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Old 03-10-2009, 05:44 PM
5 posts, read 25,906 times
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Can anyone tell me where the best place online to search for homes for sale in Gardnerville/Minden/Carson City

Do you think it's unrealistic to find a 3 bedroom/2 bath house in a good, family-friendly neighborhood, near a good school for in the range of $170,000-$220,000 in any of these cities? I'm willing to pay more for a home that is in the nicer areas. What are the nicer areas in these cities?

Is it really windy in these cities like it is in Reno and Sparks. I've heard horror stories of the strong winds in Reno/Sparks. Also, in the summertime, will it still be warm enough to sit outside without a jacket? I love hot, summer nights!

My children are 5 and 2. Good schools are important to us. Safety being first! That is why I have thought about these 3 cities instead of Reno or Sparks. I'd like to live in a quieter, lower-crime area.

Any of your suggestions (negative or positive) are urged!
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:00 PM
64 posts, read 361,673 times
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We've lived in Carson City for over seven years (primarily because of our job situation) and have mixed feelings on the entire area. Certainly there are worse places to live than here or Minden and Gardnerville, but it all depends on one's definition of what's considered "worse".

Former Californians, we relocated here from Lake Tahoe. We immediately noticed a hostility from "resident" Nevadans who insist on placing blame for virtually all of Nevada's ills on Californians! That's a pandora's box of issues that could fill pages, and not worth devoting the space for this post. But just beware of this, if you're from California.

On the wind issue; yes...I'd say roughly half the year one gets windy conditions here in C.C., Minden and Gardnerville. It's just our geographical location, apparently. Women, I would imagine, would find this the most annoying. The fellas just barrel through, and make sure our hats are firmly anchored! Ha! Oh well... I try to look at it from the point of view that any air pollution that could or would be present is quickly blown out of the area, though 95% of the time we have surprisingly clear, fresh air.

As for the summer heat issue; we're decidedly in favor of cool temps, having lived in cooler mountain areas. However, that's not to say the summers (and even much of spring) are quite warm or hot, depending on one's viewpoint. We bought air conditioners shortly after moving here, and use them constantly to moderate temperatures. The evenings are surprisingly pleasant! Great for evening gatherings and/or barbecues.

We learned (the hard way) after a couple years here that certain neighborhoods/areas of Carson City are "nicer" than others. Thanks largely to the sinister gang mentality in many cities today, you can no longer judge someone by how well manicured they are! The neatest, clean shaven, nice vehicle, nice house appearance can disguise a house full of jerks who (judging from day and night activities) are probably engaging in some form of criminal activity. We see them exposed regularly on our local news stations.

That said, C.C. is the state capital and law enforcement here seems to rigorously pursue anything that appears questionable, and is probably one of the safer cities to reside in Nevada. Again, it doesn't hurt to beware of this shady element, as much as one can.

We have discovered that the west side of highway 395 (the main drag through C.C.) is easily amongst the best places to live in C.C. It's located up near the mountains that encompass this side of Lake Tahoe. We currently live in this area which was apparently where the town's founders discovered the most ideal conditions. The Governor's Mansion and most of the town's historic, preserved homes and buildings are found here. Well manicured lawns, quiet neighborhoods, better security patrols.

It's also an area that Mark Twain frequented during his brief years in this region! But there are also newer, larger homes and condo units on this favored west side. Some with gated entrances for residents. Also, we're a mere thirty minute drive from the splendors of Lake Tahoe for cooler, summer-heat escapes.

Minden and Gardnerville are similar. Plenty of well-kept housing areas, low crime. Though shopping presents a longer (ten mile) drive to reach most of the better shopping sites, near us in C.C. All things considered, C.C., Minden or Gardnerville could easily accommodate your preferences. Due to the easy access and close proximity to Lake Tahoe, we feel confident these three growing communities will only increase in desireability with the passage of time, for those seeking a nicer quality of life in northern Nevada.

(You are correct in generally avoiding Reno and Sparks. We're delighted we don't have to go there. Much higher crime rates than here, as well as a higher infiltration of the screwball gang element. Local nightly news paints a distressing picture of those areas here in northern Nevada).

Best of luck in your enterprise!
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:42 PM
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nature guy... you paint a different picture here than in your posts of a year ago. Now it's of nicer quality of life, and desirability in the future... yet last April you were seeking to 'escape' as soon as possible. I'm interested in the area for the climate, air, and what seems a higher payscale statistically than other areas... but you previously painted a hostile picture of being on your guard all the time. Others called CC 'run-down' looking. With that aside, I'm curious how long winters last? How cold they get. I'm in Anchorage, Ak... and spent time in northern Idaho where they seem to get twice as much snowfall, but shorter winter. I wouldn't miss winter much, but it's seeming hard to find a nice place with moderate temps, away from the coast and the southern border. And then... where would you 'escape' to?
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:29 PM
60 posts, read 209,164 times
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If I had to choose over again I would have bought a home in Minden. My second choice would be Gardnerville. They both have that small town charm feeling, awesome views of Jobs Peak, and lower crime rates than Carson.

Minden is more expensive to buy but worth it, IMO.

Try the Coldwell Banker websites or Dickson Realty to look at homes.

Sorry, I don't know anything about the schools there but a realtor should be able to give you info on that.

Happy Hunting!
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Old 05-02-2009, 06:42 PM
64 posts, read 361,673 times
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Originally Posted by RDrr View Post
nature guy... you paint a different picture here than in your posts of a year ago. Now it's of nicer quality of life, and desirability in the future... yet last April you were seeking to 'escape' as soon as possible. I'm interested in the area for the climate, air, and what seems a higher payscale statistically than other areas... but you previously painted a hostile picture of being on your guard all the time. Others called CC 'run-down' looking. With that aside, I'm curious how long winters last? How cold they get. I'm in Anchorage, Ak... and spent time in northern Idaho where they seem to get twice as much snowfall, but shorter winter. I wouldn't miss winter much, but it's seeming hard to find a nice place with moderate temps, away from the coast and the southern border. And then... where would you 'escape' to?
The primary reason for "painting a different picture" of Carson City is that I decided to concentrate on the things I actually like about this area, rather than reinforcing how I'd like to pack up and leave this place....for good! What I've said earlier still basically applies, but instead of making myself miserable, I've just shifted my attention to what I consider "good" about this place.

Like I said, the air quality is about the best I've lived in for who knows how long! Mostly because the wind factor here, which seems more "on" than "off". And, the close proximity to a very special area, Lake Tahoe (a mere forty minutes drive from here). The fact that wildlife seems to relish this area, too, is fascinating. We have a small herd of deer that frequent the empty lot near our place. Last year a young doe nested there and nursed two cute little fawns that tip-toed around the area for a few months. Great stuff! (...we were relieved that none of the local red-necks blasted the poor things).

Our plans remain largely unchanged as far as wanting to leave here. The recent wide-spread economic crash put the brakes on that idea, for now anyway. We don't relish the thought of living in our vehicle or some campground!

We still keep a close eye on all who venture near us, whether out shopping or driving to and from work. This area likes to spring the unexpected on you, whether or not you're minding your own business. Bizarre and unsettling, but that's what we've experienced since moving here. Lots of hostility for reasons unknown. (I'd like to pass around questionnaires to the locals here, but someone would probably shove it down my throat).

The "Bubba" element is in abundance here, the scruffy fella's with dirty T-shirts, jacked-up pick-up trucks and snarly attitudes in traffic. Never seen anything like it. I think 'ignorance' is the key word here.

As for CC being "run down", I would say Reno fits that description better. As with most cities, there are small areas where junk is piled in front yards, but in general this little town seems pretty clean. A surprising lack of graffitti, as well. Carson City is, afterall, the state capitol. They have a competent little sheriff's department run by a fellow who grew up here, and he seems to take no nonsense.

We live in what is considered the historic area of town, where the town's founders settled in the 1860's. Nice, restored Victorians, groomed lawns, manicured hedges, etc. The Governor's Mansion is a few streets away and places once frequented by none other than Mark Twain are close by, as well. Pretty cool, history wise.

Winters here usually last from November till March, with wildly variable amounts of snowfall. Second winter here, the place was smothered by a four foot snowfall that brought things to a halt for a couple days. Mostly we average eight to eighteen inches total. Temps in the teens occur sporadically. (Pipe-bustin' weather, we call it, in the mountains). From our viewpoint, we consider this a "mild to moderate" climate.

So if you keep all this in mind, you may very well do just fine here! Job availability dependent largely on one's skill sets. We were just lucky to have been able to "fit the bill" after a few years of truly unpleasant crap that pushed our "survival in the city" skills to the limit. I think it's called, flying by the seat of your pants! But we chalk it up to "experience" as the best teacher. LOL... (It showed us why we would never be happy living here long term). I think eight years is pretty lame, however.

As for where I would "escape" to instead; Marin County, California. Heightened ecological awareness, lush forested landscapes, more mellow residents, pleasant weather. Virtually any town in this county would be a delight, to us anyway! Unfortunately, it's one of the most expensive places to live in all of California. A real trick to get around that. Especially now that California is under-going a horrendous decline in business and housing.

Sometimes you just have to make do with what ya got! At least for now. A new, promising business venture MAY help us get the hell outta here, but not for a few more years, unfortunately. My advice would be to spend a week in Carson City and see how it feels to you. You may fit right in, or you may discover the place makes your skin crawl. It's a place in transition, where Nevadans are being pushed around as wealthier, pushy Californians increasingly move here, changing the feel of the place forever.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:22 AM
37 posts, read 139,884 times
Reputation: 40
Coldwell and ReMax seem to have the bulk of the listings in Douglas County. This site has a breakdown of some regions, but be aware that they are marketing to the affluent California transplants so they go on a bit about custom homes and RV spaces, etc. Don't let it deter you because there is plenty in the less McMansion ranges. mod cut: links removed The market tanked here in the last 18-24 months, so not only is there a lot of inventory, but the inventory is not moving, People are negotiating -- grudgingly, but negotiating.

I hesitatie to speak about exact pricing because it really depends on what you're looking for. If you want a huge house with all the bells and whistles on a huge lot, then no you won't find anything in your price range. If you have more modest tastes, then maybe you can find something in the $229-250K range that's in a nice, safe neighborhood.

I prefer Minden over Carson. Nothing against Carson - it's a nice enough town, but Minden is quieter, less traffic, more laid back. I've walked all over Minden and never once felt threatened or not safe. Like anything, use common sense and caution, but it's a pretty safe town. There are some drug problems -- where are there NOT anymore? Still, never had a problem.

Can't speak to the schools since we don't have kids, but my neighbors seem to be happy with the schools in Douglas. No, there is not a lot of shopping or night life here, but Carson is only a few miles down the road if you want/need that, and Reno isn't all that far away if you want to take in a concert or such. The budgets are being cut in both areas, so some of the county arts programs aren't going to happen this year. That's probably true everywhere. The one annoyance I have had is finding medical offices that accept our insurance, but it's not a common carrier. So, I have to go to Carson for some medical things. No big deal.

Yes, there is wind and a lot of it. Chapstick and hand lotion become mandatory, as does a good fuss-free haircut. Still, it's not all that bad. Nix on the hot nights. Once the sun goes down, the temps cool quickly. I like it, but I'm from where "cool down" meant going from 110 to 99, so going from 100 to 60-65 is terrific to me.

Yeah, there's a little backlash to some Californians from the natives. IMO, the ones who get a hard time are the one's who can't stop talking about where they came from and how this isn't like there. It's not like we were required to get foreheads stamped at the border, so if they don't go on and on and on about it, how would anyone know to give us a hard time? I have some transplant neighbors who cannot seem to shut up about how different/better it was there, and I've told them myself to either quit complaining or take the same road back they came on. But then I've seen that behavior in other places I've lived, too. All the more reason to really do your homework and make sure you want to live in a place before you move. Nobody really cares where you're from. if you're warm, friendly and polite, people usually will be warm, friendly and polite back.

I'd suggest you come out for a week and really immerse yourself in the area. Don't do the touristy things, but go to the places that you'd need to go to if you lived here -- the grocery stores, the park, the library, etc. Don't be dazzled by the views or the Chamber of Commerce brochures, but really look hard at both towns and get a feel for them.

Last edited by scirocco22; 05-13-2009 at 11:34 AM.. Reason: We'd prefer you didn't link realty sites for a specific agent. Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:23 PM
64 posts, read 361,673 times
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When we first moved to this area, around 2002, we first looked at what Minden and Gardnerville had to offer. Initially, we thought, "Perfect! Lot's of room, pleasant enough small town atmosphere". But on closer examination, we noticed that access to most shopping areas required about a ten mile drive. Ten miles to....ten miles back!

Twenty miles to even reach the first big shopping area (Wal-Mart, Best-Buys, Target, and a sprinkling of chain restaurants). Though the route is straight as an arrow, twenty miles is twenty miles. So ultimately, Carson City won out as the (reluctantly) more preferable place to live.

The trick, of course, was finding the ideal spot in which to reside in Carson City. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, the west side of highway 395 seemed to be that spot. This factor alone is one of the best features of this area of CC, and it's quite an advantage, all things considered. Virtually everything imaginable is within five or ten minutes from CC. It's something we appreciate more, the longer we're here.

I've lived in areas before that necessitated "limited shopping opportunities", and quickly tired of it. So consider this fact carefully, when choosing the Minden-Gardnerville area over CC. Everyone enjoys a drive, now and then, but not everytime you do some real shopping!

Sure, there's a couple grocery stores there, amidst "mini-mall" type stores, but for the full-blown shopping experience, you're in for a drive to CC or even Reno. Eventually, some local rancher/landowner will sell off a chunk of property for a tidy sum and "magically" more extensive shopping will become available....but that's in the future.

As the first settlers in this area quickly discovered, the area on the west side of 395 was the first choice. Genoa had a tiny, but similar situation. Much of the wind is blocked by the adjacent mountain range; warmer in winter, but cooler in summer due again to the mountains. And when the wind blows here...it really blows! Closer to the mountainside, as we are, limits the tremendous winds substantially.

Eventually, the fruitless animosity between those who want Nevada to remain Nevada and the influx of Californians (wealthy or not) who will... without doubt... "restructure" the entire state (for better or worse), fade away to a pathetic whimper as the more progressive Californians take charge. I'm neither pro or con California. It's just so obvious that's the future of Nevada. Accept it. Deal with it. Better yet, work with it, not against it.

Nevertheless, it's amusing to see more people here supportive of the area they've chosen to call "home". A look at past postings paints a dismal picture of the area with more negative comments (...and I'm not the only one) than positive. Nevada has a lot to learn, and that "education" is underway... in full-force.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:31 PM
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"More progressive". Interesting choice of words.

Not going to pick an argument with you, NatureGuy, but that kind of phrasing is exactly why there is tension between some transplants and the natives -- not just here, but anywhere. Being neither a CA nor NV native (I lived in Cali, but am not from there and neither loved nor hated it), I choose to be amused by it rather than let it bother me.

No matter where you move from, when you move to a new area, leave the old place behind. When a newcomer tries to impress the locals with where they came from and how "progressive" they are, it usually ends up unpleasantly. Then the newcomer wants to know why everyone they meet is "rude and stand-offish." If someone came into my turf and couldn't do anything but complain about it or look down their nose at it, I'd probably be rude and standoffish, too. If someone moved to your neighborhood and acted like they blessed the place by their mere presence, you'd be put off as well.

Best moving advice I ever got was there: Move to a place, not from one.
Second best moving avice I ever got was to not expect a place to be like any other place; expect it to be like itself.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:19 PM
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Pulls listings from all local real estate pages. Easy to use.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:37 AM
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NatureGuy, I am an ex-Cali (I moved to AZ first) and I completely understand and have been victim to the anti-Californian vibe here. Luckily with my short stay in AZ, it has made things a little easier, because now I tell EVERYONE I'm from AZ and they don't literally freak out towards me anymore.

We moved into the very northern part of Minden and absolutely have been loving it here. Though the 20 mile round trips to shop are inconvenient, but we have gotten used to it and since we work in CC we shop on our way home from work.
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