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Rent or Buy in 2014? Advice for House Hunters

by Lakeshore Realty


Home prices for the month of November were up 13.7 percent from a year earlier, the largest 12-month increase in nearly eight years, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Las Vegas and San Francisco saw the biggest individual gains, rising 27.3 percent and 23.2 percent respectively, from 2012 to 2013. Month-to-month prices were down a nominal 0.1 percent nationally from October to November. Your choice to buy or rent may ultimately be influenced by the policies adopted by the Federal Reserve for 2014. Keep the following in mind as you decide to buy or rent this year:

Fed Tapering Of QE3

The U.S. central bank announced in December that it would begin to taper its $85 billion monthly asset-purchase program by $10 billion in January, and another $10 billion during each of the Federal Open Market Committee(FOMC) meetings this year. That would bring the program to an end just before Christmas 2014.

Housing prices have continually trended upward since the Federal Reserve began purchasing $40 billion per month in mortgage-backed securities and $45 billion in U.S. Treasurys in September 2012, according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices. The rise in prices helped many homeowners regain lost equity and get themselves above water.

There were 6.4 million underwater mortgages in the U.S. at the end of Q3 2013, down nearly 800,000 from Q2, according to data by CoreLogic. The cessation of QE3 is likely to keep home prices on the decline month-to-month. Though home values were up 8.5 percent from August 2012 to 2013, they were still 9.4 percent below their peak in early 2007, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Buyers can wait at least until summer to see exactly how QE tapering affects the market. The longer you wait, the better bargain you could potentially get.

Interest Rates Rising

The Federal Reserve announced it would keep the federal funds rate at historic lows as it tapers QE3 down to zero. But Jeff Taylor of Digital Risk, a mortgage services and risk analytics firm, told Housing Wire that interest rates will rise naturally throughout the year as a result of increasing treasury yields.

The average 30-year rate is 4.53 percent as of Jan. 6, up from 3.34 one year earlier, according to Freddie Mac. But even if the national average for a 30-year fixed mortgage jumps above 5 percent, it's still significantly lower than rates were prior to 2007.

This may be the last year potential home buyers will be able to lock in a rate that, relatively speaking, is still considered low in the grand scheme of things.

Low Initial Investments

Despite tougher credit requirements in the post-recession mortgage market, many first-time buyers are getting their homes with little money down. The National Association of Realtors found that 48 percent of said buyers financed via FHA or VA programs that required only a 3.5 percent down payment.

Lower down payments make buying versus renting more of a no-brainer. But conventional wisdom still says put down as much as possible to get the best rate and lower your monthly payment. Whether you need to withdraw funds from your 401(k) or inquire about the J.G. Wentworth annuity payment-purchase program, finding ways to put down as much equity upfront as possible is still a sound financial strategy.

The decision to rent or buy also comes down to the individual situation. Those who plan on keeping the same job for years may wish to buy, while everyone else should consider keeping their options open and renting.

 

Incline Village tops the "Nevada most livable city" list

by Lakeshore Realty

Among all Nevada’s cities, Las Vegas ranks No. 4 on a real estate firm’s best places to live in the state, a new study shows.

The Movoto Real Estate study, released Monday, looks at total amenities, cost of living, median household income, student-to-teacher ratio, crime rate, tax rates, unemployment, weather and median home price.

Incline Village took the top spot, with Movoto citing its idyllic location on Lake Tahoe shores. The population of 8,777 is composed of outdoors-loving people who live in a place rich with amenities. Crime there is low, with only nine incidents in 2012 and an average commute time of 18 minutes. Median home price is $921,060 and median household income is $90,281.

Second on the list was Gardnerville, with 5,656 residents. Southern Nevada’s Boulder City rounded out the top three with Movoto citing low unemployment, a plethora of amenities and low crime.

For Las Vegas’ ranking, the city came in first for amenities but 11th for overall quality of life. Las Vegas placed near the bottom for crime compared with Nevada’s other cities.

Interestingly enough, Las Vegas shares Movoto’s fourth spot with Arden, a census-designated place inside the city.

The rest of the firm’s top 10 list, in order, are Henderson, Mesquite, Elko, North Las Vegas and Johnson Lane, near Minden. Elko was touted as having the best weather in Nevada, while Johnson Lane was the second safest town in the state.

Summerlin South had the lowest crime rate, according to the firm. Reno came in at No. 17 on the list.

North Lake Tahoe SnowFest!

by Lakeshore Realty

SnowFest! 2014 takes place February 28th - March 9th

This year's theme: Bringing Back the 80's!

Put on your most outrageous day-glow, gaiters & jeans, and Wayfarer sunglasses and make plans to be here for another great celebration!

Every spring since 1982, North Lake Tahoe comes alive with 10 fun-filled days and nights, jam packed with events and activities for all ages. This year, the annual favorites will be back, along with a host of great new ones! On and off the mountain, at North Tahoe's numerous resorts and vibrant lakeside neighborhoods, there's something for everyone. Enjoy on-snow events at resorts like Squaw Valley USA, Alpine Meadows, Homewood, Diamond Peak, and Northstar-at-Tahoe; Participate in special events, parades, races, parties, concerts, theater; and of course, there's plenty of wining and dining to be had at North Lake Tahoe's fine restaurants and lively establishments.

Source: tahoesnowfestival.com

Price Reduction: 862 Southwood Blvd. #3

by Lakeshore Realty

Centrally Located!

   

862 Southwood Blvd. #3

Location:

Close to all that is best about living in Incline Village. Just minutes from Incline and Ski beaches, Hyatt and shopping centers.
 

Property:
 

* 3 Bedrooms/3 Bathrooms    

* 2  car attached garage     

* 1 fireplaces    

* Beautiful level lot with fenced backyard

* 2 of 3 Bedrooms are En suite

* 1,710 square feet

* Office/3rd bedroom

 

Main level includes: 


* Great Room

* Dining Area

* Kitchen

* Guest Bedroom/Office

* Full Bathroom

                   Upper level includes: 


                   * Master Bedroom

                   * 2nd Master Bedroom

                   * Direct Access To Dog Run

                   * Laundry Area

 

Old Price: $375,000

NEW PRICE : $355,000

 

January 2014 Incline Village Real Estate Office Rankings

by Lakeshore Realty

January 2014 was an exceptional month for Lakeshore Realty passing any other real estate company in the area in the value of the real estate sales. Considering that in 2013 Lakeshore Realty had sales topping 225 Million Dollars, the $40,240,513 in sales in January represents a great start for us in 2014.

Staging Your Home For Sale: Don't Forget the Garage and the Back Yard

by Lakeshore Realty
 
Garages were invented to keep your cars out of the weather, but half of them have never been occupied by a car. Most residential garages are in a continual state of disarray — cluttered, disorganized, dirty and full of junk you don't really need. Back yards can be just as bad. Because they usually are not visible from the street, homeowners are prone to neglect them. It's a gradual process and you don't realize how bad it is until somebody else, like your real estate agent, points it out.

If you think the garage and back yard aren't important to house shoppers, think again. Here a few bits of advice to stage your garage and back yard to impress potential home buyers.

The Garage: The Black Hole of the Clutter Universe

You can make an immediate, everlasting impression on the male half of the house-shopping couple by merely spending a couple of days and a few dollars sprucing up the garage. Here are the things you need to do:

  • Throw out all the clutter, or at least put it in off-site storage until the house sells.
  • Clean every surface, including floor, ceiling and walls.
  • Cover any exposed wall studs and ceiling joists with drywall or paneling. This alone can add $25,000 to the perceived value of the property.
  • Provide plenty of light. A few eight-foot fluorescent shop lights are enough.
  • Get everything off the floor. Decent five-shelf units run about $50 each. KC Store Fixtures has 4 x 8 sheets of slatwall for $35. Two of these will hold more tools than the average homeowner keeps and they look far better than pegboard.
  • If the floor is raw concrete, make it impeccably clean. Better yet, put down garage flooring for less than $2 per square foot. It looks fantastic.
  • Park a car in the garage on the day of the showing.

The Back Yard: Some are Just a Little on the Trashy Side

The back yard looks okay to you and you've seen worse. Well, it doesn't matter how it looks to you, it only matters to the couple who are looking to buy your house. Here's how to make the task easier and less costly:

  • If you have a deck and/or a hot tub, make it look inviting, relaxing and irresistible. The spa needs to look brand new. Clean it inside and out and replace the cover, if necessary. Treat the water with a clarifier so it sparkles. Put in new filters in case the prospect wants to check. A good place to get parts and supplies for your hot tub is HotTubWorks.com.
  • Mow the lawn and edge the walkways and perimeter. If the grass is dead, consider laying sod.
  • Get an inexpensive outdoor table and a couple of chairs. An umbrella is a nice touch. Some decorative plants around the table area look nice. Make it look like an interesting place for breakfast, or a romantic candlelight dinner for two.

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.

 

  

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

Below we have a list of properties that were sold in January 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.

565 Lakeshore Blvd.

Bed: 4
Bath: 5
Year Built: 1990
Sq. Ft.: 8900

Days on Market: 260
Sold Date: 01/29/2014
Sold Price: $10,999,999

Listing & Selling Agent:
Carole Madrid

 

615 Alpine View Dr.

Bed: 4
Bath: 3.5
Year Built: 1982
Sq. Ft.: 2174

Days on Market: 217
Sold Date: 01/17/2014
Sold Price: $1,450,000

Listing & Selling Agent:
Jamie & Kristi

 

531 Sugar Pine Dr.

Bed: 3
Bath: 3
Year Built: 1979
Sq. Ft.: 3220

Days on Market: 200
Sold Date: 01/27/2014
Sold Price: $780,000

Selling Agent:
Carole Madrid

 

516 Sugar Pine Dr.

Bed: 5
Bath: 3
Year Built: 1977
Sq. Ft.: 3700

Days on Market: 221
Sold Date: 01/31/2014
Sold Price: $1,100,000

Selling Agent:
Pam Fernandez

 

553 Silvertip Dr.

Bed: 5 
Bath: 4.5
Year Built: 1985
Sq. Ft.: 4126

Days on Market: 120
Sold Date: 01/21/2014
Sold Price: $1,350,000

    Selling Agent:
     Chris & Patti Plastiras

 

673 Saddlehorn Dr.

Bed: 4
Bath: 4.5
Year Built: 1999
Sq. Ft.: 4275

Days on Market: 553
Sold Date: 01/09/2014
Sold Price: $1,600,000

Listing Agent:
Larry Baylies

900 Lakeshore Blvd.

Bed: 5
Bath: 5.5
Year Built: 2004
Sq. Ft.: 5687

Days on Market: 124
Sold Date: 01/10/2014
Sold Price: $3,715,000

Selling Agent:
Jamie & Kristi

 

549 Lakeshore Blvd.

Bed: 2
Bath: 2
Year Built: 1963
Sq. Ft.: 1218

Days on Market: 1
Sold Date: 01/21/2014
Sold Price: $1,250,000

Listing & 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.

10 best home improvements for your dollar

by Lakeshore Realty

10 best home improvements for your dollar
By Michele Lerner of realtor.com


If you're thinking of selling your home in 2014 or just want to ramp up your home value, it's important to educate yourself on which improvement projects will bring you the most return on your investment.
A great resource for your research is the "2014 Cost vs. Value Report" an annual collaboration between Remodeling Magazine and Realtor Magazine that breaks down the estimated cost of various remodeling projects and the estimated return on investment for those projects by region and by city, as well as by midrange and upscale projects.
In general, this year's report shows that exterior replacement projects are the most cost-effective. If you plan to sell your home later this year, remember that the first impression your home makes on buyers is their first glimpse of the outside.


Here are 10 home-improvement projects you should consider:
1. Replace your front door
You may not even notice your front door anymore, especially if you regularly use another entrance, but a new steel front door makes a great impression on buyers and yields an amazing 96.6 percent return on your investment. If your front door doesn't need replacing or you'd rather spend less money, you can paint it and replace the hardware for a similar impact.


2. Add a deck or patio
No matter where you live, buyers want outdoor living space. You can recoup 87 percent of your investment on a new wood deck. If you already have outdoor space, consider sprucing it up with a water feature, an outdoor fireplace or new landscaping.


3. Add space or an attic bedroom
Depending on your budget and your goals for your home, an addition of extra bedrooms and bathrooms, a finished attic or an expanded casual living space can rapidly increase the value of your home. You can recoup 84 percent of your investment in a new attic bedroom.


4. Replace your garage door
An upscale or midrange garage door recoups 83 percent of your investment. Manufacturers offer a host of styles and choices, from plain steel panel doors to energy-efficient, insulated models with glass windows.

5. Remodel your kitchen
Buyers look most carefully at kitchens and bathrooms, so you should, too. You can recoup 82 percent of a minor kitchen remodel and 74 percent of a major kitchen remodel. If you're selling soon, don't overspend on your kitchen. You may be able to do a couple of relatively minor fixes, such as replacing the appliances and painting the cabinets, or just replacing the counters with granite to garner a good offer.

6. Replace your windows
Buyers are interested in how your windows look and their energy efficiency. Whether you're replacing vinyl- or wood-frame windows, you can get a 79 percent return on your investment. When you're ready to market your home, be sure to highlight the new windows as a selling point.

7. Replace your siding
If your home's exterior needs a major makeover, you can typically recoup 78 percent of your investment by replacing vinyl siding. If you replace your siding with a fiber-cement mix, you can recoup a whopping 87 percent of your costs.


8. Basement addition or remodel
These days, it's all about space for entertaining. Recoup 78 percent of your investment by adding or remodeling a basement. Finish the lower level of a house to create a 20-by-30-foot entertaining area with wet bar and a full bathroom.


9. Update your bathroom
While a full, upscale bathroom remodel project can cost over $50,000 and add only about $32,000 to your home's resale value, you can make cost-effective minor upgrades.
Get a 73 percent return on your investment with these bathroom upgrades: Replace your fixtures and your mirror, repaint the space and jazz it up with some crown molding (depending on your home's style), and you'll have a space that looks new. While you're there, redo the caulk around your tub and shower and replace the grout on your tile flooring. If your tub is in bad shape, you may be able to have it resurfaced rather than replace it.

10. Two-story addition
For a 72 percent return on investment, add a first-floor family room and a second-floor bedroom with full bathroom in over a crawl space. You can add a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system to handle the addition, and electrical wiring to code.
No matter which project you choose, be careful not to over-improve your home for the neighborhood. A real estate agent can offer advice about how to spend your money so that your home sells faster and for the best possible price.

North Lake Tahoe January 2014 Real Estate Sales Comparison

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

The charts bellow reflect Incline Village real estate sales for the month of January 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.

Price Reduction: 711 Birdie Way

by Lakeshore Realty

One of our listings at Lakeshore Realty had a major price drop:

711 Birdie Way

Washoe County Award Winning Home!

Enchanting Tahoe Home!

 
This property will surprise you with elegance and character like no other Tahoe home!
 
The beautiful open floor plan invites you to relax and enjoy a true Tahoe experience.
 
A one acre parcel gives you privacy and a year round stream borders the land and this is just the beginning. Attention to detail does not begin to describe the unique architecture found both inside and out. This award winning home is made for those who want to entertain in a big way and in style! A must see to believe!

 

Bed: 4
Bath: 3.5
Sq. Ft.: 5344
Year Built: 2003

VirtualTour

OLD PRICE: 2,595,000

NEW PRICE: 2,395,000

 

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 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 775-831-7000 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

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LakeshoreRealty.com
Lakeshore Realty
954 Lakeshore Blvd.
Incline Village NV 89451
775-831-7000
800-954-9554
Fax: 775-831-6777

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