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Tips for Buying and Selling Success this Fall!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Fall is a great time to buy or sell your Ventura home! Whether you are new to the market or have been here before, it is important to be prepared. You want to stand apart from your competition and make sure your real estate goals are met. Let us help you get ready for buying or selling this season with these 5 Buyers Tips for Fall and 5 Sellers Tips for Fall to set you up for the most success!

 

5 Buyers Tips for Fall

1. Set your needs and wants before doing anything else. This will help you narrow your search and know exactly what you are looking for in a new home.

2. Set a budget. Look at your finances and determine what you can realistically afford. Similar to knowing what you are looking for in your new home, this will help you define your search to just those homes that fit within your budget.

3. Get your preapproval. Having your finances in order before you meet with sellers shows that you are serious about buying. Use this Loan Analysis Tool to find loans that you could qualify for.

4. Once you are ready to search, find a top realtor to work with. This will help you throughout the entire process. When buying in Ventura, the Blake Mashburn Group is the best. We have helped buyers for 26+ years. Our knowledge and experience will make sure you find yourself in your dream home this fall.

5. Stay in contact with your realtor. Once you have established the relationship with your agent, it is important to keep open communication. Whether you prefer it over phone or email, this will help you stay informed throughout the entire buying process.
 

5 Sellers Tips for Fall

1. Your first step is to find out Your Home's Value. This will allow you to price it correctly. Listing your home at the wrong price can put you at a disadvantage starting out so make sure it is a reasonable price that will help your home sell for top dollar and quickly.

2. Just like buyers, sellers should work with an Experienced Agent. Sellers that work with realtors, as opposed to those that list on their own, end up having more success with selling.

3. Since buyers depend on the internet when beginning their search, having a strong online presence is imperative to garner interest in your home. Make sure your photos, videos, and descriptions are top quality and have your home stand apart from the other ones on the market.

4. You might be moving but investing some more money in your current home can actually make you more money. Talk to your realtor about what improvements can give you the highest return on investment and make those changes before you sell.

5. Do not give up. There is competition out there so if your home sits for several weeks do not worry. There are a lot of buyers out there and your realtor can help you reevaluate your selling strategy.
 

Enjoy home buying and home selling success this fall by following these tips. Search our Ventura Homes for Sale to get started today. Give our experienced team a call at (805) 856-9350 or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.

 

Fantastic Music Festivals This Saturday in Ventura County!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

This Saturday, September 22nd, is the official last day of summer! Come celebrate the season with some incredible live music throughout beautiful Ventura County. There are 2 fantastic music festivals planned for this weekend that you do not want to miss!

 

First Annual Folk Festival | Santa Paula

Time: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: Agriculture Museum (926 Railroad Avenue)

Cost: FREE Admission!

 

Come check out the inaugural Folk Festival being held in the gardens of the AG Museum in charming Santa Paula. This new event will feature all area musicians performing their original works of American folk music. While you listen to the music, enjoy delicious food from Cowboy John’s Smoken BBQ Food Trailer and adult beverages from the bar.

 

Performers

 

 

Bowlful of Blues | Ojai

Time: 4:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Location: Libbey Bowl (307 East Ojai Avenue)

Cost: $40 General Admission (in advance - Purchase Tickets HERE!) | $45 General Admission (at door) | $20 Youth Admission (ages 7-15) | FREE for children 6 & under

 

Head over to stunning Ojai for the 25th annual Bowlful of Blues. This favorite community event celebrates American roots music with award winning performers from across the country. Find the perfect spot on the lawn to enjoy the music while you dine on mouthwatering food from Rondia's Kitchen and sip on refreshing beverages from Ojai Valley Brewery and The Ojai Vineyard.

 

Music Lineup


 

Image Credit: Ojai Arts Commission

 

Keep A Look Out For These Warning Signs When Buying!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

The old adage "Beauty is only skin deep" should always be in the back of your mind when you Buy! You may think that you found your dream home, but there is a chance that you could be blinded by decor and design features that are masking hidden issues. Be a smart consumer and learn what to warning signs to look out for as you begin your home search in Ventura! Looking for these warning signs from the very start will help insure that the home you fall in love with is truly as wonderful as it seems.

 

 

Electrical Issues - Avoid fire hazards by checking for exposed wires, hot outlets, burn markings, and other indications of faulty electrical systems.

Plumbing Issues - No one wants to deal with water issues in a new home so check for leaks, drainage problems, poor water pressure, and stains.

Mold Issues - Mold poses a health risk to you and your family. Use your nose to check for a musty smell and look for peeling paint or rotted wood.

Workmanship Issues - If it is clear that the home has had repairs or renovations completed, check to see the workmanship done. Although it might look nice, cheap materials or mishandling of items could cause you to have to pay to repair the repairs.

Pest Issues - A new homeowner does not want any unwelcome guests. Check for damaged wood that could indicate carpenter ants or termites. Also, look for any openings that could allow easy access for mice and other small critters.

Foundation Issues - Make sure the structure of the home is strong. Foundation issues can mean incredibly costly repairs in the future. Look for crooked floors and doorways within the home. As you walk outside, check for cracks in the driveway and walls and be on the lookout for trees planted close to the home that could have large roots growing near the foundation. While you can't climb up on the roof to make sure you won't be surprised by any future leaks, you can check for signs that the roof is damaged. Look to see how wear and tear has been dealt with. You want to see if there are any damaged and missing shingles.

Roof Issues - Avoid raindrops falling on your head by checking the roof. Look for damage signs such as missing or mismatched shingles.

 

 

The Blake Mashburn Group  is here to help you find the perfect home in Ventura. Give our team a call today or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.

 

Reasons to Sell This Fall!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

With the kids are back in school and the holiday season is a few months away, many people do not think that Fall is the best time to sell your Ventura home. Despite these factors, there are many reasons why this season might be the perfect time for you to sell. Don't miss out on a great opportunity by checking out these top reasons to sell this fall!

 

1. High Demand from Buyers

With slower growth in new construction and lower inventory in general on the market, fall tends to see higher demand from buyers. Use this high demand to sell your home quickly and for top dollar before the end of the year.

 

2. There is Less Competition

Because school has started and the holidays are right around the corner, many sellers are more inclined to wait to list their home until the spring. That means less competition. The limited choices for home buyers will make it easier for them to find your home listing and help you stand out in the smaller crowd!

 

3. It Will Be Quicker

Buyers in the fall market tend to be more determined to find and move into a place as quickly as possible, particularly with the holiday season fast approaching. Enjoy less days on the market by listing this fall as opposed to waiting until next year.

 

4. Take Advantage of Higher Sale Prices

Sale prices of homes are quite high across the board which means it is a good time to take advantage. Although there are always changes in the market, prices are predicted to drop over the next two years, so enjoy a higher return on your investment while you know you can!

 

5. The Time is Right For You & Your Family

No matter what the reason behind it, only you know when the best time to sell your home is. If you know that time is right now, than this season is the perfect time to sell!

 

For more Sellers Tips, Contact the Blake Mashburn Group today!

 

Colorful Fun at the Ventura Art & Street Painting Festival!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Ventura is about to get a lot more colorful! It's time for the 8th annual Ventura Art & Street Painting Festival!!! Head on down to the beautiful Ventura Harbor on Saturday, September 8th, and Sunday, September 9th, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (both days) to see some magnificent works of art!

 

Find incredible pieces of art for your Ventura home at the fine artisan marketplace. Fifty local artists will be displaying and selling their jewelry, paintings, sculpture, photography, pottery, glassware, and more!

 

Stroll along the harbor promenade for the most amazing display of "living" art. Forty five of Southern California's finest chalk artists will transform the sidewalks into vivid masterpieces for all to enjoy.

 

Admission and parking at this favorite community event are FREE!

 

 

The Blake Mashburn Group wishes everyone a colorful good time at the Ventura Art & Street Painting Festival!!

 

Image Credit: Ventura Art and Street Painting Festival

Lighten Up Your Ventura Home!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

As we head towards the end of the year, the days are getting shorter. With less hours of sunlight to take advantage of, it is important to keep your home feeling bright and airy. This will keep your family feeling cheery and make your home appear larger for prospective buyers! Here are some great tips to creating a light and bright living space in your Ventura home!

 

1. Clear Space. Removing clutter from your home will help lighten the space by creating smooth lines. Think about what furniture you can get rid off that will help open up the space and make sure you keep items on the counters to a minimum.

 

2. White Walls. Freshen up your home by repainting the walls and ceiling white. Not only will this lighten up the space but it will also make it appear larger!

 

3. Gray & Blue Accents. Add subtle pops of color amongst the white walls with soft, light shades of grays and blues in your decor.

 

4. Light linens. Keep the sun shining bright throughout the home with light, airy curtains. Keep the home feeling cozy with plush white linens and pillows.

 

5. Mirrors. Open up space with the reflection of mirrors. Not only do wall mirrors help but mirrored decor and home accents have the same effect!

 

For more homeowner and home Sellers Tips, Contact the Blake Mashburn Group today!

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend in Ventura County!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Labor Day Weekend is Here! This long holiday weekend is traditionally filled with family gatherings, cook outs, outdoor recreation, and more. Looking for something unique to fill your time this weekend? We have found a fun event for you and your family to check out each day! Explore the best Ventura County has to offer at these incredible community events taking place this Labor Day Weekend!

 

16th Annual Ventura Nationals

Date: Saturday, September 1st

Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location: Ventura Fairgrounds (10 West Harbor Boulevard, Ventura)

Cost: $15 General Admission | FREE Children 12 & Under | $10 Active Military

Check out the most incredible hot rods, kustoms, and motorcycles at this incredible annual show! You will find some of the best automobiles and bikes in the entire country, from antiques and classics to modern kustom builds. Do not miss the fun Pedal Car Contest as they cruise their way through the fairgrounds for the 5th year. Enter for your chance to win a Buick Riviera and more! Enjoy great live music by Gamblers Mark, Blazing Haley, Hard Six, Abby Girl & the Real Deal, and Lance Lipinsky & the Lovers. Tickets are available for purchase at the fairgrounds (Cash Only).

 

Aloha Beach Festival

Dates: Saturday, September 1st, & Sunday, September 2nd

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Location: Promenade Park (Harbor Boulevard, Ventura)

Cost: FREE Admission!

For the 13th year, pretend you are celebrating Labor Day in Hawaii without ever having to leave Ventura! This fun community festival brings the Hawaiian islands to our beach with great live music, delicious food, canine frisbee, and so much more. Check out the full entertainment and activities schedule HERE!

 

13th Annual Santa Paula Labor Day Parade

Date: Monday, September 3rd

Time: 10:00 am

Location: Main Street (Between 7th & 10th Streets), Santa Paula

Cost: FREE Admission!

Find the best spot along the parade route and enjoy the best Labor Day parade in the area! This year’s theme is “Honor the Labor Force”. Check out all the great floats, musical groups, and more.

 

A Tribute to Tom Petty

Date:  Monday, September 3rd

Time: 5:00 pm

Location:  Conejo Community Park (1175 Hendrix Avenue, Thousand Oaks)

Cost:  Free Admission!

Grab your blanket and find the perfect spot in the park to enjoy a great concert by The PettyBreakers. Refreshments will be available or pack a picnic!


 

The Blake Mashburn Group wishes everyone a very Happy & Safe Labor Day Weekend!

 

An Easy Guide to Closing!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

You found your dream home and the seller accepted your offer! You are now in the home stretch to getting handed the keys to your new home. There are a few more final and essential steps that need to be made. Here is an easy guide to closing so that you are prepared in the last days of your home buying process!

 

#1 Square Away Contingencies

Make sure that any contingencies (i.e. home inspection, appraisal, and financing) are met before the final transaction. This allows you to walk away if any issues arise.

 

#2 Clear the Title

Your mortgage lender will check for anyone that claims title to the home and see if there are any liens attached to the property. Make sure to buy title insurance so that you can protect yourself from any legal claims as the ownership transfers to you.

 

#3 Get Approval of Your Final Mortgage

Even if you got pre-approved for the loan, your mortgage lender must now verify that you accurately represented yourself by going through the underwriting process. As long as you with truthful about your finances and made no large purchases during closing that will affect your credit score, you should make it through this step like a breeze.

 

#4 Check Your Closing Disclosure

Review your closing disclosure against the loan estimate you received when you first got pre-approval. Check out the mortgage payments, interest rate, loan terms, and closing costs to make sure that everything matches.

 

#5 Do One Last Walk-through

Do a final walk-through in the last 24 hours before closing. This allows you to make sure that the previous owner has truly moved out and that the home is in the condition that you agreed upon. Most sales contracts allow buyers to do a walk-through of the house before closing, within 24 hurs. Make sure the previous owner has vacated unless you’ve allowed a rent-back arrangement.And double check that the home is in the condition agreed upon in the contract

 

Get your hands ready to sign a lot of paperwork, complete these 5 steps, and your dream Ventura home is yours!

 

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

 

Create the Perfect Outdoor Oasis for Your Ventura Home!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

The spectacular weather year-round in the Ventura area allows home owners to utilize outdoor areas as additional living space for their families! Turn you outdoor living spaces into beautiful, cozy retreats that you and your family can enjoy throughout the year. Whether your home has a porch, patio, loggia, terrace, or backyard, you can create a beautiful space by following these decorating tips! 

 

Decide what you want to utilize the space for. Do you want an additional sitting area for your family gather? Or, maybe you want to be able to host dinner parties during the cooler fall nights? You can turn outdoor areas into a living room complete with fireplace, television, and couches or a dining room with a long table and ample seating. The possibilities for your Ventura home are truly endless!

 

Get comfortable furniture. Your family will inevitability be spending a lot of time in this outdoor space. The furniture outdoors should be just as comfortable as that inside your house. Consider getting functional cozy pieces, such as porter's chairs, chaise lounges, sectional sofas, daybeds, etc. All of these are available for outdoor use. Choose furniture with dark wood or metal frames to fit the overall feel of the season. Choose cushions in neutral colors that can easily transition from season to season

 

Add some ambiance. Lighting and heating add instant coziness to any space. Consider what source of lighting you want to use in the space so that it is functional well into the night. Chandeliers and hanging lanterns can add a touch of elegance or a rustic feel depending on the decor you are going for. Add a fire pit or outdoor fireplace to the space. It can become the perfect spot for your family to gather before bed and the perfect spot for romance once the children have gone to sleep.

 

Focus on the details. The space's accents are the perfect and easiest way to transition the space from season to season. As we head into fall, add pops of color that reflect the season's fiery hues, such as reds and oranges. Put some throw blankets out that you can wrap yourself up in when it gets chillier at night. Place a lovely outdoor rug down to keep your toes comfy.

 

 

For more great tips for homeowners, check out our Website and follow us on Facebook!  

 

5 Essential Steps to 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!

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Contact Information

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