Although some corners of LA County received a dusting of snow over Thanksgiving, a white Christmas in the City of Angels seems utterly implausible (the current forecast calls for rain and temperatures in the high 50’s). If you’re firmly in the camp of ‘The holidays just aren’t the same without snow,’ hop on the 60 Freeway and head east to the San Bernardino Mountains, where the white powdery stuff abounds and tire chains are a requirement!
The price of a home in one of these year-round resort towns is enough to make any Angeleno’s heart flutter with excitement. A three-bedroom cabin with a stone surround fireplace for less than $300,000? You can’t buy anything in LA for that price unless it comes with a roach infestation and black mold.
Ready to trade the palm trees and smog for towering pines and crisp air this holiday season? Consider one of these nine cozy (and affordable!) cabins in the San Bernardino Mountains.
1. 966 Willow Creek Rd APT 9, Lake Arrowhead, $271,900
Lake Arrowhead is a private body of water mostly inhabited by celebrities and the ultra-rich, but you can live within proximity of the lake for a lot less on the North Shore. 966 Willow Creek Road (Apartment 9) is a spacious, three-level condo with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. It boasts vaulted, wood-clad ceilings, a kitschy antler chandelier and gas fireplace. The $463/month HOA fees include a pool, spa and those highly-coveted lake rights.
2. 25006 Saxon Dr, Crestline, $242,900
Millennials will fork over a lot of money to rent an A-frame cabin on Airbnb — a design-savvy investor needs to get on this listing! The two-bedroom, two-bathroom home features a charming loft space, built-in breakfast nook and a large outdoor deck. The bathrooms could use some updating, but the seller is installing a new furnace so at least it will be toasty!
3. 650 Leonard Ln, Big Bear Lake, $275,000
If this was a competition based on cabin cuteness, 650 Leonard Lane would be hard to beat. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom abode has a pitched roof and a front door that looks straight out of a storybook. While I’m not a huge fan of the dark green carpeting, the warm wood walls add to the rustic appeal.
4. 913 E Barker Blvd, Big Bear City, $199,000
There’s a lot to love about this 504-square-foot cabin despite its small size. The interior has been beautifully renovated with luxury vinyl tile flooring, granite kitchen countertops, stainless steel appliances and multiple skylights. There’s also a hot tub in the backyard for soothing sore muscles after a long day on the slopes.
5. 33378 Music Camp Rd, Arrowbear Lake, $189,950
As you might have guessed, I have a soft spot for A-frames. This one is a bit of a fixer-upper, but it’s brimming with potential. Sure, the kitchen is outdated and the beige carpet needs to go, but look at those high ceilings! As it’s situated along Music Camp Road, I like to imagine that in the summer months you can listen to the faint sounds of a high school marching band off in the distance.
6. 31765 Hilltop Dr, Running Springs, $210,000
Photo: Coldwell Banker
Photo: Coldwell Banker
I’m 99.9 percent sure that Santa actually lives here — the festive holiday vibes are palpable. This two-bedroom, one-bathroom mountain getaway dates back to the 1930s and comes complete with a vintage Monarch wood burning stove. It’s being offered fully furnished (I hope you like red and green) and is located only 15 minutes from Snow Valley and SkyPark at Santa’s Village.
7. 632 Spruce Ln, Sugarloaf, $189,900
I got a little carried away with the whole listings-that-look-like-gingerbread-houses thing. 632 Spruce Lane is a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home that sits on a 5,000-square-foot lot. Inside, it’s got vaulted, exposed beam ceilings, an open loft, stone surround fireplace and plenty of wood paneling. There’s even a treehouse in the backyard that looks like a miniature version of the original house.
8. 26673 Lake Forest Dr, Twin Peaks, $287,500
Looking for a vacation home that’s big enough for the whole family? Look no further than 26673 Lake Forest Drive, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom beamed cabin that’s rife with character. There’s a carport to keep your vehicle clear of snow and a scenic deck shaded by pine trees. It’s got some lovely mid-century features, too, like a stately brick fireplace and swag light fixtures.
9. 33294 Iris Dr, Green Valley Lake, $149,900
This one-bedroom, two-story cabin is only an eight-minute walk from Green Valley Lake, a small artificial lake for swimming, kayaking and fishing. For less than $150k, it’s a real bargain and is being sold with two lots. The interior is a bit campy (check out that wagon wheel chandelier), but the exterior has been given a modern facelift.