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Pat Zumbrun
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Creating a Ventura Home School Space for Your Child to Thrive

The 2020 school year for Ventura Unified School District students officially begins tomorrow, August 18th. But instead of in-classroom teaching, it starts off (for now) with remote learning. The district provides two separate home schooling options: Weave and Homestead. Whichever way parents decide to go, your child needs a dedicated Ventura home school space from which to operate. Here are a few tips to help your child thrive during their remote learning experience.

The new VUSD school year starts remotely on Aug 18th, 2020. Find out how to create a dedicated Ventura home school space that allows your child to thrive.

Creating a Ventura Home School Space

Defined School Zone(s)

Search Ventura County homes for saleJust like a home office, a defined Ventura home school space allows students to focus on the task at hand much better than the dining room table. If one room of your house cannot be designated as a school zone, set one up in your child’s bedroom. Section off a portion of the room for a desk with shelving or organizational units to create a classroom at home. Customize it specifically to fit your child’s aesthetic as well as their needs. Add special touches to make it feel like their own space while still avoiding distractions.

Change Up the Scenery

No one likes to look at the same thing over and over. Break up the monotony by allowing backyard class time. Add a few shelves in the family room to put up books for reading time. Place soft beanbag chairs or big pillows near this space for kids to lounge in comfort while reading. Turn part of the living room, kitchen, or playroom into an artist’s studio. For households with more than one child in school, rotate these spaces among the kids. Get creative to avoid boredom.

Get Organized

It’s uber-important to stay organized, especially when keeping track of assignments for more than one child. Binders and baskets help keep each child on track in your Ventura home school space. Let your child customize their own binder or basket to differentiate from each other. It also encourages them to check each often to make sure they stay on task and don’t “forget” anything. Keep all binders and/or baskets in one central location so that they are both easy to find and keep track of.

Stock Up on Supplies

Finally, keep you school supplies stocked up. Make room in your pantry, office, or other area in your Ventura home to stock pencils, pens, paper, etc. Then, when your child needs it, they can just go to your “school supplies closet” to retrieve it. Keep an eye out for sales on supplies at local markets so you can stock up for less.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Takeout Tuesdays 2020

COVID-19 continues to affect us all. For a little while, it looked like Californians would be able to enjoy a date night inside their favorite bars or restaurants again. Unfortunately, Governor Newsom put the kibosh on that in early July. He closed down any inside patronage of bars, restaurants, breweries, and tasting rooms throughout the state. While outdoor dining and to-go orders remain a possibility at many of Ventura’s restaurants, this severely cuts into the owners’ and employees’ income. To help your favorite local restaurants stay in business during this rough time, the local restaurants began to encourage Ventura Takeout Tuesdays.

To help support our local businesses, Ventura Harbor Village encourages you to participate in Ventura Takeout Tuesdays from your favorite restaurant. #CATakeoutTuesdays

Ventura Takeout Tuesdays 2020

Search Ventura County homes for saleYes, the governor allows outdoor dining at Ventura area restaurants. However, restaurants only allow a certain numbers of seats outside. During olden times (aka, “before COVID”), restaurants often served the least amount of customers on Mondays and Tuesdays. In that vein, local Ventura Harbor Village restaurants banded together to create Ventura Takeout Tuesday.

First, call in your order to your favorite restaurant. Most of the restaurants located in Ventura Harbor Village offer take-out options. These include the 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese, Brophy Bros, The Parlor, and Water’s Edge. At that time, they’ll give you a time to come pick it up. Once you receive your food, take it home with you. Don’t want to leave? Bring a blanket with you when you get your food and then take it to the Village Main Lawn or out on the beach for a delightful evening picnic.


To help spread the word about Ventura Takeout Tuesdays, take pictures, upload them to your social media, and tag them with #CATakeoutTuesday. Show people what they are missing when they don’t support local businesses. Also, make sure to tag the restaurant you picked up your food from so they receive a proper shoutout. Remember, some of the employees still depend on tips to make up their income. So, please, tip what you can, especially if they bring the food out to your car for you or if you put in a complicated or large order. Let’s do what we all can to help each other through this difficult time.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Beach Dining Options

For a brief, shining moment last month, in-house dining returned to Ventura County. Unfortunately, Governor Newsom ordered a temporary halt on July 1st due to a spike in Coronavirus cases. What does this mean for Ventura beach dining options?

Restaurant dining reverted back to outdoor or takeout on July 1st. But there are options to how you enjoy Ventura beach dining at Ventura Harbor Village.

Ventura Beach Dining

Search Ventura County homes for saleVentura Harbor Village offers outdoor dining and takeout options for all of its restaurants. This includes the 805 Bar & Grilled Cheese, Baja Bay Surf ‘N Taco, Margarita Villa, The Parlor, and Water’s Edge, among others. All restaurants and bars offering outdoor dining must keep a six foot distance between tables. Only members living in the same household may sit together. Patrons must limit their dining time to between one and one and a half hours before the table gets turned over. Bars and pubs now close between 10 pm and 5 am.

What About Ventura Bars and Pubs?

As of July 16th, the Ventura County Health Officer ordered bars and pubs to close their inside service to the public. However, if these bars serve food, they may do so on their outdoor patios. Alcohol may also be ordered and served at the same time that food is requested. Wineries and wine tasting rooms may continue to operate as long as they adhere to strict guidelines.

Alternatives to Outdoor Dining

Ventura beach dining at Harbor Village offers a few alternatives to sit-down dining. First, order your food to go. Just about every restaurant at Ventura Harbor Village allows you to call in an order for pick-up. Then, take your food to the Seaside Takeout Zone at the village. Bring a blanket and/or lawn chairs for a nice, comfortable picnic at the harbor. Or rent an electric boat for a ride around the harbor and enjoy your food on the water. Yet another option is to go across the road and take it out on the beach for a lovely beach picnic. Just make sure you always pick up after yourself and throw trash away in the appointed receptacles. We want to make sure everyone gets a chance to enjoy the beaches for decades to come.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Main Street Moves Ventura

Just today, Governor Newsom ordered a second shutdown of indoor businesses amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19. That includes indoor dining at restaurants. However, he still allows outdoor dining and shopping to continue. Why? This facilitates social distancing much easier than the confines of indoors. So, the local experiment known as Main Street Moves Ventura appears to continue through until its end date of July 16th.

Even though Governor Newsom again announced closures of indoor dining at local restaurants, Main Street Moves Ventura allows you to eat and shop outside over five blocks in the downtown area until July 16th, 2020.

What: Main Street Moves Ventura
Where: Downtown Ventura, Main St between Fir & Palm and California St between Santa Clara & Poli
When: 7 am to 10 pm every day between now and July 16th, 2020

Main Street Moves Ventura

Search Ventura County homes for saleOn June 16th, five blocks in the downtown Ventura area shut down their streets to vehicular traffic. This allowed businesses in the area to expand out onto the sidewalks and streets in an effort to accommodate customers while still allowing for social distancing requirements. These blocks allow for foot and bicycle traffic from 7 am to 10 pm daily.

In addition to shopping at your favorite stores outdoors, restaurants allow dining al fresco. Of course, takeout is still available at many places if you feel more comfortable doing that instead.

Health and Safety

Restaurants and shops must adhere to state, federal, and CDC guidelines during this time to remain open. That means that employees and guests must always wear a mask. The only exceptions to that rule are if you have a medical or mental condition that prevents you from wearing a mask. Also, hearing-impaired people or anyone who needs to communicate with a hearing-impaired person does not need to wear a mask. Basically, if a person must be able to see another person’s mouth in order to communicate, they do not need to wear a mask at that time.

Of course, when you eat or drink at a restaurant, you don’t need to wear a mask either. But that’s where a six foot distance from others becomes necessary. Outdoor activities such as swimming, running, hiking, bicycling, etc., do not require the use of masks. Again, maintain that six foot distance from others in your vicinity while engaged in outdoor activities.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura County Campgrounds Open Back Up

Each year, when reservations open up for California campgrounds, spots fill up fast. If you don’t reserve a site early, you run the risk of not ever getting in during the season. When the governor announced the opening of Ventura beaches last month, many people thought campgrounds would soon follow. Alas, that didn’t happen. For those who made their reservations earlier this year, COVID-19 concerns and the statewide shutdown canceled their plans. However, Ventura County campgrounds opened back up last weekend. Again, campgrounds filled up right away.

Ventura County campgrounds have now opened back up. But, just like Ventura County beaches, limitations remain in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Also, campsites sell out quickly.

Ventura County Campgrounds Now Open

Search Ventura County homes for saleCurrently, 28 California State Park campsites are open for business. That includes a few Ventura County campgrounds. Some state parks currently operate at only 50% capacity. Most of the parks in operation right now also allow day use.

Even though the governor OK’d the California campgrounds to reopen, restrictions remain in place. Officials suggest you maintain social distancing rules for now. Also, only camp with the people living in your household. Guided tours, visitor centers, and museums stay closed for the moment. For more information, please visit the California Department of Parks and Recreation website here.

Limitations for Camping

We like to socialize. But visiting nearby campsites is a “no-no” for now. Likewise, gathering in groups for activities or contact sports is prohibited as well. Officials ask that you maintain a six-foot distance between you and any other group or individual not living with you. Even with restrooms made available to the public, officials strongly suggest you utilize the facilities in your own RV rather than the public facilities to limit COVID-19 exposure. When venturing outside your core group, they also suggest you wear a face mask or covering. Park officials reserve the right to kick out anyone failing to abide by the rules set in place.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Brush Clearance Required at Ventura County Homes

2020 started out rough for everybody around the world thanks to COVID-19 concerns. Non-essential businesses across the country shut down around mid-March. California’s lockdown could continue through July. One thing that won’t go on lockdown? Wildfire season. It’s here. Local government officials require all Ventura County homeowners to get rid of dead brush and other fire hazards on their properties to lower the chances of total devastation from a wildfire. The deadline to complete your brush clearance is today. Are you in compliance? If you brought your property into compliance with the county’s brush clearance policy, where do you take your trimmings?

June 1st is the deadline for all Ventura County homeowners to have completed the brush clearance on their homes. But where do you dispose of your trimmings if they're too much for curbside pickup?

Brush Clearance in Ventura County

How to Clear Your Brush

Search Ventura County homes for saleFirst, concentrate on any flammable or combustible materials in or around your Ventura home such as dead vegetation. Then, thin out your overgrown shrubs and trees. Remove any dead plants, mulch, firewood piles, dried leaves, etc. located near your house. Your goal should be to leave at least a three-foot radius (if not more) around your home that stays clear of anything flammable. This helps provide a natural barrier between flammable materials and your house in case a wildfire approaches.

Where to Dispose of Brush

Residential disposal only picks up so much in yard trimmings. Ojai’s recycling center is closed at this time. But, Gold Coast Recycling in Ventura and Oxnard’s Del Norte Recycling remain open. And the non-profit CREW (Concerned Resource and Environmental Workers) helps residents dispose of their yard waste by offering drop-offs at Honor Farms and curbside chipping for specific days. In fact, CREW hosts a “Curbside Chipper Day” on June 20th in Moorpark. But that’s just the first one. Other dates could be announced later. If you’re interested in utilizing their services, visit the CREW website to sign up. They also work with elderly and low-income residents to bring their wood chipper directly to your home. Visit CREW’s Wood Chipper Program for more information.

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

Ventura Beaches Open Up With Limited Use During COVID-19

Back in mid-March, Governor Gavin Newsom issued his Stay at Home order for the state of California. Government officials eased these restrictions a little bit in mid-April. While restaurants still only offer to-go or delivery options, golf courses, bike shops, and car lots opened back up to the public. From April 4th to April 20th, Ventura beaches shut down due to COVID-19 concerns. However, as of April 20th, local officials opened up Ventura Beaches for limited usage. They want the public to enjoy our gorgeous Southern California weather but strongly encourage continued social distancing.

Officials allow Ventura beaches to gradually open back up to the public but strict restrictions of use and social distancing guidelines are in place to keep us safe during COVID-19.

Ventura Beaches Limited Use

What’s Allowed?

For now, officials allow the following activities on Ventura beaches, parks, trails, and pathways:

  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Ocean activities (swimming, surfing, parasailing, boating)

What’s Not Allowed?

  • Group gatherings
  • Sitting or standing
  • Lying down
  • Fishing

Search Ventura County homes for saleFor now, playgrounds, skate parks, picnic areas, pools, public restrooms, baseball fields, tennis courts, and parking lots remain off-limits for public gatherings. However, the modified order from Ventura officials allows public gatherings of people as long as they stay in the cars with the windows rolled up. And the gathering must be in an open-air location/outdoor venue. Cars cannot be parked closer than six feet from each other and cannot contain more than five people at a time.

Remember, though, to stay at least six feet from others that don’t reside in your household. We’re not in the clear from possible COVID-19 exposure. Even when asymptomatic, you may still infect others in your friends and family circle that are vulnerable to this disease. If we all adhere to social distancing rules, wash our hands regularly for at least 20 seconds at a time, and disinfect doorknobs, countertops, and other high traffic areas of our houses, we can open the entire state back up soon. Do your part to stay healthy and safe.

Ventura County Featured Home for Sale

For more information about this and other Ventura area homes for sale, please visit our Featured Listings page here.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Stay at Home Order Modified in Ventura County

It feels like we’ve been told to stay inside our homes for years now. But, it’s really only been a few weeks. Even so, millions of people want to resume something close to a normal life. They’re itching to get back to work. Our 422 cases county-wide sit well below our neighbors to the southeast. As of the writing of this post, Los Angeles County reported more than 12,000 cases of COVID-19. Partly because of the relatively low reported cases, Ventura County plants to modify their stay at home order to start getting us back to some semblance of normalcy again. And start putting people back to work.

Under the newly modified Stay at Home Order, some non-essential Ventura County businesses, golf courses & small public gatherings may open back up with certain restrictions put in place.

Ventura County Stay at Home Order Modified

Search Ventura County homes for saleDr Robert Levin, Public Health Officer for the County of Ventura, announced a modified Stay at Home Order in effect as of Sunday, April 19th. Restaurants may continue to provide take-out or delivery. But their in-dining facilities must remain closed for now. Grocery stores, banks and other essential businesses may remain open to the public as well.

Non-Essential Businesses

Under the newly modified order, non-essential businesses that don’t interact with the public may open back up. However, they cannot allow more than 10 people at a time inside their office in any 24 hour period. Any retailer or non-essential business with more than 10 people that interacts with the public must remain closed for now.

Public Gatherings

The old order allowed no public gatherings of more than two people unless they happened to live in the same household. The newly modified order allows public gatherings as long as you stay inside your motorized vehicle and the gathering takes place at an outdoor venue. Each vehicle cannot contain more than five people and must stay at least six feet apart with their windows rolled up. No one will be allowed to leave their vehicle while the gathering takes place either.

Guns and Golf

Did you purchase a gun before March 20th? You may now pick it up. Golf courses will be allowed to open up. However, no carts allowed. Again, keep social distancing in mind when playing through. Bike and car shops can also begin in-person sales provided they continue to practice good social distancing.

How Long?

The modified Stay at Home Order continues in place until May 15th. However, he plans on overlooking data about new COVID-19 cases in a couple of weeks to see how we’re doing. If we continue to practice safe social distancing and reported cases taper off or diminish, even more restrictions will be lifted to allow more businesses to open up.

Dr. Levin encourages anyone over the age of 70 as well as anyone with health issues to continue to stay at home as much as possible. If you feel ill, stay home and isolate yourself from others living in your house to contain the spread of any virus. We are not out of the woods yet. We all still need to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds a day, several times a day. And continue to disinfect areas of high use in your household (counters, doorknobs, etc) on a regular basis. To keep up with the latest COVID-19 news, visit Ventura County’s website.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists

Ventura Meal Services During Stay Well at Home Orders

Officials shut down access to all Ventura beaches and parks as of April 1st. Schools shut down their on-site classrooms and transitioned to distance learning (from home) last month. They plan to stay that way through the end of the school year. However, some students relied on the school’s cafeteria to eat one or two meals per day. With the shutdown, this makes it more difficult for them to receive the nutrition they need. Fortunately, the City implemented a few Ventura meal services during the governor’s “Stay Well at Home” orders. Senior citizens also can be taken care of at this time through these meal services.

During the governor's "Stay Well at Home" orders, children and senior citizens can still utilize Ventura meal services for delicious, nutritious food.

Ventura Meal Services


Search Ventura County homes for saleVolunteers and staff of the Ventura Unified School District work hard to put together nutritious meals for kids ages 1 to 18 each week. They provide both breakfast and lunch each day for children in need in the community. Meals can be picked up between 11:30 am and 1 pm Monday through Friday at any of the following six locations:

  • Atlas Elementary (760 Jazmin Ave in Ventura)
  • Data Middle School (2060 Cameron St in Ventura)
  • Montalvo Elementary (2050 Grand Ave in Ventura)
  • Sheridan Way Elementary (573 Sheridan Way in Ventura)
  • Sunset K-8 School (400 Sunset Ave in Oak View)
  • Will Rogers Elementary (316 Howard St in Ventura)

During Spring Break (April 6th to 10th), this service is only available during normal hours on Monday, the 6th. At that time, you may pick up five breakfasts and five lunches for each child to get them through the week. Regular meal distribution continues next week on April 13th.

Senior Citizens

The Ventura Ave Adult Care Center usually provides nutritious meals for our community’s senior citizens. However, due to COVID-19 concerns, it remains closed to the public through April 12th. However, staff continues to make these meals for pick-up (11 am to 1 pm Monday through Friday) as well as home delivery. For more info, please contact the center at (805) 648-3035.

Another resource available to our senior community is through the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA). Anyone aged 60 or older may contact the VCAAA to receive two weeks of food delivered straight to their door. This includes fresh produce, canned food, dry goods, and even one roll of toilet paper per person. They also offer a no-contact pick-up service where staff loads up your car curbside. Simply contact the VCAAA at (805) 477-7300 to arrange pick-up or delivery.

Together, we can get through this. We WILL get through this. If you need a little help in the meantime, don’t hesitate to ask.

Dave & Pat Zumbrun, your Ventura County real estate specialists