The real estate market is heating up and a key to success to creating excitement about getting your home sold. Who you work with matters – in both buying and selling.
We cannot thank the community enough for coming out to our 7th Annual Coats for Casa Pacifica Drive on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Three Springs Park in Westlake Village. Over 450 people donated 2,500 coats to local kids in need. You rock! It was a beautiful, sunny winter day in Southern California – kids and adults alike enjoyed the 30 tons of snow we brought in for sledding and play, plus free smoothies and coffee for all! We had The Hideout Playground here with fun crafts for the kids along with everyone’s favorite Ice Princess saying hello.
We want to thank our sponsors: Zwaag Termite Control, Skinny Wimp Moving, Cheryl Meyers Insurance Agency, Healthy Pet, Michael Lang Design and the City of Westlake Village for a community service grant. We could not do this event without you!
Thank you to local area businesses for their support in donating raffle prizes and having collection boxes in their storefronts. Amazing community we live in here!
- BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
- Brent’s Deli
- Fresh Brother’s Pizza
- Harley’s Bowl
- Hideout Playground
- Sky High Sports
- The Stadium
- Thrive Dance Center
Donation Collection Boxes:
- B&B Insurance
- BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
- My Health Studio
- Keller Williams
- Orange Theory
- Thrive Dance Center
- Temple Adat Elohim
Making a List and Checking It Twice…
Have you ever thought of writing a real estate new year’s resolutions list? New Year’s Day is weeks away and most likely most of us are looking back at our year and deciding what goes on our 2016 New Year’s resolutions list. But as a homeowner or potential homeowner, you should also jot down some real estate new year’s resolutions. It’s a good idea to get your real estate ‘house’ in order. Not to mention you can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t make a decision to get there. So on that note, here are five good real estate new year’s resolutions that can help you manifest your home owners’ goals more quickly.
Jot down all five of these practical and some more enjoyable tips onto your New Year’s resolutions list for 2016 so you can see all your homeowners dreams realized this year.
- Annual Property Tax Assessment
This resolution can set you on a better financial path in the future. Maybe you are saving for a better home or want to make upgrades to your current home. Every little bit saved helps. So, if you are a homeowner and your home appraisal value has dropped even by a smidge this year, you be able to pay less for property tax by contesting your property tax assessment. Many realtors will even issue an annual reminder to clients to remind them to review their property tax. You may also not be aware that if you do discover that your property tax is too high vs. the current value, you may request a hearing date within a limited time frame. Call me for more information on this. Bottom line: put this on your must-do’s for 2016.
- Home Owner Insurance Discount
Now, still on the financial goals side of things…Did you make any major repairs or upgrades to your home this year? If so you may be able reap the benefits of this even if you don’t plan on listing the home for sale. Major repairs or improvements that you made to your home last year may qualify you for a discount on this year’s home owner’s insurance coverage. Be willing to do a little research and prove the costs of the repairs but this resolution can be well worth the effort. Don’t forget this one your list. Home owner’s insurance discount, resolution #2, 2016.
- Upgrades… Finally
Resolution #2 flows very nicely into this resolution which is… Resolve to make those “put off” home owner upgrades finally this year. As you can see, even if you don’t sell, it may definitely pay off in the way of discounts. But if you are planning to sell, do it now. Don’t wait until the last minute. Kitchens and bathrooms are the areas that will pay off most in the sale so be willing to make the investment. Granite countertops, spa showers and pedestal tubs. A 2014 article in U.S, News Money & World Report says there are definitely home improvements that will boost your home sale:
As the saying goes, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” When people drive up and first see your house, you want them to think of it immediately as a home that has been maintained and well cared for. “It’s you putting your best foot forward,” says Christy Biberich, owner of Christy B. Design in Los Angeles who appears on the HGTV show “Brother Vs. Brother.” “We do judge a book by its cover.”
- De-Clutter, De-Stress
Maybe you have no plans on selling just yet or perhaps you have even just moved in – whatever the reason, a cluttered home is not a happy home. Your home is supposed to be a sanctuary away from the hectic outside world so treat it as such. A blog on Luxury Simplified suggests starting with the most clutter-prone areas like closets. Says the writer:
Empty closets. These are the graveyards for all the belongings homeowners don’t know what to do with. Spacious closets are a coveted feature among buyers. Make yours appear larger by being uncluttered and well organized.
- Find a Real Estate Pro
As with any high stakes endeavor, a coach or mentor can determine success. So if you know that your dream home is your next goal but it’s a full one year away, use this time now, effectively. Research. Seek out your best team, now. A realtor can make all the difference between buying your dream home and simply buying any old house in price range. And to that I would say, look around your neighborhood. Look at potential dream homes. Go to open houses at home that you have deemed “dream homes” so you can decide if these houses are actually living up to the idea in your mind. Then find a real estate professional while you have the time to interview and decide. A top real estate agent can make all the difference!
- Find Your New Dream Home
A home is more than just a front door, a living room and a few bedrooms and bathrooms. There are several factors that can boost a home’s potential: different designs, commuting and proximity to local highways, luxury location, lot size, taxes, interior dimensions, façade and curb appeal. Take the time if you are so privileged to do so. Put “finding your dream home” on your resolutions list now and then take your time and search thoroughly.
Lastly from all of us at Lydia Gable Realty Group, a happy and safe holiday to all. My wish for you in 2016: All of your home owner new year’s resolutions come true and that all your dreams are realized right where you are – happy at heart and happy at home.
It’s holiday time again and when there are holidays, you can bet there are homeowners thinking up new holiday home decorating ideas. Some folks really embrace the idea of holiday decorating but for some, it’s not as easy either because of a lack of ideas or a lack of funds. But you don’t have to spend a ton of money nor does it have to be complicated. There are simple ways to decorate your home so that it reflects the joy of the season! With a few of the following tips, you can go from hum-drum to holiday happy in just minutes. Take a look at the following list of holiday home decorating ideas.
A Festive Centerpiece
An article on RealSimple offers some great tips. I particularly like the five-second centerpiece. The idea here is to use what you to make a gorgeous decoration with simplicity. It’s not only simple but it makes for an elegant centerpiece for any holiday party.
Mix clementines or oranges and peppermint balls in a single glass compote (or a grouping of three).
Holiday Garland for Decorating
Do you have columns at your entrance or maybe a trellis? This could work with both or even just a fence. Wrap the columns or drape the fence with white lights and green garland. The entrance is the perfect holiday starting point for decorating because guests will feel the holiday spirit as soon as they step on your property.
Hanukkah Holiday Decorating
Hanukkah is the first week in December this year. Decorating isn’t just for Christmas. If you celebrate Hanukkah and want to add some festive flavor to your home, SFGate has some ideas for you. One of the best ones involves window decorating. Says the piece:
Set up a raised platform on the sill of the central bow window during Hanukkah and cover it with a silver-and-blue velvet cloth. Place a large menorah — one that holds candles or a decorative menorah with powered lights — on the platform so its light is clearly visible through the window.
Holiday Home Decorating: Curb Appeal
Don’t forget holiday curb appeal – your mailbox can be covered in red bows and wreathes which is small decoration that packs a big punch. It’s just a simple way to add a touch of holiday decorating without doing too much and being called the Griswolds of the cul de sac. I also like the idea that Southern Living had which if done well can add such a classy touch. They decorated the window sill with a view varied vintage-looking Christmas lanterns. It’s the small touches really and that doesn’t cost much. You can paint some old lanterns you may already have or pick up a few interesting pieces at the local flea market. Says the article:
Arrange a grouping of festive lanterns at your entryway for quick-and-easy holiday style. Consider using flameless candles as a worry-free alternative to regular pillars.
The Smell of a Christmas Home Sale
Maybe you are putting your home up for sale, decorating might be a bit much. But you would be surprised how the smell of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven, hot apple cider, the smell of pine in the entrance or even a scented hot chocolate candle, can evoke the emotions of home. If you are staying in your home over the holidays and want to still enjoy the feeling of the festive season, but you don’t want to go overboard with decorating because you plan on listing it during the holiday season, don’t forget the smells of Christmas. It can make all the difference. A gorgeous homemade wreath on the door and the smells of Christmas past, could be just the added touches of staging you need.
The Home is the Hearth
Let’s be honest we all decorate for our guests and neighbors to enjoy. But don’t forget, your home is your hearth. When you walk in, it’s the place to leave all your cares from the outside world on the doormat. So set a tone that is comforting and even festive. Maybe you are from family this holiday year or perhaps you just moved into a new home. Turn on some holiday music, grab a few friends and family members and start decorating. It’s a fun way to bond with others but also a lovely way to make your house feel like the home you always dreamt it could be. You take such good care of your home, let it take care of you.
Oh and last but not least… A happy and safe holiday season from all of us here at Lydia Gable Realty Group. From my home to yours, I wish you joy and happy holiday home decorating!
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 Shoppes at Westlake Village is just an added perk of living in the greatest community in Southern California. While everyone who lives here probably takes for granted the great shops and restaurants at this outdoor mall, many SoCal residents may not know that six (and there’s more – see the website) new restaurants have just opened or will open soon at the venue. Westlake Village – could it get any better? Well “yes” apparently is the answer to that question. So if you are thinking about relocating to a resort-style, luxury community or if perhaps you simply want to experience a new culinary outing with friends, read more about the newest additions to the already scrumptious cuisine at The Shoppes at Westlake Village.
The Gallery describes its American cuisine as “casual yet elegant” and I ‘d say that just about sums up Westlake Village. So it looks like this seafood and chops restaurant should fit right in among the locals. And speaking of the locals, the owners pride themselves on “locally sourcing herbs and fish” which is an added plus. If you are feeling like enjoying a night out of seafood and drinks with friends, The Gallery might be the perfect choice.
Many of the Santa Barbara faves have now found a home in Westlake Village including Jeanine’s, Olio e Limone and Olio Pizzeria. Read all about these three stand-outs below.
Jeannine’s Gourmet Food Hall
Jeannine’s says they pride themselves on providing a place where “people can enjoy one-of-a-kind pastries and nutritious food…a reflection of what we as a family like to eat every day.” Wholesome and nutritious food that rivals any chain. This place is great stop after a day of shopping with the entire family and your kids will thank you for the pastry treats although I dare you not to indulge! http://jeannineswestlakevillage.com/
Olio e Limone Ristorante
Meaning “oil and lemon” in Italian. Alberto and Elaine Morello’s philosophy: rely on the integrity of the ingredients and quality of the preparation. Diners will enjoy “simply sophisticated” Italian cuisine. With a menu that includes burrata salad and house-made duck ravioli with porcini mushroom sauce, leave the diet at home. This smells and tastes of luxurious Italian cuisine at its best. You can also purchase a bottle of their home made olio, an “organic extra-virgin olive oil made from Sicilian olive varieties.” 1 (818)706-Olio (6546) Option 1 | Hours: Sun-Thurs 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-10:30PM | WEBSITE
The sister establishment to Olio e Limone, Olio Pizzeria was Inspired by the enoteche (wine bars) and pizzeria found at the many piazzas in Italy, Alberto and Elaine Morello’s deliver “artisanal Italian food” at this Westlake Village, gourmet pizzeria. On the menu are salami and formaggi (cheese), authentic pizza, as well as a myriad of regional wine choices and artisanal Italian beers. 1 (800)706-Olio (6546) Option 2 | Hours: Sun-Thurs 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-10:30PM | WEBSITE
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.’s Westlake Village “taproom features indoor and outdoor table seating with all of their core beers on tap and ready “to go” in bottles.” If you a are a beer aficionado or better yer, you just enjoy dining out at new places, this is a perfect weekend respite for the working folk. “The Westlake Village taproom offers a full artisanal menu featuring fresh gastropub fare such as burgers, tri-tip sandwiches, salads and sliders or beer ‘to go’.” Hours: Sun-Thurs 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-10:30PM | WEBSITE
And of course if you come to Southern California, you crave In-N-Out. Now The Shoppes can boast the famed SoCal burger establishment. For those of you not from the area, In-N-Out is to SoCal what Dunkin Donuts is to Massachusetts. If you are from the East Coast, nothing else needs to be said. Friendly service, no pre-packaged fast food. Just fresh burgers done the old fashioned way.
1 (800) 786-1000 | Hours:Sun-Thurs 10:30AM-12AM, Fri-Sat 10:30AM-12:30AM |
Los Agaves Restaurant
Newly opened, Los Agaves is family-owned. A traditional family style Mexican restaurant, it is the same owners as the Santa Barbara location. Says the site, “Customers order at the counter and visit the salsa bar while their food is being prepared. We have been told we have the best fish tacos in town!” Who can pass up the best fish tacos in town?
1 (818)874-0769 | Hours: Mon-Fri 11AM-9PM, Sat-Sun 9AM-9PM | WEBSITE
Westlake Village – The Best Kept Secret in The Conejo Valley…
I hope you enjoyed this guide to some of the newest restaurants here at The Shoppes at Westlake Village. If you don’t live here, you may have an inkling now as to why I consider myself privileged to work and play in the best community in Southern California. Of course I enjoy it – who wouldn’t? I get to find the most gorgeous homes for couples and families just starting out so they too can enjoy living in Westlake Village and all that it has to offer.
While the dining, entertainment, outdoor activities and perfect climate in Westlake Village are what I mostly boast about in my blogs, you can’t have a terrific environment without the people. It’s the residents that make this community a great place to live. So if you are relocating soon to this part of the world, walk don’t run. If you are thinking of buying a new home, make an appointment with me to view the newest listings in the area. You could be in a new home by the fall. At the very least, you will view some of the premiere luxury properties in all of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties and as an added bonus, you’ll enjoy a burger and a pastry at The Shoppes at Westlake Village – it’s a win-win!
*This article was recently published in Thousand Oaks Acorn. Great article…
Lydia Gable, Keller Williams Adds to her Team
Realtor Lydia Gable with Keller Williams Realty recently announced the addition of two employees to her team.
Aubrey Slack has been licensed in real estate for over 13 years and has worked throughout California, Alaska and Texas. She will join Lydia Gable Realty Group as an executive assistant, managing all of Gable’s transactions.
Lisa Kass has been licensed since 2010 and has successfully helped buyers and investors in Los Angeles and the Conejo Valley. She will join the team as a buyer’s agent.
I am thrilled to welcome these talented women to my team,” Gable said. “We have worked tremendously hard to get where we are today, and now we have even greater capacity to provide outstanding customer service to our clients. That is our highest priority.
Often I sell homes to clients who are relocating from out of state or to young couples looking to move up. The common sentiment expressed is, “Wow I didn’t know about all the great things this community had to offer.” In light of the best kept secret in real estate, the Conejo Valley, I thought I would share some juicy info that you may not know about this community – things to do, clubs to join, and more. If you have ever thought about moving to Westlake Village, Agoura Hills or Thousand Oaks, read more for facts and fun that you never knew. Read more to find out about the community I love and in which I have the privilege to work and play.
Let the Music Play On…
Did you know that during the summer and early fall there are free concerts all over the community? Here is an upcoming event in Westlake Village – part of the Concerts in the Park Series:
City of Westlake Village Concerts in the Park Series – Boogie Nights (Disco)
Sat, August 22, 7pm – 9pm
31800 Village Center Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91361
Says the Conejo Valley Guide:
The 12th Annual TGIF Westlake Village series offers families a series of free performances at the Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 Oak Crest Drive. Events start at 7pm. The lineup includes: Saturday Concerts in the Park planned this summer at Berniece Bennett Park, 31800 Village Center Road: Sat, August 22 at 7pm: Boogie Nights (disco). Food is available for sale from local restaurant vendors each week. Concerts start at 7pm. More information and updates at www.wlv.org.
Farmer’s Markets abound in the Conejo Valley – I am going to go out on a limb and say there are probably a larger variety of Farmers Markets here in then in most Southern California communities. Take a look at all of these choices and it’s only a small selection:
- Westlake Village Farmers Market – Sundays 10a-2pm 2797 Agoura Rd, Westlake Village
- Agoura Hills Farmers Market – Sundays 9a-2pm 5835 Kanan Rd, Agoura Hills
- Thousand Oaks Farmers Market – Thursdays 1:30p-6pm The Oaks Mall, east parking lot, Thousand Oaks.
Clubs, Volunteer and Networking Orgs…
Did you know that Ventura County, part of the Conejo Valley, is home to a slew of professional, service and networking clubs and organizations? If you are a corporate professional, a community volunteer enthusiast or just looking to get involved, this is the place to be. Have you heard of the Optimists Club? There is a chapter in Ventura County – the name is quite appropriate. We are an optimistic set for sure. Take a look at Optimist International – this is just one of many clubs you can join as soon as you move here. According to Optimist International:
Optimist International is a worldwide volunteer organization made up of more than 2,500 local Clubs whose Members work each day to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, in their communities, and in themselves.
They have events and groups for both adults and youth and there is a chapter right in Ventura County. What better way to settle into a new community.
Here are some more professional organizations..,
- Assistance League of Conejo Valley
Philanthropic organization founded in 1995. 100% of donations go towards programs.
- Assistance League of Ventura County
Nonprofit volunteer organization founded in 1946 dedicated to the enrichment of the lives of children in Ventura County
- Association for Corporate Growth – 101 Corridor
Group for professionals involved in corporate growth, development and mergers and acquisitions initiatives in the West Valley-Ventura County-Santa Barbara areas.
You can find a myriad of organizations and charitable groups at The Conejo Valley Guide Service Clubs page.
Taste of Conejo…
If you only just relocated to the Conejo Valley or you are planning on it by summer’s end, well you will be right in time for a fantastic annual event, Taste of Conejo, held every October. According to the event sponsored website, Taste of Conejo gives you the opportunity to:
Join over 1,000 local food and wine enthusiasts at the 7th Annual Taste of Conejo on Thursday, October 1th from 5-8 p.m.! Enjoy an evening of exceptional food, wine and spirit tasting, and live entertainment, all under one roof! This inclusive event invites you to sip and taste the creations of over 50 local, premier food and beverage participants.
Sherwood Country Club…
And finally you may not know that if you buy a home and relocate to the gated community of Lake Sherwood, you will have the opportunity to join the prestigious Sherwood Country Club. Says the site:
Sherwood is a private golf, tennis and country club set at the base of the majestic Santa Monica Mountains in Thousand Oaks, California. The Club is home to a championship 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, driving range and golf clubhouse. Adjacent to the golf club is the tennis clubhouse, complete with 14 courts, a sparkling pool, fitness facility and full-service spa.
The Conejo Valley: Your are Home
This is only a sliver of the many goodies offered to the residents of the Conejo Valley. Beyond the great people, the year round perfect climate, and luxury resort living, it’s a community that you can live, work and play in but most of all, it’s a place to call home.
If you are ready to buy a home, you can learn more about the community and view listings in Westlake Village or anywhere in the Conejo Valley by contacting Lydia Gable today.