Incline Village Real Estate
News Letter - May 2013
Don Kanare - Realtor
Your E-Pro Incline Village Real Estate Agent
775-828-3380 - www.InsideIncline.com
If You Would Like to Receive This Newsletter Automatically Each Month,
Send Me An E-Mail. Your Information Will Never Be Divulged to Anyone.
This Months Articles:
Computers Beat Phones for Viewing Property
Real Estate Leaders and Volunteers Make Positive Impact
Rental Properties: The Good, The Bad and The Weird
Current Sales Statistics - 2013 Sales Continue Strong Pace
818 Jennifer St. - Lakeview home with 3BR, 2BA, 2 Car Attached Garage, 1,424 sq. ft. $649,000
96 Third Creek - Now Offered Furnished!! Great location on the gated side of the complex. End unit, 3BR, 3BA, 1,787 sq. ft., 1 car attached garage. Private setting buffered by trees, fence and open space. $679,000
Computers Beat Phones for Viewing Property
Smart phones are all the rage and it seems like everyone from elementary schoolchildren up to grandparents have become aficionados of this modern technology. The latest reports show sales of personal computers dropping precipitously during the past year as smartphones become the choice of many, especially among the younger generation and those who travel a lot for work.
You can do so many different things with a smart phone; check e-mail, get directions, take and send pictures, browse the Internet, and update your social media pages, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of apps for everything from business to entertainment. The convenience of using a smart phone, along with the compact size has made these personal electronic devices extremely popular all over the world. There is even a recent study showing that nearly half of all people with a smart phone check for text messages and e-mails before getting out of bed in the morning.
But if you are shopping for real estate, phones are at a huge disadvantage compared to tablets, laptops and personal computers when it comes to viewing properties on the Internet. It may be convenient to use your phone to scan the QR code on a real estate sign or flyer to get information and see pictures of properties. However, it's difficult if not impossible to truly grasp the look and feel of a house or condo on a screen smaller than the size of your hand.
With over 90% of all buyers beginning their property search on the Internet, having high quality still pictures along with a virtual tour are a critical part of any marketing plan. Properties in Incline Village and Crystal Bay are not the cookie-cutter variety that you will often find in subdivisions around the country. Except for some condo developments, our community is characterized by custom homes ranging in size from around 1200 square feet all the way up to mammoth lakefront properties of 20,000 square feet or more.
Looking at properties on a computer screen or monitor is far more advantageous than trying to view them on the roughly 4 inch screen you will find on most phones. You can appreciate a quality lake or mountain view a lot more when you have a full size screen on which to see the still pictures and virtual tour. The difference is comparable to looking at a restaurant menu in eight point type in a relatively dark room versus a behemoth billboard by the side of the highway. While many people need to take out their reading glasses to peruse the menu in a dimly lit eatery, billboards are designed to capture your attention and make it easy to read the entire message quickly.
It's not just the size that matters, smart phones (no matter how high-quality the screen may be) cannot compete with the resolution that you will find on tablets, laptops and computer monitors. With the price of the vast majority of houses in Incline Village and Crystal Bay exceeding $1 million, it is important to be able to see a property in the best possible light before deciding whether or not to view it in person.
Virtual tours have become commonplace as one of the most powerful marketing tools that sellers and agents have to entice buyers to view a property. While you can see a virtual tour on a smart phone, the lack of bandwidth compared to a high-speed Internet connection along with the small screen size makes for an inferior viewing experience. The impact of a virtual tour is magnified several times over when seen on a computer screen (the bigger the better) as opposed to trying to render this type of memory intensive application on a smart phone. Imagine how dramatic a panoramic Lakeview will appear on a computer monitor instead of on that little 4 inch screen in your pocket. The same goes for every room in the house, especially properties that have expansive great rooms, stunning gourmet kitchens, cathedral ceilings and eye-catching architecture.
While it may be convenient to whip out your smart phone and search for properties for sale while your companion is driving around Lake Tahoe, it's like having someone bring you a five course meal in a fine restaurant but you only get to taste the appetizer. When it comes to looking at properties on the Internet the scale, quality, speed and overall viewing experience is enhanced many times over when seen on a computer as opposed to the tiny screen on a phone. Buyers should use a full-size computer whenever possible to search for properties on the Internet or they may overlook the perfect place simply because the pictures and virtual tour do not render as nicely or are not as appealing when viewed on their phone.
716 Bunker Court - REDUCED $300,000!!
Beautiful Sederquist design, extensive use of redwood throughout this stunning home with 3 master suites. Superb location next to Mountain Golf Course and State of Nevada Conservation land. Elegant architecture, spacious rooms, 3700+ square feet, family room, formal dining, living room, breakfast nook, huge laundry room, den / office. Wraparound deck, 2 fireplaces, oversized 2 car garage. $1,300,000
103 Third Creek - End unit, 3BR, 3BA, 1,787 sq. ft., 1 car attached garage. Very good location on the gated side of the complex. Swimming pool, tennis court, spa, sauna, clubhouse, gym, beautiful common areas and large lawn for gatherings. $679,000
Real Estate Leaders and Volunteers Make Positive Impact
When people are buying and selling property in Incline Village and Crystal Bay they routinely interact with agents, title companies, home inspectors, repair men and a host of other service providers. But, what they don't see is the vast amount of time and energy spent on behind-the-scenes activity that takes place all year round by the local real estate leadership and volunteers who keep things running smoothly.
The Incline Village Board of Realtors (IVBOR) has an executive director and a staff person who are the paid employees that support the members of our local real estate community. In addition, there are a variety of volunteer leadership positions that are filled by agents and brokers. These positions consist of a President, President-elect, MLS Chairperson, Board of Directors, Public Policy Committee Chairman, Grievance Committee, Nomination Committee and a Scholarship Committee.
In a recent interview with Diane Brown, the current IVBOR President, she provided some insight as to the importance of shared leadership and volunteerism. “Volunteer leadership is the oil that keeps the wheels of real estate turning. We have so many wonderful people doing something out of the goodness of their heart.”
One of the key issues that the local leadership focuses on is property owner rights and how those rights may be affected by bills that are working their way through the State Assembly and Senate. The Public Policy Committee Chairman and other volunteers search through all the bills that are being considered by our state government and focus on what positive or negative impacts there will be on property owners in Nevada. A good example of this monitoring of the legislative process is the proactive leadership which has been demonstrated over the last several years which has resulted in the real property transfer tax not increasing. There have been numerous efforts during the past couple of legislative sessions to increase this tax, but it has remained the same due to the diligent efforts of the volunteer leadership.
Incline Village and Crystal Bay property owners benefit from the time and energy spent not only monitoring legislative issues but through local involvement with community plans and development and ongoing efforts to protect property rights and property values. While California has a coastal access law that essentially makes beaches on that side of the Lake open to the public as long as one does not trespass on private property to get access to the beach, property owners on the Nevada side of the Lake actually own the beach that is a part of their particular parcel.
When asked why Ms. Brown became involved as a volunteer leader she said, “I enjoy giving back to my community. I feel both sides of an issue should be heard so people can have good information and be able to make their own decisions.” In addition to serving as the local Board of Realtors President, she is working on the new Global Committee, the purpose of which is to foster better communication with the international community and to provide information for investment and future relocation opportunities both domestically and abroad.
Both the National Association of Realtors and the Nevada Association of Realtors provide leadership training in an effort to increase knowledge, raise awareness of key issues and foster good communication and teamwork. There is an emphasis on the importance of shared leadership responsibilities while encouraging broad participation among members of the real estate community over the long term.
You will find volunteers and affiliates in the real estate sector working not only on issues related directly to real estate but also providing valuable support to a broad range of community events and charitable activities. There isn’t space to list everyone who donates time, money and energy to these causes, but some real estate agents have become synonymous with certain organizations and events year after year. Here are just a few examples: Mike Chamberlain and the Shakespeare Festival, Ron Stichter - Star Follies, Tom Bruno - Red White and Tahoe Blue, JoAnna Rice – Kids and Horses, Janet Pahl - Pet Network and the Parasol Foundation. The beautiful Incline Gateway (which I have dubbed Spumoni Circle in memory of my cat who provided the inspiration for the roundabout) was created by this author and came to fruition with the volunteer support of several members of our community.
So, the next time you are engaged in a property transaction remember that it's not just the agents on both sides of the deal and the escrow officers who are involved with keeping our real estate activities running smoothly. The volunteer leadership plays an important part in the overall well-being of the Incline Village/Crystal Bay real estate community along with protecting property values and the rights of property owners.
746 Eagle Drive - Lakeview home on the East slope built in 2002 with high quality finishes throughout. 3BR, 3 full baths, 2 half baths, 3200 ft.², Cathedral ceilings, wine closet, must be seen to be fully appreciated. Property borders a babbling brook and forest service land providing a private location and lovely setting. - $1,399,999
224 McCloud is a nicely furnished 1BR, 1BA penthouse condo on the Incline Way side of the complex. Mountain view from the deck, sunny southern exposure. Good location away from the street. Short walk to beach, shops and restaurants. $325,000
Rental Properties: The Good, The Bad and The Weird
Owners and prospective buyers of Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate will often contemplate whether or not it is valuable to consider doing vacation rentals or putting their property on a long-term lease. Vacation rentals are generally defined as any rental for a period of 29 days or less while long-term leases are normally considered to be for any length of time between 30 days and one or more years. Many long-term leases are structured with an initial rental period of one year followed by either a one year renewal or a change to month-to-month tenancy.
When you are considering doing any type of property rental it is usually predicated on a number of factors such as the anticipated annual income, wear and tear on the property, whether to offer it furnished or unfurnished and the economic benefits to be gained by forgoing the use of your property for a particular length of time. Generally speaking, long-term rentals will generate a higher and steadier flow of income than all but the best vacation rental properties. However, doing vacation rentals still provides you with the opportunity to use your property a significant amount of time during the year when it is not occupied.
Anyone who has rented their property for a long period of time will usually have stories to share about the good, the bad and the weird situations they have encountered over the years. While it might seem nice to rent your property on a one year lease and avoid the turnover that occurs with vacation renters, finding a great tenant can sometimes be a challenging experience. Not every tenant on a long-term lease is going to treat your property with kid gloves or maintain it in the pristine manner that you deliver it to them on move-in day. If you can find a tenant who enjoys maintaining your property with the same care and pride of ownership that you have, then it can be a win-win situation for everybody.
Good tenants will keep a property relatively neat and clean, report repairs and problems in a timely fashion and will not offend the neighbors by creating any type of nuisance. They will also pay the rent on time every month and sometimes even handle minor repairs on their own without troubling the property owner. When it comes time to renew the lease, it's much easier for property owners and rental agents to feel encouraged to continue with a good tenant who has shown a high degree of responsibility during the previous year of the rental agreement.
But not every tenant falls into this category. Some renters will treat the property with slightly less concern than a cheap motel room. It's not unusual for a less than stellar tenant to ignore reporting repair items to the rental agent or property owner for months at a time thereby reinforcing the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What started out as a small leak from the drain pipe under the kitchen sink can turn into an expensive repair job when that trickle of water makes its way through the floor and into the ceiling below or down into the adjacent walls. And that's just for starters. Occasionally, after a tenant moves out property owners will discover all sorts of damage including holes in the walls, doors yanked off their hinges, broken appliances, torn or stained carpets and even the disappearance of furniture or appliances. And then will come stories from the neighbors about how loud, inconsiderate or the outrageous behavior the tenant exhibited that you as an absentee owner would never have been aware of.
And some renters are neither good nor bad but just plain weird. One of my roommates in Davis, California many years ago decided that the basement of the home we were renting would be the perfect place to perform his senior research project which was breeding giant Burmese pythons. Never mind that he was majoring in wildlife and reptiles along with having a fair amount of experience with handling his pet boa constrictors and other exotic animals. Buying three pythons ranging in size from 5 feet long up to 9 feet and breeding them to produce a few dozen babies was a whole new ballgame. Even though he and his lab partner built two high quality cages and lined the basement with chicken wire to prevent the snakes from escaping, it was always a bit unsettling whenever the hatch to the basement was opened and the snakes removed from their cages for playtime.
The project was successful and the 80 or so eggs produced by the two females resulted in 40 live births and their ability to study the Burmese python reproductive cycle. While their professors may have been enamored with their ability to breed giant Burmese pythons in captivity thousands of miles from their native habitat I can only imagine what the landlord would have thought if they had come to the house for an annual inspection of the property.
If you are thinking of renting your property on either a short-term or long-term basis it's good to have an understanding of both the positive and negative factors affecting your decision. While the extra income is nice it has to be weighed against the possibility of extraordinary expenses and additional repairs that may result from permitting others to occupy your property. It's impossible to be absolutely certain upfront whether a tenant will be good, bad or simply weird. But engaging the services of a professional rental agent or property management firm can go a long way towards making it a positive and rewarding experience for everyone involved.
705 Golfer's Pass Rd - Large and beautifully landscaped lot next to Mountain GC. Nicely updated home with a warm mountain feel, 3 decks, spacious rooms, good floor plan. Oversized 2 car garage, newer kitchen appliances, office nook. New roof in 2011. 2 New water heaters, roll out awning, and more! $859,000
554 Silvertip - 5BR, 3BA, Lakeview property at low elevation in the Ponderosa subdivision. Private setting with sunny south facing exposure. Good floor plan, nice space for home office. Enormous garage, gigantic parking pad at top of driveway with plenty of space to turn around and drive down easily. - $799,000
On a Personal Note:
I am planning to go on a 4 day backpacking trip in Yosemite either 5/21 or 5/28 depending on snow levels and trail conditions. I won't know the actual date of the trip until shortly before I depart due to changeable weather and the opening of Tioga Road.
Please contact Cindy at my office at 775-828-3700 if you need assistance during that brief time that I am away.
Click Here to See All of My Listings and Virtual Tours
Click Here to See the Lastest Incline Village Real Estate Weekly Sales Statistics
INCLINE VILLAGE REAL ESTATE SALES
Houses Condos Free Standing Condos Total
2013 YTD Sales 76 54 9 139
2012 YTD Sales 37 29 8 74
Copyright 2008 - 2013 - Don Kanare - All rights reserved.
Inside Incline is entirely written and published each month by Don Kanare of RE/MAX Premier Properties for property owners and others who have an interest in Incline Village and Crystal Bay. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 775-828-3380 or send Don an e-mail