The wife and I visited Tahoe last week for a little taste of the mountain air and clean water. And Tahoe, as usual never disappoints.
Of course, I wasn’t there for just the water. Lake Tahoe is an excellent candidate for a downsizing location! And something that might surprise you in 2012, there are many foreclosed houses for sale around the lake.
How is Lake Tahoe? For my new England friends, the obvious comparison is Lake Winnepesaukee. Both Lakes were formed millions of years ago by retreating glaciers. And even though I like both lakes, I give a nod to Tahoe. The reasons?
- The water is so much more attractive. Some parts of the lake, the ground is coated with white “sand” which makes the water glow a beautiful aquamarine color and coupled with crystal clear water, means visibility down 70-80 feet in some places. Huge boulders underwater look like they’re 5-10 feet down when they’re really 40 feet down! The water is naturally filtered by dripping down through the mountains. When I come here, I prefer tap water to bottled hands down.
- taxes – local real agent agent Jackie Wells tells me that neither California nor Nevada hit vacation home owners with an extra “view tax” like New Hampshire does. Furthermore, if you claim residence in Nevada, you won’t pay income tax. They have higher sales tax, as opposed to NH which gets their revenue from higher property taxes. The sales tax isn’t bad for residents as it pushes some of the tax burden onto vacationers.
- Better mountains and skiing – the White Mountains are nice, but remember, the Winter Olympics were held close by Tahoe in 1960 – they have great skiing and winter sport exposure. NH isn’t bad but the last few winters have been hugely hit or miss with warm weather.
- Winnepesaukee gets the nod for islands – Tahoe has only one island and you can’t live there. Winnepesaukee has many islands and some with cool houses on them.
- Prices can be reasonable in both places – foreclosures are still available and if you don’t HAVE TO be on the water, prices aren’t bad (for starters, use Jackie’s site to search – Property Search – though disclosure FYI, I do not endorse or receive compensation for recommending use of Jackie’s site – I just found her to be helpful to me personally and her site is neat)
The only difficulty for native New Englanders is access. Tahoe can be accessed through one stop flights to Reno. It’s a 3:15 drive from San Francisco, FYI – which is a plus. Like Boston, SF is a very nice city to walk around in and visit – though the climate of the Bay Area is much more moderate (described as a Mediterranean-type climate). Therefore, those of you looking for a change could consider living in Tahoe with SF easily accessible – just like Winnepesaukee is easily accessible from Boston.
Where you downsize is personal preference (if you choose to downsize at all), and downsizing can be done at any age. We can all choose to give up the rat race and pursue our passions from a more peaceful setting! With that said, I will give Tahoe a nod of consideration and recommend you check it out.
Of course do your own research and find out what’s best for you. My opinion is just that, an opinion!
If you’d like to see my full photo album from my Tahoe visit, click here: