To Repair Or Not Repair?

Homeowners who sell their houses “as-is” may end up costing themselves more than they would have spent to make the necessary repairs — if they are able to sell their homes at all. For one thing, most buyers these days don’t want to buy a house that needs work. Fixer-uppers are OK for flippers, who are increasingly putting their own money into the houses they buy, as opposed to just relying on appreciation to make a buck, according to real estate analytics firm CoreLogic. But for the most part, families want a move-in ready place. They don’t want to mess with replacing worn carpeting, remediating a patch of mold or painting the walls. “If you don’t want to do the work,” says Jeanne Gregory of RE/MAX Southwest in Sugarland, Texas, “what on earth makes you think your buyer does?” Equally important: Most buyers have no idea what the necessary fixes might cost. So, they tend to double or even triple what it would cost the seller to do the work, and then reduce their offer by that amount. Consequently, sellers net less — sometimes far less — than if they’d bitten the bullet in the first place. And don’t even think about offering your buyer a credit to cover the cost of repairs. That usually doesn’t work, either. Credits rely on the buyer’s imagination, say Sally and David Hanson of eXp Realty in Brookfield, Wisconsin. A credit is “an open invitation,” they added, for an uneducated guess from an uneducated buyer. All the agents hit on a common theme: The eye buys. So, do what you have to do to fix up your place, even if it’s unpleasant or time-consuming. Otherwise, be prepared to wait a while for one of the few buyers willing to take on your headaches. Prepare yourself, too, to accept less than your asking price. Source: Lew Sichelman, The Housing Scene

Posted on August 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm
Robert Stiles | Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged


The first installment of the 2019-2020 property tax is due and
payable on August 19, 2019. There is a 10 day grace period. If any
person charged with such fails to pay by August 29, 2019,
there shall be added thereto a penalty as provided by law (NRS 361.483).
Payments may be dropped off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in our
drop box at the southwest end of our building at 1616 8th Street in
Minden or at 175 Hwy 50 in Stateline. Payments may also be
made through our web:

Posted on August 19, 2019 at 9:36 am
Robert Stiles | Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged

Fiscal Year 2019-20 Property Taxes – First Installment Due

The first installment of the 2019-2020 property tax is due and
payable on August 19, 2019. There is a 10 day grace period. If any
person charged with such fails to pay by August 29, 2019,
there shall be added thereto a penalty as provided by law (NRS 361.483).
Payments may be dropped off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in our
drop box at the southwest end of our building at 1616 8th Street in
Minden or at 175 Hwy 50 in Stateline. Payments may also be
made through our web:

Posted on August 19, 2019 at 9:28 am
Robert Stiles | Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged


In an effort to promote affordable and sustainable homeownership, especially among credit-worthy first-time buyers, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today published a long-awaited final regulation, and policy implementation guidance, which establish a new condominium approval process.

Designed to be flexible and responsive to market conditions, FHA’s new condo rule and the new Condominium Project Approval section of the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, provide a comprehensive revision to FHA condominium project approval policy.  In particular, the new policy will allow certain individual condominium units to be eligible for FHA mortgage insurance even if the condominium project is not FHA approved. The polices become effective October 15, 2019. Read FHA’s new condominium approval regulation.

FHA’s new condominium policy is part of a broader Administration objective to reduce regulatory barriers that currently restrict affordable homeownership opportunities. FHA’s new rule:

  • Introduces a new single-unit approval process to make it easier for individual condominium units to be eligible for FHA-insured financing;
  • Extends the recertification requirement for approved condominium projects from two to three years;
  • Allows more mixed-use projects to be eligible for FHA insurance.

“Condominiums have increasingly become a source of affordable, sustainable homeownership for many families and it’s critical that FHA be there to help them,” said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. “Today, we take an important step to open more doors to homeownership for younger, first-time American buyers as well as seniors hoping to age-in-place.”

HUD Acting Deputy Secretary and FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery added, “Today we are making certain FHA responds to what the market is telling us. This new rule allows FHA to meet its core mission to support eligible borrowers who are ready for homeownership and are most likely to enter the market with the purchase of a condominium.”

The vast majority (84 percent) of FHA-insured condo buyers have never owned a home before. While there are more than 150,000 condominium projects in the U.S., only 6.5 percent are approved to participate in FHA’s mortgage insurance programs.  As a result of FHA’s new policy, it is estimated that 20,000 to 60,000 condominium units could become eligible for FHA-insured financing annually.

Single Family Policy Handbook Guidance

FHA’s new Single Family Handbook sections published today provide the additional requirements that lenders and other industry participants need in order to implement FHA’s new policy, including requirements for single-unit approvals, minimum owner occupancy requirements, and commercial/non-residential space limits. Read FHA’s changes to its Single Family Handbook.

Single-Unit Approvals

As of October 15, FHA will insure mortgages for selected condominium units in projects that are not currently approved.  An individual unit may be eligible for Single-Unit Approval under the following conditions:

  • The individual condominium unit is located in a completed project that is not approved;
  • For condominium projects with 10 or more units, no more than 10 percent of individual condo units can be FHA-insured; and projects with fewer than 10 units may have no more than two FHA-insured units.

Minimum Owner-Occupancy Requirements

FHA will require that approved condominium projects have a minimum of 50 percent of the units occupied by owners for most projects.

FHA Insurance Concentration in Condominium Projects

FHA will only insure up to 50 percent of the total number of units in an approved condominium project.

Commercial/Nonresidential Space Limits

FHA will require that the commercial/non-residential space within an approved condominium project not exceed 35 percent of the project’s total floor area.

Posted on August 15, 2019 at 6:36 pm
Robert Stiles | Posted in Mortgage Info, Real Estate News | Tagged

What is the responsibility for private businesses to provide housing?

I came across this article and wanted to share with others as Lake Tahoe is in the midst of a housing shortage as well. Robert Stiles

Google recently announced its $1 billion+ commitment to increase housing in the Bay Area.

The promised money won’t be in the form of straight cash. Of this $1 billion promise, $750 million will come from land Google currently owns, to be repurposed for housing. Google estimates the amount of land it’s devoting to the project will house roughly 15,000 new units, to be built over the next ten years. They propose these units will be available to “all income levels” of Bay Area residents, though the final number of affordable housing units built will be up to the private developers who bid on the projects.

Google is also promising to establish a $250 million investment fund to help developers finance 5,000 affordable housing units across the region. Finally, they will give $50 million in grants to nonprofits focused on assisting the Bay Area’s homeless population.

However, rest assured that Google’s move is not quite as generous it seems, as land it gifts for the construction of housing may be used as a tax write-off. Further, the broad promises and lack of detailed plans have many questioning how Google is going to spend its money and whether it will actually make a mark on the region’s housing crisis.

Still, Google’s announcement is in sharp contrast with Amazon’s behavior over the past year, as it forced dozens of U.S. cities to compete for the location of their next headquarters. In return for the promise of more jobs, Amazon sought tax breaks and other incentives. Instead of asking for more, Google is now trying to do its part to alleviate a housing crisis it helped create.

More jobs, more housing

Since Google started in the Bay Area, it has created 45,000 jobs in the region. Not all of these jobs have gone to current residents, so where do these new workers live?

When more jobs come to a region, one can expect more people will want to move there. The Bay Area already has some of the longest commutes in the country, especially for lower-income workers like those who work in the service and retail industries, and even essential employees like first responders and teachers.

But over the past two decades, housing growth has fallen far behind the pace of job additions in the Bay Area, and pretty much everywhere else in California. For every four new residents moving to California between 2010 and 2016, just one new housing unit was constructed, according to Redfin. Worse, most of this construction is located in the mid- and high-price tiers, meaning very few units affordable to low-income households have been constructed.

As a result, home prices and rents have increased more quickly than incomes, meaning residents are forced to spend a significantly higher portion of their paycheck on housing each month. The other option — one that more households are increasingly forced to take — is to move further away from jobs, into the suburbs. For example, just 2% of San Jose homes for sale and 1% of San Francisco homes are affordable on a teacher’s salary. For comparison, 17% of homes are affordable to the average teacher’s salary statewide.

Related article:


Why hasn’t housing been able to keep up with new jobs across California, and especially in the Bay Area?

The culprit is a lack of residential construction, due to a variety of factors, including:

  • tight zoning restrictions in job-heavy areas;
  • a lack of builder incentives to build low-tier housing; and
  • long and costly building permits and environment review processes.

This begs the question — if new residential construction is lagging behind job creation and business growth, do the private businesses involved have any obligations to get involved like Google is doing?

Housing: Public or private issue?

Some might claim that businesses are already doing their part. For example, the taxes that businesses — and their employees — pay contribute to government-funded housing efforts. But is this enough?

As traditional as the separation of church and state, housing has long been the issue of governments, while the business of businesses are profits and investors. However, as the CEO of San Francisco-based Salesforce acknowledges in a 2018 editorial, businesses like his “are part of our community and our community is in crisis.”

In this editorial, he describes how the increasing homeless crisis is scaring away tourists and other visitors. He says businesses are less likely to consider San Francisco as a home base when the crisis makes it so that there are no safe places to live. As a solution, the author encourages voters to pass Proposition C, which charges a 0.5% tax on the city’s biggest businesses (charged on any money generated over $50 million in annual revenue in the city).

In November 2018, voters did just that, and the city began collecting money from San Francisco’s largest businesses. However, due to legal challenges, the city has held off on spending the funds to help the homeless. Even when a judge dismissed a major lawsuit by the Howard Jarvis Association (the same folks who champion the controversial tax initiative, Proposition 13) in June 2019, the city is still afraid to spend the money due to threats of future legal action by the organization.

Meanwhile, the city’s homeless crisis continues to worsen, and residents’ quality of life remains in decline.

Glancing further up the income spectrum, high housing costs themselves are enough to deter businesses from investing jobs in California’s high-cost areas. They realize that in order to do business in the state, they will need to pay their employees enormous salaries so they can afford a decent standard of living. This suggests that more housing is needed not just to make this a more livable state, but to give jobs and the economy a boost.

The easiest solution that encompasses the most issues plaguing California’s housing market is to ensure more residential construction. Ideally, the government would take care of everything, including allocating funds, amending zoning regulations and encouraging building by removing barriers to construction.

But government efforts have fallen short, bullied into submission by lawsuits and vocal not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) advocates. It’s time for businesses big and small to step up, or else watch their communities continue down an unsustainable path.

Carrie B Reyes, Market Watch Editor

Posted on August 7, 2019 at 3:29 pm
Robert Stiles | Posted in Business News, Real Estate News |

Insurance Contingency Addendum’s

Due to a variety of factors, the availability of hazard and property insurance has become problematic in many areas including the Carson Valley.  Therefore, Buyer’s should be prepared to arrange for appropriate homeowner’s insurance immediately upon opening escrow.  An Insurance Contingency Addendum is available for those needing a bit more time to find the best rates.

Posted on August 1, 2019 at 3:57 pm
Robert Stiles | Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged

Genoa to Alpine View Estates Update

The Genoa to Alpine View Estates area currently has 26 listings on the market.  They range in price from $639,000 at Genoa Lakes to $3,175,000 at Clear Creek Tahoe.  There have been 35 sales in the area this year with a median sales price of $740,000.  The average days on market have been 117.  As compared to last year at this time when there was a median sales price of $725,000 values have maintained their upward trend.  For more information on this area contact Robert Stiles, Agent of Chase International at 775-309-8454.  NV BS.1001136

Posted on July 31, 2019 at 2:46 pm
Robert Stiles | Posted in Carson Valley, Real Estate News | Tagged

Landlord/Tenant and Evictions- New Laws

Many of you are already aware of the significant changes to landlord/tenant law as of July 1, 2019. The way landlords and property managers in Nevada deal with evicting a tenant will be changed in a big way. SB 151 also has an impact on investors and how they do business in Nevada, or if they even want to continue to do so. We will touch on some of these changes below, what we know, what we don’t know, but will keep you updated in the coming weeks as we learn more. Now that these laws are in effect, the question is, how will courts interpret these laws?

Serving Notices: Notices must now be served by licensed professionals, including the sheriff or constable, agent of an attorney and licensed process server. Prior to this, landlords and property managers could serve an eviction notice themselves.

What does this mean? If you have been in the business of handling these notices yourselves, you will now need to hire someone. Does this mean a notice to terminate a lease, within the terms of the lease needs a professional? No, you can do that yourself. These are for notices under Chapter 40.

Cap on Late Fees: Tenants who pay late can now only be charged a maximum of 5%, even if your current lease with the tenant requires more.

What does this mean? Courts will only allow the 5% and no more. Does this mean that you must amend current leases to reflect these changes? No. You may however send the tenant a letter notifying them of the changes to the law, and on your next renewal make modifications to the lease. Prior to this legislative session, a landlord could charge a reasonable late fee, sometimes a base late fee and per day. Now, that is capped at 5% of periodic rent. **Another article will be coming in the next few weeks as when it is determined how courts will determine what is included in “periodic rent.” For now, if rent is $1,000 a month and the late fee is $50 then the amount you need them to pay to “stay in the property” is $1,050.

Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: The notice to pay rent or quit, previously 5 days, is now close of business on the 7th judicial day.

What does this mean? Tenant’s rent is due July 1st, which is a Wednesday. Landlord serves notice on Thursday July 2nd to pay rent or quit. This would mean that the tenant has until the close of business on Monday July 13th to pay the rent in its entirety. The landlord could then take court action on Tuesday July 14th; with an order from the Judge on July 15th. The notice of the order has to be posted within 24 hours. This would mean that if the sheriff/constable received the order to post at 4 pm on Wednesday July 15th, and posted it on Thursday July 16th at 4:00 pm, the tenant may not be removed until the following Monday July 20th. This is now 19 full calendar days from the first day notice is served.

As you can see, this is a significant change from noon on the fifth day. Nevada REALTORS® worked hard on this provision to minimize the impact of an increase to the number of days. The proposed timeframe in the original bill was 10 business days.

Contributed by Tiffany Banks, General Counsel Nevada Realtors®

Posted on July 30, 2019 at 2:59 pm
Robert Stiles | Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged ,

Gardner Mountain

Located at South Lake Tahoe, Gardner Mountain is loved by its residents due for its location to nearby shops, Raley’s grocery store and the proximity by bike to local trails, the beach and Fallen Leaf Lake.  Lot sizes are also a bit larger and range up to 10,000 square feet.  As of July 2019 the median sales price for this area is $410,000.  The area topographically rises gradually from the corner of Highway 50 at Lake Tahoe Blvd towards the back of the neighborhood at 13th St and Gardner St – adjacent to our High School. 

Posted on July 29, 2019 at 10:58 am
Robert Stiles | Posted in Real Estate News, South Lake Tahoe |

Are You Prepared for Homeowner Association Life?

Moving into a community governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA) is a very big decision. How the association functions—legally, politically, socially, and financially—are important to not only your investment but also your quality of life. Here are five things you should do before becoming the newest member of an HOA.

Review the HOA’s governing documents. Before you sign on the dotted line, study the HOA’s Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the association and determine if you’re able to adhere to them and if they’re compatible with your lifestyle. These rules and documents can be lengthy, but be sure to take time to read them carefully. If the legal wording is confusing, ask an attorney to review the documents with you.

Learn about the HOA’s finances. Find out everything you can about the association’s finances and even talk to the board treasurer if you have the opportunity. Ask about the budget, if dues will increase, if any special assessments are planned, and if they have an existing and adequate reserve fund.

Attend a board meeting. While rules about non-residents attending board meetings vary by association, if it’s possible, attend a board meeting. Attending a board meeting will give you insight into the management of the association. You’ll be able to see if the meetings are well-run and confirm that board members are professional and treat residents fairly and with respect.

Talk to residents. The best way to learn about your association is by talking to the people who live there. Ask for their perspective on the finances, management company, operations, group dynamics, how well the association carries out its goals, and any neighborhood politics. These people could be your future neighbors!

Understand how HOAs work. Before moving into one, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of how HOAs are legally structured and how they conduct business. The more you know, the better off you’ll be!

Courtesy of Associa, an HOA management company

Posted on July 25, 2019 at 3:01 pm
Robert Stiles | Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged ,