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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.

Follow Along on Instagram

#nofilter Sunday evening neighborhood stroll. ❤️reflections, water, blue skies and fluffy clouds ☁️ #lovewherewelive ...

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If you have a light fixture you want to keep and take with you to your next home, take it down and replace it before you put your house on the market. You can also leave it up and "exclude" it from the sale within your listing, but it can cause issues if a buyer sees it and wants it. Avoid problems by removing it ahead of time.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
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Beautiful day at the village. I love the clouds and like to look for shapes or object -- what do you see?

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Amazing two-bedroom condo next door to Canyon Lodge! Ski all season long in this cozy mountain home!

Properties Link Below:
https://www.destinationmammoth.com/properties/

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Hope everyone is having an amazing time at the Mammoth Trail Fest! If you haven't already make sure to check out this awesome event the rest of the weekend!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Beautifully updated two-bedroom slope side condo just listed for sale. Check it out!

Link in Bio...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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What does “Months of Supply” tell us about the market?

To break it down simply:

📊Balanced Market = 6 to 7 months of supply
There are a relatively even number of buyers and sellers.

📈Seller’s Market = Fewer than 6 months of supply
There are more buyers than homes for sale, thus sellers hold the upper hand.

📉 Buyer’s Market = More than 7 months of supply
There are more homes for sale than willing and able buyers, thus buyers have more negotiating power.

Have a question about current market trends? Reach out at any time! We’re here to help you decode the lingo and make the most of today’s market 👨‍💻

#homeownership #sellersmarket #buyersmarket #buyingahome #sellingahome #housingmarket #realestate #realestateagent #mammothrealestate #sonjasellsmammoth #destinationmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothcabins #mammothmarkettrends
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SNEAK PEAK! This two-bedroom condo next door to Canyon Lodge will be listed for sale in the next 24 hours!

Check out an early video tour now on our YouTube!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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I love working with awesome realtors like Heidi Vetter! How thoughtful is this?!” @vetter_heidi ...

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If your agent isn't available, don't call a random agent to show you a house you're interested in seeing if you plan on having your agent write an offer if you like the house. Agents don't get paid for simply showing houses, so it's inconsiderate to ask an agent to show you a house they have no chance of selling to you.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
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The Mountain & Adventure Film Festival is entering its 9th year, this 3 day, free festival celebrates the best adventure films and athletes of the year. Films are shared nightly, outdoors, in the Mammoth Mountaineering Supply parking lot. Runs Thursday September 22nd - the 24th!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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What is your favorite season in Mammoth Lakes? #destinationmammoth #visitmammoth ...

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The Destination Real Estate team will definitely volunteer for the cause.

#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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You know, I hear there are a lot of trees in Mammoth Lakes... hmmmm...

In a study published in July 2015, a team of psychologists concluded that "having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and being 7 years younger."

#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate #mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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Today is the inaugural Mammoth Tuff, a gravel ride event offering two distances to riders with unforgettable views of surrounding areas and culminating with a party in The Village!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
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This single family home in Sunny Slopes received multiple offers within days of being listed. This 4 bedroom+loft home sits on 1/4 acre lot and feels so private while offering great views of Mt. Wheeler and Sierra Crest off of the front deck. I co-listed this with the amazing Heidi Vetter with June Lake properties and it was fun working as a team! Thank you to our sellers for allowing us to help you make this happen and special thanks to the listing agent, Zuleyka Farnes with Mammoth Sierra Properties, escrow company, Inyo Mono and Shelly Logeman & Toni McGraw with CrossCountry mortgage for bringing this one together! @side_realestate

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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You’ve probably been hearing in the news lately that the real estate market is “shifting.” Well, according to this realtor.com article, many economists feel that we’ve moved from shifting into a “balanced” market. In other words, it’s not really a sellers’ market or a buyers’ market.

More information in my blog!
Link in Bio...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
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