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Equity Check: Is it Time to Sell?

Selling A Home: A Personal Decision

The decision to sell a home is a highly individualized and personal one. But there are signs to watch out for that may signal when it’s a good time to sell your home at least in terms of yielding the best profits. Ask yourself: would you know if your neighborhood property values were suddenly dipping because of a neighborhood decline? Or if your neighborhood is now showing signs of being on the upswing, how do you know when the right time is to list it or stay put?

Although not all of the experts agree on watching the overall neighborhood red flags as indicators of your home value decline or upswing, most do agree that there are signs to watch when making the decision to sell. Here are a few notes compiled by my fellow home experts that you might find useful as a guide post for knowing the right time to list. Ultimately, deciding to sell a home is based on a whole multitude of factors that might include, empty nest syndrome, a job move, loss of income, taking care of an elderly family member, needing a new start or any number of reasons. But if making the right move for investment purposes is your concern, then here are some good tips.

· Is Your Neighborhood on the Upswing

Many neighborhoods took a hit over the past few years causing either mass exodus or mass fear to make a move. As the signs and waves of recovery have slowly moved over the country, people are asking, “Do I sell now or do I wait for my housing value to go up?” Says an article on MSN titled, 8 signs your neighborhood is on the upswing, a good way to spot signs of a real-estate recovery in your community is to begin watching for improvements in the areas near you hardest hit by the downturn. If you start to see improvements in neighboring communities that were hardest hit, your neighborhood is likely on the upswing as well. If this is the case, you may want to start paying special attention. Watch the market and other home sales so you know when to jump in and list your home. Says the article:

Frequent purchases made by investors and first-time homebuyers are good signs. Watch for an increase in the sales of newly built homes versus discounted foreclosed properties; better sales will increase housing construction.

· Time to Sell: Your Neighborhood is in Decline

On the flip side of the equation, in a volatile housing market, a neighborhood can also take a downturn that may affect your home value. In this example, you might want to consider selling sooner than waiting for recovery. Says an article in Business Insider titled, 10 Signs That Your Neighborhood’s Property Value Is Declining, there are tell-tale signs to look for here. Faith Consolo, commercial real estate expert with Prudential Douglas Elliman says in the piece, a closing chain store should be a huge-tip off. She says:

They’re doing musical chairs to capture a whole new demographic. By divesting themselves of the larger location, they’re still keeping a presence but seeking out greener pastures.

· Crunch the Numbers – The Time is Right

Lastly, when in doubt, the numbers don’t lie. Says Michelle Lerner on ealtor.com in an article titled,When Is the Right Time to Sell Your Home? Do your research. Know your payoff amount versus profit and then find out the recent sales price of comparable homes in your community. Says Lerner:

Interview several REALTORS® and consult with them about current market conditions to estimate a listing price and how long it may take for your home to sell. Many sellers opt to put their homes on the market in the spring because that’s when more buyers are looking, but you can choose to sell at any time of year.

‘I’m Ready to Sell My House’

In the end, the decision to sell your home is one that only you can make by weighing all the pros and cons. But if and when you do get close to deciding, isn’t a sale that yields the biggest profit and closes at or close to asking price – shouldn’t that also be part of the decision? So, while it’s always a bit unpredictable and there may never be a perfect time, hopefully armed with the right information and a well-informed, experienced realtor, the decision as to the right time to sell will be as effortless as saying: “I’m ready to sell my house.”

Lydia Gable is a realtor in the Conejo Valley. She specializes in Westlake Village and Agoura Hills real estate. Years of working in both a thriving and a down real estate climate make her experience invaluable to a seller in a volatile market. If you have questions about listing your home or would like more information on anything covered in the article, please contact Lydia Gable today.

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Choosing the Best Realtor

What differentiates an “OK” realtor from one who is worthy of your highest referral? Well, there are questions to ask and a guide to determine the best from the rest. A great realtor has an important set of skills and traits which when combined make all the difference. A great realtor has not only the ability to navigate the marketplace—even in a down market — but the intuitive ability to tailor-fit the experience for each client’s specific needs. First and foremost, besides the obvious credentials, a realtor must be a good listener. If not, the partnership with the client is ultimately doomed. Below are several questions to ask as a well as guideline of must-haves so you choose the right realtor for you.

  1. A REAL-ly Great Communicator
    A realtor must be a great communicator – a people person. Communication skills and an affable personality will go a long way. More importantly in terms of communication, your realtor should have the knack for really listening. A great realtor will meet with you, know the right questions to ask and then really listen! This skill allows the client/broker relationship to flourish. The realtor will drive the entire process from soup to nuts which can include finding the right home to buy, staging a home for sale, or matching the right buyer to the home. There’s a lot to do well, from the start to close and the results can all teeter on one thing: did the realtor listen well?
  2. A Side Gig or Career: Who Is Your Realtor?
    Find a realtor who has lived, bought and sold in your community for enough time that you can assess his or her track record. If this simply happens to be a side gig for someone, your results are going to reflect that minimal effort. You should seek out a realtor who has lengthy experience and who lives and works in the community. Says an article on MSN, 7 ways to avoid a crummy real-estate agent, this step is incumbent on the potential buyer/seller to determine at the first consultation. Pat Vredevoogd Combs of Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt in Grand Rapids, Mich. tells MSN:

You really need to ask them where they work most of the time: Where do you live? Where do you work? What area of town are most of your transactions in? Consumers should look for agents with extensive experience in the area where their transaction is taking place.

  1. A GREAT Realtor Knows the Market
    A great realtor knows how to navigate the market – any market. How do you find this? Simple: choose experience every time. Author and CNN financial editor and author of Home Rich, Gerri Willis sat down with Robyn Moreno of Howdini.com. She says choose a realtor with at least 8 years of experience to offer. In this way you are guaranteed that they have learned to navigate in a down market. Who would you rather represent you, one that just became a realtor during a housing market boom or one who has weathered all kinds of markets and is still successful? Willis tells Moreno in the informative video interview:

I think right now you should be looking for someone who has been in the marketplace for at least 8 years. That means they have experience in a down market so they know what to expect right now.

  1. Web Savvy
    Last but not least, don’t forget the importance of technology. A top real estate agent must be on the cutting edge of web marketing technology. Newspaper ads are good but they won’t do the entire job in today’s technology-driven market. A realtor who’s not technologically-savvy, simply can’t compete today. Ask about this. S/he should be very good with photo listings – presenting the “best” online photos is crucial for a sale. S/he must be good “on the go” which requires web-savvy skills, answering emails, using the Ipad for meetings on the fly, Skyping if necessary – whatever it takes!

There are a lot of good real estate agents out there and a few really great ones. It’s all about asking the right questions to find the perfect one for you! Whether you are selling or buying, educate yourself, ask for references and ultimately, make the right decision for your needs.

Lydia Gable was ranked 2nd in Keller Williams in 2013 as a Top Performing Individual Agent, with high customer satisfaction. She lives, works and plays in the Conejo Valley. If you want to keep up with what’s happening in real estate and around Conejo, contact Lydia Gable today!

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Must Move in a Hurry: Tips to Ease the Process

I Have to Sell a Home in a Hurry!

You’ve only recently settled into a new home, you’re acclimating to the new neighborhood and suddenly your spouse comes home and says the dreaded, “I’ve been transferred. We have to move in two weeks!”

Before you panic, take it in stride – others have successfully navigated this scenario, so it can be done. With a little help from an experienced realtor and a good plan, you can move with ease through a difficult transition. As a realtor, I’ve worked with many professional athletes, film industry professionals, and corporate executives – hurried moves come with the territory.

Tips to Move in a Hurry

First and foremost, choose a realtor who has navigated this tricky terrain before. First decide if you will be renting the home out for a bit when you move or if you plan on selling your current home right away and buying in the new neighborhood. If you can rent or have one spouse stay behind while your home is on the market, this is the easiest choice. However, if that’s just not possible, you will need a very trusted agent that you trust to communicate long distance. Here are some tried and true tips that will help guide you through the process.

  • A Realtor You Trust

An article on Realty Times recommends that you stay in touch with your realtor and get constant updates. How is the sale price faring? How many people viewed?

Also the right realtor will assist you in hastening the paperwork process, completing all the necessary documents such as disclosure forms, and listing your home the minute you give him or her permission. For my clients I will go one step further. I have been known to check in on the home regularly, remove mail, let the house cleaners in so the home stays dusted and pristine, make sure the gardeners take care of the grass and flowers, and even open the windows or turn on the air conditioning when necessary. These are steps that, while not standard, are not out of the realm when you partner with a good realtor. It’s the best way to ensure that buyers will view the home comfortably.

  • Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is still important and may be even more so if you are vacating while the home is listed. You may have to hire landscapers and workers to up keep the house while you are trying to sell. Ideally it sells and closes quickly—back to step one: choose your realtor well—but in case there are hiccups, you need to maintain the curb appeal. Says the Realty Times feature:

Make sure the curb appeal lasts. That means you’ll need to hire someone to mow your lawn, rake the leaves, or shovel the snow.

  • Price Your Home Correctly

Price your home correctly. Your experienced realtor should guide you here. It’s not the best idea to attempt to sell the home on your own when you’re under the gun for time. Says an article in TheWall Street Journal:

Consider paying for an independent real-estate appraisal or do a survey of the actual prices comparable homes.

Buying a home is a big moment in every homeowner’s life. Whether you are a potential home seller, a seasoned seller, or up against a deadline. If you’re ready to sell your home, you know that the realtor you choose could be a deciding factor in how quickly and successfully your property moves through the market. If you need to sell your home in a hurry, call Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Summers by the Pool: Tips to Stay Safe!

For many of us, especially in Southern California, a pool is not only a valuable part of a luxury home purchase, but a more-common-than-not expectation at most properties in this part of the nation. Many of us prefer living in a home with a pool, beyond just for the added luxury it affords, but also because we are so lucky to enjoy year-round warm weather. And from a realtor’s point of view, a pool adds real value to a home’s appraisal price. Prospective buyers in Southern California particularly in the Conejo Valley area, expect to view homes that have swimming pools in the backyards. According to the Wall Street Journal, in Southern California, a pool is a must-have. Says WSJ according to the National Association of Realtors statistics:

Regionally, in-ground pools will add about 5% to the value of a home in the Northeast part of the country, about 6% in the Midwest and 7.5% in the Southeast and West. In the Southwest, a swimming pool will add nearly 11% to the home’s value.

However, with all this in mind, the sad fact remains that tragically, according to The American Red Cross, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. The truth is that these tragedies can be prevented. So as we approach the summer months and the kids are on school vacation, I thought it the perfect time to talk about pool safety. This might also be especially valuable information to you if you have recently moved into your first home or aren’t completely familiar with pool safety. At this peak time when we’ll all be spending lazy days at pool-side barbeques or hosting pool parties, having fun is important, but it’s also vital that you make safety a number one priority. When you do, you’ll feel free to laze and enjoy the luxury that the pool offers without having to worry about safeguards being in place.

Below are three all-too-common pool safety hazards and some very valuable tips to avoid falling victim to these accidents:

1.Drain Entrapment

  • An increasing common accident and pool safety hazard is drain entrapment. Children are getting too close to the suction valves on the sides of the pool and getting injured or even drowning. Long hair can get caught and in some cases, limbs. Says Pool Safety.Gov:

Consider installing a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS)—a device that will automatically shut off a pump if a blockage is detected—or any other automatic shut-off systems in your own pool or spa.

2.Accidental Pool Drowning

  • Install an automatic pool cover. Although the high end automatic pool covers can be a bit costly, they can be quite attractive and more importantly save lives in the end. But if that’s not an option, there are manual covers that also roll over the top.

3.Pool Gates and Alarms: Another Layer of Defense

  • Gates are also a great deterrent, but in the case of a small child somehow falling in, a pool alarm is a great second layer of protection. And depending on what state you live in, there may already be legislation on the books requiring this. According to an article in Good Housekeeping, alarms can alert parents to emergencies before it’s too late. Said the article:

We recommend using both pool and gate alarms. The more layers of protection, the better…

Now that you know the steps to take to keep your pool safe this summer, you’ll feel better knowing your family is safe. It’s time to relax – you’ve earned it! Now that we’ve gotten all of the safety talk out of the way, here’s wishing you an awesome summer full of lazy sun-filled days that you will cherish for years to come!

For more on Westlake Village Real Estate or any information in this article, contact Lydia Gable. Whether you’re relocating to the Conejo Valley area, a first-time buyer or seller, you will be in the best hands with a realtor who is not only a top ranked in Conejo Valley, but is also a long time resident. Contact Lydia Gabletoday for a consultation today.

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How Much ‘Home’ Will $1 Million Buy in Southern California?

‘The Bedroom Could Fit Inside a Walk-In Closet’

How much home will a million dollars buy in Southern California? In certain coastal areas of Southern California, prepare to appreciate the beach location over the size of the home. Unlike other parts of the country, $1 million in Malibu for instance, won’t buy you a mansion – a quaint cottage home maybe. And in Orange County for example, the home of the famed Real Housewives of OC, whose lifestyle we’ve all become privy to, $1 million doesn’t stretch as far as you might think.

A recent article in the Orange County Register, highlights just how little home $1 million will buy in the OC. Paul Crane, consultant to a group of investors who bought a 1930s era home in Newport Beach says when he stood in the bedroom doorway of a home for lease one block from Newport Beach’s Balboa Peninsula – an exclusive part of Orange County—it was abundantly clear that the buyer was paying for the location not necessarily the home. The price tag: $1 million. His conclusion:

The bedroom could easily fit inside a typical walk-in closet in this city. The residence itself is only 534 square feet. What we would consider a bedroom is maybe not what they considered a bedroom when (the home) was built.

And, points out the author, Marilyn Kalfus:

Twenty six miles inland, $1 million could fetch a ‘highly upgraded,’ 2,800-square-foot, five-bedroom home on half an acre in Fullerton… with a swimming pool and spa – plus a private tennis court.

The Median Home Value in Westlake Village: $847,400′

If you prefer instead that the price match the luxury surroundings and home size, don’t be disheartened quite yet. Travel a bit north of the OC and there are still very exclusive areas in Southern California where $1 million can buy you a beautiful home – quite possibly a beautiful home in a gated community surrounded by lake views, mountain ranges and just minutes from the Pacific Ocean.

Wikipedia describes it well saying, Westlake Village “borders the Malibu hills, and is nine miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.” What else could you want? But that’s only he cherry on the proverbial cake. For $1 million or less, you will live in a gated community among professionals and celebrities alike, just a short ride to Los Angeles and in one of the best school districts in Southern California. In Westlake Village, you can buy a home for less than $1 million and currently the home prices are on the rise. It’s a good time to dip your toe in the market. If you buy now, the valuation—if the market continues to rebound as it’s predicted—should appreciate in a few years if you plan to invest and sell. Of course there are many homes—as is true of any luxury community—in the area that list above $1 million, however there are just as many properties where $1 million will be buy you a luxury home and I promise, your bedroom will be bigger than a closet! Zillow writes, regarding home prices in Westlake Village:

The median home value in Westlake Village is $847,400. Westlake Village home values have gone up 4.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.8% within the next year. The median price of homes currently listed in Westlake Village is $835,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $894,750.

You Can’t Put a Price Tag on Quality of Life

If you’re curiosity is piqued about what a $1 million looks like in the Westlake Village area, come take a tour of the community. A drive through the neighborhood, the surrounding exquisite scenic views, and the prime location, will leave you wanting more. Take it from me – I not only sell homes in Westlake Village, but I live in the area. My point of view after living in the Conejo Valley for many years: you can’t put a price tag on quality of life!

If you are a potential home buyer, our team will find the right fit for your lifestyle and needs. Lydia Gable specializes in the finest real estate and luxury properties. She is a permanent resident of Conejo Valley who lives and plays where she works. Contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Turnkey Homes: ‘Turning’ Up the Dial on Conejo Valley Home Sales

“Turnkey” home listings have experienced a recent jump in popularity specifically on the West Coast. The term “turnkey” refers to those properties which require no renovations or repairs. The house is ready to move in – everything inside it is part of the asking price. West Coast realtors, including yours truly, have found when it comes to home sales, these types of homes are ‘turning’ home listings into fast closings. As a realtor, I thought you’d find it interesting to hear my unique perspective on turnkey homes. While in years past, the trend leaned more toward building a home to exact specifications, now as the market finds a new resurgence, turnkey homes are indeed ‘in’ again.

What Realtors Say About Buying Turnkey

Although turnkey listings tend to be a bit more expensive than traditional home listings, buyers like this option because once you close on the home your expenses are essentially complete. A recent article on MSNBC says that there has been an increase in popularity—mainly on the West Coast and in vacation communities—for turnkey properties. In the article titled, Where to Find Turnkey Homes, Susie Nancarrow, broker and owner of Nancarrow Realty Group in San Diego County is quick to point out though that turnkey “isn’t necessarily synonymous with move-in ready.” She says:

… a 1970s-style house in great condition isn’t turnkey because it’s dated. I usually use ‘turnkey’ when the house is up-to-date with today’s buyers’ expectations.

At the end of the day, the process is much simpler. There’s no need to imagine where the children’s room will go, how you will renovate. View real estate listings, choose the home you fall in love with, make an offer, close and the best part awaits. Put the key in the lock, turn it and voila, you are home.

The Benefits of Buying Turnkey Real Estate

The real reason a buyer wants turnkey-ready is two-fold. The buyer may be a very busy executive with very little time to remodel. With interest rates at an all-time low– the prices while a little higher than traditional home sales are still very low. The buyer is then more willing to pay a premium for this type of home.

Home buyers understand that to remodel a home they will need a minimum of 20 percent down to purchase it in addition to the money it will cost to then do the remodel. So the idea of only paying for the home with no additional costs can be attractive. If a kitchen needs a remodel for example, this could cost the home owner another $50,000 to $75,000.00. To redo windows for example, it could cost $20,000. To upgrade to central heating/air, it could be another $15,000.00. If a buyer only remodels the bathroom, it could cost upwards of $10,000 and $25,000.00 just to remodel the master bedroom. These are estimates of course, depending on the size of the home, but one can clearly see the benefit and savings based on these examples, in choosing a turnkey home.

Is there a down-side to buying a turnkey home? Not really – if there is, maybe one could say “it doesn’t have my personality stamp”. But the truth is, if you fell in love with the home in the first place, it does – it must speak to some aspect of your personality and personal taste! And there is no saying down the line, you can’t make changes or add special touches. But truly, if you’re buying a vacation or a holiday home or even buying your first home, this is a good move. I think especially if you must move in a hurry for a job change, a turnkey home can be the perfect alternative to a traditional option. So there you have it –just one realtors perspective. Good luck on your home search whether it’s for a turnkey home in Westlake Village, a mansion in Calabasas or a condo in Thousand Oaks, your home is wherever your heart is!

For more on “turnkey homes” or to view property listings in the Conejo Valley, contact Lydia Gable today.

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Keep Your Home Cool in the Summer Heat

We are already starting to see glimmers of Southern California summer heat especially in Ventura County. The temperatures reached blistering temps twice already last week and it’s only May. Pretty soon we’ll be taking lazy weekend trips to the many lakes, long stretches of beaches, and hiking trails that Southern California residents boasts about. So start preparing your home now for the hot season. Then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your beautiful chilled home as the dry West Coast desert temps hit their high marks.

Following are easy steps to use as a check list when preparing your home for summer.

First Things First: AC

Check and change the filters in your heating/cooling systems. Change them as often as is recommended by the manufacturer. Also, make sure to double-check that the thermostat is working correctly. Don’t wait until it’s already too hot to do the maintenance because if you do, you run the risk of trying to get an HVAC repair man to come out during the busiest season in town. For more tips on checking air conditioning, read my article titled It’s Summer: Check Your Air Conditioning Units in which I said in part:

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 head ache.

Up on the Roof

Now is a good time to inspect both your roof shingles and your attic insulation. An MSN real estate article recently offered some great suggestions to keep your home cool. And many of the answers are up on the roof. The piece suggests:

  • Using light shingles on a new roof can cut the amount of heat the house absorbs. Repainting in a light color, especially south- and west-facing exterior areas, helps as well.
  • Upgraded insulation in the attic and double-paned windows all around, complete with tinting to reflect sunlight, are good ideas, too.

Cut Your Costs While You Cool Your Home

If you want quick ways to weatherize your home with spending as much on the cooling as you spent to buy the house, a Networx article Simple Weatherizing for Summer, offer a few greats tips to keep the costs and the temperatures down without breaking the bank. The author suggests that a cost saving tip:

Caulking doors and windows: Air leakage is a serious problem. Running a bead of caulking around interior and exterior doors and windows will create a seal to minimize air flow, keeping cool air in and hot air out.

Soak Up the Fun in the Sun! Then Come Home to COOL!

Now you are prepared – stay cool inside while after enjoyed the outdoors in the beautiful Southern California sun . And on that note, if you need ideas for things to do this summer in and around Conejo Valley, read my recent blog, Spring & Summer Fun in Conejo Valley. Summer’s almost here, go have a mint julep, enjoy your dream home and beautiful backyard and reflect on how blessed we are to have this weather. Oh…and remember this when the temps shoot up to triple digits!

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected Realtor® who has helped countless clients in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties find new homes. For more information on any topics covered in this article or to view home listings or meet about homes sales, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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New Parents: Buying a Family Home?

Buying a Home for a New Family

Starting a new family and buying a new home can be daunting tasks on their own respectively. But doing both at the same time, for some can be an overwhelming process. Where do you start? What do you look for when purchasing a new home that must not only meet your needs, but now must meet the needs of your new family? Should you plan to stay for a few years? And even if you plan on selling in a year – if you cannot sell for some reason—will this home work for your new family long term?

Here are some important steps to take when taking your first steps into your new family home.

A Professional and Personal Inspection

The U.S. HUD portal suggests in their article 100 Questions & Answers About Buying A New Home that it’s important to be present at a both the professional inspection so that you may ask questions, but also to you do a very thorough personal walk-through—and most especially if you have a new family—consider the present and future. HUD calls this the ‘HUD Home Scorecard’.

  • Is there enough room for both the present and the future?
  • Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Is the house structurally sound?
  • Do the mechanical systems and appliances work?
  • Is the yard big enough?

Finding a Safe Neighborhood

Do due diligence when researching the safety of the neighborhood if you intend to raise a family there. The house might be beautiful or the street might be picturesque, straight from a postcard, but are surrounding neighborhoods safe? Do a walk-through of the neighborhood both during the day and night. Also ask people and do research. There are reputable resources that rank safety yearly – see my article from 2013 Thousand Oaks Ranked 4th in Safety. As a resident of the Conejo Valley and a realtor in Westlake Village and its surrounding communities, I said in the feature:

If you are considering buying a home in the city of Thousand Oaks, you should know that you will not only be living in one the safest areas of the country, but unlike some other communities which border somewhat sketchy neighborhoods, Thousand Oaks has as its neighboring cities, some California’s most affluent and often gated communities like Westlake Village, Calabasas and Agoura Hills.

Good School Districts

When buying a home, look at the school district both in around your area. If you end up buying a house, you may not stay in the actual neighborhood for years but it’s likely that you will stay in the area. Keeping that in mind, inspect the entire district. If you are just starting your family, prepare for a long term stay in the community even if you plan on selling in a year or two. For a good example of a great school district, see my article from earlier this year 2014-15 School Tours in the Conejo Valley. Conejo Valley has one of the best school districts in the country.

If you are new to the area, planning on a buying a home in and around the Conejo Valley, or you want your children to attend school at any of these top ranked educational locales…

A Local Realtor Who Lives and Thrives in the Community

I am not only a Westlake Village realtor, but I live and thrive in this community – I care! So when you ask a question about the schools or homes in the area, I can answer you from my real life experience. Ask your realtor if they live in the community, do they have a family there, kids in school?

If you are looking for a beautiful home in a good community in a safe neighborhood with good schools and great activity for the entire family, Conejo Valley is a great choice. For more information on any topic covered in this article or looking at homes for your new family, contact Lydia Gable today.

Take your time and think carefully about each house you see. Ask your real estate agent to point out the pros and cons of each home from a professional standpoint:

  • Safety
  • School
  • Fun
  • Proximity to Thriving City for Work
  • A Trusted Real Estate Agent Who Knows the Area
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Conejo Valley Real Estate Updates from Lydia Gable

5/16 – This information has recently been updated:

As somebody who likes to keep a pulse on what is going on in our lovely community, I wanted to share some exciting news about upcoming developments I recently received from my friend and trusted commercial Broker, David Massie, with DJM Commercial Real Estate.

Here is the update:

  • The Old Plug Nickel location (now a wine tasting bar called Cuvee Terrace) in Westlake Village is being sold and leased to a couple of very high-end successful Italian restaurants in other cities.
  • The vacant space in the same center as Lure Seafood just past The Counter location has signed a lease for a New Zeland Pacific Rim type restaurant called Aroha. In the old 9021Pho location in this center to the left of The Counter, a new restaurant called Kaze—which somehow fuses Japanese and Italian foods together—signed a lease.
  • In Agoura Hills, Vincitori Italian (owns Spumoni in NP also and replaced China Star here) just opened up recently in the Agoura Hills City Mall where the Agoura’s Famous Deli is and there will also be a new Kosher Israeli restaurant opening in the next couple of months just to the left of this Deli.
  • Padri’s will be opening up a high end Mexican restaurant in the Whizzins Center where Latigo Kid used to be in the next couple of months. Latigo relocated to the old Alamo location in the Vons anchored center at Kanan and Thousand Oaks Blvd. in Agoura Hills.
  • The old Red Robin in Calabasas is being leased by the Agoura Famous Deli owner and it’s yet to been seen what it will become.
  • The Gelsons/Sprouts/Vons center in WLV (all owned by one owner) is performing a 25 million dollar renovation and is going to not only remodel but also build new buildings in some of the parking areas as well as try to connect all 3 different plazas into one. New restaurants/food uses coming here are: Leilas (rumor only, not confirmed), Mendocino Farms, Pitfire Artisan Pizza, Le pain Quotidien, Pressed Juicery and Firefly. Target is under construction with a July 25, 2014, grand opening date and they own their land. The goal is to get all other Tenants open on or around this date, with the exception of buildings B and E, which will be later phases delivered in September. Here is a website link that will show you a site plan for each building so you can see where each tenant is going in this new center:http://www.shoppesatwestlakevillage.com/.

Building J – In N Out

Building G

– Suite A: Hook Burger

– Suite B: Negotiating with several food users

– Suite C: In Leases with a sit-down seafood restaurant

– Suite D: In Leases with a dessert tenant

Building F

– Suite A: In Leases with a sub sandwich tenant

– Suite B: Greens Up!

– Suite C: Olio E Limone Ristorante

– Suite D: Olio E Limone Pizzeria & Enoteca

Building C

– Suite G: Los Agaves

– Suite F: All Tressed Up (blow dry bar, also offers make-up application)

– Suite E: In Leases with a wireless tenant

– Suite D: Endless Beauty (high end beauty supply)

– Suite B & C: Salon suites tenant (haircut and color services)

– Suite A: BCBC Nail Salon

Building D

– Suite A: Negotiating with sushi concept

– Suite B: Negotiating with women’s apparel

– Suite C: Negotiating with a jewelry store

– Suite D: Negotiating with a home goods boutique

– Suite E & F: In leases with a men’s clothing store and children’s concept, but may relocate both users to accommodate a microbrewery we are negotiating with

– Suite G: Jeannine’s Marketplace

Building B (this is a second phase of the project, which will be delivered in September)

– Suite H: Tilly’s

– Suites A, B and a portion of C: Medical Use

Building E (this is a second phase of the project, which will be delivered in September)

– We have a lease out for signature with a 1,000 SF user, however. Will have several food and retail tenants.

Isn’t that exciting? These new developments will do wonderful things for Westlake Village Real Estate values and will certainly keep all of us entertained!

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First-Quarter SoCal Real Estate Market Update

While I am immersed in the busiest spring season for this realtor’s real estate career in years, I thought it pertinent to share with you a 1st quarter housing market update for Southern California. It’s good news indeed for you vigilant housing market watchers especially in the Ventura County area. Real estate numbers are on the up-tick and apparently not just for yours truly! Profit margins, new development, buying and selling— a majority of analysts report—is all on the incline. And although many naysayers feared another “housing bubble” debacle, the numbers remain consistently positive as does the future forecast.

Following are just a few analysts’ findings as they pertain to, specifically Southern California and Ventura County housing market numbers for this, the first quarter of 2014.

Positive Real Estate Market Numbers in SoCal

According to The Press Enterprise, KB Home, an LA based home builder discussed first quarter market results for 2014. KB Home President and CEO Jeffrey Mezger said in a conference call with analysts, “There is a strong indication that new home development in California will rise – and coastal communities will dominate the sales scene.” KB’s profits are at $10.6 million profit for the period ending Feb. 28. And he stressed that this is a profit margin milestone that hasn’t been achieved in the first quarter since back in 2007. Metzger went on to say:

Total revenues grew 11 percent to $405.2 million from the company’s delivery of 1,442 homes compared to 1,485 in the first quarter of 2013… California has some of the most dramatic examples of reposition strategy. We expect positive cross-over to positive unit sales in California at some point in the same year.

Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village Home Sales – HOT!

A February 2014 article in Ventura County Star said while some of Ventura County and parts of Southern California are experiencing a slump, the numbers emerging from the end of 2013 and now in this first quarter, indicate that luxury property sales are doing remarkably well. The Starsays some the best reports are coming from my “neck-of-the-woods” and I can vouch for that. The report says:

Homes selling in 2013 for at least $1 million in the county leapt nearly 43 percent to 780 sales up from 547 in 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. Hot areas were the Thousand Oaks-Westlake Village area.

Additionally, at least according to the forecast for Ventura County as projected by Zillow, these numbers over the next year are likely to continue a steady incline. Says the Zillow forecast of current home values, expected home prices, and the Ventura County housing market overview, it’s all moving upwards:

Ventura County home values have gone up 15.3% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 4.9% within the next year.

Ventura County Market Overview
(Data through Feb 28, 2014)

  • $474,700 ZHVI
  • 4.9% 1-yr forecast (Feb 28, 2015)
  • $559,000 Median listing price
  • $454,000 Median sale price

Where Luxury Steps Up to Greet You

Where luxury steps up to greet you – this is the focus for Westlake Village Realty. Beautiful homes are listed for sale now in the exquisite communities of Westlake Village, Lake Sherwood, and Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills. If you are a potential home buyer or seller, I can help you find the perfect fit for your luxury lifestyle. For questions on any topic covered on this article or to set up a consultation to view or sell fine homes in the Conejo Valley, contact Lydia Gable today.

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