Media Contact: Katie Shaffer
East River Public Relations
[email protected]

For Immediate Release

Million-Dollar Homes Lead Tahoe Market in 2017

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. (Jan. 4, 2018) – Spurred by a booming high-end real estate market, Lake Tahoe experienced a 17 percent jump in the number of homes sold over $1 million around the lake over the previous year. The median price of a home is up seven percent to $585,000.

Despite an uptick in price and sale of luxury homes, the overall number of homes sold was down one percent. Volume was up 11 percent. The figures are part of a quarterly report released by Lake Tahoe-based real estate agency Chase International. The numbers compare all MLS home sales from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 to the same time frame of 2016.

Incline Village saw the biggest increases in sales, with a 27 percent jump in volume, followed by Tahoe City with 12 percent. Tahoe City also had a significant increase in the sale of million-dollar homes, up 26 percent. The median price of a home in Tahoe City is up ten percent to $650,000 while Incline Village has the highest median price around the lake at $1,062,000 (up five percent).

South Shore saw a 32-percent jump in the sale of million-dollar homes. The area also has the lowest priced median home of $439,000, a six percent increase from 2016. The South Shore and East Shore saw decreases in the sale of homes priced under $1 million, six and 25 percent, respectively. Lake-wide, homes priced under a million was down four percent.

“Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. “As evidenced by a subdued level of first-time buyers and increased share of cash buyers, move-up buyers with considerable down payments and those with cash made up a bulk of the sales activity last month. The odds of closing on a home are much better at the upper end of the market, where inventory conditions continue to be markedly better.”

The sale of high-end condos (priced over $500,000) also showed considerable improvement, with a 51 percent jump. Tahoe City had a staggering 111-percent increase in volume sold.

The sale of million-dollar homes in Truckee was up nine percent with a four percent increase in homes priced under a million. The median price of a home in Truckee is $673,500, up seven percent from 2016.

2015 1stQuarter STATS_TRK 2015 1stQuarter STATS_TD 2015 1stQuarter STATS_TC 2015 1stQuarter STATS_SLT 2015 1stQuarter STATS_IV 2015 1stQuarter STATS_ES 2015 1stQ_STATS LT_TOTALS 2015 1stQ_STATS SQV Resorts_TOTALS 2015 1st Quarter STATS RNO_TOTALS


Amelia Richmond
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
(530) 452-7111 or
[email protected]


Melissa Brouse
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
(530) 452-7105 or [email protected]


Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Offer Season Passholders Free Skiing and Riding at Sugar Bowl for 2014-15 Winter Season

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows passholders will now be able to ski and ride at Sugar Bowl Resort in addition to Sierra-at-Tahoe and the eight Mountain Collective resorts

[Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows, Calif.] March 7, 2014 – Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have partnered with Sugar Bowl to give their passholders skiing privileges at Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge Cross Country for the 2014-15 season. The partnership represents a new era as independent resorts continue to partner to offer incredible value for their season passholders.

The new partnership with Sugar Bowl gives Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows season passholders access to four resorts in the Lake Tahoe area: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and now Sugar Bowl. Combined, this means skiers and riders can experience 9,650 acres, 69 lifts and 419 runs across 13 legendary Sierra Nevada mountain peaks.

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Gold passholders will receive four free days at Sugar Bowl and/or Royal Gorge. Silver passholders will receive two free days. All tickets will be redeemable any day of the 2014-15 winter season except for Saturdays and during holiday periods. If tickets are used for Royal Gorge, North America’s largest cross country ski resort, cross country ski rental equipment will be included free of charge.

Sugar Bowl Resort offers 1,650 acres of exceptional skiing and riding across four mountain peaks, and averages the most annual snowfall in Tahoe at 500 inches per season. In addition to their superb beginner and intermediate terrain, Sugar Bowl offers coveted big mountain terrain and gate-accessed backcountry skiing.

“We are constantly striving to provide more value to our loyal season passholders,” said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. “Two years ago, we added value through our partnership with Sierra-at-Tahoe and the Mountain Collective – and we’re continuing that mission now by adding access to Sugar Bowl’s incredible terrain.”

“The spirit of Sugar Bowl is very much aligned with the soul of our mountains,
continued Wirth. “We think the partnership is a terrific fit, and we know our passholders will really enjoy Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge.”

With the new addition of Sugar Bowl, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows passholders now have access to a total of twelve resorts in North America. The Tahoe Super Pass will continue to offer access to Sierra-at-Tahoe, as well as to Alta, Snowbird, Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole, Mammoth and Whistler Blackcomb through the resort’s Mountain Collective partnership.

About Squaw Valley
Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is internationally renowned for legendary terrain that spans 3,600 skiable acres, six peaks and 29 chairlifts, and ranges from an expansive mountaintop beginner area to unrivaled expert steeps, trees and bowls. Off the mountain, families relax in The Village at Squaw Valley around the cozy fire pits or enjoy a host of restaurants, bars, boutiques and art galleries. Guests can stay in one of The Village at Squaw Valley’s newly upgraded suites, each with a fireplace, kitchen and balcony, for the ultimate slopeside lodging experience.

About Alpine Meadows
Alpine Meadows’ seven powder bowls, summit-to-base groomed slopes, and authentic hospitality are among the many attributes that have made the resort a favorite of the local community and visitors alike. Alpine Meadows offers skiers and riders access to more than 100 trails across 2,400 skiable acres serviced by 13 lifts. With its high annual snowfall of 450 inches, the resort boasts one of Tahoe’s longest skiing and boarding seasons.

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows joined forces in November 2011, bringing the two ski resorts under common ownership. Skiers and riders can access 6,000 skiable acres, 42 lifts and 270+ trails at Squaw and Alpine Meadows on one lift ticket or season pass.

The Financial Perks of Homeownership

Downtown Truckee’s “Railyard” Project: 500+ New Homes

Downtown Truckee’s “Railyard” Project: 500+ New Homes

15 years after the town of Truckee, California came out with a new General Plan, a new vision is taking shape in one of our area’s most historic downtowns. Standing in front of a newly rehabbed train depot, Truckee Donner Chamber president Lynn Saunders feels so close to reaching her dream of a revival in her town, she can already see it. This longtime Truckee cheerleader envisions a new crowd, coming to a dramatically different town. As she told us, “Every new product brings more opportunities for people to enjoy here.”

And what a new product…a gargantuan (for Truckee) downtown makeover, erasing one of the last remnants of the town’s logging days. With the “Truckee Railyard” project, the days of being a tiny storybook town are coming to an end. Big Bay Area developers have big plans. One of them is to transform the old rail yard downtown into hundreds of upscale residences.

John McLaughlin, community development director for the town of Truckee, told us it will be “something that would be more urban, but really appropriate in downtown Truckee. Over 500 residences are proposed. We can easily handle it in this area.” Along with the 500-plus condos and homes…a theatre, supermarket and retail stores. McLaughlin said there will also be “some light industrial with some civic space…a museum and some open spaces.”

The project is already a done deal. Already approved by residents, the Master Plan passed in 2009. The Railyard Project’s first building has already been built…the others will look just like it. The developer is the same one who built the Pacific Cannery Lofts in Oakland, and the Clocktower building in San Francisco.

In Truckee, smaller changes have already, literally, “paved” the way. You will notice the wider sidewalks and more urban park areas up and down the main drag. McLaughlin showed us all the new areas for “outdoor dining, outdoor seating…great spots for people to just hang out.”

Lynn Saunders says despite the project’s size, she’s convinced that Truckee’s unique character will live on. As she told us, “It still retains that kind of funky, hip cool vibe to it. We’re keeping the historic value too, absolutely.”

-written by John Potter

You can see the plans yourself for the Truckee Railyard development below…just click the link:

North Tahoe: Beginners take note


Sugar Bowl kid on his way up

Sugar Bowl kid on his way up

While we wait for serious snow, what’s happening by the lake?

Learning, for one. While experts are jonesing for open steeps, beginners have three good reasons for taking to the slopes now.

  1. Lack of experts to terrify you as they zoom past
  2. Lack of crowds to fill classes to the brim
  3. Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month

The National SnowSports Industry Association puts on Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, and North Lake Tahoe resorts are offering deals at GoTahoeNorth.
Here’s a taste:

Homewood Mountain Resort  Lift ticket, rentals and lesson for $49 online, the day before hitting the slopes. This package is a $40 savings, available Sunday-Friday. Homewood also offers free, daily intermediate and advanced lessons at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Sugar Bowl  Learn to Ski and Ride development program for $89-$99. This is a full-day event on both sides of the mountain, even on holidays. With a 3:1 student-to-instructor ratio, beginners are sure not to get crowded out.

Boreal Mountain Resort  Take 3, Ride FREE program: Take three lessons now through Feb. 14 and receive a free season pass. Yes, they said Free. Season. Pass. The $129 online-only package includes rental equipment for each 90-minute lesson with a professional instructor.

From now till Jan. 17, Diamond Peak encourages snow play with First Time Beginner and Beginner Group Lesson Packages. The $39 package includes a lesson, rental equipment and an all-day beginner lift ticket. These one-hour-45-minute lessons are for everyone age four and up who have had two or fewer snowsport experiences.

First-timers at Tahoe-Donner Downhill Ski Area receive an all-day lift ticket, rentals and two-hour group lesson for $39, now through Jan. 16.

Learn to ski or snowboard at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 14-30. For $49, beginners receive a beginner lift ticket, rentals and lessons for adults and kids age 3+.

Granlibakken ski hill has a ski school for first-timers and people looking to fine-tune skills.

Aspiring skiers and boarders looking for deals all season long should head to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. The mountain offers an $89 First Timer Package that includes a two-hour lesson, beginner lift ticket and rental equipment for beginners, ages 11+.

For more packages and information on Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, check out

This year is ending on a high note with some very good news for REALTORS® and California homeowners and home buyers as I informed you earlier.  Good news bears repeating, so let me recap the good news again.

Late last month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced it will keep the 2014 maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at $417,000 on one-unit properties in most areas and a cap of $625,500 in high-cost areas.  C.A.R. applauds the FHFA for acting lawfully in making the only decision they could by retaining the existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits.  Retaining the higher loan limits is critical to providing liquidity in today’s housing market and is essential to a full housing recovery.  Earlier this year, the FHFA announced its intention of lowering the loan limits.  Since then, C.A.R. and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) aggressively fought to prevent a reduction in the loan limits.  C.A.R. and NAR both have long advocated for retaining the higher conforming loan limits, and as a result of our combined efforts, Congress kept permanent the maximum conforming loan limits at $625,500.

On a related note, in early December, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it was reducing the loan limit for FHA-insured loans from $729,750 to $625,500 beginning Jan. 1, 2014.  As part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008, loan limits for high-cost areas were temporarily raised to $729,750, which C.A.R. and NAR lobbied to maintain.   In connection with the loan limit reduction, FHA also reset its metropolitan statistical area (MSA) median home prices used to calculate loan limits.   Since 2008, FHA has based its MSA median home prices on the highest median home price for a county over time (which for many counties has meant 2007 home prices, when prices were at a peak).  According to FHA’s announcement, FHA believes it must use 2008 price levels.  If an area’s median home price has increased since 2008, FHA will use the higher median price.  However, home prices in many areas are still below 2007 levels, which have resulted in the drastic reduction of FHA’s MSA median prices.  In California, it has resulted in reductions of an average of more than $100,000 statewide.

This is an unprecedented action by FHA.  FHA has historically held an area harmless when that area’s median home price declined.  While FHA was required to lower maximum loan limits and reduce high-cost area calculation beginning January 1, 2014, C.A.R. does not believe it was required to reset MSA median home prices.  C.A.R. is working with NAR to fight the resetting of MSA median home prices.  View FHA’s announcement and the new FHA median home prices.

California homeowners who lost their home in a short sale will not be subject to federal or state income tax liability on debt forgiveness “phantom income” they never received, thanks to recent clarifications by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and California Franchise Tax Board (FTB).  In November, in a letter to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized that the debt written off in a short sale does not constitute recourse debt under California law, and thus does not create so-called “cancellation of debt” income to the underwater home seller for federal income tax purposes.  Following the IRS’s clarification, C.A.R. sought a similar ruling by the California FTB, with the help of the Board of Equalization (BOE).   Now with the FTB’s clarification, underwater home sellers also are assured that they are not subject to state income tax liability, rescuing tens of thousands of distressed home sellers from California tax liability for debt written off by lenders in short sales.  We thank Sen. Boxer and BOE member George Runner for their leadership in obtaining this guidance from the IRS and FTB.  Distressed California homeowners can now avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and can opt for a short sale instead, without incurring federal and state tax liability, even after the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expires at the end of this year.

While C.A.R. will not be pursuing SB 30 on the phantom income/debt forgiveness short sale issue, it will explore whether state and/or federal legislation is necessary in connection with loan modifications and certain foreclosure actions.  Thanks very much to the thousands of REALTORS® who fought for their clients by responding to C.A.R.’s Red Alert on SB 30.

Lastly, C.A.R. recently has held a number of high profile events to help educate and keep you at the top of your game.  Under our Thought Leadership program, which helps C.A.R. position itself as a leading housing organization, we convened an executive roundtable with four leading economists and finance experts to share their insights on market conditions, the financial recovery, mortgage finance, and other housing policy issues.  C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer was joined by Professors Janice Eberly, Edward Leamer, David Min, and Richard Green for this private event, and the resulting executive report, “The Future of Housing Finance: Economic and Policy Insights,” is available here. 

C.A.R. also gathered some of the brightest minds in real estate for a one-day symposium last month that featured cutting-edge real estate and economic presentations from leading experts in the field.  Titled, “Real Estate Voices—The Past, Present and Future of the Real Estate Industry,” the event represented a variety of related disciplines, with 18 presenters providing their insights on the future of the housing market, banking, mortgage finance, the economy, demographics, and more.  The fast-paced, “TED Talk-styled” event provided an opportunity for a thought-provoking exchange of ideas and information.  Obtain event materials and view videos of the presentations.

Before I close, I want to tell you how excited I am to serve as your President in 2014.  I hope you will join me and get involved with C.A.R. next year.  I look forward to working with you!

Have a very safe and joyous holiday and a Happy New Year.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown
2014 President

Chase ‘N Around Lake Tahoe December 2013

Chase ‘N Around Lake Tahoe
December 2013

In This Issue

Area Real Estate Market Statistics

Real Estate Articles and Information 

Luxury California Property For Sale

Luxury Nevada Property For Sale

Recent Sold Property Ca or Nv 

Tahoe/Truckee, Incline Village Nv. Events

Property and Neighborhood  Videos 

The Market has received a boost from all cash buyers…

The number of people who bought existing U.S. homes in November declined for the third straight month. Higher mortgage rates have made home-buying more expensive, while the lingering effect of the October government shutdown might have deterred some sales. Still, the Realtors’ group predicts that total sales this year will be 5.1 million. That would be the strongest since 2007, when the housing bubble burst. But it’s still below the 5.5 million generally associated with healthy housing markets.

Read More Here

Tahoe Sales Surge: duplex penthouse sells for $5 million


In another sign of a resurgent high-end real estate market around Lake Tahoe, a $5 million duplex penthouse at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Lake Tahoe, has been sold to an unnamed buyer.

The sale of the 3,407-square-foot penthouse – featuring four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a theater and spectacular views of Northstar Mountain and the surrounding area from an altitude of about 7,000 feet

By Mark Glover Sac Bee

Hollywood’s Ski Getaways:
Luxe Real Estate in Peak Markets Aspen Co and Tahoe Ca and Nv


Don Henley’s former estate is part of a $27.5 million spread in Colorado, while Larry Ellison’s massive compound takes shape in Nevada and California — with nary a bear rug in site.

Modern design is going straight to the top of some of the country’s hottest ski resort towns, where right-angled contemporary homes — with plenty of out-there amenities — are keeping company with traditional-style cabins.

The Sun N Sand Motel  

Rare commercial opportunity. Create your legacy with this Lakefront motel on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. 75′ of sandy beach and lake frontage. Panoramic lake views with 26 rooms and a management suite.  
Offered for $3,500,000

Featured Luxury Property

Prestigious Fleur du Lac Estates

Privacy yet steps from fabulous clubhouse, yacht club, your own protected boat slip, tennis court, pool, gym, bocce court! Level property of 22 spacious and gated condominiums with on-site security/office. Private patio with BBQ, large great room with living area, pool table, dining area, kitchen; separate bar room; wood burning fireplace & gas fireplaces. Bring your sports equipment, ride bikes out the gate. Take your boat to lunch at west and north shore restaurants; have a picnic in Emerald Bay. Concierge services at your phone call. Lovely landscaping, updated clubhouse with owner cabinets, beautiful catering kitchen (original historic building on property). Property’s claim to fame is film location for parts of Godfather II


Featured Luxury Nevada

Summertide, Crystal Bay

Once owned by billionaire Howard Hughes, Summertime, his Crystal Bay, Nev., estate, has only been owned by one other owner since Hughes. The 2,518-square-foot main house has five bedrooms and four bathrooms , while a 1,343-square-foot guesthouse offers extra living space for visitors.


Featured SOLD Property

A True “Tahoe” Cabin, Carnelian Bay Ca 


3 bedrooms, 2 baths, lake view deck, buoy and shared pier with lift.      Sold for $2,487,500


Holidays in Tahoe

Dec 21st kicks of the Winter Season!

Here are events into the New Year 2014!



7170 N Lake Blvd Lakefront Ski Lodge in Tahoe Vista Ca North Shore Lake Tahoe Trinkie Watson

7170 N Lake Blvd Lakefront Ski Lodge in Tahoe Vista North Shore Lake Tahoe CA




Trinkie Watson, CIPS CLHMS

Luxury Lake Tahoe Broker

530 582 0722  800 783 0722

CA #00326518   NV #001022 

Stay Connected

Like me on Facebook   Follow me on Twitter   View my profile on LinkedIn   Find me on Pinterest

This Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. Please, Do Not Consider This A Solicitation.

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

The healthiest housing markets are in California and other areas in the western United States.

The top five markets with the healthiest index readings were San Jose (Index of 9), San Francisco (8.9), Los Angeles (8.6), San Diego (8.4), and Denver (8.1). The next five markets were Boston, Pittsburgh, Portland, New York, and Sacramento.

The study reveals home values in the leading market, San Jose, have increased 19.6 percent compared to one year ago, with a median selling price of $731,500. Home values in San Francisco, the second healthiest market, actually increased 24.1 percent.

Zillow’s chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries explained the benefits of the robust situation in these areas, and added a bit of caution: “Rapid home value appreciation in the West, particularly California, is currently having a very positive effect on a number of other factors, including negative equity, foreclosure activity, and the overall financial health of local homeowners. But that same rapid

appreciation may cause affordability issues in the future in these markets, leading to potentially unhealthy conditions,” he said.

“The housing market is complex, and while individual statistics can be useful in describing a single aspect of a given market, one number on its own can’t tell the full story,” Humphries continued. “As markets continue to evolve and recover, the Market Health Index will reflect these changing trends, offering consumers a valuable tool on which to base their decisions.”

Zillow’s Market Health Index measures different metrics on a scale from 0 to 10. Its purpose is to illustrate the current health of a region’s housing market compared to similar markets nationwide. It is calculated monthly to compare market trends by ZIP code, neighborhood, city, county, metro, and state levels. The findings include all single-family residences, condominiums and cooperatives.

Among the 10 categories Zillow measures are:

  • Changes in home values
  • How long homes stay on the market
  • Foreclosures
  • Delinquencies
  • Negative equity

A low Market Health Index score does not necessarily mean a market is performing poorly across all categories, but simply that other markets are performing a bit better in terms of increasing home values or fewer foreclosures.


Chase ‘N Around Lake Tahoe November Monthly E-Newsletter

Chase ‘N Around Lake Tahoe
November 2013

In This Issue

Area Real Estate Market Statistics

Real Estate Articles and Information 

Luxury California Property For Sale

Luxury Nevada Property For Sale

Recent Sold Property Ca or Nv 

Tahoe/Truckee, Incline Village Nv. Events

Property and Neighborhood  Videos 

California Housing Market Is Expected to Be Up in 2014
With the value of discounted properties continue to appreciate, investors are paring their purchases of distressed homes as their profit margin narrows.  As investors take a step back, inventory will likely improve slightly in the upcoming year.  Meanwhile, the increase in home prices will also encourage more homeowners to put their houses up for sale. The housing supply will grow and should gradually climb back from under three months in 2013 to about four months in 2014.

Read More Here

5 Reasons to Sell before Spring

  Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to sell now. 
By KCM blog

Million Dollar Housing Markets

Home sales of $5 million or more are common in these wealthy zip codes across the United States. Surprisingly enough Lake Tahoe zip codes did not make the list

River Ranch is For Sale!

One of Lake Tahoe’s older properties is up for sale for the first time in more than 40 years. The River Ranch hotel and restaurant/bar located on the Truckee River at the base of Alpine Meadows Road! The two-acre property encompasses a 19-room lodge, restaurant and bar with a total of 12,500 square feet.

The asking price is $5 million.

Featured Luxury Property

Just Reduced! Panoramic Lake Views in Carnelian Bay Lake Tahoe

Fabulous panoramic Lake Tahoe views from the private deck and expansive windows. Having an abundance of natural light, this home is warm and inviting. Designed for large or small gatherings, offering the main living area, master suite & additional bedroom at street level. An additional 3 bedrooms; en suite on lower level. A remodeled kitchen, enormous workshop and additional unfinished room add to the versitile use of this property. Centrally located in Carnelian Bay just minutes from Tahoe City and Kings Beach. 

Featured Luxury Nevada

Elusive Elements Meet    

Located on almost 3/4 of an acre, with lake views, privacy, and the 6th green of the Incline Village championship golf course in your backyard. Elegant luxury living amongst 5900 sq ft. with custom stone and woodwork throughout. Amenities include Hydronic heating, sauna, 3 decks, 3 fireplaces and a seasonal creek.  Room to grow with 6 bedrooms, 6 baths and a 5 car garage.


Featured SOLD Property

Tahoe Donner, Close to X-Country 



3 bedrooms, 2 baths, bonus room, 2 car garage

Sold for $490,000



Thanksgiving Feast!
Tahoe Donner
Join us from 2-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28, for our special Thanksgiving holiday meal

Northstar California
3:00 – 8:00 p.m. Come enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Tavern 6330′

11:00 am – 5:30 pm Gather with family and friends and create new holiday memories over Thanksgiving Dinner.

Tahoe City
3pm-8pm Enjoy sweeping views of Tahoe and leave the cooking and cleaning to Jake’s at the Lake & Chef Yorkey


November 30th

Light up the Night at Tahoe Donner

Santa and holiday activities at the annual Tahoe Donner Light Up the Night event

December 5th & 6th

Noel Nights at Northstar California

Noel Nights taking place the first 3 Thursdays of December from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. The Village at Northstar will be festive winter wonderland with a decorated 35-foot tree, ice skating until 9 p.m., fire pits to warm you, holiday carolers, shopping deals, and much more!

Please join Santa and Mrs. Claus for the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy a cookie swap, photos with Santa, complimentary soup and cocoa, arts and crafts stations and Friends of Kings Beach Library book sale!

Opening Day!  Are you ready?!

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area – OPEN
Heavenly Mountain Resort – OPEN
Boreal Mountain Resort – OPEN
 Northstar California – OPEN

Squaw Valley USA – Nov 27th
Sugar Bowl Ski Area – November 27th
Tahoe Donner Ski Area – Dec 13th
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort – Dec 13th
Kirkwood Mountain Resort -Soon


Lake Tahoe Luxury Estates Trinkie Watson

Lake Tahoe Luxury Estates Trinkie Watson



Trinkie Watson, CIPS CLHMS

Luxury Lake Tahoe Broker

530 582 0722  800 783 0722

CA #00326518   NV #001022 

Stay Connected

Like me on Facebook   Follow me on Twitter   View my profile on LinkedIn   Find me on Pinterest

This Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. Please, Do Not Consider This A Solicitation.

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Homebuyers looking for bargains this winter/Inman News

Click Here for the Full Article by Inman News – Homebuyers looking for bargains this winter


Average Days on Market Across the US by KCM blog

Average Days on Market

Home Prices Rebound-Back to 2003 Levels

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — In another sign of a turnaround in the long-battered real estate market, average home prices rebounded in July to the same level as they were nine years ago.

According to the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index, which covers more than 80% of the housing market in the United States, the typical home price in July rose 1.6% compared to the previous month.

It marked the third straight month that prices in all 20 major markets followed by the index improved, and it would have been the fourth straight month of improvement across the full spectrum if not for a slight decline in Detroit in April.

The index was up 1.2% compared to a year earlier, an improvement from the year-over-year change reported for June. While home prices have been showing a sequential change in recent months, it wasn’t until June that prices were higher than a year earlier.

The July reading matched levels last seen in summer 2003, when the market was marching toward its peak in 2006. The collapse of the market after that led to the financial crisis of 2008.

“The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing,” said David Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Single-family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing.”

Record low mortgage rates and a tighter supply of homes available for sale have helped to lift home prices. Lower unemployment also has helped with home prices, although job growth in recent months has been slower than hoped.

Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve announced it would buy $40 billion in mortgage bonds a month for the foreseeable future. This third round of asset purchases by the central bank, popularly known as QE3, is its effort to jump start the economy through even lower home loan rates.

Related: Best home deals in Best Places

Mike Larson, real estate analyst with Weiss Research, said part of the improvement in the housing market is due to investors using the low mortgage rates to buy up homes that are in foreclosure and renting them in a strong rental market.

But he said that he doesn’t think there’s much chance of housing prices forming any kind of new bubble in the foreseeable future.

“Clearly the worst is behind us for this market., but this is not a market that is going to take off again,” he said. “While you have a firming up, you still have tight lending standards and people who have been burned are reluctant or unable to get back in the market.” He predicts it will take several more years before housing prices can gain more than 1% to 2% a year.

Related: Buy or rent? 10 major cities

But that is good news for a housing market that was plagued by plunging home values and high foreclosure rates for much of the last six years. And the good news has the potential to build on itself, said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist for Deutsche Bank.

“Housing remains a rare bright spot in an economy that is otherwise muddling through,” he wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. “The price trend for housing is significant, because it provides economic stimulus via stronger household balance sheets.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that home prices had reached a 9-year high. In fact, they rebounded to the level last seen in summer 2003, before their peak several years later. To top of page

Thinking of a Vacation or Retirement Home? Buy It Now

by The KCM Crew on September 19, 2012

When the economy was exploding in the early 2000s, many of us began to dream about purchasing that vacation home on the lake or securing a home in a more appropriate location for our retirement years. However, with the booming economy came skyrocketing house prices. Many of the homes we fell in love with quickly became out of reach financially. Perhaps we should take a second look at these same homes today.

With prices dropping by over 30% in some markets and with interest rates at historic lows, this may be the perfect time to do what we and our families have always dreamt of doing – buying that second home. Let’s look at the numbers.

Back in 2006 we may have seen the ‘perfect’ home but the $500,000 price tag was just out of reach. Today, we could probably get that home for $400,000 (if not less). We also would be financing it at the current mortgage rate instead of the rates available six years ago. The table below shows the difference in impact on our family’s finances:

Not every family is in the financial position to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities the current real estate market offers. But, if yours is, this may be the time for dreams to come true.

I wanted to share with you an exciting announcement that is being released this morning regarding Squaw and Alpine’s participation in The Mountain Collective. See the release below and the link to a video describing this new pass:

This is a new pass that includes Alta; Aspen/Snowmass; Jackson Hole; and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. I know that you will help us spread the word about this new product that offers passionate skiers and riders four of the premier resorts in the U.S.

Starting with my original conversation with Aspen’s CEO, Mike Kaplan at Aspen this past winter, the evolution of this product, like all of the mountains involved, has been remarkable. Supported by extensive guest research, analysis and our collective passion for the mountains, this portfolio of mountains, represents without question the resorts customers in North America and around the world dream about. I’ve already received an inquiry from some friends of ours involved in the ski business over in China, so it’s clear that the message and interest is resonating at a global level.

We’re proud to continue leading and the advancing of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows on the North American and the world stage!

Best regards,


Andrew D Wirth

Interim Chairman

Lake Tahoe Winter Games Exploratory Committee Board of Directors

– – –

President and Chief Executive Officer

Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC

Alpine Meadows & Squaw Valley


Post Office Box 2007 | Olympic Valley, California 96146

Stay with PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn and Fly High with Virgin America
All reservations booked in 2012 will earn double Virgin America Elevate points (1000 per guestroom, 1500 per suite). As always, with all stays guests enjoy complimentary breakfast and valet parking.

Whether you’re looking to learn the art of fly fishing or looking to refine your skills, Matt Heron Fly Fishing located in the Olympic Valley is one of the most popular and sought after fly fishing schools in the country. The three hour Cast n’ Catch class begins with a private hour and a half of casting lessons, which leads into an hour and a half of guided fishing on the private, stocked ponds.

Package Includes:

• One night accommodations for two people

• Cast n’ Catch Fly Fishing instruction by Matt Heron for two people (can be used in 2012 or 2013)

• Fresh baked pastries or assorted cheese plate provided by PlumpJack Cafe

• Bottle of CADE Sauvignon Blanc in room upon check-in

Farm Fresh to PlumpJack Cafe & A Fresh Guestroom Rate of $159 – Celebrate the last of the summer bounty and the beginning of the fall harvest with a very special evening showcasing Executive Chef Ben “Wyatt” Dufresne’s multi-course menu and Farmer Gary Romano of Sierra Valley Farms’ freshest ingredients. Join us for an evening of creative culinary delights, perfectly paired summer wines, lots of laughter, new friends and a dramatic mountain setting.

Stay with us for an exclusive Fresh Rate of $159

Date: Thursday, September 13th
Time: 6pm welcome, 6:30 dinner
Cost: $50 for four course dinner, $85 paired with wines

Summer Wine Dinners – Our Wine Series is back for the summer. Indulge in the full Wine Dinner Menu with wine pairings in the dining room or enjoy by the glass in the bar or with your dinner.

Stay with us for an exclusive Fresh Rate of $159

Upcoming Winemaker Dinners
Aug 23rd
Honig Vineyard and Winery

Sept 7th
Orin Swift Cellars

For Luxury Real-Estate, the ‘Year of Capitulation’

By: Robert Frank
CNBC Reporter & Editor

Carpinteria, California mansion

Once for sale at more than $22 million, a California beachfront compound with a guest villa, tennis court and swimming pool is going for $14.9 million.
Even the rich aren’t immune to the pressures of the housing market.

Prices for homes priced at $1 million or more have fallen a 20 percent this year, according to RealtyTrac. The average sale price for top-tier real estate has fallen to just over $2 million, from $2.5 million in 2011.

Those prices cuts stand in stark contrast to the broader housing market, which is seeing early signs of price stability and even price increases for the first time in years.

All that price-chopping at the top, however, has sparked a wave of sales as buyers scoop up deals and sellers accept the new reality of lower prices.

The number of transactions for homes priced at $1 million or more has jumped 18 percent this year, one of the strongest increases since 2008, according to Realtytrac.

Brokers for luxury real estate are already calling 2012 the “The Year of Capitulation” for wealthy sellers.

Robert Frank
Robert Frank
CNBC Reporter
& Editor

“I think sellers are now resigned to today’s prices and what’s actually selling,” said Paul Boomsma of the Luxury Portfolio, a marketing group for luxury homes. “ People who are serious about selling are ready to make a deal now, where maybe they weren’t a year ago.”

There are several factors behind the price drops. The high end of the market didn’t fall as much or as early as the broader market, since there weren’t as many distressed sellers that were forced to sell. Those wealthier sellers have hung on to their properties, waiting for prices to approach 2008 levels.

Now that they see that the prices of 2008 aren’t likely to return anytime soon, many are deciding to drop their prices just to get a deal. The increase in sales has itself spurred sales, as wealthy sellers see a larger number homes in their neighborhoods trading at lower prices.

“There is now a critical mass of data so sellers can say, ‘Well, this is the new reality,’” Boomsma said.

Of course, bargains are all relative in the mega-mansion market. And homes priced at $1 million or more represent a tiny slice of the overall market, with high concentrations in New York and California.

Yet some mega-mansions have seen price cuts of 30 percent or more in recent months.

A private beachfront-compound in Carpinteria Calif., has sliced $7.2 million from its price tag and is now being offered for $14.9 million, according to Luxury Portfolio. The property includes a six-bedroom main house, guest villa, tennis court, swimming pool, spa and 95 feet of beach frontage.

A historic estate in the horse country of Bedford, N.Y. has been reduced by $3.5 million. The estate was built for the Harriman family in the early 1900s and features an equestrian center and 100 acres of gardens, ponds and rolling hills. The new sale price: $26.5 million.

South Florida has seen a huge boost in luxury home sales driven by buyers from Latin America. But prices are falling there as well. An oceanfront palace in Delray Beach, with 15,000 square feet of living space, has been reduced by $4.4 million and is now available for $19.5 million.

“These sellers are capitulating,” said Daren Blumquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “They are pricing to get these properties sold.”

Blumquist said many sellers may also be motivated to do a deal this year in anticipation of possible tax changes in 2012. If the Bush tax cuts expire, capital gains rates could rise from 15 percent to more than 20 percent. That added tax bill can grow to the millions of dollars when selling a mega-mansion.

“Election years bring uncertainty, so they might want to close a deal now,” he said.

-By CNBC’s Robert Frank
Follow Robert Frank on Twitter: @robtfrank

Big money. Big deals. Watch CNBC’s exclusive access to the Secret Lives of the Super Rich: Mega-Homes.
© 2012

Mortgage bonds are down big within the last 45 minutes. We are LOCKING all in progress or floating clients immediately. This is a heads up that this is significant enough that we WILL see mid-day rates sheets re-price for the worse, across the board. Rates tomorrow should again be higher.

Moreover, this is primarily happening because of two things: 1) European Central Bank announcing plans to purchase debt in Spain & Italy (really only a short term solution), and 2) Fed Chairman Bernanke & indications he’s giving as to whether or not the Fed will do a 3rd round of Quantitative Easing (QE3).

See the live snapshot of conforming mortgages bond chart attached (last 3 months). Reminder that higher bond prices = lower rates, and vice versa. As you can see, today is a significant drop. Estimating rates could be ~.25% – .375% higher tomorrow morning, depending on how the rest of the day shapes up.

Odette Mortgage-Ephraim Schwartz

North Lake Tahoe-Truckee Summer Transit Schedule

North Lake Tahoe-Truckee

Summer Transit





This summer’s North Tahoe Transit programs will run daily from June 28th to September 3rd, Labor Day.  Posters and schedules will be distributed the week of June 25th.  Operations include:


  • North Lake Tahoe Water ShuttleNew this Summer! Watch for details coming soon!  (start date to be announced soon)


  • NEW  NextBus is Real time tracking for TART buses.  Add the APP to your i-phone and share the “where’s my bus?” new technology with your guests and employees.


  • The East Shore Express New this Summer!  Catch a ride to Sand Harbor and leave your car behind. Starting June 15th – September 3rd.  with departures every 20 minutes from the Old Elementary School Incline Village between 9:00AM and 5:20PM. Departures from Sand Harbor every 20 minutes between 9:20AM and 5:40PM.


  • FREE! The popular Night Rider returns this summer with service between Squaw Valley and the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village, Northstar and Crystal Bay, Tahoma and Tahoe City. We will be offering extended hours of service to better serve our guests, residents and employees!  Watch for the NEW Schedule that will be out soon!


  • TART will provide half hour service daily on Hwy 28, 8am to 6:45 pm


  • TART service daily on Hwy 267 between Northstar and Crystal Bay; connecting to all other TART buses


  • The Emerald Bay-South Shore Connection (TART Connects with BlueGo in Tahoma)  This is a great way to get to South Lake Tahoe!


  • Truckee Transit remains the same Spring, Summer & Fall; serving Donner Lake, Downtown Truckee, Brockway and the Truckee Tahoe Airport.


  • North Lake Tahoe Express airport shuttle – call for details or go to – group and frequent user rates are available


Squaw Valley 1st Time Home Buyer Speaker Series June 21st!

Come join this informative event!  1st Time Home Buyer Speaker Series with a Real Estate Agent, Title Rep and a Mortgage Broker!


Top 10 Turn Around Housing Markets by State

Now May Be Best Time To Buy A House In Two Decades
Purchasing a home may be more affordable now than it has been in more than 20 years. Almost 78% of homes sold during the first quarter of 2012 were affordable to people earning the U.S. median income of $65,000, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. Home prices nationwide have fallen about 36% from their peak, while median income has risen by about 10%. At the same time, mortgage rates are below 4%. There is one catch for home buyers, however: mortgage availability. Lending conditions are still tight. Without this significant issue, the housing and economic recovery could be proceeding at a much stronger pace. Indianapolis was the most reasonably priced housing market in the U.S. In fact, 96% of all homes sold in the metro area could be easily afforded by the typical family, according to the report. Wages in Indianapolis are reasonably high with the median family income at $66,900, about $2,000 above the national median. Meanwhile, the median price for homes sold there during the first three months of 2012 was $102,000. Other major markets that ranked high on the most affordable list included Dayton, Ohio, where 94% of homes sold could be purchased by a typical family; Lakeland, Fla., with a 93% affordability score and Modesto, Calif. at 93%. In contrast, New York City’s housing market was ranked as quite expensive, where only 31% of homes sold were affordable to median income families, who earned $69,200. The median home price in the metro area was a whopping $400,000. Other least affordable large markets included San Francisco (40%), Honolulu (48%), and Los Angeles (50%).



Brian Sly


Brian Sly and Company, Inc.

Registered Investment Advisor and Consulting Corporation

Please click on the below link to access the resort sales stats

Western Mountain Resort Alliance 1st Quarter stats for 2012

The Western Mountain Resort Alliance is composed of boards of REALTORS® of destination ski resorts in the Mountain West. The alliance was formed in January of 1996 at a meeting in Vail, CO with the presidents of the various boards or REALTORS® attending. At this meeting, the various presidents discussed and came to the realization that geographic boundaries were no longer as important as the common bond that we share as resort REALTORS®.

Demand for Lake Tahoe Homes under $500k up!

Homes at Lake Tahoe are becoming more affordable for the first-time home buyer for the first time since 2001, but it’s unlikely to last long.

Homes in the lower-priced segment of the Tahoe market are in demand, a first-quarter existing homes sales report by Chase International shows.

“Lakewide, the units in single-family homes are up by 15 percent from the same time last year,” said Sue Lowe, senior vice president and corporate broker for Chase International. “We are just seeing little to no inventory in homes under $500,000 around most of the lake.”



Click this link to read the full article in the Reno Gazette Journal.

Luxury Housing Markets Heat Up

Luxury Housing Markets Heat Up

April 13, 2012

While many markets continue to languish with more price declines and  so-so sales, one real estate sector is red hot, and you might be  surprised at which one it is.

Even with the economy just starting  to pull out of the doldrums, the luxury market has come roaring back in  recent months according to experts, and that could signal good things  ahead for U.S. real estate.

“There is very little inventory,  which is driving a lot of activity,” says Richard Smith, president and  CEO of Realogy Corp., a global provider of real estate and relocation  services. “You’re getting multiple offers and quick sells. It’s not  uncommon in New York City to see a co-op or an apartment go on the  market and two days later it’s gotten 10 offers and it’s sold. That’s  becoming pretty typical of New York City.”

[See today’s best photos.]

Other  high-end markets in Boston, Greenwich, Conn., the Hamptons, and Miami,  Fla., are seeing increased activity as well, Smith says.

Even  far from the hustle and bustle of major city centers, real estate  watchers have seen luxury markets heat up. In Bozeman, Mont., ERA broker  owner Robyn Erlenbush has already seen the same number of closings and  pending sales three months into 2012 as she did halfway through 2011.

“There’s great energy in our market,” she says.

Why  are buyers suddenly scooping up more high-value properties? Lack of  selection does play a role, but sellers have also become savvier when it  comes to pricing their properties. On the flip side, would-be  buyers have become more realistic about prices as well, sensing that they aren’t likely to drop much farther.

“These are  high-end buyers that have been sitting on the sidelines for long enough  and pricing is not going to get any better,” Smith says. “These are  people who are smart enough to know that you can’t really call the  bottom of the market—you can get close, but if you miss it, prices start  escalating pretty quickly.”

[Read: Michelle Obama Remains Consistently Popular.]

The  uptick in buyers plunking down mega-bucks for mega-mansions could bode  well for the broader market, Smith adds. While it’s not likely the  average Joe looking to buy a $200,000 home in Columbus, Ohio, will take  his cues from multimillionaires purchasing second homes in the Hamptons,  it could give more credence to the idea that the housing market could  be on the mend.

“If I’m in a market and I see the very  high-end buyers grabbing the headlines, it tells me that people who are  astute investors—when you’re buying a $30 million property, you’re  probably pretty astute—think things are starting to improve,” Smith  says. “Is there a bleed-over effect? Probably.”

Foreign  buyers have given some luxury housing markets such as Miami a shot in  the arm, Smith and other experts say, with healthy interest hailing from  locales as diverse as Russia, China, Canada, and Brazil.

[See the latest political cartoons.]

“We  have an influx of Russians because it’s like their winter Riviera,”  says Coldwell Banker Realtor Jill Eber, who specializes in luxury real  estate, adding that current “bargain” prices have given foreign buyers  incentive to move into the American housing market, especially popular  vacation spots such as Miami.

Her colleague, Realtor Jill  Hertzberg agrees. “Many of them are buying very big properties. You  can’t buy a single-family home in the middle of Moscow on a gorgeous  waterway,” she says.

And Hertzberg doesn’t think the  resurgence of activity in the luxury market is a flash in the pan. “I  think it’s going to sustain,” she says. “It’s definitely continuing.”

Twitter: @mmhandley



Media Contact:  Katie Shaffer

                                                                                          Switchback PR + Marketing, Inc.                                                                                                                                    530-550-2252



For Immediate Release


Chase International Reports

Market Beginning to Rebound

~Significant Improvement seen in lower-segment of Tahoe market~


Zephyr Cove, Nev. (April 9, 2012) – First quarter home sales at Lake Tahoe show an improved market compared to last year’s numbers for the same period, according to a quarterly report released by Lake Tahoe-based real estate firm Chase International.  One noticeable and positive statistic was an impressive 15 percent increase in units sold around the lake, with the lower end of the market jumping 18 percent.


“The inventory in the lower segment of the market is disappearing around the lake,” said Susan Lowe, corporate vice president for Chase International.  “Even though the average and median price has gone down from the first quarter last year (which saw many lakefront sales during that 2011 period and which we have not seen this year), the market is showing signs of recovery because the supply is vanishing.”

The Chase International 2012 first quarter report also shows dips around the lake overall in regard to sales prices from one year ago, which is reflected by the median price of a home in Lake Tahoe which is now $317,000 and the average home price which is $623,645, down 25 percent and 31 percent respectively.

Truckeeis showing signs of recovery overall but especially for real estate sales over the $1 million mark.  Specifically, theTruckeemarket stats report a whopping 175-percent increase in units sold over $1 million from four sales at this time last year, to a notable 11 sales this year.


The condominium market aroundLake Tahoeexperienced declines for all segments of the Tahoe market.  The number of total condo units sold was down 18 percent.  Average prices are down 35 percent and the median price is down 7 percent.



Headquartered in Lake Tahoe, Nevada since 1986, with eight offices in the region (Zephyr Cove, Glenbrook, Incline Village, Tahoe City, Squaw Valley, Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno) and one in London, England, Chase International and its exclusive affiliations handles a large share of the country’s property. A recognized leader in the world of real estate, Chase International continues to grow.  With 240 professional Realtors® boasting an array of industry certifications and the highest volume per sales agent in the area, Chase International successfully represents homes at all price levels.  For more information about Chase International, visit





Click Here for the 2012 1st Quarter Stats for Squaw Valley

Click Here for the 2012 1st Quarter Stats for Truckee 

2012 1st Quarter Sold Stats for All Areas Around Lake Tahoe

Click Here for the 2011 Top Company Comparison charts

Ultimate Proof I Believe NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!

Ultimate Proof I Believe NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!

by Steve Harney on April 10, 2012

I truly believe that now is one of the greatest times in American history to buy a home whether it is a primary residence, a vacation home, or an investment. Cynics may believe I speak highly of the benefits of owning real estate simply because I am in the industry as a speaker and lecturer. I want to prove that I believe in the advice I have given to our readers.

Yesterday, my wife and I were absolutely thrilled to receive the mortgage commitment on the small condo we are buying in South Beach, Florida. We are looking forward to enjoying our winters in Miami in the future. We are also excited that the condo will be able to be passed down to our children and eventually their children; enhancing our lifestyle and building family wealth at the same time. That’s exciting!!

BREAKING: BOREAL TO PURCHASE SQUAW, ALPINE; VAIL TO BUY INCLINE VILLAGE….Just read on Tahoe Quarterly; Boreal, backed by Utah-based Powdr Corp., completed an 11th-hour deal last night to assume ownership of Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley from previous owner KSL. Buoyed by excellent snowmaking, Boreal was positioned to move in on two of the jewels of the Sierra. The deal-making wasn’t done with …Squawlpineal, though. Early this morning, Colorado-based Vail Resorts purchased the rights to Incline Village, it’s third large purchase in the Tahoe area in as many years. “Vail is pleased to bring in a town, not just a resort, where our customers can feel completely at home from day 1. This is a turnkey deal for us, no vagrant hippies to price off of our property or scare our clientele. Incline is ready to go,” according to a press release issued by the company, which already owns Heavenly, Northstar California and recently purchased Kirkwood.

Ready to Rebound


After falling 34% over the past six years, U.S. home prices will soon bottom. They could turn back up by spring 2013.

It hit with the ferocity of an Old Testament plague, wiping out large populations of homeowners in the U.S. Five million of the country’s 76 million mortgage holders have lost their homes to foreclosure or lender-ordered short sales since 2006, and an estimated 14 million more owe more on their homes than their properties are currently worth. In all, some $7.4 trillion in homeowners’ equity has been destroyed, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, and more than two million jobs in the home-building industry disappeared.

At year end 2011, the S&P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index fell to a record low, 33.8% below the boom peak level, recorded in 2006’s second quarter. The descent has been all the more hideous in such once-manic markets as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami, which, according to the Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index, have fallen 61%, 55% and 51%, respectively, from their high-water marks.

Everyone has shared the pain. The negative wealth effect from the price decline both contributed to the virulence of the Great Recession and crimped the subsequent recovery.

At year end 2011, the S&P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index fell to a record low, 33.8% below the boom peak level, recorded in 2006’s second quarter. The descent has been all the more hideous in such once-manic markets as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami, which, according to the Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index, have fallen 61%, 55% and 51%, respectively, from their high-water marks.

Everyone has shared the pain. The negative wealth effect from the price decline both contributed to the virulence of the Great Recession and crimped the subsequent recovery.

Everyone has shared the pain. The negative wealth effect from the home-price decline contributed to the virulence of the Great Recession.

Yet as grim as these year-end readings appear to be, there are signs that the long nightmare for American homeowners is in its terminal stage, and that, maybe, just maybe, home prices will bottom and begin to turn by the spring of 2013—if not before. Certainly, the economy is doing better these days—the sine qua non for improved demand for housing. Jobs numbers have been up sharply three months in a row, leading to a jump in consumer confidence of late.

The near-record low in mortgage rates and concomitant slide in home prices has made houses and condos stunningly affordable (although stiff underwriting standards have made getting home loans more difficult). This is captured in the National Association of Realtors Housing Affordability Index, which measures how much purchasing power a median-income family needs in order to buy a median-priced home, using conventional mortgage financing.

This measure stood at 206 in January, which meant that the typical family has more than double the income needed to purchase an average home. That reading is more than twice the 102.7 at the peak of the bubble in July 2006.

MUCH OF THE HOME-PRICE DECLINE in the past six years has been fueled by the distress sales of foreclosed properties, which typically sell at discounts of 30% or more to dwellings in the conventional sales market. Distressed sales, along with vacant houses and condos awaiting a sale, trash property values for all the other homes in the immediate area.

These forced sales have weighed heavily on overall market prices that are typically reported on a metropolitan-area basis that includes cities, surrounding communities and exurbs, which are a good distance from downtown. Within many metropolitan statistical areas, a bifurcated market has developed in which a pricing recovery already is under way in communities and neighborhoods far from the areas still reeling from past excesses of subprime mortgages and predatory lending.

This phenomenon is showing up in the statistical service CoreLogic’s Home Price Index, which nicely separates distressed from nondistressed sales. Indeed, for all of 2011, prices fell 4.7% nationally from the previous year’s level. Excluding distressed sales, however, home prices dropped just 0.9%.

















Of greater moment, perhaps, CoreLogic data show that nondistressed-sales prices rose 0.2% month over month in December 2011 and 0.7% in January 2012. Could this be an augur of better times to come?

Absolutely, in the opinion of Karl Case, professor emeritus at Wellesley College and one of the progenitors of the Case-Shiller indexes, launched in 2002. “If you drill down in the numbers by zip code in the Boston area, as I have done, you find that more desirable, affluent neighborhoods like Back Bay and Beacon Hill are doing just fine now—while, say, Fall River is still in the dumps and dragging down the entire Boston Metro area,” he asserts.

This bifurcated market is seen all across the country. While the Nob Hill neighborhood in San Francisco never saw values drop drastically and is now recovering nicely, Stockton, Calif., remains in the dumps. It’s a tale of two cities elsewhere, too. The Santa Monica real-estate market is doing fine, while the desert towns to the east are still suffering. And, in the Miami environs, South Beach is strengthening; Hialeah, Fla., isn’t.

Then there are areas that have been so depressed that the only direction now seems to be up.

In fact, woebegone Detroit was the only place in the latest Case-Shiller National Index to show an annual increase for December. True, the price increase was a skimpy 0.5%, but that was lots better than the 12.8% slide notched by the Atlanta area for 2011. And the only two metro areas that showed month-over-month gains in December were Miami, up 0.2%, and Phoenix, up 0.8%.

TO BE SURE, PLENTY OF headwinds remain for home sales. Unlike the stock market, home prices display much long-term momentum and inertia. Prices, all other factors being equal, tend to move in their past direction, and lenders, chastened by recent experience, remain tight with mortgage credit. Going through the home-loan application process these days is like undergoing a financial colonoscopy. In contrast, during the salad years of the housing boom, banks were shoving money at borrowers, with few questions asked.

The biggest impediment to a turn in the home market remains the so-called shadow inventory of some 3.671 million homes, according to estimates by Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics: those that remain somewhere in the foreclosure pipeline. Payments on some are 90-plus days delinquent; others are already lender-owned properties, known as REOs (real estate owned), that haven’t yet been listed for sale.

This inventory sits atop a market for existing-home sales that this January reached an annual pace of 4.5 million units. Moody’s Zandi, for one, finds particularly worrisome the recent $26 billion settlement of charges, alleging malpractice in home foreclosures, reached by 49 state attorneys general and the five largest lenders and mortgage servicers in the U.S. If nothing else, as a result of this, the shadow inventory will hit the home market far faster than it would have otherwise.

“While I feel better about U.S. home prices than I have in six years, I do think that a pickup in foreclosure and short sales could push U.S. home prices down another 5% this year, before the market bottoms next spring,” says Zandi. (In a short sale, the lender and homeowner agree to sell the home at a loss with the proceeds going to the lender in lieu of an actual foreclosure.)

Others are more sanguine.





















Eleven forecasters surveyed this year by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia predicted, on average, that the Case-Shiller National Index would fall by just 0.2% this year—and that it would rise 1.2% in 2013. Even if the decline were to reach Zandi’s 5% level in 2012, it would be off such a low price base as to be almost imperceptible.

If the market bottoms out early next year, as Barron’s expects, any recovery is liable to be somewhat tepid for a while. Buyer psychology has been shredded by the housing bust: The notion of housing as investment, rather than shelter and a wasting capital good, has been destroyed. Meanwhile, lots of sellers, anxious to downsize or liquidate, remain in the wings, ready to pile into the market at the first sign of a rebound.

A pricing model recently developed by Goldman Sachs predicts a rise in nominal prices of a cumulative 30% over the next 10 years, for a real return of 1% annually, after adjusting for inflation. But if tax changes like the elimination of deductibility of mortgage interest materialize, long-term appreciation in home prices could hew more closely to inflation, with little in the way of real returns.

NONETHELESS, THE POSITIVES these days outweigh the negatives.

Take the daunting 3.7 million homes that Moody’s estimates is in the shadow inventory. Zandi points out that this foreclosure pipeline has been steadily shrinking since its peak of 4.53 million homes in the first quarter of 2010. The decline is primarily a result of a precipitous drop in loans entering the foreclosure channel.

The 30- and 60-day early-stage delinquency rate has been dropping like a stone for several years because of tightened mortgage-underwriting standards.

Likewise, Zandi expects that the shadow inventory could be reduced by at least 700,000, thanks to recent changes in Uncle Sam’s Home Affordable Modification Program to encourage lenders to reduce the principal on loans in early-stage default.

He also expects investment demand from all-cash buyers for homes in hard-hit areas like Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida to take lots of properties out of the shadow inventory. Rising rent rates make the strategy appealing to buyers seeking attractive cash returns while they await a turn in the market.





























The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is also encouraging them to make bulk sales to investors of their large portfolios of foreclosed properties.

CoreLogic’s chief economist, Mark Fleming, thinks that the size of the true shadow inventory—the number of homes that will reach the market as distressed sales—totals only about 1.6 million. Such transactions, which accounted for 28% of all existing home sales in December, won’t return to the record 33% they hit in February 2011, he adds.

The demand for housing could pick up markedly in the years ahead, just from population growth, or, in census lingo, household formation.

The Great Recession of 2008-09 sparked a collapse in household formation, as adult children postponed striking out on their own or moved back to their parents’ homes after losing, or failing to find, jobs.

The household-formation rate plummeted to 300,000 during 2008, from more than 1.7 million in 2005. But the Canadian economic research outfit BCA sees the U.S. rate surging to its historic annual average of around 1.3 million in the years ahead, boosting the demand for rental apartments first and then spilling into the housing market. BCA reckons that five million new households will have to be formed simply to return the ratio of households to population to normal levels.

Perhaps no one knows more about residential real-estate price trends then Yale economist Robert Shiller, the co-creator of the Case-Shiller indexes. He has studied prices going back many years, including those in one neighborhood in Amsterdam that has been around for literally centuries.

While he’s reluctant to predict definitively when the U.S. housing bust will end, he points to one leading confidence indicator that appears to be signaling a market turn—the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

This monthly survey seeks to capture shifts in builders’ perceptions of current and future market conditions and buyer traffic. The index has been on a tear of late, rising five months in a row and to its highest level since 2007. Home-builder stocks likewise have blasted off since the October 2011 stock-market low, with Beazer Homes (ticker: BZH) up some 167%, Toll Brothers (TOL), 81%, and the SPDR S&P Homebuilders exchange-traded fund (XHB) up 74%.

This confidence index, Shiller notes, topped out almost seven years ago, in the very month that he boldly predicted in a Barron’s article that the U.S. home market was on the verge of a monumental collapse that would see prices fall an inflation-adjusted 50% (“The Bubble’s New Home,” June 20, 2005).

“It’s amazing how on target that prediction was, since nationally the market is already down 40% in real terms,” Shiller said in a recent telephone interview.

The Yale economist isn’t sure why the builder-confidence reading has been such a good leading indicator. After all, the market for new homes even in strong years never accounts for more than 20% or so of all sales; existing houses and condos account for much more. And lately, the figure has sunk to around 6%. Perhaps home builders have a deeper insight into potential buyers’ psychology—although if their grasp of market conditions were that good, many of them wouldn’t have gone belly-up during the bust.

The Obama administration certainly hopes that housing is on the verge of a turn. So do the host of homeowners anxious to unload their properties. One very positive sign: The inventory of new and used homes is around a six-month supply, a decline from the peak in 2008 of more than 10 months.

That bodes well for continued economic recovery and could win President Barack Obama another four years in the White House. But for baby boomers who once hoped to retire on the proceeds of selling a home, the best advice may be: Don’t quit your day job.



Brian Sly



Brian Sly and Company, Inc.

Registered Investment Advisor and Consulting Corporation

73 Scenic Drive  |  Orinda, CA  94563

Click Here to View The 2011 Year End Statistics plus Price Band Charts for Squaw Valley Ski Area

Introducing the NEW 2012/2013 Tahoe Local Pass

Is the Housing Market Actually Recovering?

Is the Housing Market Actually Recovering?

by The KCM Crew on March 13, 2012

Everyone wants to know if the housing market is truly showing signs of a recovery. There are conflicting headlines every day. One day, we hear sales are up. The next day it is reported that prices are down. Is the real estate market coming back? The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

There are two aspects that must be evaluated: house sales and house prices. They will not recover at the same time. Sales are already increasing rather nicely while prices will still soften in many markets through 2012.

Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) issues a Pending Home Sales Report each month. We can see by the graph below that sales have been increasing nicely over the last twelve months. Real estate professionals across the country are reporting that activity has increased compared to last year. The sales side of the recovery is starting to show great promise.

Home Prices

Many price indices have shown that national home prices are continuing to stumble. Even with demand increasing, we must look at where the supply of housing stock stands. Though ‘visible’ inventory (homes currently on the market) is shrinking, there is still a large overhang of ‘shadow’ inventory (foreclosures about to come to market as a result of the National Mortgage Settlement). This increase in inventory will outpace the increase in demand and thereby cause prices to continue to soften in many parts of the country.

Bottom Line

Housing is coming back. However, sales will come back before prices. We will not see prices appreciate until we work through the oversupply of homes on the market.

SQUAW VALLEY INSTITUTE – Renee Koijane says…Squaw Valley Institute is pleased to present a FREE Tahoe premier of Discovery Channel’s “Frozen Planet.”  From the makers of “Planet Earth,” this film is four years in the making and beautifully showcases the top and bottom of our amazing planet.  This hour-long  premier will be held Saturday, March 17th, at the Resort at Squaw Creek at 7:00 p.m.  All ages of the family are welcome.  And, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness beer will be poured on tap.  All beer sales benefit the Squaw Valley Institute.  Clif Bar free product samples will be handed out, as will “Frozen Planet” beanies!  Visit for more details.

North Lake Tahoe Snowfest March 2nd – 11th 2012

Celebrating 31 years of Family Fun in North Lake Tahoe!

Make plans to be here for another great celebration!

Every spring since 1982, North Lake Tahoe comes alive with ten fun-filled days and nights, jam packed with events and activities for all ages. This year, the annual favorites will be back, along with a host of great new ones! On and off the mountain, at North Tahoe’s numerous resorts and vibrant lakeside neighborhoods, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy on-snow events at resorts like Squaw Valley USA, Alpine Meadows, Homewood, Diamond Peak, and Northstar-at-Tahoe; Participate in special events, parades, races, parties, concerts, theater; and of course, there’s plenty of wining and dining to be had at North Lake Tahoe’s fine restaurants and lively establishments.

Join in and celebrate the fun and frolic of winter! There’s no better time to be in North Lake Tahoe. Snow conditions in early March are some of the best of the season.

Rhalves’ Bonzai Tour 2012~Stop at Squaw Valley March 2nd & 3rd!

Squaw Valley USA will host the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour with the KT-22 Banzai on the opening weekend of North Lake Tahoe SnowFest. The iconic KT-22 chair accesses Squaw’s most epic terrain and RBT gets a piece of the action. Start location and route will be off the top of KT hooking a right into GS Bowl, funneling into Schimmelpfennig and motoring to the bottom of Julia’s Gold. The upper section can have some airs in play depending on speed and tactics of competitors. The best seat in the house will be on the KT-22 chair as heats battle down the mountain, on corner at top of Extrabitchin’ Chair and at the base area finish. Rahlves’ Banzai Apres Party, hosted by High Fives Org will be at The Loft Bar in Le Chamois. The local watering hole where the good times roll.

Squaw Valley Prom 2012

Squaw Valley Prom 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012 – 18:00

Get out that 80’s attire and dress for success! Back for its 8th year, the biggest party of the season is taking us back to ’88. You know what to do… book your appointment to get that perm, and men start growing that mullet today.

This event does sell out, so get your tickets today:

Village at Squaw Valley Proposed Master Plan….What’s to Come?

Comparing Real Estate to Other Investments

You can’t compare gold to real estate as an investment as gold is a very liquid asset and it would take more time and effort to sell a house. We were not trying to make the case for real estate vs. gold as an investment in our blog. We were just showing that all investments go through cycles and that the best time to buy any investment may be when everyone is saying not to.

However, since the subject of comparing real estate to other investments has come up, let’s take a closer look. There are two major advantages to investing in a home of your own rather than another option:
You Can’t Live in Your IRA
When you buy your own home you are not taking available dollars away from another investment. You are replacing one housing expense (rent) which has no potential for a return on investment with another (mortgage payment) that does give you an opportunity for a return. We realize that there has been research showing that over the last 30 years renting has been less expensive than owning. That research also says that if you invested the entire difference between the rent payment and mortgage payment you may have done better financially. There are two challenges with this conclusion:
1. Today, in the vast majority of the country, renting is actually more expensive than owning a home.
2. History has proven that tenants DO NOT invest the difference in their rent and mortgage payments.
Today, study after study shows that owning a home is no more expensive than renting a home. However, even if this wasn’t the case, history shows that owning a home creates greater wealth.
Paying a mortgage creates what financial experts call ‘forced savings’. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University released a study last year titled America’s Rental Housing: Meeting Challenges, Building on Opportunities. In the study, they actually quantified the difference in family wealth between renters and homeowners:
“[R]enters have only a fraction of the net wealth of owners. Near the peak of the housing bubble in 2007, the median net wealth of homeowners was $234,600—about 46 times the $5,100 median for renters. Even if homeowner wealth fell back to 1995 levels, it would still be 27.5 times the median for renters.”
There Are Tremendous Tax Advantages to Investing in a Home
There is no doubt that selling an investment such as gold is easier than selling your home. However, this liquidity comes at a price. The price is called capital gains. That is the tax you pay on any financial gain you receive from the investment. This tax doesn’t apply the same way when you sell your primary residence:
Theresa Palagonia, a CPA and the Accounting Manager for the firm G.S. Garritano & Associates, was good enough to explain the Home Sale Exclusion Rules:
“You may qualify to exclude from your income all or part of any gain from the sale of your main home.
Maximum Exclusion
You can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain on the sale of your main home if all of the following are true:
• You meet the ownership test.
• You meet the use test.
• During the 2 year period ending on the date of the sale, you did not exclude gain from the sale of another home.
If you and another person owned the home jointly but file separate returns, each of you can exclude up to $250,000 of gain from the sale of your interest in the home if each of you meets the three conditions listed above.
You may be able to exclude up to $500,000 of the gain on the sale of your main home if you are married and file a joint return and meet the requirements. (Special rules apply for joint returns.)
Ownership and Use Tests
During the 5 year period ending on the date of the sale, you must have:
• Owned the home for at least 2 years, and
• Lived in the home as your main home for at least 2 years
Certain exceptions exist in which you may qualify for the exclusion without satisfying the tests listed.”

Bottom Line
Every investment has pros and cons. That is why there is such an assortment of great opportunities. Real Estate has been, is and always will be one of those opportunities.

by The KCM Crew

2011 Year End Sold Stats for Lake Tahoe

Here are the 2011 year end stats for sold properties around Lake Tahoe.

Here is the 2011 year end price banding charts for Lake Tahoe area.

Homesites at Squaw Creek in Squaw Valley USA

Homesites at Squaw Creek was established in 1990 as a private exclusive community along the South side of Squaw Valley. There are 48 residential parcels, 12 of which front the Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed 18 hole golf course. This subdivision has ski area and mountain views. Resort at Squaw Creek amenities are available too. A great place to invest. There is currently only one property available in this subdivision.

Offered at $2,350,000

Grand Opening Today! Village at Squaw Valley from 3 – 7 pm

A Private Gated Community in Squaw Valley USA~Hidden Lake

Hidden Lake Subdivision in Squaw Valley USA

Hidden Lake is a planned private gated community established in 1988. Enjoy views ofSquaw Valley ski area along with southern exposure. Community offers private roads, a spring fed “HiddenLake”, and 2 tennis courts. In the winter months the lake freezes due to being only 6-8 ft deep. HiddenLake has 35 parcels with two additional parcels annexed into the community. Currently there is only 1 active listing in the subdivision.

Creekside Estates Squaw Valley USA EST. 2004.

A private community. East end of Squaw ValleyUSAand is bordered by Squaw Creek. There are 24 residential parcels in which there are 4 listed single family properties for sale ranging from $2,450,000 – $3,900,000 and only 1 lot for sale at $395,000.

Chase The “PUSH” Fundraising for Grant Korgan

TAHOE, Calif. — Adaptive athlete Grant Korgan took his first sit-ski push on frozen Antarctic ground Jan. 7. Korgan is attempting to become the first adaptive athlete in history to reach the South Pole. He hopes to achieve this goal on the 100-year anniversary of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition arrival. Korgan estimates it will require 250,000 arm pushes to reach the pole.

“For me, each stroke is a full-on exhausting muscle recruitment and utilization. I can propel myself approximately 2 feet per stroke. To go 100 miles to reach the Pole, I am going to need to do 250,000 total push. I’ll be pushing 10 hours a day, for 10 straight days,” Korgan said.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, Gallery Keoki and Chase International are hosting “Chase the Push” from 6-8:30 p.m., fundraising for the expedition and its affiliate nonprofit foundation, High Fives Nonprofit Foundation. The program, hosted by the Push team’s film director Steven Siig at Gallery Keoki in Squaw Valley, includes a live satellite phone call from the team in Antarctica just days before they reach to the south pole. Cuts of Siig’s upcoming full-length documentary film will be previewed. Food and drinks will be served.

The Push is selling $10 “push” donations, with the mission to reach 250,000 supported pushes. Online donations are available at To attend the “Chase the Push” event, please RSVP to

“The Push” is in support of the High Fives Foundation, a California-based 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to help winter athletes suffering life-altering injuries get back on their feet, and ideally, back to their sport. Learn more at

“The Push” is also in support of The Reeve – Irvine Research Center, a science research facility at University of California, Irvine devoted to the study of repair, regeneration and recovery of function after spinal cord injury. Learn more at

To learn about sponsorship opportunities and follow “The Push” journey visit

CHASE The PUSH: Fundraising Party This Saturday at Gallery Keoki

Chase the PUSH! A South Pole Adventure

The Resort at Squaw Creek

Resort at Squaw Creek

Ranked among the top 50 best ski resort hotels in North America by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, the spectacular Resort at Squaw Creek™ offers luxurious Lake Tahoe vacation lodging, gracious hospitality and full-service amenities. Studio and one bedroom units with fireplace and kitchenette available for sale and rental.

The Village at Squaw Valley opened with its first phase in February of 2002 and second phase in December of 2003. The Village consists of approximately 300 one, two and three bedroom condominium suites, six restaurants, 20 retail shops and a full service spa. It offers slope side condominium suites located next to the world renowned Squaw Valley USA Ski Resort. Condos are available for purchase and rental. Let us know if you would like more information.

Squaw Valley Tavern Inn Condo Litigation is Over!

Tavern Inn condos at Squaw Valley have been in litigation and it is over! Great news for the condos.

Officially over and the end result is in favor of the homeowners of the Tavern Inn condos. The board president as said that the litigation papers have been released (by the court) and it will be possible for homeowners to refinance their loan. For buyers; to obtain a loan to purchase a unit at Tavern Inn in Squaw Valley. Squaw Valley now offers several different ownership options when it comes to a condo.

Olympic Heritage Celebration Week at Squaw Valley USA

Snow Gods Ball Squaw Valley USA

Snow Gods Ball. Saturday, December 17 Put on your best retro outfit and get your party on. Proceeds from the Snow Gods Ball goes to the Avalanche Education Fund. You’ll not only be having a good time, you’ll be supporting a good cause. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Come on out and dance to live music by Love Fool. Squaw Valley!

California has a 7.4% Home Sales Increase

Home Sales Increase Across the Country

The National Association of Realtors recently released their 2011 3rd Quarter Housing Report. In the report, they showed that combined sales of single family homes, condos and co-ops increased in EVERY state as compared to the 3rd quarter of last year. Here are the state-by-state numbers. 

The next time someone says houses aren’t selling, ask them which state they live in and show them the chart.

The NEW Tahoe Super Pass gives you access to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows

Introducing the all new Tahoe Super Pass, the ultimate dual mountain Tahoe pass that provides access to some of the most remarkable, expansive terrain in all of North America. Starting at just $439, The Tahoe Super Pass is good at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, providing access to over 6,000 acres, spread across eight Sierra Nevada mountain peaks.

These prices are only guaranteed through November 30, 2011.

Gold Silver Bronze Super Six**

Squaw Midweek
Adult 23-64 $799 $599 $439 $399 $379
Young Adult 13-22 $529 $409 $349 $299
Child 5-12 $199 $149
Senior 65-75 $529 $409 $349 $299
Super Senior 76+ $199 $149
College* $349
Blackout Dates None Dec. 26-31, 2011
Jan. 14-15, 2012
Feb. 18-19, 2012
Dec. 26-31, 2011
Jan. 14-15, 2012
Feb. 18-19,
All Sat. in Jan. & Feb.
6 unrestricted days.
Dec. 26-31, 2011
Jan. 14-15, 2012

Feb. 18-19, 2012
Valid Mon-Fri

The age old question….Buy or Rent???

Rent or Buy? The Research Is In!!

  •  Today, we are again honored to have Ken H. Johnson, Ph.D. — Florida International University (FIU) and Editor of the Journal of Housing Research as our guest blogger. To view other research from FIU, visit Dr. Johnson was one of the top speakers at NAR’s Conference and Expo in Anaheim earlier this month. He is sharing his presentation with us today – The KCM Crew
Click for Presentation

Should individuals buy or rent? What is the evidence on this question? What is the present condition of the U.S. housing market? Relatively speaking, how affordable is housing today? Is the market turning around or are we headed for another dip? These and other questions are answered in the attached PowerPoint presentation.

I recently shared this information at the National Association of REALTORS® annual conference in Anaheim, CA. If you are a practitioner, the presentation should assist in your daily practice. If you are a consumer (buyer, seller, renter or landlord), the information contained within should prove to be very informative. If you are a policy maker, the presentation presents several findings that should influence current housing policy.

Please feel free to use this presentation and redistribute to others. The goal is to create an aware and thinking market place. To download the presentation, go to


The KCM Crew: Dr. Johnson was quoted and his research highlighted in a Wall Street Journal article this past weekend: Making a New Case for Home Buying

Squaw Valley USA Ski Resort Opening Day November 23rd 2011!!

The Big Day
November 23, 2011

Fresh snow from Mother Nature and our own snow
making system have added up to give us enough of the white stuff to open Red
Dog, Exhibition and the magic carpets for the kiddos. The weather is forecast to
stay clear for opening day, and after that it looks like we’ll see some more


Ready to Snow Ski or Snoboard? Many Resorts Are Already Open!

Projected Opening Dates (weather dependent):

Boreal Mountain Resort – OPEN

Northstar – November 18

Heavenly – November 18

Squaw Valley USA– November 23

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort – TBD

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe – November 23

Kirkwood- November 25

Tahoe Cross Country – November 25

Alpine Meadows – December 10

Diamond Peak Ski Resort –December 15

Sierra-at-Tahoe – TBD

Homewood Mountain Resort – TBD

Thanksgiving 2011 Dinner Around Lake Tahoe


Northstar. Ritz-Carlton
Lake Tahoe hosts a harvest buffet from 11 a.m. to 8 p .m. with holiday
favorites. $85 adults, $35 ages 4 to 10, free under 4. Reservations (530)

Olympic Valley. Squaw
Valley USA
hosts Thanksgiving dinner at High Camp from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. $27 adults,
$17 12 and under; does not include Cable Car ticket. Reservations

TahoeCity. North Shore Hawaiian Grill hosts a
free traditional Thanksgiving turkey meal with all of the fixings from noon to
4 p.m. Donations accepted for Project MANA. Reservations appreciated. (530)

KingsBeach. The first Tahoe Community
Thanksgiving is from 1 to 5 p.m. at North
Tahoe Event
Center to bring people
together to enjoy food, fun and friendship, and the true spirit of
Thanksgiving. Volunteers needed. Bring something to share. (775) 230-1066 or

InclineVillage. Lone Eagle Grille at the Hyatt
Regency offers seatings for its Thanksgiving buffet from 1 to 8 p.m. with live
music from pianists, a special kids’ buffet, and arts and crafts for kids. $70
adults, $33 ages 5 to 12, free 4 and under. Or, dine in Sierra Café from 2 to 8
p.m. with a buffet for $42 per person. Reservations (775) 886-6899.

CarnelianBay. Gar Woods hosts a special
three-course Thanksgiving dinner from 1 to 9 p.m., with the regular dinner menu
also available. $24.95 adults, $15.95 under 10. Reservations (530) 546-3366.

Alpine Meadows. River Ranch
hosts a three-course traditional Thanksgiving Dinner starting at 2 p.m. $24.95
per person. Menu at Reservations (530) 583-4264.

Tahoe Donner. The Lodge at
Tahoe Donner hosts a Thanksgiving dinner with seating from 2 to 7 p.m. $37.95,
$19.95 12 and under. Menu Reservations (530) 587-9455.

TahoeCity. Jake’s On the Lake hosts a
Thanksgiving dinner from 3 to 8 p.m., as well as the regular dinner menu.
$22.95 per person. Menu at Reservations (530) 583-0188.

Olympic Valley. Resort at
Squaw Creek hosts its Thanksgiving Buffet from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Grand Sierra
Ballroom. Children 12 and under diner half-price with a paying adult from 3 to
3:30 p.m. $46 adults, $26 ages 4 to 12, free 3 and under. Reservations (530)

TahoeCity. Dockside 700 is offering a
four-course Thanksgiving dinner. $24.95, $12.95 12 and under. Reservations by
Nov. 18 (530) 581-0303.

CrystalBay. Crystal Bay Casino hosts a
Thanksgiving Day special three-course menu at the Steak & Lobster House
from 5 to 9 p.m. The regular menu also will be available. $32, $28 10 and
under. Reservations (775) 833-6333.


Squaw Valley USA and Alpine Meadows Ski Area Merger is Complete!

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Merger is complete!


As we prepare to welcome more snow, cold temperatures, the completion of many of the $50 million Squaw Valley Renaissance projects and the excitement of a new season, I’m proud and genuinely thrilled to inform you that the transaction announced on September 27, 2011 uniting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows has been completed.

The completion of this transaction perfects our goal to afford skiers and riders access to Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows’ 6,000 acres, 44 lifts and over 270 trails on one lift ticket or season pass. The two resorts will be connected by complimentary shuttles that will provide convenient transportation between the two resorts. So far the feedback we have received about the joining of forces has been overwhelmingly positive – and we hope you are as excited as we are about this opportunity to experience these two incredible mountains, each with their own unique spirit and character.

It is important to note that our team remains committed to supporting the unique brands and spirits of both resorts. We intend to offer an unmatched resort experience to the guests at Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley in every way – and a large part of this will, in fact, be maintaining the distinct character of both resorts.

With the joining of Squaw and Alpine, we also recognize the increased importance of being an active and supportive member of our community. In that light, we are pledging $25,000 to the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s Community House project. The money will help to secure long term space for non-profits providing critical core services for families in Kings Beach, enabling them to live with dignity and opportunity in our community.

Finally, the closing also marks the 14 day countdown for skiers and riders to purchase a Tahoe Super Pass at the current reduced rates. Through November 30, starting at just $439, the Tahoe Super Pass is the first pass in ski resort history to offer season-long, interchangeable access to both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. The all new Tahoe Super Six is also available for $399 for adults and provides six unrestricted days of skiing and riding at both resorts for the 2011-12 season. Both the Tahoe Super Pass and the Tahoe Super Six are on sale now and additional information can be found at or by contacting Squaw Valley at 1-800-403-0206. Purchase by November 30th before prices go up.

On behalf of the proud members of the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley teams, thank you for your support and interest in our mountains. We look forward to welcoming you this season.

Warm but snow-filled regards,

Andy Wirth
President & CEO
Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC


At the core of the San Francisco and Silicon Valley Ski and Snowboard Festivals lie our passion and love for the mountains. Spend two days exploring gear manufacturer booths, interactive ski resort exhibits, and the biggest winter sale you’ve ever seen.

Come see us this weekend at the Hyatt in Santa Clara! Want free admission?  Contact us to be placed on the “Will Call” list!

Trick or treat? Odette Mortgage Group Weekly Newsletter

Trick or treat?         Last week, there was big news out of Europe, as an agreement was reached to help keep Greece from going into default. But will this deal mean a        frightful time is ahead for Bonds and home loan rates? Read on for more details.

On Thursday, the world was cheering on the news that a deal in Europe was reached, with private banks and other holders of Greek debt accepting a 50%        haircut on their principal investment. Once the write down takes place, Banks who are holding Greek debt will have to recapitalize themselves by        year-end, and government support will be available to fill voids that private money won’t fill. In addition, the Economic Financial Stability Facility        (EFSF) rescue fund, which currently has $443 Billion in holdings, will be expanded and leveraged to $1 Trillion Euros or $1.4 Trillion US Dollars.

So the agreement is together…but like any effective plan, it now has to be put into action. And as this rolls out, the financial markets will be        watching every step. When the sentiment is positive, like it was the day the plan was announced, Stock markets could benefit as investors would seek to        take advantage of gains.

In fact, the Stock markets are set to have their biggest monthly gains on record as October comes to an end. The closely watched S&P 500 Index is        up 13.5% for the largest increase since October of 1974, while the Dow Jones advance of 12% is the biggest gain since January of 1987. Optimism        surrounding the European crisis, positive economic data and better than expected earnings reports have fueled the rally.

So what does all of this mean for Bonds and home loan rates?        The deal that was reached in Europe is historic, and good news for the world’s economies overall. However, the plan has yet to be put into action-and        then it has to work. And if there are hiccups or issues along the way, Bonds and home loan rates could benefit with some renewed safe haven trading. We        saw a little of that late last week, when Friday’s less than stellar Italian Bond auction reminded the world that the European debt crisis is not yet        entirely resolved.

                The most important thing to keep in mind is that now remains a great time to purchase or refinance a home, as home loan rates are still near                historic lows.                    Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

Forecast for the Week

        Major economic data is set to impact trading behavior this week…with manufacturing and employment leading the way:

  •         Manufacturing headlines will be in the spotlight this week with the Chicago PMI on Monday, followed by the ISM Index on Tuesday.        Worker Productivity is also set for release on Thursday.
  •         The ADP Employment Report will be the first of two key releases to gauge the labor markets. Watch for ADP to be released on Wednesday.
  •         As usual, Weekly Jobless Claims will be delivered on Thursday. Last week’s report showed that people filing for first-time benefits still        remain above the 400,000 level.
  •         Friday’s Jobs Report data will garner the most attention as the Labor Department reveals how many new jobs were created in October. Last        month’s gain of 103,000 new workers was positive.

In addition to the reports above, the Fed Meeting begins on Tuesday and ends Wednesday with the Fed’s monetary policy statement. The housing        markets will be scrutinizing that statement for any rhetoric that involves possible new purchases of Mortgage Backed Securities to keep home loan rates        near record lows. Recently, several Fed members have stated that the Fed needs to support the housing markets and not to see elevated borrowing costs.

        Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong        economic news normally has the opposite result.

As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates worsened in October as Stocks had one of their best months on record. But rates remain        near historic levels, and I’ll be watching closely to see what happens as we move into November.

Chart:  Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Oct 28, 2011)
Japanese Candlestick Chart

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

The President’s New Plan for Homeowners

        You may have heard that President Obama plans to open up refinancing to more homeowners who are underwater. If you’ve been hearing questions about this        program or are just curious about what the plan involves, here are some of the major highlights:

What’s Really New?

First, it’s important to realize that the president’s proposal is not a new program, but a revision to the current Home Affordable Refinance Program        (HARP). However there are some big changes that you can let people know if they ask you.

Refinance…No Matter How Underwater

Now homeowners can refinance no matter how underwater they are! Before homeowners could only refinance if they were 25% or less underwater, and even        then many banks only let people who were 5% or less underwater refinance.

No Appraisal Necessary?

With the program’s revision, it’s possible that an appraisal won’t have to be performed. That’s great news because it can help people save time and        money. But this is only the case if Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac can electronically estimate the value through their valuation models.

But Keep in Mind…

These updates to HARP apply only to people whose mortgage is currently secured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac…and whose loan was securitized by Fannie        Mae or Freddie Mac prior to May 31, 2009. So the chances are that people who have refinanced since May 2009 will not qualify to refinance under the    HARP revision.

What’s Next?

As of now, the revisions to HARP have been proposed by President Obama and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and        Freddie Mac. This directive has been given to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and they now have until November 15, 2011 to give guidance and details    regarding how these changes will be run.

If you or someone you know has a question about what these changes mean, call or email me anytime. I’m always happy to help.

Economic Calendar for the Week of October 31 – November 04

Economic Report
Mon. October 31
Chicago PMI
Tue. November 01
ISM Index
Wed. November 02
ADP National Employment Report
Wed. November 02
FOMC Meeting
Thu. November 03
Jobless Claims (Initial)
Thu. November 03
Thu. November 03
ISM Services Index
Fri. November 04
Non-farm Payrolls
Fri. November 04
Unemployment Rate
Fri. November 04
Hourly Earnings
Fri. November 04