Buy Now or Pay More Later
The holidays will soon be upon us and that means festive gatherings with friends and family along with the hope that abundant snowfall will continue to arrive at the Lake Tahoe ski resorts. Savvy buyers will be taking advantage of breaks in the weather to look at properties and write offers. With the inventory of houses, condos and freestanding condos for sale on the Incline Village MLS having dropped to around 162 properties, the supply/demand equation is putting upward pressure on prices in virtually all sectors of the market.
Traditionally, this is the time of year when many sellers pull their properties off the market as sales activity tends to slow down during the chilly winter months. But with prices on the rise and far less competition than in years past, many sellers will keep their properties on the market during what is traditionally the off season. Buyers would do well to search through the available inventory and if they find something they like write an offer and try to strike their best deal. Properties with the most sought after attributes such as a lake view, easy driveway access, great room style floor plan and a low to moderate elevation location will command a disproportionate amount of attention.
At the present time there are only 43 condominiums listed for sale on the Incline Village MLS. This represents an inventory of less than 3 months, which is extraordinarily low by local standards. One good example of this phenomenon is the shortage of condos for sale in the very popular McCloud condominium complex. For the first time in these author’s memory in McCloud there is not a single property listed for sale as of this writing. Buyers looking for low elevation condos have some other options. But those seeking a place in McCloud have nothing from which to choose. Third Creek also has a very low inventory with only 2 properties for sale in that development.
Buyers should seriously consider shopping for property during the wintertime before prices rise further in 2018. While there are sure to be some big snowstorms during the next few months, the most astute buyers in the audience will not let that be a deterrent to finding their dream vacation home or new residence on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.
When high earning folks in California pencil out their state income tax bill for 2017 many of them will contemplate whether now is the time to make the switch to Nevada residency. For anyone with an adjusted gross income in California over $400,000, the net result is that the savings on state income tax alone will pay for a $1 million mortgage. That's a pretty hefty incentive to consider relocating to Incline Village or Crystal Bay and purchase a nice house or condo with just the tax savings.
Unless there is an economic catastrophe or some unforeseen global event that puts a crimp in real estate sales, prices will likely continue a steady march upward during the coming year. Buyers can do themselves a favor by taking trips to look at property at Lake Tahoe during breaks in the weather this coming winter. The extra few hundred dollars spent on gas, lodging and food will easily be offset by the tens of thousands of dollars saved on properties purchased between now and the summer of 2018.
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Weekly Real Estate Update
Statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS on 12/10/17
Houses Condos PUDs
For Sale 99 43 21
Under $1 million 24 30 10
Median Price For Sale $1,789,000 $595,000 $1,100,000
YTD Sales 2017 156 191 53
YTD Sales 2016 157 187 57
New Listings 7
In Escrow 14
Closed Escrow 10
Range in Escrow $299,000 - $1,489,000
These statistics are based on information from the Incline Village Board of REALTORS® or its Multiple Listing Service as of December 10, 2017