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Incline Village and Crystal Bay Housing Update

July 27, 2022 | John Crockett

Lofty prices, low inventory, and a fast rising cost of living are housing market factors that are not unique to Incline Village.  While these conditions exist nationwide, additional impacts from second home owners now occupying properties year-round and the beauty magnet that is Lake Tahoe place additional strain on buyers.  As interest rates continue to climb the number of listings are increasing, some with price cuts, although a seller’s market persists in Incline Village and Crystal Bay.     

Currently in Incline Village and Crystal Bay, there are 102 single family residences and just 49 condominiums on the market, according to Gail Krolick with Alpine Realty.  At a time when the market is seasonally more active, these figures surprise Incline Board of Realtors President Brad Lewis.  “Pre-2020 we would see at least 75% more inventory listed in the single family residence category.”  And for condominiums?  “There ought to be closer to 90 of those property types listed.  The market has gone haywire.”

Also lower compared to pre-pandemic is the average days on the market for these listings.  In past years, a listing in Incline Village and Crystal Bay area could be on the market for 100 days or more, given the smaller base of buyers and higher tolerance on both sides of the transaction.  “The tolerance has shifted,” says Lewis.  “Everything is turned upside down.  The numbers show that things are selling much more quickly.  The pace of which, particularly in the condo category, units are going on the market and flying right off…it’s quite interesting to watch.”  The average number of days on the market is 35 days for single family residences (52 days for condos), a mark well below historical averages for the area.

The Bay Area and San Diego are traditional feeder markets for Incline Village and Crystal Bay but Lewis is also seeing more buyers coming from the pacific northwest and Texas.  “Buyers coming from out of market are saying, ‘It’s the time.’  The world has had this paradigm shift and if I can work remotely, why not the paradise that is Incline Village,” says Lewis.  

Krolick has also noticed more second-home owners occupying their properties.  “People were leasing their homes that they were using once or twice a year.”  But after 2020, “they’re living here now, they like Incline, and are here year-round.  But it’s still a seller’s market.”  

And as with other resort communities in the west such as Bear, Breckenridge, and Jackson, the area has experienced substantial median price increases.  The median sale price for a single family residence went from $1.1 million in 2020 to $2.47 million in 2022 (a 125% increase), while condos rose from $500,000 to $765,000 over that time (a 53% increase).  Combine rapid appreciation with rising interest rates and buying power is reduced for those who may not have the buying power of those driving this voracious market.

“The monthly mortgage payment today compared to that same home a year ago, the effect of cost increase, between appreciation and interest rates, is actually 55% more expensive this year.  That’s a compounding factor, it’s really significant,” says Lewis.  In terms of housing affordability in this community for locals and employees, “there are forces beyond our control.”

Gail Krolick does see the challenge for buyers looking to break into the Incline market.  “I do worry about first-time home buyers but there are options.  If you save properly, you can make it happen.”  This decrease in buying power will be exacerbated by another interest rate increase announced today by the Federal Reserve at their July meeting.  As more buyers give pause, expect to see more listings, some price cuts, and a slight increase in the number of days on the market for the Incline Village and Crystal Bay housing market.       

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Business Profile: Elko James

July 7, 2022 | Kayla Anderson

THERE ARE FEW PEOPLE that exemplify the Tahoe region and the reasons so many people are drawn to it in the way that Aaron James does. Aaron, or as he is far better known, Elko, is an accidental namesake of the rural town in Nevada which he grew up near. Elko moved to Tahoe in the fall of ‘98 to attend Sierra Nevada College. Upon moving here, he was almost exclusively referred to as the kid from Elko and the name stuck. He was studying ski resort management and also coaching the SNC ski team. Skiing was, and still is absolutely his ‘thing’, but school was less so. Given that, Elko left school and began working for the golf course in the summer, continued coaching skiing in the winter, and also began working for Village Ski Loft. Today, Elko is part owner of Village Ski Loft and is involved in many community projects and development related to the recreational opportunities that Village Ski Loft supports through their retail store. 

Elko and the staff at Village Ski Loft know and understand their customers’ needs on skis and bikes because they are passionate about the sports themselves. Elko is adamant that Village Ski Loft has experienced such longevity in Incline because of the quality of their tech work and the knowledge that every team member has related to the sports they promote and all of the equipment that they sell. For instance, when he is not working at the store, Elko ‘practices what he preaches’ or in this case what he sells at the store. Elko is a very avid and talented skier and mountain biker. He first skied when he was only 7 or 8 years old when his mom introduced him to the sport that would forever change his life. His favorite pastimes are shared with his two young daughters, 11 and 14, who started on snow at even younger ages. Both Daisy and Ashlyn are competitive athletes on the mountain year-round, in the winter in the snow on their skis, and in the summer on their bikes in the dirt. Elko’s wife, Feather, is a pharmacy tech in Kings Beach and also participates in all of the family recreational hobbies. 

While Village Ski Loft does more business and serves more clients in the winter, Elko himself has done a lot for the local mountain bike community. Elko is a former member of the TAMBA Mountain Bike Board and the store is an adopter of a section of the Tyrolean downhill trail. Additionally, Elko was one of the founding members of the Incline Bike Project which, with the help of various community entities and individuals, helped raise the funds for the Incline Bike Park which opened in 2017. Today, Elko is still a member of the Incline Tahoe Foundation. 

Twenty years have now come and gone for Elko at Village Ski Loft. He has seen a lot of changes with possibly more on the forefront. No matter how our town changes, Elko is certain that the stores commitment to its customers and ability to build and maintain relationships so residents can enjoy the recreation that brought and kept him here, is a commitment that not only won’t change, it will continue to differentiate Village Ski Loft from other retailers. 

Visit Village Ski Loft in person (Tahoe Blvd & Southwood) or online at villageskiloft.com 

*This article was originally published in the summer 2022 issue of IVCBA’s magazine, LIVE.WORK.PLAY. You can view the current issue as well as past issues at https://issuu.com/justimagine/stacks/595665ce24e24423b787c94c1f982deb

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The Local Lens – Sounds of Summer

July 6, 2022 | Linda Offerdahl

My all-time favorite thing to do in the summer is to listen to music in an outdoor setting, even better if I can dance. July kicks off the summer music season in Incline Village. No matter where you go, whether it’s the beach or the Classical Tahoe Pavilion on the campus of UNR, formerly SNU, you are bound to find something you like.

The Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor is famous for its Monday concert series, the Mama Mia show this year and of course, this year’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. Founder Mike Chamberlain assures me that the picnic tables are back, along with food from Brimm’s Catering Co. Yum! The Reno Phil presents its annual Broadway concert on Monday, July 11. 

MUSIC ON THE BEACH…Incline Beach, every Wednesday and Friday next to the Barefoot Bar. This is VERY popular! Mr. Tahoe, our very own Darin Talbot plays on the Sierra Cloud Wednesday – Saturday on the 5pm cruise. Does it get any better than that? He’s everywhere this summer…the Hyatt, Glasses Wine Bar, and Fredrick’s too.


SNU is now UNR! Thank you to the transition team headed up by Dr. Jill Heaton and Sue Johnson. The University of Nevada Reno is committed to strong community engagement with plans to continue such events as the summer concert series by Classical Tahoe.


The Washoe Tahoe Housing Partnership is looking into the need for a shuttle for employees living in Carson City and Reno while working in Incline Village Crystal Bay. Please help us understand the current need by asking your employees to take the survey. If you are commuting to Incline for work, please take this very important survey before Friday  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YFPH7TC


Too numerous to mention, but you know who you are. Thank you! Pulling together to decorate the town and the parade route, decorating floats and cars to be in the parade, organizing events, and those who helped clean up and take down decor. It takes a Village!

I’m off to Minnesota for a couple of weeks! No SnapShot next week. The Local Lens will be back on July 27. Have a safe and ‘sound’ July, Incline Village/Crystal Bay. 

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2022 Local Heroes Parade Marshall – AJ Banford, A Seasoned Veteran

July 1, 2022 | Linda Offerdahl

The Local Heroes parade organizers are proud to announce that AJ Banford has been selected as the 2022 Parade Marshal.  He is a longtime resident of Incline Village and a member of the Incline Village Veterans Club.

AJ Banford is a 1962 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He took his commission in the US Navy and served a combat tour in South Vietnam, flying Huey gunships for the Navy Seawolves HAL 3. He received the following medals while serving; Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, Air Medals, and Combat Air Crew Wings.

After serving in the Navy, AJ moved to Incline Village and worked with Boise Cascade. In 1975 AJ accepted a position as an adviser to the Saudi Arabia National Guard. In 1976 AJ became partner and general manager of the North Shore Club Casino. Three years later he formed The Radford Company, a full service, independent mortgage company, based in Incline Village; which he has owned and operated for forty-three years.

As a three-time-wounded warrior, he volunteers his service as a counselor for the Veterans Administration’s PTSD rehab program in Reno. He is a member of the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Veterans club. He lives in Incline Village with his wife Karen Dennison.

The Local Heroes parade is on July 2 at 10 am. It starts at 893 Southwood and continues along Southwood to Incline Bowl where it turns left on Incline to the Village Green. The parade is organized by IVCBA and the Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline. Many people are involved in planning it, but Jeff Sheldon, who, along with his wife Pam, was involved with running the Rose Parade in Southern California, is the acknowledged leader of the parade staging and execution.

Note: Every year the Local Heroes Parade committee chooses a local veteran to be honored as the Parade Marshal. Jeff Poindexter was last year’s marshal.

Get all the info re: Local Heroes 4th of July Celebration Weekend: https://www.4thofjulytahoe.com

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