If you are thinking of buying a home here, you'll be glad to hear that the median home price is lower than the California average. That's pretty good considering you get to live by a lake in the mountains! If you seek apartment rentals, condos, or a house to rent in Big Bear City, you will enjoy a rental payment that is lower than the state's average, as well.
About half the homes here are vacant at any given time, which sounds amazing when it comes to making your search for rentals easy. However, almost all the homes here happen to be vacation homes, which means even if you find a great place for rent, it might not be available for the full year. Of course, if you are looking for a vacation home yourself, this might work out well. This also makes Big Bear City a great place to look for furnished apartments, since most vacation rentals come with all the furnishings you might need during your stay.
Whether you are looking for a permanent home or a place to stay on vacation, be prepared to offer up proof of income in the form of your last few pay stubs. Plus, you will probably need a deposit. Otherwise, some other ambitious renter could snatch your desired condo, house, or studio for rent right out from under you. How rude! But that's what happens when you come unprepared.
There are several small neighborhoods in Big Bear City. No matter which one you choose, you will find more permanent homes the farther you get from Big Bear Lake, since the vacation homes are mostly clustered around the water. That's good to know if you're looking to put down some roots here!
Big Bear City East: This area is just east of the Big Bear City Airport, closer to Baldwin Lake than Baker Pond or Big Bear Lake. The homes range from spacious houses to cozy cabins, most of which are rather affordable.
Shay Meadow: This is also on the eastern edge of Big Bear City, right off State Route 38. Here you will find great views of the nearby meadow, along with lots of space for horseback riding. If you have always wanted an excuse to get a horse, renting a property surrounded by plenty of land is perfect!
North Shore East: This is just north of the airport, and the homes here have great views of the mountains and of the National Forest. Though this area is mostly residential, just like most neighborhoods here, it is near restaurants that include Madlon's, La Paws, and BJ's Brewhouse.
Forest Springs: When you want a newer home on a well-kept lot, this area is a good place to look for your next residence. It is east of the airport and just north of State Route 38, so getting around town and even getting out of town should be a breeze!
Bear Loop: If you've got money to spend on an elegant home nestled along the north shore of Baker Pond, check out this newer area. The pond is actually a waterfowl sanctuary that lies to the east of Big Bear Lake, so you know the views can't be beat.
Pinewood Estates: This area is fairly affordable, with lots of homes situated conveniently near West Big Bear Boulevard and grocery stores like Select Foods.
Gold Mountain: This neighborhood is small but has amazing views, since it backs up to the National Forest. If you want to live in a remote, beautiful area and don't mind a bit of a drive to the nearest store, look for homes here.
Maple Ridge: Having lots of land around your home is suddenly a drawback when you have to do the landscaping by yourself! When you live in Maple Ridge, you can skip all that and just relax and enjoy a smaller plot of land and a nice, simple tract home. Plus, since you'll be near major roads like Big Bear Boulevard and Greenspot Boulevard, you will be by lots of businesses that include Lippy's Country Store and Thelma's Family Restaurant.
If you want to live in a big city, or even an official city at all, this is not exactly the place to be! Fortunately, plenty of people enjoy small, friendly little mountain towns, which is probably why so many choose to vacation here and even live here permanently.
No matter how long you plan to stay in Big Bear City, you should know that the main ways to get around are State Route 38, State Route 18, and Big Bear Boulevard. As far as public transportation goes, the Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority sends buses around the Big Bear City area so you can get to Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino, and other nearby cities. Plus, you can take the Weekend Trolley around the area on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays that are federal holidays.
Now that you know how to get around Big Bear City, you might be wondering what's worth checking out. Well, if you like to go fishing, camping, parasailing, skiing, hiking, or horseback riding, you probably won't have to leave Big Bear City to have fun. And there are lots of grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants for locals.
If you're looking to shop for clothes, household items, or other fun stuff, you'll need a mall or shopping center like Big Bear Lake Village. It has more than 100 stores, including Cabin Fever Home Decor, Shirt Shanty, and Brown Bear Gift Shop. If you need entertainment, you can get it at Bowling Barn, or at the Summer Village Wine Walk. Of course, if you want even more shopping and entertainment, you can always drive about 40 miles east to get to San Bernardino, or 100 miles east to Los Angeles. But you'll probably come right back to Big Bear City, more appreciative than ever of your little laid-back mountain home!