Many Factors Affect Property Values
When people gather at a cocktail party and the topic of real estate comes up for discussion there is invariably one person in the crowd who spouts the old adage that the three most important words about real estate are location, location, location. While it is true that location is the primary factor affecting the value of a property there are many considerations that will have an impact on what a property is worth. We can’t examine all of them in one short article, so here is a quick overview.
In general you will find lakefront properties, specifically in Nevada, carry the highest values at Lake Tahoe. While there is an occasional oversized estate that will be priced comparable to a lakefront property, when comparing parcels of a similar size those that are on the water will carry the highest price tags. This is especially true if they have a private beach. And properties with sandy beaches are considerably more desirable and have a higher value than rocky ones.
The second most valuable properties will usually be lake view parcels. In general, the bigger the view, the higher the price. This is not always the case since some panoramic lake view properties have very steep sloping lots, which makes the outdoor space virtually unusable. Also, some of the finest panoramic lake view parcels had homes built on them during the early stages of development at Tahoe. As a result, while the view could be spectacular, the house might be a tear down which will have a negative impact on the total value of the property.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency has very specific land coverage rules that dramatically impact the value and development potential of any particular parcel. Since the TRPA coverage rules affect land capability, the maximum allowable square footage for the house, decks, driveways and other impervious surfaces will vary dramatically from parcel to parcel.
Properties that face South or West and which are not shadowed out by the steep mountainside or dense forest will be more desirable and therefore more valuable than their lesser counterparts. Sunlight, elevation and slope also impact how quickly the snow melts off and whether or not your driveway will dry quickly when cleared after a winter storm.
The quality, condition, age, architecture, floor plan, number of stories, and interior finishes also affect value. You could have two identical houses or condominiums side-by-side but one is nicely updated and lightly used while the other is in original condition with a lot of wear and tear. The type of remodeling done makes a huge difference based on the quality of materials and workmanship. Whether a property is very personalized, neutral non-offensive and if it appeals to the mass market or only a narrow segment of buyers will impact the resale value.
And let’s not overlook who the neighbors are. Your house might be beautifully remodeled and in a fabulous location but if the owner next-door has a yard that resembles Sanford and Son your property value and the ability to sell it within a reasonable amount of time will certainly take a hit. So, while the location word is of critical importance, there are a number of other variables that will determine the desirability and ultimately the fair market value of any particular property; not just at Lake Tahoe but everywhere else, too.