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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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Buyer Tips

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.


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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: