As the snow falls here at Lake Tahoe and we enjoy holiday gatherings with family and friends, the real estate market tends to cool.

Buyers have more buying power now than any other time of year. Buyers will have less competition as others are preoccupied with the snow and holidays.

Sellers usually don't expect to sell their home until the snow melts in the spring, making them more willing to negotiate. If you've been waiting on the sidelines and searching online for larger homes in the basin to trade up to, now is a great time to jump on it.

Here are a few indicators it may be time to trade up from your first Tahoe home.

You Plan to Have Kids or Grandkids Soon

One of the most common reasons Lake Tahoe homeowners grow out of their "starter" homes is because they are starting or growing their family, and what was once a perfect house or condo for two or a weekend getaway now feels far too cramped for a household of three, four or more with grandkids. As your family grows, so do your holiday party and dinner guest lists.

You're Completely Out of Space

If you've moved into your vacation home full time to take advantage of Nevada tax benefits, you may find that you've used every system The Container Store offers and still feel like there's not enough room for all your belongings and Tahoe toys. It may be time to move to a larger home or at least a dwelling with more storage or a garage.

Your Starter Home Has become A Financial Drain

If you bought an older home or fixer-upper that's turning into a money pit, it may be time to sell it — especially if you can afford to move to a newer home that won't need as many repairs.

Your Family Is Earning More Money

Chances are you bought your first home because you had limited income. If some time has passed since then and you or your partner are earning more — or an additional income earner is now in the household — it's more likely you can afford to move into a larger home, opt for a garage, a home in a more desirable area or at lower elevation with less snow.

The Market Conditions Are Ideal

If your home's value has gone up significantly and market conditions are right — meaning the market is hot enough that your home could sell quickly and interest rates remain low enough to make your next mortgage reasonable — it could be a great time to make a move.

Housing inventory in the Lake Tahoe Basin is very thin, especially since winter is here.

If you think it's time to move into something bigger and better, do your research and stay tuned into what is coming on the market during this holiday season. You may be able to snag yourself a great holiday deal.

Don Kanare is the founder and Sabrina Belleci is the owner and broker of RE/MAX North Lake in Incline Village. You can follow their blog at