July 13, 2011

Santa Paula Citrus Classic Hot Air Balloon Festival

Balloon Glows behind the Limoneira East Area I sign
I love, love, love Santa Paula’s Citrus Classic Balloon Festival.
 I was excited when the first Citrus Classic balloon festival was announced in 2008. I knew I had to be there.  I’ve always wanted to see the famous Albuquerque Balloon Festival and now I had chance to experience something similar on a smaller scale in my own Ventura County.  I could hardly wait to see hot air balloons take

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Posted in Local Interest
May 22, 2008

Ventura County Beaches Earn an A!

Wave at Marina Park in Ventura

Heal the Bay, an environmental group, issued it’s “Beach Report Card” that assigns grades of A to F to 517 beaches on the California coast based on measured bacteria levels from April 2007 to March 2008. 55 of Ventura County’s 56 beaches rated an A during the spring and summer months. Rincon Beach received the lone B. In the wet winter months, water quality is not as good due to run off from and test beaches measure much higher bacteria levels.

The Ventura County Star quotes Mike Grimmer, Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card manager in today’s newspaper:

It’s amazing how good the water quality is there (in Ventura County),” said Mike Grimmer, Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card manager. “If you’re at an open-ocean beach and it’s dry weather, you have almost a 100 percent chance of swimming in clean water,” Grimmer said. “We’re making some strides on wet weather. Unless we live in a society where there’s no trash anywhere, a lower standard is always going to be expected during wet weather conditions.”

For more information on Ventura County “Beach Report Card”, visit:

Heal The Bay Ventura County Report Card Map
Heal The Bay Ventura County Report Card Text
County of Ventura Water Quality Tests

Posted in Local Interest
May 20, 2008

Buying a Home? For goodness sake, get a CLUE!

Flooded HomeC.L.U.E. stands for the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange  which is a huge database used by the insurance industry to track claims homeowners file against their homeowner’s insurance policies. This information helps insurers of Ventura County real estate avoid fraud and writing policies for people who make excessive claims, but this information also follows the home the claim is made on. Just like having a bad credit record affects your ability to get financing for a home, negative information in the C.L.U.E. database can affect

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Posted in Real Estate News
May 8, 2008

Egrets, Herons and Trout, Oh My!

Tanks at the Fillmore Fish HatcheryLast Saturday I was previewing Fillmore homes for a buyer and passed the Fillmore Fish Hatchery sign along Highway 126 and decided to stop by for a visit.  I’ve been there before and it’s kind of a interesting place to walk around.  The signs Large Rainbow Troutoutside the hatchery fill us in on the details.  The hatchery was dedicated in 1932 and is one of 21 hatcheries managed and operated by the California Department of Fish and Game. 

The Fillmore Hatchery produces approximately

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Posted in Local Interest
May 8, 2008

Ventura Real Estate Seller Surprised by Supplemental Property Tax Bill…

Woman holding a supplemental tax bill…Nearly Two Years after Sale!

The best escrow is a closed escrow. Job well done…satisfied clients…all is well and it’s time to focus on the next one. Sometimes, though, like a zombie from a B-movie, a closed escrow will not die requiring some extra attention to put things right.

This particular example starts with a panicked phone call last month from Mrs. X, who just received a notice that she’d had a lien recorded against her by the Ventura County Tax Collector for the home she sold in April 2006. It was for

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Posted in Taxes
April 25, 2008

Fisherman’s Wharf in Oxnard…A Lost Treasure

Fisherman's Wharf at SunriseSomewhere, far, far way…on a parallel Earth there will be a huge celebration next month in a parallel Oxnard.  This parallel (and more enlightened) Oxnard will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the grand opening of Fisherman’s Wharf to the public back in May of 1978.  There they cherished (or at least performed basic maintenance) on their Fisherman’s Wharf and it is still a favorite hangout for locals and visitors alike. Wood Rot in buildings at Fisherman's Wharf in OxnardSadly, in our universe

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Posted in Local Interest
March 23, 2008

Joe Virnig’s Photography Featured at State Capitol

Ventura County Capitol DisplayVentura County Officials Unveil Updated Display Case in the State Capitol-Strolling down the hall in the first floor of the State Capitol in Sacramento, one will notice hundreds of curious visitors gazing at glass cases lining the walls. For Capitol veterans who stroll down these halls everyday, this is just another day in the State Capitol, but for other Californians, it is the excitement at seeing their home county on display. The display cases lining the walls contain an exhibit of each California county, depicting the best of what each has to offer. However, some displays are out of date and haven’t been updated for many years. They don’t accurately reflect the beauty of their respective counties.

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Posted in Local Interest
March 18, 2008

Home Staging...Is it worth it?

The first time I listened to someone give a presentation on the benefits of home staging my eyes rolled so far back in my head I saw the Realtor sitting behind me. I mean really, the furniture and decorations don’t come with the house—so who cares? And some of the claims for home staging seemed pretty over the top too, such as the assertion that staged homes sell for 3-10% over the list price. Of course back then it was a red hot seller’s market and fixers could make the same claim. But times have changed, and the market’s changed along with it. I can’t promise that staging your home will get you more than your asking price, but it will give you an edge in getting the most money in the least amount of time.

Home Staging ExampleProperly done,

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Posted in Home Improvement