Socially Distant house hunting in Reno

Generally, furnished or staged homes homes look more inviting to home buyers. The right amount of furniture makes spaces seem larger. These days, with “social distancing” recommendations, touring vacant homes to buy seem less risky.

Buyers, and agents for that matter, worry about encountering Covid-19 germs in occupied homes. Sellers worry about unknown people bringing germs into their homes.

Yet, people still need to have a place to live. They need to relocate, sell, buy or rent, which is why real estate has been deemed an Essential Function in Nevada. The question becomes, how to make that happen as safely as possible.  Marketing has changed. I can’t do open houses during this time. Video offers another avenue.

Before listing 6269 Golden Meadow Road in Reno, I hired professionals to photograph it. I do this for every property I list — humble to luxurious. More than 95 percent of buyers start their search online, so photos mater.  You can see furnished photos of 6269 Golden Meadow here..  The photos show a nicely furnished property.    

Yet times have changed. The sellers of this home relocated — now it is empty.  Which just might be an advantage right now. So I made the video below.

Video offers another avenue to reach people stuck at home and, at this property, reassures buyers it is less risky to visit.

Facts about this home:

  • 6269 Golden Meadow Road, Reno, NV 89519
  • MLS #200003081.
  • 2,645 Square Feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3-car garage
  • Schools: Huffaker Elementary, Swope Middle, Reno High
  • Price: $550,000

This property is available by appointment only. Call your Realtor to see it, or reach out directly to me at Chase International Real Estate in Reno, NV.  775-850-5900.

 

Holly O’Driscoll is a licensed Realtor at Chase International Real Estate, Reno, NV (NVL S.176271).  Website: hollyodriscoll.chaseinternational.com   Email: hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com  775-850-5900 

 

 


Waiting until 2020 to buy a home may cost you — a lot

Experts  in the economic development sector predict robust growth in Northern Nevada for years to come, with national companies continuing to migrate here, creating more jobs and putting more pressure on home prices. National commercial and home builders seem to agree — investing millions in land development, infrastructure and housing projects. Business people running these companies do their homework and focus on profits.  Their investments speak to Reno’s future.

What does that mean to the average resident? To me, it signals that home prices likely won’t drop significantly anytime “soon.”

The graphic below outlines the cost of waiting based on data from home sales across the nation. In Northern Nevada, very little sells below $200,000 — so add about $100,000 to these numbers. Waiting to buy a home could — and quite likely will — cost more in 2020.

Cost of waiting to buy a home

What is your perspective? For the most up-to-date data on home sales in Northern Nevada, please email/contact me directly.

Holly O’Driscoll is Realtor at Chase International Real Estate (NV lic: s.176271)  and a freelance journalist and in Reno, NV.   Email her at hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com  phone: 775-850-5900.  

http://hollyodriscoll.chaseinternational.com/


National Trend Holds True in Reno

Interesting article from Realtor Magazine points out that, nationally, neighborhood names have a certain cache’ — that can translate into cash for home buyers and sellers.

The article leverages data from Porch.com, which states that neighborhoods that include “Village,” “Hills,” and “Island” in their names report higher average incomes.

Free tahoe photo

We see a few of those neighborhood names in Northern Nevada. Incline Village — an area knows for its luxury properties, comes to mind. The names vary considerably by state. In our area, I would put “Ranch” in the top five indicators: Caughlin Ranch, Rancharrah, Callahan Ranch, for example. The research doesn’t go town by town, rather it looked at the entire state.

Here’s a list of other “high value” names nationwide:

Realtor Mag Graphic on Name and Income

Porch researchers looked at the neighborhoods with the highest incomes and home values in each state. Read the full article here.

Holly O’Driscoll is a Realtor with Chase International Real Estate in Reno, NV. Contact: hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com or 775-850-5900. 

 


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.

180011159(1)

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

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bikes and Blackbirds in South Reno

South Reno bike trails edge wildlife-filled wetlands in Damonte Ranch offering a lovely alternative to street or mountain rides. Developers and planners built more than five miles of paved paths around huge swaths of marsh areas that today host such a broad array of birds that would pique the interest of the most ardent Audubon Society member.

Just a few years ago this area was mostly swampy marsh. Track team members from nearby Damonte Ranch High School would refer to it as “the pond run” through dirt paths, jumping from stone to stone to avoid mud holes.  My (now adult) twins still talk about their teammate who insisted on running with his phone — only to drop it into the marsh.

Today, the area is nearly built out with homes and condos with planned sitting areas and numerous accesses to the various neighborhoods.

In the last week we have twice ridden our bikes along what is officially called the Damonte Ranch Wetlands Loop.

Redwing Blackbird

Tweets, chirps and distinctive trills fill the air. Birds ranged from a flock of eight Pelicans, to dozens of Redwing Blackbirds. Photographers bring their large lenses to zoom in on at least a dozen different (and to me unusual) avian visitors. We’ve seen swans, hawks, several species of ducks, maybe an ibis? I am not a bird expert. If you are, you will be happy on this trail.

For those seeking a peaceful escape from the desert, take note: there’s not a sagebrush or rabbit brush plant along the route.

Mature trees shade seating areas, with flowers edging the shady areas. Looking across the marshes, it’s easy to ignore the many homes and condo complexes that edge the various paved paths.

A bike or walk can be anywhere from three miles to 10 miles on gently undulating terrain. It’s not completely flat, but there really aren’t hills.

Bike lanes line every major roadway in South Reno, making it ideal for the casual rider, and each new subdivision seems to include more trails. This loop is nice because it is not a “street” ride — we couldn’t even hear traffic.

Above it all, the snow-capped Sierra rises to the west offering a spectacular contrast between blue sky, majestic mountains and serene waterscapes.

bike path south reno

Googling “bike trails in Reno” seems to focus on mountain bike trails and trails at Lake Tahoe. The Damonte Ranch Bike Loop didn’t even come up, perhaps because it is more suitable for casual cyclists and families with young riders. It’s not a great place for “serious” street cyclists. Visitors can park at Damonte Ranch Park along Steamboat Parkway, then head south across the grass to access the trails.

What birds have you seen here? Do you have a favorite bike trail/walking path? Tell me about it!

Holly O’Driscoll, has lived in Reno for more than 20 years. She is a Realtor with Chase International Real Estate in Reno, Nevada. 


Rain in Reno? It happens — once in while

Rain in Reno rarely lasts more than an hour or so. A two-three hour soaking is considered unusual. Residents love the occasional thunderstorm. Moisture in the air produces fabulous rainbows.

So far, in May of 2018 we’ve had a showers nearly every day for two weeks. Highly unusual for this high-desert oasis — and I love it!

The foothills to the Sierra have a green hue. Plants burst to life, lawns look quenched. My flower beds and tomato plants are in heaven.

All too soon we’ll segue into summer — clear hot days and cool clear nights. For now, though, the gray skies contrast nicely with happy green trees. When the sun bursts from the clouds: it’s magic.

Reno Rainbows

Rain brings back memories of my mom singing to us, dancing around and stomping in puddles — generally making rainy days fun. Some tunes from childhood include:

Then there’s the most classic of all: Singing in the Rain

Reno boasts about 300+ days of sunshine as a major reason to move here. Some of the other 65 days include snowy days, just clouds. My two cents: Enjoy the rain while it lasts!

Do you have a favorite song about weather? A story about a fun rain event? Please share!!

Holly O’Driscoll is a Realtor with Chase International Real Estate in Reno. Reach her at hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com or 775-850-5900.