Incline Village Real Estate and Community News

Dec. 11, 2017

CREDIT "DO'S"

Credit DOs

Here are some ideas to help on your home ownership journey!

Mortgage lenders use a credit score (most often called a FICO Score) along with other factors, such as your debt to income ratio, employment history, and credit history to determine your credit worthiness. To improve your credit rating, DO the following:

DO pay your bills on time. If you missed payments, get current and stay current. The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your credit score.

DO correct any errors on your credit report. This is a fast way to raise your credit score.

DO reduce any high balances on credit cards. This is also a fast way to improve your credit rating. Pay balances down to below 50% - you do not have to pay them off in full.

DO contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor if you're having trouble paying bills. This won't improve your credit score right away, but if you start paying on time, your score will eventually improve.

DO keep balances low on credit cards. Lots of outstanding debt can hurt a credit rating.

DO use credit cards, but manage them responsibly. Having cards and installment loans and paying them on time will raise your credit score. People with no credit cards are usually a higher risk than people who use their credit cards properly.

DO call or email us for help. We'll gladly take you through the ins and outs of all things "credit."

Dec. 4, 2017

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Last week we got the good news that both New and Pending Home Sales are heading in the right direction--UP. October New Home Sales rose 6.2%, to a 685,000 annual rate, soundly beating forecasts for the second month in a row. That puts sales of new single family homes up 18.7% over a year ago, at their highest level since 2007. And this isn't just an artificial rebound from the hurricanes. All major regions saw sales gains, with the smallest actually coming from the south. The average sales pace for the past three months is also the highest since 2007.

For October, the Pending Home Sales measure of contracts signed on existing homes rebounded to a 3.5% gain following the 0.4% dip in September. This suggests existing homes sales should move up in November and December. Prices in many markets edge higher, as national measures continue to go up. Consequently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are increasing the conforming loan limits in 2018 for most of the mortgages they insure. The baseline limit will go to $453,100, while the limit in "high-cost areas" will be $679,650. These conforming loan limits vary by county, so check with your mortgage professional.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Always set goals in everything you do. In any activity, setting a goal will steer your direction.

>> Review of Last Week

BULLISH ON TAX CUTS... The Senate kept sending signals it would pass its tax reform bill by the end of the week. While the vote didn't happen by Friday's market close, there was enough progress to fuel this week's stock rally. The Dow logged its biggest weekly gain this year, the S&P 500 its best since September, though the Nasdaq fell after profit taking on high flying tech stocks. The S&P 500 has been up (including dividends) 13 straight months, the longest streak in history, and the longest without as much as a 3% correction. Why? The economy keeps improving and corporate profits are up 6.1% the last quarter.

There was no stronger evidence of an improving economy than the latest Q3 GDP report. Real GDP was revised up from the original 3.0% estimate to 3.3% annual growth, beating expectations. Especially good was the gain in business investment. This suggests that healthier economic conditions are driving the rebound in capital expenditures our economy needs. The ISM Index dipped a bit in November but, at 58.2, shows manufacturing activity is still moving along briskly. In October, Personal Income was up 0.4% and Personal Spending up 0.3%, while Core PCE inflation is up only 1.4% the past year.

The week ended with the Dow UP 2.9%, to 24232; the S&P 500 UP 1.5%, to 2642; and the Nasdaq down 0.6%, to 6848.

With the tax bill vote delayed in the Senate, bond traders pushed Treasuries higher, though other bonds lost ground. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week down .25, at $104.53. National average 30-year fixed mortgage rates inched lower again in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending November 30. But the survey closed before rates gained after the GDP report. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... The average first time home buyer is 32 years old with $75,000 household income, and buys a single-family suburban home for $190,000 with a 5% down payment, while still carrying $29,000 in student loan debt.

>> This Week's Forecast

JOBS GAIN, SERVICES GROW, CONSUMERS POSITIVE... The big data this week will be Friday'sNovember Employment Report, and economists predict another near-200,000 gain in Nonfarm Payrolls. This is less than October's blow-out number, but solid job growth nonetheless. Equally important to the housing market, Hourly Earnings are forecast to get back to their gaining ways. ISM Services should remain solidly in growth territory, well above 50, and important, since the services sector provides the bulk of our jobs. Analysts expect Michigan Consumer Sentiment to keep booking historically high numbers

Posted in Real Estate News
Dec. 1, 2017

US HOME PRICES SURGE AT FASTEST PACE SINCE JULY 2014

As the latest housing data shows an uptick in sales, Case-Shiller's 20-City Composite index surged 6.19% YoY in September - the fastest rate of gain since July 2014.

As Bloomberg notes, the residential real-estate market is benefiting from steady demand backed by a strong job market and low mortgage rates. The ongoing scarcity of available houses on the market, especially previously-owned dwellings, is likely to keep driving up prices.

Eight cities have surpassed their peaks from before the financial crisis, according to the report.

All 20 cities in the index showed year-over-year gains, led by a 12.9 percent increase in Seattle and a 9 percent advance in Las Vegas (slowest gains in Washington area at 3.1 percent, Chicago at 3.9 percent)

Nov. 30, 2017

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... We keep hearing concerns that tight existing home inventories and rising prices will shrink sales, but the latest data lays those worries to rest. October Existing Home Sales increased 2.0%, to a 5.48 million annual rate. Sales grew in every major region, with single family homes leading the way, although condos/coops went up a bit too. Yes, sales are down (less than 1%) versus a year ago, but we're still seeing the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which sidelined home buyers. Once we start getting reports not colored by these storms, many expect an upward sales trend.

Nearly half the homes sold In October were on the market less than a month, indicating demand is there. This is put to increasing incomes, a strengthening economy, near historically low mortgage rates and a growing appetite for home ownership. Freddie Mac's November 2017 Outlook expects this to be the best year for housing in a decade, with 6.13 million homes sold and 1.2 million housing starts. Their chief economist said, "construction will gradually pick up, helping to supply more homes in inventory-starved markets." The Fed's latest data reveals home equity hit $13.9 trillion in mid-2017, an all-time high.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... If there aren't enough hours in the day for everything you want to do, get to bed earlier so you can get up earlier. Then use that quiet time for the things that make you happy and healthy--reading, meditating, yoga, the gym, whatever.

>> Review of Last Week

HAPPY HOLIDAYS... The holiday season kicked off nicely on Wall Street, with the three main indexes returning to their winning ways. The broadly-based S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq, in fact, finished Thanksgiving week at new all-time highs, while the Dow ended less than half a percent off its all-time record. There's no question stock prices are up both because a high percentage of corporate earnings reports are beating expectations, and because the economy appears to be in solid territory. The evidence? Higher wages, lower unemployment, high consumer confidence and rising home values.

Consumers are even continuing their big-ticket spending on things such as vehicles, appliances and home renovations. Last week's economic data pretty much surprised to the upside, including the Leading Economic Index (LEI), Existing Home Sales covered above, and University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment. Durable Goods Orders Excluding Transportation moved up too, 0.4% in October, following an upwardly revised 1.1% September gain. Some analysts expect household holiday spending to be up about 4% over last year. Heck, online shoppers spent $1.52 billion, just on Thanksgiving Day.

The week ended with the Dow UP 0.9%, to 23558; the S&P 500 UP 0.9%, to 2602; and the Nasdaq UP 1.6%, to 6889.

In the bond market, Treasuries ended lower, but other bonds inched ahead. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week UP .05, at $104.78. In Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending November 22, national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates dipped slightly. This put them below their year-ago level for the first time in 2017. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... Overall, 25% of people surveyed said they use their dining room for other purposes, such as an office, game room or craft room. And among Millennials, 65% use it that way.

Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 25, 2017

RENO THRIVING AS A SHIPPING MECCA FOR LOGISTICS INDUSTRY

Keeping you informed on the economic news in Northern Nevada as it impacts the Incline Village Real Estate market as well:

To legions of kids around the world, Santa Claus arrives on Christmas Eve.

For the players who make northern Nevada's logistics and distribution sector go 'round, however, Old Saint Nick arrives much earlier.

"Here in the airport, Santa Claus comes every night for three to four weeks straight before Christmas," said Brian Kulpin, spokesman for the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. "We get excited when we see big aircraft coming in that are bigger than the ones we typically see."

Last year, 156.4 million pounds of cargo came through Reno's airport, an all-time record for the facility.

The airport isn't the only player in the region that is seeing its shipping traffic take off. An improving economy combined with the increasing adoption of e-commerce is helping fuel an increase in the number of new warehouses and distribution centers in the area since the recession. Add a growing manufacturing base that produces items ranging from cheese and pet food to electric batteries, and northern Nevada continues its transformation as a key player in the storage and transportation of goods to and from the western United States.

Did you recently order coconut oil from natural retailer Thrive Market? If you live on the West Coast, it's highly likely that it came from the company's distribution center located east of Reno-Sparks.

Have you bought an oversized item from Amazon in the last couple of years? There's a good chance the product came from Amazon's Reno facility, which specializes in large and bulk goods and has been described as a mini-city.

That paperback copy of "Murder on the Orient Express" from Barnes & Noble? The Reno warehouse is the company's only major distribution center in the western U.S. and one of only two in the country in addition to the retailer's New Jersey facility.

With the worst recession in the region's history still fresh in some people's minds, northern Nevada's growing list of logistics operations is part of the area's ongoing success story of recovery and remarkable growth. Northern Nevada saw its number of logistics firms grow from 486 in 2009 to 531 in 2015, an increase of more than 9 percent, according to the Center for Applied Logistics Management at Truckee Meadows Community College.

The facilities stretch across the region from Reno-Sparks and Carson City all the way to Humboldt and Elko, said Brian Addington, director of the TMCC program.

During the same period, the number of workers employed in the sector, as well as total wages paid, saw a significant increase, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Logistics staffing in northern Nevada — which includes warehousing, trucking, air service and courier operations such as FedEx and UPS — grew by nearly 46 percent from 10,238 employees in 2009 to 14,908 employees in 2015. Total wages paid rose by nearly 50 percent from $438 million to $656.4 million.

When breaking down the region's rise as a player in the logistics space, its success is often attributed to three things: location, location, location.

"You can reach 11 western states within one day with ground transportation," said Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. "This makes us unique and attractive, especially as consumers' expectations for shorter delivery times continue to accelerate."

Although being able to reach more than 60 million consumers within a day is a huge advantage, however, northern Nevada's growing reputation as an ideal place for warehousing and shipping is also something that is nearly three-quarters of a century in the making.

To see what kick started the rise of logistics in the region, one first needs to read a certain document called the Nevada Constitution.

A 70-YEAR DELIVERY

As the Second World War was coming to a close, Edwin Bender was busy starting a new chapter in his life. Armed with a 60,000-square-foot warehouse and a few trucks, the Reno-Sparks entrepreneur launched his own company, Bender Moving and Warehouse, in 1945.

Just four years later, Bender was one of the driving forces in the creation and passage of a law that would change Nevada's warehousing industry. The 1949 Freeport Law allowed the state's warehouses to store goods tax-free if they were going to be shipped or sold outside of Nevada. Legislators doubled down two years later by passing another law — one that allowed goods that were assembled in certain areas of the state and eventually sent out of Nevada to be tax-free as well.

Frank Bender, Edwin's son, would pick up the torch after his father's death in 1952 by helping convince state legislators to make the warehousing law part of the Nevada Constitution. The amendment passed in 1957 and was approved by Nevada voters in 1960.

At a time when Sparks' railroad sector was in the throes of a steep decline as steam locomotives fell out of favor, the law's timing could not have been better.

Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, described the Benders' efforts as a stroke of genius. The law helped lay the foundation for the state's warehousing industry, allowing its influence to stretch far beyond Nevada's borders.

"That law really gave Nevada a leg up on warehousing," Enos said. "That law helped create a lot of jobs."

The law continues to pay dividends for the state today, especially when paired with Nevada's regulatory environment, which is not as strict as California's. The combination has allowed Reno — as well as Las Vegas — to benefit from its proximity to the Golden State by serving as a more cost-effective staging area between its neighboring economic powerhouse and the rest of the country.

LOGISTICAL NIGHTMARES

Despite the significant growth seen in northern Nevada's logistics and distribution sector in recent years, several challenges are threatening to place a speed bump in the industry's path.

One is manpower.

Trucking, which accounts for a big chunk of the logistics sector for the region, is in the midst of a driver shortage. The industry is short 50,000 drivers nationwide, said Enos of the Nevada Trucking Association.

Northern Nevada is no exception.

"If we were given 20 to 30 drivers right now, we could have them out on the road next week," said Dingman of ITS Logistics. "From delayed production, to idled unloading crews, to parked trucks, few have been spared from the current driver shortage."

Technology, meanwhile, is turning logistics and distribution from a blue-collar job to a gray-collar job that goes beyond simply handling packages, Kazmierski said. Logistics in northern Nevada used to be at the lower end of the pay scale at around $10 per hour. Today, logistics employers need to pay $18 per hour to remain competitive, Kazmierski said.

One positive development for northern Nevada's logistics sector is the recent completion of the $75.9 million USA Parkway extension project, which connects I-80 with U.S. Highway 50. The "Infinity Highway" is especially vital for the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, which is where the Gigafactory is located and has transformed into a major hub for logistics and manufacturing.

Discussions are also in the works for improving the region's multi-modal transport capabilities, including improved rail service to make the area more conducive to large-scale manufacturing. Northern Nevada is primarily a trucking region and is more of a pass-through market for rail.

One bright side for northern Nevada is that its infrastructure issues are not as severe as some other areas, according to Kazmierksi.

"Every community has challenges with infrastructure but ours has more to do with the need for additional infrastructure and not with failing infrastructure," Kazmierski said. "We clearly have transportation issues but we're looking at partners we can work with in order to address that."

Posted in Community News
Nov. 15, 2017

A FEW MORE REVIEWS....

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"My relationship with these professionals was outstanding! They adroitly handled all aspects of the sale of our Tahoe property with us being 2000 miles ... more "

Posted in Community News
Nov. 15, 2017

A FEW REVIEWS.....

Posted in Community News
Nov. 15, 2017

TAHOE SKI/SNOWBOARD GUIDE | WINTER 2017-18

 

How much snow will Tahoe receive this year? It’s a question on everybody’s mind. Forecasters are already posting their predictions while the rest of us are taking bets. Will we receive another epic record year of 573 inches? Will it be an average year? (Tahoe’s average snowfall is 409 inches.) With all of the talk there is one thing for certain: winter is coming. So let’s talk about skiing, resorts and all the reasons we visit and live in the Tahoe Sierra.

 

Auburn Ski Club Training Center

Opens Nov. 18

Auburn Ski Club Training Center offers multi-discipline winter sports programs and affordable winter activities. With a full range of programs and facilities for alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowboarding and biathlon, the ASC Training Center on Donner Summit provides a one-place-fits-all solution for families looking for top-notch and affordable winter recreation opportunities. The Center includes a 6,000-square-foot winter sports facility, a 25 km cross-country center and a competition venue.

With roots in ski jumping that date back to the club’s founding in 1928 at Cisco Grove, the center has evolved to become a premier training center that offers ski racing and a premier snowboard training center. Junior programs for 6 to 18 year olds and adult programs are available. Anyone that is in a downhill ski program also receives a Boreal ski pass. | auburnskiclub.org

 

Boreal Mountain Resort

Open

With six lifts and 41 trails, Boreal is renowned for its state-of-the-art terrain parks and is the home for Woodward Tahoe, which fosters lifestyle and action sports progression through daily programs and week-long camps. The Playland snow tubing area offers additional fun on the hill.

Boreal and Woodward Tahoe recently launched the largest solar PV system in the California ski industry. The resort has expanded its base lodge and the eatery offers guests a new dining experience with grass-fed burgers, artisanal French fries and more vegetarian options.

Look for the Burton Qualifier on Jan. 27 and the Boreal Banked Slalom on March 10 and 11. As well, Boreal will introduce a Spring Music Series this season. | rideboreal.com

 

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Opens Dec. 14

Diamond Peak has announced new improvements for the upcoming ski season including a new terrain park on the Lakeview run, more perks for season passholders, increased snowmaking productivity and a new program highlighting the resort’s history and natural beauty. There will also be on-mountain interpretive ski and snowboard tours.

Terrain park skiers and riders looking to progress his or her park skills will have a new, beautiful venue to practice in as Diamond Peak is relocating the small to mid-sized progression park from Popular to the Lakeview run. The benefits for riders include an incredible Lake Tahoe backdrop, plus the ability to quickly ride laps in the park when the Ridge chairlift is running. Accessible via the Crystal Express and Ridge chairlifts, the new Lakeview terrain park will offer creative features and a flowing layout focused on maximizing fun, building confidence and preparing safely for Diamond Peak’s larger features in the Spillway terrain park. | diamondpeak.com

 

Donner Ski Ranch

Opening TBA

Exciting things are happening at Donner Ski Ranch as the resort has added two terrain parks this season. The resort has purchased two new snowcats this year: one for trail grooming and the other for terrain park grooming.

DSR also welcomes Day Franzen as its new general manager. Franzen has an extensive background in terrain parks. In addition they’ve hired a new chef who has created a new menu and the Lytton Lake Lodge is open seven days a week from 11a.m. to 9 p.m.

Historic and iconic, Donner Ski Ranch is a family-friendly resort that features a variety of terrain, where skiers and riders of all abilities can enjoy this mountain oasis. With one of the highest base elevations in the Sierra, Donner Ski Ranch boasts incredible powder, along with aggressive high-mountain and backside terrain. The resort offers easy access to novice runs, offers group and private ski and snowboard lessons, equipment rentals and a tubing park. | donnerskiranch.com

 

Granlibakken Tahoe

Opens Dec. 15

Granlibakken Tahoe is an excellent learning slope for beginning skiers and riders. Affordable lift tickets and group lessons are offered Fridays through Mondays. Granlibakken’s popular sled hill offers winter fun for guests and locals alike and is open daily.

For those who enjoy the uphill as much as the downhill, Granlibakken offers 74 acres of trails to explore by ski or snowshoe. There is easy access to Page Meadows or the Tahoe Rim Trail for those who wish to explore Tahoe’s snowy back country. | granlibakken.com

 

Heavenly Mountain Resort

Opens Nov. 17

Heavenly is the only ski resort in North America to span two states. The resort allows skiers and riders to experience the absolute best of both California and Nevada terrain.

With 4,800 acres of off-the-grid terrain and incredible views of Lake Tahoe combined with high-energy on-mountain experiences and nightlife, Heavenly offers an amazing resort experience. With customized on-demand ski and ride school lessons and GoPro Ski and Ride School lessons, Heavenly takes ski and ride school to a new level.

The Tahoe Mountain Lab On-Mountain Co-Working Space offers a place to work when not on the hill. Vail Resorts has committed to a zero net operating footprint by 2030. This includes zero net emissions, zero waste to landfills and zero net operating impact on forests and habitat. | skiheavenly.com

 

Homewood Mountain Resort

Opens Dec. 8

Homewood Mountain Resort offers a host of options for all levels of skiers and boarders. Wide-open beginner runs near the base area, hidden powder stashes in the trees and multiple terrain parks are just a few of the adventures waiting on this hill.

Located on the West Shores of Lake Tahoe, the views from the slopes are awe-inspiring. Expanded terrain offerings include terrain parks and back-country skiing and riding with Snowcat Adventures.

Homewood is implementing environmentally conscious snow grooming technology, new season pass perks and a new Web site that makes trip planning easy. Passholders will also receive access to Silverton, Brundage and Red Lodge Mountain. Homewood will also participate in the Tahoe Fund’s Green Bucks program to support the efforts of the Tahoe Fund and the Truckee River Watershed. | skihomewood.com

 

Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Opens Nov. 22

Magical, raw, expansive and remote, Kirkwood is the stuff of legend. With some of the deepest, driest snow around and some of the most diverse and challenging terrain, Kirkwood offers big mountain riding with small town attitude.

Explore 2,000 feet of vertical drop and more than 2,300 acres of terrain from calm groomed beginner runs to hair-raising cornices, cliffs and the highest angle grooming around, there’s something for everyone at the ‘Wood.

Safety and avalanche education allows skiers and riders to hone in on his or her skills while navigating Kirkwood’s signature chutes, cornices and bowls. American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) classes, along with women’s clinics and camps are offered on the mountain, along with guided excursions into the back country through Expedition: Kirkwood. | kirkwood.com

 

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

Open

Following a record-setting season that extended until Memorial Day, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe was the first resort to open in the Tahoe Sierra for the 2017-18 season on Oct. 27 and 28.

Mt. Rose invested more than $2 million this year in capital improvements. The resort introduces MAGIC, a modern, dual conveyor surface lift in an enclosed gallery that is designed to offer an enhanced experience for beginners and children with unprecedented access to Mt. Rose’s learning terrain and protection from the elements.

Additional projects include expanded snowmaking and snow grooming capabilities, and facility upgrades at the Winters Creek Lodge. Additional snowmaking at the top of the Blazing Zephyr 6 lift allows snowmaking on the Return to Rose trail. The increased capacity will allow the Slide Bowl side of the mountain to open earlier, giving skiers and riders access to more of the mountain earlier in the season. Pole Cat snow machines will be installed in the Enchanted Forest Area, just above the Wizard loading station, and on the Lower Lakeview trail to enhance early season snow coverage and terrain access.

Mt. Rose boasts the highest base elevation in Lake Tahoe at 8,260 feet. With panoramic views of Lake Tahoe, Reno and the Carson Valley and plenty of varied terrain for all skiers and riders, Mt. Rose is a must-ski location. | skirose.com

 

Northstar California

Opens Nov. 17

Boasting 2,280 vertical feet and 3,170 acres of skiable terrain, skiers and snowboarders can begin the day at sunrise at Northstar with First Tracks this season, where mountain guides take two groups on a tour of the mountain before lifts open to the public and offer private access to freshly groomed runs across the entire mountain.

This year skip the lift lines with the Platinum Piste experience where skiers and snowboarders with Platinum Passes have access to the exclusive, location-rotating run offered on Saturdays, experiencing the best conditions throughout the day.

The Epic Local Pass offers skiers and snowboarders unlimited access to Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe, Park City Utah, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, as well as 10 days at Whistler Blackcomb, Vail, Beaver Creek and Stowe Mountain Resort. | northstarcalifornia.com

 

Sierra-at-Tahoe

Opening TBA

Since 1946, Sierra-at-Tahoe has been shoveling out fun for the entire family. Sierra has expanded its learning environment and features Smart Terrain, a designated, sculpted terrain that fosters an elevated learning curve so guests can progress more efficiently and gain confidence in the sport.

Olympic gold medalists Jamie Anderson, Maddie Bowman and Hannah Teter train at Sierra as they prepare for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The 320 acres to the east of Grandview Express known as Huckleberry Canyon offer accessible, pristine back-country terrain that winter dreams are made of. There is plenty of great tree skiing on this hill.

Passholder perks include bring a friend for free on select Fridays and the Powder Alliance with three free days at La Parva in Chile or Bogus Basing in Idaho along with 14 other resorts to complete 48 days of free skiing at some of the best powder stashes in the West and around the world. | sierraattahoe.com

 

Sky Tavern Ski Area

Opening TBA

Sky Tavern Ski located on the Mt. Rose Highway is one of the oldest nonprofit ski and snowboard training facilities in America. Since 1948, tens of thousands of kids have been taught skiing and snowboarding with some going on to greatness as members of U.S. Ski Teams. Tamara McKinney and Reno’s first Olympic Gold Medalist, David Wise, both got their skiing starts at Sky Tavern.

Best known for the Junior Ski Program, a volunteer-staffed program, operating during the winter on weekends with the parents helping for a few hours. Certified ski and snowboard instructors and coaches that oversee all training. Lessons range from first time on the snow to advance all mountain and alpine racing. Sky Tavern may best be described as a co-op where parents and other adults run a training ski area for the kids. The ski area is not open for public use of the runs, but the programs are open to everyone. | skytavern.com

 

Soda Springs Resort

Opening TBA

Founded in 1935, Soda Springs is California’s oldest continuously operating ski resort. Welcoming, relaxed and perfect for families new to snow, Soda Springs offers 15 runs serviced by five lifts. Young folks love Planet Kids, a dedicated snow play area designed for children ages 8 and older, featuring snow tubing, snow volcanoes to climb and the Woodward Experience ski and ride program. The new spin on snowsports includes Woodward experience zones with new snow terrain in the resorts StartPark, an innovative way for people to learn to ski and snowboard. Soda Springs’ snowmaking system uses 100 percent recycled water. In addition, the resort renovated and upgraded its lodge this year.

Soda Springs hosts its Snowball Festival from Dec. 8 to 10 and Dec. 15 to 17. The 35thannual Tom Sims Retro Worlds makes its way back to Soda Springs as the longest running snowboard event in the industry. | skisodasprings.com

 

Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows

Opens Nov. 17

Following record-breaking snowfall last season and the resort’s latest-ever closing date of July 15, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort has invested $4 million in snow safety tools and training and is hiring more staff. The resort also announced its plan to install a base-to-base gondola connecting the Village at Squaw Valley and the base area at Alpine Meadows. The freshly branded California Express gondola is targeted to open for the 2019-20 season. | squawalpine.com

 

Alpine Meadows

The lodge at Alpine Meadows saw improvements this season including eight new automatic sliding doors for easier entry from the sun deck into the mezzanine level of the building. An overhaul of several air compressors for a more efficient use of resources when making snow, along with new state-of-the-art avalanche control equipment will support the resorts efforts to keep the mountain safe and maintain Alpine Meadows Road.

 

Squaw Valley

At Squaw Valley new things abound. The season welcomes a new trail name, Secret Garden, for Squaw Valley’s competition mogul course, a partnership with Genting Resort Secret Garden in China and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ heightened engagement in the fast-growing Chinese skier market. The resort also added Niseko to the Mountain Collective pass.

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the NASTAR National Championships returns to Squaw Valley from March 21 to 26. Team USA celebrates the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with a stop at Squaw Valley on Jan. 13.

 

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort

Opening TBA

Sugar Bowl is ready for winter and the resort caters to folks that love the authentic alpine downhill ski experience.

Sugar Bowl has made more than $3 million in improvements this year with enhanced services with the kids ski & board school, snow removal, grooming, lift operations, and food and beverage upgrades. Four new snowcats have been acquired to maintain high-quality snow surfaces: two winch cats will provide cable-assisted snow grooming capabilities that are essential for steep terrain and two additional snow cats have the capability of free-grooming and sculpting terrain park features. Sugar Bowl snow removal fleet will make it easier for skiers and snowboarders to get to the resort improving maintenance of Old Highway 40. | sugarbowl.com

 

Tahoe Donner Ski Resort

Opens Dec. 8

Summertime trail maintenance will allow additional tree skiing off Eagle Ridge Chair on the backside of the ski resort and allow for earlier operations in lower snow conditions, providing a safe and enjoyable experience for skiers and riders. Tahoe Donner Ski Resort complete renovation of the outdoor sundeck located at the base area lodge was completed over the summer. | tahoedonner.com

Posted in Community News
Nov. 15, 2017

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOA'S

With housing inventory lower than before, more people are looking at condominiums (“condo”) and townhomes when shopping for a new home. Most condos and townhomes are part of a homeowners’ association (“HOA”). HOAs are organizations in a subdivision, planned community or condo that make and enforce rules for their properties. Here are seven facts to help you understand HOAs better.

Membership is mandatory. When purchasing a home tied to a HOA, you are obligated to be a member of that HOA. You are also responsible to pay monthly or annual HOA fees for the upkeep of common areas and building maintenance costs. Common areas may include parks, tennis courts, elevators or swimming pools.

Learn about the CC&R. HOAs have guidelines that all residents must follow. These guidelines are called covenants, conditions and restrictions (“CC&Rs”). It helps to pay particular attention to rules regarding fines, especially whether the HOA can foreclose on your property for nonpayment of dues or fines resulting from CC&R violations. Some HOAs may impose penalties for breaking HOA rules, and may require a member to either reverse the violation by action or pay a fine.

Fees will differ in each community. Each HOA is different, so asking your HOA the following questions will give you an idea of the fees in your community:

How are HOA fee increases set?

How often do increases occur, and by how much have they been raised each year?

Is it possible to see a printed history of HOA dues each year for the last 10 years?

How large is the HOA’s reserve fund?

What do monthly dues cover?

Look at minutes from the last HOA meeting. HOA meeting notes will go over current and past conflicts of the property, what processes are used to resolve these conflicts and if the HOA has ever sued anyone.

Find out the catastrophe insurance the HOA has on the building. This is important if the home located in an area prone to floods, earthquakes, blizzards, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes or any potential type of natural disaster.

Consider the impact of HOA fees on your financing. Be sure to know your HOA fees when applying for financing.

Most HOA are incorporated and are subject to state laws. Each HOA will have a board of directors that are elected to enforce and oversee the HOA governing documents, which are governed by state law.

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 15, 2017

Mortgage-Rates-Lower-After-Inflation-Data

Mortgage rates fell today, largely in response to the past two days of bond market improvement. In other words, lenders had been keeping their guard up ahead of today's key inflation data (The Consumer Price Index, or "CPI"). While it's true that a strong CPI report had the potential to push rates back to the highest levels since this summer, today's data wasn't strong enough. In fact, most of the metrics were roughly in line with forecasts.

Still, the strength and resilience in bond markets shouldn't be discounted. Bonds also digested strong Retail Sales data and managed to maintain stronger levels achieved overnight. In general, "strength" in bond markets translates to lower mortgage rates, although there can be some lag between the two.

Most lenders continue quoting conventional 30yr fixed rates in the 4.0% range, but today's improvement brings some of the aggressive lenders back down to 3.875% on top tier scenarios. Most borrowers will simply see today's improvement in the form of lower closing costs (or a bigger lender credit) on the same rates quoted yesterday.

With the inflation data out of the way, there is less immediate risk in the coming days. That said, rates have yet to commit to a strong move below their best recent levels. That means locking and floating should still be approached cautiously, but perhaps with slightly more room for optimism compared to the beginning of the week. Whatever the case may be, the potential for a bigger move in the near future remains, but the odds have evened out a bit as to the direction of that move.

Today's Most Prevalent Rates

30YR FIXED - 4.0%

FHA/VA - 3.75%

15 YEAR FIXED - 3.375%

5 YEAR ARMS - 2.75 - 3.25% depending on the lender

Posted in Buying a Home