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/


Get to Know Reno Fun Facts, Home Prices

I love living in Reno. Trademarked as the Biggest Little City in the WorldReno has evolved from a rough and tumble frontier town into a modern city with diversity in lifestyles, businesses and economy. Named Reno 1868, farming, ranching gold and silver mining drove the economy.  In the 20th century, fame came from gaming, tourism and availability of “quickie divorces”.

truckee-river-reno-view-as-runs-nevada-43491126

Water Feature: The Truckee River runs through the center of downtown Reno.

These days, high-tech, distribution and creative companies broaden the job opportunities here. Major corporations, entrepreneurs and startup ventures have created 50,000 new jobs in the last 10 years. Yet, it is still a very livable city. Locals joke about our rush “15 minutes” of traffic in the morning and evening.

 

  • Fun Fact: Originally called Lake’s Crossing due the toll bridge over the river, Reno was named for Civil War Union General Jesse Reno — who never actually visited this area.
  • Fun Fact: On the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada at an elevation of 4,500 feet, Reno boasts an average of 250 to 300 days of sunshine annually. 
  • Fun Fact: Reno has as many as a dozen “micro-climates,” meaning temperatures and rain and snowfall can vary widely from the wetter west side to the drier eastern edge.

I love being able to be on the ski in the morning then bike in the afternoon. People in the valley with south-facing driveways, rarely have to shovel snow!  Great free events, accessible music/plays special performances and an interesting array of restaurants. Here are a few of my favorite reasons for living here:

Culture and Sports  

Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada offer easy access to every sport imaginable — winter or summer. Special events abound. Some of the biggest:   

Reno Rodeo, Hot August Nights and the National Championship Air Races. July is “Artown” — a month of music, arts and cultural happenings.

My favorite: The Great Reno Balloon Races in September.

 

Many special events center around or near the Truckee River.  The Truckee flows from Lake Tahoe east through downtown Reno, ending up at Pyramid Lake.

Downtown hosts minor league professional sports teams:  Aces baseball  and Reno 1868 FC USL soccer club both play at Greater Nevada Field.  Museums abound, including the Nevada Museum of Art, The Discovery science museum and the National Automobile Museum. Local music, arts, acting and singing organizations showcase local talent and draw national acts to Reno.   Parks, trails and recreation opportunities abound.

Education: Local high schools graduates attend universities, colleges and skilled trade programs throughout the country and the world — including top tier and Ivy League schools.  Some might argue that being from Reno helps get them noticed! In town schools include University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC).  Nearby: Western Nevada College in Carson City and Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village. UNR also has a medical school and nursing school. 

Business Opportunities

So much is happening here, this post would be out of date the minute it goes live. Economic development organizations from the state, regional and city levels coordinate efforts to diversify the business base in every community. Non-profit groups, venture capitalists and business incubators support entrepreneurs in all stages of development and growth. The goal: Jobs creation. It is working. These efforts interesting people with creative minds and incredible drive to northern Nevada. Learn more at EDAWN.org

  • Lesser-Known Fun Events:  Discovery Museum and the Nevada Museum of Art and the hold “adult only” nights throughout the year. Both offer terrific opportunities to mix, mingle and see the e
    Sky-Tavern-1

    Hit the Slopes: Sky Tavern teaches children to ski in a weekends-only program each winter.

    xhibits.

  • Unique Sport Opportunity: Sky Tavern Junior Ski Program — volunteer run, weekends only, just for local children to learn to ski at a very reasonable price. In summer, Sky Tavern runs ropes and bike programs. Unique to this area.

Full disclosure: I am a Realtor. This blog is on a real estate website, so here’s the scoop on housing:  Home prices are on the rise — especially in the entry-level price bracket.

Real Estate Prices for Homes sold from January – June 2019

  • Sold Single-family Homes:  2002
  • Median price (half sold for more/half sold for less): $400,000
  • Lowest price $75,000
  • Highest price: $4.5 million

What does $400,000 buy? Here’s a look at the stats from homes that sold for $395,000 – $405,000:

  • Smallest: A 952-square-foot home built in 1947 with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and a 1-car garage, located in the popular Old Southwest near downtown.
  • Largest: A 2,881-square foot home built in 2005 with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2-car garage in the Clear Acre Lane area north of McCarran Boulevard
  • Middle size: 1,900 square feet, 3-bedrooms, 2-baths, 2-car garage in at least six different neighborhoods.

Next blog: Inside scoop on Sparks!

 

Holly O’Driscoll of Chase International Real Estate, is a Realtor, journalist and entrepreneur.  NV. License# S.0176271.

Website: http://hollyodriscoll.c.chaseinternational.com/

Wonder what your house might sell for? Click here to check value of any address in the USA at this link Have a question about living here or about real estate?  Send an email:  hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com


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


5 Reasons to Buy a Home in Winter

Evans Ave Front pix

On the Market: 1056 Evans Ave., Reno, NV: The sellers of this 4-bedroom home near the University of Nevada, Reno, are motivated! The property was listed in December for $529,000. 

 

The “best deals” for home buyers often happen in winter. Sure, there are fewer homes on the market to pick from, but homes newly listed or still on the market when it’s cold outside, are there for a reason: Sellers either need to sell now, or the property didn’t sell earlier in the year.

Plus: With fewer buyers out looking, there’s less competition for those homes. In a tight market like Reno/Sparks, that can make a huge difference in actually getting a home. Multiple offers still happen, particularly in the lower price ranges, but a buyer in Reno/Sparks might be up against one other offer vs. six.

Here are five great reasons to buy a house between December and May:

  1. Bang for your Buck   

In a tight market like in Reno/Sparks, prices tend to jump several percentage points as the weather warms.  On average, about 40% of homes sell in spring and summer (May – August), according to The Housing Wire. Homes generally sell for $1,500 – $3,000 more than those sold in winter, according to Zillow.

  1. Sellers are Motivated (or Finally Ready) 

Whether a house is a new listing, or simply didn’t sell earlier, sellers tend to be serious, and ready to consider all offers, during the winter. This may give buyers more room to negotiate and perhaps get a better deal.

  1. Fewer Choices = Easier Decision

Fewer homes may seem like a disadvantage at first, but perhaps it’s not.

There’s an overabundance syndrome known as the paradox of choice. This happens when people have so many good options they dither and end up losing out or second guessing themselves. They dwell on the “what ifs” – which leads to less satisfaction with whatever choice they make.

  1. More Attention

Buyers flood the market in spring and summer, which strain the time resources of Real estate agents, lenders, title companies and other professionals. In winter, homes may not sell in two days. And, once in contract, it takes less time to arrange for appraisals, inspections and repairs.

  1. Furnishing a New Home May Cost Less 

Need new appliances or furniture for that new home? In general, winter sales offer great savings, according to Consumer Reports.

Conclusion: A buyer may indeed find that perfect home in winter. If not, looking now helps buyers clarify what “perfect” means. By doing their on the ground research now, when that ideal home does come up for sale, they’re ready.

Buying a home is the largest investment most people ever make, and should not be done in haste just to save money. Consulting with a lender, personal finance professionals all come into play before buying a home at any time of year.

That said, do consider starting your search soon. Forecasters say the housing shortage in Reno/Sparks will continue for some time.

Holly O’Driscoll is a Realtor (R) with Chase International Real Estate in Reno, Nevada. Email her at Hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com or call her at 775-850-5900.

 

Thanks to Mike Pulley, who contributed to this article.

 


Why Reno? Lifestyle, Opportunity, Value

Cityscape taken from TMCC. Photo by Sandy Goff.

By Holly O’Driscoll, Chase International Real Estate 

Surrounded by mountains and blessed with an enviable climate, Reno and Sparks offer a breathtaking beautiful place to live, work and play.

Living in the RenoSparks area with its quick commutes, attractive and affordable housing options and its easy access to outdoor adventures attracts thousands of new residents every year. Those who already live here understand the specialness of being able to escape to the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe or Pyramid Lake; to find adventure kayaking in the Truckee River or exploring the Great Basin; or to just relax in one of the many parks. Few communities in the world allow you to ski in the morning and play golf in the afternoon. From Reno, both options are within just a few miles of each other.

Here work-life balance is a reality.

Quality of life and the business-friendly philosophy attract global co2014-05-24-13-56-37rporations to the area and encourage start-up businesses. Tesla’s decision to locate here grabbed the headlines, yet many other high-tech firms, manufacturing plants, distribution facilities and service companies thrive here, plus add balance to our economy’s important tourism and special event sector.

Job Growth

In 2016, the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) reports that 25 companies relocated or expanded operations in the region bringing hundreds of new jobs. More companies — and jobs — are coming, EDAWN says.

Culture

Museums along with music and theatrical companies enrich the community and draw nationally known artists perform throughout the year. Generous local and national philanthropists support The Nevada Museum of Art, the National Automobile Museum, the month-long ARTown Festival in July.

The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts hosts the Reno Philharmonic, Reno Opera, the AVA Ballet, as well as national touring productions of Broadway plays. Headline entertainers regularly perform at the spectacular showrooms at the many casino resorts, at events centers and at other local venues.

Sports

Sports enthusiasts fill the seats to watch the Reno Aces, the minor league baseball Pacific Coast League team play and they support the Reno Bighorns, a D-League basketball team affiliated with the Sacramento Kings. The latest pro team: Reno 1868 FC, a United Soccer League team will debut at Greater Nevada Field in February 2017.

Residents participate in adult leagues for nearly every sport imaginable from rugby to coed softball. Area youth leagues serve even the youngest soccer, football, basketball and baseball players.

Serious bicyclists train here by peddling up mountain highways while mountain bikers hurl themselves down rocky trails in the Sierra. Hikers can find a trek to suite any ability. With 18 world-class ski resorts within a one-hour’s drive and thousands of square miles of back country skiing nearby, skiers and snowboarders use Reno and Sparks as a base camp. Golfers can tee up at more than a dozen championship ranked courses within Reno-Sparks, with a dozen more in surrounding resorts.

Buying a Home 

One of Reno’s main attractions is affordability.  Urban lofts, historic bungalows, gated golf course developments, luxury custom homes, active adult communities, horse properties and homes in subdivisions give people many choices in living style

In 2016 the median price for a single-family home in Reno/Sparks was $304,999 – which means half sold for less, half for more, according to a report from Chase International Real Estate. Condos are an increasingly popular option. On the lower end, buyers can find condos below $200,000. The luxury condo market is growing as well, with penthouses selling for $1 million or more.

Education

The University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College systems enroll more than 25,000 full-time students, plus numerous private colleges offer continuing education in many fields. Public/private partnerships with area industries are expanding curricula and training people for local high-paying careers. Entrepreneurship plays a significant role in the area economy.

Reno-Sparks has four major hospitals offering state of the artsnowman1 medical care, Carson City has a large hospital, plus the University of Nevada, Reno has a medical school and nursing program.

 Climate

The high desert climate of Reno and Sparks offers four distinct seasons and basks in
more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Most of the valley sits at about 4,500 feet above sea level and the dryness of the elevation soften the seasons. Summer days can top 90-degrees, yet the lack of humidity makes that tolerable, plus most nights cool down dramatically. In winter, even the coldest, snowiest days lack the bite of dampness.

Reno History

First settled in the 1850s, Reno was originally named Lake’s Crossing. The discovery of the Comstock Lode of silver in the mountains to the east led to one of the greatest mining rushes of all time. The area boomed, the Central Pacific Railroad built a depot here and in the 1860s the town was renamed to honor Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer who was killed in the Civil War.

Though the local mining boom faded, Reno continued to prosper as a commercial and business center. Large scale mining continues in other parts of the state and Nevada ranks as one of the top gold producing regions in the world.

Sparks History

The City of Sparks was built by the Southern Pacific Railroadmichael-train and named after Gov. John Sparks in 1904. Today tourist, commercial and industrial businesses fuel its economy and its residential areas extend far to the north into Spanish Springs.

Visitors from around the globe come to Reno-Sparks for its wide range of special events, from the Reno Rodeo in June through the National Championship Air Races in the fall the area covers the gamut of interests.  Once they discover the beauty, the quality of life and the affordability, most want to come here again.

Quality of Life is more than a hope. It is a way of life in Northern Nevada.

Have a question about Reno/Sparks? Leave a comment or send me an email! Email: Hodriscoll@chaseinternational.com


Will Fixing Up a House to Sell Pay Off?

By Holly O’Driscoll
Chase International2525 Rio Alayne Ct Sparks NV-print-003-20-09-2500x1668-300dpi - Copy

Many of my real estate clients start their house hunt saying they’re interested in a “fixer upper.”  They want to save money when buying a home. Yet, in reality, that phrase spans a wide range of home conditions. Once buyers see what qualifies as a true “fixer upper” in the real estate world, reality sets in.

In many cases, buyers can’t see past old/bad interior paint. Turns out, “fixer upper” to many people actually means move-in ready, without even minor fixes.

Fact: Homes with today’s styling sell faster, and for more money.

Maximizing Potential Profits 

The basics: Updating a home built in the 1990s or earlier with neutral interior paint, changing hardware such as door knobs and light fixtures, installing new carpet/tile/wood floors can pay off. Other attractive upgrades: getting rid of any and all 6×6-inch tile in the kitchens and baths.

Home buyers willing to tackle those projects can buy more house for less money. Home sellers who have the skills to renovate — or are willing to hire professionals — to tackle those jobs, likely will sell faster, and for more money.

It’s a matter of choice. Even in a seller’s market like Reno/Sparks, buyers want what they want. Most don’t have the time or skills to renovate, so buyers will pick, and pay more, for a house with other flaws if it feels modern and well kept.

On the seller’s side: Smart renovators know their skill limits and are willing to hire professionals to tackle certain jobs. Badly executed renovations are worse than no renovations!

In the home above, the sellers added wide-plank hardwood floors, replaced light fixtures and painted — among many other renovations. My clients received multiple offers on this property and were in contract within two weeks — for above asking price .

Now on the market! 

Another client paid professionals to redo most of the 1970s ranch-style home pictured bleow — including systems you don’t think about (the roof, wiring, plumbing), as well as features you use every day (the bathrooms, kitchen, flooring).lwk_3575-2lwk_3543

2985 Rustic Manor Circle in Reno, is a 5-bedroom/3-bath 3,070-square-foot home is on a cul-de-sac in southwest Reno (Jesse Beck Elementary school zone). It backs to a canyon, has a walk-out lower level and no lwk_3564HOA.

It is available as I write. If you would like to see it … call soon! 775-762-7576

Price: $579,900.lwk_3554