9 Tahoe Donner Second Home Buyer Tips!
Every Tahoe Donner second home buyer has questions on what to do, how to get the best deal, and what should they be aware of when it comes to buying a property in the greater Truckee – Lake Tahoe area.
Here are 9 Tahoe Donner Second Home Buyer Tips:
1) Review the Tahoe Donner Home Owner Association (HOA) rules and governing documents. Tahoe Donner is a master planned community and every property owner – home, condo, or lot is required to be member of the Home Owners Association (HOA), so read, review and ask questions about the HOA organization before you start looking at property. If you’re not okay with the HOA then you won’t want to buy into this subdivision.
Here is a link to their current CC&R’s and other governing documents.
2) Review the Tahoe Donner financial statements and budgets before home shopping. Again, if you’re not okay with the financial health and budgets, you’re not going to be a happy home owner, so know before you go house hunting.
The annual Tahoe Donner Fee for 2017 is $1,900 and the Optional Recreational Pass is $270/year. Here is a link to the Assessment (HOA fee)
3) Home Setting Preferences – Shady forest setting, golf course setting, valley and mountain views settings, sunny minimal forest setting, or near a specific Tahoe Donner recreational amenity.
Do you know what type of home setting you will want to have in Tahoe Donner?
If you know you’re a light and bright home person, you’ll want to focus on the areas, or homes that are in those areas of the subdivision that offer more all-day sun, or offer an architectural style that will bring in more natural light and takes advantage of sunshine.
Tahoe Donner covers over 7,300 acres, which is approximately 11.4 square miles – which means there is a lot of territory to cover when you’re looking at homes.
Be sure to ask your real estate agent what value – premium/discount the different home settings and/or combinations can add, or take-away on a property value, or desirability/marketability.
Tahoe Donner Quick Facts:
- +/- 6,500 properties
- +/- 25,000 members
- +/- 7,300 acres (+/- 11.4 square miles)
- +/- 4,000 Acres of common area and +/- 45 miles of trails within the subdivision
- +/- 67 miles of private roads in the subdivision
- +/- 400 inches or +/- 33 feet of snow fall annually
- +/- 6,472 Properties
- 5,791 Single Family Lots (4,983 lots have been developed, or 86%)
- 127 Multiple Family Lots (114 lots have been developed, or 89.7%)
- +/- 400 inches or +/- 33 feet of snow fall annually
- Recreational amenities – pools, tennis, downhill ski hill, cross-country skiing, biking, 18-hole golf course, fitness center, access to private beach area east end of Donner Lake, trails, activities, so much more.
4) Driveway Preferences – Flat, slight incline up or down, steep uphill, steep downhill, winding, sunny, or shady, or some combination of several of these items.
Tahoe Donner has their own downhill ski resort in the community, so you know this area receives a lot of snow annually – about 33 feet of snow through-out the winter season, so you know you’ll be dealing with snow removal and you need to think about how you’ll get in and out of your property .
As a home buyer only you know your driving skills and what makes sense for you. Letting your Tahoe Donner real estate agent know before you see property what you’d prefer to buy will help them eliminate homes that don’t have the type of driveway you’ll be okay with during the winter season.
If you’re not sure, see a variety of properties and then revise your selection criteria if necessary.
Lastly, ask your real estate agent what value – premium/discount the different driveway combinations can add, or take-away on a property value, or desirability/marketability.
5) Front, or Back of the Subdivision – Tahoe Donner is a large subdivision and many Tahoe second home buyers choose Tahoe Donner not only for the recreational amenities, but for the location and the time saving of continuing to drive to Tahoe City and Lake Tahoe.
Once off I-80 you’re just minutes to this neighborhood, and by being in Tahoe Donner these home owners can save themselves 15-20 minutes in additional travel just to get to either Tahoe City, or Kings Beach.
If you’re looking to save some travel time, choosing a Tahoe Donner home location near the beginning of the subdivision will save you additional travel time, but if it doesn’t matter, then cast a wide net and look at everything.
6) Pets and Fences – Tahoe Donner second home buyers may not realize that while pets are permitted in the subdivision, you’ll notice that there are no traditional wood, or metal fences between the home owners (back-yards are not fenced in).
Traditional back-yard fencing is not permitted, but a small fenced in area for a small dog run may be allowed with Tahoe Donner Association approval.
If you own a dog and are not comfortable with electronic fencing you may want to think about your home buying options. Personally, I would highly recommend that your pets be inside with you, or outside only with your supervision for their own personal safety given that they could encounter one of many wild animals (coyotes and bears to name a couple) in our area.
Check with the CC&R’s for more information on pets in the community. Here is a quick link on FAQ on pets.
7) Snow Removal – If you’re buying a Tahoe Donner home during our winter months, make sure you ask the seller to remove existing snow within 24 hours of closing on the driveway and/or walk-ways.
If there is a large deck(s) and you also want that snow removed, ask for those additional area(s) to also be cleared of snow just prior to closing in. The time to ask for these items is in your initial offer.
8) Town of Truckee | Non-Compliant Wood Stove or Fireplace Insert– The Town of Truckee has an ordinance that requires the removal of all non-certified wood stoves and fireplace inserts.
How are you going to know if a wood stove, or wood burning fireplace insert is a compliant one or not? If the seller hasn’t disclosed this item, you can include a provision in your purchase offer for the seller to do one of two things if the item is not compliant:
- 1) If a wood stove or insert is non-compliant, seller at their own cost shall properly remove the item from the home and dispose of it.
- 2) If a wood stove or insert is non-compliant, seller shall replace the item with a compliant product.
Once your home inspection has been completed, or if you have a separate fireplace/wood stove inspection done, you’ll know if the product is a compliant and can take the appropriate action.
Buyers should contact the Town of Truckee at 530-582-7700 with their additional questions, or check out their website.
9) Tahoe Donner Association (TDA) Homeowner Property “Street View Inspection” – Tahoe Donner second home buyers need to be aware that once the sale closes the Tahoe Donner Association (TDA) automatically triggers a mandatory sale inspection of the property known as “Homeowner Property Inspection – Street View”.
The Tahoe Donner Association has a minimum exterior standard of appearance. The inspection focuses on advising homeowners whose exterior property that may be in need of improvement/repair/correction to keep with the Association’s standards.
It is a mechanism to keep properties from becoming run-down, or from deviation from acceptable standards, and devaluing the subdivision.
Items that the TDA might sight can be exterior painting/staining, doors, decks, railings, dead trees, siding that may be broken, peeling away, or missing. You get the idea – exterior deferred maintenance.
As you view the front of the property, whatever is visible is fair game for improvements, so if the property is on a corner, or if more than just the front of the home is visible from the street, the list of corrective items can cover more than just the front face of the property.
When property ownership changes in Tahoe Donner it automatically triggers a review of the property and what is visible from the “street”, which is in additional to their regular “view street” inspection program that systematically goes through the entire subdivision over a multiple year period of time.
Tahoe Donner Home Buyers need to understand that once a “Street View Inspection” has been done, if items are noted for repair there will be a time period given to complete those items noted on the inspection list.
Someone (buyer) will be responsible for making those repairs/improvements unless they negotiate upfront, or after the TDA inspection has been completed who will pay for the items noted for correction.
A Tahoe Donner Home buyer has a three options on how to handle the Tahoe Donner “Street View Inspection”
- 1) Waive the TDA inspection upfront knowing that it will take place after the sale has been completed. They assume 100% of the cost and responsibility for compliance.
- 2) Negotiate “upfront” who will pay, or repair items that may be noted on the Tahoe Donner “Street View Inspection” in the offer/counter-offer process. Ask the seller to do the inspection and then make any necessary repairs with a follow-up from the TDA on a sign-off on completion.
- 3) Buyers can ask the seller to submit to the TDA a request for a “Street View Inspection” to be completed no later than the deadline of your property inspection period as specified in the purchase contract (California Association of REALTORS (CAR) Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) –California (CA) Item 14B).
- (You can see where local real estate experience and knowing the area really starts to pay off with knowledge of the real estate purchase contract and additional provisions that can be added to protect your buyer interests, or at least make you aware of them.)
- Once the inspection has been completed during the time allowed in CAR RPA-CA Item 14B then the Buyer can determine if they want to ask the seller to make repairs, ask for a seller credit, reduce the price, or doing nothing, and the buyer just assumes taking on the corrective items.
- Depending on the over-all condition of the property (you know if the property needs work), and the home sales price you are negotiating, you and your Tahoe REALTOR can figure out what is the best way to approach the TDA “view inspection” and potential findings.
NOTE: If you are buying a condo, the “Street View” inspection findings will most likely be the responsibility of the Condo Home Owners Association, but condo buyers should confirm this information so they know who is responsible and can prepare their offer accordingly.
- Remember a seller may, or may not agree to your offer and the terms and proposals you may make when it comes to inspections, non-compliant items, and snow removal, but at least you will know what to expect on those issues.
Looking for Tahoe Donner Market Report Information? Click on the Tahoe Donner Price Graph for more information!
If you have more questions on Buying in Tahoe Donner, give me a call 530.414.1260! I can help you too!
Ready to make the Tahoe Donner Resort Community your second home? Check out what is for sale here:
- Homes for Sale in Tahoe Donner
- Homes for Sale in Tahoe Donner with a Garage
- Homes for Sale in Tahoe Donner with a Golf Course View
- Newer Construction Homes for Sale in Tahoe Donner
- Luxury Homes for Sale in Tahoe Donner
- Luxury Homes for Sale in Tahoe Donner over $1 Million
- 3bd 2ba Homes for Sale in Tahoe Donner
- Tahoe Donner Homes for Sale under $300,000
- Tahoe Donner Homes for Sale under $400,000
- Tahoe Donner Homes for Sale under $500,000
- Tahoe Donner Homes for Sale under $600,000
- Tahoe Donner Homes for Sale under $700,000
- Tahoe Donner Homes for Sale under $800,000
- Tahoe Donner Homes for Sale under $900,000
- Tahoe Donner Homes for Sale under $1 Million
- Condos for Sale in Tahoe Donner
- Condos for Sale in Tahoe Donner under $300,000
- Condos for Sale in Tahoe Donner under $400,000
- Condos for Sale in Tahoe Donner Under $500,000
- Condos for Sale in Tahoe Donner with a Garage
- Bear Meadows Condos for Sale
- Hidden Meadows Condos for Sale in Tahoe Donner
- Tahoe Donner Golf Condos for Sale
- Tahoe Donner Lodge Condos for Sale
- Tahoe Donner Ski Bowl Condos for Sale
- Lots for Sale in Tahoe Donner
For all of your Tahoe real estate needs –
All information is deemed reliable, but is subject to change, and/or correction without notice.
9 Tahoe Donner Second Home Buyer Tips!