It is the last day of your vacation and you and your family have enjoyed your time in Mammoth Lakes California. You decide you might want to buy a vacation home here so you stop by one of the local real estate offices on the way out of town and see if someone can show you a few properties before you leave. Sounds reasonable, right?
Well since this is a resort town, it is important to know it is not as easy as it may sound. Since you are here on vacation, chances are occupancy is pretty high with other vacationers and there might be a limited number of properties you can view. After narrowing down your interests, the agent will need to view the notes on each listing and contact the property management company to check availability. In addition, many of the listed properties are on vacation rental programs and as such do not have lock-boxes (to prevent walk-ins on paying renters). What this means is that in many cases the agent has to drive to multiple locations to pick up the various keys for the available properties.
While all of this is possible and done numerous times each week, it is not the perfect scenario. Most agents will agree that a call at least a day ahead can save everyone time and hopefully maximize the time spent viewing properties. Given a little time the agent can do the leg work in advance and still have time to prepare for the tour with custom materials for your review. In the end planning ahead will be a better use of your time and help get you one step closer to making your second home a reality.
It 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:
- Know your budget.
- Identify your goals for the property
- Know which area of town you want to buy.
- If financing, get preapproved.
- 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 http://www.SonjaBush.com
Welcome to my blog! I have followed other blogs but have never had one of my own! This should be fun!
I am going to start by posting the articles I publish in the local newspaper each week (The Mammoth Times). Hopefully you will find these articles interesting and informative. Not all the material is uniquely mine and in those cases I do my best to quote the sources.
As time goes on, I plan on venturing to new territory and will post my personal thoughts and opinions on Mammoth Lakes real estate.