Recent Updates:

OPEN HOUSES :Thousand Oaks & Westlake Village

The city of Thousand Oaks and surrounding areas have had an increase in population in the last several years due to its large biotech corporations in the area. Many employees of the corporations as well as celebrities live in Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, & Westlake Village area.

The last few years, the town has seen a rise in their housing market due to government intervention and the continued development of two major communities, Rancho Conejo Village and Dos Vientos Ranch.

There is currently a select group of homes for sale in the Thousand Oaks area. Some of these properties that are ready for viewing by open houses or a private appointment:

- $625,000: 70 W. Sidlee St, Thousand Oaks, CA- 5 bd, 3 baths, 2050 sqft

9,200 sqft lot built in 1966

- $615,000:1828 Summer Cloud Dr. Thousand Oaks, CA -3 bd/2 baths 1,427sqft

6,370 sqft lot, built in 1976

-$850,000 3294 Sierra Dr. Westlake Village,CA -4bd/2.5 baths, 2434 sqft

6,970sqft lot

Built 1977

-$1,399,00 1193 Vale Pl, Westlake Village, CA 4bd/3.5 baths 3,184 sqft

0.60 acre lot built in 1978

SEARCH CONEJO VALLEY HOMES

THE OAKS MALL

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Over the last several years, The Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks has transformed into an upscale and thriving destination point in the Conejo Valley.  It is not only a place for shopping at your favorite stores, it’s a place to dine and be entertained. With one hundred and twenty retailers, eight restaurants in addition to a full food court, a fourteen screen movie theatre and events throughout the year, The Oaks is much more than the “going to the mall to hang out experience” you may remember having as a teenager. 

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One thing that I really appreciate about The Oaks is that it always seems to be flourishing in its new developments, events, and success in their retailers. Unfortunately, some other malls in the Conejo Valley have taken a hard hit in the economy; some malls have turned into ghost towns with not many shoppers and “space available” signs in most of the windows. When I go to The Oaks, I intently look for empty spaces and there really are none. If I do catch one, there is always a big mural painted on the construction walls with exciting news of a new store coming soon and it is as if the next time I return to that same spot, the store is already open for business.

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There has never been a time that I’ve seen The Oaks to be empty, dirty or desolate looking. Friends are enjoying each others’ company while shopping the vast selection of stores, families are enjoying relaxing with a pretzel by the gorgeous Spanish tiled fountain outside, and couples are excited to finally go see that movie they’ve heard so much about playing in the exclusive 21 and over theatre at Muvico.

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To learn more about the many happenings at The Oaks, you can visit their website at shoptheoaksmall.com

CONEJO VALLEY PUMPKIN PATCHES

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When the weather cools down here in the Conejo Valley, the leaves change, and the wind picks up you may find yourself driving past those empty lots and counting the days until you see a pumpkin patch sprout up. Some with petting zoos, games, music, and most importantly pumpkins; visiting a pumpkin patch is an important part of the Thousand Oaks & Conejo Valley Halloween season. Whether you buy your pumpkin there or at a grocery store, a pumpkin patch is a place to make memories.

 

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Hundreds of years ago, hollowed out turnips with candles inside became a popular Halloween decoration in Ireland and other parts of Britain. When Irish families came to America, they brought the tradition with them but started to use pumpkins; so beginning our American tradition for carving pumpkins!

 

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Pumpkin patches in the Conejo Valley & Thousand Oaks area include:

- McGrath Family Farm
The farm is offering a tour of their pumpkin patch for $4 a person which includes a pumpkin and a run through their maze
1012 West Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo
mcgrathfamilyfarm.com

- Pete’s Pumpkin Patch
At this patch, you can pick your own pumpkin directly from the vine they are growing on or one already cut. Pete’s Patch also has hayrides (for $4), a hay pyramid and toddler patch for the littles.
1500 West Daily Drive at the 101 Freeway and Central Avenue, Camarillo
petespumpkinpatch.com

- Stu Miller’s Pumpkin Patches
Stu Miller’s is like a mini Halloween amusement park; with a bungee jump, petting zoo, mechanical rides, and an enormous inflatable slide. Pick from locally grown pumpkins and enjoy a family fun day!
1898 ½ Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley
and
450 East Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks
seasonaladventures.com

- Bethany Church on the Hill
Throughout the month of October, the Church’s non-profit pumpkin patch will donate all proceeds to the Gospel of Asia
200 West Bethany Court, Thousand Oaks
bethanyto.org/community/pumpkin-patch

 

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- Bennett’s Best Pumpkin Patch
Find a wide selection of traditional and specialty pumpkins as well as assorted squash
4995 Kanan, Agoura Hills
bennettsbest.net

- Underwood Family Farms
A wonderful Fall Festival running every week day as well at themed weekends throughout the month of October. Enjoy food, live music, pig races, tractor rides, a corn maze, and pumpkins as far as the eye can see
3370 Sunset Valley Road, Moorpark
underwoodfamilyfarms.com

 

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UNDERWOOD FALL FESTIVAL

patch3This September marks the beginning of Underwood Family Farms Annual Fall Harvest Festival.

In its sixteenth year, this seasonal event is packed full of family fun. Not only will each weekend feature live entertainment, games, rides, food and drink from several vendors; included in your weekend admission of twelve dollars will be the corn maze and hay pyramids, a tractor drawn wagon ride, the animal show, pig races and more of your favorite staples of Underwood Family Farms. The festival is also happening on the weekdays as well for an admission price of just three dollars.

The festival is also happening on the weekdays as well for an admission price of just three dollars.

This year, the festival will include five different themed weekends:

September 28 & 29
Friends of the Farm Weekend will benefit Cops Running for Charity and the Ventura County Fire Departments Charities. With this particular weekends admission you will receive a pass to return to the Festival for fifty percent off admission either Saturday or Sunday on the first or second weekend in October

October 5 & 6
Folk Festival Weekend will feature live folk and bluegrass music from local talented musicians

October 12 & 13
Antique Tractor Weekend will be filled with unique tractors and even a tractor parade

October 19 & 20

Wild West Weekend will make you feel like you’re in Tombstone with entertainment from a billwhip master, flea circus, con game demonstrations, a roping range and more

October 26 & 27
All About Pumpkins will feature a variety of pumpkins as well as an amazing display of seasonal and some of the staff members’ carved creations

Underwood Family Farms is a wonderful place for families to visit throughout the entire year, but this is the main event to pick out your holiday pumpkins, enjoy music, food, and loveable animals.

For any additional information, you may visit their website at underwoodfamilyfarms.com

Conejo Valley shopping for kids (tips from a frugal mom)

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The most exciting thing about being pregnant for the first time is registering for all of the gifts you will receive at your baby shower, am I right?

After the gifts are unwrapped and your beautiful baby arrives, you realize you need so much more than what you registered for. You also come to find out that many people don’t stick to your registry, so more than half of the items you received are returned or exchanged.

The Conejo Valley is a gorgeous, safe place to live and that comes with a price; it is more expensive. It’s no secret that a baby costs a lot, but a lot of people don’t know where to start when it comes to finding great baby buys. Luckily, there are some great resources in the Conejo Valley for parents.

-Local Ads: make sure to look through all of that “junk mail” that takes over your mailbox every Tuesday. Coupons and sale alerts help tremendously. Target has baby food for a few cents cheaper than Babies ‘R Us, but when Babies ‘R Us is having a sale they are far less expensive

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-Kohls: all the clothing you see at a huge department store for a fraction of the price

-Facebook Groups: Moms of Conejo Valley Sell & Swap is one of the many online groups where you can find baby gear, clothing, and any odds and ends brand new with tags or in excellent used condition

-Goodwill and other Thrift Stores- I do not like to buy old stinky clothes for my daughter, but sometimes I stumble upon a great find (i.e. a name brand dress for a dollar that was in great condition and not smelly)

-Ventura County Craigslist- another great online and local resource for purchasing those big items such as strollers

MOORPARK BEER FESTIVAL: October 12th

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Beer and the celebration of great beer has become a staple during the Fall season. There are a lot of seasonal events and Oktoberfest festivals this time of year, but not all help benefit the community like Moorpark’s Annual Beer Festival. This year marks the fourth year of the Moorpark Morning Rotary Club’s efforts in helping to continue their philanthropic causes. All proceeds will benefit the non-profit organization, which gifted $25,000 of last years festival proceeds to various community organizations, local schools, as well as other non profits in Moorpark.

This year the Moorpark Beer Festival has moved to a 100,000 square foot space at Moorpark College. There will be a VIP area, live music, gourmet food trucks, and of course, a huge selection of beer. The thirty plus brewery vendors will be serving their specialty beers all night at no additional cost; your admission price covers your beer samplings for the entirety of the event! Returning food vendors include Me ‘N Ed’s Pizza and Custom Melt food trucks; both local to Moorpark, and new gourmet food trucks including Cambalache’s Argentinian Food, Sam Choy’s Pineapple Express,  and Me So Hungry food trucks. While you enjoy delicious food and specialty beer, the festival will keep you entertained with music from DJ Apple Juice, Ska Daddyz, Sonic Abatement, and Mikey Mo Blues.

Moorpark College has sufficient parking for all designated drivers attending the event. Another great and safe option is to make a reservation with Smart Shuttle. Smart Shuttle is taking reservations for group transportation to the event and is offering a ten percent discount if you mention their Facebook at www.facebook/smartshuttle805

The event takes place on Saturday October 12th at Moorpark College, 2013 from 5:00pm-9:30pm. For more information and the cost of admission for designated drivers’, you may visit the festivals website at http://www.moorparkbeerfestival.com/

Hiking Documentary at Janss Regency Monday September 30th

MILE… MILE & A HALF (trailer 2) from The Muir Project on Vimeo.

Mile...Mile&AHalf

Photo Courtesy of The John Muir Project

Like to Hike? Like Movies?

How perfect is this…

The Santa Monica Mountains Fund will screen a new hiking documentary on Monday, September 30 at 5:00 p.m. at the Regency Janss Marketplace.

Mile…Mile and a Half  tells the story of a group of artists who hike 219 miles of the historic John Muir Trail in 25 days.

In 2011, we hiked the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mount Whitney, documenting our journey along the way. Since then, we’ve been working to turn what we captured of that experience into a stunning feature documentary. We’re grateful for every step along the way, and glad to share the trail with all of you.

The Santa Monica Mountains Fund is the official friends group of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.tugg.com/events/5267

The Muir Project

Courtesy of The Muir Project http://themuirproject.com

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What’s so cool about the film is that it was funded through the Crowdfunding source Kickstarter where they raised $85,405 (which exceeded their goal of $78,100)

They even received an award from the film festival Dances With Films

Go get your hike on! ( Hiking Boots with Vibram Soles Optional)

Buying a Home in Thousand Oaks, CA? Get Your Free Guide

“Real Estate”, “Buying a home”, “First Time Homebuyer” were sound bites I would hear at Summer picnics & BBQ’s the last few months.  Foreclosures are down significantly & record price growth has given a nice boost to the Southland Home buyers & sellers.

This inspired the writers here at Thousand Oaks360 to put together the first of many guidebooks on making the home buying & home selling process a lot less scary.

We have made the first volume available to you in our Real Estate Library.

Get your free copy, the first in our series of Real Estate Guidebooks:

First Time Homebuyer?

6 Things You Must Do

Buying a home sound like a good idea?  While Interest rates are still relatively low ,buslowly inching higher.  If you have been on the fence on whether it’s a good time to: refinance, buy your first home in Thousand Oaks or the Conejo Valley, or simply move up to a nicer home, consider these statistics from this article by Dataquick:

Southern California home sales were the highest for an August in seven years as strong activity above $300,000 compensated for a dip in sales below that level, as well as fewer cash and investor purchases. The median sale price held steady compared with June and July but rose 24.6 percent from a year earlier, marking the eighth consecutive month with a year-over-year gain over 20 percent, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 23,057 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 0.8 percent from a revised 23,253 sales in July, and up 2.8 percent from 22,438 sales in August 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

Last month’s sales were 12.8 percent below the average number of sales – 26,452 – in the month of August since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. Southland sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than seven years. August sales have ranged from 16,379 in August 1992 to 39,562 in August 2003.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $385,000, the same as in June and July and up 24.6 percent from $309,000 in August 2012. The $385,000 median over the past three months is the highest since April 2008, when the median was also $385,000.

The median price has risen on a year-over-year basis for 17 consecutive months. Those gains have been double-digit – between 10.8 percent and 28.3 percent – over the past 13 months. Last month’s 24.6 percent annual gain in the Southland median was lower than the 28.3 percent annual increase in June and the 25.8 percent annual gain in July.

Last month’s median remained 23.8 percent below the peak $505,000 median in spring/summer 2007. The median fell by $256,000 from that peak to its $249,000 trough in April 2009, and it has now regained just over half of that peak-to-trough loss.

In a sign of continued market confidence, Southern California home buyers continue to put near-record amounts of their own money into residential real estate. In August they paid a total of $4.68 billion out of their own pockets in the form of down payments or cash purchases. That was down from a revised $5.18 billion in July and up from $4.24 billion a year ago. The out-of-pocket total peaked this May at $5.41 billion.

“There’s something for everyone in today’s housing data. Sellers have seen an amazing price jump from just a year ago, allowing many to finally sell at a profit. Home shoppers have more properties to choose as we begin to see a ‘supply response’ to higher values. Price pressures appear to be easing, though, amid higher mortgage rates, more supply and fewer cash and investor purchases. As we head into fall and winter, a slower time of year, we’ll probably see year-over-year price gains continue to taper,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

It appears that most of last month’s 24.6 percent year-over-year increase in the Southland median sale price reflects rising home prices, while a small portion reflects a change in market mix. (This change consists of a big increase in mid- to high-end sales and a big decline in sales of lower-cost distressed properties.)

In August, the lowest-cost third of the region’s housing stock saw a 23.3 percent year-over-year rise in the median price paid per square foot for resale houses. The annual gain was 21.2 percent for the middle third of the market and 17.4 percent for the top, most-expensive third.

Sales activity in the middle and upper price ranges continues to far outpace sales in the more affordable markets.

Last month the number of homes that sold from $300,000 through $800,000 – a range that would include many move-up buyers – rose 31.4 percent year-over-year. The number that sold for $500,000 or more jumped 48.7 percent from one year earlier, while $800,000-plus sales rose 48.0 percent.

In August, 32.6 percent of all Southland home sales were for $500,000 or more, down from a revised 33.2 percent of sales the month before and up from 23.3 percent a year earlier.

The number of Southland homes that sold below $200,000 last month dropped 32.8 percent year-over-year, while sales below $300,000 fell 24.9 percent. Low-end sales have been relatively weak largely because of an inadequate supply of homes for sale. Many owners still can’t afford to sell their homes because they owe more than they are worth, and lenders aren’t foreclosing on as many properties, further limiting supply.

In August, foreclosure resales – homes foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 7.1 percent of the Southland resale market. That was down from a revised 7.7 percent the month before and down from 19.2 percent a year earlier. Last month’s foreclosure resale rate was the lowest since it was 5.5 percent in June 2007. In the current cycle, foreclosure resales hit a high of 56.7 percent in February 2009.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 13.6 percent of Southland resales last month. That was the lowest level since it was also 13.6 percent in April 2009. Last month’s short sale figure was down from an estimated 14.6 percent the month before and down from 26.6 percent a year earlier.

Absentee buyers – mostly investors and some second-home purchasers – bought 26.3 percent of the Southland homes sold last month, which is the lowest share for any month since it was 25.1 percent in November 2011. Last month’s level was down from 27.4 percent the month before and down from 27.2 percent a year earlier. The absentee share has ratcheted down gradually each month this year since hitting a record 32.4 percent in January. The monthly average since 2000, when the absentee data begin, is 18.3 percent. Last month’s absentee buyers paid a median $310,000, up 31.4 percent from a year earlier.

After hitting a peak earlier this year, the share of homes flipped has generally trended flat to lower. Last month 6.0 percent of all Southland homes sold on the open market had previously sold in the prior six months. That’s the same as July’s flipping rate and up from 5.1 percent a year earlier. (The figures exclude homes resold after being purchased at public foreclosure auction sales on the courthouse steps).

Buyers paying with cash accounted for 27.6 percent of last month’s home sales, down from 30.0 percent the month before and down from 32.3 percent a year earlier. The cash share of purchases has declined each month since hitting an all-time peak of 36.9 percent this February, and in August was at its lowest level since it was 26.2 percent in September 2010. Since 1988 the monthly average for cash buyers is 16.2 percent of all sales. Cash buyers paid a median $325,000 last month, up 31.0 percent from a year ago.

Credit conditions continued to improve modestly.

Last month 11.6 percent of Southland home purchase loans were adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) – the highest for any month since ARMs were 12.6 percent of the market in July 2008. Last month’s ARM level was up from an ARM share of 10.9 percent the prior month and 5.9 percent a year earlier. Since 2000, a monthly average of about 32 percent of Southland purchase loans have been ARMs.

Jumbo loans, mortgages above the old conforming limit of $417,000, accounted for 27.2 percent of last month’s Southland purchase lending – the third-highest, behind June and July, since August 2007, when jumbos were 36.7 percent of the market. Last month’s figure was down from 27.9 percent the prior month and up from 20.3 percent a year earlier. In the months leading up to the credit crunch that struck in August 2007, jumbos accounted for around 40 percent of the home loan market.

The most active lenders to Southern California home buyers last month were Wells Fargo with 7.8 percent of the purchase loan market, Bank of American with 2.8 percent and IMortgage with 2.6 percent.

All lenders combined provided $6.36 billion in mortgage money to Southern California home buyers in August, down from $6.52 in July and up from $5.45 in July last year.

Government-insured FHA loans, a popular low-down-payment choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 19.1 percent of all purchase mortgages last month. That was up a hair from 19.0 percent the month before and down from 27.1 percent a year earlier. In recent months the FHA share has been the lowest since spring 2008. The decline reflects tighter FHA qualifying standards implemented in recent years as well as the difficulties first-time buyers have competing with investors and cash buyers.

DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

The typical monthly mortgage payment Southland buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,545, up from $1,537 the month before and up from $1,124 a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s typical payment was 35.5 percent below the typical payment in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 47.1 percent below the current cycle’s peak in July 2007.

Indicators of market distress continue to decline. Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and far below peak levels. Financing with multiple mortgages is very low, and down payment sizes are stable, Dataquick reported.

Get your free Thousand Oaks 360 First Time Homebuyers Guide.

Click the link below

First Time Homebuyer?

Real Estate Prices Trending Up, Inventory Still Low

Thousand Oaks Real Estate Prices & Trends

91360 Zillow Home Value Index

91360 Median Sale Price

91360 Median Sale Price
91360 Total Homes Sold

Cal Lutheran University – Building Block of The Startup Community

Cal-Lutheran

Is the next Facebook right here in Thousand Oaks?

The saying goes, that “No man is an island” and in an area that was once seemingly inhabited by only islands, Gerhard Apfelthaler and Cal Lutheran University are taking a role in the logical steps of re-assembling a PANGEA of sorts, and making these “islands” realize that they are not alone. The deeper I dig into the idea of “start up community”,  the more components I find that make it necessary to build it into a reality.  I find that Open Coffee was one crumb of bread I am trailing in this quest to learn more about what makes a “Start Up Community” a success.

Gerhard Apfelthaler is the Dean of the International Business and Management at California Lutheran University here in Thousand Oaks. Gerhard’s background in Global Business Development, Cross-cultural Management and Communication, Foreign Market Entry, and International Marketing, made him the ideal person to speak with. His background is a formidable list of successes, and upon meeting him I understood why his role in this is so pivotal.

gerhardapfekthalerCal Lutheran University is a cornerstone when it comes to creating a community. It’s been proven that start ups are most successful when they have the backing of local colleges.  These Universities provide a hub of brain power in both staff and students. Furthermore, these Universities provide the community with meeting spaces and platforms for Entrepreneurs to share ideas. After all, when we are looking to develop ourselves, we look to our teachers, so what better place to start then a well respected university. “All the courses are open to public enrollment.” Gerhard says “While there may seem like there is a barrier, the plan is to have open accelerator programs, a series of open workshops,  there are even startup weekends for next year in the planning stages as well as Entrepreneur camp for high school students.” With such an abundance of resources all that is really missing are more motivated Entrepreneurs. I asked Gerhard what role Open Coffee plays in the start up to which he replied “Open coffee is a good opportunity to have investors and entrepreneurs meet, it’s a proven concept that has worked in many other places…it is about networking and making ideas reality, bringing the Entrepreneur and the Investor together in a more casual environment.”

In my mind it seemed all the building blocks were in place. CLU serves as an area providing great resources for budding Entrepreneurs and also a well of both staff and student knowledge; an open coffee for everyone to meet; but, I was missing one aspect. How does one go about finding investors? Short of being independently wealthy, or winning the lottery if I was an Entrepreneur who had a brilliant idea and the support group to get me there, how do I make a connection on a financial level? Enter the Maverick Angels, a group of investors based in Westlake Village founded by Julia Dilt, with chapters locally and around the globe that syndicate investment deals. On October 22nd CLU is holding a “pitch fest” for those who are ready to take their idea’s to the next level. Each person will have an opportunity to give their best pitch to the Angels before being chosen to move to the next few rounds to flesh out a more comprehensive idea.

For me, the Angels may be the next in a successive line of bread crumbs. Watching a community grow, finding each piece that is leading to this hugely successful growth of business and economy, a community waiting for its islands to realize, that they are indeed not alone.

 

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