Summer 2014: The Secret to the Home Sale

In light of my recent article, Summer SoCal Housing Market Update: ‘Normal’, and after readingThe Huffington Post piece titled, 6 Seller Secrets for This Summer’s Real Estate Market, I thought it was the perfect time for a Part 2 to my summer update.

The Huffington Post article points out in part:

Right Now = A Great Time To Sell…Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, so buyers ARE poised to buy and ready to hit the streets.

It’s true – we are now in a very specific seller’s market and it’s likely to turn soon into a buyer’s market. So what are some seller secrets to optimize your listing, get your asking price, and close quickly… especially if you need to move before the kid’s return to school? Skipping the obvious— partner with a very experienced Realtor who knows the area and the market—here are a few tips from experts that I find highly beneficial if you’re ready to sell now.

The Price is Right! Come on Home!

Price your home right. This is such a key factor to a successful home sale and it all rests on choosing the right real estate agent. If you price your home too high or low it’s akin to building a home on quick sand. Says author, Michael Corbett, Trulia’s real estate and lifestyle expert, in TheHuffington Post piece:

This last quarter, prices started to slow nationally — and pricing is a critical component to getting your house sold. With this fluctuating market, you need to look at comps of similar homes in your area.

The Selling Season

Since it is summer, take advantage of that “given”. First, most people are probably hoping to move before the fall season. Also it’s the season to enjoy the outdoors so people are likely to pay more attention to local activities and outdoor fun in the prospective area. If it were Christmas you might have a Poinsettia plant in the foyer. It’s summer so highlight the activities near you – maybe the great schools and camps for children since they will be returning soon or the parks and nature trails surrounding the neighborhood. Take a look at my recent article on Westlake Village, Summer in Westlake Village is Hot, Hot Hot!. As you can see, this area would be irresistible to an nature-lover so you would highlight that in the sale. But no matter where you live, highlight the season. An article on BadgerRealty.com, quotes Karla Badger and suggests this important ‘summer selling tool’.

Just walking into a home with plenty of sunlight and plant-life brings a smile to my face. It allows the home to breath better and can freshen up the home [especially] if it’s been buttoned up all winter.’ Freshly cut grass give a better presentation for drive-bys and adding some flowers or flowering shrubs can complete the look to attract more buyers.

Drive Traffic To Your Open House Not the Beach…

Although this is a prime summer seller’s market, it also presents its challenges. Families have plans that don’t make searching for a home seem like a fun option. The weather is great so when it comes to choosing between the open house or the pool BBQ down the street, the temptation can lean toward relaxation and fun. So how do you ensure the open house is packed? Your realtor must have great online photos, real estate apps, and top marketing skills. Make certain to view your agent’s online listings and ask how they would market the home. Most home buyers now search with home buyer mobile apps. The listings should look stellar whether on iphone or on your computer.

Lydia Gable: Experience Counts

In this summer selling season, choose your realtor well, prepare the home, and just as important, the listing so you can be assured of an optimal sale. If all is done well, you should be ready to settle into your new dream home by the fall just in time for hot chocolate and lovely nights by the fire. Lastly, enjoy the summer and stay safe! Remember, if you need a realtor, choose one who lives and works in the area. Lydia Gable has over a decade of experience in real estate including in a volatile market. Contact Lydia Gable today. If you are searching for a luxury home in the Conejo Valley area, Lydia Gable is the smart choice. Read more here.

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Summer SoCal Housing Market Update: ‘Normal’

The Southern California housing market update for summer 2014, while still hot, has settled from a high boil to a more stabilized ‘normal’ temp – at least compared to last year’s explosive growth. While the numbers aren’t quite on fire, the market is still doing well compared to the dark days of the housing crash. According to a report last week on DQNews:

An estimated 39,254 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in June. That was up 4.0 percent from 37,734 in May, and down 4.3 percent from 41,027 sales in June 2013. June sales have varied from a low of 35,202 in 2008 to a high of 76,669 in 2004. Last month’s sales were 19.8 percent below the average of 48,929 sales for all the months of June since 1988. [But] Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and peak levels reached in the last five years.

A Seller’s Zone: Time to List…

Although the market has cooled slightly over the past month or so, it’s a seller’s zone. Prices have not yet begun to drop. It may take some time for prices to reflect a demand and begin to fall. But you should expect prices to fall—if the index continues to dip— to a Buyer’s zone. How does this affect you? Well, many Ventura County homes appreciated by over 16% over the last three quarters according to regional data reports. So if you’re thinking of selling, your home may now have enough equity to sell without having to do a “short” sale as many owners were so concerned about last year.

Signs Point Upward…

Whether you are interested in selling or buying a home, signs point upward for future market growth. According to the Los Angeles Times in a recent article titled, Good time for home buyers?Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors, told the paper,

Inventories are at their highest level in over a year and price gains have slowed to much more welcoming levels in many parts of the country. This bodes well for rising home sales in the upcoming months.

Finally, I am happy to let you know that also, as reported by the Times, “the numbers echo a similar trend in Southern California, which has seen signs of a market returning to normalcy after several up-and-down years.”

The Perfect Temp in Westlake Village!

It’s summer so I’ll enjoy the temperate numbers of the current housing market in my neck of the woods at least for now. After all I live in and work in the best community in the country, Westlake Village, where there’s no shortage of summer fun to be had. But never one to slack on the job, don’t worry, I’ll follow the data closely and continue to keep you posted with regular updates over the coming months. Hopefully the next report will forecast a rapid boil!

If you are looking for a home or ready to sell real estate in the Conejo Valley, don’t hesitate to call Lydia Gable Realty Group Group today and find out how we can help you.

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Summer in Westlake Village is Hot, Hot Hot!

If you are a resident of Westlake Village then you probably already know that this awesome community is about to get a big boost from the new Target retail center. We have all been eagerly awaiting this mall and sources say it’s opening this summer. Might I add that the timing is perfect because Westlake Village is activity-filled all summer long – now add a major retailer, does it get better? If you planning on moving to the area or if you have just relocated, check out all the current and “imminent” summer fun residents can have here!

Bulls-eye: Target Finds a Home in Westlake Village!

Target, In-n-Out and Tilly’s are coming to Westlake as part of the Target-centered mall slated for opening this summer – the date for the grand open is July 27th. Conejo Valley residents are excited about the much awaited opening. An article in the Conejo Valley Happening said:

Dubbed the Shoppes at Westlake Village, the European village-style retail center, will also house the Total Woman Gym & Spa, All Tressed Up Blowdry & Beauty Bar, Hook Burger, Tilly’s, BCBC Nail Spa, Los Agaves Mexican Restaurant, a beauty supply store, some hair salon suites and a couple of Santa Barbara-based restaurants.

And added Dan Selleck, owner of Selleck Development, the developer of the 240,000-sq. ft. upscale shopping and dining development

These are indeed very exciting times for tenants and Westlake residents. It’s really going well and most of the tenants are on track to open at the same time as Target in July or soon after.

A “Free” Trolley for Summer Frolicking

If all the summer shopping and Tar-jay excitement has you tired already, you’ll be happy to hear that Westlake Village is also providing a free summer trolley through August 30th. Dubbed “The Village Trolley” the free tram will run on Friday and Saturday nights from 4:00pm -11pm during the summer. And if that weren’t enough, there will be entertainment on select nights and times. Clickhere to check the entertainment schedule. For more on The Village Trolley route, click here!

A Song for Summer

With all the shopping and Trolley frolicking around Westlake Village this summer, don’t forget to enjoy the Saturday Concerts in the Park planned this summer! Summer evenings in beautiful Westlake Village provide the perfect ambience for a great music series. The 11th Annual TGIF Westlake Village series provides entertainment for the whole family and the performance series is free.

Concerts take place at:

Westlake Village Civic Center,
31200 Oak Crest Drive.
Events start at 7pm

Westlake: Live, Work and Play…

Summers in Westlake Village are only one reason I live, play and work in Westlake Village. If you want to experience the perfect year round climate, golf courses and lake views – and now The Village Trolley, a European shopping village and free concerts all summer, contact Westlake Village Real Estate today to view homes in the area!

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The Luxury Housing Market

‘Luxury Housing Differs with the Local Market’

The luxury housing market is evolving quite rapidly as the economy recovers. A luxury home—if it is to be deemed luxury by savvy home buyers—now requires not only the price point and zip code, but more perks and amenities than ever before, especially in Southern California. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, “luxury housing differs with the local market”. Very recently, a panel of real estate experts addressed the National Assn. of Real Estate Editors at an annual conference. When asked the question: “What is luxury housing?” – posed by Mark Moffa, managing editor of Unique Homes magazine, the responses were more varied than one might expect. According to the Times article titled, Local markets dictate price, features of luxury housing, “luxury housing nationwide has many price points and appearances.” But for the Los Angeles area, one expert pegs the luxury price point as much higher than years past:

Nick Segal of Partners Trust priced the luxury market at about $4 million and up – twice the amount he would have quoted eight years ago.

Ventura County Homes: Luxury Living

While I don’t particularly think Nick Segal’s price point is indicative of homes priced in the Ventura County housing market— more like $1 million, a tad bit lower— luxury is also a relative – it is Southern California after all.Luxury is in the eye of a beholder” was never a truer statement. Here, a home could be in a great location, nicely updated, grand pool, and still only be considered a “regular” home. That being said – in terms of this conference, one should note that the panel’s qualifications for what’s considered luxury was also quite subjective and very specific. Frankly, I think many of their opinions are just that, although it doesn’t make them any less valuable. One panel member agreed that just outside any metropolitan area, a luxury home in an upscale community will probably run about $500,000 in most parts of the country. The bottom-line: a running theme emerged from the conference – amenities and lifestyle are big deciding factors in addition to home size and mere location. Said the Times piece, generators are now becoming more popular in all parts of the country. Whoever thought of a generator as a luxury item? But as homeowners choose to pay higher prices, according to the conference experts, they now want built-in safe-guards for natural disasters. Frank Malpica of ERA Franchise Systems, also weighed in with his opinion adding that physical amenities aren’t the only attributes home owners are insisting upon when viewing luxury properties. Said Malpica, which he attributes to a rush in millennial home buyers, there’s more:

[Buyers] are searching for more lifestyle-related attributes such as lakefront, golf course or riverfront property.

Westlake Village, CA: All the Home Luxury You Need

All things considered, where does one find a home that is just outside a major metropolitan area, with beautiful homes that include lakefront, golf course and riverfront properties? Westlake Village, CA of course… We have all the luxury you need and you don’t need to pay $4 million. Who needs a panel to determine luxury – I live, work and play in Westlake Village! Believe me this is luxurious living!

For more information on any item discussed in the article or to view home listings in and around Ventura County, contact Lydia Gable today.

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Crowdfunding in Real Estate: A New Era of Investing

The Emergence of Crowdfunding in Real Estate

The emergence of crowdfunding as an investment tool for serious real estate players is changing the housing market as we know it. As the market recovers, more investors are coming back but one probably could not have imagined crowdfunding as the next new trend. Crowdfunding has showed up with quite a presence and backing and its making quite the first impression! If you thought crowdfunding was only reserved for the creative inventor or out-of-money filmmaker, you’re a step behind. Quite frankly, admittedly I had not even heard of this very new trend until recently. If it catches on, it could be a game-changer for those investors currently controlling the investment markets in certain areas. It’ll be interesting to see how “at your fingertips” a trade is, but the social media possibilities are exciting for sure.

Not Your Grandmother’s Real Estate Pool

At the moment, most of the crowdfunding sites are reserved for high-stakes players only, but that’s not likely to last according to market experts. While it’s certainly a new arena—one that is evolving quite rapidly—some platforms are beginning to open up the playing field to small-money investors. Because of this, the ramifications in terms of who can invest and international investing possibilities could be enormous. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal profiled one successful entrepreneur—a real estate pioneer when it comes to crowdfunding— who is taking it to the next level. The article titled, Real-Estate Sector Moves Crowdfunding Beyond the Trinkets states that ‘sites have raised more than $135 million in debt and equity’. For the founders of RealtyMogul andEarlyShares, only accredited investors are accepted at this juncture but as the WSJ article points out, they are raising SERIOUS capital.

As with any trend, once it catches on, it’s everyone’s to claim and crowdfunding in real estate is no different. A recent article on Forbes highlights not only the serious money at play, but also the way this crowd funding platform is opening up real estate investing to the masses – globally. “Fundriselast week announced that they raised $31 million from Renren, a Chinese technology firm, Ackman-Ziff (Real Estate Group) and Silverstein Properties (owners of the World Trade Center Twin Towers)”.

The reporter also points out that the field is widening to include all investors. In the article titled,Real Estate Crowdfunding: Post-Valuations Of $100M for Series A?David Drake writes:

The Washington-based company, Fundrise, allows investors, for as little as $100 to as much as $10,000,000, to participate in deals. Until the emergence of crowdfunding, real estate projects, even the smaller ones, have been reserved for high net worth investors and private equity companies.

The Real Estate Fervor: Signs of Recovery?

Whether you are a big-time real estate investor, a market watcher, or a some-time dabbler in housing flips, the fact that new and innovative ways to invest in the housing market and thereby the economy have emerged, is a positive sign of market recovery – not to mention fun market-watching. However if your only goal is to own one property that you call your dream home for the next twenty years, there’s also a special place for you. And with signs of real recovery on the horizon, this is a great time to make the move. Every home purchase is an investment, but more importantly it’s an investment in your future! If you are interested in buying or selling a home in and around Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village or Calabasas, contact Lydia Gable today at Westlake Village Real Estate.

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