Agoura Horse Property - Custom & Equestrian Real Estate by Nona Green

Saturday, February 23, 2013
Image 1 of 1 Click to Enlarge Image

A client of mine called me to help with her refinance. I sold her the home, located in the custom neighborhood of Old Agoura, about 2 years ago. The home's value has increased signifiganty. Wanting to take advantage of even lower interest rates since her purchase date, my client applied for the refinance and paid for the requisite appraisal.

Nearby recent sales easily demonstrate the increased value of her home. No problem, right? Wrong. The appraiser said that he omitted a couple of choice comparables since those homes sold with more than a third of the purchase in cash. The appraiser explained that these were likely investor purchases and did not reflect an "arms length" transaction.

I am speculating about the appraiser's reasoning. How does the loan-to-value ratio, or whether or not a purchase is made with all cash, affect the price paid? Conversely, there are many examples of an all cash purchase selling for slightly LESS than top market value*, yet in this case, the comparable property sold for higher than the average selling price for the area. In defense of this appraiser, I am also seeing buyers pay cash for properties with no comparables to support the price they are willing to pay. Without the benefit of an appraisal, buyers are purchasing properties for more than what a lender would say the property is worth. It would behoove a buyer paying cash, to obtain an appraisal prior to removing all purchase contingencies. Not only do appraisers estimate value, they measure property dimensions and call out discrepancies with public records, recognize health and safety concerns and possible code violations. In a custom neighborhood, it is not uncommon for buyers to pay more than appraised value. With that appraisal in hand, they can at least make an informed decision.

I was able to provide my client with alternate comparable sales to support the true value of her property. Hopefully, my client's lender will recognize that the appraiser they assigned to evaluate the property had prejudiced methodology. A check with reliable sources confirms that this appraiser's policy is not a new industry standard.

With property values increasing in the wake of rampant lending abuse, appraisers are sometimes conservative to fault. A homeowner, especially of custom or rural property, should have an area specialist in his or her corner. I can advise the appraiser, or the lender how one property can be superior to another, even if the difference is not obvious by looking at the MLS detail.

*When a homeowner receives multiple offers, sometimes an all cash offer, even if the price is lower than another offer that requires new financing, is more desirable. Occasionally, features of the property, or the condition of the property may preclude conventional financing.

Click to view related property
Comments: 0

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Image 1 of 1 Click to Enlarge Image

Regulators are putting the crush on one Agoura family wanting to enhance their property with a vineyard. In 2005, the homeowner planted over 30,000 square feet of grapes on their 1.6 acre property, located behind the gates in Medea Valley Estates. Unfortunately, the family didn't obtain a permit to grow crops in a residential neighborhood. The amateur vintners, producing wine that is not intended for sale, didn't know a permit is required.

A few years later, after complaints about pesticides and runoff from the property resulted in a Notice of Violation, the Medea Valley Estate owner is now applying for a Conditional Use Permit from the County of Los Angeles. Medea Valley Estates is a planned community governed by a Homeowner's Association and is in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. A public hearing is set for March 6, 2013. Travis Sewards, the county planner handling the case, says that anyone who is thinking about planting a vineyard in a residential zone should observe the outcome of this hearing. Even if the homeowner has demonstrated that they conform to all environmental and grading standards and agrees to refrain from the use of pesticides in the future, the planning commission can decline to approve the vineyard.

Sewards expects to hear testimony from a handful of neighbors whose opposition has been fermenting. Sewards explained that if a property is over 5 acres and is in an agricultural zone, a permit would not be required. "Not yet." With the popularity of vineyards increasing in the Santa Monica Mountain communities, environmentalists are soured on the increased clearing of natural chaparral, grading and terracing, and otherwise altering the natural viewshed and animal habitat. More regulations and restrictions are sure to germinate.

Click to view related property
Comments: 1

Friday, February 15, 2013

Out of Africa in Hidden Hills

Don't tell the Homeowner's Association that this is not a horse. It looks like a small horse, excepting the stripes. Well...a new listing in Hidden Hills is owned by an exotic animal trainer. She has kept big cats, zebras, and other exotics on the 2+ acres equestrian facility that highlights a private view estate.

Call Nona if you need a superb horse property with a great barn, guest home, caretaker's quarters.


Click to view related property
Comments: 0

Sunday, February 10, 2013

LA Planning to Vote on Plans to Develop Original Malibou Lake Clubhouse Site

To the protestors who would like to see the lot remain vacant, Clark Cable couldn't have said it better, "Frankly my neighbors in Malibou Lakeside, I don't give a damn." Clark Gable, Jimmy Cagney, Carole Lombard and other Hollywood types, had been known to play a round of poker at the old clubhouse, a lodge style structure with 24 boarding rooms. The site is a popular dog walking park ever since the clubhouse burnt down in 1935.

The owners of the 5 acre site, consisting of two legal parcels on Seminole and Crags Drives, have bent over backwards to appeal to the protestors, offering to reserve a portion of the lot as a park. The zoning of the site is Resort and Recreational. It would be easier for the owners to obtain a permit for a convention center or a rodeo facility, than to obtain the Conditional Use Permit to build the two single family homes that they are proposing.

Don Haskin, one of the owners of the site, hopes that the community will see the advantages of building two custom homes, versus a commercial use that the zoning would allow. Haskin sees the potential for a beautiful equestrian facility on the site, including a riding arena. A trailhead into Malibu Creek State park is just a block away, at the end of Crags Dr.

A group of neighbors offered to buy at least one of the two parcels, rather than allow any type of construction. A price that would be acceptable to the owner has not been determined.

The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the matter at their regular session on Feb. 12, 2013 at the County offices downtown. The only variance requested is to cut down one of more than 50 oaks on the property.

Malibou Lake
Comments: 0

< Back
West Los Angeles Foreclosures Agoura Foreclosures Ventura Foreclosures REO Services REO Inventory Management Conejo Valley REO Los Angeles Dream Home California Dream Home Recently Sold Agoura Short Sales Ventura County Short Sales Los Angeles County Short Sales Agoura Horse Property Newsletter Agoura Real Estate Newsletter
  • Agoura Horse Property Testimonials Nona Green Testimonials
  • California Horse Services Horse Directories
  • Local Agoura Services Local Los Angeles Services
  • Agoura Hills Realtor Nona Green
  • Add us on Facebook
Take a Horse Book, Return a Horse Book
Posted: October 21, 2016
Take a Horse Book, Return a Horse Book Do you love to read? Horse books are our favorite,...
Equestrian Neighborhood Riding Arena Gets New Footing
Posted: September 25, 2016
  Back in 1994, The City of Agoura Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy...
Introduction to Dressage in Southern California
Posted: September 21, 2016
Introduction to Dressage in Southern California   Southern California is a hotbed...
Reyes Adobe Days - a historical perspective
Posted: September 04, 2016
Before Trump vs. Clinton, before the debate about building a wall, there was no border between...
Gas Company tests pipeline in Agoura Hills
Posted: August 06, 2016
You may have noticed the backhoes and water tanks visiting Chesebro National Park recently....
Horse Keeping for Keeps Is LCP living up to it's Promises
Posted: June 14, 2016
 Agoura Horse Property wrote this article to encourage homeowners to apply for a permit...
Assembly Bill 2356 is a Threat to the Environment.
Posted: April 18, 2016
This letter from the President of The Sierra Club expresses dissapointment that our elected...
Recycled bedding
Posted: April 17, 2016
Horses like to sleep in a soft bed just like their owner's do. How do we solve the problem...
High School Football - dangerous to kids?
Posted: March 18, 2016
To live within proximity of a good school is the desire of most parents. Conejo Valley and...
Magic Johnson Equestrian Center Hearing
Posted: February 16, 2016
Please encourange LA County Regional Planning  to approve this center.  I have...
Year End Tax Break leads to increased Open Space
Posted: December 30, 2015
December 19, 2015 Congress made permanent a tax deduction for land deemed open space....
LA County Data Portal Provides Trail Info
Posted: December 30, 2015
December 30, 2015 Granted you will need ArcGIS or another fancy program to download and...
Landslide Victory - Illece Buckley Weber Reelected
Posted: November 04, 2015
Two Women to Clean up the Mess Illece Buckley Weber and Linda Northrup were elected to...
Own A Landmark Pony Club and Ashram for Sale
Posted: November 04, 2015
On September 1, 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted the Historic...
Monte Nido fights against another tract development by Vintage Homes
Posted: October 20, 2015
Los Angeles Regional Planning will decide today if Matt Osgood's proposed development at...