Try and Buy – New Trend in Home Buying?

LYDIAPIC‘Fly and Buy’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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First Quarter Housing Market Update – 2015

 

R.E. Market Update – March 2015

Late 2014 and early 2015 saw some slowdown in the housing market, but it looks like hope springs eternal. April and May could bring much needed relief. Spring is typically a busy time anyway for home buying but we aren’t quite there yet, numbers-wise. In any event, as I have reported for the past few years, here is my housing market update for the first quarter of 2015.

The first quarter report, according to DataQuick saw a marginal improvement month to month –  “an estimated 25,585 new and existing houses and condos sold in California in February 2015, a one percent increase from January 2015.”  Although this percentage is not up or even close to the numbers from 2014, California Association of Realtors (C.A.R) President Chris Kutzkey, says there are encouraging signs. Krutzkey seems to be of the motto, improvement is improvement regardless if it’s year to year or a simple incline from a dip the previous month. He says:

While February’s statewide improvement in the housing market was moderate, it’s an encouraging sign, nevertheless, as we head into the spring home-buying season. On the supply side, housing inventory improved overall with active listings growing at a faster pace of 5.3 percent when compared to last February.  Regionally, both active listings in Southern California and Central Valley increased moderately from last year.

Home Sales in Ventura County

Regionally, in Ventura County the median sold price of existing single-family homes is up for the most part. While the number is not up from February in a month to month comparison, it’s up since last year and compares favorably to most of the counties in Southern California. See the numbers chart from C.A.R.

Los Angeles

$419,260

$441,610

$389,080

-5.1%

7.8%

-0.3%

-3.2%

Orange County

$680,290

$674,340

$677,700

0.9%

0.4%

10.9%

6.3%

Riverside County

$323,220

$306,060

$302,370

5.6%

6.9%

4.3%

-7.7%

San Bernardino

$213,930

$206,660

$186,440

r

3.5%

14.7%

-7.8%

-0.6%

San Diego

$499,000

$496,380

$476,780

0.5%

4.7%

14.8%

5.7%

Ventura

$568,840

$582,630

$558,490

-2.4%

1.9%

-1.7%

6.4%

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage told the Los Angeles Times last week in an article titled, Southern California home prices rise, sales fall in February, that Spring has not quite sprung yet for the housing market – the true tale will be in the inventory numbers. Said LePage:

This feels a lot like early 2014, with home sales off to a slow start. And just like a year ago, one of the big questions hanging over the market is whether we’ll see a sizable jump in inventory this spring and summer.

Says the Times, however, not to fret, C.A.R. reports that there is some good signs on the inventory front. On Monday, C.A.R. reported 5.8 months worth of homes unsold on the market in Southern California, just shy of the six months that economists consider “normal” supply.

The Times also reports the strongest growth is in Riverside County, not surprising since the Millennials have a great impact there and have started buying as I reported in an earlier article from my blog. Also, San Bernardino County hit yearly highs, as did Ventura County where sales grew by 9.8%. Yay us…

Spring Home Buying…

In Westlake Village, Agoura Hills and Thousand Oaks, there has definitely been a surge of activity in the housing market especially as spring approached. As early as March, we started experiencing multiple offers on well-priced updated homes.  Inventory is still low, but it is starting to increase slowly.  The interest rates are low – good homes are definitely moving quickly!

Spring has sprung! Typically a busy season, if you’re ready to buy or sell, there is no time like the present. Don’t wait for an analyst to say it’s time, jump in now. You could be in your dream house by summer! And no matter what the “numbers” say, there is no better feeling than coming home.

Lydia Gable is a 2015 Quality Service Certified® Platinum Realtor in Westlake Village. Her proven track record and satisfied clients make her Ventura County’s top ranked real estate agent. If you are interested in viewing properties or listing your home, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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Quality Service Certified® Platinum 2015  

Quality Service Certified® Platinum

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

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

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

Living and Working Where I Love…The Best Reward

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

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

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Millennial Home Buyers, ‘Y’ the Trend Matters

Millennial Home BuyerThe Millennial Home Buyer

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

Los Angeles 2015 home sales forecast: +6%

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

Y Home Buyers: ‘Mobile’ and Timid?

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

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

‘Move Over Boomers…’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New Season, New Westlake Village Fall Activities

Westlake Village: A Lovely Place to Work, Live and Visit…

As we usher in the cooler fall season, enjoy the benefits of living in Westlake Village and all that it offers for its residents!

For those of you fortunate enough to live in the Westlake Village area, you probably already know that fall is a time filled with numerous exciting activities for its residents. But for those in the surrounding communities who may be considering a change in venue to match the change in season, here are some of my favorite seasonal local events. For future residents and eager visitors, take a look at what you get to look forward to as part of our community!

  1. The City That Celebrates Together
    City of Westlake Village’s 12th Annual City Celebration

It’s that time of year again, where we celebrate and feature the best that our community has to offer on Saturday, October 18th, 2014.

This is truly a must-attend for residents. I can say with surety as I have memories from the previous eleven that pleasantly linger with me. I was involved in planning the first City Celebration when my kids were at White Oak.

Think of getting to see and do everything “great” that makes up our community in one place and time and you get the picture! With exciting performances, food trucks, special events, and the ever popular Fun Fair from our very own White Oak Elementary School, this event offers fun for residents of all ages. Additional information is available at City of Westlake Village.

  1. What’s Fall without Halloween Goblins
    The Triunfo Y Goblin Gallop 5k Run

The Triunfo Y Goblin Gallop, part of the annual City Celebration, is a Halloween-themed twilight run on October 18th featuring a costume contest that includes a 5K Run followed by a 1-mile Trick or Treat Fun Run. Goblin Gallop runners are encouraged to run/walk wearing their favorite costume. Prizes will be awarded to the best costumes seen on the course. For those of you with little ones, kids who take part in the 1-mile Trick or Treat Fun Run will be able to enjoy numerous Trick or Treat stations along the course – an event the whole family can enjoy together!

Event proceeds will help support the Triunfo Y Teen and Family Programs.

The night starts at 5:30PM at the Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 Oak Crest Drive. For more info go to Triunfo 5k Run.

  1. Oktoberfest
    Second Annual Oktoberfest at Stonehaus

The Stonehaus, a boutique enoteca reminiscent of Italy, and the newest addition to the Westlake Village Inn, will be celebrating their second annual Oktoberfest Oct 17th-19th. Although Stonehaus is the newest addition to the Westlake Village Inn, Oktoberfest itself is rich in tradition dating back nearly two-hundred years in Munich, Germany.

Although this event may be relatively new to our community, don’t mistake its lack of tenor for a lack of quality. With great food, beer, and live music over the course of three days, Stonehaus does right by Oktoberfest lofty historical standards – a must-attend for residents over twenty-one.

Friday October 17th 4PM-10PM
Saturday October 18th 1PM -10PM
Sunday October 19th Noon – 8PM
Live music every night at 7PM

For more information visit: Stonehaus

  1. A Halloween ‘Treat’

Also for a ‘treat’ Three Springs in Westlake Village is definitely a destination for Trick or Treating and the neighborhood is already decorating and preparing for the annual festivities.

An award-winning Realtor®, Lydia Gable is known for paying special attention to meticulous communication with her clients throughout the buying or selling process. Lydia Gable lives andworks in the community. If you have any questions related to this topic or if you are interested in buying or selling a home in and around Westlake Village, contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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A Snapshot of the Best Places to Live SoCal

Agoura Hills

Agoura Hills is a beautiful and affluent community about one half hour outside of Los Angeles which makes for an easy commute. This Los Angeles County city is home to a state-of-the-art civic center and offers a variety of cultural and outdoor activities for the whole family including horse riding and trails – some of the best. One of the faves is Malibu Riders in Agoura Hills. Take advantage of the 2 hour Malibu Creek ride! Agoura Hills is a very family-friendly community not to mention it boasts 200+ sunny days each year, so of course outdoor activities abound! Some other fun choices offered here include, pee-wee yoga, hiking, fencing, and even senior socials. So if you have an elderly loved one living with you, this is a community where they have options to get out and enjoy. The weather is great and there are fun activities to enjoy. Additionally Agoura Hills is consistently ranked one of the safest cities in the country. Most recently ranked 14 out of the 50 Safest Cities, according to Safewise, “the FBI’s Crime Report states that authorities were made aware of just three robberies in 2011.”

Calabasas

Situated in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley, Calabasas is not only beautiful with a temperate climate, but it’s also a leader in the green movement. Made famous by its one-time residents, the Kardashians and Justin Bieber, it’s so much more than a celebrity haven. Families enjoy its quaint community feel while still being a stone’s throw from the Malibu beach or a short ride to Los Angeles. Another city that consistently makes the “safe” list and ranked 13 out the 50 Safest Cities, Calabasas, according to the latest FBI Crime Report as reported by Safewise, only had three robberies reported to authorities in 2011. Also, for those who care about environmental issues, you will undoubtedly be impressed with all of the green initiatives offered by the city. Lastly, as a resident, you will have the privilege of enjoying sunset concerts at Calabasas Lake, tennis and swimming at the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center, or day trips to the many parks in the community.

Westlake Village

A little lakeside community surrounded by a golf course and situated between Thousand Oaks and Agoura Hills, Westlake is the perfect affluent, Southern California community in which to settle down. Upscale dining and shopping at The Promenade or boating and fishing at Westlake Lake – take your pick! It’s all here. But whether you choose this area for investment or to purchase your dream home, residents have access to North Ranch Country Club and the award winning Westlake Golf Course not to mention it’s only a short 30 minutes to the city of Los Angeles and a short drive to Malibu. Additionally, the public schools are ranked some of the top in the country. According to GreatSchools.com, Westlake Village on average spends $12000 + per student. Several Westlake Village public elementary and high schools ranked 9 out of 10 on their list with 10 being best.

Lydia Gable sells and lists homes in Agoura Hilla, Westlake Village and Calabasas. Even better she lives, works and plays in the Westlake Village. If you need a realtor with years of proven experience and a real appreciation for the community in which you’ll purchase or sell your home, contact Lydia Gable today.

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Summer SoCal Housing Market Update: ‘Normal’

The Southern California housing market update for summer 2014, while still hot, has settled from a high boil to a more stabilized ‘normal’ temp – at least compared to last year’s explosive growth. While the numbers aren’t quite on fire, the market is still doing well compared to the dark days of the housing crash. According to a report last week on DQNews:

An estimated 39,254 new and resale houses and condos sold statewide in June. That was up 4.0 percent from 37,734 in May, and down 4.3 percent from 41,027 sales in June 2013. June sales have varied from a low of 35,202 in 2008 to a high of 76,669 in 2004. Last month’s sales were 19.8 percent below the average of 48,929 sales for all the months of June since 1988. [But] Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and peak levels reached in the last five years.

A Seller’s Zone: Time to List…

Although the market has cooled slightly over the past month or so, it’s a seller’s zone. Prices have not yet begun to drop. It may take some time for prices to reflect a demand and begin to fall. But you should expect prices to fall—if the index continues to dip— to a Buyer’s zone. How does this affect you? Well, many Ventura County homes appreciated by over 16% over the last three quarters according to regional data reports. So if you’re thinking of selling, your home may now have enough equity to sell without having to do a “short” sale as many owners were so concerned about last year.

Signs Point Upward…

Whether you are interested in selling or buying a home, signs point upward for future market growth. According to the Los Angeles Times in a recent article titled, Good time for home buyers?Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors, told the paper,

Inventories are at their highest level in over a year and price gains have slowed to much more welcoming levels in many parts of the country. This bodes well for rising home sales in the upcoming months.

Finally, I am happy to let you know that also, as reported by the Times, “the numbers echo a similar trend in Southern California, which has seen signs of a market returning to normalcy after several up-and-down years.”

The Perfect Temp in Westlake Village!

It’s summer so I’ll enjoy the temperate numbers of the current housing market in my neck of the woods at least for now. After all I live in and work in the best community in the country, Westlake Village, where there’s no shortage of summer fun to be had. But never one to slack on the job, don’t worry, I’ll follow the data closely and continue to keep you posted with regular updates over the coming months. Hopefully the next report will forecast a rapid boil!

If you are looking for a home or ready to sell real estate in the Conejo Valley, don’t hesitate to call Lydia Gable Realty Group Group today and find out how we can help you.

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Summer in Westlake Village is Hot, Hot Hot!

If you are a resident of Westlake Village then you probably already know that this awesome community is about to get a big boost from the new Target retail center. We have all been eagerly awaiting this mall and sources say it’s opening this summer. Might I add that the timing is perfect because Westlake Village is activity-filled all summer long – now add a major retailer, does it get better? If you planning on moving to the area or if you have just relocated, check out all the current and “imminent” summer fun residents can have here!

Bulls-eye: Target Finds a Home in Westlake Village!

Target, In-n-Out and Tilly’s are coming to Westlake as part of the Target-centered mall slated for opening this summer – the date for the grand open is July 27th. Conejo Valley residents are excited about the much awaited opening. An article in the Conejo Valley Happening said:

Dubbed the Shoppes at Westlake Village, the European village-style retail center, will also house the Total Woman Gym & Spa, All Tressed Up Blowdry & Beauty Bar, Hook Burger, Tilly’s, BCBC Nail Spa, Los Agaves Mexican Restaurant, a beauty supply store, some hair salon suites and a couple of Santa Barbara-based restaurants.

And added Dan Selleck, owner of Selleck Development, the developer of the 240,000-sq. ft. upscale shopping and dining development

These are indeed very exciting times for tenants and Westlake residents. It’s really going well and most of the tenants are on track to open at the same time as Target in July or soon after.

A “Free” Trolley for Summer Frolicking

If all the summer shopping and Tar-jay excitement has you tired already, you’ll be happy to hear that Westlake Village is also providing a free summer trolley through August 30th. Dubbed “The Village Trolley” the free tram will run on Friday and Saturday nights from 4:00pm -11pm during the summer. And if that weren’t enough, there will be entertainment on select nights and times. Clickhere to check the entertainment schedule. For more on The Village Trolley route, click here!

A Song for Summer

With all the shopping and Trolley frolicking around Westlake Village this summer, don’t forget to enjoy the Saturday Concerts in the Park planned this summer! Summer evenings in beautiful Westlake Village provide the perfect ambience for a great music series. The 11th Annual TGIF Westlake Village series provides entertainment for the whole family and the performance series is free.

Concerts take place at:

Westlake Village Civic Center,
31200 Oak Crest Drive.
Events start at 7pm

Westlake: Live, Work and Play…

Summers in Westlake Village are only one reason I live, play and work in Westlake Village. If you want to experience the perfect year round climate, golf courses and lake views – and now The Village Trolley, a European shopping village and free concerts all summer, contact Westlake Village Real Estate today to view homes in the area!

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

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

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

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

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

And, points out the author, Marilyn Kalfus:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Realtors Say About Buying Turnkey

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

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

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

The Benefits of Buying Turnkey Real Estate

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

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

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

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

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