Confessions of an Ultra Runner

Jazz BlogOkay – I used to run like crazy, for years, 50k’s (31 miles) 50 milers and marathons (26.2 miles) but since I became the owner of my own business and achieved the rank of Grammy, running has taken a back seat. I struggled with allowing myself to “run short” less than a 4 hour outing was sorta like, why bother? As you might expect I became, soft in the middle. So, my confession is this; after over 3o years I started to Jazzercise again, I’m back at it. My daughter, Karen, and I go as many mornings as we can. The grandkids have Miss Nina there to watch over them while we “Jazz” and it is amazing fun for all. We’ve been having this kind of sweaty fun since last November and those silly dance moves really helped whip me back into shape, along with stand up paddling. The point of this blog post is to encourage people like myself to keep moving as you go through life and don’t get stuck on what you used to be able to do giving yourself permission to do less than before. Oh, and I haven’t seen a single side pony tail or any leg warmers :)

I Used To Be A Kirkwood Snob

Our family decided to buy two area season passes back in the Summer of 2011 when they are the best value.  We decided that we would buy both Kirkwood and Heavenly passes since we live so close to the “Heave”.  As you probably know, that was the year the Kirkwood was purchased by and made part of the Vail Resort System, the year we didn’t need two passes.  Shoulda known.  Well, we are dyed in the wool Kirkwood skiers and now find ourselves really loving the strengths of both mountains.  Heavenly puts out a great product, even in these dry years.  This video was taken today, not even on a powder day.  There is so much terrain that the diligent can make fresh tracks days after the storm.  Kirkwood does get much greater snowfall and they have overall better coverage right now plus there is still hiking/traversing to be had. I say we have the best of both worlds, two outstanding mountain ski areas within a short drive from home.  Kirkwood, for days when there’s more time for driving, and Heavenly when time is short.  All this to say, Heavenly ain’t so bad after all.

CAR Market Info

This is an article from the California Association of Realtor’s Newsletters that contains some good market info, even though it applies to the entire state we can apply it to our Tahoe Market and I thought you might enjoy it:

Logo of the National Association of Realtors.

Home sales fell in January due to five headwinds, most of which will continue to frustrate housing activity until home supply and the positive effects of job growth increase, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® reported.

Existing-home sales fell by 5.1 percent from December to January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million — their lowest level since July 2012. January sales were also down 5.1 percent on an annual basis, NAR said.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said this winter’s unusually cold weather has delayed some sales until the spring, but cited a number of other factors for January’s slump in purchases.

“We can’t ignore the ongoing headwinds of tight credit, limited inventory, higher prices and higher mortgage interest rates,” Yun said in a statement. “These issues will hinder home sales activity until the positive factors of job growth and new supply from higher housing starts begin to make an impact.”

The inventory shortage, long-cited as a hindrance to home sales, improved somewhat in January. Total inventory rose 2.2 percent from December, to 1.9 million homes, a 7.3 percent increase from a year ago. The number of months that it would take to sell off all for-sale housing stock at January’s slower rate of sales also increased to 4.9 months, up from 4.6 months in December and 4.4 months a year ago.

NAR said a supply of six to 6.5 months represents a “rough balance” between buyers and sellers.

While inventory has ticked up in recent months, the overall market has faltered to a degree. Existing-home sales and pending home sales (which predict future existing-home sales) have both trended downwards, and applications for purchase mortgages recently hit their lowest level since September 2011.

Real estate analysts say that increased mortgage rates and home prices are responsible for the slowdown. According to RealtyTrac, they’ve driven up the cost of owning a home by 21 percent in the last year.

NAR said that the median existing-home price for all housing types in January was up 10.7 percent from a year ago to $188,900, while the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.43 percent, up from 3.41 percent the year before, according to Freddie Mac.

Distressed homes — foreclosures and short sales — accounted for 15 percent of January sales, compared with 14 percent in December and 24 percent in January 2013.

“Housing is not about to collapse into another bust, but it is due for a pause after a strong rebound since the first half of 2012,” David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, wrote in a blog post.

It Still Looks Like Autumn

1388269125955From my last post till this one,  it’s still not looking much like winter.  I am hopeful that it will snow like crazy and we’ll be skiing powder soon.  Don’t be sad for us though, there’s lots to do here in Tahoe.  Heavenly has amazing snow making capability and that snow is great, especially on the upper Nevada side.  I went skiing with two of our grand children, ages 3 and 4,  last Saturday and had a great time on the appropriate slopes.  The gondola ride is always a hit.  There is pretty amazing mountain biking to be had on the sunny side of Tahoe Mountain, on a whole bunch of trails that were cut late last fall.  Super fun.  I took this photo at Sawmill Pond one afternoon when I was finished ice skating, the ice wasn’t perfect, but the views were.  All this to say, just cause there isn’t a whole bunch of snow, don’t let that keep you from coming up with  bikes, skates, running or hiking shoes and skis.


Different topic, the inventory is pretty low right now with 151 available single family homes in the City and County areas.  There were 120 single family homes sold in the past three months with an ever decreasing number of short sales and bank owned properties at a combined total or 21 (14 shorts sales and 7 REOs).  FYI.

Autumn is in the Air

Jon Paul LeavesWe are into the season of Autumn for sure, the wind is blowing and the sky is cloudy.  With this season comes the serious real estate buyers.  Typically this time of year is my busiest.  To verify that statement, I searched the volume of sold listings in 2012 Summer verses Autumn and see that the sales of single family residences were up nearly 10% Summer over Fall.  This year’s Summer season the number of sold single family properties was 221.  I’ll check to see what this Autumn’s sales numbers come in when Winter arrives.  This is a trend I’ve noticed during my 26 years in the industry.  Seems like you all come to Tahoe to enjoy the Summer season but when school starts up again and it’s not so busy, you’re more focused on the business of finding your own piece of Tahoe.  It’s much easier to get around when the traffic has diminished and your trips have a singular mission.  This season is my favorite here in Tahoe with the mosquitos long gone, the sun lower in the sky showing off the contours of the mountains in the shadows and the changing of the Aspen leaves from green to gold.  The typically calm days are great for paddling on the Lake and the increased moisture settling the dust on the trails is also great for hikers and bikers alike.  Yup, this is a great time to get business done, but don’t be so singly focused that you can’t get out on the Lake and the trails, but do some and get your piece of the Lake Tahoe Life.  This photo was taken by my friend Jon Paul and shared with his permission,

A Break From the Smoke

When I woke up this morning and realized that I could see Mt. Tallac clearly, not masked by smoke.   I jumped out of bed packed my backpack and drove to the trailhead with my trusty terrier Smitty.  We have been inundated with smoke from the Rim Fire near Yosemite for the past two and a half week , so to wake up without the oppressive haze and smoke was a welcome break.  The trail was uncrowded as most folks changed their plans for the Labor Day Holiday, those that did brave the forecast were treated to bright blue skies and mild temperatures.  A perfect day for hiking.

I realize that someone reading my recent blogs may think I don’t really work, but rather play all day here in Tahoe.  On the contrary, I just completed several transactions and a few of those were first time  homebuyers.  Mary and Greg, Jeremiah, Jacob and Liz  were some of the people I was able to serve during that very rewarding and sometime scary process of buying that first home.  For me, they are the most rewarding transactions and certainly the most labor intensive, but it is a labor of love, for sure.  Thanks for your confidence guys.

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Home From Vacation

Grammie and Teagan croppedJust home from vacation in McCall, Idaho and Glacier Park – had a great time.  This is my life here in Tahoe where every day is a vacation.  I went paddling with two of the grandchildren before work this morning from Camp Richardson where the waters were calm and clear.

Things are hopping at the office with the inventory up by 100% from the low around 100 listings.  Interest rates spiking are creating urgency for those buyers who were on the fence and want to enjoy the  quality of life  Tahoe offers.  Come on in – the water’s fine :)

What a Beautiful Morning

I woke up this morning and went for a paddle. I was on the water within 10 minutes of leaving the house.  What a great way to be on Lake Tahoe for peaceful vistas of mountains and the Lake’s clear blue water.  The ski boats are not out this early and the winds were calm today.  I love living in South Lake Tahoe with the health and resources to enjoy these pleasures.

Forest Service Cabins Offer Amazing Settings at Value Pricing

How’s this for a backyard?  This river setting goes along with 2211 Rainbow Road that I just listed in the Rainbow Tract here in South Lake Tahoe.  Forest Service Cabins are on land that is rented via a Special USe Permit from the Forest Service.  You don’t own the land and that’s the downside, the upside is that the rent is very reasonable (This cabin pays $380 per year).  They don’t work for everybody, but for some folks, they are a great opportunity to have a family cabin in wonderful alpine settings that would otherwise be congested, expensive and  just not as quaint as this.

Did I Say Low Inventory?

Today there are 113 unsold single family properties in the South Lake Tahoe MLS in the City County areas.   37 homes closed escrow within the past 30 days.  That means, if no other homes come on the market, we will be out of inventory within the next 101 days at that close rate.   If you are a seller, this is good news for you.  If you are a buyer, hang tough, it won’t always be like this and please be patient with the situation, the right house will come along in time.

I was at an advanced marketing class this week in Reno with Realtors from all over the country and, to some degree, they are all in the same boat with decreasing supply and increasing demand.

South Lake Tahoe, California - USA
South Lake Tahoe, California – USA (Photo credit: AntoMinniti)
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