Cities Where The Housing Market Heats Up in the Fall

Fall in Big Bear

Quick article written by Katie Morell from regarding the vacation home market and specifically Big Bear.  I’ve noticed an uptick in sales this past month..I’m guessing it’s a combination of lower interest rates, the announcement of Big Bear Mountain Resorts (Snow Summit and Bear Mountain) being sold to Mammoth Mountain, and the time of year.

The start of the slow season for home search in most of the country began last month. But autumn is prime time for shopping in certain regions, mostly vacation areas in the mountains and forests.

House hunting is largely considered a seasonal sport, with springtime ranking as the best time to play. March typically kicks off the busy season, which extends through Labor Day, and is when the largest number of buyers circle, and the most homes go up for sale.

But depending on where you are house hunting, you may not realize that autumn can be an excellent time to buy and sell. Instead of slowing down in the fall, many regions of the country buck the national trend and experience high levels of activity, according to a new report on the seasonality of house hunting. The research reveals the cities where home buying and selling peaks, as well as significantly slows, during this time of year.

Fall Slow Down

Home shopping majorly slows in many warm climates and beach areas during the fall months. For example, in September and October Hawaii and Florida see a 10% dip below their annual averages. When looking at major metro areas, search activity drops the most in the South and Southwest. In the Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Florida, area, for example, it declines 18% in September and October compared to the annual average. Searches plummet 12% in Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona. In Charleston, South Carolina, hunting goes down 11%.

Big vacation destinations that see search activity slow include Punta Gorda, Naples/Marco Island and Key West.

The study also found that college towns have some of the lowest rates in the country for home searching during the autumn season – making it all the more important to lock in your housing before classes begin. College Station/Bryan, Texas, Columbia, Mo., and Iowa City, Iowa, are three university towns that see a big reduction in activity during this time of year.

Bucking the Trend

There are several areas of the country where activity actually picks up in the fall, and autumn is the busy season. These regions are typically near ski resorts in mountain and forest areas.

The county of Lincoln, NM, which is close to winter resort Ski Apache, sees a 16% jump in search activity during the fall when compared with the annual average. The area around Ellsworth, ME, known for a fun winter carnival, boasts 13% more searches.

Big Bear/Lake Arrowhead, a ski region located east of Los Angeles, also has a high number of house hunters in the fall, presumably preparing themselves for fun weekend days on the slopes and dinners by bustling fireplaces.

Other parts of the country don’t necessarily see a large increase in the fall, but instead chug along at their same springtime pace. This pattern emerges in some New England metro areas, including Peabody, Mass., and Worcester, Mass. Search activity in San Francisco also doesn’t change much in the fall, possibly because it includes some of the warmest months for the City by the Bay.


Replace the Shake: New Funds Available to Bring Roofs into Compliance

Wood Shake Roof
Wood Shake Roof

A quick and informative article from our local radio station (KBHR 93.3fm) regarding the wood shake replacement program.  See below.

We hear a lot about maintaining “defensible space” around our mountain homes for fire protection–and rightly so–but it’s only part of the picture. Besides the presence of burnable vegetation immediately adjacent to buildings, the ignitability of a home also depends on its roofing materials. In one study, the Stanford Research Institute found that 95 percent of homes with both nonflammable roofs and adequate vegetation clearance survived a wildfire.

In 2008, the City of Big Bear Lake declared that any structure with a wood shake or shingle roof would be considered a public nuisance. Replacing wooden roofs is expensive, but federal and state grants helped local property owners reduce the number of dangerous buildings from 525 to just 73 by last year.

Earlier this year, the California Office of Emergency Services notified City officials that an additional $150,000 would be available to help the remaining property owners take this important safety measure. On September 22, the Big Bear Lake City Council and the Fire Protection District worked out the details:

1).  All eligible property owners will be contacted by phone then mailed a certified letter containing a new grant application that states the offer and limitations;

2).  The homeowners will then have four weeks to apply for the grant funds; and

3).  The funds will be equally distributed to the eligible applicants who apply

Any questions can be directed to (909) 866-5832.

Related Articles:

Does your Big Bear Lake Cabin have a Wood Shake Roof? -The Tim Wood Group 1/4/2011

Wooden Boats on the Water

Annual Antique and Wooden Boat Show is this Saturday
Annual Antique and Wooden Boat Show is this Saturday

Antique Boat Show Set for Pine Knot Landing

Written by Kathy Portie of the Big Bear Grizzly.

It’s an annual retreat of wooden perfection. Every year, dozens of wooden and antique boat enthusiasts travel to Big Bear to participate in the annual Antique and Wooden Boat Show. The show is hosted by the Antique and Classic Boat Society, spearheaded by ACBS member Charlie Brewster.

The public can see the classic boats Saturday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pine Knot Landing in Big Bear Lake. Admission is free.

“We have some really nice boats this year, some that you’ve never seen before,” says Brewster. “There will be a Meteor tugboat, a 25-foot Garwood, Chris Crafts, and perhaps the best one is the Cobra with the fin.”

Brewster expects about 25 to 30 classic and wooden boats at the 31st annual Big Bear show, with participants coming from as far away as Arizona and Northern California. Brewster says he will have his classic barrel back boat also on display.

Classic cars from the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club and model remote-control boats will also be on display at G Dock at Pine Knot Landing.

Hamburgers and hot dogs will be available for purchase. Parking is available in the nearby Village and near the marina, Brewster says.

On Aug. 22, there is an on-the-water poker run beginning at 10 a.m. While the run is open only to show participants, visitors can see the boats as they make their way around the lake.

The 31st annual Big Bear Antique and Wooden Boat Show is at Pine Knot Landing, 439 Pine Knot Ave., Big Bear Lake.

Water Conservation in Big Bear (even during an Ice Bucket Challenge)

Ice Bucket
Ice Bucket

I read an article in the LA Times this morning (click here to view) about some sort of controversy regarding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in our drought-plagued state of California.  I don’t really see the controversy.  I’m sure many of you have participated in the challenge (including myself) and I think it has created tremendous awareness of ALS so in my mind, the benefits definitely outweigh the negative consequences of wasting a bucket of water.

Personally, I don’t think we’re wasting water any more than we normally do in our daily lives, but in an attempt to be politically correct, I’m going to post some water conservation tips that were mailed out by our local Department of Water and Power. Yes, the lake is down a little over 10′ (10′ 3” as of August 18th) and fire danger is high in the mountains of Southern California… it doesn’t hurt to be conscientious. 🙂


  • **No outdoor watering between 9:00am and 6:00pm, April 1st through November 1st.
  • **Follow an odd/even schedule.  If your address ends in an odd number, water on odd calendar dates and even addresses may water on even calendar dates.
  • **No hose washing of paved area or any other surface including patios, buildings and structures.
  • **Water shall not run off properties onto streets.
  • Automatic shut-off nozzles are required on all hand-held hoses.
  • **Washing of vehicles, trailers, or boats must be done with a bucket & hose equipped with a shut-off nozzle.
  • All water leaks must be repaired once detected.
  • All irrigation systems must be shut off and winterized November 1st through April 1st.
  • Landscape plans are required to be submitted to the DWP (Department of Water and Power) for approval prior to installation of any turf or landscapes over 1,000 square feet.
  • Turf installations are limited to 1,000 square feet.  If you already have turf, you may install additional turf for a total of 1,000 square feet (existing and new).
  • **Water features must use re-circulating systems.

** These regulations are also part of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) emergency water conservation regulations that went into effect on July 29th, 2014.  For more information on indoor/outdoor conservation tips, please visit



Fish plants are good business for Big Bear

Madison fishing

Written by Casey Jones, Big Bear Grizzly.

Fish plants are good business for Big Bear

On the surface, it might seem like a silly thing for a city council to do, paying to plant a bunch of fish in a lake without even knowing if they’ll be caught by local voters.

But in Big Bear Lake, where fishing for rainbow trout is big business as well as a local passion, it makes sense as a public service. So it’s nice to see Big Bear Lake officials take seriously a request for help from the Big Bear Municipal Water District.

MWD board member Vince Smith asked the City Council April 28 to consider paying for a trout plant or two. He said the MWD has already stocked fish twice this year, and is planning four more plants. But the $45,000 per year that the MWD spends on trout is not enough to offset the loss of fish from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Until last year, the state consistently placed about 150,000 pounds of trout in the lake. Last year, that number fell to just 62,000 pounds, and MWD officials say they are not sure how many pounds will be planted this year. Big Bear Lake has a put-and-take fishery, so the fish population could founder.

Mayor Jay Obernolte said the next step would be to put the item on the agenda for a future council meeting. The council should.

City Manager Jeff Mathieu said fish plants could come up during budget discussions. Again, it should.

In fact, the council should consider making a permanent commitment to planting trout in Big Bear Lake for the sake of our economy and our quality of life. Trout tournaments attract more than 1,800 paying visitors to town each year. MWD surveys show that about 50 percent of the boaters who come to the lake come to fish. And local voters catch their share, too.


Thermostats Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 11.18.44 AM

White-Rodgers Recalls Home Heating and Cooling Thermostats Due to Fire Hazard

More than one million thermostats sold in the United States and Canada since 2006 are being recalled because the batteries can leak and cause a fire.

Product: The thermostats are made by White-Rodgers, but some have different brand names printed on the front, including ComfortSentry, DICO, Emerson, Frigidaire, Maytag, Nutone, Partners Choice, Rheem, Ruud, Unico, Water Furnace, Westinghouse and Zonefirst.

Hazard: The alkaline batteries used in the thermostat can leak onto the circuit board posing a fire hazard.

Remedy: Consumers should check thermostats for battery icon on the left side of the blue lighted screen, if the battery icon is not shown, contact White-Rodgers to receive a free repair or a replacement thermostat.

Consumer Contact: White-Rodgers toll-free at (888) 624-1901 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.  Or visit the Consumer Protection website here.

Weather in the Mountains


I’ll admit, I jinxed the ski resorts this year when I purchased ski passes.  We haven’t had any snow to speak of!  But this week’s precipitation will definitely improve the lake level. So far moderate rain falling in Big Bear with just about a 1/2 inch since midnight but they say it will turn to snow later this afternoon.  Make sure to check with CalTrans before driving up….I had an appraiser who canceled an appointment this morning due to rock/mudslides around the Arctic Circle area.