2014-15 School Tours in the Conejo Valley

Schools and the respective school districts in the Conejo Valley are promoting upcoming tours, inter-district permits and registration slots for 2014-2015. If you have children and live in the area, or if you’d like your children to attend school in this high-ranked school district, the CV is now advertising open enrollment as well inter-district enrollment. If you are new to the area, planning on a buying a home in and around the Conejo Valley, or you want your children to attend school at any of these top ranked educational locales, you need to jump in now.

Take a look at the information below.

Wonder Preschool

Have a little one at home? Is it any wonder that it’s already time to send him or her off into the world. Wonder Preschool is a beautiful place to start. It is located in the Conejo Valley and will soon be offering tours. Enrollment begins February 1st, 2014.

  • Wonder Preschool

Conejo Valley Unified School District Early Childhood Center
2801 Atlas Avenue, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 to 4:00
Phone: 805-492-3567

  • Tour Dates:

Wednesday, January 22nd at 9:30 AM
Wednesday, January 29th at 9:30 AM
RSVP to our office @ 492-3567 if you would like to attend.



Meadow Arts and Technology Elementary School is a charter elementary school in the Conejo Valley. Open enrollment for the 2014-2015 academic year is from Jan. 6 – Feb. 13, 2014. Parents of prospective students should plan to attend a school tour. See below for the calendar.


2000 La Granada Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362


  • Tour Dates:

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 9 AM

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 9 AM

Friday, Jan. 24, 9 AM

Thursday, Jan. 30, 3 PM

Monday, Feb. 3, 9 AM

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 9 AM


Las Virgenes Inter District Permits

The 2014-2015 Inter-district Permits are now available online. This application is for students who live outside the Las Virgenes Unified School District and wish to transfer into LVUSD. Send questions to: permitinfo@lvusd.org.

Note: It looks like these fill up, so get your application in sooner or later.

  • Las Virgenes Unified School District

4111 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302



  • Application Link:

2014-2015 Interdistrict Permits


District of Choice Open Enrollment is closed for fall 2014. There is a lottery on January 21st, please see the link below for more information. Any questions, email Linda Gam at our district office.

For more information on any topics in this blog or for an appointment to view home listings in the Conejo Valley, contact Lydia Gable for a consultation.


From A Starter Home to the American Dream

The picture of the American dream usually includes a first home and eventually a better home, and the idea that if you dream big and work hard, you can have the best home. So how do you know when it’s the right time to trade up? Certainly there are the obvious factors that may affect your decision to invest in a more expensive property. Obvious examples include an impending marriage, a growing family, or a career promotion that requires a move. Although, sometimes it’s as simple an answer as: it’s just the right time.

What is Your Idea of Moving Up?

What determines a move ‘up’ for you? For some home owners, moving up could mean moving from suburban any-town USA to a penthouse condominium in the city. For others it could mean moving out of the city into an affluent suburb. Consider the example of my clients Jenny and Jake, from an episode of (HGTV) HouseHunters on which I was featured. Jenny and Jake were moving up from a smaller home to larger one in the $800,000 range. Jenny felt that she had compromised on their first home when she moved from Pasadena—a very walkable city—to live with her new husband Jake. Consequently, Jenny had some deal breakers notably aesthetics and location. She wanted a Mediterranean style home in a not too remote location in the suburbs. Additionally, it had to have good Feng Shui. Jake wanted a Southern Colonial cozy home, but with privacy. Two different ideas of what constitutes “moving up” but with my help and armed with good ideas of what they both wanted, they found a home. Take a look at their very different ideas of trading up.

Are You Ready to Move to a Better Home

Assuming a trade up is predicated on a recent increase in your income, then the question: Can you afford it, is most likely, yes. Assuming then that you can indeed afford a move up, according to HGTV Front Door’s article How to Know You’re Ready For a Bigger House, there are still some very real questions that you should ask yourself before a trade-up. Below are a few thoughts to consider as suggested by HGTV.

  • Finances

If the last time you bought a home was 10 years ago, things have changed a bit. It’s a little more difficult to qualify with the banks now post-economy crash. So if even of you can afford it, make sure your finances are in order.

  • Monthly Budget

HGTV quotes Brandon Green, a Washington D.C. real estate broker, who suggests there are some important cost factors to consider when moving into a bigger, better house. Green says:

If you’ve been living in a smaller house, you could easily double your property tax obligations. You need to factor that in the monthly budget.

  • Selling Your Home

Will your home sell and will it sell at the listed price? The idea is to make a profit and if you are like most, you will have a mortgage on the home for sale. Consequently, a new home buy will be contingent on that sale. So you might consider increasing your home sale value and working with a staging expert to increase the chances of a good profit. Refer to my previous article, How to Increase Your Home Sale Value.

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected Realtor® in the Los Angeles and Ventura County communities. For more information on any topics covered in this blog or to make an appointment to sell your home or view home listings, contact Lydia Gable today.


How Do You Increase Your Home Sale Value?

Looking to increase the value of your property for a future home sale? There are very easy, tried and true ways that will make your home not only psychologically more appealing to the buyer—in that it will have a ‘good feeling’ appeal—but also that will add ‘actual’ value when listing. As an experienced realtor, I advise my clients all of the following very useful tips, but you can benefit now just by reading.

Read below for ideas that will add to the value of your home and allow you to increase its listing price. And there’s no better time as we go into home selling season then now!

1.) Space to Dream

Give the potential buyer space to dream about his/ her vision for thehome. How do you do that? Well, you actually create space. Knock out a wall or open a closed off room–anything that opens up the space will create a sense of fluidity which is typically very appealing to buyers. Especially this year, since home and design trends this season are minimalistic, modern and clean. Read my blog from January 7, 2014, Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014 to use as a reference for what is hot and selling right now!

2.) Light, Light, Light…

Add light if your home is on the dark side. Make sure that a potential buyer NEVER walks in and says, “Wow the home doesn’t get much light.” Open the curtains and window shades. Add warm light all over, beautiful light fixtures- it doesn’t have to cost a ton. Just make sure the feeling is LIGHT! HGTV says:

After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine – it will make it more sellable.

3.) Grow Your Garden

Make sure your garden is lovely, the landscape appealing, and you don’t have tangled branches, weeds or overgrown grass. Your house may indeed be beautiful, but remember curb appeal is everything. It’s about creating a feeling as soon as the potential buyer sees your home from the car! So prune, trim and beautify, before you list! Don’t cut corners but do cut your weeds.

4.) Doors to Floors

Are your floors scuffed, linoleum rotted underneath in spots or do the floors creak incessantly? Don’t make the assumption that the buyer will understand that renovations are a normal part of buying thus the floors will be a non-issue. Wax or stain wood floors, repair a weak spot and remember, the front door is the first impression to the home. Replace it if it’s old or it sticks. Add an awning or an overhang. This doesn’t have to be expensive and it will open the ‘door’ to a higher valued home.

5.) Fixtures and Appliances

Replace cabinet door handles or update the faucet fixtures. Old cabinets or outdated kitchens can really kill a sale. But it doesn’t have to cost you a month’s savings to make subtle updates. MSN Real Estate says:

While some homeowners might think the only way to jazz up a dated kitchen is a full-on remodeling job … a much less costly alternative: buying a new stove.

6.) Old Bathroom to New Age Spa

The bathroom is a good way to increase the value of a home. Replace a frosted shower door with a clear one. Replace old sink fixtures with newer ones. Replace a toilet seat even or better yet at an energy efficient toilet. If the tiles are pink or look outdated, update to a modern clean feel. Change the feeling from bathroom to spa and your buyers will reward you. Again, the aforementioned home design and trends article is a good source here as well.

7.) All the HOME’S a Stage!

First and foremost, reduce clutter. As a staging expert, I advise all of my clients how to stage the home for sale. If you have a two car garage, there should be only two cars parked – that doesn’t exclude twenty years of storage as well. Remember your entire home is now on display. You can read more advice on staging in my article Top Five Tips to Prepare a Home for Sale.

For more advice on home sales, home selling tips and home buyer advice, read this and all of my past and future blogs. To subscribe to my newsletter or for a consultation, contact realtor Lydia Gable.


Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014

For most of us, the New Year brings with it the need to start fresh, which for many home owners, translates to a burning desire to change it up with a redesign or remodel. If you are feeling the urge to redecorate or remodel your home in 2014, here are some of the hottest trends you may want to incorporate. What are the experts forecasting? Well here are just some of the top home design and remodel trends for 2014.

Home Interior Trends: Blue is the Hue!

In 2014, we’ll see warm woods, serene blues and refined textures integrated into private spaces designed to restore body and soul.

~Michael Booth, interior designer,BAMO

Goblin Blue—illustrated beautifully by Capel Rugs’ Kasbah Diamond underscores the continued importance of all things sky and water in 2014.

Smart Home Owners Have ‘Smart’ Homes

Tech is a hot trend right now in the home redesign and remodeling sector, more specifically smart and eco-tech redesigns. This trend started a few years back and now, it’s not only standing the test of time, but hotter than ever. According to RealtyTimes, the U-Socket is the hottest smart tech trend for 2014.

  • Designers Northwest also refers to the U-Socket. They list it among their top trends for 2014…

Electronic devices reign in most households which creates the need to provide a way to integrate these new devices into our homes. When remodeling your kitchen, new under counter plug strips allow home owners to connect electronic devices such as your iPhones and iPads to built-in USB ports for charging.

  • Taking Smart Homes One Step Further

2014 ushers in eco-friendly and energy saving smart homes as the central focus. According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel titled Top 2014 home improvement trends: smart homes and home automation, 2014 just might be THE year of the smart home with an added focus on eco-friendly products and energy management systems. Automated energy management systems can help homeowners control their energy usage and reduce their collective environmental footprint while still automating all of their home technology.

Some experts are predicting 2014 will be the year of the smart home. Automation is becoming the new norm in three main areas of the home … these technologies make it easier than ever to monitor energy and water usage, helping to reduce a family’s environmental footprint as well as their energy bill.

Holistic Home Design

The emphasis on holistic design is also hot this year. While it is a newer trend, it’s likely to stick around as this, some would say, simplistic approach to home design is becoming more popular. More and more household items are being designed, produced and promoted with a more holistic approach. Companies like Nest and Moreless are designing household products with an emphasis on the elimination of certain plastics, the use of recyclables and the addition of wireless technology while still keeping design in mind. This modern approach to utilitarian items makes the smoke detector or thermostat for instance, less of an eye-sore must-have, and more of an integral part of the overall design of the space. Nest and Moreless are among the leaders, but many start-ups are hot on their heels.

The Housing Market on the Rebound

Real Estate is also once again hot this year. No more waiting because of fears of the economy, home prices are on the rise and people are jumping back in the game. If you are ready to buy or sell your home in Southern California, contact Lydia Gable for a consultation.



Empty Nesters Doing Real Estate, Bigger and Better!

We’ve all heard about empty nesters downsizing their homes once the kids are gone or in anticipation of retirement. But the face of the empty nester looks markedly different today than as early as twenty years ago. For various reasons, including an aging population living longer with a better quality of life, as well as more active, healthy empty nesters who still work, the downsizing trend is changing in nature. The empty nester may or may not be buying bigger, but they are buying better! An article in Miami Real Estate paints the picture of the current empty nester demographic – those who are buying better and in some cases bigger, more luxurious homes. Says the article:

Today’s population is working past 65 and enjoying more active, more leisure filled time. Instead of the cliché of retiring to the front porch or the easy chair, they’re using the opportunity of becoming “empty nesters” to look into a variety of opportunities, including buying a different type of house, one that’s on a golf course, luxury condominiums, or even lofts with home gyms.

Moving Up, Not Moving Out

Many empty nesters finds that they bought a house for one reason when the kids were younger–maybe schools were most important or a back yard—and now they find that, still vibrant, still working, they are excited about the possibilities of a new style home. Younger empty nesters, not even close to retirement, are looking for outdoor recreation, good weather, a different life-style. Some, according to MSN are also taking in older parents so the possibility of downsizing isn’t as practical. For these empty nesters, they might move to a more affluent community or closer to the city, but keep the size of the home or in some cases even go bigger. For the majority of empty nesters who do downsize, the focus becomes ‘moving up’ rather than simply ‘moving out’. Says Scottsdale real estate expert Sandra Wilken in her article titled, Living Large as an Empty Nester:

We know it can be difficult to leave behind the home your kids grew up in, but moving up can have many benefits. Entertainment, a fresh start and convenience are at the top of the list.

Lake Sherwood Homes and Surrounding…

If you are a young empty nester you might be looking for a community closer to your grown children, maybe your grandkids, but that will also accommodate your luxury life style. Consider the Lake Sherwood area. A guarded golf club community, only 30 minutes from the Los Angeles area, it’s the perfect mix of luxury and active life style because let’s face it 50 is no longer your grandmother’s 50. Lake Sherwood has gorgeous lake view homes, close proximity to hiking trails, terrific restaurants and shops and last but certainly not least, perfect weather. Additionally, it’s ideal for the middle aged couple who wants to be close to their grown children who lives in Los Angeles or Orange County. An empty nest doesn’t have to resemble less of a home! It can actually offer you so much more!

If you are planning on selling or buying a home in the Lake Sherwood area, contact Lydia Gable for a consultation today.


Spotlight on Old Agoura

Old Agoura

Only ten minutes from Malibu and 12 minutes to the Pacific Ocean, homes in Old Agoura are nestled in a country setting surrounded by acres of land which separates Agoura Hills from nearbyCalabasas.

Old Agoura is an eclectic mix of luxurious estates and ranch style homes. A maze of horse trails connects to Old Agoura Park which is centrally located and essentially the “city center” of the town. Old Agoura, while still in suburbia has a hidden away, rural feel to it, even though you are still only a short commute to Los Angeles. Those who love outdoor recreation are drawn to Old Agoura for the miles and miles of trails through the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

According to OldAgoura.org, this area holds the perfect balance for families and up and coming single outdoor lovers alike:

Residents have direct access to some of the best hiking and biking trails that the Los Angeles area has to offer, in addition to public equestrian facilities and horse trails that line many streets in the community. Old Agoura is a prime example that one can have a rural countryside home, while still enjoying the conveniences of suburbia.

Top Ranked Schools & Fun for the Fam

Home to the top ranked Las Virgenes School District, the area is attractive to many families not only for its great schools, but also for its various activities such as the United States Pony Club of America. According to U.S.News and World Report the schools rank nationally,

California’s Las Virgenes Unified School District contains two schools that received gold, silver or bronze medals in U.S. News’s Best High Schools rankings.

And, for families there are awesome shops, restaurants and Old Agoura Park which is famous for its rich history and amazing equestrian trails. For avid riders, the park offers an equestrian warm-up arena as well as trails that connect to Cheeseboro Canyon. The park even has a baseball field and a children’s play area so your whole family can enjoy outdoor recreation.

Safe at Home in Old Agoura

Not only is Old Agoura a beautiful place to live but Agoura Hills, CA was ranked 14 out of the 50 on the list of safest cities to live in the America. According to the Safewise Report, the explanation might be attributed to many factors:

From pee-wee yoga, fencing, Kindermusic, and senior socials, Agoura Hills makes every effort to offer its citizens a wide variety of affordable programs. That could be one reason why its crime rate is impressively low. Agoura Hills is surrounded by colleges and universities and also offers a unique program that honors its citizens who serve in the armed forces.

One of the most exclusive communities in Southern California, Zillow lists the average home listing in Agoura Hills at just shy of $800,000 – for all the aforementioned perks as well as its close proximity to Los Angeles. If this neighborhood sounds like the perfect place to call home and you would like to view home listings in Old Agoura, please contact Lydia Gable today.


Spotlight: Celeb Enclave Hidden Hills and More…

Back in 2013, I wrote two very popular articles, the first being Celeb Homes: Calabasas, Lake Sherwood…and the other, Buying a Home: Spotlight on Lake Sherwood . Over a year later, I thought it would be great to revisit the topic in some of my other neighborhoods. While it’s not the most important reason, if a reason at all, it’s a fun topic and it does speak to the value of the real estate in the area. So in my 2014 follow up, I will spotlight Hidden Hills and even give an alternative.

Selena Finds Shelter in Hidden Hills

Selena Gomez just sold her Tarzana home to move into a new palace which boasts 5 Beds/6 Baths on 7,229 sq ft. on a total lot size of 3.15 acres. It was built in 2004 and sits in a gated community literally next door to Hidden Hills.

Hidden Hills is a community that sits hidden between Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The area is quite affluent and bustles with celebrities, families and film industry folks. As it says on the city’s website:

The City of Hidden Hills is nestled between the western foothills of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County and the Ventura County line, California. It boasts an authentic bucolic atmosphere as witnessed by the absence of sidewalks and street lights, the white three-rail fences, and bridle trails…an example of small town Southern California living at its finest.

If you would like more information on home listings in Hidden Hills or the surrounding areas, contact me today.

A ‘Bubbly’ Move

In September 2-time Grammy winner, singer-songwriter, Colbie Caillat, bought a new mansion in Hidden Hills for $6.1 million. According to Los Angeles Times:

Her new 8,400-square-foot place is a Santa Barbara-inspired Mediterranean on more than an acre. Accessed through a gated courtyard entry, the mostly single-story home features a great room, a center-island kitchen, a game room with a wet bar, a home theater, six en suite bedrooms and two additional bathrooms.

A Gated Alternative to the ‘Hills’

If you want the Hidden Hills experience – the gated community option, country club environment but in some cases with lower (still luxury) listing prices, visit Lake Sherwood. Lake Sherwood offers the same affluent feel, many celeb neighbors, great night life, restaurants and shopping, and as a bonus only 20 minutes from Hidden Hills and 30 minutes to Los Angeles. If you work in Los Angeles, this is a perfect choice. Famous present and/or former residents include Britney Spears Wayne Gretsky and the aforementioned Colbie Caillat. A recent Variety article describing the KimYe mansion, shines a spotlight on just how many celebs actually live here. The reporter describes Hidden Hills as…

… a much touted, well-groomed and exceedingly affluent enclave long favored by the rich and/or famous. Should they choose, Mister and Missus Kardashian can invite neighbors who Jennifer Lopez, Drake, Leann Rimes and Eddie Cibrian, Nicolette Sheridan, and Jessica Simpson to their housewarming party.

Thinking of investing or buying a home in Lake Sherwood, choose the top ranked Westlake Village Realtor. Live like you are on vacation 365 days a year! Choose Lydia Gable as your real estate agent on your next dream home purchase. For more on homes in Lake Sherwood, Hidden Hills or anywhere in the Conejo Valley, contact Lydia Gable today.


Crowdfunding in Real Estate: A New Era of Investing

The Emergence of Crowdfunding in Real Estate

The emergence of crowdfunding as an investment tool for serious real estate players is changing the housing market as we know it. As the market recovers, more investors are coming back but one probably could not have imagined crowdfunding as the next new trend. Crowdfunding has showed up with quite a presence and backing and its making quite the first impression! If you thought crowdfunding was only reserved for the creative inventor or out-of-money filmmaker, you’re a step behind. Quite frankly, admittedly I had not even heard of this very new trend until recently. If it catches on, it could be a game-changer for those investors currently controlling the investment markets in certain areas. It’ll be interesting to see how “at your fingertips” a trade is, but the social media possibilities are exciting for sure.

Not Your Grandmother’s Real Estate Pool

At the moment, most of the crowdfunding sites are reserved for high-stakes players only, but that’s not likely to last according to market experts. While it’s certainly a new arena—one that is evolving quite rapidly—some platforms are beginning to open up the playing field to small-money investors. Because of this, the ramifications in terms of who can invest and international investing possibilities could be enormous. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal profiled one successful entrepreneur—a real estate pioneer when it comes to crowdfunding— who is taking it to the next level. The article titled, Real-Estate Sector Moves Crowdfunding Beyond the Trinkets states that ‘sites have raised more than $135 million in debt and equity’. For the founders of RealtyMogul andEarlyShares, only accredited investors are accepted at this juncture but as the WSJ article points out, they are raising SERIOUS capital.

As with any trend, once it catches on, it’s everyone’s to claim and crowdfunding in real estate is no different. A recent article on Forbes highlights not only the serious money at play, but also the way this crowd funding platform is opening up real estate investing to the masses – globally. “Fundriselast week announced that they raised $31 million from Renren, a Chinese technology firm, Ackman-Ziff (Real Estate Group) and Silverstein Properties (owners of the World Trade Center Twin Towers)”.

The reporter also points out that the field is widening to include all investors. In the article titled,Real Estate Crowdfunding: Post-Valuations Of $100M for Series A?David Drake writes:

The Washington-based company, Fundrise, allows investors, for as little as $100 to as much as $10,000,000, to participate in deals. Until the emergence of crowdfunding, real estate projects, even the smaller ones, have been reserved for high net worth investors and private equity companies.

The Real Estate Fervor: Signs of Recovery?

Whether you are a big-time real estate investor, a market watcher, or a some-time dabbler in housing flips, the fact that new and innovative ways to invest in the housing market and thereby the economy have emerged, is a positive sign of market recovery – not to mention fun market-watching. However if your only goal is to own one property that you call your dream home for the next twenty years, there’s also a special place for you. And with signs of real recovery on the horizon, this is a great time to make the move. Every home purchase is an investment, but more importantly it’s an investment in your future! If you are interested in buying or selling a home in and around Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village or Calabasas, contact Lydia Gable today at Westlake Village Real Estate.


Spring & Summer Fun in Conejo Valley

If you live in the Conejo Valley or you are planning on buying a home in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village or the surrounding communities, now’s the time to explore all the summer recreation available. There are a myriad of activities here for children, adults and entire families. While the wonderful Southern California climate contributes to year-round outdoor fun, the community particularly comes alive in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and the vicinity during the spring and summer months. So don’t miss out! Some of these events have already started registration. Take a look at just a few of the ‘best’ summer activities that Conejo Valley has to offer.

Conejo Spring Fest & More at the Park!

Registration has begun already for the Conejo Recreation Park District – there are programs for adults and kids alike. The Recreation Program Guides are published five times a year. The guides include detailed information about various classes, programs and special sponsored events happening at the Conejo Recreation & Park District. While priority is given to district residents, programs and classes are open to non-residents as well. They have so many classes and programs for the whole family including dance, camp, arts & crafts, dog training and more. So take advantage! And don’t miss the Conejo Spring Fest on Saturday April 12th from noon-3PM at the park at Conejo Creek South Playfield. The event is for children ages 2-12 and includes egg hunts, face painting, entertainment, food and beverages.

Signed Up for Summer Camp?

Camp registration has already begun among the many camps in the area. Camp Keystone is a popular choice among residents. Keystone offers a variety of activities for campers of all ages. The Agoura Hills summer camp offers programs in water sports, leadership training, junior counselor programs and more. The camp also offers flexible scheduling and flexible transportation options to accommodate parents’ needs. Additionally, the Agoura Hills day camp location is about 25 minutes north of Los Angeles and offers transportation for campers who live between Toluca Lake and Camarillo. This is a great choice for your child especially if you are planning a move to the area or buying a summer home in the Conejo Valley any time in the near future. Open house has already begun. See more information below.

Camp Keystone 2014 Open House Dates

Sundays from 11:30am-3:30pm:
April 6th, 13th, and 27th

The Benefits of Living in Lake Sherwood

If you have just moved to Lake Sherwood, CA or are planning on buying home there, you will discover rather quickly that the area is surrounded by beauty and has so much to offer in terms of family activity. Particularly, Sherwood Lake Club offers a terrific country club environment for the entire family as well as its guests. The club offers members golf, tennis, swimming, dining and entertaining – plus a variety of daily activities – all set among the beautiful post-card setting of Lake Sherwood. As stated on its website, the Sherwood Lake Club is an “elegant clubhouse, spanning 14,000 square feet and a distinguished playground for those who appreciate the rewards that come with exclusivity.

Sherwood Lake Club
341 Williamsburg Way
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
(805) 497-3037

Find Your Home in Conejo Valley

If you have ever considered buying a home in or around Sherwood Lake, Agoura Hills or Thousand Oaks, think of all the great perks you’ll enjoy. In addition to the aforementioned, there’s the Agoura Hills Summer Concert Series, top horseback riding and running trails, local road races and events for the whole family, close proximity to Malibu Beach and the mountains, and just a short commute to Los Angeles museums and Hollywood movie events.

For more information on any events listed in this blog or to view home listings in Ventura or Los Angeles County, contact Lydia Gable today at Westlake Village Realty.


Halloween Trick-or-Treating: the 'Sweetest' Neighborhoods

Halloween Wasn’t Always About Candy

Modern Halloween comes from the Irish festival, Samhain. Samhain was the occasion that marked the passage from the summer harvest season to winter. Ancient Halloween rituals included bonfires built in fields to distract fairy spirits from lurking in homes or affecting the farm harvest. People would make carvings on vegetables, specifically turnips, and line the roads next to the gates with lanterns. The lore was that the lights would guide the way for travelers and any passing fairies.

Modern Halloween, Pumpkins and Lore…

Halloween celebration in modern America—although a few remnants remain like lanterns and carved pumpkins—bears little resemblance to the ancient tradition. The modern Halloween holiday as we know it, didn’t take off until Irish and Scottish settlers immigrated to America in the 1800s. According to History, the carving of rudimentary vegetables eventually became Pumpkin carvings. Although the exact date of the first pumpkin carving is not known. Says the History website in its article titled, The Halloween Pumpkin: An American History

In 1866, the children’s magazine ‘Harper’s Young People’ reported that ‘a great sacrifice of pumpkins’ had been made that for that year’s Halloween celebrations. By the 1920s, Halloween had been embraced throughout the United States. Parties and costumes became the norm, and “trick or treating” soon followed in the mid-1930s.

Spooktacular Events in Conejo Valley

For organized Halloween festivities to enjoy with the kids in Conejo Valley, choose from some of the most popular local events below:

  • The Trunk or Treat party at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center on October 31stfrom 3-5PM. The event is free to the public. Take your dressed up munchkins trick or treating to a trunk show by participating local businesses including Fire Engine 125 from Station 68.
  • The Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District will host a Community Halloween Carnival “Fright Fest”at Camarillo Community Center Park, 1605 E. Burnley Street, on Halloween night from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Trick-or-Treat Village, Carnival Games, Costume Contest and much more.
  • Oak Park’s 8th Annual Indoor Halloween Carnival at the Oak Park Community Center, 1000 Kanan Road, on Thursday, October 31st from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Only $2 for ages 2 and up and $1 for under age 2. Parents are free when accompanied by children. An evening of games, attractions, food and prizes, the carnival is held indoors and costumes are encouraged. Attractions include a Trick or Treat Village, Face Painting, Game Booths, Food and Prizes.

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet…

For those parents who want to enjoy traditional door-to-door trick or treating, safety issues are always a concern. Halloween is almost as popular as Christmas. The collection of trick-or-treating candy closely rivals that of Christmas Day presents under the tree. Parents of course for this reason, want to indulge their children in the fun and festivities, without neglecting safety.

In Southern California, there are some beautiful, family-oriented neighborhoods that are at least the safer bet. The upscale communities of Calabasas, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Thousand Oaks are great choices for your little princesses and cowboys. The neighborhoods in these communities are well lit with home lots fairly close together. This makes the trek easier on little legs and parents can park without fear while accompanying Junior or Little Miss door to door. And as an added bonus—and this is the best perk in my opinion— you can do a little scouting for your next dream home purchase!

Happy Halloween from Westlake Village Realty!


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