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10 Ways To Get That Down Payment

by Lakeshore Realty

Buying a house has always been a dream. And with rising rents across the country, you know you might even save a few bucks every month as a homeowner. Not to mention the tax write off and the long-term equity. If it weren't for that whole down payment thing, you'd be having a housewarming party right now.

If you're a first-time home buyer or have not purchased a home in the last two years, an FHA loan may be your best bet because you only need to come up with 3.5 percent down. On a $250,000 house, that's $8,750. Seem impossible? Here are 10 ways to come up with the cash.

1. Side work

Now don't give the idea of side work the side eye. We don't mean anything untoward here. The reality is you can take on some extra work in your field or make money by monetizing a hobby.

"No matter how mundane or insignificant your talents seem, there are other people out there who don't have those talents — and they might be willing to pay you for your skills," said Forbes. "If you're good at making things, look into selling your wares on Etsy. Woodworking, knitting, sewing, and graphic design are all in demand. Check out Taskrabbit, a site that hires you out to do household chores and errands for people in your community. Things like assembling IKEA furniture, shopping, pet sitting, and more can yield a surprising amount of money to add to your down payment fund."

2. State down payment assistance programs

States like Colorado and California offer programs for down payment assistance that are typically tied to income limits. California's CalHFA agency offers CHDAP, "a deferred-payment junior loan -- up to 3% of the purchase price, or appraised value, whichever is less" for down payment and/or closing costs.

Colorado's CHFA program is a grant of up to three percent of "up to 3 percent of your first mortgage loan to help cover some of your down payment and/or closing costs."

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) website has a state-by-state list of programs.

3. County and city down payment assistance programs

"At least one down payment program is available in all 3,143 U.S. counties, and more than 2,000 counties have more than 10 down payment programs available to prospective homebuyers," said HousingWire. For the report, RealtyTrac looked at 2,290 down payment programs from Down Payment Resource's Homeownership Program Index and found out of more than 78 million U.S. single family homes and condos, more than 68 million would qualify for a program. That equates to an average of $11,565.

You can get more information and check eligibility here.

Individual cities may also have programs. For example, the city of Austin, TX offers down payment assistance for qualified applicants in the form of a 0 percent deferred loan.

4. Family

Hope you're in good graces with your family, because they might just give you the funds you need to buy your home. "Parents can give up to $13,000 annually to their children without having to pay gift taxes," said Money Crashers. A family member or friend can also give you a loan, but you'll have to "draw up specific repayment terms" to avoid tax issues. And, there are documentation requirements and lender specifics with either option.


"If a parent, grandma or whoever gives you the money, you need to fill out a gift letter, validate it with a copy of the check and your deposit receipt into your bank account," said My Mortgage Insider.

5. USDA Mortgages

Getting down payment assistance from an agency that exists to support and promote rural areas might not sound relevant if you're looking to buy in the ‘burbs, but the USDA offers a zero-down loan known as a Section 502 mortgage that is "not just a ‘rural loan' — it's available to buyers in suburban neighborhoods, too," said The Mortgage Reports. "The USDA's goal is to reach ‘low-to-moderate income homebuyers,' wherever they may be. College towns including Christiansburg, Virginia; State College, Pennsylvania; and even suburbs of Columbus, Ohio meet USDA eligibility standards. So do the less-populated suburbs of some major U.S. cities."

6. Friends and loved ones

If you have a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion coming up, forgo the expensive dinner out, the birthday cake, and the new socks you don't need. Register instead on Down Payment Dreams, and create a place where people can help you get the funds together.

7. Your IRA

Money you've already put away could be the answer to your down payment conundrum. "Tax laws allow you to use up to $10,000 in IRA funds as a down payment if you've never owned a house," said Bankrate. "If you're married and you both are first-time buyers, you each can pull from your retirement accounts, meaning a potential $20,000 down payment."

There is no penalty for early withdrawal, they added, "but you may owe tax on the money depending on the type of IRA," so ask your tax advisor before pulling the trigger.

8. Your 401(k)

If you have a 401(k), you can tap it to pull out funds for a down payment. But, you'll need to pay them back. The 401(k) loan "typically allows a person to borrow up to 50 percent of his or her account balance up to a maximum of $50,000 but requires it be repaid within five years—though the repayment schedule may be extended if you're using the money for a down payment on a home," said Forbes. "The loan doesn't have to be approved by a bank, which means you can usually get your hands on the money quickly and without a credit check. Plus, interest rates may be lower than on standard bank loans."

9. VA loans

Are you a veteran or currently serving the country? If so, you may be able to get a zero down payment loan from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). The VA offers a "basic entitlement" to "each eligible veteran" of $36,000. "Lenders will generally loan up to 4 times a Veteran's available entitlement without a down payment, provided the Veteran is income and credit qualified and the property appraises for the asking price," said the VA.


10. Good ‘ole savings

You may have been trying to save enough money to buy a house for years. But some smart strategies and strict cutbacks can make a real difference. Trade your cable for Netflix. Take your lunch instead of buying. Trade your gas-guzzler for a hybrid. You'll be surprised how much money you can save. Click here to see how more about how two different people saved $30,000 in a matter of months.

Still not where you need to be? Check out Movoto for some more creative ideas for saving money toward your down payment.

Get Your Kids out of the House this Summer

by Lakeshore Realty

As summer rolls around, you may have dreams of lazy days with your kids at the neighborhood pool and going on bike rides to the local park. Your kids, on the other hand, may be fantasizing about spending time with their iPads and video games. To make sure your kids don’t spend their summer vacation staring at some sort of screen, it’s important to encourage them to get up and get out of the house. Consider the following ideas:

Look into Local Camps

During the spring, most schools start sending home flyers about day camps. As you go through your child’s backpack, be on the lookout for this info and encourage your kiddo to give at least one of them a try. You can also ask your child what type of camp he or she might like to attend with a buddy—and then seek out what options are available in your area. In addition to day camps that focus on sports like swimming and karate, there are also LEGO camps, art classes, and music workshops that are tailored for kids of varying ages. For kids who are reluctant to spend a lot of time away from home, assure them that it’s just a day-long camp that does not require sleeping away.

Buy a Slip ‘n Slide

Remember how much fun Slip 'n Slides were when you were a kid? Bring the summertime classic back to your own backyard and break out the hose! Kids of all ages will enjoy sliding around together, and even if they act too cool to participate at first, who can resist a good slide across the yard at least once?

Take a Hike

Instead of a brief walk around the neighborhood, up the ante a bit and schedule some hikes with your kids. As PopSugar notes, in addition to using up some of that endless kid energy, hikes are a terrific way to explore the local flora and fauna. To find kid-friendly trails, ask other parents who you know love hiking, or do some research online or through your local library. Then pack plenty of water bottles and snacks in a backpack and head out for your day adventure.

Protect your kids’ skin and eyes from the hot summer sun, by scheduling your excursion early in the day before the rays get too strong. Slather up with 30+ SPF sunscreen before you leave the house, and reapply every two to three hours as needed along the way. Make sure everyone wears a hat to protect their faces, and sunglasses to safeguard their eyes. Place extra water bottles, bug spray, tissues, and replacement lenses for your sunglasses in your backpack to be prepared for the unexpected.

Wash the Car or Wash the Dog

Grab that water hose again and team up to wash the car or the family dog. If you're cleaning the car, assign everyone a task. From spraying, scrubbing, toweling dry, to keeping the buckets full of soapy water, everything's more fun as a group! If it's bath time for your dog, make sure he or she is properly secured with a leash, and opt for flea and tick shampoo to ward of summer pests. Give Fido the works with lots of shampoo massages, hugs, and care, and watch with delight as he goes wild running around in excitement when it's all done.

Lakeshore Realty Leads Market in Closed Sales 2015

by Lakeshore Realty

Lakeshore Realty is pleased to announce its standing as number one office in 2015 with closed sales topping $61,627,124- Jan.-June 18, 2015.

Competitor standings :

Coldwell Banker-$36,706,664

Chase International - $33,735,900

Sierra Sotheby's- $30,615,950

Oliver- $16,391,000

It is a "seller's market" with inventory down from previous years. Seller's still need to be competitive with pricing during this peak tourist and buying season! 

We are here to assist Buyer's and Seller's with all their real estate needs. Stop by our office we are open 7 days a week from 9-5! 

Home Improvements Projects that May be Financed

by Lakeshore Realty

​If you think your home needs an update, you're in good company. The U.S. Census Bureau recently produced an info graphic that puts home improvements costs into perspective. Some of the highlighted static include: Americans spent $359 billion on home improvements in a span of just three years—which breaks down to an individual median spending of $3,200. Well over half of homeowners who live in their homes made renovations, and one in four of those made energy-efficient updates. Kitchen remodel costs averaged $5,000 for individuals, while bathroom updates came in around $2,432.

Costs can quickly add up, but savvy homeowners know that many necessary improvements can be financed through their bank or their home equity line of credit.

Here is a sampling of the types of projects that may be easily financed:

Invest in a New Roof

Damage from weather, natural disasters, and wear and tear can put stress on your roof and compromise the overall structure and safety of your home. You know a new roof is a sound decision, but it doesn’t come cheap. According to Homewyse, a shingle roof replacement could cost as high as $11,000.

Homeowners with a good credit situation, however, may be able to finance a new, higher-quality roof with reasonable monthly terms. See if you qualify for financing, and invest in a quality roof with lifetime shingles for the added protection and peace of mind.

Empower Your Home

Give your home a green energy boost with solar panels. Many companies, like SolarCity, will install solar power systems at no cost, however, you pay them for the power it generates. This typically costs less that most homeowners' traditional electricity, and a solar lease package also offers system monitoring, repair, and insurance coverage at a reasonable monthly price. Solar panels can be installed on your roof, in your yard, or on an outbuilding such as a detached home office, garage, or other structure.

Make it a Smart home

Transforming your home into a smart home can be as complex as installing appliances that think for themselves and tell you when you're out of milk. It could also mean a self-monitoring thermostat like Nest, which can monitor pipes for leaks.

Fortunately, the price of many home automation systems is within a few hundred dollars to start. Many smart improvements can be purchased at major retailers like Home Depot with credit card that has project loan financing available.

Get a Lift Garage

Not every home has the space and requirement for a large garage, however, parking in your driveway can increase the wear and tear on your vehicle as it is exposed to inclement weather. Keep your driveway clear and maximize space at the same time with a lift garage, which stores your car below your driveway and out of sight. Some garage lift companies offer financing, or you can approach your bank about a loan or line of credit. With a lift garage, you’ll get a new space for your car without the upkeep of a garage.

Drought got your garden feeling lonely? You don't have to go naked this summer. Xeriscaping with drought-tolerant plants can bring in color and texture without sucking down that precious water.

Xeriscaping has been practiced in the southwest for years, but with several states now facing drought conditions and mandatory water restrictions—in addition to a growing desire to conserve natural resources—the practice has grown.

If you're looking for ways to pack some drought-friendly punch into your garden this year, here are a few places to start.


"This easy-care, drought-tolerant annual is a sure source of perky color," said Birds and Blooms. "Portulaca grows in low clusters, bloom in a rainbow of hues and thrive in the hot, sunny spots where other flowers might wither."

Blanket Flower

Better Homes and Gardens calls blanket flower "a tough prairie plant" and also "flamboyant," which is great for someone who likes lots of color. Better yet, this perennial "blooms all summer and into fall."

Prescott Valley Growers


This favorite scent is also a hearty plant that can add color and fragrance to your garden with minimal upkeep.

California Poppy

Plant it in full sun even in soil that's not the best quality, and watch this sunshiny flower grow.


Licorice Plant

If you're a fan of the way vines look trailing around fences are among other plants, this "fuzzy, silvery foliage (that) thrives in partial shade to full sun and spreads out to 6 feet," said Birds and Blooms, is a unique option.

Wilson Bros Nursery


Looking for something that requires little effort and can grow without perfect soil and with minimal water? Try coneflower. A bonus: It is also "often self-sowing," said Birds and Blooms.

Gardening Know How


This succulent brings in chartreuse leaves and "spreads freely, making it a fluffy ground cover or filler between other plants," said Sunset magazine.

Sarilia Country Estates


One of our favorite succulents is also one called out by Sunset. "Small, rounded burgundy leaves cover this low-growing, quick-spreading succulent from the Caucasus," they said. "Tiny reddish flowers bloom in summer."

Sunnyside Gardens

Succulents are a favorite choice today for those who are looking to be water wise while still creating a standout garden, said Monrovia. "Easy care and attractive, these succulents provide high style when potted in containers in urban settings and in rock gardens, paths and challenging dry spots in the garden."


"Not only does yarrow tolerate heat and drought like a champion, but this easy-growing perennial is also a great cut flower—and it comes in a number of varieties with blooms in shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, and white," said Better Homes and Gardens.

Yarrow is also a great choice in areas where wildlife is known to feast. "Deer, rabbits, and most other pests won't touch it."


If you're creating a drought-tolerant garden from scratch, click here for some great tips.

North Lake Tahoe May 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Marius Poltan
  • North Lake Tahoe May 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

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

Identity Protection Tips for New Home Buyers

by Lakeshore Realty

There's nothing quite like getting your hands on your brand new house keys after months of researching neighborhoods, scouring online listings, and visiting properties with your real estate agent. When caught up in all the excitement, it can be very easy to lose track of the stacks upon stacks of paperwork involved in the process — some of which may contain sensitive information relating to your identity or finances.

Be vigilant about protecting yourself with these precautionary measures:

Freeze Your Credit Report

Freeze your credit report directly through the three major credit reporting bureaus, or through an identity protection service. Freezing your credit report means that no one will be able to access your credit report without your approval. Consequently, no one will be able to open new credit accounts under your name, or even check your credit report unless you give them direct and explicit permission to do so.

It is advised to freeze your credit report before purchasing a home. Even if you aren't concerned about identity theft, this also protects your credit report from any dramatic changes that could potentially lower your credit score and cause your loan qualification to fall through.

Work Directly with Reputable Companies

It's a great idea to shop around for a mortgage to find the best service and the best rates. But shopping around can also be dangerous if you aren't working directly with reputable mortgage lenders. Many third-party companies submit your application to several, if not dozens, of mortgage companies in an attempt to find the best rate. While some of these third-party companies may be reputable, if one of them experiences a data breach, your data may become compromised without you even realizing it.

Avoid Shared Computers or Mobile Devices

Throughout the process of purchasing a home, you'll undoubtedly end up verifying your banking information, applying for loans, and checking your credit report multiple times. When you do this, make sure you are not using a shared computer or mobile device. In addition, protect your computer and smartphone with a password. According to CNBC, 34 percent of smartphone owners don't apply a password to their device. If you're among this crowd, your personal information may be vulnerable if your device winds up in the wrong hands.

Additionally, avoid accessing your personal information online when using a public Wi-Fi network. If you must work from an untrusted public network, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which will encrypt your actions and communication, and keep it safe from prying eyes.

If you do find that you have become a victim of identity theft, all is not lost. If you have an identity protection service, your issue could be resolved quickly. If you don't, it may be time to invest in one.

Remember: Any time you complete a major financial transaction, you increase your exposure to potential fraud. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and all of your sensitive data so that you can move into your new home, relax, and rest assured that your identity is secure.

7 Great Reasons To Renovate Your Attic Instead Of Moving

by Lakeshore Realty

Do you love your home's location but lack space? Do you have the equity in your home to use for renovations or do you feel your money would be better served if you used it as a down payment on a new, larger home?

Does the idea of your house being ripped apart make you want to run right out the door to another house? Would you even know where to start if you were going to renovate?

There might be a space in your house you haven't considered, and renovating it just might make all the difference.

"Looking for more square footage? Embrace the angled walls and convert your attic into a master suite, guest room, office or just a custom hideaway," said DIY Network.

These 7 attic renovations may help you decide to stick it out.

1. Attic bedroom

The unique angles of this attic bedroom don't just give this bedroom interest; they also provide additional opportunities to add character to the space. Even better—an attic bedroom provides one of the best returns on investment according to Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value Report, with 77.2 percent of costs recouped.

DIY Network

2. Attic living room

Carefully placed windows turn this former dark and dreary attic space into a light and bright living room.


3. Attic playroom

An attic space is a great place to build a kids' playroom since it is separate from the rest of the house. Nooks and angled walls also lend themselves well to creative spaces.

Livened Up

4. Attic home office

Unique architectural details establish a great foundation for a creative home office space. Private without being closed in, the office manages to be chic and functional at the same time.


5. Attic home theater

A large, windowless space with angled walls that help it feel cocoon-like without the stuffiness? What could be a more perfect spot for a home theater?


6. Attic teen suite

What teenage girl wouldn't love a glamorous bedroom suite on her own floor?


7. Attic home gym

If you have ample ceiling height to play with, a renovated attic can make a great home gym, with space for equipment, storage, and a fridge for bottled water.


If you're not sure if your attic is a good candidate for renovating, check out these tips from Better Homes and Gardens.

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


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