1. What type of home fits my needs?As a popular multi-season vacation and recreation destination, Tahoe offers all kinds of properties, from condos and timeshares to single-family homes and full-fledged mountain chalets. Vacation home owners in Tahoe tend to pick properties based on their personal interests — would you rather be close to one of Lake Tahoe’s six world-class ski resorts, or along the shores of the lake for summer watersports? Simply put: What kind of memories are you hoping to make in Lake Tahoe? (More on Tahoe’s specific neighborhoods below.)
2. How much can I afford?Just like any real estate purchase, what you can afford comes down to your interest rate, down payment amount and your level of comfort with the monthly payment. When considering a Tahoe vacation home, however, there are a couple more factors you should keep in mind. First, you may be considering using the home as a vacation rental, given the area’s popularity with tourists. If so, you’ll need to factor in property management fees, increased maintenance costs and potential tax intricacies. Second, Lake Tahoe gets an average of 200-plus inches of snow each year, so winter maintenance like snow removal is crucial to keeping your home in good condition, and it can be expensive — as well as tricky to manage from afar. To maximize your vacation home budget, consider buying a Pacaso. As a co-owner of a second home in Lake Tahoe, you can enjoy all the benefits of ownership without the full price tag. Instead, you could own a budget-friendly ⅛ share of a property that might otherwise be out of reach.
3. Where should I buy in Tahoe?Believe it or not, there’s no actual city called “Lake Tahoe.” The famous lake is called Lake Tahoe, of course, but the name also refers to the entire area surrounding this recreation destination. The lake itself straddles the California-Nevada border, and the biggest towns are on the north and south ends of the lake, as well as along the Truckee River. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Tahoma: The town of Tahoma, California, is on the western shore of the lake. A popular summer destination for outdoor enthusiasts, Tahoma offers seemingly endless hiking trails and is home to gorgeous Meeks Bay Beach.
- Truckee: With a charming historic downtown, a vibrant cultural scene and easy access to North Lake Tahoe’s most popular ski resorts, Truckee is (not surprisingly) a very popular vacation home location.
- Incline Village: This hilly enclave boasts magnificent mountain estates and ample activities. Summer brings the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and adrenaline-pumping mountain biking, while winter sees skiers flocking to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and the Diamond Peak Ski Area, the latter of which is within city limits.
- Tahoe City: The small mountain town has an enviable location where the Truckee River meets Lake Tahoe’s north shore. Residents of Tahoe City love its walkable downtown, lakefront boardwalk and historic sites (some of which just may be haunted).
- Olympic Valley: Located halfway between Truckee and Lake Tahoe, Olympic Valley is considered one of the best places to ski in the U.S. Since hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics, Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) has been a haven for experienced skiers looking for long, steep runs.
- South Lake Tahoe: The largest of the cities surrounding the lake, South Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities, casinos and nightclubs, or outdoor recreation.