Dear friends and family… we’ve been receiving many calls, text and emails on where to get the most current information on Covid-19. We put together a viable list of resources getting refreshed throughout the day to keep you informed and up to date:
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Covid-19)
VC Emergency – Ventura County Emergency Incident Information Source
Los Angels County Public Health (Covid-19)

From the Federal Housing Finance Agency…If your ability to pay your mortgage is impacted, and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period, during which:

  • You won’t incur late fees.
  • You won’t have delinquencies reported to the credit bureaus.
  • Foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended

If you have trouble catching up at the end of this temporary relief period, additional assistance may be available. You can work with your servicer to resume making a mortgage payment. Or if you need additional assistance, you can work with your servicer on other foreclosure prevention options to keep your home.

Contact your mortgage servicer (the company where you send your monthly payments) as soon as possible to let them know about your current circumstances. The telephone number and mailing address of your mortgage servicer should be listed on your monthly mortgage statement. Read more here…

It is unfortunate to see the COVID-19 situation develop. The safety & well being of our communities is our top priority. Just like you, we are taking precautions and have implemented plans to ensure that our team is working in a safe environment.

Our team works hard day in and day out and although this might affect our workspace, it does not affect our work drive. We are still here to book appointments, schedule showings, and we will even provide a live stream if you do not feel comfortable attending a showing or listing appointment. We want you to know that we are still running our operation as usual, just in a more creative way.

Fortunately, the enormous advances in technology make it easier than ever to view and gain knowledge about properties online. Our website remains updated, just as always. On our website, you can find information about our team, properties that are coming soon, properties that are for sale, and properties that have sold. You can also find our blog in which we post up do date information about the all things home and the real estate market. At the bottom of this email, you will also find links to our other social media platforms.

We are thinking about you and your families always, but especially during a time like this. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team. We are here for you.

Looking for specific market data for your neighborhood or city? Drop us a line or reply to this email and we will make it happen 😉
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What’s happening with the old Farmers Insurance​ building in Simi Valley, CA? We have all the inside details with maps, plans & more.

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August 2017 – The Ross Report

Want to jump right into the 90 second “This Month in Real Estate” video? Click here!

Can I use my retirement account to buy a house?

There are few things in life more frustrating than that longing to own your own home combined with the very real fact that your bank account is a bit on the skimpy side. The media is full of stories about shrinking home inventories and multiple-offer situations so there are obviously others who have found a way to swing the dream of home ownership. “What’s wrong with me?” you may wonder.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account, according to a GO BankingRates study. Sadly, 34 percent have nothing saved. So, to answer your question, nothing is wrong with you. You are among the millions of Americans who, for one reason or another, haven’t saved for the future.

Of course, that’s little consolation when all you want is to wave goodbye to your landlord and get settled in your own home. If it’s consolation you want, however, it’s consolation we’ll give. There are a number of ways to get your hands on that chunk of money you’ll need at closing when you buy a home. From second loans to outright grants, government programs abound.

If you’ve tried those with no luck, consider using the funds in your retirement account.

Mixed advice from financial professionals

Yes, many financial pros will say that we’re crazy for recommending this strategy which is why we always remind you that we aren’t financial experts and you should speak with yours before seriously entertaining using your retirement funds to buy a house.

That said, there are those who wholeheartedly agree with the concept. “Right now, affordable prices and low interest rates offer an unusual opportunity to buy a home, so we do sometimes recommend that our clients borrow against their retirement. Owning a home is an important way to build financial security,” Ben Barzideh, a wealth adviser at Piershale Financial Group Inc. in Illinois tells’s Michele Lerner.

Most agree, however, that the strategy works best for younger homebuyers who have many, many years to rebuild their retirement nest eggs.

Using your 401(k)

Retirement plans are not required to allow loans, but 80 percent of employer-sponsored 401(k) plans do allow their participants to borrow against their savings, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. It’s important to determine if your plan is among those that do.

Then, learn what restrictions the employer places on these loans. “Employers can limit the amount that can be borrowed and they can have their own rules around loans,” Hattie Greenan, director of research and communications for Plan Sponsor Council of America tells the Washington Post’s Jill Chodorov Kaminsky.

“They can limit the number of loans per year, put a percentage of assets cap on it, as well as set the interest rates,” Greenan continues.

The beauty of borrowing against your 401(k) is that there is no bank involved, so therefore no credit check, making it quicker to get your hands on your cash. Your lender will like this as well – a credit pull will ding your credit score.

One of the biggest downsides to using funds from your 401(k) happens if you find you can’t repay the loan according to the terms you agreed to. The outstanding balance will be reported to the IRS as a distribution and you’ll have to report it as income. “You must include this amount in your gross income in the year in which the distribution occurs,” Kaminsky cautions. You may also be taxed an additional amount, depending upon your age.

Be aware as well that most employers will demand repayment either immediately or within 60 days of a separation – whether you voluntarily quit or are fired or laid off.

Raid your IRA

Funds in both the traditional and Roth IRA can be used to help you purchase a home. This strategy differs from using the 401(k) in that the IRS forbids loans from an IRA – you must take a disbursement.

The good news is that even if you haven’t reached the golden age of 59 ½ years of age, you can still avoid the IRA 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. The bad news is that you may still be dinged for taxes on the withdrawal if you have a traditional IRA. You already paid taxes on your Roth IRA funds, so that disbursement won’t trigger the IRS’ itchy fingers, as long as the account has been open for at least five years.

It’s a bit more complicated than this, however. With a Roth IRA, for instance, you’ll need to be careful to use only contribution money, not earnings.

Again, there’s a lot to learn about using your IRA to fund your down payment and closing costs and only a financial professional can adequately counsel you.

Got questions? Contact The Ross Realty Group to assist you with more than just real estate.

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Happy New Year – January 2017 – The Ross Report – Home Buying and Selling

Average Home Price in Los Angeles County

$547,000 (up 7.1% over the past year)

Home Buying and Selling

Average Home Price in Ventura County

$548,000 (up 5.1% over the past year)

Home Buying and Selling

Eric & Debra Ross
Keller Williams
Eric – 805.300.1626
Debra – 805.797.4502
BRE# 01956945 | 01938660Home Buying and Selling
5 Steps to Setting Attainable Goals 

January is the month of fresh beginnings and articulating lofty aspirations in the form of New Year’s resolutions—and for many people, February is the month of forgetting these aspirations and reverting to bad habits. Whether you are striving to get in shape, accelerate your career, or cultivate stronger relationships, there is nothing more disheartening than realizing that another year has passed and your goals remain unfulfilled. Home Buying and Selling

The key to avoiding end-of-year disappointment is to establish attainable goals in the first place. Here are a few steps to consider:

    • Limit your list of goals to those that are most important to you. The new year carries a surge of inspiration, and many people create lengthy lists of resolutions that quickly become overwhelming. This can cause a negative spiral of failing to achieve certain goals, growing discouraged, and losing motivation to pursue other goals. Instead, focus your energy on one or a few of the goals that you would most like to achieve.
    • Be SMART. Productivity experts often espouse the SMART formula for goal setting. This mnemonic device represents the idea that goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-sensitive.
  • Write down your goals. The annual ritual of writing New Year’s resolutions may actually create a strong foundation for goal accomplishment. However, certain techniques will boost the effectiveness of writing down goals. For example, they should be crafted in definitive terms that convey commitment—such as “I will” instead of “I want to.” After writing them, they should be consistently posted in places where you will revisit them.
  • Create an action plan. Many people falter on their goals because they have not given much thought to how they will achieve them. Consider each step and sub-step that will be necessary to fulfilling your goals, and establish a schedule that you can realistically follow.
  • Celebrate milestones. Once you have set a plan with specific steps, taking time to acknowledge and celebrate your progress will help you motivate yourself to continue.
  • Home Buying and Selling

New Year, New Styles: The Hottest Home Design Trends Expected in 2017- Home Buying and Selling

By the end of any year, interior designers are already buzzing about which trends will be the most in-demand in the coming year. From coveted colors to architectural features, homeowners on the cutting edge begin to favor new styles as the seasons change. If your home is for sale, finding ways to incorporate the latest design trends may help you catch buyers’ attention and distinguish your property from the competition.

As 2017 begins, here are a few home design trends that industry experts believe will dominate this year:

    • Marble. Many top designers agree that marble is surging in popularity. Its appeal is amplified when paired with wood and metal, making it an excellent choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops. However, marble tends to be expensive and difficult to maintain. Fortunately, quartz and faux marble are gaining acceptance among high-end homeowners. These materials can create the luxurious appearance of real marble but are less costly and require less maintenance. If you are remodeling a kitchen or bathroom to improve your home’s appeal, consider alternative materials that look like marble—at a more affordable price.
    • Bold and bright colors. Each year, Pantone—an internationally respected authority on color in the design industry—announces a “color of the year” that is bound to be popular in a variety of applications, ranging from fashion to home decor. Although the official color of 2017 has not yet been announced, Pantone recently released a list of contenders. While 2016’s colors—Rose Quartz and Serenity—were soft, calming pastels, the Pantone experts anticipate that 2017 will be the year of bold and bright hues inspired by nature. For instance, some of the selections that have caught designers’ attention include an earthy green called Kale, a vibrant coral shade called Flame, and a bright but tranquil aqua called Island Paradise. If you are selling your home, it is not necessary to repaint entire rooms in order to feature these colors; consider using accent pieces, such as blankets or small pieces of furniture, that incorporate them.
    • Metals with warm-colored finishes. In past years, brushed metals with an industrial vibe have been the leading choice for fixtures. However, designers are reporting that homeowners are beginning to favor metals with rich finishes, such as rose gold and brass. These hues add a sense of charm and elegance to any space, and the popular look can easily be achieved by spray painting fixtures if you do not want to replace them.
    • Subway tiles. Although the trend of using subway tiles as backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms is not new for 2017, its consistent popularity in recent years has led designers to believe that it will maintain its appeal this year. In addition to being affordable, subway tiles offer the benefit of a creating a clean and versatile palette for a variety of styles and finishes.
  • Smart features. Over the years, technology has seeped into every aspect of daily life, including the home. In 2017, high-tech features ranging from built-in device charging docks and programmable thermostats to full automation systems will become increasingly commonplace. As a growing number of homebuyers hail from the tech-savvy Millennial generation, the “smart” home trend is expected to skyrocket.

Got questions? We have answers. Contact The Ross Realty Group at Keller Williams. Get the facts without the pressure. Connect with us at and call or text 805-300-1626.

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Happy Holidays 2016 – The Ross Report – Home Buying and Selling

Average Home Price in Los Angeles County

$542,600 (up 7.1% over the past year)

Home Buying and Selling

Average Home Price in Ventura County

$547,100 (up 5.6% over the past year)

Home Buying and Selling

Eric & Debra Ross
Keller Williams
Eric – 805.300.1626
Debra – 805.797.4502
BRE# 01956945 | 01938660

Home Buying and Selling

Ways to Boost Your Wellness This Winter – Home Buying and Selling

With its colder temperatures, abbreviated daylight hours, and holiday stress, winter presents unique challenges to staying physically and mentally healthy. However, seasonal threats such as a heightened risk of flu and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) make a focus on wellness even more important than it is during other times of the year. Here are some tips for boosting wellness as the seasons change:

    • Stay active and resist the urge to hibernate. Physical activity bolsters your immune system and stimulates the release of endorphins, which help to stave off winter blues. If the weather is too cold to comfortably exercise outdoors, go to the gym or even take a brisk walk through a shopping mall.
    • Get plenty of sleep. While remaining active is crucial, it is normal to feel sleepier during the winter months because your body’s circadian rhythm corresponds to the longer hours of darkness. Adapt to this natural change by allowing yourself the rest that you crave.
    • Increase the Vitamin D in your diet. Low levels of Vitamin D are linked to SAD, a form of depression provoked by the changing seasons. Since you do not absorb as much Vitamin D from the sun as you do during other seasons, turn to dietary sources of this important nutrient. Wild salmon, tuna, eggs, and lean meats generally contain high levels of Vitamin D.
    • Take time to nurture your mental wellbeing. As New Year approaches, reflect on the joys and obstacles of the past year. Express gratitude for your good fortune and try to come to terms with losses or disappointments.
  • Opt for healthier holiday treats. For most, the span of time between Thanksgiving and New Year is a merciless diet disaster. While this is indeed the time of year to savor some indulgences, choosing healthier options when possible will lead to less regret when January arrives. Brussel sprouts, pomegranates, and parsnips are a few examples of nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables that thrive during the winter.
  • Home Buying and Selling

Home Buying and Selling


7 Major Red Flags for Home Buyers  – Home Buying and Selling

Caught in the throes of the excitement of searching for a new home, buyers may sometimes overlook hints of serious problems with a property. However, even the most beautiful homes may be riddled with flaws that could prove expensive or unsafe for future buyers.

Although costly, home inspections are critical for revealing alarming issues with a property and may save buyers a significant amount of money and frustration down the road. If you are a seller, be sure to make necessary repairs before showing your home. If you are a buyer, look for some of the following warning signs before you reach the inspection phase of your home search:

Questionable renovations. Many homeowners attempt to boost the value of their properties, especially in anticipation of a sale, by adding on rooms or removing walls in order to create a more open floor plan. However, if the renovation was performed hastily or by someone without the proper expertise, structural issues could result. If renovations were performed in compliance with local law, the permits should be available in the public records.

Strong fragrances. If overwhelming aromas of potpourri or air fresheners linger in a home, they may be concealing unsanitary conditions, such as mold growth. As a seller, ensure that your home is thoroughly cleaned and opt for more subtle fragrances to avoid alarming or irritating buyers.

Water stains or suspicious paint jobs. Water stains on the walls or ceilings may indicate leaks or mildew, while paint that is fresh only in certain spots may signal that the homeowner is attempting to mask these problems. Similarly, peeling paint could be a sign of moisture or dry rot, a destructive type of fungus.

Poorly maintained gutters. Gutters are designed to direct water away from the home, but if they are clogged with debris, leaks will result. These leaks may cause a multitude of problems, including mold growth and expensive damage to the home’s foundation and exterior walls.

Roof problems. Roof repairs or replacements may be very expensive, so buyers should look for signs such as loose material and worn, damaged, or missing shingles.

Aging appliances or HVAC systems. If a home’s major appliances show signs of age, they may soon require costly repairs or replacements. Older appliances also tend to be less efficient, signaling that the home may carry higher utility bills.

Damage to the foundation. If the walls of a home appear curved or uneven or there are noticeable cracks or bulges in the foundation, the home may be suffering from serious structural issues.

Deciding whether to purchase a home is a process full of weighing the pros and cons of various properties. While none of the above warning signs should necessarily be viewed as deal-breakers, they clearly indicate the need for further investigation. Sellers should be aware of these problems and make repairs as needed, while interested buyers should pursue a professional inspection.

Got questions about Home Buying and Selling? We have answers. Contact The Ross Realty Group at Keller Williams. Get the facts without the pressure. Connect with us at and call or text 805-300-1626. Home Buying and Selling.

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Home Buying and Selling

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