Blog Archive – December 2021

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, December 30, 2021
11:05 a.m.
There are two new listings coming to the market soon:


281 S. Montgomery Street – $1,050,000 (coming soon, 1/3)



5 Brandt Avenue – $899,000 (coming soon, 1/3)



~ I’ll wait until Monday to total the rainfall we’ve received between yesterday and thus far today, but my rain gauge reads that we’ve received an additional 1.77 inches of rain in this batch.


~ Closing out my “lighter side of real estate” notes, here’s that last of what I have:


Best Team Deckert member superpower.  The ability to predict their own sneeze two minutes before it actually occurs.  [This is true.  I’ve seen it in action.]


Client confusion.  A seller/client asked us, “I noticed in your notes on these offers that one of them says ‘clean up counter.’  What items on the counter are you talking about?  In the kitchen, in the bathroom?  The house is virtually spotless.”

Our note actually meant that we were going to clean up/simplify the terms on one of the counter-offers (we say “counter” for short).  The client was slightly offended that someone thought their countertops were dirty.


~ That’ll be the last update for this year.  Have a happy New Year!



Pic of the Day


Tuesday, December 28, 2021
10:45 a.m.
There are no new listings on the market.

~ The 12.27 inches of rain we’ve received thus far is the most I’ve recorded before January 1st – since I’ve been keeping track of rainfall since the 2012/2013 rainy season.


~ Here’s a quick real estate market update:  To say that recent Markets have been volatile is an understatement, as mortgage rates have been following a zig-zag pattern for the past month.  Growing concerns over rising inflation and the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been pushing and pulling rates up and down.  Adding to the mix, with the Fed’s announcement of plans to slow down its bond purchasing program, there’s a strong expectation that mortgage rates will rise next year.

While fears over the new Omicron variant could pull rates down, with the current economic uncertainty that’s facing us here’s what we could see in the future:  The upcoming busy spring 2022 homebuying season is expected to be a seller’s market with low inventory, high demand, and a continuation of rising home values.  As far as mortgage rates, expect rate volatility through December and going forward into early 2022.  Rates will most likely increase over the next 12 months.  How fast or slow they increase is likely to be dependent on a number of economic factors.

Should I buy or not?  Many are asking this question.  If you’re looking to time the market, you’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment.  Even with moderate rate increases, rates will still be favorable.  The best advice is – don’t try to time the market and buy when the time is right for your personal situation.


~ Finally, from my “lighter side of real estate” notes.  Potential disaster averted:  We were representing the buyer in a transaction.  During the buyer’s second look at the home – and subsequently during the home inspection – the master bathroom shower appeared to be non-operational.  The seller, who had been a bit cantankerous throughout the escrow, informed us that there was a trick to turning the shower on and thus submitted a video (recorded by their realtor) that illustrated the proper procedure.  The video was forwarded to us to submit to our buyer.  It’s a good thing we watched the video completely; at the end of the shower demonstration the seller turned to the camera and flipped a “double-bird” towards the camera!  We weren’t sure if the birds were meant for us or the buyer, but I’m confident that had we submitted the video to the buyer, it would have killed the deal.  [I edited the bird flipping out of the video.]



Pic of the Day
Like to sleep in?  This isn’t the house for you.
Monday, December 27, 2021
11:30 a.m.

As expected, no new listings have come to the market since Friday.  But here are a few more notes from my “lighter side of real estate” files:


Most “millennial” question asked of us while showing a property (2020):  “How is the dog barking pollution in this area?”


Typo in a purchase contract on one of our listings (2021):  The buyer requested that our seller provide a “Sewer lateral certification from the Ojai Sanity District.”


Enjoy the rest of your day!



Pic of the Day


Friday, December 24, 2021
12:30 p.m.

There are no new listings for today, but here’s the list of things to do in Ojai.  Here’s hoping you have a Merry Christmas; I think the rain we’ve been receiving is certainly worthy of immense gratitude!


Continuing the theme of the lighter side of real estate (which commenced on Wednesday), here’s a tidbit from 2020:  It’s an email response to one of the “Pic of the Day” photos I posted.  The original posted photo and caption were as follows:


New Faux-Vent! ™  Impress your friends and family with your high vent-to-wall ratio!

No costly ductwork required!



And the email I received from a reader:  “I like your monthly updates!  I appreciate the thought and effort!  Much appreciated.  The only comment I have (other than the above) is the faux vent which is an anomaly.  Why would anyone go to that effort to put in pretend vents.  If you sold a house with those, it would have to be disclosed, right?  I hope I don’t sound ‘nit picky,’ if so sorry.”


[A perfect example of a joke “not landing.”]


Thursday, December 23, 2021
12:00 p.m.
There is a listing on the market that is “new,” but sold before it was listed in the MLS:


821 El Toro Road – $6,000,000



~  Congrats to our Keller Williams office here in Ojai, who won Gold in the category of “Best Real Estate Office” in the Best of Ojai voting for 2021.  Way to go KW!!





~  Following up on yesterday’s theme of the lighter moments in real estate…here’s a text exchange between a past team member and a prospective buyer:


Paul:  “Hi Steven – This is Paul from Team Deckert.  Thank you for your inquiry!  Are you looking to buy a home in the next 3 to 6 months, and have you been pre-qualified by a lender?”

Steven:  “Look, Paul.  Don’t ask me that ever again.  I don’t want to buy your cheap ass houses.  I already got three mansions about to have 4 so you can stick it chump.  Go kick rocks.”


“Kick rocks” had us rolling on the floor as Paul read this aloud at a team meeting.  I’m rather fond of the old standby, “pound sand,” but I guess it’s out of vogue.



~ Finally, enjoy the rain…we’re already at 1.88 inches based on my rain gauge alone!


Pic of the Day
Thanks, neighbor.  Now I’ll never get that music out of my head…


Wednesday, December 22, 2021
12:05 p.m.

There are no new listings for today.  I figure there won’t be much happening over the next 10 or 11 days, so in order to fill in the gaps, I’ve decided to put up some of the “Best of” moments from the last couple of years.  I used to compile a year-end rundown at the beginning of each New Year, but things got away from me over the last couple of years.  You can see the archives from those “Best of” blog entries here.

Although I don’t have any statistical data to provide, I did keep notes of some of the lighter moments in real estate.  Here are a couple for today:


Funny client text: I just passed by the house and I’m right across the street from it, and I’m looking at it and I can’t help but notice that it looks like it’s tilted like it’s tilting to the right then I walked in front of it and it looks like it’s straight.  I guess the inspector would’ve caught that if it was tilted?”  [There was nothing wrong with the house.]


Weirdest client request:  “It’s really windy on this side of town and we’re worried the electric company is going to shut off the power due to the fire potential.  If they do, can we store frozen breast milk in one of your freezers?”  [At is turned out, this was unnecessary.]



Pic of the Day
When you have extra pipe laying around the house


Tuesday, December 21, 2021
9:50 a.m.
There are two new listings on the market:


1159 Spring Street – $2,200,000



204 El Plano Drive – $1,200,000



Pic of the Day
Wondering if these balcony rooms cost extra…


Monday, December 20, 2021
11:10 a.m.
There are two new listings on the market:


11804 Silver Spur Street – $987,000



1119 Mariano Drive – $950,000



Pic of the Day
Protect your home with the Roof Husky® security system


Friday, December 17, 2021
11:05 a.m.

No new listings for today, but here’s the list of things to do in Ojai.  Have a great weekend!



Pic of the Day
Why use a curtain when blinds will do?


Thursday, December 16, 2021
10:20 a.m.
There is a new listing on the market:


207 S. Ventura Street – $1,489,000



Pic of the Day
Clearly, everyone thinks he is a good boy


Wednesday, December 15, 2021
11:15 a.m.
There is a new listing coming soon to the market:


175 Verde Oak Drive – $875,000 (coming soon, 12/17)



Pic of the Day


Tuesday, December 14, 2021
10:15 a.m.

There are no new listings for today.  I’ll give you the rain totals tomorrow, but based solely on my rain gauge we’ve received 3.90 inches of rain thus far – in less than 24 hours.  Looking back on my data, the last time we had this much rain at one time was over the course of four days between 2/1/19 and 2/5/19, when we received 5.08 inches.  Bring it on!



Pic of the Day


Monday, December 13, 2021
12:50 p.m.
There are two new listings on the market:

723 Oak Grove Court – $4,200,000



ojai real estate

155 Pathelen Avenue – $1,500,000

(This listing sold and closed before it was entered into the MLS.)



A few notable items regarding property taxes and the current state of the market:


~  The property tax due date is upon us.  For most new homeowners the tax bill is expected.  What’s not expected is the “Supplemental” tax bill that will follow months later.Homeowners who have taken out financing to acquire their home will most likely have an Impound or Escrow Account that will pay for their property taxes.

However, homeowners need to know that only the annual tax bills mailed in October are sent to lenders.  Supplemental tax bills are sent directly to the homeowner and not automatically paid from the escrow account.It is important to know that this bill DOES NOT get sent to your mortgage servicer, as they only receive the annual property tax bill.

The supplemental tax bill is a bill that is separate from what gets paid out of the regular escrow account.  Your lender will have the money set aside, but it is important to contact your lender to determine how the supplemental taxes are paid!


~  This week, the Federal Reserve could decide to speed up the end of its bond-buying program and signal that 2022 is the year it expects to start hiking interest rates.

On the “Homefront” (and with better news) although home prices are still considerably higher than they were a year ago, the gains are finally starting to ease up as the pace of price increases have declined slightly.

Extremely tight inventory, as well as heavy investor activity in the housing market, are keeping prices elevated.  While the gains are falling, it is unlikely that prices will drop dramatically.  The fundamentals of supply and demand still favor an expensive market, though rising mortgage rates will likely play into prices.


Pic of the Day


Poor re-purposing choice


Friday, December 10, 2021
12:00 p.m.

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

There are three new listings on the market:


614 Red Hill Road – $1,389,000



1202 Loma Drive #22 – $188,000



12200 Santa Paula Road – $450,000



Pic of the Day
The floor drain should’ve been a hint


Thursday, December 9, 2021
11:05 a.m.
No new listings on the market for today.
Pic of the Day
Origin of The Queen’s Gambit?


Wednesday, December 8, 2021
10:50 a.m.
No new listings on the market for today.



Pic of the Day
The Cake Boss’s first attempt an masonry work


Tuesday, December 7, 2021
10:40 a.m.
There are five new listings on the market:


207 S. Ventura Street – $1,489,000



125 S. Arnaz Street – $1,125,000



10728 Creek Road – $950,000



4320 Thacher Road – $3,700,000

(This property sold before it was listed in the MLS.)



216 Del Norte Road – $2,000,000

(This property sold before it was listed in the MLS.)



Pic of the Day
Wall aliens


Monday, December 6, 2021
11:15 a.m.
There is a new listing on the market:

86 Willey Street – $837,500




Our friends at the National Real Estate Post posted this interesting video last Friday.  Basically, it calls into question Zillow’s practices when representing buyers in certain home purchases.  (I especially enjoyed the Pulp Fiction, The Office, and Godzilla references.  Now if that doesn’t pique your interest enough to click the link, nothing will.)


I’m not trying to be a shill for the real estate industry and the National Association of Realtors (though real estate is indeed my profession).  Any new concept that comes along which has a chance of improving a system of commerce is a good one, even if it means that the “old guard” will get phased out.  When that happens, in my opinion it’s then up to the “old guard” to improvise and adapt.  However, the greatest issue I have with Zillow is that they value properties without having “boots on the ground,” instead relying an algorithms to assess values.  Case in point:  I have had several listings in the past year where, PRIOR to putting the home on the market, I checked Zillow to see what their idea of each property’s value was.  In each case, Zillow had the property either overvalued or undervalued (compared to my comprehensive market analysis)  – typically by $100,000 or more.  Guess what happened the day AFTER the sellers put their homes on the market at the recommended price?  Zillow’s property values changed to within a few hundred dollars of the listing price.  Amazing!


It’s practices like these (and those illustrated in the video mentioned above) that lead me to be extraordinarily suspicious of how they operate as a real estate brokerage.



Pic of the Day



Friday, December 3, 2021
11:35 a.m.

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

There are two new listings on (or coming to) the market:


2187 Woodland Avenue – $750,000



130 S. Alvarado Street – $1,150,000 (coming soon, 12/4)



Pic of the Day


Thursday, December 2, 2021
10:15 a.m.
No new listings yet for today.

Here’s a quick market update for what occurred in Ojai real estate for the month of November:  We saw 27 new listings come to the market in November (compared to 23 for October).  34 properties sold in November (compared to 17 in October).  Of the 34 closed sales in November, 18 were over full-price and 3 were at list price (compared to 8 closed sales over full-price and 3 at list price in October).


Pic of the Day
The stars at night are big and bright – clap, clap, clap, clap…


Wednesday, December 1, 2021
11:50 a.m.
There are two new listings on (or coming to) the market:


605 Golden West Avenue – $939,000



415 E. Oak Street – $969,000 (coming soon, 12/8)



Pic of the Day
How do I know when it’s time to replace the door?


Click here for archived November, 2021 posts