The Christine Galbreath Mammoth Real Estate Blog

Quality of Life Transient Rental Inspections

As the Town begins to set more rules in place for the safety of our visitors, there is a new inspection requirement for all owners that rent their properties nightly.  As you may or may not know, the ability to rent individual homes in areas that were not previously zoned for it will go to a vote rather than being decided by the Town Council.  These same regulations would also be enforced for those rentals should that vote pass, which may be why these safety issues are being put in place now.

These requirements may seem like a hassle, but actually are for the safety and liability of both owners and renters alike.

This inspection report will be completed by an approved inspector and one of the requirements is that the inspectors are already licensed as a certified home inspector.  The 2 page questionnaire, which can be pulled from the link below, will require an inspector to visit the property and verify that all 15 items are in compliance.   This form will then be sent to both the Town and the owner.  As owners of condos that are on a nightly rental program, it will be your responsibility to see this is complete.   Your rental agency may help to facilitate this, so you might want to give them a call or just call an approved inspector.

I can highly recommend an approved Quality of Life Inspector for you, Dave Galbreath at 760 937-0200, or email at

With the early snow fall and the prediction of more to come, this could be our best season since 2010, so it will be a great opportunity to maximize your rental income, by making not only cosmetic upgrades but the required safety upgrades as well.

Transient Rental Inspection Form


Mammoth With or Without Fresh Snow

I know that you love Mammoth, but you might think that without fresh snow there is no reason to visit. The Mountain continually makes snow, so the main runs and groomers are still AWESOME.  You may want to plan your day to visit the Mountain early as that is the when the snow conditions are BEST.

Top things to do when not downhill skiing or snowboarding:

  1. Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center  Not only can you skate or stride, but you can walk or snow shoe with your dog, or friends for free.  The views are amazing.  They have some amazing teachers that will hone your cross country skills. 760 934-2442.  You can also hike up and ski the back country from this access.  Reservations for the Lakefront Restaurant can also be made at 760 934-2442 or rent a cabin with a lake view.

  2. Ice Skating at the Town rink or Alkaline Ponds or Crowley  You can rent skates at Pedago.  You may want to call ahead to reserve your skates at 760 709-5809.  With the streets dry, you can rent a Pedago bike.  They are electric and make sightseeing around town lots of fun even if you aren’t used to the elevation.  My daughter has her own Pedego and she uses is for all her errands including picking up her son from school by having a bike trailer that she can pull her 3 and 6 year old in. They love it and their smiles fill the back of the trailer.  She needs a wider trailer so she can hold their smiles.

  3. Road Biking With these warmer temps and clear roads, you can ride for miles without signals and views that surpass your imagination.  If it gets a bit cooler, head down to Bishop or Round Valley.

  4. Mountain Biking Lots of trails besides just the amazing terrain available in the summers on Mammoth.  The Lower Rock Creek Trail has 15 miles of single track. Bald Mountain and Look-out Mountain and Big Springs have some awesome trails as well as Hot Creek, and of course Bishop.

  5. Fly Fishing at the Owens River off the Green church road or fishing the Bishop area, especially Pleasant Valley Dam which is open year round.

  6. Soak in the natural hot springs off the Green Church Road, or Keough Hot Springs outside of Bishop. Call the Visitors center at 760 934-2712 for directions.

  7. Hiking at Convict Lake, Sherwin Lakes, Mammoth Rock Trail, McGee Creek or further south.

  8. Climbing in the Gorge, Buttermilks, Happy Boulders

  9. Enjoy the Spa at Double Eagle in June Lake or Snowcreek.  Facials, massages, weights, classes for all types of exercising, indoor swimming, spin classes, etc.   Double Eagle also has cabins and a restaurant.  An amazing setting for weddings or parties. 760 648-7004 or Snowcreek at 760 934-8511.  Enjoy the Bistro at Snowcreek for happy hour and sushi after exercising or instead of exercising!

  10. Golf in Bishop, another one of my personal favorites.  When the days are getting longer and warmer, you should call ahead for a tee time.  Bishop Country Club 760 873-5828

  11. Tubing at Woolly’s Tube Park 800 Mammoth

  12. Motorcycle or off road vehicles.  Tons of dirt roads to explore the surrounding mountains

  13. Mammoth Rock N Bowl has a golf simulator, and restaurant.  Nothing more fun that walking around in bowling shoes and shirts!

  14. Whitmore Track is a great place to run, play soccer and football. Located south of Mammoth between the airport and Crowley, exit at the Green Church.


Solar Systems in the Eastern Sierra

How Solar Can Help You Save in Mammoth

One of the questions buyers often ask when making a purchase is “what are the utility bills?”  Older homes can be very expensive to keep warm.  Adding insulation in crawl spaces, and attics, along with having a quality dual pane window are good first steps towards cutting down on your utilities bills.  I hadn’t thought about a solar system, but I became aware of how beneficial they are when I listed a home that had a solar system.  When I asked the owner, T.J. Chase, what his utility bills were, I was so impressed that I began to think about a solar system for my own home.    I really like the idea of being green and saving money on utilities.   When you check out your SCE bill, you will notice that there are different tiers and each tier costs more.  I have consistently been in the 4th and 5th tier, which means our kilowatt charges are pretty high.  After you have installed your solar system, SCE will credit you for how much energy you produce.  Depending on your exposure, you may end up close to even at the end of the year.

 T.J. Chase happens to be one of the owners of Sierra Solar, Inc. and so we had T.J. come out and survey our location.  He was really thorough in explaining how the program worked.  The solar system with the current tax incentives and financing programs was installed with no out of pocket costs.   If you are looking to stay in your home for a few years, you will recoup the costs and going green is beneficial for all of us.    I wish we would have considered a solar system several years ago.  We were able to through the program, HERO, add the cost of the solar system to our tax bill.  Much like a bond, which also means that cost of the solar system becomes a tax deduction.  With the current tax incentives, we are also looking forward to a substantial tax credit, which is much better than just a deduction.  We are able to finance the solar system over 10 years.  There are other options available, but the 10 year plan was best for our personal situation.  If we do sell our home during the 10 year payment plan, since it is part of our tax bill, the new buyer would assume the remaining balance. 

 T.J. climbed up on our roof with his special computer and was able to calculate how many panels would be most effective and where they should be placed.  We expect to be able to cut our costs substantially and should be able to stay in Tier 1.  Even living in Old Mammoth, we get an amazing amount of sun on the roof.   T.J. made the process seamless.   He provided the plans,  engineering,  did all the work to obtain the permit from The Town of Mammoth Lakes, he even handled the financing, and also will take care of the actual connection with the solar system to S.C.E. We started the process only about 30 days ago.   We have our permit, our solar panels, our final from the Town, and the financing.  All we are waiting for now is the connection with S.C.E. to our panels and expect that to happen prior to the end of this year.  Our first payment on this system won’t start until our December 2014 tax bill.

T.J. Chase of Sierra Solar, Inc. was a pleasure to work with.  He kept us informed every step of the way.  When the solar panels came in, he had them installed in 2 days.   

I am very impressed with how they go in, and even how they look.  I will update my blog on their performance, but from what I am hearing, I expect to be very pleased with the results.  We have experienced one good snow fall since the installation of the panels, and the snow melted really quickly so I fully expect the solar panels to be effective even throughout the winter season.

I would encourage those of you that like the idea of being green to consider solar panels for your home. T.J. Chase of Sierra Solar, Inc. can be contacted at 760-937-0846 and his email is or visit their website at


Property Management

Second Home Property Management

With the winter season approaching, it is very important to have a property management company overseeing your home in Mammoth.   You don’t want to walk in to any surprises, especially after the typical 5 to 7 hour drive or even the 1 to 2 hour plane ride to arrive at your special “get away”.

A property management company is a crucial piece to being able to enjoy your home in Mammoth.  They can watch over and be proactive on any maintenance issues that are necessary.  Proper care of your home can save you thousands of dollars.   You wouldn’t consider owning a home without insurance and you shouldn’t consider having a home in Mammoth that you don’t have someone checking on weekly.

A Property Management company typically will check on heat, lights, snow removal for driveways, walkways, decks, roofs, landscaping,  and spa maintenance, and any other needs you deem necessary.  They can be your “go to” phone call for any remodeling, repairs, cleaning, or guests that you may want to bless with using your home.   The list of services is endless, and, of course, the amount of services is commensurate with the monthly service fees.

You want to be sure they are properly insured and have the skills and integrity to be in your home.  You want someone you can trust and is easily accessible so that if you have an emergency they are reachable.  You want someone with experience, but not so much business that they aren’t personally the ones walking your property.

There are several homeowner services that have good reputations.  There is one in particular that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend and that is Old Faithful Property Management,  Klark and Sarah Tapia.  Klark has construction experience which is a great compliment to property management.  They have almost 5 years of condo property management and are used to the various problems that can arise from home ownership in a cold, snow climate.  They can be reached at (805)453-6721 or  I happen to have an up close and personal relationship them as Sarah is our daughter.   Having grown up in Mammoth, she and Klark are more than intimate with the various responsibilities in caring for property in a cold climate.

Visit our NEW Website: Old Faithful Property Management

This quote is from one of their customers that came in an unsolicited email, but they received their permission to use it in my blog.

"Your property management is truly superior. We really appreciate the timely communications. The pictures are great also. I hope we are not high maintenance clients.  We love Mammoth; we love our home. You are helping us stay connected to both. We will be happy to refer you to any others who are interested in your service."
~Corey & Suzy Moore

Mission Statement:

The mission of Old Faithful Property Management is to provide an excellent standard of service.  We tailor your service to each individual owners needs by allowing each owner to create their own package of services.  We take pride in our top quality service.  We can ensure that the work being done is top quality. Sarah and I will be your point of contact for all your property concerns.  We would like to make owning a vacation home easy and stress free by being the “one phone call” you make to take care of your home.  ...

Jumbo Loans Offer Competative Rates

You'll pay more for a big home nowadays, but a big mortgage should be less of a reach.

For the first time in over 20 years, rates on jumbo mortgages -- loans of more than $417,000, or $625,500 in pricier areas -- are at or below rates on conventional mortgages. Jumbo rates usually run one-quarter to one-half of a percentage point higher, but lenders eager for wealthier customers are making deals.

In 2013, Wells Fargo and Bank of America cut minimum down payments to 15% from 20%; some competitors did too.

"It's a good time to be a jumbo borrower," says Guy Cecala, CEO of Inside Mortgage Finance.

Want a large loan? Big banks have the best rates; you'll need a 740 credit score or higher to snag them, says Keith Gumbinger of mortgage data provider HSH.
~Courtesy MONEY Magazine


2014 Housing Market Predictions

2014 Housing Market Predictions from

1. Inventory Should Gradually Stabilize and Return to Traditional Seasonal Levels

The beginning of 2013 could be characterized as the “year of low inventory” as buyer demand ramped up and homeowners waited for further price increases and evidence of a solid economic recovery before putting their homes on the market. The year began with a significant shortage of inventory (reported by®), and then as early as February the level of shortages started to decline slowly. As 2013 comes to a close, inventory is approximately the same as a year ago. However, homes are selling faster than in 2012, with the median age of the inventory down by 11 percent.

2. More Homeowners Are Likely to Return to Positive Equity

Rising prices helped 2.5 million homeowners who were previously underwater regain positive equity status during the second quarter of 2013. However, approximately 7.1 million homes were still in negative equity at that time and an estimated 10 million homeowners, or about 21.1 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage, remained “under-equitied,” with less than 20 percent in home equity. The good news is that prices are expected to continue rising in 2014, which will lift more homeowners into positive territory. According to®, median list prices for homes in October rose 7.57 percent above the same month of 2012.

3. Mortgage Rates Are Expected to Rise

Mortgage rates increased approximately 100 basis points in 2013 and are likely to rise in 2014. The new chairman-designate of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is expected to continue the policies of Chairman Ben Bernanke, including keeping mortgage rates low by buying blocks of mortgage-backed securities. However, the Fed has considered tapering its bond-buying activity as the economy improves, which could lead to a slight increase in interest rates.

4. Foreclosure Activity Is Expected to Slow

Foreclosure sales are likely to play a minimal role in the housing market in 2014. September 2013 was the 36th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity. Foreclosure inventory has dropped to multi-year lows, down nearly 33 percent since the end of 2012. Foreclosure starts were down 39 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006.

5. Further Declines in Home Affordability Are Expected

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Home Affordability Index, which compares home prices with income, dropped to a five-year low in 2013 as price increases outpaced income growth. If the U.S. economy begins to grow at a faster pace and incomes begin to rise, though, the affordability index will slide further from rising mortgage rates.

~Article courtesy of


Mammoth Lakes Event Center

Looking for a venue to plan a party or celebration?

Kathleen Rudder is now offering a premiere space in the Mammoth Sierra Center.  This indoor space means you can plan an event anytime of the year and the weather won’t be a factor.

The premiere space for what had been a restaurant has been opened up, with concrete floors, industrial ceilings and fabulous views; it is the perfect set up for whatever you have planned.  What started off as a temporary resolution to filling an empty space has been well received and will become a permanent option for that event you are planning.    Mammoth Event Center

You can rent it for a day or an evening with  access the day before to set up and the day after to clean up.  You can bring in your own professionals or do the entire event yourself.  This gives you the flexibility to have your own personal spin on your party and you can be as personally involved or bring in your own caterers giving you more flexibility over some other locations that would require you to use their menus.

Last week there was an open house, where Kathleen invited vendors of various backgrounds and abilities, networking,  so that everyone could meet and hopefully work together in future events.

She had a photographer; caterer’s offering various specialties, a seamstress, florist, Bleu Handcrafted wine and cheese, bakers, taxi services, hair stylists, etc.  It was quite an array, so if you don’t want to do all the work yourself, Kathleen has a list of specialists for whatever you might need. The unique opportunity of the Event Center is that you aren’t tied to any one caterer, you can even bring your own food.  There is a warming tray and two large sinks, ice maker and microwave.  The Event Center can hold 300 seated people. This will facilitate your ability to keep things warm and clean.Mammoth Event Center

Some of the parties she has already done to give you some ideas are; weddings, receptions, a Quinceanera, baptism, recital, and private dinner parties.  On the upcoming schedule are Christmas parties, seminars, more recitals, and concerts.   Kathleen would like to offer her space to Non- profits as well.

Her heart has always been to give back to the community.  She encourages local shopping and has created a venue in honor of Skip Harvey for the weekly Farmers Market.  For the last 3 years, in the Mammoth Luxury Outlet Mall she has blocked off the parking lot for a Farmer’s Market so that local farmers can come and sell their fresh fruits, vegetables, jams, coffee, popcorn, etc. directly to the locals.  She has named this event Skip Harvey’s Farmer’s Market.  For those of you that didn’t know Skip, he owned the Base Camp Restaurant and was a former Town Councilman.  Kathleen does not gain financially from this event, but does it for the benefit of others.

Kathleen’s heart has always been for children, theatre and the arts.  They have had fundraisers for the Theatre, where you create a chalk drawing to show your talent, and various businesses then buy a square and the funds go to the Theatre program, which is being run by Shira Dubrovner, as  manager of The MammView from Mammoth Event Centeroth Lakes Repertoire Theatre. 

Kathleen has volunteered with Make a Wish Foundation and has personally taken terminally ill children and their families to Marine World, the Zoo, and various other areas that bring light and excitement into the lives of children that spend most of their time in a hospital room.

Paul and Kathleen have 4 different scholarships that they award every year to seniors.  She usually is most interested in the child that has potential, but not necessarily the financial means to attend a college.  I know that her scholarship fund sponsored both my kids with book scholarships and it was very much appreciated.  Much of the reward is meeting these kids and hearing their stories, and then knowing that she and Paul can be a small part of the solution.

Kathleen’s heart is to give back to and improve the community and the Mammoth Event Center is another way of creating memories and special times.

She would love to help you get started on your own special event, so please call Kathleen at (760)937-0889 and start planning!

Mammoth is a special place and it is the people that make it that way.

If you are looking to spend more time in Mammoth, it is always a great time to buy real estate!  Interest rates and prices are still very favorable.  Don’t get left behind, please call me for an appointment to see what we have available.

As we enter the Holiday season when giving and sharing is so much part of our culture, have a thankful heart, and it will make your busy schedule a blessing.


First Time Home Buyers

Up Close and Personal with John and Angela Teller, New Homeowners

This past week I had the privilege of representing a first time home buyer. What made it exciting for me, is that they were friends of my children.  There has been quite a few of my kids friends that have moved away from Mammoth Lakes upon graduating from high school.  Many of them have obtained their college degrees, and then out of their choice they have moved back to the Eastern Sierras.

The couple I am referring to is John Teller and Angela Dessert Teller.  John was born and raised in Mammoth, and Angela has lived in Mammoth from the tender age of 1.  John’s folks and even grandparents own businesses in Mammoth.  Angela’s folks and now her Dad manage Snowcreek I and III.

Angela graduated from UCSB with a major in Communications and a minor in Exercise health and sciences.  That makes her a perfect match for John, who stayed in Mammoth to hone his skiing career.  He was an avid Alpine racer, took a break for a few years, and then about 5 years ago feel in love with SkierCross.  He has been very successful in this event earning a Gold Medal at the X games in 2010, ending up in 4th place in the World Cup standings in 2010 and 2011.  He has also had several World Cup 1st place finishes.  He was the 2013 US Men’s National Champion.

This next season, assuming he gets 2 top 12 finishes or 1 podium place finish, he will qualify for the Winter Olympics 2014 Skiercross competition.

John and Angela are committed to staying in the Eastern Sierras and had been saving for their down payment for 5 years.  They had been watching the market and saving their money until this past August when they decided they had found their “gem” and ended up purchasing a home in Crowley.

While they were renting, they made some sacrifices, with the end goal of saving money to purchase their own home so that they can raise their family here and continue the tradition of parents and grandparents all staying in our small community.

As with all big decisions, it was initially an emotional roller coaster (to say the least) for Angela.  In fact, the first weekend after their offer had been accepted, John went deer hunting, and Angela got so nervous she called me to ask me to withdraw their offer.  With all the traveling that John does in the winter for his Skiercross competitions, she was concerned that they wouldn’t have enough money due to his traveling expenses.  When he got back from his hunting weekend, he calmed her down and said, “no matter what you do in life, hard work always pays off.”  He has come from a family that has modeled that his whole life.  His Dad is part owner of Mammoth Chevron and his Grandparents own Alpine Garage.  John works as a mechanic when he isn’t training or competing.

So after talking about the purchase again, and realizing that they wanted the dream of home ownership, they made the decision to move forward, knowing it might mean some sacrifice.    John has been excited and supportive of their decision to buy, while Angela is the one that actually does all the paperwork.  That is the part that isn’t so much fun, but certainly necessary.

By deciding to purchase in Crowley, after looking in both Mammoth and Crowley, they were able to find a  3 Bedroom/2.5 Bath home a 2+car garage, plenty of parking for their camper, snowmobiles, boat, a fenced in yard with a pond, garden area, fruit trees and views!  Even their dog Rusty, a Jack Russell, feels he has come home!

John now has a place to keep his skis tuned and with a half bath in the garage, he can stay down there for hours.

Once we got into escrow, the process went smoothly.  Part of the small town feel of a purchase became evident as their friends were able to help them through the inspection process.  The inspection process is an important part of the buying process and should not be overlooked.   The seller even brought pears from their pear tree to Angela during the escrow

With Angela working for Union Bank in the loan department, she now knows firsthand what is required when purchasing a home.  Union Bank is being more aggressive about getting into the mortgage business and has several home loan programs.  They have an Economic Opportunity Mortgage loan which is similar to an FHA where the buyer can get in with just 3% down.

Angela’s job at Union Bank includes assisting others with their lines of credit, and mortgages.  Now she knows firsthand the process from beginning to end.

Please feel free to call Angela if you are looking for a mortgage.  She can be reached at Union Bank, 760 934-2547 and would be happy to help you make your dream come true too.

As locals who had a close and constant look at our market, they knew that now was a great time to get into Mammoth or the surrounding area.  Prices and interest rates are still low.

I will keep everyone updated on John’s Skiercross progress this season and am looking forward to having another Olympic Athlete make their home in the Eastern Sierras.

As John believes, “No matter what you do in life, hard word always pays off”


Mammoth Community - It's All About the People

A community is really all about the people that live there, not just the real estate.

Jane Anderson Baer is all about community as she works to provide recreational projects for
kids in Mammoth Lakes. The Brother's Skate Park completed in 2007 and The Little Brothers Park addition finished this summer fulfills the dream of her son Jeff for a world class skate park in Mammoth Lakes.

It all started in 1985 when Jeffrey Anderson was 8 and Billy Anderson was 10. The young boys went in front of the Mammoth Lakes Town Council with 250 signatures of support and a dream of a skate park. The members of the Town Council thought the petition and project showed an admirable effort and praised their work, but their answer was “no”.Brothers Skate Park

10 years later, when Jeffrey was 18, a group of young people began working for the skate park at Shady Rest Park. The Town gave permission for a skate park, but Jeffrey’s vision and the Town’s vision were completely different. When the skate park at Shady Rest was built, it was a small park with obstacles less than 3 feet. Jeff’s vision for a world class skate park was still not fulfilled.

 In 2003, Jeffrey passed while on the snowboard tour in Japan. There was a Memorial held in Jeffrey’s honor at Mammoth Mountain and people wanted to donate to something that would leave a lasting legacy to honor their friend and brother. Jane immediately knew what Jeff wanted most was a world class skate board park in his home town. She went to work on the realization of Jeffrey’s dream. Generations to come will benefit from his vision and Jane’s hard work.

Jane said that when she first moved to Mammoth in 1974 she fell in love with the town's spirit. A strong sense of community, the number of people that volunteered to help one another, and great importance of these projects to a small community impressed Jane. In the first year the high school was finished with a donated gym, the ground work was being laid for a hospital, and the volunteer fire department was supplying a new rescue truck.

Brother's Skate ParkThat local community sprit came alive with the support of the action sports industry to raise the funds to build a world class skate park. Burton Global Team, Quicksilver, Billabong, Oakley, Red Bull, Anon, Grenade, Analog, the U.S. Snowboard team, Mammoth Mountain, and Volcom, worked with local businesses like Roberto's, Burgers, Slocum's, Wave Rave, Footloose, to get the job done. All you have to do is walk through the amazing Skate Board Park Pavers to see all the others that have donated to make this project happen.

 The first phase of the Skateboard Park was 42,000 square feet. (Most skate parks are 15,000 to 20,000 square feet.) Skaters began looking at various locations and with the support of Trails End Homeowners and Tony Barrett the park ended up on Town Property. Much of this project was done on a hand shake, which is an amazing feat in and of itself. The contractor, Grind Line, finished the project with volunteer labor and the support of local businesses such as Mammoth Mountain, Marzano and Sons, Wave Rave, and the Water District.Brother's Skate Park

 After 3 years of looking for the right property, designing the park, completing the fundraising, and hiring the contractor, Jeffrey’s dream began to become a reality. As the project came to an end, Jane realized that she was $50,000 short. She was prepared to borrow the money to complete the project. When Dave McCoy heard about the short fall, he came to her rescue. At the annual Foundation fundraiser, Dave McCoy stood up and shared that the Skate Park was $50,000 shy of being completed and within 3 minutes there were enough donations to complete the project. This last $50,000 was raised through the generosity of individuals that still live and support Mammoth.

The Brothers Skate Park broke ground in 2006, and was completed as the snow beganto fall on November 1. On November 2, 2007, the project was turned over to the Town of Mammoth Lakes for $1.00. Recently, Phase II of the skate park was completed. Adjacent to the main park, the additional 5,000 feet has small obstacles for beginner skaters. Little Brothers was started in August and turned over to the Town of Mammoth Lakes on September 13th. This project was completed in 4 weeks from the concept design to completion with the dedicated effort of Dawn True, Brian Sizer, Peter Bernasconi, and Mike Lary.

Once again, the individuals and volunteers were what made it happen. Mammoth Mountain with Rusty’s blessing donated 5 pieces of heavy equipment, 2 dump trucks, and with Clifford Mann overseeing the project got things moving. Kyle Gallagher, was involved in the first Phase of the park, was back as the projects contractor. Brent Allen was able to provide some welding without advanced notice and Pete Del Giudice made the three metal drain covers. John Eastman and Marc Wolters and their crews laid all the pavers. The project was completed for about half of what it should have cost because of all the volunteers and community support.

During the first project Jane was about to give up. Dave McCoy encouraged her by saying, “If it was easy, anyone can do it.” This was all Jane needed to hear to get her back on track.

 After visiting with Jane, I found out that she has been involved in many of our community projects that have been a huge benefit to our Town. She brought the first swings to the Community Park on Forest Trail. She was able to raise funds for the books for the Mammoth Elementary and Middle School libraries by selling hot dogs and grant writing. She served on the Parks & Rec commission from 1986-1994 and helped with the development of Shady Rest Park and the Trail System that is still being worked on to this day. Jane was on the first swim team board, coached soccer, and T-ball.

My congratulations and appreciation to Jane Anderson Baer and her many years of service to our Town to make it a better community.

Next time you drive by or enjoy the Skate Park, I hope you appreciate the story behind it.

Jeffrey Lin Anderson’s dream has become a reality. November 2, 1979 - February 23, 2003Brother's Skate Park


Mammoth Lakes Summer Re-Cap

Mammoth is a lifestyle.  This summer was evidence that many people are appreciating the natural beauty that Mammoth offers.  The various rental agencies had all time high numbers for visitors for summer.    The Chamber of Commerce is doing an excellent job in advertising  the activites that Mammoth has to offer. The summer air service was a success and adding San Diego this winter will be an expansion that should have also have a positive affect.  Daily flights will begin December 19th from Mammoth to San Diego. There seemed to be something happening every single weekend that reached different groups in terms of interest, with more athletic events this year than ever before.      The Jazz Jubilee celebrated its 25th anniversary.    Lots of opportunities to purchase both summer and winter sporting equipment at fantastic prices with all the Tent Sales by Footloose, Kittredge,  Wave Rave, Mammoth Mountaineering, Mammoth Outdoor Sports, and Value Sports.   

The Granite Man which was this last weekend, tied the June Lake swim, the Century Ride and the Tioga Pass Run together.  The Kamikaze Mountain bike ride brought some pro riders to our area, like Cindy Whitehead Buccowich.  Cindy used to live in Mammoth and in fact, she had an awesome summer program for young kids that my son was able to partake in back in the 1990’s.   The Village hosted the beginning and ending of the Century Ride and Gran Fondo where the riders were escorted by a helicopter.  Local Todd Hensley, came in 3rd place in the tough 100 mile Grand Fondo with a time of 4:50!

There is more to Mammoth than homes and condos.  What makes Mammoth special are the people.  I will be highlighting some of Mammoth’s citizens and their contributions to our Town.

Stay tuned for more information on how  a personal tragedy has been turned into a positive.

In housing news, research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices rose 12.4 percent on a year-over-year basis in the month ended in July. This marks the seventeenth consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. Home prices still remain 17.6 percent below their peak levels, which were set in April 2006

CoreLogic reported that its Home Price Index, which includes distressed sales, showed a year-over-year increase of 12.4 percent in the month ended in July. The index rose 1.8 percent from June to July. CoreLogic also said that it expects a 12.3 percent rise in the index on a year-over-year basis in August. Housing data will be a key factor in the Fed’s decision regarding when to taper its bonds purchases. (Courtesy of Bank of America)Fall at Lake Mamie

Prices  and interest rates are still low.  Make sure you buy your own piece of Mammoth in time for the 2013-2014 ski and snowboard season.  And don’t forget snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and ice skating!

I look forward to the opportunity of helping you find your own special property in Mammoth.


Mammoth's Summer Winds Down

Once the smoke from the fires subsided, the weather has been fantastic and the visitor numbers have been up.

Mammoth has become a popular training ground for high schools, colleges and professional runners.  The high school cross country teams have pretty much gone back to school, but the roads are filled with college runners. This is the first summer the Track at Whitmore has been open.  The grand opening was last November of this state of the art Track.   With all the running trails and now an actual track for speed work, the popularity of high altitude training in Mammoth will continue to increase.  I can’t believe that is has been 11 years since my son was running cross country.  When UCLA asked him his mile time, he didn’t have an answer!  With all the attention that Team USA and top runners like Deanna Kastor, Meb Kefleski, Ryan Hall and many others have brought to Mammoth, we are attracting lots of top running athletes for training.

John Teller and Madeline Riffel have been dry land training for the upcoming Skier Cross season.  John will be part of the 2014 Winter Olympic Skier Cross team; Madeline Riffel is still waiting to see if she will be invited to participate.

This summer we had lots of family visiting.  We actually took some time with them and experienced some of the great activities Mammoth has to offer.  A day trip to Yosemite, specifically Tuolumne, Bodie Ghost Town,  June Lake Beach, where you can rent paddle boards and kayaks from the Oh Ridge beach,  Grant Lake for water skiing and wake surfing,  Crowley Lake for wake surfing.   All these lakes of course, are known first and foremost for fishing.  Golfing at Sierra Star and Snowcreek, mountain biking, road biking, the summer activities are endless.  Last week Rayni posted some beautiful photos of her hike.  The back country is endless and the beauty is spectacular.Rock Creek Fall

Yesterday was the first day of school for Mammoth Elementary, Middle, and High School.  Many of the schools have started, but the summer weather and activities in Mammoth continue.  The month of October is one of my favorite times of the year because of the fall colors and hiking.

Hope that you can make it to Mammoth before the snow falls, because there is plenty to do in Mammoth’s other season.

Now is a great time to buy, the combination of low prices and interest rates is something to consider if you want to make Mammoth a part of your future.  Mammoth is a great place for families to spend time together.   Time is something that passes way too quickly and is our most precious commodity.
Please let me know if you would like more information on specific properties for sale in Mammoth or the surrounding areas.


Sixty Lake Basin Adventure

Beautiful Sixty Lake Basin beginning at Kearsarge Pass. This is a 30 mile out and back if you go to the end of the Sixty Lake Basin. Permits are required for overnight stays and are available at the Mammoth and Mt. Whitney Ranger Stations. Onion Valley (Kearsarge Pass trailhead) is located in the mountains above Independence.Kearsarge Pass

Travel down to the John Muir Trail towards Charlotte Lake with majestic views of Charlotte Dome. An excellent multi-pitch back country climb.

Charlotte Dome

Head up to Glen Pass for outstanding views to the Palisades and beyond...
Glen Pass

Hard to believe there's a good trail going up to Glen Pass from the Rae Lakes side...but there is. See the micro sticks on top of Glen Pass? Those are people.
Glen Pass from Rae Lakes side

The lovely Rae Lakes Basin and trail junction for Sixty Lake Basin.
Rae Lakes

At last...Sixty Lake Basin...
Sunrise at Sixty Lake Basin

Mt. Clarence King...another great backcountry climb and also located in the Sixty Lake Basin
Mt. Clarence King

and another peak...Fin Dome, separates Rae Lakes from Sixty Lake Basin
Fin Dome
Mt. Clarence King and a tarn in the morning.

Mt. Clarence King in the Morning

Sunrise in the Basin...time to head home.



Real Estate Update

Real Estate Update From Bank of America

Remember that the Fed has been purchasing $85 billion a month in bonds to help lower unemployment and stimulate the economy overall. Last week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke noted that these purchases are by no means on a preset course and that bond buying could be reduced at a faster pace, a slower pace, or even increased for a time, depending on the economic outlook. Bernanke also mentioned the word deflation last week for the first time in recent memory, and this could pave the way for QE to last into 2014.

The bottom line is that the Fed’s decision on QE will be data dependent. If inflation starts to rise and economic reports continue to be strong, the Fed could consider tapering its bond purchases sooner rather than later. Whether this will lead to higher home loan rates, and how much higher, remains to be seen.

Speaking of key data points released last week, the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.5 percent from May to June due to rising prices in gasoline, food, clothing, medical costs and housing. This number was above expectations and the second highest reading this year. It is important to note that the year-over-year Core CPI (the reading that strips out volatile food and energy prices) ticked down a notch, which is likely why the Fed continues to say that inflation remains tame.  

In the housing market, housing starts declined by nearly 10 percent in June from  May to 836,000. This was below expectations and the lowest level since August 2012. The drop was attributed towards a big decrease in apartment construction. Building permits, a sign of future construction, also fell by 7.7 percent, below expectations.

Meanwhile, retail sales in June declined to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent in May. It’s important to note that retail sales make up 30 percent of consumer spending. The latest Jobs Report showed a lot of part-time jobs were created and confirmed that wages for most people have not increased. Without wage growth, we should not expect any robust retail sales or pickup in economic activity. This is another data point the Fed will be watching as it makes decisions regarding QE.

The above data is nationwide.  Mammoth has low inventory which typically is a marker for a changing market.  While there aren’t a lot of new building permits, the remodels have picked up, as many of the REO’s and short sales that have been purchased, are being renovated.  Interest rates have increased slightly, but current rates coupled with current pricing make now a great time to BUY in Mammoth.

The high altitude in Mammoth makes it an ideal place to train. I am sure you have noticed all the runners in town.  Check out my weekly update for the list of activities and upcoming races.

Mammoth encourages a healthy life style. Why not make it a part of your life style?  Families that play together stay together!

We don’t need more to be thankful for, we just need to be more thankful!


The 5 Factors of Your Credit Score

5 Factors that Determine Your Credit Score

The higher FICO score you have, the better interest rate you'll get on your mortgage. Your FICO credit score is calculated based on these five categories. For some groups, the importance of these categories may vary; for example, people who have not been using credit long will be factored differently than those with a longer credit history. The three companies that report credit scores to lenders are Equifax, Experion and Transunion.

Your FICO Score only looks at information in your credit report
Your credit score is calculated from your credit report. However, lenders look at many things when making a credit decision including your income, how long you have worked at your present job and the kind of credit you are requesting.

1. Payment History (35%)

The first thing any lender wants to know is whether you've paid past credit accounts on time.      This is one of the most important factors in a FICO® Score.

2. Amounts Owed (30%)

Having credit accounts and owing money on them does not necessarily mean you are a high-risk borrower with a low FICO® Score.

3. Length of Credit History (15%)

In general, a longer credit history will increase your FICO® Score.      However, even people who haven't been using credit long may have a high FICO Score, depending on how the rest of the credit report looks.

Your FICO Score takes into account:

  • how long your credit accounts have been established, including  the age of  your oldest account, the age of your newest account and an average age of all your accounts
  • how long specific credit accounts have been established
  • how long it has been since you used certain accounts

4. Types of Credit in Use (10%)

The score will consider your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans.

5. New Credit (10%)

Research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short period of time represents a greater risk - especially for people who don't have a long credit history.

FICO scores can range from 300-850. Typically, a credit score over 720 is often considered an excellent score.  A score of 680-719 is considered good. A score that falls beween 620-679 will ususally make the lender heavily analayze the file. Having a score that falls between 585-619 will usually disqualify you from getting the best rates. A score below 584 will deter lenders from working with you.

Tips to Increase Your Credit Score:
         - Pay off your bills on time every month.
          -Pay off all of your existing debt.
          -Unused credit cards should not be closed. This can sometimes lower your credit score.
          -Open credit only as needed. Do not open a bunch of new credit card accounts in a short period of time.


Summer Activities at Pokonobe in Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Lakes Unique Activities 
Pokonobe Lodge
With summer upon us, it is kind of fun to think about some of the options that you don’t always think about when it comes to creating special memories with your family and friends in Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra.
Lake Mary Pokonobe Boat Docks
Wilderness Catering owners, Marci & Chuck Satterfield, cater dinners, weddings and music concerts at the Pokonobe Lodge, which is on Lake Mary.  For something a bit different with a beautiful view overlooking Lake Mary, an inside dining room and a sunny deck, consider catering your own party.  Marci provides delicious food and will work with you on your menu.  

I grew up camping at Lake Mary and have a special spot in my heart for it.  We actually held my Mom’s memorial at the Pokonobe Lodge 5 years ago.  Wilderness Catering, Marci and Chuck, did a terrific job of catering it for us.  If you have an event you would like to plan with a location that is unique, please give Marci a call at 760 934-6061 or send her an email at

Be sure to catch one of the LiPokonobe Deckve Dinner Concerts with Fiddlin’ Pete July 7, July 21 and August 11th. For reservations call Pete at 760 873-4616.  The String Theory will perform June 30, August 4th, August 18th and September 1st.  For reservations for this call Charles 760 258-6026.

In the winter, Wilderness Catering also hosts full moon dinners at the Pokonobe Lodge.  You can cross country ski, walk, or take their special Snowmobile rides.  These dinners will make an indelible mark in your memory!

Kittredge Sports provides all the fishing tackle, boats and paddle boards. So why not spend the whole day up at the Pokonobe Lodge, take advantage of the lake, fishing, pontoon boats, paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, and even a small grocery store.  They have a daily fee to launch your own boat.  It is also a great spot to see the Eagles soar.

With the bike path from the Town that takes you all the way to Horseshoe Lake, the Lakes Basin is much more friendly and accessible without driving.  You can take the shuttle, load your bikes, ride around the Lakes basin and then ride your bikes back to town, so that you don’t get all worn out just getting up there.

Interest rates may be on the way up and prices seem to have bottomed out.  I would encourage you to get into the Mammoth real estate market so that you can start enjoying those special times with your family now.   Memories are priceless!

My favorite book, the Bible says:
Isaiah 41:30-31  “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

The new Welcome sign as you arrive in Mammoth says “The Mountains are Calling” and as you depart, “Going to the Mountains is going home. ”   John Muir


The Mammoth Lifestyle

Mammoth Lakes was a lifestyle move for me in the fall of 1979.  At the time that Dave and I made the decision to live in Mammoth, we thought it would be for a couple of years.  We had purchased a studio+loft/2 bath at Hidden Valley in 1978 and found that we loved being in Mammoth.  So much, that we made the move, but never planned our exit strategy and so almost 34 years later we are still here.

In 2010 I had a bad fall and ended up being air lifted to Reno in January 2011 with a subdural hematoma. I ended up having surgery where they literally drilled a couple of holes in my head to relieve the pressure of the bleeding.  I have since been fine, but am extra careful about triggers that may cause memory loss.  I have subscribed to Medix Select, a health newsletter, as I want to be proactive about taking care of my brain.

Since so many people love Mammoth for the lifestyle and vacations are coming up very soon, I thought you might enjoy this article on Lifestyle Changes for stress.  We live in a stressed society and people come here to relieve the stress from their day to day workload.  Believe it or not, living in Mammoth I can still experience stress!  I do appreciate the view out my window and the short commute to work though.

Here are some tips that are pretty basic, but even recently, I was able to put these suggestions into practice and they really turned my day around.

7 Lifestyle Changes Help Tame Stress

Studies show that dealing with chronic stress can wreak havoc on your health and happiness. Here are seven healthy ways to manage those daily stressors and feel better and lighter, now.

1. Catch it immediately: The first step in taming stress is becoming aware of your triggers, and taking steps to calm yourself right away.  Be aware of your own “stress reflex” as soon as it starts, especially when you stress over mundane things.

2. Change your posture: People who stand taller with their shoulders back and chests open, not slumped, have found their stress levels reduced, even if they change their posture for just a few minutes.

3. Turn off your phone, go outside: If you're feeling stressed, turn off your phone and head outside. Several studies show spending time in nature improves general well-being, lowers anxiety, stress and depression, and even boosts self-confidence.

4. Exercise: Working up a good sweat not only boosts your mood, but research finds that it can soothe anxiety and better prep you for a stressful or emotional event or experience. If you need a quick break at work, run a few times up and down a flight of stairs, or walk around the block.

5. Laugh it out: Research shows that people who laugh, also enjoy the highest drops in stress levels.

6. Make a decision: Being in limbo over a decision can cause stress. If the decision you need to make is relatively small, just decide and move on.

7. Set new goals: Set yourself goals or challenges, just for you.

So, sign up for one of the up and coming races in Mammoth, and buy a property in Mammoth so that you can take advantage of the high altitude training!


Contract Contingencies - What do they cover and who do they protect? Part 2

Use a Mammoth realtor or broker when making a decision to purchase in Mammoth Lakes. I happen to be one and want to share some of my experience and expertise with you.

Residential Real Estate Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions
Buyer’s and Seller’s are asked to sign a Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions when making an offer to purchase real property.

Contract  Contingencies:  What do they cover and who do they protect?    Part 2

Typical contingencies for a buyer are:
1.  Loan 
2. Appraisal
3. Title
4. Physical inspection
5. HOA documents
6. Short sale advisory
7. Selling an existing property

Typical contingencies for a seller are:
1. Receiving from the buyer the preapproval letter. 
2. Receiving from the buyer verification of funds for either the down payment or the cash required to close the escrow.   
3. Finding replacement property 
4 . Cooperation from the buyer for a 1031 Tax Deferred exchange.

There are time frames involved in these various contingencies.  The number in the contract unless changed by the agent completing the documents is typically 7 days for proving ability to complete transaction, (preapproval letter and verification of funds) 17 days for the physical inspection and approval of HOA documents 17 days for the loan and appraisal.

In my last blog I covered the first 4 contingencies for a buyer and the first  2 contingencies for a seller.

Buyer Contingencies
5.  HOA Documents  This information typically comes through escrow.  The seller has to sign the HOA Request, which gives his permission to provide to the buyer all the documents associated with the running of the condo complex he is selling.  Typically, those documents are kept by a CPA.  There is a charge to the seller for providing this information to the buyer.  The packet is comprised of the C.C.&R.’s, Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, Architectural guidelines.  It also includes Board minutes, which shows the discussions that the Board is having regarding maintenance, special projects, budget, reserves, etc.  Most projects have 1 to 2 Board meetings a year, which might include one where all the homeowners are invited to attend. Some of the projects will have an annual work party, so that the owners get to meet and do some maintenance items around the project, that save money, get the work done, and provide an opportunity to meet other owners.  These types of meetings are typically held in the summer months and often over a holiday weekend.  A projected budget as well as an actual budget is also provided to the buyer along with a reserve study.  The reserve study shows the anticipated maintenance to the project, when it will need to be completed and how much money is being set aside monthly to pay for this.   Things that are in the reserve study would include, roofing, siding, painting, landscape projects, new water lines, etc.  This is very helpful to a buyer to see if the monthly HOA’s are adequate or if they can anticipate a special assessment.  Special assessments always need to be voted on, where an increase in the monthly dues can be passed without a majority approval.

6. Short Sale Advisory  This is only used if the seller is upside down in the property, meaning he owes more than the market value.  The seller can accept an offer, but it isn’t binding until the bank accepts the price.  The Short Sale Advisory tells the buyer that the acceptance of this offer, is contingent up on bank accepting the purchase price.  The bank will be receiving less than the current pay-off balance on the note, so they must order their own BPO (appraisal) to be sure that they are selling the property at a reasonable price since they will be writing off the unpaid portion of the debt.  This Short Sale Advisory and also a Short Sale Addendum is a contingency for both buyer and seller.  If the bank doesn’t accept the offer, the seller is not obligated legally to sell the property for that price.  If the bank doesn’t accept the price, the buyer is not obligated to move forward.

7. Selling an Existing Property  Item 13 on the Residential Purchase Agreement indicates that the buyer is making an offer to purchase, but can only close the escrow when the existing property also closes escrow.  This is not an ideal contingency for a buyer to use in their offer as the seller doesn’t really know when the escrow will close.  Most sellers are looking for a clean offer without the added contingency of another property.

Seller Contingencies
3.  Finding Replacement Property
Some sellers will list their property because they have an idea of what they want to replace their current property with.   They know that if they make an offer to a buyer, without their property being in escrow, which is the scenario I just covered, they will most likely not get a favorable response.  So, they will list their property, contingent upon finding a replacement property.  This type of contingency means the buyer may have a delay in closing an escrow. If they are obtaining a loan, it means they may not be able to lock into a loan because lenders only give you so much time on an “interest rate lock”.  For a cash buyer, this delay is not as much of an issue, depending of course on the buyer’s need to close an escrow.

4.  Cooperation from the Buyer for 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange  This contingency does not really affect the buyer, unless the seller also requests additional time to find their exchange property.  This is for the benefit of the seller’s tax situation.  By executing a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange, any gain avoids capital gains, until the seller takes the cash from the property.  By reinvesting the proceeds directly into another escrow through a third party accommodator, the seller avoids the capital gains tax.  This tells the IRS that the seller’s intent has always been to reinvest the proceeds, the buyer signs acknowledgement of this, but the buyer is not affected financially.

If you have any other questions on typical contract contingencies, please call me at 760 934-3078 or email me at


Contract Contingencies When Buying or Selling in Mammoth Lakes

Use a Mammoth realtor or broker when making a decision to purchase in Mammoth Lakes. I happen to be one and want to share some of my experience and expertise with you.

Residential Real Estate Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions
Buyers and Sellers are asked to sign a Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions when making an offer to purchase real property.

Contract Contingencies - What do they cover and who do they protect?    (Part 1)

Typical contingencies for a buyer are:

  1. Loan
  2. Appraisal
  3. Title
  4. Physical inspection
  5. HOA documents  
  6. Short sale advisory  
  7. Selling an existing property

Typical contingencies for a seller are:

  1. Receiving from the buyer the preapproval letter. 
  2. Receiving from the buyer verification of funds for either the down payment or the cash required to close the escrow.   
  3. Finding replacement property.
  4. Cooperation from the buyer for a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange.

There are time frames involved in these various contingencies.  The number in the contract unless changed by the agent completing the documents is typically 7 days for proving ability to complete transaction, (preapproval letter and verification of funds) 17 days for the physical inspection and approval of HOA documents, 17 days for the loan and appraisal.

Seller Contingency

  1. As a buyer you want to present your offer with a preapproval letter and verification of funds.  It shows the seller that you are in a position to complete the contract.   It shows that you have been diligent and have planned for this purchase.  If you are making an offer on a bank foreclosure or a short sale, banks won’t even consider an offer without this documentation.  If banks won’t take seriously an offer, why should an informed seller?

Buyer Contingency

  1. The loan contingency standard time frame of 17 days is, in my opinion, unreasonable.  Banks can’t make a determination on a buyer’s ability to qualify for a loan in 17 days, so I typically request at least 30 days depending on the percentage of down payment a buyer is offering.
  2. I also will request 30 days for the appraisal, as often times, once the appraisal is completed, it still has to be reviewed by underwriting and they often seek a second opinion.
  3. The Title policy will be received by the buyer with the escrow instructions within a few days of opening the escrow.  Things for the buyer to review: Are any easements? Typically there will be easements for utilities (that is a good thing), C.C. & R.’s will also be recorded, any loans, any tax liens.  Your agent should be reviewing the title report as well.  When I see a lien amount that is close to or exceeding the purchase price, I immediately call escrow to see if a demand for the current balance can be obtained.  I want to be sure that my buyer will receive clear title.
  4. Physical inspection is paid for by the buyer.  It is a good idea to hire a professional, a third neutral party, with Home Inspector certifications.   They will go through the property and have a long and complete list of items they verify and check.  They will then give you a detailed report with photos.  This is for the buyer’s peace of mind in knowing the current condition of the property.  Often, this list is given to the seller with a request that certain items be repaired as part of the purchase process.  This request can be accepted by the seller, the seller can agree to repair some items and not others, or the seller may not agree to any of the repairs.  If this is not agreed to between buyer and seller, the contingency clause can be used to cancel the contract.  All contingencies must be removed in writing and there are special forms we use to complete that part of the contract.   It is important to complete this within the specified time frame which is typically 17 days.  If this isn’t done within the specified time frame, the buyer or seller can initiate a Notice to Perform.

I will cover the rest of these items in my next weekly blog.


Time for Fishing in Mammoth Lakes!

The TroutFitter

Many of the shops and stores in Mammoth Lakes switch from winter to summer, but the TroutFitter specializes in fishing all year long.  In Mammoth, it isn’t just the variety of scenery and sports that you can partake in.  It is getting to know the people that make Mammoth a welcoming place to spend your time.

With the opening of fishing season upon us, I thought you might be interested in some behind the scenes information on one of Mammoth’s premiere fishing stores.

The TroutFitter has been owned and operated by Kent & Jeri Rianda since the late 1990’s.  It is a family run business with Chad Brizendine, their son-in-law also managing during the busiest season which is late April to November 15th.  They offer a family environment and local expertise.  It is a destination shop and they keep 15 guides busy, 7 days a week.  They also bring in reps for special deals and extensive product knowledge. They also plan to include tie flying classes, which is truly an art.

As I was looking through the shop, I was amazed by all the fly’s and couldn’t help but take a photo of the “Terrestrials”.  They have a full line of fishing apparel including outer wear, shoes, boots, sunglasses, waders, rods, reels, fly fishing, spin fishing, you need it, they have it!

Flies!They guide from Bridgeport to Bishop, lakes and streams.  Pleasant Valley, Hot Creek, lower and upper gorge are open year round.  I have even seen them at Shady Rest, which is where they take beginners to teach them the technique of using a fly rod.  They make it look simple, but I am pretty sure it isn’t!


Summer time usually brings in more families looking for something to learn and do as a family.  You can put away all your technology tools (phones, IPADS, laptops) and really spend time getting to know not just the habits of the fish you are trying to outsmart; but those members of your family that are often too busy to have any type of a conversation, other than text messaging one another.Waders at the Trout Fitter

I was able to “hook up” with Cog MacNeil and ask a few questions about how he ended up as a guide.  He started fishing at the age of 8.  He worked in the banking and investment business and after doing that for many years, decided to follow his heart and probably help his heart with a different environment.  Cog is in his 5th year of guiding.  He specializes in fly fishing and enjoys the walk and wade style of fishing.  I asked him, what is your favorite spot? and he said, “Wherever my client wants to fish.   It is all about the experience.  The guides spend all day out in the field and share information and hot spots which are constantly changing.  It is just like any sport, you need the local expertise to fully enjoy the experience.”  When Cog visits another area for fishing, he always checks into the local shops and hires a guide so that he can learn and enjoy what that area has to offer.

Cog MacNeil and Pat Jaeger


Cog MacNeil and Pat Jaeger



To become a guide for The TroutFitter is a commitment to the sport.  The following is an excerpt from Kent Rianda, the owner and operator of The TroutFitter in Mammoth Lakes which tells what he looks for in a guide.

It is no easy task becoming a TroutFitter guide - the standard is high. After demonstrating they are already an “expert” fly fishermen and having graduated from the Clearwater Guide School, they must “pay their dues”. Paying their dues translates, first, working in the shop for a minimum of a full year and demonstrating that they have patience, empathy, and the ability to teach, traits that you are born with and cannot be taught.

Next, a formal training program for every apprentice, which is conducted by our master guides. Most of our master guides came from the original Eastside Guide Service, unquestionably the finest group of guides ever to fish the Eastern Sierra. The “secret” to why that group was so good was that as they accepted a new member into the group, the new person was expeditiously brought up to the group’s level of expertise by on-the-job (or in this case, on-the-water) training. Half of the original Eastside Guide Service guides are still with the shop and now comprise a good part of our master guides.

 I know you will enjoy the friendly, family atmosphere and advice when you stop in The TroutFitter, which is located in the Shell Mart Center at the corner of Highway 203 and Old Mammoth Road.  You can contact them at 760 924-3676 or better yet check out their website at and hire one of their knowledgeable, friendly guides.

You just might find me at Shady Rest on one of those beginner lessons!   One of my best memories about fishing is when my Dad, who is now 91, took our son Chad fishing on his 5th birthday and Chad caught 5 fish at Convict Lake.  Those are times money can’t buy.

We make a living by what we get,  We make a life by what we give



Trends Insideout in Mammoth Lakes

TRENDS INSIDEOUT, is a subsidiary of High Country Lumber and Ace Hardware in Mammoth Lakes, which have been in the Eastern Sierra for 63 years.   They offer ONE STOP shopping with their Design Center and 20/20 Design software, clients can pick out colors, textures, fixtures, cabinets, etc. and see on their computers exactly what they have selected and how it looks when all put together.

They have brought in Mike VanWinkle to head up this new store.  Mike was a licensed general contractor and also has a sales and communications background.  He is new to living in Mammoth, but has visited here all his life and has family that has been living here for several years.

TRENDS INSIDEOUT in Mammoth Lakes sees that the real estate market is turning and positive things are happening in Mammoth Lakes.  They want to be positioned to meet the needs of the local contractors and customers and will strive to collaborate with them and have competitive pricing with what they bring to our marketplace.

They will have a full product line that includes: 

  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • LightingTrends Insideout Showroom
  • Cabinets
  • Counter-tops
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Appliances
  • Hearth and Stoves
  • Window CoveringsTrends Insideout Kitchen Showroom
  • Paint
  • Wall Coverings
  • Carpet & Flooring, Tile & Stone
  • Decorative Hardware
  • TV’s and Home Electronics
  • Rugs and Pillows
  • Outdoor Living

This kind of convenience is new to Mammoth.  The show room is still coming together, but it will give the consumer lots to look at and choose from.   In the past, many owners have brought things up from Southern California and it doesn’t always fit or match, or they don’t have anyone to install it.  This will allow buyers to secure the fit aTrends Insideout Window Showroomnd finish they are looking for.

They will bring in seasonal items as well.  They already have some outdoor furniture in one corner of their store.   You really should stop in and see what they have to offer.  They also have an Idea and Information Café and a place where you and your contractor can roll out your plans.

Please call or stop in to meet Mike.  He is anxious to work with you and or your contractor.  He can be reached at (760)924-2720 and they are right across from High Country Lumber at 243 Sierra Manor Road, Mammoth Lakes.  You can email Mike at   There new website is

I am personally excited about some hardwood flooring and a new product that looks like hardwood flooring.  I will have to get my husband over there so we can pick out some new things for our own home!

They are a couple weeks out from being totally functional and their Design Gallery is still under construction, but they would love for you to stop in.   I know you will be impressed by what they are offering.