With everyone talking about affordable housing, it’s interesting to see that during the second quarter just as many Truckee/Tahoe homes sold for less than $500,000 as did for more than $1 million; about three dozen in each price range from April through June.

The second quarter remained strong throughout the region, with ski areas seeing a steady stream of buyers plucking up slope-side homes on the heels of this year’s #snowmageddon.

In Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and Northstar California more than $32 million worth of real estate changed hands this past quarter — this is about half the volume for the entire year. Northstar continues to top the charts, with half of the 10 most lucrative sales this spring, including one mountainside home that fetched $3.4 million.


The big money in Tahoe is usually on the snow or on the water, and the highest-priced sales this spring (many of them cash) were at the lake. They include a West Shore mansion built by Olson Construction that sold for $17.5 million and a 5-acre family compound along 500 feet of Meeks Bay that closed for $15 million. Martis Camp kept pace, with 12 homes selling this spring at a median price of just under $4 million.

At the other end of the spectrum, buyers looking for something truly affordable (say, under $300,000), had to hit the road to find bargains. Throughout the entire region, only 15 homes in that price point sold this spring, most of them in Plumas and Sierra counties. Closer to Tahoe, affordable sales ranged from tiny cabins buried deep beneath the snow of Donner Summit to a 1960s one-bedroom in Tahoe Cedars.

Inventory below $500k remains tight, and homes at this price that show well (think interior finishes slightly more modern that the linoleum and plywood of the 1970s and ’80s), will tend to sell quickly. Half of the homes in this price range sold this past spring in a week or less. (Click here for a list of Tahoe/Truckee homes priced under $500k.)

~ Working for Dickson Realty in both California and Nevada allows Jackie Ginley to offer informed advice to clients interested in buying or selling not just their personal home, but also vacation homes and investment properties. Her website offers a free market analysis of your home and browsing of properties on both sides of the state line: tahoeishome.com.


  • Jackie Ginley

    Jackie Ginley is a former journalist and Moonshine editor who shelved the pen in 2013 to pursue a career in real estate. With deep roots in Tahoe, she enjoys hiking, skiing, and après-everything with friends. Jackie lives in Truckee, and is currently building a home in Tahoe Donner.

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