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Guest Post by Brian Jaegers, ChFC, Insurance Scouts

Buying a home in Mammoth Lakes is an exciting move. But as soon as you dive into the process, all the contracts and logistics can feel overwhelming. I’ve had phone calls with many new home buyers in Mammoth Lakes who are stressed out once the purchase is in motion because they can’t find good insurance. Living in a rural, wildfire-prone area, homeowners insurance isn’t always as straightforward as it is in other places.

Most homeowners in Mammoth need one of two types of home insurance: homeowners insurance (HO3) or condominium unit owners insurance (HO6).

If you’re buying a condo…

Condominium unit owners insurance serves as your homeowners insurance if you’re buying a condo. The buildings and common areas are usually covered for replacement cost to original construction quality by the master policy held by your condo homeowners association. Condo insurance is basically a mini homeowners insurance policy with less coverage for smaller property incidents that occur within your condo’s walls. Most mortgage companies in Mammoth require condo owners to have an HO6 policy for the length of the loan.

A condo insurance policy covers your belongings as well as property damage and liability as the unit owner. It may cover damage to your possessions from fire or theft, and it can cover your building property too (walls, flooring, cabinets, appliances, etc.) We describe these policies as “walls-in.” If you’re found liable for a visitor’s injury, an HO6 policy could cover associated medical expenses, legal fees, and settlement of a claim. The coverage limits can be customized for your individual needs.

If you’re buying a single-family home…

Homeowners insurance for single-family homes can be a bit harder to come by in Mammoth Lakes. If you’re buying in a more rural part of the county like Crowley Lake, June Lake, Bridgeport, or Tom’s Place it can be even harder. In addition to the willingness of insurance carriers to take on the fuel features of the surrounding area (determined through fuel mapping), proximity to fire hydrants/fire stations can play a role. If your home is within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant and 5 miles of a responsible fire station, this helps meet minimum eligibility requirements.

Homes with wood roofs can be harder to insure, as can homes on roads not maintained by the county. Insurance carriers want to see that major systems have been updated or replaced in the last 20 years as well (think plumbing, electrical, heating, roofs, etc.) Homes that show pride of ownership can be easier to insure. But none of these things are hard deal breakers — often an underwriter will approve a home with one of these issues if there’s a plan to fix it quickly once ownership transfers.

A homeowners insurance policy insures the home building itself as well as your belongings inside. Like the condo unit owners policy, it also covers your liability and legal responsibility for any visitors, including any damage caused by your pets to people visiting your home.

With a homeowners policy, damage caused by floods and earthquakes isn’t included and must be purchased separately. In the Eastern Sierra, flood zones aren’t as prevalent as in some areas of California. Flood zones require the purchase of flood insurance. However we’ve all felt an earthquake here, and every time I’ve felt the roll, I know purchasing earthquake insurance is money well spent. We can recommend a separate policy for coverage of one or both of these.

If you plan to use your property as a vacation rental…

If you’re investing in a rental property for vacationers to Mammoth Lakes, your insurance needs change somewhat. We have several carriers that will endorse a home or condo for secondary use by the owner as well as short term rental. This type of occupancy can increase the cost of the policy, but it’s essential to have proper coverage. The last thing you want is an insurance company denying coverage if you have a large claim.

Short term rental insurance was more problematic with insurance carriers a few years ago, but the popularity of Airbnb and VRBO have made this type of coverage more common. I recommend discussing this type of coverage with a local insurance agent.

Learn more about Insurance Scouts on our website, and contact us with any questions.


[From Sonja] I keep a list of insurance referrals for home buyers in Mammoth Lakes. Contact me to talk more about local insurance providers I’ve worked with.

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Late Friday afternoon walk with our 2 houseguests. #lovewherewelive #mammothlakes #visitmammoth ...

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Sonja recently helped me purchase a condo. My experience with her was only positive. She's knowledgeable, thorough and friendly. She is the consummate professional and the standard to which I would hold any real estate agent. - Alexander R.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
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Open House This Weekend! Come see this incredible property for yourself!

44 Wagon Wheel Drive
Sunday, October 2
4 PM - 6:30 PM

Link in bio...

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Time isn’t always on your side, especially if you’re trying to time the real estate market.

Some homeowners postponed selling while they waited for prices to hit their peak. Here’s why you shouldn’t wait any longer:

💲The market is unpredictable — even experts can’t guarantee what it will do next!
☑️ You could pay more to buy your next home the longer you delay.
🤝 It’s still a great time to sell, but rising mortgage rates are beginning to slow down demand.

You can’t control the real estate market — but you can control when you put your home up for sale 🏡

Contact us to start a conversation about the right time to make your move.

#realestatetips #realestate #houseforsale #greatvalue #newlisting #mammothrealestate #mammothcondos #mammothcabins #sonjasellsmammoth #mammothmarkettrends #timingthemarket #destinationmammoth
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BIG bright windows are the main attraction in this spacious 2 bed/2 bath condo in St. Anton. This complex is next door to Canyon Lodge – one of the shortest walks of any Mammoth location! Come see this condo today and get ready for the best winter season of your life!

Link in bio…

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
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If you're renting but plan on buying a house in the near, don't renew your lease without going month-to-month or making sure you can cancel it by giving your landlord a month or two notice.

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Thursday, September 29
9 AM - 11 AM

Stop by and tour 3 amazing Mammoth Lakes Properties tomorrow!!!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
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Beautiful sunset tonight.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
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Sonja was very knowledgeable and competent in selling our house in Mammoth. She is very personable and answered all of our numerous questions with courtesy, humor, and patience. Despite a greatly slowed real estate market, she sold our house in a reasonable time frame. - Stuart F.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
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#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?

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#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
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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
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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
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Beautifully updated two-bedroom slope side condo just listed for sale. Check it out!

Link in Bio...

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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!

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#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
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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.

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