Random Real Estate Ramblings

Real Estate Sales in 2016:  Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate sales are humming along at a steady pace.  It is possible we could reach the magic number of 400 total units for sales of houses, condos and freestanding condos.  Historically, total unit sales have averaged in the 300 to 350 range.  So, if we exceed 400 sales in 2016 it will be only the 2nd time since 2006 that we have reached this number.


Threats to Property:  The 2 recent wildfires that were in the news are a reminder that this is still the greatest danger to property in the Lake Tahoe basin.  As of this writing the causes are yet to be determined but there has been much speculation that the Little Valley Fire was the result of a prescribed burn that got out of control.  We have an amazing fire department serving Incline Village and Crystal Bay and they have done an excellent job of creating defensible space in our community.  However, it is up to every property owner to do whatever they can to reduce the fire danger.  Simple and effective steps include raking up pine needles, trimming trees, removing dead brush and replacing a shake roof (if you still have one).


Escrow Timelines:  With interest rates remaining low and real estate sales activity still moderately high anyone getting a loan to purchase a property should plan on a 45 to 60 day escrow.  While it is possible in some cases to close escrow in less than 45 days, the new financial regulations that were put into place in October 2015 have stretched out the timeline a bit.  Also, lenders and appraisers are extremely busy with all of the property sales and refinancing action.  It is better for buyers to give themselves a little more time to accomplish the appraisal and loan approval process than to have to go back to a seller and ask for an extension late in the game.


Investment Properties:  During the past couple of years the long term rental market has tightened up quite a bit on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.  Rents for residential properties are up significantly, as much as 25% or more in some cases during the past 12 months.  This has resulted in many buyers seeking to purchase property for investment purposes. 

While it is relatively easy to rent a property that is in good condition and in a desirable location, it is very important to do the math to determine your ultimate rate of return.  We recommend that anyone purchasing investment properties look at the net positive cash flow based on a down payment of 25%, 35% and 50% when doing their calculations.  You can then compare the rate of return you will get from an investment property against other types of investments before making a purchase decision.

Quite often in our local market buyers need a down payment of 50% or more just to get breakeven cash flow.  However, we have identified other markets around the country where you can get positive cash flow with a down payment of as little as 10% to 20.  It all comes down to your personal desires and goals along with the time horizon at which you are looking.  Sometimes you can make up in long-term appreciation what you sacrifice in short-term cash flow.  But, you must exercise due diligence before purchasing any investment property; so you go in with your eyes wide open.


Weekly Real Estate Update

Statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS on 10/23/16

                                                    Houses                Condos                     PUDs

For Sale                                       137                        79                        20

Under $1 million                          34                           66                         9

Median Price For Sale          $1,795,000            $525,000                 $1,125,000

YTD Sales 2016                          131                        161                        45

YTD Sales 2015                          112                      148                        43

New Listings                                  4                     

In Escrow                                      10                         

Closed Escrow                              11                                                           

Range in Escrow        $449,000 - $2,595,000

These statistics are based on information from the Incline Village Board of REALTORS® or its Multiple Listing Service as of October 16, 2016


Article by Don Kanare - RE/MAX North Lake Broker/Owner