Archive for March 2012

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency says, “Do whatever you want”   Leave a comment

TRPA today formerly abolished all of their land use restrictions and will now focus only on providing assistance to homeowners with BMP’s and erosion control measures. At a press conference today in Tahoe City, TRPA Executive Director Joanne Marchetta said, “We have decided to quit hassling the landowners of the Tahoe basin. We figure it’s their land, they have a better idea what to do with it then we do.” Immediately after the press conference, a member of Tahoe Area Sierra Club, was rushed to the hospital after screaming something unintelligible and then fainting.

In other news…

Gorgeous Powder Day…Tahoe skiers…say “Nah” think I will go to Reno for the day.

With three feet of fresh powder yesterday, followed by blue bird skies this morning, the slopes of Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley were nearly devoid of skiers today.  “It was pretty surprising to see the parking lot nearly empty,” said Squaw Valley Marketing VP Julie Maurer. “Although I have heard that there is a special on those Dark Chocolate Truffle Bars at Trader Joe’s in Reno…perhaps that is where everybody is.” In fact, Whole Foods Checker Ginger Granola said, “I was surprised to see all these Tahoe skiers down here picking up peanut butter packets and Luna bars. I thought it was a powder day.”

In Incline, when asked why she was leaving the bowling alley instead of skiing, Meghan Dudette said, “We’ve already had two good powder days this season…I’m so over it, bowling was the place to be today. And I just love those really cool shoes.”

Have a wonderful April Fool’s Day!

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It’s great being a Tahoe-Truckee parent   Leave a comment

The Far West team

The Far West team

Two weeks ago I was at Soldier Hollow, Utah cheering on our Far West Nordic Team at the Junior National Championships. These children are some of the best cross country skiers in the nation, and I was excited and inspired that my daughter, Skyler Flora, qualified for the team.

As a mom of an intensely competitive athlete, she’s cross-country runner too, I am constantly amazed at the dedication and commitment our children make to a sport. Even when it means many hours of painful training, and sometimes injuries, they continue to train year round to reach their goals. This year, the lack of snow, meant the cross-country skiers were cycling, running and roller skiing through January to stay in top form.

Peter Holmes placed 3rd

Peter Holmes placed 3rd

It was a blast being in Utah supporting these wonderful athletes, watching their confidence grow as well as their friendships. Interestingly, during the race season they compete against each other, but once they make the Far West Team they are teammates and are working together for the benefit of the team. These children learn more than just skiing, they learn about themselves, their strengths, weaknesses and how far they can push themselves.

Our Far West Team is small, 30 kids compared to some teams that have more than 50, but they turned in great results this year. They brought home 7 medals for top 10 finishes. Top finishers included Austin Meng, Katrin Larusson, Annika Taylor, Sam Zabell, Skyler Flora and Bria Riggs from Truckee/Donner area schools, and Dylan Syben, Peter Holmes and Patrick McElravey from North Tahoe.

To top it off, Far West coaching staff includes two past Olympians, and several who have trained with the US Ski Team. All are committed skiers who love the sport and working with our children. Far West also brings two talented chefs to the JO’s with them and the kids absolutely love the food.

Skyler Flora

Skyler Flora

Skyler makes me humble and very proud. I am blown away by her focus and determination. When I was her age, 15, I don’t know if I could have achieved her level of excellence. Her confidence is absolute in her ability to reach the top of her sport.

Next year the Junior Nationals will be in Alaska! While I probably won’t be there to cheer them on, hopefully both of my children will make the team, and I will be here in Truckee glued to the computer, happy that our Tahoe/Truckee kids have the opportunity to become involved in cross-country ski racing, a sport that brings out the best in them.

Gabi, Savannah and Skyler

Gabi, Savannah and Skyler

Hands are not for sitting on…the state of the 2012 Sierra Real Estate Market   1 comment

An analysis of real estate activity in the Tahoe-Truckee area conducted by Coldwell Banker found the following:

For the Truckee, North Lake Tahoe, Alpine, Squaw and Donner Summit Areas combined the median home sales price in January 2012 was $331,500. This is a decrease of 13.8% from the $384,500 median price of January 2011. Meanwhile, the number of sales increased 10% between January 2011 and January 2012. New listings which came on the market in January 2012 were down 23.4% from January 2011. In fact with overall housing inventory for sale down 11% from January 2011, it’s the lowest inventory of properties for sale since February 2009.

Just in Truckee the median sales price in January 2011 was $400,000, while in January 2012 it declined 4.4% to $382,500. The inventory of properties on the market decreased 15.5% from January 2011 to January 2012, again leading to the lowest inventory of properties on the market since February 2009.

Want more of the numbers and even some cool graphs? Drop me a line and I can send it out to you. I can also provide you with a customized report just for your area and would be happy to discuss in detail what all this means to your particular situation.

Beyond the numbers: The thing about markets-whether we are talking about the stock market or the real estate market is that you don’t really have any idea when you have hit bottom, until the market has already started going up and you are no longer at the bottom. You just have to look at what is going on and anticipate what might happen in the future.

Over the last year prices have continued to decline, while sales were going up. This means that after several years of kicking and screaming, sellers finally came to the realization that if they wanted to sell they had to reduce their prices. Once those prices were reduced, previously reluctant buyers came into the market and started snatching up the best deals. Now well-priced properties sell quickly. In fact some of the good deals have received multiple offers, while properties which were not perceived to be such great deals have remained on the market for long periods without selling.

What does this mean for you as a seller? A low inventory means less competition for the buyers that are out there. Why would you want to compete against twenty similar homes when you can compete against only five? For some reason there is a fallacy that you should wait until summer to put your house on the market, instead of putting it on in the winter. Why? The reality is that there are buyers looking for houses all year round. More sales happen in the summer, because the inventory is low in the winter and buyers just cannot find the right house. If they could find the house and price that they want in the winter, they would buy it. If you put your house on the market in the winter or early spring YOU WILL HAVE LESS COMPETITION FOR BUYERS THEN YOU WILL HAVE IN THE SUMMER. When you do put your house on the market: Price it right. You want to strike while the iron is hot. If your house is the only one like it on the market and your price it too high, it will languish on the market until several other similar homes come on the market and then you will have to compete against them. Not good.

Are you thinking of buying? There are some great deals out there, but some of you are still concerned that prices have not reached bottom yet. Remember, you do not know that the market has bottomed out until it has already started to go up. Interest rates are still incredibly low (but may go up if the economy and the real estate market heats up) and while the inventory of houses is lower than it has been in three years, be patient because new houses come on the market regularly. If you do find the house you want at a good price, be sure you are prepared to pull the trigger by having your finances in order in advance.

ImageSo there you have it. Hope to hear from you soon.

YOUR FRIEND IN HIGH PLACES

Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

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