Little Changes in a Bathroom – Big Impact for Your Home

It’s Spring. You are looking around your house and you feel like you need a change. Something needs to be brighter or cleaner or “more today” and you don’t know what that something is but you know it’ time for a change. How about refreshing your powder room? It’s that small half bathroom that you and all your guests use. Aside from the kitchen, it’s the place usually everyone sees when they come over. Here’s the thing, it probably doesn’t need a complete gut job that could cost you your tax refund and then some. It may just need a refresh. And before you get exhausted just thinking about it, this stuff is easy to do yourself or inexpensive if you hire a handyman to do it for you (Need a referral? Just me know at asklydia@lydiagable.com)

If the Walls Could Talk

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Go bold in color for a dramatic statement.

Painting your walls is the single most impactful change any room can make and a good gallon of paint is less than $40. If your powder room is the sage green that was so popular years ago, it’s time to lighten and brighten. Going with a neutral color for your powder room is a wonderfully safe bet. Neutrals tend to be classic and you can easily refresh it from year to year by just changing out your towels and accessories. White is making a huge comeback. More so, white walls with a white vanity/sink. If you want a clean, crisp look, white is it. A popular favorite is Cloud White from Benjamin Moore. But grab those paint chips from your local paint store to see which white is right for you. Who knew white could come is so many shades?! And here’s a few tips about using those paint chips. Never just grab one of any color. Grab at least 4 of the same color and tape them together so you can get a bigger visual of the color and then tape that larger section to your wall. Move this enlarged sample from wall to wall around the room so you can see the color from all sides because natural and fixtures lighting as well as mirror reflection can change a color based on angles and shading. Not a fan of white? Want a color more warm for you and your guests? Grey is the new neutral and it comes in a wide array of hues which is great because you can find the perfect shade that flows with the colors in the rest of your home.

On the opposite end of the paint spectrum, a deep paint color can be bold and dramatic, especially in a small, windowless bathroom. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing this if you will be selling your home, but if the change is just for you, “go big or go home” may be your makeover motto. Try a navy – it goes with deep woods in your vanity or flooring or white sink and toilets.

Sink Into It

Before you go painting the walls, how’s your sink and/or vanity looking? If it’s the builder’s grade golden oak color wood cabinetry, we can bring that into “2016” so easily. Sure, you could swap it out for a terrific new cabinet. There are some great style options today with consoles that

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Painted cabinetry can be just as “new” as brand new.

have shelving and look more like nice furniture than the vanities of years gone by. But, if you are looking to keep costs low, a light sanding of the cabinetry and some paint can go a long way. Here white is the most popular choice. It’s timeless and cheerful. White walls and a white vanity can give a very polished look. White cabinets with pale gray or tan walls are something right out of the house magazines. Have you considered trying a bit of color on the cabinetry if the walls will be white or a pale neutral? Think gray or a deep chocolate color. A great idea would be a pale neutral and then simply paint the cabinetry a darker shade of that neutral – just go up three or four colors on it’s paint chip strip.

The finishing touch of a vanity makeover is the hardware. This is where you can go modern, traditional or whimsical, but please do me a favor and think outside the standard silver knob or no knob at all. Put your personal touch on the vanity with a great piece of hardware. It is a statement piece.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…and everything else

Today, mirrors are considered an accessory so make it reflect your sense of style. If your mirror goes wall to wall and from sink to ceiling, frame it out with molding and watch your powder room suddenly have go from ho-hum to chic. You can check out HomeGoods or flea markets to find a unique mirror if you would rather hang one. Just remember, taller ceilings require a taller mirror.

 

I am not even going to go over lighting since we discussed that last week. But a great new thought is pendant lighting in the powder room if it has tall ceilings.

 

When thinking about what to hang on the walls of your powder room, my favorite cheat is to look at Pinterest or Houzz to see what the designers have done and then hit Pottery Barn or Home Depot to re-create something similar. Maybe it’s a simple shelf that has a basket, a cute little plant and a tchotchke of some sort. Enlarging a photo in a great fame always works. You can do one large picture and mat/frame it or arrange several like-kind pictures together to create your own collage wall. It’s as simple as printing out some of your favorite pictures from your smart phone. The pictures could be amazing views from your last vacation, sweet shots of the kids or your pet or even a cool close-up of a flower from your garden. Experiment and have fun with it. Remember, the little stuff is easy to change out from time to time.

 

That’s it for this week. This is totally a weekend warrior project that you can make happen. The powder room in your home may just need one or two of the ideas here to make a big impact. Send me pictures at asklydia@lydiagable.com if you do decide to switch things up; I’d love to see them.

If you have any questions, please ask away! I am here for you and your home always.

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Little Changes in Lighting – Big Impact for your home

Have you been wanting to update your home, but don’t have a clue where to start? Sometimes even the smallest of home improvement projects are overwhelming – not knowing where to start, needing inspiration or ideas, and trying to be smart about making sure any money you spend will add value to your home. Refreshing your home in small steps is a great way to make your house the home you want it to be whether it’s for finally selling your home to move or just updating your home for you. So let’s get these projects started because little changes can have a big impact. Welcome to my news series of blogs here at www.lydiagable.com to provide you with tips of simple and relatively inexpensive ways to transform your home.

 

Since the whole unclutter your closet and get organized thing has been done and re-done, we are going to skip right over that. You have cleaned out your closets and donated unwanted or unused items, right? If you have not used it in the last year, it’s time to donate it, sell it on eBay or whatever local site works for you, or trash it. Seriously. This is basic stuff and too many times we rationalize keeping it because “you never know” when you might need it. Here’s the thing, you haven’t needed it so do yourself a favor and clear it out of your way. Now, let’s get on to more fun ways to give your home a little update.

 

Lighting can transform a room. If you don’t think so, just check out some of the homes for sale on my listings and see what people have done (or not done) in their homes. And before you think to yourself you can’t update the lighting fixtures in your home, hear me out. You can do this! Feel free to contact me at asklydia@lydiagable.com for a good electrician for the install or if you are handy yourself, have at it. There is always YouTube, my favorite place when I need a little inside information and guidance. I watch a few videos and suddenly, I have knowledge and know how.

 

Lighting Needs a Style

When you are choosing new lighting, it’s best to begin with an overall style you want to achieve. Take a look around your home. What style is the best piece of furniture or artwork in your home that you absolutely love? Capitalize of that look and feel in your lighting. Do you like casual traditional, modern glam or that rustic industrial feel? Pick your preferred style and then it’s time to decide on your finish: satin nickel, antique bronze, a wood element or something that has sparkle and glitz. All finishes have their place in today’s homes but keep the look consistent and unified. The finishes don’t have to match in as much as they should coordinate with one another.

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Possini Euro Design Glass Sphere 15-Light Pendant Chandelier Lamplus.com

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Eliana 6-light Black Linear Glass Globe Chandelier Overstock.com

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Constance 5 Light Chandelier Wayfair.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s All About the Layers

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Spray painted chandelier as seen on HGTV.com

The current trend in lighting is layering. The theory is no one light can do it all in a room. You need functional lighting to illuminate the space, accent lighting to add depth to the space (think recessed or track lighting), and then the wow factor lighting (a unique chandelier or a cool pendant light). And here’s when you can get your DIY on. There are many great websites for buying new, but sometimes, a crafty alteration is all you need to give the room some pizazz. Have a builders’ grade brass chandelier that you desperately want to change but it’s not in the budget right now? There are some great spray paints at your local hardware store that will give your chandelier a whole new updated look – you could go with a sleek flat black, a bright white, or even a hammered bronze to add texture. Think about using globe bulbs for a final touch and suddenly it’s a whole new look for your home.

Size Matters

Size matters. Yes, yes, it does in lighting. You want to make sure your light fixtures are in proportion to your room and furniture sizes. Below are some good general tips, but remember, if it doesn’t look right to you, go with your gut feel on height and size. And if you don’t trust your gut, flip through some home decorating magazines to get a sense of what the lighting in a room looks like according to professional interior designers.

Dining Room

  • The diameter of the chandelier should be about one half to two thirds the width of the table it will be hanging over.
  • The bottom of the fixture should hang between 30″ and 36″ from the tabletop assuming you have an 8′ ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height you should add about 3″ to the suspension height.

Kitchen

  • For pendants, provide approximately 36 inches clearance above tables and countertops. Make sure it doesn’t block views from across the kitchen.
  • Space a pendant every 2 feet or so above a kitchen island and pick the right size of pendant to suit your island length. Small islands (4 to 5 feet long) can handle 1 large or 2 medium pendants. Larger islands can handle 2 large or 3 medium pendants.
  • Larger kitchens should boast medium to larger fixtures as small pendant lights will seem lost in the space.

Bathroom

  • Bar lighting is most popular and should be about 75% of the width of your mirror width and center mounted.
  • Sconce lighting on both side of the mirror offer more ideal lighting but not always possible

Foyer

  • Fixture should have a minimum clearance of 7 feet
  • When sizing a chandelier or pendant for your foyer, add together the length and width dimensions of the foyer area and make that same number be inches. For example, 18 feet by 12 feet is 30 inches total so the light fixture should be about 30 inches in width.

 

Hopefully, now I have you thinking and inspired. Dare I say, illuminated on the idea? Sorry, couldn’t resist. Try changing out one lighting element and you just may be hooked to do more! Good luck and see you back here next week for another fun idea on updating your home.

 

If you have any questions, I am here for you and your home always.

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A Real Estate New Year’s Resolutions List

NEWYEARSHOMERESOLUTIONS

Making a List and Checking It Twice…

Have you ever thought of writing a real estate new year’s resolutions list? New Year’s Day is weeks away and most likely most of us are looking back at our year and deciding what goes on our 2016 New Year’s resolutions list. But as a homeowner or potential homeowner, you should also jot down some real estate new year’s resolutions. It’s a good idea to get your real estate ‘house’ in order. Not to mention you can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t make a decision to get there. So on that note, here are five good real estate new year’s resolutions that can help you manifest your home owners’ goals more quickly.

Jot down all five of these practical and some more enjoyable tips onto your New Year’s resolutions list for 2016 so you can see all your homeowners dreams realized this year.

  • Annual Property Tax Assessment

This resolution can set you on a better financial path in the future. Maybe you are saving for a better home or want to make upgrades to your current home. Every little bit saved helps. So, if you are a homeowner and your home appraisal value has dropped even by a smidge this year, you be able to pay less for property tax by contesting your property tax assessment. Many realtors will even issue an annual reminder to clients to remind them to review their property tax. You may also not be aware that if you do discover that your property tax is too high vs. the current value, you may request a hearing date within a limited time frame. Call me for more information on this. Bottom line: put this on your must-do’s for 2016.

  • Home Owner Insurance Discount

Now, still on the financial goals side of things…Did you make any major repairs or upgrades to your home this year? If so you may be able reap the benefits of this even if you don’t plan on listing the home for sale. Major repairs or improvements that you made to your home last year may qualify you for a discount on this year’s home owner’s insurance coverage. Be willing to do a little research and prove the costs of the repairs but this resolution can be well worth the effort. Don’t forget this one your list. Home owner’s insurance discount, resolution #2, 2016.

  • Upgrades… Finally

Resolution #2 flows very nicely into this resolution which is… Resolve to make those “put off” home owner upgrades finally this year. As you can see, even if you don’t sell, it may definitely pay off in the way of discounts. But if you are planning to sell, do it now. Don’t wait until the last minute. Kitchens and bathrooms are the areas that will pay off most in the sale so be willing to make the investment. Granite countertops, spa showers and pedestal tubs. A 2014 article in U.S, News Money & World Report says there are definitely home improvements that will boost your home sale:

As the saying goes, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” When people drive up and first see your house, you want them to think of it immediately as a home that has been maintained and well cared for. “It’s you putting your best foot forward,” says Christy Biberich, owner of Christy B. Design in Los Angeles who appears on the HGTV show “Brother Vs. Brother.” “We do judge a book by its cover.” 

  • De-Clutter, De-Stress

Maybe you have no plans on selling just yet or perhaps you have even just moved in – whatever the reason, a cluttered home is not a happy home. Your home is supposed to be a sanctuary away from the hectic outside world so treat it as such. A blog on Luxury Simplified suggests starting with the most clutter-prone areas like closets. Says the writer:

Empty closets. These are the graveyards for all the belongings homeowners don’t know what to do with. Spacious closets are a coveted feature among buyers. Make yours appear larger by being uncluttered and well organized.

  • Find a Real Estate Pro

As with any high stakes endeavor, a coach or mentor can determine success. So if you know that your dream home is your next goal but it’s a full one year away, use this time now, effectively. Research. Seek out your best team, now. A realtor can make all the difference between buying your dream home and simply buying any old house in price range. And to that I would say, look around your neighborhood. Look at potential dream homes. Go to open houses at home that you have deemed “dream homes” so you can decide if these houses are actually living up to the idea in your mind. Then find a real estate professional while you have the time to interview and decide. A top real estate agent can make all the difference!

  • Find Your New Dream Home 

A home is more than just a front door, a living room and a few bedrooms and bathrooms. There are several factors that can boost a home’s potential: different designs, commuting and proximity to local highways, luxury location, lot size, taxes, interior dimensions, façade and curb appeal. Take the time if you are so privileged to do so. Put “finding your dream home” on your resolutions list now and then take your time and search thoroughly.

Lastly from all of us at Lydia Gable Realty Group, a happy and safe holiday to all. My wish for you in 2016: All of your home owner new year’s resolutions come true and that all your dreams are realized right where you are – happy at heart and happy at home.

 

 

 

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HOLIDAY HOME DECORATING TIPS

HOLIDAY HOME DECORATINGHum-Drum to Holiday Happy

It’s holiday time again and when there are holidays, you can bet there are homeowners thinking up new holiday home decorating ideas. Some folks really embrace the idea of holiday decorating but for some, it’s not as easy either because of a lack of ideas or a lack of funds. But you don’t have to spend a ton of money nor does it have to be complicated. There are simple ways to decorate your home so that it reflects the joy of the season! With a few of the following tips, you can go from hum-drum to holiday happy in just minutes. Take a look at the following list of holiday home decorating ideas.

A Festive Centerpiece

An article on RealSimple offers some great tips. I particularly like the five-second centerpiece. The idea here is to use what you to make a gorgeous decoration with simplicity. It’s not only simple but it makes for an elegant centerpiece for any holiday party.

Mix clementines or oranges and peppermint balls in a single glass compote (or a grouping of three).

Holiday Garland for Decorating

Do you have columns at your entrance or maybe a trellis? This could work with both or even just a fence. Wrap the columns or drape the fence with white lights and green garland. The entrance is the perfect holiday starting point for decorating because guests will feel the holiday spirit as soon as they step on your property.

Hanukkah Holiday Decorating

Hanukkah is the first week in December this year. Decorating isn’t just for Christmas. If you celebrate Hanukkah and want to add some festive flavor to your home, SFGate has some ideas for you. One of the best ones involves window decorating. Says the piece:

Set up a raised platform on the sill of the central bow window during Hanukkah and cover it with a silver-and-blue velvet cloth. Place a large menorah — one that holds candles or a decorative menorah with powered lights — on the platform so its light is clearly visible through the window.

Holiday Home Decorating: Curb Appeal

Don’t forget holiday curb appeal – your mailbox can be covered in red bows and wreathes which is small decoration that packs a big punch. It’s just a simple way to add a touch of holiday decorating without doing too much and being called the Griswolds of the cul de sac. I also like the idea that Southern Living had which if done well can add such a classy touch. They decorated the window sill with a view varied vintage-looking Christmas lanterns. It’s the small touches really and that doesn’t cost much. You can paint some old lanterns you may already have or pick up a few interesting pieces at the local flea market.  Says the article:

Arrange a grouping of festive lanterns at your entryway for quick-and-easy holiday style. Consider using flameless candles as a worry-free alternative to regular pillars.

The Smell of a Christmas Home Sale 

Maybe you are putting your home up for sale, decorating might be a bit much. But you would be surprised how the smell of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven, hot apple cider, the smell of pine in the entrance or even a scented hot chocolate candle, can evoke the emotions of home. If you are staying in your home over the holidays and want to still enjoy the feeling of the festive season, but you don’t want to go overboard with decorating because you plan on listing it during the holiday season, don’t forget the smells of Christmas. It can make all the difference. A gorgeous homemade wreath on the door and the smells of Christmas past, could be just the added touches of staging you need.

The Home is the Hearth

Let’s be honest we all decorate for our guests and neighbors to enjoy. But don’t forget, your home is your hearth. When you walk in, it’s the place to leave all your cares from the outside world on the doormat. So set a tone that is comforting and even festive. Maybe you are from family this holiday year or perhaps you just moved into a new home. Turn on some holiday music, grab a few friends and family members and start decorating. It’s a fun way to bond with others but also a lovely way to make your house feel like the home you always dreamt it could be. You take such good care of your home, let it take care of you.

Oh and last but not least… A happy and safe holiday season from all of us here at Lydia Gable Realty Group. From my home to yours, I wish you joy and happy holiday home decorating!

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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