Thinking of buying a slope-side multi-million-dollar home in Lake Tahoe this ski season? Take a number.
High demand combined with little to no inventory has slope-side (ski-in/ski-out) buyers waiting months for properties to come on the market. Historic snow levels—Tahoe received nearly 18 feet powder in December—continue to stoke an over-the-top demand for prime slope-side homes.
“We have so little inventory compared to other ski resorts around the country. That’s in part because much of the land here is owned by the forest service,” explains Jeff Brown owner and general manager of Tahoe Mountain Realty.
Don’t expect slope-side properties to come on the market anytime soon. Brown explains, “owners don’t often decide to sell until the end of ski-season. Typically, owners get through winter, and then evaluate either the income received or the utility of the property as to how much they used it.” Most Tahoe ski resorts close mid to late April.
Mountainside at Northstar is where you’ll find luxury slope-side homes. Think expansive townhomes at about 4,000 square feet with listing prices in the $4 million-and-up range.
“These properties are largely duplexes and townhomes that are so architecturally sophisticated they live like single-family homes,” Brown said.
Features include state-of-the-art kitchens, home theatres, fire pits and bunk rooms for the kids. There are numerous decks, some of which are equipped with spas. “Of course, the homes have lots of glass everywhere to take in spectacular views. All the decks and driveways are cleared when it snows,” Brown adds. Plus, HOA payments cover exterior maintenance.
One community seeing increased interest is the Home Run Townhomes collection inside Mountainside at Northstar. The 16-residence development in one of California’s top ski resorts saw one of its properties trade hands in December for nearly the $4.995-million asking price. Located directly on Home Run Ski Way, All Home Run townhomes have green LEED certification, a U.S. Green Building Council designation. The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is a short walk or a Gondola ride away.
The majority of slope-side buyers are from the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. “We get young tech families who want to be on the mountain for their kids to be involved with various ski programs. Parents like the convenience and security of knowing the kids can easily ski home and to the lifts. The kids like the independence,” said Brown.
According to Brown, full-season rentals on these prime slope-side properties bring in revenues that can reach $200,000. “We always have buyers asking about rental income initially. Then maybe about 50% of slope-side buyers do decide to rent their homes during ski season to justify their expenses.”
Overall, the Tahoe market is coming off of one of its best years to date. Approximately half of all property sales in 2021 were for $1 million or more. Several high-end property sales in resort communities helped establish new micro-markets. It’s impossible not to be inspired by these residences, which range from grand lakefront properties to modern marvels in breathtaking Mountainside at Northstar community.