Incline Village real estate blog, Lake Tahoe real estate blog.


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The Golf Courses at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe are Now Open!

by Lakeshore Realty
Welcome to the 2013 Golf Season!

All golf facilities in Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada are now open. Long considered one of the perks of living in Incline Village, and a destination for tourists, we welcome the opportunity to tee off once again!

Stunning Lake Tahoe views and an exquisite mountain backdrop frame the world-renowned golf courses in Incline Village. Here are some of the wonderful features we enjoy:

The Championship Course

Located along Lake Tahoe's north shore, the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designed Championship Course. Come see why he described Incline Village as "the ideal mountain layout with a challenge you won't want to miss and views you will never forget." The Championship Course offers tightly cut fairways, bordered by towering pines, demanding accuracy as well as distance. Golfers are faced with bunkered greens and lateral water hazards on almost every hole. Challenging, to say the least.

The Championship Course was voted “Best in State” by Golf Digest for 2012 and 2013 and one of the “Best Courses to Play” in 2011 and 2013 by Golfweek magazine

Considered by many to be one the top golf courses in the West, the Championship Course has everything you would expect from this Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Masterpiece.

The Championship Course was voted “Best in State” by Golf Digest for 2012 and 2013. Golfweek declared it to be one of the “Best Courses to Play” in 2011 and 2013.

More information on the Championship Course

The Mountain Course

The affordable Mountain Course offers a truly memorable Lake Tahoe golf experience. With spectacular green sites and contours, the Mountain Course demands more accuracy than distance. "Shot making" skills are necessary to navigate the terrain. The mountainous 18 hole course, par 58 continues to challenge even the most proficient golfer.

Carved out of the pines with no harsh transition areas and no artificial landscaping, this award-winning course is all natural and a real challenge and joy to play. Every hole abounds with creativity and character in design, and many have incredible views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. It's a tribute to its brilliant designer, Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

More information on the Mountain Course


The Driving Range & Putting Green are Open

Range passes are valid at the range machine 7 days a week. Loaner clubs are available. Chipping green is closed for renovations expected to re-open late June.

Season Rates

The Golf Courses at Incline Village offer golf courses and the driving range 2013 Season Rates.


You can book a tee time online and make sure your tee time is reserved for your Incline Village Golf course experience.

Specials and Promotions

Various promotions and specials are offered at the Golf Courses at Incline Village. These include driving range specials, club house frequent lunch cards and many special programs at the Mountain Course throughout the season. Check Specials and Promotions frequently to see what’s new and exciting.

Resident Rates

Incline Village Golf Courses in Lake Tahoe offer a discount for residents of Incline Village/Crystal Bay.

Tournaments & Groups

Complete tournament services are offered for groups of 16 at the golf courses in Incline Village.

Read more about the Golf Courses at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada


12 House-Hunting Tips to Help You Make the Right Choice

by Lakeshore Realty
Stay organized and focused on your quest for a new home, to make the search easier and avoid surprises later

In the hunt for the perfect house, it's easy to get swept away by a home's most charming details (a gracious front porch) and play down the important stuff you'll be kicking yourself for later (the price is over budget). And if you are touring multiple homes each weekend, keeping everything straight can get complicated.

Set your priorities and streamline the house-hunting process early on, and you can breathe easier knowing you have a handle on things. It's probably the most important purchase you will ever make, so take a few deep breaths and make a plan before diving in — you'll be glad you did.

These 12 tips can help you stay organized and focused on the important things during your house hunt.

1. Set your priorities.

Before taking a look at any houses, sit down and write out everything you want in a home, with input from all members of the household. Then choose your top five, or even top three, must-haves.

Once you start looking, all sorts of charming features are bound to sway you; keeping your priorities list close at hand can help you stay on track.

2. Make a comparison chart.

After you have seen a dozen or more houses, it becomes very difficult to keep track of the features in each one. Make things a little easier by creating your own comparison chart or checklist to bring along to each home, and make notes on it during or immediately after each tour.

Beyond the basics (beds and baths) consider including notes on landscaping, the condition of the roof and exterior, natural light in each room, storage space and cost per square foot. Consider this chart a personal tool — something you can look back on to help guide your decision making, not a substitute for a good home inspection.

3. Walk through once and let yourself soak it all in.

When you tour a home for the first time, the excitement can make it difficult to focus on ... well, anything at all. So I say, just go with it. Have fun, wander around and mentally note your first impressions of the space. Once the butterflies have died down, it's time to get to work.

4. Then go back to the beginning and start again.

Walk back to the front of the house and literally begin your tour again. This time, pull out your clipboard and pen, take your time and approach the home as if you were an inspector rather then a potential buyer.

5. Bring furniture measurements

Jumping the gun? Maybe. A deal breaker? Probably not. But if every room in the house presents problems with your current furniture situation, you could effectively be adding thousands of dollars to the price if you have to purchase new furniture — something that is probably better to know sooner rather than later.

6. Sketch a floor plan.

You do not need to have any real drawing skills to make a superbasic floor plan on paper, and having it to refer to later is priceless. Just do your best. Starting at the front door, draw boxes for rooms and mark doors, windows, stairways and openings roughly where they are.

7. Ask to take photos (or even a video).

It's amazing how quickly memory fades. Make sure you have backup by creating a floor plan and taking photos or a short video tour if possible — it will really give you a full picture of what the house looks like. Be sure to ask the Realtor for permission before taking any photos or video. And even then, it is assumed that they are for personal use, so don't post them to your Facebook page or blog ... at least not until you own the house.

NOTE: Our Lakeshore Realty website provides photos and virtual tours — you will have these to refer back to as well!

8. Open the closets and cupboards.

Proper storage is a really important factor in how a home looks and feels when you are living in it. Note the number and size of cupboards and closets throughout the house, and don't be afraid to peek inside. If the current homeowner has them packed to the gills, that may be a sign that the house doesn't have enough storage for its size.

9. Lift up the rugs.

While this is not something you necessarily want to do during a quick tour, if you are back for a second look and are really considering making an offer, it is important to know what you are getting into. Rugs (and even furniture) can be used to conceal damaged flooring, so you have a right to see what's going on under there. Just let the Realtor know what you want to see, and he or she should accommodate you.

10. Look high and look low.

It is important to get a good look at the house that could be your new home, so make a point of focusing on things outside your usual line of vision. Check out the ceilings, walls, floors, trim, windows, roof and under the sinks.

11. Check out the property at different times of day

If you do come back for a second showing, make it during a different time of day from the first tour. In the evening, notice not only the changes in light, but the atmosphere in the neighborhood. Are people out sitting on porches? Are kids playing outside? Is it noisy? You are bound to learn and discover different things about the house each time.

12. Take a moment to envision how you would use the space.

Just because the current owner (or staging company) has the second bedroom set up for guests doesn't mean you can't use it as an office, a home gym or a nursery. Paint colors, furniture arrangements and window treatments can also all be swapped out, so use your imagination and really put yourself in the home.



Happy Earth Day 2013 - Great Tips For Homeowners!

by Lakeshore Realty
Tips that are good for the planet... and you!

Today is Earth Day! Here we offer a variety of tips for homeowners.

As we wrote in a previous blog Most Americans Want Eco-Friendly Homes, the desire to be eco-friendly has increased dramatically in recent years, and homeowners are realizing an increase in home values.


Home buyers' wish lists are topped with requests for Energy-star ratings and homes built green-friendly. In the highly anticipated survey released in February by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), researchers found that Energy-star rated appliances are most coveted, with a close second choice of energy efficiency in the laundry room. Luxury home builders are already renovating homes that are perfect for such discriminating preferences.

"Nine out of ten buyers would rather buy a home with energy-efficient features and permanently lower utility bills than one without those features that costs 2 percent to 3 percent less," the home buyer survey highlighted.


By improving your home's energy efficiency, you can profit in four ways: save money, improve your life, and help the earth — making your home safer and more comfortable.

Many people believe that their car is the largest single source of air pollution for which they are personally responsible. But in fact, the average home causes the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide—the principal greenhouse gas—as the average car. This is because most of the energy consumed in our homes is produced by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. This pollution is actually a hidden cost for the energy we use, over and above the dizzying $241 billion Americans spend each year on their home energy bills!

Go Green... save energy, save money, increase your home value, and get energy-efficiency tax credits!

Much of this energy use is unnecessary because there are a variety of proven, widely available products on the market today (heating, cooling, appliances, windows, lighting, etc.) to drastically reduce your home's energy bills, and accompanying pollution. What's more, many of these products actually improve the comfort and livability of your home. One such product we have found to be highly effective is the Nest thermostat.


We are all guilty of using a little too much hot water in our daily lives -- whether it is spending an extra two minutes in the shower, leaving the water running while washing dishes or washing clothes on hot water instead of cold. Taken together, these habits of wasting water add up. So it is no surprise that water heating accounts for 14-18 percent of homeowners’ utility bills. If you are looking for ways to save on water heating costs, you have plenty of options.

Water Heaters 101

For long-term investments, consider purchasing an energy-efficient water heater. Whether you're looking at tankless water heaters or considering solar, the new Energy Saver 101 lays out the different types of water heaters on the market and will help you figure out how to select the best option for your home.

Click to view the Energy Saver 101 slide show
Read the full article Projects to Keep Your Energy Bills Out of Hot Water


Solar Panels Will Save the Planet and Make You Rich

Read the full article 7 Ways Solar Panels Will Save the Planet and Make You Rich.



State Assembly Committee Passes AB396

by Lakeshore Realty
Lake Tahoe's Nevada shoreline could go public

On Thursday, April 11, 2013 the State Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining voted to pass Assembly Bill 396 as amended, which would allow public access to Lake Tahoe's shoreline. The bill now goes to the full Assembly.

Unlike California, Nevada law does not provide for public access on private property between the high- and low-water marks at Lake Tahoe. AB396 would allow access up to the high-water mark of public waters in the state.

The legislative digest for the bill states: "Subject to certain specified restrictions, this bill authorizes persons to use water that is navigable or capable of being navigated by oar, paddle or motorized watercraft year round at or below the ordinary high-water mark for any otherwise lawful activity that uses water, including boating, fishing, swimming and wading."

“AB396 means private beaches would no longer exist.” — State Senator James Settelmeyer

Jan Brisco, executive director of the Tahoe Lakefront Owners' Association, said the bill represents a "significant shift" in how property rights operate on the Nevada side of the lake.

Proponents of the bill focus on the revenue outdoor recreation brings to the state, claiming that it generates $14.9 billion in consumer spending and 148,000 jobs.

Under the legislation, people would also be allowed to carry a kayak around obstacles, like piers, that enter public water.

According to the bill, "If a natural or artificial obstruction interferes with the use of a public access water, a person may, along with his or her vessel, portage around the obstruction in a manner that is reasonably direct and closest to the water to reenter the water immediately above or below the obstruction at the nearest point where it is safe to do so."

Shoreline property owners would be allowed to place a fence or barrier on their property across lake water, but would be required to include a ladder or gate to provide access around the obstacle, according to the bill.

Allowing public access to private lands without compensation is "troublesome," Brisco said, adding many people have sought out shoreline property on the Nevada side of the lake because of the property rights.

According to State Senator James Settelmeyer, "AB396 would allow a person to trespass on property below the normal high water mark. That means private beaches would no longer exist. You have to pay taxes on the land, but you can't keep someone off it. They could then sue the property owner if they get hurt. Property rights are in jeopardy."


Source: North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

Additional Resources:

Assembly Bill 396 as introduced   (Download PDF)
Assembly Bill 396 as ammended  (Download PDF)


5 Tips for Deciphering Your Home Loan’s Good-faith Estimate

by Lakeshore Realty
Knowing how to read your good-faith estimate can help you save money on your home loan.

When you’re shopping for a mortgage loan, it’s sometimes hard to understand the jargon lenders use in the good-faith estimate explaining the costs and fees you’ll pay when taking out a mortgage.

When you apply for a mortgage, the lender has three days to give you a good-faith estimate of the fees and interest rate you’ll pay, as well as other loan terms. Here are five tips for using the new three-page form to your advantage.

1. Know which fees can increase and by how much

In the past, lenders provided an estimate of the costs involved in getting your home loan, and if those costs rose by the time you closed on your home, tough luck. The good-faith estimate shows some fees the lender can’t change, like the loan origination fee that you pay to get a certain interest rate (commonly called points) and transfer costs.

The form also lists the charges that can increase by up to 10%, like some title company fees and local government recording fees. The lender must cover any increase over that amount.

Finally, the good-faith estimate lists the fees that can change without any limit, such as daily interest charges.

2. Look for answers to basic loan questions

In the summary section, lenders explain your loan’s terms in simple language. Can your interest rate rise? If so, a lender must spell out how much the rate can jump and what your new payment would be if it does. Can the amount you owe the lender increase, even if you make your payments on time? If it can, a lender must show you the potential increase.

3. Evaluate the “tradeoffs” on a loan

In the new “tradeoff table,” you can ask lenders to provide details on the tradeoffs you can make in choosing among home loans. If you’d like the same loan with lower settlement charges, how will the interest rate change? If you’d like a lower interest rate, how much will your settlement charges increase?

4. Compare apples to apples with the shopping chart

Included on the good-faith estimate is space for you to list all the terms and fees for four different loans, so you can make side-by-side comparisons.

5. Know what’s missing from the good-faith estimate

The new form lacks some key information, such as how much you’ll reimburse the sellers for property taxes they’ve already paid on the home. It also doesn’t tell you the amount of money you’ll have to bring to the closing table. Some lenders have created supplemental forms providing that information. If yours hasn’t, ask for it.


Additional Resources:
Good-faith Estimate (Download PDF)
Shopping for Your Home Loan (Download PDF)

Existing-Home Sales and Prices Continue to Rise in February

by Lakeshore Realty

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2013) - February existing-home sales and prices affirm a healthy recovery is underway in the housing sector, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales have been above year-ago levels for 20 consecutive months, while prices show 12 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million in February from an upwardly revised 4.94 million in January, and are 10.2 percent above the 4.52 million-unit level seen in February 2012. February sales were at the highest level since the tax credit period of November 2009.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said conditions for continued housing improvement are at play. "Job growth in the improving economy and pent-up demand are causing both home sales and rental leasing to rise. Though home prices are rising much faster than rents, historically low mortgage rates are still making home purchases affordable," he said. "The only headwinds are limited housing inventory, which varies greatly around the country, and credit conditions that remain too restrictive."

Read the full article

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Did You Sell Your Home After Making Improvements?

by Lakeshore Realty
Keeping track of the cost of capital improvements to your home can really pay off on your tax return when it comes time to sell.

It’s no secret that finishing your basement will increase your home’s value. What you may not know is the money you spend on this type of so-called capital improvement could also help lower your tax bill when you sell your house.

Tax rules let you add capital improvement expenses to the cost basis of your home. Why is that a big deal? Because a higher cost basis lowers the total profit—capital gain, in IRS-speak—you’re required to pay taxes on.

The tax break doesn’t come into play for everyone. Most home owners are exempted from paying taxes on the first $250,000 of profit for single filers ($500,000 for joint filers). If you move frequently, maybe it’s not worth the effort to track capital improvement expenses. But if you plan to live in your house a long time or make lots of upgrades, saving receipts is a smart move.

What counts as a capital improvement?

While you may consider all the work you do to your home an improvement, the IRS looks at things differently. A rule of thumb: A capital improvement increases your home’s value, while a non-eligible repair just returns something to its original condition. According to the IRS, capital improvements have to last for more than one year and add value to your home, prolong its life, or adapt it to new uses.

A rule of thumb: A capital improvement increases your home’s value, while a non-eligible repair just returns something to its original condition.

Capital improvements can include everything from a new bathroom or deck to a new water heater or furnace. Page 9 of IRS Publication 523 has a list of eligible improvements. There are limitations. The improvements must still be evident when you sell. So if you put in wall-to-wall carpeting 10 years ago and then replaced it with hardwood floors five years ago, you can’t count the carpeting as a capital improvement. Repairs, like painting your house or fixing sagging gutters, don’t count. The IRS describes repairs as things that are done to maintain a home’s good condition without adding value or prolonging its life.

There can be a fine line between a capital improvement and a repair, says Erik Lammert, tax research specialist at the National Association of Tax Professionals. For instance, if you replace a few shingles on your roof, it’s a repair. If you replace the entire roof, it’s a capital improvement. Same goes for windows. If you replace a broken window pane, repair. Put in a new window, capital improvement. One exception: If your home is damaged in a fire or natural disaster, everything you do to restore your home to its pre-loss condition counts as a capital improvement.

Read the full article: Did You Sell Your Home After Making Improvements?

Housing Market Roaring Back to Life

by Lakeshore Realty
Existing home sales are selling at the fastest pace in more than three years.


Source: ABC News


JPMorgan Sees Home Prices Up 14% as Bank of America Touts Party

Bank of America has again revised up its home price forecast to 8 percent for 2013, up from 4.7 percent.

This is after a 7.3 percent rise in 2012.

In a new report titled "Someone say House Party?", Bank of America's Chris Flanagan, Michelle Meyer, and Justin Borst write that "a positive feedback loop has begun". Basically, when people think home prices are rising, they think they will keep doing so and credit conditions will improve, and this in increases demand for homes.

Tight housing supply and affordability are likely to stoke demand and push home prices higher.

JPMorgan Chase more than doubled its forecast for U.S. home price gains in 2013 to 7 percent this week, and predicts a more than 14 percent increase through 2015.

And there's proof of this. Fannie Mae's latest survey shows that 48 percent of respondents believe that home prices will rise over the next 12 months, only 10 percent forecast a fall.

"It is a powerful positive relationship especially in this environment of historically low interest rates and a Federal Reserve determined to keep policy accommodative."

Tight housing supply and affordability are likely to stoke demand and push home prices higher. What's more, the declining inventory isn't being driven by demand like it was during the housing boom, but by declining supply.

Source: “JPMorgan Sees Home Prices Up 14% as BofA Touts Party,”
Bloomberg News (March 15, 2013)

Survey: Americans Dream Big About Home Ownership

by Lakeshore Realty
Still the American Dream...

It seems that Americans are continuing to dream of homeownership, at least according to JPMorgan Chase’s recent survey.

A total of 87% of those surveyed said owning a home is something they dream about.

"Owning a home is at the heart of most Americans' dreams," said Kevin Watters, CEO of mortgage banking at JPMorgan Chase. "And people are saving as much as possible to achieve homeownership."

Of those surveyed, 66% believe housing is a good financial investment and 75% see it as a crucial part of raising a family.

87% of Americans dream of owning a home.

"Owning a home will not only give my husband and me pride and roots, but it will also bring pride in my children and respect from my friends and family," said one respondent.

Compared to six months ago, nearly two times as many potential first-time homebuyers are optimistic about being able to put money down on a home over the next six months.

Overall, 56% of consumers believe their finances will improve over the next six months, while only 8% believe they will worsen.

"First-time home buyers are crucial to the housing market and the overall economy - and to their communities," Watters said. "As families buy their first home, they are investing in their communities and enable other families to move up. That will eventually spur more new construction, generating additional jobs."


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


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