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SPRING HAS ARRIVED AND WITH IT THE SELLING SEASON: TIPS ON HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME.

With the arrival of Spring the selling season is upon us. Many of you now thinking of selling your home and preparing the Home for a quick and successful sale is crucial. Here are a few tips to help you out.

  • A marketing plan on WHO your buyer will be is essential as this will help you decide who the target buyer is. This will influence the staging process.
  • Boost curb appeal. This is something you always hear, and with very good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. Make sure your home is ready to lure in onlookers with these tips:
    ○ Power wash siding and walkways
    ○ Hang easy-to-read house numbers
    ○ Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
    ○ Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
    ○ Wash front windows
    ○ Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed.
  • A clean home is essential! Remove all excess furniture to clothing. Make your home feel as spacious as possible.
  • Depersonalize your home. Once a person has stepped into your home, you would like them to feel that it could be theirs. Remove all family photo’s and neutralize the home as much as possible. A clean palette is always good as the buyer can then see their possessions in the home. Neutral colors are best as it is also very soothing.
  • Return all rooms to their intended use. If a bedroom is now an home office change it back to the bedroom and stage it as one.
  • Style your dining room table. The dining room is often a blind spot in decorating the home. Between dinners, a large dining table can look bare and uninviting, so styling it up with visitors in mind can increase the appeal.
  • Create a gender neutral master bedroom. Appeal to everyone with a clean, tailored master bedroom, free of personal items and clutter. You can’t go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed. Bathrooms must be pristine. Look at every detail with a visitor’s eye — bars of soap should be fresh and clean, towels spotless, the garbage always emptied.
  • Beware of Pet odors: This can be a big one! If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also be sure to keep any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled.
  • Finally, if you find this difficult to do there are professional home staging companies that one can hire to help you out. GOOD LUCK

Reno’s Housing Crisis

“Reno is growing up from a big town into a city that’s emerging as a world player,” Lehmann said. “Reno is changing and becoming a different type of city and it needs to step up to that challenge.” Lehmann was the key speaker at a luncheon held by EDAWN.


For nearly a century, Reno took pride in being the Biggest Little City in the World. As a growth spurt brings in skyrocketing housing costs and a host of other challenges, however, some say it’s time for Reno to start thinking, well, big. Lemann who founded the Future Cities Leadership Lab and serves as the director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Architecture says Reno’s problems are nothing new. We know the problems but finding a cure it much tougher. “One of the top issues is housing,” said Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. Although Reno still has the advantage of short commutes compared to Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, space for new housing remains a problem, EDAWN’s Kazmierski said. To figure out why, one only needs to stand anywhere in Reno and look around. “We’ve got mountains all around and most of the easy, available land has already been built on,” Kazmierski said. “We also have a lot of BLM land around us so it’s not like we have a bunch of land nearby that we can just expand into.”

Lehmann agreed and also points to insufficient housing supply, worsening housing affordability, congestion at the Spaghetti Bowl which can be traced back to a shift in community development several decades ago.
Expanding farther away from the city center also comes with added costs, according to Lehmann. That’s because doing so comes with the need to build new sewer lines, utility connections and other infrastructure while also providing additional public services such as police and fire stations. Single-family housing also typically costs more per dwelling than multi-unit projects, resulting in pricier homes.  Some of the solution Lehmann suggests are, focusing less on sprawling single-family developments and doing more infill projects to increase housing density. Examples include multi-unit housing projects such as duplexes, bungalow courts and townhouses. Such units are part of what’s called the “missing middle,” residences that range from two to 50 units that increase housing density and are geared toward urban living.
By mixing such developments with retail and office spaces, Lehmann says you can create more synergistic communities that are not only more walkable but easier and cheaper to connect with via public transport.

Claudia Hanson who is the planning and Housing manager for the city of Reno said changes have been made in the last decade to increase housing density in several key areas. The changes include mixed zoning districts in the downtown core as well as key transportation hubs such as the transit corridor from Meadowood Mall to the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to essentially allowing unlimited housing density in those sections, the changes eliminated a lot of the requirements that were slowing down projects, Hanson said. This made it possible for certain projects to go straight to permitting without having to go through the public meeting process. “The goal was to revitalize the downtown core … and also help slow down development on the fringes of the city so we can get higher density in the transit corridors,” Hanson said. Hanson, however, says it is also important to apply high-density zoning selectively and appropriately. Although the city is exploring mixed zoning options to increase density — albeit to a lesser extent than downtown — in some areas in northwest and southwest Reno, it does not believe it is a good idea to have unlimited density right next to single-family residential zoning.

“Every city that grows has a housing challenge, it’s not unique to Reno,” Lehmann said. “Now is the moment to act and get it right. I’m talking about quality density, not that nasty density gone wrong in the past that everybody hates. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late and the situation has changed.” At the same time, EDAWN’s Kazmierski admits that growth is a touchy subject. There are people, for example, who like the small-town feel of the Reno that they grew up in. Residents who already have homes also might not be able to relate to the challenges faced by people who are having difficulty finding housing right now. Add politics and the logistical challenges that come with addressing growth and you end up with complicated problems that can’t be solved easily Kazmierski said.

Hanson from the city of Reno agreed. “It’s a balancing act.”

Mount Rose Ski Resort to Expand

Great news for skiers in the Reno area!


Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe wants to increase terrain by 20 percent, more than 100 acres of skiable terrain by adding a chairlift and runs across Mt. Rose Highway from the main resort.

The new terrain, referred to as the Atoma Area, would include 11 new ski trails, two lifts, and restrooms. Installation of two chairlifts: one to provide the return trip from the Atoma Area to the main ski area will be approximately 1,650-feet-long and crosses Mt. Rose Highway directly above the skier bridge and one approximately 3,000-foot-long to service the terrain within the Atoma Area
Construction of an approximately 130-foot-long skier bridge spanning the Mt. Rose Highway, which would provide a skiable connection between existing terrain at the main ski area and proposed terrain in the Atoma Area. The bridge would have a minimum clearance of 18 feet from the highway and a minimum width of 30 feet to safely accommodate a variety of abilities. The new runs would also be shielded from wind by trees and terrain, making them more attractive during stormy or windy conditions. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is well known for its abundance of advanced and expert terrain; however, it struggles to provide a full extent and variety of lower-ability level terrain. Additionally, a majority of the lower-ability level terrain that is currently offered is shared by upper-ability level guests, which impacts the experience of these users.The trails in the Atoma Area would provide a unique skiing experience, separate from other users at the resort, improving the skier experience, skier distribution, and skier safety throughout the permit area. The trails were planned to make the best use the available topography while providing a unique experience for the lower-ability level skier
Mt. Rose spokesman Mike Pierce said the new terrain will be suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders who aren’t quite ready for Mt. Rose’s steeper runs. The snow making capacity will also be upgraded by adding additional water storage.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is located on private and National Forest System land on Slide Mountain in the Carson Range of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, approximately 25 miles south east of Reno, Nevada.

Pierce said the project could be completed as soon as 2023.



Reno Real Estate Market Booming

The City of Reno continues to rebound from the effects of the Great Recession. Property values are increasing, the population is growing, and Reno has been named one of the ten most livable mid-sized cities in the United States. While Reno’s economy for most of the 20th century was primarily centered on gaming and entertainment, it is now diversifying into a much broader base which spans healthcare, entrepreneurial startups, and technology-based industries. The constant flow of tourists, both for the casinos and for the skiing in the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains, helps keep the economy flowing and provides a stable audience for concerts, events and cultural attractions. It helps maintain the city’s reputation as the “biggest little city.” Every August, Reno is also a gateway to the Burning Man Festival, a week-long art event based on radical self expression and reliance in the Black Rock Desert. Baseball fans can catch games at the Reno Aces Ballpark, while skiers can hit the slopes at the nearby Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, a 10 minute drive from Montreux Golf & County club, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf course.  Out door activities include biking, hiking, skiing, boating at Lake Tahoe and the other surrounding lakes. Montreux backs up to Toiyabe National Forest the largest in the USA besides Alaska.

Nevada has no corporate or personal income tax, and is a right-to-work state.

Reno’s median home price has hit the $400,000 milestone. Keep in mind that the $400,000 median home price is for Reno, NV only, and does not include Sparks, NV. The median home price in Sparks is $344,000. Combined, the Reno-Sparks median home price is $375,000 (March 2018). Only 132 of the homes on the market today have asking prices under $300,000.  If you are buying in this market, you will want to be pre-qualified with a lender before heading out to look at any homes in the lower price ranges, as homes quickly go into contract after hitting the market. For homes priced below $300,000, we have only 15 days of inventory. With an inventory of 3 months, the $600,001 to $900,000 price range is firmly in seller’s market territory like the lower price ranges. For properties in the $900,000 to $1,500,000 range, the inventory has increased to 5.3 months. This price range represents the most balanced market between sellers and buyers. For homes priced over $1,500,000, we have a 13.6 month or a 1.1 year supply. The National Association of REALTORS considers 5 to 6 months of inventory a healthy market, where neither buyers nor sellers have a distinct advantage.

STEAMBOAT HOT SPRINGS…also known as CHICKEN SOUP SPRINGS

Many of us might not know, but one of the oldest spa’s in Nevada is a mere 8 miles down Mount Rose Highway from Montreux and the surrounding area. The road in front of Steamboat was once the Lincoln Highway, the 1st highway built in the United States. It went as far as Chicago.  In 1849 Winnemaca war chief of the Paiute Indians stationed their winter camp along the banks of Steamboat springs.  Indians traveled as far from Mexico to come to Steamboat Springs as it was considered a Sacred Grounds and camp in the foothills of Steamboat Springs. The Indians used the hot springs to cook their pine nuts while in 1849 settles were parboiling entire oxen in the hot springs. The well at the springs was named “Chicken soup” as the water was supposed to have a taste of chicken soup.

James Cameron discovered the Springs in 1859.  A sticky, black goo on the other side of SteamBoat was to be full of gold and silver which brought many miners to the area.  In 1862 Dr Ellis built a 34 bed hospital along with 7 baht houses. He was from Austria and had studied under Sebastian Kneipp a renowned Doctor in Hydrotherapy and practiced healing with herbs.  This was the first hospital in the world outside Austria to apply theses techniques and was considered advanced for the times.  Unfortunately there was a fire and in 1863 the resort was rebuilt as was the hospital.

Mark Twain came often to the springs to soak in the hot tubs as it was thought to help with rheumatism among other ailments. Dr Ellis made a concoction called “The Wake up Jack,” mixture which Mark Twain tried and for 48 hours said his stomach had never had such a scourging and would never take it again even though he felt wonderful after the three day ordeal. Once again the buildings burnt down and now it was owned by a Mr. Cullins who severed his relationship with Dr. Ellis.  In 1873 Mr. Cullin’s fell into the hot springs while building a new bath and died within 7 days as he was boiled alive. His widow sold the springs in 1874.

In 1878 construction of the Steamboat Irrigation Canal began.  A 34 mile long ditch originated above Verdi on the Truckee river to just south of the resort.  It still functions today.  President Ulysses Grant steamed into Virginia City and stopped off at the resort.  Unfortunately an earthquake on December 10th 1900 caused the hot Springs to dry up.  In 1918 Dr. Edna J Carver took possession and drilled new wells resulting in a sprouting 30 ft geyser, ending the dry spell.   The Spa was plagued by fire many times and in 1974 it was placed under the national Historical Register and a marker was placed along US Highway 395 S.  In March of 1996 the spa was reopened to the public and is run by a non-profit organization  – International Community of Christ, Church of the second Advent.

The waters at the Spa have a generous amount of minerals in them.  To mention a few, Silica, Sodium, Lithia and Lithium.  I have personally been many times and really enjoy the warm water and its healing power.  The Spa is located at 16010 S. Virginia street, Reno NV 89521 and the phone number is 775-853-6600.  www.steamboatsprings.org.

Tech Companies Create a Housing Boom in Nevada.

The housing market has been improving statewide throughout Nevada, and we expect around 50,000 people to arrive to the area in the next five years, according to the Nevada Association of Realtors. Prices have rebounded to just over half of pre-recession highs. Foreclosures and short sales have dropped to 6% in the two major cities combined markets. Demand has finally caught up to the supply and now it is getting harder and harder to find available homes. Residential development is still possible in Nevada due to its diverse landscape. From high desert surrounding Reno to the lush pine forests of neighboring Lake Tahoe, the natural sights are sure to please many. A typical Reno home now sales for $299,250, nearly double the price from the city’s recession low in January 2010 when homes fetched a meager $167,000, according to data from the Northern Nevada Regional multiple listing services. Luxury prices in Reno soared 20% year over year, according to special report on luxury sales release by Redfin last month. The Seattle-based brokerage firm says that average luxury home in Reno sales at around $1.1 million – cheaper than nearby San Francisco, where the average price for a luxury estate is $5.9 million. One has to remember that San Francisco is a mere 1 hour flight away and a 3 1/2 drive. Jet Blue now has a direct flight from Reno to New York as well.

Nevada is going under a transformation and there are more than just electric car companies that are a part of it. Dozens of companies have begun to move their operations to the state, many to the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. Wal-Mart also has a 1 million-sqft. distribution facility there. Also located in TRIC is Las Vegas-based Switch and their data center, the largest in the world once it is completed. The Amazon distribution center and the Apple data center are also additions to the Reno community. A Palo Alto-based company, Tesla is building its $5 billion, 10 million-sqft. Gigafactory in northern Nevada in order to produce the lithium ion batteries that run their vehicles.

The Economic Development of Western Nevada (EDAWN) is continuing to focus its efforts on stimulating business, which thereby increases visitor count. Please watch this new video produced by Edawn on THE NEW NEVADA. The RSCVA has partnered with EDAWN, UNR, the City of Reno and the Regional Transportation Commission in order to market the region at a national level. There has also been increased awareness to the region due to newly added air services to and from Reno. For example, in June Southwest will begin nonstop Reno flights to and from Orange County. In addition to these, Reno-Tahoe has seen a snowy winter that has attracted ski bums from all over and promises a high water level on Lake Tahoe for summer adventures like rafting, kayaking, boating and water sports. Here is a  Economic Presentation

Affordable Housing Vanishing in Reno

In 2015 housing prices skyrocketed in Northern Nevada.  Northern and Southern Nevada are battling neck and neck for fastest growing region.  Prices are almost back to what they were in 2005. Nevada had a 4.5 percent job growth in 2015, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. Northern Nevada is expecting close to 10,000 new jobs per year according to DETR and the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada Projections.

There is no doubt that the employment increase is due in part to the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, the largest Industrial Center in the world.

Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) is a massive 107,000 acre park that encompasses a developable 30,000 acre industrial complex with pre-approved industrial and manufacturing uses. The uniqueness of the park and the county in which it resides is outlined in a recent article (click here)

Located nine (9) miles east of Reno on I-80, in a pro-growth Nevada county, the four 5,000 acre phases now available for development include:

  • Rail serviced sites
  • Municipal water and sewer utility companies
  • High pressure gas to all sites
  • Five (5) generating power plants on site with more than 900 megawatts of electrical power available to all park users

According to the Builders Association of Northern Nevada the housing inventory if far below demand. A healthy market has 6 months worth of houses to supply buyers and we have slightly less than 3 months available. This is why we are continuing to see rising housing prices as demand increases faster than supply.  The rental market has increased as well with the median rental price at an all time high of $946 per month, according to real estate website Zillow. Rentals are also expected to increase this year despite new developments. A similar lack of Multi-Family inventory and land is causing a rental crises in the region and raising prices.

During the next 5 years, housing prices are expected to increase another 6 % in Nevada, according to a December 2015 report by CoreLogic, a financial services and real estate consulting firm.  Similar percentages are also expected all over the country. However not everyone agrees they will go up that high. The Reno/Sparks prices might remain flat or rise more slowly, according to BANN forcast. A sudden increase of housing units, both single or multi-family would also change the supply in the region and affect prices.

Reno Home Prices rise 20% in April

Industry analyst Brian Bonnenfant said he’s “definitely” seeing real recovery in the region’s long suffering housing sector.  April home prices jumped more than 20 percent compared with last year in the Reno/Sparks market, according to a report.  Once again we believe this is true due to the inventory of for-sale homes being so limited.  As a result this has also affected New home sales.  About 300 new homes were sold, a 150 percent increase, compared to the first quarter of 2012, said Bourdeau, who is a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Group One.

As a result of what is happening to the market in the Reno/Sparks area, we have seen a drop in the unemployment to fall below 10%, down from 14% during the recession.  Washoe County’s taxable sales have also increased for three consecutive months in Nevada.  We also had the highest home appreciation in the nation at 24.5 percent.

In little more than 2 years, Washoe’s median sales price has risen more than 60 percent from its recession low of $135,000 in January 2012, but it is still well below the pre-recession high of $350,000 in the third quarter of 2005. Today the median sales price of a home is $222,000 in the Reno area.  Washoe median sales price is $218,000 and Sparks is $195,000.  Many buyers now have higher qualifications guidelines and we are seeing tons of cash where last time there were a lot of people who really should’t have been buying.

With low inventory of homes for sale and a growing buyers market we expect to continue this trend.  This might be the right time for sellers to consider listing their homes.  In Montreux we are seeing lots once again selling  to buyers  who cannot find a luxury home that suites them and are choosing to build their dream home.  Our inventory is so low with only 15 homes on the market at present.

 

 

 

Reno housing market has fewer homes underwater.

For the first time the Reno’s housing market has joined the growing list across the country of metropolitan areas recovering from one of the worst housing crises in decades.  It continued to show improvement in January.  Reno has seen a 4.7 percent growth in building permits since its low in June 2009, a 12.3 percent increase in home prices since February 2012 and a 3.3 percent improvement in employment since February 2012.  All good sign’s that we are once again moving towards a healthier market.

A limited sales inventory of existing homes – has increased the median sale price, according to  the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors February report. In January 2012 the median home price was $135,000, today it has jumped to $182.500.  It has also been noted that over 4,000 new Reno/Sparks homeowners no longer had “underwater” attached to their homes during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a report released Tuesday by analytic firm Corelogic.  Negative equity, also known as being “underwater” or “upside down, means that the homeowner owes more than their home than it is worth.

Nevada’s state attorney general and the head of a Las Vegas nonprofit consumer counseling agency unveiled a program and an advertising campaign on Monday aimed at giving distressed  homeowners facing foreclosure a free one-stop place to seek counseling, referrals and legal support.   This program is to help those residents facing foreclosure or have lost their homes, as well as those seeking loan modifications or who are current but underwater on their home loans.  It will also help people who are working toward home ownership.  Money for the Home Again program comes from $57 million Nevada received from five of the nation’s largest banks as part of a national foreclosure settlement last February.

Online magazine Business Insider recently reported that Reno, NV ranks among the top U.S. housing markets where prices are expected to rise the most in the next five years.  Nevada’s state capital, Carson City, also made the grade.  To read the entire story, please visit:  The 15 Best Housing Markets For The Next Five Years.

Real Estate in Northern Nevada Looks more Positive in 2013

Residential real estate is improving and builders’ forecast looks more positive.  After 5 years of almost no construction more buildings are now going up in the Reno/Sparks area. With more demand for new  homes expected in 2013 residential real estate experts are more hopeful that  perhaps we have hit bottom and that we are turning around to a more positive future. With limited existing homes and a low inventory on the market, builders are seriously considering once again to start building more homes is our area.

The area saw a 65% increase in new home sales in 2012.  Spanish Springs, south Reno and north west Reno showed the most construction activity in 2012 and that trend is expected to continue this year, with an estimated of 925 new homes sales and 950 permits. In Montreux alone we have approximately 7 new homes being built at present, with 23 home sales in 2012, up from 2011,  and only 26 homes on the market at present, we are in a situation were  inventory is low and demand is up.

Nevada had the second-highest home foreclosure rate in the nation last year, but in the longer term, the state’s is now showing improvement. For the first time in 5 years Nevada is not at the top in terms of foreclosure filings, taking second place behind Florida.  This was reported in tracker RealtyTrac 2012 report.  Additionally, Nevada’s rate reflects a 56.5% decline from 2011 and more than 70 percent drop from 2010.

The commercial real estate  market is likely to see a slower recovery as no new construction is expected with the excess of inventory already in the Reno/Sparks market.  They predict it will continue to be slow but steady.

Governor Brian Sandoval believes the table has turned and there is light at the end of the tunnel for Nevada.  With unemployment   lower than it has been in over three years and falling faster than almost every other state in the nation.   With Education taking budget priority.   $300 million, will be allotted to three areas – K-12 education, higher education and the Department of Health and Human Services.  There is no doubt in my mind that Nevada is still a great place to live!