Reno launches Google Express for shopping & delivery

After going through the toughest recession in its history, Northern Nevada has seen its fair share of economic development victories in the years that followed. Google Express, a shopping and delivery service for participating store, launched in Reno and Las Vegas on March 15 2016.  Google with its proximity to California where Google is based, made it a natural fit for the service, according to the company. This allows residents to use the online shopping and delivery service for participating area stores. Just to mention a few of theses stores: Barnes & Nobel, Bed Bath & Beyond, Guitar Center, Gymboree, Rayley’s, REI, Smart and Final, Target, Toy “R” Us, Walgreens and Whole foods. Brian Elliott, Google Express general Manger, said, ” Our goal with Google express is to offer a great shopping experience and connect people with their favorite stores.”  This will allow customers to receive their orders with overnight delivery..

Delivery costs for Google Express memberships can be free for eligible orders that meet store minimums. Deliveries that do not meet the store minimum will be charged a $3 small order fee. For two-hour time windows, deliveries start at $2.99 where available. Membership costs $10 a month and $95 per year. For non-members, delivery costs start at $4.99 for eligible orders that meet the store minimum with the same $3 small order applying for non-eligible items.  For two-hour time windows, delivery costs start at $4.99 where available.

Google Express service is available in Northern Nevada, Southern California, New York City, Boston, Chicago and Washington D.C.  Once again The Biggest Little City in the World has done it again.

I encourage you to all watch the New Nevada.   We have come a long way since the first Arch was installed in 1926 with the words, “The Biggest Little City in the world” to promote the Nevada Transcontinental Highway Exposition that ran from July 25 to August 1, 1927, which celebrated the completion of the Lincoln and Victory Highways.

On another note the unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent for the first time in eight years in Nevada since April 2008. The national rate remained at 4.9 percent. “The number of Nevadans unemployed because they involuntarily lost their jobs has tumbled from nearly 120,000 when the recession was at its worst, to less than 40,000 over the past year,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval.  Construction was the hardest hit sector during the recession and continues to lead the state in terms of percentage growth.  Trade, transportation and utility employment had the largest nominal growth this month by adding 9,9000 jobs to payrolls year-to- date, for growth rate of 4.2 percent.


The Nevada Museum of Art presents: THE HORSE

The oldest cultural institution in the state of Nevada, the Nevada Museum of Art was founded in 1931 as the Nevada Art Gallery by Dr. James E. Church, a Professor of German and Classics at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 1988, the E.L. Wiegand Foundation provided the Museum with a new 15,000 sq. ft. facility and the institution was renamed the Nevada Museum of Art / E.L. Wiegand Gallery. Five years later, in 1993, the Museum received initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums, a credential held by less than 5 percent of the nation’s 16,000 museums. That same year marked the development of the E.L. Cord Museum School, a studio-classroom allowing its educational services to expand, and the start of an ambitious program to increase its permanent collection. In 1999, the Museum was awarded the prestigious National Award for Museum Service by the Institute for Museum and Library Services in Washington D.C. honoring outstanding museums that demonstrate a commitment to public service with innovative programs that address social, economic, or environmental issues.

It is the only nationally accredited art museum in the state, the Museum features exhibitions by national and international artists with a permanent collection of 19th through 21st century art.

Just to mention a few of the past exhibitions that have been at the museum: Frida Kahlo: her Photos, A Real Van Gogh?: An Unsolved Art World Mystery, Celebrate Art of the Tiffany Era: Three unique exhibitions and Andy Warhol’s Dream America.

The Nevada Museum of Art is proud to present to our community The Horse, a comprehensive exhibition detailing the enduring bond between horses and humanity. The exhibition explores early interactions between horses and humans and portrays how horses have, over time, influenced civilization through advancements in warfare, trade, transportation, agriculture, sports, and many other facets of human life. The exhibition was created by leading scholars and scientists at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dioramas, skeletal mounts, fossils, cultural artifacts from around the world, and interactive computerized modules – will draw visitors into the world of the horse as never before. An immersive multi-media experience, The Horse explores our history, inter-dependence, and emotional connection with this remarkable animal.  I so enjoyed the exhibition which will appeal to all ages.

There is also a small section which introduces a person to horses in the American West. Joel Nelson’s poem, ” Equus Cabuallus,” is displayed on the wall and a video of him reciting it.  Nevada has the largest amount of wild horses in the United States.  You can see a selection of Historical and contemporary paintings, photographs, and sculptural works drawn from private collectors and the Museum’s permanent collection.  Explore the significance and impact of horses in Nevada’s settlement and culture.

The Museum is located at 160 West Liberty Street in downtown Reno. Phone number is 775.329.3333. Webiste is:

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.

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!

Real Property Valuation: How is This Determined

I thought it would be interesting to explain to home owners how ones property tax is determined by the Washoe County Assessor:

When is the next tax year? Each tax year runs from July 1 to June 30.

What is taxable value?  Taxable value is the full cash value (market value) of the land and the current replacement cost of buildings, etc. less statutory depreciation.

What is included in Buildings, etc.?  The legal definition of buildings includes all structures affixed to the land.  This includes items such as wells, septic systems, corrals, pavings, mobile home utility hook-ups, etc

What is assessed value? Per NRS 361.225, the assessed value is 35% of taxable value.

Is there any type of assistance available for individual taxpayers?  Exemptions are available to bona fide Nevada residents meeting certain criteria such as:  surviving Spouse, Veterans, disabled Veterans and Blind people.  For more information call


Why did my value increase by more than 3% or 5%  ? Nevada Revised Statutes 361.471 through 361.4735 provides for an abatement (cap) on taxes NOT on assessed value . To review “tax cap” statues please contact our office at 775-328-2277 or visit our website at

What is listed as NEW TO ROLL on this notice?   Any new value due to new construction or a change in actual or authorized use.

What if I disagree with the taxable value?  If you have any questions, please contact this office as soon as possible,preferably within 10 days, at 775-328-2233.  If they are unable to resolve matters to your satisfaction, you may appeal to the County Board of Equalization.  Such appeals must be filed at the Assessor’s Office by January 15, 2013.

What if I disagree with New To Roll, Remainder Values or the partial abatement(“Tax Cap”) statues?

You may petition (appeal to) the Assessor or review these abatement decisions pursuant to Nevada Revised Statue  361.4734.  Please call our office at 775-328-2233 or visit our website at for additional information and the filing deadline.

In the near future the secured tax roll list will be available at Washoe County Libraries, at the Assessors office and on their website: before January 1st 2013

Dr. Peter Lim, Gynecologic Oncologist puts Reno on the Cutting Edge with Robotic Surgery.

Reno and Renown Regional Medical Center  are proud to have one of the best gynecologic oncologist in the country, at their hospital.  Dr. Peter Lim, Board Certified gynecologic oncologist,  specializes in Pelvic & Minimal Invasive Surgery. In addition to this, Dr. Lim   also specializes in the unique procedure of Da Vinci robotic system. Da Vinci allows him to perform more precise and less invasive procedures to minimize hospital stay for a faster recovery.   Dr. Lim attended medical school at Drexel University College of Medicine and graduated in 1990 having 22 years experience.

On Friday November the 11th 2012, Dr. Lim and his team, who are recognized as one of the nations 5 gynecologic oncology “epicenters” for the da Vinci robotic surgery, which means they train their peers on their specific procedures, preformed a surgery which was watched by over 1,700 doctors who had gathered for the 41st annual American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists Global  Conference on Minimally Invasive Gynecology in Las Vegas.  Lim described what he was doing and why, giving the doctors his personal tips.  This was roughly his 1,000 time that he sat at the computer console and controlled the robotic arms to perform a complex surgery.    The robotic arms are an extension of his own appendages and act just like his fingers. Dime size  incisions are made and the robotic instruments are inserted and then one arm operates a camera, while the other two had tips that Lim control’s to cut, move and replace tissues.

What are the advantages of doing surgery this way?  They make surgery faster, less invasive and causing less pain and scarring, the   body is magnified and the procedure also decreases the risks for complication.  Patients use less painkillers and 80 to 90 percent recover within three to four weeks.  Lim’ said, ” This technology is truly reflective of what Renown stands for…it’s the most cutting edge of surgical techniques.”

Renown has been offering da Vinci robotic surgeries  since 2008, being the first hospital in Northern Nevada to offer this technology.  Earlier this year, the hospital upgraded to a da Vinci SI model, which features an enhanced surgeon console and 3-D capabilities.  This makes it easier for the surgeon to dissect fine tissue and avoid cutting blood vessels.

Contact Information for Dr, Lim:

Address: 75 Pringle Way, Reno, NV 89502

Phone: (775) 327-4673

Home Prices Rise 10 Percent in Reno and Surrounding Areas

Low inventories and high demand have driven much of the price increases and sales  in the market recently.  As a result home prices in the Reno-Sparks rose 10 percent in September, compared with a year ago, according the Core-Logic’s Home Price Index report released yesterday. Not including sales of distressed properties, prices for existing homes rose 11.9 percent last month, compared with September 2011.  Nevada saw one of the highest increases, making it one of the highest home appreciation rates in the US.  We are still more than 50 percent below its peak prices before the real estate market collapsed in Nevada.

News on home prices confirms other good news about housing. Single family housing starts are 43% ahead of last year’s pace, existing and new home sales are also up, the inventory of homes for sale continues to drop and consumer mortgage default rates are reaching new lows. Further consumer confidence continues to rise. Even as we end the seasonally strong home buying period, the statistics are positive.

In the past three weeks, four homes have gone into escrow in Montreux  with an average sale’s price of $1,532,250, or $321.50 per sq ft.  Significantly higher per sq foot than 5 months ago.  With reduced inventories, improved buyer demand and home prices over the past five months makes us optimistic for continued recovery in the housing market.