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Dave & Pat Zumbrun

(805) 340-9338

Pat Zumbrun
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Cell: (805) 340-9338
BRE #01229401

Dave Zumbrun
Email Dave  at
Cell: (805) 340-9339
BRE #01227683

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440 Frances St. - Ventura, CA - 3 Bed/2 Bath Home for Sale

SOLD! $775,000
440 Frances St. – Ventura, CA
3 Bed/2 Bath


Under Contract - 1205 Church St
SOLD! $2,415,000
2305 Church St.
Ventura, CA
Gorgeous View Home on 1.86 acres

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Buyer Tips

How to Avoid Falling Out of Escrow

Who watched the fireworks in Ventura County this weekend? They were glorious! It is nice to see a return to some sort of normalcy here in California. Is homeownership next up on your agenda? Oxnard made Forbes’ list of the hottest markets in California. But, really, we have seen prices reach record highs all over Ventura County these past few months. Finding a home is one thing. Avoiding falling out of escrow is another thing entirely.

Finding the right house is just one step of many in your journey to homeownership. Avoid falling out of escrow by following these tips.

How to Avoid Falling Out of Escrow

Possible Inspection Surprises

Search Ventura County homes for salePart of the home sale process includes a home inspection. This offers buyers a realistic look at the condition of a property, warts and all. Sometimes, the inspector may find minor issues. Other times, an inspector may find major issues. At that point, a buyer can choose to either re-negotiate repairs and/or the sale price or decide to walk away. Talk to your Ventura REALTOR® about your options. In turn, let them contact the seller’s agent about lowering the price or offering discounts to compensate for the cost of repairs. It never hurts to ask.

Keep Spending in Check

Another way to avoid falling out of escrow is to keep your spending in check. Loan approval is just one of many steps in the home buying process. Just before final approval (near closing), the loan company runs another credit check. If you got so excited that you spent money on new furniture, accessories, a patio set, and other items for your new Ventura home, that all affects your credit. For buyers whose scores fell just above the minimum originally, this extra spending could easily send you below your minimum credit score. When that happens, loan companies decline final approval. Then, you lose the house. Declare a moratorium on any major purchases (including new vehicles) until after you sign your final documents and receive your new house keys.

Closing Doc Checklist

Finally, make sure you bring all the documents required to the closing table. Otherwise, you risk delaying your close or possibly falling out of escrow.

  • Photo ID (driver’s license, passport, government-issued ID)
  • Homeowner’s Insurance proof
  • Sales contract
  • Inspection reports
  • Bank check in the amount of final closing costs (contact lender if unsure of amount)
  • Signed power of attorney if your co-applicant will not be present at signing
  • Any other paperwork your lender requires (contact lender for complete list)

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

CalHFA Helps First-Time Homebuyers in California

Buying your first house may leave you feeling overwhelmed. Before you search for a Ventura home you love, you must find a real estate agent you trust, save for a down payment and closing costs, get approved for a loan, and make sure you are ready for the first year of homeownership. The CalHFA helps homebuyers in California purchase their first home.

CalHFA helps first-time buyers purchase their homes in California with six different loan options. Restrictions apply.

California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA)

Requirements to Qualify

Search Ventura County homes for saleTo even be considered for one of California Housing Finance Agency’s loans, buyers must meet certain requirements. First, you must be a first-time homebuyer. That means that you either never owned a home before or you have not owned one in the previous three years. Secondly, your credit score below 660 (for conventional low-income rate) or 680 (for conventional standard rate). Then, your debt-to-income ratio must not exceed 43% to 45%, depending on the type of underwriting used. CalHFA puts an income cap on loan applicants depending on where they wish to purchase a home. Only US citizens, permanent residents, or qualified aliens may apply. Finally, all applicants must attend and complete a home-buying course.

Property Qualifications

In order for a property to qualify for a CalHFA loan, it needs to meet certain requirements. First, the sale price cannot exceed $765,000. Next, it must be located within the California state limits. Also, it must be the buyer’s primary residence. Finally, they only allow single-family homes on no more than five acres of land. In some cases, a condo, guest home, or manufactured home may qualify.

Types of Loans Offered

  • CalHFA FHA Program – 30-year fixed-rate loan. Must meet FHA’s requirements as well.
  • CalPLUS FHA Program – Slightly higher rate than a regular FHA loan but can be combined with other assistance programs.
  • CalFHA VA Program – 30-year fixed-rate loan for current and former members of the military. Must meet VA’s requirements as well.
  • CalFHA Conventional Program – 30-year fixed-rate loan that includes PMI.
  • CalPLUS Conventional Program – Also a slightly higher rate than a regular conventional loan but can be combined with other assistance programs.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Preparing for Your First Year of Homeownership

Being a first-time homeowner can be exciting…and a little scary. Anytime anything breaks, no more calling the landlord. You must fix it yourself. Plus, the expense comes out of your pocket. In your first year of homeownership, the learning curve can sometimes be steep. But you will get through it. Find out what to expect when you become a homeowner and how to prepare for it by reading below.

Being a new homeowner is exciting and a little scary. Find out what you can expect to experience during your first year of homeownership.

First Year of Homeownership Expectations

Something Will Break

Search Ventura County homes for saleIt is inevitable. Even owners of newly constructed Ventura homes find themselves fixing something during their first year. It might be something as simple as a doorknob or something more complicated like the air conditioner. The longer we live in a place, the more likely a repair or replacement comes up.

To prepare for your first year of homeownership and reduce your stress, create an emergency fund. Financial experts suggest your “rainy day fund” includes up to six months of mortgage payments, interest, insurance, and taxes. Even if you cannot afford that, start saving up what you can afford. Next, make sure you know where your water and gas shutoff valves are located in case of an emergency. Then, look for professionals you trust to handle electrical, plumbing, and other handyman issues that may reach beyond your skills. Finally, make sure you purchase a home warranty to cover unexpected repairs. Talk to your Ventura real estate agent to see if a home warranty can be included as part of the sale of the house. Even in a seller’s market, the seller might throw this in as a perk.

Hello Junk Mail

Once a bank approves you for a home loan, expect to see a lot of junk mail come your way during your first year of homeownership. While most of it tends to be junk, sometimes you find some pretty valuable deals for things like windows, roofing, landscaping, and flooring. Plus, expect to see refinance offers come pouring in. When you change your address with the post office, they also provide a welcome packet full of helpful information about your community and valuable coupons for moving supplies among other things.

Prepare to Spend Some Money

You just plunked down a nice chunk of change for a downpayment and closing costs on your new Ventura home. But the money train does not stop there. You will spend some money after you move in, too. You might need to buy a lawnmower, rake, and other landscaping implements. If you scuff up the paint or ding the walls during move-in, you will want to fix those when things settle. A good deal of the time, you tend to move from a small apartment to a larger home when you buy your first house. That means more square footage to heat and cool, raising your energy costs. (Perform an energy audit to reduce any extra costs.) With more room comes more furniture and other decorations, too. So, just be ready to dole out more cash once you start to actually live in your new home.

Expect to Boldly Go Where You Might Not Have Thought To Go Before

Finally, it is a good idea to clear out the air ducts and clothes dryer vents. The buildup of lint and debris in these two areas make it harder for their respective systems to work properly. And, unfortunately, people overlook these areas quite often. Plus, this buildup can be flammable, creating a potential fire hazard. While you are at it, change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Otherwise, you might get woken up in the middle of the night with an annoyingly grating sound tearing at your eardrums. Because, for some reason, the batteries in these devices only seem to start dying at 2 AM.

Congratulations on the purchase of your very first Ventura home. Do not let these things stress you out. You can handle them, especially if you prepare ahead of time.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

The Pandemic’s Effect on the Ventura Housing Market

Ninety years ago, the United States experienced the Great Depression. Twelve years ago, we saw the Great Recession. Now? A global pandemic. During the first two eras, the housing market took a massive hit. The Ventura housing market seems to differ during the global pandemic. Low inventory and even lower interest rates kept prices from dropping like a rock. Is it still a good time to buy a Ventura home right now? The answer might surprise you.

What kind of effect has the global pandemic had on the Ventura housing market? Prices and sales have dipped slightly even with a low inventory.

The Pandemic’s Effect on the Ventura Housing Market

State of the County

Search Ventura County homes for saleYes, sales have slowed down. Part of this is due to the shelter-in-place order Governor Newsom put into effect several weeks ago. And part of it is due to so many out-of-work people. However, Ventura County opened up their beaches (with limitations) on April 20th. Other businesses slowly began reopening to the public earlier this month. Soon, we may see more buyers looking for properties to purchase again. That means more competition which might force prices to increase.

Equity Helps

As prices steadily rose over the last few years, Ventura County homeowners enjoyed a nice equity boost. Even if you bought your house just a couple of years ago, you most likely saw your home values go up a bit, too. That helps cushion the blow of any declines in home values over the last couple of months.

Low Inventory

All across the country, we have seen housing inventory decrease. The same rings true for the Ventura housing market. Builders have trouble keeping up with demand in many areas. And with government offices shut down, obtaining permits for new builds pretty much ground to a halt. Any building going on since mid-March was taking place on already approved permits. So, the backlog we might see if the shelter-in-place order is lifted in July like the governor hopes could create an even larger inventory drop.

Bottom line: if you want to buy a Ventura home right now, go for it. Interest rates remain extremely low. Anyone with a decent credit score, a little money to put down, and a steady income should be able to take advantage of the Ventura housing market right now. We might start to see housing prices go up in the next few months. So, the time to act is now. Contact the Z Team if you’re interested in looking at properties for sale in Ventura County.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

What to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before You Hire Them

So, you’ve decided to purchase a Ventura County home. Congratulations. One of the first steps you need to take in the home buying process is to hire a good real estate agent. But don’t settle on the first one you come across. Instead, interview several agents. The answers they give to these crucial questions can help you narrow down your choices.

When interviewing real estate agents, ask them a few important questions before deciding to hire them. You need to be comfortable with your decision throughout the buying process.

What to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before You Hire Them

How Long Have You Been a Real Estate Agent in Ventura County?

Search Ventura County homes for saleAn experienced agent knows the area like the back of their hand. Their knowledge and expertise help you located your next Ventura home. They also negotiate a great deal on your behalf. Therefore, you want someone with a great deal of experience in the Ventura County real estate market. If you do talk to someone new to the game, ask them if they have a broker in their office that they work with. Everyone has to start out somewhere. If you know that they have someone with experience backing them up, at least you know you’ll be taken care of.

Which Cities Do You Primarily Work In?

It’s always good to have a real estate agent who specializes in the cities and communities you’re most interested in moving into. They should know how the school districts perform compared to others in the area as well as what buyers are paying for homes in different neighborhoods.

Do You Work With a Team or Are You On Your Own?

You’ve heard the saying “it takes a village”, right? That applies to real estate, too. You might not be aware of it but many real estate agents work with a whole team of professionals to help them find you a Ventura County home. Their team may include other agents and/or an administrative assistant managing the behind-the-scenes checklist of things to be completed. This team facilitates a much more smooth transaction.

Who Makes Up the Majority of Your Business: Buyers or Sellers?

Ideally, you want to hire a real estate agent that works primarily with buyers. Listing agents tend to work with sellers. An agent with a higher buyer-to-seller ratio means that their main focus is on buyers.

How Long Does It Usually Take Your Clients to Find and Buy a Ventura County Home?

Let’s face it. Buying a home tends to take some time. First, you need to locate a property you like. That alone takes anywhere from 30 to 60 days on average. Then, you have to put in an offer, have it accepted and enter escrow. Escrow takes an average of between 14 to 60 days by itself. If your real estate agent tells you that it takes a lot longer than that, you might want to find someone else to handle your business.

How Often and By What Means Will You Communicate With Me Throughout This Process?

Some agents like to send emails or text. Others prefer to talk on the phone. Yet others favor an in-person discussion. You need a real estate agent who’s communication methods sync up with yours. If you want a weekly update via email or text, great. But, if you prefer someone more personal or more often, make sure the agent is willing to accommodate you accordingly.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Fixed Mortgage Rates for Ventura Homes

Fixed mortgage rates for Ventura homes remain below 4% for 30 year fixed rate and 3% for 15 year fixed rate. What are the benefits of a 15 year vs 30 year?Good news!  Home mortgage interest rates remain at historically low levels.  In the not so distant past, most Ventura home buyers had to finance their homes with a 30 year adjustable rate mortgage just to be able to afford the initial payments.  Of course, after a couple of years, these payments went up so much that thousands of homeowners across the country ended up losing their properties to foreclosure.  Nowadays, fixed mortgage rates for Ventura homes are so affordable that a 15 year FRM is a possibility.

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.59%, down 0.63% from the same time last year.  A 15 year FRM averaged 2.86%, down 0.53% from the same time last year.  That means that someone who bought a Ventura home just last year is paying hundreds more in interest per year than someone who buys one today.

You’ve found the perfect Ventura home for you and your family.  You need to finance $250,000.  You qualify for the latest average interest rates.  Which loan should you consider?  A 30 year FRM will give you a lower monthly payment ($1135 per month vs $1710/month).  However, you will be paying twice as long as a 15 year FRM and end up paying almost three times as much in interest over the life of the loan ($158,675 vs $57,741).  That’s a lot of money!

Fixed mortgage rates for Ventura homes remain at amazingly low levels. That’s why now is as good a time as any to pursue your dreams of homeownership in Ventura County.  When you’re ready, please contact us.


Click here to find out more about this Ventura townhome for sale

For more information on this and other great homes for sale in the Ventura County area, please click here.

Dave and Pat Zumbrun, Your Ventura County real estate specialists

Choosing the Right Kind of Ventura Home

Choosing the Right Kind of Ventura HomeHome buyers need to make so many decisions throughout the buying process: how much to spend, what size, where, when, etc.  So, how do you know what kind of house to look for?  Whether you decide on a single-family home, condominium, new or old, choosing the right kind of Ventura home can make the difference between experiencing a “buyer’s high” or suffering “buyer’s remorse”.

First things first.  Take your time to evaluate what your lifestyle requires.  Do you want to be close to work?  Do you like having your entertainment, shopping and recreational opportunities within walking distance?  Do you like to entertain?  Do you need a yard for the pets, family, just lounging, etc.?  Are you willing to put some elbow grease into fixing up a property (like a foreclosure or older home) or would you rather have a move-in ready, turnkey home?  These are just a few questions that need to be considered before you go looking for that perfect Ventura County home.

Condos and townhomes are great for people with busy lifestyles who don’t need a big yard to take care of. Your HOA fees take care of routine landscaping and maintenance for the grounds and common areas.  You are still typically responsible for any repairs or maintenance for everything involved with your particular unit (check the CC&Rs to see specifically what you are responsible for).  You also have less privacy, since you share at least one common wall with a neighbor.

Single-family homes give you the luxury of more privacy as well as a yard for the kids or pets to play in as well as entertaining.  Repairs and maintenance on your single-family Ventura home are solely your responsibility.  Families tend to gravitate towards the more open single-family home rather than smaller condo lifestyle.

Whatever option you decide on, choosing the right kind of Ventura home is a big first step to getting you moved into the home of your dreams.  Take your time.  Going on gut instinct alone is what makes many buyers end up regretting a hasty decision.  Let us know when you’re ready to make that step to Ventura homeownership.

Dave and Pat Zumbrun, Your Ventura County real estate specialists

Originally posted on our Ventura County real estate blog here:

Top Three Reasons Why Homeownership Rules

Top Three Reasons Why Homeownership RulesEven in today’s topsy-turvy economy, owning a Ventura home is still a solid investment.  Now that home prices are back at reasonable levels, mortgage rates remain incredibly low and inventory is plentiful, it’s a great time to buy.  Here are the top three reasons why homeowership rules:

1. It’s Yours – Obviously, if you own it, it’s yours.  But, when you own your Ventura home instead of renting it, you get to mold your living space into whatever you need or want it to be. You don’t need to ask permission from a landlord.  Also, the longer you stay in a home, the more equity you can build up.  Equity is the difference between what you owe on a property and what the property’s worth.  In past years, homes typically appreciated at a rate of 4-6% per year.  While some homeowners who bought a Ventura house when the real estate market was at its crazy peak a few years ago are experiencing negative equity right now, still more homeowners who have bought in just the last couple of years are experiencing a positive equity now.  When home values go up (and they will), your equity will increase as well.

2. Sense of Security – Studies have shown that kids raised in a home that is owned by their parents rather than renting have a lower rate of pregnancy and drug use.  This has been attributed to the fact that most homeowners stay in one place for a longer period of time rather than moving around from place to place every few months like renters tend to do.  Also, if you have a fixed rate mortgage, you know what your monthly payment is going to be two, three, five and even ten years down the road.  Rent, on the other hand, will fluctuate depending on how long your lease is and tends to increase after your lease is up.

3. Bargains Galore – I know we’ve said this before, but there are definitely bargains to be had in the Ventura real estate market.  Whether you’re looking to buy that first starter home, you need a larger place for an expanding family or your little ones have grown up and moved out so you need to downsize, you’ll find it here.  Ventura home prices are at exceptionally reasonable levels as well. When you partner that with interest rates hovering around 4%, it ends up being cheaper to buy than to rent a home.

What are you waiting for?  Contact us now so you can learn for yourself why Ventura homeownership totally rules!  Home prices in some areas are even beginning to go up.  So, don’t miss out on your opportunity to own your own piece of the American dream now!

Dave and Pat Zumbrun, Your Ventura County real estate specialists

Originally posted on our Ventura County real estate blog here: