Real Estate Information

Ventura County Real Estate Blog

The Blake Mashburn Group

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 100

How To Be The Ultimate Open House Host!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Help Sell your Ventura home for top dollar and quickly by hosting the best open houses around! Open houses are a great way for buyers to see the home in person and ask any questions that they might have. They play a major factor in whether or not a buyer wants to pursue a particular home. Have buyers scrambling to buy your home! Follow these tips for hosting a successful open house!

 

1. Make it Welcoming - Although it might not seem like much, welcoming touches as simple as a nice doormat on your front porch can set a positive tone for the entire open house. By creating a welcoming atmosphere from the very start, you are showing buyers that you take pride in your home and it is well maintained.

 

2. Clear off Counters - Make sure your home looks like it has ample counter space in the kitchen and bathrooms by clearing them off of clutter. Keep appliances to a minimum on the kitchen counters and put personal hygiene items in drawers or cabinets within the bathrooms.

 

3. Keep it Generic - You want the buyer to envision themselves within the home so it is best to remove any personal items that can be distracting to potential buyers. Consider stowing away photos, children's art work, and other familial items during the open house.

 

4. Set the Table - Add some class to your home by adding nice place settings to your dining room table. This will also help the buyer envision hosting their own dinner parties within the space.

 

5. Make it Homey - Offering a tasty homemade treat or refreshing drink as soon as a buyer comes to the open house can instantly create a feeling of home. Add some freshly picked flowers or light a mildly scented candle to add some homey elements.

 

6. Don’t Hang Out - Buyers are more likely to feel awkward during an open house if the home owner is there. They might feel uncomfortable looking throughout the home or asking questions of their agent while you are there. Consider only being in the home for a brief moment or not at all when you have an open house scheduled.

 

A successful open house can be key to selling your Ventura home!  If you are ready to sell, the Blake Mashburn Group is here to help you every step of the way! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.

The Steps Of The Home Inspection

by The Blake Mashburn Group

You found a home in Ventura that seems absolutely perfect! It ticks all of your boxes and is visually beautiful. Although the home might seem perfect in every way, it is important to remember that beauty is only skin deep. It is time to do your due diligence as a home buyer and ask an expert to look at the home. A Home Inspector is a professional who will check for any structural or mechanical issues with the home. They are there to protect your investment by disclosing unseen issues that in turn will help you decide whether it is a sound purchase or one you need to walk away from. Whether the home inspection reveals positives or negatives in the home, it is important to always remember that knowledge is power and is important when making as large of a financial decision as purchasing a home. Not sure what to expect during the process? The Blake Mashburn Group is here to help.

 

Pre-Inspection

The very first step of the process is hiring a home inspector. It is important to do several interviews in order to find the best professional for the job. Ask us for a list of recommended inspectors in the area to make this part of the process easier for you. When you meet with the potential inspectors, find out information about their backgrounds and particular areas of expertise. It is very helpful to review some of their past inspection reports in order to see whose offers the most details and provides informed recommendations for improvements.

 

Home Inspection

The inspector will now do what he/she does best and walk through the home to check for any issues. This should take several hours. All physical structural elements will be examined as well as electrical and mechanical systems. It is always recommended that you come during the home inspection. Although you will get a report, being onsite allows you to ask questions as issues come up. Always keep in mind that while the home inspection is meant to uncover any major underlying issues of the home it is not a total x-ray. There is always still potential that there could be something wrong with the house that you are unaware of until after you move in. Most of these issues should be minimal, especially when you are working with a highly qualified inspector, but it is best to be prepared to have to spend some time and/or money fixing things within the home after your move in day.

 

After the inspection.

Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will provide you with the report. Review it thoroughly and discuss the findings with your realtor. This is the moment when you can decide whether the home was really as perfect as it seemed, if renegotiations need to occur, or if it is in your best interest to simply walk away.

 

Check out our other Home Buying Tips! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/ so that I can help you find your dream home in Ventura today!

Take Your Sweetheart Out For A Romantic V-Day Dinner In Ventura!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Picture this: walking arm in arm with your sweetheart as you head to a romantic dinner in a beautiful beach town..... Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Make that picture a reality by celebrating the holiday in your own stunning town of Ventura! Ventura is filled with incredible dining options, but we decided to make your holiday planning a breeze by offering you a list of the top romantic restaurants in town! Enjoy incredible food and celebrate the love you share at one of these fantastic restaurants this Valentine's Day!

Barrel 33 | 1067 East Thompson Boulevard | (805) 652-1810

--This great wine bar has a special menu planned for Valentine’s Day (Reservations needed). Dine on tasty treats while sipping on an incredible selection of wines.

 

Café Zack | 1095 East Thompson Boulevard | (805) 643-9445

--You will find an intimate setting within the 1930’s cottage that houses this restaurant and delicious food will keep you and your partner happy and full.

 

Cafe Fiore | 66 South California Street | (805) 653-1266

--This stylish restaurant offers incredible homemade pasta and bread, as well as all of your other favorite Italian dishes.

 

Casa Bella | 391 East Main Street | (805) 340-1118

--The stunning decor makes the setting very romantic for your special date. Moreover, the prime cuts of meat and delectable menu offerings make this a top choice for the evening.

 

Lure Fish House | 60 California Street | (805) 567-4400

--Lure might not be the most intimate, romantic spot on our list, but the seafood cannot be beat. Come here for the food and a fun, lively atmosphere.

 

Shoals Restaurant at The Cliff House Inn | 6602 Old Pacific Coast Highway | (805) 684-0025

--This Ventura stable has great food, but it makes our list mainly for its setting along the Pacific Ocean. If you can brave the chilly evenings by bundling up, there is nothing more romantic than listening to the waves right next to your table as you dine.

 

Spasso Cucina Italiana | 1140 South Seaward Avenue | (805) 643-2777

--Enjoy tasty Italian fare and excellent service at this small restaurant in the beach district.


We wish everyone in Ventura a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Follow us on Facebook for more great community information and events throughout the year!

Update Your Ventura Home's Landscaping!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Landscaping is one of the best home improvements you can make to increase it's value. It can increase its value by 5 to 11%! The best part is that it is also an easy improvement to make! And, with spring approaching, now is the perfect time in Southern California to start making some updates to your yard. Here are some great landscaping tips for you to increase the property value of your Ventura home!

 

1. Landscape to Complement The Style of Your Home

You want to make sure that landscape design compliments your home. What is the architectural style of your home? If it is more modern or industrial, add lots of greenery that contours to the lines of your home. For older style homes, think of designs that will blend well and give more of a country feel.

 

2. Create a Strategy

Always start off with a plan. This will ensure that you have the best landscaping design for your home. You don't want to do too little or too much. Do not clutter too many plants in a particular area. Make sure to have lots of diversity in your plants to make it interesting but still uniform.

 

3. Think of the Seasons

We do not experience much seasonal change in southern California but there are plants that thrive best at different times of the year. Keep your landscape looking its best every time of year and match it to the seasons. Bright florals are great for spring, lovely beds are perfect for summer, autumnal colors add a feeling of fall, and evergreens can put you in the holiday spirit for winter.

 

4. Add Trees

A couple of trees can actually increase the sale price of your home. They help add some welcome shade for you and your home, improve the air quality in your area, and are a great relaxing spot in your yard.

 

5. Create an Edge

Always have edging along your garden beds, sidewalks, and driveway. This along with a well maintained lawn help showcase the care you take in your home. It is also easy to maintain by keeping weeds at bay.

 

Of all improvements to boost home value, landscape is one that will get you the largest return on your investment.  Just make sure that you design your landscape with a plan, and don’t let that design become so complex that the mere thought of all the maintenance chases away your buyers.

 

Enjoy a great return on investment by landscaping your Ventura yard today. For more great home owners tips, visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.

 

Understanding The Steps Of Getting A Mortgage!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Obtaining a mortgage is a process and one that is often more involved than many home buyers are expecting. Do not be surprised when you get a mortgage by being prepared for everything that is to come. Here are the 5 essential steps to getting a mortgage.

1. Pre-Approval

Getting pre-approval for a mortgage (meaning the lender is committed to giving you a loan up to a certain amount) can greatly increase your chances of the seller accepting your offer. It shows the seller that you are serious and can actually afford their home. In order to get pre-approved you will need to provide your lender with Pay Stubs, Federal Tax Returns, W-2 Forms, Statement of Assets, Residential History, and Proof of Funds.

2. Home Appraisal

Your lender will complete an appraisal of the home to determine its value. This step is necessary in order for them to check the home's value against the loan amount. As long as the home is appraised at or above what you offered, you are good to go. Unfortunately, this step in the process gets complicated if the home is appraised for less. A lender will not give you more money than what the home is valued at. If this happens, you can try to negotiate with the seller, appeal the appraisal, request a second appraisal, or (in many cases) walk away from this particular deal.

3. Maintain Credit Score

It is very important that you do not have any changes to your credit score while you go through the mortgage process. Your score gets checked at the beginning and very end and most stay consistent. Avoid jeopardizing the final approval of your loan by not opening new credit accounts, not closing old ones, and making all of your payments on time.

4. Closing Disclosure Review

When you first applied for your loan, you received a Loan Estimate (LE). Just before closing, you will receive the Closing Disclosure (CD). It is very important that you review the CD off of the LE to check for any errors. The CD outlines everything that you will pay in fees at settlement. Since errors can often occur in these documents be sure to carefully check your Name's Spelling, Loan Term, Loan Type, Interest Rate, Cash to Close, Closing Costs, Loan Amount, Total Monthly Payment, and Estimated Taxes and Insurance.

5. Underwriting

The final step is the underwriting process. This is when you lender verifies that all of the information you provided is true and accurate. The easiest (and only) way to get through this step smoothly is to be truthful in your application. Be sure to maintain your job status, credit score, and pay off your debts on time and this step will be a total breeze!

 

For more helpful Buying tips, check out our Website and follow us on Facebook!

Making Time Your Friend In The Housing Market!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

The timing of Selling and Buying your home is imperative when you enter the real estate market. You want to be fully prepared as you work to sell your current home and buy a new one. It is important to fully understand your finances as well as your personal needs throughout the process. Here are 7 of the most common timing options for selling and buying your home.

 

1. Selling Before Buying | This is the most common scenario. By selling your home first, you are helping ensure that you have the finances in place to purchase a new home. It helps you avoid the mess of dealing with two mortgages at once.

 

2. Buying Before Selling | This is the most convenient scenario. It gives you the option of updating your old home to improve its value for sale and/or making improvements to your new home before moving in. It eliminates the stress of having to move immediately. However, the major downfall of this option is that you will be paying two mortgages at once. Make sure you can truly afford to do this before choosing this option.

 

3. Buying & Selling Concurrently | This is a popular option. Timing really is everything for this option. You hope that you are able to sell your current home in order to give you the finances to afford the next one. However, it also puts a lot of the control out of your hands and into the hands of a buyer of your current home and the seller of the new home. Work closely with your realtor to help you sell your home in a timely manner and successfully purchase your new home.

 

4. Selling on Contingency | When selling your home, you can put a contingency clause on your listing that you will sell once you find "suitable housing". This can hinder the sale of your home though since many buyers want to be able to move in as soon as the deal is done. Make sure you only use this option when you have exhausted all others.

 

5. Buying On Contingency | Similar to the previous option, this allows the buyer to add a clause that states that they will purchase the new home once their current home sells. This will only work if you find a seller that is willing to wait for you.

 

6. Right of First Refusal | Instead of using a home sale contingency, you can use a Right of First Refusal (ROFR). This allows the buyer to step in front of any other buyers that might make an offer on the home. You must show the seller that your finances are in order. Please note, many sellers will not agree to this option since it limits the offers they could receive on their home.

 

7. Renting | The final option is to rent out your current home instead of selling. You will be able to cover your current mortgage while you look for a new home. Make sure that you find a reliable tenant if you decide to rent out your home.

 

Figure out the perfect timing option for you by working with your Experienced Realtor as you buy and sell your home. Give Blake Mashburn a call today or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.

5 Great Selling Tips for 2019!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Kick of the new year by selling your home. What a great time to start a new! If you are looking to sell your Ventura home in 2019, follow these 5 tips for selling success!

 

1. Focus on the Millennials

Millennials will make up the largest group of homebuyers throughout the year. It makes sense to market to them since they make up such a large share. Knowing what millennials are looking for can help you sell your home. Location wise, millennials are moving to the suburbs but want to have amenities within walking distance. They prefer smaller homes with open floor plans. They also prefer green features and energy efficiency.

 

2. Remember the Baby Boomers

​Although it makes sense to market to millennials, you shouldn't forget about the baby boomers! This generation is looking to stay in their homes as they age. This means that homes that will fit their needs and remain accessible into the future are attractive. Master bedrooms, laundry, and other amenities located on the main floor are all selling points to focus on for this generation.

 

3. Be Smart about Your Smart Home Features

Smart features in a home are now expected. Do not limit your buyer pool by having smart features that only support a single platform. Make sure that the system is broadly compatible so home buyers can use the products they have already invested in.

 

4. Do a Pre-Inspection

Consider doing a pre-inspection. Although many home buyers will still want their own home inspection done, a pre-inspection allows you to find out issues early enough to make repairs if needed. It can also assure buyers that the home is move in ready.

 

5. Do a Drone Tour

Showcase your stunning property and landscaping with a drone tour of the home. Such a tour provides a better visual display of your home and its surrounding area, making your home stand apart from the competition. Talk to your real estate agent about hiring a professional (with required operating certificate) and add this to your home's marketing materials.


For more helpful Selling Tips, give The Blake Mashburn Group a call today or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.

Delicious Deals and Dining This Week In Ventura County!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

It's time to fill your bellies with the most delectable food available in the Ventura county! Restaurant Week is here! Enjoy incredible deals on delicious cuisine and discover great new restaurants in Oxnard and Ojai! Bon appétit!

 

 


2019 Oxnard’s Tacos, Treats & Tastings

Friday, January 18th - Sunday, January 27th

Find delicious food and beverage deals at your favorite dining establishments throughout Oxnard. Oxnard’s culinary partners will feature special offerings such as signature taco menus, special treats, and featured beverage tastings, by focusing on the diverse “Culinary” aspect of our Oxnard brand – as a vibrant multicultural experience!

 

Participating Restaurants

 


Ojai Restaurant Week

Friday, January 18th - Sunday, January 27th

Enjoy special offerings at participating restaurants during Ojai’s inaugural restaurant week. During this twelve-day celebration participating restaurants will offer special deals, such as affordable prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner, or discounted meals. Visit your favorite eateries or enjoy some new spots.

 

Participating Restaurants

 

The Blake Mashburn Group wishes everyone happy dining throughout Ventura County!




Images Credits: California Unpublished and Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce

Test Your Ventura Home During Radon Action Month!

by The Blake Mashburn Group


Keep your family healthy and safe by testing your Ventura home during National Radon Action Month!

 

The California Department of Public Health's Indoor Radon Program provides even more information and resources (including a list of certified radon mitigation professionals) to help homeowners in our area. During the month of January, they are offering California residents FREE Radon Test Kits through Alpha Energy. Order yours today by calling 1 (800) 324-5928 (option 6) or online HERE.

 

Check out our Website  or follow us on Facebook for more great safety and improvement tips for home owners!

Top Reasons To Work With A Realtor This Year!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Enjoy Buying or Selling by working with a realtor! Although you might be tempted to navigate the housing market on your own, there are numerous reasons why working with a realtor is beneficial to you. Check out these top reasons why you should work with a realtor....especially the top realtor in Ventura...in 2019!

 

Experience & Knowledge: With all of the years of experience and education, realtors have a deep understanding of every aspect of the real estate market.

Information Filter: Instead of having to weed out the information that you actually need, realtors can do that for you. They will only show you houses that fit within your needs and budget.

Local Expert: Realtors are experts in their communities. From knowing neighborhoods to understanding the market specifics of their location, realtors provide an invaluable resource.

Guide: Realtors always lead with guidance. They will always keep your best interests at heart and provide suggestions as you move throughout the buying or selling process.

Networker: Realtors have a vast network of professionals that work in related fields. They can provide recommendations of service providers that will help assist you with any of your real estate needs.

Negotiator: Negotiation is a major part of buying a house and realtors are incredibly well versed in this area. Unlike a buyer or seller who has more of an emotional connection to the homes, a realtor stays professional throughout the negotiation process.

Time & Hassle Saver: There are a lot of technical aspects....and paperwork....that go into real estate deals. Avoid missing any important details by working with a realtor who knows exactly what to look for. They will also be there to answer any and every question you might have throughout the process.

 

If you are interested in Buying or Selling your home and working with the best realtor in Ventura County, give the Blake Mashburn Group a call today at (805) 856-9350 or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 100

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of BLAKE MASHBURN Real Estate
BLAKE MASHBURN
Century 21 Everest
1190 S. Victoria Avenue, Suite #100
Ventura CA 93003
Office: 805-856-9350
Cell: 805-368-0202
Fax: 805-642-1424