Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Update – November 2018

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Update – October 2018

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Update – September 1, 2018

2013 meterIt is human nature to want to get the best deal so I’m not surprised when new clients ask this question.   My advice is not try and time the purchase to get a better price.  Often buyers think they will get a better deal on a home in the off or shoulder season.  But generally speaking, sellers are savvy and home values do not fluctuate by season.  The best time to buy a property is when you find the property you want.

Know what you want and be prepared to take action.  You have to be confident you understand where the market is and what you want out of your property.  What is your budget?  When will you be using the property?  Will you be renting?

When you do find the property you want, I recommend you request photos of the property taken during different seasons.  You really need to see the difference between summer and winter.  Where does the snow accumulate?  How is your view impacted by the snow or trees during the summer versus the winter?

Trying to time the real estate market is not recommended but do watch for trends.  It doesn’t matter if you buy the “deal of the century” if it is not something that matches your goals.   Prices were relatively flat in 2012 but we have seen an increase in 2013.  Historically Mammoth Lakes has followed the trends in San Diego and Orange County by 6-8 months.  In those markets they are currently seeing multiple offers and properties are selling for over the asking price.     The median days on market is decreasing in  Mammoth Lakes.

In summary, be prepared:

  1. Know your budget.
  2. Identify your goals for the property
  3. Know which area of town you want to buy.
  4. If financing, get preapproved.
  5. Establish a relationship with a real estate agent and communicate the info above.

A trustworthy real estate agent will help you understand the market and help you find the property that matches your goals.

For past articles, visit www.sonjabush.com

There are distressed sales in almost every market.   Before we look at Mammoth Lakes specifically, bank ownedit is important to understand the definition of distressed sale.

A distressed sale in real estate is defined as the urgent need to sell property when the owner can no longer make the mortgage payments.  He/she must sell the property immediately to pay off the mortgage, even if it involves losing money on the property.  There are two primary types of distressed sales:

Foreclosure:  A situation in which a mortgage lender takes possession of the property because the borrower  has not made payments on interest or principal for a certain period of time.

Short Sale:  An agreement between a mortgage borrower in distress and the lender that allows the borrower to sell the house and remit the proceeds to the lender.  A short sale is an alternative to foreclosure or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Foreclosure-related sales are on the decline but distressed sales continue to claim a “disproportionately high portion” of total home sales across the country, according to RealtyTrac’s most recent foreclosure and short sales report. The firm also found increases in prices for distressed properties in 2012.

Distressed property sales made up 43 percent of all home sales nationwide in 2012, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosure-related sales made up 21 percent of all sales, while non-foreclosure short sales made up 22 percent of sales. Together, foreclosure and REO sales decreased 6 percent from 2011 with a total of 947,995 sales over the year in 2012.

Here in Mammoth Lakes, in 2012 distressed property sales made up 41 percent of all home sales.  Foreclosure sales made up 15 percent of all sales and short sales were 26 percent.

A qualified licensed real estate agent can provide information on available distressed sales.  Often the lender has special requirements for buyers and although there are some “good deals,” patience is a virtue when dealing with distressed sales.

For previous articles, visit www.sonjabush.com

Fractional ownership offers individuals the opportunity to buy partial ownership of generally high-end properties in resort areas (golf course, ski area or beach communities).  Usually the fractional ownerships are divided into fourths, sixths or eighths, with each owner having an equal number of days a year to use the unit.

At first glance it looks and sounds like a time share.  The main distinction between timeshare and fractional ownership is with a timeshare you buy the right to use a certain period of time (not usually flexible), but with fractional ownership you are buying real estate with more usage available and increased flexibility on scheduling.   You get a deeded piece of luxury real estate which you can sell, transfer or trade like regular real estate.    That being said, the cost of fractional ownership is higher than that of typical timeshare, though still much less expensive than whole ownership of a luxury home in the same location.

Depending on the property, most fractional developments provide the amenities of a first-class hotel such as concierge, housekeeping, ground transportation and grocery shopping services.  Fractional properties may be hotel suites, cabins, town houses or detached homes.    By only paying for a fraction of a luxury property, fractional ownership can be a much more cost-effective way to stay in desirable properties and locations.

In Mammoth Lakes there are two luxury fractional opportunities.  80|50 offers fractional ownership in one, two or three bedroom elegant condos with Gondola access, while Tallus offers fractional ownership in 5000 sq foot luxury homes located on Sierra Star Golf Course.

Fractional ownership is not right for everyone.  The family that wants to come to Mammoth every other weekend or an entire month in the summer should consider full ownership properties.  However, the family looking for 4-8 weeks per year in a high-end property offering both onsite and offsite amenities should consider fractional.   A qualified real estate can help you determine if fractional ownership is right for you.

For previous articles visit:  www.sonjabush.com

There are several benefits by getting your home purchase or sale closed before 2013.  The first and most important is you will benefit from the Mortgage Debt Relief Forgiveness Act.

This law exempts current homeowners from serious income taxes normally incurred when mortgage debt is forgiven – including in cases where an underwater home is sold short. A mortgage lender extends cash to a borrower when they make a mortgage on a home. If that debt is wiped out without actually being paid back, then the cash that was extended to that borrower is normally considered income by the IRS, and is taxed as such.

But when the real estate market crashed, the federal government enacted this Act to eliminate the thousands and thousands of dollars of income taxes the average American who loses a home to foreclosure or short sale would otherwise incur.

This Act is set to expire on December 31, 2012. Most industry insiders expect it will be extended before that time, but growing numbers are surprised it hasn’t already been. And with the upcoming election, some are unsure what will happen.

If you need to sell an underwater home via a short sale, the time to list it was really a few months ago. But some servicers are expediting these transactions so that it might still be possible to get your short sale closed before year’s end. If your escrow closes by December 31st, you’ll avoid the enormous tax burden that could result if the Act expires and you had to do a short sale in the future. (Ask your accountant or financial advisory for advice on your specific situation.)

For previous articles, visit www.sonjabush.com

Source: Trulia

Myth #1: The homeowner must hShort Sales Mythsave missed mortgage payments in order to qualify for a short sale. 


FACT: Years ago this may have been true, but not in 2012.

A financial hardship should exist or be imminent. But, not all people with financial hardships have missed a mortgage payment. Common hardships include mortgage rate adjustments, loss of job or income, health or medical issues, and divorce among others.

Myth #2: Banks prefer foreclosure to processing a short sale. 


FACT: The truth is that banks would prefer NOT to foreclose on a property because it costs them big bucks. The bank will lose a lot less on a short sale than on a foreclosure.

In fact, many banks are so interested in short sales that they are paying sellers to participate in a short sale versus letting the home go to foreclosure.

Myth #3: In order to the seller to qualify for a short sale, he or she must speak with the lender first and get pre-approved.

FACT: While each lender has a different way in which they process the short sale, overall the best way to get in front of a tough situation is to speak with a knowledgeable agent that knows how each short sale lender operates. Often, when calling the lender, short sale sellers find that they do not get the answers that they want and need from the first line of short sale support.

Myth #4: Short sales don’t close.

FACT: The truth is that about 50% of all nationwide real estate transactions right now involve distressed properties.

Myth #5: Short sales take months (and months) to close.

FACT:  It can take months to close if you don’t know “rules of the road.”  The short sale process must be mastered and it helps quite a bit to know the ins and outs at each of the major lending institutions. There are many short sales that can be approved in a much quicker time frame. The more liens on title, then the more lengthy the short sale process.  A qualified real estate professional can help navigate the process.

Source:  Short Sale Expeditor

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