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Your 2014 Real Estate Wish List

What is on your real estate wish list for 2014? Do you even have a wish list? Maybe you’re planning on selling a house or purchasing your dream home in the New Year. Just as you might write down your New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of each year, write a real estate wish list for 2014. You might be surprised how fast your wishes can materialize!

Here are some suggestions…

Sold to the Highest Bidder…

If you plan on selling your home this year, but perhaps your house isn’t appraising as high as you would like right now, a wish list might include minor renovations in 2014.

1. The Best in Design…

Granite countertops and updated appliances in the kitchen and/or pedestal tubs and sinks in the bathrooms, can add value to any home. A recent article in CNBC titled Eight Ways You Can Improve Your Home Appraisal, states:

If you’re going to do minor renovations, start with your kitchen and bathrooms, says G. Stacy Sirmans, a professor of real estate at Florida State University. He reviewed 150 variables that affect home values for a study sponsored by the National Association of Realtors. Wood floors, landscaping and an enclosed garage can also drive up appraisals.

2. The Outside Reflects the Inside…

Make sure to clean your yard. Add a swing or a garden patch. Appraisers pay attention to the outside as well as the interior. If your yard is unkempt or unappealing—as the appraisal process is not a perfect science—a negative first impression could really affect your home value.

Buying a Dream Home in 2014…

If you know that this is the year you will finally purchase that home of your dreams, you need a plan. What might you include on the list? Well first, while it’s important to remain flexible once youstart touring prospective homes to buy–initially it’s perfectly fine to have a vision in your mind.

1. Your Dream Home: The Big Picture

Go through real estate magazines and clip out some pictures of homes that are in your price range that you might consider—at least upon seeing a picture—to be a version of your dream home.

Getting clear on what MUST be included on your wish list, can ultimately make the home buying process a fulfilling one.

2. Location, Location, Location

Location, location, location—Location is everything in real estate. You may want to include this on your list. If you are buying a home, research the school district, the safety rankings, the close proximity to thriving cities, the mountains or ocean. All of these things will not only enhance your community, but they also contribute to the value of a home if and when you choose to sell.

3. Must-Haves

Do you have deal breakers, must-haves, in other words are there features of a home that if not present, you absolutely will not buy? For example, do you know you must have two full bathrooms or you won’t buy it? Do you know that you won’t settle for a California ranch style house, you absolutely must have a split level? If any of this sounds familiar, put all these must haves on your wish list. RealtorMag posted an article, Your Property Wish List in which they included a must-have chart which would be really helpful for any 2014 realty wish list. Take a look at the items on the chart. If you find some are must-haves for you, circle them:

Front Yard Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Back yard Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Garage ( __ cars) Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Patio/Deck Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Pool Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Family room Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Formal living room Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Formal dining room Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Eat-in kitchen Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Laundry room Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Finished basement Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Attic Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Fireplace Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Spa in bath Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Air conditioning Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Wall-to-wall carpet Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Wood floors Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important
Great view Must Have Would Like Willing to Compromise Not Important

Lydia Gable Realty Group

My wish list for each of my present and future clients is that the New Year brings happiness, good health, wealth, and a soft, warm place to call home. If you are looking to purchase a dream home, consider the community of Westlake Village a beautiful planned community with hiking and horse trails and very close to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Not only does it boast a close proximity to Los Angeles, some of the school district and safety rankings in Southern California and as far as recreation, there are West Coast beaches as close as nine miles away. Westlake Village has a reputation as one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Southern California.

If you are ready to fulfill your home buying or selling wishes in 2014, contact Lydia Gable today for a consultation.

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It's Summer: Check Your Air Conditioning Units

Thermostat

California Homes, California Air Conditioning

The summer has finally arrived for this real estate agent in my little corner of the world Westlake Village. For me, summer means that sunny Southern California is even sunnier. However, along with outdoor fun, barbeques and pool parties, Los Angeles summers equal hot, hot, hot temperatures. If you have lived through even one summer season in Los Angeles and especially in the San Fernando Valley area, you already know that the air conditioning unit in your home is your best friend. And conversely if your AC is on the fritz, it can become your biggest headache.

Preparing a Home for Sale? Don’t Forget the AC Unit

Whether preparing a home for sale, buying a new home or just trying to keep your lovely current abode cool, here are some dependable tips to make certain that your AC is reliable, especially in those dog days of summer when the heat index can top 100.

In an article titled Things You Can Do Yourself to Repair Your Home Air Conditioner, they list some less obvious things to check for if your AC is acting up.

Here are a few items on the check list:

Timing Circuitry:Be aware – air conditioner systems usually have timing circuitry…if you change the thermostat temperature setting, or turn a component on or off, the system may not react for up to 10 minutes.

Ice Blockage:If your system is not cooling as much as it normally does, and the air is not blowing out of the registers as strong as it usually does, there is a chance that your evaporator coil has frozen up.

Cool Agoura Hills Homes for Sale

Now if you are preparing your home for sale or renovating your home—especially in an upscale and competitive real estate market like Agoura Hills–do it right the first time. Don’t cut corners. Not only is it less cost effective in the long run, but if you decide to put your home on the market in the middle of August, if your potential buyers are sweating the minute they walk in to view the property, they aren’t likely to stay, much less buy your home.

On SmallNotebook.org in an article titled, 10 Must Know Tips for Your Air Conditioner, the author gives really great preventative tips for the home owner. She says in part:

Change your air filter every 3 months. Put in a new filter at the start of summer, and then at least once every 3 months after that.

Buy pleated filters. Spend a couple of dollars more to buy pleated synthetic filters, not the cheapest fiberglass filters.

Check your ductwork for leaks. You don’t want all the cold air to leak out into your attic. There are two types of ductwork: flexible ducts and rigid metal ducts. Flexible ductwork is often used because it’s faster to install, but it doesn’t last as long. Metal ductwork lasts longer.

On that note, from my beautiful Westlake Village real estate office, to all of my friends and clients: stay cool and safe this summer and don’t forget to check your air conditioning units. If you would like to purchase a home in the area or view current listings, contact me, Lydia Gable at (818) 934-8902 or at my email.

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Will Health Care Reform Impact the Housing Market?

Will changes to health care and the enactment of theAffordable Care Act have a trickle-down effect on the housing market? Of course since this is uncharted territory, it’s all supposition now, but it’s certainly worth looking at how healthcare reform could affect the housing market in the near future both positively and negatively.

What is the Trickle-Down Effect?

The first indication that reform could have a positive impact on the market in a round-about way is the fact that people will no longer be forced to choose between employers who offer insurance benefits and those who don’t. If medium sized suburban firms are forced to offer coverage, it means more choices for potential employees to choose a home location if commuting isn’t such a factor. If more people live and work closer to home as opposed to commuting into the city to firms that offer better coverage, local businesses could become more competitive as they will be able to attract better candidates. Could the once more sleepy communities soon thrive, thereby increasing home values and making the market more competitive? You may be thinking this line of reasoning is a reach, but it’s actually not that far off base according to some experts.

When Top Health Care Exists for All…

Also at issue is the effect of health costs on home buyers who are deciding where to settle. Due to an increasing aging population, the health care industry is clearly booming. But health costs are a growing concern for this segment of the population and certainly for their caregivers. However, if all folks are assured coverage, will this be an added selling point when choosing a neighborhood to buy a home or retire in? In addition to citing the best schools and safety ratings, will realtors soon be pointing out the most elite, top level hospitals and physicians? Or how about assisted living facilities in the neighborhood?

At the Crossroads: Where Health Care Meets Real Estate

Thousand Oaks, California is an example of a neighborhood where the confluence of health care reform and real estate is apparent. In this case, buying a home here would be especially attractive to a buyer caring for an aging parent or one who, in any case, needs top medical care close by.

While Thousand Oaks is one of the most affluent communities in Southern California, it is also the home to one of the area’s top medical facilities. As many elite medical professionals expand their practices out to the suburbs, such is the case of UCLA Thousand Oaks. And, now that coverage is no longer a major concern for those with preexisting conditions, it doesn’t get much better than the physicians from UCLA in your own backyard:

UCLA Thousand Oaks is a multispecialty office of general Internal Medicine and Family Medicine physicians and specialists in: Cardiology, Dermatology & MOHS, Digestive Diseases, Endocrinology, Geriatrics, Medical Nutrition, Pulmonology and Rheumatology. Most are on staff at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The practice serves patients throughout the Conejo Valley, Las Virgenes, Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley. We are available to see our patients for same day appointments for illnesses.

The Best of Both…

At a crossroads where health care meets real estate, isn’t it time you have the best of both? If you are ready to buy a home in the exclusive neighborhood of Thousand Oaks or adjacent communities like Westlake Village, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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A Top LA Realtor Tackles the St. Joseph Myth

St. Joseph

St. Joseph vs. Westlake Village Realtor

It’s certainly no secret that the Southern California home owner—when ready to sell—will go to any lengths to make it happen. And, if the home doesn’t sell immediately, a realtor may often gently nudge and broaden a seller’s biased perspective, to help the sale.

An article titled How Realtors Work puts it best:

Most sellers grow accustomed to the eccentricities of their homes without realizing that a few simple improvements could drastically increase the marketability of their property. Sometimes it’s as simple as a fresh paint job, removing excess furniture and clutter, or tearing up carpet to reveal hardwood floors. Or a Realtor might suggest larger improvements — like renovating a kitchen or bathroom — that will considerably raise the value of the home.

These practices are considered within the “norm” of what a realtor might do to help a home sell. However a less common practice—at least no realtor worth her salt will admit it–is the burying of a statue (upside down of course) of St. Joseph in your yard. It is supposed to be magical which is why myriads of people from all religious persuasions and various walks of life swear by it. In fact, one can even buy a kit online for this very purpose. But at the risk of offending, if you happen to catch your realtor digging up the garden patch to bury a statue, run really fast in the opposite direction.

Instead, start out with an incredible Los Angeles realtor and there will be absolutely no need for a statue.

‘Digging’ Up the Truth About Real Estate Joe

In case you insist on digging deeper, here it is.

According to an article in Inman News, the origin of the St. Joe’s tradition is not known but there are many theories:

The tradition has been going on for at least several hundred years. It’s not entirely clear how the practice of burying St. Joseph statues started. One tale suggests that nuns during the Middle Ages buried a St. Joseph medal and asked the saint to help them find land for a convent. Some believe German carpenters started the tradition centuries later by burying St. Joseph statues in the foundations of homes they built.

Whatever its origins, according to the lore and several “successful” realtors, it works. One important warning though and of course I don’t say this with the least bit of jest, you must dig up “Joe” after your home sells and move it to your new home (as if it will miss you) in honor of the good fortune it brought you. So, excuse me for sounding smug but how does one honor a little statue? Do you pay it a commission? Do you feed it at Spago? Use it as a door stop?

That part is also unclear.

A Good Westlake Realtor: The Proof is in the Selling

If you believe that a buried St. Joseph statue helped you sell your home, congratulations. But if you have just been given advice by a well-meaning neighbor on how to make your currently listed home sell faster, take heed. Before you run out and purchase your St. Joe idol on eBay, at least consider a different route.

Choose the right realtor. It’s that simple. Choosing a reputable realtor is everything. No trickery, no folklore–the proof is in the selling…

As a very active Westlake Village realtor, every home I list goes into escrow in days with multiple offers. So I ask you, is a St. Joseph statue really necessary?

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Buying a Home: Spotlight on Lake Sherwood

Lake Sherwood

Lake Sherwood, the Best Kept Secret in California

Lake Sherwood is a small, upscale, residential neighborhood in Ventura County, California. The gated community overlooks the Lake Sherwood Reservoir. South of the Conejo Valley and the city ofThousand Oaks, and west of Westlake Village, you will find some of the most gorgeous homes in this exclusive Southern California enclave. Home to nearly 700 residences, within Lake Sherwood is a gated golf-club, 3 electronic-gated communities, and beautiful lake-view homes that line Lake Sherwood Drive. Besides the nearly perfect weather, the gated community, a top rated school district, and close proximity to Los Angeles, what attracts selective home buyers to Lake Sherwood? Well here are some special touches that make this area a great place to live.

Sherwood Country Club

The Sherwood Country Club is a private golf, tennis and country club. Situated in Thousand Oaks, California, amenities of membership include an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, a driving range and golf clubhouse. Additionally, the club offers its members a tennis clubhouse with 14 courts, a pool, fitness facility and full-service spa. Live like your on vacation!

Lake Sherwood Reservoir Fishing

The Lake Sherwood Reservoir also called Canterbury Lake, Lake Mathiessen and Las Turas Lake is located just 2.4 miles from Thousand Oaks. Fishermen will enjoy a variety of fish for fishing at the lake including rainbow trout, bluegill, and carp. Whether you prefer fly fishing, bait casting or spinning your chances are good here for the daily catch. So spend a Sunday at Lake Sherwood for a day of fishing and fun. Be sure to always check with the local Fish and Wildlife department to ensure the reservoir is open to the public, and that you have the necessary fishing license.

Java Fave

Stopping by for a visit or to research the area for a home purchase? Stop at Bean Crazy Coffee in Thousand Oaks for a fresh roasted coffee and a little local conversation. There is no better way to find out the “personality” of an area then by going to a local coffee house in the neighborhood. Skip the Starbucks chains and check this place out. Who knows you may see a celebrity since Lake Sherwood is home to many sports and entertainment celebs both for year-round living and vacation homes. Says one local Yelper of Bean Crazy Coffee:

Best coffee in the Conejo. I LOVE this place. I have grown weary of the chain coffee, and one day on a whim I ducked into this lovely hole in the wall. I was astonished by the great taste of the coffee. The aroma when you walk in makes your mouth water, the music is good and usually not too loud, and it’s COZY.

Lake Sherwood, Home to Celebs and Sports Stars

If you decide to buy a home in the exclusive Lake Sherwood area, be prepared to be surrounded by some high profile neighbors, including many sports and entertainment celebrities. Tom Petty lives nearby at the large private lake. Once the home to other celebs inclding Pete Sampras and his wife and Lenny Dykstra, most recently Britney Spears moved to Lake Sherwood and currently resides in a mansion overlooking the golf course. According to Forbes:

The Mediterranean-style home was built in 2010 on two city lots. Boasting “unobstructed views” as well as privacy, the home opens to high, beamed ceilings and oak and limestone floors. The home blends indoor and outdoor living spaces, with enormous vanishing doors leading to patios, an outdoor fireplace and infinity pool.

Realtor and Resident

Thinking of investing or buying a home on Lake Sherwood Drive, choose a realtor who is also a resident. I love this area and know and love many of its residents. Live like you are on vacation 365 days a year! Choose Lake Sherwood for your next dream home purchase. Call Lydia Gable today for an appointment and to view current listings.

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Welcome to Lydia Gable Realty Group's Blog!

We are excited to announce the launch of our new blog! This blog will be focused on real estate in the various communities my team serves in Calabasas, Westlake Village, Conejo Valley, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Agoura Hills, and Oak Park. This blog will address news related to these areas, especially as affects buying and selling property.

We’ll also offer tips for buyers — whether first-time home buyers, those thinking about moving up, or investors looking for valuable Southern California investment properties. With historically low interest rates and a wide inventory, the housing market is certainly prime for buyers in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, where land appreciates well and serves as an intelligent investment for the modern financier and homeowner alike.

Although it requires careful navigation and planning, sellers also have an opportunity in this market if they know how to seize it. For this reason, this blog will also serve home sellers by offering tips onpricing your home attractively, facing potential challenges that may arise during your sale journey, how to get your home ready to show using insider methods that can make a big difference when it comes to transforming your home and appealing to the imagination of the right buyer, and more.

Our team’s goal is to use this new blog to continue furthering our goal of serving our clients who are looking to buy or sell real estate in Southern California. We hope it is of help to you on your real estate journey! If you have more questions, feel free to call our office and our kind and helpful real estate team at any time. We are always here to answer your questions and help you achieve success in the world of Southern California real estate. Call today, and find out how we can help you!

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A Perfect Gift: A Home Sale By the Holidays

Mansion

Are you considering listing your home for sale—now is the best time if you want to avoid the harried stresses of the holidays. List your home before the holidays and you could be settled into a new home and/or have a nice little nest egg from the sale by the New Year. If you make a smart choice and use an experienced broker, it’s quite possible that you could list a home and have it sold within days in some cases, especially in this market. Wouldn’t it be nice to settle into a new home by the holidays? Elizabeth Weintraub, Sacramento real estate broker wrote in her article, How to Sell a Home in Autumn:

Home selling in autumn is the second best time of the year to sell a home. Families have returned from summer vacations. Kids have gone back to school. The holidays aren’t yet upon us, at least not yet in an annoying way. We are set to enjoy 75 to 80 days of normalcy.

Autumn Can Aid Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Weintraub also talks about creating Autumn curb-appeal. In certain parts of the country where there are four distinct seasons, Autumn is an opportunity to “up” your property’s curb appeal before a buyer even steps foot into the home. If for instance, a potential buyer drives up the driveway and sees the trees are full with fall foliage, it can give a home so much more character. But even if you are in a part of the country with a temperate climate like Southern California, a crackling fire in the fire place, a perfectly placed pumpkin on the steps or even a Poinsettia or Chrysanthemum plant in the foyer can add major selling appeal. Also, during the period just before the holidays, buyers are anxious to settle inbefore Thanksgiving and Christmas. But again, your realtor should be brilliant. Use an agent who knows how to expertly stage a home with one pumpkin placed just so as opposed to a whole home covered in holiday décor like a bad Griswold Christmas Vacation flashback.

According to RealtyTimes, while listing your home before the holidays may detract some buyers who would rather wait until after the New Year, the buyers that do come out are probably very serious. In an article titled, Tips for Selling Your Home Before the End of the Year, the author encourages the pre-holiday listing even it means closing during the holidays:

… the number of buyers may be reduced…closer to the holidays. Many people simply don’t want to juggle the holiday rush and house hunting. On the other hand, there will be some serious buyers looking for a very nice holiday gift for themselves. If they’re out shopping…nearing the holidays, it could be because they’re extremely serious about making a purchase before the end of the year.

Before the Holidays in SoCal is Ideal for Home Sellers…

In most parts of the country right now, this is a good time to list a home, but especially in Southern California which has so many advantages. On the East Coast or in the Mid-West, a buyer may be deterred by an icy driveway or heavy snow storms, but the temperate climate pre-holidays in Westlake Village for example, is just perfect especially if you have a good realtor. The weather is not so hot that one would rather be at the beach and it’s just cold enough that in the staging, you can “up” the romantic, cozy appeal of the property. Choose your real estate broker well. Always choose one who knows how to show a home in its best light and who has an excellent selling track record.

For more questions about selling your home before the holidays, contact Lydia Gable at Westlake Village Real Estate.

 

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The Property Home Inspection

No Home is Perfect

As part of the home buying process, the final purchase should always be contingent upon a property inspection performed by a certified, licensed home inspector. Included in the inspection will be an entire review of the property and a list of repairs and replacements that could foreseeably be needed in the near future. According to an article on Zillow.com, you can’t rely solely on the buyer’s description of the current state of a home no matter how forthcoming the seller appears to be.

No matter how fully the seller discloses, there are many things the seller themselves may not be aware of…And just because you’re buying a newly built home doesn’t mean it will be perfect. You should still have your own professional home inspection performed.

Inside and Out

A home inspector is there to provide an objective report on the current condition of the entire property—inside and out. A good home inspection usually involves the inspection of more than one hundred parts. According to an article on RealLiving, both the exterior and interior parts inspection may include:

… checking the siding, trim, gutters, chimney, decks, garage, doors, and windows. Property foundation and framing systems are examined…ceilings, floors, the attic, insulation, basement and crawlspace and the entire electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning systems…the swimming pools…for cracks and leaks. Evidence of damage by pests, termites, or the presence of toxic materials, are also inspected thoroughly.

Requesting Additional Tests, Repairs…

You may elect additional tests that are not always included like septic system testing or soil testing. According to the FAQs section on HomeInspectionsInc, inspectors are general. If deemed necessary, specialized inspectors may be required for the roof, pool, heating/air system or you may decide to hire a soil engineer.

Upon completion of your home inspection, the inspector will provide a comprehensive report of all parts inspected and any future requirements or repairs, to all parties involved. If there are repairs needed, you will need to clarify in writing how any defects will be corrected and who will be responsible for any remuneration.

Choose A Trusted Realtor…

Choose a trusted, reputable realtor whom you can confide in regarding any and all of your concerns regarding the home inspection. Since this is one of the most important purchases you will make, it is important to be completely assured and confident before you close. A good realtor will work with you to assure all of your needs are met and that all of your questions about the inspection are thoroughly reviewed and answered.

For questions regarding this or any other real estate matters, contact Lydia Gable at Keller Williams for a consultation or to view current home listings.

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Lydia Gable's Insider Guide to Westlake Home Buying

Westlake Village: A Place to Call Home

Westlake Village

A lovely place to work and play, Westlake Village is also more than that for LA andVentura County real estate owners. It’s a fantastic place to call home. With close proximity to both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, luxury real estate lines the miles of Pacific Ocean beaches, parks, and lush greenery.

Westlake Village is also known for its 150-acre manmade lake which is definitely a community central point. Let’s face it, there are very few areas in America where you will see residents (not vacationers) fishing and boating, hiking and playing a few holes on the municipal 18-hole golf course nearly all year round. The climate in Westlake Village is a temperate Southern California comfortable all year round.

Another perk is The Westlake Yacht Club. Situated on the lake, it covers more than a mile of the shore line which incidentally spans for several miles. The scene is the perfect backdrop to take a brisk walk during the day or to dine at one of the many ambient restaurants at night.

For either business or pleasure, Westlake is an easy commute to Los Angeles. But at the end of the day, the lifestyle of great restaurants shopping, entertainment, biking, hiking, boating and luxury living, will always beckon you home.

Award Winning Schools

For growing families who choose to settle in a well-ranked school district, Westlake High School is consistently ranked as one of the top high schools in the country according to Newsweek’s rankings of the top 500 high schools. Also in neighboring Agoura Hills, Agoura High School was ranked last year as 263rd best high school in California and the 1176th best in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report. And many residents of Westlake attend Agoura High School.

Also, a bustling hub for arts and culture, this area is the home of the beautiful Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and two brand new performing arts centers at Agoura High School and nearby Calabasas High School.

Whether you choose to invest or to settle, Westlake Village has it all. Great schools, new restaurants, entertainment and outdoor sports, this is only the short list of reasons for the first time or seasoned home buyer to choose Westlake Village.

Exhale: Buying a Home the ‘Lydia Gable’ Way

Exhale–I promise to make your home buying experience in LA or Ventura County all that you’ve hoped it would be. Trust that I will hear your concerns, your wants and your dreams for the future, and I will find you the perfect home that exceeds even your own expectations. I know home buying—especially if you are relocating to the area—can often be a daunting experience, yet exciting at the same time. A broker who knows the area well, a long- time resident as I am, is a key component to maximizing the buying experience. As a very experienced Westlake realtor, I understand the challenges and the beauty of home buying and I believe in my ability to find you a property that you’ll cherish. The more you know about what goes into successful home ownership, the better choices you’ll make-let me help!

If you are thinking of purchasing real estate in Westlake Village or a home in the surrounding Ventura County area, call Lydia Gable at (818) 934-8902 today.

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Our Community Makes the 'Best' Place to Live Lists Again

City of Thousand Oaks

Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks are consistently ranked in the top 15 places to live in America. So I thought it very timely to mention that for the last two years Thousand Oaks has been repeatedly named one of the country’s safest and most family-friendly cities by various publications. But this is more than just a small mention in an obscure publication.

Thousand Oaks: Rank Top 15 in Both Kiplingers and Business Insider

The news is good! Thousand Oaks continues to rank in the top 15 of safest cities and best place to raise your kids: It ranked #12 in Business Insider’s List of ‘The 13 Safest Cities in America’ and in 2012, made it to #4 in Kiplinger’s ‘10 Great Cities to Raise Your Kids‘ List..

According to Kiplinger’s they have a very selective two-step approach to choosing their top 10:

Choosing the best place to raise your kids is pretty daunting. Great schools, plenty of libraries and playgrounds, and safe, family-friendly neighborhoods…Weighing the factors can prove challenging. We took a two-step approach to come up with our list…First, we looked for metropolitan areas with high household incomes relative to living costs, a large percentage of families with children under 18, and low crime rates.

Tech Savvy? Then Read the Compelling Data

If you are tech savvy and you looking for a lovely safe to place to live and/or a great area to raise a family, do the research. The data is there. You will find that there are very few areas that compare in terms of having all of these “best” components in one package: best climate, the safest area and the best schools. In an article on Strong Cities|Strong State, Jim Friedl, General Manager, Conejo Recreation & Park District says:

Thousand Oaks is a great place … on one hand you have all of the advantages of a larger city and on the other, you can enjoy over 75 miles of multi-use trails in over 11,000 acres of dedicated natural open space —while being only 12 miles from the ocean.

Idyllic Surroundings

First time home buyer, investor and veteran home buyer, there are a myriad of reasons in addition to its yearly top ranking to begin your search in Thousand Oaks. One reason is the idyllic surrounding communities. Agoura Hills is only a stone’s throw from Thousand Oaks as well as other beautiful neighboring cities in the Conejo Valley. Besides all of the areas having a perfect climate and outdoor recreational living, all are highly ranked school zones and great places for family. These neighborhoods include Oak Park, Newbury Park, Westlake Village and Calabasas. If you are looking for an ideal place to call home, contact me at (818) 934-8902 or email me to inquire about my newest real estate listings in any or all of these areas: Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, or Agoura Hills.

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