Hints for buyers searching for properties | SierraSun.com
Don Kanare and Sabrina Bellici
Real Estate Feature

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Hints for buyers searching for properties

With only 169 houses, condos and freestanding condos currently for sale at the start of May 2017, buyers have a relatively modest, but still somewhat diverse selection of properties from which to choose.

Since we do not have any tract housing and virtually all of our single-family residences are custom homes, buyers who are patient will eventually find the combination of location, floor plan, view and price range they are seeking.

There are a number of factors that can make finding just the right place challenging in our local market. With all of the different subdivisions, slopes, elevation differences, snowfall variations, background noise issues among other things, it's not a simple matter of just looking on the internet for a place with the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms that fits your budget.

The Incline Village Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service is divided into several different categories, and it's important to search each one that is applicable to your personal situation.

As a result, most agents will set up property searches for a typical buyer in the three main categories, which include houses, condos and freestanding condos (also known as PUDs for Planned Unit Development). However, the investment residential and tenant in common (TIC) categories are also worth monitoring if they are applicable to your search parameters.

It's important for agents and buyers to cast a wide net when searching for properties in our local market. Occasionally, a property with the attributes a buyer is seeking will be listed in a category other than where they have focused their primary search.

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Many out of area buyers are only used to seeing houses and condos, and are not familiar with the large variety of freestanding condo developments that we have in Incline Village. It requires the skills of a professional agent to educate buyers about this category of properties that could very well contain something of interest.

Freestanding condos can be very attractive to a vacation homebuyer because they often combine the best elements of a single-family home and a condo. Most freestanding condos are part of a small- to medium-size development rarely exceeding 60 units. The homeowners association generally maintains the common areas, does landscaping and snow removal, and may provide exterior maintenance. However, unlike a traditional attached condominium you do get your own four walls and sometimes a little slice of land depending on the development.

Buyers should ignore the price estimates that they find on home valuation services on the internet. Estimates of property values that are created by a computerized algorithm are based more on dollars per square foot and the age of the structure than anything else.

These estimates on Zillow, Trulia, House Values and other services are completely inaccurate when evaluating properties in communities such as Incline Village and Crystal Bay. The Zillow algorithm does not know whether a house has been remodeled, comes with a panoramic lakeview, usable lot, coverage restrictions or dozens of other factors, all of which can have a dramatic effect on the value of a property.

Buyers may wish to use relatively broad search criteria, and look in property categories they might not have originally considered. Sometimes a buyer, who was initially shopping for a condo because they did not want to do yard work, will find a single-family home with a natural landscape that they love.

Also, search above your target price range because you never know when the seller of a property you like will do a significant price reduction. Be creative in your property search, and you just might find what you're looking for when you least expect it.

Don Kanare and Sabrina Bellici are the owners of RE/MAX North Lake. Read their blog and find weekly stats on their website at http://www.InsideIncline.com.

Weekly Real Estate Update

Statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS on 4/30/17

Houses Condos PUDs

For Sale 98 48 23

Under $1 million 16 37 6

Median Price For Sale $1,998,000 $547,000 $1,325,000

YTD Sales 2017 36 48 9

YTD Sales 2016 43 45 12

New Listings 15

In Escrow 8

Closed Escrow 8

Range in Escrow $359,000 – $1,325,000

These statistics are based on information from the Incline Village Board of REALTORS® or its Multiple Listing Service as of April 30, 2017