Lydia Gable of Lydia Gable Realty Group with Keller Williams, Westlake Village was named one of America’s most productive sales volume associates in California as a part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents, the newly issued ranking report produced by REAL Trends and sponsored by Zillow Group.
REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents ranks over 12,600 residential real estate professionals solely based on their excellence in real estate sales during calendar year 2016. All production numbers are independently verified by a third-party in order to ensure accuracy and report integrity. “This group of highly successful real estate sales agents represents less than 1 percent of all real estate practitioners in the United States,” says Steve Murray, publisher of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents and president of REAL Trends.
To qualify for inclusion, real estate agent teams must have closed a minimum is 75 transaction sides or $30 million in closed sales volume. “The average residential real estate agent in the United States closed 8.6 transaction in 2016 and had less than $1.3 million in sales,” said Murray. “To say that Lydia is an exceptional sales professional is an understatement. To attain $41.1 million in sales is truly outstanding.”
“I am very honored to be ranked among California’s top residential real estate agents,” said Lydia. “It represents the time and effort that we put into each and every customer that we serve and reflects the hard work of a great team.” Lydia may be reached at 818-383-4335 or email@example.com for any and all of your home buying, selling, investing or redecorating/renovating needs.
It’s so important for your Realtor to get to know you and vice versa. Take a few minutes before you begin looking at homes to chat with your Realtor. Tell them your dream home wants and needs. Tell them about yourself and your family. The more your Realtor knows about you, the better able she/he will be able to find you that home you have always wanted.
It’s that time of year when people start looking for a new home. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s also a competitive market out there right now with multiple offers on homes that are updated and move-in ready. So how do you make sure you put forth a successful offer on the home of your dreams? Here are a few tips:
Use a Realtor with a proven track record
Not all real estate agents are the same. If you should be in a multiple bid situation, a good Realtor will present your offer in the best possible light and really sell your offer to the Seller. Some transactions fall out of escrow – in fact, more than you realize – so make sure you have a Realtor that will drive the transaction to close and protect your interests all along the transaction. How do you know if they have a good track record in closing transactions? Ask them. You can check their references too. But also do your homework and check out their ratings on Zillow and other real estate sites.
Use a reputable Lender
There are so many mortgage lenders out there. You probably know a few personally. But just because they are your relative or friend, doesn’t mean they are the best place to get your mortgage. You can shop rates and points, but please use a lender who will meet the transaction deadlines so your home closing doesn’t have to be postponed due to delays in processing or underwriting. Ask your Realtor for their trusted business lending partners or family and friends for ones they like and have used successfully.
Get a Pre-Approval Letter
Home buyers are often so excited to start looking at houses that they tend to leave the more bureaucratic aspects of home buying until last. In this competitive market, a serious buyer should get a pre-approval letter from their lender in advance of beginning a home search. It’s written statement from a lender stating that you qualify for a particular loan amount under that lender’s guidelines based on their review of actual bank statements, W-2 forms and other asset documents. This way you are shopping for a home you know you can afford and it lets the seller know you are a serious buyer.
A pre-qualified letter is not the same as a pre-approval letter and doesn’t carry as much credibility because it’s only based on what you verbally tell the lender rather than the lender reviewing your actual documents. I realize some people don’t want to share their personal information but you will have to at some point to get a mortgage so just get it over with at the start so you can truly enjoy the home shopping process.
I’ve dealt with a few multiple offers already this year. My advice to my clients who are selling is to choose the strongest offer. Please understand that a strong offer is not only the dollar amount offered but also whether the Realtor and Lender are ones that can get the transaction closed on time and work together as issues arise. I have trusted lenders in this business for a reason. I can rely on them for great customer service to my clients and because they do whatever it takes to meet the closing deadlines so a dream home doesn’t slip away to another buyer waiting in line. I have seen deals fall through because a real estate agent or the lender let deadlines pass without obtaining the necessary information or paperwork. So protect yourself as you go out there to get that house you really want. Good luck and happy home buying (with your pre-approval letter in hand)!
Buying a home is a huge investment. Having a home inspection on that home before your close on the purchase transaction is an even bigger investment for a lot less money. The home inspection is an important process in the home buying experience and one that is very informational so please do not skip it. The last thing you want to do is buy a home in need of thousands of dollars in repairs that you were not aware of and did not negotiate for in its price. So, let’s go through the process.
The buyer gets to choose the home inspector. As such, make sure you choose a reputable, licensed inspector. How do you find a good one? Ask your Realtor as they most likely have inspectors who are thorough and competent from past home inspections, research top inspectors on the Internet (sites such a Yelp can be very helpful), or ask your family and friends who they have used and liked. It a good idea to call an inspector and ask any questions you may have and even request recent referrals.
Once you have selected your home inspector, it is helpful to actually attend the house inspection and follow the inspector at the end of the inspection as he highlights and points out issues in the home. You may even pick up a tip or two about making your new home more energy efficient or how certain things work. It’s important to remember that no house is perfect…not even a new home. Believe it or not, inspectors even find repairs that are needed with a new home. Every home inspection seems to uncover conditions that need repair and/or potential safety-related concerns relating to the home. Mostly, the inspector is there to make certain the home is functioning as it should, checking items such as faucets and toilets to see if they leak, or the heating and air conditioning to ensure they are in good working order. If they see something that needs more attention they will recommend further inspections with a specialist. Home inspectors won’t address cosmetic items if they don’t impair the integrity of the home. They also do not do destructive testing so know there is always some risk of flaws (such as wiring and plumbing within the walls) that cannot be assessed.
When you get your inspection report back, however lengthy it is, your inspector will generally include a summary sheet as one of the first pages. Pay particular attention to this section with all its vital information because these are the items that the inspector believes are code and safety issues that need immediate correction. The rest of the report are other issues that you should know about but the inspector may not find to be a priority at this point. Most repairs are normally not a deal breaker between buyer and seller and can be negotiated for resolution. So go forth and buy that new home because you know exactly what you are buying.
If you have any questions about the home buying process or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact Lydia Gable at 818-383-4335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com)
If the Walls Could Talk
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
It’s National Pancake Day so it’s the perfect excuse to have pancakes for dinner. You could go ahead and grab the box pancake mix, but why not try this amazing and easy recipe. I promise you, you will never go back to a boxed mix again. Oh, and get prepared for the family to sing your praises. It’s that good.
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. melted butter
Add the vinegar to the milk and allow time to sour (I let it go while I get out all the other ingredients and and prepare the other dry ingredients )
Meanwhile, stir together all the dry ingredients. You can use 1 cup of regular white flour; I just use the Trader Joe’s white whole wheat flour because it makes them just a hint different and, well, slightly healthier.
Now add the melted butter and egg to the sour milk; then add the dry ingredients. Wisk together until just blended. Let the entire mixture sit for 1-2 minutes. Pour about 1/4 cup fulls of batter onto preheated and greased griddle. Once bubbles appear on the surface, flip with a spatula and then cook until golden on the reverse side.
If you have any questions, please let me know at email@example.com. I am here for you and your home always.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
It’s All About the Layers
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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
By now unless you live under a rock, you have all heard of the meteorological label known as, El Niño, but are you aware of how it may impact homeowners and real estate investors, especially in Southern California in the not so distant future? Experts are now predicting that the weather pattern — a term that has become all too familiar in our everyday vernacular — is due to pack a serious punch to real estate owners in the near future especially on the West Coast. If you have heard the term, but aren’t exactly sure what it is, here is CNN’s tiny, encapsulated version of a not so tiny weather pattern. CNN refers to El Niño as:
…a weather event which “heats up the atmosphere and changes circulation patterns around the globe, especially the jet stream over the Pacific, which becomes stronger and dumps more frequent and intense storms over the western U.S., especially California.
The National Weather Service issued an El Niño advisory on October 8th, 2015, indicating “…an approximately 95% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, gradually weakening through spring 2016.” What does this mean for you? Rain. Rain and lots of it. And after four years four years of being lulled by drought conditions, of course Californians will welcome the wet weather, but is your home prepared to withstand torrential down-pours? If not, and even if you aren’t sure, don’t wait for the rains to start.
Ventura County Roofing BOOMING as Homeowners Prepare
Make sure that your roof is inspected and repaired if necessary. It’s a good thing to do annually anyway. Check your sewers and drain pipes. I’m afraid Californians have become all too comfortable but now is not the time to sit back and do nothing. And it’s important to note that weather experts are only “predicting” heavy downpours but even they will admit they aren’t exactly sure. However, if you are buying, selling or currently own a home – chance isn’t on your side, not this season. Do the due diligence to protect your home, your investment and most of all your safety. A recent article in the Ventura County Star and reporting by ABC are saying that Ventura County roofing companies are booming due to El Niño. Homeowners are being cautious – hype or safety first? You be the judge? Says Steve Radenbaugh of Bilt-Well Roofing, while it’s probably not a great time to be removing your roof as that’s a 3-5 day job, he does point out in a recent ABC video report on El Nino:
You want to make sure your roof is free of debris, your valleys, your gutters, so the water is flowing off it like it’s supposed to … some trouble spots that could lead to an El Nino leak include the seals around vents and sunlights. Waiting until the rainy months to address roof issues could lead to other problems.
El Niño: Ventura County Prepares
So as we steel ourselves for the El Niño storms ahead, are we proceeding in fear? Of course not. Does this mean don’t buy or sell a home here? Absolutely not! What it means is that the best defense is a good offense. And we Californians are very aware of uncontrollable natural events in SoCal as it’s earthquake country. Does a little or a lot of ground shaking scare us enough to pack up and leave? No. We would miss out on the almost — well except when El Niño hangs out — perfect year-round climate and all the wonderful things that come with living on the Pacific Coast. So what do we do? We get prepared. El Niño is no different. Of course, as always when purchasing or selling, have your eyes open. If you are buying a home, pay extra special attention to gutters, seals and roofs when you are inspecting. If you own or you want to sell, do your best to repair these cracks or leaks now. But if in the event you do find yourself at the mercy of an El Niño downpour – here are some tips from the Ventura County Emergency Preparedness site – ReadyVenturaCounty and they are good ones. You will want to pay attention:
Download the checklist: Emergency Supply Kit Assemble an emergency supply kit.
- Register your phone number(s) at vcalert.org.
- Purchase flood insurance. Many homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
- Create a list of items to take with you if you are asked to evacuate. Items such as: keys, cash and credit cards; photos; insurance papers; computers; prescriptions; and pet supplies.
- Clear debris from roof gutters, downspouts and drains so water can flow and drain properly.
- Have a supply of sandbags and other flood prevention materials such as plastic sheeting, plywood and tarps.
For even more on emergency preparedness, visit the full Ventura County website for more information. It is really informative.
Hiking, Beaches, Fun … oh and a Little El Niño
Now that that you are sufficiently informed, you can relax and enjoy all that Westlake Village and surrounding communities have to offer – it really can’t be beat! So for now at least, enjoy the amazing weather that we are blessed to enjoy. Take a drive to Malibu beach for a sunset stroll or get out on the many hiking trails near Westlake Village or even better catch up on your holiday shopping at The Shoppes. El Niño can’t break our spirits in SoCal – we’re having way too much fun!
If you like this article on El Nino feel free to comment. For more information on any topics covered in this blog or if you are interested in buying, selling or viewing properties in Westlake Village, contact Lydia Gable Realty Group today.
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.