Things to Consider before Buying a Home in Mammoth Lakes
For a lot of folks, deciding to make the most to a mountain resort community is a big step and there are a lot of things to consider… particularly if you are moving from Southern California or larger urban environment. Here is a podcast covering all the items in this post… and then some.
A small resort town presents a great deal of benefits, but you have to be prepared for the changes. Here are just a few to consider
Lifestyle Changes: You are likely moving to Mammoth Lakes expecting a change of lifestyle, any you will. Life will likely be slower and it will feel awkward at first, but most people adjust to the slower pace and replace any unwanted dead time with outdoor activities.
If you aren’t an outdoor enthusiast this may not be the place for you, but most people moving to Mammoth find a way to bring the outdoors into their new lifestyle. This may include anything from more extreme lifestyles like climbing, bouldering, back-country skiing, and running to bird watching, casual walks or just sitting on the balcony enjoying the views.
Tourism: Mammoth is a resort community and while locals often wish they could keep the town to themselves, we rely on visitations for our survival. It’s a love hate relationship. Mammoth Lakes can swell from a sleepy town of 7,000 full time residents to 30,000+ visitors on a busy weekend. Some visitors can be short tempered, stressed, and often demanding when they are not in a comfortable setting. Be prepared to be patient and help solve problems with you new found knowledge of the community.
Mammoth is for all Seasons: You may be considering a move to Mammoth because you love
skiing or snowboarding, but there is so much more to do. There is a saying in Mammoth, ” You move here for the winters and stay for the Summers”. Here are just a few things to do in the summer:
- Music Festivals like Mammoth Rocks or Mammoth Festival of Beers
- Road Biking
- Adventuring to remote parts of the County
- Visiting Yosemite or Bodie State Historical Park
- Golfing Sierra Star or Snowcreek Golf Courses
Don’t move to Mammoth if you are looking to get rich, unless you have a unique idea that hasn’t been thought of. Most people move to Mammoth for quality of life now quantity of cash flow. Workforce housing is limited which makes finding a place to rent difficult. If you are an employer, a big part of your business is going to be accommodating your employees. Also, keep in mind many folks work 2-3 jobs.
Pros / Cons:
- You will have Closer relationships with friends / You will have Closer Relationships with friends
Sayings of young people living in a in Mammoth Lakes:
- Men of women: “You Don’t lose your woman, you lose your turn” (due to higher ratio of men to women)
- Women of men: “The odds are good, but the goods are odd” (not a lot of driven men in town)
- Everything is 2 minutes from your home / No real con to this
- Living on a ski slope is great idea in the winter / Not so great in the summer
- Fewer people during a pandemic / Fewer resources like hospital beds
- Stores and local essentials are 2 minutes away / Do not have many option (We love Amazon.com)
- Lot to do if you love being outside / Little to do if you do not, must love being solitude otherwise
- Mountain life is adventurous and beautiful / Living at altitude is tough if you aren’t used to it
Things to consider when buying a home:
- South Facing is preferable due to passive solar and helps dramatically in keeping snow and ice out of your driveway.
- Woodstove ordinances there are woostove ordinances that could have a costly impact on a new buyer if you don’t know what to look for. Click here for details
- Bears and other wildlife are active in our town. They will get into trash, break into homes or cars if you don’t take precautions.
- Mammoth doesn’t have regular trash pickup service. Expect to take trash to the local transfer station or trash dumpster if you community has one.
- Expect the need for more Storage. More seasons and outdoor living seems to increase the need for more “Stuff”. (shovels, skies, jackets, larger vehicles, toys)
- Heating bills and types of heating. Hydronic and Forced air heating is better than electric. (No natural gas… but propane!!)
- You want a home with dual pane windows.
- Freezing Pipes – keep temperatures in your home above 50 to prevent freezing pipes and open bath vanity doors if you leave town for any length of time as it will help pipes stay warm
- Be prepared to do more snow shoveling
- Be prepared to so less gardening (3 months out of the year)
- Views bring a premium in Mammoth and tend to hold value better
- Politically, your opinion makes more of a difference in a small town
- Get a list of good service providers, there are a lot of good and lazy contractors in town
- Labor is much more expensive in Mammoth and less reliable
- Markets tend to be more volatile and lag behind Southern California
- Prices in Mammoth are much higher than many non-resort areas
Condo vs Home:
Maintenance – Condos are easier to maintain and often have an onsite manager. Doing most of the exterior work. Homes require a lot of work including from snow removal, painting (south side in particular), water bills, landscaping, and even woodpecker holes in the siding.
Costs and HOA Dues – Homes don’t have HOA dues, but they also don’t have services and amenities. Often people think they are saving money by not paying HOA dues, but the maintenance of a home is not cheap and will likely cost you as much or more per month than you would otherwise pay in HOA dues. You get what you pay for here.
Snow removal for Driveway, Balconies, and Roofs – This items are usually taken care of by the HOA in a condo complex and can be a pain in the butt when you own a home. Snow removal can be a significant cost to those that don’t do it themselves, and it can get real expense if you need to have someone remove the snow from a roof. Freezing pipes
Rent-ability of your property: Generally speaking condos in Mammoth can be rented on a nightly, or transient, basis where most single family homes cannot. If you are buying as a second owner and you are desiring income potential you will want to keep this in mind. If you are buying a home or condo, make sure you understand the rent-ability of the property. Give me a call about transient rentals or visit our site at Matthew Lehman Real Estate.