The Ventura County Community Development Corp. in partnership with the city of Simi Valley will host a free workshop for those interested in learning how to successfully navigate the complex home-buying process.
The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 19 at in the Council Chambers at Simi Valley City Hall, 2929 Tapo Canyon Road.
VCCDC is a local nonprofit with a goal of assisting potential homebuyers in becoming mortgage-ready and sustaining homeownership for the long term. The workshop will include information on the up to $30,000 in down payment assistance programs the nonprofit offers.
The workshop, approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also will cover topics including renting vs. owning a home, managing your budget and credit, understanding the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval, shopping for a home loan, working with a Realtor, understanding how real estate agents work and get paid, the offer and counteroffer process, obtaining a home inspection and how it protects you, maintaining a home and down-payment assistance programs.
Getting to Know the Best Bakeries Near Woodland Hills
The concept of a “baked good” reaches back to ancient history, when Egyptians baked bread thousands of years ago – and long before bakers joined bakers’ guilds in ancient Rome. In the U.S., colonial-era bakeries were regarded as social settings wherein people gathered to warm up and gossip, and today’s bakeries have taken that concept to another level; bakeries nowadays can range from small artisan businesses specializing in one or two items to massive industrial-esque producers that supply food retailers with packaged baked goods.
In sunny California, the baking industry enjoys a rich and flavorful history, with original concepts that local residents with fresh-baked breads delivered to their doors daily and modern-day bakeries experimenting with locally-grown and milled grain (some even mill their own flour on site). The following represent our “holy trinity” picks for the best bakeries near Woodland Hills when the craving for a crisp baguette, whole-grain boule, flaky croissant or French canelé bagel hits.
Pascal Patisserie and Café, established in 2016, is somewhat new to the Woodland Hills restaurant/café scene, but that doesn’t make the business any less noteworthy. Here you’ll find delightful European desserts, chocolates, macarons, breakfast pastries, sandwiches and salads to satisfy every taste bud. Pascal Patisserie and Café is located at 21040 Victory Boulevard.
The Baker Bakery & Café was established in 2005 and is a full-service café and bakery serving both breakfast and lunch made with the finest ingredients. In spectrum of baked goods, the shop offers a delicious selection of Artisan breads that are hand-crafted and baked daily using only organic ingredients – these distinctive variations range from the popular French baguette to a sweet and savory walnut raisin, in addition to a jaw-dropping collection of custom cakes, pastries and sweets that totally tempt the palate. The Baker is located at 21600 Ventura Boulevard.
Doan’s Dessert and Coffee Company is a family-owned and operated business that, for a quarter of a century, has been baking for restaurants, coffee houses and caterers. The brainchild of the founder and her son, Doan’s creates exciting choices that satisfy customer desires for that special treat or dessert – patrons even come back to enjoy a single portion of these sweet treats with Doan’s hand-ground Graffeo coffees and teas. Much more than a mere cupcake or cheesecake depot, Doan’s Dessert and Coffee Company creates personal masterpieces for the ultimate family event or lavish wedding. You can count on this Woodland Hills institution to transport you and your sweet tooth to virtual nirvana. Doan’s is located at 22526 Ventura Boulevard.
While many Americans – notably body-conscious Los Angelinos – have begun resisting the overwhelming temptation of carbs (at least while anyone is looking), there are still many bastions of baked goods across Woodland Hills where one can indulge should the craving strike. From airy and buttery croissants to hearty whole-wheat loaves, Danish pastries and pan dulce, you can’t go wrong with any of aforementioned bakeries near Woodland Hills.
Development continues to heat up in the Warner Center area.
Plans were disclosed to build a 184-unit multifamily apartment building, replacing what is now a 36,800-square-foot office building at 21515 Vanowen Street. The existing building would be razed to make room for the 185,000-square-foot apartment building.
The owner is an LLC tied to Westwood-based Sandstone Properties, which purchased the property in 2016 for $10 million. It filed plans for the demolition Wednesday.
Separately, Sandstone acquired a 126,000-square-foot office property around the corner on Canoga Avenue in February, although it hasn’t disclosed plans for that spot. Sandstone could not be reached for comment.
The project on Vanowen Street would be steps from the Westfield Topanga and Village mall and near Westfield’s massive mixed-use project at the former site of the Promenade mall. That “live, work, play” project includes over 1,400 residential units and two hotels.
It’s also directly across Vanowen Street from a 47-acre redevelopment site that Canadian developer Triple Five Group Ltd. is reportedly in talks to buy.
When it comes to decorating with the upcoming season in mind, we’re all for incorporating in bright hues, fresh greens, and plenty of style and texture. The warmer months are all about embracing a refresh, be it purely mental or decorative. We’re taking on the latter with a color revamp in mind and the palette we’re craving as of late: green and white. Take a peek at just a few of the ways we’d like to bring this revitalizing pair home!
Within this light-filled, East Bay loft, a whitewashed kitchen comes fully equipped with enough greens to offset the otherwise lack in color. Overflowing greens help disguise the compact nature of the cabinets, while also instilling a beautifully-defined element to the space.
While plants are an effortlessly easy way to emulate this covetable color pairing, we’re all for embracing alternate methods of bringing the look home. At the top of our list: art, much like this vibrant piece, found within this quaint, 20th century farmhouse.
The next best thing to a fireplace stocked with freshly cut wood? One that’s fully decked with an abundant arrangement of plants.
Inside this cheery Sydney loft, dining chairs that come in a shade of soft sage bring about an uplifting detail to the organic spectrum of the space. Bring in lightly stained wooden furnishings to take the color combo trend to new heights
If you ask us, the bedside should almost always entail a selection of greens – especially if you’re working with a whitewashed palette. The pared down effect exudes a fresh element to the space.
If there’s one thing we love more than this forest green hexagonal tile, it’s the way it ends, just halfway up the walls. Coupled with the all-white cabinetry and minimalist wooden shelf, this bright spot features just the right amount of color.
When working with a reserved color palette, try and incorporate at least one accent hue that can uplift the decorative scheme. In this serene bedroom, a medley of off-whites and grays are further elevated by the saturated pops of green.
If there’s one thing we love more than an abundant arrangement, it’s a cluster of delicate bud vases filled with lengthy greens. Nothing suggests a seasonal refresh quite like this eclectic grouping!
For those who’re looking to introduce a touch of color within their monochromatic space, starting out small is of the essence. Here, a slight gradation of blue-greens offers up just enough character to the modest scheme.
See the rest of this bright kitchen makeover here!
BY ELIZABETH WEINTRAUB
It is normal to harbor fears about making the wrong decision when you’re looking at homes to buy. Many first-time home buyers wonder how they will know when they have found the right house. Here are 3 preliminary things you should know about finding the right house:
First, an ethical real estate agent will never, ever, pressure into buying a house.
Second, you will instinctively know it in your gut.
Third, you may want to sleep on the decision. Don’t.
If You Have Found the Right House, Can You Sleep On It?
Right now you’re probably wondering how you will know that you have found the right house if you don’t sleep on it. What’s wrong with sleeping on it? Everything is wrong with sleeping on it. Trust yourself. Don’t second guess your own instincts. Your instincts will not steer you in the wrong direction.
Have you heard the phrase: shuffle your feet, lose your seat? Somebody else could buy your house out from under you while you’re counting sheep. You’re not the only home buyer looking for a house to buy with your specific criteria. You might not know it, but there are other home buyers with similar intentions looking at homes today in the very neighborhoods where you, dear reader, want to buy.
The last thing you want to hear your buyer’s agent say is another buyer made an offer and it was accepted minutes before your offer was submitted.
Happens all the time, too. Unless you’re buying a brand new home, there is not another home around the corner just like the home that now you can’t buy. When you find that house, buy it.
10 Ways to Know You Have Found the Right House
1) You Want to Go Inside the House
Part of the excitement of looking at homes is not knowing which could be your new home when you pull up to the curb.
Is it the one on the left, or does the house on the right strike your fancy? If it is the house on the right, and you like it better than the house on the left, that could be a sign. It means there is something about this house that appeals to you. Curb appeal is talking.
2) The House Embraces You the Moment You Enter
Within 3 seconds of entering the house, you will know whether it feels warm and comforting. Does it seem to speak to you? Does the house invite you to explore? Does it feel, well . . . right? Like home? Then it probably is.
3) You Don’t Feel Funny in the Bathroom
Sometimes buyers feel so uncomfortable near a bathroom that they won’t walk into the room. They are afraid to let their feet touch that bathroom floor. They will stand outside, grab the door frame, and poke their heads in for a minute. If you can walk into the bathroom and feel compelled to open the shower door or stroke the vanity marble, this is your house.
4) You Are Possessive About the House
Maybe your agent points out a flaw and says, “There is a stain in the kitchen sink,” and you want to slap her face for saying something so mean about this house. You want to defend every flaw you see. If you even see the flaws, because right now, flaws do not matter.
You’re falling in love.
5) You Begin to Envision Furniture Arrangement
If you walk into the master bedroom and immediately can envision your bed against a particular wall, this might be your house. If you find yourself thinking that the living room window is a perfect spot to put a tree come Christmas, you’re already hooked.
6) You Can See Yourself Painting a Wall Your Favorite Color
Perhaps deep purple is not your favorite color. Maybe it’s blue. Maybe you’re thinking those purple walls in the kid’s room would look better in a pale blue jean color. In fact, you might even know the name of the paint color you plan to use because you’ve been thumbing through Pottery Barn catalogs and this home looks just like those.
7) The House Fits Your Basic Needs
The dynamics might not hit every bullet point on your list, but it meets the basic requirements.
The house has the number of rooms and space you need. Maybe it doesn’t have a garage, and in a flash of enlightenment you realize that buying a house with a garage is not important. Maybe you suddenly realize you could build a garage. Being flexible about which issues are deal-killers is a good quality to develop.
8) You Want to Stop Looking at Other Homes
All of the other homes you’ve been looking at no longer appeal to you. The homes on that list you’ve been carrying around seem insignificant. Moreover, the homes you had previously rated a #8 have now fallen to a #2 rating. The homes you have seen pale in comparison. You would feel like a traitor to this home if you went to visit other homes. This is it. I’m telling you.
9) You Can’t Wait to Brag About This House to Your Friends
It would not be unusual for you to snap a few photos to upload to Instagram before you’ve finished touring the home. You feel excited. The excitement seems to manifest itself. You shoot more photographs. Suddenly your phone is in burst mode and before you realize it, you have hundreds of photos.
10) Every Thought in Your Mind Tells You to Buy That House
Except for that nagging little thought that wonders if you should sleep on it, every other thought in your head says this is the perfect house for you. You are consumed. You can’t think about anything else apart from owning this house. Dinner? Who needs to eat? You need this house. You wonder if you should be committed or see a doctor. Yup, this is your house. Just do it.
There are a lot of potential first-time home buyers that delay getting a mortgage simply because it seems like a long and daunting process.
But, qualifying for a home loan doesn’t have to be intimidating.
There are new mortgage programs available in 2018 that make it easier to qualify for a loan then ever before.
This article is going to show you show you everything you need to know to qualify as a first-time home buyer.
10 First Time Home Buyer Tips Infographic
1. Get a Copy of Your Credit Reports
The first thing you need to do is get a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus. You can get a free copy of your report at annualcreditreport.com. This is a Government run site that allows consumers to get a free copy of their credit reports once per year.
You will also need to know what your credit scores are. You can do this by going to these websites that give you your reports and credit scores completely free.
Check Your Report for Errors
Once you have pulled all three reports you need to go through each report to make sure there are no errors. If you find any errors you should contact the credit bureau immediately to file a dispute.
- Errors to Look For
- Incorrect employers
- Current and previous phone numbers and addresses Inaccurate account information
- Accounts that do not belong to you Late payments that should not be there
- Credit injuries that you did not authorize
You can dispute inaccurate information on your report by contacting the credit bureau directly by phone, online, or in writing.
Tips for disputing your credit report with all 3 credit bureaus
2. Check Your Credit Score
Your credit score is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting approved for a mortgage so it’s important to make your score is as high as possible before applying.
You can check your credit score for free on sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.
Here are a few tips to help you increase your credit score quickly.
Pay down credit card balances – Your credit utilization ratio is the amount of available credit you’re using, it accounts for 30% of your overall FICO score. Try to pay your balances to less than 10-15% of the cards limit.
Do not apply for new credit – Do not apply for new lines of credit, credit cards, or loans. When you apply for credit a hard credit inquiry is reported to the credit bureau which will lower your score, you’re also adding debt to your report which can negatively affect your scores.
Pay all your bills on time – It is always important to pay your bills on time, every time. But when you’re going to be applying for a mortgage soon it’s imperative you do not have any new late payments. Set up auto pay which all your bills so you ensure you stay on top of your bills.
3. Get Pre-Approved Before House Hunting
Before you start house hunting you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. In order to get pre-approved for a loan you need to speak to a lender. A loan officer will check your credit and verify your income and assets with your W2’s, tax returns, bank statements and paycheck statements.
Most realtors will not even start showing your houses before you have a pre-approval letter in hand. Most sellers won’t accept offers that do not come with pre-approval letters. The process is quick and easy, usually you can be pre-approved in a matter of minutes.
Documents You Need to Get Approved
- 2 years of tax returns
- W2’s and Paycheck stubs
- 2-3 months of bank statements
- Proof of down payment
4. See if You Qualify for an FHA Loan FHA loans are perfect for first-time buyers because they have less strict requirements making them easier to qualify for. They are the most popular type of loan for first-time buyers because you just need a low 3.5% down payment with a 580 credit score to qualify.
FHA Loan Advantages
– 580 minimum credit score
– Low 3.5% down payment
– Down payment can be a gift
– Down payment assistance programs available
– Low interest rates
– Higher debt-to-income ratios accepted
5. Know Your Down Payment Options
The amount of the down payment needed to buy a house will depend on the type of mortgage you get.
First time homebuyers typically have less money in savings which is why low and no down payment home loans are so popular. FHA loans require just 3.5% of the purchase price as a down payment making them an attractive option for first-time buyers.
If you do have at least 20% for a down payment then you can avoid mortgage insurance by using a conventional mortgage.
Below are the down payment requirements for each type of home loan
– FHA Loans – 3.5% with a 580 credit score
– VA Loans – No down payment
– USDA Loans – No down payment
– 203k Loans – 3.5%
– Conventional Loans – 5% – 20%
– Conventional 97 – 3%
6. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent
Some first-time buyers believe they can save money by not hiring a Realtor. Don’t make this mistake, your real estate agent is paid by the buyer, the cost is already figured into the price of the home.
An experienced realtor will not only help you through the home buying process, they will negotiate on your behalf and look out for your best interest.
7. Budget for All Homeownership Costs
There are many costs invoiced in getting a mortgage besides the house. There’s homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, closing costs and HOA fees
Mortgage insurance, or MIP is required for FHA loans regardless of how much money you use for your down payment. MIP on FHA loans is between 0.80% – 1% depending on the size of the loan and the amount you put down.
If you have at least 20% to put down you should look into a conventional loan. Conventional loans do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you put 20% or more down.
8. Know Your Debt-to-Income Ratio
DTI is your debt-to-income ratio, it is the amount of your monthly income compared to your monthly debt payment obligations. This includes items such as credit card payments, car loans and all other loans.
Front-end DTI ratio is your ratio of income to debt payments before adding a mortgage loan.
For example if your gross income is $5,000 per month and your total payments comes to $1,000 per month you have a front-end ratio of 20%. The max this ratio should be is 28%.
Back-end DTI ratio is your income compared to your debt payments after factoring in the monthly mortgage payment.For example if your pre-tax income is $5,000 and your debt payments including your mortgage loan comes to $2,000 your back-end ratio is 40%. This should be 41% or lower, however in some cases this ratio can be as high as 50%.
9. Check for First-Time Buyer Programs and Grants
There are many down payment assistance programs and grants for first-time homebuyers available. HUD has many local state programs that offer first-time home buyers down payment assistance programs to buy a home.
You can also find local programs on your city or counties website. Some of these programs may require you to take a homebuyer education class to be eligible.
10. Know the Types of First-Time Buyer Loans Available
As a first-time home buyer you have more loan options than just an FHA loan. Depending on your situation you may qualify for some other loan programs that offer advantages over an FHA home loans.
Conventional Loans – If you have at least a 20% down payment then you should consider a conventional mortgage. FHA requires mortgage insurance regardless of how much money you put down. If you have 20% down then you would not be required to carry PMI saving you thousands of dollars per year.
VA Loans – If you’re a Veteran then you may qualify for a VA loan. VA loans require no down payment or mortgage insurance making them the cheapest type of mortgage available today.
USDA Loans – The US Department of Agriculture has the USDA mortgage program that helps low-income buyers in rural areas of the country save money on a mortgage. If you’re in a USDA eligible location then you may qualify with no downpayment and low mortgage rate of just 0.35%.
203k Loans – If you’re interested in buying a fixer-upper then there is a renovation FHA loan called a 203k loan. Where you can buy a home in need of repairs and get a loan for both the purchase of the property and the cost of repairs and home improvements.
Fannie and Freddie 3% Down Loans – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the two largest buyers of mortgage loans. In order to compete with FHA loans they launched a 3% down payment program called a conventional 97 mortgage.
FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) – The Energy Efficient Mortgage Program helps borrower finance the purchase of a home plus get additional funds to make energy efficient improvements.
HUD Programs for First-Time Home Buyers
Good Neighbor Next Door Program – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development created The Good Neighbor Next Door Program (GNND) to help teachers, law enforcement, emergency and medical technicians become homeowners by offering 50% off the list price of HUD homes on hudhomestore.com.
One Dollar Program – The dollar home program is offered by HUD that allows local Government to purchase HUD homes listed at $25,000 or less that have been on the market for more than 180 days for one dollar. These homes can be offered to low-income families to help revitalize neighborhood.
First Time Home Buyer FAQ
Wh0 is Considered to be a First-time home buyer?
In order to be considered a first time home buyer you must not have had ownership in a home in the past 3 years.
Do first time buyers need a down payment?
There are some programs that require no down payment, such as VA and USDA loans. However, these are not restricted to first time homebuyers. There is no type of loan specifically for first time buyers that does not require a down payment.
Which loan is best for first time home buyers?
There is no one size fits all home loan for first time buyers. But the most popular type of home loan used by first time buyers are FHA loans. This is because of their low down payment requirement and most relaxed guidelines to qualify.
What credit score do I need for an FHA loan?
The Federal Housing Administration will insure a mortgage if the borrower has a 500 or higher credit score and a 10% downpayment. If a borrower has at least a 580 credit score they will insure the loan with just a 3.5% down payment.
Buying a house for the first time doesn’t have to be scary, follow these 9 tips and make sure you work with a great realtor and loan officer and the process should run smoothly.
Check your credit score, hire a good realtor, compare loan offers from multiple lenders and don’t apply for new credit during the home buying process.
As long as you follow all the tips in this article you can achieve the American dream without any headaches.
When in SoCal, Don Henley may never leave his new West Hollywood home. The Eagles co-founder just purchased the three-bedroom, two-bathroom, Spanish-style bungalow, according to Variety.
This desirable piece of Los Angeles real estate was originally listed for $1.85 million, and the“ Hotel California” singer-songwriter won the bidding war, paying a little over $2.2 million, according to property records.
Built in 1923, the 1,800-square-foot home has had a top-to-bottom makeover, gaining a modern look while retaining some unique period details. The open layout features a large living room with a barrel ceiling, oak floor, and Batchelder-tiled fireplace.
Along with a formal dining room, there’s a chef’s kitchen and family room, which opens to a patio and backyard. The master bedroom features floating closets and a master bath with a free-standing tub, separate shower, and double vanities. There are two more beds, a full bath, and a two-car garage.
This isn’t Henley’s first real estate rodeo. One of the richest musicians in the world, he owns a 40-acre hilltop property above Malibu’s Point Dume, as well as a multiunit compound in Dallas, Variety notes.
Henley may not have much time to spend in his new digs. He recently kicked off a North America tour with the Eagles, the first major set of shows since the death of member Glenn Frey.
According to the folks at Pinterest, searches for “coffee bar command centers” are up 140 percent year over year, which means we’re not the only ones who can’t even think about looking at a to-do list before a morning cup of joe. Here are a few of our favorites that may just open your eyes to the fact that you need one in your own kitchen, too.
1. A rustic country caffeination station
This coffee bar from Dear Lillie Studio has the works: Containers for all sorts of pods, plus mixers, mugs, hot chocolate fixings, and more. And right above it all, a giant chalkboard, which keeps a running grocery list, the schedule for the day, and a little inspiring quote, too. All the things you’d need to start your day right!
2. A colorful and quirky upcycled coffee bar
The star of this coffee bar featured on A Woman’s Haven is the deep turquoise buffet that homeowner Jaime found on Craiglist and painted herself. It ties in the colorful mug collection and pops from the whitewashed brick walls. Located right next to the breakfast table and with brewers ready for single cups or a whole crew, it’s an inviting spot for friends and family to gather.
3. A serene, shabby-chic coffee spot
Not everyone needs a jolt in the morning! If you’re someone who needs to start their morning in peace, get inspiration from Nelly Friedel, who styled her coffee bar in soothing shades of white and cream, with just the basics for that first cup of coffee on hand.
To create this coffee spot, the blogger behind Baked Bree rescued an old bookshelf from her daughter’s room. Because her mug collection brings her joy, it’s on full display, hanging, in baskets, and on the shelf, too. The overall effect is happy, homey, and unfussy — just what overnight guests need in order to feel comfortable helping themselves.
5. A cool eclectic espresso bar
Surrounding Camilla Tange‘s dream espresso machine: a pretty, edited collection of mugs and tea tins, plus spoons, sugar, and bottles of stronger stuff (should the need present itself). This coffee bar is proof that just a few things, artfully arranged, can be both functional and beautiful without much effort.
6. A secret caffeine spot
If you are someone who doesn’t like to see their stuff, put this custom solution — from Style Blueprint — on your kitchen-remodel wish list. A door opens up to reveal the plugged-in coffee maker and the necessary extra stuff. Then, it all gets tucked away again until the next morning.
7. A scaled-down feminine java spot
Not all coffee bars have to have legs of their own — all you really need is a corner of the countertop to dedicate to caffeination. This zone from Hi Sugarplum really just has the basics: a coffee maker, with sugar and pods stored neatly beside it. In the cabinet above, you’ll find the mugs; in the drawer below, the spoons. If you don’t have space for a dedicated stand-alone coffee bar (or don’t like to look at all your coffee stuff), this is a good option.
Scrub Walls, Baseboards and Outlets
Tom DiPace/AP Images
Clean Faucets and Showerheads
Clean Out the Dryer Vent
Sarah Wilson / Getty Images
Wash Exterior Windows
Keep Allergens Away
Photos: Christopher Shane/Styling: Elizabeth Demos
Check Foundation Vents
Clean the Grill
Prep Your Garden
Test Smoke Alarms
Clean Outdoor Furniture
We have an interesting relationship with storage. While we might like the idea of being minimalists without any extra stuff to store, in practice, it’s kind of impossible not to accumulate a bunch of items that you need to find a place for. While some folks are lucky enough to have plenty of closets or garages to hide away their things, if you live in a small space, finding spots for discreet storage can be tricky.
So if you do have to have your items out in the open, you might as well integrate them in with your decor. To help you out, we rounded up 10 ideas to make storage into a positive asset to your home aesthetic.
Centered beneath an art piece and topped with books and decor, this storage trunk is transformed into the base for a stylish vignette.