Thousand Oaks (East) Average Price – August ’08

This is a comparison of average prices for the area of Thousand Oaks (East), CA, between 2007 and 2008.

Thousand Oaks (East)
August 2008 List Price Sold Price Diff. SP/LP % DOM
  $688,486 $660,394 -4.08% 65
August 2007 List Price Sold Price Diff. SP/LP % DOM
  $836,333 $800,729 -4.26% 80
Diff. ’08/’07 % List Price Sold Price   DOM
  -17.68% -17.53%   -18.75%

All information is gathered from the Ventura County MLS and is deemed reliable but not always accurate.

Newbury Park Average Price – August ’08

This is a comparison of average prices for the area of Newbury Park, CA, between 2007 and 2008.

Newbury Park
August 2008 List Price Sold Price Diff. SP/LP % DOM
  $638,453 $618,474 -3.13% 97
August 2007 List Price Sold Price Diff. SP/LP % DOM
  $832,209 $806,803 -3.05% 67
Diff. ’08/’07 % List Price Sold Price   DOM
  -23.28% -23.34%   44.78%

All information is gathered from the Ventura County MLS and is deemed reliable but not always accurate.

Agoura Hills Average Price – August ’08

This is a comparison of average prices for the area of Agoura Hills, CA, between 2007 and 2008.

Agoura Hills
August 2008 List Price Sold Price Diff. SP/LP % DOM
  $783,492 $742,303 -5.26% 101
August 2007 List Price Sold Price Diff. SP/LP % DOM
  $922,856 $885,034 -4.10% 73
Diff. ’08/’07 % List Price Sold Price   DOM
  -15.10% -16.13%   38.36%

All information is gathered from the Ventura County MLS and is deemed reliable but not always accurate.

Buyer Best Practices

A real estate transaction can be complicated. Naturally your sales professional will be there to help you with the process and any questions. We recommend the following best practices to buyers who want to ‘buy right’.

Review a blank contract form before you write your contract offer. This will familiarize you with contract details and may prompt questions.

Use Buyer Representation: It is important to have a sales professional who is totally loyal to you. Discuss your representation options with your sales professional. If you are purchasing a listing, make sure you understand what your sales professional can and cannot do for you.

Ask for a home warranty when you write the offer. This will cover you for items that malfunction during the first year of ownership.

Get the property inspected by a licensed professional inspector. This will let you know the true condition of what you are buying. Follow the inspector’s advice if he recommends that you have a particular expert inspect a troublesome item.

Ask your sales professional to prepare a market analysis of the property before you make the offer. You should know what similar properties are selling for so that you don’t overbuy. Also, if the seller remains firm on the price, you will be able to tell if the value is really there.

When is it Wise to Downsize?

Some buyers are choosing to downsize to condominiums, as they are often located in close-proximity to shops, restaurants, transportation; and everyday needs such as grocery stores, dry cleaners, or the pharmacy. Although this is convenient, buyers who wish to save money by downsizing should weigh all the facts before making the decision to downsize. While most single-family homes incur costs such as property taxes, utilities, and home maintenance, most condominium communities require owners to pay monthly homeowner association (HOA) fees, and sometimes special assessments. The monthly dues and special assessments are generally used for items such as replacing a swimming pool, upgrading the community clubhouse, or adding new amenities. Buyers concerned about these costs should ask how much HOA fees have risen over the past five years, and whether the association has plans for new assessments in the near future.

Even with the added costs, many buyers will realize an annual savings when downsizing. Some experts estimate that the average annual savings in utility costs and property taxes could be as high as $3,900 if a buyer downsizes from a 2,800-square-foot residence to one that is 1,800 square feet.

If a borrower elects for a traditional, 30-year, fixed-rate loan, they should consider one without a pre-payment penalty. This allows the borrower to make extra payments each month and pay off the mortgage more quickly, without adding additional pressure should their financial situation change.

Thousand Oaks Council Approves Higher Walls

Homeowners living in Thousand Oaks are bound by a city ordinance that states that walls can be no taller than six feet.

According to a recent city council vote, home owners living along main arterial roads can raise their wall limit to nine feet to decrease the noise level.

Of course, homeowners will have to prove that they live along main roads in Thousand Oaks and that a nine foot wall will improve the noise level.

Median Sales Price – July ’08

Here are the median sales prices recorded in July for single-family homes, condos and
new construction in the following communities:

$625,000 Agoura Hills
$1,188,000 Calabasas
$467,250 Camarillo
$212,000 Fillmore
$436,000 Moorpark
$605,000 Newbury Park
$570,000 Oak Park
$352,000 Oxnard
$300,000 Santa Paula
$420,000 Simi Valley
$572,250 Thousand Oaks
$406,000 Ventura
$890,000 Westlake Village
$544,500 Woodland Hills

Source: Data Quick

Ventura County Solar Energy Systems

Ventura County is currently developing a plan that would allow home-owners to make a loan (through the county) for a new solar energy system installation.

The county will lend the money from its reserve funds, and property owners will in turn be charged for the loan through their property tax bill over the course of 15 years.

No statements have been made about the loan’s interest rate.

More info can be found at the Ventura County Star

Government Seizes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Long story short…

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both have issued many Bonds which over time mature, and Fannie and Freddie need to pay back the principal on the maturing Bonds. The way they raise capital to pay these maturing Bonds is to issue new Bonds. This happens every month. And as long as Fannie and Freddie can sell new Bonds this system works well.

Lately, as you know, the real estate and lending markets have been struggling. Investors and buyers who were purchasing these bonds to raise money for Fannie and Freddie have been backing away. The more this happens, the more insecure Fannie and Freddie bonds become which, in turn, causes more investors and buyers to back away. If this were to continue to happen, Fannie and Freddie would collapse and drive this market even deeper into the abyss.

On Sunday, September 7th, our government announced that they would start to back Fannie and Freddie bonds. This action almost gives investors a guarantee that these Fannie and Freddie bonds are now stable. With this new confidence, investors are starting to buy new mortgage bonds.

Good news: Because of the sudden investor turn-around and many bonds being purchased at this very moment, home mortgage interest rates have dropped considerably. We were quoted today for a 30 year, fixed, loan at 5.625%. Last week this loan was at 6.25%. On the other hand, the same source also mentioned that these lowered interest rates might not last too long. If you are on the fence about buying, now would be a good time! This also proposes a refi boom in the near future.

Be sure to check out our Mortgage Info to see the latest interest rates.

Final Thoughts

What’s the Good News?

Aging Out: In all instances above where we reference how many points will be lost in each scenario, it is important to make sure you understand that over time, all derogatory accounts age out. This means, the older the account becomes, the less it will hurt their credit scores.

7 Year Reporting Period: The law states that derogatory items “can be” reported for 7-10 years as outlined above. It doesn’t state that they “MUST BE.’ My experience proves over and over again that there is no need to wait out the 7 years. You don’t have to. You can start seeking early removal of the item by disputing to the credit bureaus that are reporting it. In many instances, after 3-4 years, the item will be deleted.

You Can Start Recovering and Rebuilding Immediately. This is key information because many consumers feel doomed for the next 10 years. They have no idea that they can start rebuilding their credit immediately.

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