January 31, 2016

Much has been written about the housing market of the last decade, but many still have trouble understanding where we are now as opposed to then.  This is just a microcosm look at one home model built in the Wildwood area of Thousand Oaks, California.house_money_pile_shutterstock_83573653

The tract is Wildflower built between the years 1976 and 1979.  The model, a two-story, four-bedroom, three-bath home of 2,150 square feet, is called Plan 400 or Wild Rose.  This model made up about 30% of the tract which was comprised of four models and has proved very popular with a downstairs bedroom and full bath plus an indoor laundry.  Highs and lows reflect differences in locations within the tract and the degree of improvements made to individual homes.  Since this snapshot is dealing with one model, the median and average prices are very close.  The market still needs to increase over 10% to reach 2005 levels.


Year Low Medium Average High # of
2003    465,000    514,000   505,600    525,000 5
2004    615,000    672,500   707,167    835,000 6
2005    750,000    760,000   765,360    789,900 5
2006    725,000    746,000   746,750    770,000 4
2007    612,000    690,000   690,167    750,000 6
2008    505,000    587,000   568,400    635,000 5
2009    569,000    597,000   588,667    600,000 3
2010    600,000    602,500   602,500    605,000 2
2011    550,000    590,000   618,333    715,000 3
2012    515,000    535,000   535,000    555,000 2
2013    620,000    629,000   638,250    675,000 5
2014    612,000    616,000   616,000    620,000 2
2015    620,000    679,250   687,125    770,000 4

March 23, 2015

When considering buying a home, one of the first topics of conversation is the down payment (and closing costs) – how much is needed and where is it coming from. Do you know what’s OKAY and what’s NOT okay? While not everything is covered here, these are the most common money sources mentioned.

house_money_pile_shutterstock_83573653Acceptable Sources of Money

  • Deposit accounts, vested retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, trust funds
  • Gifts (minimum investment requirements)
  • Sale of asset (home, car, boat – proof required)
  • Secured loans: Vehicle, 401k, home equity
  • Rent-to-own: Credit toward down payment cannot exceed the difference between Market Rent and the Actual Rent paid for the last 12 months.
  • Seller contributions: Certain percentage of the sales price depending upon LTV (loan to value ratio) & Occupancy
  • Down payment assistance: Grant funds or community loans

Money in MattressUnacceptable Sources of Money

  • Undisclosed, interested-party contributions
  • Payment abatements
  • Sweat equity
  • Funds that have not been vested
  • Personal unsecured loans
  • Cash

The bottom line – Buyers will have to PROVE with documentation the source of their Down Payment funds. “Unacceptable sources” of these funds make it difficult to get approved for a mortgage loan. For this reason, speaking with a loan professional should be at the top of your To-Do list when contemplating the purchase of a home.

Rich and Jan McMillen

September 20, 2009

No day is typical in the life of a real estate agent.  Recently, we had a home in escrow that needed to be fumigated for termites.  Normally not a problem, but in the rafters of a breezeway between the house and garage, there was a nest of turtle doves.  When the buyers first viewed the home, they spotted the mother on her nest and felt it was a sign of good fortune.  Now that two fledglings faced imminent peril, the buyers were concerned of bad karma.  Therefore in the days before the tenting, we were on the phone trying to find someone to rescue these baby birds to no avail.  So an hour before the tenting crew was to arrive, we attempted with virgin gloves to remove them ourselves.  To our wonder and jubilation, just as we reached for them, they took flight!  The house was fumigated, escrow successfully closed, and the buyers are settling into their new home.

Rich & Jan McMillen