Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween, Ventura County!

This works better if you have sound. Move the cursor around to find him.... http://www.worldschoolphotographs.com/halloween.htm

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Apply Online!

Check out this new site offering online applications for mortgage loans. You can provide your information online, and they will put you in touch with one of 350 banks that provide mortgage lending. It doesn't matter if you have good or bad credit, or whether it's for a new purchase, or a refinance. Check it out at ABC National Lending and let me know what you think!

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Sales Down, Prices Up?

The California Association of Realtors reported that prices rose 1.8% for single-family homes in California and sales decreased 31.7 percent compared with the same period a year ago. "We expected a fairly steep decline in sales last month compared with a year ago, when sales were near their all-time record," said C.A.R. President Vince Malta. "Unsold inventory is holding steady, and is close to the long-term historic average typical of a more 'normal' market."
"Overall, year-to-date sales were down 24 percent, in line with our 2006 projection. Regional trends in sales and prices were consistent with recent months," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "Areas that experienced a lot of homebuilding in recent years or second home activity have experienced larger declines in sales and weaker prices than the state as a whole. These include Northern California, the Northern Wine Country, the Central Valley, San Diego County, and the Lower Desert in Southern California."

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Importance of a Home Inspection

Wondering whether or not you should spend that $300 on a home inspection when the house you are buying looks great? I offer this, a home buyer opted to do his own home inspection on a recent purchase. He did not go under the home and inspect the plumbing. After moving into the home it was discovered that a pipe was seperated under the home and raw sewage was flowing. It made an awful smell, to say the least. The cost of the repair was more than the home inspection would have cost, not to mention the frustration. Do yourself a favor - always get a home inspection.


Visit my web site at VenturaRealEstate24-7.com

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Home Builders Confidence Levels Increase

The confidence level of the nation's home builders this month posted an increase for the first time in 12 months, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The seasonally adjusted HMI stands at 31 in October, up one point from September and down 37 points from a year ago. An HMI below 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as poor versus good.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Baby Boomers and The Impact on Housing

National Assoc. of Realtors new study shows how Baby Boomers will Impact Housing.
The below information is quoted from NAR's Study:

For the first time ever, married households are outnumbered by non-family, non-traditional households including a burgeoning number of single heads of households. Single women are 20% of homebuyers! So the question becomes: How will the Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 impact housing as they head toward retirement?

Boomers make up 37.5% of U.S. households and make 31% more money than the median for all households--$64,700 in 2005. Boomers will impact popular culture for at least the next 12 years until the GenX'ers take over as the larest population group, but until then, the real estate industry is still struggling with second guessing what kind of impact these 78 million people will have on housing.

According to a new study of about 2000 Boomers performed by Harris Interactive for the National Association of Realtors,(NAR) the "me" generation will have a wide variety of needs, largely dependent upon their retirement plans--or lack thereof.

David Lereah, chief economist for the NAR, says baby boomers are living longer and are considering more options when it comes to retirement, which will significantly impact housing over the next 10 to 20 years.

The median age at which baby boomers expect to stop working is 70, but over one-fourth say they never intend to stop working! With most baby boomers currently in the workforce, and with many still raising children, boomers remain a significant driver of the housing market, as families with children compose nearly half of homebuyers.

Just over a quarter of the boomers are 55-60 yrs. old, which is when many people traditionally have begun to focus on retirement, but analysis of the survey suggest they are more likely to stay in the workforce longer and will be less likely to downsize than previous generations. This leading edge of the boomer generation is the key to future housing impact.

The Study shows that 32% of boomers favor the WEST as a place to live!!

Janis Calkins
California Oaks Real Estate

(805) 218-7016

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Relief for Those Selling Income Properties

Tax Alternative to 3.33% California Withholding: Effective January 1, 2007, a seller required to have 3.33% of the sales price withheld for income tax purposes may elect an alternative withholding. The alternative withholding is an estimate of the seller's tax liability calculated by multiplying the recognized capital gain by the highest state tax rate for individual taxpayers (or the corporate tax rate for corporations), regardless of the taxpayer's actual tax bracket. Under existing California law, a buyer must withhold 3.33% of the sales price from the seller's proceeds unless an exemption applies, such as when the property is the seller's principal residence, the property is in a 1031 exchange, or the seller will not realize any capital gains. The new law applies to non-exempt sellers who may now elect to have less than 3.33% withheld. A seller opting for this tax alternative withholding must certify the amount to be withheld in writing under penalty of perjury. C.A.R.'s Standard Forms Advisory Committee is considering the impact this new rule will have if any on the "Seller's Affidavit of Nonforeign Status and/or California Withholding Exemption" (Form AS). Source: Assembly Bill No. 2962.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Foreclosure Buzz

In California, foreclosure activity rose 19 percent on a month-to-month basis and has increased more than 40 percent during the last two months, according to the report. With one new foreclosure filing for every 825 households, the foreclosure rate in the Golden State is 1.3 times the national average of one new filing for every 1,030 households. The highest state foreclosure rates were reported by Colorado and Nevada.

Just a note to keep things in perspective. Foreclosure rates have been near zero for many years now. So, as an example, if there were 100 foreclosures and they rose 19 percent, there would now be 119 foreclosures. So, yes, they are rising, but the rate of foreclosures has been almost non-existent for years now.

You can search foreclosures by going down to the end of this page and clicking on the banner.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Open House Today 2-4pm

Please come by to see this charming Midtown Ventura home this afternoon. It has an expanded lightfilled master suite with beautiful doors to the ouside and a walk in closet. The hall bath has a clawfoot tub, the living room has a nice fireplace, and the kitchen has an antique stove and real butcher block countertops. You won't want to miss the wonderful backyard with a spa and fireplace. See you there!

For more information on this listing, and other real estate in Ventura County, please visit www.VenturaRealEstate.org

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Jobs and the Housing Market

A surprise came this past week in the form of a downward tick in the unemployment rate. It moved from 4.7% last month now to 4.6%, indicating that the US has a healthy job market on the whole. Although the housing market has cooled as expected, strong job markets lead to healthy housing markets.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th Stats!

Calif. median home price - August 06: $576,360 (Source: C.A.R.)

Calif. highest median home price by C.A.R. region August 06:Santa Barbara So. Coast $1,190,000 (Source: C.A.R.)

Calif. lowest median home price by C.A.R. region August 06:High Desert $332,900 (Source: C.A.R.)

Calif. First-time Buyer Affordability Index - Second Quarter 06:23 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

Mortgage rates - week ending 10/5:30-yr. fixed: 6.3%; Fees/points: 0.3%15-yr. fixed: 5.98%; Fees/points: 0.4%1-yr. adjustable: 5.46%; Fees/points: 0.7%(Source: Freddie Mac)

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Educated Real Estate Agents?

Now, when you hire your sister's mother's aunt's neighbor of a friend that just got his license to sell your house, at least you'll know he completed the needed classes to get his license.

No More Conditional Salesperson License: Starting October 1, 2007, a person must complete three real estate classes before applying for the real estate salesperson exam. Exempt from this requirement are attorneys and persons qualified to take the broker exam. Currently about 85% of new licensees obtain what is called a "conditional salesperson license" enabling them to conduct real estate licensed activities upon completing merely one class and promising to take two more classes within 18 months. This C.A.R.-sponsored bill raises the bar for new licensees by eliminating the conditional salesperson license. Source: Assembly Bill No. 2429.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The 60 Day Notice is Back in Black!

Here we go again. 60-Day Notice to Terminate Revived: Beginning January 1, 2007, a residential landlord must generally give a 60-day notice to terminate a month-to-month tenant. However, a 30-day notice to terminate is permissible if any tenant or resident has lived in the property for less than one year, or if the landlord has sold the property in the manner specified by the law. The 60-day notice does not apply to fixed-term leases (example: a one-year lease). It also does not apply if it is the tenant, not the landlord, who terminates a month-to-month agreement, in which case the tenant may give a 30-day notice. This law is in effect until December 31, 2009.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New law for Homeowners' Associations starting 1-1-07.

Attention Homeowners involved in Homeowners Associations:

Starting January 1, 2007, the standard-form operating budget that a homeowner's association is required to provide its members must be expanded to include the following additional information: (1) any deficiency in reserve funding on a per unit basis; (2) any decision (including a justification) for deferring or not undertaking the repair or replacement of any major component with a remaining life of 30 years or less; and (3) any outstanding loans of more than one year made by the association. Furthermore, the reserve study an association conducts every three years must be expanded to include a reserve funding plan indicating how the association intends to fund its obligation to repair or replace major components with a remaining life of 30 years or less. Beginning January 1, 2009, a summary of the reserve funding plan must be distributed to all members. Source: Assembly Bill No. 2100.

Visit my web site at www.VenturaRealEstate24-7.com

Monday, October 09, 2006

No more hand-held phones while driving!

Attention Everyone:

Effective July 1, 2008, any cell phone used while driving must be designed to allow for hands-free listening and talking and used in that manner. Exceptions include calls made for emergency purposes and calls made while driving on private property. Any violation of this law will be an infraction punishable by a base fine of $20 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. Source: Assembly Bill No. 1613.

Visit my web site at www.VenturaRealEstate24-7.com

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Wake up every morning to this light filled master suite complete with it's own bath, walk in closet, and doors to the quaint garden outside. The yard has a fireplace for those crisp autumn evenings and a hot tub too! Just listed this week, so be one of the first to see this charming home in midtown Ventura.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Best Buy!

Charming 2 bedroom home in Oak View with a white picket fence! Hardwood floors, rock fireplace, and a HUGE garage! All this for the unbelievable price of $419,000!

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Stabilizing Market?

Pending home sales are up, indicating a stabilization is taking place in the housing market, according to the National Association of Realtors. The most recent PHSI is based on contracts signed in August, rose 4.3 percent to a level of 110.1 from a reading of 105.6 in July.

David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the rise in the index is a hopeful sign. "Our sense is that home sales may have reached a low in August. The Pending Home Sales Index shows home sales should be fairly stable over the next two months, although a minor decline is possible," he said. "With fewer new listings coming on the market, we should be able to draw down the inventory supply early next year to the point where home prices will rise, but at a slower pace than historic norms."

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ventura School Boundaries

Ever need to check if a particular address is within the boundaries of a certain school? Check this site out. http://www.ventura.k12.ca.us/vusd/dir.htm

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