Archive for January, 2013

San Diego February Calendar of Events

Thursday, January 31st, 2013


February 8
Kettner Nights in Little Italy North
Held on the second Friday of every month this event has become the place to be for the arts and design crowds. Art-lovers and design patrons will enjoy this neighborhood walk filled with art, design and antiques.
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Little Italy, along Kettner Blvd., San Diego
For more information visit

February 3
Annual Red Trolley Classic Criterium
Amateur and professional cyclists will compete at this popular, fast-paced cycling event which takes place on a 7-mile looped course through the neighborhood streets of Mira Mesa. Top finishers receive awards. See website for registration information.
Time: 7:00 am – 5:15 pm
Location: Top Gun St., San Diego
For more information visit

February 8 – 10
Kearny Mesa Lunar New Year Festival
The Lunar New Year Festival will include over 100 vendor booths, non-stop live entertainment, traditional Lion Dance performances, and The Miss Vietnamese Traditional Dress Pageant.
Time: Fri: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Sat/Sun: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Location: Kearny Mesa Park and Rec Center, 3170 Armstrong St., San Diego
For more information visit

February 9
Mermaid San Diego 5K & 10K & Half Marathon
This event is an all women’s 5K and 10K run/walk & half-marathon that travels along the shoreline of East Mission Bay and on the roadway around Fiesta Island. See website for admission fees.
Time: 7:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Tecolote Shores, Mission Bay, San Diego
For more information visit

February 9
10th Annual Little Italy Carnevale
This Venetian masquerade event in Little Italy mirrors the one held in Venice, Italy, as the celebration before lent. People will be dressed in traditional Venetian Carnevale attire. Entertainment includes music, stilt-walkers, jugglers, and more. This is a free event.
Time: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Little Italy, India Street between Hawthorn and Cedar, San Diego
For more information visit

February 9
21st Annual San Diego Brazil Carnival
Have the time of your life at the best Brazilian Carnival on the West Coast. This spectacular Brazilian Mardi Gras Ball will feature pulsating Samba beats, Samba dancers, Capoeira performances, and nonstop Brazilian music. See website for admission information.
Time: 9:00 pm – 1:30 am
Location: San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park, 1450 El Prado, San Diego
For more information visit

February 9
For the Love of Chocolate & SweetArt Festival
This is the 3rd Annual “For the Love of Chocolate” chocolate festival that will take place in Downtown Escondido. Enjoy the best of the downtown shops and spas while sampling locally brewed beer and wines, paired with San Diego’s finest chocolatiers.
Time: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Downtown Escondido, Grand Ave., Escondido
For more information visit

February 10
Puppy Love 5k Run/Walk Fundraiser
The programs at the Helen Woodward Animal Center find homes for orphaned pets, connect therapy animals with people in need, and celebrate the human-animal bond. The Puppy Love 5K Run/ Walk is a chance for people to get involved, make an impact and have a blast.
Time: 7:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: along Hwy 101, Solana Beach
For more information visit

February 12
Mardi Gras 2013 Gaslamp Quarter
Masked revelry in the streets of Downtown San Diego! There will be entertainment on multiple stages, a masquerade parade, International DJ talent, themed areas, and beads–beads–beads! Refer website for admission information.
Time: 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: Gaslamp Quarter, Downtown San Diego
For more information visit

February 12
Hillcrest Mardi Gras 2013
Dress up in colorful attire, lots of beads, and party down! Dance in the streets, mingle, drink beer and enjoy games, rides, and more. Refer to website for admission information.
Time: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: University Ave. and 3rd Ave., Hillcrest

February 15 – 17
8th Annual San Diego Lunar New Year Tet Festival
This is a Vietnamese cultural festival promoting homeland traditions. To celebrate the Lunar New Year, there will be live entertainment, food booths, merchandise, carnival rides, Miss Vietnam of San Diego, and more. This is a free event.
Time: Refer to website for specific times
Location: Mira Mesa Community Park, 8575 New Salem St., Mira Mesa
For more information visit

February 16 – 17
31st Annual Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair
This Chinese Lunar New Year celebration is the Year of the Snake! Celebrate cultural traditions and community diversity. Sample Asian cuisine, lion dancing, dragon and lantern parade, martial arts, cultural music and dances, Asian Story Theater, children’s arts and crafts, and more! This is a free event.
Time: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: 3rd Ave. and J St., Downtown San Diego
For more information visit

February 17
Coronado Valentine’s Day 10K
Spend the weekend or the day with your family or Valentine and enjoy this exciting event. The flat and fast course is perfect for the casual runner or couple who are looking for a fun event or for the serious racer who is looking for the perfect course for a 10K. Refer to website for registration information.
Time: Race starts at 8:00 am
Location: Tidelands Park, Coronado
For more information visit

February 23
10th Annual Guacamole Bowl Cook-Off Contest
Teams will come together and use their own guacamole recipes that will be entered into a contest for the best tasting concoction. Go hungry and vote for your favorite!
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Balboa Park Club, 2150 Pan American Rd. West, San Diego
For more information visit

February 23
K9 Cancer Walk – San Diego
Help find a cure for canine cancer. All dog lovers are invited to walk with their dogs to celebrate the life of their canine best friend or to walk in memory of dogs that have lost their battle with canine cancer. There will be an expo area of dog related vendors and a celebration after the walk. All the proceeds benefit the Morris Animal Foundation.
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Walnut Grove Park, 1950 Sycamore Drive, San Marcos

Calendar courtesy of Lawyer’s Title

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Entry Level Home Prices in California

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

San Diego is not included in the following infographic, but entry level home prices here are between $200,000-$300,000.. However, note that it may vary greatly by area. If you would like information on a specific area please let me know and I will be happy to provide it.


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4 Reasons to Buy Investment Property in San Diego

Monday, January 28th, 2013

If you’ve been to San Diego you know what a wonderful place it truly is, and how much it has to offer. Both full-time residents and part-timers love to live here, and it continues to be one of the top vacation destinations in the country. San Diego is also on the top ten list for international buyers. If you haven’t been to San Diego and wonder what makes it so special, and a great place to invest in property…here are my top 4 reasons:

1. Appreciation Factor. The San Diego real estate market is a special one. Sure, it has ups and downs like any market, but the location and weather make it a desirable place to own property year-round. The proximity to the coast will always be a strong factor. If you plan to hold onto the property over time you will find your investment is sound, and you will profit. This is prime coastal Southern California real estate territory.

2.  Rentability. If you are planning on renting out your property you are in luck. Rents have risen over the last few years, inventory is scarce, and San Diego rental property is always in high demand. If you purchase property along the coast you may be able to rent out your property as a vacation rental, which can be a strong source of income. High end rental properties can even be a sole source of income in some situations. In the last several years I have seen rental properties rent very quickly, with multiple applications.

3.  The Weather! Nowhere else has weather like San Diego. With an average year-round temperature of 72, San Diego is the quintessential vacation destination. Many “snowbirds” come to San Diego in the winter to escape the cold elsewhere, and those living in places that get a tad too warm in the summer, like Arizona and Nevada, love to call San Diego home during summer months.

4. So Much to Offer. San Diego has the best of everything: theater, music, dining, museums, culture, parks, sports and sports venues, shopping, and beaches. There is something for everyone in San Diego, and it will continue to be a vacation destination. In a word, it is paradise…wouldn’t you love to have a home in paradise?

No matter who you are or how you like to relax and play, you will find it in San Diego. If you are looking for investment property this is a great place, whether your goal is to have a home to escape to, or one that will be a source of income. If you have questions about investment property in San Diego County, please feel free to contact me. There are properties and locations for so many types of investments, and I will be happy to assist you in finding the right one.

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Beware: Property Taxes on Your New Home Could be Higher Than Anticipated

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

An investor client called me a few weeks ago and told me that the county assessor sent him property tax bills for an amount higher than the standard 1.25% on his recently purchased property. He didn’t understand why the taxes were higher, and needed advice on what he should do.

Most real estate agents correctly tell their buyers that property taxes in California are approximately 1.25% of the sales price, give or take a little depending on the specific location of the property. Normally this is sound advice. But what some agents do NOT know is that the assessor’s office has discretion to raise the property tax on your newly acquired property if it feels that you paid a low price. So your “great deal” may not be reflected in your taxes.

In all my years of selling real estate this is the first time I have seen this happen, which tells me that the assessor’s office is either starting to heavily scrutinize sales and related comparable sold properties, or that my client was very unlucky. One of his purchases was really an amazing buy, but the other fell in line with comparable sold properties.

Under California state law, Proposition 13, property is reappraised only when there is a change in ownership, or upon completion of new construction. Aside from these two situations, property taxes cannot be raised more than 2% annually. The tax rate in California is 1%, plus the costs of any additional fees, bonds, or special charges (thus the reason why agents tell their buyers taxes are “about” 1.25% – some areas/neighborhoods may have slightly higher or lower tax rates, depending on the additional fees, such as mello roos taxes, bonds, etc.).

Once a property changes ownership, the assessor determines whether the property needs to be reappraised. If an appraisal is ordered and comes in higher than the value the new buyer paid, the taxes will be assessed based on the appraisal. Note that a transfer between husband and wife does not require a reappraisal for property tax purposes, including those transfers resulting from death or divorce, nor does a refinance.

So what can a homeowner do upon receipt of a higher than anticipated property tax bill? The homeowner can appeal the value of his new taxes. Go to the assessor’s website and find out the steps for doing so, then get started. Keep in mind that it can be a drawn out process, but do not give up. Be sure you have all related comparables, and can show why those properties do or do not compare to yours – extra photos can help. Be prepared to really compare each one – I advise you use your real estate agent to assist you with this.

For further information on this and answers to related frequently asked questions in the San Diego county area, click here.

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Is It Really Going to Get Harder to Buy a House?

Friday, January 18th, 2013

There are some rules in the works that may make it harder to get a loan to buy a home. But wait, you say, it’s already VERY hard – most lenders already demand everything but your first-born. Let’s take a look at one new rule that may make purchasing a home even more difficult in the near future.

Ability to Pay Rule/Qualified Mortgages. This rule forces lenders to make a good-faith decision as to whether lenders will be able to pay back a loan that it is offering.  This is being aided by creation of “qualified mortgages (QM)” – those that conform to the standards of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even if they are not being purchased by Fannie or Freddie.

The rule enables the lenders to feel secure in issuing a loan, and affords borrowers protection against deceptive practices. Lenders also escape liability if the borrower does default – shielding them from lawsuits for originating loans they knew borrowers would not be able to repay.

Not all mortgages are QM mortgages. California is a high cost state, with many jumbo loans, so the goal is to make sure that there is no bias against borrowers in such states, which could restrict underwritten mortgages in these states. The California Association of Realtors will be working closely to make sure this does not happen.

I am all for preventing abuse by lenders, as the consumers will benefit immensely. But are these new rules a price worth paying if it will  make getting loans harder? The fact is that getting a loan could become a more difficult process, which in turn makes it more challenging to sell homes, which leads to the bad news for housing…just when we are on the uphill climb to a stronger market.

The new rules went into effect January 10. If you would like more detailed information on how these rules may affect your ability to get financing, please call your loan officer. If you need a reference to a great person, just shoot me an email.


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Homeownership is Still the Dream

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

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Gorgeous New Listing in Escondido!

Friday, January 11th, 2013

If you are looking for land, or have horses, this is the property for you! Nestled on over an acre, this private oasis has everything…you can move right in. Features include:

•            3209 square feet with over $100,000 in upgrades

•            Over an acre, with all living space -except for bonus room – on the same level

•            Hardwood flooring, travertine tile in bathrooms and laundry room

•            Custom paint throughout

•            Remodeled kitchen: Granite, top of the line stainless appliances, new cabinetry w/sliders, glass cabinet facades

•            Plantation shutters

•            New dual pane windows throughout

•            New electrical panel

•            Dual water heaters

•            Remodeled master bathroom – marble sinks, Jacuzzi tub, stained glass

window, wainscoating, new fixtures and lighting, extra large marble shower

•            Recessed lighting

•            High beam ceilings in bright family room, plus built-in storage, and adjoining den/office/playroom

•            2 fireplaces, in family room and master

•            Master suite southwest-facing view deck with French door

•            Office/playroom/craft room off living room

•            Spacious living room with bay window and window seat

•            Pool and spa

•            Large bonus room – use as a studio, guest suite, office, pool house

(square footage not include in assessor record)

•            Koi pond with pump

•            Numerous fruit and nut-bearing trees – apple, orange, lime, tangerine,

avocado, almond, walnut, lemon, peach, pear, plum…

•            Tons of storage throughout home

•            Three car garage

•            Bernardo Elementary, Bear Valley Middle School, and San Pasqual High

•            No mello roos or HOA

•            Property is zoned for 2 horses (buyer to verify)

•            Close to parks, highway, shopping, dining and Lake Hodges

To see the virtual tour, click here. Call for a showing or more information – 760-310-9466. CA DRE number 01399682. MLS #130001828


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Congress Extends Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

As expected, Congress has extended the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act for one more year. This extension assures that homeowners who short sell their homes, obtain loan modifications or are subject to foreclosures, will not be liable for the taxation on mortgage debt that is forgiven by the lender(s).

Homeowners who currently have a short sale on the market, in escrow, or are considering listing their property as a short sale can breathe a sigh of relief and continue to pursue this path. However, as always, it is important to make sure to consult with your accountant, attorney, and a qualified short sale Realtor before pursuing a short sale or loan modification, in order to assure you are aware of all possible consequences and that it is the right option for you at this time.

The settlement reached by Congress also maintains the current capital gains rates on the sale of principal residences – the first $250,000 for single tax payers and $500,000 for married couples will be excluded.

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Home Buyers’ Shifting Desires

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

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San Diego January Calendar of Events

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

January 1 – 31  (Ongoing)
Big Bay Whale Days
Celebrate the Big Bay Whale Days with fun, deals, and giveaways for the whole family. There will be 25 exhibitors offering discounts and giveaways. The Big Bay Whale Days and Whale Festival provide the community with the best place to learn about California gray whale ecology and conservation and find information about opportunities to interact with the whales safely and affordably.
Time: Refer to website
Location: San Diego Embarcadero, 1066 N Harbor Dr., San Diego
For more information visit

January 6
Annual San Diego Resolution Run 5K & 15K
San Diego Resolution Run 5K & 15K will take runners on a loop around Fiesta Island in scenic Mission Bay Park’s De Anza Cove while raising funds for charities that seek to keep the environment healthy. Awards will be given for the first 3 male and female finishers in each age category. Refer to website for registration information.
Time: 6:00 am – 10:00 am
Location: De Anza Cove/Mission Bay, 3000 E. Mission Bay Dr., San Diego
For more information visit

January 12
Ray at Night
Visit North Park’s eclectic art and culture neighborhood and be inspired by all the creative energy from local and nationally known artists. Live street music and local food vendors will be on site to make for a fun and unique Saturday evening in North Park!
Time: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Ray St., North Park, San Diego – see website for map
For more information visit

January 13
Petco Walk.Run.Wag 5K9
The Petco Walk.Run.Wag.5K9 is a 5k and 1-mile run and walk for people with or without a dog. The event will include a pet and fitness expo. Refer to website for registration information.
Time: 7:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Wyland Center, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar
For more information visit

January 13 – 18
San Diego Restaurant Week
Extraordinary three-course menus from San Diego’s best restaurants. Choose from over 180 of the city’s best restaurants and enjoy a fixed price, three-course dinner. There will also be two-course lunches available. Refer to website for price information.
Time: Refer to website
Location: Various Locations throughout San Diego County
For more information visit

January 18 – 20
Del Mar Antique Show
More than 250 premier antique dealers from all over California and the western United States will be selling the finest in antiques and collectibles. Appraisal and restoration services are also available. Refer to website for admission information.
Time: Fri/Sat: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm, Sun: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: O’Brien Hall, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar
For more information visit

January 18 – 20
Gem Faire
The Gem Faire, established in 1989, has become a world-renowned marketplace for the finest in gemstones, beads, jewelry, minerals, fossils, meteorites, lapidary equipment, metaphysical items and much more at the lowest prices in today’s market. Refer to website for admission information.
Time: Fri: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sun: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Bing Crosby Hall, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar
For more information visit

January 20
Bridal Bazaar
At the January Bridal Bazaar there will be thousands of wedding ideas, fashions, products and services all in one place. There will be more than 300 of San Diego’s most trusted wedding professionals offering everything you need to make your wedding extraordinary; ceremony and reception locations, photographers, videographers, DJs, musicians, cake and catering options, the latest trends in florals and decor from San Diego’s leading designers, and much more!
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: San Diego Convention Center – Hall C, 111 W. Harbor Dr., San Diego
For more information visit

January 20
Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
This is an annual event commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. The Parade features marching bands and floats, drill teams, dance groups, and other community groups.
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Embarcadero, Harbor Dr., San Diego – refer to website for map
For more information visit

January 21 – 27
PGA Tour Golf Tournament
San Diego is the host for the “Farmer’s Insurance Open” at the exclusive Torrey Pines Golf Course. Refer to website for complete schedule, tickets, and local event details.
Time: Opening round 24th: 8:30 am
Location: Torrey Pines Golf Course, 11480 North Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla
For more information visit

January 24 – 27
San Diego Sunroad Boatshow
The San Diego Sunroad Boatshow is complete with both land and in-water locations, focusing on the latest boats and marine equipment. This year’s show includes over 100 new and pre-cruised sailboats and motor yachts, dozens of marine vendors with the latest nautical products and services, delicious food and drink sponsored by local restaurants, and special boating events and boat rides for kids and adults. This is a free event.
Time: Thurs/Fri: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Sat/Sun: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: Sunroad Marina, 955 Harbor Island Dr., San Diego
For more information visit

January 26 – 27
San Diego Cat Fanciers CFA All-Breed Cat Show
Nearly 450 of the nation’s finest cats will vie for top honors at “Food & Water Bowl XX,” the largest annual cat show on the West Coast. San Diego County residents may enter their cats in the Household Pet Class. Selected cats will be available for adoption from shelter and rescue organizations. Pedigree kittens will also be for sale. See website for admission information.
Time: Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sun: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar
For more information visit

January 26
3rd Annual Stephen Strasburg 5K with Tony Gwynn
This is a family-friendly event that will include games and fun for everyone. After the walk and fun run there will be lots of activities for all ages. There will be live music, food court, kids fun zone, and more. See website for registration information.
Time: 7:00 am
Location: Tony Gwynn Stadium, San Diego State University, San Diego
For more information visit

January 26
5th Annual Big Bay Whale Festival
The Whale Festival is a family community event offering a wide variety of interactive and hands-on displays to spark the interest and imagination of any child. Activities include a kid’s art mural coloring project, a giant inflated obstacle course, a trackless train, a bounce house, and live music on the “Whale of a stage.” This is a free event.
Time: Refer to website
Location: Port Pavilion on the Broadway Pier, San Diego
For more information visit

January 27
Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon
The Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon features a rolling course, including 14 miles along the Pacific Ocean. The course includes 26 fully staffed support stations, continuous entertainment and unsurpassed volunteer support. The marathon and half marathon start and finish at Westfield Plaza Camino Real. The Health and Lifestyle Expo runs Friday thru Sunday. Refer to website for registration information.
Time: 5:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Westfield Plaza Camino Real, 2525 El Camino Real, Carlsbad
For more information visit


Courtesy of Lawyers Title


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