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Aaron the House

Real Estate Investing Problems Solved!


november 2015

Sold My big bear house and rebought in rimforest

A Wholesaler Cures My Mountain House Blues

Back in June 2014 I purchased a beat up house up in Big Bear. It was located 2 miles from the ski resort and walking distance to the lake. Within a few days, I purchased an annual ski pass and was excited for winter. At the time, I had no idea about drought or the effect it would have on my purchase. The house was a real challenge to get rehabbed. It was like a blooming onion; as one layer was peeled back, another and another kept exposing themselves. Every problem we found, once we dug into it, revealed a multitude of other problems. What I thought would be a quick and easy rehab, turned into a nightmare of cost overruns and labor challenges. The worst part of the whole scenario is that it was the last year of the epic 4 year drought and the mountains got hardly any snow. I didn't go skiing a single time.

Although it did have its problems, I really like the house. I spent a little more on it since I intended to keep it for a while. The air is cleaner up there and I enjoyed being in the mountains. It is also fairly close to where I often hike and fly fish. Everything was starting to look up until the vacant lot across from the house was sold.

When I purchased the property, I noticed the for sale sign on the lot and even looked it up on the MLS. The owner was asking $20,000. On it were two of the largest pine trees I've seen in a long time. Those trees provided me with a nice view, but more importantly, they blocked the noise and line of site to Big Bear City Blvd and the endless flow of traffic. The new owner immediately set about cutting both of them down and turned the lot into a dumping ground for pallets, junk cars, a beat up camper and destroyed the peace and quiet of the location by holding weekend parties under a makeshift circus style tent. It was horrific to say the least.

As much as I liked my cabin in the mountains, it wasn't really in the mountains and it no longer afforded me any peace and quiet. Just seeing that lot irritated me to no end. I really think in this day and age, one should be required to get a permit and justify why they want to to cut such beautiful, old trees down.

I'd had enough and put my house on the market. I got a few offers, but I wanted my price. I knew it was worth it because I looked at the comps and because of what I put into the house; new stone on the fireplace and chimney, real bamboo floors, slate tile flooring in the bath, entry and under major appliances in the kitchen, tankless hot water heater, paver stone patio that extended the entire back of the house and the 6' tall privacy fence that surrounded the entire back. It didn't take long until the right buyer came along, saw the value and made an all cash offer over asking price. As sad as I was to see my cabin go, that fat check out of escrow (the property was free & clear) healed my heart right quick.

Within a few days, I received an email from a wholesaler out of L.A. He had a house under contract up in the mountains and knew I did business there. I looked it up on title, saw the location, and drove up there that same day. When I arrived, I couldn't believe the view. Take a look;

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This is the view from the 10' deck that I already tore down. I have an architect designing a 60' wraparound deck that will extend all along the entire face of the house and down one side. I can see from The Cleveland National Forest to Mt. San Jacinto. I'm adding 3 new patio doors; an eight footer in the living room and a six foot wide in each bedroom. You don't wall in a view like this! The house also borders the San Bernardino National Forest to the back and only has one neighbor on the right side. The location is just unbelievable. We're another 2-3 weeks from being done with the house and expect the deck to be built when the ground thaws this spring. I plan on having a few socials up there this summer. Leave a comment below and you just might get an invite.