Kelly Bader, Home owner
Researching your areas in the way you explained is such a smart move. It pays to be an informed buyer. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I would welcome the opportunity to help you find just the right home to suit your needs.
You are doing the right thing! You are asking questions and you are going to visit the areas, because you know best if a city or a more rural area fits your lifestyle. Doing the drive is crucial as it determines how much time you are willing to give up from family and other activities, and always remember there will be traffic accidents, weather, fires and other events that will affect your commute.
Visit the areas you are seriously thinking about on different days and times to see what really goes on, and if that community/neighborhood is a good fit. Some of my clients did commute drives and immediately they knew some areas were coming off the list. I have had clients seen out side a home they were going to buy and when the other agent called me that they had been seen in the neighbor hood, I was so pleased and smiled, and reinforced they were doing their home work and they made a great purchase that fit their lifestyle.
In addition, agents have to avoid violating the Fair Housing Act, which includes steering a client to or from certain areas, or stating how they feel about the quality of schools etc. (reminders taken from a Realtor magazine for Realtor's and the FH Act). Doing your "buyer's due diligence" is key and is most beneficial to the buyer, the more they do the better. Contact police departments for crime rates. Contact Chamber of Commerce for local information and the Census Bureau for demographics. Check websites for city or county departments that may be able to provide nice area maps, pamphlets, and guide books. Check school websites and contact the actual schools for school boundaries as they do change, and schedule a visit to the schools. If you are pumping gas or grabbing a meal ask people around you if they live in the area and that you would like their input, or maybe they live in one of the other areas you are viewing. Agents can assist with some data, but there is plenty of research you can do on line and have a nice trip reference pack built before you visit.
Taking verbal notes on a phone recording app (if applicable) is a great way to capture your true thoughts as you see and experience the areas, then upon review you can weigh the importance on a pro and con list, or use one of those apps too. Take photos, then when you look back at them they may justify your verbal notes or you may see something you did not see before.
Remember it is the buyer's job to do their due diligence and the buyer's decision as to where to locate, what commute works for them along with other wants and needs. Keep up your great research and you will have a successful transaction.
Have a safe trip back to So. Cal,
TV-Tracy Van De Mark
Keller Williams Realty
I have lived in most of those areas you have mentioned.
Simi Valley / Mooorpark is your best bet for the drive as compared to the entire Santa Clarita Valley.
Santa Clarita is a very nice area but when it had its boom of building, the freeway did not even though the freeway dropped in 1994 in the Northridge quake. My suggestion is SImi valley for what you asked.
On the other hand,.... the Agoura Hills to Newbury Park area isnt bad at all. The area is nice as well. I think for the price, I would do Simi Valley or Newbury Park. Drive wise I would do Simi Valley. The choice is yours.
Don't forget to vote best answer for those who give the best answer.
Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
If you need any additional help, direction or want to see what homes are available in Santa Clarita, or SFV that fit your needs I would be more than happy to send you more information specific to what you are looking for.
We do want a commute of 45 minutes or less and also need to make regular trips to LAX.
If your job is near Van Nuys, I would not move to Valencia. I live and work in the Valley and I can help you locate a home that would provide a shorter commute. Tarzana or Woodland Hills would be better options. Depending on what part of Van Nuys you will be in, you may want to check out Granada Hills because it has some blue ribbon schools.
Please feel free to contact me directly (click on my photo) to talk about some of your options in greater detail.
Good luck and welcome to the Valley!
I think you would find it to be a shorter commute in Valencia and have a greater selection of homes in your desired price range. Also, Valencia is a master planned community that is very family oriented, with good schools (we have our own school system and are not part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, abundant restaurants, shopping, easy freeway access, lush landscaping, many parks and activities. Valencia is located in the City of Santa Clarita and their website is http://www.santa-clarita.com/. I would be happy to email properties to you for comparison purposes. If you will have a chance to come out and take a tour of the different areas, that would also be very advantageous.
Service That's the Cat's Meow! http://www.santaclaritahomeguide.com
Van Nuys is not a great area. There is areas surrounding Van Nuys that would be better than Van Nuys itself like Lake Balboa.
Moorpark is a nice area and so is Thousand Oaks. It tends to run about aout 10 - 20% more than Valencia and San Fernando Valley in terms of price.
I work all three areas and I'm very familiar with all them. You can contact me and we can set up a meeting when you come to California to visit all three areas to see which will be the best fit for you and your family.
661 284-5004 http://www.LauraCoffey.com