Archive for August, 2012

San Diego September Calendar of Events

Friday, August 31st, 2012

September 8
Grape Day 5K, Parade, and Festival
This is Escondido’s oldest and longest running event. It starts off with a 5K fun run and continues with a short parade on Grand Avenue. In celebration of its heritage, the Escondido Grape Day Festival features grape stomping, free grapes, an entertainment stage, vendor booths, fun zone, and more! This is a free event.
Time: 5K: 7:30 am / Parade: 9:30 am / Festival: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Grape Day Park, 321 N. Broadway, Escondido
For more information visit

September 8 – 9
34th Annual Greek Festival 2012
For two days, church grounds are transformed into a quaint Greek village atmosphere where you can experience fine food, traditional Greek dancing, live entertainment, children’s activities, and the warmth of Greek hospitality.
Time: Sat: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm / Sun: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Location: 3459 Manchester Ave, Cardiff by the Sea
For more information visit

September 9
5th Annual Brazilian Day Festival & Bicycle Parade
The largest Brazilian festival on the west coast! There will be two stages with musical bands and performing groups, a kid’s area with carnival rides, and lots of food vendors. This is a free event.
Time: Festival: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm / Bike parade: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: Garnet Ave between Mission Blvd. and Everts St., Pacific Beach
For more information visit

September 14 – 16
47th Annual San Diego BayFair Powerboat Racing
Join the crowd at Mission Bay to watch the fastest boats in the world compete to win at this extreme water sport event. There will be vendor & food booths, several RV campsites, and now tent campsites on Fiesta Island. Refer to website for both Bayfair tickets and campsite fees.
Time: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: Mission Bay Area, San Diego, refer to website for map
For more information visit

September 15
Annual San Diego Heart Walk
This is a nationwide 5K or 1-mile walk. Form teams to obtain pledges that will be used to help fight against various forms of heart disease.
Time: 7:00 am – 9:00 am
Location: Balboa Park War Memorial Building, 3325 Zoo Dr, San Diego
For more information visit

September 15
14th Annual Mira Mesa Street Fair 2012
The event includes entertainment on two stages, a carnival, children’s crafts and games, free rock painting for kids, craft, vendor, and info booths. There will also be a Scout Village, showcasing camping skills and equipment.
Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: On Camino Ruiz, Mira Mesa, see website for map
For more information visit

September 15
The Sand Pit 5K (Obstacle Course)
The course will consist of 10 beach obstacles in the water and on hard and soft packed sand. Obstacles will include, but are not limited to, “water jogging,” seal crawls, jump walls, tire rings, and finishing with the 10 foot Sand Everest Mountain along with the 3 foot-deep sand pit. There will be entertainment, continental breakfast, and a beer garden. See website for entry/registration fees.
Time: 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Location: Mission Beach, San Diego, see website for directions
For more information visit

September 15
26th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day
This event is a major part of an international coastline cleanup that includes all 50 states and over 100 countries worldwide. See website for registration and choose from over 80 sites in San Diego County.
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: San Diego coastal beaches & bays, see website for locations
For more information visit

September 15 – 16
6th Annual Coronado Art Walk 2012
This art walk is an open-air arts festival at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Painting, hand crafted jewelry, photography, ceramics and other mediums will be featured. This exciting venue will include interactive art activities for both children and adults. This is a free event.
Time: 10:00 – 5:00 pm
Location: Coronado Ferry Landing, refer to website for map
For more information visit

September 15 – October 15
Annual Julian Fall Apple Harvest Days
Opening weekend for apple season! There will be apple cider, apple pie, and entertainment in the historic gold mining town of Julian. Special weekend events will take place each weekend until the apples are all gone!
Time: Refer to website
Location: Julian Chamber of Commerce, Julian
For more information visit

September 16
Fiestas Patrias – Mexican Independence Day in Old Town
Celebrate Mexican Independence with colorful displays of dancing, storytelling, and music. Learn historic games such as cascarones, and how early San Diego men’s clothing originated from the Charros of the past. Other activities include branding, corn husk doll making, relay races, and vaquero games. This is a free event.
Time: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Old Town State Park, San Diego
For more information visit

September 21
18th Annual Festival of Beer
This adult-oriented beer tasting event serves a variety of beers from over 60 different breweries. Food items and munchies will be for sale in addition to a selection of fine wines for purchase by the glass. Refer to website for ticket information.
Time: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: Downtown San Diego, Columbia & B Street
For more information visit

September 22
Santee Bluegrass Festival
This is a fundraising event featuring wine & beer tasting, food sampling, a silent auction and a variety of Bluegrass music. Funds will benefit municipal parks, community programs and the Voucher Incentive Program. Refer to website for ticket information.
Time: 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Location: Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Dr, Santee
For more information visit

September 22 – 23
Carlsbad’s 10th Annual ArtSplash
A free festival of arts for the entire family. The event will include chalk art street paintings, creation of art on-site, live stage shows, street performances, food and fun. Funds raised will benefit North County schools.
Time: Sat: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sun: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Armada Dr, Carlsbad, refer to website for map
For more information visit

September 29
Tour de Fat Festival & Bicycle Parade
A festival of colorful Brazilian dance performances, delicious cultural foods, New Belgium Beer, arts & crafts, a Kids Zone, unusual bike contests, and a costumed bicycle parade. This is a free event that raises funds for local non-profits.
Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Golden Hill Community Park, 2600 Golf Course Drive
For more information visit

September 29
Wild West Bonitafest
This event will feature a community parade, vendor booths with food, crafters, youth, businesses, plus an entertainment stage and a Kid’s Fun Zone in the shopping center. X-Game Riders will be there to thrill and amaze.
Time: Parade: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Location: Bonnie Brae Shopping Center, 5080 Bonita Rd, Bonita
For more information visit

September 29 – 30
Adams Avenue Street Fair 2012
Southern California’s largest free two-day music festival features more than 90 musical acts on seven outdoor stages, hundreds of food and arts & craft vendors, four beer gardens, and giant carnival rides. This event is designed for a full day of enjoyment for the entire family.
Time: Sat: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, Sun: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Location: Adams Ave, 4649 Hawley Blvd, San Diego


Courtesy of Lawyer’s Title

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Top 10 Legal Mistakes Homebuyers Make

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

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Short Sale Changes Coming November 1

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Beginning November 1 there will be some significant changes to how short sales are handled, and the new guidelines could be a big benefit to those sellers who otherwise may not have been able to short sell their homes. A short sale is when a home is sold for less than the amount owed on the mortgage(s), allowing the borrower to escape some of the harsher ramifications from a foreclosure.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is changing the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sale guidelines, which will allow borrowers to be qualified by their servicers for short sales in a more timely manner, and will apparently streamline the short sale process, making it smoother and, dare I hope, quicker. How are they planning to do this? Here are the changes that are anticipated:

• A single short sale process will be created for Fannie and Freddie short sale programs. This will allow for smoother and streamlined processing time, which will enable agents and homeowners to determine timeframes for approval and closing. Servicers must respond to short sales within 30 days, with a final decision for the borrower by 60 days after submission.

• Borrowers who are current on their mortgages will be able to qualify for short sales (subject to showing they have a hardship), without waiting for short sale approval from Fannie and Freddie, and instead of waiting until payments are missed, thus eliminating further damage to credit scores and helping to clear short sale inventory much quicker. Most importantly, the guidelines for proving hardship will be loosened.

•Provides special treatment for military personnel who have received permanent change of station (PCS) orders. Personnel who are being relocated will automatically be eligible for short sales, even if they are current on their mortgages.

• May provide up to $3000 in relocation assistance to those borrowers who qualify.

• Allows and standardizes foreclosure suspensions on approved short sale properties. This one is big – it will prevent servicers from foreclosing on your property if your short sale has been approved, so no more worrying during the short sale process that the home will be sold at auction during that time.

• Payment to secondary lien holders by Fannie and Freddie of $6,000. Although this happens frequently already, it will be nice to have a guarantee that Fannie and Freddie will offer these subordinate lien holders money, which makes getting their approval on short sales a bit easier.

The potential downside of these changes is that there may be large supplies of short sale inventory in some areas, which could have a negative effect on area home sale prices, at least until the supply is sold.

The upside to this new process is that it will clear the market of distressed property, which will allow a return to “normal” growth cycles in the future, and instill higher levels of consumer confidence in the markets. It will also be positive news for those home sellers who would have headed toward foreclosure, providing an easier way out from under a mortgage that was literally sinking them.

These new guidelines are a step in the right direction, as we need to clear out this inventory and make the process easier and not so mysterious. The proof will be in the pudding, however, so I am definitely looking forward to November 1, and streamlined short sales. If you have questions about short selling your home, please feel free to contact me.

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REO Bulk Sales Initiative is a BAD Idea

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s bulk sales plan, whereby certain banks will allow third party institutional investors to purchase multitudes of bank owned (REO) loans in bulk, is moving ahead at full speed, and is doing so quietly.

Against pleas from members of Congress, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) and others involved in the real estate industry, this program does not offer much for the market nor for individual communities and neighborhoods. In allowing institutional lenders (the identity of which is not being disclosed) to purchase this lender “shadow inventory” (that inventory that is owned by the lenders but not yet on the market), there are several threats to the housing market that are concerning:

• It could bring comparable prices down. Just at the time when home prices are starting to come up, and when demand is high with low inventory, selling large numbers of bank owned homes at discount prices could have significant effects on neighborhoods.

Also alarming, current market data may not have been used. According to C.A.R., old market data may have been used to value the homes that are being sold. With a market that is moving upwards this could create a big problem in some areas, establishing lower sales prices for homes, which in turn bring down the values in those neighborhoods. I know that if it were my neighborhood, and all of a sudden 10 homes sold in the area for way under current comparative market value, I would certainly not be happy. This could be a big problem in areas such as the Inland Empire (Riverside County).

• Increased losses to taxpayers. If these bank owned properties are sold in bulk at discount prices, the burden will fall upon us, the taxpayers, via increased losses on the sale of these homes.

The solution is to put these homes on the market as traditional lender-owned sales. With the market prices trending upwards and the lack of inventory, this is a perfect time to do so. It seems asinine to not consider such an option, as it will save taxpayers, keep the market moving, and keep prices moving up instead of down. And we can’t forget that if these properties sell at higher prices, the lenders also benefit as well!

If you agree that bulk REO sales should not be allowed in California, please contact FHFA:

Federal Housing Finance Agency

400 7th Street SW

Washington D.C. 20024

Email: FHFAinfo@FHFAgov


Graphic courtesy of Dreamstime



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The Home Buying Process (Infographic)

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012



Infographic courtesy of C.A.R.

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Home Buyers: Getting Outbid by Investors?

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Many home buyers these days are feeling frustrated, due to lack of inventory, multiple offer situations and competition from investor buyers. In certain price ranges this is the norm, and buyers want to know how they can avoid these situations.

Well, if you are patient there is one program that may help you get the edge you need – elimination of investor buyers. Via a Fannie Mae program called First Look (under Fannie Mae’s HomePath), you can search for Fannie Mae properties that offer a “first look” to owner occupant buyers. For a period of time, usually 15 days (30 days in Nevada), only owner occupant buyers (including public entities and some non profit agencies) will be able to submit offers on these properties. The program is designed to encourage homeownership.

If you or your agent finds a property on the site you are able to submit your offer for the property online – Fannie Mae uses it’s own forms and not standard purchase contracts.

This program is a great way to beat out those investor buyers, but you have to keep checking with the site to see if there are any new listings; some areas have few or none, and some have many, so don’t give up!

For more details on the First Look Program click here.

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Warning for Short Sale Sellers Who Don’t Qualify for HAFA

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Experience pays off, especially with short sales. If you are trying to short sell your home, but were denied money back under the HAFA program, be advised of this warning to avoid problems down the road when you are ready to close: your agent needs to make sure that the bank negotiator changes the status of your short sale from a HAFA short sale to a traditional short sale.

Here is what should happen: the bank will need to issue you a denial letter, decline the short sale, and then your agent will need to re-initiate your short sale with the bank as a traditional short sale. You will want to make sure this is taken care of as soon as HAFA funds are denied, otherwise you could possibly end up going to foreclosure.

I had a short sale listing that was scheduled to close this Friday. I submitted the final HUD yesterday. I then received a call from the bank closing agent telling me that we need to deny the short sale and re-initiate it as a traditional short sale, as the bank negotiator did not do that when she should have. This essentially means that the short sale process starts ALL over again! After months of awaiting approval, no one wants that to happen.

I was on the phone yesterday calling all my contacts at the bank, trying to get help from whomever I could…it worked. I was contacted today by a short sale manager, who humbly apologized for the bank’s mistake. She has the new negotiator fervently working our file now to get everything approved as quickly as possible. I was so grateful to her and to the new negotiator, and also to the short sale closer who has been very helpful.

It is so important with these short sales to make sure that all the stars are aligned. Sometimes, as a short sale agent, you need to do the work of other people as well as your own (including that of the bank, in some cases). I learned an important lesson today, from a situation I have never seen nor heard of. Luckily I was able to work it out, but if I had been inexperienced that would likely not be the case.

If you are short selling your home, please make sure you have a very experienced short sale agent on your side, one who knows how to communicate with the lender and how to handle crazy situations, should they arise.

For more information on HAFA click here.


Image courtesy of Dreamstime.

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California Median Home Prices by County

Friday, August 3rd, 2012



Infographic courtesy of C.A.R.

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San Diego August Calendar of Events

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Throughout August
Del Mar Racing Season
Hold on to your horse hat…the Del Mar Horse Racing Season is in full swing!
Time:  Refer to website for full schedule
Location:  Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar
For more information visit

August 4
58th Annual Balboa Park 8-Mile & 3-Mile Runs
Choose between an 8-mile run or a shorter 3-mile run. The courses travel through and around Balboa Park.
Time:  7:30 am
Location:  Balboa Park – Pan American Plaza, off Park Blvd. on Presidential Way
For more information visit

August 4
23rd Annual Clairemont Family Days
This family festival offers musical entertainment, Kiwanis pancake breakfast, food, vendors, arts & crafts, carnival rides, pony rides, and games.  Free admission and the pool will be open for free swimming.
Time:  8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location:  South Clairemont Park, 3605 Clairemont Dr.
For more information visit

August 4-5
28th Annual Philippine Cultural Arts Festival
Experience a festival showcasing the heritage of the Philippines with traditional performing arts, folk dances, songs, music, and costumes.  Talent show with guest singers, martial arts exhibition, arts & crafts exhibits.  Free admission.
Time:  11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location:  Balboa Park – lawn area at Park Blvd. & President’s Way
For more information visit

August 5
23rd Annual Vista Rod Run
This event features more than 300 classic cars, trucks and rods.  There will be a street fair, kid’s carnival, beer garden, and entertainment all day long.  Over 30 trophies and prizes will be awarded for winning vehicles.  Free admission.
Time:  9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location:  Downtown Vista – Main St. and E. Broadway
For more information visit

August 10-12
28th Annual Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club Contest & Beach Festival
Sponsored by the Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club:  Coalition of surfing clubs’ longboard surfing contest.  Divisions are determined by age.  The beach festival features vendors with food and merchandise.
Time:  6:00 am – 9:00 pm
Location:  Oceanside Pier Amphitheater & South Pier Beach
For more information visit

August 11
7th Annual Dog Days of Summer
There is nothing like a canine festival to keep Fido entertained.  However, this free event will be fun for the entire family, with over 130 vendors with pooch products, dog contests, live music, food, and agility course, a doggie photo booth, doggie crafts, a doggie beach, a kid zone and a large silent auction.  There will also be a blessing of the dogs.
Time:  10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location:  Cardiff by the Sea, 124 Aberdeen Dr., Cardiff
For more information visit

August 11
Color Me Rad 5K
A colorful 5K event.  If you’re a fan of food fights, try this on for size…along the route as athletes pass by color stations, they are splashed with a harmless cornstarch mixture of colors.  At the finish, everyone can have fun tossing colors at each other.  Music and light refreshments accompany the event.
Time:  9:00 am – 11:30 am
Location:  Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., Downtown San Diego
For more information visit

August 12
16th Annual Lemon Festival
Celebrating Chula Vista’s heritage as a Lemon Capital of the World, the Annual Lemon Festival will be packed with entertainment and loads of summer fun.  This free event features live entertainment on three stages, lemons, hand crafters, lemons, international foods, lemons, contests, and lemons galore!
Time:  11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Location:  Third Ave. from E to Roosevelt, Chula Vista
For more information visit

August 12
29th Annual CityFest – Hillcrest
A celebration of spirit and play, this event is a popular festival featuring over 250 vendors, games, activities, music, a beer garden and much more.  Patrons can sit at a café style seating and watch entertaining street performers while listening to live music.  Free event.
Time:  12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location:  5th Ave. & University, Hillcrest
For more information visit

August 13-14
7th Annual Fiesta Del Sol
Annual celebration of the diverse cultures and history of the people of San Diego.  A family-friendly, free event.  There will be food, music, merchandise booths, a youth zone, children’s area, educational area, healthy living area, arts & culture area and much more!
Time:  11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Location:  Cesar Chavez Park, 1449 Cesar E. Chavez Parkway
For more information visit

August 17-19
10th Annual Summergrass Bluegrass Music Festival
The Bluegrass Music Festival is a family oriented event that features tasty food, live music, music workshops by performing artists, jam sessions, vendors and activities for the kids.  Dry camping available.
Time:  Fri. 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm / Sat. 10:00 am – 10:00 pm / Sun. 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location:  Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, 2040 N. Santa Fe Ave., Vista
For more information visit

August 18, 39th
Annual Midnight Madness Fun Bicycle Ride & Festival
Midnight Madness, a costumed bike riding event, is a fun night of cycling, contests, prizes, and entertainment to support community youth programs.  The ride begins at 9:00 pm, the 15 mile cycling route is a primarily flat loop course along some of San Diego’s most beautiful waterfront and historic areas. A festival follows the ride at 10:00 pm.
Time:  8:00 pm – 2:00 am
Location:  Spanish Landing Park, Downtown San Diego
For more information visit

August 19
America’s finest City Half Marathon & 5K Run/Walk
The half marathon starts at Cabrillo National Monument and continues along
San Diego Bay, then through downtown, ending in Balboa Park.  The 5K run/walk begins at the Pan American Plaza, and is a fast loop course back to the Plaza, and is completely within Balboa Park.
Time:  Half Marathon at 7:00 am / 5K at 6:45 am
Location:  Balboa Park
For more information visit

August 25
Annual Orfila Grape Stomp
The afternoon event celebrates the start of harvest with tractor rides through the vineyard, grape stomping in a huge five-foot barrel, dancing to a live band, wine tasting and a delicious buffet dinner.  Tickets available on site.
Time:  4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location:  Orfila Vineyards & Winery, 13455 San Pasqual Rd., Escondido
For more information visit

August 26
8th Annual LeucadiArt Walk
Leucadia art galleries and local artists will display original art in galleries or in specified areas along Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia.  Live musical performances throughout the day.
Time:  10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location:  Leucadia, on the west side of Hwy 101
For more information visit

August 26
5th Annual Bike the Bay
Join a 25-mile fun bike ride that begins and ends at the Embarcadero Marina Park South.  The event is for all levels or riders and individuals, families and groups.  The event will conclude with a post-ride festival with food, beverages and entertainment at the park.Time:  7:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location:  Embarcadero Marina Park South

For more information visit


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