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What Does El Niño Mean for SoCal Homeowners in 2016?

MALIBUEl Niño – Intense 2015-2016

By now unless you live under a rock, you have all heard of the meteorological label known as, El Niño, but are you aware of how it may impact homeowners and real estate investors, especially in Southern California in the not so distant future? Experts are now predicting that the weather pattern — a term that has become all too familiar in our everyday vernacular — is due to pack a serious punch to real estate owners in the near future especially on the West Coast. If you have heard the term, but aren’t exactly sure what it is, here is CNN’s tiny, encapsulated version of a not so tiny weather pattern. CNN refers to El Niño as:

 …a weather event which “heats up the atmosphere and changes circulation patterns around the globe, especially the jet stream over the Pacific, which becomes stronger and dumps more frequent and intense storms over the western U.S., especially California.

The National Weather Service issued an El Niño advisory on October 8th, 2015, indicating …an approximately 95% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, gradually weakening through spring 2016.” What does this mean for you? Rain. Rain and lots of it. And after four years four years of being lulled by drought conditions, of course Californians will welcome the wet weather, but is your home prepared to withstand torrential down-pours? If not, and even if you aren’t sure, don’t wait for the rains to start.

Ventura County Roofing BOOMING as Homeowners Prepare

Make sure that your roof is inspected and repaired if necessary. It’s a good thing to do annually anyway. Check your sewers and drain pipes. I’m afraid Californians have become all too comfortable but now is not the time to sit back and do nothing. And it’s important to note that weather experts are only “predicting” heavy downpours but even they will admit they aren’t exactly sure. However, if you are buying, selling or currently own a home – chance isn’t on your side, not this season. Do the due diligence to protect your home, your investment and most of all your safety. A recent article in the Ventura County Star and reporting by ABC are saying that Ventura County roofing companies are booming due to El Niño. Homeowners are being cautious – hype or safety first? You be the judge? Says Steve Radenbaugh of Bilt-Well Roofing, while it’s probably not a great time to be removing your roof as that’s a 3-5 day job, he does point out in a recent ABC video report on El Nino:

You want to make sure your roof is free of debris, your valleys, your gutters, so the water is flowing off it like it’s supposed to … some trouble spots that could lead to an El Nino leak include the seals around vents and sunlights. Waiting until the rainy months to address roof issues could lead to other problems.

El Niño: Ventura County Prepares

So as we steel ourselves for the El Niño storms ahead, are we proceeding in fear? Of course not. Does this mean don’t buy or sell a home here? Absolutely not! What it means is that the best defense is a good offense. And we Californians are very aware of uncontrollable natural events in SoCal as it’s earthquake country. Does a little or a lot of ground shaking scare us enough to pack up and leave? No. We would miss out on the almostwell except when El Niño hangs outperfect year-round climate and all the wonderful things that come with living on the Pacific Coast. So what do we do? We get prepared. El Niño is no different. Of course, as always when purchasing or selling, have your eyes open. If you are buying a home, pay extra special attention to gutters, seals and roofs when you are inspecting. If you own or you want to sell, do your best to repair these cracks or leaks now. But if in the event you do find yourself at the mercy of an El Niño downpour – here are some tips from the Ventura County Emergency Preparedness site – ReadyVenturaCounty and they are good ones. You will want to pay attention:

Download the checklist: Emergency Supply Kit Assemble an emergency supply kit.

  • Register your phone number(s) at vcalert.org.
  • Purchase flood insurance. Many homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
  • Create a list of items to take with you if you are asked to evacuate. Items such as: keys, cash and credit cards; photos; insurance papers; computers; prescriptions; and pet supplies.
  • Clear debris from roof gutters, downspouts and drains so water can flow and drain properly.
  • Have a supply of sandbags and other flood prevention materials such as plastic sheeting, plywood and tarps.

For even more on emergency preparedness, visit the full Ventura County website for more information. It is really informative.

Hiking, Beaches, Fun … oh and a Little El Niño

Now that that you are sufficiently informed, you can relax and enjoy all that Westlake Village and surrounding communities have to offer – it really can’t be beat! So for now at least, enjoy the amazing weather that we are blessed to enjoy. Take a drive to Malibu beach for a sunset stroll or get out on the many hiking trails near Westlake Village or even better catch up on your holiday shopping at The Shoppes. El Niño can’t break our spirits in SoCal – we’re having way too much fun!

If you like this article on El Nino feel free to comment. For more information on any topics covered in this blog or if you are interested in buying, selling or viewing properties in Westlake Village, contact Lydia Gable Realty Group today.

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Conejo Valley – Zombies, Ghosts and Ghouls!

HALLOWEENPUMPKIN

Conejo Valley ideas for Halloween

Live in the Conejo Valley and want some ideas for Halloween? Whether you live here or you are courting the idea of relocating, what better way to get to know your neighbors and have some fun than to be scared out of your wits by ghouls and goblins? But seriously if you have never ventured out in the Valley on Halloween, there are so many organized activities. There is no excuse not to have fun! Take a look at just a few of the splendid goings-on.

Zombie Walk?!! Ahhh!

The Stagecoach Inn Museum at 51 South Ventura Park Road, Newbury Park, does something awesome every year forGhouls1 Halloween. This year is no exception. On Saturday, October 31st from 12:30pm and 4pm the museum is hosting Halloween crafts, games and storytelling for the kiddies and even a pre-carved pumpkin contest. So get to carving – you could win big and it’s a fun event that the whole family can enjoy together. The museum states on their website that costumes are optional but highly encouraged. Of course – Halloween is all about costumes but I guess they want have too much of a ‘fright’ if you decide to go sans costume. But the best part is the museum sponsors a Zombie walk! That’s right you read that right – you can take part in a Zombie Walk! How fun is that?

Admission $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students (not to mention senior students and student seniors) and $2 for kids ages 5 to 12. Under 5 is free! www.stagecoachmuseum.org

Visit an Enchanted Forest!

Prefer to stay in with your little ones on Halloween? Why not head on over to the Oak Park’s 10th Annual Indoor Halloween Carnival? The Oak Park Community Center does it big every year for Halloween and this year is no exception. The event will take place at Oak Park Community Center, 1000 Kanan Road, on Saturday, October 31st from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Only $2 for 2 and up and $1 for under age 2. Parents are free when accompanied by children.

Ghouls2The Halloween Carnival is for so fun for children but kids and their parents will enjoy games, attractions, food and even prizes. Costumes are encouraged. If you haven’t been to this carnival before, you are in for a ‘treat’. They will display a Trick or Treat Village and even an Enchanted Forest! They also have fun stuff like face painting, game booths and of course food for all. The best part – the entrance fee covers UNLIMITED use of all games and attractions. If you have children, The Halloween Carnival in Oak Park is definite must-do.

For more information visit www.rsrpd.org or call 818.865.9304.

Hempstead Halloween Tour

If you just moved to Agoura Hills or to one of the surrounding neighborhoods in the Conejo Valley, you may not be aware of this beloved Halloween tradition. A cul-de-sac, on the 5700 Block of Hempstead Drive, does it HUGE for Halloween. The Hempstead Halloween is famous that it attracts several thousands of visitors each year both from the Conejo and San Fernando Valleys and Los Angeles

The neighbors on the block take this 20 year old tradition very seriously. In fact, according to the website, “Themes are established each year and the residents carry out the design work, lighting, props, and music or sounds to make the surreal scenes come to life.”

So take your family for a night or terror and torture and then when you are sufficiently scared out of your gourd, head over for some comfort food at The Shoppes in Westlake Village. Sounds like the perfect evening. If you dare…

Note: From the City of Agoura Hills: To ensure the safety of residents and visitors to the annual Halloween festivities on Hempstead Drive, all access points will be closed (open only to pedestrians and/or residents who will need to present verifiable identification) on Monday, October 31, between the hours of 5 through 9 p.m.  http://ci.agoura-hills.ca.us/

Reign of Terror – Are You Brave Enough

Are you a “Freddie” fan? Is gore and horror your favorite Halloween activity? Then look no further! The Reign of Terror Haunted House at Janss Marketplace is waiting for you… Gahahaha, if you can stand it! Halloween weekend for two nights of horror on Friday 7-10 p.m. and Saturday 7-11 p.m. you can test your mettle. This haunted house is the real deal. In fact it was voted the best walk through attraction in SoCal.Ghouls3

Buy tickets, RSVP and get the details at the link below. Plus, enter for your chance to WIN a FREE VIP Ticket and “I SURVIVED” T-shirt. See you there! http://bit.ly/ROT15

This is just a small smattering of the Halloween activities availed to you in the Conejo Valley.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, living here is all about a sense of community. This is why I love and feel privileged to live and work as a Real Estate Agent in Westlake Village. If you are a home buyer and looking for an award winning real estate agent, contact Lydia Gable Realty Group today to view current listings in Westlake Village and surrounding communities. Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Conejo Valley: There’s So Much to Do!

CONEJOVALLEYThe Conejo Valley : Doin’ It!

The Conejo Valley is an activity haven. If you are seeking a new neighborhood chalk full of things to do or if you currently live here, check out the local happenings. It doesn’t get much better than this eclectic mix of things to do for you and the whole family. And of course if you are on the hunt for a new home, taking part in some of these happenings is a fantastic way to test-drive a potential neighborhood.

The Taste of Conejo

The Taste of Conejo is an annual fave especially among the Westlake Village locals. The seventh Taste of Conejo will be presented by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, October 1, 5-8 p.m., at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village.

If you are a foodie or a wine aficionado, you will be in your glory at this event. But in any case, who doesn’t love good eats? The Taste of Conejo is an all-inclusive evening of gourmet food, wine, beer and spirits. Enjoy tastings from over sixty local restaurants, breweries and wineries.

VIP tickets are available at TasteofConejo.com for $100 a person, which includes complimentary valet parking and a one hour early entry into the event from 4-5 p.m.

General admission tickets are available until Oct. 1st, tickets online for $75. There are a limited number of tickets that will be sold at the door. 21 and over only will be allowed admittance.

For more on the events and its participants visit TasteofConejo.

The 11th Annual Reyes Adobe Days Festival

The Reyes Adobe Historical Site at 5464 Reyes Adobe Road, Agoura Hills holds an annual festival. This is good time for the whole family. And if your pre-teens are Disney fans, well you will make them quite happy if you plan on attending the parade. While the event runs from October 1 – 4, 2015. The weekend festival will take place 10/3 & 4 from 11am – 4pm.  But on 10/3 the Reyes Adobe Day Parade with celebrity grand marshal, Corey Fogelmanis, who plays Farkle Minkus on Disney’s “Girl Meets World”, starts at 10 am. RAD is not only fun but educational. The whole family can celebrate unique California culture and history on the grounds of an original 1845 California rancho. Rancho activities include pony rides and a petting zoo; art boutique and gallery featuring local artists; local craft beer; food; museum tours and more.

TICKETS: The family weekend festival admission is FREE of charge.  For select events (Senior Fiesta, Night@Adobe, RADrun, Gymkhana), purchase tickets at reyesadobedays.org 

Celebrate Westlake Village – More to Do!

Do not miss the City of Westlake Village’s 13th Annual City Celebration on Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 3pm to 8pm. If you aren’t from the area, this is the best way to find out what we already know. Westlake Village is the best community to live and work in – I can attest to that. At the celebration which features local performers, food trucks, and even a twilight run, your whole family will enjoy tons of fun. Be sure to check out the Goblin Gallop, magic show at 6pm and the popular White Oak Elementary Family Festival which features rides, a cake walk, inflatables, and a bake sale and silent auction. The Triunfo YMCA Twilight Goblin Gallop 5K starts at 5:30pm. There is also a one Mile Trick or Treat Fun Run at 6:15pm for kids. How fun is that? Kids who participate can stop at the numerous Trick or Treat stations along the course. Not only just for the little ones, this annual city event offers exciting performances and scrumptious food for all who attend. Free admission. For more information visit the festival website.

Booh! You Better Run! 

Haunted Trails of the Night 5K/10K Family Run/Walk is Saturday, October 17th at Paramount Ranch. Packet pickup at 6pm; race starts at 7pm. Runners of all levels and abilities are invited to experience trail running at night. This is open to the whole family. Those who are running or walking on the moonlit trails, will have a unique experience in the historic motion picture town of Paramount Ranch. If you are feeling extra social, stay after the run for a haunted post run hang in the historic old ghost town of paramount ranch. Drinks, food and fun. Also dress up in your best costume, there are awards!

Address: Paramount Ranch

2903 Cornell Road Agoura Hills

Parking and restrooms on site. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult. For more on the event visit the socalultrarunning site to sign up.

Home is Where the Heart Is…

Last but not least, don’t miss the 41st Conejo Valley Home Remodeling & RV Show. Homeowners, if you are planning fall and winter home improvement projects, now is your chance to talk with professionals for ideas and tips. The fall show is Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11 at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza (880 S. Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village). And it may be local, but this is no small production. Attendees will have access to over 170 vendors with information on everything from kitchen and bath remodeling to interior decorating and landscaping as well as advice for pools and spas. The latest RVs and offroad vehicles will also be on display from Simi RV & Offroad. In case you are a foodie, this event has you covered. Gourmet food trucks will be on site at the show on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., October 10.

Home Show hours: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free passes are available online at The Conejo Valley Home Show site. Admission at the door is $4 per person. For more information, call 805-529-0760 or e-mail showkase9@gmail.com. 

Bluegrass Music, Fire Engines, and Pumpkins!

The Underwood Family Farms’ 18th Annual Fall Harvest Festival will take place October 3rd to October 31st.  Here are only some of the highlights… 

  • Friends of the Farm Weekend on October 3rd & 4th. Proceeds will help benefit The Ventura County Sheriff’s Charity Organization Cops Running for Charity and The Ventura County Fire Department’s Charity Groups. Not only is this a worthwhile cause to support, your kids will love the demonstrations including fire trucks, ambulances, tank type vehicle, bomb squad with their bomb robot, police car/motorcycle and much more.
  • October 10 & October 11 listen to the best country and bluegrass music. And if you are a pumpkin lover, there will be a Giant Pumpkin Contest on Sunday, October 11!
  • Antique Tractor Weekend is October 17 & 18 (10am-4pm) with antique tractors and a tractor parade!
  • October 24 & 25 is Western Weekend – from 11am – 3pm, there will be stunt ropers, a covered wagon, music, magic and much more! At 3:00, the cowboys ride off, but the festival continues until 6:00pm with music, games, rides, races and tons of family fun.
  • The final day of the festival is Saturday, October 31, “All About Pumpkins” weekend, with live entertainment from 10:30-5:30! Also on the weekends, food vendors serve up the Lion’s Club hot dogs, hamburgers, roasted corn on the cob, pie, Spencer/MacKenzie’s Mexican food, shave ice, kettle corn, cookies and more.

The 2015 festival will be open from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. Admission to the festival is $15.00 on Saturdays and Sundays and $6.00 per person Monday through Friday. Children under 2 are free PLUS parking is FREE! For more info visit the website at Underwood Family Farms.

This is just a small taste of why I love living and working as Real Estate Agent in Westlake Village. If you are a home buyer and looking for an award winning real estate agent, contact Lydia Gable Realty today to view current listings in Westlake Village and surrounding communities.

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The Shoppes at Westlake Village – 7 New Restaurants…

THESHOPPESDiningThe Shoppes at Westlake Village is just an added perk of living in the greatest community in Southern California. While everyone who lives here probably takes for granted the great shops and restaurants at this outdoor mall, many SoCal residents may not know that six (and there’s more – see the website) new restaurants have just opened or will open soon at the venue. Westlake Village – could it get any better? Well “yes” apparently is the answer to that question. So if you are thinking about relocating to a resort-style, luxury community or if perhaps you simply want to experience a new culinary outing with friends, read more about the newest additions to the already scrumptious cuisine at The Shoppes at Westlake Village.

The Gallery

The Gallery describes its American cuisine as “casual yet elegant” and I ‘d say that just about sums up Westlake Village. So it looks like this seafood and chops restaurant should fit right in among the locals. And speaking of the locals, the owners pride themselves on “locally sourcing herbs and fish” which is an added plus. If you are feeling like enjoying a night out of seafood and drinks with friends, The Gallery might be the perfect choice.

Many of the Santa Barbara faves have now found a home in Westlake Village including Jeanine’s, Olio e Limone and Olio Pizzeria. Read all about these three stand-outs below.

Jeannine’s Gourmet Food Hall

Jeannine’s says they pride themselves on providing a place where “people can enjoy one-of-a-kind pastries and nutritious food…a reflection of what we as a family like to eat every day.” Wholesome and nutritious food that rivals any chain. This place is great stop after a day of shopping with the entire family and your kids will thank you for the pastry treats although I dare you not to indulge! http://jeannineswestlakevillage.com/

Olio e Limone Ristorante

Meaning “oil and lemon” in Italian. Alberto and Elaine Morello’s philosophy: rely on the integrity of the ingredients and quality of the preparation. Diners will enjoy “simply sophisticated” Italian cuisine. With a menu that includes burrata salad and house-made duck ravioli with porcini mushroom sauce, leave the diet at home. This smells and tastes of luxurious Italian cuisine at its best. You can also purchase a bottle of their home made olio, an “organic extra-virgin olive oil made from Sicilian olive varieties.”  1 (818)706-Olio (6546) Option 1  | Hours: Sun-Thurs 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-10:30PM |  WEBSITE

Olio Pizzeria

The sister establishment to Olio e Limone, Olio Pizzeria was Inspired by the enoteche (wine bars) and pizzeria found at the many piazzas in Italy, Alberto and Elaine Morello’s deliver “artisanal Italian food” at this Westlake Village, gourmet pizzeria. On the menu are salami and formaggi (cheese), authentic pizza, as well as a myriad of regional wine choices and artisanal Italian beers.   1 (800)706-Olio (6546) Option 2 | Hours: Sun-Thurs 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-10:30PM  |  WEBSITE

Opening Soon…

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.’s Westlake Village “taproom features indoor and outdoor table seating with all of their core beers on tap and ready “to go” in bottles.” If you a are a beer aficionado or better yer, you just enjoy dining out at new places, this is a perfect weekend respite for the working folk. “The Westlake Village taproom offers a full artisanal menu featuring fresh gastropub fare such as burgers, tri-tip sandwiches, salads and sliders or beer ‘to go’.”  Hours: Sun-Thurs 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-10:30PM  |  WEBSITE 

In-N-Out

And of course if you come to Southern California, you crave In-N-Out. Now The Shoppes can boast the famed SoCal burger establishment. For those of you not from the area, In-N-Out is to SoCal what Dunkin Donuts is to Massachusetts. If you are from the East Coast, nothing else needs to be said. Friendly service, no pre-packaged fast food. Just fresh burgers done the old fashioned way.

1 (800) 786-1000 | Hours:Sun-Thurs 10:30AM-12AM, Fri-Sat 10:30AM-12:30AM |

Los Agaves Restaurant

Newly opened, Los Agaves is family-owned. A traditional family style Mexican restaurant, it is the same owners as the Santa Barbara location. Says the site, “Customers order at the counter and visit the salsa bar while their food is being prepared. We have been told we have the best fish tacos in town!” Who can pass up the best fish tacos in town?

1 (818)874-0769  | Hours: Mon-Fri 11AM-9PM, Sat-Sun 9AM-9PM  |  WEBSITE

Westlake Village – The Best Kept Secret in The Conejo Valley

I hope you enjoyed this guide to some of the newest restaurants here at The Shoppes at Westlake Village. If you don’t live here, you may have an inkling now as to why I consider myself privileged to work and play in the best community in Southern California. Of course I enjoy it – who wouldn’t?  I get to find the most gorgeous homes for couples and families just starting out so they too can enjoy living in Westlake Village and all that it has to offer.

While the dining, entertainment, outdoor activities and perfect climate in Westlake Village are what I mostly boast about in my blogs, you can’t have a terrific environment without the people. It’s the residents that make this community a great place to live. So if you are relocating soon to this part of the world, walk don’t run. If you are thinking of buying a new home, make an appointment with me to view the newest listings in the area. You could be in a new home by the fall. At the very least, you will view some of the premiere luxury properties in all of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties and as an added bonus, you’ll enjoy a burger and a pastry at The Shoppes at Westlake Village – it’s a win-win!

 

 

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Lydia Gable at Keller Williams Adds to her Team

LydiaGableandTeam

Thousand Oaks Acorn


*This article was recently published in Thousand Oaks Acorn. Great article… 

Lydia Gable, Keller Williams Adds to her Team

Realtor Lydia Gable with Keller Williams Realty recently announced the addition of two employees to her team.

Aubrey Slack has been licensed in real estate for over 13 years and has worked throughout California, Alaska and Texas. She will join Lydia Gable Realty Group as an executive assistant, managing all of Gable’s transactions.

Lisa Kass has been licensed since 2010 and has successfully helped buyers and investors in Los Angeles and the Conejo Valley. She will join the team as a buyer’s agent.

I am thrilled to welcome these talented women to my team,” Gable said. “We have worked tremendously hard to get where we are today, and now we have even greater capacity to provide outstanding customer service to our clients. That is our highest priority.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

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The Conejo Valley: A Perfect Place to Call Home

WestlakeCommunityEventsOften I sell homes to clients who are relocating from out of state or to young couples looking to move up. The common sentiment expressed is, “Wow I didn’t know about all the great things this community had to offer.” In light of the best kept secret in real estate, the Conejo Valley, I thought I would share some juicy info that you may not know about this community – things to do, clubs to join, and more. If you have ever thought about moving to Westlake Village, Agoura Hills or Thousand Oaks, read more for facts and fun that you never knew. Read more to find out about the community I love and in which I have the privilege to work and play.

Let the Music Play On…

Did you know that during the summer and early fall there are free concerts all over the community? Here is an upcoming event in Westlake Village – part of the Concerts in the Park Series:

City of Westlake Village Concerts in the Park Series – Boogie Nights (Disco)

Sat, August 22, 7pm – 9pm

31800 Village Center Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91361

Says the Conejo Valley Guide:

The 12th Annual TGIF Westlake Village series offers families a series of free performances at the Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 Oak Crest Drive. Events start at 7pm. The lineup includes: Saturday Concerts in the Park planned this summer at Berniece Bennett Park, 31800 Village Center Road: Sat, August 22 at 7pm: Boogie Nights (disco). Food is available for sale from local restaurant vendors each week. Concerts start at 7pm. More information and updates at www.wlv.org.

Organic Harvest…

Farmer’s Markets abound in the Conejo Valley – I am going to go out on a limb and say there are probably a larger variety of Farmers Markets here in then in most Southern California communities. Take a look at all of these choices and it’s only a small selection:

  • Westlake Village Farmers Market – Sundays 10a-2pm   2797 Agoura Rd, Westlake Village
  • Agoura Hills Farmers Market – Sundays  9a-2pm   5835 Kanan Rd, Agoura Hills
  • Thousand Oaks Farmers Market – Thursdays  1:30p-6pm     The Oaks Mall, east parking lot, Thousand Oaks.

Clubs, Volunteer and Networking Orgs…

Did you know that Ventura County, part of the Conejo Valley, is home to a slew of professional, service and networking clubs and organizations? If you are a corporate professional, a community volunteer enthusiast or just looking to get involved, this is the place to be. Have you heard of the Optimists Club? There is a chapter in Ventura County – the name is quite appropriate. We are an optimistic set for sure. Take a look at Optimist International – this is just one of many clubs you can join as soon as you move here. According to Optimist International:

Optimist International is a worldwide volunteer organization made up of more than 2,500 local Clubs whose Members work each day to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, in their communities, and in themselves.

They have events and groups for both adults and youth and there is a chapter right in Ventura County. What better way to settle into a new community.

Here are some more professional organizations..,

You can find a myriad of organizations and charitable groups at The Conejo Valley Guide Service Clubs page.

Taste of Conejo…

If you only just relocated to the Conejo Valley or you are planning on it by summer’s end, well you will be right in time for a fantastic annual event, Taste of Conejo, held every October. According to the event sponsored website, Taste of Conejo gives you the opportunity to:

Join over 1,000 local food and wine enthusiasts at the 7th Annual Taste of Conejo on Thursday, October 1th from 5-8 p.m.! Enjoy an evening of exceptional food, wine and spirit tasting, and live entertainment, all under one roof! This inclusive event invites you to sip and taste the creations of over 50 local, premier food and beverage participants.

Sherwood Country Club…

And finally you may not know that if you buy a home and relocate to the gated community of Lake Sherwood, you will have the opportunity to join the prestigious Sherwood Country Club. Says the site:

Sherwood is a private golf, tennis and country club set at the base of the majestic Santa Monica Mountains in Thousand Oaks, California. The Club is home to a championship 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, driving range and golf clubhouse. Adjacent to the golf club is the tennis clubhouse, complete with 14 courts, a sparkling pool, fitness facility and full-service spa.

The Conejo Valley: Your are Home

This is only a sliver of the many goodies offered to the residents of the Conejo Valley. Beyond the great people, the year round perfect climate, and luxury resort living, it’s a community that you can live, work and play in but most of all, it’s a place to call home.

If you are ready to buy a home, you can learn more about the community and view listings in Westlake Village or anywhere in the Conejo Valley by contacting Lydia Gable today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Home Buyers: It’s Time to Buy Now!

Home Buyers - Buy NowThe Time to Buy: Today!

David Seaburg, head of sales trading recently said as reported by CNBC, “I think housing stocks are names you should continue to own here, especially in the face of wages improving and jobs growth.”  The consensus by a myriad of experts is that housing is on the verge of breakout. In May, the housing market saw the biggest numbers in years and real estate stock continues to grow. With real estate stock booming, this kicks the economy into high gear and then you guessed it, buyers go out and spend more.

Home Buyers: California is a Hot Market

Are you ready or are you still in a recession mindset? Maybe you are saying, “Well I don’t know if that applies to my corner of the world.” Certainly some markets are still struggling, but there are areas of the country that are very hot right now. Says chief economist at Realtor.com, Jonathan Smoke:

Our early read of real estate trends in June suggests good news ahead for the U.S. residential real estate market, especially in the hottest markets with healthy growth in supply. California again dominated the hottest markets list.

So if you are ready to buy or even poised to sell, now is the time.

Why Buy Now  in Ventura County?

Terry Savage, expert on personal finance, the economy and markets wrote recently on a Huff Post Money Blog,

The time to get into the market is when there is little competition pushing prices higher.

But if you look at the numbers, you have an exceptionally advantageous window of opportunity right now. It does not mean you cannot buy later, but in terms of investment, every economist is saying “get in now.”

As I wrote in my recent blog Housing Market Hits Record Highs, May and June numbers are leading housing experts to sit up and pay attention. According to a recent Metro Study Report, Ventura County closings are up.

Ventura County closings increased from 95 to 183 (+93%), and annual closings increased from 502 to 566 (+12.7%).

We can all focus on the the past mistakes of the 2008 housing crisis but it makes much more sense to embrace that we are in a strong recovery and it’s a time of growth and opportunity. The numbers, while they off to a slow start in January, have been steadily climbing. It is likely now that we are going to continue to prosper. If you are ready to sell, make sure your home’s curb appeal is shinier and more appealing than any others, so you sell at your listed asking price. The competition is tough. Make sure to get the right agent and professionally stage your home so buyers are begging to get in. If you are looking to buy, many of you who are new to Southern California might not know about a community, just a short jaunt from Los Angeles, Westlake Village. If you are looking for a home that includes Southern California resort style living, top schools and a close proximity to Los Angeles, this is the place to view luxury home listings.

For more on Westlake Village and surrounding areas like Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills, contact Lydia Gable today.

 

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Housing Market Hits Record Highs

HomeBuyersFirst Time Home Sales Surge

In May, home sales surged to a 5 ½-year high. This is good news for the market indeed, as more first-time home buyers including the millennials, finally took the plunge going from rental homes to marriage and first homes. Additionally real estate stocks hit a huge multiyear new level high leaving traders to say invest, invest, invest.

As reported by The Business Journals, The National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun, said that the increase in new home buyers flooding the market, could signal more recovery on the horizon. He added that:

The return of first-time buyers in May is an encouraging sign and is the result of multiple factors, including strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgage insurance and lenders offering low down payment programs.

Existing Home Sales Also Hit New Highs

Then just after NARS reported the flood of first time home buyers into the housing market, Reuters reported that ‘sales of existing homes hit their highest level since 2009’. Yun said this was promising although the supply is still short of the demand keeping prices on the higher end.

With all this talk of recovery, if you were one of the cautious hold-outs, now may be the time to buy. If you are considering a new home purchase or perhaps considering buying your first home, think about starting the search now. You could be in a new home just in time for the leaves to change and children to return to school.  If you still aren’t sure but you are at least thinking of buying a home, take a cue from the market numbers. Look at the stock – if you have doubts. The economy is in recovery—it is. It’s not a fluke. A majority of economists agree even while cautious that it’s no longer speculation, we are in the midst of economic recovery. Investors know it, existing home owners know it as they begin to list their homes now increasingly. But where is the best place to hang your hat and call home?

Buy Well, Luxury Living in Ventura County

One of the best recovering areas, not to mention one of most luxurious places to live in the country, is Ventura County. Home sales have been steadily climbing and existing home values have continued to appreciate. In fact the Ventura County Star reported this month that the median home price and value in Ventura County:

…climbed to $500,000 last month, the highest value in eight years, according to data reported Wednesday by the real estate information service CoreLogic.

So if you are young and plan on moving onward and upward, Ventura County is not only a wonderful place to live but also a sound investment for home buyers. More than the investment though, you will be living in an area with a year round perfect climate, beaches and canyon trails nearby, lakes and country clubs only a stone’s throw from your front door, and the best schools, shopping and restaurants in Southern California. What more could you ask for? Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks and Calabasas – it’s the privilege that comes with working hard and coming home to luxury.

For more information on viewing homes in Ventura County, contact Lydia Gable today. Stay tuned for the next blog which will be posted soon. Feel free to weigh in with your comments here if you live in Westlake Village or surrounding areas and you want to share more about the best area to live work and play.

 

 

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Homeowners Need to Conserve Whether The Well Runs Dry On Turf Rebates Or Not

 

droughtIn response to drastic mandatory cuts on water use, several agencies throughout Southern California are offering rebates to customers who remove their lawns and replace them with turf. While these incentives are no doubt enticing, the well is bound to run dry at some point. On funding, that is.

While very much appreciated, we’ve already seen evidence of the financial instability of these programs.

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which offers $2 and $1 per square foot of lawn removed from residential and commercial properties, respectively, recently declared its rebate funds had been fully committed. Fortunately, MWD voted this week to approve an additional $350 million to continue the program. Though the parameters have now been restricted slightly by placing a cap on the allowable rebate amount – $6,000 for residential and $25,000 for commercial – it’s still good news for homeowners. But how many more rounds of funding can the agency approve? The initial $100 million dedicated to the program was dispersed in about 6 month’s time. With mounting pressure for conservation, including Governor Brown’s 25% reduction mandate announced last month, MWD’s newly approved funding will likely disappear even more quickly this time around.

Locally, Calleguas Water District, which serves much of Ventura County, once added $1 per square foot to the MWD rebate but ran out of funding. The Calleguas website states the agency is taking three months to “streamline” the process, and refers customers directly to MWD.

Incentives are great, but unfortunately it’s not possible for these agencies to fund rebate programs for the duration of the drought. That’s why I encourage the homeowners I interact with to reduce consumption simply because it’s the right thing to do. Sounds “pie in the sky”, I know. And as a real estate professional, I know firsthand the leveling of pride that is required to let a lawn fade to brown, particularly for high-income clients who, realistically, can afford to pay fines for maintaining a lush, sprawling landscape.

However, there is a greater good to keep in mind, here. We are all in this together as Californians. We are fortunate to live in a beautiful place with a climate that is easy to take for granted – as easy as it is to take for granted that water will always pour from a tap when it’s turned on. But like any given region in the country, we have our own unique set of challenges inspired by Mother Nature. There should be no greater incentive than overcoming the threat of an unstoppable force in order to protect a place as uniquely beautiful as California.

It is my hope that we keep our priorities above the vanity of maintaining stellar curb-appeal and the simple comfort of a 20-minute shower, and truly sacrifice for this amazing place we are so fortunate to call home.

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Home Buyers – Location, Location, Location

 

Home LocationWhen searching for a new home, keep in mind location. Most buyers usually consider the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, the lot size, but in the final analysis, location is everything. We’ve all seen mansion-sized homes that are listed for a low asking price and then seen the same size home listed somewhere else for three times the price. What is the differentiating factor? Usually, the location is prime for the higher-priced home. Once the thrill of finding your dream home is worn a bit and you realize the commute to work is awful or there are no schools in the immediate vicinity, having a game room and several acres will mean a lot less.

When searching for a home in a great location, do the following research.

  • Commute

How long is the commute to work? If you love the home, it’s not going to mean as much if you are grumpy every time you return home from work. Also sometimes it’s not always the length of the commute but rather, can you handle it every day. Some commutes are longer but easier because of the direction you drive at rush hour. So try making the commute – can you handle it?

  • Safety and Schools

Is the area safe? Safety is always important. You can look up any statistics on crime for a given area. Obviously a potential buyer views a home during the day, but a neighborhood can appear very differently at night. Also, if you have children, it’s important to research the good schools in the area. Keep in mind, you may stay long term. So don’t forget to study the school rankings. Your children’s education depends on it.

  • Entertainment and Activities

Does the area offer entertainment options, shopping and activities? No home is the final answer. We don’t spend all day inside. So explore the area for nightlife, activities and local shopping. Are there things to do? Is there any good shopping, coffee shops, restaurants and/or outdoor fun near-by?

  • A Home Investment

Don’t forget that when you buy a home, location is not only a huge advantage while you live there, but of paramount importance when you decide to sell it. You may start out thinking “this is the home. I’ll never leave.” But things happen like job relocation, promotion, or you may just change your mind. If you decide to sell, being in the ideal location gives you a much better shot at getting your asking price.

The Conejo Valley: Why the Location is Everything

The Conejo Valley in Southern California is the prime location for home buyers. For all the aforementioned reasons, I sometimes list and close a property faster than you can say, “This is my dream home.” Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills are consistently ranked high in safety and school scores. Just a short commute to Los Angeles, the location is perfect if you want to live in a luxury, resort type setting but work in the city. The weather is perfect and shopping, outdoor hiking trails, lakes and Malibu Beach are just a stone’s throw from your door step.

For more on home listings in the Conejo Calley, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

 

 

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