House Hunting: Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead


If you’re following my House Hunting Series, you’ll already know that in our quest to find and buy our dream house, the husband and I have begun looking about an hour or two outside of LA. We really, in our heart of hearts, don’t want to leave LA {A. we both grew up here B. our families are here C. we REALLY love our neighborhood}. But when you find far superior real estate listed for far less elsewhere, it’s hard not to at least consider our options, considering we both pretty much work from home and can live anywhere.

In our search to find an “affordable dream house”, the husband and I have looked at Palm Springs, ultimately vetoing it due to the horrendous heat, and now we’ve ruled out Lake Elsinore as well, due to the overwhelming negative comments we received on this post {even though the house is really cool}.

So next we venture 90 miles east of downtown Los Angeles to the dreamy resort town of Lake Arrowhead which has apparently been dubbed the “Jewel of Southern California”.

Even though we’d feel like city folk completely out of our element, the idea of four distinct seasons, especially a white snowy Christmas, has left us dreamy eyed, envisioning an idyllic storybook life. There seem to be plenty of restaurants, movie theaters, and entertainment, as well as unbelievably scenery and fun outdoorsy activities. Unfortunately though, there are no mail carriers that go directly to the homes there so we’d have to go pick up our mail at the local post office. A cute and fun little outing, sure, but if you knew how many packages were delivered to our house on a daily basis, this could be a con. A major worry and downside would be the fear of fires, of course, but I’m positive if there is mandatory fire insurance policies for living in the Hollywood Hills {there are} then there must be the same rules for this woodsy forest life.

What has really sold me though, of course, are the homes. Ranging from cute and quaint little cabins to beefed up beautiful palaces with a lake view, all within and mostly below our budget.

The closer you get to the lake the higher the prices get and the lakefront properties are over a million. And though I’m not quite sure of the other locations within Lake Arrowhead, it seems like there are handfuls of fabulous places under $400K that would suit our needs just as well.

The house shown here is one of my favorites… mostly because it has a warm Spanish feel {our favorite} and though it does seem a bit dark in the photos, the potential for redesign is limitless. I also do love some of the characteristics like the wood beams and the colorful tiles. This one is also a bit further from the lake with no lake view {which I kind of do want} but it’s on a private lane with a lot size of 42,570 Sq. Ft {which could also mean living with more mountain creatures we are NOT used to}… it’s listed at $399K {you can see the full listing here}

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

Spanish house in Lake Arrowhead

cabin house in lake arrowhead


Obviously, and unlike Lake Elsinore, we’d have to take a little vacation like we did to Palm Springs to see if Lake Arrowhead is a viable option for us. {I love this house too!}

And of course my question to you, dear readers, what can you tell me about living in Lake Arrowhead?

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LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, and home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life with her husband and adorable dogs, two Frenchies & an old Pug in wheels. Here you will find her talking about their journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation up to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life.

20 Comments

  • Mindy

    September 25, 2012 | Reply

    This house is gorgeous and Lake Arrowhead is nice, yes … BUT … I have some friends who live up there and between the fires in the fall and the snow in the winter, sometimes you are TRAPPED there for who knows how long. Since you both work from home this might not be that big of a deal, but that idea scares the bejeezus out of me.

  • Cheryl Ann

    September 25, 2012 | Reply

    i grew up in Highland, which is just down the hill from Lake Arrowhead, so i know the area well. gorgeous little lake community and so so so friendly. i do remember the hills burning each and every year, though, so….

  • Anonymous

    September 25, 2012 | Reply

    Yes! This is a way better choice than Palm Springs or Lake Elsinore!

  • Cherie

    September 25, 2012 | Reply

    That house is beautiful! I love Lake Arrowhead and would move up there in a heart beat if I didn’t have a job that required me to come into my office everyday in Sherman Oaks. It’s a very different lifestyle up there… much more laid back. Getting snowed in is a very real possibility and owning at least 1 vehicle with 4 wheel drive for the winter is a must. Yes there is a fire danger but I have the same danger living in the Malibu area. Brush clearance is vital. Does the house have lake rights? Not all places up there do. If I were moving to Lake Arrowhead I’d want to be sure I could use the Lake!!

  • Jennifer

    September 25, 2012 | Reply

    Wow that house is stunning!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

  • Anonymous

    September 25, 2012 | Reply

    It’s worth a week/weekend visit. Just to get the feel of the area, the people, etc., etc. The beautiful woodsy/dark wood look would be difficult to paint over, conscience-wise. Take your time, check out other homes in that area.

  • Comer, Blogar , Amar...

    September 25, 2012 | Reply

    lovely place

    Mil Beijinhos
    Kammy
    http://www.ComerBlogarAmar.com.br

  • Dianna, The Budget Babe

    September 25, 2012 | Reply

    this is so exciting! can’t wait to see which house you buy and what you do with it.

  • Tian from Australia

    September 25, 2012 | Reply

    The house looks lovely and that deck – wow BUT … I think you should rent a place out there for a fortnight and see how you go ‘working form home’.

    Yes, you both work from home but you also seem to spend lots of time socialising with family and friends. How often would they really be willing to drive over to visit you?

    I’ve friends who live in a really great house less than an hour’s drive from Canberra (Australia’s capital city) and no-one just pops in for a visit… unless there’s an event on they don’t get as many visitors as they would like.

    Also you have work commitments outside of home sometimes – how flexible would they be in fire/snow season.

    You’re city folk idealising snow… yes, it’s pretty, when you’re not the one shovelling the snow so you can get the car out and make that appointment in the city…

    Also some of those cute (and not so cute) critters have a habit of getting cosy in the roof space…
    Will you be keeping the property maintained eg cutting the grass yourselves or getting someone in?

  • Jessica W

    September 26, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, these would cost so much more where I live. Houses here that cost the same price are quarter the size and made of weird fake materials (usually grey grey grey). It’s so refreshing to see houses that are so natural!
    Beautiful

    The Lovelorn

  • gina

    September 26, 2012 | Reply

    As someone who currently resides in Lake Arrowhead, I think this is an awesome choice! ;)

    To touch on a few things people have mentioned though…snow; yes, we get snow, but it honestly sticks around for a few days the storm and then it starts melting pretty quickly. Our snowfalls are pretty moderate (the “worst” so far was a 3 footer and even then, things were back to normal with two days of the initial snow fall). The plows up here are very efficient. While main roads are given first priority, you usually don’t have to wait too long for your street to be plowed. But being snowed in rarely happens (our friends have lived up here in 10 years and it’s happened twice to them). 4 wheel drive is not necessary….I have 2 wheel and I can get around just fine, taking my kids to school, the store, sports etc. You just need to chain up is all. As far as the post office goes, it is an adjustment to get used to getting your deliveries there, but UPS and FedEx still deliver to our house, just the USPS doesn’t deliver to your house.

    The drive up or down the mountain takes me 23 minutes while going the speed limit ;) My husband travels up and down the mountain every day for work and says he would take the mountain drive over the freeways if he could. The worst thing though, is the fog. I’ve driven in it, but I’ve learned what my limit is and just stay home when it’s pea soup thick (mainly off the rim, which is what everyone calls Hwy 18).

    As far as wild life, it’s not as bad as everyone thinks. When we first moved up here a little over two years ago, I was afraid baking bread would attract the bears (crazy, I know), but we have yet to see a bear. We have seen deer, racoons, coyotes (who don’t bother you at all, they’re just looking for some food), a fox, hawks, and a bob cat. Certain parts of the mountain seem to have more bear activity than others, so ask potential neighbors about that. Again, you’re considered lucky to see a bear up here….besides getting into your trash and leaving you a mess in the morning to pick up, they are pretty peaceful.

    I looked at the listing and it says the house in in Skyforest. Skyforest is technically not Lake Arrowhead…it’s about 10-15 east-ish from us. There are several smaller towns surrounding Lake Arrowhead (Blue Jay, Rimforest, Skyforest, Deer Lodge Park, Twin Peaks, Agua Fria, Cedar Glen and the Arrowhead Villas). Living in those surrounding towns does NOT give you access to the lake. Lake Arrowhead is a private lake….you must own property in Lake Arrowhead (the villas not included) to be able to take a boat out on it, to use the trails around the lake or buy a beach pass for their beaches, so living in Skyforest would mean that you don’t have lake rights :(

    Fire is a fact of life living up here. You have to keep up on brush clearance and have fire insurance, but our fire fighters up here are amazing along with the community, that the slightest smell of smoke, everyone posts about it on our local community website as a heads up.

    Obviously if you have any other questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them for you. If you need a tour guide this weekend, we’d love to show you around our little mountain. You can email me at g r o m e r o 0 9 0 2 at gmail dot com (obviously without all the spaces)

  • gina

    September 26, 2012 | Reply

    I just realized you posted a link to a second house at the end. I am very familiar with that area….you would be literally right behind my friends house. That is a great area, right by the sheriffs office, off a main road (Grandview Rd) so you would get plowed pretty quickly, although the driveway to the house you would be responsible for (that’s where having an awesome snow plow comes in handy). You are 15ish minutes away from the village where the grocery store is, you would be a minute away from your local post office right there. That ball field that you see has a lot of great community events go on there as well.

  • Anonymous

    September 26, 2012 | Reply

    This House is so awesome and Mind Blowing .
    Gift your spouse a special gift on this Anniversary

  • Anonymous

    September 26, 2012 | Reply

    Seasons are overrated!! I’m from the northeast and love it up there, but moved south for milder temps. Weather is a major quality of life issue for me so I’d pay extra to stay in LA.

  • Mawiyah

    September 26, 2012 | Reply

    I’d live in that house no matter where it was located – LOL

  • Anonymous

    September 27, 2012 | Reply

    My husband’s aunt and uncle basically live at Lake Arrowhead half the year because otherwise they are stuck in Riverside which is blazingly hot. The post office thing may seem a little weird but my parents live in a community like that on the east coast and they love it. The post office is the hub of their community. People see their neighbors there, post birth announcement, lost dog notices, yard sale announcements, etc. It’s freakin’ adorable.

  • drollgirl

    September 27, 2012 | Reply

    omfg. i have never been there, but i sure love the look of this house! GET IT!!!! omg. it is amazing!!!!!!

  • rachelle

    September 30, 2012 | Reply

    Very cool house… but I feel like you are looking at houses and caring more about the way they look than their location. Anyone who has owned homes in Los Angeles can confirm that you can always easily change the design/color/style of a house but you can never, ever change its location. I made that mistake buying my first condo.
    I would never advise anyone to move to a new city by buying there. It makes much more sense to rent for 6 months and then decide if its REALLY where you want to live. Just my 2 cents… cuz I’ve made the mistakes before! :)

  • Erika @ ~TiptoeButterfly~

    October 2, 2012 | Reply

    i wanna go house hunting! – this place is KILLER!

  • Mismikado

    October 4, 2012 | Reply

    We live in a town without postal delivery as well. I think it’s fine as long as you are close to the post office. Ours is less than a mile away so it is easy to run up and check your mail. Although the hours are wonky (9-12, 1:30-4:30 M-F) so be sure to check on that. I don’t know how people who don’t work from home, ever get their mail :-/
    The most frustrating part of it, is the address verification process some websites have. We’ve spent 5 hours on the phone with a specific national chain before, because they kept refusing to deliver our package even though we do receive UPS and Fedex deliveries just because the system they used verified addresses with the USPS. Needless to say we had to have our package sent to a friend 20 miles away and then go pick it up. That was an exception to the norm though. We put our phone # on all orders and I have the cell numbers of all our major delivery guys so we only have issues when a new driver is assigned to our route.

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