Buying a Home in Thousand Oaks

Buying a Home in Thousand OaksThere’s so much to be said for the beautiful community of Thousand Oaks, CA and if you’re considering purchasing a home here then you’ve come to the right place.  Buying a home in Thousand Oaks can be an exciting time and should be approached carefully with the help of a licensed professional.  Thousand Oaks CA offers so many wonderful schools and a family friendly community that’s often ranked as one of the safest cities to live in.  If you’re considering purchasing a home in Thousand Oaks CA then please read on and of course if you have any questions in the meantime about buying a home in Thousand Oaks please feel free to contact us anytime.

Due to the internet and so many real estate websites like Zillow, and RedFin offering property data to buyers instantly, many buyers make the mistake of getting online and shopping for homes only to become frustrated at the process.  The first step in buying a home in Thousand Oaks CA is selecting a Thousand Oaks CA Real Estate Agent.  As a real estate broker I receive many calls from frustrated buyers about how homes on the internet aren’t being advertised or marketed properly.  Many property listings for sale on these major sites contain incorrect information such as market trends, incorrect past purchase history and online estimated values just to name a few.  Unfortunately some buyers take this data as gospel because it’s written on a website when the truth is much of that data is information the site has gathered along the way which can lead to misinformation.  Your best bet to begin the home buying process on the best foot is by hiring a Thousand Oaks CA Realtor.  Selecting a local, experienced, knowledgeable agent will not only save you time searching for the perfect home but you’ll also get sound advice from a professional throughout the buying process.

Now I know what you’re thinking, what could be easier and quicker than just going online and searching for homes yourself?  Well, here’s your answer… once you have had a discussion with your Realtor in Thousand Oaks CA on what exactly you’re looking for in your next home then your agent can go to work for you on finding your perfect home.  Your agent has the ability to create specialized searches for you and can set you up in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) on a automated search so that when properties hit the market based on your search criteria you’ll be instantly notified.  Some listing notifications that my clients receive are so fast that the listing agent hasn’t even put the photos in the listing yet!  The best part about being added in a personalized search in the MLS from your agent is that the listing information that’s coming from the MLS that’s shared to the major websites is shared secondary to those sites so the notification you receive from the auto search will actually be faster than waiting for the data to come from another source or by searching for it yourself online.  You could receive a notification of the new listing and look at your dream home before someone else even knows it’s for sale!  In a hot real estate market like Thousand Oaks this can help home buyers receive those listings faster which in turn means seeing homes quicker and getting ahead of other buyers that have decided not to use the best, free resource available to them, a Realtor in Thousand Oaks CA!

Next we’ll discuss the cost to use an agent when you’re buying a home in Thousand Oaks CA and how your agent can protect you.  Did you know that as a buyer interested in buying a home in Thousand Oaks CA you won’t pay a dime for professional buyer representation?  That’s right, as a buyer it’s free to get representation from a licensed professional agent.  Knowing that you’ll have a professional in your corner and at no cost to you begs the question, Why wouldn’t you hire an Realtor when you’re buying a home in Thousand Oaks?  Before we go any farther though, if you’re looking for a Realtor in the Conejo Valley or any other areas we service, let me throw my hat in the ring as an experienced agent.  I’ve been assisting clients achieve their real estate goals since 2006 and have been a licensed Broker since 2009.  Having sold over 1,000 homes since being licensed you can be assured I have the knowledge and experience necessary to assist and protect you as you journey through the home buying process.  To learn more about me and read some past reviews from my clients, click here.

Buying a home in Thousand Oaks CA can be a VERY competitive process.  In a market like ours buyers will want to make sure they have all the latest tools readily available at their finger tips.  One of the best things you as a buyer can do to prepare yourself for searching homes for sale in the Conejo Valley area is to work with a licensed agent.  Now I may sound like a broken record in my statements of using an agent but the truth is an agent has the ability to assist you in finding your next home faster and easier than you can searching the internet.  Think all homes are listed on the internet, they’re not.  In fact some Sellers specifically request that their home not be syndicated to real estate website like Zillow, Realtor and RedFin.  When an agent loads a listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), one of the options they have is to syndicate or send a copy of the listing to other sites and catch this, some MLS’s don’t even offer the ability to send the listing and many real estate offices have actually banned syndicating listings to outside sources.  So, in the end not all properties are listed on the internet but 99.9% will be listed in the MLS through an agent.

Now that we’ve covered that, what’s so great about the MLS?  Well, one specific benefit for a buyer interested in buying a home in Thousand Oaks will be the auto search the MLS offers.  With most all properties being listed in the MLS first, buyers using an agent that have been added to the MLS search program will receive listings that match their search criteria fast.  There are a couple items in the search process that need to be setup but the options available for a buyer notification are daily, weekly, monthly and immediately.  Active buyers searching for properties and ready to buy more sooner than later appreciate that I set them up on immediate notifications.  This option will send an email to the buyer immediately when a property is loaded in the MLS that matches a buyers criteria, one benefit to consider here is that even if the property is sent to another website like Zillow, or Trulia it may take hours and a buyer receiving immediate alerts will be WAY ahead of the curve when it comes to other buyers not using an agent.

The benefits of using an agent don’t end at quicker searches, in fact that’s really just a bonus.  The real benefit is the knowledge and consultation you’ll receive from your local Thousand Oaks Real Estate Agent that will better suit you for making proper decisions throughout the offer negotiation and escrow process.  Another added benefit is the information that you’re agent can supply you with on the local community and surrounding areas, schools and other items in the area.  The ability to tap into a free resource such as a buyer agent is truly priceless!

Another great thing about having an agent in Thousand Oaks is the contacts and vendors the agent will have access to.  Contacts such as lenders, painters, handymen and audio visual professionals just to name a few.  Having an agent that has a tight network of people really can save a buyer money and will likely do a far better job than you trying to hire someone off the street.  I work with a great network of people like lenders and also have connections to assist my buyers with anything else they need done such as internet wiring, electrical, clean-up, remodeling and much more!

Having an agent that has great connections especially with a lender can be a huge plus.  Most agents will have a lender they use on a normal basis and can refer buyers to which will greatly assist a buyer, this guidance may pay off dearly for you in the end.  For a buyer, finding a lender is easy but finding an honest, ethical lender that follows through and communicates well can be like locating a needle in a haystack.  Having a lender that actually does what they say they will do and qualifies buyers properly is also pretty rare.  The lenders I use will not only find you a great rate but they’ll also take very good care of you, likely be the cheapest in fees and get your deal done quicker than others.  Additionally, they’ll communicate well with you through the qualification and approval process all the way through to close.  For more information on getting approved on buying a home in Thousand Oaks, click here.

Great connections do make things go smoothly in the end and coincidentally I had an issue transpire today that allowed me to show a top-notch level of service with the contacts I have.  I had a client close escrow today in Newbury Park and the other agent left some items in the garage, normally things such as trash or construction debris are removed from the property before closing escrow but in this case it was not removed by the listing agent prior to close.  When I arrived and noticed the items remaining I was able to call my haul-off guy who has done a great load of work for me in the past and he came right over to the house.  Knowing his level of service, quality of work and dedication to complete a job thoroughly makes the call from me easy as I know what to expect in the end.  As my client was pulling up I was able to tell him about the remaining debris and that he didn’t have to worry because I had a haul-off crew on the way and they’d be there shortly.  An agent with no vendor contacts would’ve been put in a precarious situation because the items would then have been left for the new homeowner to deal with.  The small things like this really display a high level of service in the end and shows the buyer that the agent went beyond the call and further support a buyers thought process that they made a good decision in hiring the right agent.

We’re jumping around a bit but now let’s dive into the offer and escrow process.  While offers and escrow may be an everyday item for some agents, buyers probably wont be in the same boat.  It’s important to remember that going through the offer and escrow process can be like navigating a mine field, making the wrong step or decision might cost you thousands.  This is where having an agent will come in handy, a skilled agent that has done a good amount of business like me will have the experience to help guide you through the process and advise you as needed.  Did I happen to mention that as a buyer this is all a FREE service?  I’m pretty sure i have!

Negotiation of the offer process can be a daunting task.  Things like offer price, close of escrow date and how much for a deposit is easy to figure out but what happens when you have a Seller that’s buying another home and simultaneous closing needs to take place or who will pay for items like a private transfer fee, HOA docs or owners title insurance policy.  While there are “customary” Seller paid items in each county, every area is different and can likely cause a buyer to lose the deal if they’re not well informed or competitive for the area.  Another thing most people don’t think about is the emotional side of the transaction, when a buyer and seller get to be stubborn the deal may die out so it’s it’s nice to have the buffer of a professional agent in place to help facilitate and counsel through the process.  In the end, it’s just better to have an agent so that you as the buyer don’t make an emotional decision but instead a decision based on education and proper counsel.

Negotiation of the offer is just the first part and personally, I think the easiest part.  The escrow process is another separate beast in itself and also requires a clear head with constant communication and potential negotiation.  After acceptance of your offer a timeline starts, think 7-17-17-21 which are days from the date of acceptance.  Within 7 days a Seller will provide Seller Disclosures that will be all the Seller notes of what they have or haven’t done and know or don’t know about the property.  Simultaneously along with that timeline comes a buyers 17 day inspection period.  This is the time that the buyer can do whatever inspections they deem necessary to do their due diligence on the property.  Along the same timelines will be your appraisal which a buyer also has 17 days to complete.  Next is the 21 days and that’s represents a deadline for buyers loan approval.  Now the important part, as a Buyer proceeds through this gauntlet and completes these items a Listing Agent or Seller may request the applicable contingency to be removed.  As a buyer faced with this decision, should you do it?  Well, that’d be a question for your agent at that time and they’ll better inform you of what the repercussions might be of that action.  However, if you do remove a contingency and later change your mind on something it’s to late and your deposit might be up for grabs as per Item #3 of the California Association of Realtors Contingency Removal form that stipulates the following;

Once all contingencies are removed, whether or not Buyer has satisfied him/herself regarding all contingencies or received any information relating to those contingencies, Buyer may not be entitled to a return of Buyer’s deposit if Buyer does not close escrow. This could happen even if, for example, Buyer does not approve of some aspect of the Property or lender does not approve Buyer’s loan.

The aforementioned contingencies are in the California Residential Purchase Agreement to protect you as a buyer so make sure to use them wisely.  As a general rule of thumb, only remove your contingencies when you’re sure you’ve completed your due diligence and are prepared to move forward.  Once all contingencies are removed you’ll likely be close to closing escrow but if you decide to cancel at the end you may lose your deposit.  Your agent will schedule your final walk-through with you and you’ll sign any applicable loan docs to fund your home loan.  Once your loan has funded then escrow will release the file to record at the county recorders office.  The recordation is the final step to a home purchase and is the legal name change from the previous homeowner to the new buyer.  Once the county confirms the recording with escrow then the home will be officially yours.

Now that you know the process, it’s time to find the perfect home.  There are truly so many wonderful communities to choose from in Thousand Oaks CA.  Buyers interested in the area will need to decide what they’re looking for with regards to home and lot size, pricing and community features, etc.  With so many wonderful communities in and around Thousand Oaks you’re sure to find your perfect next home.  For a complete list of all Thousand Oaks CA neighborhoods and communities, click here.

Another really fantastic benefit of living in Thousand Oaks are the schools.  Served by the Conejo Valley School District you can be assured that your child will be getting a great education.  Several CVSD schools have been awarded the National Blue Ribbon Award by the US Department of Education.  Presently there are approximately 20,000 students enrolled and most schools offer academic, athletic and artistic electives for students to take advantage of.

Employment rate in Thousand Oaks CA comes in almost a full percentage point above the national average.  With so many great employers in the area, our community offers plenty of opportunities.  There are many small and medium size businesses always looking to hire and the larger employers in the area are Amgen, Blue Cross, California Lutheran University and Conejo Valley School District just to name a few.  Amgen is the largest employer in the area with over 5,000 employees.

Of course with all the great communities, wonderful schools and availability of jobs one might think that there is nothing to do in Thousand Oaks right?  Not quite, regardless whether you’re looking for fine dining, shopping, hiking, golfing or visiting museums there’s something for everyone.  One of my favorite hiking parks in the area is Wildwood, there are miles upon miles of open trails to hike leading to all sorts of beautiful landscapes like waterfalls, rivers and open valleys with picturesque views.  Thousand Oaks offers a wide spectrum of amenities and offers many local favorites like The Oaks Mall, Sherwood Country Club and a fantastic museum called the California Museum of Art.  And if all that Thousand Oaks offers just isn’t enough well then you can be in downtown Los Angeles in just about 40 miles.

Now that you know about all the wonderful features Thousand Oaks CA offers, here are some current homes for sale in the area….

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To view all Thousand Oaks CA Homes for Sale, click here.  When you start thinking about buying a home in Thousand Oaks, CA please feel free to reach out to Jason Thoele or click here.  I’ll make sure to customize a search for you based on exactly what you’re looking for so we make sure to make most efficient use of your time and view homes you’re actually interested in seeing.  Additionally I’ll represent you professionally and offer my knowledge and experience to guide you through the buying process.


If you have any additional questions on Buying a Home in Thousand Oaks CA or would like more information on getting approved by a lender to buy a home please feel free to contact us.  Additionally, you can leave a comment in the section below.


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