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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Try and Buy – New Trend in Home Buying?

LYDIAPIC‘Fly and Buy’

The home buying process hasn’t changed in many years – find a home, make an offer, close. But according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, some people are doing a sort of test drive of the neighborhood before purchasing a home. Some realtors are even adding this type of incentive into their business. According to the WSJ feature, while it is still rare in most areas for buyers to request a test drive of a home or community before buying, it is becoming more prevalent in some luxury markets. And says the article:

Toll Brothers, one of the country’s largest home builders, has a Fly and Buy program for buyers who want to travel to a new town to check it out. Travel costs can then be put toward a purchase contract.

While in some areas the trend is growing, especially with motivated sellers, many real estate agents disagree with a ‘try and buy’ approach. Says Kimberly Dixon, a Houston based real estate agent, “it clouds judgment.” In an article titled Test Drive Your Home on HSH.com, Dixon weighs in on the new fad in home buying:

For the most part, the client will likely make more emotional decisions and pick apart a property’s minor attributes, while overlooking major value — such as a good price. It is my opinion that a logical and economic approach is the best way to undertake such large personal investments.

I agree with Dixon for the most part, but mainly because the area where I live and sell homes, Westlake Village, CA, is already an undisputed, highly sought-after location known for its luxury resort lifestyle, warm West Coast temperatures and top school rankings. Unless you are moving from another state, Westlake Village and its surrounding community is lucky enough to have its reputation precede most buyers’ interest. Quite frankly, I’m listing and closing, in some cases, faster than you can say, “Make an offer.”

Westlake Village – A Nice Place to Work, Live and Play…

If you’re in the Southern California area and thinking of making a home purchase in the near future, check out Westlake Village in the Conejo Valley. Spend a day hiking at Triunfo Creek Park in its 600 acres of trails, or visit Sherwood Country Club and its famed golf course at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains. Have dinner at one of the beautiful restaurants at the Promenade after a full day of shopping at the most exclusive shops in the area. If I can suggest any kind of “test drive”, I’d day, take a drive from Westlake Village to Malibu or into the city of Los Angeles, and experience for yourself, if you were to move to the area, how close you would be to everything while still enjoying a vacation resort quality of life. For that matter, I suggest you take the day and do all of these things just because – even you aren’t moving to Westlake Village – it’s the nicest place in the nation to work, live and play – if I do say so myself.

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

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Quality Service Certified® Platinum 2015  

Quality Service Certified® Platinum

Typically not one to toot my own horn, I do like to celebrate good news – As such I’m honored to share with you the latest which is that I have been granted the highest level of service achievement in real estate, Quality Service Certified® Platinum. The award is given in recognition to those who receive 100% client service satisfaction according to the Leading Research Corporation. So I am proud to say that 2014 for me, did indeed garner 100% client satisfaction. But I won’t take all the credit – I have the best clients in the world.

Truly, what I really like about the consumer feedback from QSC is that it’s reliable, a real gauge for me that I’m doing my best work. QSC uses a “closed” survey approach which means that consumers can be assured of the legitimacy of the reviews; they are collected from real life home buyers and sellers on their past customer experience. Larry D. Romito, President and CEO of QSC added:

Nothing is more important to a prospective client in selecting a professional than the service results achieved with past clients. Consumers have greater confidence in service reliability, results and satisfaction with a Quality Service Certified real estate professional because they know that the agent’s service record has been validated by an independent third party.  100% service satisfaction record like Lydia Gable has achieved is just awesome.

Living and Working Where I Love…The Best Reward

Larry’s comments are lovely, but my real estate clients are simply awesome. What a privilege to work with home buyers and sellers in the beautiful Conejo Valley. I’m so lucky to be able to work with terrific peers at Keller Williams in the real estate industry and to live, work, and play in the best community in America.  It doesn’t feel like work when you do what you love. Moreover, when you love where you live – helping people buy and sell homes in the very same community I call home – well it’s more like a passion than a job.

If you want to view homes in the Conejo Valley or you are ready to sell, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Millennial Home Buyers, ‘Y’ the Trend Matters

Millennial Home BuyerThe Millennial Home Buyer

After a bit of delay, a new generation, the Millennial home buyers, have finally entered the housing market. Generation X—those ages 33 to 47—made up the majority of home buyers, (31 %) in 2012 reported by the National Association of REALTORS®. However as of March 2014, the generational trend has shifted says the newest numbers published in the NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends.  The trend now, Gen Y—those 32 and younger—now makes up the majority of home buyers (36 %) followed closely by Generation X. So what does this generational group of buyers forecast for the market? Says CNN Money, Realtor.com Chief Economist, Jonathan Smoke, “predicts that new home sales will climb by 25% next year. And in some markets, the influx of young first-time buyers will be especially significant.” And yes, Los Angeles is included in the 10 hottest housing markets for 2015 due in part to the influx of first-home Millennial buyers. According to the article, the Los Angeles housing market will experience a growth spurt this year due to these new buyers:

Los Angeles 2015 home sales forecast: +6%

By virtue of Los Angeles’ immense size — the metro area population has surpassed 13 million — even moderate household percentage growth translates into a lot of people, which helped put LA on the top 10.

Y Home Buyers: ‘Mobile’ and Timid?

What does the Gen Y home buyer trend signify for the home market overall? A few things – considering Gen X was leading the way for the past few years in what was a depressed economy, this changing of the generational guards could be quite significant for the market. According to NAR, “97 % of these Gen Y buyers are financing their home purchase as opposed to 55 % of the Silent Generation and 88 percent of the overall buyers.” This is quite significant not only for the economy but what it potentially means over the next 5-10 years for Y’s — or Millennials as they are more commonly known—and for the generation behind them, watching their moves carefully. While Gen Y was late to the home buying game and have not lead the race in terms of first-time home buyers percentages tracking, it is likely in part due to the fact that they watched Gen X-ers and Boomers experience a market housing bubble, subsequent market crash, and a depressed economy. And it should also be noted that banks were no longer lending. But, more likely, as they seem to be trend setters, marching to the beat of their own drums, is that some of this waiting may be more attributed to the fact that they watched the generation before and have decided to make their own rules. Keep in mind this is the first truly mobile only generation. NAR says:

Gen Y is most likely among generations to also look online for information about the home buying process. More than half of Gen Y used a mobile device during their home search. Among those who did, 26 percent of Gen Y found the home they ultimately purchased via a mobile device.

‘Move Over Boomers…’

It could be a powerful few years now that Millennials have jumped into the housing market. Millennials are “estimated at between 70 and 80 million people, the biggest population bulge since baby boomers,” according to an article on The Real Deal. Also they are not the city slickers that Gen X was or that speculators portended. These independent spirits crave space and the suburbs over their predecessors who ambitiously headed for the city.

And…quite significantly, while Gen Y surpassed X in the third quarter of 2014 by a few percentage points, says The Real Deal, they were late bloomers waiting longer to buy… Says the feature:

… the home ownership rate for heads of households under 35 was only 36 percent in the third quarter of 2014 was the lowest rate since the U.S. Department of Commerce started tracking the statistic in 1994.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, reported that according to a recent survey of Millennials, they’re not following what speculators and forecasters assumed would be a “city-dweller” trend for this group. The survey released by the National Association of Home Builders, suggested that “based on responses from 1,506 people born since 1977, found that most want to live in single-family homes outside of the urban center, even if they now reside in the city.”

Fewer young people are buying homes because women are waiting until later in life to have their first child. The average age of a mother at her first childbirth was 25.4 years in 2010, up from 22.7 in 1980, federal statistics show.

So it looks as though Millennials will be a huge force to watch over the next 10-20 years. Essentially, now that they are having babies and starting families and moving out to the suburbs, Y buyers are driving the housing market.

Finally, watch Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist of Realtor.com, talk about the significant of this new influx of buyers. Says Smoke, “The economic opportunity favors the young. Collectively, they will drive housing trends for at least the next 20 years. Move over, baby boomers—there’s a new economic force in town.”

As the market home market continues to grow and change, I’ll continue to keep you posted on the exciting news especially the updates coming from these unconventional home buyers over the next year…

If you are ready to purchase your first home or interested in viewing homes in Ventura County, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Home Buyer Turn-Offs

Don’t Repel Your Home Buyer…

Many home sellers don’t know the art of attracting the home buyer and in turn end up repelling potential candidates. As agents, we know you are eager beaver types want to move to close yesterday —we do too—but if you do these top “don’t” you may end up turning away buyers instead of closing the deal. Here is a list of home buyer turn-offs that you will want to avoid. If you have a good real estate agent to guide you in the process, you probably won’t make these mistakes. But just in case…

Top Five Home Seller No-No’s…

1.) Bad Home Listing Photos

Highlight your home in the best light so buyers do show up to the open house. Highlight the best features of the home. But also, accurately represent the home in the photo. Check with your agent as to how s/he lists pictures, look at some current listings. If you skip this step and you do use a poorly lit, blurry or just plain bad photo, here’s what may happen:

  • A Bad Photo Will Turn Away a Client
  • A Bad Photo May Misrepresent the Home – A Disaster
  • A Bad Photo May Not Accurately Align with the Price

2.) Hovering Home Seller

Don’t be a hovering over-eager home seller. Your enthusiasm may translate to desperation. Your best bet is not to attend the open house – let your Realtor® objectively show the home. Trust your broker here. If you insist on being at the open houses, buyers may feel pressured and not free to express what they like or don’t like. Let your Realtor® run the show. So the bottom line…

  • Stay Out of the Way of the Sale

3.) Dirty Dens Don’t Dazzle

Over-cluttered and dirty homes are the fastest home buyer turn-off. Do a walk through with your agent and get a real assessment on the cleanliness and spaciousness on the home. Again your Realtor® can be more objective than you can and hopefully s/he is an expert of home staging – See more on this in a recent article, The Art of Home Staging.

  • Hire a Professional Home Cleaner Before Showing
  • Hire a Realtor® Who is a Home Staging Expert

4.) Your Taste vs. My Taste … Stay Neutral

Home fixes and upgrades are a great idea right before listing a home. Sure it’s a great idea to do a countertop upgrade from Formica to Granite or maybe replace the faucet fixtures in the bathroom. However, one mistake home sellers make is making upgrades according to their own tastes as ifthey were buying the home. So if you are going to paint the living room, crimson may not be the best bet. Tiling the bathroom? Pepto-Bismol pink —while you may love it—may not appeal to most buyers’ tastes. So remember…

  • Stay Neutral!

5.) A Realtor Who Inspires Confidence

  • Finally and perhaps the best tip of them all to avoid turning off potential home buyers is:
  • Find a Real Estate Agent You Believe In

Actually this is the easiest step. But if you don’t where to start, ask friends for referrals. Do your research and follow these tips from this blog. Now you can’t go wrong – Happy home selling!

If you are a prospective home seller , it is paramount that you have confidence in your real estate agent. The agent you choose can often determine how successful your listing is. Communication, experience and honesty should be the first qualities you look for so that you can be assured that you will be realistically and honestly guided through the sale process. If you are ready to list your home in Westlake Village or surrounding communities or for more articles like this, visit the Web Site or contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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The Art of Home Staging

In order to get an offer on your home, you need to first impress a potential buyer in a way that will make him or her envision a future life in that home. What is the best way to do this? The absolute best advice is to get a Realtor who is a home staging expert. Staging the home in a way that a prospect will absolutely start to imagine living there is an art form. It’s not a matter of arranging furniture necessarily. It’s more about knowing what buyers look for, what they dream about and then giving them a small slice of that picture.

A Realtor Who Sets the Stage for Home Sale

As an experienced Realtor, I have decades of experience as a home staging expert. Having helped sellers throughout Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, and all over the Conejo Valley, I know how to sell quickly – particularly with the help of little masterful home staging. The truth is it really is an art form of sorts. It really takes a keen eye –your Realtor needs to know the trade secrets which only truly get more refined with experience. But I can assure you, a well-staged home can make a huge impact on the “feeling” conveyed during a walk through and ultimately the entire home’s presentation. If you are about to list your home, make sure you talk with an agent about their home staging experience. It can really be the difference between a quick sell to close experience or a stagnant listing. Below are some tips on staging. While just a a brief synopsis of the process, at least you will know what better to look for when you have a home staging conversation with a potential Realtor.

1. A Pristine Parlor

The first easy, but often overlooked step is to clean the house so well that you can eat off the floors. No matter how beautifully the room is arranged, potential buyers certainly don’t envision sweeping the floors as their new dream home fantasy. A few crumbs scattered on the floor or errant dust balls can absolutely destroy a perfectly pristine, picturesque setting. Before you arrange the furniture just right, each room in your home should be spotless. A professional home cleaner is indicated here – leave no stone unturned, no counter dusty. The carpets must be steam cleaned and all upholstery cleaned and deodorized. Ideally, you should also add a fresh coat of paint in all the rooms.

2. Simple and Spacious

Keep it simple. Scale back the furniture – make the rooms look modern, minimalist, and spacious. Why should you not fill a room with your gorgeous antiques and ornate furniture? It doesn’t allow a buyer to dream about the possibilities and too much furniture can make a room look small. Says an article on Realtor.com, less is more.

Make sure buyers appreciate the size of each room by removing one or two pieces of furniture. If you have an eat-in dining area, using a small table and chair set makes the area seem bigger.

3. Paint a Picture

Certain added touches to a room will draw the eye right toward it. You should aim to highlight the “possibility” of luxury, not the personality of the present owner – who by the way is leaving, not the story you want to tell. For instance, luxury bath soaps in the bathroom on a shell dish or clean spa scented candles will affect one type of buyer. A fireplace with the logs artfully placed will give just a touch of the Rockwell appeal to a different type of prospect – this works especially well in a room where the fireplace is the centerpiece. Add fresh flowers to the foyer for example or perhaps, in a well-lit home, change out the drapes with sheer curtains. Even an artsy umbrella stand with wooden handled umbrellas at the door and saysRealtor.com an “in process chess game” especially on an expensive Brooks Brothers Chess board, paints a very specific picture.

A Narrative and a Winning Track Record

This is just a sliver of how home staging can drastically change the ‘narrative’ of the home story you are attempting to tell and ultimately the home you wish to sell. In the final analysis however, you really need to work with the right Realtor® who is not only a staging expert, but also knows the community, the potential buyers in that market, and has a proven winning track record in that very market.

If you are looking for a Realtor® with the aforementioned staging expertise and proven home sales track record, Westlake Village Real Estate is top ranked. Getting ready to list your home in Westlake Village, Agoura Hills or a surrounding community? Contact Lydia Gable at Westlake Village Real Estate today for an appointment.

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“Do-It” Upgrades to Sell Your Home

Is your home stuck in the 70s but you want it to sell well in 2014? If you are ready to sell your home now and feel the need for upgrade projects to increase the chances of listing success, there aresome ideas that are more worthy than others. A word of advice before you start: Take into account long-term projects v. short term ones – in other words some larger projects can turn into behemoth jobs that will actually delay the home listing. So plan accordingly. Also some projects just don’t pan out when it comes to investment v. selling price. Below are the top must-do projects that can increase your home sale price and add to the beauty and appeal of your home when showing.

  1. Upgrade Your Kitchen: One Piece at a Time

Most homeowners think they have to undergo a complete kitchen renovation, to modernize a very outdated kitchen tile or linoleum. But it can really be as simple as painting the kitchen cabinets or changing the counter tops to granite. A recent article on Yahoo Homes titled,Selling your home? Three projects you should and shouldn’t tackle, quotes Erica Lugbill, the owner and lead designer of Lugbill Designs, a Chicago-based residential design firm. Erica recommends some easy tips that can be done on a budget:

Focus on small “face-lift” projects, such as painting your cabinets, switching out your hardware, installing a tile backsplash, or replacing the countertops…You can go to a stone remnant yard where there is often a large selection of discount pieces of granite or quartz that can be installed for a fraction of the cost.

  1. Up on the Roof

If you can potential buyers can see the roof of the home when they drive up and your roof is currently shabby, it may be time to make some repairs to move from shabby to chic. You’d be surprised what a beautiful roof can do when it comes to curb appeal. If there are fix-it issues like leaks or damage, definitely fix these as it will be more than an eye-sore issue but one of home inspection and could derail the sale. But beyond the practical elements, a cosmetic upgrade—which is actually a low cost remodel—will do wonders for your home sale.

  1. A Bathroom Redo: Don’t Flush Away Your Money

Instead of redoing an entire bathroom, knobs, cabinets or even a pedestal sink can make a big difference. If your bathroom tile is atrocious, you may need to replace it but if you do this, keep it neutral. The potential buyer will have his or her own taste anyway and may decide to renovate in which case you will have wasted an investment. Better to go for a repaint or vanity replacement to make some subtle changes but save money.

Upgrade Don’ts…

Try to avoid larger-scale projects – the kind that start out with good intentions but can turn into giant month-long overhauls. Room additions, master bedroom renovations and sun deck add-ons are probably not worth it. And, look at the cold hard truth, says the Yahoo Home article:

A room addition might sound like a great idea, until you realize that doing so could cost you as much as $100,000. In fact, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value Report, a master suite could cost over $106,000, while adding a family room could run you around $83,000.

If you are unsure, ask around. See what’s hot in the neighborhood. Are your neighbors having to do upgrades to sell or their homes or are properties flying off the market faster than the inventory? And lastly, if you work regularly with a Realtor you trust, give her a call. Ask her about curb appeal and the current trendy must-haves at open houses – no one knows better about home sales than someone who’s doing it daily!

An award-winning Realtor®, Lydia Gable is a Realtor who pays special attention to maintaining diligent communication with clients to assure a successful home sale. Lydia Gable lives and works in the community. If you have any questions related to this topic or if you are interested in buying or selling a home in and around Westlake Village, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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At Home: 2015 Interiors Trends

Often the path to a new home starts right where you are – at home. As we usher yet another fall season, as the leaves change and another year passes, renewal is right around the corner. It’s a good time to change, throw out the old, and find new ways to express yourself through your home design. So I thought it would be nice to share the home interior trends for 2015. Just a few ideas that you may not have thought of that could allow you to make some small changes in the home either to give you a boost of new or to prepare for a home sale in the near future. Last year we did a similar article which was well received. So once again, here are the thoughts of experts – a forecast of the trends in home interiors for 2015.

The Blues ‘with a Modern Twist’

Elle Décor says the colors for the season are blues and olive green. However it’s not the muted sea blue palette of 2014. This is a ‘Greek blue’ as described in the article titled, The 2015 Color Trends You NEED to Know Now, a cerulean blue says Alessandra Branca.

The combinations of greens, plums, cerulean blue, beiges and whites- and the mixing of patterns and textures, as seen in many Renaissance paintings.
Alessandra Branca, Branca Interiors

I’m seeing a lot of deep rich blues with a glossy finish—often paired with white for a surprisingly modern twist on a classic.
Susanna Salk, Elle Decor Magazine Interior Design Manager, Today Show contributor, Author

At Home: Where Classic Meets Retro

Lushome says the ‘7 Modern Interior Trends in 2015’ are about ‘Reinventing Classic Luxury and Versatile Functionality’ – old meets new, lots of bold modern textures with antique accents.

Modern interior trends 2015 reinvent classy luxury, serenity, creative recycling and versatility in furniture design and interior decorating. Classic, retro and contemporary design ideas, traditional and new materials, fresh colors, exotic motifs, and surprising blend of textures…

Nature: Inside-Out

One big trend, that all the experts agree upon, is the idea of bringing nature and natural elements indoors. This was a theme in the 2014 forecast and it looks like it’s even more in-vogue for the coming year. In fact, the news coming out of this year’s StockholmFurnitureLightFair which takes place in February is all about one word: Nature. In their article, The Interior Trends 2014/2015, they state:

Natural materials, such as stone, wood and glass, dominate this style. Natural elements, represents a contemporary feeling in design and form, with natural materials in furniture and permanent fittings. An exciting mix of wood, metal and leather … Basket weave and other plaited details on furniture… Natural colors … Cold shades of brown, in combination with granite, and with hints of leafy green in nature’s color scheme.

Inspiration to Hang Your Hat On

Are you inspired? Are you ready to redo your entrance way or spruce up your living room with natural elements? Whether you are staying put this year or plan on selling, it’s definitely fun to dream about a “new” home. Either way make your home your blissful place because there was never a truer statement that home—no matter where you hang your hat—is where the heart is.

If you like what you’ve read or you’re interested in viewing home listings or would like to list your home, contact Lydia Gable today at Westlake Village Real Estate. If you are ready buy a new home or to sell your home in and around the Westlake Village area, call Lydia Gable at (818) 934- 8902.

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Summer 2014: The Secret to the Home Sale

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

The Huffington Post article points out in part:

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

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

The Price is Right! Come on Home!

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

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

The Selling Season

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

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

Drive Traffic To Your Open House Not the Beach…

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

Lydia Gable: Experience Counts

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

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