10 Tips to Help Winterize Your Lake Arrowhead Home  

Winterizing-Your-HomeAccording to forecasts, the Lake Arrowhead area should see snowfall later this week. Just in time for the holidays, the first snowstorm may be picturesque. But if you haven’t taken steps to prep for winter, the impending storm could put your home at risk. To help, we have come up with some tips to help you winterize your Lake Arrowhead house.

  1. Inspect the furnace. You may want to call in an HVAC professional to check your system. In advance of his inspection, check your filters and make sure you change them on a regular basis. Make sure all flammable material is located far from heat sources.
  2. Check windows and doors for leaks. If you hear wind coming through windows or doors, make sure you seal all entry points. Use weather-stripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
    Frozen Man
  3. Call a Chimney Sweep, to prepare your fireplace for winter use. In the meantime, cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds. Inspect the damper and check the mortar between bricks.
  4. Schedule Roof Inspection. Consider adding extra insulation to the attic, which will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof. Also, make sure your roofer checks flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home and that he replaces worn roof shingles or tiles.
  1. Check the Foundation. Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation. And, unless you don’t mind critters living under your house, seal entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
  2. Service Weather-Specific Equipment. Since you won’t need to use most gardening equipment until next summer, drain gas from lawnmowers. Service or tune-up snow blowers. Replace shovels. Stock up on ice-melt and sand. And while you’re at it, you may want to call a snow plow company to arrange for service starting with the first snowfall. Winterize
  3. Prepare Landscaping and Outdoor Surfaces. If branches are hanging low, have trees trimmed so they won’t interfere with electrical wires. If you’re uncertain, ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned, to prevent potential winter injury. Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.
  4. Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and/ or water heater. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every six months to make sure they are in good working condition.
  5. Prepare an Emergency Kit. Buy indoor candles and matches for use during power outages, which can happen in the San Bernardino Mountains during storms. Locate emergency phone numbers and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book. Store bottled water (3 gallons per person for three days) and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if necessary), blankets and a first-aid kit in a cool, dry place. Store in an easy-to-access location. Prepare a family evacuation plan.
  6. Keep pipes from freezing. This is particularly important if you plan to leave your home vacant for any length of time. Locate the water main so you will know where to go to shut it off in an emergency. Drain garden hoses. Insulate exposed plumbing pipes. Before you leave for vacation, set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees.

If you are in the market to buy or sell your luxury home in or around the Lake Arrowhead area, consider working with the Prime Team. #RealEstate investing can be tricky—especially if you are in the market for #LuxuryProperty.

Don’t get caught in a Catch 22 — owning two homes or none at all. The Prime Team is the only group of real estate agents in the Lake Arrowhead area who stand by our services by offering a number of guaranteed sales and purchasing programs. Recently named the exclusive Lake Arrowhead member of Leverage Global Partners, we are perfectly positioned to help you take advantage of today’s luxury market. We’ll answer all of your questions today, and you’re never under any obligation. Call 1-909-337-7653 and ask for a member of the Prime Team.

Lake Arrowhead — Nature Calling

Nature CallingOften referred to as “The Jewel of Southern California,” Lake Arrowhead is the perfect vacation-destination for anyone who likes to hike or bike, swim or sail. In fact, Lake Arrowhead isn’t just for vacationeers who enjoy recreational activities. It’s a lovely place to call home. Whether you plan to visit for the day or live your entire life in the San Bernardino Mountains full time, there are plenty of healthy lifestyle-activities in and around the Lake Arrowhead Communities year-round. Here are a few:

The Lake Arrowhead communities extend from Arrowbear, Green Valley Lake, Sky Forest and Running Springs all the way to Crestline, Cedar Pines Park and Lake Gregory, with Lake Arrowhead, Cedar Glen, Twin Peaks and Rimforest in between. In each community, there are countless ways to enjoy the fresh air, pristine forests and natural wonders.

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  1. Lake Arrowhead is a private lake; so visitors have very limited use of the lake. Nevertheless, you can tour the lake even if you’re just hanging out for the day by taking a ride on the Arrowhead Queen or booking a day trip to see the sites or enjoy water sports through the McKenzie Ski School.
    • Love lake life? Consider investing in vacation or full-time property in Lake Arrowhead Woods.
    • Cabins are more affordable than you probably think.
  1. Hiking Trails – There are several walking trails in the Lake Arrowhead area. For a map, click here for the Chamber of Commerce website Hiking Trails Map.
    • Forest visitors are required to display a National Forest Adventure Pass on the dashboard of their vehicle when it is parked any area of the San Bernardino National Forest for recreation purposes.
    • However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, passes are not required at sites where a fee is already charged, at ranger stations or visitor centers, when forest-goers are traveling through the forest without stopping, or when they are parked at a residence or other private organization. Discounts are available for senior citizens or people with disabilities who have a Golden Age Passport.
    • Passes are available at the Lake Arrowhead Ranger Station (909) 337-2444, at the Lake Arrowhead Visitors Center in Rim Forest and in many local businesses.biking
  2. Mountain Biking – No matter your skill or fitness level, you will be able to find a bicycling trail in Lake Arrowhead. Trails are offered at several different elevations and lengths.
  3. Equestrian Trails – Lake Arrowhead is a beautiful place to see on horseback. Click here for info about equine adventures.

  4. Snow Skiing at Snow Valley in Running Springs – Whether you choose to buy a one-day pass or commit to spending a season on the slopes, you will appreciate the runs at Snow Valley. And even if you or your kids aren’t experienced snowboarders or skiers, you could head to Snow Drift to take advantage of inexpensive inner tubing. This is a great option for anyone who might be tempted to pull to the side of the highway and let their kids play in the snow. Instead, check out Snow Drift for safety and fun!
  5. Wildhaven Ranch – If you and your family like animals, you won’t want to miss Wildhaven Ranch. A local wildlife sanctuary and educational center, Wildhaven is open at 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays by reservation only. A non-profit corporation, the ranch operates out of the San Bernardino Mountains Wildlife Society.

If you’re considering purchasing a second home anywhere, make sure you tour homes in Lake Arrowhead before making a final destination-decision. Wherever you want to buy property, real estate investing can be tricky—whether you are buying your first home, purchasing a vacation home, or upgrading from a starter. If you are interested in buying or selling property in Lake Arrowhead, California or the surrounding area, don’t get caught in a Catch 22 — owning two homes or none at all. The Prime Team is the only group of real estate agents in the Lake Arrowhead area who stand by our services by offering a number of guaranteed sales and purchasing programs. So don’t miss a prime opportunity to take advantage of today’s market. We’ll answer all of your questions today, and you’re never under any obligation. Call 1-909-337-7653 and ask for a member of the Prime Team.

Should You Buy Vacation Property? Five Things to Consider.

house(home) icon or sign drawing in beach sand - concept photoAs we discussed in last week’s post, there are plenty of reasons to consider investing in vacation property.

Wouldn’t you prefer a specious, relaxing home-away-from-home where you can build new traditions along with equity instead of overpaying for cramped quarters? Of course, the idea of investing in property is nice. But is it really practical?

Here are five things you should consider before buying vacation investment property:

  1. Is your holding period at least five years?
    The real estate market estate ebbs and flows. So you shouldn’t venture in if you want to quickly cash out, especially with vacation property. Since vacation homes are located in resort communities like Lake Arrowhead, California, the market is even more susceptible to market downturns than primary residences located in residential communities. The reasons for this are many. But the bottom line is that people are quick to sell second homes when things get rough.

    2. Could you rent the property when you aren’t using it?
    Even if you plan to use your vacation home and have absolutely no intention of renting it out, you would be wise to purchase one that has income potential. Homes that can be rented are more generally more valuable than their less desirable counterparts. Also, if the market takes a downturn, renting it out could help you ride out the market until things improve. What’s more; it’s a good idea to have the option of renting to others in case your circumstances change.
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    3. Would your tax situation benefit from income property?
    Since there are significant tax advantages to renting vacation property, make sure you select a home that will give the option of declaring expenses if you decide to rent it out.

    4. Will you be able to properly budget carrying costs?
    Even if you can handle the mortgage on a second home, make sure you consider additional associated expenses such as taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance. Also include landscaping, care-taking, exterminating, property management, repairs, periodic exterior painting, etc. To be safe, you should set aside two percent of the home’s value annually for maintenance-related costs. Then, add at least 10 percent for contingencies.

Vacation Property 2
5. Can you afford to buy in the perfect location?
Although you might easily afford something in a less-than-desirable neighborhood, do you really want to vacation where it isn’t safe? Would anyone want to rent from you if the place is located in an area with high-crime? Did you know that more than 80 percent of second-home buyers choose a house within driving distance from their primary residence?
repairs
Real estate investing can be tricky—whether you are buying your first home, purchasing a vacation home, or upgrading from a starter. If you are interested in buying or selling property in Lake Arrowhead, California or the surrounding area, don’t get caught in a Catch 22 — owning two homes or none at all. The Prime Team is the only group of real estate agents in the Lake Arrowhead area who stand by our services by offering a number of guaranteed sales and purchasing programs. So don’t miss a prime opportunity to take advantage of today’s market. We’ll answer all of your questions today, and you’re never under any obligation. Call 1-909-337-7653 and ask for a member of the Prime Team.

Should You Buy Vacation Property?

Is it Time to Buy Vacation Property?While it may seem attractive to rent timeshare property or register at a hotel for your next holiday, consider the benefits of buying a vacation home in your ideal location:

Equity—why pay rent to cover someone else’s mortgage when your vacation dollars could be building a nest egg? Since the average amount spent on vacation is just over $1,600, according to a study done by Visa, you could greatly reduce the amount spent on meals eaten out and rentals by applying vacation funds directly to your investment portfolio.

Home Away From Home—one of the drags about going on vacation is all of the prep work required. Since packing and lugging your belongings is an unnecessary requirement if you own the home you travel to, vacation home owners rest more than their hotel-going counterparts. After the initial move in, the only thing you’ll need to bring with you on your next trip is a good book.

Room to Relax—why pay per night to rent someone else’s cubicle when you could buy an entire multi-room facility suited precisely to your own taste? Regardless of your budget, the cost-per-stay will go down with every trip if you stay in your own place. And if you take the plunge and buy a vacation home, you will actually save money the more vacations you decide to take!

A Place for New Traditions—if you are taking a family vacation, you are likely doing it (at least in part) to build memories with your family. Purchasing a second home is an investment in family because it will allow you to develop rich family traditions.

Potential for Income—as much as you would love to vacation every day, chances are that your opportunities to get away will be tempered with the demands of the real world—jobs, kids in school, community responsibilities. So you might consider letting your vacation home pay for itself by renting it out. If you buy right, you should be able to entice vacation hunters to pay by the day to stay instead of letting the home sit empty. Many income property owners enjoy their second homes almost rent-free by generating sufficient income during vacation season to cover the total amount of their annual mortgage payments.

Time to Grow— since people rarely increase their wealth by owning property for short periods of time, long-term vacation property investing makes a lot of sense. Instead of purchasing property to let it sit idle while the market improves, why not buy something you can enjoy while it appreciates?

Real estate investing can be tricky—whether you are buying your first home, purchasing a vacation home, or upgrading from a starter. If you are interested in buying or selling property in Lake Arrowhead, California or the surrounding area, don’t get caught in a Catch 22 — owning two homes or none at all. The Prime Team is the only group of real estate agents in the Lake Arrowhead area who stand by our services by offering a number of guaranteed sales and purchasing programs. So don’t miss a prime opportunity to take advantage of today’s market. We’ll answer all of your questions today, and you’re never under any obligation. Call 1-909-337-7653 and ask for a member of the Prime Team.