Housing market awaits impact from Measure T (Opinion)
The Measure T ball has finally dropped. As approximately 1,000 vacation home rental-permit holders in South Lake Tahoe ponder the next chapter for their properties, an eager housing market awaits.
While the change to VHR regulations was a severe disappointment to many homeowners, particularly those who had come to rely on the extra income, the good news is that even during these pandemic times, there is extremely high demand for these homes.
Single-family home sale prices have been increasing an average of 8% per year since 2013 in South Lake Tahoe according to local real estate data, and are up 20% in 2020. In addition, the demand for long-term and seasonal rentals exceeds the supply by nearly 2,000 homes on the South Shore.
Lately, Tahoe Home Connection has been asked to predict how many of these former VHRs are likely to enter the long-term rental market. We see a future in which the dynamic nature of our mountain-town workforce combined with the power of technology and the flexible use of second homes leads to a win-win.
If homeowners, renters, and local businesses work together to help match homes with local renters, South Shore can end up with a more effectively housed population, and second homeowners can maintain revenue-generating capacity on their property while continuing to enjoy visiting Tahoe periodically.
As VHR owners contemplate whether to rent their properties long-term or seasonally, there are a few things to consider. Will you use a property manager or self-manage the home? Allow pets? Leave the home furnished or unfurnished? Would you be open to an agreement where the renter vacates the property for a few pre-specified weekends; or; alternatively, would you consider leasing the house long-term and going to a hotel yourself when you want to come to Tahoe?
Because of South Shore’s focus on tourism, Tahoe Home Connection sees a variety of workers looking for housing. Here are some profiles of typical rental needs in South Shore:
• Two- to three-month rentals. Traveling nurses and doctors, or locals who need to temporarily relocate because of home renovations are examples. These renters are usually looking for furnished homes, and often have a dog. These renters are in high demand among our second homeowners because they allow for the most flexible use of the home, however, there are more homes available for these types of renters than are generally needed.
• Six-month rentals in the winter. Ski resort employees move to the basin for one season only, and need a place to live from around December to May. Furnished homes are ideal for these renters, and they do not usually have pets.
• Long-term rentals of a year or more — unfurnished homes. This type of rental is the most common. These can be single people, couples, or families with parents employed at the school district, in social services, by government agencies or at local restaurants and shops. These households often have dogs.
• Long-term rentals of a year or more — furnished homes. These homes are ideal for groups of two to five young people who have recently graduated from high school, who work at local businesses and are ready to start living on their own. Many attend the local community college and work at popular recreation-oriented businesses such as ski shops, restaurants, or boat and kayak rental businesses.
When a homeowner contacts Tahoe Home Connection, we can either connect them with a property manager, or they can self-manage the home through our website. Homeowners can post their home information with photos and be contacted directly by interested renters. Our property managers offer discounted rates for those who will rent to local workers.
Homeowners should contact us a month or two before they are ready to rent via our website, https://www.tahoehomeconnection.com.
A key role of Tahoe Home Connection is to make it easier for second homeowners to rent their homes long-term. Homeowners may need cleaning and home repair services, and short hotel stays so they can still visit Tahoe while renting out their home. If you are a local business and would like to offer special services to these homeowners, we would like to partner with you.
We also greatly appreciate the support that we have received from our community. The American Century Championship, city of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County and the El Dorado Community Foundation have been key supporters in our efforts to match local workforce with homes.
We look forward to continuing to connect second homeowners and local renters in 2021.
Tahoe Home Connection’s mission is to unlock, utilize, and improve affordable housing for South Lake Tahoe locals. We are a nonprofit organization.
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The warm temperatures and bright sunshine during the past week have resulted in the usual rapid springtime snowmelt around Lake Tahoe.