The water levels of Big Bear Lake may be down 12 feet from their peak, but the Big Bear lakefront real estate sales haven't slowed. In fact, even lakefront homes with beached docks are getting interest as evidenced by the recent sale of 39645 Lake Drive.
The first sale this year of a waterfront home with a beached dock, 39645 Lake Drive is a 5 bed, 3 bath, 3570 square foot home perched above Holloway's Marina on Metcalf Bay. With a three car garage and a healthy vacation rental history, this home has many features that potential lakefront buyers might find attractive. As mentioned, the big drawback was the effect of the low lake levels on this property's dock and lake access as shown in the accompanying pictures.
Listing for $849,000 and selling for $820,000, this lakefront home closed at $229 a square foot well below the 2014 average of $466 per square foot. This difference in price per square foot valuation shows the effect that the lower water levels can have on shallower water lakefront properties.
For the buyer, they inherit the risk of further decline in the lake's water levels and its effect on the property's value at the offset of the benefits of potential price appreciation if and when the lake's water levels return to full or near full. Unfortunately, we don't know what Mother Nature has in store. But we do know that weather often follows patterns and today's low lake levels have been seen before as evidenced by the figure below.
Seeing that Big Bear Lake's water levels have been lower before, and considering that Mother Nature has always responded with ample precipitation to refill the lake, shallow water lakefronts may present an opportunity to pick up a waterfront home at a discount price in hopes of selling for a premium when the lake's water level rebounds. The caveat is that you also inherit a risk and reward proposition that depends on the unpredictable nature of climate and weather.