Big Weather Big Houses!

With all this BIG weather we’ve been having, I’ve found myself looking at all the BIG houses on the market today. While you’re all bundled up at home sipping your tea or coffee, why not take the time to look a few of the BIGGEST houses currently on the South Tahoe market.

ENJOY!

2073 Cascade Road comes in at

5722 sq-ft

5 Bedroom 6 Bathroom

List Price $2,985,900

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3115 Jameson Beach Rd comes in at

6234 sq-ft

7 Bedroom 7 Bathroom

List Price $6,888,000

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2412 Cornice Court comes in at

7386 sq-ft

7 Bedroom 8 Bathroom.

List Price $3,795,000

2412 Cornice Ct
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Thanks for visiting and remember…

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Winter is here and you have finally decided to put your house on the market, but you heard somewhere that it’s better to wait until the spring.

Is it really? Many people say that selling a home in the spring is a better bet. Flowers blooming, green grass and sunny skies make homes look their best, the thinking goes, and so this is the ideal time to list your house for sale.

But is this actually true?

Nope! There are a lot of solid reasons why listing your house in the winter, rather than waiting for spring, can actually be really smart. Of course everyone’s situation is different, and an experienced real estate agent in your area can give you the best advice, but here are a few things to consider when deciding when to list your home for sale. (And if you don’t have a choice and have to list it in the winter, hopefully these points will help set your mind at ease!)

1. Less Competition

Simple, fewer listings on the market mean less competition. It’s true that fewer people tend to list their homes during the winter months, but this means that your home has a better chance of standing out, as there will be fewer competing listings. Wouldn’t you rather be the only home in your neighborhood for sale, than 3 or 4 other houses vying for attention as well?

2. Motivated Buyers

It takes a little more motivation to bundle up and go look at houses when the weather gets cold. The holidays keep people busy traveling or entertaining. Not to mention that packing and moving in the cold isn’t much fun. But these small hurdles just mean that you will likely avoid wasting time with buyers who aren’t serious and ready to make an offer. The curious neighbors or “we’re thinking of buying maybe next year” buyers are not as likely to be making the rounds. Motivated buyers are more likely to be pre-approved for a mortgage and to know what they want, and so you are more likely to have showings turn into serious offers.

3. Loans may be processed quicker

Since the housing inventory is generally smaller during the winter, lenders are typically less busy. This means that when your buyers are ready to go under contract, they can get their financing ready to go that much faster, and everyone can make it to closing quicker.

Should you have any questions regarding Selling or Buying this winter season, contact me!

Until then, see you on the hill!

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Homes Online vs. In Person

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Online: “It’s HUGE!”

  • Photographers can use a wide angle lens to make everything look as large as possible.

In Person: “Is this a room or a closet?”

  • Buyers are often surprised at how much smaller a home appears in person

Online: “It looks like a new home!”

  • HDR image processing can make a home appear brand new.

In Person: “What’s that smell?”

  • Strong pet odors, mold and sewer/septic issues are surprises that you can’t experience online.

Online: “It looks so peaceful!”

  • Home staging creates a peaceful environment, but those items can distract you from other details.

In Person: “Did I just hear gun shots?”

  • It’s smart to hang out in the neighborhood for a few hours to know the real area experience.

Online: “I have a good feeling!”

  • Online listings will rarely show flaws in a property. It’s ALL positive information.

In Person: “Is that a minivan community in the neighbors yard?”

  • Yes, it has happened. Enough said.

3 Real Estate Shopping Tipscareerbuilder-ar_post-2339

DON’T GET TOO ATTACHED

  • Wait until you visit the property.

♥  FIND A GOOD REALTOR

  • Find one who will point out the pros AND cons of each home you look at.

TRY TO BE PATIENT

  • Impulse decisions in real estate can cost major dollars and have life altering effects. Don’t be scared to take your time.

 

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Local Area Schools

Many questions arise when moving to a new area. Naturally you want to know where the best recreations spots are, where to find good night life, the best cup of coffee, and for those with children, you need to know about the school system.
Here is a list of the South Lake Tahoe area schools from K-12.

 

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Elementary K-5
Bijou Community School


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Bijou is a multicultural school; a school that stresses the importance of building community and appreciating differences in culture. Bijou is most noted for its two way bilingual immersion program. A two way bilingual immersion program is a bilingual education program that integrates English learners and English-speaking students for instruction in and through two languages. TWI programs provide language, literacy, and content area instruction to all  students in both languages. At Bijou Community School their program focuses in Spanish and English.

 
Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School

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LTESMS utilizes an Environmental Science focused curriculum that is project-based, thematic, interactive, and integrated in core subject areas through the grade levels to foster life-long stewardship of the environment and to assist students in achieving their maximum potential in their academic, social, and civic development.

 

 

 
Sierra House Elementary- Home of the Mountain Academy

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Sierra House integrates education with an emphasis on Fitness, Health and Mountain Sports. Their focus is to connect children to nature and the outdoors- including the most amazing classroom for learning: Lake Tahoe. They are a diverse school community where all community members are valued and encouraged to reach their fullest potential. It is the mission of Sierra House Elementary School, in partnership with families, to provide a high achieving learning environment to prepare our students to be educated, responsible citizens

 

 
Tahoe Valley Elementary School, Where The Arts Come Alive

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Tahoe Valley’s vision is to  develop well rounded  students who embody 21st Century Skills  through the Arts.  They accomplish this through providing children with learning experiences that will enable them to develop character, creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills, to appreciate the aesthetic values in the Creative and Performing Arts and become self-confident, motivated, caring, and socially conscious citizens.

 

 

South Tahoe Middle School – Grades 6-8

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The staff at STMS is dedicated to providing a quality education for all students based on high academic standards.  Teachers, students, administration and parents work collaboratively to maintain a nurturing environment which contributes to the intellectual, social, emotional, ethical and physical development.

 

 

 

 

South Tahoe High School – Grades 9-12

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South Tahoe High School is vested in the California COMMON CORE standards to drive their curriculum. STHS is also a nationally accredited AVID school, and all areas of study use AVID strategies for success. South Tahoe High School is dedicated to offering all students access to the most rigorous and relevant educational programs possible.  This focus requires flexibility in developing and sustaining a wide variety of choices so that each student has the opportunity to reach his or her personal academic goals.

Home of the Week

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Home of the Week WINNER!

2520 Armstrong Ave.

$299,000

Adorable and charming cabin with Accessory Living in the backyard. The interior features authentic natural materials such as knotty wood cabinetry, exposed log beams, and a stone fireplace. The backyard storage shed provides ample space for extra storage. A fully fenced in, spacious backyard is perfect for pets and enjoying the fresh mountain air, and the back patio provides plenty of outdoor entertaining space. Priced affordably for a great starter home or second home, this is an ideal comfy Tahoe cabin!

For more Information:

http://chelsearaetahoe.com/listings/6008,126670/2520-Armstrong-Avenue-South-Lake-Tahoe-CA-96150/?Address=96150&PriceMin=299000&PriceMax=299000&PropertyType=-1

What to Do a Year Before Buying Your First Home

ba1249420a9b4c7f5d041b8ea13e3283I have been having many conversations like this lately, speaking to friends and peers about buying their first home. The freedom to decorate as you please and your very own yard?? Though the idea can be romanticized by watching shows on networks like HGTV, there is a strong reality behind home buying. It’s not exactly “pick one of 3” and “where does the couch go?”

Since buying a home is likely the largest purchase of your life, other than your second 😉 This 12 month timeline will help you avoid common mistakes in first time home buying.

12 Months Out

Check your credit score. Avoid last-minute bombshells by checking your score long before you’re ready to make an offer. And work diligently to correct any mistakes.

Determine how much you can afford. Lenders are happy to lend you as much as your debt load allows. But will that amount make you house poor? Ask yourself, how much house do I really want to afford? How much house you can afford and want to afford. Lenders look for a total debt load of no more than 43% of your gross monthly income (called the debt-to-income ratio). This figure includes your future mortgage and any other debts, such as a car loan, student loan, or revolving credit cards.

There are plenty of calculators on the web to help you determine what you can afford. If you’re pushing the limits, start reducing your debt-to-income ratio now.

Make a down payment plan. Most conventional mortgages require a 20% down payment. If you can swing it, do it. Your loan costs will be much less, and you’ll get a better interest rate. If, however, you’re not quite able to save the full amount, there are many programs that can help. FHA offers loans with only a 3.5% down payment. But they require mortgage insurance premiums, which will drive up your monthly payments. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a list of nonprofit homebuying programs by state. Also check with credit unions; and your employer might even have an assistance program.

As you’re planning your savings strategy, keep in mind that banks like you to “season” your money. That is, they like to see that you’ve had stable funds in your account for 60 to 90 days before applying for a loan. Don’t worry: You can still use a financial gift from a family member or bonus received near the time you buy.

9 Months Out

Prioritize what you want most in your home. What’s most important in your new home? Proximity to work, the beach, hiking trails or ski resorts? A big backyard? An open floor plan? Being on a quiet street? You’ll make a much better decision on what home to buy if you focus on your priorities. If it’s a joint decision, now is the time to work out any differences to avoid frustration and wasted time. Perhaps most important: Know what trade-offs you’re willing to make.

Research neighborhoods and start visiting open houses. But now’s when the fun begins, too. Start visiting open houses to get an idea of what kind of homes are in your price range and what neighborhoods appeal the most. Seeing potential homes will also keep you motivated to continue reducing your debts and saving for your down payment.

Budget for miscellaneous homebuying expenses. Buying a home has some miscellaneous upfront costs. A home inspection, title search, property survey, and home insurance are examples. Costs vary by locale, but expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars. If you don’t have the cash, start saving now.

Start a home maintenance account. Speaking of saving, start the good habit now of putting a little aside each month to fund maintenance, repairs, and home emergencies. It’s bad enough to have to call a plumber. It’s worse if you’re paying credit card interest on that plumbing bill.

6 Months Out

Collect your loan paperwork. Banks are very particular when it comes to mortgage loans. They demand a lot of paperwork. What they’ll want from you includes:

  • W-2 forms — or business tax return forms if you’re self-employed — for the last two to three years
  • Personal tax returns for the past two to three years
  • Your most recent pay stubs
  • Credit card and all loan statements
  • Your bank statements
  • Addresses for the past five to seven years
  • Brokerage account statements for the most recent two to four months
  • Most recent retirement account statements, such as 401(k)

If you start collecting these documents now, it’ll lessen the stress when it’s time to get your loan. Bonus: Looking closely at your loan documents each month will also help you stay focused on saving for your down payment and keeping your debt-to-income ratio low.

Research lenders and REALTORS®. Start interviewing REALTORS®, specifically buyers’ agents. A buyer’s agent will work in your best interest to find you the right property, negotiate with the seller’s agent, and shepherd you through the closing process. Your agent also can be instrumental in finding a lender who’s familiar with first-time home buyer programs.

Even better, look for a mortgage broker, who will shop for a competitive loan rate for you among multiple lenders, unlike a bank, which can only offer its own products.

3 Months Out

Get pre-approved for your loan. At this point, if you’ve been following this timeline, your credit score, paperwork, and down payment should be on track. You’ve done your research on lenders and buyers’ agents. Now it’s time to start working with them. First you’ll need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Make an appointment with your lender or mortgage broker and bring all your paperwork. They’ll run a credit check on you and tell you how much of a loan you’re approved for. It often makes sense to borrow less than the maximum the lender allows so you can live comfortably. Draft a budget that accounts for mortgage payments, insurance, maintenance, and everything else you have going on in your life.

Start shopping for your new home. One you’re pre-approved, the buyer’s agent you’ve chosen will be able to target homes that meet your priorities in your price range. This way you won’t be wasting time looking at homes you can’t afford.

2 Months Out

Make an offer on a home. It usually takes approximately 45 days to close on a home. So if you have a firm move-out date, allow enough time to deal with any hiccups that can delay closing.

Get a home inspection. One of the first things you’ll want to do after an offer is accepted is have a home inspector look at the property. If the home inspector finds something that needs repair, that’s a common example of something that can delay closing.

In the LAST MONTH

Triple-check that all your financial documents are in order and review all lending documents before closing. You’re in the home stretch! If you’ve been keeping your documents up to date, and your down payment is in reserve, these final steps are the easiest. Reviewing the mortgage documents is probably the most difficult. Your agent can help guide you through them.

Get insurance for your new home. Don’t forget to secure insurance before closing. You’ll need to bring proof of insurance to closing.

Do a final walk-through. Do a final walk-through of your new home, usually a day or two before closing, to make sure the home is in the shape you and the seller have agreed upon.

Get a cashier’s check or bank wire for cash needed at closing. Make sure you get an exact amount of cash needed for closing. You’ll get that number a few days before closing so you can secure a cashier’s check or arrange to have the money wired. Regular checks aren’t accepted.

Congratulations!

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Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Lake Tahoe Scenic
Lake Tahoe Scenic

…And all at once summer collapses into fall

-Oscar Wilde

The leaves are changing and there is a chill in the air. This means it’s time to tackle a few simple chores that will make winter more pleas

ant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring.

#1 Put Away your Hose

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back

up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. When freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up and cause damage.

Turn off any shutoff valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets. That way, you’ll guard against minor leaks that may let water enter the faucet.

 

#2 Put Your Sprinklers to Sleep

Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.

  1. Turn off the water to the system at the main valve.
  2. Shut off the automatic controller.
  3. Open drain valves to remove water from the system.
  4. Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out of them, then replace.

If you don’t have drain valves, then hire an irrigation pro to blow out the systems pipes with compressed air.

#3 Check Your Seals

Grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk ($5 for a 12-ounce tube) and make a journey around  your home’s exterior, sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive — and most important — of your fall maintenance jobs. You’ll also seal air leaks that waste energy.

Pick a nice day when temps are above 50 degrees so caulk flows easily.

 

#4 Clean Out Your Gutters

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Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove pine needles, leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Replace any worn or damaged gutters and downspouts.

Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet away from your house to prevent foundation problems.

#5 Check Out Your Roof

If you have a steep roof or a multistory house, stay safe and use binoculars to inspect your roof from the ground. Look for warning signs: Shingles that are buckled, cracked, or missing; rust spots on flashing. Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately.

Black algae stains are just cosmetic, but masses of moss and lichen could signal roofing that’s decayed underneath.

#6 Direct Your Drainage

Take a close look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your house at least 6 vertical inches over 10 feet. That way, you’ll keep water from soaking the soils around your foundation, which could lead to cracks and leaks.

Be sure soil doesn’t touch your siding.

#7 Check Your Furnace

Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling pro to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. Change your furnace filters, too. This is a job you should do every two months anyway, but if you haven’t, now’s the time. If your HVAC includes a built-in humidifier, make sure the contractor replaces that filter.

#8 Prune Plants

Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees — when the summer growth cycle is over. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your house exterior during high winds.

 

#9 Give Your Fireplace a Once-Over

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To make sure your fireplace is safe, grab a flashlight and look up inside your fireplace flue to make sure the damper opens and closes properly. Open the damper and look up into the flue to make sure it’s free of birds’ nests, branches and leaves, or other obstructions. You should see daylight at the top of the chimney.

Check the firebox for cracked or missing bricks and mortar. If you spot any damage, order a professional fireplace and chimney inspection.

Your fireplace flue should be cleaned of buildup every other year.

Modern Mountain Design

1990 Kokanee Way

Today I toured a newly revamped home in the Tahoe Keys that fully embodies Modern Mountain Design. It was  tasteful, clean, and contemporary while still lending to the raw, rustic mountain feel we all love about the Tahoe mountain lifestyle.

 

Many of the mountain chalets of yore—with their rustic log construction and charming shingled roofs—were not designed to withstand the test of time. Which is why, in recent years, innovative architects and designers have been using new technologies and materials to construct contemporary homes in high places. Modern mountain architecture and design will typically incorporate local materials like native cut timber and locally quarried stone left in their natural states, in it’s finishes. To compliment the natural wood and stone materials and steel accents, modern mountain design tends to opt for neutral color palettes of whites, grays and blues rather than bolder reds, yellows and greens.

 

5 South Lake Tahoe Dream Homes Under $7 Million

Everyone has a budget when house hunting. I have comprised a list of a few South Lake Tahoe Dream Homes for under $7 Million.

219 Beach Dr, South Lake Tahoe, CA

$6.8 Million

4 bedroom/ 5 bathroom

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Perched on the point lot of Tahoe Keys, this unique island themed home views Lake Tahoe in its entirety. Constructed with exotic teak-wood and mahogany, the home has in-floor heating, state of the art electrical features, gourmet kitchen, 4 en suite bedrooms, several lake view decks, and most impressive is an infinity style salt water spa!

 

2412 Cornice Ct, South Lake Tahoe, Ca

$3.8 Million

3 bedroom/ 4 bathroom

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Spectacular custom built home with extraordinary views of Mt. Tallac, Cathedral Peak and Lake Tahoe. Over-the-top features and amenities throughout this 7,386 sq. ft. 3 story masterpiece. Level entry, elevator, 5 gas fireplaces, ‘Smart Home’, Lutron system, surround sound, central vacuum, Launchport charging/docking stations for tablets throughout, heated wood and stone floors and radon system. Gourmet kitchen with massive breakfast bar, Sub Zero refrigerator, 2 microwave drawers, 2 Miele dishwashers, Wolf range, 2 ovens, ice machine, 3 sinks, prep kitchen and butler’s pantry. Laundry on all levels, family/game room with full bar, theater room, wine room, master wing upstairs with opulent bathroom, office, 2 steam showers and sauna. Heated 3 car garage, driveway, decks and walkways and plus off street parking.  Second to none…this true work of art must be seen to fully appreciated!

 

739 Lakeview Ave, South Lake Tahoe, Ca

$2.57 Million

4 bedroom/ 4 bathroom

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One of the lowest price LAKEFRONT properties to be found on Lake Tahoe. This custom built home features 50 ft. of private beachfront living, a 110 foot pier, 2 buoys and views to take your breath away. A one of a kind floor plan provides a wide variety of potential use includes a spacious living room with lofty open beamed ceilings, two game rooms, a den,family room, solarium, dining and a gourmet kitchen. There’s even a 1 bedroom guest house over the garage which would be ideal for a grounds keeper or live-in nanny. The entire upstairs is dedicated for use as a master suite retreat. Amenities in the master include a private deck, spa, walk-in shower, multiple closets and dressing area. Sold fully furnished, this home is in move-in condition and ready to call home.

 

5 Lighthouse Shores Dr, South Lake Tahoe, Ca

$2.5 Million

3 bedroom/ 4 bathroom

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Professionally designed, this fully remodeled home is located only a few steps from the beach in the coveted lakefront gated community of Lighthouse Shores. This rare corner lot location affords 360 degree panoramas of Lake Tahoe, Sierra Sunsets, Pope Beach, Mt. Tallac and meadow plus a mile long lagoon. No expense was spared in this remodel that includes new high end kitchen cabinets, new appliances, and new Sonos home audio system. This property is a must see for buyers seeking unparalleled views with proximity to the Lake.

 

1739 Hekpa Dr, South Lake Tahoe, Ca

$2.15 Million

7 bedroom/ 6 bathroom

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Brand new! Dramatically poised adjacent to miles of forest service land and breathtaking views, this truly one-of-a-kind contemporary mountain estate on an acre is a combination of sophisticated elegance and enduring beauty. This is a unique and rare opportunity to own a brand new luxurious home that allows horses in the Tahoe basin. This 3,905 sf main residence has 6 bedrooms, 4 baths full baths and 1 bath and a second 1,189 square foot guesthouse with separate address and meters. Some of the features include 8-inch plank hard wood flooring, mahogany cabinets, Thermador appliances, 2 on demand water heaters, clear maple trim throughout, extensive rock work inside and out, massive great room, a grand entry, two masters and more. The guesthouse stands alone in its grandness with 20-foot ceilings, large windows and the materials and appointments throughout. Several square feet of coverage left for a horse corral.

 

There truly is something for everyone’s budget here in South Lake Tahoe!

I can’t wait to help you find your DREAM HOME!