Whether you’ve traveled to Tahoe once and fallen in love or you are a regular visitor who is tired of the packing and unpacking for your weekends away, at some point every Tahoe visitor contemplates owning property here. After reviewing homes and areas the next question you’ll be asking yourself is, “What should I consider before buying a vacation home in Tahoe?”
10 Considerations Before Buying a Vacation Home in Tahoe
- Travel Time and Expense
Are you willing to travel to Tahoe from your home base? Aside from a vehicle there are other options to expedite travel, including membership in Surfair which flies regularly into Truckee from several California locations. Other airlines such as JetBlue and American Airlines also have consistent flights to Truckee. If you are already coming here regularly, you likely will have solid data to help with this decision.
- Associated Expenses
Along with the purchase price, tally up property taxes, Homeowner association fees, potential property management fees, travel costs, memberships, season passes to get a clear and accurate picture of the cost of owning a second home in Tahoe.
- Rental Income
Will you rent the property when you’re not using it to offset the costs of ownership? There is much to consider here as well. Location will play an important part in the desirability of your rental to renters. How often you rent the property can affect how much tax you pay. In most cases, you may not have a large tax liability after expenses.
Whether renting or not, if there will be long stretches of time between visits, you may want someone checking in on your property to ensure there haven’t been any mechanical or plumbing issues in your absence. Consider an alarm system, automated lighting or a having a neighbor occasionally park in your driveway.
Weigh the pros and cons of spending your limited away time doing yard and home maintenance versus having someone do this for you so you can focus on pure enjoyment during your stays at your second home.
- Adversity to Change
If you don’t appreciate the constant looking for somewhere to stay when you travel to the Tahoe area and prefer consistency of housing, then owning a second home here would be more enjoyable for you. There is something comforting in the familiarity of the pillow where you lay your head at night.
If you would appreciate the convenience of keeping your personal effects, ski equipment or boat in your second home rather than schlepping them back and forth to Tahoe, that is another point to consider.
Homeowners in our area appreciate the ability to entertain weekend guests and many of the homes are designed for this. If you like to entertain, there is never a shortage of fun things to do in our area for you or your guests.
Do you plan to retire to the Tahoe area? A second home may be a solid head-start on your retirement plans.
- Investment Market
What will your return on investment be? Purchasing a vacation home anywhere shouldn’t be a short-term investment plan. Real Estate can be surprising, as we discovered in the recent downturn, but experts still maintain that it’s a good long term investment. This year saw a banner year for real estate sales in Tahoe – Truckee and we continue to emphasize that it is a good time to buy here.
If you’re looking for a resource to help make your decision easier, I am available to answer any questions you may have about buying a vacation home in Tahoe. Just give me a call at 530.587.8707 and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about the vacation home buying process and area.