Blog Archive – August/September, 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.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Cheryl Deckert
1:25 p.m.

I lost my wonderful, beautiful wife Cheryl very suddenly on September 6th.  To say I am devastated is an understatement.  We spent almost every moment of every day together for the last 22 years and never tired of each other.  She was my soulmate, my friend, my lover, my mentor, my light.

Cheryl was also the most driven business person I’ve ever known.  There are many excellent realtors and business owners in this world, but no one, I mean no one could diffuse a difficult situation like she could.  Her calm, soothing demeanor during the most difficult real estate transactions were what set her apart from the crowd.  And she was always willing to lend a hand, counseling and assisting other realtors with questions or problems.

I remember one particularly difficult escrow (I believe it was a short sale), wherein the bank kept stating they “never received the paperwork” – even after we had faxed it to them on five previous occasions.  One afternoon I overheard Cheryl speaking to someone from the bank over the phone, telling them that yes, we would fax the short sale application to the bank for the 6th time – and I lost it.  F-bombs and expletives aplenty left this man’s lips.  But Cheryl had patience like no other (and of course, that sale DID eventually close).

I finally figured out that when said to me, “Hon, I don’t know if this deal is going to hold together,” what it really meant was “Hon, this one is hard, but I’m going to close this damn thing if I have to spend 100 hours making it work.”  She absolutely loved the challenge.  And while I never will be able to fill her shoes in the business realm – hell, I couldn’t even fill one of her socks – she certainly inspired me to work harder.

Many people may not be aware that Cheryl was an incredible gardener and an excellent chef.  Over this last year her green thumb became proficient at producing not only her fantastic heirloom tomatoes, but also cucumbers, peas, squash, pole beans, watermelons (though rabbits or squirrels got to almost all of them), corn, sunflowers, and probably five or ten other things I’ve missed.  And that’s not even  including the peach, plum, apricot, fig, orange, tangerine, and apple trees. She canned so much of the harvest this last year that I could probably eat for a year without having to go to the grocery store.

On the chef side of things, she was always looking for new and exciting recipes and she absolutely loved to cook.  Some of my favorites were her apple/cinnamon brie, homemade spaghetti, green tomato soup (from green tomatoes, not unripe tomatoes), homemade pickles (from our garden), canned applesauce and peaches (from our orchard), Asian chicken salad, grilled rosemary lemon chicken, and “Cheryl’s Awesome Salad” – a moniker I gave it, because she would throw a bunch of different things together into a salad and it was always awesome.  Oh, and her homemade vanilla ice cream was the bomb.

While she was a wiz at real estate, gardening and cooking – the most important thing about her and I was that we loved each other beyond words and still had so much passion for each other.  That spark NEVER died.  We spent 22 years together, pretty much 24/7, then would sporadically complain to each other, “I wish we could get away on a vacation so we could spend some time alone.”  I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the next day, let alone the next few months, year, or whenever.  But let me say – the outpouring of support from friends, family, and the realtor community in Ojai has been phenomenal.  If ever there ever was a shining reason to have faith in humanity, this is it.  I have been moved to tears many times by the generosity of people.  And I realize that generosity towards me and the wonderful words spoken by so many are a true testament to Cheryl – a testament that indicates just how much people cared for and respected her.  It certainly gives me hope that I will come out the other side of this a better person.  Knowing and loving Cheryl has certainly made me a better man.  I hope that I can make her proud for the rest of my days.

 

♥♥ Cheryl, I love you my baby doll ♥♥

——————————————————-

It goes without saying that Best Buys in Ojai will go on hiatus indefinitely.  Updating the site took an average of 15 to 20 hours per week, so I don’t know if after taking responsibility of Cheryl’s part of our team that I will be able to find time to update the site.  Perhaps in a few months.  In the meantime, please remember to hug the ones you love.

 

~ Ray

Friday, September 4, 2020
5:25 p.m.

The Ojai Market Data update has been completed!  August was another exciting month in Ojai Valley real estate; check it out.

Changes to the All Listings page:
  • 11049 Puesta Del Sol – sold for $800,000 (originally listed for $779,000).  Congrats to our clients/buyers who closed on this home.  When we met them to hand over the keys earlier today, their 11 year-old son was with them (Happy Birthday, Vincent)!  He tore through the house from room to room, checking it out with great excitement (all while counting the number of closets).  Lots of hiding spaces in this 1,900+ sq. ft. home.  It reminded me of when we moved out of our apartment in the big city (Chicago) into a large, 3-level house in the suburbs when I was 8 years-old.  I remember not being to sleep at all that first night…how exciting!

Finally, here’s the list of things to do in Ojai  (sorry, I forgot to include it in this morning’s update).  Have a great weekend and stay cool!

11:15 a.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
  • 2571 Bonmark Drive – $450,000.  This address already has a listing, priced at $1,250,000, which includes the construction of a 4 bed/4 bath, 2,644 sq. ft. home.  This “new” listing could be the sale of the current uncompleted project, or perhaps since the lot is rather large, it may be that the seller is splitting the lot and selling off the land parcel – which currently has the same address.
  • 75 E. Short Street – $699,000.  This is our newest listing – a 4 bed/1.75 bath, 1,390 sq. ft. home on .92 acres in Oak View.  The lot is stunning, and features a horse corral, chicken coop, and two other areas separated by fencing that could possibly be used for an ADU or RV parking (there are two 50 amp connections).  Don’t miss this one!

75 e short street blog

 

75 e short st blog

 

Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai real estate
The perils of having Hulk as your neighbor
Thursday, September 3, 2020
12:25 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

This will be the only update for today, as I have photos to take this afternoon.  We’ve got some interesting stuff coming up in the next couple of weeks!

Pic of the Day
Next level landscaping

Wednesday, September 2, 2020
4:25 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
11:45 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

 

Pic of the Day
ojai real estate
Who is this for?
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
4:30 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
10:40 a.m.
There is a new listing on the market (but….)
  • 353 Old Baldwin Road – $1,695,000.  This had been in “Coming Soon” status since April and was not officially on the market.  It went pending before it was listed as “active.”
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai real estate
When you’re the most junior man on the construction crew
Monday, August 31, 2020
3:35 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

I have fixed the Flex/Ventura links.  Fair warning – since the upgrade to their system has caused some issues (albeit not visible to you), things could be a bit wonky around here for the next few weeks as they work to implement all the changes.  

12:10 p.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

As suspected (see Friday’s 8:35 a.m. blog entry), the listing links that originate from the Ventura/Flex MLS system are no longer functional.  I am working to restore these expired links on the All Listings page, the Newest Listings page, and the month of August Blog as you read this.

Pic of the Day
I guess it beats being upside down on your mortgage
Friday, August 28, 2020
3:05 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

And although not Ojai-related, we’d like to congratulate our clients/buyers, who had their offer accepted on 2540 Whitney Avenue in Summerland.  Have a great weekend; looks like it’ll be cooler – so enjoy!

8:35 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

One of the Multiple Listing Service systems that I use to glean information from is the Ventura County Flex MLS system.  This system is undergoing a massive update from today through Monday.  As a result, some of the links on the All Listings page – those in the far right column that have a “V” number, such as “V0825” – may stop functioning at some point.  Come Monday, I may need to go in and relink 42 of those listings, so please give me a few hours to get that taken care of.

In addition, we might also see a little less action over the weekend because no new listings or changes can be recorded in the Ventura MLS until Monday.

Here’s the list of things to do in Ojai!

Pic of the Day
ojai real estate
If this thing clogs, the plumber’s going to have a fit
Thursday, August 27, 2020
1:40 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai real estate
Even a shed wants to enjoy life
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
6:15 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
  • 1008 Creekside Way #D – $539,000.  This is our newest listing; a 3 bed/2 bath condo in Creekside Village with beautiful wood floors, updated kitchen and baths, and two patios.  Shown by appointment only, so give us a call!
The are four “Coming Soon”* properties that will be on the market shortly:

*Coming Soon is yet another new category of real estate listing in California.  It represents a listing that is coming on the market in short order (no longer than 21 days).  It is allowed to be advertised by the listing agent, yet is not allowed to be physically shown to the public – according to California Association of Realtors regulations.  So, think of it as a teaser or a way to “hype” an upcoming listing without you actually being able to see it.  How fun!  Considering how active the market is right now, I don’t think we need any more hype…

These Coming Soon listings can be found on both the Newest Ojai Listings and All Ojai Listings pages.

Changes to the All Listings page:
12:25 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
Got OCD?  (Off Center Drain)
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
3:30 p.m.
There is a new listing on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
8:35 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

 

Pic of the Day
Instead of taking this photo, how ’bout you first empty the bucket?
Monday, August 24, 2020
12:50 p.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

As you’ve probably noticed, the real estate market has been pretty crazy over the last couple of months.  In Team Deckert’s world, we’ve got a lot of activity coming in the next few weeks.  Point is – while I try to upload two BBIO updates a day during the week, it’s becoming more challenging to do so.  For the next while, I might be able to squeeze in only one update per day.  Just FYI.

Pic of the Day

Friday, August 21, 2020
1:50 p.m.

We’ve got a lot of info in today’s update, so buckle up!

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

Here’s the list of things to do in Ojai over the next week!

~

On the mortgage front, last week Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac quietly “announced” that, effective September 1st, they will be tacking on a half percentage point on any mortgage refinances.  The optics on this look really bad, as it seems like a simple cash grab.  Here’s an article from CNBC on the matter.  (Note: We don’t support or reject any political commentary in the article – this is for your knowledge only).

~

As you’ve probably figured by now, I am a bit of a “stat-head” (see the Ojai Market Data page, the Lake Casitas Water Capacity, etc).  At the beginning of April, I started keeping daily stats on the number of Covid cases in Ventura County.  I first started following the website VC Emergency, however, over time it became an unreliable source (infrequent updates or no updates at all).  I’ve since been using the state of California’s Covid website.  In order to peruse the California website, click on the button that reads “County Map” and then click on the Ventura County (or any county you wish to view) portion of the map.

I’d also like to note that the website www.venturacountyrecovers.org is posting numbers that I find confusing.  On August 19th they posted the current Covid case doubling time as 85.7 days.  If they’re talking about how long it’s taking for the number of deaths to double, that number may be correct.  However, if they’re talking about how long it takes for the total number of Covid cases to double in Ventura County, they are way off based on my numbers:

 

 

  • Since I started keeping (mostly) daily stats on 4/8, the first doubling of cases occurred on 4/30 – a span of 22 days.
  • The VC Emergency website stopped doing Saturday/Sunday updates on 5/16.
  • The next doubling of cases occurred on 5/29 – a span of 29 days.  This is also the same day that Governor Newsom and the county of Ventura eased restrictions on restaurants, bars, gatherings, ,etc.
  • The next doubling of cases occurred on 6/23 – a span of 25 days.
  • On 6/26 Governor Newsome and Ventura County reinstated the prior restrictions on restaurants, bars, gatherings, etc.
  • The next doubling of cases occurred on 7/10 – a span of 15 days.
  • The next doubling of cases occurred on 8/9 – a span of 30 days.
  • Which brings us to yesterday’s total of 9,587 Ventura County Covid cases.  If we work backwards to the date (7/14)  that this number represents as a doubled figure – we are now at a doubling rate of 37 days.
  • As far as Ojai/Oak View-specific cases – I didn’t start keeping track of those numbers until 6/29.  Ojai/Oak View cases doubled from 6/29 to 7/16 (17 days), and we’re still waiting for that number from 7/16 to double.  If we work backwards to the date the current number of cases (95) represents as a doubled figure (that date would also be 7/14), we are now at a doubling rate of 37 days – exactly on par with Ventura County.
  • You can actually see how the shelter in place, restriction easing, and restriction reinstatement orders have all had an affect.  (Sorry, I did not have time to make a line graph to illustrate these numbers).
  • My main point in all of this?  37 days between cases doubling has us definitely headed in the right direction.  It’s hard to be optimistic when daily increases are 100 or more – when a few months ago daily numbers above 20 were disconcerting.  But that’s why looking at how often the cases double is actually more important than the daily count.  **Here’s to stretching that out to 40 days by Monday!**

Have a great weekend…

Pic of the Day
When your reach exceeds your grasp
Thursday, August 20, 2020
1:10 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
9:15 a.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai real estate
Not sure this qualifies as a “garage.”
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
11:15 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
Dragon breath?
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
1:30 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
9:50 a.m.
There is a new listing on the market:

 

Pic of the Day
ojai homes for sale real estate
In a land without building codes…
Monday, August 17, 2020
3:00 p.m.
There are four new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

Also on this date in history:  My beautiful wife, friend, and business partner was born on this day.  I’ve always said it and meant it; we are extremely grateful and lucky to have the kind of relationship where we can be with each other almost 24/7, yet still be excited to go on vacation with each other (well, maybe in 2021).  Happy Birthday, Cheryl!  ♥♥♥

Pic of the Day
So…I guess an open house this weekend is out of the question?
Friday, August 14, 2020
4:20 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

Have yourselves a great weekend!  It’s going to be a scorcher, so stay safe and cool.  I’ll leave you with this cool photo we took yesterday while heading into town:  This was the ONLY cloud in 360 degrees of sky, peeking over the Topa Topas.

 

9:35 a.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
  • 99 Don Carlos Way – $188,000.
  • 12251 Linda Flora Drive – $525,000.  This is our newest listing, a fantastic 2.03 acre land parcel located in Rancho Matilija, with sweeping western mountain views.  Own this property and experience some of the best sunsets ever!

Changes to the All Listings page:

Here’s the list of upcoming activities/things to do in Ojai!

Pic of the Day

ojai homes for sale

Thursday, August 13, 2020
12:00 p.m.
There are three new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai property for sale
I have so many questions about what’s going on here
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
3:00 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
12:10 p.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
homes ojai for sale
The correct answer is “A.”  Now, about that photo…
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
4:35 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:
12:25 p.m.
There are three new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai homes for sale
How to spot a fake balcony
Monday, August 10, 2020
1:15 p.m.
There are six new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day

ojai real estate

A little Ojai nostalgia:  Former restaurant located where Beacon Coffee and Cattywampus Crafts currently reside.

Friday, August 7, 2020
1:25 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

 

Enjoy the beautiful weekend…is this actually August??

9:50 a.m.
There are three new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:

Here’s the list of things to do in Ojai.  Also, check out the video on our newest listing at 110 Canada Street.  This place is a real gem, a must see!

Pic of the Day

Ojai real estate homes property for sale

Thursday, August 6, 2020
10:00 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

 

Pic of the Day

ojai real estate

Watermelon ban story – November 17th, 1916 issue of the Lompoc Journal.  (News took longer to travel back then.)

Also note the real estate ad:  “For Sale or Exchange.  Houses in all parts of the city For Rent.”  Pretty general, eh?

 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020
4:15 p.m.
There are two new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
10:50 a.m.
There are three new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai homes for sale real estate property
Dust bunnies have no place to hide

(Thanks to L.K. for the photo submission!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020
3:40 p.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

 

The Ojai Market Data update has been completed.  Check out it – it was a surprising July!

9:35 a.m.
Changes to the All Listings page:

We’ll have the Ojai Market Data update for you in a few hours; come back and check it out!

Pic of the Day
With “Planking” and “Vadering” out of vogue, SUV owners invent a new fad, “Roofing.”
Monday, August 3, 2020
12:20 p.m.
There are four new listings on the market:
Changes to the All Listings page:
Pic of the Day
ojai property homes real estate
Imminent collisions ahead
Click here for archived July, 2020 posts