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Dave & Pat Zumbrun

(805) 340-9338

Pat Zumbrun
Broker/Owner-SFR
Email Pat at patz4re@aol.com  
Cell: (805) 340-9338
BRE #01229401


Dave Zumbrun
Broker/Owner-SFR
Email Dave  at zman4re@aol.com
Cell: (805) 340-9339
BRE #01227683

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Tax Deductions for Selling Your Ventura Home

Yes, even during a pandemic, the Ventura County housing market flourished. If you happened to sell your property in 2020, you need to think about how this affects your taxes. Last year, the government delayed our usual tax deadline date until July. However (so far), it appears that this year returns to the normal April 15th deadline. But you can never start preparing too early. To help you out, the following is a list of tax deductions, write-offs, and exemptions you might want to keep in mind for tax day.

Did you sell your Ventura home in 2020? Then you might be eligible for some great tax deductions when you file in 2021.

Tax Deductions for Home Sellers

Selling Costs

Search Ventura County homes for saleYou probably had to come up with some money out of your own pocket/profits in order to sell your Ventura home. These included escrow fees, agent commissions, advertising costs, and possible legal fees. As long as you lived in your home for at least two of the past five years, you may deduct these costs on your taxes. Just make sure they were all associated with the sale of your Ventura home.

Improvements/Repairs

Again, only those improvements and repairs you completed to make your property more marketable will be considered for tax deductions. That includes anything from painting rooms all the way up to totally renovating your kitchen. However, only the costs associated with improving/repairing your property completed within 90 days of your closing date (when you sign your final paperwork and hand over the keys) may be considered for tax deductions.

Property Taxes and Mortgage Interest

When you owned your Ventura home, your mortgage interest and at least a portion (if not all) of your property taxes were allowed to be claimed as tax deductions. The same holds true when you sell. Anything you pay up until the date you sell your home may be used as a tax deduction. For property taxes, anything paid for the year up to $10,000 may be tax-deductible. For mortgage interest, you may deduct any interest paid up to $750,000 of your mortgage debt. However, if you took out your current mortgage before December 15th, 2017, you may deduct the interest paid up to $1,000,000 of your mortgage debt. You must itemize your taxes in order to claim the mortgage interest deduction. Discuss with your tax preparer before filing whether or not itemizing works in your best interest.

Capital Gains Tax Exemption

While technically not a “deduction”, the capital gains tax exemption still works in your favor on your taxes. The difference between what you paid for your Ventura home and what you sold it for is called “capital gains”. Uncle Sam considers this income. Therefore, it is eligible for income tax consideration. However, the law allows you to exclude up to $250,000 in profit for individuals ($500,000 if you are married and filing jointly) from this tax. What does that mean? If you paid $250,000 for your home a few years ago and sold it for $550,000 in 2020, only $50,000 of that is considered “income” for individuals. For married couples, none of it would be considered income. But you must have lived in the home for at least two of the last five years in order to qualify for this capital gains exemption.

Always discuss these tax deductions and exemptions with your tax preparer before filing your taxes. Tax laws change from year to year. They should be aware of all current laws in effect at the time of your filing. Good luck and happy filing.

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

Refinancing Your Home: Calculating Your Costs

Interest rates hit historic lows in 2020. This helped spur on Ventura home buyers to purchase new properties even during these turbulent times. It also brought lenders out of the woodwork, enticing people to refinance their current home loans to take advantage of the lower rates. But before you sign on the dotted line, you need to know the cost of refinancing your Ventura home. Why? Because it might not be worth it.

If you are contemplating refinancing your Ventura home to a lower interest rate, you might want to consider the costs first.

Home Refinancing

How Much Will a Refi Cost?

Search Ventura County homes for saleWhile you forego agent fees on a home-refinance, it still comes with other fees that quickly add up. According to Lending Tree, a home refinance costs anywhere from 2% to 6% of your loan amount. For a $500,000 mortgage, that ranges anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. That is nothing to sneeze at.

How Much Will a Refi Save?

That depends on the size of the loan. Let’s say you bought your Ventura home four years ago for $500,000. You pay 3.5% on your 30-year fixed-rate loan. With your excellent credit score, you qualify for the 2.5% that Wells Fargo currently reports. Your payment decreases from $2245 per month to $1816 per month when you refinance for another 30-year term (a savings of $430 per month). With closing costs estimated at $13,800 (based on 3% of the loan), you will not recoup the cost of refinancing for 33 months.

If you decide that you want to keep to the original 30-year timeline and just refinance for 26 years, you save $237 per month. That draws your recuperation period out even longer. But you do not add any time to the life of your loan.

Is it Worth it?

That depends on how long you plan on living in your Ventura home. If you want to live in your current home for another five years, the cost may be worth it. However, if you think you might put your property on the market in the next year or two, a refi might not be your best choice. Discuss all options (pros and cons) with your lender before determining whether or not a refinance is right for you.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura CAN Tree Food Drive 2020

Millions of people around the world have been affected by COVID-19 this year. With California entering another shutdown, millions more will find it difficult to put food on the table. And that is in addition to the millions struggling before this most recent shutdown. If possible, please consider donating to the Ventura CAN Tree Food Drive 2020. Help your neighbors get through the rest of this holiday season without going hungry.

Help our struggling neighbors get through this holiday season by donating to Food Shares Ventura County's Ventura CAN Tree Food Drive 2020.

What: Ventura CAN Tree Food Drive 2020
Where: Ventura Harbor Village
When: Saturday, December 19th
Contact: Jennifer, Caldwell, Food Share Ventura County (805) 983-7100 or via email

Ventura CAN Tree Food Drive 2020

Search Ventura County homes for saleThe Spark of Love Holiday Toy Drive takes place around Ventura County until Christmas Eve. This surely brightens children’s Christmas mornings with toys to unwrap. But so many families struggle with food insecurity normally. COVID-19 only exacerbated the problem. So to ensure that these families also eat this holiday season, Food Share Ventura County hosts their annual Ventura CAN Tree Food Drive this month.

How to Participate

The traditional way of participating in the past was to bring canned food items Ventura Harbor Village. This year, however, things have changed. In keeping with CDC guidelines, canned food drop-off has been suspended. Instead, Food Shares offers three options to choose from: buy and build, sponsor a tree, or build your own.

Buy & Build – Donate $650 and Food Share provides the canned goods and building materials needed for you to create your own CAN tree at home or at your business. These materials can either be picked up or delivered to you. It is a wonderful way to show your support as well as raise awareness for others in the Ventura community.

Sponsor a Tree – For a $750 donation, volunteers at Food Share build a tree with your family or company name on it. The tree becomes part of the public showcase featuring other trees on December 19th in Ventura Harbor Village.

Build Your Own – Finally, get your friends, family, and neighbors involved. Solicit canned food donations from them to build your very own Ventura CAN Tree. Each tree requires anywhere from 600 to 800 15 oz. cans to complete. Take a photo and email it to Jennifer Caldwell at Food Shares.

After the event, either drop off your cans at the Ventura Food Share offices or contact Food Share to schedule a pickup. Happy holidays from our family to yours.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura County Spark of Love Holiday Toy Drive 2020

We are now firmly in the holiday season. Thanksgiving takes place in just 10 days. In 24 days (December 10th), Hanukkah starts. Then, just 38 shopping days until Christmas. Finally, we get to say “goodbye” to 2020 in 45 days from today. Yay! This global pandemic hit so many people hard. You can help turn this crazy year around by donating to the Ventura County Spark of Love Holiday Toy Drive 2020.

Donate a new unwrapped toy to the Ventura County Spark of Love Holiday Toy Drive 2020 at any participating location by Dec 24th to help a local child in need celebrate the season.

What: Ventura County Spark of Love Holiday Toy Drive 2020
Where: Participating Locations Around Ventura County
When: Now through December 24th

Ventura County Spark of Love Holiday Toy Drive 2020

Search Ventura County homes for saleThe season of giving feels even more meaningful this year. Local fire departments teamed up with ABC 7 and Toys for Tots to bring toys to struggling families in Ventura County for the holidays. But they need your help to make this happen. If you’d like to assist them in their efforts, please feel free to drop off a new, unwrapped toy, book, gift card, and/or sports equipment to either Ventura City Fire Headquarters (1412 Dowell Dr) or drop them in a designated bin at any one of more than 45 locations around Ventura County. This year, none of our Ventura fire stations accept donations due to COVID concerns.

How to Give

As we stated above, the first way to donate is to drop off your gift in a bin at a participating Ventura County location. Or visit the Ventura County Firefighters website here to make a tax-deductible donation online. This Saturday (November 22nd), grab the family and head to Peirano’s (204 E Main St) between 5 pm and 8 pm for a tasty spaghetti dinner. A portion of the proceeds (10%) goes to Toys for Tots. Seats fill up pretty quickly. Reservations are recommended. Call Peirano’s at (805) 628-9028 or email them to make your reservation today. Finally, if you own a business, you can request a donation bin to set up in your business. Simply contact Crystal Stratton to make a request.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Mulch-Giving 2020 Offers Drive-Through Service

We hope everyone enjoyed a safe yet fun Halloween over the weekend. Thanksgiving marks the next big holiday on the books. (Just over three weeks to go.) As the weather turns a little more chilly in Southern California, it’s a good time to add mulch to your garden. Score a free bag of mulch at the Ventura Mulch-Giving 2020 event this month.

If you would like a free bag of mulch and/or compost for your garden, sign up for Ventura Mulch-Giving 2020's drive-through event.

What: Ventura Mulch-Giving 2020
Where: Ventura Maintenance Yard (336 Sanjon Rd)
When: Saturday, November 14th, by appt only
Contact: City of Ventura website

Ventura Mulch-Giving 2020

Why Add Mulch in the Fall?

Search Ventura County homes for saleMulch helps maintain moisture in the soil. It also acts as a weed suppressant and erosion protector. But when you add mulch to your garden in the fall, it insulates the soil, allowing microbes and earthworms a good source of food. You need both of these organisms to keep the soil rich and fertile during the colder winter months. Mulch also insulates the roots of your plants, helping them to maintain a steady temperature as it gets colder.

Ventura Mulch-Giving Info

With health and safety a high priority, this year’s mulch-giving event will be by appointment only. This limits the number of people congregating at the site at one time. Schedule an appointment online right now. But hurry. Available times are running out fast. To serve as many people as possible, each car may only receive one bag each of mulch and compost.

Arrive at your appointed time. Anyone who arrives before or after their scheduled appointment will be turned away. Stay in your vehicle while the staff checks you in. After they check you in, they will direct you to the pick-up point. Once you arrive there, then you may exit your vehicle to load your mulch and/or compost into your vehicle. You must wear a mask while on-site. Closed-toe shoes and work gloves are recommended as well.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Home Office Space Appeals to Today’s Ventura Home Buyers

In mid-March, Governor Newsom placed California on a virtual shutdown. At that time, non-essential workers found themselves either furloughed or sent to work from home. Those temporary work-from-home orders appear to be more long term now. In fact, some companies may never bring their employees back into a communal office. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that home office space holds a huge appeal to today’s home buyers. So, if you plan on selling your Ventura home anytime soon, your marketing needs to include a dedicated home office area.

Today's Ventura home buyers want to see a dedicated home office space included when they view a property. But that doesn't always mean transforming a whole bedroom into an office space.

Tips for Creating a Home Office Space

Guest Room/Office

Search Ventura County homes for saleA couple of months ago, we talked about creating a classroom space at home for your child. That included using part of their bedroom as a dedicated classroom area. While buyers love office space, hold off on completely transforming a guest room into an office. Bedrooms still help sell Ventura homes. Keep the closet available for hanging clothes. But feel free to add organizing units that include shelves to store office supplies and files. Use a smaller dining table for your desk rather than some heavy, oversized office furniture. Throw in a daybed or sofa bed to show buyers how the room could easily transition between an office and guest room.

Transform Unused Space Into Office Space

No bedroom to spare? Time to get creative then. Carve out space under the stairs. Utilize the loft as an office area. If even that proves difficult, borrow space from a large room (like the family room or dining room). Section it off with a pretty screen or partition. You don’t need a huge area to make an office space function.

Location is Key

The difficulty with creating a home office out of a common area like the dining or family room is that it can get noisy. If virtual meetings are a regular thing with your company, you need a quiet space. Try to choose an area of your home that sees little to no traffic but is still large enough to house your office essentials.

Don’t Forget Your Staging

Yes, staging your home office is equally important as staging the rest of your Ventura home when you list it on the market. Keep things neat and tidy. Tuck electrical cords out of sight. Turning your desk to face the entrance into the room makes it a little easier to hide messy cords. Add a houseplant, flowers or a nice area rug to bring color into your space. Keep your window treatments open to allow lots of natural light to flow inside. Declutter and depersonalize like you would any other room in your house.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Seafood Eats Photo Contest 2020

Did you see any of the chalk artwork around town over the past couple of weeks reminding you to fill out your 2020 Census form? Did you miss the September 30th deadline? It’s OK. The Census 2020 website remains open for any of the stragglers out there. We strongly urge you to complete your census soon if you have not done so yet. Now, on to something fun: the Ventura Seafood Eats Photo Contest 2020. Your love of seafood could win you a $50 gift certificate.

Enter a photo of your seafood in the Ventura Seafood Eats Photo Contest 2020 between now and Oct 15th for a chance to win $50. #SeafoodEats

What: Ventura Seafood Eats Photo Contest 2020
Where: Any Restaurant or Fish Market in Ventura Harbor Village
When: Now through October 15th
Contact: Ventura Harbor Village (805) 477-0470

Ventura Seafood Eats Photo Contest 2020

Search Ventura County homes for saleAny time you visit a Ventura Harbor Village restaurant or pick up something at one of the fresh seafood markets in the village between now and October 15th, you have the opportunity to win a $50 gift certificate. All you need to do is take a photo of your seafood or seafood dish. Upload that photo to your Instagram or Facebook accounts. Then, add #SeafoodEats and tag Ventura Harbor Village (@VenturaHarbor) so that contest organizers see it. Also, make sure your account is public. Organizers cannot see private accounts. So, if your account is not public, you might miss your opportunity to win $50.

Ventura Harbor Restaurants & Fish Markets

  • 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese
  • Alexander’s
  • Andria’s Seafood Restaurant and Fish Market
  • Baja Bay Surf ‘N Taco
  • Boatyard Pub
  • Brophy Bros Clam Bar
  • Copa Cubana
  • Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood
  • Harbor Cove Cafe
  • La Petite Cafe
  • Margarita Villa
  • Saturday Fisherman’s Market
  • Ventura Fresh Fish
  • Water’s Edge
  • Wild Local Seafood Co

For an official explanation of contest rules, please visit Ventura Harbor Village’s website. No purchase necessary. Only one submission allowed per person. Any additional submissions will be discarded.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Census Chalkathon

2020: what a year! Besides the global pandemic and an election year in the US, 2020 also happens to be the year that we update our census numbers. Questionnaires went out earlier this year to every household. But, if you missed that, the government provides other options to complete the census before the September 30th deadline. And to remind you to fill it out, the City is hosting a Ventura Census Chalkathon.

To remind Ventura residents to fill out the 2020 US Census, the City hosts a Ventura Census Chalkathon which concludes on September 30th.

2020 US Census

Search Ventura County homes for saleEvery 10 years, the government surveys residents of the United States to find out how many people live in different parts of the country. This helps determine how future budgets allocate money to these areas. Legal status does not matter for the 2020 US Census either. Any stats provided in the survey will be used for information purposes only. The government encourages everyone to fill it out.

Currently, residents may fill out the 2020 Census survey three ways: online, snail mail, or phone. Only official questionnaires sent to your home may be filled out and sent back in through snail mail. If you misplaced your mail-in questionnaire, call the official survey hotline at (844) 330-2020. You may also complete it online by visiting Census.Ventura.org. It only takes a few minutes to answer a few very simple questions.

Ventura Census Chalkathon

Help get the word out to your neighbors about the approaching census deadline. Participate in the Ventura Census Chalkathon. Grab you sidewalk chalk and create an image that conveys the importance of filling out the census. Incorporate any or all of the phrases “2020census.gov”, “#2020CensusTVA”, “Everyone Counts!” or “Todos Contamos!” in your artwork. Take a picture. Upload that photo to your social media. Make sure you add #2020CensusTVA to your social media post. Share it with your friends and family.

The City wants to reward people for spreading the word. After you complete your work of art for the Ventura Census Chalkathon, send photos of it along with your contact info to PIO@cityofventura.ca.gov. Winners will be chosen in a drawing from all entries received by the end of business on September 30th, 2020.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

California Coastal Cleanup 2020 in Ventura

For many Ventura County residents, the beach represents their happy place. Surfing, swimming, and sunbathing contribute to our way of life. California Coastal Cleanup 2020 challenges everyone to protect their “happy place” by signing up to clean the city’s streets, parks, and beaches.

Help keep your city clean by participating in California Coastal Cleanup 2020 in Ventura throughout Sept. This year, the event goes virtual.

California Coastal Cleanup 2020

Search Ventura County homes for saleLast year, more than 74,000 volunteers cleaned up their local areas all over the state in one day. This year, the California Coastal Cleanup looks a little different. For one thing, it takes place throughout the entire month of September. For another, the official dates fall on each Saturday of the month from 9 am to noon. However, organizers want to encourage as many people as possible to contribute to the cleanup. Therefore, they allow cleanup any day of the week and any time of the day that fits with your schedule.

How to Participate

First of all, visit the Coastal Cleanup website. Organizers strongly discourage large gatherings of people to lessen the chances of spreading COVID-19. If you feel ill, stay at home. Check the air quality before you head out. Wear masks and stay at least six feet away from anyone you do not live with.

You will need to provide your own clean up equipment, such as gloves and trash bags. Do not touch sharp objects such as syringes. Leave any object too large to fit in your trash bin. Wear closed-toed shoes for your protection. Avoid touching your face. Safety remains a top priority.

Where to Clean

Your only limitation to where you clean is where you see trash. Start on the streets outside of your house. Anything that falls into the ditches on the side of our roads ends up in the storm drains. Eventually, everything in the storm drains ends up in the ocean. Unfortunately, that harms all living creatures that live there, too. Clear any storm drains you see stopped up, providing it is safe to do so. Parks, school grounds, community centers, and beaches also make great places to spread out and pick up debris as well.

How to Track Your Progress

Download the Clean Swell app onto your smartphone. Then, record every single bit of trash you pick up. This helps keep the Ocean Conservancy’s database as up to date as possible.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

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