number of legal issues that you will want to consider.


The Tahoe Basin is under the jurisdiction of a bi-state federal agency known as the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA). TRPA’s mission is, primarily, to preserve the environmental health and sustainability of the Lake Tahoe region.

TRPA has the authority to establish and enforce land use planning, building and development restrictions. The TRPA code may limit a homeowner’s ability to build, remodel, landscape and otherwise improve their property.

If you are purchasing within the jurisdiction of TRPA, it is important that you understand what you can and cannot do with your property with regard to improvements and the timelines for permitting and/or building within the Tahoe Basin.

Certain activities like grading and digging are generally prohibited October 15 through April 30. If your property is within a scenic corridor or within a sensitive zone (like a stream zone), you may be subject to additional TRPA oversight.

TRPA does not make redevelopment, remodeling or improvement impossible, but it is important that you be aware that TRPA restrictions may impact your intended use of your new property. There is a great deal of information available on the TRPA website:


If you are looking at purchasing a condominium or townhome that is within a homeowners’ association, you should carefully review any applicable Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs).

The CCRs will dictate any use restrictions on your property. For many second-home buyers in Tahoe, rental restrictions are very important.

Some associations may limit the length of rentals or prohibit them entirely. If you are intending to rent out your new house as a vacation rental or on a longer-term basis, you should carefully review the CCRs for provisions relating to rentals.

It is also important that you understand if you will be required to pay monthly assessments, whether there are any planned or pending special assessments and the general financial health of the association, which should be evident in the operating and reserve budgets and financial reports.


An often-overlooked document in the mountain of paperwork that you wade through when purchasing a home is the preliminary title report issued by the title company in preparation for the issuance of title insurance at the close of escrow.

The title report provides a list of recorded documents that will be excluded from title insurance coverage. It is very important to review this list of exceptions and exclusions.

Often you will see easements affecting the property or any recorded use restrictions (like CCRs), and sometimes you may see issues relating to TRPA building covenants or restrictions.

The title insurance policy that you obtain will not insure against loss resulting from a claim that is related to a title condition that was listed on the exceptions list.

More importantly, certain title conditions can impact your intended use of the property (for example, if there is a public easement for beach access that goes right by your new master bedroom window … you may want to know about that).

It may be possible to remove some title exceptions and/or to insure around others. You may want to seek legal counsel to understand the impact and possible removal of certain types of exceptions.

Your Realtor should be able to guide you on when it is advisable to seek legal counsel to assist with title issues.


While the Tahoe Basin is one big beautiful region, there is one major tax difference that should be pointed out in case you are not already aware: The State of California has individual and corporate state income tax, while the State of Nevada does not.

When buying a second home that is intended for your personal vacation use, this may not be an important issue. However, if you are intending your new Tahoe home to be your new primary residence, it is worthy of consideration.

Additionally, if you intend to rent out your property, thereby generating income, the rental income is likely to be subject to income tax — not such a big deal if you are already a California state taxpayer, but if you are a Nevada resident, you may be subjecting yourself to California income tax on that rental income.

It’s all food for thought, and depending on circumstances, a reason to get in touch with your tax professional for guidance.


As with any community, the Truckee/Tahoe area has many excellent Realtors … and a few that may not be quite so excellent. Choose an agent/broker by asking questions of both the Realtor and people who you may know in the community.

Realtors who live and work full time in the community, and have for some time, are going to understand the many unique aspects of home-ownership in Tahoe, such as why you want to think twice about a long, steep north-facing driveway or when you should investigate your grand remodel plans with TRPA.

Many of the communities around the lake and in the Truckee area have a local Board of Realtors. They can often be found online and may be a useful place to do a little research.

The Truckee/Tahoe Area is an amazing region rich with unparalleled beauty, outdoor adventure and close knit communities.

If Incline Law Group, LLP, can ever be of service to you in the purchase of your Tahoe home, or with other legal needs, please feel free to contact us. Until then, we will see you on the trails and the ski runs.

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Nevada ranks 4th as a top moving destination

Nevada ranks 4th in the U.S. as a “Top Moving Destination” on the United Van Lines’ 40th Annual National Movers Study.

According to the interactive map above, the stated reasons for moving to Nevada provided by survey respondents were…

  • 40% – Job
  • 32% – Retirement
  • 21% – Lifestyle
  • 14% – Family
  • 7% – Health

Are you considering a move? If so, give me a call; I’d love to help you with your real estate needs. 775-722-4011 I’m your Guy!

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Reno and Sparks, Nevada Home Sales by MLS Area

Last week I published a blog post reporting 2016’s home sales broken out by zip code — see 2016 Washoe County Home Sales By Zip Code. It’s always a popular post topic, and one I typically address annually.

Another well-received method of breaking out home sales is by MLS (multiple listing service) area. Our local MLS, the Northern Nevada Regional MLS, defines distinct MLS areas as a way referencing property listings. These map-based MLS areas provide a greater degree of detail than that of the larger areas defined by zip codes.

For example, whereas less than 20 zip codes cover the Reno-Sparks metro area, more than 40 MLS areas have been defined for it. You may see a list of these MLS areas here. [Note: to see the boundaries of a particular MLS area, use the interactive MLS Area map at the bottom of this post.]

The table below shows 2016 residential home sales for Reno and Sparks broken out by MLS Area. The sales reflected in the table below include “Site/Stick Built” and “Condo/Townhouse” properties. Data excludes Manufactured/Modular and Shared Ownership properties. The table is sorted by 2016 median sales price — highest to lowest. For comparison purposes sales data for 2015 is also included in the table.

2016 Sales by MLS Area
MLS Area (Area #) 2016 Sales (units sold) 2016 Median Price 2015 Sales (units sold) 2015 Median Price YoY % Change – Median Price
Reno-Southwest Suburban (171) 86 $800,000 84 $738,500 8.3%
West Washoe Valley (175) 15 $721,000 21 $530,000 36.0%
Reno-South Suburban (165) 242 $614,000 247 $630,000 -2.5%
Verdi (124) 22 $563,000 21 $475,000 18.5%
Reno-West Southwest (161) 102 $512,500 131 $495,000 3.5%
Spanish Springs-East (185) 58 $440,000 77 $383,000 14.9%
Pleasant Valley (174) 20 $431,000 24 $397,000 8.6%
Reno-Northwest Foothills (122) 243 $400,000 264 $358,900 11.5%
Reno-West Suburban (123) 17 $395,000 14 $353,500 11.7%
Reno-Old South Suburban (164) 83 $391,000 93 $410,000 -4.6%
Reno-Southwest (163) 446 $380,000 465 $345,000 10.1%
Reno-Foothills (173) 50 $370,950 51 $325,000 14.1%
Reno-South Meadows (143) 759 $352,000 706 $320,000 10.0%
Virginia City Highlands (176) 32 $345,000 45 $288,000 19.8%
Reno-Old Southwest (160) 260 $340,000 238 $320,000 6.3%
Washoe Valley (177) 54 $334,500 54 $286,500 16.8%
Palomino Valley (186) 14 $334,000 25 $310,000 7.7%
Sparks-Foothills (188) 112 $330,049 107 $299,950 10.0%
Spanish Springs-South (183) 481 $330,000 460 $300,000 10.0%
Reno-Hidden Valley (142) 125 $329,000 107 $299,900 9.7%
Sparks-Suburban (182) 472 $313,770 460 $282,995 10.9%
Reno-Golden Valley (132) 89 $312,000 98 $299,900 4.0%
Reno-Silver Knolls (135) 25 $310,000 29 $270,000 14.8%
Spanish Springs-West (185) 268 $309,450 270 $280,000 10.5%
Reno-Northwest Suburban (121) 457 $308,000 436 $287,000 7.3%
Reno-Red Rock (137) 8 $302,500 17 $330,000 -8.3%
Reno-Rancho Haven (138) 26 $282,500 22 $270,000 4.6%
Reno-Lemmon Valley (133) 119 $249,000 121 $225,000 10.7%
Reno-Old Northwest (120) 409 $245,000 361 $215,000 14.0%
Reno-Donner Springs (141) 223 $245,000 205 $195,100 25.6%
Sparks-East (181) 533 $240,000 445 $215,000 11.6%
Reno-North Valley (131) 77 $239,999 75 $220,000 9.1%
Reno-Cold Springs (136) 244 $239,000 223 $215,000 11.2%
Sun Valley (130) 119 $228,000 106 $203,000 12.3%
Reno-Downtown Core (116) 77 $223,000 81 $201,000 10.9%
Reno-Stead (134) 422 $219,950 372 $197,750 11.2%
Sparks (180) 346 $189,900 286 $166,500 14.1%
East Truckee River (187) 10 $184,250 9 $159,800 15.3%
Reno-North (119) 241 $169,000 247 $140,000 20.7%
Reno-Southeast (140) 204 $134,000 195 $125,000 7.2%
Total 7590 $287,000 7295 $265,000 8.3%

Let’s look at the MLS areas along different categories…

Highest Median Sales Price MLS Areas – 2016
Rank MLS Area (Area #) 2016 Median Price
1 Reno-Southwest Suburban (171) $800,000
2 West Washoe Valley (175) $721,000
3 Reno-South Suburban (165) $614,000
Lowest Median Sales Price MLS Areas – 2016
Rank MLS Area (Area #) 2016 Median Price
1 Reno-Southeast (140) $134,000
2 Reno-North (119) $169,000
3 East Truckee River (187) $184,250
Greatest Increase in Median Sales Price Year-over-year – 2016
Rank MLS Area (Area #) YoY % Change in Median Price
1 West Washoe Valley (175) 36.0%
2 Reno-Donner Springs (141) 25.6%
3 Reno-North (119) 20.7%
Most Number of Homes Sold – 2016
Rank MLS Area (Area #) 2016 Sales (units sold)
1 Reno-South Meadows (143) 759
2 Sparks-East (181) 533
3 Spanish Springs-South (183) 481
Greatest Increase in Number of Homes Sold Year-over-year – 2016
Rank MLS Area (Area #) YoY % Change in Homes Sold
1 Reno-West Suburban (123) 21.4%
2 Sparks (180) 21.0%
3 Sparks-East (181) 19.8%

To see the boundaries of a particular MLS area, use this interactive MLS Area map. You may zoom into a particular area and then click on the area to see its name and number.

Note: The home sale data reported above covers the cities of Reno, Nevada and Sparks, Nevada [NNRMLS Area #100]. Residential data includes “Site/Stick Built” and “Condo/Townhouse” properties. Data excludes Manufactured/Modular and Shared Ownership properties. Data courtesy of the Northern Nevada Regional MLS – January 8, 2017. Note: This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

Related post: Which MLS areas of Reno and Sparks, Nevada saw the largest price increases in 2015?

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