Dec. 4, 2018

Refinancing During a Divorce

Welcome back to the Jose Luiz Morales Show. For our ninth episode, I sat down with loan officer and Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP) Denise Fontain of Provident Bank Mortgage to discuss her role in helping buyers and homeowners in the middle of a divorce handle the hiccups that can arise during their home purchase or refinancing process.

Cited below for your convenience are timestamps that will direct you to various points in the interview. Feel free to watch the full message or use these timestamps to browse specific topics at your leisure:

1:24 - Denise explains the difference between CDLPs and other lending professionals.

2:29 - A few of the ways divorce can impact a buyer’s or homeowner’s lending goals.

4:53 - Denise explains the coming change to alimony-related tax laws.

6:57 - The importance of contacting a loan officer early on when going through a divorce.

15:18 - Why taking yourself off the title is not the same as refinancing.

16:52 - Denise explains the gap in knowledge between family law attorneys and financial experts.

18:28 - The dangers of delaying the refinancing process during a divorce.

20:11 - The first steps Denise takes when meeting with clients.

23:02 - Denise explains why she became a CDLP.

25:04 - How equity buyouts differ from other refinancing options.

29:18 - How the age of a homeowner’s children can impact their ability to refinance.

31:56 - What happens when homeowners or buyers fail to connect with a CDLP.

35:25 - How to contact Denise.

As always, if you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Nov. 13, 2018

The Benefits of Working With a Team

What is the difference between working with an individual real estate professional and working with an entire team of them?

I recently went on a listing appointment where the seller told me they had already spoken to another agent. This agent, who was working without a team, told the seller it would be best to work with him because he was a "one-man team."

After hearing this, I explained to the client that although that sounds great in theory, it’s actually in his best interest to work with a team as opposed to a singular agent.

There are multiple reasons why this is true. If you work with an individual agent and a potential buyer calls in for a showing on your home, but the agent is in a meeting—who’s going to take that phone call? No one; that agent simply can’t show the property at that time. This presents a similar issue when the agent is also working with other clients: If one or more of those clients have time-sensitive issues in their own transactions, is the agent going to be able to help each client quickly and effectively? Not likely.

When you work with a team of agents, someone is always available to serve a client’s needs. If a client were to call me while I was in a meeting, there would still be someone there to answer their questions and point them in the direction they need to go. If someone called in about wanting to view a property while I was in a meeting, the call would be rerouted to at least three other agents who could assist that client and show the property.

If you work with an individual agent and a potential buyer calls in for a showing on your home, but the agent is in a meeting—who’s going to take that phone call?

Further still,
each team member has a specific role. For example, we have a listing coordinator whose job is to schedule all listing appointments and to ensure that all the marketing for a property is completed. She also requests feedback from the buyers’ agents after every single showing. Our closing coordinator makes sure that every single item on the timeline between escrow and closing is taken care of. Our buyer’s agents are dedicated to answering all of our sign calls, showing properties, and arranging open houses. My job—my only job—is to make sure the property gets sold.

Can an individual agent do all that by themselves? I think you know the answer.

When it comes to hiring a real estate professional to assist with your transaction, I highly recommend that you consider the many benefits of working with a team.

For any questions you have about buying or selling property, always feel free to reach out to the top agent in Southern California. I would be glad to help you.

Oct. 30, 2018

Looking at Southern California’s Fall Market Update


Today, I have an update on the Southern California real estate market. How are trends looking for homebuyers and sellers? Let’s take a look.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about what kind of market we’re in. Many people are saying that it’s slowing down, with some even stating that the marketplace is crashing. What do I do when I want to know what’s really going on? I look at the numbers myself, especially at the number of homes available for sale and the number sold each month.

If we take data from February to now in October, inventory has grown in most Ventura County cities. This means there are more properties available for sale that buyers can choose from. Demand has stayed fairly strong, except for a slower month in July. The only difference now is that, because there are more homes to choose from, the number of days a home is on the market is increasing. In some cases, this leads to more negotiation on a home’s price, which is again due to the number of options for homebuyers.

Before, when we were in more of a seller’s market, buyers didn’t have this same amount of choice. They had to either buy or wait. But now, most cities in Ventura County have seen an increase in inventory anywhere from 20% to 42%.

Now is the time to price our homes competitively.

For example, Camarillo’s inventory has grown 32%, going from 218 properties for sale to 324 since February. Oxnard has grown 26% from 302 to 410. Simi Valley increased 42% from 251 to 438, Thousand Oaks has grown 36%, and Ventura has grown 33%.

Our area’s inventory has grown tremendously, but this doesn’t mean the marketplace is crashing. Demand is still strong, but the market has just flattened out somewhat because buyers have more choices. We’re seeing multiple offers on well-priced listings, so it’s still a good time to sell. However, now would probably not be the best time to test the waters at higher prices. Now is the time to price our homes competitively.

If you have any questions about our market or need more information, my cell number is (805)-228-4672—I’d be more than happy to help. I look forward to speaking with you.

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 27, 2018

The No. 1 Way to Continue Growing as an Agent

Continuing to grow as an agent is essential to achieving consistent success.


One of the best ways to foster this growth is by surrounding yourself with people who are already at the level where you want to be.


This is exactly what I, myself, did recently when I met with the country’s No. 1 RE/MAX agent: Jordan Cohen. Jordan has already sold more than one hundred million dollars' worth of real estate this year alone, and my goal in meeting with him was to determine how he’s able to accomplish such feats.


Listening to feedback and receiving guidance from highly successful agents like Jordan is an incredible way to grow.


If you’re selling 10 homes each year, for example, you should seek interactions with agents who are selling between 20 and 30 homes each year. Or, if you’re already selling 20 or 30 homes on an annual basis, set your sights even higher and start having conversations with agents who sell between 40 and 50 homes each year.


Wherever you’re at in your business, you should always be reaching out to people above you.


The point is that wherever you’re at in your business, you should always be reaching out to people above you. It’s easy to become complacent with your current level of success. No matter how well you’re doing, you should always challenge yourself to strive towards something better.


If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 12, 2018

Selling and Buying at the Same Time

The process of buying and selling simultaneously can be complicated, but it’s not impossible. Today I’ll share some tips and advice about how to navigate this type of double transaction.

There are many reasons why someone would need to undergo this process—sometimes people sell their homes to move into either a bigger or smaller home, or they’re relocating to a new city for work. Whatever the case may be, you have options when you need to buy and sell at the same time.

For your convenience, I’ve provided timestamps so that you can jump around to whatever points in the video interest you most:

  • 0:54—Making your current home’s sale contingent upon finding a new home.
  • 2:50—Asking the buyer to give you an extension.
  • 3:50—The mechanics of extending your stay in your current home to complete your transaction.
  • 4:40—Making the choice to rent until you find a new home.
  • 5:40—What are the virtues of renting your current home out?

You have options when you need to buy and sell at the same time.

If you have any questions about buying and selling a home at the same time, reach out to us. We can provide you with a variety of different options that fit your needs.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 8, 2018

What to Know About Reverse Mortgages

I was recently joined by special guest and reverse mortgage specialist Carlos Camargo to talk a little bit about reverse mortgages, including what they are and when using one is advantageous.


Here’s an outline of what we talked about, with timestamps so that you can skip ahead to the section(s) that interest you the most:


1:00- What is a reverse mortgage?

1:55- How someone on a fixed income can benefit from refinancing with a reverse mortgage.

3:00- How a reverse mortgage can be used to actually purchase a home.

5:58- The age requirements for a buyer to obtain a reverse mortgage.

7:10- The role that equity plays in terms of qualifying for a reverse mortgage.

9:10- The most confusing part about reverse mortgage qualification.

10:30- How interest rates play a role in reverse mortgages and home values.

12:55- Who benefits most from a reverse mortgage?

15:15- How a reverse mortgage can provide monthly “income” to homeowners.

22:30- Why fixed-income retirees aren’t the only ones who can benefit from reverse mortgages.

24:50- Why sitting down with someone like Carlos in a free consultation to go through your options is important in the process of making the right decision.

27:00- How lenders like Carlos calculate equity different in reverse mortgages than with traditional mortgages.

28:30- Why the current market is very conducive to reverse mortgages.

33:10- Some final thoughts from Carlos for anyone considering a reverse mortgage.



Reverse mortgages are a useful tool for senior homeowners. Here’s how they work and how you can use them.


If you have any questions for me about reverse mortgages or about anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Aug. 6, 2018

How to Find a Great Deal When Buying a Home

One of the many things the Morales Real Estate Group is hearing from our buyers is that there’s not enough inventory in the marketplace. For what inventory is on the market, the prices are skyrocketing. There are, however, a few things you can do as a potential buyer to make sure that you find a good deal when you locate a property that matches your criteria.

First, you need to be ready. Make sure that you are ready in terms of your finances and qualifications; that way, when a good deal appears in the marketplace, you’re able to pull the trigger quickly. A lot of times, those good deals sell in a day or two. Do what you can to make sure that you’re in a position to make an offer as soon as you locate a deal you’re interested in.

Next, make sure you work with an agent who has access to off-market deals. Many agents you’ll find will only have access to what’s listed on the MLS, so work with a team who can use their resources to find properties that aren’t listed on the MLS. In order to do that, you’ll need a team who makes a lot of outgoing calls or who is consistently looking for potential inventory for the buyers they work with.  If you’re able to find something not found on the MLS—supposing, for example, the seller didn’t want to list it for some reason—you can often find a good deal.


Do what you can to make sure that you’re in a position to make an offer as soon as you locate a deal that you’re interested in.


That said, you need to ascertain whether or not your agent has such access during the hiring process. Typically, these kinds of agents are big listing agents who consistently list and sell properties. They are the types to talk with a wide range of sellers before they put their properties on the market.

The Morales Real Estate Group recently had some success in this area. Some of our buyers were frustrated working with other agents; we were able to find them off-market deals and put a deal together before the property came on the market. The buyer is extremely happy that they didn’t have any competition and that we were able to work something out with the seller. It was a win-win situation.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or are seeking a good opportunity in the marketplace, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. The best Realtor in Oxnard has you covered.


Posted in Real Estate News
July 26, 2018

Don't Miss this Opportunity to Join 1 of Ventura County's Top Real Estate Teams

A job opportunity has just appeared on our team. The Morales Real Estate Group is growing, and you could be part of the exciting future that’s on our horizon. Right now we’re seeking someone to fill the role of closing coordinator. 

This job involves managing the fine details of each transaction for our team and taking those transactions from contract to close. Even if you aren’t already a real estate professional, this position could be right for you. 

Above all else, we’re looking for someone who is dedicated, ambitious, and has a positive attitude. So if you’re interested in joining our team, where you’ll receive great benefits, great pay, and be part of an outstanding collaborative environment, please apply here. 

The Morales Real Estate Group is growing, and you could be part of the exciting future that’s on our horizon.

As part of the Morales Real Estate Group, you’ll be working among some of the top agents in Ventura County.

If you have any other questions, would like more information, or need any assistance in applying, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Posted in Community News
July 16, 2018

We’re Honored to Be Ranked Among the Top Teams in California

I want to take a moment to say thank you to everybody who supported or encouraged us in 2017.

Nominated by RE/MAX headquarters, the Morales Team and myself have received an award for being among the top 20 real estate teams in California for commissions earned. We currently rank No. 18 in the state!

I know that there are thousands of agents out there, so to be even in the top 20 is a huge accomplishment for us.

We currently rank No. 18 in the state of California.

I’m aware that we couldn’t have done this without all of our friends, neighbors, family members, past clients, and anyone else who has taken the time to support and motivate us to be a better version of ourselves.
Thank you all, from the bottom of our heart.

If you ever need anything or have any questions, we’re always here to help. Just reach out to us and we’ll be glad to speak with you.

Posted in Real Estate News
May 29, 2018

What’s Going on in the Ventura County Real Estate Market?

Today I am going to give you the May 2018 market update for Oxnard, Camarillo, and Ventura County as a whole.

For the most part, most of Ventura County and much of Southern California has seen a drop in inventory. Demand has stayed strong, however. In Ventura County as a whole, the inventory dropped about 1%, while sales dropped by about 5% and average home prices are up by 5%.  

Certain areas of Ventura County have some slightly different numbers, however. For example, Oxnard saw a drop in inventory of 17%. This means that there are 17% fewer homes for sale right now than there were at this time last year. 

At the same time, sales have only decreased by 6.4% in the last year. From last year to this year, the Oxnard real estate market has increased by 9%. In Camarillo, we saw a 6% increase in prices year over year.


Different areas of Ventura County have different levels of supply and demand.

As you can see, different cities in Ventura County have different levels of demand, which makes the situation different for many buyers and sellers in this area. 

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these markets, or about the Santa Barbara County or Los Angeles County numbers, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you soon.

Posted in Real Estate News