Photo by Josh Wray for Visit Mammoth
While Mammoth Lakes has an amazing community of locals, it’s still a resort and tourism community. The feel of the amenities we have here are all created with both locals and tourists in mind. Before you consider buying a home in Mammoth Lakes, it’s a good idea to think through the pros and cons of buying in a resort community.
Each mountain or ski resort you consider buying in will have its own personality. In Colorado, Aspen is known for its celebrities and millionaires, while Silverton is known for its laid-back atmosphere. Mammoth Lakes is known for its chill and happy California mountain town vibe. This culture is what drew me to make Mammoth Lakes my home full time, but it’s not for everyone.
Here are the pros to buying in a resort community like Mammoth Lakes:
- Scenic views – If you’re going to live or get a second home in a place as beautiful as Mammoth Lakes, you might as well get a good view! Resort community housing is often built with views in mind.
- Recreational activities – In Mammoth Lakes, any outdoor activity you could want is right out your front door. Take a hike with your dog, jump on a chairlift, go fly fishing, or bike on roads or mountain trails. The real Mammoth challenge is doing it all in one day! Seriously, my husband and I make an activity calendar so we are sure to get it all in.
- Nightlife and entertainment – While Mammoth Lakes doesn’t hold a candle to urban nightlife, you’d be surprised how much there is to do in our town of 8,000 people, especially during the busy summer and winter seasons. Through the summer, The Village at Mammoth hosts festivals almost every weekend, and we have a well-known blues and beer festival every August. We have comedy nights, trivia nights, open mic nights, and everything in between. Plus is there really anything better than sitting in your hot tub and enjoying the amazing views of the stars that seem to be within reach?
- Like-minded people – One of the benefits of moving to a resort community is that you’ll be surrounded by people who moved there for the same reasons you did. Mammoth Lakes is full of skiers, mountain bikers, and general outdoor enthusiasts. It’s a very active and nature-focused community, which draws a lot of people in.
- Wide variety of homes – In Mammoth Lakes and other resort communities, there are many different types of homes. We have condos, townhouses, single family homes, and mansions of all sizes. As long as you know your priorities, you’ll be able to find something that feels just right.
And here are the cons to buying in a resort community like Mammoth Lakes:
- Higher home prices – Compared to other rural mountain areas, a home in a resort community is going to come with a higher price tag. Being located near Los Angeles and San Francisco, the prices don’t seem so crazy, but they’re still high compared to non-resort areas in California. The cost of living in Mammoth Lakes is also higher. Things like gas, groceries, professional services and home repair will all cost a bit more.
- Slow off-season – This is a pro to some and a con to others. During the “shoulder seasons” (May to June and October to November), town is a bit slower. Some restaurants close for a few weeks for annual maintenance, and there are fewer events going on. I consider this a pro because the trails are quieter and the weather is perfect, but others aren’t as excited about the quieter times.
- Winter weather – If you’re going to buy a home in a ski town, be prepared for a whole new lifestyle. Everything about winter is a bit harder in a mountain resort community… think snow shoveling, putting chains on your car, etc.
- Remoteness – Mountain resort communities tend to be pretty geographically isolated. Transportation in and out can be tough and expensive. Bigger urban services are a few hours away. There’s no quick trip to Target, Trader Joe’s or Costco from Mammoth Lakes. But local businesses are a strong and beloved presence in our community, and you can get most of what you need from them.
- Challenges if renting – If you want to rent out your Mammoth Lakes home when you’re not here, you’ll have to comply with Town of Mammoth Lakes rules and ordinances. There are companies in town that can make this effortless to you, but if you want to do it on your own, you should be aware of the details to make sure you’re compliant.
If you think you want to live in a resort community, I recommend visiting first and, if possible, staying for an extended period of time. You could also stay for a week in several different resort communities to figure out what you like and what you don’t. If you’d like to learn more about buying a home in Mammoth Lakes, see my Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide, or give me a call to talk (760) 914-4664.
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