Will Reno’s “Crazy” Growth Continue?

Reno, Nevada

Reno, Nevada expects 50,000 new jobs in the region in the next five years.

By Holly O’Driscoll 

Worried home prices and growth in Reno will crash? Many people seem to be. I have clients who think prices are too high and want to wait for the next downturn before purchasing a home.

Advice from the economic development and building experts: Don’t!

Growth of jobs and population in Reno/Sparks outpaced the “crazy” projections in the last five years — and those who study the numbers say the next five years will be more of the same.

Citing data from the Economic Planning Indicators Committee (EPIC Report), Aaron West, CEO of the Nevada Builders Alliance, contends Reno, Sparks, Carson City and surrounding communities are in for a wild ride and long-term growth in home prices and availability.

Growth is outpacing the “crazy” predictions

Some of the EPIC statistics and projections, West shared at a recent recent Residential Real Estate Council meeting include:

  • From 2014-2020 (a five-year span) the region was projected to add 52,400 jobs.
employment_chart 2018

  • The reality: by the end of 2018, there were 58,400 new jobs in the region!

That’s more than 10,000 jobs per year — and we have a year to go on that projection. 

What about the next 5 years? 

That growth trend is expected to continue for the next five years, West said.

  • At that pace, this area will have 50,000 more jobs by 2024.

That means more than 100,000 jobs will have been created in this area between 2014 and 2024. Each “job” is estimated to add 2.3 people to the area (spouses, children, extended family). 

Crazy right? That’s not all: Retirees are moving here in huge numbers. Many sell their outlandishly-valued California homes. They come — and buy here for cash. 

When we marvel that home prices in Reno have jumped by 10+ percent year over year, this is why. 

This is basic supply and demand economics. All those newcomers have to live somewhere — construction of new housing has NOT kept up.  

To further support the job-growth projections, take a look at the industrial/commercial side of the equation:

  • In 2018, nearly 2.4 million square feet of industrial space was added to the region.
  • Another 4 million square feet is in the works for 2019.

Does that sound like a recession is coming? No. Big businesses are investing here. They will need workers. 

Facts:

  • Nevada has a much friendlier business climate in terms of regulations and costs than many surrounding states.
  • Nevada has an incredible personal tax advantages over neighboring states (No income tax, no inheritance tax, no estate tax).
  • While housing costs in Nevada are rising, elsewhere on the West Coast is much worse.

Conclusion: If you want to move up, do it soon! Prices are unlikely to fall, and with more people arriving monthly, competition will heat up for the best available properties.

For more information on this topic see the Epic Report produced by the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN)

Holly O’Driscoll is a Realtor (R) with Chase International Real Estate in Reno. Contact her at hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com


A Super Month in Reno Real Estate

One of the things I like best about my job as a Realtor in Reno: Helping people across the life spectrum realize their real estate goals.

In the last month I had four terrific transactions that illustrate this.

Lifetime achievement

After owning a lovely home on 2.5 acres with a spectacular view off Lakeside Drive in Southwest Reno for nearly 30 years, my clients decided to downsize. They purchased this property in the 1980s. The home offers timeless design with vaulted, beamed ceilings, large rooms — and an unbeatable view. They also decided to sell the 2.5-acre undeveloped lot next door, which they bought to protect their view. The combined list price topped $1.6 million.

These two properties went on the market in mid-July, accompanied by a strong marketing campaign that included regional, national and international exposure. I also held numerous open houses.

In just over a month, the sellers accepted an offer for 99% of list price for both properties from one buyer. The two properties closed 76 days after being listed.

That’s an interesting statistic. Comparable resale properties priced at $1 million or more in Reno this year took 210 days to close and sold for about 94% of list price.

Several factors helped this sale: A home in excellent condition, a desirable location and proper pricing. Each played a key role in delivering value to the sellers for their long-term investment.

A word to open house skeptics: The buyers came through the open house “just to see it.” They fell in love with it and knew it was “their home.” Never discount the value of hosting an open house!

 

 

Working from Home 

Some Realtors shun working with buyers. Not me. Relocation is a specialty. As a journalist writing about real estate, economic development, schools, neighborhoods and special events for 15-plus years I know the nuances and micro-neighborhood characteristics of nearly every corner of Northern Nevada. I use the knowledge I’ve gained to match buyers with properties that fit their wants and needs.

This month, a couple relocating here from Arizona chose me to negotiate the purchase of their ideal home in the Wingfield Springs area of Sparks. The $449,900 property had everything they wanted — including no backyard neighbors and great mountain views.

Lacerta Front Photo

Wingfield Springs, a master planned community in Spanish Springs Valley north of Reno-Sparks.

Telecommuters and consultants like these buyers choose to base themselves in Northern Nevada for numerous reasons, including:

  • Taxes: Nevada’s lack of income tax gives them an instant raise
  • Location: Set at the base of the Sierra Nevada, finding outdoor adventure means opening the front door. World-class skiing, biking, off-roading, hiking, kayaking take mere minutes to access. Plus, it’s easy to get to and from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
  • Weather: Four seasons, combined with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, is tough to beat.
  • Affordability: Californians — and those from high property tax states — are amazed at what their housing dollars can buy here. People moving from the Midwest or the South, are shocked at housing costs. The prices are somewhat offset by lack of income tax and relatively low property tax. For many new Nevadans the price vs less tax may balance out.

First-time Buyers 

This month, I helped a lovely family finally close on their first home. They found their dream home in the Cold Springs neighborhood about 18 miles from downtown Reno. The house needs some updating, but they bought a 2,700-square-foot home that works for their family for $293,000.

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Cold Springs — an area of moderately priced homes about 25 minutes from downtown.

This transaction had many “hiccups” along the way right up until the morning they signed. It nearly didn’t close, but thanks to a truly dedicated team that included the lender, the escrow company, the listing agent and me, it came together. A day late — but it happened because none of us gave up. The family could not be more grateful, and it is truly satisfying to deliver the key to people who worked so hard to become home owners.

Many people struggle to buy their first home. Income, credit score, job history all play into qualifying for a mortgage. Finding a lender that offers a “road to home ownership”  and a loan officer willing to take on complex loans is key.  In Nevada, people with moderate incomes qualify for various financial grant programs, rural housing loans and other incentive programs to help buy a home.

Across the price spectrum

Sellers and buyers hire Realtors to protect and promote their real estate wants, needs and goals. That’s more complex than many people realize. Negotiating happens at every stage  — not just on price and contract terms, but throughout the process with inspectors, repair people, lenders, escrow and title officers. Many transactions have at least one serious challenge, when one side or the other (sometimes both) get s angry or disappointed at some aspect of the process. Emotions run high when money is on the line. Staying calm and finding a way to satisfy both sides to reach a win-win solution takes patience, skill and determination.  It’s the best job I have ever had.

Holly O’Driscoll is a Realtor with Chase International Real Estate in Reno, Nevada. You can reach her at hodriscoll@ChaseInternational.com or 775-850-5900. 

Visit her real estate website https://hollyodriscoll.chaseinternational.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


Remodel vs Flip – Details Count

lwk_3543

Remodel vs. Flips — understanding the difference matters in a long-term home investment.

Reality: Most home buyers want a home that’s “move in ready.” Investors, listing agents and savvy sellers know homes that show well sell faster and for more money.

Opportunity: No home is perfect. Those in need of updating or sold “as is” may offer buyers the opportunity to save significant money, if they’re willing to invest their time and elbow grease.

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Challenge: Some “flipped” homes consist of little more than “slapping lipstick on a pig” and jacking the price. Examples include cleaning, painting and re-carpeting. If that’s all a home needs, then great … it’s a win-win. Some homes need much more and cosmetic fixes merely put a veneer on a sub-par property.

In older neighborhoods, buyers may want to search for a home that’s been “renovated” which, for today’s article means, its had extensive work done to professional standards. Quality counts. Google home renovations to read expert advice and data regarding projects that payoff, and those that don’t.lwk_3554

Location matters. The seller of one of my listings in Reno decided to buy and renovate a 1970s-era five-bedroom property zoned for some of the city’s most established schools. She intended to live there for years, then sell. She did a huge renovation. Professionals replaced the roof, furnace, a/c, water heater and updated the electrical. Inside, professionals installed new hardwood floors, gutted and remodeled kitchen, remodeled all the bathrooms, painted, updated light fixtures and more. Overall, more than $200,000 in updates brought this old home into the 21st century. The home shines.

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2985 Rustic Manor Circle, Reno, NV 89509: Five bedrooms, 3 baths, 3,070 total square feet. Price: $600,000

The cost: At $600,000, this home’s features and amenities now compare favorably to many newer homes in the same zip code — plus it has RV parking and the advantage of not being in an HOA.

Whomever buys this home will have the best of both worlds — a quality-renovation of a home with character set in an older neighborhood near popular schools. The list of upgrades completed by licensed professionals makes it it so much more than a flip. If this appeals to you, contact me for a private showing!

Interested in learning more about this home or about real estate in Reno? I can help. Contact me! Email: hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com. Office phone: 775-850-5900.

Holly O’Driscoll is a Realtor at Chase International Real Estate in Reno, NV.


A Buick? Really? What a Surprise …

Buick Lacrosse for blog

Alamo at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans was out of the mid-sized car we reserved, so the company bumped us up. The only cars available were “premium” models. They gave us a 2016 Buick LaCrosse.

I groaned to myself. My grandparents drove Buicks. They had two or three Buick Le Sabers that I remember. Each was nice – much nicer than my parents’ station wagons that hauled six kids around. Buicks of the 1970s and 1980s were not sleek or cool. My grandparents’ Buicks were always nice, even luxurious, with wide bench seats perfect for a kid under 10 to stretch out on to sleep during those seemingly endless drives from Maine to Mount Vernon, New York.

The 2016 Buick Le Crosse we just returned was different. Felt more like a Lexus inside: Heated leather seats, push-button start, back up camera, sun roof, hands free phone connection. It handled like a Lexus too: easy, tight radius turns, smooth ride, extremely quiet. Buick interior

The one Alamo assigned to us was pretty darn new – only 230 miles. We put more than 600 on over four days.  It accelerates nicely – 50 to 80 in a matter of seconds when passing a pokey car on a two-lane road in Mississippi. It brakes great too – as evidenced by the fact that I did NOT hit the nut case driver who pulled out in front of me in Alabama.

Things I didn’t like:

  • The low head clearance. I raised the seat up so I could over the dash, which put my head just a couple of inches from the roof. I got used to it, but it was a little tight. My 6-2 son lowered his seat.
  • The windows are small. The back-up camera helped, but since I don’t have one on my car at home, it took some getting used to.

Good points:

  • The car felt solid.
  • It cruised smoothly and quietly along the highway. Much quieter than my 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited!
  • Trunk space was decent, though the wheel wells cut into this pace.

Biggest surprises:

  • It was fun to drive.
  • It had a great turn radius! We were shocked … the old Buicks were boats.
  • In the parking lot I had a hard time finding it … because it looked so much sleeker than “a Buick” … I actually said the line from the TV commercial: That’s a Buick? It doesn’t look like a Buick. (and yes we all laughed!!)

Bottom line: Would I buy one? Probably not. I live in snow country. My next car will have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Would I rent one again on purpose: Yes!  Would I encourage others to test drive/consider buying one: yes.  The price is around $40,000.

Have you driven a  car you love?  Would you buy a Buick?


Selling (or Buying) a Home Just Got More Complex

WCityscape taken from TMCC. Photo by Sandy Goff.hat’s your home worth? That’s a math — and market — question.  In a market that’s changing as fast as it is in Reno, just pulling up sales from the last six months won’t provide an accurate answer.

The real answer to “What is my house worth” is: The price a buyer is willing to pay. BUT with an important caveat: If the buyer needs a loan to purchase your home, the lender has to agree.  Lenders require a professional appraisal of value before funding a loan.

That adds a complex layer to nearly every home sale.  Realtors® use lots of data to analyze nearby homes — ones that have closed escrow, those pending sales and active listings to provide information to sellers and buyers.  This gives a general idea of what buyers might pay for a certain home.

You can take a look at what homes are for sale in your neighborhood at my new Chase International website.  Then contact me if you have questions about buying a property — or finding out what your home might sell for in today’s market.

As always, call or text me at 775-762-7576 or email me at hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com


A New Twist on Healthy Eating

Love to eat out? Hate the over-sized portions and the high calories? Me too … but in Reno, there’s a movement afoot to offer better choices without sacrificing flavor 

Twisted Fork Pear Salad

Honey roasted pears, crispy apples, blue cheese crumbles, mixed greens, honey white balsamic vinaigrette give great flavor to this salad. For a complete meal top with chicken, steak, prawns or fresh tuna.

or ambiance.  Here’s one I recently reviewed for an ebook commissioned by Renown Health’s Best Medicine Blog:

At The Twisted Fork in South Reno, Manager Joe Clements and Chef Sergio Romero deliberately developed a menu that’s hard to classify. Complex flavors add depth and interest to each menu choice at this modern American restaurant and wine bar.

“We didn’t want to be pigeon holed into one type of food. We wanted more creativity and to constantly evolve – and to really be a little ‘twisted’ with our food,” Clements said.

The restaurant generated buzz from the day they opened in January 2012 next to RC Willey off Steamboat Parkway. The menu includes elegantly plated entrees aimed at patrons with every dietary preference – vegan, vegetarian or carnivore.

Open for lunch and dinner, Chef Romero uses the freshest ingredients he can get – organic and local grown when possible. Produce is delivered daily and the fish is never frozen.

Clements describes the restaurant’s style as California with a heavy Latin influence. “While we have some Italian dishes, our goal is to entice people with our really creative menu,” he said. “We make healthy food that’s outside the box. It’s creative with a lot of big flavors.”

This is the third venture together for Cements and Romeo. The pair worked together at The Grille in southwest Reno for several years. They left to transform Woody’s Grille and Spirits in Sparks.

“Sparks didn’t have an upscale sports bar, with upscale food. We changed that,” Clements said.

Instead of traditional fried “bar food,” Romero created a unique menu filled with made-from-scratch fresh fare that rivals – or beats – many local restaurants.

“At Woody’s we knew our audience – there wasn’t an upscale sports bar like it in the area,” Clements said.

That success inspired investors to want to try something totally different.  Clements and Romero teamed again to create The Twisted Fork. Both are still involved in Woody’s, though they spend more time at the new restaurant.

The Twisted Fork is building a different clientele in South Reno – diners who seek unique, fresh flavors and appreciate out-of-the-box thinking about food.

“We’re building a new audience,” Clements said.

The Twisted Fork’s menu changes regularly – and even the most popular dishes may get tweaked, updated or replaced. The Pear Salad recipe below is a staple, yet the garnishes have evolved over time. The dish originally was topped with a variety of mixed nuts.

Out of deference to people with allergies to peanuts, it now comes with candied walnuts.

Their target audience cares about food – and The Twisted Fork caters to those seeking healthy, innovative food and excellent service. Most dishes can be customized to accommodate dietary or preferences.

Lunch items include small plates, sandwiches, salads, burgers and entrees priced from $7-$17 (most are in the $9-$10 range). Dinner entrees include chicken, fish and steak choices that range from $16-$34.

“Reno has evolved – it used to be known for steak and potatoes. Now we have cauliflower puree – we’re outside the box,” he said.

 

Have you eaten at Twisted Fork?  What did you think? It’s on the pricey side, did you think it was a good value?

 

 


NBC’s Redesign — The Ruin of a Trusted Online News Site

Does anyone else out there hate the redesigned NBC News website? It looks like a Pinterest page … all big photos, no information. I am a self-proclaimed news junkie, veteran journalist interested in national and world news — as well as what happens in my city and state.  The new format repels me — the NBC News site used to be one of my top spots for a quick headline check.  Now I avoid it — even CNN’s website is better.

My first journalism job was a summer internship with WGBH-TV in Boston. Back then, the station had a live 10 o’clock news program — I ran the teleprompter and worked in the control room. I only went out on a few stories … but it was fun and I learned so much! I found WGBH a great experience for a complete novice. The news staff was generous with their time and information. I graduated from college thinking I wanted to become a TV news producer — not necessarily the on-air person, but the editor making all the decisions behind the scenes.

Circumstances landed me in Washington, D.C. — a mecca of political news. My first newspaper was USA Today. It was a brand-new (and much-ridiculed) concept at the time. I worked on big stories, learned about the power of big money and of cut-throat politics  — both inside the company as well as on Capitol Hill!

Top execs and politicians play hardball — very few manage to succeed without making serious ethical compromises. It’s reality. Those in the line of fire must constantly out-maneuver the competition to get ahead, or even just to keep their jobs. Those who don’t end up on the curb. I contend life outside the bubble — in a “real” community — has much to recommend it. Politics, ambition and money play a role in every city …  but usually on a more manageable scale.

I still keep up on the old rat race — the Washington Post, Politico, The Daily Beast, Slate, ABC, CBS, CNN — but rarely NBC anymore. I miss the old “news” format. I’m not the target audience, obviously. I wonder who is? My guess: People who care about photos, not facts, not perspective, not NEWS.

I wonder what the user statistics will reveal. I used to check it at least twice a day — sometimes lots more. Now, maybe once a week — and I haven’t clicked on a single story.

I read one comment that said it was as if Pinterest swallowed Windows 8 then vomited — I agree!

What do you think?  Are you a fan? Tell me what appeals to you about the new format.

Hate it? What should they do instead?