The Christine Galbreath Mammoth Real Estate Blog

Looking for a Loan? Mammoth Lakes Athletes UPDATED

Year End Race Results for Mammoth Lakes Athletes

Following the end of the season for some of our local Mammoth Lakes athletes Skicross season, John Teller was injured and missed 2 races, while the final race for the season was cancelled due to weather.  John finished as U.S. Men’s National Champion and 6th in the World.

While competing in Italy,   Madeline Riffel finished 29th in the World Juniors competition.   She also had an 8th place finish in the Swiss Nationals. This was Madeline’s first full year of competition on the Skicross circuit.  She is U.S. Women’s National Champion and  42nd in the world. 

These athletes have their eye on the 2014 Winter Olympics, so I am sure they will be doing lots of dry land training and looking for an early winter to perfect their talents.

We have had an extremely busy race week in Mammoth as other ski areas haven’t had enough snow so the races were held in Mammoth.  The slopes have been covered with World Cup skiers and up and coming World Cup skiers.

      Bubby Riffel, Nicki Norton & Bode Miller at Mammoth Mountain this Week

Looking for a loan?

While we all know that obtaining loans is more difficult than it was several years ago, the Mammoth Lakes branch of Wells Fargo is excellent to work with.  Their office will be celebrating their 20th year anniversary in October 2013.  Both Randi Maier and Doug Magid have a high success rate of finishing what they have started.  They will request what they need up front so that you don’t continually have to send them additional paperwork.  Working with an out of town lender often has disappointing results, so don’t always look at the interest rate without looking at the costs to obtain your financing.  A loan that never funds is not the best rate.  Because they are so thorough up front, they have a 90%+ success rate in closing loans for their borrowers.  As a borrower unless you are looking as a 1st time home buyer or a special primary home loan, expect to put 20% to 25% down.  With 25% down the HOA certification is limited and it is easier to approve the condo or townhome project.  Some condos in Mammoth Lakes are considered condo/hotel and financing is currently not available.  Randi and Doug can be reached at 760 924-2270.

Our inventory is lower than it has been in years.  As a buyer, you want to be able to have your agent present your offer with a preapproval letter.



Mammoth Lakes Athletes Excel in Recent Competitions

A follow up from the Canyons in Utah Skicross results where 3 Mammoth locals excelled:
As a reminder John Teller took 1st place, which also ranked him as the U.S. Men’s National Champion.  Tyler Wallasch took 2nd place in that race. Madeline Riffel took 2nd place, which ranked her as the U.S. Women’s National Champion.

As the ski racing season is coming to a close, the racers have ramped up their schedules and have been competing in Canada and Europe.

John Teller took 3rd in Oslo, Norway in the Freestyle World Championships on March 10th.    He is currently ranked 1st in the United States and 9th in the world.  John suffered an injury and has taken a couple weeks off, but he is gearing up for the World Cup Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain this Sunday, March 24th

Tyler Wallasch has been Madeline Riffel, Mammoth Lakes, CA Residentcompeting on the Europa Cup and is currently ranked 24th.

Madeline Riffel took a 1st Place and a 4th place in Canada last weekend, March 16th & 17th at the Panorama NorAm races.  She is currently ranked 2nd in the U.S. and 4th in the NorAm Circuit.  Madeline will be competing in Valmalenco, Italy at the Junior World’s Skicross on March 29th. (Photo: Madeline center)

Please be cheering these Mammoth locals on as they finish up this year’s Skicross World Championships

Mammoth Runner, Deena Kastor, competed in the Los Angeles Marathon last Sunday and finished third, with a time of 2:32:38.  This was Deena’s first marathon since the birth of her 2 year old daughter Piper.  Deena holds the American women’s marathon record of 2:19:36 which she set by winning the London Marathon in 2006.  Deena has also earned a bronze medal in the Women’s marathon in the 2004 Olympics and has won a myriad of other races.  She is in an elite group of women runners to make the National Championships for four consecutive years.  Deena and her husband Andrew have hearts of gold.  They personally encouraged my son Chad when he was in high school and were instrumental in getting him accepted to UCLA as a cross country runner.

The new Whitmore Park Track and Sports Field which had its grand opening November 17, 2012 will be attracting many world class athletes looking to train and gain the benefits of high altitude in 2013.

There are many fine athletes that make Mammoth their home and have been very successful in their different sports. Mammoth is truly a year round resort with excellent training venues for both summer and winter sports enthusiast.

Now is an excellent time to consider buying a home, condo or lot.  Much of California seems to be recovering their property values and Mammoth as a second home market, is on the verge of this as well.


Boomerang Buyers - Buying Post Short Sale or Foreclosure

"Boomerang Buyers" are those who purchased homes and either did a short sale or foreclosed and then rebuilt their credit and bought again. Boomerang sales are on the rise. The most important factor in purchasing a home after shorting or foreclosing is rebuilding your credit - stay current on all bills (utilities, HOA's, car payments, credit cards, etc.). Here is the breakdown on waiting periods for buying again:

7 years for a government backed Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan.
3 years for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan.
1-2 years fir a FHA loan if there were extenuating circumstances (such as illness or death of a wage earner).

Short Sale
7 years for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with less than 10% down.
4 years for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with 10% down.
2 years for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with 20% down - extenuating circumstances.
3 years for an FHA loan.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
7 years for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with less than 10% down.
4 years for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with 10% down.
2 years for a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with 20% down.
3 years for an FHA loan.
1-2 years for an FHA loan with extenuating curcumstances.

Source: Fannie Mae, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Wells Fargo
**Each mortgage is case by case dependent on current employment, debt, savings, etc.


Mammoth...A Dream for Locals Coming True

Mammoth...A dream for locals coming true!

John Teller and Madelaine Riffel

What an exciting week it has been for 3 Mammoth locals that all took center stage in last week’s Skicross finals at the U.S. Grand Prix at Canyons in Utah.

Madeline Riffel, took 1st place for U.S. women’s national championships for Skicross.   She was 2nd to finish, but the 1st American so has taken the national title.  I have known Madeline since the day she was born, so it is truly exciting to see her flourish as I also know and have an understanding for her commitment to the sport.

John Teller took 1st place for the U.S. men’s national championships for Skicross, and was also 1st place finisher overall.  Another local Tyler Wallasch took 2nd place.

John Teller has been a coach to both Madeline and Tyler.  John has been around the sport for several years while Madeline and Tyler are just beginning their careers, and at 18 having a very successful start! Madeline is currently training under James Tautkus.

People come to Mammoth because it is a beautiful place to recreate, to perfect their skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and other athletic skills.  We have many families that make the trip to Mammoth every weekend so their kids can enroll in and be part of the Mammoth Ski Team.

Mammoth is about a lifestyle, family memories, friends and a beautiful place to live and visit.  The success of the locals competing on a national level is also evidence of what Mammoth Mountain has to offer in terms of terrain, lessons, safety, and an unusually long ski season.

I will be following the success of these 3 skiers and especially Madeline Riffel.  Yes, she is related to my broker!  John has gone on to Oslo, Norway and Madeline may be competing in Canada this next week.

I will continue to update on the local real estate market, trends, interest rates, construction costs, local news, ordinances, new businesses, and other things that are of interest, but love the opportunity of sharing the success of the locals that make Mammoth their home.

The real estate market may be at the bottom, but the life style Mammoth offers is worth more than gold!   Come and join us as we cheer on our next generation of successful Mammoth athletes. 

Mammoth is more than a home or a condo, it is about quality of life and a relationship, which makes buying something second nature!



New Wood Burning Inserts Reconstruction Ordinance

New Fireplace Ordinance for the Town of Mammoth Lakes
If your home or condo in Mammoth Lakes has a woodstove insert, the new fireplace reconstruction ordinance will affect you. Per the Town attorney: The ordinance won't take effect until 30 days from the next Council meeting, so April 5th.  Any property that closes escrow before then doesn't have to immediately replace the insert.  Any property with an escrow closing on or after April 5th would have to replace the insert, regardless of whether they opened escrow before the ordinance takes effect. If the home or condo is not for sale, the woodstove insert must be reconstructed by October 31, 2022 (or at the next sale anytime prior to 10/31/22).
Current fireboxes were not designed in many cases, to handle the heat that an EPA woodstove insert puts out. This has resulted in several flue fires. Again, this applies to WOODSTOVE INSERTS ONLY. Below are important questions regarding the new ordinance, answered by Mammoth Lakes Senior Building Inspector.

Regarding the new fireplace reconstruction ordinance:
(1)    Are current installations of pellet stoves exempt?  yes

(2)    Paragraph 6.C. states, “All woodstove inserts currently installed within the Town shall be removed or be reconstructed … upon the sale of the real property…”  I have a buyer in escrow on a house with a woodstove insert.  Do we need to extend escrow to get the inspection and work done or can the escrow close and the buyer do the work after close of escrow (i.e. 60 days after, like the other fireplace ordinance)?  The 60 day waiver applies.

(3)    How is it determined whether or not a woodstove insert needs to be reconstructed?  Will an invasive inspection be required (i.e. rip off rock/drywall/mantle)?  The ordinance is such that all inserts be reconstructed.  We tried everything from x-rays, to camera scopes and nothing really worked.  Yes it is invasive as non combustible material needs to be constructed to replace the old.  It is up to the contractor to determine how he accomplishes this, but it is my experience that everything is removed then reconstructed from scratch.

(4)    Has the Town or Fire Protection District looked into any government grants to help with this burden?  It seems similar to energy efficient appliances or low-flow toilets where the manufacturers offer rebates for installation of the newer energy-saving appliances.  It might help incentivize owners to get the work done in a timely fashion instead of all waiting for the year 2022.  Just an idea.   Yes we are going to pursue the grant funding.


Mammoth's Market is Active

The real estate market is more active, with lower inventory than we have seen in the past decade.
The primary resident market in Southern and Northern California hit bottom sometime last year.  Most of our buyers are second homeowners, so Mammoth typically follows the California trend but several months later.  There appears to be buyer confidence that we won’t continue to drop in value and buyers are coming to the marketplace prepared to make a decision.  Most buyers have been tracking the market and feel confident that NOW is a great time to make a purchase.  The combination of low prices and historically low interest rates create an environment that brings buyers to the table.

Mammoth has always been a place for families to get away, and create those family memories that can’t be duplicated or forgotten.

585 Majestic Pines Drive...This week’s property will fulfill your wish list.    It was built and designed for a local active family.  They had their eye on a particular street in Mammoth that met their desire for privacy and convenience.

Located a short walk from Eagle Lodge and over looks open space, bike trails and Mammoth Creek, this location is very unique and there are only a handful of homes that are lucky enough to claim this location.  With wildlife, sun and views in your backyard, you cannot duplicate this location or home for the asking price of $1,339,000 and it comes fully furnished. Click Here to View Listings