Real Estate Information

Incline Village Real Estate

Chris Plastiras


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 26

North Lake Tahoe September 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Marius Poltan

As we are approaching the end of the year it looks like the median price is pulling back a little suffering a 14.7% decline compared to 2014 and 2.4% compared to 2013, but the home sales are seem to be very close to past years numbers.  

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.

Swing That Hammer, Sellers!

by Chris Plastiras

If you're selling a home that needs updating, you'll net more for your home because you're making it look closer to new. You're solving problems that current buyers don't want to take on, making your home more competitive in today's market.

According to the latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, home improvement spending is set to climb nearly four percent.

Among the reasons cited for the upswing are stronger pending home sales and continuing low interest rates. Other reasons may be just as significant. Purchase prices are still lower than the 2006 peak, inventories are tight, and the production of new homes has stagnated since 2007.

The 2015 Generational Report by the National Association of Realtors found that 84 percent of buyers purchased an older home, and with good reason.

The median age of homes purchased in the survey was 22 years, built in 1993, and over 53 percent of homebuyers purchased homes older than that. The median seller sold their homes after occupying it for 13 years.

Sixty-four percent of buyers chose older homes because they cost less than new homes and offered more value, while 17 percent preferred the charm of older homes.

Yet, the exact same number of buyers who purchased new homes said they did so to avoid maintenance problems and to choose their own designs.

A whopping 88 percent of buyers used the Internet to view homes before they drove by or called an agent, and 50 percent of buyers used mobile apps such as phones or tablet devices. The number one thing they wanted to see were photographs of homes.

In other words, it's time to get a facelift. Your home could be selected or eliminated based simply on how it looks.

So where should you spend your money? Kitchen and bathroom projects remain the most popular remodeling jobs, said the National Association of Home Builders in 2015, but smaller projects are becoming more common.

Bathroom remodels were cited as the most popular type of remodel by 78 percent of remodelers, and kitchen remodels were next at 69 percent. Other popular remodeling categories reported by remodelers included window/door replacements, whole house remodels, room additions, major repairs and handyman services.

North Lake Tahoe August 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

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

The charts bellow reflect Incline Village real estate sales for the month of August 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.

10 Tips for Turning Your New House Into "Our Home"

by Chris Plastiras

When you're moving into a new house, the more you know about it before you must know— during a high-pressure day, emergency, or crisis — the happier you and your family will be.

Closing day took care of the legal and financial aspects of taking on ownership of your new home while move-in day got you and your stuff into the premises. We helped you, sanity intact, move-in with Three Sanity-Saving Tips For Moving-In Day. To top off this success, we've compiled a list of practical "must do's" to ensure settling in is the beginning of belonging.

Get off to a great start in your new home — new or resale — by attending to these "little details" which will also make this feel like "our home." Ignore them and they can cause problems down the road. Involve the whole family in dealing with these 10 tips and everyone will feel at home.

#1. Our New Passwords: Change codes and passwords for security systems and anything else you are taking over from the previous owner. Make sure the new version is significantly different, so it can't easily be guessed. Record passwords and keep in a safe place.

#2. Our New Keys: Change the locks on the house, garage, outbuildings, and gates. If you're happy with the existing hardware, a local locksmith can re-key or change the lock cylinder or replace the interchangeable core, depending on your system. Check window locks to ensure all are fully functional.

#3. Our Smoke/CO Detectors: Check with the local fire department to learn where smoke/ CO detectors and fire extinguishers are required or recommended. Interconnect units if possible. Check existing units for expiry dates. Never install a smoke/CO detector in your home without understanding how it operates whether it is hardwired or not. If not, install new batteries today and add a replacement date to your maintenance calendar. (This will also be a move-in anniversary reminder.)

#4. Our Manuals: Start a digital and/or paper folder for manuals for every appliance, detector, and operational device that could need repair or replacement. Jot down maintenance reminders on your maintenance calendar while you inventory what you have.

#5. Our Electrical Breaker Panel: Where is it? What does each circuit breaker connect to? Get out the labels and do a room-by-room check so you know what's what and record this by each breaker. If you have cable or other wired services, find out when the exterior and interior cables and hardware were last updated. You may be due for an upgrade.

#6. Our Water Shut-off: Where is the main shut-off? How do you turn off the water line to the refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, and every other potential source of leaks? Check temperature settings where applicable to suit your conservation plans. If the water heater or anything else, is rented, compare this arrangement to the cost of buying a new one.

#7. Our Furnace: Clean or replace filters in the furnace, range hood, air conditioner, and any other filtered appliances. Note times for the next clean on your maintenance calendar.

#8. Our Clean, Dry Home: Steam cleaning carpets is a no brainer, but make sure gutters and downspouts are cleaned, too. To ensure the house stays dry, check that the grading is correct all the way around the house. Are windows and doors properly caulked to keep interiors cosy and draft-free? If you'll be parking under sap-dripping evergreen trees, you'll need something to safely remove the sap, but not the car paint.

#9. Our Undisturbed Garbage: Ask neighbors about local pests and wildlife to make sure you prevent their invasion. That's a lot easier than getting rid of them once they settle in — pests, that is, not neighbors. A copy of the garbage pickup schedule is essential.

#10. Our New Closets: Don't make do with someone else's closets. Fit out closets with racks and shelving that suits you. Do it now instead of later wishing you had and you'll always be pleased you moved into your closets properly from the start.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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."


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.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 26