Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Local's Look At The Tahoe Keys

Let's say you like boating and you want to buy a house in Tahoe. Or maybe you want to vacation in Tahoe and stay directly on the water, close enough to the main lake that you can kayak out in just a few minutes. Let's also suppose that you don't have two or more commas in your bank account. 

We have a place for you at the Tahoe Keys.

The "Keys" is a housing development on the South Shore, and it is made up of miles of dredged canals that are lined with approximately 1500 upscale homes and townhouses. Nearly every residence has a private dock, so life in the "Keys" is a great way to get a living-on-the-lake experience at a fraction the cost of one of the fancy houses directly on the main lake.

Google Map of the "Keys"

Google satellite view of the "Keys"

Because of the price/value relationship of waterfront homes, Tahoe Keys real estate is always in big demand.

The "Keys" has a Home Owners Association that every owner must join. As with most HOAs, this provides some significant Pros and Cons to life at the "Keys." 

There are restrictions on what you can and can't do with your property. Some people don't like such constraints, but you probably will appreciate that your neighbor can't permanently park a giant RV with a trailer in front of your house. Nor can your neighbor paint his house with pink and blue stripes.

The HOA provides multiple recreation facilities, indoor and outdoor pools, beaches, and tennis courts.

The downside to the HOA is primarily that the mandatory dues are around $2000 a year for houses and much more if you have a townhouse where the grounds and exterior are maintained by the HOA. 

There are other rules, but you get the idea.

The "Keys" also has a small commercial area with some merchants and professionals. There is the Tahoe Keys Marina as well as The Fresh Ketch, a popular restaurant.

If you get serious about moving to the "Keys," you will learn about its controversial past, specifically, the fact that it was begun in 1959, which, unfortunately, was back when developers thought that dredging and paving and steamrolling the land was the best and highest use of real estate. So they took a huge wetland area around where the Upper Truckee River emptied into Lake Tahoe and began digging canals. For those readers who weren't yet around in those days, what we now call valuable wetlands used to be considered useless swamps and wasteland good for nothing but breeding mosquitoes.

Of course, we now know that wetlands are the natural filter for running water. Before the "Keys" development, the Upper Truckee water flowing into Lake Tahoe was clear. After the "Keys" were begun, the water was a muddy brown streak coursing out into the blue lake.

To this day, they are still trying to fix the problem. They've made some progress, but much more work needs to be done.

But there is no going back. The "Keys" may be an environmental nightmare that is slowly being improved, but it is also a wonderful neighborhood of waterfront homes.

Here is the channel out to the main lake.

A classic Chris Craft "Woodie" heading out to cruise the main lake. 

A gentleman and his dog motor in past Lighthouse Shores, one of the Tahoe Keys areas that faces the main lake.

Whether moving to Tahoe or vacationing in Tahoe, check out the Tahoe Keys. It is the only place of its kind at one of the world's premier lakes.

1 comment:

  1. We've been staying at the Keys for 14 years! We love it!!