House Hunting in Ventura

We didn’t start out looking for a multi family property. In fact, we were specifically put off by them – mostly because we didn’t want to share our space with someone else. But after some time looking at the Ventura market, where multi family properties reign, it became clear that we would at least have to consider it as an option. So we talked…and talked and talked and talked, and managed to come up with our criteria for either a single family home or a multi family property. Here is what it looked like:

For multi family properties, we wanted at least 3 units (basically, no duplexes – there wasn’t enough money to be made as an investment property with a duplex). It had to be within a 10 min Bike ride of both the beach and downtown. There had to be some work to be done so we could add value, and we wanted some private outdoor space. Also, we knew we would have to feel comfortable living there for 5-10 years, so it had to feel safe and there needed to be some space for family and friends to come stay with us.

For a single family home, we were really wanting this to be our forever house. We are looking to start a family soon and really don’t want to keep trying to climb the “property ladder” while trying to travel and manage a young family. So given that basis, we were pretty specific with what we wanted. It had to have an ocean view (that was the whole point of moving to Ventura – so it was a must), and we wanted it to be within walking distance to downtown and all of our favorite eateries. Again, we wanted a fixer and the opportunity to add value, as well as having space for friends or family to come and stay, but in our forever house, we really wanted this to be an independent unit so guests could have privacy. Finally, we knew we need at least 3 bedrooms or, at the very least, space to add on.

With that in mind, we started our search. After only a couple of weeks, it because clear that the forever house wasn’t going to happen. The area we wanted to live was just too small and a little bit out of our reach price wise. So we focused on multi family properties and boy did we see an eclectic mix of styles, ages, and locations.

Ocean views


This was a multi family unit we looked at behind downtown. It was a gorgeous victorian – and look at that view. Yes please! Sadly, the sellers decided to keep the property. Strike one.

Mid-century modern


This triplex was at the top of our list for a while, and was actually the property that convinced us that multi family was the direction we were heading. It was clean and needed very little work. It checked all the boxes, but some investors got in there and now it’s theirs. Strike two.

1920’s bungalows


This was actually the front unit of the mid-century modern unit pictured above. Like we said, eclectic. We were really sad to see this one go.

Craftsman style


This one had a wonderful location, walking distance to main street and all the shops. There was also the potential for ocean views. It was turned into a rental. Let’s not call this a strike.

Historic homes


This one, while beautiful, wasn’t really a great fit for us. We won’t call this a strike either.

Victorian homes


This was waaaaay out of our price range. It’s just on here because of how cool it is. So cute.

Spanish style


The location on this was an absolute dream and the views were incredible. It was full of charm, but it needed some work, and it was only a duplex so it was sort of a non-starter. Again, not a strike.

So with only two strikes against us, and plenty of really cute houses that we knew weren’t going to work (but they were fun to look at), we think we found our place. Stay tuned for all the details on the new place…with plenty of photos of the entire, messy, sweat inducing process. It’s going to be awesome.

Oh, and before we sign off, I have to take a short minute to thank our incredible realtors who guided us through this whole process: Grace and Aaron Gaston. They have been incredible and attentive, and they are so easy to talk to and spend an afternoon with looking at houses. If you are looking in Ventura, call them. And stay away from the houses we want!


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