Homeowner alternatives abound in Truckee
October 11, 2005
By David BunkerA series of disheartening e-mails interrupted my workday Tuesday afternoon. The first, sent to me by my friends over at Chase International, proclaimed that the average price of a home at Tahoe just bounded over the $1 million mark.The second, a bulletin from the Intero Real Estate Services, said something about a 61 percent increase in home prices since 2003.Now, I’m a pretty upbeat guy, but these repetitious messages that shout “SEARCH THE VW VANAGON LISTINGS IF YOU ARE LOOKING AT BUYING A HOME” are starting to wear on me.So, in between writing a couple riveting Truckee news stories, I’ve devised a list of ways that the average, broke local can buy a house.• Squatting: A somewhat obscure property rights law allows someone who continuously occupies a piece of land to attain ownership after a long period of time. With the amount of second homeowners in Truckee this has got to be a winning idea. Or, would anyone notice if I squatted on the Railyard?• Discreet ownership: If squatting is not your thing, there has to be a few out of the way spots where a quiet home seeker could build a home without anyone being the wiser. If you don’t mind college kids as neighbors, a secluded corner of Hippie Hill may work. If anyone finds you, tell them you are squatting.• River boat: I haven’t fully researched the legality of this option, but think of the grandeur of a life on the Truckee in a fully equipped river boat. Once Truckee has the Railyard project and a redeveloped riverfront, you could be floating from party to party. Or take a trip to Reno and party with your friends that were recently priced out of the area. However, if this idea catches on, the traffic could be terrible on the Truckee – we may need a whirlpool for a roundabout.Now, for a more legit idea, perhaps I will become a home ownership advisor, sell off these ideas for big money, and buy my lakefront pad on Donner.David Bunker is the growth and development reporter for the Sierra Sun. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.