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Don Kanare
DONALD M. KANARE Specializing in the Incline Village Real Estate Market The #1 Expert in Internet Marketing and SEO for Real Estate at Lake Tahoe
DONALD M. KANARE Specializing in the Incline Village Real Estate Market The #1 Expert in Internet Marketing and SEO for Real Estate at Lake Tahoe

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Centrally Located Condo In A Desirable Gated Complex

Real Estate Contracts 301
The leadership at the Incline Village Board of Realtors recently approved a new version of the standard purchase agreement that is used by brokers and agents in Incline Village and Crystal Bay. This project was spear-headed by Pam Fernandez and Karen Bruno with the support and assistance of many other members of the local real estate community. The result is a new contract that is shorter, more user-friendly and better organized to meet the needs of buyers, sellers and their agents.
Preeminent among the revisions to the purchase agreement is the dramatic improvement in the way that the new document is formatted. Important topics such as the selection of and responsibility for payment of inspections have been consolidated onto one page and made much easier to read and answer. Language that was found in the previous purchase agreement and then duplicated but in modified form on various disclosure documents has been cleaned up and made uniform.
Another very significant change is the creation of the Incline Village – Crystal Bay / Regional Disclosures form. This five-page document replaces approximately 16 pages of separate disclosure forms that had become extremely unwieldy and cumbersome for buyers and sellers to execute. By combining a large number of separate disclosure documents into this one easy-to-read form it will be much simpler to maintain administrative records for each transaction. It will dramatically reduce the volume of paperwork and the parties to a transaction will only have to sign one blanket disclosure form instead of more than a dozen different documents that were not consistently formatted.
Even with all these changes some individual brokerage firms will still be retaining their own disclosure documents as part of their overall risk reduction strategy. When buyers and sellers are fully informed about the various risks pertaining to a real estate transaction it provides an extra layer of comfort and security for brokers and the various insurance companies who provide errors and omissions coverage. While some people bemoan this additional amount of paperwork, it is better that everyone involved with a real estate transaction fully understands the nature of the deal and the risks involved.
It would have been nice if all of these new documents were created as fillable PDF’s for the convenience of buyers, sellers and agents. However that is not the case and it will be up to each brokerage firm to decide if they wish to utilize the online versions of these forms that will be provided in the near future or purchase the software needed to create fillable PDFs in-house. The advantage of having fillable PDFs instead of utilizing the online versions is not only a dramatic cost savings for the membership but also it will eliminate the need for anyone to use Docusign or any other cloud-based document signing service.
There are several reasons for not wanting to use Docusign or any other Internet-based service that allows buyers, sellers and agents to execute contracts, counter offers and disclosure forms. First of all, you are transmitting your documents to a company that is warehousing on their servers a lot of personal and confidential information. This information could be used for data mining in a way that is of no benefit to the parties to a transaction and could potentially expose them to unwanted solicitations in the future. Also, using fillable PDFs is a far more efficient and less cumbersome way for buyers and sellers to initial and sign all of the documents associated with a real estate purchase contract.
Buyers, sellers, brokers, agents, lenders and title company staff will need to familiarize themselves with the revised IVBOR purchase agreement and blanket disclosure form. Unlike many items on the supermarket shelves that say “new and improved”, the revised purchase agreement and five page disclosure form really are a positive step forward and a significant improvement that will make it easier and more efficient to conduct the sale and purchase of real estate in Incline Village and Crystal Bay.

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After many years, Inside Incline has a fresh new look! Visit the new site for great Incline Village/ Crystal Bay, NV Real Estate information.

Lakeview Subdivision Properties In High Demand

With the Incline Village/Crystal Bay real estate market rebounding strongly over the past two years there has been a significant amount of demand for properties located within walking distance of the beach. The Lakeview subdivision (which is really a misnomer because most properties in this neighborhood have little to no Lakeview) has always been one of the most popular locations for buyers who can afford the price tags in this area.
It’s not just the minimal snowfall in winter and proximity to the beach that attracts many people to this highly desirable subdivision, the large nearly level lots and variety of architectural styles also play an important role. While many of the older and smaller single-family homes have been either expanded or torn down and replaced with much larger residences, there is still a warm and charming feeling as you walk through the streets in this section of our community.
Since the beginning of 2013 there have been nearly 30 sales in the Lakeview subdivision. At the present time, there are only seven properties listed for sale on the Incline Village MLS which represents an inventory of approximately 4 months. With two of these homes carrying asking prices of just under $4 million and three properties offered between $2,265,000 and $2,749,000, less than 20% of all the people shopping for property in Incline Village and Crystal Bay can even afford to purchase houses in this locale. 
The two least expensive properties listed for sale on the Incline Village MLS in the Lakeview subdivision as of this writing have asking prices between $1.1 million and $1,389,000. There are a couple of other properties being held as pocket listings by local agents in the $1.5 million range.  And the two lots that were for sale in this neighborhood are both under contract reducing the inventory of raw land down to zero.
The demand for properties in the Lakeview subdivision has reached a point where agents are constantly networking with each other in an effort to find a suitable property for their buyers before one is listed for sale on the MLS. There are quite a few homeowners who wish to retain their privacy and purposely do not list their properties for sale publicly. While some may criticize this strategy, there is a certain logic to engaging the services of a knowledgeable and reputable agent who will take the lead on marketing. Some full-time residents do not want to have the general public traipsing through their house out of curiosity and prefer that only serious, qualified buyers have an opportunity to view their homes.
At the present time there are two transactions in escrow where the properties never even made it to the MLS because of aggressive networking with other agents in an effort to bring deals together.  The authors of this article are involved in both of those sales, one on the listing side and one where we are representing the buyer.
If you own a home in the Lakeview subdivision and are contemplating selling you may wish to consider talking with a real estate agent about listing your property in 2014. With such a small supply and relatively strong demand (especially for homes priced under $2.5 million) this summer is a good time to consider selling your property.  The significant increase in the price of single-family homes during the past 24 months combined with a steady stream of buyers looking for high quality, low elevation properties provides an excellent situation for sellers during the busy season from June to September. There is a finite supply of homes within walking distance of the beach making the summer of 2014 a great opportunity for sellers who are looking to get a good price for their property.

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Listing Season Has Arrived

As the native birds build their nests and the bears come out of hibernation, listing season has arrived once again on the Nevada side of North Lake Tahoe. Based on statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS there are a total of 32 new listings in just the past two weeks. This is the time of year when the inventory rises on a steady basis as sellers put their properties on the market after the winter hiatus.

As of this writing there are 120 houses, 72 condos and 16 freestanding condos listed for sale on the Incline Village MLS. While this inventory level is slightly higher than at the same time in 2013 the number of properties for sale during the third week of April is down approximately 30% when compared with the same time in 2012 and down 50% versus the start of the recession in 2009. The current number of properties for sale in Incline Village and Crystal Bay reflects a healthy market where we can anticipate some upward pressure on prices during the coming year. We are not in a new bubble but we are also not going to see the dramatic price increases that occurred between January 2012 and the summer of 2013 when our market rebounded off multi-year lows.

During the spring of 2014 we have seen between four and 10 houses, condos and freestanding condos getting accepted offers each week. This steady pace of sales activity will likely increase as we get closer to summertime. Historically, the Incline Village / Crystal Bay real estate market sees the greatest number of sales during the time period from May through October. With a strong economy in Northern California, the stock market near all-time highs and unseasonably warm weather at Lake Tahoe it is likely that we will see buyers continuing to stream in from California and other parts of the country.

Many buyers like to get ahead of the summertime crowds and with the market bringing us new listings almost every day this is a great time of year for buyers and their agents to remain constantly vigilant. We are seeing multiple offer situations on a regular basis and I anticipate this trend to continue during the busy summer months for the most desirable properties that are priced to attract attention.

An important part of getting a new listing noticed is putting each property on the weekly Tuesday morning MLS tour for all of the agents to preview. Since the vast majority of buyers live at least a couple of hours away (if not further), it is absolutely critical for sellers to provide an opportunity for Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate agents to see each new listing and determine whether or not there are prospective buyers already waiting in the wings. Out of area buyers rely on the expertise of their local agent to inform them of the new listings that may be of interest, since pictures on the Internet don’t tell the whole story.

And with demand having ramped up considerably during the past two years it is more important than ever for agents to preview properties and inform their buyers in a timely fashion. Many buyers miss out on writing an offer for what could have been their dream home at Tahoe simply because they live too far away to personally visit every interesting new listing before it gets snapped up by someone else who is more closely monitoring the market.
With for-sale signs going up on a regular basis sellers are busily preparing their properties by cleaning, de-cluttering, landscaping, doing repairs, and performing other tasks to make their places look attractive.  There are a lot of positive side effects to the local economy during new listing season as home staging specialists, architects, contractors, landscapers and repair people of all types perform services to get properties in showing condition.  As sure as the spring flowers start to bloom and the Aspen trees turn green, the North Lake Tahoe economy welcomes new listing season each year with the joy and anticipation that winter is over and the summer season will soon be upon us.

RE/MAX North Lake Weekly Buzz . .

Many Factors Affect Property Values

When people gather at a cocktail party and the topic of real estate comes up for discussion there is invariably one person in the crowd who spouts the old adage that the three most important words about real estate are location, location, location. While it is true that location is the primary factor affecting the value of a property there are a host of other considerations that will have an impact on what a property is worth.
In general you will find lakefront properties, specifically in Nevada, carry the highest values at Lake Tahoe. While there is an occasional over-sized estate that will be priced comparable to a lakefront property, when comparing parcels of a similar size those that are on the water will carry the highest price tags.  This is especially true if they have a parcel with private beach. If you have two identical properties at Lake Tahoe, the parcel in Nevada will virtually always have a significantly higher valuation than a similar size property located on the California side. This is a function of the California coastal access laws that grant the public the right to access beaches as long as people do not trespass across private property to do so.  And properties with sandy beaches are considerably more desirable and have a higher value than rocky ones.
There are a host of other factors that will contribute to the determination of the value of any particular property. The second most valuable properties will usually be Lakeview parcels, and in general the bigger the view, the higher the price. This is not always the case since some panoramic Lakeview properties have very steep sloping lots, which makes the outdoor space virtually unusable. Also, some of the finest panoramic Lakeview parcels had homes built on them during the early stages of development at Tahoe. As a result, while the view could be spectacular the house might be a tear down which will have a negative impact on the total value of the property.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has very specific land coverage rules that dramatically impact the value of any particular parcel. Depending on the slope, soil analysis, proximity to a stream zone and other criteria the available coverage can range anywhere from 0% to 30%.  So, a relatively small quarter acre lot could potentially have more available coverage than a steeply sloping 1-acre lot.  Since the TRPA coverage rules affect land capability, the ultimate square footage of the house along with decks and driveways will vary dramatically from parcel to parcel
Having a view of the mountains is better than no view at all, but being within walking distance to the Lake could trump that mountain view depending on the relative location of each property within any particular community.  And don't underestimate the value of sunlight exposure because properties that face South or West and which are not shadowed out by the steep mountainside or dense forest will be more desirable and therefore more valuable than their lesser counterparts.  Sunlight and slope also impact how quickly the snow melts off and whether or not your driveway will dry quickly when cleared after a winter storm.
Next we have to examine the structures on the property and look at their quality, condition, age, architecture, floor plan, number of stories, and the interior finishes. Every one of these factors will have a significant impact on what a particular property is worth. You could have two identical houses or condominiums side-by-side but one is nicely updated and lightly used while the other is in original condition with a lot of wear and tear. Zillow or other real estate portals try to estimate the selling price  for both types of these properties. While they will be given the same fair market value, the reality is there could be a differential of 10% to 30%, or more due to our unique parcels. The type of remodeling done makes a huge difference based on the quality of materials and workmanship, whether it’s very personalized, neutral non-offensive and if it appeals to the mass market or only a narrow segment of buyers.
And let's not overlook who the neighbors are. Your house might be beautifully remodeled and in a fabulous location but if the owner next-door has a yard that resembles Sanford and Son your property value and the ability to sell it within a reasonable amount of time will certainly take a hit. Over the years this factor has made it difficult for a number of sellers to attract a buyer simply because the polite but untidy neighbor believes that the concept of private property rights allows them to maintain a junkyard in what is otherwise a lovely residential community.
At Lake Tahoe landscaping is in the eye of the beholder. Where some buyers may see a beautiful lawn and flower gardens, others will view them as a liability that requires maintenance beyond what they wish to incur. Oftentimes a natural landscape is more attractive due to the fact that it requires far less ongoing care along with a much lower water bill.
It's not possible in one short article to fully examine all of the different factors that affect property values. Even something as arcane as whether or not you have good cell phone coverage (which can be problematical with the mountain topography) can impact the value of a particular property.  So, while the location word is of critical importance there are a number of variables that will determine the desirability and ultimately the fair market value of any particular property not just at Lake Tahoe but everywhere else, too.

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Weekly Blog Post From RE/MAX North Lake

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New Listing at RE/MAX North Lake

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