Lake Tahoe is a popular year-round destination in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the California-Nevada border.
The lake itself is known for its sandy beaches and water recreation, while the surrounding mountains are popular for hiking, cycling and skiing, depending on the season.
While Lake Tahoe has historically been popular for vacation homes, an increasing number of people have been moving their main residence to the area, thanks in part to the proliferation of high-speed internet, local real estate experts said.
Now that the coronavirus pandemic has kept millions of Americans working from home, the trend of people moving to Lake Tahoe has accelerated, according to broker Alan Nicholls of Coldwell Banker.
“This has driven demand for homes in Tahoe to all new levels, and has also changed the timing of demand,” he said. “People want to be here now.”
The number of single-family home sales in July was up 141% year-over year, from 96 in 2019 to 231 last month on the California side of the lake’s north and west shores down to Emerald Bay, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Northstar, Truckee and Donner Summit, according to Tahoe Sierra MLS.
The median price in the area increased by 20% from $716,000 in July 2019 to $860,000 last month, according to the group.
And while 170 homes went into contract during each of the local market’s busiest months last year – August and September – this past May, June and July each outpaced them with 190 in May, 318 in June and 298 in July, according to Tahoe Sierra MLS data.
A lot of tech workers have been making the move, but they’re not the only ones, according to Nicholls. He said many professionals like doctors and lawyers from the San Francisco Bay area have also been able to consolidate their in-person work to just a couple of days per week so they can spend the rest of their time in Lake Tahoe.
“The residential real estate market is solid around most of the country for one primary reason,” Nicholls said. “Right now, home is more important than ever. People are spending more time in their homes than they have before.”
For anyone who thinks Lake Tahoe might be right for them, here’s a look at what you can get with a $1 million budget there:
Tahoe City - $985,000
This luxurious home is located in a private community on Lake Tahoe’s north shore and includes access to great amenities.
The 1,880-square-foot home includes four bedrooms and two bathrooms, according to the listing with Marlo Eckert of Coldwell Banker Realty.
The cabin-like interior features beamed vaulted ceilings, a large stone fireplace and walls of windows.
The home includes two decks and is located just steps from views overlooking the lake, according to the listing.
The home sits in Dollar Point, and the community amenities include a private beach, tennis courts and a heated pool.
South Lake Tahoe - $959,000
This home offers lake views and sits within walking distance of a ski resort.
The 3,752-square-foot mid-century modern home includes four bedrooms and four bathrooms, according to the listing with Gregory Ochoa of Mountain Luxury Properties.
The living area includes floor-to-ceiling windows, a gas fireplace, beamed ceilings and a sitting area with pebble stone floor. Glass sliding doors open to a deck with a hot tub and a balcony that offers views of Lake Tahoe through the trees.
The master suite includes a fireplace, sitting area and private balcony with mountain views, according to the listing.
The property backs onto a U.S. Forest Service-owned lot, according to the listing. And it’s a short walk from Heavenly Ski Resort.