Blog Archive – April, 2020

Note:  Some of the links below may take you to a blank page with the verbiage, “This is not a valid link.” These links have expired from the Ventura MLS and are no longer accessible.  Ojai MLS links are not affected in this way.
Thursday, April 30, 2020
11:45 a.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai real estate homes property for sale
You gotta do more than just post a sign.  There’s at least some engineering involved.
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
2:20 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai real estate homes property for sale
Nice street art, but don’t ask where that watch came from
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
2:55 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
6:35 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai real estate homes property for sale
Gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that badly paved road
Monday, April 27, 2020
12:35 p.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai real estate homes property for sale
After hibernating for 37 years, the wall turtle emerges from its gypsum cocoon
Friday, April 24, 2020
2:55 p.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

Here’s the list of things to do in Ojai (mostly on-line events).  Have a great weekend!

7:40 a.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

By now you’ve likely heard of Zoom, the video conferencing tool that not only allows business/professional meetings to take place virtually, but also allows you to visit with family or friends virtually as well.  Last Saturday we held a “party” with several of our friends and had a good time of it.  We created a virtual scavenger hunt, where each couple wrote a list of 3 or 4 items that the other couples had to find within their own home or yard.  On each turn, one couple would ask the others to run and find a specific item: some things that came up were “For the guys, what’s the girliest thing you own,” “Who has a kitchen utensil or tool that is so strange looking – no one could guess its purpose,” “What’s the most 1960s thing you own,” and “Who has a vinyl record album with the coolest cover?” (As you can imagine, things wandered over to the risque’ side on a couple of occasions.)  We then voted on who had the best/funniest/most unique item.  It was a ton of fun!  Zoom is free if your get-togethers last no more than 40 minutes.  We paid for the “Pro” version because we’ve been holding Deckert/DePaola team meetings, as well as Ojai realtor/broker meetings every week.  The “Pro” version allows up to 100 participants and has a meeting during limit of 24 hours – it runs $14.99 a month.

Pic of the Day
ojai real estate homes property for sale
And #1 on our list of places you’d least like to hear an echo…
Thursday, April 23, 2020
10:25 a.m.
  • No changes yet for today.

 

Reminder to take our most recent poll which asks the question, “What is your favorite or newest activity” these days?  It’s interesting to see that “gardening” has the #1 spot so far; every time we pass by Flora Gardens garden center on Baldwin Road these days it is absolutely packed!  Ditto for the hardware stores!

Pic of the Day
Ojai homes real estate property for sale
Buzz Aldrin would be proud
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
6:05 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
6:45 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

 

Pic of the Day
ojai real estate homes property for sale
A literal water closet
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
9:40 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
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ojai homes real estate property for sale
Venkman and Stantz eventually retired to an affluent neighborhood
Monday, April 20, 2020
8:30 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day

ojai real estate property homes for sale

Saturday, April 18, 2020
10:10 a.m.

Because I saw there were several new listings on the market, I decided to a quick check-in today:

There are three new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

Have a splending Saturday!

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ojai homes real estate property for sale
Not sure I’d want to live next door to this guy
Friday, April 17, 2020
2:25 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

Have a nice weekend, and just a heads up:  If Vons or Westridge markets don’t have what you’re looking for, you might want to consider shopping at Ojai Valley Ranch Market in Oak View.  Yesterday we found they had a couple of items that were not in stock at the other two stores.

8:55 a.m.
There are two new listings on the market:

Here’s the list of things to do in Ojai.  In addition, I’ve put up a new “Poll of the Month.”  (I’ve been lax in coming up with new polls; I might have to rename it “Poll of the Quarter.”)

Pic of the Day
ojai real estate homes property for sale
Hoffa’s tape measure
Thursday, April 16, 2020
4:30 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

The Real Estate Fraud Advisory Team has put out a warning with regard to mortgages and forbearance assistance.  As with any national crisis, you can count on unscrupulous people coming out of the woodwork, attempting to scam people.  People who call you to offer any sort of “forbearance assistance” are likely not people you want to do business with.  No lender is going to call you and suggest they help you find a way to postpone your mortgage payments; you would have to call your mortgage company to see if they are offering any such program.  Please read the complete release below (special thanks to Charlene Williams of First American Title):

——–

April 13, 2020

  • VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten warned today that county residents should be extra vigilant about mortgage, forbearance, and loan modification scams as financial predators seek to exploit the current COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 virus, last month alone, mortgage forbearance requests increased by approximately 2000 percent. Such conditions are ripe for financial predators seeking to exploit desperate homeowners with false promises of assistance to delay their overdue mortgage payments.The District Attorney recommends the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of this type of fraud:
  • Never pay any person or business for mortgage or forbearance assistance, including the negotiation of a new, lower mortgage payment. It is unlawful for any entity to charge an advance fee to negotiate on a borrower’s behalf with a lender. Borrowers should contact their lender directly to discuss forbearance options, and never go through a third party.
  • Never sign a deed that transfers any portion of home ownership to another person or entity as part of a mortgage assistance or forbearance scheme.
  • Never make any portion of a mortgage payment to anyone other than your lender. Such payments are never passed on to the lender and this often unnecessarily triggers foreclosure proceedings that otherwise may never have commenced.
  • Never stop making mortgage payments to your lender on the advice of a mortgage or forbearance “expert.”
  • Be wary of mailed or telephonic advertisements promising mortgage or forbearance assistance. Legitimate assistance will not come to a borrower, it must instead be sought out.
  • Homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage payment should contact their lender directly to learn what assistance programs may be available.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has also announced that the Federal Housing Administration is offering various mortgage relief options for FHA mortgage borrowers affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Details are available at www.hud.gov/answers.

Finally, county residents that need further information on mortgage forbearance scams can contact the District Attorney’s Office Real Estate Fraud Unit directly at (805) 662-1750, or obtain a complaint form at the District Attorney’s website located at www.vcdistrictattorney.com.

10:30 a.m.
  • No changes yet for today.

 

Pic of the Day
ojai homes real estate property for osale
“2” – as in the number of minutes it took to complete this repair?
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
5:30 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
9:05 a.m.
There is a new listing on the market:

 

Pic of the Day

ojai real estate homes for sale property

Prior to our closing on 180 N. Poli Street yesterday, the buyer’s paperwork had to be notarized.  So, on a crisp spring day in Springfield, Oregon – they met with a Notary Public at a local Wal-Mart parking lot in order to get the job done!  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020
3:40 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
10:20 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai home for sale real estate
I’m using your hot tub, and there’s not a thing you can do about it
Monday, April 13, 2020
3:25 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
12:45 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai homes for sale real estate property
The Picasso of tile setters
Friday, April 10, 2020
3:30 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
  • 2294 Sumac Drive – sold for $600,000 (originally listed for $599,000).  Wow…that closed in only 22 days.  Had we been able to see this one in person, it likely would’ve been labeled a Best Buy at that price.
  • 1225 S. Rice Road #33 – sold for $159,000 (originally listed for $159,000).

As mentioned earlier today, I have extensive information for you regarding Covid-19 and real estate sales/transactions being designated as “essential” by the Ventura County Public Health department.  Click here to read more…

11:30 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

Update:  Via a press release issued last night, the real estate profession has now been deemed “essential” by the Ventura County Public Health department.  A little later today I’ll have much more detail on what this means and how Ojai (and Ventura County) realtors are handling the situation.  Suffice to say, although we will be doing business, it will NOT be as usual.

 

Here’s the list of (mostly online) things to do in Ojai!

Pic of the Day
ojai real estate property for sale
A lady doesn’t leave her escort…it isn’t fair, it isn’t nice
Thursday, April 9, 2020
4:00 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
  • 910 Ventura Avenue – increased from $279,000 to $1,149,000.  I believe this former “Business Opportunity” now includes the building and a house.  I’ve changed it to a “Commercial” type of sale.
  • 1998 Baldwin Road – back on the market (had been a pending sale).
  • 2939 Matilija Canyon Road – back on the market (had been a cancelled listing).  This was last on the market 2/11/20.
  • 210 Monte Via – reduced from $525,000 to $515,000.
  • 270 Monte Via – sold for $625,000 (originally listed for $625,000).
  • 4255 Thacher Road – sold for $2,750,000 (originally listed for $2,750,000).

This isn’t Ojai-related, but congrats to our client/buyer who closed on their home at 157 W. Bay Blvd. in Port Hueneme today!  Also, congrats to teammate Sheryl Whipple for bringing this together and getting it done!

Finally, a sign of the times:  We received two blocks of cheese in the mail today.  Cheese.  Good stuff at that – Parmigiano Reggiano and Colby.  Thank you, Amazon.

11:25 a.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai homes real estate property for sale
If this isn’t a dentist’s office, you have the worst interior design sensibility
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
4:10 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
  • 1009 Drown Avenue – we have added this property to the Best Buys list.
  • 403 Franklin Drive – sold for $855,000 (originally listed for $875,000).  This was a new property that sold and closed before it was listed in the MLS today.
  • 4205 Thacher Road – sold for $3,750,000 (originally listed for $5,990,000).  This sale consisted of two previously separate listings, both at 4205 Thacher Road.  One listing consisted of nine homes on 5 acres ($3,495,000), the other listing was a 25 acre land parcel ($2,495,000).  Earlier today the land listing was cancelled, and the sale of these two listings was consolidated to a single listing – which sold for $3,750,000.  Clear as mud? 
11:15 a.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
  • 2227 Burnham Road – sold for $750,000 (originally listed for $789,000).
  • 264 Fairway Lane – sold for $1,450,000 (originally listed for $1,450,000).
  • 4205 Thacher Road (land parcel only) – this listing has been cancelled (had been a pending sale).
  • 610 Fernando Street – withdrawn from the market (the Ventura MLS link will show this as “unavailable”).
Pic of the Day
ojai homes real estate property
If you examine closely you can identify the gills, located posterior to the ears
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
3:25 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

Apologies for the super late update; we had a bit of an emergency this morning – a roof leak that required me to climb on the roof and do some maintenance.  I really need to kick myself for this one, as the leak was caused by a debris dam.  The only defense I have is that the area where this occurred is difficult and slightly dangerous to get to – but still, it’s something I should check every year.  Mind you, Cheryl and I had a similar situation on our house a couple of years ago – a leak caused by a debris dam – and I chastised myself then as well for not maintaining the roof better.  Maybe I’ll learn this time, especially since it’s going to require interior paint repair.

Also, a shout out to Gilbert Esquivel of Aztec Roofing, who come out within 90 minutes of me calling to make sure I wasn’t missing something.  (His contact info can be found on our Trusted Professionals page.)

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OJAI REAL ESTATE HOMES PROPERTY
Do I have something in my toofs?
Monday, April 6, 2020
2:30 p.m.
1:15 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

I’ll update the precipitation totals from the recent rains either tomorrow or Wednesday (after this bout of rain passes).  I can tell you, unofficially, our weather station shows we received 1.67 inches; but I still need to average out the other stations around the valley.

I’ll have the Ojai Market Update for you very shortly; not only will it contain market statistics for March, but I’ll also update you on how Ventura County currently views the business of real estate during these viral times.

Pic of the Day
ojai real estate property
Well now, if there’s no pasta you’re not gonna need the toilet paper
Friday, April 3, 2020
2:45 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

Have yourselves a good weekend!  Cheryl and I will be using the extra “shelter in place” time to do projects around the house (at least until the incoming rain hits).  Stay healthy and safe…

9:25 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

 

Normally I would post a link for “Things to Do in Ojai,” but as you might expect due to the numerous cancellations of events – there is no list to publish this week.

Pic of the Day
ojai homes real estate property
In case of fire…start working on your plyometrics
Thursday, April 2, 2020
4:15 p.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
10:20 a.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

On a topical note, I noted there was a news blurb about whether or not taking ibuprofen was advisable if someone had contracted the Covid-19 virus.  I quote, “At present, based on currently available information, WHO (World Health Organization) does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen (emphasis mine).  Well that makes perfect sense!

Reminds me of another confusing phrase seen on a T-shirt, “Don’t stop letting people not help.”  (Courtesy of Impractical Jokers.)

Pic of the Day
ojai homes real estate property
Apiarism run amok
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
1:20 p.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
  • 124 N. Poli Street – sold for $552,000 (originally listed for $575,000).
  • 950 Woodland Avenue #34 – sold for $133,000 (originally listed for $139,000).
  • 1975 Maricopa Highway #16 – sold for $165,000 (originally listed for $179,000).
  • 828-985 Fordyce Road – this listing has expired.
  • 12605 Highwinds Road – this listing has expired.
  • 154 S. Padre Juan Avenue – withdrawn from the market.  (The Ojai link shows this as “Active,” but it is indeed withdrawn.  We had one of these a few days ago.  What’s happening with these is this; the realtors are withdrawing the listing from the Ventura (or “Flex”) MLS, but forgetting to withdraw it from the Ojai MLS.  I keep the Ojai link in place because once a listing is withdrawn, cancelled, or expired – the Ojai MLS continues to show the listing info and photos.  The Flex MLS system, on the other hand, will withdrawn all information and photos.)

Wow, the real estate market just keeps chugging along!  I’ll tell you this; we have a ton of buyers coming out of the woodwork right now.  In fact, we’re showing a couple of vacant properties later this afternoon (more on this in a moment), and yesterday we received two calls from past clients/contacts who want to know about specific properties.  Although there have been 10 properties withdrawn from the market since March 1st, the biggest indicator of where the market is right now is reflected in how many properties have become pending sales since March 1st – 39!  Of those 39, 19 of them became pending sales on March 12th or later, the point at which we probably all knew that Covid-19 was going to be part of our lives for a while.  Point is, things are still moving along.

 

The California real estate community, as a whole, is still trying to figure out how to handle sales at this point.  Many parts of the transactions are going strictly virtual – especially the lending, escrow, title, and general paperwork side of things.  But some parts of the business, namely open houses and broker previews, are forbidden at this time.  How we’re to handle showings on current listings is the biggest issue right now.  The State of California says that real estate is an “essential business” – and the California Association of Realtors (CAR) agrees, however, county regulations have the final say.  There is a big tug-of-war going on right now between CAR and the various MLS systems – you can show property with the proper safeguards, you can’t show property under ANY circumstance…they still haven’t figured it out.  In the last 24 hours we’ve received several emails from CAR, the VCCAR (Ventura County Coast Association of Realtors), and other entities that all explained their positions – none of them jiving with one another.  Use this form before showing property, don’t use that form…email, email, email…it’s all still in flux.

 

So far it appears Ojai realtors are showing properties under certain guidelines (you can see some of those guidelines laid out in our blog post of March 23rd).  As I mentioned, we are showing two properties today – and here is what that will look like:  Both properties are vacant.  On both properties, the listing agent will arrive beforehand and open all doors and access points, turning on all lights.  The listing agent will then leave.  Cheryl and I will be meeting our clients at the property, initially keeping social distancing measures as we initially greet them (this is our first time meeting them so we want them to see our faces), immediately followed by donning N95* masks as we do the walk through.  We will wear the masks from that point on until we are done showing both properties and arrive back at our home office.  We will also be supplying booties for ourselves and our clients to be worn during the showings.  During the showings we plan on touching nothing inside or outside the homes.  We have copious amounts of hand sanitizer at the ready, if needed.

 

[*Before we get any blowback from anyone about having the N95 masks – we did not panic order/buy these.  We have a small handful of them left over from the Thomas Fire in 2017.  I didn’t even discover they were N95 masks until a couple of days ago, when cleaning out the garage (one of the many “projects” I’m tackling during this time).  I knew we had masks, but I thought they were just cheap dust masks.  Imagine my surprise when I saw “N95” on the box.  Anyway, we only have a few of them and they’ll be used sparingly.  Today’s showing will be the first close contact we’ve have had with anyone in just about two weeks (we haven’t needed to do any grocery shopping).  If this thing carries on for another couple of months, I imagine we’ll be wearing scarves or homemade masks like everyone else.]

 

Finally, I’ve been running quotes on “strength” for the past several days,  I’ve tried to stay away from posting the obvious ones you’ve already seen out there, but since I just read The Diary of Anne Frank for the first time about 6 months ago, I do like this one I’ve seen floating around the internet.  It’s something along the lines of:  “Anne Frank and 7 other people hid in a 450 sq. ft. attic for 761 days.  We can do this.”  I also want to point out that they lived the entire time with all the windows covered and never went outside.  It’s all about perspective, isn’t it?

 

~ Ray

Pic of the Day
ojai homes real estate property
I don’t know whether to call Orkin or AAA
Click here for archived March, 2020 posts