In real estate's Old World Order -- back when homes appreciated in value hourly -- it used to be that the best time to pick up a bargain in a ski vacation home was when all the skiers had gone home: To wit, springtime -- now.
Mammoth Lakes, near Yosemite, has long been Southern California's go-to ski resort, in part because you can fly there in an hour from the Los Angeles basin or, do as most people do, enjoy the scenery along Highway 395 for five or six hours.
Checking in on the market up there now shows bargains to be had, as many condo prices are about 50 percent to 60 percent off their 2007 peak. And there is this not-so-little gem: A long-admired lodge-style house with 8,000-square-feet now listed at $7.5 million. It had been listed at $9.5 million.