House Hunting Again // Living in Lake Arrowhead, CA

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

I’ve shared in a few posts about having to sell my house…

Things have changed a little bit and I have a choice to stay, though it’s an expensive one, and as quickly as I can usually make decisions, the choice to stay in this house or to sell it and move is one that has baffled me for over a year now. I touched on this in my last post

I want to stay. I want to go. I want to say goodbye to the dreams that came with this house which are all broken now, but I still have those dreams and I’m scared to move on. The house is too big for one person, I need a purpose and reason to keep it. When I take all emotion from it though, the smartest thing to do is to keep my house, logically, financially, and thinking of the long-term, and thinking about what I bought it for vs what I can get for the same price now, and having to give half of the profit to my ex and what on earth can I buy with my half? Nothing in comparison.

And then I go back to wanting to keep the house. And then I worry if I stay, I won’t be able to move one emotionally. But maybe not. Can you see I’m overthinking it?

I also just LOVE this house and have so many ideas for it that have yet to be realized and part of me wants to stay simply to finish what I started and turn it into the vision I have for it.

I get tons of emails from Zillow about properties in my area for sale, and I can’t help but look -like every day – which doesn’t help in the confusion.

Sometimes I think it’s time to move to a different area of this mountain for a new experience since I’ve lived here for about five years now… and Sometimes I think about how fun decorating a new house would be and getting creatively involved in another project is always a blast… and then I think about how I’m still renovating a building to open a bar and how long that’s taking and how little time I actually have to add one more project to my life.

But still, house hunting is fun and sometimes looking at houses for sale excites me. Sometimes it depresses me. I’m sure you can relate on some level.

I am super grateful that I have a choice now though… But this choice is not easy.

* * *

The homes in Lake Arrowhead are still far more affordable than the homes in Los Angeles, unless you’re seeking lakefront property, and then you’re looking to spend at least a million for a home, and you’re back in the LA price range.

But if you’re looking for a mountain property with lake “rights”, it’s far more affordable and life in these mountains is pretty magical – much slower than city life, and completely, insanely beautiful.

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

This house is about 2-3 minutes from where I live now and it sits on a nice sized lot and is situated on a beautiful property. It’s been updated as well, so if you’re looking for a cabin-vibe, this is not it.

That’s the thing about this area, MANY homes are cabins and old and need fixing, but many are not. Cabins are great for part-timers who want that cozy cabin vacation feel, but for me, living in a cabin full-time, would drive me insane, so I look for places that can go either way. I love some mountain touches, like open ceilings, A-frame windows, lofts, and ceiling beams. But I pass on all wood from floor to ceiling, old kitchens, homes that don’t have level access ( because think about walking up all those stairs with groceries when it’s snowing or iced over? no thank you ), attached garages with access to the house, central heating, nice fireplaces, good decks with some coverage, and enough space to hold my home office.

I had to get used to living in the mountains because it’s so different from living in the city. It really REALLY is. You use your property in a different way.

Many homes are just smack in the middle of the forest without any boundaries, or in my opinion, privacy – I’m used to suburban homes and every home in Los Angeles, which has a walled-in backyard. But you realize in the mountains that there is constant privacy because uh, you live in the mountains, and most of the homes nearby are part-time lovers who only arrive a few weekends out of each month. And you realize you don’t need privacy in the way you do in suburbia. You can lay out in your “backyard” in a bikini because the lake is a minute away and everyone is in a bathing suit and so no one really cares at all… and everyone who walks by waves and says hi and you might know them or you might not and it’s really quaint and adorable and I love it.

You use your decks more than you use your land, in my case anyway, so you want your decks to be nice. And let me just say if you want to be able to use your decks in the winter, find one that is covered. This also makes sense for owners of little dogs because of the wildlife here, you can’t just let your dog out to run around in the backyard. So the deck becomes the outside space for your pets too.

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

I love this house. I could live in this house. My life would work in this house.

Here’s the listing if you’re interested: 874 Kuffel Canyon Rd, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92385
3 beds 2 baths 1,606 sqft

The biggest issue with this house is that it’s on a main road, Kuffel Canyon, which doesn’t get as much traffic as the main highways (189 and 173), but it’s very steep and curvy and when it snows it ices over and it’s a really difficult road to maneuver.

And even though the house is situated far back from the road, the driveways are steep (another issue in the winter) and the house is on a bit of a corner of the road, and so pulling out of the driveway onto the main road will also prove to be very difficult in the winter. But definitely manageable – especially if you work from home or don’t have to leave if you don’t want to.

But in the summer, no problems at all. So if someone is looking for a summer lake house and won’t be up much in the winter, this is great. It’s just not so cabiny so it would be perfect for full-time residents otherwise. It’s not walking distance to the lake but it does have lake rights and Orchard Bay ( my bay that I can walk to ) is drivable from this location.

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

houses in lake arrowhead, california - what to look for when buying and considering living in the mountains full time

I love this house. But I love my house more. And so until I find a house that I love more than mine, the decision to stay becomes stronger and stronger. But it’s still fun to look and share, so I may just keep doing so 😉

* all photos from Zillow

Profile photo of Maegan Tintari

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, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

2 Comments

  • Natalie

    September 12, 2017 | Reply

    It’s such a hard place to be in, but I’m sure that whatever decision you make, it will be the right one for you. Gosh, I remember when you were originally looking for a house and making the decision on where to go. Then moving into this place and doing it up. I also find the housing market over there fascinating! It’s quite different to here in Australia. Sending you lots of love.

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