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3 Tips for Making Your Garage a Fishing Equipment Base

by Chris Plastiras

A 2013 report by the American Sportfishing Association estimated that American anglers spend $7.2 billion annually on fishing equipment. Diehard fishermen typically possess 20 or more rods, several reels and even gear for ice fishing for those living in the Northeast and Midwest.

It's simply smart business for avid anglers to protect their investments by organizing and storing their fishing equipment so it's accessible and ready to use regardless of time elapsed between fishing trips. Garages provide the perfect space to create a fishing base that would make both Rick Clunn and Kevin VanDam proud. Here are three tips to efficiently and effectively store your gear.

Tackle Advice

Some anglers like to go after the same type of fish every time out. This makes for easy tackle selection and storage. However many fisherman target catfish one week, bass the next and trout the following month. It's these individuals who need multiple tackle boxes and a more detailed system of organization.

Crank baits should be stored in their own tackle box. All terminal tackle (hooks, sinkers, swivels, etc.) should also have dedicated boxes. Plano's four-drawer tackle boxes are great for separating your gear for each species of fish.

All of your soft plastics need their own dedicated storage spaces and should be organized by style. Curvy-tail worms for bass and walleye, for example, should be stored together. Drop shots and senkos for other species need their own space as well.

Rack 'Em

All rod racks are not created equal. The type and style you choose will depend on the amount of space you're working with and the general layout of your garage.

Rod holders are typically made of plastic, aluminum, fiberglass or custom-built with various types of wood. The two main varieties are vertical ground racks and wall racks. The latter have the advantages of not taking up surface area on the ground and allow your lines to hang loosely. You also don't have to worry about wall racks tipping over.

Make certain vertical ground racks are sturdy. Don't buy it if you're not able to view and test one on display. It's best to use wood or steel ground racks because of their weight. If you're willing to pay $500 for a rod and reel, it behooves you to also invest in an adequate means of storing it.

Advanced Tips

The little steps you take before putting your rods away until the next fishing trip make all the difference in preserving and protecting your equipment.

When storing your rods, make sure there's no tension on the lines. Most anglers hook the line to the reel when rods are not in use. But rods have memory and will maintain that bend if you leave it hooked that way long enough. Ideally lures should simply be cut off completely when storing your rods.

Loosen the drag and spool tension on bait casting reels when poles are sitting for extended periods. These steps will eliminate the possibility of bending your rods and negatively effecting casts.

Finally keep the garage at room temperature if possible. Excessive heat weakens the graphite and fiberglass in rods. Filet knives should be cleaned, sharpened and dried before long-term storage. It's also a good idea to coat them with a light oil to protect from rust.

Secure Your Home With Cutting-Edge Technology While On a Budget

by Chris Plastiras

A burglary occurs every 14.6 seconds and a property crime every 3.5 seconds, according to the FBI. In addition, Safeguard the World reports that homes without security systems are up to 300 percent more likely to be broken into. Fortunately home security products and apps help deter burglars and stop them in their tracks. While an expensive home security system helps safeguard your home, there are other ways to stay safe without breaking the bank. Check out some of the best home security technology that can be controlled from your iPad no matter where you are.

iSmart Alarm

Check out iSmart Alarm for a robust home security system with no contracts or monthly fees. Motions sensors, iCameras and contact sensors alert you to activity in your home and record what's going on. A smart switch controls your lights remotely with a schedule of your choice, and it can be used to turn appliances off and on while you're away. You also can mix and match products or only order those that meet your home security needs.

Hue

Couple smart lighting with your home security system or devices. Philips’ Hue is designed with style in mind if you want to set a certain mood or even match the colors of a sunset right from your favorite photograph. Hue also secures your home by scheduling when lights go on and off and changing the colors remotely. Set a lighting schedule for different rooms to illuminate when you want and program them to come on automatically the moment someone walks up to your door. Potential intruders who see the unpredictable change in lighting will think someone’s there and move onto the next house.

Presence

Download the free Presence home security app to turn your smartphone into a live video feed. This is ideal when you just need to monitor your front door or specific room. The app alerts you when motion is detected and also has convenient two-way video and audio capabilities. You can talk directly to your kids who just got home from school while you're still at work or even verbally confront an intruder even though you're on the opposite side of the world. A burglar who's taken by surprise when you tell him or her to leave and you've called the police is likely to flee and not come back.

August Smart Lock

Send a virtual key to guests, contractors or your children with the August Smart Lock. Especially useful for real estate agents, August Smart Lock offers encrypted locking technology that is scheduled to work when you need it. You can access a log record to see who entered right from your iPhone or iPad. And if your Wi-Fi goes down, the August Smart Lock still works with the use of a back-up battery.

Goji

Try Goji if you like the idea of the August smart lock but want additional features. Goji sends out virtual keys and unlocks your door whenever you program it to. Additionally, it sends picture alerts of visitors to your door and logs it into the system. Set a date and time for guests to access your home and use the on-call help if anything happens to your smartphone. Instead of getting locked out, Goji representatives can virtually unlock your door and cancel access for your lost or stolen phone.

Regardless of what home security apps and products you use to secure your home, don’t forget to employ old-fashioned techniques. Ask neighbors to keep flyers, newspapers and mail from littering your driveway and signaling your absence. Refrain from posting updates about going out of town on social media, and check your windows and doors to ensure locks are working properly.

8 Things You Need To Know About Buying A New Home

by Chris Plastiras

Buying a new home can be a truly exciting experience. Choosing your lot and floorplan, picking out all your fixtures, watching the progress from foundation to framing to finishes. Makes me want to run out and tour a model home right now!

Through all the excitement, though, there are a few realities that may be surprising for those buying new for the first time.

1. You probably won't be able to negotiate the price

New homes are not like resale, where there is the expectation of price negotiations back and forth. The price set by the builder is most likely the price you're going to pay. The exceptions are when there are just a few homes left and when there is standing inventory that needs to be sold.

"Look for builder inventory homes that have been on the market for 45 days or more," said Inman. "These are the homes in which a buyer might be able to get a good deal."

2. But you may be able get some upgrades at no cost

More typical in a new-home community is getting some upgrades thrown in—things like window coverings or nicer flooring. Negotiating a few must-haves into your deal can help offset your costs. Some builders may also help with closing costs as an incentive to buy.


Meritage

3. There might also be incentives to using the builder's in-house lender

Many builders have an in-house or preferred lender they work with to provide financing for buyers. There may be advantages to using this lender—better terms or a rate that's bought down. By law, the builder can't make you use their lender, so if you feel pressured, be sure to discuss with your real estate agent.

4. Use a REALTOR®

Speaking of Realtors…you can use your agent to buy a new home, and, in fact, you should.

"In general, builders' model homes are staffed by agents who work directly for and represent the builder. A buyer also needs to have a real estate agent who represents them and looks after their best interests," said Inman. "Keep in mind that most builders will require that the real estate agent accompany and register the buyer on their first visit to the builder's model home or community."


Curbed

5. Your home will not look like the model

When you tour a model home, it's decked out with pretty walls and floors and lighting and countertops. The furniture is to scale and the fabrics are custom and the pictures are hung perfectly. It's pretty seductive. But the empty shell you buy won't look like this if you go with all the standard configurations and finishes. Be realistic about what you want, what you need, what you can afford, and how that translates to what you are seeing. The salesperson can point out which of the items you love in the model come standard and which are pricey upgrades.

6. The price of the home as advertised is not what you'll pay

Typically, it will take many tens of thousands of dollars in upgrades and options to get the home you buy to look like the model. This can be a rude awakening for buyers who are trying to stick to a strict budget. The good news is rolling some of those upgrades into the mortgage can make good financial sense, according to Money Crashers.

"Upgrading during the initial construction phase is generally cheaper than updating your home later on. For example, if you choose to upgrade from laminate flooring to hardwood, you'll pay the difference in material costs—but you won't necessarily have to pay extra for the installation itself, since your builder needs to install floors in the first place. The same goes for things like windows and bathroom features."

Merchant Circle

7. You'll be dealing with construction noise and traffic. For a while.

The peaceful life you envision can be a reality, but probably not from the get-go. Depending on the community, it may take time to complete construction. Which means dealing with congestion and hassle for the time being. Amenities like pools, sport courts, and trails may also not be built out by the time you move in. Asking ahead of time about the construction schedule can help you manage expectations.

8. Not everything will work perfectly

In any house, there are bound to be issues. New homes are no different. Builder warranties will help.

"Warranties for newly built homes generally offer limited coverage on workmanship and materials relating to various components of the home, such as windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, and electrical systems for specific periods. Warranties also typically define how repairs will be made," said the FCC. "The duration of coverage varies depending on the component of the house. Most warranties on new construction cover siding and stucco, doors and trim, and drywall and paint during the first year. Coverage for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems is generally two years. Some builders provide coverage for up to 10 years for "major structural defects."

North Lake Tahoe July 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Marius Poltan
  • North Lake Tahoe July 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

The charts bellow reflect Incline Village real estate sales for the month of July in the past 5 years. These reports we're created individually for Residential Home sales and Condominium Sales.

  • Residential Home Sales Report


Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Residential Home sales.

  • Condominium Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Condominium sales.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

Lakeshore Realty is the top selling real estate office

by Marius Poltan

Lakeshore Realty is the top selling real estate office in the Incline Village/Crystal Bay area in 2015.


Inclusionary Zoning Decision Likely To Have Major Consequences

by Chris Plastiras

Last month's California Supreme Court decision (California Building Industry Association (CBIA) v. City of San Jose, June 15, 2015) will make it easier for California cities and counties to pass inclusionary zoning ordinances. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), inclusionary zoning or housing programs "require or encourage developers to set aside a certain percentage of housing units in new or rehabilitated projects for low-and moderate-income residents. This integration of affordable units into market-rate projects creates opportunities for households with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to live in the same developments and have access to [the] same types of community services and amenities…"

California counties and cities have long had an obligation to develop a general plan "…including a mandatory housing element consisting of standards and plans for housing sites in the municipality that ‘shall endeavor to make adequate provision for the housing needs of all economic segments of the community."

In the case at hand the city of San Jose had adopted an ordinance that would apply to all residential developments in the city that would create 20 or more new, additional, or modified dwelling units. The inclusionary housing requirement specified that "15 percent of the proposed on-site for-sale units in the development shall be made available at an ‘affordable housing cost'" (as defined in the Health and Safety Code). If the developer chose an available alternative option, such as constructing affordable housing elsewhere or paying an in lieu fee, the requirement increases to no less than twenty percent of the total units.

The CBIA challenged the ordinance on the grounds that there was no evidence that new developments of twenty units or more would have such negative public impacts as to justify the requirements of the new ordinance. If it couldn't be shown that the development itself would cause a lack of affordable housing, then, according to the CBIA, it couldn't be justified to make the developer sell units at below market rates. To do that, they argued, would amount to an unconstitutional taking of the developer's property.

The Superior Court agreed with the CBIA's contentions and ruled that the ordinance was constitutionally invalid. On appeal, however, the Appellate Court ruled that the city did not have to show a causal relationship (a nexus) between the potential harm caused by the development and the benefit brought about by the ordinance's requirements. Rather, the Appellate Court held, the ordinance only needed to be evaluated under the standards for general land use regulations: namely, did the requirements "bear a real and substantial relation to the public welfare…"?

The Supreme Court agreed with the Appellate Court and upheld its ruling. It noted that, "As a general matter, so long as a land use regulation does not constitute a physical taking or deprive a property owner of all viable economic use of the property, such a restriction does not violate the takings clause…"

In the case of the San Jose ordinance, no transfer of any real estate interest to the city was required; nor was any parcel of property taken. Moreover, it certainly was not the case that the property owner would be deprived of any economic benefit. Indeed, it was noted that "the San Jose ordinance makes available a number of economically beneficial incentives -- including a density bonus, a reduction in parking requirements, and potential financial subsidies …" such that "it is not the case that the San Jose ordinance will necessarily reduce a developer's revenue or profit…"

The Supreme Court acknowledged that "A municipality's authority to impose price controls on developers is, of course, unquestionably subject to constitutional limits." If they were deemed to be confiscatory – if they denied a property owner a fair and reasonable return on its property -- they would be deemed to be unconstitutional. But no evidence had been introduced to suggest that the effects of the San Jose ordinance would be so extreme.

The court wrote, "Most land use regulations or restrictions reduce the value of property; in this regard the affordable housing requirement at issue here is no different from limitations on density, unit size, number of bedrooms required set-backs, or building heights." [my emphasis] But such reductions in value do not in themselves constitute an unconstitutional taking. Hence, "the validity of the ordinance does not depend upon a showing that the restrictions are reasonably related to the impact of a particular development to which the ordinance applies. Rather, the restrictions must be reasonably related to the broad general welfare purposes for which the ordinance was created."

Currently, 170 California jurisdictions have some sort of inclusionary zoning ordinance. This ruling will make it easier for such ordinances to withstand court challenges. (Particular cases could still be found invalid if they were too extreme.) The burden of proof shifts from the city or county to the owner/developer. Unless this case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court and is overturned there, it can be expected that there will be more inclusionary zoning ordinances in California.

House Flipping 101: Safety Tips For Newbies

by Marius Poltan

A Queen-Anne-style fixer-upper sounds like a dream: original woodwork, period details, hand-carved mantles or molding. But a dream can quickly dissolve into a nightmare when you step on a rusty nail, put your hand through a window or fall off a roof. It's better to be well-prepared and informed before starting a project than to face an injury during it. Here you’ll find safety advice and quick tips for new house-flippers, including proper gear, procedures and legal documents for Lake Tahoe or Incline Village real estate owners.
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1. Lead Paint Procedures

According to the EPA, houses built before 1978 are much more likely (than those built after) to have lead paint, which can cause serious health problems. Before renovating, take steps to protect yourself from hazardous lead-contaminated dust. Seal off contaminated areas with plastic sheeting and tape, including air vents, windows and doorways. Turn off forced air systems before beginning, and spray water on lead-painted surfaces to keep dust from spreading.

2. Dust Mask

Wearing a dust mask, or “Particulate Respirator,” will protect home renovators from potentially dangerous dust entering their respiratory tract. These disposable masks can be bought in bulk packs from Home Depot, and should be used while grinding, sanding, sweeping or bagging.

3. Tablet with Wi-Fi or 3G

This seems like a funny thing to include within home improvement stuff, but a tablet will be a lifesaver. Load up your iPad Air 2 with apps like a level and tape measure. Upload your tunes or stream from Pandora to keep you entertained, and download YouTube for when you need a visual tutorial to DIY fix that faucet. Use the camera app to take pictures and share your house progress on social media. Once the house is ready to put on the market again, use the ZipRealty or Trulia apps to view comps in the area so you know what price to set yours. If you don't have Wi-Fi installed at the house, a subscription for 3G service will help you remain connected the whole time.

4. Protective Gear

Knee pads, goggles and gloves will also be indispensable while flipping a house. Knee pads protect knees from injury or discomfort while working long hours on all fours to refinish wood floors. Goggles protect eyes and face from flying sparks and dust while grinding or sanding. And heavy-duty gloves protect hands from cuts, scrapes and splinters that result from rusty nails or rough wood.

Boots will never run out of uses on a work site. Rubber rain boots protect feet and lower legs from water as well as from loose nails, screws, splinters, or other debris left around the house. Boots with sawtooth rubber soles are best for construction as they increase traction during the wettest conditions.

5. Voltage Tester

The number of tools to buy before flipping a house may seem overwhelming at first, but there are a few essential tools that keep workers safe for a very affordable price. A non-contact voltage tester comes in handy when pulling out or rewiring electrical outlets or switches. With this tool, renovators test for live electrical currents without touching any wires or plugging in anything. Alternatively, renovators could plug a hair dryer or blender into an electrical outlet and turn it on before shutting off circuit breakers to test which breaker operates the outlet. When the noise stops, you’ll know the outlet is dead.

6. Stud Finder

Another small tool, a stud finder, is also useful to home renovators to safely hang shelves or cupboards. Stud finders can be found at hardware stores, like Lowe's for example. They indicate where a wall stud is located behind drywall so that heavy material can be screwed into solid wood instead of into only drywall, which could potentially crumble and come crashing down.

7. Legal Documents

Do yourself a favor now by creating an organizational system for all documents related to your house. An accordion binder or scanner and electronic file system will work great. This is useful to keep bids from contractors, receipts, warranty information, purchase agreements, loan documents, and inspection results. Keep all of these documents from the time of buying the flip to at least one year after selling it. You’ll need them at some point for the bank, the realtors, your buyers and their realtors, everyone’s inspectors, possibly lawyers, and of course the IRS.

Don’t Forget…

…to keep a first aid kit, a phone, and a friend nearby. You never know when you might need to clean a cut finger or need help lifting a chunk of drywall.

Selling Your Home? Make It A Summer Dream Home For Buyers

by Chris Plastiras

Selling your home in the summertime can be a great opportunity to attract buyers. Having your home "summer-ready" can increase the chances of it selling faster.

Searching for homes often increases just as schools let out and families have some extra time to begin the hunt prior to the next school year beginning.

As a seller, there are a few things you can do to create a summer-ready home that influences your buyers to step inside and stay a bit. The longer they stay when previewing your home, the greater likelihood that they're considering making an offer.

Make sure your winter decorations are put away and stored. I know this sounds basic and maybe even amusing but there have been instances when lingering holiday decor still adorns some areas of the home. This may be charming to the homeowners but rest assured it's not to prospective buyers. It'll simply look like clutter.

Pull the heavy-duty winter rugs up. If you have beautiful flooring like hardwood, go bare for the summer months. Revealing well-kept floors can be a big plus. Rugs that lined the floors in the winter months can be packed up when you're listing your home for sale in the summer months.

Make the home look like the season and match the neighborhood. If it's bright and cheerful outside, invite that into your home by opening up the windows and letting natural light flow through. If there is one, let a cool breeze blow in or keep the air conditioner on so that it's a comfortable temperature to tour your home. Nothing is worse than entering a home to preview and finding that you can hardly stay inside because it's stuffy and blazing hot.

Tidy up the backyard. Sometimes a lot of attention is given to the interior of the home and the outside area gets overlooked. Remember, in the summertime especially, homeowners will be sure to check out your yard. Make sure that it hasn't become a dumping ground or storage for all the stuff you're trying to get rid of before you move. Instead, create a pleasant vision for your prospective buyers by setting up the backyard with cute outdoor furniture. If you have gardens, make sure that you keep tending them. Don't let them get overgrown. The charm of a lovely outdoor space, large or even petite, will be appealing to most buyers, especially if they're starting with one that's already designed and maintained.

Clean your fans and vents and change the heating/air conditioning filters. If you're not using or living in the home, the fans and filters can collect a lot of dust. Be sure not to overlook cleaning these things as a dirty ceiling fan can whirl off a lot of dust and debris when it's turned on. It's not a good way to start a showing by flipping a switch and having handfuls of dust flutter about the room. Cleaning and changing air conditioning filters takes only a few minutes, but the return is huge.

A few simple things can help you "summer-ize" your home so that the prospective buyers can't wait to move into the home and enjoy the rest of the summer.

Updating The Bath: Standalone Tubs

by Chris Plastiras

One of the hottest interior design trends today is the standalone tub. From classic clawfoot models to more modern shapes, the tub is having a renaissance.

"A renewed interest in the freestanding tub has seen design firms rolling out an array of amazing bathtubs that are aesthetic and economically viable," said Decoist. "Bringing along with it an aura of luxury, elegance and affluence, the standalone bathtub is all about revving up the style quotient of your bathroom while you enjoy a refreshing soak! "

These tubs provide function for those who like to luxuriate in their spa retreat, but it is the style of the tub that often provides the draw.

"These tubs are favored by those who want a true focal point in their bathroom, a beautiful fixture that functions as a piece of furniture," said HGTV. "These statement pieces typically need a larger bathroom space for full effect, but with some careful planning, they can work in smaller spaces as well."

Kitchen Bath Trends adds that freestanding tubs give those who formerly had built-in shower/tub combos an opportunity to refresh, renew, and rejuvenate.

"Homeowners are starting to see that the shower/tub combo is great for efficiency, but not so much for relaxation and comfort. They relate freestanding bathtubs to a sense of self-indulgence and downtime because these tubs are much deeper and more spacious than a traditional bathtub."

Choosing a style and material is a matter of taste (and budget!), and with all the options available, it can be a challenge.

"There are acrylic, cast iron, resin, stone, stainless steel, copper bathroom tubs which vary in price," said Lushome. "Acrylic bathtubs are more affordable, and copper tubs or stone tubs are for those who are willing to spend a lot more money for creating amazing, timelessly elegant, rich and expensive bathroom design that make a statement."

Check out a few of our favorites below and get some inspiration for your bath.

A copper tub is an incredible choice in any setting. Add an indoor-outdoor element, and you have a space you may never want to leave.


Decoist

Who says your tub needs to be white? A black tub provides an injection of cool.


Furniture Fashion

How about a tub for two?


News Notepad

Refinishing an old clawfoot tub allows you to bring in a bit of the old and some of the new.


Prestige Bathtub Refinishing

New shapes bring in a modern touch.


Alocrest

A metallic tub ties into another modern trend while turning a just-OK bathroom space into a showstopper.


Decoholic

A freestanding tub can stand up to any décor style. Even a brick wall makes a great backdrop.


Signature Bath

A wood bath? Why not?!


Decoholic

See more examples here.

North Lake Tahoe June 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Marius Poltan
  • North Lake Tahoe June 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

The charts bellow reflect Incline Village real estate sales for the month of June in the past 5 years. These reports we're created individually for Residential Home sales and Condominium Sales.

  • Residential Home Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Residential Home sales.

  • Condominium Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Condominium sales.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

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