Home Buying in Thousand Oaks>Question Details

Emma, Home Buyer in Portland, OR

Moving to the SFV to be near job in Van Nuys. Unfamiliar with area, thinking Moorpark, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks - maybe even Valencia. Advice??

Asked by Emma, Portland, OR Wed Jul 11, 2012

We will be moving in a couple months back to CA. Lived in Long Beach at one time but do not know the Valley. Looking btwn 400-500k, 2 Adults, 1 child (1 yr.), 3br/2ba. Best options for future resale (5 yrs),

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Hi Emma - Just looking at your question and thought I would check in and see how the search is coming. I was born in the San Fernando Valley but moved to the Conejo Valley (Westlake/Thousand Oaks) when I was very young. Since you have a baby, who will be entering preschool/elementary before you know it I would look more towards the Thousand Oaks area. Our public school system is amazing. Our weather is gorgeous almost every single day of the year. In terms of resale, our homes hold their value . I have been in Westlake/Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park for the last 32 years. Call me and I would be happy to show you around. Sincerely, Amy
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 18, 2012
Barry Shapiro brings up the main part of this equation: the commute. It depends on your tolerance level. These days the 101 is the heaviest traveled freeway in the world and if you have a job that requires you to be there at 9 am every day it will take approximately an hour and a half to get there from Newbury Park or Thousand Oaks. Living in Agoura Hills, Oak Park or Calabasas will cut time from your commute. So would Simi Valley or Wood Ranch, or even the Sunset Hills area of Thousand Oaks, these are proximate to the 118 which is a better route in the morning to get to the Valley.

Chatsworth and Northridge-Porter Ranch are also great places with lovely homes in your price range, also along the 118, and that would make your commute around 30-40 minutes.

I've sold homes in all of these areas and am familiar with the dynamics of each market. My website allows you to preview the entire MLS. Good luck with your search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
Hi Emma, I have lived in ALL areas so here's a little breakdown of the areas...I was raised in the valley (Northridge) about 10 mi. from Van Nuys but most recently have lived in Westridge (Valencia), then headed out to the opposite side of the valley, living in Wood Ranch which is in Simi Valley, also in Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks and Dos Vientos in Newbury Park. I would have to say that I LOVED Wood Ranch and Newbury Park.

I have come to know that shopping or visiting a city is completely different than living in it so we have continued doing the rental thing in search of where we want to call home permanently, I am now moving to Camarillo and we plan on buying in after this 6 month lease is up.

Valencia wasn't for me...though I did love all of the new construction, it gets really hot. And because of all of the new construction, and not too many older established neighborhoods (lots of foreclosures), there are ALOT of younger kids...teens, young 20 somethings which drive like a bunch of maniacs. The speed limit on most main streets is 50 but you constantly have a 20 year blaring their music riding your tail, then pass you going 70...really annoying. And don't even think about going out on the weekend...the mall is super packed and every restaurant has the longest wait time that I have ever experienced.

But moving to the opposite side of the hill has been a wonderful choice for us...there are way more established neighborhoods, people who have owned for a long time which gives a much more stable feel to the area. It is also alot cooler...the valley (Van Nuys) is usually about 10-15 degrees hotter than Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park and Wood Ranch is usually about 5-7 degrees warmer. I am in Thousand Oaks now and rarely have to have my air on and usually have a nice breeze that passes through the house. So here's the breakdown..

Wood Ranch is wonderful...lots of parks, wonderful friendly neighbors, safe, right next to the fire station and sheriff station...there is a childcare facility within Wood Ranch, and gyms, grocery stores, Costco, Target and even the mall are all within a 5 mile radius of the neighborhood. And having the option to take the 118 as opposed to the 101 is always nice...the 118 is way more commuter friendly and hardly ever has traffic.

Loved Newbury Park...friendly neighbors, very family friendly...a real safe, cozy not too busy place with all of Thousand Oaks' stores (the Mall) and all within a 5-10 minute drive...I was in Dos Vientos which has a YMCA with a wonderful daycare within the community, a lil' shopping center with a few restaurants and a coffee shop, gorgeous parks and beautiful views of the surrounding hills with hiking trails within walking distance...they also have a trader joe's right at the bottom of the hill which is nice.

Thousand Oaks is safe, you see alot of sheriffs around and you are smack dab in the middle of everything (whole foods, the mall, civic arts center, etc.) but it's a lil' busy for me...not too crowded, just a lil' faster pace going on overall.

Camarillo is our last stop before we decide on a place. We are moving into the Village at the Park area which is right over the hill from Newbury Park (7 miles further).

I have a feeling it's gonna be a toss up between Newbury Park or Camarillo but only because I prefer cooler weather and being closer to the beach as we spend a lot of time outdoors.

Feel free to email me (mrs.mistyrose@gmail.com) if you have any specific questions.

Best of luck to you,
Misty

And our family consists of 2 adults (early 30's) and 1 child (2 yrs old)

I didn't even try to re-read this, sorry for the babbling or typos...just been there, done that and thought I'd share ;)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 29, 2012
Hi Emma. Presently I live in Santa Monica, but drive all over the place. My real estate office is in Camarillo (Ventura County), my kids live in Westchester, right near LAX, and I do my lawyer stuff all over the place. From Santa Monica I get to Van Nuys in 20 or so minutes. The city has it's own school district, and the schools are pretty good. My ex-wife and kids live in Westchester, which is a great neighborhood. It is really like a small town, in spite of its close proximity to the airport. Also, the commute from Westchester to Van Nuys is pretty quick. I grew up in Thousand Oaks (right next to Newbury Park), which is a really good place to raise a family. The 118 freeway can get you to Van Nuys quickly, but it is about an hour or so from the LAX. In the price range you're looking for, Thousand Oaks or Simi Valley (also nice) would be your best bet. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2012
Thanks for the response. I am planning on doing 2 trips to the area before we actually move - one alone and one with the family. The first trip I was just going to get an idea of what the areas are like, commute times to/from work etc. Second trip with the family, will be longer and we will focus on areas that we have researched and that work for our commute, schools, etc. We don't have to hurry since we plan on living in a corporate apartment for a couple of months. Just not too interested in moving completely into a rental then moving again into a house.
We do want a commute of 45 minutes or less and also need to make regular trips to LAX.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2012
I have to agree with Barry, renting can be a great way to go. I think you picked great choices, especially for young families. I personally think the commute from Newbury Park will be a bit much. Being on the 118 FWY will be good for commuting.

I'm a working Realtor and a Mom of 2. A five year old and a 13 year old. Some great school choices for elementary in all areas, including where I live, Simi Valley. Moved here from TO (where I went to middle school and high school) to get more for my money when I bought my first home 15 years ago. If I had it to do again, I probably would have preferred to settle in TO but my husband worked in Burbank and the commute from Simi is decent. Simi is working on improving the offerings in middle and high school and by the time your little one gets to that grade, I am optimistic that you will like what is offered. I would say, having a high school age kid that the lack of secondary education choices are my biggest dislike about Simi.

You might want to consider Wood Ranch in Simi, has a great elementary, most people love the lifestyle in this community. If is relatively close to the 23 and the 118. Moorpark is kind of split into two areas, one by the college, nice but a little remote for access to grocery stores and eateries, the other area down off the 23 is a little more central located. If you are going to consider TO, I think you should focus on East Thousand Oaks for a quick transition from the 23 to the 118.

If you need help with where to go and what to do when you come for a visit or arranging housing, learnind about childcare in the area, I am happy to be your resource. Contact me through my Trulia Profile.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
Depends on what kind of driving commute you want to have or not have. And you should check out the schools in the areas you are interested in. Weather is warmer in Valencia and SFV then the Thousand Oaks/Newbury area. If you are considering buying right away, then you need to be looking at standard or bank owned properties. Short sales take months to complete unless you are willing to rent and make a double move. My office is in Thousand Oaks but I work in all the areas you listed.
Connie Rinaldi
Realtor
Prudential California Realty
Connie@ConnieRinaldi.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
Best advice would be to rent for 3-4 months and explore the various areas first. Long Beach and the SF Valley have changed a lot over the past 10 years. Once you determine the best areas.schools/parks/quality of life then you are ready to make the big decision.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 11, 2012
Thanks for the response. I am planning on doing 2 trips to the area before we actually move - one alone and one with the family. The first trip I was just going to get an idea of what the areas are like, commute times to/from work etc. Second trip with the family, will be longer and we will focus on areas that we have researched and that work for our commute, schools, etc.
We don't have to hurry since we plan on living in a corporate apartment for a couple of months. Just not too interested in moving completely into a rental then moving again into a house.
Flag Thu Jul 12, 2012
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