Oxnard CA Real Estate and Community News

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Aug. 14, 2017

How to Handle Discouragement From People Who Care

Recently, I got a call from a friend who is interested in moving forward with investing in real estate but has been repeatedly discouraged by the people who care most in her life such as friends and family. 

She has money saved, is ready to invest, and wants a better future for herself. So, why is it that the people around her have been so adamant against her moving forward? She’s even begun to wonder if her friends and family don’t want her to succeed.

However, what I told her is that the opposite is true. The people that care will want to keep you safe. They will want to protect you from anything that might not go well in your life. Sometimes, advice is given from an overprotective perspective.

However, real estate is not as big a risk as many might believe. If you understand your situation as well as the circumstances of the current market, investing in real estate can be a very good thing. 

It’s my genuine opinion that these people truly care. If you never invest or take risks you will be safe, but you will miss out on great opportunities. My best advice is to always invest based on cash flow. There are a lot of cost associated with selling an investment property, so my investment philosophy has to do with running the numbers.


Decisions should be based more on numbers than on feelings.


Find the positive difference between the cost of your mortgage and how much you can rent out a property for. This number should give you some solid ground on which to base your decision. 

Ask yourself if this is a slim or a wide margin, and whether it will be an asset for you in our Ventura County real estate market. If you have a gap of about $1,000 or more, you’ve got plenty of cushion in case something goes wrong.

Also, worry more about what an asset is producing for you month to month than about appreciation. In terms of percentage for cash flow, I usually look in the range of 15% and above. Most of my properties are producing at least 19% to 20%. 

Decisions should be based more on numbers than on feelings. To be truly “economy-proof,” you should base your investment on cash flow instead of equity.

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 Marketing Plan
Aug. 1, 2017

How to Effectively Invest Your Capital in Ventura County Real Estate

Recently I’ve had a couple of conversations with clients who are considering either renting or selling their primary residence. However, renting out or listing your Ventura County home for sale is not a simple process. 

There are many things that you must consider in either of these situations. For instance, one of the first things I’ve been asking clients is to think about their long-term plan.

If that plan is to rent out a property indefinitely and keep it in your investment portfolio for a number of years, you should consider capital gains taxes. 

A primary residence that is rented out for three or more years becomes an investment property. This means there are different tax implications that come into play. 

If you would ever happen to want to sell that residence after it’s become an investment property, you would have to pay capital gains. 

However, doing a 1031 exchange you could help you avoid some of these taxes. This is a little more complicated, though. 

Something I recommend to clients is to look at whether the market is in a place where it is likely to appreciate over the next few years. In this case renting out a primary residence for less than three years makes sense.

For example, let’s say you were faced with this decision in 2014. Assuming you rented out the property for less than three years and sold right before that mark, then it would have been a good decision. 


A primary residence that is rented out for three or more years becomes an investment property.


However, if you had made this same decision in 2007 you most likely would have been forced to hold onto the property for more than three years. 

Another thing to consider outside of the length of time you plan on renting out a property is the opportunity cost of your capital. 

Let’s say your primary residence is well-maintained and in a good, safe neighborhood. You have to determine whether it makes sense to rent it out or to take the money out of the primary residence and invest it in a duplex, triplex, fourplex, or something that has better rental potential and could earn a higher return. 

In short, the question to ask yourself is, “What is the opportunity cost for my capital?”

I had a couple of sellers last year who owned properties in River Park and Oxnard. After running the numbers of what they were going to rent the property at as well as what they were going to collect in rent, I found that after all expenses they were going to have about $200 of positive rental income on their properties. 

With this in mind, I asked them if they could perhaps take the $100,000 to $200,000 they had in equity and buy additional property to earn a better return by investing in another asset.

In fact, I have personal experience with this situation. On one of my properties I was earning $200,000 a month and had $100,000 worth of equity tied up in it. So instead of letting it sit, I took that $100,000 and invested it into a fourplex that now earns me a better return. 

Making the best financial decision ultimately relies on asking yourself these two questions.

If you want more information or have any other questions 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
June 20, 2017

Lessons From "The Big Short"

I just saw the Big Short this week, and it got me thinking about some things.

A lot of the time when we’re making a decision, there’s a lot of people who will tell us not to do something. They do that because they want to protect us from doing something that will hurt ourselves.

There have been times in my career where I’ve had clients who were excited about buying a property and when they go to open up escrow, they get cold feet. This could be for a number of reasons - their payment ends up being higher than their current rent, for example. 

One instance that comes to mind is a client who opened up escrow on a property and then got cold feet because he received advice from people close to him that the market was going to continue to go down, and that maybe it wasn’t a good time to buy. As it turns out, that same property that he didn’t end up closing on appreciated more than $100,000 in the years since.

There are a few key things that I took away from this movie. The first is be careful who you’re getting advice from. If you’re seeking advice, look for the people with experience in what you’re wanting advice for. If you want to get into rental properties, talk to someone with experience in that.


If you’re seeking advice, look for the people with experience.


The second key here is to make your decisions based on the facts. Look at everything logically and make sure that you’ve got all the information you need to make a great decision for yourself. 

If you’ve got any questions related to this topic or you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Ventura County, please give me a call. I’d be happy to help!


Posted in Real Estate News
June 6, 2017

The Most Important Advice for Any Aspiring Top Producer

I recently had an agent ask me what it would take for them to become a top agent in Oxnard or a top agent in Camarillo. I remember asking my mentors this same question many years ago, and it brought me back. So I told the agent what my mentor told me. 

I said, “Who’s car do you see when you get here in the morning and who’s car do you see when you leave at the end of the day?” The answer, of course, is my car.

I told the agent that the answer to becoming a top producer isn’t rocket science; it’s a balance between showing up and putting in the work day after day. If you work hard, the results will come. As one of my mentors once told me, “It takes twice as much gas to get a boat going than it does to run it once it’s cruising.” Once you put in the hard work to get your business rolling, everything will seem to be in cruise control.

When I first started working in Ventura County real estate, I put in the extra hours because I was willing to. That’s the key. This isn’t a nine to five job. If you treat it that way, you’ll never reach the level of success you desire. It took me a whole year to get my boat going. I only took four days off during this time, but it got my career going.


The answer isn’t rocket science.


Although things are easier now than they used to be, it doesn’t mean I’m still not putting in extra work. To be the best real estate agent in Oxnard or the best real estate agent in Camarillo, you have to make sacrifices. What are you willing to sacrifice? It’s not the sexiest thing, but it works.

I’ll tell you what I told the agent who asked me this question. There is no secret formula to succeeding in this business. It’s all about hard work and dedication to becoming the best Ventura County real estate agent you can be.

If you have any questions for me in the meantime about the Ventura County real estate market or your career path, give me a call or send me an email today. I would love to hear from you.


Posted in Marketing Plan
May 19, 2017

A Lesson in Doing the Right Thing for Your Client

I have a cool little story I’d like to share with you today regarding something that happened to me with one of my clients. 

I initially met with this person about six months ago. They gave me a call and told me they were ready to sell their property. When I met with them, though, I learned that they didn’t need my services at the time, and I let them know that. Instead of selling their property and making a profit, they actually just wanted to transfer it to a family member. 

They thought they needed the services of a real estate agent because another agent had told them that the only way to transfer their property to this other family member was by using a real estate professional. If they were selling the property to this person, it would make sense to use a Realtor, but they weren’t. 

After hearing all this, I told them they were better off speaking with a mortgage professional and getting that family member qualified for the property so they could transfer it and that family member could have their own loan on it. I then recommended them to a loan officer, and they talked to them.


This story comes down to doing the right thing for your client.


That very same client called me today and said their other family member decided not to buy the property and now they were looking to sell it. They called me instead of the agent that told them they needed a real estate professional.

I believe they called me because that other agent was putting their personal interests above their client’s. They didn’t need a real estate professional, but the only way that agent was going to make a commission was by giving them that advice. I didn’t give them that advice because I didn’t feel that it was the right thing to do. I gave them the advice I felt was correct. In return, I was the one they contacted now that they need to sell. 

This all comes down to doing the right thing for the client. While it’s true that we’re 100% commission-based, when you have business going on all the time, you’re not just looking for the commission check—you’re looking out for the client’s best interest and making recommendations based on that. 

When you do that so often, you have people calling you all the time, referring you, and wanting to do business with you. They know you’re not focusing on the paycheck; you’re focused on the relationship between you and them, growing that relationship, and the future business that comes along with it. 

I’m a firm believer that if you do the right thing for the client, you’ll get rewarded for it eventually. Today proved this belief. We’ll have the listing on the market for this client by next week, and we’ll get it sold for them. 

If you or anybody you know is looking to buy or sell a property and you want an agent who will look out for you best interests, give me a call. Until then, make it a great day!

Posted in Real Estate News
May 4, 2017

3 Great Tips to Grow Your Business

I was recently on a top producer panel for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and they asked us about tips for new agents. I thought about it and I realized there are actually three great tips for anyone, not just agents, who is trying to grow their business. 

The first is invest in yourself. I can’t stress enough how important it is to invest back in yourself and your personal growth. No matter what you do, you’ll have that growth to fall back on. Read books or subscribe to Audible. The greatest minds have left behind books that will help you succeed, so take advantage of that.  

Get involved with coaching. Make sure whichever coach you choose has done exactly what you want to accomplish. For example, if you want to sell 100 homes a year, don’t get a coach who has never sold a property or only sells 20 a year. Get a coach who is already accomplished. There are far too many people on the Internet trying to tell you how to do something they have never done, so make sure who you choose is reputable. 

Attend different seminars. Some of my best connections were made at seminars. In fact, my best friend and soon-to-be best man at my wedding, Andrew Garcia, and I met at a seminar. They present valuable content, but the real value is going to come from the people you meet and connect with there. 


Get yourself a coach and start attending different seminars to help invest in yourself.


The second tip is to focus on attracting new business. Real estate, whether you like it or not, is a sales business. You need to go out and meet people. The more people that know you, begin to like you, and see you as a resource, the better. For example, if you owned a restaurant that had the absolute best food, it wouldn’t matter if no one knew about your business. You have to attract your own customers. Before anything else, focus on your lead generation. 

Finally, stay consistent. I personally spend six days a week consistently working on my business to be the top Realtor in Oxnard. There are a lot of people that do what I do, but what sets me apart is the fact that I go into the office day in and day out to push and grow my business. That’s what it takes. Without consistency, it’s incredibly hard to get into a pattern that is conducive to growing your business. 

If you have any questions about this topic or Ventura County real estate, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’m always happy to help!

Posted in Marketing Plan
May 1, 2017

Focus on Mastering Your Craft to Be Successful

I recently realized that I am starting to reap the rewards of all the hard work I put in a few years back. That got me thinking about how I got here. 

During my journey there were a couple choices I had to make. The first was whether to focus on one thing at a time or multiple things at once. For example, people would suggest I get an insurance license to supplement my income, but I am a firm believer in focusing on one thing at a time. 

I didn’t want to be a one-stop shop. I wanted to be the best at one specific thing and master what I was doing, which is what led to my success. 

As a real estate agent, if you have other jobs like also being an insurance agent, you’re only a part-time real estate agent. You lose focus on being the best at one thing. 

My advice is to add sources of income around that one thing you’re striving to master. For example, as a real estate agent, I would need to add something that complements being a real estate agent, like investing in real estate. I could also open a staging company or flip homes instead of venturing off into different fields that don't complement the profession I’m trying to master. 


If you focus on one thing and master it, you’ll reap the rewards.


You want to focus on one thing, master it, and become the expert people go to with their needs. People will trust you to get the job done and answer any of their questions. After that, I guarantee you’ll start to reap the rewards just like I have. 

If you or anyone you know is looking to jump into the Ventura County real estate market to buy or sell a home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! 


Posted in Real Estate News
April 17, 2017

Are Short Sales Good or Bad?

What is a short sale? A short sale is when a homeowner is underwater on the property and needs to sell the home. The homeowner accepts the offer, but the bank still has to approve the short sale. 

Every short sale is different. Some short sales are good and others are bad. There are definitely short sales that you should stay away from. 

For example, let’s say the property is priced at $500,000 and the owner accepts a $400,000 offer. You might fully execute the contract, but the bank still has to approve it. Short sales can actually take quite a bit of time because the bank needs do their research; after all, they are taking a loss on the property.

The bank will order a broker price opinion, or BPO, to see if the homeowner is selling the property for what it is worth. They will send an independent real estate agent to the property to do an evaluation. The bank will also make sure that the owner has some kind of hardship that has rendered them unable to make their mortgage payments. So, although the homeowner might accept your offer, it is up to the bank to give final approval. You can spend months in a short sale transaction only to have the bank turn you down. 


There are a few signs that you should stay away from a short sale.


So, how do you know if you should stay away from a short sale? There are a few signs you should look out for: 

  1. The property is priced substantially below market value. If the home’s market value is $500,000 and it’s priced at $300,000, then the bank is not going to approve that offer. If the property is distressed or uninhabitable, then you might be able to get away with such a huge price drop. However, the bank is already losing money, so they aren’t going to let you get into the home for $200,000 under the market value. 

  2. The house has multiple loans and liens. Every short sale is different. If the homeowner is only underwater on one loan, that is more likely to close than a property with two or three loans. If there are child support liens, tax liens, or other liens on the property, that short sale will take a very long time and likely fall through. Why? Each lender has to approve the loan. You might get the first loan approved and then get 45 days to close the sale; if it takes more than 45 days to get approval from the second lender, then you will have to go back to the beginning. 

  3. The listing agent is from out of the area. Many agents outside of our area don’t understand the market, so they underprice the property. Remember, if a property is underpriced, the bank probably won’t approve the transaction. 

  4. The agent does not have short sale experience. As you can see, short sales can be very complicated and take months or even a year to close. You need to work with a local agent who has short sale experience in order to move forward. 

Short sales are a good opportunity for you to get a good deal. Just make sure that you ask your agent the following questions: 

  1. How many loans are on the property? Are there additional liens on the property? 
  2. Does the listing agent have short sale experience? 
  3. Is the property priced close to the market value? 
  4. Is the listing agent here locally? 

If your agent is able to answer those questions favorably, then you can go ahead with the short sale. 

Finally, you need to consider whether the homeowner is ready to sell. If you see a short sale sign that says “Drive by only,” then that may mean the seller hasn’t fully let go of the property. They may need to sell the property but are not emotionally prepared to do so. In some cases, the homeowner might be trying to figure out a way to keep the home. You don’t want to get two or three months into a short sale only to discover that the homeowner is keeping the property after all. 

Ultimately, short sales can be very complicated. If you have any questions about purchasing a short sale property or if you are curious about any other real estate topics, just give me a call or send me an email. My team and I would be happy to help you!

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 3, 2017

The Jose Morales Show: What Is a Living Trust?

Welcome back to The Jose Luiz Morales Show, a program dedicated to providing value to you in your business career and helping you with your personal development. Today I’m joined by attorney Katie Becker to answer the question “What is a living trust?(Mira en español)

Katie has been practicing law for five years and was working as an estate planning and probate paralegal for four years before that, which means she has almost 10 years of experience on the matter. 

Take a look at the video above to learn everything you need to know about living trusts, including how a living trust affects you. 


Today you’ll learn everything you need to know about living trusts.


If you have any questions for Katie, you can go to their website www.venturaestatelegal.com or call her at (805-525-7104). She would be happy to help you! 

As always, if you have any questions for me or are looking to buy or sell a home in Ventura County, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! 

(Mira en español)


April 3, 2017

The Jose Luiz Morales Show: Ep. 7 (Español)