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How to Balance Style With Technology at Home

by Lakeshore Realty

Thanks to advances in technology, most homes contain at least a few amazing electronic devices. From the massive flat screen TV in your living room to the alarm system, state-of-the-art computer and more, there are plenty of gadgets from which to choose.

While an incredible home entertainment system complete with surround sound and digital electronics that would impress Mr. Spock is great to have, there is a downside to all of this technology. The wires, remotes and sometimes even the devices themselves are less than attractive. In order to balance technology with interior style, check out these tips:

4K television plus plush chairs equals perfection

Televisions are always changing for the better; we’ve come a long way from the bulky black and white consoles our parents had. One of the newest technologies to come along is 4K. Ultra high-definition 4K televisions have 3,840 pixels across the screen and 2,160 pixels down the screen. In English, this means that these televisions boast twice the resolution of current 1080p HD televisions. If you plan on investing in a 4K television, expand your budget a bit and shop for some extra plush and comfy seating for your living room as well. Then, set up your new sofas and loveseats a reasonable distance away from the 4K television; this will allow you to experience the ultra HD shows. The new furniture will also help your family room to look as stylish and welcoming as it is high tech.

Store or hide your remotes

Between the television, DVD player, stereo system, DVR and video game systems, chances are good that you have at least half a dozen bulky remote controls in your living room. To organize them all, consider buying a universal remote that will run all of your electronic devices. For example, Amazon sells a Logitech touch screen remote that can control up to 15 devices—including your home heating system and lights. Another option is to store the remotes together so you can always find them; for example, buy a sturdy-yet-pretty glass square vase and store each remote upright. You can also attach Velcro to each one and store them underneath your coffee table; this way they are accessible but out of sight when not in use.

Hide and organize cords and cables

Your home office probably contains at least one computer—more if your whole family uses the space—a printer, scanner, monitors and keyboards. Unless you have invested in wireless options for each device, all of these electronics have unsightly cords running from them to the walls. To make this tangle of technology look better, Homedit offers a variety of clever ideas. For example, instead of trying to hide an exceptionally long cord, turn it into art by using large staples to transform the cord into patterns on your wall. You can also buy a pretty patterned cardboard storage box, cut some small holes in the ends, and store your power strip and cables inside and place it under your desk.

Surround your switches with art

If your home alarm system monitor, digital thermostat and assorted light switches are all on one wall, surround the less-than-lovely switches with so much art, no one will pay attention to them. Add a variety of framed photos to the wall in assorted sizes to create a gallery wall display. You can place them around the switches and those unsightly must-haves will blend into your art wall.

Lakeshore Realty is the top selling real estate office in the Incline Village/Crystal Bay area in 2015.


Inclusionary Zoning Decision Likely To Have Major Consequences

by Lakeshore Realty

Last month's California Supreme Court decision (California Building Industry Association (CBIA) v. City of San Jose, June 15, 2015) will make it easier for California cities and counties to pass inclusionary zoning ordinances. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), inclusionary zoning or housing programs "require or encourage developers to set aside a certain percentage of housing units in new or rehabilitated projects for low-and moderate-income residents. This integration of affordable units into market-rate projects creates opportunities for households with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to live in the same developments and have access to [the] same types of community services and amenities…"

California counties and cities have long had an obligation to develop a general plan "…including a mandatory housing element consisting of standards and plans for housing sites in the municipality that ‘shall endeavor to make adequate provision for the housing needs of all economic segments of the community."

In the case at hand the city of San Jose had adopted an ordinance that would apply to all residential developments in the city that would create 20 or more new, additional, or modified dwelling units. The inclusionary housing requirement specified that "15 percent of the proposed on-site for-sale units in the development shall be made available at an ‘affordable housing cost'" (as defined in the Health and Safety Code). If the developer chose an available alternative option, such as constructing affordable housing elsewhere or paying an in lieu fee, the requirement increases to no less than twenty percent of the total units.

The CBIA challenged the ordinance on the grounds that there was no evidence that new developments of twenty units or more would have such negative public impacts as to justify the requirements of the new ordinance. If it couldn't be shown that the development itself would cause a lack of affordable housing, then, according to the CBIA, it couldn't be justified to make the developer sell units at below market rates. To do that, they argued, would amount to an unconstitutional taking of the developer's property.

The Superior Court agreed with the CBIA's contentions and ruled that the ordinance was constitutionally invalid. On appeal, however, the Appellate Court ruled that the city did not have to show a causal relationship (a nexus) between the potential harm caused by the development and the benefit brought about by the ordinance's requirements. Rather, the Appellate Court held, the ordinance only needed to be evaluated under the standards for general land use regulations: namely, did the requirements "bear a real and substantial relation to the public welfare…"?

The Supreme Court agreed with the Appellate Court and upheld its ruling. It noted that, "As a general matter, so long as a land use regulation does not constitute a physical taking or deprive a property owner of all viable economic use of the property, such a restriction does not violate the takings clause…"

In the case of the San Jose ordinance, no transfer of any real estate interest to the city was required; nor was any parcel of property taken. Moreover, it certainly was not the case that the property owner would be deprived of any economic benefit. Indeed, it was noted that "the San Jose ordinance makes available a number of economically beneficial incentives -- including a density bonus, a reduction in parking requirements, and potential financial subsidies …" such that "it is not the case that the San Jose ordinance will necessarily reduce a developer's revenue or profit…"

The Supreme Court acknowledged that "A municipality's authority to impose price controls on developers is, of course, unquestionably subject to constitutional limits." If they were deemed to be confiscatory – if they denied a property owner a fair and reasonable return on its property -- they would be deemed to be unconstitutional. But no evidence had been introduced to suggest that the effects of the San Jose ordinance would be so extreme.

The court wrote, "Most land use regulations or restrictions reduce the value of property; in this regard the affordable housing requirement at issue here is no different from limitations on density, unit size, number of bedrooms required set-backs, or building heights." [my emphasis] But such reductions in value do not in themselves constitute an unconstitutional taking. Hence, "the validity of the ordinance does not depend upon a showing that the restrictions are reasonably related to the impact of a particular development to which the ordinance applies. Rather, the restrictions must be reasonably related to the broad general welfare purposes for which the ordinance was created."

Currently, 170 California jurisdictions have some sort of inclusionary zoning ordinance. This ruling will make it easier for such ordinances to withstand court challenges. (Particular cases could still be found invalid if they were too extreme.) The burden of proof shifts from the city or county to the owner/developer. Unless this case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court and is overturned there, it can be expected that there will be more inclusionary zoning ordinances in California.

House Flipping 101: Safety Tips for Newbies

by Marius Poltan

A Queen-Anne-style fixer-upper sounds like a dream: original woodwork, period details, hand-carved mantles or molding. But a dream can quickly dissolve into a nightmare when you step on a rusty nail, put your hand through a window or fall off a roof. It's better to be well-prepared and informed before starting a project than to face an injury during it. Here you’ll find safety advice and quick tips for new house-flippers, including proper gear, procedures and legal documents for Lake Tahoe or Incline Village real estate owners.
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1. Lead Paint Procedures

According to the EPA, houses built before 1978 are much more likely (than those built after) to have lead paint, which can cause serious health problems. Before renovating, take steps to protect yourself from hazardous lead-contaminated dust. Seal off contaminated areas with plastic sheeting and tape, including air vents, windows and doorways. Turn off forced air systems before beginning, and spray water on lead-painted surfaces to keep dust from spreading.

2. Dust Mask

Wearing a dust mask, or “Particulate Respirator,” will protect home renovators from potentially dangerous dust entering their respiratory tract. These disposable masks can be bought in bulk packs from Home Depot, and should be used while grinding, sanding, sweeping or bagging.

3. Tablet with Wi-Fi or 3G

This seems like a funny thing to include within home improvement stuff, but a tablet will be a lifesaver. Load up your iPad Air 2 with apps like a level and tape measure. Upload your tunes or stream from Pandora to keep you entertained, and download YouTube for when you need a visual tutorial to DIY fix that faucet. Use the camera app to take pictures and share your house progress on social media. Once the house is ready to put on the market again, use the ZipRealty or Trulia apps to view comps in the area so you know what price to set yours. If you don't have Wi-Fi installed at the house, a subscription for 3G service will help you remain connected the whole time.

4. Protective Gear

Knee pads, goggles and gloves will also be indispensable while flipping a house. Knee pads protect knees from injury or discomfort while working long hours on all fours to refinish wood floors. Goggles protect eyes and face from flying sparks and dust while grinding or sanding. And heavy-duty gloves protect hands from cuts, scrapes and splinters that result from rusty nails or rough wood.

Boots will never run out of uses on a work site. Rubber rain boots protect feet and lower legs from water as well as from loose nails, screws, splinters, or other debris left around the house. Boots with sawtooth rubber soles are best for construction as they increase traction during the wettest conditions.

5. Voltage Tester

The number of tools to buy before flipping a house may seem overwhelming at first, but there are a few essential tools that keep workers safe for a very affordable price. A non-contact voltage tester comes in handy when pulling out or rewiring electrical outlets or switches. With this tool, renovators test for live electrical currents without touching any wires or plugging in anything. Alternatively, renovators could plug a hair dryer or blender into an electrical outlet and turn it on before shutting off circuit breakers to test which breaker operates the outlet. When the noise stops, you’ll know the outlet is dead.

6. Stud Finder

Another small tool, a stud finder, is also useful to home renovators to safely hang shelves or cupboards. Stud finders can be found at hardware stores, like Lowe's for example. They indicate where a wall stud is located behind drywall so that heavy material can be screwed into solid wood instead of into only drywall, which could potentially crumble and come crashing down.

7. Legal Documents

Do yourself a favor now by creating an organizational system for all documents related to your house. An accordion binder or scanner and electronic file system will work great. This is useful to keep bids from contractors, receipts, warranty information, purchase agreements, loan documents, and inspection results. Keep all of these documents from the time of buying the flip to at least one year after selling it. You’ll need them at some point for the bank, the realtors, your buyers and their realtors, everyone’s inspectors, possibly lawyers, and of course the IRS.

Don’t Forget…

…to keep a first aid kit, a phone, and a friend nearby. You never know when you might need to clean a cut finger or need help lifting a chunk of drywall.

Relocating to an Unfamiliar Area? Here’s How to Get Your Bearings

by Lakeshore Realty

Choosing a home in an unfamiliar neighborhood can be nerve-racking, but it’s almost inevitable when moving to a new city—or even across town. There’s a lot at stake: The wrong decision can cost you money and peace of mind.

Here are some tips to guide you in your search.

Mission: Neighborhood reconnaissance

As with any house hunt, you should first figure out your budget and what you would need, want, and like to have in a house and in a neighborhood. But if you’re relocating across the country, your biggest challenge will be doing long-distance recon on your new hometown.

While you can’t gain access to private social networks such as Nextdoor until you verify you have an address in a neighborhood, a little cyber sleuthing will reveal insights on day-to-day life and concerns in areas you’re scouting.

Once you know the general area in which you’d like to live, websites such as City-Data can collect and analyze data from numerous sources to create detailed profiles of U.S. cities, including information from crime rates to weather patterns. Homefacts includes similar information, then drills down further, listing neighborhood statistics such as median home price, homes for sale, and foreclosures.

AreaVibes can help you narrow down a search; after you type a ZIP code or city in which you’d like to live, you can adjust metrics such as amenities, crime, cost of living, and housing prices to compile a list of neighborhoods that match your “livability” needs.

In addition, many regional newspapers or magazines routinely publish online rankings of their best neighborhoods. Listly has lists of five-star New York real estate communities and blue chip Massachusetts real estate communities, so it may be worth a search to see whether there is a similar list for an area in which you’re interested.

Speaking of lists, Livability regularly develops city rankings for a range of topics, including small towns, college towns, and overall best places to live.

The Chamber of Commerce in many towns will also provide a guide for people who are relocating. Also, look for news on property taxes in recent years—falling property taxes likely mean that communities have had to cut back on public services.

If you have children, you’ll want to read up on local public schools on GreatSchools.org, as well as determine what day care and after-school activities are nearby. Even if you don’t have children, good schools are a major factor in determining home values in a neighborhood.

 

No neighborhood is perfectly tranquil, but check CrimeReports.com for crime reports and maps to get a sense of where an area falls on the spectrum. You should also visit the National Sex Offender registry and FamilyWatchdog.us, which will identify registered sex offenders living in the area. NeighborhoodScout.com will consolidate crime, school, and real estate data in one report, as well as compile lists on safe cities and neighborhoods with good schools.

Draw on a professional’s expertise

If there is one time above all when you’d really benefit from working with a real estate agent with deep knowledge of an area, it’s when moving to a new town.

A knowledgeable professional should be able to provide recommendations and compile background information on neighborhoods and homes that fit your needs and price range. Come prepared with a neighborhood or neighborhoods you like, and he or she can give you more information or suggest similar alternatives.

Get down with the locals

Once you’ve done the research and found a neighborhood you like, drive by several times during the day and at night. Look for the following:

  • Are there many “for sale” signs on lawns?
  • Are there any abandoned or boarded-up houses in the vicinity?
  • Is there a lot of trash on the sidewalks?
  • Is the neighborhood close to a shopping or business area?
  • How well are neighborhood parks maintained?
  • Is street parking restricted after school and during rush hour?

Also try to attend a few open houses in your neighborhood of choice. It’s a good way to get a feel for local property values, and to walk around the area. If you see residents out and about, try to talk to them to get their perspective on the community.

If you have time, try to get a drink in a local bar or a cafe and talk to people there. Apps like Meetup and AroundMe will help you connect with people in a town that have similar interests, as well as help you find the nearest hot spot.

These will be your potential neighbors, so they will provide valuable impressions on whether you’ll be pleased with where you eventually live.

TripAdvisor: Incline Village one of America's best values for rental homes

by TripAdvisor, SierraSun

INCLINE VILAGE, Nev. — The North Lake Tahoe community of Incline Village may be known by some as “Income Village,” but that 1 percent-fueled moniker might not reveal the full truth when it comes to summer tourism.

World-renowned travel website TripAdvisor recently listed the small town on the Nevada side of the North Shore as one of “29 amazing hotspots that offer the most bang for your buck when staying in a rental home.”

According to the June 19 article, “Summer savings: 29 super affordable vacation rental destinations you need to visit,” TripAdvisor analyzed more than 150 vacation destinations across America, “comparing the price of two-bedroom vacation homes during the upcoming summer months.”

While Florida and the sunny Southern coast are well-represented, as are communities in the Northeast and scenic West, Incline Village earned a nod as the only Nevada community in the list.

“Along Lake Tahoe sits Incline Village, a mountainside retreat with unbeatable lake views, outdoor recreation, activities and stunning beaches,” the article reports. “Yes, Nevada offers more than the casinos and buffets on the Las Vegas strip. For a more scenic vacation, check out the rental homes in the hills. A two-bedroom this summer costs just $1,362/week on average.”

 

Mammoth Lakes, Calif., also made the list from a semi-regional standpoint.

When the temperatures begin to heat up, we migrate outdoors to begin our summer routines of barbecues, patio dinner parties, and water activities with the kids. But being outside more doesn’t mean sacrificing the well-being of the planet. There are many ways to create an inviting outdoor space that is planet-safe, beautiful, and functional for of all your social gatherings.

 

Reclaimed Pallet Furniture

There’s always someone on Craigslist trying to unload some old, used pallets. Why not take them off their hands and transform them into practical and fun backyard furniture? Create a cozy seating area by stacking pallets three high into an L-shape and top them with store-bought cushions made with eco-friendly vegetable dyes and natural fabrics (such as hemp, cotton, or soy). Pallets also make for an easy coffee table or when hung vertically, a place to mount garden planters. Spray paint each piece in bright, bold colors to create a lively living space.

Second-Life Furniture

Not feeling in the project mood? You can still have environment-friendly furniture without scouring thrift stores and dusting off your power tools. When buying new outdoor furniture, look for products that are made from recycled plastic milk jugs or sustainable woods such as bamboo or cedar. To guarantee your wood furniture is planet-friendly, look for certification from the international organization, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which certifies manufacturers who use sustainable forest management practices. Avoid tropical woods, such as teak, which are often harvested through clear-cutting, unless you know the teak or other woods have been harvested responsibly.

One of the best materials for outdoor furniture is stainless steel, which is a 100 percent recycled material in the United States. Steel is strong, durable, and has a long life. Look for marine-grade steel when shopping as this is the most substantial and able to hold up to weight and weather. Stainless steel requires regular cleaning with soap and water to maintain its beauty.

Trex, Loll, and Polywood are just a few of the recycled plastic outdoor furniture manufacturers and there are many more retailers. Each manufacturer offers unique and stylish designs, from urban to country charm. Recycled plastic furniture has the advantage of being recyclable again when your furniture has reached the end of its useful life.

Put Your Feet Down

Outdoor rugs transform your patio or deck into an extension of your indoor living spaces. One of the best options are rugs made from recycled plastic and polypropylene. These rugs are generally inexpensive and being made from plastic, withstand all forms of Mother Nature. Most will not fade or lose their color, are mildew-free, and are reversible too. If a guest spills a plate full of baby back ribs, cleaning is as simple as spraying the rug down with water.

Incorporate a Natural Pool

When we typically think of pools, we think of concrete and chlorine, neither of which feel very environmentally friendly. But if you want a functional swimming retreat that also is an extension of your garden, consider a natural pool. These pools don’t use harsh chemicals but instead, let nature create the biological balance. Natural pools can be easily incorporated into existing landscape, using rock and plant material to anchor the design. These pools winterize easily and the kids will love looking for amphibians along the water’s edge. Best of all, they are perfectly safe for even the most sensitive skin and a bio filter will keep the germs and bacteria away.

Light it Down

Instead of low-voltage lighting, infuse your outdoor garden and entertainment space with solar or LED options. Line the undersides of deck railings with LED light strips or even reuse the LED holiday lights you have stored in your garage to wrap around decks, trees and the undersides of soffits. Solar lights have the advantage of being easily placed into the landscape without the use of tools or an electrician. They are also easily moved too and not typically considered a “fixture” should you someday sell your home. Make sure to install solar lights where they are guaranteed eight hours of sunlight to ensure they stay lit throughout the night.

Also consider night-sky friendly outdoor lighting. Light pollution costs municipalities money - all the wasted light from street lights, office buildings, and homeowners create 15.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. You can do your part. Night-friendly options preserve your ability to see the stars as evening descends and make the light you are using, put to more efficient work. These fixtures reduce glare and cast light downward instead of up and out. Bonus: they can also incorporate energy-saving bulbs such as LED.

North Lake Tahoe June 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Lakeshore Realty
  • North Lake Tahoe June 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

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

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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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