Should You Be Thinking About Buying or Building?

posted in: Tahoe Real Estate, Tips | 0

Bring me your tired, your house hungry, and your picky home buyers!  When looking for a home it can be really difficult to find that home that’s just right for you.  Here in South Lake Tahoe there are a great many options to choose from.  You have your cozy mountain cabin, your big vacation rental mansion, the 1940’s ranch house, classic A frames, and so much more!  With all of these options you’d think there’d be something for everyone right?  Not neccessarily…


When I imagine my “home” I think of a place where my family and friends pull into the driveway and say “Yep, this is Ally’s place.”  Having lived in many houses around South Lake Tahoe, I can say that only a couple of them have become actual homes for me.  People’s homes are reflections of who they are.  This is important to think about when buying and if you just don’t get the “This is it!” feeling from anything it may be time to start thinking about ways to make something that is truly yours.  While this can be a longer and more expensive option, it can be the perfect avenue for building a dream home that is specially catered to you and your family’s needs.  


One of the biggest expenses buyer’s will have to face after closing will be updating their new home to new efficiency and environmental standards.  The City of South Lake Tahoe recently pledged to have %100 renewable energy throughout the entire community by 2032.  This may present new challenges to home owners to update their homes as well.  Not only is updating an existing structure a pain, but the money you lose while your home isn’t energy efficient can really put a dent in your budget.  When building your home think about things that may be advantageous to have for the future.  Things like having solar panels or energy efficient construction can even make you money in the long run!


During every escrow it is advisable to get inspections done.  A home inspection can reveal all sorts of issues on an older home, problems with the roof, foundation, flooring, and just about anything you could think of that could go wrong in a home.  You have a chance to submit a request for repairs but it is up to the sellers to elect to do them or not.  If things are done hastily, you could be looking at problems down the line too.  In addition to the home inspection, you have the pest inspection to contend with too.  Finding spider’s nests, termites, or carpenter ants can really dampen the mood when thinking about moving into your new home.  These pesky little creatures can cause structural damage as well as be a general nuisance to live around and try to manage.  If you elect to build your own home, you avoid all of these problems.  Make sure to do your research on a good builder and architect.  Reach out to their references and get any info you can to make sure you’re in good hands.  Homes in Tahoe go through a lot with the heavy winters we’ve seen recently.  If your home is sturdy and well thought out, you’ll avoid a lot of problems in the future.


If you’re going to buy a lot and build your own home, chances are you’re looking to make this an investment property.  The restrictions on vacation rentals in South Lake Tahoe are getting tighter and tighter of late.  There are new parking rules and neighborhood saturation just to name a couple.  Here in Lake Tahoe we have the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency too, so that adds a whole other aspect to updating an older structure.  There are restrictions on everything from land coverage to fence height.  When building your own home you have all of these things laid out ahead of time so you can work within the restrictions that are already in place.  If your coverage is 2,000 square feet, you have all that space to do whatever you want with instead of trying to work around what’s already there!  In addition, when building a vacation home you can make sure all of your ducks are in a row with the TRPA before going to get your permit.  Not only is applying a little easier, but newly constructed homes have a better occupancy rate than older cabins in Tahoe.  People vacationing here are looking for the best experience possible.  You don’t want your guests encountering spiders or having issues with old appliances.  Older homes are cute and may even have that old Tahoe flavor, but that only goes so far when talking about comfort and salability.


Building a home is not for everyone.  You need a lot of patience, money, and attention to detail.  However, if this is sounding like something you’d like to look into let us know!  Nanda has been a Real Estate agent in South Lake Tahoe for over 10 years.  She has tons of experience with a wide array of real estate sales and will go the extra mile to ensure your path to your dream home is smooth sailing.  


Click here to see all of the vacant lots for sale in South Lake Tahoe




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