March 4, 2015

The Most Expensive Homes For Sale in Simi Valley

The following  properties are the most expensive homes for sale in Simi Valley.  Bookmark this page as a it updates automatically daily.

Sewer Inspection Something Buyers Shouldn’t Skip

You have found the perfect home, you are ready to write the offer and now all the questions start to come up.  What happens next and how much time do you have?  In California the standard purchase contract defaults to a 17 day contingency period for inspections.  It is pretty much understood by most buyers to hire a Home Inspector, however what does a home inspector check or more importantly what does the inspector not check.  They do not do a visual inspection of the sewer main.  Especially on older homes this is becoming a mandatory item.

The main sewer line on most homes runs from the front of the house to the street and connects to the city main.  Every house is different so the location coming out the front of the house is different.  On older homes the main is typically made out of clay pipe and sometimes a product called orangeburg.  Clay sewer line is sturdy but the connection points for each section of pipe is vulnerable to roots and even the pipe itself is porous and susceptible for roots to attach.  Clay sewer line can function for decades without any root problems, it all depends on what trees and shrubs homeowners have planted on that property over the years.  Orangeburg is a nightmare and will need to be replaced. Orangeburg is a product made from wood pulp and tar.  I have actually seen orangeburg on a sewer inspection and when the camera went down the line, the pipe was no longer round, it was flattening out.  The good news is that orangeburg was used up through the 1970s and was not all that common.  It can be found in Simi Valley and the west San Fernando Valley and just about anywhere homes were built in the 1970s and before, but again not all that common.  The best pipe is ABS plastic pipe and if you have your sewer main replaced this is what the plumbing contractors will put in.  Older homes did not have a clean out placed in the front yard, so when the sewer is being replaced it is a good idea to add the clean out for future maintenance.

If you are considering purchasing a home you need a seasoned advocate in your corner who understands these issues and has experience with these issues.  This is where I excel over other Real Estate Agents.  When buying an older home it’s better to know the condition of the sewer so you don’t get stuck with sewer repairs by missing this important inspection.

Simi Valley Oakridge Estates Floor Plans

Below are the Floor Plans for the 4 different models that were built in Simi Valley’s Oakridge Estates. The Tract is dominated by two-story models as there are three. There is one single story floor plan. The largest model, the Valley View,  boasts large bonus room over the three car garage which is usually configured as a large den with a wet bar. It was an optional two-bedroom configuration which I’ve seldom seen in the homes have shown to prospective buyers.  I have included a graph of the sales for each model from 2003 through March of 2010. Simi Valley’s Oakridge Estates tract as very low turnover and longer-term home ownership compared to this rounding tracts.   So while this comparison data seems slim, it’s just related to the fact that when people move into this neighborhood they like to stay.

Oakridge Estates Single Story Floor Plan – The Oaks
Click on the image to enlargeOakridge estates simi valley The Oaks Floor plan

Sales Trends from 2003 through March 2010

Simi Valley Oakridge Estates Model "The Oaks"

Oakridge Estates Two Story Floor Plan

Click on the image to enlarge

Simi valley oakridge estates two story floor planSales Trends from 2003 through March 2010

This model represents the fewest two story homes in the tract.  Sales and comparisons are fewer as a result.

Simi Valley Oakridge Estates Sales Graph

Oakridge Estates Two Story Floor Plan – The Arbor

Click on the image to enlarge
Oakridge Estates The Arbor floor planSales Trends from 2003 through March 2010

Comparables are currently listed in the low $600,000s and high $500,000s

Simi Valley Oakridge Estates Model - The Arbor

Oakridge Estates Largest Two Story Floor Plan – Valley View

Click on the image to enlarge
Oakridge Estates Valley View Floor Plan

Sales Trends from 2003 through March 2010

There is a comparable currently listed as of March 2010 for $700,000

Simi Valley Oakridge Estates Model Valley View

Search for Homes in Simi Valley California Simi Valley Property Values

Thanks for reading Simi Valley’s Premiere Real Estate Blog!
Author – Ted Mackel Simi Valley Real Estate Agent – Keller Williams Realty
Ted Mackel is a top producer at Keller Williams Realty Simi Valley,
specializing in Simi Valley Real Estate
(805) 432-7705

Simi Valley Flood Insurance A Property Owner Headache

Simi Valley Flood Insurance flood zoning and flood mapsSimi Valley property owners who are considering selling their property, whether residential or commercial, need to be aware of the current flood maps for Simi Valley. If their property is located in a flood zone, the flood zoning can create many problems for the seller or purchaser of those properties.  Present government studies project that a significant part of the city is subject to flooding. These studies are presented as flood zone maps which define the flood areas. The costs related to flood insurance, building code requirements and flood control measures are significant. These costs negatively impact the local economy and are a barrier to future economic progress. The financial burden is borne by homeowners, commercial property owners, local business owners and the local government.

Fortunately  technology has created the ability to generate new and more accurate studies with up to date rainfall data. This new study can reduce and even eliminate requirements for properties currently located in the old flood zoning map areas. Simi Valley city staff has indicated they are ready to start the new studies. The county is willing to contribute $100,000 towards the studies and as soon as the Simi Valley City Council allocates a $100,0000 match to the commitment from Ventura County, phase one of the preliminary citywide flood studies can begin.  Once the engineering studies are done, there are costly and time-consuming FEMA procedures to go through before revision of the flood zone map can take effect. This whole process will take about five years and will cost about approximately $950,000.

Approximately 2,000 parcels in the city of Simi Valley are currently being insured for flooding which totals approximately $2 million in premiums. This $2 million is money that could be spent on goods and services inside the City by it’s residents and businesses. These insurance premiums are expected to go up each year. Additional parcels and businesses will be affected as property changes ownership and local businesses obtain business financing . This process needs to begin now as the complete study can take up to five years, once completed there will have been an estimated $15 million in premiums paid. This amount does not take into account the impact to property owners and businesses burdened with these premiums.

Consider, when a home in the flood zone is for sale, potential buyers are confronted with the fact the current and old government flood zoning indicates the property will be flooded and requires flood insurance. This additional cost can turn away potential buyers and negatively impact the value of those properties. Lower property values as a result of flood zoning impacts the County as the property tax values are now based off lower sales prices.

This is also true for the value of commercial and industrial properties. The insurance cost paid by the property owners It is typically passed through to the business tenants as a part of the rent rate and some business tenants are required to provide additional flood insurance by lenders who provide funds for tenants business fixtures and equipment. When commercial property owners need to replace or make significant modifications to outdated and obsolete buildings, they are faced with large costs for building code flood requirements. The burdens of flood insurance on commercial property owners negatively impacts values, can stop owners from redeveloping their property, stop businesses from expanding or even worse cause business to not consider Simi Valley as a place to locate their business.

The city of Simi Valley and the County of Ventura has the opportunity to commission a new study which will greatly relieve the burdens on the property owners of the current outdated flood zone maps. As a new study has the potential to greatly reduce the areas impacted by the old flood zone maps; all future planning for flood control in the city of Simi Valley and the county of Ventura could be handled in a more cost-effective manner and relieve budget items both at the city and county level. This problem needs to be addressed now as it affects all of us. Please contact city staff for information, the City Council for action on our behalf and the county supervisors for support.

Home Buyer Top Purchasing Attributes

Home buyer top attributes that make them fall in love with a home. Outdoor Living Spaces are high on priority for both men and women.

Home Buyer Crushes

Understanding What Multiple Offers Mean to the Market

There is always lots of hype when the Market is recovering or when it is doing well.  The last 18 months has see a definite recovery for Simi Valley Real Estate and we did see many house sell with very competitive multiple offers.  That is cooling off now however, there are homes that are still getting multiple offers, but that situation is not dominating the majority of sales now.  Buyer frustration is fuel by some myths when multiple offers are dominating the market.  Most buyers are lead to believe that All Cash and Quick Closing offers push all other offers aside, but the research says otherwise.

Seller placed importance  on:

  • The highest offer.  (77%)
  • The best mortgage qualified buyer (47%)
  • Offers without contingencies (39%)
  • All Cash offer (23%)
  • The Buyers Ability to close quickly (14%)

Highest offer with all the proper documentation up front will rule the day in most circumstances in a multiple offer situation.  If the Seller has to wait through a 30 day escrow, they don’t care if the buyer’s money is coming in the form of a loan or All Cash, because at the close escrow the seller still gets the money.

How did home sellers handle multiple offers

What Do Buyers Want in A Neighborhood?

The California Association of Realtors published this info graphic, highlighting issues important to home buyers. Even communities such as Simi Valley should take note of this study as the younger generation replacement buyers look for these neighborhood features when purchasing homes.

What Home Buyers want in a neighborhood


3 Reasons Solar is a waste of time for most home owners

Solar Conversion Simi ValleyAre you thinking of putting a Solar System on your home?  Before you do, make sure you consider that it may have no positive impact on the value of your home and may possibly have a negative impact on the value of your home.  Currently the Average system for the average home in Simi Valley California costs approximately $36,000.That is a lot of upfront money just to get rid of a bill in the $90-$150 a month range. Below are the three reasons I believe homeowners should think long and hard before committing to any solar solution for their home.

1. Your home is an energy sieve to begin with.  Have you insulated? Do you have dual pane windows? How old are your appliances? All of these items should be taken care of long before talking to a solar contractor. Reducing the need of air-conditioning and heating and running more efficient appliances will help reduce the size of the solar system for your home if you decide to go that route in the future.

2. Why pay for your Utilities up front for a long term break even?  Costs are already inflated via tax credits.  The truth is that Solar contractors charge inflated rates to install Solar.  Why?  Because of the Tax Credit game.  If all the subsidies and credits went away tomorrow, you would see that the installation costs would drop dramatically. All you have to do is look around any neighborhood and see that more and more people are having soared to their homes. If this is the case then how come the cost of  solar systems is not decreased?

3. Leased systems are not added value to your property they are a liability.  If the potential buyer for your home does not qualify for the lease, then you will have to buy out your lease to sell your home. Not all solar leases are uniform and some are very tricky; tricky in the sense it is very difficult to get anyone qualified to take over your lease leaving the only option, a buyout.

What is the solution?

Convert everything possible in your home to LED and or CFL.  Do you have LED TVs?  If not, this conversion will be a huge savings in annual electric costs.  How old is your Refrigerator, Microwave, Washer-Dryer, Dishwasher?  How about outdoor lighting including flood lights and security lighting?
Did you know there is technology that will let you control lighting and your Thermostat from your phone away from you home?  Do you have children?  You can install timed switches that will turn off lights when the kids forget.

Converting all these items will help reduce your monthly bill significantly. If you could reduce your bill 25% or 30% monthly is there the same desire to invest in a solar system?

Low Ball Offers Should You Write One?

Low Ball OffersThe Simi Valley Real Estate Market has lost as much as 50% or more in many tracts since the “bubble burst”  Last year the market lost 12% alone when many were trying to proclaim recovery.  Those looking to purchase property continually ask the question “Are we at the bottom?”

We know that timing the bottom of any market is impossible and falls more on luck.  If we all knew where the bottom was in any given market, then investing would be routine, automatic and easy for anyone to do.  I can think of the Movie “Back To The Future II” where Biff grabs the Sports Almanac from the future and gives it to his younger self in the past, thus giving young Biff all the outcome in major sports for many years.  I can only pause and think this is what people are desiring for the real estate market, to know how it is all going to turn out before they make a purchase.

So you find a property you are interested in, you want to write an offer and you want to protect yourself from any more declines in the market; you decide that a low offer is in order.  However, every time you submit an offer, you get beat out by other buyers and are soon out looking at other properties.  How should you proceed?

Here are some of the key point to consider before writing your offer.

  • Short term investments in residential Real Estate are extremely difficult.  If you are looking at this purchase to hold less than 7-10 years, then your upside is going to be very very limited with most properties that are listed on the open market.
  • Understand Market Value. For example, every 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Simi Valley has a given market value, in it’s present condition, even if it is not completely upgraded.  Sellers will want market value and are very unlikely to sell their property under market value.  Just because it is going to cost you money to carpet, paint and make the house “yours”; does not translate into a dollar for dollar discount in the price of the home.
  • Short Sales may offer some under market value, but don’t expect a deep discount.  The Lender that is going to approve the sale for less money than what is owed, has investors to answer to.  Consider that these corporate employees do not like to deviate from their corporate guidelines and do not like to go to upper management with reasons why they should let the property go for less.  Job security for these corporate employees is more important than your purchase.
  • Foreclosures – Deep discounts on foreclosure properties take time.  If the bank has recently started to market a property, it will need to sit on the market quite a long time before they will start significantly discount the property.
  • Deep discounted properties usually come with issues.  These properties either have defects, seriously deferred maintenance or Title issues.  Even with the deep discounts on these properties, it will take money to rehab these properties.

Looking at the trending market reports for Simi Valley Real Estate, properties have average selling prices of 5%-8% the original list price.  Now that the inventory is extremely tight,  the ratio between the original list price and selling price is narrowing, money is cheap with low interest rates and home prices are lower than last year, the opportunity for success with low ball offers is going to be very rare.

Why Zillow, Trulia & similar sites cause buyers so much frustration

Trulia Zillow Simi Valley Homes For Sale

The National Association of Realtors 2011 Buyer and Seller Profile report has some interesting data, but really not that surprising when I compare that data to what I see in the field every day.  The reports stated:

eighty-eight percent of home buyers used the internet as one of the information sources in their home search process…

the second most used information source was the real estate agent. eighty-seven percent of buyers used real estate agents during their home search process…

the internet and real estate agents have remained the two highest-ranking sources by usefulness consistently for several years,

The National Association spends significant time and money on this research and if you have been looking for homes online, you will probably have a few stories to tell about the process.

The State of California is a very pro-consumer protection state. The Department of real estate and the requirement of a sales license is a pro consumer protection device. The licensing requirements in the state of California set the expectation as to how real estate can be transacted. Each individual listing contract is a private employment contract between the home seller and the real estate broker. Real estate brokers created the multiple listing service to pool their private employment contracts together under a universal compensation agreement. Essentially, this means that the various brokers will agree to compensate each other, if they sell each other’s listings.

Prior to the Internet, home buyers were only able to get information about the properties for sale in a given market by directly contacting a real estate agent. Today, during the internet age, home buyers have the ability to go online and search for homes at any time of the day or night.

What is unknown or often misunderstood is that very few websites have a complete inventory of homes are for sale on the market. Sites such as Trulia and Zillow offer information about properties for sale, but because there are not brokers, these have very limited access to the properties for sale in any given market. They rely on brokers supplying information about homes brokers have for sale. Unfortunately for Trulia and Zillow, not all brokers provide their inventories. Additionally as homes are sold or entered escrow, many times the information is not reported to Trulia and Zillow, so the information listed on those sites could overstate or understate the actual available inventory.

So where’s the best place for home buyer to look for property on the Internet? Well if you look at the results of the report I quoted above, the real estate agent plays a very important part in filling in the gaps of what’s available online.

From personal experience, many, many, many times buyers have come to me with a list of homes they have found on the Internet and 90% of those homes are already under contract in escrow. As a member of the multiple listing service, I have access to the real-time data reporting of the current inventory. While the property searches on real estate agent websites are coming from a more direct feed of the listing data, those sites can only provide limited data.

Don’t feel like you are coming up empty handed. If you understand the property search sites are limited in scope and that the pro-consumer protection posture of the state of California wants home buyers and home sellers to interact with licensed real estate agents, you can use the information online conjunction with licensed real estate agent and find a home for you.




The information being provided by CARETS is for the visitor's personal, noncommercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties visitor may be interested in purchasing. The data contained herein is copyrighted by CARETS, CLAW, CRISNet MLS, i-Tech MLS and/or VCRDS and is protected by all applicable copyright laws. Any dissemination of this information is in violation of copyright laws and is strictly prohibited Any property information referenced on this web site comes from the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program of CARETS. This web site may reference real estate listing(s) held by a brokerage firm other than the broker and/or agent who owns this web site. The accuracy of all information, regardless of source, is deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be personally verified through personal inspection by and/or with the appropriate professionals.


CARETS, California Real Estate Technology Services, is a consolidated MLS property listing data feed comprised of CLAW (Combined LA/Westside MLS), CRISNet MLS (Southland Regional AOR), i-Tech MLS (Glendale AOR/Pasadena Foothills AOR) and VCRDS (Ventura County Regional Data Share).