Sunday, March 30, 2014

Moving To Tahoe

Thinking of moving to Tahoe? There are few things in life more exciting! Most Tahoe locals were not born here. Most came for the beauty, the recreation, the mountain lifestyle. Today’s local is a former visitor who took one too many vacations to the Big Lake In The Sky, and they got the strong desire to try life where you live in a spectacular environment year ‘round, rather than merely coming to that environment on vacation.
Of course, there are a hundred major questions to answer before making the jump. This post will attempt to answer some of them.
I’ll begin with some information about various areas in Tahoe and then talk a bit about jobs and housing.

Tahoe has many different neighborhoods and several towns, and which is best depends on your needs. Here is a quick rundown of the various areas of Tahoe.

West Shore
View of Tahoe from Homewood ski resort on the West Shore

West Shore residents love to say the West Shore is the Best Shore, a sentiment that parallels the pride that all of Tahoe’s neighborhoods share to some degree. The West Shore may have the longest average family history for any given home, with many cabins and estates remaining in the same families for multiple generations.
The West Shore is laid-back,  quiet, and has little traffic as long as you stay off Highway 89 during July and August.
In the winter, Emerald Bay is often closed due to avalanche hazard, eliminating north-south drive-through traffic for days and even weeks at a time.
The West Shore has some fine restaurants, marinas, good hiking, and decent public access to lake front. Proximity to Emerald Bay and its spectacular hiking is one attraction of the West Shore, although it should be noted that even more people access it from the South Shore.
If there is a downside to life on the West Shore, it would be its lack of accessibility. Don’t expect to find easy jobs, or hot night spots on the West Shore. Look at the community of Tahoma and its cute general store to see if this is what you’d love or not. The coming Homewood development will bring some controversial modernity and some related service-industry jobs, but that still won’t be enough to allow one to move to the West Shore and expect to find work.
You might think you can live on the West Shore and drive elsewhere to work, but in reality, that is difficult. Highway 89 is the only significant traffic artery, and it is clogged during tourist season (July and August and Christmas week), and as previously mentioned, the highway is often closed to the south during heavy snowloads above Emerald Bay. This matters, because the South Shore has the most jobs, but if you can't get there, you're out of luck.
The West Shore also has the most snow on average of all of Tahoe’s areas, a blessing for those who love quiet, romantic, snowed-in evenings by the fire. But there are areas with steep roads - such as above Rubicon Bay - where the residents avoid ever coming in the winter because if it is snowing, they can’t get to their homes! Or if they are there when it begins snowing, they can’t leave until the roads have melted.
For skiers, The West Shore also has Homewood ski area, perhaps the best deal in all of Tahoe. It doesn’t look like much from the highway, but don’t let that fool you. It is a large area, and its slopes are closer to the lake than any other area, giving it astonishing lake views from the ski runs.
If you ask West Shore people what they like best about their area, they will commonly talk about the cozy neighborhood, bike trails, the summer-cabin-yesteryear feel, the feeling that they can let their kids explore during the day without worrying that they will get into trouble.

North Shore
The beach in Kings Beach

Like all of Tahoe, the North Shore is a collection of communities with a mix of old cabins and modern mansions. Much of the North Shore is quite ritzy, with housing prices to match (whether you want to rent or purchase). Unlike the West Shore, the North Shore has several small towns stretching from Tahoe City to Tahoe Vista, Kings Beach, Crystal Bay and Incline Village. Of those, Incline Village is more of a real town in terms of more numerous housing stock, many more businesses, and Sierra Nevada College, a four-year school with some graduate programs.
Jobs are more plentiful than on the West and East Shores, and the number of full-time residents on the North Shore is several times greater. The North Shore is accessed by three highways coming into the Tahoe Basin, so getting in and out is easier, and it is somewhat more reasonable to commute to jobs outside of the Tahoe Basin. Some people commute as far as Reno, but they usually end up moving out of the basin or finding a different source of income so they don’t have to deal with tourist traffic in the summer and snowstorms in the winter.
Like the West Shore, the North Shore has a two-lane highway that can become quite crowded during tourist season, so a little planning is necessary if you head out during the busy times.
If you ask North Shore people what they like best about their area, they often mention the wide range of restaurants, beaches and walkable neighborhoods, accessibility to Truckee as well as the north Tahoe ski areas of Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Northstar, Diamond Peak, and Mt. Rose.
People in the Incline Village area also appreciate the cultural advantages of having Sierra Nevada College in their town.
Further, Incline residents appreciate how quickly they can get to Reno for the Reno/Tahoe airport, shopping, doctors, etc. (Although this doesn’t apply when it is snowing!)

East Shore
Think West Shore with 1/3rd the snow and few of the neighborhoods full of small, old cabins. The northern portion of the East Shore (40,000+ acres of land from Sand Harbor to just north of Glenbrook) was once owned by George Whittell, who built the Thunderbird Mansion in the '30s. That land is now owned by the Nevada State Park system.
The people who live on the East Shore are in communities on the south portion of the East Shore from Glenbrook to Cave Rock to Hidden Woods to Skyland to Zephyr Cove/Zephyr Heights to Round Hill.
The East Shore is pretty much residential only. The closest shopping is the Round Hill neighborhood where there is a Safeway supermarket. For more than that, you’ll have to drive to the South Shore or head off the mountain and go down to Carson City. If housing costs are a major concern, you won’t find much in the way of inexpensive cabins on the East Shore.
People who live on the East Shore cite as advantages the world’s greatest view (The Sierra Crest across the lake), proximity to Carson CIty and Reno (accessed by freeway most of the way), and the least snow in Tahoe. (Locals call the East Shore the Banana Belt for its sunnier, less-snowy winters.)

South Shore
Telephoto view of the big South Shore hotels with Mt. Tallac in the background

The South Shore is Tahoe’s only small city, and that brings a range of advantages and disadvantages. South Lake Tahoe (on the California side) and Stateline (on the Nevada side) have a combined year-’round population close to 35,000, which is about 70% of all the people who live in the Basin. If you want those things that come with population (jobs, shopping, more housing choices) then the South Shore is for you. If you want those things that population eliminates (quiet, few people, more exclusive neighborhoods) then the South Shore is not for you. Although it is worth noting that people on the South Shore would say that compared to life in any big city, the South Shore is quiet and has few people. The South Shore does have more vehicles than the rest of the basin, but the main artery through town is four lanes. South Shore residents often notice that the two-lane highway through Tahoe City is slower than the four-lane traffic on the South Shore.
Whether you are renting or buying, the South Shore has the most affordable housing in Tahoe, although there are plenty of opportunities to spend millions if you want to go upscale.
Whether you are looking for a job or planning to start a business, the South Shore has the most opportunities.
People who live on the South Shore say that they like the wider choices of housing, the fact that they can often obtain items and services locally that other Tahoe residents have to drive out of the Tahoe Basin to acquire, more plentiful jobs, a large number of restaurants, and quick access to Sacramento and points west. (North Tahoe residents have to first drive to Truckee and then take I-80 to Sacramento.) (Remember that when it is snowing, there is no quick access anywhere in Tahoe.) Unlike the rest of the basin, the South Shore also has some night spots. (One gentleman who used to own a vacation home in Alpine Meadows on the North Shore told me that his kids call the North Shore the “Dead Shore” because they didn’t think there was anything to do there at night. So he sold his vacation home and got a place on the South Shore because his kids think it is the “Alive Shore.”)
For some South Shore residents, simply being able to drive down the street to get a particular bit of home hardware or computer device or specialized car repair service or having a lumber yard or hospital emergency room close by makes living on the South Shore easier than in other parts of Tahoe.
Like Incline Village with Sierra Nevada College, the South Shore also has the Lake Tahoe Community College, and it serves as a cultural center of the South Shore.

“Tahoe” Areas Outside of the Tahoe Basin
You don’t have to actually live in Tahoe to enjoy its life style. Many people identify with Tahoe even though they live or work outside of the basin.
Residents of Truckee and Squaw Valley and Northstar and the new Martis Valley developments often think of themselves as living in Tahoe, and they are close enough to enjoy all of the advantages that Tahoe offers.
Truckee is a cool, old railroad town just 12 miles north of Tahoe

I once met a group of women from Truckee (a dozen miles downstream from the Tahoe Basin) who said, with good reason, that they lived in the Tahoe area. And when our conversation turned to other Tahoe neighborhoods, they said that it was their opinion that South Lake Tahoe (which is right on the lake) wasn’t really a “Tahoe” area. I’m not sure, but I think their perception was codespeak for feeling that the South Shore wasn’t sufficiently upper-crust enough to qualify as “Tahoe.”
When you open the beautiful, glossy Tahoe Quarterly magazine, you often see advertisements for beautiful “Tahoe” housing developments that are actually in Truckee or the Martis Valley to the north or even down near Montreux Country Club real estate just out of Reno, none of which are within the Tahoe Basin.
Nice property at Martis Camp, just north of Tahoe

Carson Valley below and to the east of the South Shore is a rapidly-gentrifying ranching area with the towns of Minden and Gardnerville. Like Carson City to the north, many aspects of their location are described regarding their proximity to Tahoe. There are a large number of people who live in Carson Valley and commute up Kingsbury Grade to jobs on the South Shore. There are also many former Tahoe residents who’ve moved to Carson Valley in order to be close to what they love but without having to shovel much snow.
Carson Valley is east of Tahoe. This picture shows how the lake sits above the valley.

Kirkwood ski area (recently purchased by Vail Resorts to join their Northstar and Heavenly portfolio) is about 40 minutes by car from the South Shore, and it is another “Tahoe” area with full-time residents. 
(For those who are interested, Kirkwood is a small, exclusive, ski resort community, and it is generally more expensive than Tahoe. It is also snowed in as often as Emerald Bay. Don’t move to Kirkwood if you want to be able to commute out.)
Kirkwood is a classic little ski town just 40 minutes south of Tahoe

Reno and Sparks are twin cities in the same valley, and you can’t tell where one stops and the other begins. The Reno Sparks metropolitan area has approximately 400,000 people, so it has the same advantages of most big cities. 
Years ago, Reno changed the name of their airport to the Reno/Tahoe International Airport, leading to some confusion for travelers who deplane on the desert and look around for a huge lake that is out of sight 30 miles away and 2000 feet up into the mountains to the southwest. Many people who would like the Tahoe experience might want to live and work in the Reno area and drive up the mountain for their recreation. In fact, the last time I was at Sand Harbor on the East Shore, all the people I heard nearby had driven up from Reno. Some of our famous “Tahoe” Olympians actually live in Reno. When the roads are dry, Reno is only an hour away from several ski resorts.

Housing is substantially less to rent or buy in Carson City or Reno than it is in Tahoe. (But housing is not less expensive in Truckee.)
Reno with its backdrop of mountains to the southwest. Mt. Rose Ski Resort is on the left. Mt. Rose is on the right. On the other side of those is the Tahoe Basin.

For most people, the first question they have when thinking about moving to Tahoe is how to earn a living. “Sure, Tahoe is a great place to hang, but are there any jobs?” I’ve dealt with that in some depth in an earlier post here.
To briefly summarize, there are many entry-level jobs clustered in the hospitality industry, and they are easy to get. In addition, those jobs often allow for promotion, i.e., there are executives working for Vail Resorts who started out as liftees. There are fewer jobs that allow you to earn a middle class income, but those too can be had if you have the appropriate skills and education. If you have a nursing degree, or are a certified teacher, or a skilled carpenter, Tahoe is the same as any other community. With persistence and patience, you can often land a good job.
And of course, professionals are always in demand. Every community needs doctors, dentists, attorneys, architects. It is common knowledge that professionals in Tahoe may not command the same fees as in San Francisco, but for those who live in Tahoe, that seems a reasonable compromise to live in such a spectacular place.
Tahoe is also a fantastic place to start your own business. If you have the knowledge, ambition, and some capital, Tahoe can be a great place to start a restaurant, a tour guide service, a clothing boutique, a construction company, or a B & B.
Last, if you have skills that are non-location-specific, then Tahoe beckons. Tahoe has more than its share of writers, artists, designers, recording artists, and software engineers.

To rent or buy is one question. Where to do it is the next question.
In the Tahoe Basin, there are no “really bad” neighborhoods, and there are dozens of good neighborhoods. If you want to rank neighborhoods by their relative merits, the simplest way is to choose a given type of housing - let’s say, a typical 3-2-2 house (three bed, two bath, and two-car garage) - and compare prices from one neighborhood to the next. Many realtor websites group listings by neighborhoods, which makes it easy. Where prices are higher for a given type of property, the neighborhood likely has more to offer. Of course, just because people are paying higher prices in a neighborhood doesn’t mean that you’ll like it better, but you get the idea.
In general, housing is least expensive on the South Shore. Although the South Shore also has its share of very expensive homes.

Tahoe real estate is like that in many resort communities. When general real estate is on an upswing, Tahoe booms even more. When general real estate falls, Tahoe falls even harder.
As with any area, if you buy and plan to hold for the long term, you will likely do very well. If you buy hoping to flip a property in a year or two, you might lose a great deal.
Pricing ebbs and flows with the time, but you can usually expect Tahoe/Truckee property to be less expensive than comparable property in the Bay Area and more expensive than in Sacramento, Reno, and Carson City. Here is a previous post with some real estate info.

Often, people intending to eventually buy will start out by renting in order to get a feel for the various areas. But for many younger people, renting is the only reasonable option.
Finding a rental apartment (Tahoe has very few apartments - most housing is houses) or house is the same as in any community. Get online and plan to spend plenty of time on Craigslist and rental management sites. Take notes. Read reviews. Study blogs and the comments that people post on them. Cross reference interesting housing locations with your most promising job locations.
Consider a trial move for a few months to try out an area before you sign a year-long lease.
Get on social media to find friends and connections in the Tahoe/Truckee/Reno/Carson City area.
If you plan to take a vacation to Tahoe before you move, do some advance homework so you have a plan of where and how you’re going to check out employment and housing opportunities.
You can also check out “roommate-wanted” ads. Sharing lodgings provides the additional advantage in that you also benefit from the local expertise of your roommates.
Note that you can do all of this very cheaply if you plan ahead. If you come in the summer, you can also stay at one of the many campgrounds around the lake. You need not buy any food outside of grocery stores and thus can sample Tahoe very cheaply, and begin to put down roots.
A few caveats: As always, it is difficult to find rental housing if you have pets. It is also very difficult to find rental housing if you don’t have a job. Any job, even an entry-level job as a liftee on the chairlifts, will make a huge difference. Present yourself professionally in your email presentation as well as in your personal presentation.

Moving to Tahoe is very much like moving most places. Be thorough in your planning and you will have a great experience. Come on up the mountain! We'd love to have you join us!


  1. Just came across your blog! Very good information! I went there on vacation 10 years ago and never forgot how beautiful it was. In fact, I have a postcard of the lake on my fridge from then that I look at and dream about! I have lived in the same tiny town in Texas all my life and just got laid off from a computer teaching job at a technical college that hired me first out of my college 14 years ago. Having trouble finding work right now and have always dreamed of relocating to a place like that and start over. Still young enough to do so I think, but scared. Don't know a soul there and don't have a clue what I could do to make a living as I have only worked in a college but acquired lots of skills otherwise. Your information is very inspiring though and your books look very interesting...thank you again!

  2. Hi Duston,

    Most of us who live in Tahoe were in your situation at some point. If you want to move, this may be the best time ever. If you're from a small town in Texas, you will find relatively many job opportunities here, especially in Reno. Because of the new investments that Apple, Amazon, Tesla and other big firms have made and are making in the Reno/Sparks area, many more job opportunities are coming.

    This is especially true in the computer/tech world. Reno also has UNR (University of Nevada - Reno) and several smaller schools, so there are many teaching opportunities.

    You could probably arrange some interviews and come here and get a job before moving.

    Or you could just do what we did. Jump in and you'll likely find you can swim just fine. It doesn't take much of a savings account to move if you keep a low expense profile until you find employment. For that matter, if you room with other people (look on Craigslist for Reno), and if you're willing to initially take a job in the service/hospitality industry, (i.e., think bar tending or waiting tables or working at a ski resort) while you look for a computer/tech/teaching job, then you will find it easy.

    After you're in the area, then you can explore up at the lake and see what opportunities you can find and/or make in one of the communities in the Tahoe Basin..

    Good luck!


  3. Me and a couple buddies are planning on making the jump and moving to south lake tahoe very soon. We are saving our money at the moment and want to try and find a place to rent so we all can live together. any tips on finding a quick summer job when we get there and maybe a place to live would be very helpful. There are three of us and we are all twenty-two years old. Thanks

    1. Hey Danny,
      Glad to hear you are coming our way!
      The easiest jobs to get are in the Hospitality Industry. Think restaurants, hotels, tour services, biking-boating, anyplace that caters to tourists.
      For job listings, look at Craigs List Reno/Tahoe, Tahoe Mountain News, Tahoe Daily Tribune.
      Here's a blogpost I did on jobs:
      For living quarters, check the same places. Plan to share an apartment or small house. And remember to leave your pets at home as most landlords won't accept them. After you are established, you can find a pet-friendly place.
      Good luck!

  4. Born and raised in NorCal I have visited the Tahoe area many times, first as a child with my parents and later as an adult with my own family. It has always been one of my favorite places on earth and I have wanted to live there as long as I can remember. Unfortunately that hasn't happened...yet. Now that we are in our late 60's my husband and I have decided that we are finally going to try to make this (crazy?) dream of our ours come true. Admittedly, we are a little scared. Not sure how we will deal with the winters or if Tahoe at our stage in life is even somewhat feasible. But, along with fear comes we are off on a new adventure. Thank You for your concise synopsis of the area. We are concentrating on SLT because it's just big enough to have the amenities we want and may need (Dr's, hospital, shopping, etc) and still have that small town/village feel. What do you think? Is there room for a couple more Seniors who are still looking for a little excitement in life? :)

    1. Hi Vickie,

      No, you are not crazy to move to Tahoe in your late 60s! You will probably think it's one of the smartest moves you ever made.

      All you need to do to cope with winter is remember that you can't count on getting out the morning after a storm. That's it. Take your time to let your snow service come and clear the berm or run your own snowblower.

      We have many people who have moved to Tahoe when they retired, and they love it. You will, too!


  5. Hoping to move back to alter in April, spent childhood summers there and lived there for 3 yrs back in 87-91. I live in Santa Cruz now and love it but so expensive. I work two jobs barely making ends meet. How hard would it be to find a job there before I get there. I work as a manager at taco bell now. I won't have allot of money to move so need to start work asap. I really want to make this happen. I'm a single 54 yr oldwomen any advice aappreciated.

    1. Hi Diane,
      You can certainly find good job prospects before you move by search on the Reno/Tahoe Craigslist. Here's the link:
      There are quite a few jobs posted for the Tahoe Basin, more near Reno. Remember that Reno is only an hour from North Tahoe and 90 minutes from South Tahoe. Reno housing is less expensive. So while you can probably find a job and housing in Tahoe if you're focused, Reno makes a very good entry point for Tahoe.
      I recommend making your calls and setting up appointments before you move. Try to make it so you can take a short job-hunting break, coming to our area for several days. Plan to stay in a cheap motel to scout for housing and a job. If you are successful, great. If not, plan a second trip. Tahoe is only 5 hours from Santa Cruz.
      If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen.
      Good luck!

  6. I'm not sure if this post is still active... But we are planning on moving to South Lake Tahoe in the next coming months. Looking for a family based community like an HOA environment. Is there anything like that in South lake? And probably around 800,000 so not up there but mid way. We want the community. Playground, pool ect... Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Deanna,
      Check out the Tahoe Keys. They have all of what you mentioned.
      Here's their website:
      The Tahoe Keys is an upscale, friendly neighborhood with every kind of amenity, including, especially, access to the lake!
      People on the South Shore consider "The Keys" one of the best neighborhoods in Tahoe.
      Good luck!

    2. Thank you so much!! We are looking at the keys now. We should be up shortly to look at some homes! Excited! Thank you for your advise!

  7. Hi, thinking about retiring to South Lake Tahoe, however we don't know a soul. We have the housing taken care of want to make sure we can meet people and enjoy friends once in awhile. Were both 60 and very active, any ideas how to meet and integrate into the community.

    1. Hi Greg,
      This is such a great question, I've decided to do a blog post on it, and it is scheduled for August 21st. I've got lots of ideas in it, but basically, I'm going over how to find people and groups of people who like to do what you like to do. Check it out August 21st.
      Thanks for the great question.

  8. Reading your blog for the second time, two years later, I still think about moving to Lake Tahoe with my young daughter. I had visited once 6 years ago during summer and I haven't been back since, yet still enchanted. While trying to figure out which part without knowing anything, the questions I'm raising are what would best for her so she can be around other kids and concerning her education from elementary school and up, which area is most prone to a good public education, where would be best to be for frequent access to cultural events. Would extra curricular activities such as dance, music, swimming classes be accessible? Will there be an environment where children play outside with very little to worry about and have plenty of space to explore on their own? Also where would it be safer and easier for a single mother to be, are there sweet spots that housing is within a walkable distance to large areas surrounded by shops stores and restaurants? I have a first feeling that SLT is answering most of the questions but I'm unsure if the education and youth events are thriving elsewhere. I do share the fear and excitement cocktail that other readers have mentioned. I would like to visit during end of year holidays but it seems to be hard to find affordable housing during that period (tips?). Many Thanks! A.

    1. Hi A, Sorry for the delayed response. I've been a bit buried with my next book. In answer to your questions, I think that for the range of your desires, the most populated areas will have the most possibilities. Thus, South Lake Tahoe would be first, followed by Incline Village. Unfortunately, almost no Tahoe communities are especially walkable in the winter. And within each town are areas that are more family friendly and those that are more focused on vacation homes. I think the best thing is to first find housing possibilities and then to research the area by walking the neighborhood and noticing if there are other families with kids, nearby schools, shops etc. If you walk neighborhoods in the summer, then you can ask other people you see about the neighborhood. You may find it especially useful to speak to parents of kids in any given neighborhood. They will tell you the pros and cons. Because so many Tahoe neighborhoods - especially the more upscale ones - are 75% vacation homes, they often are relatively empty. If you go to working class neighborhoods, where locals live, you will find more kids and less expensive housing. For example, on the South Shore, the Gardner Mountain neighborhood and Sierra Tract neighborhood both have a higher percentage of houses where people live all year. They still have quite a few nice vacation homes, but they are more kid-friendly environments. Again, spending time walking neighborhoods tells you more about it than any rental agent will. Unfortunately, affordability is an increasing problem in Tahoe, so don't quit your current job or cancel your current lease until you've locked in your Tahoe housing.
      Good luck!

  9. Hi Todd,

    I love this blog. I am thinking about moving to Tahoe. I have a few questions. I am an actor who wants to transition into something else. Is there an artists community? A theater? Is there public transit? Is there a gay community or any gay people living there? I am not gay but my Dad is so I need to live in a community that is open minded and accepts everyone. Hope to hear back from you soon. Thanks! Happy writing!

    1. Hi Deidra,
      Yes, there is an artist's community in Tahoe. In fact, relative to Tahoe's full-time population of 55,000, we have more writers, musicians, dancers, actors, and artists than nearly any other small community of this size. And compared to other mountain communities, we have a relatively large gay population. Because of our proximity to Sacramento and the Bay Area, many of their city characteristics spill over into the Tahoe area. Our community is also relatively tolerant compared to other mountain communities.
      Having said that, this is still a small population. The absolute numbers of artists, gay or otherwise, are small compared to what you'll find in a city.
      Artists whose occupations are non-location-specific (like writers and painters) find it easier to make a go of it in Tahoe. Actors and dancers can sometimes find work in Tahoe. There are a few local theaters, but I believe they are all volunteer productions. Paid work is sometimes available, especially connected to some of the casino showroom productions, but many of Tahoe's actors have to go down to Reno to work. And any actor used to working in the Bay Area is going to feel like Tahoe is an acting desert.
      As for public transportation, that is not our strong suit! We do have bus service on the South Shore, and some on the West and North Shores, but it is limited. We also have limited bus service to Reno and Sacramento, both often billed as transportation to the airports. In Truckee, there is also limited train service to Sac and the Bay, and, for that matter, east to Chicago! There is also some taxi service in the Tahoe area. But more and more transportation is shifting to ride services like Uber, which, of course, is relatively expensive compared to buses. If your public transit experience has been in the Bay Area, I'm sorry to say you will be very disappointed. The reality is that nearly everyone in Tahoe either has a vehicle or shares access to a vehicle.
      My best recommendation is to research as much as possible, then plan a temporary move of perhaps six months. If you can find lodging (shared room or otherwise) over the course of late spring through summer and fall, you'll fall in love with Tahoe. Once you know what Tahoe's best potential is, you'll be better able to decide if it's worth it to put up with winter weather and the downside of life in an area that doesn't have good public transit.
      Good luck!

    2. I was thinking about becoming a real estate agent in CA if I move. How is the market there? Can real estate agents make a good living there? Merry Christmas!

    3. One can earn a good living in Tahoe working in real estate. But it is like most areas. It takes a very long time to build up a reputation. The most successful agents tend to be the ones who've been working at it the longest and hardest. I know multiple agents who've gotten wealthy selling high-end houses. But They've all been doing it for 20 years or more. And all they do is work.
      Good luck!

  10. HI Todd,
    I was searching for information on Tahoe when I came across your blog. We are moving to Tahoe in a couple months. My husband is transferring with his job there. Since I am from Alaska and do not know a lot about Taxes and such, I was wondering if moving to Nevada would be better than California side since NV has no state tax? My husband will be working near the hospital area in South Tahoe. How is the commute from the state line into South Tahoe?
    Thanks for the advice:)

    1. The commute from the Nevada side to the California side is not bad most of the year. But it can be a hassle during heavy tourist times, especially Christmas Week and all of July and August through to Labor Day.
      As for taxes, Nevada has no state income tax. California has one of the highest state income tax. But property on the Nevada side is more expensive - all other things being equal - than property on the California side. Real estate tax may also be more on the Nevada side as well. The bottom line is that if you make a lot of money (let's say $250,000 - $300,000 plus per year), it may be financially worth it to move to the Nevada side. If you don't have a large income, not so much.
      Good luck!

  11. Hi Todd,
    Me,the wife and kids are thinking of leaving the bay area. I work for the State of California and can transfer out there. My concern is the snow. We start work really early, around 5am.get up at 4am.Not sure if I want to shovel snow that early. Does it snow 5 months out of the year? Also would i need a 4x4 vehicle? I'm thinking south lake. Any suggestions
    Thank ypu

    1. Hey Robert,
      You will probably love it here. But it is good to be concerned about snow. Some winters we have lots of dry weather and sun. Last year we had winter from the beginning of November to the end of May. Seven months. And it's snowing now as I write this.
      Having said that, your work colleagues will all understand what big snowfalls do to your morning drive. Because snow sometimes shuts down the town, everyone, including employers, knows that there are times when you simply can't get anywhere.
      Yes, you will kick yourself if you don't have All Wheel Drive (AWD is better than most 4X4s) See my blog on the subject:
      It's best to move to the "sun belt" parts of Tahoe, which simply means avoiding the West Shore. And if you come to the South Shore, avoid Christmas Valley and especially the North Upper Truckee neighborhood, as they get twice as much snow as "in town."
      Good luck!

  12. Tahoe is a very beautiful place for traveling and Lake Tahoe is the best place for enjoying with friends and family. Last Sunday I enjoyed the boating on Lake Tahoe, this is my first experience. We hire a boat from Rent A Boat Tahoe. They provide amazing boat facilities with the captain.

  13. So i am a single girl, 34, and I am thinking of moving to Tahoe. Even if its just a few years. Some jobs I am thinking are communications, working with pets or something customer service. I need to be making at least $20 an hour, however I know that I will probably have to move and THEN look for those jobs. Does Tahoe have good paying jobs and is the rent pretty decent? The last thing I want to do is struggle. But I've been to South Tahoe a few times and loved it vacationing.