Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mammoth Real Estate Rentals Machines

That darn Internet, it is disrupting lives all around the world. It isn’t exactly causing mass rioting or toppling dictators here in Mammoth, but it certainly is changing many facets of Mammoth real estate. It is changing the demand, usage, the “visioning” by prospective buyers, and sprouting new economies and changing old ones. And stuck in the middle is the Town of Mammoth Lakes, a government entity like all government entities that is looking for increased revenue. Conversely, the consuming public is downright trying to evade taxes (imagine that). I’ve talked about this in the past, but the opposing forces are growing more apart every day, but changes may be in the offing. And increasingly it has become more and more about “heads in beds” in an upscale home near you.

A prevalent theme for many of these prospective buyers seems be “we can rent this.” They seem quite convinced of that. It is clearly driving purchases. But this a rather interesting phenomenon—-––people who want to buy a million$ plus home and let other people rent it while they’re not using it. And how do they know they can rent it? They know first hand. The renters are becoming purchasers. And they have a bunch of “friends” who will rent from them, especially if their place is nice, and fun to hang out at. What also makes this so noteworthy is that these new transient landlords aren’t even relying on the now-blasé resources like VRBO and They have a growing number of friends, and if you’re not a friend, you’re not invited. My hunch tells me friends don’t pay bed tax either. The underlying theme is really nothing new here in Mammoth, but some of the methodology has. But it is definitely happening more and more in the high-end home market. People love renting these homes. It almost seems like renting (whether you are the landlord or the tenant) a luxury home in Mammoth rates has become a new “cool’ underground activity. Being in the Village might be the “in” thing for some, but renting a really nice home is the real luxury. Maybe there’s a strong market for Black Passes after all. And now it is driving sales in the high-end home market. Meanwhile, more and more existing owners who have never previously rented are moving into some rental activity to help offset overall costs, many with a “why not everybody else is?” attitude.

The VRBO/ method of doing business has evolved too. Or devolved in some eyes. It has become a wheeler-dealer “Let’s Make A Deal” place for rental transactions. That is, if it’s not the holidays. This is still the dominant realm of condominiums. Renters want to negotiate everything from rental rates, to cleaning costs, to not paying bed tax (13%, for what?). But the next generation/iteration of transient landlords is moving away from the traditional VRBO/Craigslist model too. Most of it is still about Internet marketing, but also personal relationships, “close friends,” etc. In some ways this has come full circle: in the 70’s and 80’s Southern California fireman already had this system well in place, their association/trade magazines were full of Mammoth condos for rent. The condos were owned by firemen and predominantly rented by firemen, and there were plenty of “deals” and trade-out cut along the way (and of course nobody paid bed taxes).

1 comment:

  1. Great Stuff! Suzanne Baker of Coldwell Banker Mammoth Real Estate Specialist offers vacation real estate, homes and condos in Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Bishop, Bridgeport and the Eastern Sierra. Bringing beautiful Mammoth & Eastern Sierra properties to you.

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