Market Report

Inventory in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area is extremely low, with average months of inventory between 4 and 4.5 months.  Only at the $1.5M and above price point do months of inventory exceed 6 months, which is what the industry considers a “balanced” market (i.e., neither a buyers’ nor a sellers’ market).

If you currently own property in our area, we’d be happy to provide you with a real estate review for your specific parcel(s).


Are we becoming a commuter community for full-time residents? A recent study found that 65% of the the homes in the Tahoe basin are sitting vacant.  When many of these homes are occupied, it’s for short-term or vacation rentals.  Many homeowners offset the carrying costs of their vacation homes via short term rentals, which, unlike a long term rental, still allow them to enjoy their home, as well. Airbnb and other short term rental sites report booming business. A brief check on Craigslist or Facebook and other social sites will demonstrate a serious lack of rentals for either full-time or seasonal employees.  

But what about those who want/need to work here and hope to live here, too?  Shockingly, the average cost of living in the Tahoe region is 10 times higher than the national average.  The affordable housing complexes all report zero vacancies and waiting times ranging from six months to two years. And single family homes are priced out of reach for many.  The lowest priced single “family” home in the Tahoe basin at the time of this writing, is a 584sf 1BR/1BA cabin, priced at $154,950, up on Donner Summit at Emigrant Gap.  Many of our area workers have had to opt to live in Reno, while still working here. There are some school district employees, for example, who commute daily from Loyalton, or even Fernley, NV.good_morning_truckee_-_january_10_2017_-_flyer_-_copy

Our area runs the risk of pricing itself out of reach for full-time residents, who work in the businesses that keep our tourist driven economy going. Recognizing these issues, the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee (CCTT), hosted a housing conversation, moving local leaders to fund and plan a housing needs study.  The study brought together data from Truckee, Placer County, and Nevada County to paint a broad picture of the issues.

On January 10th, the Truckee Chamber of Commerce will host the “Good Morning, Truckee” monthly meeting, focusing on these issues.  Stacy Caldwell of the Community Foundation will present the survey results. 

Also on hand will be an executive from Airbnb to provide an overview of what Airbnb does, the growth in the company and industry, Airbnb’s role in the growing shared economy, an overview of their corporate philosophy, some things they are doing in communities that are concerned about the impact short term rentals are having on housing availability, and where the industry and Airbnb are headed.

Additionally, Ulrik Binzer, CEO and Founder of Host Compliance, the leading provider of short-term rental compliance monitoring and enforcement solutions to local governments, will be featured to speak about Host Compliance, what they do, what they have discovered in Truckee and compare it to other communities they are working with.

“Good Morning, Truckee” is a community forum to provide timely and relevant information on a variety of topics and create a networking opportunity and is open to the public – everyone is invited. It is held the second Tuesday of every month at Truckee Tahoe Airport from 7:00-8:30am. Ticket price for general public is $12; Truckee Chamber members $10 and includes a continental breakfast and raffle ticket.

Online registration is available.

Markets are seeking clarity and will interest rates rise? 

An estimated $2 trillion has been lost in the U.S. market alone in recent weeks, $5 trillion globally. That’s a tremendous anti-wealth effect a kind of anti-stimulus -set to hit around the world economies all at the same time. As smart as they might be, Fed officials don’t know what will happen next. Most traders are betting interest rates will be held at record lows longer. However, the Fed has not confirmed what they will do.

We are in a conundrum we have seen before. If the Fed tightens policy (raises rates) with slowing global growth, falling inflation, and a flight to the U.S. dollar, the more those long-term inflation expectations could drop dragging yields with them.

It’s good to remember that all the fed does is set a targeted extremely short-term, overnight interest rate that most impacts bank’s overnight lending dealing directly with the central bank.  The longer term interest rates that set most mortgage rates is different, it is affected by global demand and what the market thinks inflation will be over a longer time horizon. If inflation will be higher this can set a demand for a higher yield on longer-term securities (mortgage rates).

We are carefully watching what rates will be doing however it’s in the coming month. We look forward to helping with your specific scenario. What we know right now is rates are still great in the low 4’s for 30 year fixed for most loan programs and in low to mid three’s for 15-year programs.


Courtesy of Katie Rice, Guild Mortgage

Katie Rice Guild

New Dickson Mobile App – Real Time Data

If you want the best, up to the minute real estate information on the Tahoe/Truckee area, then look no further.  Third party sites rely on the limited information they can glean from tax rolls and other public docs.  Dickson’t new mobile app is tied directly in to our Multiple Listing Service(MLS), atool up until now that has been reserved for liscensed agents, for real time data.  This is a better, more reliable way to stay on top of the market!  Our GPS enabled mobile app is fast, powerful, and easy to use. Plus, your favorite listings, market data and more are always just a tap away on your iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet. Download it today via your App store!

You can search active, sold and open house listings via criteria, maps or your current location, quickly save favorite properties and compare them using real time charts, and share properties via Facebook, Twitter, email, and text.  If you are out and about and see a For Sale sign, you can now research that particular property immediately.

The App includes:

  • Map search including current location (GPS Required)
  • Search active and open houses
  • Search for offices and agents by name
  • Search by address, property type, price and more
  • Mark and save favorite properties
  • Share properties via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and text
  • Search by map using our Polygon mapping tool
  • Contact us with a touch of a button
  • View full property details and full-screen color photos
  • Anything you save on your mobile device will automatically sync when you log into your account on  your computer too!
  • And so much more”¦

Give it a try – I’d love to hear what you think about it!mobileapps

Looking for a Loan?

Think of your lender as a part of your team – just like your realtor.  And a good lender is a high level financial investigation team. Sometimes it can feel almost intrusive as they try to find out about you and your real estate goals.  But, here’s why  ask so many questions and what they are looking for to qualify you as a borrower.

Their goal – and mine –  is to make the process as smooth as possible for your purchase or refinance and get you the best loan for your situation.

  1. First task  is to ask you lots of questions about your goals
  2. Then gather crucial personal financial information about you
  3. From there, they will find the program which works best for your current and long term home goals.
  4. And search lender guidelines to make sure your situation fits the lender guidelines.

Over 35 items go into determining a client’s ability to borrow. Three key components are Credit, Income and Down payment. Of course, there are more – your lender will walk you through the process.

Credit scores:  740 is the best and where you will get the best rates but lenders can do loans in many cases with credit scores as low as 620.

Credit history:  bankruptcies, short sales or foreclosures. BK’s they can usually do in 2 years depending on lender, short sales 3-4 years depending on program, foreclosures 3-5 years depending on program.

Income:  you don’t have to have a job to get a loan but you do have to have steady income which usually will continue for at least three years. Some income sources used to qualify borrowers are: W2 employment, self-employment, trust, corporate, social security, pensions, interest dividends, capital gains, rentals. Quuick cash, such as an inheritance, acutally doesn’t help in securing a loan.  A lender wants to know that you will be able to pay over time.

Down payment:  many options are available so this is really something to call your lender about, but you absolutely in many cases, do not need 20% down. For example, just to name a few options: Veteran Loans (0% down), FHA loans (3.5% down), Conventional Loans (5% down payment) Second Home Loans (10% down)

I work with a number of wonderful local lenders.  Feel free to contact me for their names.


– Chris