I have compiled a list of condominium features to ask a realtor about when considering buying a mountain resort property in the Mammoth Lakes, CA, area. Each of these features will manifest themselves in the list price of the property. I suggest you also read my guide, “8 Secrets For Saving Thousands When Finding, Buying and Financing Your Next Mountain Resort Home or Condo,” to help you determine your needs versus desires, how to get the best financing, and how to choose a real estate agent. Be sure to use the following as a checklist when discussing or touring properties with a realtor:
Location (of course). The closer the proximity to the following, in order of decreasing importance, the higher the property value on average:
- Ski Slopes / Mountain Bike park
- View of Mammoth Mtn or the Sherwin Mtn range
- View of White Mtn range (to the east, across Owens Valley)
- Golf Courses
- The Village at Mammoth
- (Proximity to Transit Stops are good for rental properties)
Southward facing homes lets in more sunlight and melts snow outside your window
Location within building.
End / corner units have less noise, but may not trap as much heat from neighbor.
Top floors usually have better views and absorb heat from below.
Ski locker nearby
Owner’s locker (if you are going to rent out your condo)
Dual-Paned Windows trap in heat
EPA Fireplace / Stove
If buying a condo without an EPA stove, must replace within 60 days of closing
Pellet stoves w/ thermostat work nicely
Electricity is expensive in Mammoth
HOA (Homeowner Association) Dues.
- Includes snow removal, common area maintenance, manager salary, common area utilities, and trash removal. Most complexes also include water.
- Ask about any upcoming assessments.
- You will receive information on the HOA dues and budget when in escrow.
- Attached / Detached
- Underground / Open
- Guest Parking
- Tennis Courts
- Common Areas (picnic tables, horseshoe pits
- Laundry facilities
- Where, if at all, will association allow satellite dish.
- See if the HOA dues include water or not. A handful do not.
- See if HOA dues include cable TV and/or internet access.
- See our list of local service providers here: http://mammothrealtysearch.com/resources/local-service-providers/.
Is it sold furnished or not? Most are actually sold furnished because it is more difficult for owners to come up to Mammoth to remove and dispose of furnishings in their 2nd home / rental condo.
If you want it unfurnished, there are good 2nd hand stores to donate items to.
Manager / Management Company.
- On site vs. off site
- Quality of manager
- How well they market and rent out your condo
- Rental companies charge any where from 38%-50% of nightly rental charge.
Past Rental Income.
Most owners will have rental income history to give you an idea of how much rental income you may make.
Ask us for sample rental income. We have rental examples from hundreds of condos of various floorplans and locations. Rental income will vary depending on how much the owner uses it, quality of the property, location, amount of snowfall in a year, and overall economic conditions.
- Had the previous owner had pets or allowed renters to have pets?
- Will you or your management company allow renters to bring pets?
- Only one condo complex in Mammoth prohibits pets for owners…Juniper Springs Lodge
Age of Building.
- Most projects were built in the 1970’s. Ask what improvements have been made since it was built.
- Intrawest projects started in 1999 and will continue for the next several years.
- Propane heating was introduced in the mid 1990’s (i.e. Snowcreek IV)