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All About Ventura County and Los Angeles County Real Estate and Homes for sale. Lefton & Associates blogs about Real Estate market update and properties for sale throughout Simi Valley,Wood Ranch,Big sky,Moorpark,Thousand Oaks and surrounding areas.

Feb. 4, 2016

First Time Home Buyer's Guide

Simi Valley First Time Home Buyer's Guide

First Time Home Buyer's Guide

Before you spend any money on a Simi Valley home or agree to any contracts, you must be properly prepared. Your home purchase is going to be a large investment, and you must know what goes into it. Here you will become familiar with all you need to know so you can safely purchase a home that meets your family's needs.

How Much Home You Can Afford in Simi Valley.

How much home you can afford in Simi Valley

The first step in your Simi Valley home buying process should always be to assess how much you can afford. If you know the number, you can skip this step and move on to the next. If you don’t, there are a few good guides that can help.


Start by considering your current rent. If your income allows you to feel comfortable paying this much each month, it can be a good gauge of how much you can afford. Also remember that, in general, your housing expenses should be about 30-percent of your monthly income, but when considering this number, you have to look at incidental costs that come with homeownership too. Things like property taxes, insurance and maintenance are always important to factor in.

 Financing a Home in Simi Valley.

Financing a home in Simi Valley

Prior to settling on a Simi Valley home, set aside the closing costs. These generally are one and a half to two percent of your purchase price. This will go towards helping you pay for a lawyer and the transfer tax.

If you can afford it, plan to put 20-percent of the purchase price down on your home. This will help you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) and can therefore reduce your monthly mortgage payment. If you don’t have 20-percent to put down, consider if you qualify for a first time homebuyer’s grant. You can also gifted or inherited funds to reach this amount, but make sure to talk to a qualified mortgage broker to understand the criteria surrounding these options.

Credit checks need to be done to help you get a loan on the home of your choice. In general, you should strive for a credit score of 680 or higher to get the best financing options. Reaching this number often involves both paying your debts on time and having two or more open credit accounts that you have steadily maintained for two or more years.  If you aren’t there, take some time to build or repair your credit before proceeding with the purchase.


You usually won't have the money to buy a home outright, so working with a bank or some other place to get a home financed will be necessary. The reason your credit has to be checked is that they want to make sure you have a history of repaying debts. Otherwise, they are taking a big risk with those that don't have good credit and they could end up having to recoup their losses.

Prepare Your Documents to purchase a Simi Valley Home. 

Prepare your documents to purchase a Simi Valley Home


Once you’re secure with a mortgage broker and have ascertained that your credit score is strong enough to purchase a Simi Valley home, the process of qualifying for a loan begins. With this process comes a lot of paperwork, so be prepared and stay on top of the game to avoid unnecessary delays. Your lender will want to see two years worth of tax documents and two months worth of bank statements.

Have explanations for any large deposits into your bank account. This can include pay stubs from your employer, letters from clients if you are an independent contractor, copies of a will for inheritance funds or letters from friends of family if funds were gifted.

Your lender will review all paperwork in order to make a final determination about how much you qualify for. 

After this process is complete, you’re ready to shop for a home! Work closely with a Mike Lefton your Simi Valley Realtor who can help you to understand the market, and take your time in order to find the home that it right for your family. Work through this process diligently and with attention to detail, and the keys to your brand new home will soon be in hand!

About the Author


Jonathan Leger is a freelance writer and small business owner. He also runs a popular question and answer site at <a href=""></a>.

 Simi Valley Realtor


Jan. 27, 2016

Magic Words to Make Your Home Sell Faster

Magic Words to Make Your Home Sell Faster


If you are trying to sell your Simi Valley home, and you want to attract a buyer fast, then you need to pay close attention to the wording of your listing. Yes, staging your home properly and making sure that it has good curb appeal are important, but you won't even attract people to come view the house if you don't have a great listing to get their attention.


Structuring the Listing


A great home listing in Simi Valley will get straight to the point. Lead with the location and price. Use the name of the area and the postal code. This will help buyers skim through the listings and make a quick decision about whether your home is within their price range.


What  to Emphasize


Once you have attracted the attention of a would-be buyer, the next thing to do is describe the details. Include things like how many bedrooms and bathrooms your Simi Valley home has, whether there is a garage and if you have a garden or a yard. Also emphasize selling points like a new roof placed 2 years ago or a modern bathroom renovation in the master. These are things that help your listing to stand out and your house to appear special.

Emphasize benefits and stand out features – use the word “green” if you’ve upgraded to a tankless water heater or foam spray insulation and repurposed wood floors.  Is there easy storage? Is the garden landscaped? Do you have solar panels (if so, mentioning them just might mean your home sells up to 5 months quicker than others on the market)?



Are you "move in ready" in Simi Valley (just these words alone can decrease your time on the market by about 12-percent)? If so, shout about these things from the rooftops and let buyers know all about what your home has to offer.


Things like patios, basements, air conditioning, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and bay windows are almost universally popular, so highlighting them will make your listing far more appealing.

What Not To Say

Avoid emphasizing things like whole-house vacuums or swimming pools. These are things that not everyone wants. If they’re prominent in the Simi Valley MLS listing, it might cause someone to dismiss your house, whereas, if they come to view the property, they might love it enough to “learn to live with” such features.

Don't emphasize things like a perennial garden too much - that could seem great to you, but others might think of it as being potentially high maintenance. Instead, talk about professional landscaping (which can help your home to sell 20-percent faster) or a gorgeous outdoor living space, things that make potential buyers view your home as a serene oasis they want to live in.

Also, avoid saying 'motivated seller' - that sounds like you are desperate to get out, and the buyer might question why. These words can bring low ball offers, and worse yet, statistically, listings with this phrase spend about 10-percent longer on the market than those without it.

Include words like “beautiful”, “attractive”, “gorgeous” and “pristine”, simply using these words can decrease days on the market for many listings by about 15-percent.


It’s also a good idea to make sure that your listing is accompanied by plenty of pictures. Professionally photographed listings with features like virtual tours appeal to buyers in Simi Valley, especially those who might be limited in the number of houses they can tour and the time they have to find their next home. In fact, homes for sale photographed by professionals garner an impressive 61-percent more online views than those without images or with pictures taken by a novice.  

Keep It Simple


The best ads are simple and matter of fact. You aren't so much selling the house in the way that you would sell something in your day job. Rather, you are laying out the features and benefits so that future Simi Valley home buyers can make their own decisions. This is an important difference. If you push too hard you run the risk of driving people away.

Make your ad easy to skim read. Look at the shorthand people use in your area, and stick with that. Most of all, listen to your Realtor’s advice. Describe everything as clearly and simply as you can, using as few words as possible.

Spend a little extra time on the headline, and on the call to action. These are the things that will get people to look at your Simi Valley real estate listing, and then take the next step - contacting you.



Selling a house in Simi Valley is not rocket science. A lot of people put too much time into flowery writing, superlatives and exaggeration. This will drive people away. Don't do that. Focus on the facts, and let the charm and beauty of your house sell itself.

About the Author



Patrick Rogers runs Asurent Property Management based out of Medford Oregon. If you are needing property management services in that area, you can learn more at <a href=""></a>.


Jan. 18, 2016

Biggest Home Seller Mistakes

6 Mistakes You Have to Fix to Get a Home Sold Fast

Biggest Home Seller Mistakes in Simi Valley

Every seller in the Simi Valley real estate market wants to get the most money for the sale of their home. When pride, stubbornness or fears get in the way, they can cause even well-intentioned sellers to delay the sale of their home or reduce potential profits. Here are ways to fix six of the biggest mistakes home sellers in Simi Valley often make.



Overpricing a Home

over pricing a simi valley home

Sellers do not set market prices, buyers do. You can only get what a reasonable buyer is willing and able to pay. Smart home buyers in Simi Valley know what a home in your neighborhood should go for because they listen to their real estate agent’s advice.


Sellers must do the same. Yes, your home is full of memories, DIY glory and deserves top dollar, but sentimentality does not sell a home. Fix this mistake by hiring a knowledgeable Simi Valley Realtor and asking for advice regarding a fair asking price. Ask him to look at comps, provide you with information about recent properties listed and sold in your neighborhood and give advice about smart renovations that may fetch you a higher asking price. Decide on your home’s market value with this information in hand.


Limited Showing Availability

limited showing availability in simi valley

If you want to sell your Simi Valley home, you have to let potential buyers come and see it. Certainly, getting the family and your pets out of the home right before dinnertime or waking your toddler from a nap isn’t convenient, but if you want to sell, you need to work with the schedules of people who are in the market to buy. 

If your Realtor calls and asks to show your home, the answer should always be yes. While it’s fine to request appointments with some window of time, the more often you’re willing to accept even the last minute showings, the more likely you are to sell your home fast. Remember, your goal is to place that sold sign in your yard so that inconveniencing your family for showings is no longer necessary.


Not Cutting the Clutter Out

not cutting the clutter out of your simi valley

You may have a wonderful doll collection or a National Geographic magazine collection that spans seven decades. However, when these things clutter an entire living room, no home buyer in Simi Valley will make you an offer. They need to envision their furniture, their family and their belongings in the home.


Stage your home in Simi Valley to sell by removing clutter. Have a yard sale, move personal effects to a storage unit or ask a friend or family member to keep them until you move to your next home. Listen to your Simi Valley Realtor’s advice regarding what type of home appeals to potential buyers, and if budget allows, consider hiring a professional stager to help you with this project.


Odors That Stink up a Sale

odors that stink up a sale

While Fido’s scent might not bother you and you may not even notice the lingering cigarette odor in the air, buyers will. These scents need to go if you want your home to sell fast and for top dollar.

If the home needs it, invest in a professional cleaning from the carpets on up to rid it of smoke, pet and kitchen odors. Keep the litter box clean, plan to vacuum every day and clear your refrigerator out from old, outdated food. Don’t try to mask odors with powerful air fresheners, instead, work to remove them, and only use scents sparingly so that buyers won’t wonder what you’re trying to cover up.



Negotiating an All or Nothing Deal

 negotiating a all or nothing deal in Simi Valley

This is one where stubbornness can fumble a great sale. Listen to your Simi Valley real estate agent, and know when to back down. While giving a little might seem like it will net you less at the closing table, consider the money you will save by avoiding paying two mortgages and the satisfaction you will gain by moving on to your new home. While it would be ill advise to tell you to give your home away for significantly less than it is worth, never slam the door on a buyer. Be willing to listen and negotiate.


Repair Resistance

Repair resistance on your Simi Valley Home

Making repairs before a move is a nuisance. Still, most Simi Valley home buyers want a turnkey property. Paint the master bedroom, or fix the cracked tile in the bathroom. If an inspection report comes back with concerns, work with the buyer and make attempts to address them. Otherwise, you could lose the sale - and the proceeds from it, leaving you short to fund your new home purchase in Simi Valley.


These are six of the biggest mistakes most sellers make. If you’re in the market to sell a home in Simi Valley, set yourself apart from the pack by giving these issues the attention they deserve. This is the surest way to get that sold sign in your yard and the money you need to move on to your next great home purchase.


Contact Mike Lefton realtor for a FREE private listing consultation on your property at (805)407-6453 or Visit my website at 


About the Author


Patrick Rogers runs Asurent Property Management based out of Medford Oregon. If you are needing property management services in that area, you can learn more at <a href=""></a>.



Jan. 13, 2016

Why Use A Realtor To Sell Your House?

In The Age Of The Internet Why Use A Realtor To Sell Your House?

Simi Valley Realtor


It seems that the Internet has provided an avenue to cutting out the middleman in almost every  transaction that we undertake in our lives. Today, you can log on, use a popular search engine and buy and sell almost everything under the sun.


The rise of online property portals has also revolutionized the buying and selling of homes. Many of these global portals have vast lists of property for sale or to rent and charge very low premiums for each listing or a successful sale.


The question is then - why would anyone use a Realtor to assist in selling a home?


The fact is that selling a home, probably the most valuable asset that anyone will own during the course of their lives, is not as straightforward as it may seem to the layman.


Aside from the marketing considerations there are also legal and tax implications to consider before you list your property on the open market.


Listing a property on an online property portal will certainly save money in the short term, however the strategy ignores certain fundamental strengths of the real estate agency model.

Marketing Benefits of Using a Realtor

Simi Valley Real Estate

First, the marketing of the property is limited due to the fact that Internet searches for homes are by nature wide and unfocused. This may seem counter intuitive, but consider the fact that a property listed on an Internet site is only exposed to people who search for specific types of property within a specific price range.

These potential buyers are oftentimes unqualified in terms of their spending power, as well as their specific requirements. A Realtor, either independent or part of a larger network, has pre qualified clients who are in the market for specific properties. He or she knows the intimate requirements of these buyers and can match them with sellers much faster than a significantly less selective Internet search.


There is also the matter of marketing. Once again the reach and access provided by listing a property on the Internet is difficult to match – however, buyers of property are usually within the catchment area of a large real estate company. The marketing efforts of these companies are highly focused meaning that these real estate companies and their agents are able to leverage their knowledge of local markets in order to provide potential buyers with the information they require to make their buying decision.

These real estate agencies and the Realtors associated with them are able to use local knowledge to the advantage of the seller. As much as the Internet is powerful there are still those buyers who prefer to peruse the weekly newspapers in search of their ideal property and the space taken up by Realtors to list their properties is significant.

A Realtor has specific funds specifically allocated to market homes for their clients. This money is often used to hire a professional photographer, create brochures to leave in the home for potential customers, conduct open houses and advertise both online and in print format. Certainly you could do some of these things on your own, but without the resources, it would be both costly and time consuming, and the average person simply doesn’t know what the most effective methods are for marketing a property to get it sold quickly and for the right price.

Legalities of a Home Sale

Realtor in Simi Valley california

There are also considerations around the legal hurdles that sellers have to navigate, as well as the tax implications of every sale. A qualified Realtor can assist with negotiations, writing up contracts, understanding things discussed at the closing table and ensuring that the individual complies with all the requirements of a sales contract so as not to delay closing or cause unnecessary or surprise expenses to pop up, reducing potential profit from the home.

Individuals can be successful selling a home on their own, but the best way to ensure a fast sale, seamless experience and increased potential profits at closing is to use a qualified Realtor. With the help of an expert, the process of selling one’s home is simplified and typically more effective too.

Sell your Simi Valley House

Simi Valley real estate market update - Click Here 

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Ventura County? Mike Lefton Realtor offers recently listed Simi Valley real estate properties throughout Ventura County, and surrounding cities. List your property with confidence! We have hundreds of listings including condos, town homes, foreclosures, short sales, new homes, land, and investment properties. As Ventura County natives, my associates and I have made Ventura County and its surrounding areas our specialties. Our belief is that dedication, determination, and drive are the winning combination. We encompass the strength of teamwork with a reputation for results and since 1996. 


About the Author


Patrick Rogers runs Asurent Property Management based out of Medford Oregon. If you are needing property management services in that area, you can learn more at <a href=""></a>.



Jan. 7, 2016

7 Benefits Of Using A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home

7 Benefits Of Using A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home

7 Benefits Of Using A Real Estate Agent To Sell Your Home

Contact Mike Lefton realtor at Troop Real Estate for a free market evaluation on your property at 805-517-4988 or visit my website at  

Simi Valley realtor

Nov. 19, 2015

Thinking about selling your house

Thinking about selling your house?

Thinking about selling your house? Contact Mike Lefton for a FREE market evaluation on your home at (805) 407-6453 for instant market update.

Oct. 19, 2015

49 Mahogany Lane Simi Valley ca 93065

49 Mahogany Lane, Simi Valley, Ca. 93065. Another sold home by Mike Lefton realtor at Troop real estate.  Contact Mike Lefton today and find out how my team works for you! 805-517-4988 for all your real estate needs.

49 Mahogany Lane Simi Valley Ca 93065

Aug. 27, 2015

Simi Valley Realtor and mortgage lender hold movie in the park

Simi Valley Realtor Mike Lefton and mortgage lender Caliber home loans hold movie in the park.

Mike Lefton, a real estate professional with Troop Real Estate since 1996, and Jason Smith and Michael Fisher, Direct Lenders since 1990 with Caliber Home Loans, hosted the first annual “Movie in the Park” family event on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. at Vista Del Arroyo Park in the Madison County neighborhood, located off Royal Ave. and Sequoia Ave. in Simi Valley.

“Our first annual ‘Movie in the Park’ was a huge success,” Lefton said. “Thank you to more than 250 family, friends, neighbors and clients for a great evening!”

The night kicked off with music, raffle prizes, popcorn and water for guests to enjoy on their Saturday night. “Big Hero 6” played promptly at 8 p.m. on a large projector movie screen. Families brought lawn chairs, blankets, their kids and pets to spend a wonderful Saturday night out watching one of the newest Disney movies released to DVD. Madison County resident Randy Samuels won a flat-screen T.V. and many other guests won gift cards and movie tickets.

“Lefton has always done things to stand out as a consummate professional,” said CEO Brian Troop. “He continues to provide an outstanding service to his clients as well as doing promotions to boost his community involvement. This latest event in Madison County has created a lot of buzz in our community. Thanks to Mike and Jason!”

“The event was more successful than expected,” Smith said. “The response and turn out was great, and we look forward to hosting more community events in the future!”

Caliber Home Loans with Fisher and Smith support home ownership and strive to get more and more buyers into homes with quickness and efficiently.

Together as a team Lefton, Smith and Fisher work diligently with the home purchase process and this was exhibited in the event as it went off without a hitch.

To contact Mike Lefton and Associates, call 517-4988, email or visit To contact Jason Smith and Mike Fisher call 800-801-5626 or email, or Article in Ventura county star and acorn newspaper.

July 8, 2015

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April 30, 2015

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