BASS LAKE – Dee Salazar likes to set goals for herself. The busy Bass Lake Realtor also is a big believer in working where she plays — which just happens to be the motto of the Eastern Madera County Chamber Alliance.
“I run my own business so I can pick and choose my hours,” Salazar says. “If I want to take part of the day off and go paddle boarding at the lake, I can do it.”
When she isn’t at the lake with family and friends, Salazar stays very busy in real estate helping buyers and sellers, and managing rental properties in eastern Madera County. And she still finds time to be a commissioner on the Madera County EDC Chamber Alliance board, an independent committee created to help the Bass Lake, North Fork, Coarsegold and Oakhurst Chambers collaborate on regional economic development projects.
Salazar says she “doesn’t like to brag” about the volunteer work she does — which also includes three years as president of the North Fork Chamber of Commerce. “I just like to be involved and find ways to help.”
A Realtor associate and property manager at Bass Lake Realty, Salazar grew up in the Bay Area and worked for more than two decades in retail.
“I managed dozens of employees and several multi-million dollar businesses,” she says. “I made a good salary but I was working too hard, too many hours making the big box retailers richer.”
“And I got really tired of the congestion and crowds,” she adds. “I wanted to switch gears and raise my son in a smaller town.”
Salazar purchased a house in Wishon 20 years ago, she says, “because I came here and fell in love with the mountains.”
Together with her husband Chris and son Cameron — and four dogs — the family moved here full-time eight years ago and then Salazar got her Realtor’s license.
She says she used to feel “so anonymous” when she’d shop at her local Lucky’s in the Bay Area.
“When I go into the grocery store here, it usually takes me an extra 30 minutes to get out. I’m always chatting. People here are so friendly and interesting. It’s inspiring. It seems like just about everyone is involved and trying to make this a better place.”
When Salazar’s son was a student at Minarets High, she helped the North Fork Chamber launch a scholarship fund for area seniors.
“Local kids are our future,” she says. And although she’s stepped down as chamber president, Salazar still chairs the organization’s annual Octoberfest fundraising committee.
“I love helping the community and I love doing my best as a Realtor too. For me, real estate is really exciting. I love helping both buyers and sellers.”
Salazar, who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and the California Association of Realtors, works out of the Bass Lake Realty office in the Pines Village.
Her current career goal, she says, is to get her broker’s license.
She sold 19 properties in 2018 and currently has almost a dozen listings ranging in price from the low $100,000’s for a fixer upper to $1.3 million for a lakefront stunner.
“What sells most in our area are homes in the $250,000 to $350,000 price range,” she says. “Our average time on market right now depends on location and price but is somewhere between 80 and 140 days. But if a house is priced well, it usually sells in 30 days or less.”
Salazar characterizes the current market as “encouraging, healthy” and relies on word-of-mouth, local advertising and social media to help reach potential buyers, sellers and renters.
Salazar also works as a property manager and currently oversees 26 rental properties. Because of the growing popularity of online lodging sites like Airbnb and VRBO, Salazar says there is a shortage of long-term rental properties in the area.
“Some people just aren’t ready to buy yet and we need a bigger month-to-month rental inventory. It would really help fuel our growth in Madera County.”
“That’s another one of my goals right now,” she adds. “I need to find more homeowners who want to rent their properties long-term.”