By Don Kanare - Broker/Owner RE/MAX North Lake
With the trees starting to turn color and night time temperatures dropping into the 20s and 30s on occasion it is a reminder that winter weather can come early to Lake Tahoe and property owners need to be prepared. Now is the time to tackle the annual household chores to prepare your property for winter at Lake Tahoe. We can’t address every item that requires attention in advance of wintertime in this short column, but here are a few of the major tasks to keep in mind.
Snow removal is at the top of the priority list, so make sure that your snow blower is tuned up and you have fresh gasoline. If you have hired a snow removal service to clear your driveway, double check your arrangements and get your snow stakes in place. Removing pine needles and debris from decks, driveways and sidewalks will make snow removal much easier. You won’t have all of these items freezing and getting stuck to these surfaces and your snow blower won’t get clogged or damaged when you have to clear the snow off.
The onset of fall weather means that it’s time to look at draining and shutting off your irrigation system for the winter. While condo owners can generally rely on their homeowners association to handle this responsibility, all single-family homeowners and many freestanding condo owners are responsible for their landscaping and irrigation systems. Owners of freestanding condos should check with their association manager if they are not sure who is responsible for maintaining the irrigation system at their property so you don’t suffer a nasty surprise.
Be sure to check windows and doors for cracks, leaks and drafts and address them as necessary. Caulk and weather stripping are very inexpensive materials that are relatively easy to install and they go a long way towards reducing your heating bills. Ensure that your thermostat is programmed for the proper hours and temperatures. If you still have one of the old manual type thermostats, we highly recommend replacing it with a programmable electronic one. They are relatively inexpensive and will provide significant cost savings. Vacant properties should have their thermostats set no lower than 50 to 55 degrees to maintain an internal temperature that will prevent pipes from freezing.
Critters of every shape and size are always looking for a warm and sheltered place to survive wintertime at Lake Tahoe. To prevent wildlife from taking up residence in your abode it is absolutely critical to thoroughly look at your property and seal up any openings that could be attractive to animals. Fix that hatchway to your basement or crawl space and put on a secure lock to keep out intruders. If you have a deck that is enclosed underneath carefully inspect the entire enclosure to ensure that there are no possible ways that it could be breached. Fill those woodpecker holes on the side of your house so you don’t have chipmunks, squirrels or mice setting up housekeeping inside your walls. And don’t leave any trash or food in your garage as it will attract bears and other creatures looking for a meal during a time of year when natural food sources are scarce.
Weekly Real Estate Update
Statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS on 9/25/16
Houses Condos PUDs
For Sale 146 84 21
Under $1 million 38 72 12
Median Price For Sale $1,795,000 $515,000 $995,000
YTD Sales 2016 121 143 39
YTD Sales 2015 97 138 34
New Listings 7
In Escrow 14
Closed Escrow 12
Range in Escrow $319,000 – $9,999,999