Westlake Village, CA Real Estate News

By RealtyTech Inc., Premium Websites/IDX/Marketing for Realtors
(Real Estate Technology and Marketing)
Is your real estate website pretty much like any other real estate agent's? Do you use the website templates your agency provides for its agents? If so, you may want to rethink that strategy. We don't have to tell you how competitive it is for Realtors® and agents on the Web. "Homes for sale [fill in your town's name]" is one of the most competitive keyword phrases out there. Just about every Realtor® or agent in your town is trying to get ranked for keywords such as the above; you need to do everything you can to help potential home buyers find your site before your competitors'. Here are some tips to help you create a real estate website that stands out from the rest: If you're using a website template offered by your agency, you're giving those competitors who have customized website...
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By Connie Tebyani, Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County
(Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro)
It all began when the Listing Realtor contacted us to perform a Home Staging Consultation  for this new listing.  It's a beautiful Westlake Village family pool home with a multi level floor plan; 5 bedrooms and 4 full baths. Although the Sellers had already "decluttered" per the Realtors suggestion from the numerous family photos and nick-knacks, this is what we walked in to see. Still lots of "clutter" and personal photos. So we walked the home with them and made several suggestions regarding paint colors, personal items and photos, furniture arrangement, etc and within 24 hours presented them with a detailed 6 page room-by-room road-map of exactly what needed to be done to prepare the home for sale.  They even later called us back for a Color Consultation for painting the exterior of ...
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Conforming and Jumbo Mortgage Option Arm Loans When we look back on the impact of the Conforming and Jumbo Mortgage Rates for Option Arm Loans, the borrowers who selected them and the places where the Option Arm Loans were very popular, like California, the results should come as no surprise! You may be surprised to find out that over $150 billion dollars of Option Arm Loans were originated in California and many of them are about to reset.  The most common reset is when a Fixed Adjustable like a 5-Year Fixed, resets from the fixed rate for the initial period, to market rates. On a Conforming or Jumbo Adjustable Mortgage Rate Option Arm Loans however, the rate adjusts monthly, the payment annually and after the initial 5 or 10 years of the loan, the loan must be fully amortized and the ...
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Conforming and Jumbo Mortgage Rates for Option Arm Loans If you are like many, you found that beautiful house in the great neigborhood that was perfect for your family.  Clean streets, fresh air, great schools and maybe a pool with a view.  You love your family and you found that you could "have it all" when you learned about the Conforming and Jumbo Mortgage Rates for Option Arm Loans. You may have also seen prices skyrocketing in the heated real estate market and thought that this was your last chance to get your dream home.  The only problem was that with the traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage, the payments were too high.  On the other hand, the economy was great, your income was increasing annually and since housing were climbing, you could also cash in on the future appreciati...
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By BILL EMHOFF
(JPMorgan Chase & Co.)
Jumbo Loans and Fine Dining in Westlake VillageMastro's and Jumbo Loans are like McDonald's and Conforming Loans.  When you want the best steak money can buy and the exceptional service that goes along with it, you may want to go to Mastro's in Thousand Oaks.  In today's economy however, less people are dining out and when they do, they are spending less.On the other hand, with tightening budgets, McDonald's offers a quick and affordable meal.  Therefore, they sell lots of burgers & fries...over a billion served.Now let's say you decided to get into the restaurant business today---in this economy.  If you had a $1 million dollars, which restaurant would you want to invest in?  If you are like me, you would want to invest in the McDonald's and with the profits, eat at Mastro's.What does ...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
  Offer at $349,900, 487 Via Colinas, Westlake Village, CA. Absolutely terrific location for this upper-level end unit in Hidden Canyon. The entry is on the bottom level. When you open the front door you step up to the lovely, open upper level with rich, neutral colored walls, white ceilings and cherry hardwood flooring. 1286 sq. ft.
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How to Shop for Conforming and Jumbo Loans "The Secret"                                                                                                                                     If you are not comparing apples to apples, you may get lemons!                      When a lender is quoting rates, they must make certain assumptions like what is the value of your home, what are your FICO scores and how much is your income and liabilities according to the current underwriting guidelines for Conforming and Jumbo Loans.  When preparing an initial Good Faith Estimate, your lender will not have these facts.  They can only rely on what you tell them.  If there is a variance, it may change the pricing and you may need to switch loan programs if the variance is significant. Timing is Absolu...
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Good Faith Estimates for Conforming and Jumbo Loans In an effort to help consumers shop for Conforming and Jumbo Loans HUD re-wrote the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and Truth in Lending (TIL) disclosures.  This is fantastic news for consumers as it requires lenders to fully disclose their closing costs and should eliminate much of the last minute surprises the bad apples in the business hit borrowers with in the 11th hour or just before closing. Lenders Fee's (0.0% Variance) According to the new regulations there is a "Zero Tolerance" policy for lenders to change "their" fee's once they have been disclosed to the borrower applying for Conforming and Jumbo Loans. Third Party Vendor Fee's (10% Variance) Fee's for third party vendors like title and escrow have a 10% allowable variance as the ...
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By BILL EMHOFF
(JPMorgan Chase & Co.)
Conforming Loan Rates Have you ever hear the saying, “If it quacks like a duck and looks like it’s a duck, it must be a duck”? But what if this creature is 100 feet tall and 100 feet wide, is it still a duck? In the news, it has been reported that the recession is officially over. But I’m not so sure the duck is a monster disguised as a duck!                                                              Furthermore, reports are indicating that some markets are stabilizing and that the median home prices are now increasing. But hold your horses-if you remove the Federal Reserves stimulus program to purchase $1.25 trillion dollars of mortgage backed securities which artificially reduced Conforming Loan Rates and the $8,000 tax credit for home buyers expires, the picture wouldn’t be so rosy...
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Conforming & Jumbo Loans and New Appraisal Guidelines The Home Value Code of Conduct (HVCC) for Conforming and Jumbo Loans was put into effect on May 1, 2010. The purpose of this new regulation was to make sure lenders could not exert any influence on appraisers.  Like most new regulations it was met with resistance and fear at first.  Now we have had many months to observe the impacts, so here are my observations on how it has effected Conforming and Jumbo Loans.                                                                                  The Good Lenders offering Conforming and Jumbo Loans can no longer call an appraiser they send a lot of business to and unduly influence the valuation of a property so that they can make their loan work.  With the new system, appraisers are ordere...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Some new statistics came out this morning from RISMEDIA paralleling real estate trends in 1999 to 2010. Here is a summary of what the article stated: In 1999 the three top home sale marketing methods were: Yard signs, newspaper ads and open houses.  Today the top marketing method is the Internet, no doubt. In 1999 37% of buyers used the Internet for a home search. Today 90% of buyers start their search on the Internet. In the last ten years the median home price has gone up 25% nationally. In 1999 82% of the home buyers bought single family detached homes. Today it is 78%. In 1999 46% of home buyers bought homes in suburban neighborhoods. Today it is 54% In 1999 married couples represented 68% of home purchases. Today it is 60% In 1999 7% of home buyers were single men. Today it is 10% ...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Here in Westlake Village Ca one our largest employers is Dole Foods, Inc., and they have just announced the promotion of a new diet called "The Banana Diet." This diet definitely intrigued me since I am not a fan of fad diets ... or that matter ... any kind of diet! I am a fan of eating sensibly and healthy and exercising. But I can't see any harm in adding a few bananas to my morning coffee if it will help burn calories and promote healthy nutrition. Evidently, the story goes, in 2008 a Japanese pharmacist started adding bananas to her overweight husband's breakfast. He lost several pounds and this started a "banana craze" in Japan! They couldn't keep enough bananas on the shelves! Dole Foods, Inc. has refined this "Banana Diet" to just eating two bananas (instead of the all-you-can-ea...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Every Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. Brian Troop (President of Troop Real Estate) and Coach Ron Tunick air a live local radio broadcast. Today's broadcast was about "Attitude." The book Coach Ron talked about today is "Just Listen" by Dr. Mark Goulston. The 12 points on attitude: 1.   It is your attitude at the beginning of a task more than anything else that will determine your success or failure. 2.   It is your attitude towards life that will determine life's attitude towards you. Despite many people's belief to the contrary, life pays no favorites. 3.   You control your attitude. If you are negative it is because you have decided to be negative and not because of other people or circumstances. 4.   Act as if you have a good attitude. Remember actions trigger feelings just as feelings ...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Judy Garland, started performing at the age of two. She was most famous for her role in "The Wizard of Oz," and was one of the most tragic figures of the "Silver Screen." She won many awards for her versatility and talent, and yet, battled with personal problems throughout her career and on June 22, 1969, Garland's addiction came to an end when she was found dead in the bathroom of her rented Chelsea, London home due to an overdose of painkillers.       Sammy Davis, Jr. was, in my opinion, a fabulous entertainer! Most known as a member of the "Rat Pack," but his career was much more than just being friends with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Sammy Davis Jr. began his career as a childhood vaudevillian and became internationally famous for his performances in New York and Las Vegas. So w...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Westlake Village Ca, Symptoms for Low Testosterone Levels in Men. A colleague of mine just mentioned today that he had his yearly checkup and his doctor told him his testosterone level was low. I thought it more than a coincidence that I ran across this article today in the local newspaper, The Thousand Oaks Acorn. Symptoms for low testosterone levels are very similar to depression. The symptoms can be somewhat vague and subtle in their onset: fatigue, lack of "drive" in work and life, depression, increased joint pain and muscle aches, decreased libido and sexual performance, mental fogginess, decreased physical strength and stamina, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, and changes in blood sugar levels. To read the full article click here. Here is an additional article that says low...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Westlake Village Ca - Home Safety Tips - Lesson 2  - Keep your canned goods rotated! Canned goods and bottled water keep well enough, but not forever. Arranging your pantry so that cans don't linger at the back ensures that when an emergency happens that causes you to be house bound, you'll be eating fresh canned fruits and vegetables instead of the dusty cans from two years ago. If you are handy you can build a rotating shelf to keep your canned goods fresh, but for smaller scale storage a simple wire-frame can dispenser will fit on most pantry shelves. WikiHow details how to build a rotating canned food shelf that works in whatever cabinet space you've got. How does it work? The shelves are designed so that freshly purchased canned goods are loaded into slots. The cans roll down into ...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Westlake Village Ca, Home Safety Tips - Lesson 1 will start with the basics! Before all else you want to know how to control your home in the event of an emergency. Do you know where the water shutoff valve is? The emergency shut off valve for the gas? Which circuit breakers go to which part of your home? Is your circuit breaker labeled? Many home emergencies can be quickly neutralized by knowing how to shut down the infrastructure of the home. Make sure the rest of the people in the house know how to do things like kill the water or electricity. It may not seem critical now, but if a pine tree comes crashing through your kitchen and water is spraying everywhere, knowing how to stop the geyser of water becomes quite important. Here in California we experience earthquakes. For the safety...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Westlake Village Ca Real Estate, How Much Home Can A Buyer Afford? To buy a home, a buyer will need up-front money called a "down payment." In order to find how much home a buyer can afford it is important to know the upper end limit of affordability. You won't necessarily buy the most expensive home you can afford, but you still want to know what your upper limit is. The last thing you want to do is waste your time looking at homes you can't afford, and you also don't want to pass up homes you thought you couldn't afford but which might actually be within your reach. Most people can afford a home that costs up to three times their annual household income, if they can make a 20% down payment and have only a moderate amount of other debt. If you have little to no debt and can put 20% dow...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Westlake Village Ca Real Estate, What is a Short Sale? A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the sale proceeds fall short of the balance owed to the lender on the property's loan. While short sale processes in every state are generally the same, there are certain aspects of the process that may vary from state to state. Therefore, please keep in mind, this information is current with the state of California. In a short sale, the bank or mortgage lender agrees to discount a loan balance because of an economic or financial hardship on the part of the borrower. The home owner/borrower lists and sells the mortgaged property for less than the outstanding balance of the loan, and turns over the proceeds of the sale to the lender. What are the advantages of a short sale? A short sale ...
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By Cheryl Clayton, Conejo Valley and Simi Valley Realtor
(Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes)
Westlake Village, Ca Real Estate, bank owned or REO is a property owned by a lender, which is usually a bank, after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction. Most often a lender will  ... Set the opening bid at a foreclosure auction for at least the outstanding loan amount. (If there are no bidders that are interested, then the bank will legally ... repossess the property.) As soon as the bank repossesses the property, it is listed on their books as REO - Real Estate Owned - and is categorized as a non-performing asset. When a property goes into a distressed status ... (the borrower/home owner misses mortgage payments) the bank will want to determine the amount of equity the property has. This is usually the time an owner will try to negotiate a loan modification. However, if this ...
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