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Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned home buyer, shopping for a new home can feel daunting. Buying a home is a big commitment of both time and money. Plus a home purchase has the power to improve your quality of life and your future financial security, so the stakes are high.

Follow these five steps to assess your priorities, streamline your search and choose your next Mammoth Lakes home with confidence.

Step 1: Set your goals and priorities.

The first step in finding your ideal home is knowing why you want to move. Do you want more space? Is this a second home? Would you rather live in a house than a condo (or vice versa)? Are you looking for something with less maintenance or a single-level floor plan? Figuring out why you want to move will help you nail down your priorities.

Don’t forget to think about how your life circumstances might change over the next few years. Do you plan to change jobs? Have more children? See your children off to college? A good rule of thumb is to look for a home that will meet your family’s needs for the next 5-7 years.

Step 2: Determine your budget.

Financial professionals often recommend following the 28/36 rule to figure out how much you can afford to spend on a home. This rule says you should spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing expenses (mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc.) and a maximum of 36% of your gross monthly income on your total debt obligations (housing expenses PLUS any other debt obligations like car loans, student loans, credit card debt, etc.)

The 28/36 rule only provides a rough guideline. Of course it you are purchasing as a second home and/or investment, the guidelines change especially if you plan on renting to generate cash flow from the property.  Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before you start home shopping will give you a more accurate idea of how much you can borrow. Add your pre-approved mortgage amount to your down payment to figure out your maximum purchasing potential.

Step 3: Choose a location.

When house hunting in an urban area, this step often takes into consideration commute times, school districts, etc. But in Mammoth Lakes, the location factors you’ll want to consider are things like how close the property is to the ski mountain, the gondola, The Village, bus lines, schools, restaurants, etc. Luckily in our 4-square-mile town, nothing is too far away.

Since Mammoth Lakes is a resort town, you might also want to consider the re-sell or renting potential. Different neighborhoods have different zoning regulations, so if you think you might want to rent out your home on a nightly basis down the line, be sure your real estate agent can find appropriate properties for you.

Step 4: Decide what you need (and want) in a home.

Start with the basics like number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and square footage. Do you want a one-story or two-story layout? Do you want other amenities like a hot tub/spa, a garage, etc.?

You might not find a Mammoth Lakes home with all of your “wants” or even all of your “needs” at a price you can afford. Most of us have to make a few compromises when buying a home. If you’re facing a tough choice about how or what to compromise in your home search, go back to Step 1 and consider your original goals and motivations for moving. Reminding yourself of your priorities can often provide helpful clarity.

Step 5: Meet with a real estate agent.

A good real estate agent can lessen the stress and uncertainty of buying a new home. From setting goals to securing a loan to selecting the best neighborhood, my job is to assist you every step of the way. It’s never too early (or too late) to get in touch with an agent about buying a home.

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You’re probably well aware that mortgage rates are rising. At the same time, home prices don’t seem to be coming down, there’s still a ton of competition, and you’re probably no stranger to bidding wars when you make an offer on a house. More in my blog. Link in Bio...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
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Attended the ribbon cutting for Mammoth Lakes new Disc Golf Park. Such a beautiful course built in our local paradise. A lot of work by local individuals, business and town government came together to make this happen. THANK YOU! Check it out next time you are in town! I have never played but I am going to learn! #mammothlakesrecreation #townofmammothlakes #lovewherewelive #paradise ...

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Preparing for summer in Mammoth like...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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"Thank you so much for your guidance and expertise in helping us to buy our dream home.
I am so grateful for your hard work and patience with all our questions at every step of the process. I genuinely trusted that you were looking out for our best interests and had our backs throughout this exciting and stressful process."

-Andrew & Cara

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #testimonials
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Whew! This was only a 7 day escrow and we did it! So many offers on this one but the CASH offer with a quick close was just what my client was looking for! Thank you to Sara Knadler for bringing a quality buyer and for a smooth transaction. Sierra Escrow made it happen!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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OPEN HOUSE
33 Kelley Road

Sunday, May 22
10 AM - 1 PM

Stop by and view this immaculate and beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath move in ready home. A rare find for such an amazing location and quality construction. The placement of the home on the lot is off-set from neighboring homes providing a true sense of privacy.

LINK IN BIO FOR DETAILS
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Eric Van Winkle making a difference on Town Clean Up Day this past weekend! Way to represent Eric and the Mammoth Lakes Board of Realtors! #mammothlakes #TOML #communityspirit #towncleanupday #loveourcommunity ...

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Swimming with dozens of Black Tip sharks and rays was exhilarating and fun (well after I got over my initial hesitation)! The water was so clear and these creatures were quite social! The tour was amazing - we went on to see a 12 foot Eagle ray below us while snorkeling! #tripofalifetime #conradboraboranui #pinchme #godisgreat #lifeisgood #blacktipshark #borabora #porapora @johnbushmammothloco ...

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Today is the first day of Day Pass Reservations for Yosemite National Park! If you're in the area remember to make sure you have a reservation to get into @yosemite this summer!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #summerfun #yosemite #nature
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27 1

OPEN HOUSE
33 Kelley Road

Sunday, May 22
10 AM - 1 PM

Stop by and view this immaculate and beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath move in ready home. A rare find for such an amazing location and quality construction. The placement of the home on the lot is off-set from neighboring homes providing a true sense of privacy.

LINK IN BIO FOR DETAILS
...

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I know it's something we don't want to think about... but with technology today a seller can be listening or recording you while you view their home. Make sure to be conscious and aware of that and always share your opinions outside or quietly.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
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Make sure to show your love and support as we go into the busy summer season to all the amazing workers who make Mammoth such an amazing, beautiful, and safe place to live. Thank you to all our rangers, forest service, hospital workers, police, first responders, SAR members and more!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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That’s a wrap! 40th anniversary trip was AMAZING - don’t know where we could possibly go from here!! Truly a trip of a lifetime. So grateful ❤️ Headed back to reality tonight with arrival in 🇺🇸 tomorrow. Photos coming soon 🌴 #borabora #conradboraboranui #loveourlife #ThankYouGod #lovetotravel #pinchme @johnbushmammothloco ...

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My buyers missed out in a multiple offer situation earlier this year and it happened for a reason. 924 Links Way was meant to be their Mammoth Lakes home! It is perfect for them. Things happen for a reason, right? So excited!' @side_realestate

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Who's coming for a hike with me?! Any guesses which lake this is?

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Flipping homes is a popular practice—and, when done right, buying a flipped home can be a good investment. I have seen some really nice ones in Mammoth Lakes.

But not all flipped homes are created equal—and if you want your home purchase to be a good investment, you need to avoid cheap, poorly done flips.

So how, exactly, do you do that? Read about it in my blog! Link in bio...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
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Who says back up offers never become reality? Sometimes when another offer is selected, we ask to be put in back-up position. Some agents say this is a waste of time. NOT ME! This is a perfect example of the original buyer changing their mind and because we did the paperwork to be in Back Up #1 position, we are now in escrow! My clients will be the owners of this gorgeous 3 bedroom townhome near The Village at Mammoth before the end of May! @side_realestate

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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It may not seem like it but as a buyer time CAN be on your side. Link in bio for my blog...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks #realestateagentlife
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