Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Northstar's "Don't Miss" Properties

To me, there are some really specific properties that are absolutely going to sell this winter because they are unique and scarce. Or, they are a completely new and well-thought out product in the market that will draw a lot of attention.

I have compiled a short list of my Northstar "Top Picks" for this winter, and I will explain why I chose each one. They may not necessarily be the "distressed" properties or desperate sellers, but properties that are special and should remain desirable for future resale due to certain characteristics that will appeal to the right buyers. Maybe I should call them the "Don't Miss" properties if you are looking for real estate at Northstar.

1. 4201 Great Bear: The only 4 BR on the market in the highly sought-after Great Bear building. Great Bear has continued to be a premier address in the Village at Northstar over the years due to its prime location, large residences with direct elevator access and limited inventory. This residence is located at the end of the building which means there are no neighbors on one side and there are extra windows and an extra balcony. The current owners have never rented this residence, it is in immaculate condition. While is is priced higher than some of the more recent comps in Great Bear (most of which classify as "distressed"), the sellers are taking a loss at list price. Move in ready for the ski season, I think it will certainly be an attractive option to a family that sees the long term value of owning at Great Bear. And, there are only two 4 BR options in the Village right now, this being one, and Pick #2 being the other.


2. Village Walk #6: Village Walk is the only newer-construction option where owners can benefit from hassle free ownership in a property that lives and feels like a single family home. This 4 BR/4.5 BA townhome is very spacious at 2766 sq ft and enjoys the unique benefit (vs a condo) of having a 2 car garage, driveway parking, several decks-one with a BBQ, a private hot tub, and gated access to the community. Village Walk owners store their skis in the Hyatt ski valet, so there is no "schlepping" of equipment. The interior finishes of Village Walk exude thoughtful design with rich wood finishes, built in shelving, Viking appliances, large closet spaces, and a furnishing package that was created specifically for the home. The HOA maintains the exterior and roadways of the home so there is no need to worry about ongoing maintenance. With the scarcity of available 4 BR properties at Northstar, I am sure that this property will sell this winter.


3. Home Run Townhomes: These on-mountain slopeside residences at Northstar are true ski in/ski out properties. There has never been an offering like this at Northstar, or in the area for that matter. Home Run is a snow rider's delight, a 16 home community nestled above the Northstar Village and directly below The Ritz-Carlton. It really doesn't get more convenient than this! The construction activity at Home Run has been steady and we expect to have a model in January to show. I think that this offering will be a "no-brainer" for the buyer who understands the value of this location. True to the "Vail/Beaver Creek" model (if you are familiar with those areas), these homes should always be in high demand. Homes like this in the Beaver Creek area are selling for about $1800/sq foot and the inventory is scarce. Prices start around $1.6M and once you see the site (ski access, location, views) you will understand what a great buy this is. There is good selection of available residences now but that will not be the case once we are in the heart of the ski season.


4. "The Glades": Speaking of the "Vail/Beaver Creek" model the release of the 25 on-mountain ski home sites at Northstar called The Glades will be upon us in the next 30-60 days. Tucked in the forest in an exclusive gated community, these spacious ski lots will appeal to the discriminating buyer who values convenience, privacy and true on-mountain living. Some of the homesites are literally surrounded by ski ways on all sides. The views are phenomenal and you can only imagine how amazing the homes will be that are built in this ski enclave. We have had several architects come in and design "mock" plans for homes that really fit in this pristine landscape. We can drive up to the site to see these distinctive sites next time you are in the area. You will see how impressive and well thought-out this community is.

5. 1926 Gray Wolf - Big Springs at Northstar: Immaculate 4 BR/4.5 ba home is located in the heart of the Big Springs community adjacent to the Northstar Village area. This elegant mountain retreat has an enticingly cozy feel with many special nooks and enclaves in every room of the house. Each room has its own character and is a perfect blend of functional architecture and thoughtful design. There are a couple different living areas that are perfect for multi-generational gatherings. You can easily imagine yourself curled up by one of the fireplaces reading a book or inventing a perfect winter soup in the chef's kitchen. The varied use of fine materials throughout the home is noticeable and makes the character of the home unique to any other home in the Big Springs neighborhood. The outdoor living area is highlighted by an enclave with fire pit (marshmallow ready), hot tub (watch the snow fall or count shooting stars) and spacious seating areas. All furnishings and d├ęcor were specifically intended for this home. A turn-key home that will feel like you had it custom designed especially for your family awaits! You will appreciate being able to effortlessly ease into this home.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Great Bear - A micro-market on the rise? We'll see!

Daily when I talk with clients, they ask me what values are doing in Tahoe. My answer is always the same: I can’t make a sweeping generalization about the market in Tahoe, because there are many micro-markets that are all faring differently through these economic fluctuations.

Great Bear has continued to be a prime address in the Village at Northstar for a variety of reasons: limited inventory of 3 and 4 BR residences only, direct elevator access to the residence, spacious flow-through layouts (no hallways to enter like a hotel), high end finishes and appliances, private lobby with ski lockers, and a prime location-directly in the heart of the Village overlooking the ice skating rink. It really is very convenient.

What is happening with values here? I think they are trending up. But, if you look at the recent comps you will see why on paper the values at Great Bear may be hard to define.

There was a seller who owned 5 residences at Great Bear. All 5 were sold in a relatively short period of time at some of the lowest prices we have seen in Great Bear. There was a 4 BR/4.5 BA residence purchased from this seller for around $1.9M (furnished, turn-key), and there was a very similar residence purchased from this seller for $1.6M (furnished, turn-key). The main difference in these comps was time...the more expensive one sold first, the lower priced one sold later.

Reminder: Many of the residences in Great bear were originally purchased from the developer at the peak of the market for over $1,200 per square foot which for one of these 4 BR places would be about $3.3M.

Then, we had a hiatus where there was nothing at all on the market in Great Bear. We all had clients asking about condos there, but there were none to sell. The demand grew.

An REO (bank owned) 4 BR/4.5 BA popped up on the market at a list price of $1,349,900. Within 2 days there were 4-5 offers on the property and the listing agent wouldn’t take any more. Who wouldn’t be excited to get a condo at this prime address for that price? The bidding war was underway. The lucky winner closed recently on the condo for around $1.6M. This residence was not in great shape, it had been used a lot, needed carpet, paint, some appliances, light fixtures, drywall repair, etc...you would probably need to put in at least $250K to bring it up to par and get it furnished for a total consideration of $1,850,000. Was it a good deal? Maybe. But the turn-key deal last year for $1.6M was certainly better. So the distressed standard deal from the first seller ended up being better than the REO-bank deal which is opposite of what you would expect.

I just listed a fabulous 4 BR/4.5 BA luxury condo in Great Bear-#4201 for $2,199,000. Do I think it is worth it? Absolutely. It has barely been used, never rented, and is in immaculate “brand new” condition. At this price the seller is losing money on the sale. Is it priced higher than the recent sale comps? Yes, but this is not a distressed seller. It is a seller who is not using the property who isn't going to give it away. (Incidentally, the only other 4 BR option in Great Bear right now is a “pocket listing” by the owner who wants $2,728,000 for the property).

Supply and demand will ultimately determine the values in Great Bear, along with the end-goal of how the buyer wants to use the property. If a buyer wants to get into Great Bear this season, the prices are good. We may have seen the end of the distressed sales if the current sellers with listings on the market hold close to their pricing.

Will future buyers gauge value based on the distressed sale comps, the peak of the market comps, or somewhere in between? Each comp has a story as to why it sold, the timing of the sale, and what the motivation of the seller was. The bottom line is that any buyer will have to understand the full story for each comp and make a decision based on the big picture.

Real estate values are not easy to define anymore and I think that will be the challenging reality of the buyers market for a long time to come.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Compelling deals at Martis Camp this fall

In the past two weeks I have received more calls and offers on my Martis Camp resale lot listings than I have over the course of the summer. Why?

Well, if you have been tracking the activity at Martis Camp you will remember that there was a “run” on lots right after the Camp Lodge opened in July, I think somewhere around 15 sites sold in a short window of time. Most of those sites were cabin sites or sites priced in the $500’s. Which would make sense with the market being iffy at best, a lot of people seem to see the value of getting in to Martis Camp at the lowest cost possible. Especially if they are going to build. If the cost of the lot is lower, the cost of the whole project will be lower.

A lot of lower priced inventory has since been absorbed. Now most of the cabin sites have been spoken for from the developer. The lowest priced developer site (estate or cabin) is now just over $500K after the 5% incentive. In contrast, there are 6 sites priced under $500K on the resale market, only one of which is a cabin site. In the $500K to $600K range, there are 5 sites, 3 of which are golf sites. Seems like some compelling values! Many of these sellers are taking a loss at their list prices which would indicate that the level of motivation is increasing. The feedback from sellers that I receive is that they don’t want to hold these lots over the winter, they want to see offers now and get the ball rolling.

Recently I have heard that the next release of cabin sites won’t be for about another year. Meaning, if buyers want to take the conservative route and buy in to Martis Camp at a lower cost, the resale market is an attractive option.

Buyers commonly ask, “why are these people selling”? Believe me, in most cases it has nothing to do with Martis Camp. They all rave over the amenities, think the project is unparalleled and many wish they could stay and build and retire here forever. But life situations change, jobs change, financial situations change. And, people have to get out. Such is life and the cycle of the real estate market.

If you are considering property at Martis Camp, take a look at the resale market while there is a “gap” in some price ranges of available developer inventory. There are some real gems out there and undoubtedly some lucky buyers are going to grab these properties up! There is a reason Martis Camp has been the beacon of success during these trying financial times, there is nothing like it and there never will be again in the Tahoe area. The developers have done an amazing job in the conceptual design of the project and now on delivery of the vision. Time to jump on board!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"The Glades" - True ski in/ski out at Northstar

I just returned from a site tour up on Northstar mountain of a new release that will come to market sometime this winter called "The Glades". This private enclave of 25 ski in/ski out sites located on Northstar mountain will undoubtedly be well received. The N. Tahoe area has very few areas of true ski in/ski out access to homes which I think will make these sites even more exclusive and sought-after.

There are several groomed ski "avenues" that weave in and out of the community making every site easy to access from the mountain. In the morning, skiers and riders can go out their doors, hop on the trail, and ride down to the Timberline Chair to start the day (avoiding any lines or crowds at the Village). At the end of the day, folks can ski back right into their homes after a great day of powder at Northstar. It doesn't get any easier than this.

The sites themselves are large (around an acre)well planned and positioned to give each owner a sense of privacy. Phenomenal views of the Carson Range, Martis Valley, and Castle Peak surround The Glades.

The location of the community itself is very close to The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe and the Village at Northstar. Owners will enjoy a sense of exclusivity and privacy, yet all conveniences are a short distance away.

I am really looking forward to sharing this amazing opportunity at The Glades with a select group of families who understand what true ski in/ski out living is all about.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Labor Day 2011 - Real estate newsletter

Click on link below to see my Labor Day real estate newsletter. Hope to see you up here, the weather is beautiful!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Shaun White calls Northstar-at-Tahoe "Home Resort"

Yesterday it was announced that the amazing Shaun White is the new athlete- spokesperson for Vail Resorts. Even better, he is now going to train and call Northstar home. Very cool! We are excited to have him and can't wait to see him ripping it up on his new 22 foot halfpipe that he is designing for Northstar riders.

See link below for more details...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Take a tour of the Camp Lodge at Martis Camp

Check out the link below to see the virtual tour of the gorgeous Camp Lodge at Martis Camp.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Unique opportunity at Martis Camp

May I present to you a rare opportunity to move into a completed custom home in a prime location at Martis Camp! This large family retreat is situated on a bright sunny lot with breathtaking views of Northstar’s Lookout Mountain & the Carson Range. You will find this spacious 6 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom home a place where family memories are made. Location, location, location! Right down the street from the Family Barn, Activities Pavilion and ski connect. You can count your steps. It’s a 4.5 minute tricycle ride to Barn, 1,000 scooter paces to sport courts and 320 second drive to ski connect. Whether you’re snuggled up by the fire with hot cocoa, enjoying the covered patio and outdoor fireplace on a summer night, or getting ready to go out and play, the fun is waiting for your family on Filoli Drive. Avoid the hassle of building, this is your chance to start enjoying Martis Camp now! Give me a call and come take a peek at this new family getaway where the most unforgettable memories begin.

10550 Filoli Drive, Lot 385 Martis Camp
Offered at $3,395,000

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Martis Camp redefines the Tahoe experience

Fourth of July weekend is here and with it came the highly anticipated grand opening of the Camp Lodge at Martis Camp. At about 55,000 square feet, the Camp Lodge boasts multiple dining areas (all with phenomenal golf or mountain views) extremely generous men's and women's locker rooms and lounge areas, world class spa with outdoor massage cabanas, lap pool, pro shop with simulation room, and more. You would think that 55,000 square feet would feel gargantuan, but the design and layout of the Camp Lodge makes every area feel personal and comfortable.

The dining areas each have their own character, one looks out over the 18th fairway and green with breathtaking Pacific Crest views (see photo that we took above), another is situated at the point of the signature rock outcropping and is surrounded by views of Northstar, Carson Range, and golf views. Don't worry about there being enough space for everyone to enjoy cocktails at the end of the day-the Camp Lodge has expansive outdoor seating patios nestled around the Lodge and even some private dining "nooks" built into the rocks a short distance from the Lodge. All (of course) with seemingly unending views.

Just when you thought Martis Camp couldn't get any better, the pinnacle of the extensive unrivaled amenities at Martis Camp has arrived with the Camp Lodge. You would be crazy to not want to be a part of it!

The first thing I said when I walked into the Camp Lodge the other day was, "this place is going to sell a lot of real estate". Turns out I was right. Over 15 lots have been sold in the last 7 days. Martis Camp continues to defy any nay-sayers about the viability of real estate in this market slump. In fact, it appears that real estate business all over the N. Lake Tahoe area is picking up, I haven't spoken to a colleague yet who has a second to spare this weekend. They are booked with clients coming to look at real estate and take advantage of the deals that are out there. This can't last forever, right?

One of my clients who is entrenched in global VC business says that real estate is absolutely coming back. Hard to argue when that is exactly what we are seeing! The emerging IPOs can't hurt anything either. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-15/tech-ipos-boost-demand-for-silicon-valley-million-dollar-homes.html

I am drinking the Martis Camp Kool-Aid. I suggest that if you are looking for real estate in the area that we go see Martis Camp together, I promise you will love it and the Kool Aid tastes better there. The developer and resale opportunities are fantastic and there are ownership options for different budgets.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brisk Sales at Northstar Lodge Hyatt

I am very excited about the successes that we’ve seen with the Northstar Lodge Hyatt Residences in the past several months. Eight new families have recently taken advantage of what stands as one of the best values offered in North Lake Tahoe if you consider the construction/design quality, amenities & services available, and Hyatt® branding. The current list prices are comparable to sell out prices seen two years ago in the Village at Northstar™ by way of an incredible incentive program currently being offered, these residences are an amazing opportunity. If you purchase now, you can benefit from a credit of 2 years carrying costs or an equivalent cash discount.

This value was apparent for all eight families who have a lot in common: All appreciate Tahoe for its year-round beauty, recreational value, and accessible location making it the perfect place to own a second home. They recognized the ease of ownership and rich amenities that make Northstar Lodge Hyatt a total package.

• Ski-in/ski-out location next to the Home Run Gondola
• Ski and/or bike equipment valet
• Private movie theater
• Concierge service
• Exclusive owners’ lounge and patio area with hot tubs
• Access to Village Swim & Fitness Center
• 24-hour front desk

All eight parties extensively researched other real estate options in the North Lake Tahoe area and ended up appreciating the ultimate value of purchasing at Northstar Lodge Hyatt.

But why purchase now? This incentive will only be offered to a limited number of sales and inventory is depleting. If you want to get the best value and your choice of residence, time is of the essence.

*Sales incentive and pricing are subject to change without prior notice

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Listing at Martis Camp - Lot 149

Summer seems to have finally arrived and with it has come some great deals at Martis Camp. I just listed a beautiful site-Lot 149- near the future Camp Lodge which is scheduled for completion and grand opening around July 4th.

There is a lot of excitement around the Camp Lodge opening, and for good reason! There is nothing in the Tahoe area that can rival the Martis Camp experience, and the opening of the +/- 50,000 sf Camp Lodge marks the fulfillment of the promise for an unparalleled world class luxury experience at Martis Camp-which has been quite a feat through these troubled economic times. Martis Camp has been and continues to be a beacon of success in the Tahoe region and the resort real estate market as a whole.

From Lot 149 you can walk to the amenities or just take a hike out your door on the extensive 26 mile trail system. This site has great views of Northstar from the center of the building envelope (both Lookout Mountain and Backside views) and a bright orientation. Peek golf course views as well! At 1.7 acres, there is plenty of room to build your dream mountain getaway and still maintain a sense of privacy. This is a great value, the seller paid over $800K from developer.

A fantastic opportunity awaits! Lot 149 at Martis Camp $779,000.00.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Northstar View Lot in Gray's Crossing

Many of the great opportunities to buy land at a great price in the Gray’s Crossing community have been swept up already! Don't miss this gorgeous gem of a property in the Bluffs neighborhood of Gray's Crossing. I just listed home site #89. It has great views of Northstar and is tucked into the trees-perfect for a private mountain retreat! Site is level and feels very private and quiet. Tahoe Mountain Club membership is available but not included. Priced like a short sale but not a short sale-no need to hassle with banks and tiring negotiations. This is a great find for the savvy land buyer.

Monday, April 25, 2011

California Tax Law and Foreclosures/Short Sales

I ran across this article and found it extremely informative in describing the different potential tax consequences and laws that are in place for short sales and foreclosures, specifically in California. It was written by a CPA who (of course) advises you to consult an attorney to understand your specific situation. It goes into a lot of detail on how the IRS looks at short sales and foreclosures and gives examples on how different scenarios could affect you. It isn't a "light" read but worth it if you want to educate yourself on this topic.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

East West Partners and KSL Join Forces...

Great news in the real estate resort development world...East West Partners and KSL have announced their partnership to explore new development opportunities. It doesn't sound like anything will change in the near future regarding the Northstar and Squaw developments or other Lake Tahoe area opportunities, but interesting news nonetheless. See this article in the Sierra Sun for more details. http://www.sierrasun.com/ARTICLE/20110407/NEWS/110409943/1066/RSS?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tax consequences for short sale vs foreclosure

There seems to be a perpetual gray area when it comes to understanding what the tax consequences are if you decide to short sell or foreclose on your home. I have spoken with people who have been under the assumption that if they foreclosed there would be less of a tax consequence than if they went through the short sale process. This article makes some interesting points. Of course the only real way to understand the implications for your situation would be to consult your tax advisor or attorney.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Big Storm=Tahoe Fun!

I know, it seems weird to see a photo of someone surfing on Lake Tahoe in February (or at all for that matter), but there are more things to do in Tahoe than ski when the big storms roll in...this photograph was taken right before the big storm hit. Crazy!

I hope you all are here enjoying the 6-10 feet of new snow at all of our ski resorts for this holiday weekend! Now we have a couple of bluebird days until another storm moves in next week.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Tahoe Spot

This is kind of a cool website that someone brought to my attention about local Tahoe info, restaurants, events, etc...it seems to be a newer site so not all the links are working yet but it looks like it has potential. See for yourself...


Friday, January 21, 2011

The Colorado-ization of Northstar and Squaw?

I saw this article in the local paper "Moonshine Ink" the other day and thought it was pretty interesting with regards to the ownership history of Squaw and Northstar and the potential directions both resorts are heading now with their new Colorado-based owners.

Especially interesting to me are the efforts being put forward to get more flights into the Reno-Tahoe airport from major cities. I think the diversification of visitors to the area will undoubtedly help the real estate and tourism markets here. A lot of non-California people are not even aware of what the resorts are like out here in the winter, not to mention the amazing summers that we have in Tahoe.

The potential for some kind of train/light-rail is a great concept if they can put it into action as well.

I'll let you read on and form your own opinion....Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Market for vacation homes on the rise...

Interesting article from the Wall Street Journal regarding trends in the market for vacation homes.

This article mirrors my last blog post about scarcity and buyers looking to get back in the market again. Prices are still good but the inventory is depleting in some areas-similar to trends we are seeing at Northstar.

Read on....