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.

1. TRPA/BUILDING RESTRICTIONS

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: http://www.trpa.org.

2. HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATIONS

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.

3. TITLE REPORT/TITLE INSURANCE

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.

4. CALIFORNIA VERSUS NEVADA?

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.

5. REAL ESTATE AGENTS

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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This past week’s real estate headlines

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

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December median sales price and other market metrics

monthly-medians-december-2016After holding steady at $310,000 for four consecutive months, the median sales price for homes sold in Reno and Sparks, Nevada fell sharply in December to $299,950.

December’s median sales price represents a 3.2 percent drop from November’s. Year-over-year, December’s median sales price is up 3.6 percent over December 2015’s median of $289,500.

Despite the median sales price falling, December’s median sold price per square foot (ppsf) rose to $174.75/sq.ft. — a 0.5 percent increase over November’s $173.88/sq.ft. Year-over-year, December’s median sold ppsf is up 11.2 percent.

The number of houses sold in December was 516. That total represents a 3.6 percent decrease from the 535 houses sold in November. However, for a December, sales were robust. Year-over-year, December’s total houses sold was 2.8 percent higher than the 502 houses sold in December 2015.

December’s median days on market (DOM) climbed to 82 days — adding nearly a week to November’s median DOM of 76 days. This time last year the median DOM was 76 days.

Available inventory dropped substantially for the month. Currently 1,032 houses are listed and available for sale. Compare that number to the 1,211 houses available this time last month. That’s a 14.8 percent decrease. Though inventory typically retracts this time of year as fewer home sellers choose to list their homes during the holidays and winter months, a 14.8 percent decrease is noteworthy.

Pending home sales also fell sharply. Currently, there are 675 houses pending sale. Compare that number to November’s 845 pending sales this time last month — a 20.1 percent decrease. With the sharp drop in December pendings, expect January closings to be sharply down as well. This time last year 749 homes were pending sale — or nearly ten percent more pendings last year.

December sales by type break out as follows:

  • REO sales: 3% – unchanged from November’s 3%
  • Short sales: 1% – up from November’s 2%
  • Equity sales: 94% – unchanged from November’s 94%

December sales by price band break out as follows in the table below…

Sales by Price Segment
sales price ($000’s) units sold cumulative % of sales
0 – 99 1 0.2%
100 – 199 35 7.0%
200 – 299 222 50.0%
300 – 399 150 79.1%
400 – 499 51 89.0%
500 – 599 17 92.2%
600 – 699 14 95.0%
700 – 799 11 97.3%
800 – 899 4 97.9%
900 – 999 2 98.3%
1M+ 9 100%
total 516

December’s median sold price for houses and condos combined was $289,900 — a 1.6 percent decrease from November’s median sold price of $294,500 for combined sales of houses and condos.

The table below contains the past 13 months of data…

Past 13 Months of Home Sales Data
Month Year # Sold Median Sold Price Sold Price per Sq Ft Median DOM # of Actives # of Pendings
Dec 2016 516 $299,950 $174.75 82 1,032 675
Nov 2016 535 $310,000 $173.88 76 1,211 845
Oct 2016 513 $310,000 $175.56 73 1,306 956
Sep 2016 634 $310,000 $175.24 74 1,451 928
Aug 2016 596 $310,000 $172.45 67 1,440 1,031
Jul 2016 600 $318,000 $173.38 65 1,434 1,036
Jun 2016 660 $312,650 $175.49 61 1,299 1,072
May 2016 600 $310,000 $172.09 58 1,156 1,228
Apr 2016 571 $295,000 $167.86 58 840 1,142
Mar 2016 578 $295,000 $165.09 64 833 1,037
Feb 2016 369 $290,000 $162.77 85 765 1,010
Jan 2016 387 $278,000 $153.10 87 762 853
Dec 2015 502 $289,500 $157.18 76 819 749

Note: The medians table above is updated on a monthly basis. The median home price data reported covers the cities of Reno, Nevada and Sparks, Nevada [NNRMLS Area #100]. Residential data includes Site/Stick Built properties only. Data excludes Condo/Townhouse, Manufactured/Modular and Shared Ownership properties. Data courtesy of the Northern Nevada Regional MLS – January 6, 2017. Note: This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

Related post: November median sales price, units sold, DOM, DTC and inventory

Click here for historical data back to 1998.

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Reno-Sparks Home Sales – 2016 Year In Review

2016 proved to be a great year for the Reno and Sparks, Nevada housing market. Nearly every housing metric was positive compared to the year prior. Let’s look at a few…

Median Sales Price

Though the area saw home prices flatten in the latter part of the year, the 2016 median home price for Reno-Sparks was up 8.9 percent year-over-year.

  • 2016 median sales price: $304,990
  • 2015 median sales price: $280,000
  • change: Up 8.9 percent in 2016

Number of Homes Sold

Nearly every month of 2016 saw a year-over-year increase in home sales. By the end of the year more than 230 additional homes had been sold than sold in 2015.

  • 2016 units sold: 6,557
  • 2015 units sold: 6,325
  • change: Up 3.7 percent in 2016

Total Volume

Total volume is the sum of the sale prices of all the homes sold for the year. With 2016 seeing more houses sold, and for higher sale prices, than in 2015, one would expect that total sales volume would also be up for the year. 2016 did not disappoint — its sales volume was up 8.8 percent over 2015’s.

  • 2016 sales volume: $2,270,818,668
  • 2015 sales volume: $2,087,429,650
  • change: Up 8.8 percent in 2016

Days on Market

Days on market (DOM) is a cyclical number that varies monthly based on buyer demand and seasonality, as well as other factors. Looking at the year as a whole, the median DOM for homes sold in 2016 was 68 days. [Btw, DOM measures the total days on market from listed date to sold date.]

  • 2016 DOM: 68
  • 2015 DOM: 62
  • change: Up six days over 2015

Homes Listed

Increasing sale prices oftentimes incentivizes homeowners to place their own home on the market. This is one factor that contributed to the higher number of homes that were listed in 2016 — up 7.7 percent over 2015.

  • 2016 listings: 8,027
  • 2015 listings: 7,453
  • change: up 7.7 percent in 2016

$1M+ Sales

Though the Reno-Sparks median sales price is closer to $300,000, the market also has its share of homes that sell for $1,000,000, and above. 2016 saw a slight increase over 2015 in the number of such sales.

  • 2016 $1M+ sales: 94
  • 2015 $1M+ sales: 92
  • change: Up 2.2 percent in 2016

Thank you for reading the Reno Realty Blog. Check back throughout the year for for monthly market reports and other news.

Note: The home price and sales data reported above covers the cities of Reno, Nevada and Sparks, Nevada [NNRMLS Area #100]. Residential data includes Site/Stick Built properties only. Data excludes Condo/Townhouse, Manufactured/Modular and Shared Ownership properties. Data courtesy of the Northern Nevada Regional MLS – January 6, 2017. Note: This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

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Washoe County Home Sales By Zip Code

Let’s take a look at Washoe County, Nevada residential sales in 2016 broken out by zip code.

The table below shows home sale data (median sales price and units sold) for 20 zip codes in Washoe County for 2016 and 2015. [Note: some outlying areas in the county have been excluded from the table due to little or no data. See footnote below table.]

The table is sorted by 2016 median sales price, highest to lowest.

Zip Code Area 2016 Sales (units sold) 2016 Median Sales Price 2015 Sales (units sold) 2015 Median Sales Price % Change in Price
89451 Incline Village (North Lake Tahoe) 111 $648,000 133 $585,000 10.8%
89439 Verdi-Mogul 18 $563,000 21 $475,000 18.5%
89511 Reno SW (ArrowCreek, Saddlehorn, Galena, Montreux, St. James) 381 $546,000 462 $549,950 -0.7%
89519 Reno (Caughlin Ranch) 117 $530,000 159 $485,000 9.3%
89510 Palomino Valley 13 $358,000 25 $328,000 9.1%
89521 Reno (Double Diamond, Damonte Ranch) 663 $355,000 680 $323,500 9.7%
89509 Reno (Old Southwest) 471 $350,000 547 $320,000 9.4%
89704 Washoe Valley 56 $350,000 67 $315,000 11.1%
89441 West Spanish Springs 167 $344,760 212 $329,500 4.6%
89523 Reno (Somersett) 511 $335,000 602 $315,000 6.3%
89436 Sparks (Spanish Springs, Wingfield Springs) 814 $315,000 904 $288,745 9.1%
89434 Sparks (D’Andrea) 403 $249,000 391 $228,000 9.2%
89508 Cold Springs, Rancho Haven 213 $246,900 228 $224,000 10.2%
89503 Reno (NW) 344 $245,000 364 $220,000 11.4%
89506 Reno (Stead, Lemmon Valley, Golden Valley) 561 $232,500 609 $209,000 11.2%
89433 Sparks (Sun Valley) 89 $230,000 95 $202,000 13.9%
89501 Reno (Downtown) 56 $225,000 72 $215,000 4.7%
89502 Reno (Hidden Valley, Donner Springs) 374 $225,000 393 $192,500 16.9%
89431 Sparks (Downtown) 347 $206,000 325 $180,000 14.4%
89512 Reno (North) 172 $159,500 194 $140,000 13.9%

Not surprisingly, 89451 (Incline Village) took the top spot for highest median sales price for the year – with a median of $648,000. In the Reno, Nevada area three zip codes had a median sales sales price greater than $500,000. These included: 89439 (Verdi-Mogul), 89511 (Southwest Reno), and 89519 (Reno – Caughlin Ranch).

Highest Median Sales Price Zip Codes – 2016
Rank Zip Code Area 2016 Median Sales Price
1 89451 Incline Village (North Lake Tahoe) $648,000
2 89439 Verdi-Mogul $563,000
3 89511 Reno SW (ArrowCreek, Saddlehorn, Galena, Montreux, St. James) $546,000
4 89519 Reno (Caughlin Ranch) $530,000

On the flip side, those zip codes with the lowest median sales price were…

Lowest Median Sales Price Zip Codes – 2016
Rank Zip Code Area 2016 Median Sales Price
20 89512 Reno (North) $159,500
19 89431 Sparks (Downtown) $206,000
18 89501 Reno (Downtown) $225,000
17 89502 Reno (Hidden Valley, Donner Springs) $225,000

The 2016 median sales price for all zip codes in Washoe County was $289,900.

Other rankings by zip code…

Greatest Increase in Median Sales Price – Year-Over-Year
Rank Zip Code Area % Change in Median Sales Price
1 89439 Verdi-Mogul 18.5%
2 89502 Reno (Hidden Valley, Donner Springs) 16.9%
3 89431 Sparks (Downtown) 14.4%
4 89512 Reno (North) 13.9%
5 89433 Sparks (Sun Valley) 13.9%
Most Units Sold by Zip Code – 2016
Rank Zip Code Area 2016 Sales (units sold) 2016 Median Sales Price
1 89436 Sparks (Spanish Springs, Wingfield Springs) 814 $315,000
2 89521 Reno (Double Diamond, Damonte Ranch) 663 $355,000
3 89506 Reno (Stead, Lemmon Valley, Golden Valley) 561 $232,500
4 89523 Reno (Somersett) 511 $335,000
5 89509 Reno (Old Southwest) 471 $350,000

For an interactive zip code map for Washoe County click here.

Related posts:

Note: The residential sales data reported in the table above pertains to Washoe County , Nevada. 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 5, 2017. Note: This information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

Outlying Areas Note: The NNRMLS reflected no sales for 2016 in the outlying areas of: Empire, NV (89405); Gerlach, NV (89412); or Nixon, NV (89424), therefore those zip codes have been excluded from the table above. The NNRMLS showed only two sales in 2015 for Wadsworth, NV (89442), so that zip was also excluded from the table above.

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Happy New Year!

2016 has come to a close, and for me it was one of my busiest years ever. Record sales were accompanied by charitable endeavors and meaningful community partnerships.

Thank you for making me your real estate professional of choice and for your continued support in 2017.

Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2017!

– Guy

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