How I Found the Perfect Home in Mammoth Lakes

A personal story: how I found the perfect home in Mammoth Lakes graphic

My favorite thing about being a Mammoth Lakes realtor is getting to introduce people to their dream homes. When I meet a new client, I’m always reminded of my own search for a perfect home in Mammoth Lakes.

We bought our first Mammoth Lakes property in 2003. It was a second home for us. We loved visiting Mammoth Lakes, but we knew nothing about homeownership in a snowy mountain town.

From visiting over the years, we had a list of things we wanted: to be able to walk to the lift or gondola to go skiing, to have covered parking so we weren’t breaking our backs shoveling and to be able to rent it when we weren’t here. We were also looking for a turnkey property.

A spring view from a ski slope at Mammoth Mountain looking down at Eagle Lodge under the chairlift

Just like most potential buyers, we toured the town with a realtor. We ended up choosing a condo near Eagle Lodge. It was a great location with a beautiful view and lots of trees. My husband, John, wanted to sit on the deck and feel like he was in the mountains — it checked that box for him. It was a wonderful vacation home for us for many years.

When we made the leap to live here full time, the condo we bought in 2003 was suddenly too small. We ended up renting to see if we could really make it work living here full time. Living in Mammoth Lakes and visiting Mammoth Lakes are totally different. While renting, we were able to narrow down what we wanted in our next home:

  • Our own garage: We live here four seasons out of the year, and each season has a different activity (or two… or three!) That’s a lot of toys to store: skis, bikes, kayaks, etc.
  • Turnkey: Many Mammoth Lakes homes for sale involve a lot of fixing up. This can be great for the right person, but we wanted a home that was ready to move into.
  • Single Level Living: We didn’t want to be trudging up and down stairs all the time, so we wanted as close to a single level home as possible.
  • Townhome: We veered away from the typical American dream on this one. Living in an area that gets an average of 200 inches of snow per year, we didn’t want to have to deal with the shoveling, plowing, exterior repairs, landscaping, etc. so a single family home was not for us.
  • A deck to enjoy: Like I said, John wanted to feel like he was in the mountains, even when he was at home. Many condos in Mammoth Lakes have decks, but they’re often so small that they just serve as firewood storage. We wanted space to actually use and enjoy.
  • A gas/propane log fireplace: Speaking of firewood, we didn’t want to go down that road. We wanted the warm and cozy ambiance of a fireplace without having to gather, chop and stack wood.

A fall view of Snowcreek Golf Course with yellow trees and the Sherwin mountains behind

We found the perfect place for us—a newly constructed townhome in Snowcreek’s Creek House development. We have a two-car garage, just one set of stairs, a deck large enough for a BBQ, and a gas fireplace that I turn on with the press of a button. It feels like a dream come true.

When meeting with a new client, I always have them visualize what a property will look like in each season. I ask them what their partner or family is looking for—are they like John wanting to feel like they’re truly in the mountains, or are they dreaming of being neighbors with the chairlift? I tell them about my experience buying first as a second homeowner and then as a full-time resident and how I navigated the process.

And when we walk into the Mammoth Lakes home that happens to check all their boxes, the look on their face always reminds me of the excitement I felt when I found my own dream home.

Learn more about buying a home in Mammoth Lakes with my Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide. Give me a call with any questions: (760) 914-4664.

Photos by Josh Wray for Visit Mammoth

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