Lake Tahoe Nevada-Tear Downs

Lake Tahoe Nevada-Tear Downs

Lake Tahoe Nevada-Tear Downs

Vacant buildable lots are not plentiful so the idea of Tearing down existing homes and rebuilding has become the alternative. Buyers interested in building are finding “Affordable or Cheap” – short sale/ bank-owned property and motivated sellers as sources to tear down and build their dream home but the adage is true in this situation of “Buyer Beware” . 

Things to know before buying a tear down or remodel potential.

It takes time, patience and the right Realtor, Contractor, Surveyor, Architecture to name a few resources.

1)Experienced Realtor” – One who will walk you through and advise you on the rules and regulations each agency plays into the equation.

2) Research the property

Does it have an “As Built” Survey or any survey on record?

When was the property built – this will determine if there are any existing files at any of the agencies you will be working with.

Are there any upgrades/changes made to the structure with or without permits by current seller or previous seller? If so what? Often referred to as “Bootlegged” changes without permits.

Topography, stream zones, open space easements are a few items which determine the amount of available coverage a vacant lot will be scored by the TRPA and given a “Individual Parcel Evaluation Score”  (IPES).  With an existing structure on a lot many times the parcel may have more allowable coverage to work with especially if it is a level parcel with no stream zone restrictions.

Agencies which all participate in the building practice:

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency- TRPA

Washoe County Building Department

Incline Village General Improvement District - IVGID

3) Time Frames: Typically our building cycle is May 15-October 15, for pouring foundations. Due to freezing weather foundations must be poured within this period. Some exceptions do occur should weather permit and freezing temperatures are not occurring. Building can continue throughout the year.

If the house was built in the 70”s there will probably be no records on file at TRPA, unless a remodel was performed which required permits and an AS BUILT survey.

 An “As Built” survey in this case takes into consideration all existing coverage which includes the building pad, driveways, decks, walkways and additional parking area. This survey will be used to determine the coverage available for the new construction. Because the home was built prior to TRPA the property will be allowed to Grandfather” in all coverage even if it exceeds what TRPA would allow today, if it were a vacant buildable lot. A plus for many buyers.

A little history will explain why so many homes are scattered throughout the village which are mansions compared to a small ranch style right next door.

When Incline Village was originally developed with a  Master Plan design, which included our amenities of golf courses, beaches, ski resort, recreation facilities etc. The regulatory agencies of today did not exist. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) being the main one.

Prior to TRPA’s existence  subdivisions were formed and lots were created within each subdivision.

The original developers built many homes in a popular ranch style which was ideal for the second home buyers. Buyers were allowed to buy a lot and build their own homes with few restrictions.

When TRPA became a governing agency there first priority was to review each vacant parcel within the village and determine how much buildable coverage would be allowed per parcel. This was an Individual Parcel evaluation score (IPES). This dictated how a buyer could design a home based on coverage. Coverage was the amount of land which could actually be covered in the building equation from driveways, decks and home. The idea was to allow for open space and to keep Lake Tahoe’s clarity pristine.

 The calculations varied and some lots which people had owned for years with the intention of eventually building a home were deemed non buildable which ensued lawsuits. Many of these lots were purchased by the Forestry service and deemed non buildable.  

Tear downs became appealing because many smaller homes in the level lower elevations allowed the most coverage which was not utilized when originally built. These were easy to tear down and rebuild a much larger home which is evident throughout the Lake fronts, Lakeview and Millcreek Subdivisions. Lake front owners were the biggest winners in the Grandfather clause since the wealthy who came up early on took advantage of building large driveways and bigger homes. Once a lakefront was torn down the mansions you see are grand beautiful and many thanks to the original builders in the 70’s.

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


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