Paul Oster – Broker/Owner at RE/MAX of Mammoth
Paul Oster is Broker/Owner at RE/MAX of Mammoth, and resident of Mammoth Lakes since 1981. Passionately focused on one-on-one service with his clients, Paul is experienced in multiple facets of resort real estate, development, and planning. In his free time he is an avid skier, mountain biker and deep-sea fisherman.
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This website is primarily the archive of my Bi-weekly Mammoth Real Estate Newsletters. After reading my “Broker’s Report” columns at MammothRealEstateBlog.com for several years, many of my readers requested I write more regular and timely updates about the Mammoth real estate market. Many readers are, or want to be significantly invested in Mammoth Lakes, but live hundreds of miles away and feel out-of-touch.
They also appreciate my candid, knowledgeable “old school” approach to real estate. And while I have always had solid marketing skills and techniques, my marketing efforts have never been based on hyperbole, exaggeration or mis-information. As a second generation real estate broker in California, I learned the fundamentals of real estate at an early age. But real estate is a never ending subject of study, especially today.
Studying the dynamics of the local real estate market in detail every two weeks to produce the newsletter is personally enlightening, but relaying the information to my readers in a concise and pertinent manner gives me even more insight into the ever changing market. With a broad range of real estate knowledge and experience, my goal is to truly add value to Mammoth real estate transactions for buyers and sellers, not just to earn a commission check.
I moved to Mammoth in late 1981 at the age of 22 after graduating from UCLA. After dabbling around in the restaurant business where I learned the art of quality service, I moved into property management and real estate. My early experience included condominium management and the nightly rental/reservation business. I started full time in Mammoth real estate sales in 1986.
After working for several years at a long-standing “Main St.” brokerage, I attended RE/MAX management training in Denver, CO in the summer of 1990. While building and managing the company I remained an actively selling broker representing buyers and sellers of Mammoth area real estate. My father had warned me to never stop working with buyers and sellers. It was sound advice. At the peak of the last real estate boom the company regularly competed for #1 in Mammoth sales.
During the time I was associated with some of the oldest, best, and most experienced brokers in Mammoth (I learned a lot from them). And some of the hottest selling agents Mammoth Lakes has ever seen (there is a difference). I had several agents on the early Intrawest sales team that primed and rode the boom of the 2000’s. That cumulative experience and knowledge is invaluable to buyers and sellers of real estate. Since 2008, I have been very active in the REO/foreclosure business representing numerous banks and servicing companies.
My experience as a Planning Commissioner from 1990-98 gives me unmatched knowledge of resort planning, this is where all of the groundwork was laid. It was the most intense period of planning in Mammoth’s history. Mammoth desired to move from a newly incorporated small “Town” to a world class destination resort.
- The North Village Specific Plan (and EIRs) were hammered out and finalized in 1991 and then re-worked and re-approved (the “Eldon Beck plan”) in 1994.
- There were extensive public hearings to devise and approve the Town’s Sign Ordinance.
- The Lodestar (Sierra Star) Master Plan (and EIR).
- The hearings and final approvals for Sierra Star golf course.
- The Town’s first real General Plan (and EIR).
- The Bluffs plans in 1991 and 1996 (and EIRs).
- Approval of The Bluffs Assessment District.
- The Eagle Base Specific Plan and downzoning of the Juniper Springs property (and EIRs).
- Hearings and approvals for Juniper Springs Lodge, the first condo hotel property developed in Mammoth Lakes.
- Extensive hearings on the Old Mammoth Road re-development and assessment district (the first of many).
- The Airport Master Plan (and EIR).
- The Mammoth Bikeway Plan (and EIR).
- The Mammoth Lakes Affordable Housing Plan (and EIR).
- The public hearings and passing of Mammoth’s original wood stove ordinance (90-04).
- Other subdivisions and EIRs including Juniper Ridge, Starwood and Snowcreek Phase 5.
- The original College Master Plan.
- The original Visitor’s Center Plan.
And on and on. I’m lucky to have seen many of these come to fruition.
During that period I also served on the Board (and Chair) of the Mono County Arts Council. That was the beginning of educating the public of Mammoth, about public art. And among other things, in 1995 we captured the Chamber Music of America grant that brought the Felici Trio to Mammoth.
I have sat on the Mono County Property Tax Appeals board since 2004 (current Chair). This experience has given me tremendous insight into the California property tax rules and laws and the Assessor’s operations. The rise and fall of property values in the past 10 years has provided a unique learning experience in California property taxation. During the 11 years I have also worked with five different Tax Assessors.
Hearing the property tax appeals from throughout the county gives me additional and tremendous insight into the real estate of the county. The decline in values since 2007 has brought forward many appeals, re-assessments and “Prop. 8 reductions.” The appeals have ranged from alfalfa fields in north county to the Starwood acquisition of Mammoth Mountain in 2005. One very rewarding sidebar benefit; the experience has given me the ability to counsel my clients in the appeals process and in turn save them thousands of dollars in property tax expense.
Today I am trying to re-balance from 30 years of being an 80-hour per week workaholic!
I still work full-time, but I am trying to spend more time outdoors in the Sierra; especially my favorites, skiing and mountain biking. I have always believed that regularly skiing on Mammoth Mountain is critical to knowing the resort. Maybe there is more hiking and fly-fishing in my future (I don’t want to be that real estate person who “dies at their desk.”). There should be time to focus on mental and physical health and well being. My escape from Mammoth is usually on the warm Pacific, chasing large tuna and wahoo. I recently moved my office to streamlined space I purchased from Wells Fargo and have established a modern “cafe style” office. My office hours vary so please call or email me for an appointment.
And if you aren’t signed up for my bi-weekly newsletter, please do.