Laurie Johnson

Build Your Dream Home at Lake Tahoe

In Lake Tahoe and Truckee, properties continue to sell as soon as they hit the market. The area has experienced low inventory levels that we’ve not seen before, which has driven prices up. However, available lots still offer a great value for those who want to build their dream home.

Building a home at Lake Tahoe can be accomplished quite easily, as long as you have the patience to await the construction. The payoff is knowing you have created a home that will fit you perfectly. Additionally, your children’s children will be able to enjoy a home that was specifically designed by you to be enjoyed for generations to come.

Many award-winning builders and architects have made Lake Tahoe their place of business. These professionals understand the local ordinances and can help you create a retreat at Lake Tahoe and Truckee that is uniquely your own.

About Building at Lake Tahoe

The greatest challenge you’ll face in constructing a new home at Lake Tahoe and Truckee is that building can only take place from May 1st to October 15th. However, working with a contractor and with careful planning, you can get ready to break ground on May 1st.  This may allow you to complete most of the exterior, where interior work can done year-round.

TRPA is one of Lake Tahoe’s agencies that works to protect the lake's clarity. They have many ordinances that ensure that the area does not become overbuilt. Placer and Nevada County also have restrictions and all agencies work together to protect the environment and charm of our mountain community.

Only a certain portion of the actual property can include construction or coverage. It is important to understand a parcel’s IPES score when purchasing a lot. Runoff too, must be controlled, so that it does not affect the lake’s clarity. Working with a knowledgeable contractor or planner can help you with the proper paperwork to navigate these agencies.

The county building department is where you will submit your plans to obtain permits. TRPA will have restrictions on how much of the land can be utilized for construction and asphalt paving. Coverage also includes decks and garages.

IPES Scores Lake Tahoe

Using the Individual Parcel Evaluation System (IPES,) TRPA assigns a score to each parcel of land in the Tahoe basin. The IPES score is different for each county, so you will need to verify this information when discussing the purchase of your lot at Lake Tahoe.

In the listing information, often the seller or agent will provide this information, but you will still need to have it verified in the due diligence process. You'll want to know about utility access, zoning and IPES score prior to purchasing a lot for sale in the Lake Tahoe area.

Parcels developed prior to 1987 do not have an IPES score. After that year, each parcel received an IPES score ranging all the way from 0 to 1017. If a parcel has an IPES score of 726 of higher, a lot is deemed “buildable.” If the score is lower, then you can apply for an allocation.

Best Management Practices Lake Tahoe

TRPA also protects the lake clarity through Best Management Practices (BMPs) or soil erosion management and best practices.  This soil erosion best practices applies to both construction and landscaping. All properties within the Lake Tahoe basin have to abide by these BMP regulations.

You can control drainage with vegetation, and by using rocks and other landscaping techniques to effectively keep runoff from making its way into the lake. BMP requirements are specific to each site and area of the lake. You can hire a professional to get an estimate on abiding by the BMP ordinances.

I recently listed a lot with incredible views of the historic train trestle, and the east end of Donner Lake.

12811 Sierra Drive, Truckee

Enjoy breathtaking views of the historic train trestle, and the east end of Donner Lake from this .26 acre lot. This lot has a slightly irregular shape and runs street to street with Richards Blvd. This parcel offers a gorgeous site for a new lake view home! There are no HOA or CC&Rs, but there are currently utilities at the site and a few trees. This lot enjoys a central location to the hub of all Lake Tahoe and Truckee activities. Easy access to all major ski hills and Highway 80. Enjoy access to Donner Lake boat launch and public piers. Hurry this lot won't last!


Contact me today to learn about available lots for sale or for referrals to architects or contractors.



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