So you are on vacation and want to view a few properties….now what?

mammoth lakes signIt 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.

What are the things I need to know before selling my home?


A.  Selling a home can be stressful unprepared consumer. These are five key points to keep in mind before marketing your home. 

1. Staging will make or break you.

Homes that don’t show well don’t close well.  Go to an Open House and see for yourself how important the process is for your success. 

2. Comparables are the key to the right price, not your opinion.

When it comes price, the winning opinion is always the market’s opinion. It is impossible to effectively price a home without taking into account the competition.  It is important to educate yourself on the market and your real estate agent can provide information on recent sales and current listings.  Make sure you have realistic expectations.  Remember, when it comes to selling your sellers on the right price, nothing beats the data.

3. You’ll get out what you put in, so consider improvements.

Most buyers do not want to deal with your old problems.  The problems buyers see when touring a home negatively impact the amount they will offer.  Before you list and start marketing the property, you and your agent should identify improvements that will make a difference when it comes to price.

4. Serious buyers never stop the hunt.

Too many sellers think they need to sell at a certain time of the year to maximize the potential price.  The reality is there are plenty of upsides to listing and marketing a home when everyone else is taking a break. 

5. Asking prices are up nationally, but…

Real estate is a local business.  The last few years have turned real estate headlines into high-profile news. That means you have likely heard that home asking prices recently jumped more than 5 percent nationally. While this is great news for the country as a whole, remember real estate is a local industry and that asking price isn’t everything.  Check with your agent for market updates (I post market updates at )

Source:  Jovan Hackley, Trulia

Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Update

market analysisThe first half of 2013 has been a roller coaster ride as far as home prices and the number of listings we have seen in the Mammoth Lakes area.  Average listing prices are down while median sales prices in Mammoth are up.

So, how is the market in Mammoth Lakes? There are several different data points to review when answering this question including median price, days on market and total inventory sold.   Below is a snapshot of the last two years closed transaction in Mammoth Lakes and 2013 so far.


2013 (as of 6/19)



Median   Sold Price




Median   Days on Market




Total Condos SOLD




Single   Family Homes

2013 (as of 6/19)



Median   Sold Price




Median   Days on Market




Total SF Homes SOLD




While this information is useful in observing trends, the current inventory must also be considered.  Below is a snapshot of the available properties available today:



Single Family Homes

Median   Price



Median   Days on Market



Total   Available Today



In summary, both condos and single family homes are selling more quickly and at a higher price in 2013 than in the previous two years.   The total number of sales is trending similar to 2012.  Inventory levels  for condos is low (down 12% from January).   Single family home inventory is relatively flat so far this year.   Based on actual closed sales so far this year, the trend indicates there will be more condos sold this year than last.   Of course, inventory is needed to continue the trend.

Mammoth Lakes has historically followed Orange County and San Diego by 6-8 months.  These areas are still in an upward cycle.   The average price per square foot in Anaheim, CA is up 19.1 percent compared to this time last year.  The median home sales price in Anaheim increased 22.4 percent compared to this time last year as well.  Mammoth Lakes saw an increase of 0.1% in median home sales prices compared to this time last year.  With Mammoth about 6-8 months behind Anaheim and Orange County, California, an upswing may well be indicated here as well.

According to the National Association of Realtors, national sales are up from a year ago in median-priced homes and higher-priced homes.  Sales in the lowest priced category were down in the West, South, and Northeast due to limited inventory in this price range.    The national gain in median home prices is the best year-over-year performance in over seven years according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors.  Will the upward trend continue?  Time will tell.

What does this mean to you?  Prices are trending up.  Anyone interested in buying should increase their search and identify a property before prices go higher.    This may be challenging with the limited inventory.  Sellers can expect to get more than they would have last year.    Of course, there is no crystal ball.  My advice, if you find something you love now is the time to make that offer.

For other articles written by Sonja Bush, visit

Sonja Bush is a licensed California real estate broker.  As a Broker Associate with Mammoth Village Properties located at The Village in Mammoth, Sonja works with buyers and sellers in the Eastern Sierra.  Sonja can be reached at or