Many of my clients think they’ll find a better deal on a home if they buy in the shoulder season instead of during the busy winter and summer in Mammoth Lakes. Yet since I started selling real estate here in 2011, I’ve learned that home prices don’t fluctuate much by season. The best time to buy a home is when you find the right property.

The Mammoth Lakes market is a fast one, so when you find your dream home, you have to be ready to jump at the opportunity. Here are my tips for getting ready to make the jump:

Be prepared to take action.

Determine your budget. If you’ll be financing the home, get pre-approved by a lender. Know the key features you’d like your property to have: number of bedrooms/bathrooms, garage, multi-story, fireplace, deck, etc.

Identify your goals for your purchase.

Hand adding a ninth post-it note to a square on the wall made of post-it notes

Figure out what you plan to use the property for — will you be living there? Do you want to rent it out nightly? Do you want to have options if your situation changes down the line?

Know where in Mammoth Lakes you’d like to buy.

Many winter shoppers want a home as close to Mammoth Mountain as possible, while others would like a bit more seclusion, a beautiful view of the Sherwin range, or easy walkability to restaurants and shops. Don’t forget to check the bus routes to see what parts of town give you the best access to the things you love most in Mammoth Lakes.

When you find a property you like, ask for photos from different seasons.

Walls of snow on a road in Mammoth Lakes with a house covered in feet of snow behind the road

Photo by Josh Wray for Visit Mammoth

Mammoth Lakes can feel like a completely different town from one season to the next. In big snow years, narrow roads can feel like tunnels. See where snow accumulates and how it affects your view, parking options, etc. Check to see if surrounding trees might block your mountain view in the summer.

Establish a good relationship with a realtor.

Finding a good realtor is key to making the perfect purchase. A knowledgable local realtor knows the low-down on HOAs at different condo complexes, which roads get plowed first in the winter, the age and build quality of various homes, and the zoning regulations in different parts of town. Share your hopes and goals with your realtor, and be sure they’re on your side from day one.

Learn more in my Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide. If you’d like to talk, call me at (760) 914-4664.

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