Lake Tahoe real estate: Trade up, trade down, hold on or cash out (Opinion) |

Lake Tahoe real estate: Trade up, trade down, hold on or cash out (Opinion)

Dom Kanare and Sabrine Belleci / Guest column
Don Kanare and Sabrina Belleci, ReMax Realty

Weekly real estate update

Statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS on 12/17/19

Houses Condos PUDs

For Sale 95 52 13

Under $1 million 16 27 7

Median Price For Sale $1,924,000 $941,500 $895,000

YTD Sales 2019 156 160 53

YTD Sales 2018 179 184 61

New Listings 1

In Escrow 11

Closed Escrow 6

Range in Escrow $309,000 - $3,550,000

It’s that time of year when property owners in Incline Village and Crystal Bay start to think about whether they want to continue using their place at Lake Tahoe or explore other options.

With our local real estate market in a steady uptrend it’s an excellent time to contemplate whether to trade up, trade down, hold on or cash out.

Owners of single-family homes that have appreciated by 20% or more in the past few years who have been thinking about downsizing into a condominium could find themselves enjoying the best of both worlds. This is especially true if you have a property with a lakeview or a house in the Millcreek or Championship Golf Course neighborhoods.

With a relatively small supply and very good demand for these types of places you could likely sell your property rather easily at the beginning of 2020, purchase a condo or PUD in a desirable location and put a substantial amount of money in your pocket after completing both transactions.

The reason this opportunity exists is because condo prices for the most part have not appreciated as quickly as prices for a good percentage of single-family homes in Incline Village and Crystal Bay.

Since coming out of the housing crash, condo prices have rebounded but are still below the pre-recession peak. As of this writing, you can still find condos in highly desirable locations with asking prices that are between 15% and 20% below their all-time highs. Consequently, owners of single-family homes find themselves in a rare position where they can sell their property which has appreciated significantly during the past two years and trade down with favorable economic results.

With the condo inventory hovering around 52 units for sale during this time of year, there is also the opportunity for condo owners to consider selling in the spring time and trade up to a larger property before they have to compete with the usual summer crowds.

While you will normally have to come out of pocket a few dollars to make a trade up purchase, not having to compete with throngs of buyers in the summertime provides you with a better opportunity to negotiate your best deal.

Some property owners will make the decision to simply hold on and enjoy their house, condo or freestanding condo for the next few years. With land regulations and building to red tape, it appears that properties in all classes in our market will continue to appreciate in the foreseeable future at a steady rate.

Considering that Incline Village and Crystal Bay provide a fabulous quality of life along with superb recreational amenities, holding onto your property and living the dream on the Nevada side of North Lake Tahoe is a darn good alternative.

For some folks the nice levels of appreciation we have seen since the end of the housing crisis provide the ideal time to cash out. With low inventory levels, 2020 could be the right time to sell your property and ride off into the sunset for warmer, less snowy pastures.

Property owners at Lake Tahoe have some interesting things to contemplate and a wide variety of options to consider in a real estate market that offers opportunities for everyone.

Don Kanare is the founder and Sabrina Belleci is the owner and broker of RE/MAX North Lake in Incline Village. You can follow their blog at

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