Yawn……..Another Title for Big Bear’s Cross Country Team

Photo taken by Kathy Portie of Big Bear Grizzly
Photo taken by Stephanie McCutcheon for the Big Bear Grizzly

I have to give props to Mickey Hall (Ryan Hall’s dad) and the Big Bear High School cross country team (Connor McCutcheon, Eric Jasperson, Ryan Lambert, Jake Murie, Alex Cabellero, Miles Fulton, and Preston Carlisle). They’ve won their third straight CIF state championship! These kids have worked their butt off running 50 plus miles week in and week out and their hardwork has paid off.   Below are some recent articles from the Big Bear Grizzly regarding the team.  Good job guys.  Your hardwork and commitment hasn’t gone unnoticed. 




Interest Rates Drop! Will this help you?

Interest Rate Chart provided by Bankrate.com
Chart provided by Bankrate.com

Interest rates have dropped dramatically over the past week.  According to Bankrate.com the national average for a 30 year fixed rate is 5.76%!  We’re at a 2 year low….

Why are they going down?  Generally speaking, mortgage rates tend to move in the same direction as the 10 year Treasury notes.  But in this case, rates are not mirroring the 10 year treasury.  The Federal Reserve is going to buy a half-trillion dollars of mortgage backed securites from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae.  The Fed stated “this action is being taken to reduce the cost and increase the availibility of credit for the purchase of houses, which in turn should support housing markets and foster improved conditions in financial markets more generally.” 

What kind of Impact does this have?  When you hear about lower interest rates you automatically think more affordability…borrowers qualifying for more money or paying less for the same amount borrowed.  For investors, I believe next year will be an excellent opportunity to find properties that have a positive cash flow.  Home prices will continue to trend downward and mortgage payments will be lower for the same property.  The mathmatical equations that investors look for; cap rate, ROI, etc. should look more attractive in the next several months.

The X-Factor:  How many people will qualify to take advantage of lower interest rates?  Are you upside down on your mortgage?  Is your FICO score under 720?  If you don’t have 20% down and you have a low FICO score it’s really not going to help you much.  On the other hand, if you do qualify under the current guidelines there is a lot of opportunity out there for you.  Whether you are a seasoned investor, or a first time homebuyer, we might not see interest rates as low as they are going to be over the 6 months for quite some time.  If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, I believe the next 6-9 months will be a great opportunity to invest!

Related Articles:

Washington Post 12/4/08

Yahoo News 12/1/08

Bankrate.com 11/27/08

A Look Back at Lakefront Sales over the past 6 Years

Today I decided to take a look at sales trends over the past 6 years to see if anything interesting popped out.  Below are sales reported by our MLS from 2003 through 2008.  I’ve listed number of homes sold, average days on market, average list price, average sales price, median sales price, and sales price to list price ratio for each year. 


2003 Lakefront Sales


Number of Homes Sold:  22

Average Days on Market:  96

Average List Price:  $898,584

Average Sales Price:  $845,068

Median Sales Price:  $703,750

Sales Price/List Price:  96%


2004 Lakefront Sales


 Number of Homes Sold:  23

Average Days on Market:  118

Average List Price:  $935,086

Average Sales Price:  $904,208

Median Sales Price:  $824,500

Sales Price/List Price:  96%


2005 Lakefront Sales


 Number of Homes Sold:  43

Average Days on Market:  101

Average List Price:  $1,272,536

Average Sales Price:  $1,213,295

Median Sales Price:  $1,025,000

Sales Price/List Price:  97%


2006 Lakefront Sales



 Number of Homes Sold:  34

Average Days on Market:  127

Average List Price:  $1,519,585

Average Sales Price:  $1,391,191

Median Sales Price:  $1,100,000

Sales Price/List Price:  92%


2007 Lakefront Sales

2007 Lakefront Sales

Number of Homes Sold:  20

Average Days on Market:  132

Average List Price:  $1,523,836

Average Sales Price:  $1,438,973

Median Sales Price:  $1,420,000

Sales Price/List Price:  94%


2008 Lakefront Sales


Number of Homes Sold (from January to November 10):  13

Average Days on Market:  190

Average List Price:  $1,459,453

Average Sales Price:  $1,307,230

Median Sales Price:  $1,350,000

Sales Price/List Price:  90%

Things that stick out to me

Obviously there’s a big drop off in sales in 2008.  That is expected.  Sales Price/List Price ratios have also dropped which is expected with so many homes on the market.  Days on Market has increased with Supply.  What’s interesting to see is that sales prices haven’t dipped like the rest of the market.  We’ve seen depreciation of approximately 20-30%  throughout the valley but the lakefront market has been relatively stable.  Click here to read a recent article regarding lakefront homes by Tyler Wood who also works at Coldwell Banker. 

Big Bear Lake Fishing Report (courtesy of the Big Bear Grizzly Newspaper)

Congratulations to Pam Kalina for setting a Big Bear Lake record for catching a 5.9 pound largemouth bass on October 8.  Kalina caught the fish off Juniper Point using a firetiger Papala.  The largemouth bass was released after the weigh-in at Big Bear Marina.  Pam received a gift certificate for a pontoon boat rental, an Eagle Claw road and reel, and assorted bass lures for catching the lake record fish.  “Lucky Pam” has been a long time Big Bear resident and coordinates the Holcomb Valley Trail Run each year. 

Big Bear Grizzly Fishing Report
Big Bear Grizzly Fishing Report


Architectural Styles found in Big Bear Lake California

Most of these styles are pretty standard throughout the real estate industry, however, there are a few local terms that I thought might be beneficial to share with you. What was interesting to me was that more than half of the homes in our current MLS were placed in the wrong architectural category. I’m not throwing my local members under the bus, but I couldn’t believe how inaccurate this category ended up being under my search.


Well known for it’s barn style shape roof, there are different variations to this type of construction in our area of Big Bear. This type of home was popularized in the 1960’s and 1970’s by several well known local builders. In the 1960’s Hillcrest Construction (where Butcher’s Block is) would advertise on their lumber yard these affordable homes as a “you-finish-it” project. They would frame the house, put the windows and doors on and let the owner hang the sheet rock, install cabinets and flooring and do all the finishwork. John and Joe Voss (local builders in the 70’s and 80’s) were two of the original sales people who later made a big influence in construction in our Valley. Then in the 1970’s and 1980’s builders such as Rafferty, Looney, and Nootenboom made their living building these types of homes under speculation.

*This particular home is currently listed with Tyler Wood at Coldwell Banker. To see more photos of this home and to get specific information click here.


This style of home generally has a rectangular shape to it with a steep A-frame pitch in the middle of the house, usually right above the door, for dry access during the wet seasons. This home was also built in the 1960’s by Hillcrest Construction and has a nice mountain flare to it.


If you are not familiar with the Big Bear area, you probably wouldn’t recognize the term “Maltby”. This is because it is named after Gus Maltby, a local builder who used to build up here in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. Some of the main features that separate this type of construction are the exterior half log siding, the local natural rock he used to make the fireplaces, large porches, and the custom cast iron lighting fixtures. He owned the Bear Valley Milling and Lumber Company and milled the log siding for all of his cabins there. He is most notably known for the Peter Pan Woodland Club, which he built and also built cabins on the land that members of the club belonged to. The term “Maltby” in our community is more commonly referred to the builder’s own style of craftsmanship and time period, not necessarily a particular shape of construction.


Right now, this is the most popular type of construction in Big Bear because it looks like a mountain cabin. There are full log homes (which typically are more expensive to build because of the labor involved) and there are log-sided constructions in Big Bear. The log-sided homes are built just like a typical home would be built (stick frame construction), they just add log accents to make it look like a log construction. Normally the builders incorporate the Chalet style, the A-Frame style or Ranch style architecture when they build these types of homes. Builders who have specialized with the full log construction include Bruce Picciolo (Country Heart Homes), and Brad Lindley (Lindley Log Home Construction). Bob Gilligan (Gilligan Log Homes) has built more log sided homes in the valley than any other builder, but there have been dozens of other builders to specialize in this type of construction.


This style of architecture is popular for vacation homes in ski resort areas so it is obviously popular in my area. This type of construction is more typical in wintery conditions because it ensures good snow melt. With the dramatic sloping roof (shaped like an “A”) it has a very distinctive style.


This is another popular style because of the number of vacation homes people own in Big Bear Lake, CA. The chalets are typically rectangular shaped with a fatter pitched roof than an A-frame. They generally have big lofts or second floor balconies and have exposed beams on the inside. This type of construction is also good in snowy conditions because of the ease of snow melt.


This type of home is noted for its long low to the ground profile. Some features might include but are not limited to: single story, retangular shaped, simple long floorplans, large windows, and low simple roof lines.

*This property is currently listed with Steve Hirschler at Coldwell Banker. For more information regarding this home click here.


This type of home is not found very often in my particular area. This style is much more modern and high tech. There are many different variations of contemporary that I won’t get into. I think the picture is self-explanatory.


This style of home was popularized by the Victorian Era and normally is characterized by multiple stories, smaller sized rooms, it usually has a turret and long sweeping covered balcony. There are many types of Victorian style homes, but this is another type of construction that we don’t see much in the mountains. I would say there are approximately 50 in our area.

I hope this has been helpful and if you have any questions or if I can help you with your mountain home search feel free to contact me.