This two bedroom property is a lake lover’s dream, just a short walk to Big Bear Lake’s sheltered Metcalf Bay. This beautiful bay is a great spot to launch a kayak or watch a famous Big Bear sunset. This rustic cabin is situated on a level, sun filled, lot. It has a kitchen/dining area with plenty of windows for morning sunlight and living room that features a beautiful rock fireplace. A big bonus to this property is the large, detached, outbuilding . This one room structure has a window and is drywalled with insulation; a great place to store your toys or convert to a studio guest house. Proximity to the lake is not the only plus to the location of this house. Local favorite, Log Cabin Restaurant and Performing Arts Center are just around the corner. You’ll also be less than ½ mile from great hiking, the Community Market, Azteca Mexican Grill, Big Bear Brewery Restaurant, and Alpine Slide snowplay/waterpark. Call Jason Schetter for an appointment to see this affordable lake lovers dream. (951) 990-7210
Hello my name is Kenny Washabaugh and the owner of Kenny’s painting serving the Big Bear Valley and all of Southern California. I was asked by The Rahill Real Estate Group to share on the art of refinishing log homes here in The Big Bear Valley, and how to find a reputable painting contractor.
First the contractor you hire should be licensed, insured, bonded, and is recommended highly from the local paint stores. Check and make sure they have workmen’s comp on all employees. If they are offended by the request move on. The contractor should then be able to determine what product was used prior. Was it a water base, oil base or log oil finish? This is important as it will determine how to prep the surface correctly. If weather and temperatures permit, pressure washing and scrubbing house with a med course level nylon brush and a log home cleaning solution works great to remove built up debris such as dust, pollens and pitch from trees. You do NOT sand first, as all these contaminates will then be embedded into the surface and weaken the bond of the new material used. Allow the home to dry from water for a few days, again depending on weather and temps. In some cases this is all it needs and the house is ready for finish material to be applied.
In other cases this is only the beginning. Most homes will then need to be thoroughly sanded and cleaned using an array of different methods. The preparation is always the key to a great job and ensuring the longevity of the products used! Assuming you hire a painting contractor one should always then clean thoroughly and mask everything you don’t want covered in a oil or water base film due to overspray. Most contractors will use an airless to apply material and then brush as they go. The number of coats is to be determined by products used and the desired look to be achieved. Building the finish material to a shine is not always the best thing to do. Read the directions on the cans and make sure your contractor can read as well. The directions are there for your protection. Stay connected for more helpful hints for painting in the mountains from people you can trust!
New Year might mean that it is time for a new house. If so, it might be time to get to those home improvement projects underway to help get you on the road to your new real estate in Big Bear.
Make A Wish List
The beginning of the year is a great time to take an assessment of where you are and where you want to be. Clearing, cleaning and improving your current property is a great way to start.
If you are dreaming of finding a home in the mountains, take some time to list what you most desire and then search properties for sale to get ideas. Is a rustic mountain cabin more your style or do you envision a lakeside estate?
Create A Timeline
What time frame do you have in mind for moving? Creating a time line for change can help you budget and plan improvements that will help sell your current home while also getting a better return on investment if you do it right. It will also help you target the right time to connect with a Big Bear Realtor® for help in finding a new house.
Need inspiration? Read magazines, visit home improvement stores for ideas and ask around for referrals for contractors or professionals to help. Don’t forget to bookmark favorite websites to round out the research. Preparing helps lower the stress–so take your time.
Set A Budget
Once you have the basics outlined, set a budget. Since holiday expenses precede the New Year, take a few months to ponder and plan. If you are doing improvements, price out materials, labor and plan for unexpected incidentals. Talk with your banker or financial advisor for additional suggestions and best strategies.
Pull The Proper Permits
Don’ forget to pull the proper permits for any home improvement projects that involve structural changes, plumbing, or electrical work. In most cases, the general contractor or trade professional you hire can assist with this.
Find professionals through referrals and online research and don’t forget to ask friends and family members for help with smaller do it yourself projects.
If you are searching for a Realtor® in Big Bear, don’t hesitate to call the Rahill Real Estate Group at (909) 547-4402.
Christmas in Big Bear is an enchanting time and we thought that a list of holiday happenings and a few of the places will be open for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day might be useful to those visiting the area.
Alpine Slide (909) 866-4626
800 Wildrose Lane in Big Bear Lake, CA
- Christmas Eve, 10:00 am- 5:00 pm
- Christmas Day, 11:00 am- 4:00 pm
Big Bear Snow Play (909) 585-0075
42825 Big Bear Blvd in Big Bear Lake, CA
- Christmas Eve, 10:00 am- 4:00 pm
- Christmas Day, 11:00 am- 4 :00 pm
Bowling Barn (909) 878-2695
40625 Lakeview Drive in Big Bear Lake, CA
- Christmas Eve, 10:00 am- 5:00 pm
- Christmas Day, Noon -10 :00 pm
Big Bear Fun Plex (909) 866-0066
40679 Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear Lake, CA
- Christmas Eve Open, hours TBA
- Christmas Eve Open, hours TBA
Big Bear Alpine Zoo (909) 878-4200
43285 Goldmine Drive in Big Bear Lake, CA
- Christmas Eve, 10:00 am- 5:00 pm
- Christmas Day, CLOSED
Baldwin Lake Stables & Petting Zoo (909) 585-6482
46475 Pioneer Town Road in Big Bear City, CA
- Christmas Eve, last ride (1 hour) at 3:00 pm
- Christmas Day, Call for Reservations.
Snow Summit Ski Resort (909) 866-5841
880 Summit Boulevard in Big Bear Lake, CA
- Christmas Eve
- Day Session* 8:00 am- 5 :00 pm
- Night Session 3 :00 pm- 9:30 :00 pm
- Christmas Day
- Day Session* 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
- Night Session 3:00 pm- 9:30 :00 pm
*Day Session extends to 6:00 pm when Night Session is offered.
Bear Mountain Ski Resort (909) 585-2519
43101 Goldmine Drive in Big Bear Lake, CA
- Christmas Eve 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
- Christmas Day 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Helicopter Big Bear (909) 585-1200
501 Valley Boulevard in Big Bear City, CA
- Christmas Eve Open, Call for Reservations.
- Christmas Day Open, Call for Reservations.
Big Bear Discovery Center (909) 382-2790
40971 North Shore Drive in Fawnskin, CA
- Christmas Eve, 8:30 am –2:00 pm
- Christmas day, CLOSED
Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendar for the New Year’s Eve torchlight parade at Snow Summit Ski Resort. The parade of skiers and snowboarders will start down the Miracle Mile at 7:00pm.
Thinking of selling your Big Bear house? The good news is that it looks like the valley is trending toward becoming a seller’s market. It is no secret that the end of the year is fast approaching which can be a motivating factor for some buyers. Also, the winter holidays tend to be a time of distraction for most people who postpone putting their homes on the marketing until April or May. This is good news since it means less competition when compared to other times of the year.
The key to selling at the end of the year is to focus on both presentation and pricing. In fact, one local example is a home that just sold in Fawnskin. Following these rules, it was placed on the market and sold immediately–snapped up the very next day by an eager buyer.
One of the reasons houses in the valley are moving is that there is a high interest from buyers who have been waiting for the right time to buy. Their searches for Big Bear real estate are during a time when the number of houses for sale is lower. This means that competition for a buyer is lower as well and this fact works in the seller’s favor.
Prepping and staging in the late fall or winter when there is less competition for buyers is a great idea. The winter holidays just might be a perfect time to have a house on the market because if you are a full-time resident and take this time to vacation, there will not be any inconvenience or disruption when the home is shown or open houses are scheduled.
In general, the frequency of showing homes is lower during the holiday season but it also means that the good news is that the buyers who come up to look are serious. Many will make a mini-holiday by staying over to enjoy the enchanting winter amenities while doing their house hunting.
Winter weather this year has been unseasonably mild. However, to avoid having inclement conditions interfere with a home tour, make sure to arrange for regular snow removal. Taking the time to spruce up your home with seasonal decor to enhance the appeal in any conditions.
The Rahill Real Estate Group would love to help sell your home. Don’t hesitate to drop by or contact us today at (909) 547-4402.
If you are a new Big Bear home owner, there are some adjustments to high altitude living that might take you by surprise. We’ve shared some home winterization tips to help you in the transaction, but if you are commuting up and down the mountain, we thought some winter driving tips might be helpful.
Because winter driving conditions can be unpredictable, it is best to be prepared at all times. Harsh weather conditions can mean unexpected delays due to a variety of reasons and being prepared can keep you warm, comfortable and safe.
During the winter months take some of the following steps to prepare:
- Keep water, snacks, winter boots, gloves, hats, and blankets in your vehicle at all times.
- Be sure to store an emergency light and radio in the trunk for emergencies.
- Some regions of the mountains have little or no cell coverage so have an emergency contact that knows your itinerary.
- Check the condition of your tires and invest in spikes, show chains or cables. Make sure they fit!
- Keep a towel and ice scraper in the vehicle.
- Make sure your heating system is in working order and use winter weather additives for the windshield washer and radiator.
- Always keep the gas tank full since unexpected delays can use up extra fuel and power outages prevent fueling.
- Don’t forget to keep a charged cell phone and cell phone charger in your vehicle.
- Bring a flashlight or battery operated radio just in case.
- Slow down during your drive.
- Remember that if you brake during icy conditions, you will usually slide, so allow extra distance and time for stopping.
- Avoid blocking any roadway. Use turnouts for chain or cable installations or if other vehicles are lining up behind you.
- Avoid parking on the street since this interferes with snow removal and blocks snow plows.
- For road condition updates call 511.
Four your convenience, here are some of our previous Big Bear winterization articles:
- Big Bear Real Estate Winterization Tips
- Big Bear House Winter Preparation Tips
- Winterization Tips for Big Bear Houses
The Rahill Real Estate Group is dedicated to helping you buy or sell real estate in Big Bear. Don’t hesitate to call us at (909) 547-4402.
Mountain house owners know how to prep before winter hits, but if you are a new home owner, or are looking to buy a lakefront cabin for sale, here are some additional Big Bear house winter preparation tips to help get your property ready for the snow season.
Chimney – Fireplace – Furnace Inspection
- Be sure to have a chimney sweep attend to your chimney and fireplace before winter hits. (Read our Chimney Fire Prevention Tips)
- Check to be sure the fireplace damper and screens work properly.
- Don’t forget to inspect the mortar between bricks.
- Arrange for firewood delivery and storage.
- Locate an HVAC professional for furnace and duct cleaning and inspection.
- Consider installing a programmable thermostat for more energy efficiency.
- Be sure to remove all flammable material from around heat sources.
- Be sure to get fire extinguishers serviced, or replaced, and place in strategic areas.
- Test both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work and mark your calendar to replace batteries regularly.
- Detectors should be placed in areas adjacent heat sources. Don’t forget water heaters and temporary heat sources.
- Take time to inspect the house exterior for cracks and be alert to entry points that need sealing such as around pipes or vents.
- Check for cold air entry points around doors and windows and seal off drafts by using caulking or weather stripping .
- If the house does not have double paned windows, consider switching out summer screens with glass replacements or get winter window kits that use plastic to help seal out the cold.
Snow Preparation – Removal
- Make sure to have snow removal aids on hand. Snow shovels, blowers, ice choppers or snow plow services are favorites.
- Consider buying sand or eco-friendly ice melt to avoid slick surfaces.
- Keep a snow shovel and sand in your trunk for emergencies along with blankets, first-aid kits and snacks.
- Be sure to have the appropriate snow tire chains, cables or spikes for vehicles.
The Rahill Real Estate Group is dedicated to helping you buy or sell Big Bear properties and houses. Don’t hesitate to call us for help at (909) 547-4402
Weather is a hot topic of conversation for both locals and visitors and this month is no different. The imminent weather change is also a good time to work on Big Bear home and property maintenance. Here are a few tasks to consider tackling while waiting for winter to arrive here in Big Bear Lake.
Trees begin to go dormant this time of the year which makes it the best time to do trimming and pruning. Although you might be able to trim some yourself, hire a professional to do the job for the taller trees since it is a dangerous job that experts can do safely. Pay attention to the trees that are dropping needles or leaves on your roof, shading buildings, or that are close enough to cause serious damage should a branch break loose under heavy snow.
Leaves and pine needles can create problems. For instance, pine needles can be slick underfoot on slight inclines and if leaves accumulate on the roof, they can retain water and initiate leaks in the junctures. Ditches, culverts and drainage ditches will need clearing. Many locals leave a small amount of leaves as ground cover since they help absorb water and protect the ground as natural mulch.
If you have lots of trees on your property, yard clean up might be foremost on your mind. It is a good practice to take the time to clear any leaves or needles from drainage channels and gutters. These actions will help protect your house from water damage.
To avoid damaging the gutters, wear gloves and scoop the leaves and needles out by hand. Once clear, a high pressure nozzle can help clean the gunk from the bottom and clear the drainage lines. Some contractors specialize in clearing and repairing gutters, so if you don’t want to do it yourself, hire someone to clear them and have an inspection done at the same time.
Cleaning, repairing and staining woodwork and wood furniture is often done this time of year since the air tends to be drier. Wood cleaner and linseed oil are two valuable items to have on hand. Once stains are removed from wooden surfaces, apply oil, furniture polish or paste wax for a sparkling sheen.
House hunting near an election can give you some valuable information about the Big Bear neighborhoods you are looking at since many home owners post signs in support of their favorite candidates.
Would it matter to you if your neighbors supported a different political party?
In most cases, it probably wouldn’t but, by taking some time to do additional research, that simple step can help determine if you will feel more at home in a neighborhood.
Taking some time to investigate a neighborhood is a great way to make sure it is the right choice.
Your Big Bear real estate agent can pull information on the demographics and trends within the specific location to help give you insight.
However, it might be a good excuse to book a week long escape so you can spend time visiting favorite locations during different hours of the day, or night, and during the week as well as weekends.
For instance, if you are moving into a neighborhood on a full-time basis, knowing the daily activities might be advantageous since moving next door to a dog that barks incessantly might be a deterrent.
Since people in Big Bear tend to be neighborly, you might consider asking local residents about living in the different areas that have made your short list.
Many neighborhoods have active residents and taking some time to stroll through your favorites might give you the opportunity to learn about the area first hand and a chance to meet and greet potential neighbors.
The surrounding area may or may not change after you purchase a home so consider researching proposed changes to the adjacent parcels. This may reveal whether or not that stunning view might be blocked by a pending development.
When it comes to exploring potential properties, Search Big Bear Real Estate can help you locate many different options.
But, if you are researching online, use caution on websites giving general information since many serve up old or inaccurate data–so be sure to always ask your real estate professional for help and the most accurate information.
The Rahill Real Estate Group would love to assist you in your search for the perfect Big Bear house or property. Take some time to search the site and if you need to schedule a home tour, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call (909) 547-4402.
Living in Big Bear is unique and one of its charming aspects that attracts people to buy real estate in Big Bear is that it is very family friendly. That said, holidays are big events around the valley and there are plenty of tricks and treats happening for Halloween. So you don’t miss the fun, here are some of the happenings.
Bewitched By Bats (October 26, 2012)
Join Forest Service biologist, Linda Stamer at the Big Bear Discovery Center and go batty at the Nature Night. Admission is free and open to all ages. The event starts at 7:00pm and if you arrive early, kids can decorate a bat cookie. The Discovery Center is at 40971 North Shore Drive in Fawnskin. Call (909) 382-2790 for more information.
Halloween Cruise (October 27, 2012)
Embark on a two hour lake cruise this Saturday from 6:00pm until 8:00pm on the Miss Liberty. Enter the costume contest for chances to win a ½ day Pontoon Boat Rental and a few other prizes awarded to the most hideously creative. Cost is $30 for adults and $15 for children. For reservations call (909) 866-8129.
Big Bear Halloween Maze (October 28-30, 2012)
If you are looking for free fun, don’t miss the Halloween Maze at 889 McAlister Road in Big Bear Lake. Open from 6:30pm until 10:30pm.
Panic in the Park (October 28-30, 2012)
Panic in the Park is a project of the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District. The Meadow Park Gym transforms into a haunted house. Venture into it to see if you can avoid panic in the park at 41220 Park Avenue in Big Bear Lake. Open from 6:00pm until 9:00pm with admission at $5.00 per person. All funds will support the Big Bear Teen Center.
Halloween Carnival (October 29, 2012)
The United Methodist Church of Big Bear Lake hosts its annual Halloween Carnival from 5:00pm until 7:00pm at 1001 Holden Avenue in Big Bear City. Kids of all ages are welcome and costumes are encouraged, but not required. Activities and games are offered and suitable for children up to age 12. Snacks and other tidbits will be available at a minimal cost and games are 10 cents. For more information, call (909) 585-4089.
Boo in the Zoo (October 29, 2012)
A favorite of animal lovers and fun seekers, Boo in the Zoo offers a new slant on “trick or treat.” Amble through a graveyard, the pumpkin patch, the electric dungeon of doom, scarecrow land or the witches lair at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. Join the goblins and watch how the kids and animals enjoy special Halloween treats. Hours are 1:00pm until 5:00pm with regular admission. Call (909) 878-4200 for more information.
Pumpkin Patch (October 29, 2012)
The Big Bear Pumpkin Patch at the vintage drive-in has been happening for 43 years. A joint project of several valley businesses, it is fun for the whole family and kids can chose their favorite pumpkin at no charge. Opens at 9:00am until all the pumpkins are gone. Find it at 39515 Big Bear Blvd in Big Bear Lake.
Halloween in the Village (October 31, 2012)
Halloween in the Village is one of the most fun and well attended events of the season. The Village Business Association and merchants close up shop and open the doors to provide safe trick or treat excursions. Streets in the area are closed to motorists and the whole valley turns up. Festivities begin at 4:30pm and end at 8:30pm.
Our team of real estate professionals hopes you have an un-boo-lieveable good time while you are visiting.
For help finding a hauntingly perfect property on the trip, give Rahill Realty a call at (909) 547-4402 to schedule a home tour or to find out more.
Is getting into a new home for the holidays on your list? The seasonal commercials remind us that the winter holidays are not too far away.
If it is your dream to be into your house by Christmas, it will require some quick action and creative efforts–since the end of the year is fast approaching.
The good news is that if you’ve been thinking about purchasing a new home, there is still time to close escrow and enjoy the holidays there, and leverage that purchase for when you file your taxes in the new year.
Big Bear House Buyers
Unlike the surrounding areas down the mountain, Big Bear is enchanting in the winter and house shopping in the fall is usually a great time to look. The seasonal lull also means that you can get a jump on any competition for the properties in the area.
As a first step, search Big Bear Real Estate using our MLS online. This can help you identify those dream homes and narrow the choices.
Take a few minutes to review our resource guide for some of the real estate mobile applications available to help you.
Call to discuss the homes and properties on your list and to make an appointment for tours throughout the area as soon as you can.
If you don’t know, autumn is the perfect time to visit the area and get familiar with the amenities while enjoying the fall festivities.
Ask your Big Bear Realtor for suggestions on where to stay or grab a complimentary visitors guide to become more familiar with options.
Big Bear House Sellers
Check with your Realtor to make sure your property is listed and priced competitively.
Leverage the low light by using nature’s decor instead of seasonal decorations to enhance the appeal. Pine cones, green garlands, poinsettias, twinkle lights and faux candles will add an enchanting and warm ambiance.
Don’t forget to include the scent of pine, balsam, fir or mulling cider as an additional mountain charm to the interior environment.
Revisit any areas that might need cleaning, de-cluttering, staging or beautification tasks for the best results. A temporary storage unit might be useful.
Finally, although you might want a new home for the holidays, remember a new house is something you will enjoy throughout the entire year so if things don’t go according to plan, don’t stress. If it is worth buying it is also worth waiting for.
Don’t hesitate to call the Rahill Real Estate Group (909) 547-4402 for help in buying or selling real estate in Big Bear.
Digital house hunting? Yes! Big Bear Real Estate practices have certainly changed and although most home buyers no longer peruse the Sunday paper real estate listings, the practice of taking a home tour for true impressions remains the same.
However, a digital house hunt can save you a lot of time by helping to narrow down the choices and we thought we’d share some useful tools to help you in your search for that dream home or lakefront cabin for sale.
In today’s real estate market it is now possible to take advantage of virtual tours 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Using electronic resources helps narrow down the choices of any homes you may wish to tour. Many applications or sites also allow the storage of that information for ease of access at another time.
An amazing percentage of home buyers (88%) now use the Internet in some aspect of their house search. But, many might have missed some of the new mobile applications that can be vital tools in digital house hunting efforts.
The main benefit that comes with using any mobile search application is that the technology identifies your current location so it can identify and deliver houses for sale in the community immediately. This gets the information to your finger tips in real time.
Although there are a variety of mobile applications available to you, here are a few helpful options.
Big Bear Local
Big Bear Local is available as an online directory and as a free mobile application on both the Android and iPhone markets. Although Big Bear Local isn’t specific to the real estate market, you will find valuable resources for weather, amenities, shopping, events and much more.
The House Hunter application helps home buyers keep track of priorities during that search for the right house. Simply enter the features desired along with a rate of how important those are to you (from 1 to 10) and then let the application calculate the score to see how they compare. You can also add photos as a visual aid.
Trulia offers Android, iPhone and iPad applications. A couple of the nice features are voice based search, heat maps and ease of use.
There are a lot of different mortgage calculator applications available to house hunters and many are free of charge. When it comes to making educated decisions, a calculator can serve up those important numbers before you make a final decision.
Search Big Bear Real Estate
Finally, if you are seeking another online resource specific to the Big Bear area, our Search Big Bear Real Estate is a gold medal award winning real estate website. You can search without logging in or can create an account to store all your finds easily.
Click over to download the digital house hunting resources and don’t hesitate to call Rahill Realty at (909) 547-4402 to schedule your tour or for more information.
This four season resort is enchanting but without advance preparation, a seasonal temperature drop can quickly become a challenge. We’ve discussed winterization before and shared some home owner winterization tips but it is time for another look at this topic.
For full-time Big Bear property owners, a best practice is to watch the temperature forecasts. Taking this simple action will alert you to any cold snap that might be right around the corner. If you travel, it is always a great habit to have a home inspection service or to leave a key with a neighbor in case of emergency.
If are a part-time resident or home owner who is thinking about closing down the cabin to avoid plumbing and other issues, here are things to think about.
It is a good time to clear any rain gutters so they work well and channel away any snow melt. Big Bear gets a lot of sun but making a practice to clear the gutters after a snow fall to avoid the ice melt freeze cycle will help prevent breakage.
Garden or Landscape
Many residents shut off the sprinkler controls and then turn off the water at the house (not the meter). Be sure to drain the system as well so no water remains inside to freeze and expand–which would break or crack the lines. Some residents invest in insulated external faucet covers while others simply wrap them and cover with plastic.
If a house does not have double pane windows, shutters or plastic covers helps prevent snow and ice buildup, protects wood frames, and helps to prevent the ice and snow from melting and seeping into older cabins. The insulating properties also help keep the inside temperatures a bit higher.
For those who do not use their cabins for the winter, many shut the water off at the main while others leave it on but winterize by insulating pipes with insulation or heat tape. If water is shut off, don’t forget to bleed all water lines.
An old practice for protecting the sink, bathtub, and shower drain traps is to pour about a cup of plumbing antifreeze down each drain. Make sure to use an environmental, non-toxic antifreeze called propylene glycol.
There are some residents that switch off the electrical circuits on unoccupied houses. Another practice is to unplug unused electrical appliances which prevents a phantom electricity draw when they are not being used.
Rahill Realty invites you to search for real estate in Big Bear. Please call (909) 547-4402 to schedule a home tour or with any questions.
Home improvements that help sell Big Bear houses is a topic Rahill Realty believes would be of value to Big Bear sellers.
Recent research about how to get higher prices and faster sales for houses can help if you need a market edge. Enhancing the sales appeal of a property with home improvement projects might just be the answer needed to achieve that goal.
This comes as no surprise to our team of Big Bear Realtors but it was nice to see this confirmed earlier in the summer by the National Association of Realtors® survey of over 2,000 realty professionals and homeowners.
One of the reasons we spend time sharing information about staging, curb appeal, and other tips is that it helps gives your house or property an edge over others on the local market.
Simple changes such as clean up, painting the interior, exterior house painting, repairs and visual upgrades to the garden, entry or garage can make an impact and strengthen the value, increase the listing price, and encourage a faster sale.
Agents who participated in the survey indicated a need for homeowners to check with a professional Realtor® about just what the right improvements would be for their particular neighbor. This helps ramp up the appeal to potential home buyers while also taking advantage of fitting in with any local marketing trends for upgrades in the specific area.
So, if you are thinking of putting your house on the market, just what type of home improvement projects are considered the best? Here is the short list:
- Repair any broken items before putting a home on the market.
- Clear, clean and make kitchen improvements.
- Improve the bathroom and get it to sparkle.
Don’t forget that simple projects such as freshening up the interior and exterior surfaces by cleaning or painting, boosting the entries and garden with new foliage or maintenance, staining decks and professionally cleaning floors can help.
In case you are wondering about the budgets for improvement given by home sellers participating in the survey and other statistics, find more details over at Realty Times.
When it comes to expertise about real estate in Big Bear Lake and surrounding areas, the Rahill Realty Team is unparalleled. Please call (909) 547-4402 to schedule a home tour or for additional help in the search for your Big Bear home or property.
Seeking the best places to live in Big Bear Lake CA? If you are searching for a great location for your retirement, or to raise your family, and relied on sources such as CNN’s best places listings or Sperling’s best places, you’d miss out finding this oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle of southern California.
It is astounding that the Bear Valley is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to both real estate and lifestyle. This is because the small community stays under the radar due to the small population base and unique living requirements, such as adapting to life in a four season resort.
We wanted to take a minute to point out some of the unique details and perks of choosing real estate in Big Bear and then share a few favorite communities here.
Best Places to Live – Pro
- Although the valley is comprised of four different zip codes, it is a small community.
- Neighborhoods are filled with friendly people which creates an intimate social circle with both individuals and businesses.
- No matter where you live in the valley, it is only a short distance to any outdoor recreation.
- Temperatures tend to be 20-30 degrees cooler than those down in the urban areas below.
- If you work locally, short commute times are standard.
- Weather conditions give you a four season experience.
- Houses and properties for sale are not only unique but also available at better values than those down the hill.
- Second homes benefit from a thriving vacation rental property market.
- Concierge businesses predominate throughout the area.
Best Place to Live – Cons
- The first year tends to be an adjustment for city dwellers since the slow, relaxed pace can be a shock to the system.
- Commuters drive time tends to be a bit longer and requires navigation up and down mountain roads in a variety of conditions.
- Errands take a lot longer to accomplish since people like to say hello and catch up.
- Four season living requires some adjustment if you have never lived in colder climate or where snow conditions exist.
- High altitude living requires some adjustment when it comes to exertion, baking, and other day-to-day tasks.
- Small businesses predominate so some choices are limited when it comes to certain aspects of shopping or dining. Plus, many shops tend to open later and close earlier compared to down-the-hill.
Overall, we think that Big Bear Lake and the surrounding areas offer some of the best places to live at some of the best prices. Take some time to check out our favorite real estate in Big Bear Lake so you can see what we mean:
- Boulder Bay
- Ironwood Estates
- Moonridge CA
- Castle Glen CA
- Eagle Point Estates CA
- Hamilton Ranch Estates
- Meadowbrook Estates
If we can be of help in your quest for the best place to live, please don’t hesitate to call the Rahill Real Estate Group for a home tour at (909) 547-4402.
Fall is filled with unique events and a slower seasonal pace when compared to the summer and winter making it the ideal time for both home buyers and sellers.
As you plan to place your house or property up for sale, talk to your Big Bear Realtor about the right pricing and what steps you might take that can help enhance the sales experience and appeal.
Local Realtors know what works for the area and can give you solid guidance when it comes to pricing properties in the region.
Keep in mind that first impressions and accessibility can help or hinder an offer. As the foliage dies back, seasonal changes mean that the outdoor appearance and maintenance is more important than ever.
Consider a fall presentation created with pine cones or dried arrangements filled with amber, orange and red colors to perk up entry areas. Gourds, pumpkins and bark in the garden can further add to a clean and warm impression.
When it comes to viewing hours and tours, be sure to work with your Realtor to allow the most buyer friendly process you can. For ease of access, don’t overlook how snow plow and shoveling services since they will likely be a significant factor for allowing more tours of the home or property.
Since potential buyers prefer to view properties on their schedule, it is important to have as many available hours as possible to adapt to their time scheduled for the task.
Don’t forget that holidays, weekends and evenings are essential if you really want the best price and fastest sale. Plus, visitors may make spur of the moment decisions to view.
Heightening the chances for a faster sale can be done through solid pricing, preparation, presentation, accessibility, and exposure. Rahill Realty would love to help you buy or sell real estate in Big Bear Lake. Don’t hesitate to call us for help at (909) 574-4402.
Need tips for researching real estate in Big Bear? Rahill Realty happens to specialize in both offline and online marketing of real estate in Big Bear. As schools return to session, it serves as a reminder that many home buyers and sellers can use additional education about just what resources are best for researching the local real estate market.
Sadly, many people rely on some of the mainstream and popular real estate websites for information when they are in fact, poor sources for local data. Guidance helps prepare you for success but to find the best real estate information it is best to connect with a Realtor that specializes in the particular market you are interested in.
One of the goals we had at the Rahill Real Estate Group was to create a resource that potential and current Big Bear home owners could use to research and prepare to buy or sell homes and properties located in the valley.
This goal was realized in 2011 when Rahill Realty received the coveted Davey gold medal for the best real estate website online for Search Big Bear Real Estate. Unlike many other sites, online guests can search anonymously (no log-in required) or choose to store their information to get first notifications when Big Bear properties or houses come on the market.
For most people, it is hard to discern the difference between good, valuable information and the online chatter. One of our goals as a professional team of Big Bear Realtors is to help educate online visitors by sharing tips and information related to what is involved in buying or selling a home.
Of course, we believe that the best practice is to do a little research and then select a real estate professional to work with that lives and works in Big Bear Lake. This is critical since identifying comparable property values, local real estate trends, area statistics, local schools and other mountain living nuances can only be done accurately with local savvy.
Plus, trusted and established agents help you determine the correct pricing of both homes and properties as well as helping you to sort out the value of specific neighborhoods in the valley.
To jump start your research here are some resources for you to consider.
- City Data – Big Bear Lake or Big Bear City
- Big Bear Business & Entertainment
- Big Bear Chamber of Commerce
- Neighborhood Scout – California Crime Statistics
- US Dept of Justice Public Registry
- Megan’s Law
- Great School – School Stats
- San Bernardino County
- City of Big Bear Lake
- County Supervisor
- Bear Valley Unified School District
- Utilities in Big Bear CA
Rahill Realty thinks a good agent also makes the buying and selling process easier and we would love to help you with real estate in Big Bear Lake and the surrounding areas. Looking for property? Don’t hesitate to call us at (909) 547-4402
Mountain property owners discover many unique challenges that come with living surrounded by pine trees.
Big Bear houses or properties surrounded or shaded by pines often discover sticky pine sap by accident during the spring and summer.
It sticks to everything and so you might find it on shoes, surfaces, in pet fur or on pet paw pads. In addition, it drips onto your deck furniture, cars parked under the trees, or places you would never suspect.
For instance, a nice spot to read a book may be under the shade of a tree but sitting on any surface under it might result in a nice glob on the seat of your pants!
The good news is that tree sap removal is actually fairly easy. In many cases, it doesn’t require that you go out and get any special aids because some are already in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
Believe it or not, one of the best sap removal aids is rubbing alcohol. The alcohol works like a solvent and breaks down and dissolves the sap. This is a good, non-toxic option to use on skin, hair or pet fur.
You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, shortening, mayonnaise, peanut butter, or grease-cutting dish soap.
Each aid works differently, some dissolve the sap (alcohol) while others soften it (oils) for removal.
When removing pine sap from hair or fur, let the treatment sit for a minute, sometimes working your aid into the area speeds up the process. For longer hair you might need to comb out the build up and then wash and rinse.
For clothing, alcohol (or alcohol based) hand sanitizers tend to be favorites. Rub it in and then wash in warm water.
Mineral oil works well on removing tree sap from vehicles. Use a cloth applicator on the affected area and then follow up with a good wash.
If you have an accumulation on your wood deck or furniture, Murphy® Oil Soap is the answer. Just apply a non-diluted dose and let it sit for up to fifteen minutes. Next, use a scrub brush and rinse. Sometimes a paint scraper helps to lift off the pliable sap.
Commercial wax and grease-removing products can be used but eco-friendly options tend to be our favorite. Automotive clay is another option you might consider for vehicles. It adheres and pulls off all contamination from the surface. Simply follow the directions on the label if you use this option.
Remember, if you take action before the sap hardens, it will be easier on you and on the surface where the sap has accumulated.
The Rahill Real Estate Group hopes that you enjoy our mountain property owner tips. While you are here, search for real estate in Big Bear Lake, CA and don’t hesitate to call us to schedule a tour of your dream home.
Big Bear property maintenance work keeps property owners busy during the spring and summer when the weather is warm.
After discussing exterior house painting, it seemed wise to also share some information about interior house painting since the good weather provides optimal conditions for these types of home improvement projects.
Like exterior painting, interior home painting frequency varies according to the type of home your have and the occupants. Households with young children and active pets are likely to need interior painting more frequently than pet free residences or homes without youngsters.
Today, interior paints have a longer life and allow easier clean up which means interior painting is often overlooked until someone determines that the house needs a sprucing up or a complete change of personality and a fresh coat of paint is a great option to accomplish those goals.
Although many people tackle painting projects themselves, it never hurts to get a professional to save the time and hassle of tackling it as a home owner.
As you can imagine, the majority of the cost for interior house painting comes from the labor and a good part of that is invested in preparation work. Good preparation extends the life of the paint job. You might be able to do a lot of the paint preparation yourself but, if you are like most people, saving the time and the hassle that comes from preparation and painting makes it worth paying a professional to do the job.
Finding a professional can take some work, the Bear Valley Contractors Association is a local membership organization of professional contractors of all types but you can also locate a professional painter at Find A Painter through the association for Painting & Decorating Contractors of America or the Finishing Contractors Association .
Following the rules of hiring a contractor, checking the credentials, references, insurance and membership or licensing status are all musts.
Getting three bids for this type if work is also a good idea. Don’t be shy about asking just how long the job is estimated to take, when they can start, and what techniques or products they intend to use.
If the painting contractor is a pro, they may use a variety of techniques that include spraying, rolling and brushing. The application process and the number of coats applied affect how long the paint job will last.
Bids will vary according to the size of your home, the quality of the paint, how much prep work is needed, and how many interior items will need special protection. It might be a good idea to temporary house furniture or household goods in a storage facility.
Summer is passing quickly, so don’t put off those seasonal home improvement projects any longer.
We hope you are enjoying our Big Bear property tips. Don’t hesitate to contact the Rahill Real Estate Group if you need to find real estate in Big Bear, CA. Take some time to search our MLS online and call us to schedule a home tour or if you have any questions about your dream property.
Big Bear houses are set in a beautiful mountain environment but the unique mountain conditions affects the durability of an exterior paint job. Just how long a home can go between paint jobs depends on a variety of factors such as how well the house was prepped prior to painting, the quality and grade of the paint used, and sun and weather exposure.
The winter weather, harsh winds and the intensity of the solar conditions at high altitude can influence paint durability. Intense sun exposure can cause faster wear and color fading while landscape variables, such as constant dampness or moisture, can cause paint to peel or lose elasticity.
This all means that there isn’t really a definitive answer when it comes to knowing how long of a life an exterior paint job will have. Paint brands and quality vary greatly so it is important to opt for the highest quality to protect your investment. Premium paint will provide more longevity than brands from do-it-yourself options at retail outlets.
The average home might need repainting every 5 to 8 years but harsher climates may mean repainting every 3 to 5 years. Using top-quality paint in better circumstances can mean longer spans between paint jobs. With luck, some might even be able to go 8 to 10 years between repainting.
This is why getting professional assistance is wise. When hiring someone to do the work for you, it is a good idea to get at least three bids. A seasoned eye can give you feedback on the current condition and give a solid estimate on how long the new exterior paint should last.
Plus, a veteran painter knows all of the influencing factors and what would be best for your specific house. The good news is that most painting service providers will come out to conduct a free evaluation and estimate.
How long will it take? The time required to complete a job can vary. But from the initial preparation to the finishing touches, a good exterior paint job typically takes about a week or more to complete. Ask each bidder for a time frame for competition when they come out to do the estimate.
Finally, if you are seeking to give your place a fresh look, protect your investment, or make a dynamic change–a new exterior paint job might be just the thing you need.
Big Bear property owners will eventually need to hire a contractor for repairs, remodeling or building. If you are thinking about hiring a contractor, there are some important things to know and some specific steps to take so that the experience of hiring a contractor doesn’t turn out to be a costly mistake.
One of the best steps you can take is to make sure that any contractor that you are considering meets standards outlined by the Contractors State License Board but in our local area, you can also check with the Bear Valley Contractors Association. Another source is the National Association of Home Builders. All these agencies can help you find contact information for professionals in the area.
By starting your search through such member organizations, you can avoid a lot of grief and avoid a bad experience. In general, licensing means that the contractor has passed a test to measure competency, while registration simply means they have paid a fee.
The important thing to know is that if a problem comes up it is often easier to get assistance with an issue if the contractor is licensed or registered.
Licensing is a good indicator of professionalism and suggests that the contractor is committed to his or her career. Membership or certification indicates the same thing, so finding members of industry groups signals a long term professional commitment.
Other agencies to search include the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), the National Kitchen & Bath Association, or the Remodeling Council of the National Association of Home Builders.
Not too long ago (2010), a cooperative sting operation conducted by the San Bernardino county Sheriffs, the District Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Insurance and the Contractors State License Board netted 16 suspects for unlicensed contracting and related violations in our mountain region.
This illustrates the need for due diligence when researching someone to find a true professional to work with.
Once you have checked the organization rosters for active members, check referrals. Speak to the home owners who have hired the contractors for both remodels and new builds. Talking to these individuals helps you to determine the caliber of work practices.
For instance, some contractors in the area bring dogs onto the property but don’t secure them, which is against the local leash law. This combined with blaring music or other unsavory behavior might get you into hot water with the neighbors before you even take residence.
Knowing about such patterns is important because you could be liable. If someone gets hurt, or your neighbor’s property is damaged by an unlicensed or uninsured contractor, you could be held accountable. Don’t forget to check what your homeowners’ insurance covers before work starts.
Other things to check or ask for?
- Contractor Certifications
- Workers Compensation Status
- Liability Insurance
- Contractors Licensing Board
- Better Business Bureau for Complaints
- Online Reviews (Angie’s List, Judy’s Book, etc.,)
- Written Estimate
Rahill Realty invites you to search Big Bear houses and properties for sale. If we can assist you with a tour of your dream home, or help you with any questions about real estate in the mountains, don’t hesitate to call.
Big Bear houses and properties vary greatly and so do the stairs! Although many are built on flat lots, there are a lot that are nestled in the pines or hillsides and this often means access by stairs. But all stairways are not created equal.
In mountain lake areas, sometimes the views come with unique features. One of the most confusing can be stairs. If you are seeking Big Bear properties for sale and are concerned with access, your Realtor can help you with specific requirements.
Elderly or mobility challenged individuals may need access with few or no stairs. Some homes come with elevators, and others have been adapted with a ground floor entry with a lift for chairs that carries it up to the home area.
However, this is more the exception that the rule unless you are a home buyer in areas such as Castle Glen Estates, Meadowbrook Estates or some of the more recent custom built properties around Big Bear Lake,California.
When looking at cabins or houses with stairs it is always a good idea to understand if the stairs get sun or not. South facing properties tend to have faster melts after snow since the sun exposure is better.
In more remote locations, such as forest lease properties, there may be many stairs but check for drive up access as well.
During inclement weather, entry awnings and railings that allow easy clearing can be helpful. Although it is rare, sometimes accumulation can hinder snow removal if there isn’t an easy place to shovel or relocate the snow.
Following the example of some of the businesses around town, some new stair installations are made of a sturdy, rust resistant mesh that not only thwarts dust and dirt in the summer but also allows the melting or dislodging of snow and ice.
Hand rails are also an important consideration for safety since a slip on ice caused by melting and refreezing, or water dripping from the roof, can pose serious hazards.
Rahill Real Estate Group can help you with the nuances of mountain lake living since all of the Realtors on the team are full time residents. If you need help searching for the perfect Big Bear houses or properties, don’t hesitate to call with questions or to schedule a home tour at (909) 547-4402.
Boulder Bay is a stunning neighborhood in Big Bear Lake, California. Named for the picturesque boulder filled bay, this area is one of the most photographed areas in the valley just because of its unique topography and breathtaking imagery.
Part of the Big Bear Lake west region, it is located on the west end of the valley near the Big Bear dam which makes for faster, easier navigation on trips up and down the hill. Most properties are on steep terrain with amazing lake views and so curvy, treed roads dominant most neighborhoods.
Although there are some lots that sit on more level terrain, many of the houses are built right into the hillside or among the boulders. It is here where a majority of quaint, exclusive lakefront cabins for sale can be found here amidst some of the more elaborate custom estates and lakefront properties.
The Boulder Bay business center provides local property owners with a market, restaurant and other convenient shops. There are private docks and lakefront access for home owners but also many different public access areas. The newest addition to the area is a boulder enhanced public park for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.
Nestled between the lake and the San Bernardino National Forest, this area not only home to Boulder Bay but also to the privately held and historic Garstin Island (known locally as China Island), Papoose Bay, Inspiration Point, Metcalf Bay, and the Boulder Bay Marina. The Castle Rock trail, one of Big Bear Lake’s most popular hiking trails can be found here as well.
If you like snow, this neighborhood gets some of the most snow each winter. Since it sits on the south side of the shore it tends to accumulate since it remains shaded. Because it doesn’t melt as fast, the snow also stays on the ground longer than anywhere else in the valley. This means that during the winter it can get icy at times and so snow removal services and advanced planning are a recommended practice.
It is just a short amble to the forest or lake from most locations in Boulder Bay and if you want to be surrounded by forest trees and close to the lake–Boulder Bay real estate might just be the perfect choice.
Rahill Real Estate Group can help you find the perfect Boulder Bay real estate. If you need help searching for the perfect Big Bear houses or properties for sale, don’t hesitate to call with questions or to schedule a home tour at (909) 547-4402.
Big Bear property owners are busy with house maintenance projects during the spring, summer and fall. Because Big Bear Lake boasts an average of 330 days of sun, many enjoy the outdoors by spending time on the lake, in the woods, and out on their decks.
But the high altitude poses unique challenges in this four season resort due to the extreme conditions. Ultraviolet rays and winter storms mean that exterior surfaces take a beating. And so, although some people only take protective measures every two to three years, in the mountains deck maintenance works best if treated as an annual project.
So, how do you take care of your mountain deck to keep it in tip top shape?
A seasonal inspection of your deck isn’t as hard as you might think a good idea. Here is a short check list:
- Check beam and contact post joists.
- View footing contact points where posts meet the concrete.
- Examine ledger board (where house and deck meet).
- Inspect the bottom of the stringers (where stairs connect to the ground or landing area).
- Notice water stains since moisture means possible problems in the future.
- Take note of any spongy boards, cracks, or rotting wood.
- Nails or screws that are popping up are signs that maintenance is needed.
A pressure washer helps remove dirt and loose fibers and allows you to see any areas that may need repair prior to the actual work. Use caution since stream pressure could damage wood. A best practice is to allow the deck to dry 12-24 hours before working.
Fix Nails or Screws
Nails that work loose from decking should be removed with a hammer claw and replaced with a screw that is longer than the nail.
Repair and Sand Wood
Split boards should be replaced. Many will appear to be wider or higher than some of the other deck boards but will shrink. After a few weeks, you may need to smooth it down. Sanding the entire deck is good preparation for staining and sealing.
Stain and Seal
Stains come in both semi-transparent and transparent options. Select a color if you desire to highlight certain areas. These stains are available in different options and work to prevent mildew and fading. Two coats is a good idea. Let the first dry and then even it out before the second application. Next use a sealant, (after about 48 hours) since they contain ulta-violet protection that work to help protect against the elements.
Once all your hard work is done, get out on deck with friends and neighbors to create some great memories of time spent in your dream house in Big Bear Lake, California.
Hamilton Ranch Estates is a desirable gated equestrian community on the east end of Big Bear valley. Adjacent to Highway 38, it is a favorite of horse lovers and equine property owners because of the expansive terrain.
Ample sunlight in a rural setting makes this area desirable and although it is quiet because of the location, the private gates ensure that it remains that way.
Not as heavily treed as other areas of the valley, it supports lower growing foliage so that you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views across Erwin Lake, a normally dry lake bed.
The region also gets less snow than other areas of the valley so that when any does fall, it melts quickly in the open areas.
Hamilton Ranch equestrian estates is an exclusive development of only 32 lots. Each of the houses are unique plus, this upscale subdivision has very strict CC&R’s and HOA so that the serene surroundings of the woodland estates is preserved.
The area is also a natural favorite of the equine clan and a herd of burros, whose ancestors belonged to the gold miners of the area, can sometimes be seen on the perimeter ridge of this section of the valley.
Unpaved roads preserve the ranch-style atmosphere and large, spacious spreads attract and delight those who enjoy this setting but who also want to be close to trail ride options through the Pacific Crest Trail or more heavily forested areas.
Just down the road is the cut through to Sugarloaf mountain where a quaint community grocery store, fire station, park and other small businesses can be found. The means that a trip for forgotten items isn’t a long one.
Take some time to search real estate in Big Bear and if Rahill Realty can assist you in any way, please call us at (909) 547-4402.
Big Bear lake property owners were grilling up a storm during the holiday weekend. Most of them did so safely but each year home owner insurance companies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) put out safety tips and warnings to help prevent injuries and property loss during the holidays.
In fact, it was astounding to discover that the US Fire Administration estimates that $37 million in property damage and loss each year is due to grill fires.
Thirty-two percent of grill fires on residential properties start on patios, terraces, screened-in porches, or courtyards, while an additional twenty-four percent start on exterior balconies and unenclosed porches.
That is a lot of property damage from an activity that most people find relaxing and enjoyable!
Of course there are other contributors that escalate the danger.
For instance, propane fuel was listed as the source in 69% of all grill fires on residential properties. Additional issues? Overfilled propane tanks, gas leaks, and blocked tubes to mention just a few.
After reading these astounding statistics, it seemed like it might be a good idea to share some safety tips to prevent injuries and property loss.
Big Bear Lake Property | Grilling Safety Tips
- Make it a habit to check the connection between the fuel line and the propane tank is secure and that the lines are not kinked or blocked.
- Avoid over filling any propane tank.
- If you are using a charcoal grill, be cautious when using lighter fluid. Adding this fluid to a burning fire or coals could cause an explosion.
- Douse coals with lots of water and leave to soak. Coals can ignite a long while after they appear to be out.
- Pack used coals inside a metal trash can and avoid throwing them out in plastic, paper or wooden containers. (Big Bear Lake trash site has a designated receptacle for just such purposes.)
- Always position the grill away from any structure to avoid ignition from wayward sparks and flames. Don’t grill in enclosed areas.
- Grease traps should be emptied regularly otherwise they ignite easily.
- Never leave the grill or burning fire unattended.
Rahill Real Estate Group hopes that these tips will help keep your Big Bear lake property safe from grill fires.
Please take some time to search Real Estate in Big Bear and if you’d like to schedule a home tour or get more information don’t hesitate to call us at (909) 547-4402.
Big Bear lake property owners look forward to the annual Fireworks Spectacular on July 4th when the valley explodes with excitement and visitor counts.
It is true, people really do head to the hills to escape the heat and enjoy hiking, biking, boating and a wide variety of other recreational activities.
Around the valley people are entertaining, grilling and relaxing with friends and family.
This holiday tends to be a big favorite because there are all kinds of different events throughout the area for every age level and every interest.
Because we have written about Big Bear’s 4th of July events before, this time we’ve put together a short list of particulars and some suggestions of activities to help you enjoy the holiday in Big Bear.
Big Bear July 4th Fireworks Event
Rotary Club’s July 4th BBQ
40770 Lakeview Drive
Big Bear Lake, CA
4:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.
This event is held lakeside and fireworks are shot from a barge. People tend to arrive early but fireworks don’t start until about 8:45pm.
Viewing can be done throughout the valley but tickets for the BBQ are available at local shops in Big Bear including, Big Bear Pharmacy, Shelli’s Hallmark, Big Bear City Glass and Marina Resort.
Independence Day Festival
42900 Big Bear Blvd.
Big Bear Lake, CA
July 4-5, 2012
If you are wondering what to do for this holiday, the list is endless but here are some of our favorites.
Big Bear Marinas (4) | Boat Ramps (2)
- Water Skiing
Back Country | Forest Activities
- Scenic Sky Chair Ride
- Mountain Biking
- Horseback Riding
Guided Activities | Sports
- Zoo Tour
- Discovery Center Adventures
- River Boat Cruise
- Pirate Ship Cruise
- Round of Golf
- Spa Day
Of course, a stroll on the lake, fishing, shopping or just settling down in a hammock to read are options too!
If you need more ideas or details, the following websites will help.
Big Bear July 4th Resources
In the meantime, if you are searching for Big Bear Real Estate, don’t hesitate to call the Rahill Real Estate Group at (909) 547-4402 to schedule a home tour or to get more information on that house or property that has caught your eye.
Big Bear lake property is enchanting and part of this is because of the foliage, but trees pose unusual challenges to new mountain home owners. If you are not familiar with high altitude living, it might be helpful to know a bit more about these towering timbers.
Seasonal changes charm residents and visitors alike but the truth is that they are not always captivating. During certain times of the year, a high pollen count fills the air with a fine yellow dust.
Summer sap is likely to ooze and drop onto objects placed near the tree, or underneath branches. And sadly, more than one person has discovered the hazards of pine cones or broken tree limbs after they parked under the shade of a tree.
Weakened and falling trees pose many hazards and cause extensive damage to homes and property. So, if your home is closely framed by trees, it would be advantageous to explore whether or not your homeowners insurance policy will cover tree removal expenses or property repairs if a tree falls and damages part of your house.
Next, educate yourself on how to be fire safe so you can be sure to meet fire safety and coverage requirements. You many need to trim back branches and clear any undergrowth on or adjacent to the lot. The Big Bear Valley Fire Safe Council is a good place to get more information.
Tree removal can help prevent future damage to your property or keep disease or insect damage from spreading from an infected tree to others.
If a tree does fall on the property, don’t move it unless it is unavoidable. Take a variety of different pictures of the damage and the downed tree as this helps document the incident. Contact your property insurance company right away.
For removal and repairs, get independent estimates. A good local resource is the Big Bear Contractors Association. Many of those contractors will provide a free estimate.
An insurance adjuster will schedule time to come up to verify the claim and is likely to take pictures as well. Be sure to share that have taken pictures and obtained an independent quote.
During the claims process, check in with your home owners insurance agent about once a month for an update on the progress since adjusters can have a large number of other claims to process. Touching base periodically might help move your claim along more quickly.
Big Bear Lake property is a popular commodity in this mountain resort area. This means that it is super competitive if you are seeking to buy a lakefront cabin for sale. Lakefront log cabins and majestic estates are the ideal homes for many buyers. Did you know how you can get first notifications about these properties to land the house of your dreams?
To make locating this type of property easier for you, we thought it would be good to alert you about some of the MLS Big Bear search options available here.
If you plan on doing a search here using the Big Bear MLS online, simply enter the details and then save it. Taking this simple action will not only allow easy access later, but we will also send you an email alert when any Big Bear properties or houses for sale come on the market.
This little step only takes about a minute and yet it will get you the edge over everyone else who may be seeking similar properties but doesn’t use online technology to its best advantage.
Take a few minutes to watch this tutorial video on how to save your real estate search so you get fast, appropriate notifications on the specific neighborhood or property type you desire.
If you haven’t had time to click to look around the site yet we have a few page recommendations:
- Lakefront Homes for Sale
- Log-Style Homes for Sale
- Equestrian Estates for Sale
- Rahill Real Estate Listings
If you need a tech savvy agency, we use all the avenues available to serve you. This added exposure means that you as a buyer will find that dream home faster. If you are a seller, it means houses and properties sell more quickly.
Rahill Real Estate Group recently received the coveted Davey Award Gold Medal for having the best real estate website online–let us go to work for you and spend the rest of the year in your Big Bear lakefront home.
Call Rahill Real Estate Group at (909) 547-4402 to schedule a tour of any of the Big Bear houses or properties you are interesting in seeing and don’t forget to drop by to say hello and get a map of the area to help you search if you are visiting.
As people establish themselves in their new mountain lake property, they quickly find that the Big Bear valley is a unique place. Around here valley residents smile and say hello to just about everyone.
Locals tend to catch up and chat with others they know at the markets, the library, when they pick up mail, or around town at a coffee house or other business. So, if you haven’t experienced a friendly, social atmosphere–get ready because it is a way of life here.
It is true that getting to know the neighbors can take some time and effort but new home owners find that it is easier than originally expected. Many neighbors will drop by to welcome newcomers or extend an invitation for a tour of their home, a cup of coffee or a home cooked meal.
Other home owners tend to help each another out when needed. Plus, locals tend to keep an eye out for unusual activity, watch homes when others are away, and even keep a lookout for wayward dogs or kids.
While some neighbors may not converse with you the first time they see you, after a couple of walks around the block, you’ll find that many will come out to meet you. In a short time, you’ll be recognized as a regular and suddenly find that one introduction will lead to many.
If you want to speed up the process, consider holding an open house or inviting the neighbors over for a BBQ. If you are not ready to entertain, there are a lot of great early bird and specials for locals around town–ask the neighbors what they might recommend and arrange a group outing to get acquainted.
Of course you can always join some of the local organizations or groups with similar interests to meet people around town. Need some ideas?
- A great place to meet business owners is the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce.
- The Senior Center of Big Bear holds luncheons, Bingo night and a lot of other activities.
- Bear Valley Parks & Recreation offers a variety of learning opportunities and sports activities for all ages.
- Member organizations conduct regular meetings and their social quarters or community centers welcome both new or transferring members.
- Hobbyist groups are another great place to gather with people of like interests.
- Attending or joining one of the many different religious institutions or spiritual centers in the area finds you immersed with others of the same beliefs.
Of course you may have your own unique ways to get involved in the local communities of Big Bear, CA. But one thing is for sure, getting to know your neighbors will help you feel more at home and part of the community.
How is the curb appeal of your mountain lake property? Whether you are seeking to enhance the curb appeal to sell your Big Bear Real Estate, or simply have the goal to make your newly purchased house into a home, don’t overlook the benefits of high altitude gardening or landscaping.
The truth is that gardening in Big Bear, CA can be a challenge due to the short growing season and variable temperatures that can plummet to freezing from October through April.
Throw in a late snow storm or two and things can get downright frustrating. The reality is that growing season in the mountains tends to be from June through September–a short four months.
Challenges to gardeners include not only the weather and temperatures but also local wildlife and soil composition, which can be very dry and/or rocky. This means that soil amendments and strategic planning of plant selections are vital for success with a minimum of stress.
Since green living has become a national trend, planting a wildlife or eco-friendly garden fits in nicely with the forest environment so don’t worry about planting a traditional grass lawn. In some properties, dirt or pavement tends to dominate the landscape so a little creativity and color can go a long way to pumping up the personality.
Potted plants, raised planting beds or hanging baskets help add color with minimum of effort or grief. To get the secrets about creating a great garden in the mountains, consult with the local nurseries or landscaping pros before you start.
Because they are familiar with the many unique challenges in Big Bear, they can suggest the best plants for your specific region. If you are new to the area, consider xeriscaping or xerogardening. These are particular types of landscaping and gardening that reduce or eliminate the need for water.
Many locals opt for season extenders, which are techniques and products that help extend the growing season. The most commonly used in local neighborhoods are greenhouses. Basically, season extenders help keep plants warm during cooler weather. Some work best in the spring while others work best in the fall.
Garden covers are another season extender that work by insulating plants. Around town you may see simple homemade row covers or commercially constructed ones that are made up of long pieces of fabric placed directly above the plants to form tunnels so plants are protected from frost.
Right now is the perfect time to start working on your garden or planting to enhance your property’s appeal. Map out ideas, then consult with one of the nurseries about the best way to proceed. They can help you with planning as well as soil nutrients and plants.
If you are looking to buy or sell, Rahill Realty specializes in real estate in Big Bear, CA. Take some time to search our MLS online and then contact us with any questions or to schedule a home tour of the Big Bear houses and properties.
Mountain lake properties are not all alike and neither are the different communities where the mountain houses are found. If you have not yet explored or experienced the mountain lake resort differences in this area, we thought you’d like to know why the Big Bear properties and houses for sale are among the best values in the San Bernardino mountains.
Mountain communities vary in both size, personalities and amenities. Property values can vary greatly between communities for a lot of reasons.
Big Bear Lake has public lake access so all residents and visitors can enjoy it. This contrasts with the private lake on the other side of the mountain since it may only be accessed by select property owners who have purchased lake rights with their homes.
Unlike many other mountain lake resorts, Big Bear Lake is open to the public which makes it friendly to those who love water sports. Fishing, boating, water skiing, wake boarding, swimming and jet skiing are all powerful lures to the area–especially since you don’t have to be a property owner to enjoy it. Plus, many lakefront properties enjoy their own docks.
Valley residents of Big Bear, California are attracted to the region because of the lake, forest and the different types of terrain. But when compared to other resort areas that have steep, curvy roads that see little sunlight, Big Bear leads the pack when it comes to spaciousness and sunny days.
Bear valley is also a four season destination resort which makes Big Bear, CA a great place to invest in a second home, permanent residence, or a seasonal vacation rental since public access to both the lake and forest attracts visitors and those who wish to call this location, “home.”
Now, when it comes to forest or lake access, close proximity or views, pricing can vary greatly. Buyers may get confused when reviewing some of the variations between the square footage rates. So don’t hesitate to ask your Big Bear Realtor about it.
A good real estate agent can help you understand why properties and houses in this area are such a great value. He or she can also clear up any confusion if you are comparing the property values here with those in other mountain areas outside of this valley.
Please don’t hesitate to call Rahill Realty with any questions or to schedule a home tour. While you are here, take some time to search our MLS online for real estate in Big Bear, CA.
Eagle Point & Eagle Point Estates are located on the south shore of Big Bear Lake. Named after the bald eagles that favor and frequent the area, the Big Bear properties and houses for sale in these communities are within walking distance of the lake, have good views of the lake, or sit right on the lakefront.
Although Rahill Realty specializes in neighborhoods such as Castle Glen Estates, Ironwood Estates, and Meadowbrook Estates, Eagle Point Estates remains one of our favorites. Most of the immense homes and lots were constructed in the late 1990s through the early 2000s, so this tree lined neighborhood is quiet and established.
Residents can enjoy the sun sparkling like diamonds on the lake surface during the day and the gentle lap of the water on the shoreline at night. If you are a nature lover, you won’t have to go far to enjoy bird watching, fishing, and might just catch a glimpse of local bunnies and squirrels out your windows.
Eagle Point Estates sits just east of Eagle Point and features underground utilities, a private park, a residents only marina, and tennis courts that sit near the shoreline of Big Bear Lake. The level terrain makes it perfect for morning or evening strolls where the solitude and breathtaking shoreline views tend to soothe even the most restless.
Marina dock rights are enjoyed by all the neighbors but lakefront estates also have their own private boat docks. Many enjoy the fact that this neighborhood is close to the wildlife preserve, shopping, fine dining, as well as to the ski resorts and the golf course. Plus, it is only a short distance to the public Meadow Park, Swim Beach and other Bear Valley Park District sports areas.
The namesake of the area, the bald eagles, visit the area from November through April and can be seen perched in a few of the local snags or trees. As of 2012, Big Bear became the distinguished host of these majestic birds and home to the first successful breeding of bald eagles in the history of the San Bernardino forest.
If you are seeking a majestic home on a larger than normal lot in a quiet neighborhood or a lakefront dream home, we think this might be the neighborhood for you. Take some time to search our Big Bear MLS online.
Don’t hesitate to call Rahill Realty to schedule a home tour of Eagle Point Estates or any other Big Bear Real Estate. We are here to help–and to answer any questions you might have about these houses or properties for sale.
Mountain lake properties come in a variety of shapes and sizes but more importantly, they come with different types of roofing. Due to temperature extremes and intensity of the sun, it is important to pay attention to mountain roofing. And if you have a wood roof– the deadline for replacement is fast approaching.
On July 1, 2012, any homeowners in Big Bear Lake will have to remove any wood shake or wood shingle roofs from their Big Bear properties and houses to comply with the city ordinance 2007-373. However, they are not alone!
Mountain lake property owners who live outside of Big Bear Lake will need to take action since fire safety regulations require homeowners to replace their shake or shingle roofs as well. The good news is that grant funds exist to help get this done for the safety of everyone in the mountain area.
Wood roofs are an obvious challenge but it is also important to also point out that the roofs of Big Bear properties and houses should be of special interest to home buyers for a few reasons. A roof in bad condition can be an indication of poor maintenance or lack of care for the property in general. It can also indicate other issues such as structural damage, water damage and complications such as mold or mildew.
Mountain living has different risks than those faced in most urban environments. Dwelling in a forested area poses a variety of challenges due to natural hazards such as inclement weather and fire dangers. Not too long ago, after raging forest fires destroyed surrounding areas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) awarded the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District with a grant to help create a safer community.
Fire dangers peaked due to draught conditions were further complicated by the bark beetle infestation of the local forest. This resulted in dying and dead trees which posed additional dangers. Efforts to create a better defensible space between the forest and the residential areas were prioritized, trees were removed and educational efforts targeting the community along with a variety of help in creating safer neighborhoods began and continue today.
So, if you are a new or existing homeowner, this is a good time to remind you that it should be a priority to create and maintain defensible space around your home and the surrounding property. Doing so will help you protect not only your property and neighborhood but may also earn you approval for cost share reimbursement.
If your wood roofing needs replacement and you are interested in learning if any funding or other assistance is available to you, call (909) 866-4668.
Rahill Realty specializes in Big Bear Real Estate and invites you to search for real estate using our Big Bear MLS online. Please don’t hesitate to call to schedule a home tour or to contact us with any questions!
Mountain lake properties and houses in the Big Bear Real Estate market are filled with a variety of unique neighbors but some of the most unusual neighbors are non-human. These full-time residents from the forest include animals, birds, reptiles and insects.
On quiet nights you might hear the chortle of the water fowl, hoot of an owl, or the howl of a coyote. Most residents loved the natural ambiance and the enchanted evenings filled with this symphony by nature. However, a few species of critters can actually turn into trashy neighbors if you are not careful.
Since wild animals tend to live where there is food, water and shelter, taking steps to adjust your lifestyle patterns so your mountain property doesn’t tempt the wildlife is a good first start.
Bears, raccoons and other critters live in the area all year but are seldom an issue. However, without proper precautions they can become a problem. This is why we thought it would be important to mention that a few behavior patterns to help keep the trash contained, your garden intact and critters out in the forest.
As a general rule of thumb, avoid putting garbage out the night before pick-up. Instead, take the trash receptacles out the same morning and make sure to use sturdy containers that can be securely sealed.
Frame trash cans within small fence so they cannot be knocked over, or consider enclosing them in a garage or shed until trash service day.
If you do have a problem with neighborhood pets or bears, consider purchasing animal proof containers.
Feeding birds attracts other animals but using deterrents on feeders, such as baffles or weight-activated treadles, helps to keep squirrels out of the feeders.
However, if seed accumulates on the ground, you’ll soon find rodents and raccoons.
Using thistle seed and safflower, instead of sunflower seed and corn, will attract song birds but can help reduce attracting mammals.
Avoid leaving any pet food or water outside, be sure to clean up spills and bring everything in overnight.
Also use caution if you decide to try and compost your food scraps and be sure to keep any outdoor grills clean.
Gardens are wonderful, but if fruits and vegetables will attract critters. Harvest all ripening fruit and take steps to animal proof any growing areas.
For instance, constructing barriers above, around and below your garden or landscaping is one way to animal proof. Use fencing, enclosures, or wire netting to help keep rabbits, gophers, voles and deer from nibbling.
Common sense will do a lot to ensure that you maintain a peaceable kingdom and keep wildlife where they belong–in the wild.
Rahill Realty specializes in Big Bear Real Estate and invites you to search for real estate using our Big Bear MLS online. Please don’t hesitate to call to schedule a home tour or to contact us with any questions!
Mountain lake property secrets helps Big Bear Real Estate buyers learn what they need to know in order to make the transition a smooth one. Unlike urban areas, mountain living has some unique requirements that can make life confusing for the unaware buyer.
Our last discussion concerned utilities but another related challenge faced by new home owners in the Big Bear Valley involves trash disposal. Most areas of southern California take their trash services for granted. However, depending on the high altitude neighborhood you choose, arrangements have to be made for disposal services.
Owners of mountain lake properties and houses will need to make arrangements for street pick-up service. Some locations might have to dispose of household trash, yard debris, and other garbage at one of the local disposal yards, known as Clean Bear Sites, while others may need to haul things over to the landfill area.
Of course, your Big Bear Realtor can help you avoid any confusion over such services. In the meantime, we thought it would be useful for you to learn about the different options throughout the Big Bear Real Estate area.
Download the Big Bear Guide to Solid Waste – Trash – Recyclables by Rahill Realty
Solid waste in Big Bear Lake neighborhoods is handled by the City of Big Bear Lake’s Public Works Waste Management Division. Big Bear Disposal, partner to the city, handles trash pick-up, manages the trash drop off sites, and also facilitates hazardous waste disposal and recycling.
Hazardous waste such as batteries, propane tanks, mercury filled thermometers can be disposed of at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at 42040 Garstin Drive in Big Bear Lake. (Hours are Saturdays from 9 am until 2 pm.)
The San Bernardino County Fire Department also manages the hazardous waste disposal for the entire valley but for those who want to get rid of a number of items all at once, a free valley wide clean up is held twice a year (spring and fall) and is announced in the local media.
The Big Bear City Community Services District’s (CSD) service area covers communities outside the City of Big Bear Lake.
When it comes to appliance disposal, most will need to be taken to the county dump (aka transfer station) but if you have trash service, you can call to see what other options available. For instance, Big Bear Disposal will pick up an appliance with 24 hours notice while the CSD will help disabled and elderly with appliance disposal.
All residents in the Big Bear Valley who think they might need to toss a large number of items can also obtain a transfer station card that is valid for up to 52 visits to the local landfill site. The transfer station charges a nominal fee for disposal and is open Monday through Saturday (8am to 4:30pm). Those property owners who are assessed a tax each year to pay for the disposal site are issued an annual access card.
Ironwood Estates is one of the more established, desirable neighborhoods in Big Bear Real Estate. If you really want to get above it all, this area sits hundreds of feet above the lake and is filled with an amazing assortment of mountain lake properties–but it is the views that will take your breath away.
Ironwood is a nicely treed mountain neighborhood with features such as underground utilities and CC&Rs (Covenant Condition Restrictions) that protect and preserve both the view and ambiance.
Pines, cedars, oaks and ironwoods frame many of the homes of this enchanting community. Known for both the majestic homes and spectacular vistas, these estates include panoramic observation points that tower over the valley and lake.
The mountain top views are also unsurpassed but what attracts many to the amazing houses of Ironwood Estates is that they are not only adjacent to the forest, but they are also in close proximity to the Village of Big Bear Lake–the premiere area for entertainment, shopping and dining.
This means that it is only a short drive to the local ski resorts in the winter, or to the golf course and marinas in the summer. For those who crave a selection of upscale teas and crepes, or coffee beverages and pastries, two of the valley’s best locations are just a short stroll away.
But another nice quality about this neighborhood is that although it is close to just about everything you might need, it is secluded enough to avoid the hustle and bustle found in other communities.
Being in the tree tops means that the birds and morning sun will be your alarm clock. At night, it is a stargazers dream. However, estate owners can also gaze over the twinkling lights of the valley to enjoy a quiet serenity not found in too many other places.
Another great aspect of the houses in Ironwood Estates is that they are built with many extras. One of the more attractive features is that many include custom wood trim and log treatments. In others, it is the unique exteriors and interiors that give each home that “personality plus.”
Estate homes in Ironwood come with many different perks such as artistic masonry and tile work. Other amenities include pro appliances, forced air fireplaces, zone controlled heating, as well as custom kitchens and great rooms. Many contain rooms designed for crafts, hobbies, or exercise.
Rahill Realty specializes in Big Bear Real Estate and invites you to search for real estate using our Big Bear MLS online. Please don’t hesitate to call to schedule an Ironwood Estates home tour or to contact us with any questions!
Big Bear Utilities guide is available for download but we thought you also might like to have immediate access to the resources here.
Utilities in Big Bear CA can be confusing if you are new buyer since each Big Bear property or house for sale in the area can vary as to what services are available. One of the most frequently asked questions is, how much do utilities cost?
This can vary greatly depending on the season. Making sure your home is as heat efficient as possible can help reduce any winter bills. For instance, using a wood stove, fireplace or forced air makes a difference during the winter. Dual paned windows and quality insulation also can help reduce utility costs.
Other influencing factors? Believe it or not, your daily conservation habits and your mailing address! Being a good conservationist by turning off lights and scheduling a specific temperature range, or times of operation for your heater, can save you money.
In addition, part-time residents that have become full-time residents have reported that they see a reduction with the address change. Some residents run their heat at night and reduce the thermostat temperature during the day or during times they are not inside the home.
Another unique difference in this mountain area resort is that not all locations have neighborhood trash service. This means that in some areas, trash and recyclables must be taken to the nearby disposal yards or the Big Bear dump.
Consider asking your Big Bear Realtor to have the seller transfer the utilities to your name at the close of escrow since any interruption in utility service usually costs more than transferring directly from the seller’s name to that of the buyer’s name.
Some Big Bear Realtors will assist in the transfer of utilities as part of their services–so don’t hesitate to ask if that is an option when you enter into escrow.
For your convenience, Rahill Realty has compiled a list of the utility companies serving real estate in Big Bear, CA. Keep in mind that the mailing address is usually different from the street address so before attempting any correspondence, or sending in an address change, it is a good idea to always confirm you have the correct address.
Rahill Realty hopes this resource listing helps your transition to being a Big Bear property owner easier. If you are seeking Big Bear Real Estate, take a minute to search our Big Bear MLS online while you are here. Our Big Bear Realtors would love to help you with a home tour or any questions so don’t hesitate to call 909.547-4402.
Mountain lake property ownership comes with a few secrets that Big Bear Real Estate buyers need to know in order to make the transition a smooth one. Mountain living has some unique aspects that can create confusion for the unaware buyer.
One of the most common hiccups concerns the mail. Unlike other areas of southern California, many mountain lake properties and houses do not have the street delivery found in urban areas. In fact, it is a rare situation to receive mail directly. Knowing how to deal with this before submitting any change of address forms is important.
There are a few different variations available throughout the Big Bear Real Estate area:
- Neighborhoods Delivery Units are called NBUs by the US Postal Service. These units are a collection of boxes placed in strategic locations in a neighborhood. Home owners get a key to an assigned box in the unit so they can receive and retrieve mail.
- Postal Boxes are obtained from the United States Postal Service or one of the private mail box service centers in the area. There are five different US Postal Service buildings serving the valley. (Big Bear Lake, Moonridge Substation, Big Bear City, Sugarloaf and Fawnskin.)
- Neighborhood Box Delivery to is done by private contractors usually to those placed in assigned areas such as a row of mailboxes within a neighborhood. (The US Post Office serving the area assigns the locations where mountain lake property owners can place their boxes.)
- Property Mailbox Delivery is available in a few rare locations. In this case, the mailbox is placed at the front of the property for the mail contractor. As with all such deliveries, the location is designated by the Postmaster. Check to make sure any mailbox on newly purchased real estate is actually approved–or you won’t be getting any mail.
Some of the most frustrating problems arise when Financial Institutions and a few other businesses refuse to let you use a PO Box. But the good news is that this headache can be avoided. In order to avoid confusion and failed delivery, add the PO Box number to the zip code–this is the plus four digits used by the mail service.
For instance, if the PO Box is 5098 in Big Bear Lake, using 92315-5098 as the zip code might help get the mail delivered since taking this simple action alerts the mail carriers and postal employees to the correct box number if your street address is used in error.
Another temporary option is to consider renting a private box so that you have an address and a box number for both postal delivery and other private package delivery services. Use the street address with a PMB (Private Mailbox) designation and avoid any hassles entirely.
If you have never lived in a four season area there are some nuances to seeking the right mountain property or house in Big Bear, California.
The recent snow fall is a good reminder of what you might consider when looking for the perfect place for your family and friends.
Adjustments can be made, but if you know what to look for, you can prepare or make an informed decision about purchasing a specific home or another property that might be a better selection.
When it comes to winter access there are a few things to ponder. Heavily shaded areas mean that a property will have snow and ice longer than those that have more sun exposure. Homes that face south tend to get more sun which means that there will be faster melt.
Steep driveways can pose access problems if they ice up during the winter season. Making seasonal contracts with snow plow operators can keep things clear but be aware that any melt will ice up over night and installing heating elements to avoid problems might be considered.
If the mountain property you like doesn’t have a parking garage or car port but instead has a pull out area, be aware that this might pose some challenges during heavy snow load times. Plows will clear the street and berm in vehicles. This barrier will have to be removed in order for you to drive. Also, your vehicle cannot interfere with snow plow operations because if it does, you may get fined.
Garages or car ports can protect vehicles against the intense sun or snow. Since many older Big Bear properties were built as vacation homes, such amenities were not considered essential and so might not be a feature of older homes.
One of the best unknown secrets is that after most storms, the main highways and roads are usually clear and fairly dry within 24-48 hours. With the exception of melt off areas and some side streets, access and driving returns to normal. However, there are a few roads that are not maintained by the city, county or state. Don’t forget to ask your Big Bear Realtor if this is the case for the neighborhood you are considering.
Another tip for homes with a large number of stairs is that they are likely to be icy and could pose safety problems if not cleared. Today there are specially designed stairs that allow the snow to drop through rather than accumulate. Otherwise, plan on clearing the stairs and making sure that the house gutters funnel the melt away from the stairs where it could create ice hazards.
The Big Bear four season resort is a beautiful place to live but it does require some preparation if you are not familiar with the challenges that different seasons pose. Rahill Realty hopes to help you buy or sell your dream home and invites you to search Big Bear Real Estate now– and don’t hesitate to call the Rahill Real Estate Group to schedule a home tour or for further information.
Houses for sale in this area offer many different options ranging from vacation home rentals to mountain cabins or luxury mountain properties with astounding views.
One of the great things about this real estate area is that it is among the most established and nestled within it are the most popular tourist attractions here in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Are you an animal lover? If so, you’ll be delighted to learn that San Bernardino’s only zoo (the Moonridge Animal Park) is here. Wildlife enthusiasts will also enjoy the close proximity to the San Bernardino National Forest hiking trails. Many wild creatures can be seen for those who keep watch.
During the winter months, ski and snowboarding enthusiasts flock to Bear Mountain Ski Resort to enjoy the slopes and families come up for tobogganing, snow shoe adventures or other snow play adventures.
In addition to appealing to the sports oriented, or nature loving types, if you are seeking investment properties this might be the perfect area to search for properties or houses for sale to take advantage of the high demand for vacation rentals located adjacent to the resorts.
Outside of the winter season, Bear Mountain is also a popular destination for mountain bikers, hikers and avid golfers who seek the high altitude challenge of competition on the hills or who long to enjoy the expansive green of the Bear Mountain Golf Course.
Nestled within this neighborhood are some amazing options. At the Moonridge Triangle (near Big Bear Boulevard) you’ll find several dining establishments, a liquor market, church, and hotel but just a short distance up the road you’ll discover the quaint Moonridge shopping district that houses a variety of shops and specialty businesses. Hidden away from view is a local grocery market and several bed and breakfast establishments.
As you travel further up, you’ll be astounded by the views when you arrive in the desirable High Timber Ranch. This is among our favorite areas of Big Bear because although it is close to town, it has a feeling of seclusion and is comprised of newer homes.
Although there are many trees, it has lots of open space. The amenities we think you will like are the underground utilities and wide streets. Take some time to search High Timber Ranch for Big Bear properties & homes for sale or read more about the Moonridge neighborhood.
Need a tour or more information? Call Rahill Realty at (909) 547-4402 with any questions.
Castle Glen, California contains some of the newest and most prestigious properties & houses for sale in Big Bear, California. The spectacular panoramic views and close proximity to the lake, a wildlife preserve and boardwalk make it one of the most sought after locations in Big Bear Real Estate.
The amazing homes in Castle Glen Estates are built on property that reaches street-to-street and include a variety of wonderful design elements. Many feature hardwood floors, premium wood cabinets, custom trim and accents, while others also come with heated floors, energy efficient windows, granite counters and professional series appliances. Each home has a variety of little touches that make it like no other.
With all these unique elements, it should come as no surprise to the savvy real estate investor that this area is known for being one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the valley. A thriving local vacation rental market for the upscale rental properties located in this neighborhood are some of Big Bear’s best investments.
One of the nice development features is that this area is adjacent to the protected habitat of the Bald Eagle so you can enjoy nature as well as share the panoramic views that attract those birds. This neighborhood showcases just about everything the mountain resort has to offer.
The truth of the matter is that Castle Glen Estates sits at about the center of everything, so if you decide this is the right location, you’ll be thrilled that there is a lot within a short distance of the neighborhood. In fact, most everything is just minutes away.
Need examples? This amazing Big Bear neighborhood is not only nestled close to the major shopping centers and resorts, but also allows quick access to Big Bear Lake biking trail and the Stanfield March Wildlife Preserve.
If you are someone more interested in other types of activities, both the Big Bear Senior Center and the Big Bear Convention Center are right down the road and offer many different events throughout the year.
We also want to share a little known secret about area–during the height of tourist season, residents can enjoy quick, uncongested access to the back roads and navigate anywhere in the valley without hassle. This is a big plus that you will appreciate if you’ve ever experienced the big influx of visitors during events such as the 4th of July.
Rahill Realty thinks that you will love this particular upscale neighborhood of Big Bear, California. Take some time to search for Castle Glen houses for sale and don’t hesitate to call one of our Big Bear Realtors if you have any questions. Need to schedule a home tour? Call Will Rahill at (909) 547-4402.
Houses and properties for sale in the Big Bear Real Estate market are diverse. So, what’s the best Big Bear neighborhood? It depends. If you are considering relocation take some time to learn a little more about the different areas. Each location varies and has pros and cons to consider.
The wonderful thing about the Big Bear Valley is that it offers a variety of different types of terrains and neighborhoods to suit any taste. This means you can find everything from level ranch land to lakefront homes framed by a dramatic, boulder-filled environment above the lake.
Newer neighborhoods come with CC&Rs and environmentally friendly designs that include underground utilities. Older neighborhoods tend to be more eclectic but artistic diversity within a neighborhood is part of the charm of this mountain resort community.
Here on the south shore of Big Bear Lake is where you will find most of the services and greater population density. This is great for anyone seeking a retreat where it is easy to access social activities, shopping and to meet others of like interests.
The western area of the north shore offers a more quaint, rustic feel and is perfect for those who are seeking a quieter environment with fewer people and services. Lake access and hiking trails are available throughout the entire valley but lake and forest access is a highlight of this particular area.
If you are seeking to buy a mountain home, it is also important to consider some other preferences. For those who love winding, tree lined roads, a hillside or forest lease cabin might be perfect. But if you seek sunnier neighborhoods that are still near the forest, these can be found in a variety of locations such as Meadowbrook Estates or Hamilton Ranch.
For those who enjoy horseback riding and wide open panoramic scenes, Baldwin Lake might be more to your liking. It is a bit more arid and open than other areas of the valley. In fact, after you search online for properties & houses for sale in Big Bear, consider visiting for a weekend so you can take a tour by car through the different areas of the valley.
This is often a great start to your home buying adventure because you can leisurely take your time to check out the different areas and neighborhoods and see what really appeals to your senses. Viewing the area during the week and during a weekend can show you any activity contrasts within your favorite locations.
Seasonal changes can make a difference to where you might want to buy as well. For instance, some homes have dramatic views and tower over the lake. But if the area is framed by dramatic hillsides and boulders, the roads might be steep and remain shaded longer than other locations in the valley.
In the winter, this means that advanced planning for snow removal for easier property access would be key. Also, if any family members have mobility problems, ease of access through snow and ice might be a consideration to keep in mind as you look.
Meadowbrook Estates is located in the eastern end of the Big Bear Valley of California. This is where you’ll find Big Bear properties for sale on acreage between one and six acres. These spacious lots are perfect for those who enjoy privacy and seclusion.
Another attractive feature that makes this Big Bear neighborhood special is that the homes are custom built. Each unique home is unlike any other, and if you are looking for a larger home, the square footage in this location starts at about 2,000 but there are homes that are 5,000 square feet or more.
Houses for sale in Meadowbrook Estates are breathtaking and favor log-style homes which are surrounded by miles of forest. This area is also unusual for the mountains because the terrain is mostly level and this fact makes it the perfect spot for leisurely ambles or strolls with family, friends, neighbors or pets.
Unlike some of the older communities in Big Bear, the utilities in this area were placed underground which is a lovely asset. Views remain unobstructed and the wide, roomy streets are great during the winter months when the sun’s rays helps to keep them clear.
This neighborhood is also ideal for those who don’t want to fight the crowds or endure the noise on busy weekends. It is unique since the traffic is minimal most of the time. Many find this a relief during the busy holidays. Also, since there are very few vacation rentals in this area, it remains the perfect choice for those who seek a mountain retreat or a more secluded and exclusive mountain abode.
Meadowbrook Estates is best accessed off of Highway 38 on the east end of the valley through Mentone and Redlands. Locals favor this travel route since it is usually the least congested and most scenic.
Tree lined panoramic views and less human dwellers make wildlife sightings more frequent than other more populated areas. Another nice natural feature is the night sky since being located away from Big Bear town center means that the city lights won’t interfere with any stargazing.
Of course, there are some other considerations to keep in mind when looking at homes in Meadowbrook Estates. For instance, first phase houses located on Wilderness Drive were set up on septic and not on a sewer system.
Also, the drive to town is about ten to fifteen minutes. This really isn’t too far but it does mean that a quick trip to the store takes longer than in other areas of the valley. The good news is that it is only a short car ride over to the small commerce district in Sugarloaf. There you can find a small handful of businesses including a community market and Post Office.
Big Bear, California is the perfect place to find your dream home. However, it is also a great place to buy if you are looking for real estate investment opportunities. Consider exploring the vacation home rental market on your next visit. Doing so will help you experience the area and help you to get familiar with the local neighborhoods and you just might find options you might have missed.
For instance, in addition to finding the right location for your dream mountain home, you can identify areas that might make good investment sense in the event you desire to rent out your property when it isn’t in use by your family or friends.
The Big Bear home rental market is comprised not only full-time residents but also seasonal resort employees and vacationers. Many visitors think about renting hotels or cabins but this market also offers houses, townhouses, condos, and lakefront cabins or estates that are surprisingly affordable.
These properties are also attractive due to their proximity to the destination resort amenities such as the ski slopes, forest or the lake. Owning a home in a four season resort is a more sensible investment since it can offer a variety of options than homes for sale in a more urban setting.
If you are thinking of buying a vacation home rental property, consider the fact that some Big Bear property owners choose to rent their houses on special holidays rather than on a regular basis. Other home owners target a select group of renters such as people in the same line of work or within specific organizations. Appealing to a more select clientele can be is becoming a more desirable strategy.
In a more broad sense, vacation home rentals tend to be popular because they attract renters who are seeking a different experience away from other tourists, or in locations where hotels are not available. A home with multiple rooms, a kitchen and a yard tend to be more appealing since it offers both space and privacy options.
Of course, deciding to rent your Big Bear house will require you consider whether or not you will allow pets and if you will need to make adjustments to the house related to access of specific cupboards and closets, and use of laundry facilities.
We invite you to search Big Bear Real Estate for your dream home or for a unique real estate investment opportunity. You’ll be glad to learn that no log-in is required! If you find a house or property and would like to schedule a tour, just call one of our Big Bear Realtors at Rahill Realty (909) 547-4402.
Big Bear Real Estate offers a diverse selection of houses and properties for sale and so it is important to create a good first impression for potential buyers. At the moment, the inventory levels for Big Bear are high and this means there is more competition for those selling. This buyer’s market gives home shoppers many options to choose from and so they tend to become more selective.
As a result, Big Bear house buyers are likely to be less forgiving when it comes to any issues or flaws. Those problems can hinder a sale because with so many choices on the market, there is little desire from the buyer to invest additional time, money, or effort in fixing the property.
So, if you are wanting to sell your home, focus on making an impact. The goal should be to get the property as attractive as possible so that when potential home buyers come by, they get a favorable first impression. If the exterior of the home and yard look presentable, this “curb appeal” is likely to result in a home tour.
Now although you can work on such tasks after your home is listed, keep in mind that investing in repairs prior to putting your home up for sale is the best strategy since negotiating with a buyer after a home inspection is usually more costly.
Big Bear Property Exterior Staging Tips
- remove weeds & pine needles & pine cones
- fix cracks & renew sealing
- remove all debris
- trim branches, tree limbs, dead vegetation
- rake up leaves, pine needles & pine cones
- weed and trim bushes away from the home exterior
- mulch flower beds
- cover beds with decorative bark
- plant native foliage
- ask gardening or landscape professionals for fall & winter presentation ideas
- Roof & Gutters
- remove pine needles
- clean & repair
- Trim & Sidings
- clear away cobwebs
- wash down surfaces
- replace any damaged boards
- touch up with putty & paint
- professionally service interior & exterior panes
- clear entry
- sweep & clean
- use color
- add inviting decor
- touch up paint
- install new welcome mat
Big Bear House Interior Staging Tips
- Let in Light
- enhance natural light
- strategically place interior lamps
- Touch Up
- clean & paint walls & ceiling
- repair & spot paint trim
- remove personal belongings
- store non-essential furniture
- Deep Clean
- professionally service floor surfaces, lighting, fans & walls.
- re-caulk or re-grout
- repair & clean faucets
- clean under, inside & outside appliances
- repair & clean faucets
- fix any molded or mildewed areas
- repair leaky faucets
- replace any dingy looking hardware
- Other Rooms
- clear closets & storage areas
- neatly organize storage spaces
- Garage & Sheds
Rahill Realty is interested in helping you sell your house and hope that you found these exterior and interior staging tips useful. If we can be of help, don’t hesitate to call our Big Bear Realtor team at (909) 547-4402.
Big Bear Real Estate appraisals can vary greatly and so it is important to make sure you have a local professional conduct the valuation. Outsiders who are unfamiliar with the local neighborhoods, or who are on the payroll of a financial institution, have been found to differ from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars–and this can be a problem.
When the National Association of Realtors conducted polls on the topic, the organization found a lot of frustration surrounding the matter. Faulty estimates were discovered to be major causes of contract cancellations and the use of affiliated appraisers (or in-house staff) contributed to the escalating numbers of disagreements over property values.
If you have had a deal fall apart because of a bad appraisal and the lender has not worked with you after being alerted of the problem, you can file a complaint with the California appraisal board. Although the board cannot solve your issues, they can take disciplinary action, fine, or suspend a bad service provider. Rather than fight such battles, there are some steps you can take to be proactive in getting a solid appraisal. One of the first steps to take is to work closely with your Big Bear Realtor to provide a summary of comparable homes (comps) that include recently sold properties and active listings .
Your Big Bear Real Estate professional can pull comps that are in the neighborhood, that are approximately the same size, that feature some of the same amenities, and that are in similar condition. If you are aware of any unique influencing factors on the home sale prices in your area, make sure to disclose them. Knowledge of things such as personal tragedy, death, divorce, financial challenges, or concessions made to make the sale are important factors.
It is also a good to compile a listing of all the property improvements and upgrades you have make on your Big Bear house. Providing documentation on the dates of the work and the total financial investment will help to enhance the value of your home. So, bringing it to the attention of the appraiser is important.
Prior to the inspection, query the individual about his or her qualifications. Longevity, certifications, professional titles, memberships and professional contacts can help you assess just how competent the service provider might be. If he or she has professional contacts in the local Big Bear Real Estate market, it is likely that your appraiser will be able to get good information about pricing trends and current sales information.
Plan to be present during the assessment of your Big Bear property. Once completed, you are entitled to a review copy–so ask for one. During your review of the appraisal, look closely at the comps that were selected and double check the property measurements for accuracy.
Discuss any concerns with your Realtor, and if there are any serious mistakes and your valuation is low, ask for corrections. If you are unsuccessful in getting the appraiser to correct the valuation, you can make an appeal directly to the lender.
This is called a “reconsideration of value.” Follow the procedures required for the appeal and then request a second valuation. Although this will require additional fees, getting another by a more competent appraiser will be to your benefit.
Big Bear Real Estate might not be at the top of your list for unique Valentine’s Day presents but a romantic escape to the area is a good way to investigate the local real estate market.
Keep in mind that any home buying efforts during a day dedicated to romance would probably put you in the dog house but we do have some ideas for that special day in the Big Bear Valley.
In addition to being able to take some time to enjoy each other in seclusion, you’ll be able to explore the area and all the amenities it has to offer. We believe that your trip just might convince you that Big Bear would be the perfect place to live.
A Valentine’s Day interlude in the Big Bear Valley is showcased by snow capped mountain peaks and views of the pristine lake. You’ll enjoy the fresh smell of pines and the crisp, clean air while taking a stroll or enjoying some of the popular outdoor winter sports. After activities might include massage, a relaxing Jacuzzi or hot beverages next to a crackling fire.
Planning your romantic escape doesn’t have to be a chore and can be accomplished by visiting the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce or the Big Bear Visitor’s Center online. If you prefer, you can call either agency to find out about any seasonal specials or packages.
The Big Bear Valley offers a wide selection of hotels, cabins and cottages, or lakefront estates and the local merchants are happy to help you find just the right activities to keep you occupied. Even so, we have a few suggestions to help you plan that romantic escape.
The number one choice of visitors is the Mallard Bay Resort. If you are seeking a more quaint, quiet visit this is the perfect choice since it is on Big Bear Lake and close to the village. You can enjoy your own cabin with a kitchen but still get the perks of hospitality.
On the North Shore, Windy Point Inn is the place to be. Your stay is adjacent to the San Bernardino Forest and this establishment has the most stunning views since it is situated right on the lake. Other bed & breakfast favorites include the Inn at Fawnskin and Gold Mountain Manor but you can find a listing of Big Bear B&Bs here.
If you prefer a hotel establishment, North Woods Resort is one of the valley’s popular hotels due to its close proximity to fine dining, movies, massage and other merchant services. However, you can dine in at Stillwell’s Restaurant and never leave the premises!
For those wanting a hotel closer to the ski slopes, the Big Bear Chateau is rated among the top ten hotels in the area. You’ll enjoy the Tiffany Lounge & Le Bistro Restaurant but the new Black Diamond Tavern is just a short amble away.
Also, close to the Big Bear Village is the Knickerbocker Mansion a historic establishment that is also home to the acclaimed Bistro at the Mansion which just might be the perfect place for your romantic dinner.
Of course, Big Bear has a lot more to offer and this is just a short list to help you get started on planning your romantic escape. We wish you the best Valentine’s Day and invite you to search Big Bear Real Estate now since no log-in is required.
Rahill Realty can assist you in finding the perfect lakefront cabin or sale so please call us to schedule a tour of Big Bear houses or properties at (909) 547-4402.
Big Bear Real Estate offers some amazing opportunities for first-time buyers. However, if you are new to shopping for real estate, it can get a bit overwhelming. But purchasing your first home can be a fun and smooth process and so here are some suggestions to help you on your home buying journey.
Begin your quest for that dream house by estimating just how much of a home you can afford. Spend some time going over your budget and discuss this with your professional advisors. Next, take some time to get pre-qualified for a loan as this will give you an edge over other buyers.
Home loans can be obtained from banks, credit unions and mortgage bankers but the processing is done by a mortgage broker. If you are not certain about your credit score, or have a poor credit score, discuss this with your lender as he or she might be able to help you identify what options might be available to you.
Make sure you have a down payment and the funds to cover a few mortgage payments. Just what your down payment will be depends on the loan and the programs that may be available in your area. You’ll be happy to learn that there are some creative options for coming up with mortgage down payments.
When it comes to home loans, there are two main categories–conventional or government. Conventional mortgage loans come with either fixed or adjustable interest rates and may require mortgage insurance. Government loans include those from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and include both fixed and adjustable rates. If you are a veteran, take some time to explore the options from the Veterans Administration (VA).
You might have heard of closing costs.These are service charges that come due when you close escrow. They include escrow fees, title policy insurance fees, mortgage insurance fees, fire and homeowners insurance, county recording fees,and loan origination fees. Check with your lender for estimates as to what types of fees you will need to pay and ask about programs available in your area that can assist you with these costs.
It might be a good idea to take some home buying courses or enroll in loan counseling for prospective buyers. The good news is that your attendance may help you qualify for additional help to get you into your first home.
Thanks for visiting and while you are here, take some time to search Big Bear Real Estate–no log-in is required. If you have any questions or need assistance in getting into a new home, please contact our Big Bear Realtor team at (909) 547-4402.
Big Bear Real Estate values are some of the best in the California realty market. This is great news for anyone seeking Big Bear houses or properties.
One of the reasons Rahill Realty designed Search Big Bear Real Estate was to help potential buyers look through the Big Bear MLS and encourage potential buyers and sellers to consult with one of our Big Bear Realtors for the best and most accurate information.
The advantage of dealing with a true real estate professional is that he or she can help you connect with the right resources for accurate information instead of relying on the inaccurate and archaic data that is so prevalent online.
This misinformation has become such a problem that even the Wall Street Journal recently wrote about the misleading information home owners were getting about properties.
Inaccurate numbers from some of the popular websites listing real estate are common and the percentage of error is alarming. Take the example provided for the $750,000 home. One indicated that the home dropped over $200,000 during the home owner’s renovation efforts while another valued the home a $110,500 less.
The home owner was astounded when professional appraiser did a property assessment that put the same house at $1.5 million! This tremendous error could create a variety of serious problems for both a buyer and a seller.
The WSJ article by Alyssa Abkowitz explains that sites such as Zillow, Turlia, Homes.com and Realtor.com can be wildly inaccurate. Even so, trusting home shoppers flock to look at the data. Using those sites and numbers to determine the market value of property, or for coming up with refinancing estimates, is not a good idea especially since the estimates can vary from 20% to 50% higher or lower than the sale price.
It is alarming just how frequently the data is wrong. Fluctuations are common because not all information is collected or supplied in a consistent manner. Plus, unique aspects within the community or the construction can also vary widely.
We encourage you to spend the time to consult with professional real estate appraisers and veteran real estate agents. Be sure to get direct referrals to other professionals from them as well.
While here, take some time to search the Big Bear MLS for Big Bear houses & properties and don’t hesitate to contact our team of professional Big Bear Realtors with any questions or for personal help at (909) 547-4402.
Big Bear Real Estate owners enjoy a unique environment and various options to bring in revenue with their Big Bear houses & properties. This means that home buyers are finding amazing deals and getting into their mountain dream homes. However, the reality is that some of those deals come from challenges faced by others during the economic fluctuations over the past fifteen years.
This brings up a question, what would you do if you suddenly face financial hardship due to the reduction of income, loss of employment, or incapacitation due to illness, injury, or even an unexpected death in the family? These situations are all unforeseen situations that might impact your ability to cover that mortgage payment. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to avoid facing potential catastrophe.
Despite unexpected events, the options available to property owners include home mortgage payment protection or home mortgage insurance. These types of coverage help make mortgage payments if you cannot.
Company closure, job loss, or incapacitation due to illness or injury are some of the factors that could impact the ability to make mortgage payments but you can have peace of mind with the right type of coverage and avoid facing any additional stress by knowing your mortgage is covered.
The other benefit reaped from these type of policies is that most of these protection plans are tax deductible. In addition, you may qualify for additional perks or incentives over time as a reward for coverage longevity.
Taking steps to make sure your assets are covered helps mitigate any emergency situations or unexpected fluctuations in the job market. Many realty professionals believe that these protection plans and insurance programs are in the best interest of new home buyers and property owners.
There are a variety of different types to explore such as Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), Mortgage Protection Payment Insurance (MPPI), Mortgage Life Insurance, and Term Life Insurance. The Federal Housing Administration and the United States Veterans Administration also offer some options.
The choices can be confusing but Big Bear Realtor, Will Rahill can discuss this matter with you in detail and help you explore options for discounts, assistance programs, and different homebuyer privileges.
Despite what you might have heard, home mortgage payment protection is something within your reach and essential to protecting your Big Bear property investment and protecting the welfare of your loved ones.
Big Bear Real Estate gives home buyers more property value for the money. However, coming up with the down payment can be daunting to a first time home buyer. Zero down mortgages or low down payment mortgage options exist along with some creative financing alternatives and that is what we want to share with you today.
Believe it or not, 27% of first time home buyers obtained their down payments from financial gifts. These funds were obtained from relatives and friends. Many of the funds came from a unique wedding registry trend where guests contributed cash for a down payment instead of purchasing traditional items. People are getting creative about getting funds for a new home.
Earlier this year, Wedding Wire reported on Bridal Registry Accounts and Home Purchase Registry Accounts. These gifts are made by people who do not have any financial interest in the transaction. You’d need to check with your mortgage company about any limitations (or exceptions) but in general, a down payment will require at least 5% of the funds from your own savings account and not the registry.
Although this hit the news and created some excitement, the fact is that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) encouraged lenders to establish bridal registry savings accounts for down payments back in 1996!
Another creative online option are online registries. Deposit a Gift was launched from New York in 2009. Today about 30% of their registry is dedicated to down-payment funds or home-improvement funds.
Now if you purchased a home 20 years ago, you would have needed a down payment equal to 20% of the purchase price. Today this isn’t the case, in fact, many people put down much less–as little as 3.5%. Those who qualify may manage to get in to a new home with zero down!
More traditional avenues to explore if you are buying a home for the first time, or qualify as a first-time home owner are:
- the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ,
- the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA),
- or the California Housing Financing Agency.
Veterans can find housing loan information from the Department of Veteran Affairs and will be interested to know that lenders may not require a down payment. Plus, these types of loans tend to get faster approval than others.
Low down payment mortgages can get you into a home for a 3.5% down payment and these FHA loans are backed by the government and so have more flexible guidelines.
Take some time to search Big Bear Real Estate (no log-in is required) or to call Big Bear Realtor, Will Rahill at (909) 547-4402 for help. Rahill Realty would be happy to get you into any of the Big Bear houses or properties currently on the market.
Big Bear Real Estate offers some amazing opportunities and many potential home buyers want to know just what they can buy.
The good news is that Big Bear houses for sale are better deals when compared to surrounding areas of southern California. This means you can actually get more for your money. But when it comes to determining just what that is, it is best to get some professional help.
Although you can read some government resource materials, or punch some numbers into a mortgage calculator for a general idea, discussions should take place with your financial advisor, accountant, loan officer, underwriter, and your Big Bear Realtor for more accurate figures and percentages. It also never hurts to take some time to analyze different scenarios, prices, and payments.
We thought we might review a few terms to help you better understand how to come up with those figures that will help you in your search for Big Bear Real Estate.
One of the first steps to determining just how much house you can afford is to determine your debt-to-income ratio. Calculating this affordability figure is done by taking the estimated expenses such as the mortgage principle, mortgage interest, insurances (mortgage, hazard), property taxes, and any related expenses (home owner association dues) and dividing that by your gross income.
Of course, a mortgage calculator can help you find this number but desirable percentages vary and so it is always best to check with your professional team to get an idea of what percentage they believe is ideal for your particular situation.
Once you have your debt-to-income ratio, it is important to then determine the back-end ratio. This is determined by adding the housing expense estimates, mentioned earlier, to your existing consumer obligations, and then diving the sum by your gross monthly income.
Consumer obligations include payments for things such as auto loans, credit cards, education loans, etc., but they do not include living expenses or utilities.
Automated Underwriting Systems (AUS) use proprietary formulas to make adjustments when seeking to determine if you qualify. Influencing factors are things such as your credit rating, employment longevity or stability, assets, and your down payment. Together these impact just how high a ratio will be considered acceptable.
Human Underwriters look beyond the numbers and also consider your demonstrated ability to successfully pay housing expenses. He or she will look at the down payment, whether or not you save money and use credit sparingly, what type of reserve you will have after closing, consider the potential for increased income, and whether or not your housing expenses will remain stable.
Now that you know a few ways of determining what you can buy, it is time to do a personal assessment of your situation. Ask how the proposed mortgage payment, property taxes, home maintenance costs, and insurances will work for your lifestyle.
Qualifications can vary so it is up to you to determine what you can really be comfortable with. Take some time to consider where you will be in five years or ten years and then decide just what type of financial commitment is realistic.
Once you have gone over the figures discussed here, go ahead and experiment with a mortgage calculator. Enter current interest rates and find a projected loan amount for your maximum purchase price and decide just how much financing you will seek.
Rahill Realty would be happy to help you find a Big Bear house for sale. Take some time to search Big Bear Real Estate and compare the values with other communities. We know you will be pleasantly surprised by what this market has to offer.
When you are ready, contact Will Rahill at (909) 547-4402 and he will be happy to help you into your mountain dream home.
The Big Bear Real Estate market has houses for sale for just about every type of home buyer. Since personal buying habits tend to be fairly predictable, we thought a short quiz might be useful and fun. So, grab a piece of paper and mark down your answers, then take a look at those letters that dominate your answers.
Before making any purchase:
(a) I research and analyze any trends and compare prices;
(b) I take time to identify what it is that I really want to buy;
(c) I do so after an income bonus or pay increase.
Saving money means that:
(a) I tuck funds away regularly or on scheduled dates;
(b) I save if there are any funds left over;
(c) I seldom am able to do so.
When it comes to a vehicle, I:
(a) own my own car or several;
(b) make regular payments;
(c) lease or do not currently own one.
My shopping habits involve:
(a) using a list and sticking to it;
(b) being able to remember the items needed;
(c) buying what I want or what appeals to me.
Returning my purchases happens:
(a) seldom, if at all;
(b) once in a while;
(c) all the time.
For those who answered (a), you are a conservative researcher and seldom make impulsive buys. This often indicates that you are likely to shop around a while before narrowing down your choices and are likely to do so when making a final decision on buying a home. It might be that you are fairly conscious of your finances and have saved up for this type of purchase which makes finding a house for sale easier than (b) or (c).
If you answered the quiz and discovered that (b) dominates your answers, you have financial habits that can serve you well but you might not yet have the savings that helps with those unexpected costs of home ownership. If you fall into this category, consider working towards establishing a special account for that down payment, home repairs, or unexpected home maintenance and insurance as part of your home buying plan.
Those buyers who find (c) as the most dominate letter might have a tendency for more impulsive buying. If appearances are important, you prefer to lease other major purchases (such as a vehicle) or regularly return smaller purchases, it might be beneficial to crunch some numbers and develop a solid buying plan so that you don’t over extend yourself when it comes to purchasing a home.
We hope you enjoyed this fun exercise and that it helped you identify what types of actions you might take to help you in the search to find the perfect house for sale.
Big Bear houses for sale usually come with different heating options depending on the design and location of the home. Many mountain homes include alternative heating sources such as fireplaces, wood stoves, or pellet stoves.
The warm glow of a fire creates a wonderful, relaxing atmosphere but if regular cleaning and inspections are not habits, chimney fires can erupt unexpectedly. They can vary from those that shoot flames and heavy smoke out the top to others that might be slow burns and barely noticeable. This problem might be noticed because of the smell or because of an odd crackling or popping. Very intense eruptions sound like a train.
Whether you opt for Big Bear real estate new construction, or a charming lakefront cabin for sale, it is important to get into a regular practice of scheduling a regular chimney inspection and cleaning. Fire and smoke damage can destroy your home and endanger lives but with this regular home maintenance service and some good habits, chimney fires are easily preventable.
For instance, chimney caps and screens will prevent animals and debris from entering the chimney and the identification of cracks, missing mortar joints, and other problems will help keep your house intact and your family safe. A certified sweep can help you troubleshoot and maintain your chimney.
Using a professional is important since when a fireplace or wood stove is used, smoke is channeled out through the chimney. But what you might not know is that within the smoke more dense materials travel up the flue and can condense on the interior of the chimney. Over time, this material can become significant.
Any dark, sticky (or flaky) accumulations can be ignited by a flame or spark and start a chimney fire. The chances of this issue increases if you are burning unseasoned wood, material that doesn’t burn clean or if the chimney air flow is restricted.
Chimney Fire Safety Tips
- Avoid burning unseasoned firewood since it burns cooler and is more likely to cause materials to condense on the inside of the chimney.
- Pick fuel from hard woods such as citrus, eucalyptus, or oak because they burn cleaner.
- Be aware that colder temperatures on the outside of exterior chimneys can cause smoke to condense and form creosote.
- A good draft allows the fireplace to draw air in. Closing glass doors or the damper restrict air supply adding to the buildup of creosote.
- Smaller fires burn hotter and are a better practice than larger fires.
- Avoid burning cardboard boxes or wrapping paper since small pieces can ignite and travel up the chimney posing a fire risk.
- Have the chimney cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep regularly after burning between one and two cords of wood.
- Install smoke alarms throughout the home.
- Keep a dry chemical fire extinguisher near the door of the house (10-20 pound size) and have it checked and recharged annually if needed.
In Case of Chimney Fire
- Call 9-1-1!
- Restrict the airflow to the fire if you can.
- Evacuate the home and get outside.
Find a Certified Chimney Sweep
With the right home maintenance practices you can avoid chimney fires and enjoy the cozy, ambiance of your fireplace on cold mountain nights. The Rahill Real Estate Group invites you to search Big Bear Real Estate for the perfect house for sale. Be sure to call Will Rahill at (909) 547-4402 for a closer look at Big Bear properties.
Big Bear is a four season resort but winter remains one of the most popular times for visitors to flock to the area. Believe it or not, our white wonderland offers something for every age and every activity level.
Snow play is perfect for those with an active lifestyle but you can cuddle up to read a book next to a roaring fireplace, stroll through the quaint shops, indulge in spa services, or take some time to shop for your dream home.
The holidays are perfect for searching for a Big Bear house for sale because most people are too busy with the preparations of the season to think about looking for a new home. This means you’ll have a great selection, less competition, and that your Big Bear Realtor is likely to have some amazing opportunities to share as a result.
Combining your holiday trip with shopping for a Big Bear house can be both fun and enjoyable. However, it also is a good strategy to see just what your potential neighborhood and dream home are like during the winter weather. This can be especially beneficial if you have not lived in an area with seasonal changes.
In between your home tours, you can take some time to enjoy a hot beverage or snack at one of the local bistros, explore some of the shops and chat with merchants to find out more about life in the area, and enjoy some of the special events taking place within strolling distance.
For your enjoyment we thought we’d list some of the great events that happen around the valley during November and December so you can combine your shopping for a home with some holiday fun!
Daytime Delights of Big Bear
- Bobsledding and tobogganing are available at the Alpine Slide or Big Bear Snow Play.
- Snowboarding and skiing are favorites at Bear Mountain or Snow Summit.
- Explore the outdoors on a Big Bear Discovery Center snowshoe tour.
- Boutique spa services offer pampering specials for winter skin care.
- Browse for vintage deals in the mountain antique stores and malls.
- Enjoy fine dining and then stroll over to the movie theaters for an after dinner treat.
Big Bear Holiday Gatherings
Big Bear restaurants offer some amazing holiday meals but be sure to call early for reservations. Service clubs sometimes offer options for members so check in with your particular membership organization for options.
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Big Bear
Tree lighting ceremonies take place across the valley in Big Bear Lake, Big Bear City and Fawnskin. Meet Santa and Mrs Claus at these events and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies while you experience the intimacy a small community offers.
Big Bear Christmas Caroling & Santa Claus
Christmas caroling is a tradition throughout the Big Bear valley. Many community groups head out to carol but you can join in the festivities over in Big Bear Village or just enjoy listening to the Christmas Carolers. The kids can meet Santa while you enjoy a hot beverage and the immense holiday tree.
A Christmas Carol in Big Bear Lake
The Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center offers a variety of different shows and one of the favorites is the annual performance of A Christmas Carol. This event is fun for the whole family and worth attending.
Bear Valley’s Festive Fundraisers
Many festive philanthropic events take place over the holidays. For instance, you’ll find an annual dinner and Holiday Auction at Northwoods Resort & Conference Center in the Village of Big Bear Lake. All proceeds from this event go to benefit the Big Bear Valley. You can find these announcements in the local media.
New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade
The annual Torchlight Parade at Snow Summit remains one of the most popular events for bringing in the new year. Watch as 100 skiers and snowboarders participate to see a cascade of lights as they travel down the slopes in celebration. You can also purchase tickets to the party that takes place after.
We hope you will come enjoy the holidays in Big Bear. Take a moment to search Big Bear Real Estate and if you decide you want to combine your holiday vacation with shopping for a Big Bear house for sale, call Will Rahill at (909) 547-4402 for assistance.
Big Bear Real Estate property owners buy for a variety of reasons. Some seek to move their residence to this lovely mountain community, while others desire a second home for weekend escapes. However, there are those who seek real estate investment properties.
Perhaps you have heard about real estate investment but were not quite sure what what options are available. There are a variety to consider if you are seeking to make such an investment. The categories to consider include industrial, retail or commercial, residential, or mixed use real estate options.
The Big Bear area offers a variety of property options. Because it is a smaller community, there are limited industrial investments available–but there are a few. Traditionally these might include things such as a special purpose site that can generate sales from those who use the facility. For instance, Big Bear has several storage unit facilities and both a self-service car wash and a more comprehensive car washing facility. Consistent revenue streams come from the repeated use of such properties by the consumer.
Commercial real estate investments exist and the Big Bear valley supports a few major shopping centers along with a variety of retail centers. The area is unique in that it supports a wide variety of small business operators. As the valley has grown into a popular four season resort, more and more franchises and chain stores are opening up. This provides additional job opportunities and conveniences for both the full-time residents and visitors. Rented or leased retail spaces generate a rental income and many of the business operators handle the maintenance and repair of such properties, which can be a perk for the property owner.
Residential homes are often used seasonally by second homeowners. Some provide weekend escapes for the family and friends but they may also be leased or rented out on an ongoing basis. There are property owners who also take advantage of opportunities that are available on a shorter term seasonal basis. For instance, the area is popular with vacationers and seasonal resort staff, so there are more opportunities to rent a home property than exist in non-resort areas.
Finally, mixed real estate investments might combine any number of these different property investment strategies to create diversification. As you can see, there are a number of things to consider when buying Big Bear Real Estate.
Now that you know about some of the different options available to you in the Big Bear Valley, the Rahill Real Estate Group invites you to take some time to search Big Bear Real Estate listings. We’d love to help you in your real estate quest, so call Will Rahill at (909) 547-4402 for assistance!
Big Bear Real Estate offers home buyers a wide variety of options. Whether you are seeking an additional investment property, a vacation home, or a new primary residence, this charming community provides you with many different options.
One of the best times to search for Big Bear houses for sale is right now! Fall is not only an enchanting time here in the mountains, but it also signals that the end of the year is fast approaching. If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a new home, there is still time to close escrow and leverage that purchase when you file your taxes in the new year.
The Rahill Real Estate Group is prepared to help you find the right property for your needs and help you identify some of the unique aspects of mountain property ownership. First and foremost is that Big Bear Real Estate gives you amazing value for your investment.
You’ll like the fact that Big Bear properties are also very diversified. This means you have choices and many different options. Where else can you find spacious spreads, large contemporary homes, immense log houses or small rustic cabins?
Surprisingly, commutes across the valley are short, relaxing, scenic drives. Big Bear’s properties also offer “personality plus” since each home is unique. Many of properties presented by Will Rahill offer stunning views and you certainly will not find those traditional track houses common in southern California communities.
Some new home buyers seek larger homes with expansive square footage. Others prefer smaller, more intimate settings for a weekend escape. So, the first question to ask is just how much space do you need?
Many second home owners in the Big Bear Valley find that they enjoy sharing tighter quarters since it allows for more intimacy and opportunities for bonding and the strengthening of relationships. Clean up takes less time and life is simpler.
Other mountain home owners find that they prefer a spacious home with lots of room for family and friends. They take advantage of this four season resort for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying themselves away from the hustle and bustle of urban dwelling and the responsibilities of their day-to-day lives.
The Rahill Real Estate Group wants to help you find the right Big Bear house for your needs. We encourage you to take some time to search Big Bear Real Estate and explore your options. Then, call Will Rahill at (909) 547-4402 so he can get you into the perfect mountain home.
The Big Bear MLS (Big Bear Multiple Listing Service) is a database of homes for sale in The Big Bear Valley in Southern California. It contains information, statistics, and picture of homes for sale in Big Bear as well as all other types of property for sale in Big Bear such as vacant lots, commercial real estate, condos, businesses etc. The Big Bear MLS is the primary tool that professional real estate agents use to market and advertise listings to other agents.
There are three ways that you can gain access to the information in the Big Bear MLS. I will go through them in order of most effective to least effective.
The single best way to Access the Big Bear MLS is to use the most powerful Big Bear Real Estate Search Engine created to date at SearchBigBearRealEstate.com . There is no sign in required and you can search anonymously. This Site has not only all the available properties in the Big Bear MLS but it also contains properties listed in Big Bear that are not in the Big Bear MLS but reside in other MLS systems all across Southern California. You will see properties here that many Big Bear Real Estate Agents aren’t aware of. SearchBigBearRealEstate.com has a Map Based Big Bear MLS Search as well as a criteria based Big Bear MLS search. Properties are searchable by City, Area or even specific neighborhood. You can see all the available pictures and virtual tours for each home as well as all the pertinent statistics. Some of the most common types of Big Bear Homes that Big Bear Home Buyers are looking for are already set up as Big Bear Home Galleries searchable with a single mouse click. For instance if you want to see all the Big Bear Lakefront Homes for Sale just click the Big Bear Lakefront Home Gallery and all the Big Bear Lakefront homes for Sale at that time will be displayed as a picture gallery. Likewise if you are interested in buying a Big Bear Log Cabin just click the Big Bear Log Cabin Gallery. If Big Bear Equestrian Properties are your thing, just click the gallery of Big Bear Equestrian Properties. There are also galleries for Big Bear Foreclosures and Big Bear Short Sales.
The second best way to access the Big Bear MLS is to find a Big Bear Real Estate Agent who is willing to listen to what you are looking for, establish a search based on your criteria, and then set you up on AUTONOTIFICATION. AUTONOTIFICATION is a means of sending you listings (homes or properties for sale) that meet your criteria via email. Using this method the agent can send you all the complete details for each property, including multiple pictures, statistics, agent descriptions, and virtual tours. The search is specifically tailored to your exact criteria. You don’t have to sort through pages and pages of properties that you are not interested in to find the couple of gems hidden in the massive overwhelming amounts of data stored in the Big Bear MLS system. Best of all, AUTONOTIFICATION is instantaneous! Your agent can set it up so that you receive an email the second a property is posted to the Big Bear Lake MLS system with all the complete details and pictures and virtual tours for that property. You will see new properties hit the market the same time as all the agents in the valley! The best Big Bear properties sell quickly regardless of what the market is doing. For proof, just ask your agent to send you the current pending properties. You will see some jewels that went under contract within days of hitting the MLS. If you want me to set you up on AUTONOTIFICATION just give me a call at (909) 547-4402 for a short free phone consultation where I will ask you a series of questions to help you pin down exactly what you are looking for.
The Big Bear Real Estate Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is searchable by a number of different criteria. Some of the most commonly searched criteria are listed below:
Number of Stories
The Most common (yet least effective) way to search the Big Bear MLS system to see homes and properties for sale in Big Bear Lake California is to go to Realtor.com which is by far the single most visited Real Estate Website in the WORLD. Realtor.com shows all the listings that are in the Big Bear Valley MLS system but it suffers some limitations in terms of search criteria. One of the biggest limitations of Realtor.com is that you can not search by neighborhood, which is one of the most valuable search criteria, since many home buyers start searching for a home by first identifying choice neighborhoods. Realtor.com also has very limited data available on the homes and property for sale compared to the Big Bear MLS . For instance, unless the listing agent pays Realtor.com a yearly fee, which few agents choose to do, only one picture of each property is available for viewing there. The Realtor.com property descriptions do not include valuable comments about the property that are entered into the Big Bear MLS , and it also doesn’t include a virtual tour of each home unless the listing agent pays an additional fee.
In conclusion, if you want to search the Big Bear MLS anonymously go to http://SearchBigBearRealEstate.com. If you want to talk to an agent and have email AUTONOTIFICATION tailored to your specific needs call me at (909) 547-4402.
Thanks for reading. If you have feedback I’d love to hear your comments. If you think you have friends who may benefit from this information please feel free to share this post on Facebook or by any other means.
Check out what’s happening in Big Bear this weekend!
Learn about what is going on in Big Bear CA this weekend.
Big Bear real estate agent reviews are all over the internet but unfortunately you have to go to a variety of sources to find them. Keep reading to find out where to find them, what to look for in an agent review or testimonial, and what questions to ask before you hire a Big Bear Realtor to represent you.
When the quality of your agent can save you (or cost you) tens of thousands of dollars it makes sense to do some research before hiring a real estate agent. Some people spend more time shopping around to save a few bucks on a TV than they do selecting the person they will entrust with negotiating the purchase or sale of their most valuable asset. Too often I hear stories of real estate transactions gone horribly wrong but it doesn’t have to be that way. Choose the best Big Bear real estate agent from the start and you dramatically improve your chances of having a great home buying or home selling experience. There are about 300 real estate agents in the Big Bear valley but only a handful are full-time, professional real estate agents earning their living through real estate sales. Follow these tips on how to hire the best Big Bear real estate agent for the job and you will be delighted with the professionalism and service you receive.
What to look for in a Big Bear Real estate Agent review
Look for signs that the agent is honest and trustworthy.
Look for signs that the agent has great marketing.
Look for signs that the agent is a great negotiator.
Look for signs that the agent is a great communicator.
Where do I find reviews for Big Bear Real Estate Agents and testimonials I can trust?
Yelp, Zillow, and Trulia are the three most trusted sources for real estate agent reviews. They all have systems to detect fraud and monitor the identity of reviewers which keeps reviews fair and impartial. Zillow and Trulia both have methods of confirming that the reviews are left by actual participants in the real estate transaction. To see how those reviews should look, you can check out my reviews for the Rahill Real Estate Group at Yelp, Zillow and Trulia below.
If you go to the agent’s business Facebook page, you may find that one of your friends has first-hand knowledge of the realtor in question. To find out, click on the thumbs up graphic that displays the number of “likes” the person has, and Facebook will show you any of your friends who happen to like that agent’s business too. If you find your friends there, give them a call and find out what they like about that Big Bear Realtor.
You can use a similar approach for LinkedIn but you may have to request to link up with the agent before you can see their full profile. The added benefit of viewing the agent’s profile is that you get to read reviews there, and you can also see how many people have endorsed them for various areas of expertise in the real estate field.
Read the testimonials on their agent website but read them with a grain of salt. Testimonials can be easily manufactured. If they have any bad ones, you can bet those won’t make it onto their site. If the testimonials have the full author names then you may spot someone you know. That may give you confidence in the credibility of the testimonials.
How do I find an agent to list my Big Bear home?
Check the internet! Buyers for Big Bear real estate are going to be searching the internet. Pretend you are a buyer. Go to Google and type in anything you think a buyer might type to find a home similar to yours: “Big Bear Lake Real Estate”, “Big Bear Cabins for Sale”, “Big Bear Lakefront Property for Sale”, “Moonridge Homes for Sale”, etc. Be as creative as you want. Try being general, “Big Bear Real Estate,” and try being specific, “Foxfarm home for sale.” Check to see whose website shows up for the top three search results, and which of the sites seems the most user-friendly. Which site would you choose to search on if you were a buyer? If you find Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com in the top three results then ignore those for now. We will visit them later when looking for agent reviews. What you want to find is which Big Bear Realtor has invested the most time and money in internet marketing because marketing drives demand and demand drives price.
What Questions should I ask before hiring an agent to list and sell my Big Bear property?
How long have you lived in Big Bear? Find an agent who lives in Big Bear to assure they have the local area knowledge and connections with other local agents, home inspectors, termite inspectors, escrow companies, and other affiliates to get the job done correctly.
Will you list my home in the Big Bear MLS system? If they don’t belong to the Big Bear Association of Realtors and they don’t have access to the Big Bear MLS system then the interview is over. It is possible to sell a Big Bear home when it is listed in a non-Big Bear MLS, but the likelihood of it selling for the highest possible price is remote. Most homes sold in Big Bear are sold by agents belonging to the Big Bear MLS system. So if you are not in it, you miss out on your exposure to the agents representing the majority of all Big Bear home buyers. Lower demand for your Big Bear property will result in a lower sale price.
How many Big Bear properties did you sell last year? If they’ve sold very few properties in Big Bear, beware. They are a part-timer or a new agent without the experience and systems in place to get you the most money in the shortest time with the least amount of hassle. As a benchmark, my team sold 75 Big Bear properties last year (about one every 5 days) and we are on track to sell over 100 Big Bear properties this year.
Do you use a professional photographer? You would cringe if you saw some of the pictures that agents put out on the internet to represent their client’s properties, blurry photographs with poor lighting and thumbnail sized. The way your home is represented photographically on the internet may be the single most important factor in the amount of money you will receive for your property and how quickly it sells. Make sure they use a professional.
Do you make a virtual tour of properties you list? If they understand the importance of professional photography they will always create virtual tours that can display the photographic images in high resolution despite the MLS photo resolution limitations.
Will you please show me all of your current listings on the internet? Have them show you all of their current listings on the internet so you can see for yourself that they always use a pro photographer. If you find any of their listings on the internet where they were lazy with the photos and didn’t use a pro I would steer clear. Check the property remarks for spelling and grammar to see how detail oriented their marketing staff is.
What is your marketing plan for selling my property? Have them walk you through all the things that they are going to do to market your home. Any agent can put up a sign, put a lockbox on, and put it in the MLS. What are they going to do above and beyond what all agents do? Does it sound like it will work? Do they sound confident in their abilities to get it sold?
How will you communicate the results of your marketing so that I know what is going on with my Big Bear property? A good agent will ask you how you like to be communicated with and how often. At the bare minimum you should receive results of the internet marketing weekly through emailed reports so you can monitor interest in your property to see if you have it priced properly. A good agent will follow up with all showings for feedback from other agents and buyers and communicate that feedback to you on a regular basis.
Who will take care of my property on your days off or when you are ill or on vacation? This is where it is beneficial if the agent is part of a high functioning team. Everyone needs days off sometimes, everyone gets sick at times and everyone takes vacations but the job of a real estate agent is never done. From the day the listing contract is signed to the day the property closes escrow there should be someone with intimate knowledge of the property ready to jump at a moment’s notice to show the property to an out of town buyer who just called from the sign or handle any complications or offers on the property. Particularly in Big Bear’s resort market where most homes are second homes and vacation homes, there should always be someone on the scene to handle any kind of inquiry or emergency that may arise in the home selling process.
How does your Sale Price to List Price Ratio compare to the Big Bear market average? Knowing their sale price to list price ratio in relation to the market average will tell you how good they are at marketing and negotiating. For instance if the average Big Bear house is selling at 96% of list price but they are achieving 98% for their listings then that tells you they are doing a better job of maximizing seller profits than other agents in the Big Bear Valley. In Big Bear, a really good listing agent can usually beat the market by about 2% and a weak agent usually trails the market by about 2% so there is about a 4% difference in the seller’s pocket by simply choosing a great listing agent over a less skilled one. On a $300,000 house that is $12,000 difference in profit to the seller.
Can I get out of the listing contract if necessary? The biggest risk you take when you list a home is that the agent will promise you the world when fighting for the listing, but they will flake out when it comes to fulfilling all the promises they made to you. You don’t want to be locked into a listing contract with any agent. Don’t sign the listing contract unless it says something like, “Seller may cancel this listing at any time and for any reason prior to receiving an acceptable offer. Seller decides what is acceptable.” If you fail to find a great real estate agent the first time around, fire him and pick another. Make sure that you are not contractually obligated to pay that agent a penny unless he sells your Big Bear property. By demanding this clause in the listing contract you force your agent to be accountable and only a confident and competent agent will accept this clause.
How do I find an agent to help me purchase a Big Bear home?
What you seek is a Big Bear buyer’s specialist. A buyer’s specialist is someone who does not divide their time between servicing listings and representing buyers. Buyer’s specialists have their work cut out for them, their job is to preview, and know intimately, every home that is for sale in Big Bear. They must be responsive, answering the phone at all hours and responding to buyer inquiries within minutes. They are good listeners and great communicators and negotiators. There are some individual agents who specialize in representing buyers but the best place to find a buyer’s specialist is on a high functioning real estate team. Due to the team’s high transactional volume they attract the cream of the crop. Buyer specialists hone their skills working with hundreds of buyers with different interests and real estate goals. They know how to listen to what you want and then they show you the best cabins in Big Bear in your price range. Once they find you the cabin of your dreams they know how to read the sellers motivation to guide you through the negotiations and achieve the best possible outcome for you. Reviews and testimonials are key to finding a great buyer’s specialist and you will know you’ve found a great one when you see reviews like the following:
I’m writing this letter to let you know how pleased we were about Tarl Wood’s caring attitude. Tarl exceeded our expectations. He took time to find out our needs & knew which homes we’d like to see. He gave us his personal knowledge of the area including restaurants, activities & winterization. We feel Tarl is a great person and cares for people’s needs. Thank you!
Juan & Irma Orozco
Lisa was professional and yet friendly and caring. She was not just interested in making a sale, but she made sure that I would be happy & comfortable in whatever home I chose. Lisa always used the utmost integrity. She will be my first choice for a Realtor in the future.
Our experience with your office was great from the moment we walked in and fortunate enough to connect with Tarl Wood. Tarl listened to our concerns, needs and budget and went over and above our expectations to find us the cabin we wanted. Tarl understood that we lived far from Big Bear so when we made the drive up he maximized our time & showed us every available property. Tarl also kept in close contact through email & phone conversations to let us know of “new” homes on the market.From beginning to the close of escrow Tarl was a great help to us. Thanks for everything!
Perry & Colette Gustafson
Our realtor, Lisa Seifert was amazing. She is very knowledgeable, helpful, friendly, and very patient. She always seemed to have time to answer our questions, no matter how small, and would even respond late at night. It felt like we had our own best friend helping us. Being out of town buyers, Lisa was always happy to help us be doing the legwork for a number of small errands and chores, including dropping off paperwork, taking photos, etc. She also served as a great liaison between us, our mortgage broker, our insurance agent, and the escrow company. We could have never asked for better service. Thanks again to you and your agency, and special thanks to Lisa for all of her help. It was a pleasure working with you all.
Scott & Elaine Hudson
Lisa did a fantastic job as our agent. Her approach was always positive and helpful, yet not pushy and was always respectful to us as home buyers understanding our desire to find the perfect Big Bear home.Once we entered into a contract with the seller, Lisa was extremely knowledgeable and willing to respond to our questions or concerns day or night, in a very timely manner! It is obvious Lisa Seifert is a very hard-working and caring individual. We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her and highly recommend her to anyone buying or selling a Big Bear property.
Norm & Andrea Thorlakson
Thank you very much! We had a wonderful experience of buying land with Tarl Wood. He provided excellent services and he was always prompt, helpful and informative. I would not hesitate to recommend Tarl’s services to anyone we know. We also loved the easiness & convenience of signing all documents online.
Glenn & Vera Savage
Seldom does one receive customer service as satisfying as was provided by our agent, Tarl Wood. He was professional & personable and made a process that might otherwise have been stressful, progress smoothly & efficiently. His warm and friendly personality made him a pleasure to work with and I would whole-heartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a competent agent.