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3 Tips to Save You Money on Major Appliance Installations

by Lakeshore Realty

Air conditioning used to be optional in American homes, but now it's nearly universal. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that 87 percent of U.S. households had air conditioning in 2009, up from 68 percent in 1993. With proper maintenance, the typical central air conditioning unit will last anywhere from 15-20 years. Those living in desert climates with scorching summers are looking at the lower end, while residents of northern Minnesota could potentially reach that two-decade mark.

Water heaters, furnaces, heat pumps and other major household components have similar life spans—but if you live in the same house long enough, all of these items will eventually need to be replaced. According to Red Beacon, an online service that connects homeowners with local contractors, the national average for a new heating and cooling system installation is $1,145. That number can reach as high as $4,500 in some regions, depending on the equipment and the contractor.


Homeowners who exercise due diligence can save several hundred dollars when major installations are required. These three tips can help you cut costs when the time comes.

Get Multiple Bids

More than 50 percent of new heating and cooling systems in U.S. homes do not perform to their rated efficiency due to faulty installation, Energy Star reports. According to the home improvement consulting firm Energy Vanguard, one of the biggest mistakes contractors make is improper ventilation of HVAC systems. Humidity, dust and higher utility bills are just a few of the problems that can result from improper installation.

Get bids from at least three contractors before making a decision. The Energy Department has a handy checklist of questions to ask each contractor. It's preferable they answer yes to all of them, but the final selection will come down to a combination of price and service level.

Most contractors will ask you about other bids you have received and then lower their prices so they can win the contract. But that also means they have to cut costs on their end. You'll ultimately get what you pay for. Lower installation costs may mean higher utility bills in the long run. It's better to pay a little extra for a job done right.

Timing Is Everything

New bathtubs, showers, toilets and kitchen appliances increase the value of your home and give it a more modern feel. Buying heating and air conditioning equipment from a third party typically negates any warranties the contractor offers on their products—but, that isn't necessarily the case with kitchen and bathroom components.

The best time to buy new appliances is around the holidays. Lowe's has both Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that can save you upward of 50 percent on select kitchen and bathroom furnishings. You'll have to pay for the items to be delivered (if you don't have a truck), plus the cost of installation. But the money you save buying the items on sale will help lower overall costs. Menard's and Home Depot have similar programs.

Washers and dryers are relatively easy to install yourself. There are numerous Youtube videos on the subject, and provides comprehensive instructions as well. Tubs, showers and toilets are best left to the experts, simply because faulty installation can lead to some nasty issues down the road. But watching a few instructional videos on sink, oven and dishwasher installs is enough for a novice to handle those jobs. Some of the people who produce these videos will even reply relatively quickly to any questions you pose in the comments.

Should You Repair or Replace It?

The decision to repair or replace major households components comes down to age and costs. One rule of thumb: Repair it if the equipment is less than 10 years old and the repair costs are less than one-third of what a new system would cost. Otherwise, replace it.

With this formula in mind, do some research online on the particular appliance that needs repair. Many companies offer guidance in this area. For example, Hot Tub Works offers a repair and replacement guide on spa jets. It's much less expensive to replace the jets on your hot tub than to install a new unit. Likewise, a flickering pilot light or bad heating element on a 7-year-old water heater can easily be repaired for a few hundred dollars.

Finally, never accept a first-and-only offer, and always get everything in writing.

Last year, more than 64 tons of a wide variety of materials requiring special disposal was processed through the Public Works Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) & Electronics Waste (E-Waste) site. 

This program provides a valuable service towards the protection of the Lake Tahoe environment by making it very easy for residents to properly dispose of common hazardous materials. Materials accepted fall into categories such as toxic, flammable or banned from landfill disposal; all materials that should never be placed out for standard garbage collection. ​The program accepts a wide range of materials from batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, home electronics and used computer items to fertilizers, paints, stains, pool chemicals and household cleaners. Many other communities offer some form of similar service, however this is the only program offered weekly for both HHW and E-Waste drop-off in the entire Northern Nevada and North Tahoe Sierra region. 
Most items are only accepted from Incline Village/Crystal Bay residents at no charge. A small fee is requested to offset costs for television recycling. The program does not accept materials generated by businesses. The drop-off hours of the collection service are staffed by the Public Works Waste Not Team. 
Once received at the site, materials are prepared and transported off-site by certified electronics and hazardous materials contractors. The material’s composition determines final disposal by recycling or incineration. Operational costs for the program are covered by franchise fees collected from solid waste services. An estimated 2,000 Incline Village/Crystal Bay residents used the service in 2014. The success of this program continues to grow dramatically. Five years ago, in 2009, the amount of special waste collected was 34 tons; in 2002, when the service launched, it was 9 tons. Keeping these materials out of the sewer system, forest, streams and lake provides long-term protection to the Lake Tahoe watershed with the ultimate reward of safeguarding our pristine drinking water supply. 

 For a full list of materials accepted visit: Some restrictions apply, please see flyer on website. 
 The HHW & E-Waste site is open weekly on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 3 to 5 pm, or by prearranged appointment with Waste Not (775-832-1284). Our location is 1220 Sweetwater Road. 
Proof of residency is required. Site is closed on holidays and during severe weather.


Closing Timelines for Borrowers

by Lakeshore Realty

When the new Integrated Mortgage Disclosures are implemented in August, the timelines for closings will shift dramatically. Purchase transactions will need at least three additional days to close. In some cases, refinances may not fund for up to two weeks after the Closing Disclosure (CD) is prepared. Watch this four-minute video for additional explanations.

First American Title is streamlining communication with lenders so we can create processes that will allow the preparation of the CD to happen as quickly as possible. Stay tuned to hear updates about what First American Title is doing to help transactions close on time.

  • New Lakeshore Realty Homes for Sale in Lake Tahoe, Incline Village Nevada

These are some of the newest listings at Lakeshore Realty on the North Lake Tahoe's Incline Village Real Estate Market.

321 Ski Way #214

Bed: 3
Bath: 2.5
Year: 1971
Sq. Ft.: 1360

Price: $285,000


Listing Agent:
Lana Nelson  

Nice complex located near Diamond Peak.  Excellent vacation property or use as an investment. Furnished turn key.Level entry with easy access to parking.All bedrooms on the first level, living area and kitchen upstairs. Offered AS IS.  


740 Crosby Ct.

Bed: 3
Bath: 3.5
Year: 1981
Sq. Ft.: 1725

Price: $595,000


Listing Agent:
Lana Nelson  

Rare small complex of 4 units located on a cul de sac nestled in the pines with a creek setting. Beautifully remodeled interior featuring three 3 bedroom suites, One on the main floor and two suites on the top floor.Granite kitchen with stainless appliances. Wet bar in living area. Etched glass door kitchen pantry. Three decks, built in computer area off the kitchen.  this is a must see! Furnishings optional outside of escrow. One car attached garage for the toys.


To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

Mortgage Rates Bounce Slightly Higher off Long-Term Lows

by Lakeshore Realty

Mortgage rates pulled back to slightly higher levels today as broader markets underwent a correction from relatively frenzied movement over the past few days.  Yesterday we discussed how mortgage rates have a hard time keeping pace with interest rate benchmarks (like Treasuries) when the latter are moving lower much more quickly than normal.  The other side of that coin is that mortgages tend to hold their ground better when those benchmarks are moving quickly in the opposite direction.  That's what happened today.

The net effect was a moderately weaker day that left 3.625% intact as the most prevalently-quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for top-tier scenarios.  As of yesterday, 3.5% had been gaining some ground, but lost just as much today.  Also worth keeping in mind is the fact that volatility typically results in lenders being much more stratified.  In other words, what's true for one lender (or even 'on average') in terms of how their rate sheet changed from yesterday or during the day, may not even be remotely true for another.

For the sake of perspective, it's important to remember that, apart from the past 2 days, today's rates are still the best  in over 20 months.  While that's no guarantee that rates couldn't move higher next week, it does mean that this was a winning week despite today's specific defeat.

Loan Originator Perspective

"Mortgage Rates should have improved or at least stayed at the same level after a negative CPI came in as expected, right? It's not about US data, right now, and as I've been quickly as Europe's troubles can lead to our gains...those gains can be taken away. Right now locking, is the best and smartest decision. LOCK." -Brent Borcherding,

"Days like today are never welcomed, but we have to factor in all the improvements we have benefited from over the last couple of weeks, and really the overall bullish trend we are currently in for quite some time. Locking today does not make much sense to me as we should at the very minimum get some relief from today's selling next week. Selling a stock during a bloodbath is a losers trade, and the same bodes for locking in today. I would float until next week and see where we land. I wouldn't be surprised to see rates set even lower lows in the next couple of weeks, I'm banking on it." -Constantine Floropoulos, Quontic Bank

Today's Best-Execution Rates

  • 30YR FIXED - 3.625
  • FHA/VA - 3.25
  • 15 YEAR FIXED -  3.0
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  3.0 - 3.50% depending on the lender

Ongoing Lock/Float Considerations

  • 2015 began with a strong move to the lowest rates seen since May 2013.  The catalyst has been and continues to be Europe. 




  • Sold Properties by Lakeshore Realty Agents and Sold Lakeshore Realty Listings in December 2014

Below we have a list of properties that were sold in December 2014 by Lakeshore Realty Real Estate Agents and properties that were listed by Lakeshore Realty agents and were sold on the North Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate market.

842 Jennifer

Bed: 3
Bath: 3.5
Year Built: 1980
Sq. Ft.: 3008

Days on Market: 305
Sold Date: 12/19/2014
Sold Price: $1,270,000

Selling Agent:
Chris & Patti Plastiras


1086 Mill Creek Rd.

Bed: 4
Bath: 3
Year Built: 1998
Sq. Ft.: 3433

Days on Market: 128
Sold Date: 12/18/2014
Sold Price: $1,600,000

Selling Agent:
Jamie & Kristi


910 Tyner 

Bed: 5
Bath: 3.5
Year Built: 2008
Sq. Ft.: 3681

Days on Market: 217
Sold Date: 12/11/2014
Sold Price: $1,825,000

 Listing Agent:
Chris & Patti Plastiras


916 Harold Dr #5

Bed: 3
Bath: 2
Year Built: 1979
Sq. Ft.: 1536

Days on Market: 101
Sold Date: 12/29/2014
Sold Price: $472,500

Selling Agent:
Sharon Peplau


1483 Tirol Dr.

Bed: 3
Bath: 2.5
Year Built: 1981
Sq. Ft.: 1826

Days on Market: 98
Sold Date: 12/17/2014
Sold Price: $440,500

Listing Agent:
Tim Lampe 



759 Mays Blvd.

Bed: 3
Bath: 2.5
Year Built: 1972
Sq. Ft.: 1620

Days on Market: 37
Sold Date: 12/10/2014
Sold Price: $430,000

Selling Agent:
Pam Fernandez



751 Tahoe Blvd.

Bed: 1
Bath: 1
Year Built: 1963
Sq. Ft.: 498

Days on Market: 173
Sold Date: 12/05/2014
Sold Price: $150,000

Listing Agent:
Pam Fernandez



908 Harold Dr #28

Bed: 3
Bath: 2
Year Built: 1981
Sq. Ft.: 1452

Days on Market: 103
Sold Date: 12/05/2014
Sold Price: $370,000

Selling Agent:
Wade Holiday



321 Ski Way #36

Bed: 2
Bath: 1.5
Year Built: 1970
Sq. Ft.: 1152

Days on Market: 401
Sold Date: 12/09/2014
Sold Price: $243,000

Listing Agent:
Pam Fernandez



400 Fairview Blvd. #24

Bed: 3
Bath: 2
Year Built: 1972
Sq. Ft.: 1336

Days on Market: 105
Sold Date: 12/03/2014
Sold Price: $615,000

Selling Agent:
Pam Fernandez


To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.


North Lake Tahoe December 2014 Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Lakeshore Realty
  • North Lake Tahoe December 2014 Real Estate Sales Comparison

The charts bellow reflect Incline Village real estate sales for the month of December in the past 5 years. These reports we're created individually for Residential Home sales and Condominium Sales.

  • Residential Home Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Residential Home sales.

  • Condominium Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Condominium sales.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

Tips for Renovating in an HOA Neighborhood

by Lakeshore Realty

Being part of a Homeowners Association (HOA) comes with a long list of benefits. The Community Associations Institute estimates as many as 65.2 million U.S. residents lived in 328,500 HOA communities in 2013. From neighbors who care about the landscaping and neighborhood to shared community amenities, group activities and heightened security, HOAs offer several lifestyle perks. HOAs do come with strict guidelines, however, and the rules could affect and limit any renovations you'd like to take on at your property.


Interior Renovation

While some HOA boards normally require that they be consulted prior to something as simple as a fresh paint job in your bedroom, most boards don't have a problem with minor interior renovation—as long as you adhere to the rules of your community guidelines. For instance, you can renovate your kitchen floor, but only if the unit below you does not get disturbed in any way. Major renovations, like making structural changes, changing plumbing, or shifting the layout of your bathroom usually requires approvals. These restrictions should be clearly outlined in the covenants, conditions and restrictions of your HOA.

Exterior Renovation

HOAs usually have rules and regulations about the exterior of the community, including:

  • Plants and trees
  • Flagpoles
  • Sign boards
  • Fences
  • Ornamental decoration
  • Exterior additions to the main structure like columns or domes
  • The color of your property
  • Changes to decks
  • Patios and porches
  • Antennas and satellite dishes

Minor alterations to the exterior of your property may be allowed after board approval. This is mainly to ensure that safety, aesthetics and convenience are all being adhered to. Also, most communities often pride themselves on their neat, uniform appearance.

Ensuring a Smooth Renovation Process

If you don't stick to the rules, your HOA board can have your renovation changed or removed and then charge you the cost of removal. It's important to avoid fines or unnecessary trouble and go about it the smart way.

Seek the approval of your community's board before beginning a project. A good way to start is to submit your plans to the board well in advance and make sure they're as complete as possible to avoid later arguments about new additions or last minute changes. Prior notice and reasonable discussion will improve the odds for your approved project.

Attend board meetings and stay up-to-date with bylaws to not only stay informed of what other residents are saying, but to also have a voice in community decisions. Your contribution could make the board see proposals in a new light. You could also apply to volunteer on your HOA board and actually play a part in policy-making. A 2012 survey showed that approximately two million residents volunteer on HOA boards annually.

Lastly, befriend your neighbors. Very often, neighbors are the ones who complain about minor renovation activity, resulting in a fine being issued to you. But if you get friendly with them, chances are, they'll approach you before going to the board.

Quiet, smooth and hassle-free renovations can be carried out, even changes that call for you to rent heavy equipment, as long as you're smart about it. So go ahead, look forward to that herb garden and porch you've always dreamed of. As long as it's not upsetting other residents, threatening security or sticking out like a sore thumb, your way ahead should be clear.

Home Prices will Continue Annual Winning Streak

by Lakeshore Realty
Home prices are projected to finish out the year with a downtick although prices will still be significantly higher than at the same point in 2013.  CoreLogic said today that home prices in November were 0.1 percent higher than in October but are expected to decline by that same amount in December.

In addition to posting a small month-over-month increase CoreLogic's Home Price Index (HPI) including distressed sales (lender-owned property or REO and short sales) was up 5.5 percent compared to November 2013.  November was the 33rd consecutive month that home prices have increased nationally on an annual basis.



All 50 states and the District of Columbia posted year-over-year increases in November when distressed sales are included in the equation.  The five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Michigan (+9.0 percent), Colorado (+8.8 percent), Texas (+8.5 percent), North Dakota (+7.9 percent) and Nevada (+7.9 percent).   

Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006 to November 2014) was -12.9 percent but 29 states are at or within 10 percent of their pre-crash price peaks and seven have set new high-water markets.  States with new price peaks are Colorado, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.



Every state and the District also saw year-over-year price increases on the CoreLogic HPI that excludes distressed sales.  That index rose nationally by 5.3 percent from November 2013 to November 2014 and was up 0.3 percent on a monthly basis.  Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Massachusetts (+8.6 percent), Texas (+7.9 percent), Colorado (+7.8 percent), North Dakota (+7.8 percent) and South Dakota (+7.5 percent).  /the peak-to-current change in the HPI excluding distressed sales was -9.2 percent.

CoreLogic projects that while its HPI that includes distressed sales will fall slightly in December it will maintain the long-running year-over-year gains, rising 4.6 percent from November 2014 to November 2015.  The HPI excluding distressed sales will also decrease by 0.1 percent in December but will increase by 4.2 percent by November of this year.  The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a monthly projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

Ninety-six of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population showed year-over-year increases in November 2014.The four CBSAs that showed year-over-year declines were: Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Md.; Camden, N.J.; Greensboro-High Point, N.C.; and Winston-Salem, N.C.

"After decelerating for most of the year, home price growth has been holding firm between a 5-percent and 6-percent growth rate for the last four months," Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic said. "However, pockets of weakness are clear in Baltimore and Washington D.C., and three of the top four states with the highest price appreciation are energy intensive and had been benefitting from the energy boom which is currently receding as oil prices trend downward. These states-Texas, Colorado and North Dakota, may see some downward pressure on prices in 2015."

"The pace of home price gains have slowed as we exit 2014 but this is probably only a temporary lull," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "While the CoreLogic HPI Forecast shows a slight dip in prices next month, we believe that prices will be up a year from now as continued economic growth fuels buyer confidence and their willingness to purchase a home and invest in their future."


Incline Village Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Lakeshore Realty

Incline Village Real Estate Sales Comparison



  • Residential Home Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Residential Home sales.

  • Condominium Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Condominium sales.

  • P.U.D. Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Townhome (P.U.D.) sales.


To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

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Lakeshore Realty
954 Lakeshore Blvd.
Incline Village NV 89451
Fax: 775-831-6777


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