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Home Buying in Simi Valley : Real Estate Advice

  • All224
  • Local Info14
  • Home Buying76
  • Home Selling6
  • Market Conditions7

Activity 64
Sun Sep 8, 2013
Bonnie Sterling answered:
Morning Jack, Current Ventura County MLS status show
Listing Count 24 Available
Avg cost per sq ft 72.91
Avg days on market 159/214
Average Asking Price 91,358
High Price 209,500
Low Price 36,000
Median Asking Price 78,999.50
If you would like SOLD prices, please contact me directly through my Trulia profile or personal web site.
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Fri Jun 11, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
Regarding your agent's advice, I'd borrow the line from Ronald Reagan: Trust but verify. That is, your agent should be in the best position to determine, for instance, that your home will sell quickly. But ask for verification. Ask your agent to provide you a list of all properties similar to yours (really, comps, but a bit looser than the strict definition of comps) that have been listed within the past 6 months.

How many have sold? At what price? In what time frame? So--basically--what's been the average days on market, and where were they priced?

But go beyond that. Of all those similar to yours that were listed in the past 6 months, how many of those listings expired? How many were withdrawn? Reason: The sales figures can look pretty good . . . especially if you exclude the ones that didn't sell. So you need the full picture.

Recognize, too, that any offer you make that would be contingent on the sale of your current home will weaken your offer. So you may stand less of a chance of your offer being accepted. Again, your agent can advise you on that.

One other suggestion: Have your agent run a list of rentals that match your criteria. Take a look at them. Then make an offer on any you like. It may be that there are some owners who are renting because they're afraid the market is too soft; maybe they'd really like to sell, but are waiting for the market to strengthen. Look especially at homes that have been on the rental market for awhile, and those that are vacant. One additional advantage you'll have by doing that is that you won't have any competition from other buyers. They aren't even looking at rentals. An extra suggestion: Have your agent also look for rentals that match your criteria that aren't even on the MLS. Lots of owners rent out their properties themselves--ads on Craigslist, signs in the front yard, that sort of thing.

Hope that helps.
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Thu Jun 10, 2010
Patrick Thies answered:
You should check with an attorney to be certain, but the contract is between you and the seller and needs to be agreed upon before sending it to the bank. The bank is a contingency to the contract not a party to the contract. As long as the buyer and seller have agreed to and signed the contract by 4/30/2010, you should be good. ... more
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Tue May 11, 2010
Barry Shapiro answered:
Hi Khalid,

You'll want to consider 141 Everett in Moorpark, if it's still available. TWO renovated units on one 27K lot, listed in the very low $400s. Here's a LINK to view approx 50 homes in the SIMI VALLEY area, both Active and Leased, within the criteria you described:
http://vcrdsmls.rapmls.com/scripts/mgrqispi.dll?APPNAME=vcrdsmls&PRGNAME=MLSLogin&ARGUMENT=UKQXGORzCf5eTZOdc%2B%2BGCY8AhB8mO%2BsBmoACVfdF1dc%3D&KeyRid=1&Include_Search_Criteria=on&isPreview=Y&Include_Search_Criteria=on

Good luck! Both Ted and I are long term landlords, and Bonnie knows the Simi market quite well, with a new listing for sale on Borders in the Crossroads tract.
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Sat Feb 20, 2010
Bonnie Sterling answered:
Hi Barbara,

The best way for me to help you would be to have a title rep check on Monday. They are closed on the weekends. I would be happy to send you a response directly if I get info that can help you but I would probably not recommend posting your email address here on trulia, you will probably get spammed. ... more
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Wed Feb 17, 2010
Bonnie Sterling answered:
I have to preface this by saying that everything I share with you is NOT known to me to be factual but I am merely repeating the information as it was shared with me as I understand it from someone who is a Realtor, as well as a homeowner in Wild Horse Canyon. Should you decide to purchase a home in WHC you will want to do your own investigation and read through everything that you receive in escrow diligently for your own clear understanding of the property/HOA circumstance.
 
I was told that the HOA has 5 miles of land to maintain that the City made the HOA take on as part of the development. Included in that land is Shiloh Canyon and some huge basins. From the fire and rain that the area had 3 years ago there was a clean up in the amount of two million dollars. There is some difference of opinion about whether home buyers knew that this was the obligation of the HOA and that is what results in the lawsuit. If the homeowners are responsible for this clean up the overall assessment is equal to between 7,000-10,000 per house. They are suing the city and the builder to cover the clean up and if they come up empty on those efforts they will take a FEMA loan for the costs of the work and pay it out with an increase in the dues that should be about $30 per month. I was also told that the estimate for frequency of this repair/clean up is every 40-45 years and that it was just circumstances of fire and rain that brought it up sooner rather than later.

Please let me know if I can set you up to receive MLS Alerts for the Wild Horse Canyon and surrounding areas if you would like to be watching the new homes and closed home prices. There is no cost for this service and no obligations (or pestering) and I'm here if you have more questions.
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Tue Jan 26, 2010
Barry Shapiro answered:
Hello Meg & Jan,

The true answer to this question will be based on several factors, including the expiration of the Tax Credit (unless it's extended - which it likely will be), the direction of interest rates (higher = lower home prices), inventory levels and the supply of homes, and whether lending standards change over the course of the 2nd quarter. The housing market in general should "se-saw" back and forth for the next ten (yes, 10) years minimum, as we flush out the phenomenal numbers of distressed properties. Trulia agents such as Bonnie and Ted are experts in Simi Valley, and have their finger on the pulse of the local market. ... more
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Thu Apr 15, 2010
Mack McCoy answered:
The counter-offer would have been made by the Seller. What you're referring to is, "the other offer," and the answer is, after this much time, you probably don't find out who made it. ... more
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Tue Sep 20, 2016
Barry Shapiro answered:
Hi Phyllis,

That's a great question to be asking, since so much of Simi Valley is surrounded my steep, often dry, mountaneous terrain. The attached Fire Hazards Severity Zones map should answer the question visually for you. Every property sold in California (through R/E agents) will require the seller to provide you with a Natural Hazards Disclosure Report. Obviously, your homeowner's insurance will be affected by the location of the subject property. Local agents, such as Steve, Ted and Bonnie can point out certain areas to avoid if fire is a major concern. ... more
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Tue May 13, 2014
Barry Shapiro answered:
Hi Phyllis,
That's an excellent question, one to definitely consider when buying and selling real estate. Trulia agents such as Bonnie and Ted know the terrain quite well. In the interim, here's a link (below) to the FEMA website. I hope this information proves to be valuable! ... more
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Thu Jun 9, 2016
Brad Gill answered:
There are several places that you can go but the best site I have found is foreclosureradar.com. If you need any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact a local real estate professional as they can help you find this information as well.

Good luck.

Brad Gill, Realtor (#01385310)
Cell 408.204.7699
Eagle Properties Group, Your San Jose Real Estate Solution
Brad@EagleHomeGroup.com http://www.EagleHomeGroup.com
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Sun Mar 30, 2014
Bonnie Sterling answered:
Hi Richard,

I have been the local RealtyTrac representative for over 4 years. Trulia gets their preforeclosure informaiton from RealtyTrac. RealtyTrac gets their information from data exchanges with filings at County Recorders offices accross the country, including our own in Ventura County. The data is just exchanged by computers there is no human review of the data. So, the information fhat is exchanged with RealtyTrac is accurate but may not reflect anything that is actually going to occur with the home. For example if the notice of default is filed for a second trust deed, it will look like there is a preforeclosure you can purchase for pennies on the dollar.

It is important to consider that while property lies nearly abandonded across our country, we have an inventory shortage in many areas of Ventura County, Simi Valley for sure. There are also Realtors and investors who watch these listings professionally. Should a homeowner fall into default, they will be approached by 3 dozen Realtors. If they are realistic about their situation they are likely to list their home with one of those agents. Investors sometimes get involved at that stage or may go to the county courthouse steps to purchase a home with all cash when they are having the foreclosure action, these are just a few ways that homes in preforeclosure make their way into the market.

While there is a lot of speculation about ghost inventory, I dont think this exists. Sometimes banks are slow because of their staff are overworked to get to their responsibilities but locally banks get multiple offers at good prices and can get the inventory off their books quickly so, I dont think it is a matter of holding inventory. Sometimes the delay is time to evict people or even property. Sometimes, there is an issue with the home that must be resolved. In fact, I have an offer in for a buyer right now on a great property and we have been waiting two weeks to hear from the bank but it is the first time that has happened in the last 4 years that I have been representing buyers at REO purchases. It is one out of many.

Working with RealtyTrac as a local representative in Simi, Moorpark and the Conejo for a while I can tell you that if you need to use financing to purchase your best, most time and price effective way to search is to start working with a Realtor. Look at everything in your price range, preforeclosures, foreclosures and regular sales. You never know who is going to have the home that most suits you, if you are purchasing your primary residence or are investing in a property that will require financing. About 75% of my buyers in the last two years have successfully purchased a preforeclosure or REO property but the other 25% or so, found the right home in a typical sale.

If you are looking to work with a Realtor who understands the importance of finding a good value - meeting much of your criteria including location, amenities and price, you wil appreciate looking with me. I would be happy to set you up with MLS Alerts which will provide you with up to the minute data about homes that come onto the market, preforeclosure, REO and regular sales, direct to your email address. The service is automatic, free and I promise not to pester you. Please contact me directly if that sounds good.
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Thu Nov 5, 2009
Barry Shapiro answered:
Richard,

Excellent question! Agents Ted, Steve and Bonnie can/will address your local market conditions. The stabilization is not false. It's basic supply and demand. Homebuyers with as little as 3.5% to put down can qualify to buy a home (FHA) and get a rebate on their taxes. No brainer for those that figure it out. We knew we would eventually return to home prices typically seen at the end of 2002-early 2003. We are there. Prices are low, interest rates are low, money is flowing and supplies are dwindling. We are repositioning in the marketplace, so when the new REOs are poured into the housing supply equation (next year), there will be home-hungry buyers ready to snap them up, and avoid a free-fall in local home values! ... more
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Mon Nov 2, 2009
Bonnie Sterling answered:
Hi Kate,

Wow, so many areas really. Since you say family friendly, I would think that schools are going to be important to you. Also, if you are moving to Simi, it's not really big but some people really prefer to be more aligned with their shopping, family and doctor preferences so being on the east or west side can be a consideration.

A lot of my buyers like the neighborhood near White Oak elementary because that school is a high test score school on the east end. There was a foreclosure I saw last week on Vera Ct with clients that was in the mid 350's and needed updating but was on a culdesac. Some people also like Katherine Elementary. There was a nice home, fully remodelled in that school areas for just under 400,000 last week. It went quickly.

On the west side families like to be at Madera Elementary which will include the Madera Hills neighborhood just west of Madera and Royal and a nice neighborhood on the south side of 4th and Royal. Of course some of these neighborhoods.

Overall Simi has a lof ot family friendly neighborhoods. Please let me know if I can assist you by setting you up for my free MLS Alert service. It would provide you with email details of homes that meet a criteria you define. Then, as you become familiar with what fits your budget, you can start to rule in and our neighborhoods while you preview homes.
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Wed Oct 7, 2009
Gerald Seegars answered:
I think this is a question best answered by a mortgage broker or a loan officer that administers FHA loans. I work with one of the top FHA loan officers in the DC area and I will check with him to get his take on this. Stay tuned. ... more
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Sat Sep 19, 2009
Barry Shapiro answered:
Hello Gwlittlegirl,

I would recommend you check Craig's List and Rentals.com. In print, look at the Recycler and Ventura County Star or the Kitty Letter. Here's the current inventory from the MLS that neet your criteria (1999 and newer). All will consider pets. I was unsure of how high you wanted to go for rent/lease amount. If you see something you like, a team member can arrange a showing. Good luck! ... more
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Tue Sep 22, 2009
Barry Shapiro answered:
Hi Julie,
Simi-based agents, such as Ted and Bonnie, have their fingers on the pulse of the local market, and will address your question with a local flair. The housing market is made up of an "AFFORDABILITY TRIANGLE" -- House prices on one side, interest rates on another, and household incomes on the third side. Supply and demand determine how low or high home prices will go, but the Triangle (above) will cap home prices. What I mean to say is that area-wide household incomes will likely remain stagnant, as we have 10% unemployment. Interest rates should remain in the 5-6% range over the next several years. The spurt you see in home prices is because homebuyer can once again afford homes! So, if you don't care about the $8K incentive, you are better off waiting until November or December, which are typically the slowest months of the year, due to the hoildays. Inventory levels should increase, and bidding wars may subside... Other than that -- you should adopt a mindset of "my first home doesn't need to be perfect and I don't have to get the greatest deal" -- since it is rare that these 2 criteria will ever align themselves. Good luck in your future home quest!! ... more
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Wed Sep 16, 2009
Ted Mackel answered:
hi Kam,

yep, Its has an animal overlay zoning. The min lot size is at 20,000 square feet meaning that any lots smaller than that are grand-fathered in and any lots larger cannot be subdivided below that. Example if you buy a property in the farm that is 39,950 square feet, you cannot divide the lot into two lots. It is an older area that has a hodge podge of homes and some other interesting uses mixed in. If you worry about what color o architectural styles your neighbors will apply to their homes than this is not the place to be at there is no HOA or CC&Rs that would keep an conformity to the area.

Even though the sound wall just went up on the 118, the noise could be an issue to some people. There are new homes and very old homes, Large homes and small homes. The area generally covers From Stearns to Tapo Canyon Road and The 118 Freeway north to Alamo with a section just south of that that hugs the 118 off Apricot.
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Tue Jul 14, 2009
Joe Nernberg answered:
Simi Valley because it is a shorter commute to metropolitan Los Angeles. I would pick Saugus (the Santa Clarita Valley) because it is a better designed community and more affordable.
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Thu Aug 6, 2009
Tara Steinke answered:
Hi Sheena,

Yes, the moratoriums will start to reduce the number of foreclosures we will be seeing as banks continue to improve their short sale processes & procedures. But, down here in San Diego, we are seeing banks holding onto some of their inventory (sometimes renting it out) in order to provide a trickle of REOs entering the market rather than a solid stream. This is in an attempt to stabalize that market. And its working.

Best of luck out there!
Tara

Tara Steinke
Residential Sales and Appraisal
San Diego
619-384-6014
SDRealtor.Tara@gmail.com
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