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Giving Thanks To You On This Thanksgiving!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

 

Whether it is your family and friends, your health, your career, your home, or something has simple as a sunny day, there is much to be thankful for. As you gather around the feast with your loved ones tomorrow, take a moment to reflect on everything in your life that you are thankful for. 

 

As I think back on my year, I too have much to be thankful for. I would like to take this moment, though, to share my gratitude for you, my clients. Serving you and your families this year and during past years brings me the greatest joy. I am thankful to be able to help buyers find their dream home in beautiful West Ventura County and help sellers sell their current homes quickly and for their asking price. 

 

With the holiday season upon us and the new year right around the corner, I look forward to helping more people with all of their real estate needs. Whether you are looking to Buy or Sell, Blake Mashburn is here to help you every step of the way. 

 

Once again, thank you to all my friends, family, and clients for a wonderful year. I wish everyone in Ventura County and beyond a very happy and bountiful Thanksgiving!

 

Discover Something Beautiful At The Ojai Holiday Home Tour & Marketplace!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Kick off the holiday season in beautiful Ojai, California at the 23rd Annual Ojai Holiday Home Tour & Marketplace! Explore four stunning Ojai Valley homes on Saturday, November 16th, and Sunday, November 17th. Each home has been matched with talented local florists and gardeners that have created marvelous displays that match the architectural features of the homes. The tour hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm daily This favorite annual event benefits the Ojai Music Festival and its Bravo! Education and Community Program, which offers free music programs to community members and students.

 

2019 Holiday Homes

  • The Wall House
  • Tuscan Ranch
  • Foothill Farm
  • El Sombrero

This self-guided tour allows you to visit the homes in any order. Visitors are able to drive to The Wall House, Tuscan Ranch, and Foothill Farm. The El Sombrero home can be accessed via the free shuttle service. The shuttle will pick up from Monica Ros School (793 McNell Road). Please note, the last shuttle will depart at 3:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Advance tour tickets cost $40 per person. They can be purchased by calling (805) 646-2053, online HERE, or in person at one of the following locations:

  • Attitude Adjustment | 1129 Maricopa Highway, Ojai

  • Flora Gardens | 245 Old Baldwin Road, Ojai

  • Rains Department Store | 218 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai

  • Fox Fine Jewelers | 560 East Main Street, Ventura

Tickets can be picked up from the Will Call Box Office will be located in Libbey Park. Day of tickets, which will cost $45 per person, will also be available at the Marketplace and each of the homes.

 

When you are not exploring the homes, be sure to swing by the Holiday Marketplace in Libbey Park. This great event features 40+ artisans and vendors selling a variety of home, lifestyle, and fashion goods. Cross off everything on your holiday shopping list and find unique items for yourself and Ojai home. Admission to the Marketplace is FREE! A portion of all sales also benefit the Ojai Music Festival and its Bravo! program. The Marketplace will be open 10:00 am to 5:30 pm Saturday and 10:00 am to 4:30 pm on Sunday.

 

2019 Marketplace Vendors

Jewelry: Cindy Kalmenson, Little Muse, Patricia Cuenot, Ramina Rechard Pearls, and Shari Milner Designs

Home Décor and Gifts: Art Mina, Bazaar Boutique, Bliss Art Designs, Bohemian Bowls, Firestick Pottery, Heritage Succulents, Hostess Gifts to Go, Istanbul Art Design, Laura Stitches, Lavender Blue, Little City Designs, Metal Mountain, Once Upon a Storybook, Sweet Mello, Susan Bruce, and Terry Sharp 

Edibles: Julie’s Cookies and Gourmet Blends

Clothing and Wearable Art: Alpaca by Karim, Art Couture Dominique, Dale Michele, Gerie’s Fashion Closet, Leslie Marcus, Limelight Boutique, Louise’s Hats, Tiny Tot Threads, and Your Needs Company

Bath and Body: Fiamma Naturals, From the Heart of Ojai, and Ojai Dirt Candy

Find your own spectacular home in Ojai! Search Ojai CA Homes for Sale. Give Blake Mashburn a call at (805) 856-9350 and visit our website at https://www.blakemashburn.com/ today.



Image Credit: Ojai Music Festival

Explore Our Agricultural Backyard During Ventura County Farm Day!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

Do not miss the 7th Annual Ventura County Farm Day!!! "Explore. Learn. Taste" this Saturday, November 9th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm throughout Ventura County. Explore 15+ farms, ranches, and agricultural organizations in our area with great family friendly activities and tours. Celebrate the beautiful countryside right outside our backdoors and learn more about where our local food comes from. Click on the links below to learn more about activities offered at each location and plan out your day!

 

2019 Farm Day Locations

Agromin | 6859 Arnold Drive, Oxnard

AGQ Laboratory | 2451 Eastman Avenue Suite 1, Oxnard

Alpacas at Windy Hill | 7660 Bradley Road, Somis

Earthtrine Farm | 1091 Cuyama Road, Ojai

Good Farms | 1980 South Rice Avenue, Oxnard

UC Hansen Agricultural Research & Extension Center | 287 South Briggs Road, Santa Paula

Houweling's Tomatoes | 645 West Laguna Road, Camarillo

Laguna Farms | 203 Wood Road, Oxnard

Limoneira | 12390 West Telegraph Road, Santa Paula

Ojai Olive Oil | 1811 Ladera Road, Ojai

Oxnard Farm Park | 251 Gottfried Place, Oxnard

***Official Farm Day BBQ Lunch Location (Cowboy John's Smoking BBQ)***

Petty Ranch | 11971 Darling Road, Saticoy

***Farm Day Hub Location***

Come to the SEEAG's Farm Lab at Petty Ranch for fun activities, helpful information, and

special exhibitors including Rincon-Vitova Insectaries and Chivas Skin Care.

Rancho Camulos Museum | 5164 East Telegraph Road, Piru

McGrath Family Farm & The Abundant Table | 1012 West Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo

Ventura County AG Museum | 926 Railroad Avenue, Santa Paula

 

**Downloadable Farm Day Map**

 

 

Get the celebrations started early with the Wine Farm-To-Table Dinner! Come enjoy a delicious chef prepared pig roast dinner, incredible wine flight, and fun live music on Thursday, November 7th, at 5:00 pm. This great event is taking place at Topa Mountain Winery (821 West Ojai Avenue, Ojai). General Admission Tickets cost $95 (plus fees) per person). VIP Tickets cost $125 (plus fees) per person and include early entry at 4:00 pm and reserved seating. Click HERE to purchase tickets.

 

 

 

The incredible farms throughout Ventura County are one of the many assets that make this area a great place to live. If you are interested in Buying your dream home in one of our communities, search our Homes for Sale. Give ​​Blake Mashburn a call today or visit our website at http://www.blakemashburn.com/.  

 

 

Image Credit: Ventura County Farm Day

Set Aside A Home Maintenance Budget!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

As you sit down to budget for buying a new Ventura home, there are several costs to consider. These include the down payment, the closing costs, moving expenses, and the monthly mortgage payments, insurance, and taxes. However, there is something else to add to that budget....home maintenance.

 

 

Even if you are buying a newer home with no immediate repair needs, there are 5 maintenance tasks that you should always take care of upon moving in and therefore should prepare for the costs.

 

  1. Change Locks - Practically anyone could have a key to your new home without you knowing it. Protect your family and your belongings by changing the locks on every exterior door of the home.

  2. Trim Trees - Make sure the trees, especially any older ones, are in good health and not too close to the home itself. Have the trees trimmed and inspected by a professional.

  3. Maintain HVAC - A damaged or failing HVAC system can be very expensive to fix. Stay ahead of any potential issues by having the system maintained right when you move in.

  4. Add Fire Extinguisher - It is important to always have at least one fire extinguisher in your home. Purchase one for the kitchen when you move in.

  5. Clean Chimney - If your new Ventura home has a fireplace, make sure you have it professionally cleaned out since you cannot know for certain when the last time it was cleaned was.

​​

 

In addition to these 5 home maintenance costs, you should also budget for appliances, furniture, paint, and any other home repairs/updates you need to make. Knowing these costs as you go into purchasing the home will help you stay within your financial means.

 

 

After you have been living in your home for a while, however, the budgeting should not stop. You should always keep aside some money to help you cover any unexpected repairs and emergencies that could arise at any time. In order to help you afford these costs, it is a good idea to set aside 1% of your home's purchase price every year for repairs. Just remember that the money you are putting into your home is just building equity for you and your family so it is worth it.

 


Visit our Website and follow us on Facebook for other great home maintenance and home buying tips!

Narrow The Search On To The Perfect Ventura Home!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

If you are ready to Buy a Ventura home, finding the perfect home for you and your family can seem like a daunting task. It can be as stressful as it is exciting. However, there are several steps that you can take to help take some of the stress out of the home search. These steps will help you narrow your focus and lead you to the home of your dreams in no time!

 

1. Get Pre-Approval!

Before you begin your search, you should get pre-approval for a mortgage. Besides making you a more competitive buyer in the market, it will also allow you to understand your budget. This way you can search for homes that fit within the amount you have been pre-approved for.

 

2. Must Haves Vs. Wish List!

It is important to stay focused during your home search. The best way to do that is to prioritize what you features you really need for your new home. Make a list of must haves, should haves, and wish list features.

 

3. Find A Neighborhood!

The neighborhood is just as important as the house, and each neighborhood has its own distinctive characteristics. Check out the neighborhood for its school district, amenities, and commute before you start looking for individual houses within it.

 

4. Pick A House Style!

Think about what style of home will best fit your family's needs based on the must have list you made previously. Then, look at homes that fit that style. This will help you narrow your search and be more likely to have you looking at homes that will be a good fit.

 

5. Keep Notes!

In order to remember what feature liked of each individual home, you should take notes on the listing sheet as you tour the property. Another helpful thing to do is take photographs of the things you like and don't like so you accurately recall what the home was like.

 

 

Find your dream home today! Search Ventura Homes For Sale! Give Blake Mashburn a call at (805) 856-9350 and visit his website (http://www.blakemashburn.com/) to get started!

Get Approval For Your Mortgage By Following These Financial Rules!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

You just put in a mortgage application for a new Ventura CA Home! Congrats! Although you might know without a shadow of a doubt that you will get approved, your financial diligence is not over! The lender will be tracking your assets throughout the process. Any changes can therefore have a negative impact on your qualification for the loan. Here are the main financial rules to follow while you are going through the mortgage application process!

 

1. Stay At The Same Bank: Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. To make sure that your lender can easily source and track your assets, you should keep the same bank account(s) that you listed on your application. Avoid closing your account or opening a new one at a different bank.

2. Keep All Credit Accounts Open: Closing credit accounts will change your credit history (which goes beyond payment history to look at length and depth of credit) as well as the ratio of your credit usage to the percentage of available credit. This will have a negative impact on your score.

3. Don't Open New Credit: Stay on track for approval and keep your interest rates lower by not opening any new lines of credit, including auto loans or additional credit cards.

4. Avoid Cash Deposits: It is important that your deposits are traceable and cash is not. Ask your lender the best way to document transactions before depositing cash into your bank account.

5. Maintain Your Job & Current Salary: Your annual income and its source are important factors in your application. Avoid any changes in your employment.

6. Do Not Purchase Other Large Items: This is one of the more common mistakes. Stay on track to qualify to avoid making any additional large purchases (ie automobiles, furniture, electronics, etc.) during this time.

7. Don’t Become A Co-Signer: Although you might not be the one making the payment, the payment will be counted against you if you co-sign on a loan. You might want to help out your friend or loved one but hold off doing so while you are looking to purchase a home.

 

 

For more Home Buying and Home Financing Tips, check out our Website and follow us on Facebook!  

Follow These Steps To Get 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!

The 5 Steps of 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.

 

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!

 

Ventura County Students Are Heading Back To School!

by The Blake Mashburn Group

It’s time to pack up those school supplies, pick out the first day’s outfit, and get your child ready to head BACK TO SCHOOL! That’s right! The first school bells of the year are about to start ringing throughout Ventura County! Check out the dates for the first days of school for all our local districts!

 

Santa Paula Unified School District | 201 South Steckel, Santa Paula

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 14th

2019 - 2020 District Calendar 

 

Fillmore Unified School District | 627 Sespe Avenue, Fillmore

First Day of School: Thursday, August 15th

2019 - 2020 District Calendar

 

Ojai Unified School District | 414 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 21st

2019 - 2020 District Calendar 

 

Oxnard School District | 1501 South A Street, Oxnard

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 21st

2019 - 2020 District Calendar 

 

Ventura Unified School District | 255 West Stanley Avenue, Ventura

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 21st

2019 - 2020 District Calendar 

 

Hueneme Elementary School District | 205 North Ventura Road, Port Hueneme

First Day of School: Tuesday, August 27th

2019 - 2020 District Calendar

 

Oxnard Union High School District | 309 South K Street, Oxnard

First Day of School: Tuesday, August 27th

2019 - 2020 District Calendar 

 

Pleasant Valley School District | 600 Temple Avenue, Camarillo

First Day of School: Wednesday, August 28th

2019 - 2020 District Calendar 

 

 

Blake Mashburn wishes all Ventura County students a fun and successful 2019 - 2020 school year to all students in Ventura County!!!

If you are interested in BUYING your dream home in one of these excellent school districts, give Blake a call at (805) 856-9350 or visit his Website today!

Find Your Dream Home With These Important Open House 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!

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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