Big Bear 101 Blog | Kim Boda REALTOR Big Bear

July 1st, 2013


Big Bear from a local’s perspective

Thank you for stopping by my Blog!  I’m Kim Boda and I am happy to tell you that here at my website, you will find lots of interesting information from a local’s perspective!   I have lived in Big Bear since 1990 and I’ve been selling Big Bear real estate for 21 years!   I have seen the Big Bear valley change in a lot of ways.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is the beauty of nature that surrounds this  gorgeous place that I call home.

Come with me on an adventure as I uncover the secrets of Big Bear and allow me to be your one stop for all things pertaining to Big Bear!

Come back often because I will have great information about Big Bear as well as Big Bear Real Estate, of course!

Coming up in my next blog…Big Bear hiking trails

I’ll be showing you around the Big Bear area hiking trails. You won’t want to miss some of the secrets of why Big Bear hiking is spectacular!

Merger of Mammoth, Bear Mountain, Snow Summit Ski Resorts Final!

March 4th, 2015<a href="”>image

Zillow Zestimates in Big Bear, CA…Are they reliable?

October 29th, 2014
Zillow Zestimates

Zillow Zestimates

With the power of the internet to lead the way, over 90 percent of homebuyers begin their search there. For buyers there is a veritable ocean of information, tons of pictures, virtual tours, even GPS mapping information to take you directly to your next new home.

For a Realtor, this can be a great way to market a listing and get the word out to the masses so that you can sell your Sellers property in the fastest amount of time.  But for a Realtor, Zillow can easily be a detriment. You see, sites like Zillow, Trulia and the like offer what is called an “automated valuation model” a fancy way to estimate the current market value of a home.  They do it by scrubbing all the details of the property through very sophisticated algorithms to predict value. On the surface it seems like a great idea but if you take certain things into perspective, you will see why it’s important not to take the “Zestimate” number seriously. First of all, let’s talk about what Zillow doesn’t know. It doesn’t know that you gutted and remodeled your kitchen to the tune of $50,000 or that you added $8000 worth of wood flooring.  Talk about leaving money on the table!  Those are pretty serious unknowns but most importantly, Zillow doesn’t know neighborhoods. Neighborhoods? Huh, what do you mean, Kim?

Let me explain:  In Big Bear, we have neighborhoods or areas/enclaves called Moonridge (near Big Bear Mountain Ski Resort), Castle Glen (Luxury homes), Boulder Bay (Old Big Bear charm near the lake), Sugarloaf (Adorable cottages/cabins surrounded by National Forest land, boasting the best fried chicken), Erwin Lake (Equestrian properties and smaller cozy cabins), Big Bear City (a locals neighborhood) and Lake Williams (Acreage and views!).  All of these are within Big Bear Valley but Zillow doesn’t know that. Zillow takes the properties that have sold throughout our whole valley and they put those numbers through their algorithms. If you own a lakefront home on the West Side near Boulder Bay, Zillow is using comparables across the valley including the East End of the valley to determine your value. Likewise, if you live on the East End of the valley, you might notice that Zillow is giving you a higher price on your home than what your real estate agent is telling you. Well that is because the lakefront home that sold for $3 million is factored into the algorithm which adds to the values across the board.

If I had a dollar for every time I had to tell a Seller why he/she shouldn’t take those Zillow Zestimates to heart, I could supplement my Starbucks expenses for the rest of my life!  Ok, maybe for a whole month.   The bottom line is that you don’t have to worry, because if you call TEAM BIG BEAR REAL ESTATE for a comprehensive Market Analysis on your property you won’t have any problems figuring out the REAL honest to goodness value of your hard-earned investment. We can provide detailed comparables from our local MLS to help you understand the value of your investment property. It’s tempting to take the values on Zillow seriously, but if you are aware of the inaccuracies because you spoke to someone who knows the Big Bear real estate market, you will eliminate feeling confused and disappointed when the prices reflected on the Zillow website do not match the price your Realtor tell you!

~Kim Boda


September Sales in San Bernardino County

October 20th, 2014



Tour de Big Bear

August 2nd, 2014


What a great day! Just did the 50 mile Tour de Big Bear ride.
I just started riding a road bike about a year ago, (I’m mainly a mountain biker) and find cycling to be a great sport! I think I’m hooked! I’m still completely green around the gills and am getting the hang of what equipment I need as well as how big your bike should be, what clothing to wear (the clothing is the best part, love the crazy colors and graphics), etc.
About the equipment: I didn’t realize how important seat height is as well and I need to send a big “thank you” out to Tom Sitton who got me all dialed in by cutting my seat rod down, adjusting my seat and making sure my equipment comfort was spot on!
I’m pleasantly exhausted, and my backside is very sore, ha, but I’m so grateful to have enjoyed a fantastic time with friends and fellow Big Bear locals.
What a great turn out! I’m not exactly certain of how many cyclists came out, but I am told that it was upwards of almost 2000!
The event started and ended in “The Village” which is the center of where most everything happens in Big Bear.
I was asked to do The National Anthem (thanks “The Young Americans”) to kick off the Tour so I had to get there before my buddies to sing before the ride. It’s always an honor, a bit of added pressure too, but I’m apparently a sucker for working under pressure, as well as patriotic songs, especially that one.
After the National Anthem, the 100 mile riders kicked off at around 7:15 am followed by the 70 mile riders, the 50 mile riders and last but not least, the 25 mile riders.
The 50 mile trek, which I’m going to be most informative about because it was the one I rode, took us West on Big Bear Blvd. to the dam, across the Arctic Circle dropping down into Snow Valley where we stopped to grab some fluids and grub at the Aid Station and get some relief at the Port-A-Potty’s. I also have to say that the volunteers were amazing and attentive! The grub was tasty and there were tons of choices. I’ll tell you more about the food in a bit. Namely…the BACON.
I’m all about the experience so I wasn’t hitting it “balls out” to win this race or even place. I rode with a small group and we stuck together for the most part and met up at all of the stops.
Mother Nature decided to rain on the parade a little, but she mostly opened up her showers on the 100 mile riders which was kind of a bummer for them. We were lucky and managed to stay cool and dry. I was grateful for the cloudy, ominous looking weather and that we didn’t get overheated.
After leaving Snow Valley, we had to climb back up “that” hill (it was a butt kicker causing me to mumble an expletive or two along the way) heading back over the Arctic Circle to the dam where we made a left towards Fawnskin. I love getting a different perspective on the other side of Big Bear Lake and there’s something so magical about Fawnskin which is a sleepy little town on the North Shore of Big Bear where locals live in seclusion. There are a few little shops, a restaurant or two, and my favorite, a Bed and Breakfast known as, “The Inn at Fawnskin.”
After cycling through Fawnskin, we stopped at the next refreshment Aid Station area, “The Discovery Center.”
As soon as I crested the hill at the top of the parking lot, the smell of bacon hit me square on. Imagine throngs of sweaty, tasked and tired riders curiously walking up to refreshment tables and seeing a smorgasbord of yummy food including healthy fruit like watermelon, orange wedges, healthy nibbles of celery with peanut butter, homemade granola bars, chocolate bars, marshmallows and graham crackers for instant s’mores bars, bananas, hard boiled eggs, potatoes, and yes, BACON!
Sadly, it was time to get back in the saddle and hump it around Baldwin Lake where the winds picked up and the art of “drafting” came in handy as I fell in behind my BF who generously blocked the wind. What a life saver for myself and a few other friends who fell in line behind him.
The next Aid Station was at BBARWA off of Shay Road. Another quick stop at the Port-A-Potty a quick BBQ rib (yes, more amazing food), some electrolytes and fluids, and off through Big Bear City we went. We traversed through the back side of Forest Springs and got right back on the North Shore via Paradise Road to Division and soon we were fighting the winds yet again that were blowing from the East.
We headed up Division all the way to McCalister Road and that hill was my nemesis. My lungs were screaming and my thighs were seizing up. I totally wanted to die, for at least a good ten minutes. Ha ha! At that point, several of the 100 mile riders flew past me, on the uphill no doubt. Those guys and gals are crazily fit!!
McCalister Road took us to the back side of Moonridge where we ended up going straight up Moonridge road (another butt kicker hill) where we passed all the golfers on the Big Bear Mountain Golf Course under the grey, dark cloudy skies.
Our last Aid Station visit was a short one but I do have to say once again how awesome the volunteers were. Someone took my bike and parked it for me while I freshened my water bottle. There were Popsicles and a rendition of a “car wash” that you could ride your bike through and cool off which I remembered doing last year when the heat was unbearable. The rain was definitely starting to break this time and we could feel sprinkles so we didn’t stay long. Down Clubview Drive we went, enjoying the downhill! Wheeeee!
We traversed over the Boulevard (Big Bear) where the route took us through Eagle Point, around the Eagle Point peninsula where we admired what happens to be one of my favorite neighborhoods, then we rode past Meadow Park and up Georgia Road for one last butt kicker of a hill. Oy!
I knew we were in the last stretch! I think I had an inkling of a thought that I had more in me, that maybe I should do the 70 mile ride next year? Nah. Why mess up a good thing. Ha ha!
As I rode over the finish line I felt a sense of accomplishment. I also really enjoyed a lot of the aspects that made my day a perfect one. I thought of how wonderful it was for our community that we were able to share how awesome our town is. I am so proud!
I also loved the comments I heard from many serious cyclists who do the cycling circuit. Some said this was the best cycling venue they had ever been to. Most raved about the food and hospitality. As a side, I comically told a few of my friends that next year I was going to issue official “Tour de Big Bear” T-shirts that say, “Tour de Big Bear…I do it for the bacon!” All kidding aside, I’ve come to realize that Cyclists are athletes who are generally healthy and dig eating right, but after hearing all the ruckus about bacon, I’m beginning to think secretly, they just want to come out of the closet! The Kiwanis who manned the “bacon booth” have caused quite a stir throughout the Tour, however, they may have some competition with the BBQ rib guy at the BBARWA Aid Station. LOL.
In closing, I definitely took the time to “smell the roses”, eat a slice of bacon and a BBQ rib as well as all the healthy stuff, I enjoyed the company of my friends, and the views of the Big Bear Valley on this amazing ride. I encourage you to do this ride if you love to bike. Training in high altitude helps, so definitely prepare ahead of time if possible. I look forward to doing it again next year!
~Kim Boda
(909) 556-0901 direct cell
Real Estate Consultant in Big Bear since 1992 and lover of the great outdoors!

We want YOU!

July 24th, 2014

We want YOU!
Real Estate Team seeks an experienced, Administrative Assistant and solution oriented, team player who relishes the opportunity to build, implement, and manage multiple systems. This person is deeply committed to completing tasks the right way with a high degree of quality and maximum efficiency while supporting their Team in achieving greater levels of success, while growing his/her own skills and development.
If this sounds like you, we would like to hear from you.
Please forward resumes to:

July 4th in Big Bear, CA…”Locals-Style!”

June 7th, 2014

bigbearrealestate (1)Wanna know what “my” perfect July 4th looks like?   It’s me getting up early before the rest of the house…(if I don’t have any Real Estate appointments of course), I sip on my cup (or 3) of JOE,  and I start planning out what’s going to fit in the cooler and the car.  I get busy making my curry rice salad (okay…so “Rice a Roni” made it famous and Melanie Leader-Mitchell gave me the recipe years ago, but trust me…it’s really good stuff!), I get all the sandwich fix-ins together, load up the cooler with lots of water and refreshing teen and adult drinks (don’t forget the adult drinks, but please, please drink responsibly, duh), By now…I’ve caused quite a stir in the household and pretty soon, the kiddos are up and about and willing to expedite the “show.”   It’s amazing how helpful kids get when FUN on Big Bear Lake is to be had!!

If you’ve NEVER experienced summer in Big Bear, you are in for a treat.  If you’ve never experienced INDEPENDENCE DAY in Big Bear, you are SERIOUSLY in for an unforgettable experience!

When I think of July 4th in Big Bear, my happiness meter starts fluttering and this catchy song pops into my head, because it truly is one of my favorite, most happiest days of the year!

Here are some useful tips I can share with you on how to do July 4th in Big Bear just like the locals do!

Tip Number 1:    Plant yourself relatively close to The Pine Knot Marina or anywhere in the general vicinity of The Village Area.  The fireworks are literally straight up above you and you will get the best show!   Meadow Park  is a great place to make camp as well.  There are some awesome grassy areas to spend the day napping or catching up with your favorite book while you await the grand fireworks show!

Tip Number 2:  Secure your Real Estate early like around 6 p.m. or earlier, (ie. your blanket, your EZ up if it’s mid-day and your “territory” because I can assure you…it’s going to get crowded at around 8 pm when everyone else who didn’t have the “bright” idea to get a spot to see the fireworks decides to drive down to the lake) because no one wants to be stuck in traffic and be the “bad guy”  and no offense but please don’t be the “Knucklehead” that brings their “posse” in at the last minute upsetting the rest of the good Karmic Juju.  I’m all about diplomacy when it comes to crowds.

Tip Number 3:   If possible, go grocery shopping on any day BUT July 4th.  The grocery stores (remember, we only have 2) are complete madness.  If you must go on the day of, get up at the crack of dawn and beat the rush!  OR go late the night before.   Don’t make me say, “I told you so!”  🙂

Tip Number 4:  If you don’t have a boat and want to rent one out, do it ahead of time.  I’m thinking May.  Yep, May or early June is a good time to reserve your boat for July 4th. There are several Marinas to choose from and most have excellent selections on boat rentals if you get there early.

Tip Number 5:  Bring LOTS of sunscreen and an umbrella to shield yourself from unexpected moments in the sun!  It gets super hot out there even on the lake and it’s no fun being grumpy and sunburned by the end of the day.

Tip Number 6:  Bring a jacket or warm clothing and I would even suggest having your Ugg boots handy when the sun goes down!   If you are lucky enough to get out on the lake, it will be nice and warm during the day but you will be bumming hard if you get stuck without a jacket.  There are pockets of cold air all along the lake and I learned the hard way one year.   I forgot my jacket and had a flimsy sweatshirt and all I could think about was getting home!   I think my lips turned blue!

Tip Number 7:   Tune your radio to 93.3 KBHR so you can hear the audio choreography of the fireworks to music!  (Yes, I’m a NERD because I dig patriotic music).

Tip Number 8:  Relax and enjoy the show, don’t stress out about the traffic, enjoy the people you are with and pack up and head out when the coast is clear.

 You’ve got this whole “Big Bear Locals thing on July 4th”…because you read this blog post!  🙂

~Kim Boda



Big Bear Half Marathon this weekend!

May 19th, 2014

Saturday May 24, 2014
8AM – 7PM – Registration and Packet Pick Up in The Village*

Sunday May 25, 2014
6AM – 9:30AM – Registration and Packet Pick Up*
7AM – 5PM – Lifestyle Expo, Live Music, and Local Vendors
9:00AM – Half Marathon Race Start
10:00AM – 5k Race Start
11:00AM – 5k Awards
12:00PM – Half Marathon Awards

*Half Marathon registration available on Saturday only. 5k Registration available on Saturday and Sunday.

Half Marathon Awards

Top 5 Overall, Male and Female
1st – $500
2nd – $250
3rd – $150
4th – $100
5th – $50

KOM Challenge, Male and Female – $100
Fastest Military, Male and Female – $100

This is an Open Air Big Bear event so you can expect a FUN start and finish in The Village of Big Bear Lake with Live Music and Local Vendors at the Lifestyle Expo.

Sign up here:

Finishers Medals for EVERYBODY!


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March Sales Stats in Big Bear

May 16th, 2014


Santa’s Village to Re-Open! Locals ecstatic!

May 15th, 2014


Santa’s Village To Reopen


Mountain residents who’ve longed with nostalgia for the reopening of Santa’s Village in Skyforest may be getting their wish, as the Mountain News has confirmed the pending sale of the 154-acre property to an unidentified Lake Arrowhead resident who has big plans for the property.
Bill Johnson, owner of Mountain Country Realty in Cedar Glen, represents the owner, and said Wednesday by telephone from Washington, D.C., that escrow on the sale of the property is expected to close before the end of May.

Article courtesy of Glenn Barr
Photo courtesy of Charles Phoenix

Real Estate and Fried Chicken

May 13th, 2014


I just took 2 great listings in Sugarloaf.

The Cabin at (670 Imperial, Sugarloaf, CA 92386) is a 2 bedroom on a 50 x 100 lot for $107,500 and the other cabin right next door at (676 Imperial, Sugarloaf, CA 92386) is a 2 bedroom on a 75 x 100 lot for $89,900. If you would like more info just give me a jingle on my cell. 909-556-0901 direct.
The Seller would like for them to be SOLD together however, he won’t cry if you decide you don’t want to splurge, I mean it’s your loss if you don’t want your own Sugarloaf Estate. Really, let’s stop to think about it…you could get 2 homes on 2 separate lots that measure a lot total of 12,500 square feet for less than 200k!!! Wowza!! Not only that, but they have the perfect charm you’ve always imagined when you daydream about your life at your cabin in Big Bear, outside of your cubicle at INITECH. (Jk), I’m sure you’re the CEO of your company. Make sure you call me STAT about these 2 listings because I’m not sure they will be available for very long after I hit the “enter” button on the MLS website which is happening in the next…oh dang, it’s a done deal! Tick tock, tick tock.
Now…about that Fried Chicken.
If you don’t know this, you should…
THE best fried chicken in Big Bear can be found exclusively in Sugarloaf. That’s right, you heard me correctly, Sugarloaf. Stop by Easy’s General Store and pop in at around 11:30 a.m. just before the lunch/fried chicken rush and pick up a box of 3 “delectable” pieces of chicken and 3 tasty taters for just under $5 (I only partake a couple of times a year so don’t judge me, and I realize there are only 2 chicken pieces shown in the pic, shhhhh….I’m pretty sure the Highway Patrol guys are looking for “cell phone” violators not “fried chicken” Noshers). If you know me, you’ll understand why I often converse about food. I was voted “Most Likely to be found Eating” at Bonita Vista High School. Surprising, I know, but you’ll thank me later and maybe, just maybe because I’ve “stunned” you with my “foodie” skills, you just might decide to call me for any of your real estate needs or send me a friend referral. Either will suffice. I aim to please.

Oh…Before I forget…here’s the fried chicken.


Easy’s Fried Chicken…Finger Licking Good in Sugarloaf