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4 Steps to Take Before Buying a Mammoth Lakes Vacation Home

April 21, 2019

Real Estate

4 Steps to Take Before Buying a Mammoth Lakes Vacation Home

Buying a vacation home in Mammoth Lakes is a wonderful decision, but the process can be overwhelming. Many second home buyers start the buying journey after a “vacation high.” They love visiting Mammoth Lakes and decide to make it a reality, and then they start thinking about the purchase and anxiety sets in.

To avoid this stress, follow these four steps:

1. Decide how much home you can afford.

If you already own a home, you know there’s more to it than just the mortgage. Like any home purchase, you’ll need to factor in property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities and HOA (homeowners association) dues. In a mountain destination like Mammoth Lakes, other added costs that may or may not be covered by the HOA include snow removal and heating (propane, firewood or pellets).

2. List your priorities for your vacation home.

Figure out what’s most important to you. Each property will have different pros and cons. You may want to prioritize being able to ski in and ski out, being close to shopping and restaurants, or being located along a bus line. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you start seeing properties, so it’s helpful to determine your priorities beforehand. Also keep in mind that your priorities when you were renting may be different when you’re actually making a purchase.

View from a car on a drive through June Lake CA in the fall with yellow aspens along the road

3. Understand the costs of buying in a resort community.

Compared to buying a home in an urban area, financing a second home in Mammoth Lakes can be a bit more difficult. Talk to your realtor about your financial situation and what kind of mortgage will work for you. For some properties in resort areas, traditional financing may not be available, and third-party or private lenders might be the only option. This may mean you’ll end up needing a larger down payment or having a higher interest rate.

4. Be ready to make an offer.

Properties in Mammoth Lakes can move quickly, so you need to be ready to act if you find something you love. Before you start home shopping, get your credit in order. Request a free credit report and make sure everything is accurate. Talk with your real estate agent about local lenders, then work with one of them to get a pre-qualification letter and figure out your loan options. If you’ll be paying cash, make sure you have proof of funds documentation to support your cash offer. (Psst… here are four things to consider before you make an offer.)


A good real estate agent can make buying a Mammoth Lakes vacation home simple and stress-free for you. Learn more in my Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide. Give me a call if you’d like to talk: (760) 914-4664.

Photos by Josh Wray for Visit Mammoth


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