Archive for August, 2013

San Diego Calendar of Events for September 2013

Saturday, August 31st, 2013
September 2
84th Annual Labor Day Pier Swim
The Oceanside Pier Swim is an annual event celebrated by athletes from all over California to help raise money for the Oceanside Swim Club.  The event is a one-mile swim around the pier, beginning and ending on the beach.  Minimum age for participation is 12 years.
Time: Check-in begins at 7:30 am. First heat starts at 8:30 am
Location:  Oceanside Pier, Oceanside

For more information visit

September 7
Julian Grape Stomp Festa
Julian celebrates the harvest of the grapes with an olde-world style grape stomp and festa at the Menghini Winery. Italian music, dancing, Bocci Ball competitions, stomping, wine tasting, a jumbo jump for the kids and a variety of food and crafts for sale.  $10 for adults 21 and over, $5 ages 20 to 6, 5 and under free.
Time:  11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Location:  Menghini Winery, 1150 Julian Orchards Dr., Julian

For more information visit

September 7
Fiesta de Kustom Kulture
Car and low-brow art show featuring pre-1972 hot rods, street rods, customs, muscle cars & trucks.  Painters, pinstripers & low-brow artists.  Live pinstripping and lettering demos.  Vendors include car & motorcycle related items, vintage apparel, accessories, helmets and more.
Time:  10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location:  Old Town San Diego – San Diego Ave. – Harvey & Twiggs Streets

For more information visit

September 7
Annual Poway Days Parade
An old-fashioned parade which is part of Poway Days. Includes a 5K
& 1 mile fun run/walk.
Time:  9:00 am – 11:30 am
Parade Route:  Poway Road, from Pomerado to Bowron
For more information visit

September 7
Grape Day Festival and Parade
First held in 1908, this is Escondido’s oldest and longest running event.  The event starts off with a 5k fun run.  The short, whimsical parade features equestrians, floats, marching bands, and walking groups.  In celebration of its heritage, the Escondido Grape Day Festival features grape stomping, free grapes, entertainment stage, vendor booths, fun zone, food trucks and more!
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 7-8
Annual Greek Festival
For two days, the church grounds are transformed into a quaint Greek village atmosphere where you can experience fine food, traditional Greek dancing, live entertainment, kid’s zone, live auction, marketplace, and the warmth of Greek hospitality.
Time:  Sat. 10:00 am – 10:00 pm / Sun. 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Location:  Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church,
3459 Manchester Ave., Cardin-by-the-Sea

For more information visit

September 8
Annual Brazilian Day Street Fair & Parade
The largest Brazilian festival on the west coast showcasing the culture of Brazil and South America.  Family oriented, non-alcoholic.  Two stages with  musical bands and performing groups.  Kids zone, Brazilian food vendors, multicultural arts and crafts. The highlight of the festival is the carnival style parade, with vibrant floats, extravagant costumes and infectious rhythms. Free event.
Time:  Festival 11:00 am – 7:00 pm / Parade 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location:  Pacific Beach – Garnet Ave. between Bayard St. & Everts St.

For more information visit

September 8
Annual La Jolla Rough Water Swim
Nationally ranked #1 America’s premier open water swimming competition event, the La Jolla Rough Water Swim has been a summertime tradition since 1916.  The course consists of a Junior Swim (250 yards), Amateur Swim (1 mile), and a Gatorman Swim (3 miles).  See website for entry fees.
Time:  9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location:  La Jolla Cove, Scripps Park, 1150 Coast Blvd.

For more information visit

September 13-15
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 watersport event.  Vendor & food booths, several RV campsites and tent campsites on Fiesta Island.  See website for tickets and campsite information.
Time:  Refer to website
Location:  Mission Bay – refer to website

For more information visit

September 15
Fiestas Patrias – Mexican Independence Day in Old Town
Fiestas Patrias celebrates Mexican Independence with colorful displays of dancing, storytelling, and music from early San Diego. Enjoy lively free activities, including children’s games. Other activities include branding, corn husk doll making, relay races, and vaquero games and more.
Time:  12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location:  Old Town San Diego, adjacent to the Old Town Transit Center

For more information visit

September 21
Annual Mira Mesa Street Fair
The event includes entertainment on two stages, a carnival, children’s crafts
and games, free rock painting for kids, craft, vendor, and info booths,
and a Scout Village, showcasing camping skills and equipment.
Time:  10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location:  Mira Mesa – on Camino Ruiz from Mira Mesa Blvd. to New Salem St.

For more information visit

September 21
The first ever San Diego seafood tasting and a free day filled with family fun.  Enjoy live music at the main stage, a wine & beer garden, a youth zone and stage with BMX riders, pro skateboarders, DJs, and live bands, plus educational exhibits from The Living Coast Discovery Center.  The shores will be lined with exotic automobiles and arts and crafts exhibits.
Time:  11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Location:  Bayside Park, Chula Vista

For more information visit

September 21 & 22
Annual Pacific Islander Festival
Features continuous entertainment throughout the day and presents the food, crafts, and customs of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.  An alcohol and tobacco-free event.  Free admission.
Time:  Sat. 9:00 am – 4:30 pm / Sun. 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location:  Ski Beach, East Mission Bay

For more information visit

September 21 & 22
Annual Coronado Speed Festival / Fleet Week
The “Race at the Base” is generally comprised of over 200 of the world’s most unique vintage racecars, chosen to compete on the basis of their historical significance and certified authenticity.  Fans are invited to tour the pits and speak with the drivers.
Time:  8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: San Diego Bay – Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado

For more information visit

September 22
Annual Encinitas Oktoberfest
The Fest will feature Bavarian dancers and bands, a street craft faire with over 200 vendors, authentic German food and beer, and a ceremonial parade.  There will also be a family fun zone, and much more!
Time:  10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location:  6-block marketplace at Mountain Vista Dr. & El Camino Real, Encinitas

For more information visit

September 22
Annual Paddle for Clean Water
A festival that promotes an environmental need for clean oceans.  Over 1000 surfers will paddle around the OB Pier.  The event will be celebrated with a free, light breakfast for all paddlers, guest speakers, a raffle, and beach clean up.
Time:  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location:  Ocean Beach Pier, Newport Ave. & Abbott St.

For more information visit

September 27 & 28
Poway Days Annual Poway Rodeo
Professional rodeo cowboys from all over the country compete.  Bronc riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, mutton busting and more.  Craft and food vendors.  A free rodeo dance will be help on Friday and Saturday nights following the rodeo performance.  Se  website for schedule and admission cost.
Time:  Refer to website schedule
Location:  Poway Valley Riders Association Arena, 14336 Tierra Bonita Rd. – Twin Peaks & Tierra Bonita

For more information visit

September 27-29
Annual MS Challenge Walk
The event is a 3-Day, 50 mile walk from Carlsbad to Downtown San Diego.  Participants can experience a personal journey of spirit and physical stamina while benefiting the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Time:  Fri. 6:30 am – 4:00 pm / Sat. 6:30 am – 4:30 pm / Sun. 6:30 am – 12:00 pm
Location:  Carlsbad Flower Fields – Day 1

For more information visit

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Check in With Your Home this Fall

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

As summer winds down, kids go back to school and the weather starts to cool, Fall is a great time to “check in” with your home. It is great to do this twice a year to keep your home in the best shape. Here are some things that you may want to consider looking into before heading into the winter/holiday season, to assure that your home runs efficiently and to prevent costly maintenance issues down the road.home_repair

Clean filters. Heating/air filters should be replaced twice a year. If you have the permanent kind, it is simply a matter of hosing them off and letting them dry out before reinstalling.

Check functionality and change smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

Get a termite inspection. This is something that is most important, yet many people don’t ever do it. Many companies offer free inspections, so it is merely a matter of figuring out when you can be home to have one done. It is not only good to assure you are termite free, but there could be other pests or rodents nesting you attics and other places, and there could be wood rot around your home that if left unattended, may be expensive down the road.

Change filters in your refrigerator, water purification systems and softener systems

Clear and check rain gutters. Keeping them clear could prevent water damage to your home once the rainy season hits.

Check sprinkler systems for any broken or misdirected sprinklers, and any leaks

Clean dryer vent to outside of home. Many homeowners neglect to do this – ever. It is simple to do with a ladder and narrow brush with a long handle. It can prevent fires.

house_disrepairCheck under all sinks for running water or signs of leakage

Make sure toilets are secured to floors. If not, it is very simple and very cheap to re-caulk

Check caulking around showers and tubs. Again, caulking is very inexpensive and easy to DIY. Ignoring it could lead to water intrusion underneath showers and tubs and in walls – what could be a very costly problem down the road.

Check your roof. If you have not done so in a long time, it is important to have your roof checked. Time and weather can loosen or crack tiles or other roofing materials. It is smart to have a roof inspection at least every few years, as it could save you time and money.

Trim trees. If you have trees growing close to your home, it is imperative to keep them trimmed so that rodents and other critters cannot use them to access your roof and attic.

Check your water heater for signs of leaking. If it is over 10 years old you may want to consider replacing it before you have a problem. Call a service company to provide an analysis.

Trim any brush around your property that could catch fire

Replace torn/broken window screens

Clean your home. This can be fun by getting the entire family (or roommates, etc.) involved. Eliminating clutter will keep things clean, help maintain your home,  and will make problems easier to spot down the road.

The above are just some suggestions to keep your home in tip top shape, and many items can be DIY items. If you don’t want to do it yourself or don’t have the time, you can call a handyperson (who will be able to take care of many things on the list, but not all), or you can pay a home inspector to come out and check everything. Of course, depending on the location of your home there may be other items that are important to include in the list. Maintaining your home will keep it from falling into disrepair, which can end up costing more money in the future.


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Homeownership Benefits for Your Children

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013


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Real Estate Market Update for August 2013

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

It’s hard to believe August is nearing it’s conclusion, summer is almost over and kids are going back to school…definitely things will be changing for many families very soon. One thing that does not seem to be changing is the real estate market, which is still doing very well. Here are the latest happenings in the market.

Prices Continue to Rise. Most metros report that sales prices continue to rise. The National Association of Realtors reported this week that sales rose 6.5% in July, which is up 17.2% from 12 months ago. This is big news. Sales have continued to stay above an annual pace for the last 3 months. Inventory has also been up this summer, and while rates are still low (they did come up earlier this summer but have held steady), it is possible the summer buying season may continue into Fall. Of course, it is important to understand your specific market area, so if you are considering buying or selling make sure to contact a skilled local real estate agent.

Sales Could Slow As We Head Into 2014. As we approach the end of this year it is important to consider what may happen in the coming year. While no one has a crystal ball, there is a chance that interest rates could rise if the Federal Reserve cuts down on its bond purchasing. Another factor to consider is timing – many markets typically slow down after the summer season ends. Homes that don’t sell in the first part of Fall could be taken off the market as we head into the holiday season. If this happens, there is no assurance that rates will be where they are now after the holidays and heading into the spring season. In other words, if you are thinking of buying or selling real estate NOW may be the time to do so.

underwaterhouseDistressed Sales are Down. Distressed sales (bank owned properties resulting from foreclosures, and short sales) continue to drop or hold steady in most areas. According to NAR, “the proportion of distressed sales including foreclosures stayed at 15 percent, the lowest since the Realtors began tracking the figure in October 2008.” This is good news because we can assume that the rise in prices may have helped some homeowners out of the negative equity doldrums. One might consider it is a sign that lenders are being more cooperative in granting loan modifications, or approving short sales rather than initiating foreclosures, but I seriously doubt that (just being realistic here) – lenders are still creating problems with short sales and they continue to be painful processes (for more information on whether short sales are still good deals, click here.)

Cash is Still King. A report recently released by Goldman Sachs states that over 50% of home sales were cash transactions nationwide, 57% in the first quarter of this year. The report indicates that the majority of these purchases are in the lower price range market, which indicates that many are likely investment purchases being used as rental properties. Cash buyers obviously can have a detrimental effect on buyers that need to obtain loans, possibly preventing many people from being able to purchase homes. Personally, I saw this as more of a problem in 2012, so again it depends on your specific market – talk to an experienced local real estate agent. I feel comfortable in stating that here in San Diego the number is most likely not that high.

California Homeowners are Locked Out of the Market. A report from PropertyRadar  states that nearly a third of all California homeowners are locked out of the current market due to the persistence of negative equity (people who owe more on their homes than they are worth) – all this despite the rising sales and sales prices across the state. The report claims that 26% of all homeowners with mortgages across the state are in a negative equity position. This means that 2.3 million homeowners are unable to sell their properties. The rising interest rates do not help these property owners at all either.

All in all the market seems to continue to heal. Although I do not think prices will continue to rise dramatically heading into the last quarter of the year, I think we will see a slow correction with small annual price increases from here on out. The sharp increases most markets have seen this year put the housing market on a path toward healing and consumer confidence, and I believe that will continue.


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Are Short Sales Still Good Deals?

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Short sales have received much stigma as of late, and more buyers have been steering clear of them. But for those who are willing to wait them out, can short sales still save you money? In order to answer to this question it is important to dissect the short sale and look at it’s components and ramifications.dreamstime_6795077

Timing: The old school of thought was that if a buyer was not in a hurry, a short sale could be a good investment – the price would be set, usually lower than other non-short sales in the area, and all the buyer had to do was await the lender approval. The problem has always been that awaiting the approval can take a long time – from several months to even (in some extreme cases) closer to a year. With the market changes and price increases, coupled with lower inventory levels in most areas, the waiting game can backfire for buyers. During that period it is possible prices will increase, making it possible that the short sale lender will counter the contract price. Mortgage rates may also go up during that time, making monthly payments higher for the buyers. Timing is thus a big consideration when purchasing a short sale, and has to be considered in light of the specific market, the availability of similar inventory that is not short, and price. It used to be that if one was willing to hold out for short sale lender approval, one could get a good deal on a home purchase. Most short sale lenders have a magic scale (feel the sarcasm here – I say “magic” because no one knows how these scales are formulated) – generally each lender has had a price range in which they will approve a contracted price, and it seems these ranges used to dip lower than they do at present.

When a short sale offer is submitted to a lender today, not only does one have to contend with the waiting game, but one also has to be aware that the lender or lenders may counter the contracted price. Some lenders have been countering prices at above comparable market value, since they are aware prices are rising in most areas; thus many lenders don’t seem to be content any longer to approve lower prices. The problem is in the timing – by the time the lender does its appraisal or BPO it can be months since the contract was accepted – thus the buyer may have to pay more to close AND has now missed out on other opportunities while waiting.

Missed Opportunities: In these times where we are seeing market prices escalate, waiting out a short sale could potentially mean a buyer is missing out on other home sales that will be priced higher down the road; in other words, if you make an offer on a short sale home now by the time it is actually approved you may have been able to purchase another, non-short sale home for a lower price. It is a risk each buyer has to consider, and of course depends on their attachment to the home they are waiting on.

Higher mortgage rates: Mortgage rates have increased and are expected to do so further with time. The short sale home you made an offer on months ago may have been affordable at that time, but months down the road your monthly mortgage payments may be higher than anticipated if rates went up during your waiting period. This has happened to clients of mine who have been waiting out a short sale, and it is something to consider when deciding to write that short sale offer.

All in all, a short sale can still be a “good deal,” but there are definitely factors to consider before jumping into waiting one out. Consult with your real estate agent and weigh all the factors – timing, price, other inventory, the possibility of increased mortgage rates effecting your monthly bottom line, and the status of the local market. It may still be worth it for some people, but for others short sales may not really be good deals after all.


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Top 5 Reasons Buyers Purchased CA Homes in 2013

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013


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Gorgeous Lagoon/Ocean View Townhome Open Sunday

Friday, August 9th, 2013

This property is really a treat and there is nothing like it in this price range – beautiful, updated and move-in ready Carlsbad townhome on the lagoon, with views out to the ocean. The sunsets are breathtaking, and the location excellent – close to the beach, the mall, Carlsbad Village, the highway, Coaster/train station, shopping and dining. This is a must-see!  Open Sunday from 1:00-4:00. 2399 Jefferson Street, #10, Carlsbad.323695_2651825487322_952044182_o

Features include:

• 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1544 square feet

• Panoramic lagoon and ocean views!

• Wood and tile flooring

• Stainless and black appliances

• Vaulted ceiling with fan

• Kitchen lighting and cabinet upgrades

IMG_0119• Additional window added to main living area to enhance views

• Retextured ceilings

• Fresh custom paint

• Washer, dryer and refrigerator included

• Fireplace and bar area

• Large master bedroom with patio, walk in closet

• Upstairs view deck off main living area, and patio off masterIMG_0033

• Tons of storage, indoor laundry closet

• Underground parking garage with elevator, community room and workshop

• Complex pool and spa

• Exterior has been recently painted with new trim, new deck railings, painted front

door, new stair railings

• Close to beach, Carlsbad Village dining and shopping, train, mall, 5 freeway

Priced at $459,000. Please call or email for further information. MLS #130037818. 760-310-9466.



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Home Prices Start to Return to the “New Normal”

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

For those who are regulars to my blog, I have predicted that home prices will soon stop escalating and will return to a “normal” growth, one that ascends slowly but steadily over time. I predicted we would start to see this by the end of this year, and especially heading into 2014. It appears that it is starting to happen right now, even in light of a new study that says that Americans believe housing prices will continue to rise despite rising interest rates.statistics

Clear Capital predicts that home prices across the country will “experience more moderate and sustainable increases” for the remainder of 2013, as we slowly transition into this “new normal” of slower and more consistent gains moving ahead into 2014 and beyond.

In the short term many areas will likely continue to see price increases  through the end of the year, despite the rise in interest rates. This could be due in part to rising inventories in many areas. Another explanation is that the rise in interest rates, along with the commonly held notion that these rates will continue to rise with time, may actually push buyers to make purchases in order to avoid higher rates. Likely, many sellers may see this as an opportune time to unload properties while the market is still rising and before rates climb higher, which will undoubtedly price some buyers out of the market.

As rates rise and inventories increase, we may also see a shift in the market, from a seller’s market (which we currently are experiencing in many areas, especially here in the western states), to a buyer’s market. Heading out of the summer buying season and into the Fall and beyond to the holidays, this is a realistic possibility. Demand will of course also continue to be fueled by the strength of local economies.

Interestingly, a study by Fannie Mae in July, the National Housing Survey, found that despite rising mortgage rates, consumers believe that prices will continue to rise. 53% of those polled thought that prices would rise in the next year. Those expecting prices to drop came to under 6%.

All in all, it is still a very interesting time in the housing market. I stand by my theory that prices may continue to rise through the end of the year, although possibly not as drastically. I believe we will continue to see inventory levels inch up in many areas, and that as we head into 2014 we will see prices stabilize somewhat, although I do believe tight lending standards could effect the state of the market as well (a topic for another blog). From there on out I believe we will see a more “normal” market moving forward, meaning one that grows slowly and consistently over time.

If you are thinking of buying or selling it is important to contact a knowledgeable Realtor and mortgage professional in your area to understand the makeup of your specific area.


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Multi-Family Housing is Growing in Popularity

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

You have probably been hearing it for some time, but lately it really seems to be even more apparent: many buyers are looking for multi-family housing. What does this mean? Although it may conjure up images of apartment buildings, it can mean anything from single family homes that have an extra room for a parent, to duplexes and triplexes that can house relatives in close proximity to each other but not necessarily in the same space, and even expands to smaller apartment buildings.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), lenders have reported that loan originations are up for multi-family loans. Apartment buildings are seeing the biggest increase, with loan originations on these purchases up 31% from 2012’s first half of the year total.

In many parts of the country multi-family housing can be difficult to find, especially in suburban areas. Lately I have had several buyers looking for homes to accommodate their families and their aging parents, from single family homes with downstairs living space or guest homes on the property, to duplexes where parents could live independently on their own but next to their children. In North San Diego there are options for people looking for these types of homes, but they are not overly abundant and much depends on price range.

Many people these days seem to desire a single family home for their family, with a downstairs bedroom or even a guest home for a parent/s. These types of homes can be hard to find, and much depends on budget. One also has to consider that having another person live with you and your family, if you are not used to it, can be an adjustment for all.

There are many ways to get creative if you need a multi-family dwelling and also desire your own space. Duplexes and triplexes are a great solution. You can live in one, have your relative(s) in another, and even rent a third/fourth if you purchase a triplex or a four unit building. This is a great way to bring in some income as well, especially if you are in a location that is close to desirable areas such as shopping, dining and transportation.

If you really want to earn income you can consider purchasing an apartment building. Depending on the area, some buildings have only a few apartments, while others contain many. Of course, it all depends on your price range and goals, and the time you have to manage it, or whether you can hire someone to do it for you.

If you are considering purchasing multi-family properties, speak with a skilled Realtor who has experience with such parcels. While many residential agents may feel comfortable with selling duplexes or triplexes, you should speak with a commercial agent if  you are considering an apartment building or any property containing more than 4 units. Do your research and learn about the different types of properties that might meet your needs, and connect with a lender who lends on these types of dwellings. You might find that buying this type of property is a great option for you.




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