1. Make Something That's Truly Yours

When I imagine a dream home, I think of a house that has me written all over it.  A home is a reflection of who you are, you can really make whatever you want if you decide to build.  My great grandfather built his own house.  Everything from the foundation to the actual bricks were made by him.  He's long since passed but the house still feels like his.  There are little things like the height of the spigot in the shower (he was a very tall man) and a beautiful courtyard that could only he and my grandma would have thought of.   Everything is so perfectly tailored to my grandparents that even years after they're gone you still get a sense of their personality and all of our family members who have lived there too.  With building you have a chance to create a legacy to share with your family and friends for generations to come.


2.  Updating Can Be Just as Costly

One of the biggest expenses homeowners face, especially in Lake Tahoe is the recurring hassle of upgrading their homes.  The City of South Lake Tahoe pledged in April of this year to have %100 renewable energy throughout the entire community by 2032.  With the way that the Tahoe area is constantly evolving to become a more sustainable place to live and play there are many new laws and regulations to keep up with each year.  Not only is updating an existing structure a pain, but the money you lose while your home isn't energy efficient can really put a dent in your budget.  When building your home think about ways to create a home with a small eco footprint.  Installing solar panels or energy efficient construction can even make you money.  Not only will you be helping to keep Lake Tahoe the pristine playground we know and love, you'll feel better saving time and money!


3. Get That New Home Smell

During every escrow it is advisable to get inspections done.  A home inspection can reveal all sorts of issues on an older home, problems with the roof, foundation, flooring, and just about anything you could think of that could go wrong in a home.  You have a chance to submit a request for repairs but it is up to the sellers to do them.  Even if they do, sometimes these repairs are made hastily and at the lowest cost.  If so, you could be looking at problems down the line.  In addition to the home inspection, you have the pest inspection to contend with.  Finding spider's nests, termites, or carpenter ants can really dampen the mood when thinking about moving into your new home.  These pesky little creatures can cause structural damage and be a general nuisance to live around or manage.  If you elect to build your own home, you avoid all of these problems.  Make sure to do your research on a good builder and architect.  Reach out to their references and get any info you can to make sure you're in good hands.  Homes in Tahoe go through a lot with the heavy winters we've seen recently.  If your home is sturdy and well thought out, you'll avoid a lot of problems in the future.


4. Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

If you're going to buy a lot and build your own home, chances are you're looking to make this an investment property.  The restrictions on vacation rentals in South Lake Tahoe are getting tighter and tighter of late.  There are new parking rules and neighborhood saturation just to name a couple.  Here in Lake Tahoe we have the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency too, so that adds a whole other aspect to updating an older structure.  There are restrictions on everything from land coverage to fence height.  When building your own home you have all of these things laid out ahead of time so you can work within the restrictions that are already in place.  If your coverage is 2,000 square feet, you have all that space to do whatever you want with instead of trying to work around what's already there!  In addition, when building a vacation home you can make sure all of your ducks are in a row with the TRPA before going to get your permit.  Not only is applying a little easier, but newly constructed homes have a better occupancy rate than older cabins in Tahoe.  People vacationing here are looking for the best experience possible.  You don't want your guests encountering spiders or having issues with old appliances.  Older homes are cute and may even have that old Tahoe flavor, but that only goes so far when talking about comfort and salability.


Building a home is not for everyone.  You need a lot of patience, money, and attention to detail.  However, if this is sounding like something you'd like to look into let us know!  I've been a Real Estate agent in South Lake Tahoe for over 20 years.  Check out my experience here and take a look at the vacant lot listings that are available in the Tahoe area below.