Tahoe Real Estate – Vacation Rental Income verses Selling your home.

Tahoe Real Estate – Vacation Rental Income verses Selling your Tahoe Home?Tahoe Real Estate - Vacation Rental Income verses Selling your home.

In the Tahoe market we have a number of second home owners that often do short-term vacation rentals. These short term rentals are seasonal, and can often generate significant short-term income for the owner. 

When the time comes for a Tahoe owner to sell their property one of the most common seller questions I’m asked is “Can I continue to vacation rent my Tahoe home, while you try and sell it?”

When you hire me to sell your Tahoe lakefront property, home, or condo I only get paid if I do that job.  I’m not interested in just getting your listing, I’m planning on getting your Tahoe home sold!

In order to do that job successfully I need to be able to show your property with little to no notice, and your home needs to show well. 

Property Showings = Sale

When you hire a vacation rental management company, they only get paid if they rent your Tahoe home.  If the home has to be ready to show with little or no notice, then how can they rent it out?  How does the vacation rental company get paid if they don’t rent your home? 

 No Vacation Rentals = No Rental Company Commission!

The two jobs are in competition with each other – Sale of your Home versus Rental Income

Tahoe Real Estate - Vacation Rental Income verses Selling your home.Often Tahoe sellers think listing with a broker that handles their vacation rentals too is the perfect solution to this problem.  After all, the broker controls both the sale/listing side and the vacation rental business, so what can go wrong with this combination? 

Here’s the catch, when the property is rented out, even with proper notice and with a vacation renters’ consent, how often, or how well do you think your home is going to show to buyers? 

Think about what happened the last time you were on vacation?  You know what a scramble it is to pick up your hotel room so housekeeping can come in.  Can you imagine having to pick up an entire home, or condo while you’re on vacation so a buyer can walk through the place?  

Do you really think a vacation renter is really going to clean up, or put their party plans on hold for your buyer showing?  How many times do you think someone who is paying top dollar to be at your Tahoe place is going to allow buyer showings to happen?  Lastly, how well do you think your home is going to show while a vacation renter is there?  Picture perfect is not the first image that comes to mind.    

So do you get your property shown, or not, while it’s on a vacation rental program?  The same conflict still exists for the broker who is doing both jobs – vacation rental, or selling your home, which job should they focus on? 

When I am asked by a Tahoe seller, “should I continue to do vacation rentals at my home, my answer is – ABSOLUTELY NOT if you really want to sell your home!”  Stop booking anymore vacation rental business right now.  This answer doesn’t win me any friendship points with the vacation rental mangers in town, but it’s what a seller really needs to do if they want to sell in a timely manner.  Tahoe property owners that are ready to sell need to choose one, or the other, Vacation Rental, or a For Sale sign, but not both. 

No Buyer Showings = No Sale!

Selling your Tahoe home now rather than later when the vacation rentals are done.

Lake Tahoe Homes for Sale

Lake Tahoe, California Condos for Sale

Lakefront Homes for Sale - Lake Tahoe, California

Tahoe Luxury Real Estate for Sale

Bank Foreclosures - REO's for Sale in Lake Tahoe, California Short Sale Homes for Sale in Lake Tahoe, California

For all of your Tahoe real estate needs – Laura Allen, 530.414.1260, Broker Associate, REALTOR®, CRS, ABR®, RSPS, ePRO, Previews Property Specialist,  Laura@TahoeLaura.com  DRE# 01473598 www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com,  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Tahoe City, California.

Tahoe Real Estate – Vacation Rental Income verses Selling your home.

Originally Posted at:  http://tahoelauraallenluxuryhomes.com/post/3301182/tahoe-real-estate-vacation-rental-income-verses-selling-your-tahoe-home

Tahoe Real Estate – What’s the difference between a Short Sale and REO/Bank Foreclosure?

Tahoe Real Estate What is the difference between a Short Sale and REO Bank Foreclosure?Tahoe Real Estate – What’s the difference between a Short Sale and REO/Bank Foreclosure?

A common question I often get from Tahoe buyers is “What’s the difference between a Short Sale and REO/Bank Foreclosure?  Aren’t they both owned by the bank?”

It’s important to know the different types of sellers in the Tahoe market including Short Sales and REO sellers.

In a normal market, distress real estate sales are expected to make up 2-5% of the sales at anyone given time.  Since the real estate market turned, Tahoe distressed sales are well above normal rates.  In 2011 distress sales made up approximately 1/3 of all condo and home sales.  That means 3 out of every 10 homes and condos sold were distressed and the remaining 7 sales were a standard sale.    

Currently we have four different types of sellers in the Tahoe market today: the Standard Sale (68%), the REO / Bank Foreclosure Sale (17%), the Short Sale (14%), and the Court Approval Sale (less than 1%).

What is a Short Sale?  The current market value is less than the total debt owned.  The seller does not have the money to make up the difference between the sales price and the debt owed to close the sale, there is a shortfall – a short sale. 

In order to close the transaction, the seller has to get third party participation and the debt holder(s) have to agree to take back less in order to close the sale.

Unlike the name, there is nothing quick about the short sale process.  A short sale is between a buyer and seller, with third party agreement to make the sale work.  Unlike a REO/bank foreclosure property, the lenders do not own the short sale property, the seller still does.

What is a REO (Bank Foreclosure)?  REO stands for Real Estate Owned.  This is the term banks use to identify their bank foreclosed properties.  At this point in the process, the lender has completed legal action against the property owner, and the bank is now the new owner. 

REO’s are very similar to a standard sale.  The owner, which is the bank, has the ability to agree to the price, terms and conditions that the buyer has proposed.  As a buyer of a Bank REO property you need to know that the seller is most likely to propose an addendum to the contract you have given them.  This bank addendum can dramatically alter the contract terms, conditions, contingency periods, and deadlines.  You need to be prepared for the REO seller to give you little in the way of repairs, or concessions once you’re in escrow, and you need to be prepared for delays in getting the signed paper work back from the REO seller to you.

What is a Standard Sale?  A standard sale is when an owner of a property puts it on the market for sale and they can close the transaction without the help from anyone else.   This is our most common type of Tahoe real estate sale with over 68% of our Tahoe real estate transactions being a standard sale last year. 

What is a Court Approval Sale?  A court approval sale is similar to a short sale since a 3rd party, the court, must approve the terms of the sale.  A few common reasons for a court approval sale are – divorce, bankruptcy, or settlement of an estate.  Court approval sales accounted for less than 1% of all sales last year, but buyers will come across them. 

Knowing the type of seller you are dealing with will help you determine your buying strategy.  Seller type can impact the condition of the property, the negotiation strategy, the type of contract used, the length of the escrow, property disclosures, possible repairs, not to mention deadlines, and their willingness to work with you.  These are just a few of the items to keep in mind as you look at your Tahoe property options. 

Tahoe Real Estate – Standard Sale, Short Sale, REO/Bank Foreclosure, and Court Approval Sales – know the different seller types. Lake Tahoe Homes for Sale

 Lake Tahoe, California Condos for Sale

Lakefront Homes for Sale - Lake Tahoe, California

Tahoe Luxury Real Estate

Bank Foreclosures - REO's for Sale in Lake Tahoe, California

Short Sale Homes for Sale in Lake Tahoe, California

For all of your Tahoe real estate needs – Laura Allen, 530.414.1260, Broker Associate, REALTOR®, Tahoe Real Estate Agent, CRS, ABR®, RSPS, ePRO, Previews Property Specialist,  Laura@TahoeLaura.com  DRE# 01473598 www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com,  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Tahoe City, California.

Tahoe Real Estate – What’s the difference between a Short Sale and REO/Bank Foreclosure?

Originally posted at: Lake Tahoe / Truckee, California Luxury Real Estate for Sale: Tahoe Real Estate What is the difference between a Short Sale and REO?

Lake Tahoe, California – Memorial Day Weekend 2012

Lake Tahoe, California – Memorial Day Weekend 2012

Flags at the "Y" in Tahoe City, CAThe Memorial Day holiday weekend is coming to a close and I’m once again reminded of how fortunate I am to live in a country where anything is possible.

I enjoy the freedom to work, live, and play in a country that has few, to little restrictions on me.  I can come, go and travel at will.  I can work as hard, or as little as I choose to.  No one requires me to do, or be in any place at any given time. 

I live in a country that allows me to walk down the street with little fear of being hurt.  I’m not worried about being shot at, or stepping on a landmine.  My water is good, the air is clean, our food is not being rationed, and my country offers the opportunity to become the person I want to be if I’m willing to work for it.

Life is good.  Today is not about problems, or what may be wrong with the greatest country on this planet, today is Memorial Day.  It’s a day to count your blessings. 

It was a beautiful day here in Lake Tahoe, California. It made me proud to see so many American Flags out and displayed proudly. 

I want to say “Thank You” to all those that have served, are serving, or plan to serve.  To the men and women who serve and protect our local communities, our states, and our country, I say “Thank You” for keeping us safe.  “Thank You” for being there.

To those families that have lost a loved one.  Your family has paid the ultimate price for the freedom and safety we all enjoy.  So on this Memorial Day, take one last moment and remember those that are no longer with us. Say “Thank You” to those that serve to protect us, and be thankful for the job they do each and every day. 

Memorial Day 2012!

For all of your Tahoe real estate needs – Laura Allen, Broker Associate, REALTOR®, Tahoe Real Estate Agent, CRS, ABR®, RSPS, ePRO, Previews Property Specialist,  DRE# 01473598,  Laura@TahoeLaura.com  530.414.1260, www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Tahoe City, California.

Lake Tahoe, California – Memorial Day Weekend 2012

Originally posted at:  Lake Tahoe / Truckee, California Luxury Real Estate for Sale: Lake Tahoe, California – Memorial Day Weekend 2012

Tahoe Real Estate – What are Bear Boxes?

Tahoe Real Estate – What are Bear Boxes?

Tahoe Real Estate – What are Bear Boxes?When Tahoe buyers look at property in our area the subject of Bear Boxes is a topic that always comes up.  What is a Bear Box, and why do you need one for your Tahoe home?

The answer is quite simply a bear box is a bear proof (animal proof) container that houses your garbage cans.  So why do you need a bear box for your Tahoe property?  Convenience.  Safety.  Respect for our wildlife.

Each week you roll, or carry out your garbage to the curb on your designated day, and then the local municipality hauls it away.  So what makes this routine different Lake Tahoe?  Why do you need a bear box?

Tahoe Real Estate – What are Bear Boxes?Reason #1:  Convenience  If you have a bear box, you can put your garbage out at any time.  If you don’t have a bear box, then you need to put your garbage out early on the morning of the same day as pick-up.  No leaving it out the night before.  Why?  Because we don’t want the local bears, raccoons, coyotes, birds, or other wildlife to tear into our trash and spread it out all over the neighborhood.  We limit out garbage exposure to just a few hours before we expect it to be picked up.

Reason #2:  Practical Solution  For second home owners without a bear box, they can either leave their trash in their homes and pray that a local bear doesn’t break into their home and destroy it looking for those tasty treats, or they can take it with them back home and dispose of it there.  A bear box allows second home owners to put their trash out at any time without risk of a local animal getting into the trash and making a huge mess.

Tahoe Real Estate - What is a Bear BoxWhat does a bear box look like?  The pictures here are of a typical bear box.  They are normally made of metal, and can hold a couple of garbage cans inside.  They range in price from $500 – $1,000.  What makes a bear box unique?  Notice there are no handles on the box.  There is an Allen wrench (hex key) that is attached by a wire on the side of the box.  This tool is placed in a small hole, twisted and the door opens.  Once the garbage is inside the door is locked, and the tool removed.  It’s important to remove the tool from the door as our local bears know how to turn a handle and open the doors.

Are all Tahoe property owners required to have a bear box?  The answer is no.  They are required to have one if they are going to do vacation rentals at the property. A Tahoe property owner can be required to install one if they’re garbage becomes a problem with local wildlife and more than two complaints are made.  Lastly, if you get a building permit for your property, or you are going to build a new home, one of the conditions of your building permit will be to install a bear box if you don’t already have one on site.

Tahoe Buyer Tip: If the property you are considering buying doesn’t have a bear box on the property, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to install one, or get a credit to put one in after the close of escrow. 

Investing in a bear box is worth the convenience it gives to a Tahoe property owner and it helps keep our bears and other wildlife safe by keeping them from getting into our garbage and causing a neighborhood problem.

Bear boxes – a value added feature in Tahoe Real Estate.

Lake Tahoe Homes for Sale

Lake Tahoe, California Condos for Sale

Lakefront Homes for Sale - Lake Tahoe, California

Bank Foreclosures - REO's for Sale in Lake Tahoe, California

Short Sale Homes for Sale in Lake Tahoe, California
For all of your Tahoe real estate needs – Laura Allen, 530.414.1260, Broker Associate, REALTOR®, CRS, ABR®, RSPS, ePRO, Previews Property Specialist,  Laura@TahoeLaura.com  DRE# 01473598 www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com,  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Tahoe City, California.

Tahoe Real Estate – What are Bear Boxes?

Originally posted at:

Lake Tahoe / Truckee, California Luxury Real Estate for Sale: Tahoe Real Estate – What are Bear Boxes?

Lake Tahoe Memorial Day Weekend Deck Opening Parties, May 2012

Lake Tahoe Memorial Day Weekend Deck Opening Parties, May 2012

It’s that time of year when Lake Tahoe gets ready to celebrate the beginning of the summer season with their Memorial Day Weekend Deck Opening parties.  While the weather looks like it will be cold with the possibility of rain/snow most decks will open to the delight of those that brave the elements!

If you’ll be up in the greater Tahoe City area this Memorial Day Weekend here are some the West Shore Deck Opening Parties you’ll want to be at.Lake Tahoe Memorial Day Weekend Deck Opening Parties, May 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge will celebrate their 25th Anniversary & Deck Opening Party with live music, silent auction, and more from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.  Located in  Sunnyside / Tahoe Park at 1850 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, CA.  530.583.7200  Located on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe!

Lake Tahoe Memorial Day Weekend Deck Opening Parties, May 2012

The Bridgetender opens their Truckee River riverside patio for the season beginning at 12 noon.  65 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, CA  530.583.3342.   Located at the “Y” in Tahoe City!

Lake Tahoe Memorial Day Weekend Deck Opening Parties, May 2012

Chambers Landing Bar and Grill will have their Opening Deck Party featuring Chambers Punch specials starting at 4 p.m.  Located just past the Chambers Landing Condos at 6400 West Lake Blvd., Homewood, CA  530.525.9190

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lake Tahoe Memorial Day Weekend Deck Opening Parties, May 2012

West Shore Café will kick-off summer 2012 with their Deck Opening party with live music from 2 – 5 p.m.  5160 West Lake Blvd., Homewood, CA.  530.525.5200  Located on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe!

Even if the weather isn’t perfect, spending time in Lake Tahoe is a great to kick off the summer season!

Summer in Lake Tahoe, California – West Shore, Lake Tahoe Opening Deck Parties, May 2012

For all of your Tahoe real estate needs – Laura Allen, 530.414.1260, Broker Associate, REALTOR®, CRS, ABR®, RSPS, ePRO, Previews Property Specialist,  Laura@TahoeLaura.com  DRE# 01473598 www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com,  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Tahoe City, California.

Lake Tahoe Memorial Day Weekend Deck Opening Parties, May 2012

Originally posted at:

Lake Tahoe / Truckee, California Luxury Real Estate for Sale: Lake Tahoe Memorial Day Weekend Deck Opening Parties, May 2012

Tahoe Real Estate – Cash Buyer – Do I need an Appraisal?

Tahoe Real Estate – Cash Buyer – Do I need an Appraisal?

Tahoe Real Estate – Cash Buyer, Do I need an Appraisal?Buyers who are getting a loan to purchase their Tahoe property will most likely be required by their lender to get an appraisal on the property.  When a cash buyer is purchasing a property they also have the right to get an appraisal, but do they have to?

When a buyer makes an offer on a property, they are most likely taking into account the market value information their Tahoe REALTOR® put together for them in the Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) on the property.  A CMA is based on recent sales and current active listings in the area.  

The difference between a CMA and a professional appraisal are the details and different valuation methods the appraiser will use to determine the Fair Market Value (FMV) for the property being purchased.

In our area, either the lender, or your Tahoe real estate agent will select, or recommend several appraisers from a local area list of insured, licensed, certified professionals.  In the Tahoe market it is typically the buyers’ responsibility to pay for an appraisal.   

Regardless of whether you’re a loan buyer, or a cash buyer if you get an appraisal and the property appraises for the price being paid then the appraisal contingency should become one you can remove.  If the Tahoe property does not appraise for the full purchase price, then you as a buyer have four options:

1)     Price Reduction – The buyer can ask the seller to lower the price.

2)     Pay the Difference – The buyer can make up the difference between the appraised value and the amount you have agreed to pay.   This option is typically for buyers getting a loan.

3)     Pay the Agreed upon Purchase Price – A cash buyer always has the option of paying the agreed upon price even if the property does not appraise to the purchase price.

4)     Cancel the Purchase – The buyer can cancel the contract.

In Tahoe most agents use the California Association of REALTORS® Residential Purchase Agreement (CAR-RPA) and one of the standard contract contingencies that both loan buyers and cash buyers have is the option to have an appraisal contingency. 

The appraisal contingency will run with the time it takes for you to remove your loan contingency, or it can be a stand-alone contingency for the cash buyer. The appraisal contingency allows you to cancel the contract if the property does not appraise, without penalty on your good faith deposit.

Most Tahoe buyers like to have the option to have an appraisal done even if they are paying cash.  Remember if you’re going to get financing after the transaction closes, you’ll want to be able to show your lender that the property did appraise.  If you have any doubt about the price that you are paying for your Tahoe property, the cost of an appraisal is a small when compared to the investment you are making in our area.

If you’re a cash buyer and you’re in a multiple offer situation, dropping the appraisal contingency can be a smart negotiation tactic and give you the edge over your competitors.  Remember as a cash buyer you still have the right to have an appraisal done even if you don’t have the contract contingency.

Does a cash buyer have to have an appraisal?  The answer is no, but having an appraisal contingency is always a good option for a buyer to have.

Tahoe Cash Buyers have options and getting an appraisal is just one of them.

Lake Tahoe Homes for Sale

Lake Tahoe, California Condos for Sale

Lakefront Homes for Sale - Lake Tahoe, California

Bank Foreclosures - REO's for Sale in Lake Tahoe, California

Short Sale Homes for Sale in Lake Tahoe, California

For all of your Tahoe real estate needs – Laura Allen, 530.414.1260, Broker Associate, REALTOR®, CRS, ABR®, RSPS, ePRO, Previews Property Specialist,  Laura@TahoeLaura.com  DRE# 01473598 www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com,  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Tahoe City, California.

Tahoe Real Estate – Cash Buyer – Do I need an Appraisal?

Originally posted at:

Lake Tahoe / Truckee, California Luxury Real Estate for Sale: Tahoe Real Estate – Cash Buyer Do I need an Appraisal?

A Vacation in my own back yard – Lake Tahoe, California!

A Vacation in my Own Back yard – Lake Tahoe, California!

A Vacation in my Own Back yard – Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaI live in one of the most beautiful locations in the United States – Lake Tahoe, California!  I know I’m very fortunate to get to work, play, and live in a place that thousands of people travel to each year for their vacation.

Living in a vacation-resort, second home market, I often work every day, including the weekends when visitors are in the area, and I love it!  No regrets on a crazy real estate schedule that comes with last minute changes, but I also look forward to making my time-off count.

In the past, my better half, Craig and I have taken advantage of all of the summer fun that occurs while we’re in our peak tourist season.  This year we plan to do the same.  As crazy as this may be to many, by attending many of the special events that our area offers each year, it often feels like we are on vacation in our own back yard, without any of the hassle that comes with vacation travel.

This year I have special plans for some time off.  My parents are scheduled to visit us in late June.  This will be my summer vacation.  I can’t wait to see my Dad.  He’s in his 80’s and I miss seeing him every day.  He’s an amazing man, and I’m counting the days until I see him again, only 29 days to go!

A Vacation in my Own Back yard – Lake Tahoe, CaliforniaTheir visit will be a short one, only 5 days, so I plan to make the most of our time together.  What will we do while my folks are here?  We’ll go to the beach.  Take the sunset ride on the Tahoe Gal. Dine out at one of the local lakefront restaurants.  If time permits we’ll do the Tahoe City Wine Walk.  Maybe ride our bikes or take a hike depending on how everyone feels.  I’ll spend every minute I can with them.  It’s a vacation I can’t wait to take.

While I’m taking some time off to be with my family, I’ll still respond to email, but only once a day.  I’ll return any phones calls in the morning before my day gets started and my amazing transaction coordinator, Juli will handle any escrow issues that may come up, something she does whether I’m on vacation or not.

I look forward to spending time with my family and enjoying a quick summer vacation, right here in my own backyard.  What will you do this summer to make the most of your free time?  Will you take a vacation in your own backyard too?

Lake Tahoe! It’s the place to be this summer!

For all of your Tahoe real estate needs – Laura Allen, 530.414.1260, Broker Associate, REALTOR®, CRS, ABR®, RSPS, ePRO, Previews Property Specialist,  Laura@TahoeLaura.com  DRE# 01473598 www.TahoeLauraLuxuryHomes.com ,  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Tahoe City, California.

A Vacation in my Own Back yard – Lake Tahoe, California