Home Buying in Pollock Pines>Question Details

Kyle242gt, Other/Just Looking in Santa Rosa, CA

What advice can you offer a first-time second-home buyer?

Asked by Kyle242gt, Santa Rosa, CA Fri Nov 9, 2007

Our Santa Rosa home is paid for, my business is going well, and our sons (2 and 5) are at the right age to start building memories... my wife and I have always loved the Sierras, but have a limited appetite for snow.
We'd like a semi-rustic cabin-style place with at least a third of an acre of pine trees, close enough to Santa Rosa for weekend trips.
We're drawn to Pollock Pines for all these reasons, and prices seem reasonable. Now what?
We're not really ready to buy, but would like to educate ourselves beyond researching listings and weather.

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Because I am not familiar with Pollock Pines my first thought is to take several trips to the area, during different seasons and make it a point to get to know the area by talking to local residents. Stop at a local restaurant for lunch and chat with the people who work or live in the area. It is amazing what you can find out by just having a casual conversation. The least you can get out of it is a couple of friends for when you decide you are ready to move. The most is that you will get to know who the local realtors are, what homes the locals think are the best, and maybe you will even find out about a home that is about to come on the market .
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
There is a full sized Safeway Supermarket at the Sly Park exit for Pollock Pines. There are several restaurants along Pioneer Trail which is the main commercial thouroughfare. Pioneer Trail mostly parallells Hiway 50. It does snow in the winter time, and can be quite beautiful in all seasons.

. We have a family cabin on 40 acres up there. We use it often for daytrips and overnights. sometimes we spend a week in our rustic cabin. Next door is an old west main street town set for the 1960's TV show "The Virginian" It is now called "Ghost Mountain Ranch" and caters to campers and RV's.

They have a parade down Pioneer Trail on the 4th of July. Theres a great small town feel.
If you need some exposure to the arts there are several galleries in Placerville, about 12 miles to the west.

My kids love "The Cabin' They are now 14 and 12. We've been going there since before they were born. My wife stayed at the "Cabin" often when she was their age.

Your kids might enjoy the occasional snow fall. Building snowmen, light tobaganning. throwing snow balls. You might rent a travel trailer and stay at one of the RV parks for a few days.

Summer is great for hikes and horseback riding. A really great thing about the high elevation is that it is above the poison oak line ! Yeah ! Bring pleny of mosquito repellent ! Apply liberally.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
It is called Pony Express Trail, NOT Pioneer Trail. It is the actual Pony Express Trail that is re-enacted ever June. They leave NV riding the ponies, bringing the wagons (Hwy 50 Wagon Train) go down Pony Express in Pollock all the way to Placerville where the trail ends. "Pioneer" - seriously - learn the area if you are going to sell properties up here.
Flag Tue Dec 18, 2012
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA

I have shown property up there and gone on listing appointments there, but I would not ask Kyle for his business as he has a referral for an agent from his CB agent.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
A good friend is a CB agent, and is getting me a referral. I'm hesitant to get with an agent at this time though, because many are struggling now, and might pressure us into a transaction before we're ready.
I'm a CPA, so I have the tax end well in hand :-)
When we bought our home here, we went from "hmm, maybe we should think about buying a house..." to an accepted offer in about two weeks. That was 1998, so in hindsight, it was a good thing we made a fast move.
With some time to go before the market upticks, and not really having the dough on hand yet to jump in, I'd like to arm myself with some good background knowledge before we get a pro on the case.
Great advice, keep it comin!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
Thank you. I hope you have some luck this weekend with the locals.
Keep us all updated on your search. It is what keeps us in the industry. Knowing that we were in some way a part of helping families find their perfect home ,or second home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
Glad you understand the tax implications. Those are a biggie! Is your friend providing you with a referral to a REALTOR she knows personally? That would be great for you. Get a REALTOR involved in this process as soon as you can, just be honest about your time frame. A good REALTOR will respect that, and keep you up to date with happenings and new listings in the area. He/she will have much more information at his/her fingertips than you could find after hours online! Again, best of luck and happy hunting!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
Of course, the first step is to find a REALTOR with residential investment property experience. The advantages, disadvantages, tax implications, etc. are quite different than owning a primary residence. There are also many variables. Too many to post here... To find a REALTOR with residential investment experience (there is no official NAR designation for this), a referral from a friend or colleague is always the best bet. If you don't know anyone in the Sierras, contact a few of the most respected real estate brokers in the area where you are looking to buy. Ask to speak to the "broker of record". He/she should be able to provide the names of an agent or two with such experience. Interview at least 3 agents, then pick the one you like best!

Best of luck and happy hunting!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
Hmm...Pollock Pines does get quite a bit of snow in the winter? I am familiar with Pollock Pines, but do not practice much real estate up there. Ute Ferdig may be more knowledgeable of El Dorado County...she also works Nevada County, which might be a good fit for you too. Ute?
Web Reference: http://www.erinattardi.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
Erin Stumpf…, Real Estate Pro in Sacramento, CA
I currently live in Pollock, it is nice, nothing more beautiful that a fresh blanket of snow covering everything when you awake in the morning. Where I live are many vacation homes, in fact, I watch a couple for my neighbors during the storms as to alert them when a tree has fallen on the house, power outages, etc. For a get-away cabin it is a good area, depending on the amount of snow you can tolerate. Today is Tue, starting tomorrow Wed through Sunday we will get another 3-5 feet of snow before Xmas. The Hwy 50 corridor is not as crowded as the Hwy 80 corridor, so the traffic will not be like it is on Hwy 80. But getting over the summit is much harder, Hwy 80 is easier. If you are looking for a winter get-away, make sure you install or obtain w/2nd house an inline generator. If the wind blows, we lose electricity. The only ISP option is COMCAST and they are usually down more than they are up, the only other option is a dial-up connection. No fiber optics and no DSL. Even problems with DirecTV if a snow cloud is in the sky.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
Congrats on your wise choices and having a house paid off! I recommend the same path and stay as liquid as you can so you can weather any 'Murphy's Law' situations. I'll leave locations and specifics to local professionals but congrats on your successes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 17, 2011
Pollock Pines is a wonderful area, but you do need to like snow. Here is a great house if you want a view? http://6311redrobin.epropertysites.com/. Lots of nice people and clean air. You are close to many places from Tahoe to the coast and everything in between, but far enough out of Sacramento to feel like you live in the mountains.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 22, 2010
i too live just about 3 minutes form the Slypark lake area in Pollock Pines. as a recent transplant ( 2.3yrs) from Ventura County . snow is not really an issue. a two wheel drive with cables or allwheel drive SUV, will get you in and out no problems, on the worse day. since this will be your vaction home, i would look into a home newly bulit or rehabed, be mind full of the acreage as pine needles love to just pile up very quick, the home must have sealed rain gutters (my mistake) the weather is great about 5-8 degrees less than Camino, Placerville in the summer. if i could reffer an agent that knows pollock pines and will work hard to find your dream home call Tom Roslee @ ERA. He help me when i purchase and i was in simular situation as you. I had to travel 500 miles to view property. so it was importnat to have a list dialed to maximise the time. cheers
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2009
I'm not sure I agree with Paula on the snow level issue. I live 3 minutes from the lake had a few feet of snow last two years...In fact, more than at 50 and sly park...a lot more...Anyway, your best bet is to look at Camino based on what you said about limited appetite for snow...I would suggest staying away from pollock if that is an issue. Camino is just down the hill enough to get a taste of the snow.
Web Reference: http://www.mcglade.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
There are areas in Pollock Pines that have less snow than others. At Hwy 50 and Sly Park Rd you are at an elevation that gets more snow. However as you progress south towards Sly Park Lake the elevation is lower and the snow level lowers. Also before going as far east as Pollock Pines there are the areas of Camino and Cedar Grove that also get a lighter amount of snow. There are back roads to access these areas coming from the lower elevations that may be helpful should you visit at a time of a storm and chains are advised. These areas still have the pine look and feel and so can give you the best of both worlds.
Web Reference: http://www.paularice.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 7, 2008
Hi Jim,
I have lived in the Camino, Pollack Pines area since 1995. We have raised our 3 kids here and know the area very well. Maybe you would like to spend a couple of hours with me and I could show you some homes and more importantly give you a feel for the various aspects of our community.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 17, 2008
We really hate it when someone spells Pollock Pines "Pollack Pines" - it is NOT funny. But the tweakers on Pony Express Trail get a laugh out of it.
Flag Tue Dec 18, 2012
I am a real estate agent in Pollock Pines. I sponsor a site that may help you... http://www.ILovePolockPines.com
Giver er a shot!
mike mcglade
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 30, 2008
So, Jim, do you work there or do you just vacation there?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
thanks, Linette. For an out-of-towner, that's a pretty apt idea.

We've been through PP countless times en route to a favorite family campsite, so we know the climate... just to be on the safe side, though, we're heading up tomorrow to check things out. Don't know if PP has a local restaurant or not (pretty small and rustic on the south side where we're looking), but I'll keep my eyes out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 9, 2007
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