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South Lake Tahoe real estate

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am getting close to "pulling a trigger" on a contract for a piece of real estate in South Lake Tahoe. After years of visiting this area I have came to an idea that it might be financially sound buying some "cheap" real estate rather than spending money on "cheap" motels. I am looking into SLT area since that is where I based my stays every year and I found it equidistant to resorts that I like to ski. With new Epic pass that is in the middle of Northstar-Heavenly-Kirkwood axis. Forty minute drive to either Northstar or Kirkwood is just a coffee cup away. Alpine/Squaw restricted pass could be added (Alpine primarily) and still it makes sense to me. 


I am looking for small, quaint, semi-urban cabin like property. Very fine agent in SLT found something that I am longing for. Not much pesos, livable with minor TLC. My concern is: why is SLT real estate so cheap, is there something else that RE agent is not willing to disclose. Taxes seem reasonable, yearly maintenance seem reasonable, rentability for days when I am not occupying the property seem reasonable, crime rate seem reasonable (?) - what is the catch?  All I am looking for is to spend 4 weeks in the winter and 4 weeks in summer/fall. Every year I spend more money paying for  cheap cheesy motels/casino hotels in half amount of time. It might be clear to some that I am not one to indulge in high end hotel/real estate experience -it is rather: wake up, make breakfast, make sandwich, go ski, make good dinner, sleep, and repeat everything next day.


Any advice and insider input from people knowledgeable with SLT real estate situation  is welcomed. 




post #2 of 7

I have been thinking the same as well. Which side is better - California or Nevada side?


I was looking at a development in Lake Donner area (North Tahoe), as a non-US resident it seems to me there are many hidden charges.

post #3 of 7

I agree, property here in SLT seems cheap.  I am a local Realtor and recently sold a condo at Schweitzer in Sandpoint, Idaho for more than a condo at Heavenly just sold for-similar size.  How is that possible?   The banks are currently setting prices in the local market since half of the sales are either foreclosures or short sales.  There are alot of homes/condos in town that need some TLC but if your willing to share your love it should be a great financial investment but more importantly an emotional and physiological one as well.  Lets face it, Tahoe offers so much in the way of recreatoinal opportunites.  Is there any activity that can't be done here?  Also, I am really surprised at how much rental income some places are generating in South Lake. Lake Tahoe gets so much more year round traffic than most resort towns. I lived in Jackson Hole for awhile and there in the spring and fall it is a total ghost town.  So to answer your question in my opinion there isn't a catch to buying in SLT, some people think that prices might get a little cheaper but don't be one of those people with the story that I have heard too many times, " back in the day I could have bought a house in SLT for $"...blah blah blah. 

post #4 of 7

Where are you buying from?  Canada?

post #5 of 7
The RE market in the Bay area is generally good right now (in the wealthier areas) for a variety of reasons, and that bodes well for you since Lake Tahoe always seems to lag the Bay area in up and down cycles. If the growth in technology dies this could change, but you could be buying at the right time.

The national economy is not good, but unless we deflate--and the Fed won't let that happen IMHO--you should be fine. You are not buying on speculation, but because you want to use the property. This makes short-term fluctuations in RE prices meaningless for your decision since they are likely at or near a low in the cycle.

There is a huge difference in the feel of the north and south areas. I'd spend time in both this summer and then pull the trigger.
post #6 of 7

Go away, spammo.

post #7 of 7

Slightly off topic, but Squaw circulated a survey asking what people want, eg views on the economy and job security, price range, 'nice to haves vs saving on HOA fees, fractionals vs freehold, freestanding homes vs condos, lock off suites etc.  I'd be worried about snow - our hills are suffering from uncertain snow reliability, and prices of established apartments have halved, with 70 sold in one auction for $12mpopcorn.gif

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