This Meyers 2-bedroom, 2-bath home is perfect if you are looking for an island of privacy: surrounded by a mixture of unbuildable public and private land, there is not a neighbor to be seen from the redwood deck in the backyard, only a peek of the mountains and mature aspens and willows along the seasonal creek. You enter to open plan living with a gorgeous kitchen, new in 2014, with locally-made alder cabinets, stainless appliances, and granite slab countertops. The two bedrooms are both large, the master with an en suite bath; the other bedroom, currently used as an office, would have been split to two small rooms in many houses this size but here remains a single, very large room. A classic woodstove will keep you warm in winter. Between the one-car garage with bonus space and the 10×10 shed in the yard, you’ll have plenty of storage. This is a very livable house in a flat, sunny area that anyone would be proud to call home. All this for $396,000.
This ultra custom home was designed and constructed by a local artistic builder as his personal residence and showroom. The designer materials and custom finish only add to the quality of this lake view home backing to 311 acres of public land. Upon arrival you are greeted by the Aspen Hollow designed landscaping that surrounds the entire property. The first floor offers a private guest suite and game room. The game room contains a media closet wired throughout the entire property. A seven foot hot tub with amazing views is just steps from the back door. A one of a kind stairway lead you to the living room with its impressive floor to ceiling natural quartzite gas fireplace with a juniper mantle surrounded by built in cherry cabinets. The impeccable quality finish continues into the kitchen with cherry lower and alder upper cabinets, stainless Jenn-Air appliances, and Bellagio granite countertops and backsplashes. No detail has been spared here- true Tahoe Elegance. All this for only $875,000.
St. Theresa Catholic School is hosting its 16th annual “Claws for Cause” crab dinner and auction at 6 p.m. Friday in Grace Hall, 1041 Lyons Ave.
Proceeds from the event benefit the private school. The event is for adults 21 and over. Childcare is available for $15 per child in the social hall.
No-host cocktails begin at 6 p.m., the crab dinner is at 7 p.m., followed by the live auction at 8:30 p.m.
Every class, from preschool to eighth grade, will sponsor a gift basket for the silent auction.
Volunteers are still needed.
Tickets are $40 per person in advance, $45 at the door.
For information, visit www.stslaketahoe.org/crabdinner10.html or call (530) 544-8944.
Widespread teacher layoffs, larger class sizes and increased economic hardship for children are among the impacts California’s budget crisis and the recession have had on public schools and students, according to a report released Thursday.
Researchers at UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education and Access interviewed 87 elementary, middle and high principals across California to gauge the impact of the recession and budget cuts on student welfare and school learning environments.
Before the recession began, California K-12 public schools, which were among the nation’s best in the 1960s, already ranked near the bottom nationally in many measures of academic achievement and school quality.
The economic downturn and state budget crisis has undermined recent academic gains and widened the disparity between schools in rich and poor communities, said John Rogers, the institute’s director.
“It’s taken California several steps backward on the road to improvement,” Rogers said. “It’s also harmed the long-term prospects for California to rebuild a quality education system.”
The report, called “Educational Opportunities in Hard Times,” found that:
— 62 percent of principals reported that teachers in their schools had been laid off, threatened with layoffs or reassigned to other schools. The number of actual layoffs was four times greater at schools in poorer communities than wealthier communities.
— 67 percent reported that class sizes had increased, with 74 percent of elementary school principals reporting larger class sizes.
— 75 percent reported that summer school had been reduced or eliminated.
— 75 percent reported reductions in instructional materials and supplies.
— 70 percent reported cuts to professional development programs.
— 67 percent reported growing housing insecurity, which includes homelessness, families moving in together and families moving away for economic reasons.
— 51 percent reported an increase in the health, psychological or social service needs of their students.
Many principals are seeing the impact on rising unemployment and poverty on their students as parents lose their jobs and homes, according to the report. About two-thirds said their schools have referred students and families to health and social service providers.
The Lake Tahoe Unified School District will be part of a three-year, million dollar grant from the California State Department of Education for enhanced and ongoing professional development for teachers in grades three through eight. The California Mathematics and Science Partnership program seeks to establish partnerships to improve the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science, according to a prepared release.
Lake Tahoe Unified joins school districts in Modesto and Stockton for the Summit to Sand grant, which totals $339,201 per year for three years. More than 30 teachers have been recruited for a three-year professional development program that draws upon the diverse geography of California to educate teachers and motivate students. Teachers will receive instruction in life, earth and physical science, focusing on the natural environment of the state of California, in order to positively impact students’ English language arts and science achievement. Faculty from the Lake Tahoe, Columbia and San Joaquin Delta community colleges will provide instruction at three summer institutes from 2010 through 2012.
“This grant will provide important funds to improve science education in the district,” said district superintendent Dr. James Tarwater. “We are very excited to have been funded and to partner with districts and community colleges in our area and in other areas of the state.”
Additional partners include Tahoe Environmental Research Center at University of California, Davis, the San Joaquin County Office of Education, California State University, Monterey Bay, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Do you have some—but not unlimited—cash for upgrades? Here are budget-minded enhancements to make your home stand out from the competition.
1. Tidy up kitchen cabinets.
“Potential buyers do open kitchen cabinets and look inside,” says Morrissey. “Home owners can add rollout organizing trays so when buyers peek in, they feel like there’s lots of room for their stuff.”
2. Add or replace tile.
“By retiling very inexpensively, you make a room look way cleaner that it was,” says Javier Zuluaga, owner of Home Repairs and Remodeling LLC in Tempe, Ariz. “Every city has stores that offer $1 to $2 tile, so home owners have to pay only for the low-cost tile and labor to replace a dated backsplash or add a new one. We also use inexpensive tile to upgrade bathrooms.”
3. Add a breakfast bar.
When a wall separates a kitchen from a family room, suggest cutting out an opening to create a breakfast bar. “In one home, there was a cutout in the wall between the kitchen and living room,” explains Matthew Quinn, a sales associate at Quinn’s Realty & Estate Services in Falls Church, Va., who handles estate and real estate sales for family members whose loved ones have passed away. “We left the structure of the cutout, added an oversized granite breakfast bar, and put chairs in front of it. That cost about $600.”
4. Install granite tile instead of a slab.
“Everybody is hot for granite kitchen countertops, but that can be a $5,000 upgrade,” says John Wilder, a general contractor and owner of Fence and Deck Doctor in New Castle, Ind. “Instead, home owners can put in 12-inch granite tiles for about $300 in materials and get very high impact for little money.”
5. Freshen up a bathroom without retiling.
“With a dated bathroom, I recommend putting in a new medicine cabinet for $100 to $150, light fixtures for about $100, a faucet for $50 to $75, and a vanity for $200 to $300,” says Wilder. “And instead of replacing the tile, the existing grout can be lightly scraped and regrouted, which leaves a haze that can be buffed out and will make the tile look brand new. Also install glass shower doors. A French door adds a lot of panache and elegance for $250, and people will notice the door, not the tile. With all that, you’ve done a bathroom remodel for $1,000 to $2,000.”
6. Freshen up the basement.
“If home owners have cement block or poured concrete walls in the basement, suggest they have a contractor fill in cracks with hydraulic cement and then paint with waterproofing paint,” recommends Wilder. “They can then add a top coat to add color. They can also paint the basement floor with a good floor paint, which spiffs it up. The basement may not be finished, but it’s no longer a damp dungeon.”
7. Add a room.
Look for large spaces that can be enclosed to create a new bedroom for just the price of creating a wall. “One time, we closed off a half-wall to an office and added a door to the other side of the room, thus creating another bedroom,” says Quinn. “That $400 procedure, which took a contractor one day, netted about $40,000 in the sales price.” Zuluaga has also added bedrooms inexpensively. “In a two-bedroom house, there was an archway that led to a third room that was used as a den,” he explains. “It had a dry bar where there would have been a closet, so we took out the dry bar and created a closet so the owners had a third bedroom.”
8. Spruce up cabinet fronts.
Suggest home owners update tired-looking kitchen cabinets. Reconditioning is the least expensive move for under $1,000. “If the wood is starting to look shabby from use or contaminants in the air, we take out the nicks and scratches, recondition it with oil, and put new hardware on,” explains Heidi Morrissey, vice president of marketing and sales at Kitchen Tune-Up in Aberdeen, S.D. For $1,500 to $4,000, owners can replace the cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and for $4,000 to $12,000, they can have all the cabinets refaced. “With refacing, owners can change the color of the cabinets by replacing the door and having a new skin put on the boxes,” says Morrissey. “If they have oak cabinets today, they can have cherry the next day.”
9. Replace light fixtures.
“In a foyer and in bathrooms and kitchens,” says Wilder, “replacing overhead light fixtures provides a lot of pop for a little money.” If the kitchen has track lighting, Zuluaga suggests the home owner spend $450 to $600 to have an electrician replace it with recessed canned lights on a dimmer switch to add ambience. For about $700, Zuluaga also suggests installing pendant lights over a kitchen island or peninsula.
10. Tech-up the garage.
“Sometimes we replace the garage door opener with a remote touchpad entry system,” says Zuluaga. “That costs about $425 and makes it look like a high-end system.”
Hazardous weather condition(s):
This Afternoon: Rain and snow, becoming all snow after 4pm. Snow level 6300 feet. High near 42. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Tonight: Snow before 10pm, then rain and snow. Low around 33. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
M.L.King Day: Rain and snow. High near 35. Breezy, with a south wind around 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
Monday Night: Snow. Low around 26. Breezy, with a south wind between 20 and 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Tuesday: Snow. High near 31. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Tuesday Night: Snow. Low around 31. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Wednesday: Snow. High near 32. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Wednesday Night: Snow. Cloudy, with a low around 28.
Thursday: Snow. Cloudy, with a high near 29.
Thursday Night: Snow likely. Cloudy, with a low around 25.
Friday: Snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 29.
Friday Night: A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 22.
Saturday: A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 32.
The buying public seems to think that “great deal” equals foreclosure, short sale or bank-owned property. The truth is that these properties may appear to be bargains, but in many cases you could be buying someone else’s problems. If you’re looking for a bargain property, here are some key issues to consider:
1. What is your time line for purchasing?
You may find the perfect short-sale property, and the seller may accept your offer. The challenge is that you don’t have a deal until the bank approves the short sale. At many large lenders a single processor may have up to 500 files on his or her desk at one time. Realtors are reporting that it can take six or more months to get an offer approved. The wait can be extremely frustrating. It can also be costly.
For example, if prices are still declining in your area and price range, the offer you made six months ago may be too high. Also, if you qualify for a loan now, will you still qualify six to eight months from now if mortgage interest rates have increased? More importantly, can you afford to make a higher monthly payment? If possible, search for a short sale or an REO where the bank has preapproved the sales price. It still may take a long time to close, but not as long as it would if the price was not preapproved.
2. Are you prepared to be in a multiple-offer situation?
Since so many buyers are searching for distressed properties and the approval process takes so long, multiple offers are common. The lender will not tell you about other offers. They may, in fact, tell you that your offer will “probably” be approved — but you cannot rely on this representation.
If another offer comes in at a higher price and at better terms, the bank is obligated to take the best offer. If the property is a short sale, the seller’s signature on the document merely opens the negotiation — it does not finalize it. Furthermore, the seller/lender may continue to market the property even after they have signed a contract with you. This is simply smart business, as so many borrowers are having trouble closing transactions due to appraisal issues.
3. Ask the agent if the seller participated in the “Cash for Keys” program
The best candidates for good bargains are those properties where the sellers are still occupying them. Many banks have a program called “Cash for Keys.” This program pays the owners of foreclosure and short-sale properties money to keep the owner from trashing the property when they move out. I have seen copper piping ripped out of properties, concrete poured down the plumbing, and appliances stolen or destroyed. Cash for Keys is designed to minimize these behaviors.
4. Beware of vacant properties
Never purchase any property without doing a physical inspection. Also, if it takes more than 90 days to negotiate the transaction or if the house has been vacant, have the property re-inspected prior to signing off on the final deal. The reason for this is that the longer a house stays vacant, the more likely it is to have problems.
For example, pack rats and mice are more likely to move into vacant properties. They can chew through the wiring and generally wreak havoc with the home’s electrical systems. Also, if the dishwasher is not run at least once a week, the seals can dry out. If you live in an area where the pipes are not winterized and there are freezing temperatures, a pipe may burst. You may not discover the problem until you turn the water back on after closing.
5. Is the deal more important than your lifestyle?
A property can be a great deal in terms of the price, but is it worth it if it’s in a poorly rated school district or if the commute is an hour from your workplace? What if the property has a terrible floor plan, is in the flight path for a major airport, or occasionally gets a whiff of the sewage treatment plant? When you purchase, it’s important that you take all of these issues into consideration rather than focusing exclusively on the price. A property with any of these types of problems will be harder to sell in the future.
It’s important to consider the price in conjunction with the quality and the convenience of your lifestyle once you move in. For example, an extra 30-minute commute over a number of years can easily chew through thousands of dollars in terms of your vehicle costs, not to mention the wear and tear from the additional stress of commuting.
There are good distressed property deals out there. Nevertheless, don’t limit your search. Have your agent show you seller-occupied homes that are not distressed properties. Thirty-five percent of all properties are owned free and clear. These properties are often lovingly maintained, in top-notch condition, and in more desirable locations. In the long run, they may be a much better bargain.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success” and other books.
Once again we have a lot going on this week in South Tahoe. Here are a few ideas if you are looking for something to do.
- Nov 11 Veterans Day ceremony 11-11:30am at the American Legion Post #795 located at 2748 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Rain or Shine
- Nov 12-14 “The Importance of Being Earnest” playing at the Lake Tahoe Community College Duke Theater at 8pm. For more information please call the Duke Theatre Box Office at 530-541-4660 x207.
- Nov 12 Mt. Tallac Leadership fundraising event at Chevys Fresh Mex. 25% fo the total will be donated to this local school. 4-9pm located at 3678 Lake Tahoe Blvd. This is a super fun way to enjoy a great dinner and support our local youth.
- Nov 13 Tahoe Senior Plaza yearly Craft, Bake and Rummage Sale. Stars at 9am. For more info call 530-542-7048.
- Nov 13 The 39th annual “An Evening of Food and Wine Tasting” presented by Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe. Food, wine, silent auction and more. Tickets at 866-801-8652.
- Nov 14th Friends of the Library Book Sale at the El Dorado County Branch Library. Located at 3300 Lake Tahoe Blvd from 10-3. For more info call 530-542-2857.
These are just some ideas. Hope you have a great week. Possible snow tomorrow!!!! Wax the boards and skis.