Tahoe, Carmel, and Wine Country Vacation Homes:
By: Kimberly Gomes
Given its prime location, mid-peninsula residents have the luxury of frequenting some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. With that accessibility comes the opportunity to purchase second homes surrounding Lake Tahoe’s stunning vistas, Carmel’s striking coast, as well as Sonoma and Napa’s renowned wine country. Vacation properties not only increase quality of life with year-round recreation, but also serve as worthwhile investments for both cash flow and retirement purposes.
Surrounded by over 500 ski runs, and boundless hiking and biking trails, Lake Tahoe is a coveted gem frequented by thousands of Bay Area residents. The approximate 22-mile lake resembles a slice of heaven with its unparalleled sunsets and wide range of ski resorts and watersports.
“Lake Tahoe is an amazing place to buy, because of its convenient accessibility to snow sports, hiking, biking, and lake activities – everything you’d want is at your fingertips,” says Linda Granger, Managing Broker-Associate of the Alain Pinel Realtors Tahoe office.
As a result of the Bay Area’s bolstered economy, many homeowners have been able to hold onto their Tahoe properties, resulting in low inventory. Linda notes the vast majority of the lake’s buyers come from the Bay Area.
Aside from its natural allure, second homebuyers also look to the Nevada side of Tahoe as a future retirement destination. Mid-peninsula homeowners interested in making areas like Incline Village their primary residence can migrate their funds with the move, capitalizing on the state’s non-existent income taxes. These residents also enjoy private beaches and exclusive recreation centers, which California’s North Shore lacks.
However, Incline Village has a rather small pool to choose from, whereas California’s side comes with a larger market, which many prefer for its walkability, lakeside trails, and community feel. Central areas like Tahoe City, downtown Truckee, and Kings Beach are just a few of the region’s highlights. Buyers interested in relatively cheaper properties near state line casinos can explore South Lake Tahoe.
For those looking for a shorter drive and a coastal scene, Carmel’s majestic storybook setting is the perfect place for a second home. Between its Mediterranean climate, white sandy beaches, and charming European-style village, it’s no surprise Carmel has been named a top 10 destination in the U.S. year after year. It’s incredibly strong, stable real estate market also makes it a promising investment.
With just 60,000 people nestled within the entire Monterey Peninsula, Carmel has a rich culture for such a small vicinity. Residents enjoy exquisite art performances and high quality dining at over 70 restaurants. Carmel Valley’s wine country fuels 18 tasting rooms within downtown alone.
Residents also have access to extraordinary natural beauty. Aside from its gorgeous coast, Carmel is also a short drive from Pebble Beach’s renowned golf courses, as well as Big Sur’s awe-inspiring views.
“In Carmel you can have any kind of day you want. You can have a relaxing, upscale day. You can go back in time with horseback riding…There’s a mood here for everyone for everyday,” says Judith.
Home to more than 400 award-winning wineries, Sonoma County and Napa Valley are dream scenes for wine aficionados. The region’s remarkable range of microclimates makes it one of the most diverse and unique winegrowing regions in the world. The endless acres of world-renowned vineyards are surrounded by picturesque rolling hills, making an ideal scene for a second home.
Beyond it’s obvious allure, Northern California’s wine country combines a Mediterranean climate with a relaxing ambiance. Conveniently located just a couple hours from the mid-peninsula, Silicon Valley executives can unwind by dining at French Laundry, visiting the vast array of wineries, or submerge in relaxation at Calistoga’s premier spas.
The street’s sprawling trees and adobe buildings complement Sonoma’s small-town charm and historic monuments. Bay Area residents seeking a second home in this area can choose from country estates and vineyards to suburban properties. Those interested in Napa will enjoy the city’s exquisite Victorian homes alongside contemporary architecture. Nature lovers can also take advantage of the 750 acres of open space, as well as the six-mile trail along Napa River.