How To Sell Your Home During The Winter Months

The winter months can either be a boom or bust for home sales. For the Lake Tahoe area the weather can have a huge bearing on how difficult it can be to sell your home. Unfortunately, this year the winter season hasn’t been as fruitful as we’d hoped, but the winter home sale process is still different than other seasons.

In Tahoe the winter usually brings a steady amount of new visitors into town, some of these visitors love to check out open houses during their time away from the mountain. Hopefully, some of these visitors are in the market for your exact home.

In this post we’re going to look at some tips that will help you get your home ready to sell during the winter.

Make The Outside Beautiful

The outside of your home is the first thing prospective buyers are going to see when they pull up to your house. For this reason you’ll want to make it seem like a warm retreat from the cold weather outside.

Keep the outside of your home safe by removing any dangerous icicles, making sure the driveway is plowed, and all icy surfaces have been taken care of. Just think about what kind of warm comforting environment you would love to step into, and do your best to recreate that.

Consider The Entryway

The entryway is a great way to set the scene for your buyer. For instance, you can hang a wreath to give the buyer a taste of what it would be like to experience the holidays in your beautiful home. Also, make sure the entryway is free of ice and snow and is safe to walk on.

You can even consider placing seasonal plants in the entryway and other bundles that will help create a pleasant scent.

It’s All About First Impressions

First impressions really are everything. This means you’ll want to have decorations that add a certain amount of cheer to your home. Aromas can help with this as well. It can be a good idea to bake cookies to circulate the delicious smell throughout your home.

Another great idea is to make sure your home is light and all the window shades are drawn. Since the winter season is usually much darker than the rest of the year you’ll want to maximize the amount of light you have available.

If You Have A Fireplace, Use It

Everyone loves a wood burning fireplace. If you have one make sure you build a fire and have it glowing when showing your home. One of the best ways to sell your home during the winter is by making it easy for the prospective buyer to imagine themselves in your home. By creating a warm and comfortable environment you’ll make this easier for them to do.

Selling your home during the winter can actually be a fun experience as you’ll be able to create a warm atmosphere that will give prospective buyers a chance to experience the real magic of your home. If you’re thinking about selling your home this winter it’s a good idea to get in touch with a local South Lake Tahoe real estate professional.

Should You Rent Or Buy A Home In Lake Tahoe?

Choosing whether to rent or buy a home is a huge decision to make. In fact, it’s one of the largest financial decisions any adult is going to have to make. However, the costs to buy a home are often much more financially complicated than renting a home. in recent years this decision has gotten less clear cut as well.

In this post we’re going to look at the difference between buying and renting a home and what you should do considering your financial future.

What Kind Of Decision Are You Making?

Some people think that the difference of renting and buying is a purely financial decision. Although finances do make up a large chunk of the picture there are other things to consider.

For instance, renting a home gives you more freedom and ability to move around. While buying a home give you a greater sense of comfort and ability to customize your home as you choose.

Some people feel like they need to start the home ownership process to feel good about their lives, while others prefer the ability to pick up and move more frequently. Your individual needs will come into play in this decision.

Which Option Is Cheaper?

This is another tough question to ask as it’s entirely dependent upon your unique financial situation and what you’re currently paying to rent. When you’re buying a home it’s generally more expensive as you have taxes, maintenance fees, the mortgage and downpayment to consider.

However, buying a home does come with other benefits that may outweigh the more expensive price you’re going to pay. One of the best ways to see if the added costs make sense is by calculating the added costs of buying a home. Once you have these costs solidified, see if you can save that much money every month to see if owning home is financially feasible.

Is There A Better Long-Term Decision?

Once again, this is going to be a decision that you’re going to have to make as an individual. If you subscribe to the american dream of owning your own home, then you may want to invest in a property.

However, if you live a different lifestyle where owning home doesn’t make sense, then renting will be a better long-term decision.

There’s no wonder this decision is one of the bigger decisions you’ll make in your life. Both financially and emotionally you’ll have a lot to consider. Make sure you spend the appropriate amount of time before moving forward.

Overall, everyone is going to have a different answer. For some people’s lifestyles renting just makes sense. For others, they’re going to want to have the security and comfort a home can bring. Take all of the above into account before making a decision.

Sometimes it can be beneficial to talk to a real estate agent to lay out all of your needs on the table. If you’re interested in speaking with an agent we’re here to help, don’t hesitate to ask us any and all of the questions you have regarding renting or buying.

5 Easy Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Home

If you’re thinking of selling your beautiful South Lake Tahoe home then you want to do everything in your power to ensure you’re getting the best price you possibly can. If you’re thinking of doing any large scale remodeling projects, then you may be in for hefty bill, especially as unwanted costs arise. Instead of spending thousands on costly home upgrades why don’t you minimize the risk and instead tackle these easy home improvement projects.

In the post we’re going to cover easy fixes you can do to your home that will increase it’s value, so you can get the most equity when it’s time to make a sale.

1. Install Energy Efficient Windows

If you’ve been living in Tahoe for a while now, or you purchased an older home chances are you have single pane windows. This style of window allows heat to escape during the cold winter months. Which will increase energy costs greatly.

If you’re looking to install energy efficient windows chances are you can qualify for energy efficiency rebates and tax breaks.

When people are buying houses in colder climates they often look for energy efficiency standards to be high, and often these buyers don’t mind paying more of a premium.

2. Upgrade Appliances

Appliances can be another simple upgrade, as most appliances can be installed very easily. If you have older appliances in your home that don’t work very well, then an improvement might be worth it.

If people don’t have to do a ton of upgrades the moment they move in, then often they’ll be willing to pay more up front. You can even qualify for energy efficiency rebates when it comes to appliances as well.

3. Do A Simple Kitchen Remodel

Usually, the kitchen is the central hub of a home. If your kitchen looks like it hasn’t been upgraded in years, then perhaps it’s time to change things up. If you don’t have the budget to make any big changes to your home, then simple cosmetic changes can do the trick.

One of the easiest ways to make your kitchen pop is by painting and upgrading the cabinets. This can be done by sanding and painting your cabinets a neutral color, and upgrading any old fixtures. Best of all this can be done cheaply, and just requires a little hard work.

4. Repairing The Roof

Fixing up your old roof will require a little more monetary investment, but can be worth it if your roof is in need of fixing. If you’re like a lot of home in Tahoe and have a metal roof, then chances are your roof is fine.

But, if you have an outdated shingle roof, then it might be time to upgrade or make repairs. Before you begin you’ll want to have a professional come out and estimate the costs of fixing your home.

New roofs can add about $10,000 to the final price of your home, and will go a long way towards increasing its curb appeal.

5. Improve The Outside Of Your Home

The curb appeal of your home can greatly influence the final price of your home. The first impression your home gives off can go a long way in the eyes of the buyer. If your lawn has dead patches, or your garden or any landscape elements are overgrown, then you may want to invest some money into your landscape.

Getting the most value for your home doesn’t have to be costly, or take a lot of time. After all, when you’re selling your beautiful Tahoe home you want to get the most value you can. I hope these simple home improvements have been useful, and you’re on your way towards getting your home in the best condition possible before a sale.

Homebuying 101: What You Need To Know When Buying A Home In Tahoe

Buying a home in Tahoe is unlike buying a home anywhere else in the world. Sure, you’ll end up dealing with the same home buying process, but there are extra options you’ll want to consider in this diverse climate. For instance, you could buy a home right on the shores of Lake Tahoe, or maybe you could buy a rustic cabin where you can truly live the mountain life. Regardless of the reason you’re buying the home there’s much more to think about than the number of rooms and square footage.

In this article we’re going to highlight some common elements that most home buyers overlook when buying a home in the Tahoe area.

1. Know Your Needs Before You Search

Taking the time to understand your reasons and needs for buying a home is huge. Going beyond the financials of how much you’re going to spend, you’ll want to dive into the location, as well as your family’s needs.

For instance, will you be growing your family and want a safe place for them to play throughout the summer and winter. If so you may want to focus on homes that are deeper into the woods, or have bigger acreages.

Other great questions to consider, are how close you’ll want to be to the lake, and in what proximity you’ll want to live to your nearest neighbor. Some people move to Tahoe for the community feel, but others move up here for the quiet and seclusion.

The more time you spend figuring out what you truly want the happier you’ll be in the long-term. After all, purchasing a home is one of the biggest purchases most of us will ever make.

2. Pick The Right Real Estate Agent

If you’re looking at homes specifically on Lake Tahoe you’ll want to work with a different agent, than if you were looking at homes off the beaten path. Although most realtors have a good understanding of the entire Tahoe market, it can be to your advantage to work with an agent who is focused primarily on your dream area.

Your agent will have in-depth information about your location that most other agents might not have. Most of this knowledge can only come with time.

Sometimes, it can be helpful to explore the Tahoe area before picking an agent. Or, to get in touch with multiple agents before you choose the one that’s going to be best for your family.

3. Consider Location Specific Challenges

Tahoe is a unique area to buy a home. Not only does it have unparalleled natural beauty, but it also has unique challenges that come with living in a mountain town.

For starters, the winters can be difficult. If you have children it can be important to consider whether or not a plow service will come by your home, and if they are going to school a bus will pick them up.

You’ll want to consider aspects that may make your life a little difficult come winter and plan accordingly.

Overall, Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places in the world to own a home. The more research and time you spend finding the perfect one, the happier you and your family will be in the long run.

How To Prep Your Lake Tahoe Home Before Winter Strikes

Thinking about the chill of winter brings a sense of urgency to a lot of homeowners. You’d hate for the first winter storm to catch you off-guard and end up bringing a whole bunch of unnecessary stress into your life. Taking time to prep your home for winter will go a long ways towards ensuring you have a smooth transition into winter.

In this article we’re going to look into a few easy things you can do this fall to make sure your home is ready to go when the cold decides to hit. After all, it’s great to have a cozy home to come to, instead of a home in transition.

1. Take care of your lawn

This time of year is still a good time to take care of your lawn and plant new plants. Just keep in mind that the growing season is very short, and the plants you decide to plant will be under a lot of added stress. This also means it’s a great time to take care of the blank patches on your lawn, or seed it for next year.

If you have any shrubs make sure you still water and take care of them up until the frost hits. It’s still possible for your plants to get dried out this time of year.

Another important element to consider is taking care of your sprinkler systems. Make sure you drain water out of all the sprinklers and hoses, you’d hate for your hoses or sprinkler systems to burst when the temperatures drop.

2. Do a boiler check

You’re going to want to turn up your boiler once the temperatures drop anyways, so it’s a good idea to do it sooner rather than later. By turning up the boiler now you’ll actually be adding years to your home heating system. At the very least you should check and change the filters if need be.

If your home has a chimney, now is the time to get it inspected and cleaned if necessary. A professional will be able to diagnose any problems before they occur.

3. Check your doors and windows

Draft can be a homeowners worst nightmare when the temperatures begin to drop. Leaky doors and windows are some of the biggest culprits. You can usually check for drafts by placing your hand in front of the door or windows and see if you feel a slight breeze. You can always hire a professional to diagnose any draft issues and take care of them on the spot.

4. Consider a home energy audit

One of the best investments you can make for your home before winter is a home energy audit. This will not only reduce your overall energy costs, but will also help to keep your home warmer and more comfortable.

It’s not a necessity, but it can improve your quality of life when temperatures begin to drop.

I hope this article has been helpful and you have a better idea of what steps you can take to improve the comfortability of your home before the temperatures begin to drop.

Lake Tahoe Area Links

From local chambers, government and areas of special interest, below you will find a list of sites that provide various helpful information.

Lake Tahoe Chambers

Douglas County School District

Lake Tahoe Community College
Eldorado County School District

State of Nevada
Douglas County Government Services and Programs

El Dorado County
Eldorado County Statistical Information
Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Special Interest:
Lake Tahoe Golf Courses
Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts
Lake Tahoe Lodging
Lake Tahoe Vacation Guide
Area Guide – Bicycle Nevada
Web Cams – Lake Tahoe Web Cams