Honest Pros and Cons of Living Around Lake Tahoe

Honest Pros and Cons of Living Around Lake Tahoe

  • Samantha Swigard
  • 07/7/23

Bordering the states of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is one of the largest lakes on the continent. The resorts constructed around this serene freshwater lake serve as a launching point for the casinos, outdoor recreation, and many other amenities provided by the town that bears its name. Moving into a resort community in Lake Tahoe will have pluses and minuses, each of which should be carefully evaluated before relocating.

The pros of living around Lake Tahoe

The taxes on the Nevada side of the lake are low

If you are on the Nevada side of the lake, you’ll find that the property and income taxes are far lower than the national average. A 0% state income tax and property tax that hovers just over half a percent means substantial savings. The sales tax rate is also low, at 7.75%.

Recreational opportunities are an outdoors person's dream

Lake Tahoe allows tourists and residents to explore a wide variety of outdoor activities. Living here means no shortage of them, no matter what the season. During the summer, the beaches along Lake Tahoe come alive with boaters, swimmers, and folks that love being near the water. The beaches are numerous, each one giving a different vibe. Some are perfect for families who want to enjoy a day on the water, while others are less trafficked and perfect for those who want a more peaceful beach experience.

The Lake Tahoe area is also known for its hiking and biking trails. The variety of trails range from beginner to expert, allowing hikers of every skill level to explore the region's beauty. There are less challenging trails around the lake, while the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains serve as starting points for trails that are perfect for expert hikers. Some short out-and-back trails will take an afternoon, while others (like the Tahoe Rim Trail) will take days to complete.

With the winter months comes the snow. The mountains around Lake Tahoe are the perfect spot for skiing, attracting an untold number of tourists to the area each ski season. Numerous resorts have been established solely for the purpose of hosting skiers and a number of other spots for locals to enjoy. The slopes here range from beginner to expert, giving everyone a chance to find a place to participate in this popular wintertime sport.

The cons of living around Lake Tahoe

The cost of living around Lake Tahoe is higher than the national average

While the cost of living in this area is lower than the state average in California, you’ll find that your dollar doesn’t go as far here as it does in the majority of the United States. Overall, it is 1.5 times more expensive to live here when compared to the national average. The main driver of the high cost of living here is median housing costs. Housing is more than double the national average in Lake Tahoe.

Living around Lake Tahoe is higher in every other major category. Utilities, groceries, and healthcare are all more expensive here, as is transportation. The typical pay is higher than the national average, of course. But knowing what you’ll spend out of pocket to live here should be a primary concern when budgeting.

Winters will typically entail a lot of snow

Living in the Lake Tahoe area means being subjected to snowfalls that really accumulate the white stuff. Depending on where you live, you can expect several hundred inches of snow from mid-fall until springtime, with the more mountainous regions getting the most. Lower-lying cities will receive less but still have substantial amounts of precipitation. Tahoe City, for example, recorded an average of nearly 150 inches of snow each year since 2010.

The bottom line

Whether you’re transplanting to Lake Tahoe or are familiar with the region, you will greatly benefit from the skills and expertise of a real estate agent. Samantha Swigard will put her years of knowledge and experience to find you the home of your dreams in Lake Tahoe and help you discover the neighborhood in this destination that best suits your needs.

Having a professional at your side from the early stages of the home search to the moment when the keys are finally in your hand saves you time and stress and will help when the time comes to negotiate the best possible price.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock



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Samantha understands the disclosures, homeowner commitments, and governing bodies that a buyer or seller may encounter across the region’s diverse collection of communities.

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