At the far west end of Big Bear Lake, you will find a group of older cabins along the shoreline. These properties are government lease lakefront properties, also known as forest leases, and are occasionally for sale.
As the term "government lease" suggests, these homes do not sit on privately owned land, but rather on national forest land governed by the forest service. When you own a lakefront forest lease cabin in Big Bear, you are leasing the land on which the footprint of the home sits. The surrounding land is national forest and is technically open to the public use.
Luckily, the cabins that have been designated as lakefronts have been granted dock priveleges by the Big Bear Municipal Water District. These cabins have been allowed to float dock slips along the shoreline near their cabins at which they can keep their boats.
Because one only owns the physical structure on the forest lease property and not the land, it is all but impossible to obtain a loan on these homes. As a result, cash or an "owner carry" situation is the typical way these properties are purchased.
There are additional restrictions on Big Bear government lease lakefronts. The roads accessing these homes are not maintained in winter and are often unpaved and steep. As such, few owners, if any, ever use their properties in the winter. As well, if you are considering making alterations or additions to government lease properties, you have to seek approval from the forest service. In general, in the spirit of maintaining the vintage, woodsy feel of these structures, the forest service does not allow expansion of the structure's footprint and they require the exterior to be of certain color and appearance. Lastly, renting goverment lease properties is not allowed - short term or long term.
All these restrictions considered, many people are so charmed by the quaint nature and authentic woodsy cabin feel of these properties that they are willing to purchase them regardless of the restrictions. Often perched upon boulders overlooking Big Bear Lake, many with spectacular views, these classic cabins are rememberances of what Big Bear living was once like and still is for some seasonal residents.
FOR INFORMATION ON CURRENTLY LISTED GOVERNMENT LEASE BIG BEAR LAKEFRONT HOMES, PLEASE EMAIL ME AT INFO@ZAMOYTA.COM