When buyers are shopping for a property at Lake Tahoe they have many decisions to make. While there is every type of property imaginable from rustic cabins and tiny condos up to palatial estates, the rarest of all breeds is the Panoramic Lakeview. Over the years, architects and developers have strived to maximize lots with Panoramic views since there are so few.
Our local MLS categorizes the various types of lake views as follows: Peek Lake, Filtered Lake View, Lakeview and Panoramic Lakeview. Only a small percentage of all Lakeview properties qualify as Panoramic Lakeview and the majority are clustered into just a handful of subdivisions. Not counting the exclusive group of lakefront properties, you don't have to go too far from the center of Incline Village to find condos and homes with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe. From the Bitterbrush condos near the Diamond Peak Ski Area, which start in the high 900s to homes on the East Slope ranging up to $16.5 million, the variety is almost endless.
The best lake views will generally be found on lots that have some type of slope. While it’s nice to have a level lot in the Lakeview subdivision so you can toss a ball around with the kids and walk to the beach, the lack of slope combined with the tall trees will likely block most or all of your view. So, there will almost always be a trade-off between having a Panoramic Lakeview and a lot where you can play pickleball.
There is the perpetual argument of upslope versus downslope and which is better. It comes down to a personal preference. Downslope properties will generally have a relatively short and fairly level driveway or parking pad on stilts, (but this is not always the case). Upslope properties will often have uphill driveways that run at an angle off the street, and snow removal may or may not be an issue depending on the sun exposure. Some folks just like being on the downslope since there is usually no visible pavement between you and that panoramic view of the Lake. Others like the greater sun exposure that upslope homes tend to receive.
Since panoramic Lakeview homes make up such a small part of the inventory of properties for sale in Incline Village and Crystal Bay they can command much higher prices per square foot than comparable properties without such a spectacular view. And in many cases the smaller the house the higher the price per square foot because of the intrinsic value of having such an expansive view of Lake Tahoe.
It is a wonderful experience to have an opportunity to see and appreciate just how special and rare a true Panoramic Lakeview home is. With the afternoon sun glistening on Lake Tahoe and the snowcapped mountains across the Lake, it creates that magical feeling of living in paradise.