All That Snow: Nakoma and Truckee-Tahoe Aren’t the Same

By Nakoma Life

With all the news about the Sierra’s 2022-23 record-setting winter snowfall, it’s worth noting that the Nakoma Community doesn’t get pummeled by Mother Nature and her old man, Winter, quite like Truckee or Lake Tahoe.

When considering Northern California real estate in the Sierra and the accompanying snowfall, there are a few facts to file away.

Nakoma generally has milder winters than our more populous neighbors along Interstate 80 and at Tahoe, just an hour or so to our south. And for those who “like” snow but don’t necessarily want to be plowing their driveways or shoveling their roofs all winter, that’s an important distinction to make when considering a mountain home for sale.

Truckee homes for sale, especially Tahoe Donner real estate, will all have their share of snow management needs. And snow removal in Tahoe Donner is a necessity that comes at a premium, especially for homes with long and/or steep driveways.

Yes, Nakoma does get snow! Yes, coverage can accumulate depending on the winter. But if it’s getting deep at Nakoma, you can bet on it being even deeper in Truckee-Tahoe. When it does snow at Nakoma, the Nakoma Community Association deploys its maintenance crews who work diligently to keep the roads in the development clear and safe.

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Whether you are searching for property for sale in Lake Tahoe or in Truckee to build your future custom home, construction costs will definitely run higher to accommodate the heavier snow loads.  

From 1991 to 2020, the National Weather Service reports that Portola, which is about 10 minutes from Nakoma, averages about 38 inches of snow a year.

The NWS station at Boca Reservoir, which is in what Truckee locals call the “banana belt”, averages nearly 100 inches of snowfall. The Town of Truckee averages 200-plus inches, and Donner Summit 360 inches annually. Over on the lake, Tahoe City averages about 180 inches.

The entire Town of Truckee is declared a snow area, which means there are snow-load building requirements. In Truckee snow loads range from 190 lbs per square foot up to 420 lbs.

In the Nakoma Community the corresponding snow loads are 90 lbs per square foot, which means less engineering is needed in your custom home design. Less engineering equals lesser building costs per square foot.

There’s also a longer building season in Nakoma’s corner of the Sierra than the higher elevations found in Truckee-Tahoe. 


It’s one thing to invest in expensive land for sale in Truckee, then spend even more on a winter-friendly driveway and soaring per-square-foot construction costs. 

At Nakoma you’ll discover large homesites served with water, sewer, power, and, for those working or learning remotely — high-speed internet. In other words, no hassles with drilling a well, designing a septic system and arranging for electricity — all extra costs when buying bare land anywhere.

Also at Nakoma, the Community Association’s Design Review Committee supports a construction-friendly process. And compared to Truckee and Lake Tahoe custom home builds, Plumas County’s permit fees are lower and with less costly regulatory add-ons.

For more information about winters at Nakoma, custom building in the Nakoma Community or real estate in general, please call the Nakoma Life team at 530-927-8104 or email