Lauren, Other/Just Looking in Sacramento, CA

Considering purchasing a vacation home in South Lake Tahoe - do you recommend buying in CA or Nevada? Which side is a better investment and why? Tx!

Asked by Lauren, Sacramento, CA Sat Oct 15, 2011

This would be a second home & most likely a rental when I'm not using it. Wondering about tax implications, property management differences by state (if any), financing difficulties, etc. Live in CA and don't know much about Nevada real estate laws/taxes/etc. Thanks for any advice you can give!

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Looks like you have a good number of answers below and some decent information to start with. When considering to buy in Tahoe, you're not just looking at CA vs. NV. This is a big lake w/ lots of shoreline and while I understand this to be a financial investment, isn't it a personal investment too? Where do you like to spend your time when you come up? What area is most easily accessible in a snow storm or just in general? I think this is a big reason a lot of folks decide on South Lake or say Truckee (quick access from either side, Hwy 50 or Hwy 80). Think about the traffic just to get to the north side of the lake and then consider what kind of action you have for yourself and/or your guests. Most tourists will be drawn to Stateline on the south shore for the simply reason of Heavenly ski resort. While Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are amazing, they're in between places like Truckee and Tahoe City with limited nightlife. The fact that you can take the gondola right from the heart of the city in South Lake makes it very convenient for most. Plus, Heavenly has just as much to offer as far as terrain goes, covering two states.

I'm obviously biased to the area, as I too live in the South shore, but I would focus on either South Lake or the East shore of NV for geographic ease and for the best chance to capture more vacation renters. This is just another angle to consider, but please add it with the comments below to capture the overall picture. Also, call a local when you want property mgmt advice...only way to go!


Mark Salmon
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 17, 2011
BTW one of the main differences in property management is in CA any licensed agent can do property management although I would go with one of the several top rates local companies with ranking websites and in NV the licensee has to have a separate certificate to be do property management.

I tend to recommend and for rental companies

Best of luck

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
If you are going to use the home as a second home, your choices will be dictated by your interests and budget. If you plan on renting the property; considerations of locale and rentability must be factored. There are more homes for sale in California because there is a greater inventory and there are more homes in the varying price points. For long term holding, Nevada offers more in the way of return because of a smaller inventory therefore we have the opportunity for higher appreciation. There are many more implications such as higher property tax rate in CA. vs. NV. that will figure into your decision. I have been helping people attain their Tahoe dream over 30 years and would welcome any questions you may have. Being licensed in both States, I can provide you with information on all real estate in the area. Please feel free to browse the inventory at for real-time MLS data or call me with your interests at 800-LKTahoe (558-2463). There are no silly questions and this is a great time to buy. I look forward to hearing from you.
My Best,
David Cloutier
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
A big part of the question would be which state do you live in, what is the vacation rental market like in the area you are looking and how accessible would the property be during different times of the year. On the Nevada/Incline Village side I would recommend contacting Bruce Soli from Intera Real Estate he is a CRS designated REALTOR and on the CA side Al Calhoun from Better Homes and Gardens. If you decide to look on the CA side, check out our site at for 24 hour access to the CA side of Lake Tahoe.

Also knowing the area CC&R or HOA regulations pertaining to property uses is a great resource.

Best of luck

Bruce Slaton
eCurb Realty Lic #01305148 CA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
Hi Lauren, You have lots of valid questions. I wish it were that simple. The economy differs in both states, values certainly do, tax and real estate laws also differ in both states. Those are probably questions for an accountant. / tax person. Also check with property managers and real estate professionals in both. Personnaly I have bought, sold, rented, and gotten mortgages in both states. I have also done both real estate and mortgage lending myself over the years. The lending climate is so bizare at this point that you may want to see who is and who is not lending on vacation homes in either state. Real Estate is even more bizare. Some California lenders will only lend in California and not in Nevada, and vise versa. Some lenders will go over statelines if they are licenced to so so. Most will not do today that might have done a couple of years ago. Some require that you actually live in that state. So, this is not much of an answer, and it opens more questions. Good experienced professional advise in all of those area is your best bet. And, be careful to check them out throughly. There are lots of scams out there. And it is against the law these days to pay up front for any of it. I would be interested in what you decide.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 15, 2011
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