The Ross Falvo Blog

Ojai Market Update

Did You Know?

With the median home price of $860,000 in our market, you could buy 2,497 wireless Beats headphones. Take calls, control your music and activate Siri with the multifunction on-ear controls!

Funny, but also true. Click here to see where we got these numbers.

Meanwhile, in Oiai were sold 25 homes. The less expensive was located at 410 Church Road #53,  a little condo with 1 bed and 1 bath, 742 square feet listed at $380,000 and sold at $335,000, 187 days on the market.

Most expensive home was sold at 715 El Toro Road, 6 bed, 7 bath, 6089 square feet, listed at $6,500,000 sold at $6,265,000 92 days on the market.
Only 4 mobile homes were sold in October.
The less expensive was located at 1202 Loma Drive #67, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1248 square feet, Listed and sold at $129,000. Built on 1978 with a space rent of $735.00 per month. 

The most expensive mobile home was located at 133 Don Felipe Way, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1344 square feet, 29 days on the market, built in 2004. Listed and sold at $225,000. 29 days on the market with a rent space of $735.00 per month.

Home Sweet (And Smaller) Home: A Downsizing Guide For Seniors 
By Michael Longsdon

We’re not talking about your waist, but your home. According to recent data, the average home is 2,700 square feet, nearly twice that as homes built in 1970. And it’s not that families have gotten bigger, just our appetites for stuff. Evidence suggests, however, that living in a smaller home can make you happier. If you’re a senior, downsizing is a smart move for reasons that go beyond your happiness. For instance, less space means fewer hours spent cleaning. You’ll also pay less in taxes and utilities.

Easing in to the process

Once you have made a decision to downsize your home, your first task is to determine where you want to live. If you’re staying in your hometown, you likely already know the ins and outs of every neighborhood and the best location to put you in proximity to your friends and family. But if you’re moving more than just a few miles away, make sure to research your preferred area online to determine the average price of real estate, crime rates and the types of activities you can expect to find in your new hometown. For example, Ojai, California, which is a popular area for retirees, has an average selling price of approximately $694,000. When you narrow your target location down, consider spending a long weekend in the area. Alex Schechter of The Points Guy blog details how to do just that in Ojai.

Home type

Knowing which type of property you want is second only to location in importance and for quality of life. If you are on a budget or wish to live in close proximity to your neighbors, a condominium or townhouse is a wise choice. A single story, ranch-style home is a better option if you have mobility or visual impairments that pose a threat in stairways. Whichever type of home you choose, assess whether or not it has options and features that can help you age in place and enjoy your golden years safely.

Pack and prep

The packing, purging, and preparation portion of a move is perhaps the least pleasurable part of the process. If you start early, you’ll have more time to sort through the decades’ worth of belongings you no doubt have stored in every nook and cranny of your current home. Start with the areas that don’t typically see the light of day. This will likely be the garage, attic or basement, which often serve as the space things go to collect dust. After these areas have been sufficiently purged, you’ll need to consider getting rid of a few items that won’t fit into your smaller home. recommends looking at the rooms you won’t have and determining which items in those spaces can be sold, thrown out or donated.

Let go of heirlooms

It’s often hard to get rid of personal possessions. It’s even more difficult when these belongings have been passed down through your family. But now is the perfect time to bequeath family valuables to your loved ones. Your grandfather's fiddle, for example, may be a great gift for musically inclined grandchild. The most sentimental family heirlooms, photographs, recipe boxes, handmade quilts, etc., are the hardest part with. It’s these sentimental assets that also tend to cause the most friction. You can do yourself and your family a favor by personally giving these items now instead of trusting that your estate will be settled according to your wishes when you pass on.

Whether you’re moving out of necessity or for a fun change of scenery, it takes planning, especially when you’re purging a place you’ve called home for decades. Begin the process by researching online so you can make informed decisions regarding your living arrangements.


How do most homes ignite during a wildfire? A floating ember or piece of burning wood touches down on a roof, gutter, in a vent, under a deck, or on a porch and ignites leaves and debris, says the National Fire Protection Association. Or else, a surface fire simply takes the fast lane to your home via dry vegetation.

With that in mind, fortify your home like the castle it is with these 13 wildfire-repelling steps. But keep in mind that no product or technique is a failsafe against a raging fire.

#1 Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you don’t already have working smoke detectors or haven’t tested them recently, make that your No. 1 job. Now.

#2 Check Fire Extinguishers

And if you don’t have them, get them.

#3 Get a Bucket, Shovel, and Hose Ready

Have an easily accessible bucket, shovel (to dig a trench against encroaching ground fire), and connected garden hose to help you defend the area around your home.

#4 Invest in Rain Barrels

An extra source of water can’t hurt. And rain barrels save on your water bills, too.

#5 Clear Yard of Debris

Keep gutters, porches, and the lawn free of debris, leaves, and fallen branches. If a fire threat is imminent, remove furniture and decorations from decks and porches, including welcome mats.

#6 Plant Fire-Resistant Shrubs and Annuals

Like irises, rhododendrons, hostas, and lilacs, which have high-moisture content. Your local Cooperative Extension Office can advise you on an appropriate species for your area.

#7 Remove Tree Branches Lower Than 6 Feet

Fires tend to start low and rise. For that reason, don’t plant shrubs directly under trees; they can combust and cause the fire to rise up the tree. By the way, spacing out all plants and shrubs is a good practice, too.

#8 Remove Tree Limbs Near Chimneys

Keep them at least 10 feet away. Embers from burning limbs could fall in.

#9 Set Up a Protective Perimeter

Create a 100-foot perimeter around your home, free of dry leaves, grass, and shrubs that fuel wildfires. Keep petroleum tanks, cars, and wood piles outside of this safe zone.

#10 Use Rocks Instead of Mulch Next to the House

Lay a six-inch swatch of decorative rocks closest to the home and then use mulch from there. This also helps repel insects, like termites, (bugs like wood) and facilitate rain water drainage.

#11 Use Non-Flammable Fencing

If you have wood fencing around your home, replace any three-foot sections that attach to the home with metal or other non-flammable fencing material. A metal gate or decorative fencing piece is stylish as well as fire-friendly.

#12 Cover Chimneys and Vents With Flame-Retardent Mesh

And it’s cheap to do. They cost just a few dollars from hardware or home improvement stores.

#13 Check Your Siding

Fire-resistant or non-combustible siding like stucco or brick provides the best protection against fire. Make sure your siding, whatever type, is in good repair, because if the plywood or insulation are exposed, the home is more vulnerable to flames.

Some experts recommend spraying homes with fire retardants, which can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the product, region, and size of the project. But some of the chemicals used to make flame-retardants have toxic properties. Although you might have less exposure to chemicals used on your home’s exterior than those inside, toxicity issues could still be a factor.

Most important, if a wildfire is on its way, evacuate. And have an evacuation plan worked out with your family before the worst happens.


Did You Know?

With the median home price of $699,500 in Ojai market, you could buy 2,331 one-way flights to Paris! Today is World Tourism Day, and France is the most visited country in the world with around 89 million visitors just in the past year!

Funny, but also true. Click here to see where we got these numbers.

Ojai Market Update
Homes sold in Ojai in August

With the median home price in Ojai of $641,000 you could buy 58,180 flying pig toys. Anything is possible when pigs fly!
Funny, but also true. Click here to see where we got these numbers.
Meanwhile in Oiai were sold 20 homes.
The less expensive was located at 848 Woodland Avenue, a little condo with 1 bed and 1 bath, 666 square feet listed at $269,900 and sold at same price $269,900, 40 days on the market.
Most expensive home was sold at 888 Baldwin Road, 5 bed, 4 bath, 3703 square feet, listed at $1,990,000 sold at $1,830,000 269 days on the market.
Only 4 mobile homes were sold in August.
The less expensive was located at 12135 South Rice Road #45, 1 bed, 1 bath, 800 square feet, Listed and sold at $82,500 built on 1964 with a space rent of $598.33 per month. 
The most expensive mobile home was located at 98 Don Carlos way, 2 bed, 2 bath, 1440 square feet, 69 days on the market, built in 1972. Listed at $217,000 sold at $235,000, 30 days on the market with a rent space of $598,29 per month.

6 Ways to Lose at Negotiating a House Price

You’ve looked at enough houses to fill an entire season of House Hunters and finally picked one to buy. Now you’re ready to make an offer.Your agent can help guide you through this nail-biting phase of negotiating a house price, but ultimately, you call the shots. Here’s how to negotiate like a boss.

Fail #1: Thinking House Price is All That Matters

That house with a price point $15k below your budget? It may seem like a deal — until you add on the costs of maintenance and replacing the aging appliances. Planning on repainting, remodeling, or landscaping, too? Suddenly the price looks a whole lot higher. When developing your offer, calculate in the costs that will go above and beyond a mortgage payment. Then you can negotiate with an eye on the total cost of owning the house, not just the sticker price. On the flip side, the price may not be all that matters to the seller, either. She may have to start a job on the other side of the country in a month and value a quick closing. Or she may be looking to rent from you for a bit after the sale until her next home is ready. Sometimes being accommodating is negotiation gold.

Fail #2: Refusing to Back Down on Small Repairs.

Before you draw a line in the negotiation sand over, say, a deck with some rotten boards, ask yourself if it’s worth losing the house over a repair that would cost less than a thousand dollars. Say the house price is $250,000, which makes that deck repair less than half of one percent of the cost of the house. There’s a lot of emotional energy at this point in the process, so give yourself a break rather than dickering over it. A house negotiation is not about winning for the sake of winning. It’s about getting the house you want at a fair price on good terms.

Fail #3: Waiving Formalities Because You’re So in Love With the House

Don’t be so blinded by house love that you do something silly like skip some of the formalities of home buying, such as the home inspection or the appraisal, in an effort to close the deal.Those steps, and others like a termite or septic inspection, are known as contingencies. They’re there to protect you from ending up with a six-figure money pit. Imagine how quickly the house-honeymoon would end if you found a termite colony or that the identical house across the street sold for much less? Besides, if you’re taking out a mortgage, your lender won’t let you skip an appraisal because they don’t want to loan money on a house that isn’t worth the loan amount. So even if you want to make it easy for the seller, your lender may stop you.There are other ways to sweeten your offer and get that house:Pay some of the seller’s closing costs. Offer a fast close If this is your first house, speed is an ace up your sleeve because you can move faster than someone who can’t buy a new house until they sell the old one (another type of contingency). And remember, while there’s a lot of emotion tied up in choosing a house, it’s still a business deal. 

Fail #4: Getting Hung Up on a Few Grand

You offered $198,000. The seller won’t budge from $200,000. Before you walk away, consider this: Two grand is a lot of money, but in the house-buying world it’s not so much. At an interest rate of 4%, with 20% down on a 30-year mortgage, that additional $2,000 will add just $8 a month to your payment. If you can swing it — maybe you can cut a small thing out of your budget each month — it could be worth it.

Fail #5: Folding Because the Inspection Turned Up Issues  A good home inspection is going to turn up something. Usually several somethings. That’s good. It means the inspector is doing their job. It’s a rare day when a home passes inspection with no problem at all.Plus, many things that turn up on an inspection are easily handled. You can ask the seller to do the repairs or knock some off the price so you can pay for repairs. And while some problems may seem scary at first, like a roof leak or plumbing problem, they’re almost always fixable and negotiable.

Fail #6: Offering Less Because the Décor is Hideous

The faux-Tiffany swag lamp and trippy orange-and-brown wallpaper make your eyes itch. So you’re planning on offering less — way less. Before you do that, know the market. If it’s a seller’s market, your offer may be seen as an insult especially if the home’s in good shape. And just like that, you’ve lost your dream home. When you’re ready to make that offer, look past the little stuff that you can easily change, and focus your negotiations on what matters, like the location and the bones of the house.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? With the median home price of $695,000 in Ojai, you could buy 28 Harley Davidson motorcycles. Harley Davidson is celebrating their 115 year anniversary today in Milwaukee, so there's no time like now to cruise on over and nab a deal on a new bike!

Funny, but also true. Click here to see where we got these numbers.

House-Hunting Tips To Avoid  
#Facepalm Moments

The only thing more exciting than shopping for your first house is the day you move into it. And in your eagerness to get to that day, there are a bunch of opportunities to botch the shopping.Here are some #facepalm moments and the house-hunting tips you’ll need to avoid them."

I Saw the House Online. It's Perfect — Let's Make an Offer Before It's Gone!" Buying a house sight unseen?!? Whoa. Online photos are a fun sneak peek — and that’s all.

Before you plan marriage after the house equivalent of swiping right, consider this:It’s the photos that aren’t in the gallery you should worry about. You won’t see the hastily patched cracks in the home’s foundation. Or the mold in the attic.Your other senses need to evaluate the place. There could be traffic rumbling by or a stinky recycling facility downwind.Three words: Wide angle lens. (They make small spaces look deceptively big.)So before you make an offer, tour the place. And the yard. And the neighborhood. It’s worth it.

"I Want to Buy This House. And Look, There's an Agent Right Here!"

While that might seem mighty convenient, it’s not in your best interests. The real estate agent at an open house most likely represents the seller.That means they’re obligated to work in that person’s best interest. If you start blabbing about how you’re pre-approved for $285,000, but you’d rather offer $260,000, you’ll compromise your negotiating position.As a buyer, you should contract with a buyer’s agent who works on your behalf. They’ll understand your wants and needs, counsel you based on your budget and priorities, and advise you through the negotiating process.

"I'll Rely On an Online Home-Value Estimator."

Google “home-value estimator” and you’ll get pages of tools that promise you a free estimate of home value. Plug the address into the tool, some algorithms do their thing, and in seconds you know what a house is worth.But unless that algorithm’s been poking around the basement with a flashlight, it’s a ballpark figure at best.Home valuation is both art and science. There are nuances within house and market that an online estimator just can’t see. What if the seller made major renovations last year? Or what if houses rarely turn over in the neighborhood, so there’s not enough data to work with online?Your agent knows current market conditions and the inventory of homes in the market — all of which help you make a nuanced offer.Use these fun tools as a guide, but don’t take them to the bank.

"I Don't Have Kids, So I Don't Have to Worry About School Districts."

Yeah … nope. School district matters regardless of your parenting status. Whether or not you have kids, a future buyer might. And neighborhoods with good school districts tend to maintain value and appreciate faster than those in other areas. People want to live near good schools, which leads to rising home values and better neighborhood amenities.

"If a House Doesn't Have Everything On My List, I'm Not Looking At It."

Definitely make your list. Your list is important. But use it as a starting point to help you prioritize. Because buyers who can prioritize have the most success.They turn that list into must-haves and nice-to-haves — and they also consider which of their must-haves could turn into will-dos.For example, you can switch laminate for quartz, but you can’t move a country home next door to your city office. Skip the listings that are in the wrong location, but why not check out the ones with the wrong countertops? Maybe the one thing you’d enjoy more than quartz counters are quartz counters you picked out yourself.

"I'll Figure out This HOA Thing After Closing."

Homeowners associations (HOAs) might just seem like a cute little neighborhood organization, but some have the power to limit your pets, restrict your parking, and pick your paint colors.Since how you live is likely as important to you as where you live, read and fully understand the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) before you buy. Restrictions that don’t fit your lifestyle could be as much of a deal breaker as a crumbling foundation.That’s not to say HOAs are bad. Oh no — they can be great at preserving neighborhoods, keeping home values high, and some give you access to amenities. But the benefits and drawbacks of each one vary, so take a close look.

Ojai Market Update.
Homes sold in June 2018

Housing Starts Fall 12.3 Percent as Tariffs Draw Increased Concern

Total housing starts fell 12.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.

The June reading of 1.17 million is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts fell 9.1 percent to 858,000 units. Meanwhile, the multifamily sector — which includes apartment buildings and condos — dropped 19.8 percent to 315,000.

Overall, permits — which are a sign of likely future housing production — dropped 2.2 percent to 1.27 million units in June, the lowest level of the year. Although single-family permits edged up 0.8 percent to 850,000, they remain at their second lowest reading of 2018. Multifamily permits fell 7.6 percent to 423,000.

Meanwhile, this is what happened in Ojai in June.

We had a total of 21 homes sold.

The most affordable home was located at 229 Apricot Street in Oak View. 2 bed, 1 bath 952 square feet with a lot size of 5650 square feet. Listed at $439,500 and sold at $427,500 after only 15 days on the market.

Most expensive house was located at 1420 Daly Road, 4 bed, 4 bath, 4240 square feet with a lot of 7.3 acres. Listed at $3,895,000 and sold after 756 days at $2,850,000. 

Total median price for the valley is $670,000.      Days on the market: 173 

Only 2 mobile homes were sold in the valley in the month of June. 

950 Woodland Avenue #12 (Family park) 3 bed 2 bath, 1536 square feet built in 1974, listed at $149,000 sold at $132000 after 96 days on the market. Days on the market: 85

1273 South Rice Road #95. (Senior park). 3 bed 2 bath, 1248 square feet. Built in 1989. Listed at $195,000 sold at $194,000 after 44 days on the market. 

Ojai Market Update, May 2018

A Home Sale Report for the Ojai Valley. Click to read more....

Are You Ready To Graduate From Renting to Owning a Home?

With graduation season in full swing..... To read the article click HERE....

How To Price Your Home


Click here to read the full article

Ojai Market Update, April 2018

A Home Sale Report for the Ojai Valley. Click to read more....

118th Ojai Tennis Tournament

The Ojai Tennis Tournament is back. April 25 to April 29


Federal law signed by president Trump may affect home ownership tax benefit. To read the full article click HERE....

5 Reason to Sell Your Home Early in 2018

Why should you sell your home early in 2018.

To read the full article click HERE...

Ojai Market Update, January 2018

A home sales report for the Ojai Valley. To read the full article click HERE.....

Did I miss this month mortgage payment?

What happen if we miss a mortgage payment?

To read the full article click HERE

An incredible interview by 

Sarah Howery

Click HERE to read the full interview

Local  Hero

One of Ojai finest interviewed by 

Sarah Howery

Click HERE to read the full interview

Should I use a mortgage broker or find my own lender?

This is a questions we ask ourselves so many times. To read the article click HERE

Ojai Film Festival 2017

80 films plus Johnny Jensen, Ed Asner and Cloris Leachman to be honored. to read this nice article written by Sarah Howery click here 

Ojai Day Celebration 2017

Are you ready for Ojai Day? To read the full story click HERE.....

The 7 Worst Habits Homeowners need to Break Now

To read the full story click HERE....

Ojai Market Update, August 2017

An other good month in Real Estate

click HERE... to read the full article

Have you Fallen Out of Love With Your House? Here is Why 

To read the full article click HERE.....

An interview with Rob Tucker, owner of Jim & Rob
By Sarah Howery Hart

To read the full article click HERE....


To read the full article click HERE.....

Ojai Storytelling Returns  
By Sarah Howery Hart

To read the full article click HERE.....

Australian Native Plants Handling Drought

By Sarah Howery Hart

To read the full article click HERE...

Local “Horse Crazy Girl” Offers Happy Trails,Throughout the Ojai Valley
By Sarah Howery Hart

To read the full article click HERE....

Playwrights to Celebrate 20th Year in Ojai

By Sarah Howery Hart 

From August 6 to 13, the Ojai Playwrights Conference (OPC) will celebrate its twentieth anniversary, 

To read the full article click HERE...   

Fixer Upper House

Trying to decide whether to buy a fixer-upper house?

To read the full article click HERE.....

Ojai's Double Celebration: Fourth of July & Ojai's 100 Years
By Sarah Howery Hart

To read the full article click HERE...

Ojai Market Update June 2017 

To read the full article click HERE...

Ojai Valley Brewery Making Beer Local 
By Sarah Howery Hart

To read the full article click HERE

Art in the Park
By Sarah Howery Hart

To read the full article click Here...

Homes Sold in Ojai in April

Home Sold in Ojai in April. To read the article click HERE....

Mimi Milne's Thousand Acre World
By Sarah Howery Hart

To read the full article, click HERE...

Hackers are after your Downpayment 

To read this article click HERE...

Earth Week 

By Sarah Howery Hart 

To read the full article, click HERE...

Lavender Inn,
In Service to Others

By Sarah Howery Hart 

To read the full article, click HERE...

How Home Appraisals Work 

To read this article click HERE 

Jubilee Picnic to Commemorate Libbey Park's 100 Year 

By Sarah Howery Hart.                      

To read the full article, click HERE...

Merchant Promotes Home-Town Made 

From the "Ojai Monthly", an interview with Tinamarie Tuscano, owner of "Made in Ojai.

                     By Sarah Howery Hart.                      

To read the full article, click HERE...

12 hidden renovation costs that can sink your budget

To read the article click HERE.....

School of Herbal Studies

From the "Ojai Monthly", an interview with Carol Wade.

By Sarah Howery Hart

To read the interview click HERE...

Ojai Market Update

Home Sold in December. Click HERE to read more

New Dance Studio in Town.
Sarah Howery interviews Isha Ferraz, owner of Hamsa Dance Studio.
Click HERE to read the article...

7 mistakes that that cost home owners big money during cold water
Click Here to read more... 

The lowdown of the downpayment Click HERE

Colleen McDougal,
Ojai Local Cartoonist 
By Sarah Howery
Click HERE to read more

21 Ways to save on your Remodel

Click HERE to


Where do home buyers go for a mortgage?

Click here to

Market Update

Home Sold in October
Click here to read more..

Painting Dos and Don'ts

Click here to read more

Just Listed in Ojai
Click here to

Outdoor tips and Market Update

Few ideas will transform your outdoor space

Read more....

Ojai Market Update 

Homes sold in June in Ojai. Read more....

Ojai Music Festival

You do not want to miss the next Ojai Music Festival.  Read more...

Rent or Buy?

New homes sales were up 10.8% in December 

Ojai Holiday Shopping Stroll

Be ready, mark your calendar. 

The New Libbey Park

We have a new and beautiful playground at Libbey Park. Read more...


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