What To Do After You’ve Purchased Your New Lake Tahoe or Truckee Home   Leave a comment

By Michelle Portesi


Recently I ran across this article by Country Living Magazine on ‘9 Things to Check For in a New House’ …(or at least ‘new’ to you.)

Along with the good, common sense reminders to ‘change the locks’ and ‘replace batteries in smoke detectors’, there are a few items you should add to your Tahoe/Truckee New Home ‘to do’ checklists.  The mountain environment has special conditions that require extra considerations that could not only save you a lot of grief, but even save your life.

So in addition to Country Living’s checklist, we’ll add ours:

1) If your new home has a wood burning stove or fireplace, call a chimney sweep to give it a good cleaning.  Nothing would be worse than buying a new home only to have it go up in flames from a chimney fire. Creosote builds up quickly over the course of a long cold winter, and it’s a safe bet that the previous owners didn’t spring for this expense just before they sold the house.

2) Buy wood! If you do have a wood burning stove and you’ve bought your home during the summer, that is the time to purchase wood for the coming winter. Prices tend to be cheaper during the summer, but once there’s even a hint of a nip in the air with fall fast approaching, you can bet those prices will be rising.

3) Invest in a ‘bear box’. These are metal containers with an animal proof latch that are embedded into the ground to house your trash cans.  Wildlife is abundant in mountain communities, and bears are not only extremely opportunistic feeders (along with raccoons, and even your neighborhood dogs!), but they can completely destroy a standard trash can in short order, sometimes breaking into a garage to do it. You’ll have a lot of damage and cleanup as a result. Raccoons can’t be deterred from an unprotected container and will merely hiss at you from the comfort of their new homeowner supplied buffet line.

Save yourself the misery. Call one of the local purveyors to install a bear box for you.


Hey, thanks for the grub. Sorry about the mess...

Hey, thanks for the free grub. Sorry about the mess…



4) Stock up on candles, flashlights, fresh batteries, and kerosene lamps and oil.  The power has a tendency to go out all too frequently whenever there is a big storm (or an errant accident hitting a power line). Having these items on hand will make it easier for you to stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night – or at the very least, enable you to read a book when you’re no longer hooked up to the grid for entertainment.


5) Purchase snow shovels, car ice scrapers and snow brushes. Those of you new to the community from warmer climes are in for a bit of ‘culture shock’ if you move here during the fall or winter.  Having these items on hand BEFORE big storms hits are a necessity if you ever want to leave your house after any substantial amount of snowfall. In a pinch, a credit card makes a good ice scraper for your car windows, but it’s not something you want to rely on indefinitely. Don’t want to shovel all that snow yourself? Find out who the neighborhood snowplow guy is, and contract for his services early.


Only a few short hours ago I was wondering 'gee, which snow drift is my car?' Found it!

Only a few short hours ago I was asking myself  ‘Gee, I wonder which snow drift is my car?’ …OK, Found it!



6) Alternative Cooking and heating sources. If you’ve purchased an ‘all electric’ home, consider switching to gas or installing a wood burning stove so that when the power does go out, you can at least stay warm and have a hot meal. And coffee.

You just can’t go without coffee…






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