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Ace the Open House With These Questions!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

As a buyer, open houses are an essential source of information. They allow you to get a closer look at homes you are interested in and see if they are truly a good fit for you and your family. Get the most out of this process by coming prepared and taking notes during the open house. Here are important questions to ask the listing agent in order for you to benefit the most from the open house!

 

  1. Has there been any offers? The listing agent cannot tell you what has been offered but they can let you know that offers exist. This information can help you decide on how quickly you need to move on this house.
  2. What is the seller's timeline? Knowing when the seller wants to move can help you determine your offer. If they need to move quickly, they are more likely open to negotiate a price below the listing. In addition, by finding out their ideal closing date, you can strengthen your offer by proposing a settlement date that fits their timeline.
  3. Is there any price flexibility? Although you might not get an answer to this question every time, you never know when you might get told "yes".
  4. How long has the house been listed? Although online listings provide this information, it can be helpful to ask the listing agent because they can provide more explanation as to why the home is still on the market.
  5. Any price changes? Similar to days on the market, asking the listing agent for explanations of pricing changes can provide more context.
  6. What recent repairs or renovations have been completed? Find out about higher priced items, such as appliances, HVAC systems, and the roof. It is helpful to know what has already been done to the home and what could be potential costs for you in the future.
  7. How much are average utilities? Utilities are an additional housing expense every month that you should consider when buying a home. Find out the average costs throughout the year in order to know whether or not it fits within your overall budget.

 

It is important to remember that as you ask these questions, you should always be courteous and friendly with the listing agent. If you end up loving the home, you could enter into negotiations with this person shortly. The open house allows you the opportunity to make a great first impression!



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

Set Your Kid (And Yourself) Up For Success By Living Near A Top School!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Looking to buy your dream Ventura County home? With size, design features, amenities, outdoor living spaces, and more, there are plenty of factors to consider as you begin your search.

 

If you have children, however, one of the most important factors is location near a highly ranked school. There are several benefits to buying a home near a top rated school. #1 it provides your child access to the best education around. #2 it increases the value of your home. That's a win for the whole family!

 

Start your search in one of these excellent local school districts:

Fillmore Unified School District | Homes for Sale

Ojai Unified School District | Homes for Sale

Oxnard Union High School District | Homes for Sale

Pleasant Valley School District | Homes for Sale

Ventura Unified School District | Homes for Sale

Once you know the school district, you can begin to narrow your search down to find the best schools within it. This is where your school work and research comes in! Use independent websites such as GreatSchools.org, Niche.com, and U.S. News & World Report to find unbiased rankings and data. Check out school websites to find out about awards and recognitions. Ask the schools you are interested in if you can visit. This is the best way for you to find out if it is the right fit for your child. Find out about the facilities, learn about class sizes and extracurricular offerings, meet teachers and administrators, and more.

Found the school you want your child to attend? Now, The Blake Mashburn Group can help you find your dream home within that school's boundaries. Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.

Prepping Your Ventura Home for Thanksgiving Guests!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Hosting the big feast Thanksgiving feast? No worries! Get your Ventura home ready for all your family and friends. Follow these simple tips to prep your home for the holiday and keep your guests happy and comfortable this Thanksgiving!
 

 

1. Declutter!

With more people in your house than usual, you are going to want to take advantage of all the space that you can. Go through and remove unnecessary clutter. Put these items in a closest or storage space until after the holidays. Make sure to clear off counters and tabletops.

2. Focus on the foyer!

The foyer is going to be your guests first impression of your home. Create a welcoming space for them to enter. Protect your floors from the increased food traffic with a rug. Add a seat so guests can easily remove their shoes. Create areas for guests to place their outdoor items that are out of the way but still easily accessible.

3. Get your kitchen ready!

Your kitchen is going to be seeing a lot of action on Thursday. Make sure that you have plenty of space to work and can easily access all of the tools you need. To create extra room, move your coffee machine into another common room so your guests can still gather and enjoy their cup of joe in the morning. Keep some seating available in your kitchen so guests can visit with you as you prepare the day's feast.

4. Keep your bathrooms stocked!

Stock up on toilet paper, toiletries, and towels for your guests. Create storage areas for these items out in the open with shelves or baskets so your guests can easily find these items when needed.

5. Create comfy sleeping arrangements!

Make sure that your guests can get a good night's sleep by providing ample blankets and pillows. Consider adding a ceiling fan to your guest bedroom so your guest can directly adjust the temperature of the room at night.

6. Keep it well lit!

Your guests do not know your home like you do so walking around in the dark could be a hazard. Add nightlights to hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms so guests can easily navigate their way. Also, ensure the exterior of your house is well lit for when guests arrive or depart throughout their stay.

 

The Blake Mashburn Group extends a sincere THANK YOU to all of our clients and wishes everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!  

 

Make Your Home Stand Out Online!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Almost all home searches today begin online. That means sellers need to make sure that their listing grabs the attention of these viewers. The best way to do that is through the photographs of your home. Make them look as professional as possible in order to get buyers excited to view your home. Here are some easy photography tips to help make your Ventura home pop out from the computer screen.

 

Equipment: Using the best equipment will set you up for success. Although smartphones have better cameras than ever, they still cannot compare with the real deal. Use a DSLR camera for your photographs. Also, make sure you use a tripod to eliminate the chance for blurry photos due to camera shake as well as to help keep your photos straight.

 

Lighting: Lighting is the most important element in photography. Exterior shots of your home should always have the sun shining directly on the front of it to eliminate shadows. Indoor shots should be well lit by keeping all interior lights on and window shades open.

 

Framing: Capture the size and layout of your home through framing. Use angles to your advantage to make rooms appear larger. Do not shoot from behind large furniture that can cause the space to look cramped. A good rule of thumb is to include three walls within the photo. This creates depth and provides balance to the photo.

Content: Make sure to capture everything that a buyer needs to see in order to want to view your home. Highlight the best architectural and design features inside the home. Make sure that interior shots also show what is outside of the home through the open windows. For exterior shots, make sure that the yard and landscaping is easily seen in the images of the home.

 

If you are ready to sell your home, give the Blake Mashburn Group  a call today at (805) 856-9350 or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.

Election Day is Tomorrow!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Whether a Republican or Democrat, it is important to exercise your right to vote! Election Day, is tomorrow (November 6th)! Have your voice heard and cast your ballot! All polls in California will be open tomorrow 7:00 am until 8:00 pm.

 

Here is a list of all polling locations in Ventura:

 

  • 9000 Ventura #101AL | Loma Vista School (300 Lynn Drive)
  • 9004 Ventura #103AL | Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ventura Harbor (1080 Navigator Drive)
  • 9008 Ventura #105AL | Will Rogers School (316 Howard Street)
  • 9010 Ventura #106AL | Ventura Marina Mobilehome Park (1215 Anchors Way Drive)
  • 9014 Ventura #108AL | Blanche Reynolds School (450 Valmore Avenue)
  • 9018 Ventura #110 | Cabrillo Middle School (1426 East Santa Clara Street)
  • 9020 Ventura #111AL/182 | Pacific High School (501 College Drive)
  • 9022 Ventura #112 | Sikh Gurdwara Of Ventura County (3076 Loma Vista Road)
  • 9024 Ventura #113AL | Ventura Police Department (1425 Dowell Drive)
  • 9028 Ventura #115AL | Lemon Wood Mobilehome Park (850 Johnson Drive)
  • 9030 Ventura #116AL | Buena High School (5670 Telegraph Road)
  • 9032 Ventura #117AL | Lighthouse Foursquare Church (6200 Montalvo Drive)
  • 9034 Ventura #118A | Life Tabernacle (8699 Henderson Road)
  • 9035 Ventura #118L | Life Tabernacle (8699 Henderson Road)
  • 9036 Ventura #119 | Trinity Lutheran Church (196 North Ashwood Avenue)
  • 9038 Ventura #120AL | Dudley House (197 North Ashwood Avenue)
  • 9044 Ventura #123AF | 1st Assembly Of God Church (346 North Kimball Road)
  • 9046 Ventura #123LS | 1st Assembly Of God Church (346 North Kimball Road)
  • 9048 Ventura #125AF | Juanamaria School (100 Crocker Avenue)
  • 9050 Ventura #125LS | Juanamaria School (100 Crocker Avenue)
  • 9052 Ventura #127AL | Ventura Church Of Christ (5403 North Bryn Mawr Street)
  • 9054 Ventura #128 | Balboa Middle School (247 South Hill Road)
  • 9058 Ventura #130AL | Atlas School (760 Jazmin Avenue)
  • 9060 Ventura #131AF | Seventh-day Adventist Church (6300 Telephone Road)
  • 9062 Ventura #131LS | Seventh-day Adventist Church (6300 Telephone Road)
  • 9064 Ventura #133AL | First United Methodist Church (1338 East Santa Clara Street)
  • 9066 Ventura #134AL | Community Presbyterian Church (1555 Poli Street)
  • 9072 Ventura #137AL | Junipero Serra School (8880 Halifax Street)
  • 9074 Ventura #138AL | Junipero Serra School (8880 Halifax Street)
  • 9076 Ventura #139AL | Bonaventure Of The Community Building (10949 Telegraph Road)
  • 9078 Ventura #140AL | Ventura Moose Lodge (10269 Telephone Road)
  • 9082 Ventura #142AL | First Church Of The Nazarene (365 South Seaward Avenue)
  • 9086 Ventura #144AL | Portola School (6700 Eagle Street)
  • 9088 Ventura #145AL | Bible Fellowship Church (6950 Ralston Street)
  • 9090 Ventura #146 | Grace Lutheran Church (6190 Telephone Road)
  • 9092 Ventura #147 | Capes At Ventura (760 South Hill Road)
  • 9500 Ventura #151AF | Data Middle School (2060 Cameron Street)
  • 9502 Ventura #151LS | Data Middle School (2060 Cameron Street)
  • 9504 Ventura #153AL | River Community Church (859 East Santa Clara Street)
  • 9508 Ventura #155AL | Community Of Christ (1848 Poli Street)
  • 9510 Ventura #156AL | Vta Ave Adult/Senior Center (550 North Ventura Avenue)
  • 9512 Ventura #157 | Ventura City Fire Station #1 (717 North Ventura Avenue)
  • 9514 Ventura #158 | Poinsettia Gardens (11370 Darling Road, Apt. 1)
  • 9520 Ventura #161 | Poinsettia School (350 North Victoria Avenue)
  • 9526 Ventura #164 | San Buenaventura City Hall (501 Poli Street)
  • 9530 Ventura #165AF | Ventura Moose Lodge (10269 Telephone Road)
  • 9532 Ventura #165LS | Ventura Moose Lodge (10269 Telephone Road)
  • 9540 Ventura #168AL | Salvation Army (650 Petit Avenue)
  • 9550 Ventura #172 | Montalvo School (2050 Grand Avenue)
  • 9554 Ventura #174AL | Poinsettia Pavilion (3451 Foothill Road)
  • 9556 Ventura #175 | The Pierpont Inn (550 San Jon Road)
  • 9560 Ventura #176 | San Buenaventura State Beach Park (911 San Pedro Street)
  • 9576 Ventura #184AFLS | Ventura Missionary Church (500 High Point Drive)
  • 9584 Ventura #187 | Ventura Unified School District (255 West Stanley Avenue)
  • 9586 Ventura #188 | Orchard Community Church (8180 Telephone Road)

 

All other polling places in Ventura County can be found HERE. To find your exact polling place, click HERE! Make sure to bring a valid form of identification.

 

 

We look forward to seeing everyone in Ventura County at the polls! Happy Election Day!

 

Timing is Everything 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/.

Ventura County Farm Day!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Along with beautiful coast lines, stunning mountain ranges, and thriving towns and cities, Ventura County is filled with spectacular, bountiful agricultural land. Celebrate our area's farming heritage during the 6th annual Ventura County Farm Day!!! On Saturday, November 3rd, enjoy FREE admission to 20+ local farms. Explore the stunning countryside between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Learn more about the workings of these active farms, try fresh and local products, get up close with animals, and so much more. Plus, the weekend is filled with other fun events and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Come discover a side to Ventura County that you rarely get to see for this fantastic annual event!

 

 

FARM DAY LOCATIONS

CAMARILLO

FILLMORE

MOORPARK

OJAI

OXNARD

PIRU

SANTA PAULA

SATICOY

SOMIS

 

KICKOFF BARBEQUE

 

Enjoy fun times and great food at the Ventura County Farm Day Kickoff Barbecue! Fill your bellies, play games, listen to live music, and so much more!  

  • Date: Friday, November 2nd

  • Time: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  • Location: Oxnard Historic Farm Park (1251 Gottfried Place, Oxnard)

​​

 

Image Credit: SEEAG

Don't Be Tricked By These Home Buying Mistakes!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Although not a tricky process, there is a lot that goes into the process of buying a house. Throughout this process, buyers, especially if it is their first time, can sometimes make avoidable mistakes. Although these mistakes might seem minor they can keep a buyer from being able to purchase their home....and nobody wants that! We are here to help if you are looking to buy your dream home in the Ventura area. Here are the commonly made silly home buying mistakes and ways for you to avoid them.

 

Mistake: Delaying Financing

How to Avoid: The first step in your home buying process should be meeting with a mortgage lender to find out what financing options are available to you. This will allow you to set your budget.

Mistake: Using an Unreliable/Fake Lender

How to Avoid: Ask your realtor for recommendations of mortgage lenders. Also do some of your own research so you understand the basics of a mortgage and can identify a fraud.

Mistake: You get Pre-Qualified and not Pre-Approved

How to Avoid: When it all comes down to it, pre-qualified means nothing. You need to actually get pre-approval in order to show that your financing is ready for purchasing a home.

Mistake: Searching Outside Your Budget

How to Avoid: With pre-approval, you know exactly the financing available to you through your mortgage lender. Stick within this budget and only look for houses that fit within it.

Mistake: Offering Too Low

How to Avoid: If it is a sellers market, which is currently is, you cannot provide a seller with a lowball offer because they will simply go with a different buyer.

Mistake: You Go on a Shopping Spree during Escrow

How to Avoid: Although you have pre-approval, your finances are not 100% secure. In fact, your lender will double check your finances right before closing to make sure you still qualify. If you have suddenly opened new credit accounts or purchased a big ticket item, such as a car, appliances, etc, it could change your debt to income ratio and affect your loan qualification. Just avoid buying anything big until after you have closed on your new home.

Mistake: Not Having the Money to Cover Closing Costs

How to Avoid: Work closing costs into your budget from the very beginning. Get an estimate from your mortgage lender of closing costs before you put in your offer on the house so that you have the necessary funds.

 

Now that you know how to avoid these common buyers mistakes, you are ready to BUY your dream home in Ventura County! Give The Blake Mashburn Group a call today or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/ so we can help make your dreams a reality!

 

Should I Stage My Home? YES!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Congratulations!! You made the big decision to sell your home! It's now time to make sure that your home is looking its very best before it hits the market. Help your home stand apart from the competition through staging! Many home sellers wonder if there are really benefits to staging. The proof is in the numbers! Create the best first impression by staging your home!

 

1. Home buyers can better visualize themselves in the home through staging. Be sure to declutter and remove personal items that can be distracting.

2. 39% of real estate agents representing sellers said that staged homes moved off the market faster.

3. Online viewers look at staged homes 40% more.

4. The value of homes increased 1% to 5% more after being staged, in general. Some sellers enjoyed increased values of 6% to 10%!

5. While you should clean your entire house and make sure that all of it looks its very best, the most important rooms to stage are the kitchen, dining room, living room, and master bedroom.

 

 

Consider hiring a professional stager for your home as they know the best ways to maximize your space and accentuate its best features. For more staging and Sellers Tips, Contact the Blake Mashburn Group.


Reference: National Association of REALTORS®

Halloween Events in Ventura County!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Halloween is almost here! Get ready for ghoulish frights and fun! Before trick or treating on October 31st in your Ventura County community, get in the spirit of the season at a fantastic Halloween event throughout our area! Happy Halloween from The Blake Mashburn Group!

 

Harvest Moon Spooktacular

Date: Saturday, October 27th

Time: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Location: Mission Park and 200 Block of Main Street

With a haunted house, pumpkin pie eating contest, kids zone, games, live music, food, and more, there is something for everyone at this great event. Participate in the costume contest and enjoy trick or treating at downtown businesses with pumpkin signs in their window.

 

Kids Seaside Trick or Treat

Date: Saturday, October 27th

Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Location: Ventura Harbor Village (1583 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura)

Worried you won't get your fill of candy? Come trick or treating at the Harbor Village. Be sure to stick around at 3:00 pm as "zombies" gather to participate in a world record breaking dance to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

 

BOO-Fest in Old Town

Date: Saturday, October 27th

Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: Old Town Camarillo

Dress in your scariest or finest Halloween costume, grab your candy bag, and collect delicious treats in Old Town Camarillo.

 

Halloween Haunt in the Park

Date: Saturday, October 27th

Time: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: Plaza Park (500 South C Street, Oxnard)

Join The Oxnard Downtown Improvement District for this family friendly event. The fun includes vendor booths, arts and crafts, bounce houses, trick or treating, costume contest, Halloween movie clips, and so much more.

 

Trick or Treat at The Collection at Riverpark

Date: Tuesday, October 30th

Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: The Collection at Riverpark (2751 Parkview Court, Oxnard)

Start trick or treating early at The Collection at Riverpark. Visit participating merchants and collect some delicious goodies. Complete the passport of merchants to be entered to win an incredible grand prize. At the end of the event, please sell back some of your candy to send to the troops overseas!

 

Dia de los Muertos Community Celebration

Date: Sunday, November 4th

Time: 10 am - 5:00 pm

Location: Multiple - See below

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos at 4 Santa Paula museums, including the California Oil Museum (1001 East Main Street), the Museum of Ventura County Agriculture Museum (926 Railroad Avenue), the Santa Paula Art Museum (117 North 10th Street), and Santa Paula Cemetery (380 Cemetary Road). Each location will feature the great traditions of the holiday, including storytelling, craft making, food, music, Aztec and folklorico dancing, and more. Wear your Dia de los Muertos attire and stop by each location for some unique, festive fun.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 78

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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