Archive for October, 2013

San Diego November 2013 Calendar of Events

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Happy November!


November 1 – December 31
Papermaking Studio
Repurpose junk mail and magazines to create handmade paper in a new Papermaking Studio! Test out the custom mold and deckles, pulp station and paper drying machine! Free with museum admission.
Time: Daily, 10:00 am until 4:00 pm
Location: New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave. San Diego
November 1-2 
Queen Bee Market Comes to Oceanside
Local San Diego artists come together for a unique, on-trend shopping experience! Handmade meets modern as The Queen Bee Market comes to San Diego for their 13th consecutive show. With over 70+ vendors, the 2013 Queen Bee Market is proud to have its largest show to date.
Time: Fri. 4:00 pm until 9:00 pm / Sat. 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: QLN Conference Center, 1938 Avenida Del Oro, Oceanside
November 1-2
Old Town Dia de los Muertos
The premier Day of the Dead event in San Diego County, Old Town San Diego’s Dia de los Muertos, is designed to celebrate the history, culture and heritage of the region.  Included in this event will be a candlelight procession that will begin at 7 pm on November 2nd at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and proceed from the plaza down San Diego Ave to El Campo Santo cemetery where guests will pay their respects, view the public altar and add to it if desired, and musicians will be playing.
Time:  1:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location:  Old Town – 2475 San Diego Ave.
November 1-2
Del Mar Racetrack Breeders Cup Celebration
Come to the Del Mar Race Track to the sports bar known as Surfside Race Place and be part of the fun without having to leave San Diego–The Breeders Cup is taking place this year at Santa Anita. Surfside is over 90,000 sq. ft., with 7 rooms 2 floors and 1000 televisions. Put on your sharpest outfit and be part of the action. Admission is $5 -$15.
Time: 9:00 am until 11:30 pm
Location: Surfside Race Place, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar

November 1-10
San Diego Beer Week 2013
This is a celebration inspiring people to drink local, craft beer and promoting San Diego’s thriving brewing culture with events happening across the country.
Time:  Refer to website
Location:  Refer to website
November 3
Fall Back Festival
Join the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation as they present the 13th Annual Fall Back Festival in front of the Gaslamp Museum. Each year, as we set our clocks back an hour to end Daylight Savings, the Gaslamp Quarter falls back in time to the 1880s. Three blocks of the Gaslamp Quarter are transformed into a western town of yesteryear with 1880’s storefronts, a Sarsaparilla Saloon and the town Jail. Ladies and gentlemen stroll the streets dressed in Victorian garb, the Alpine Outlaws have a
high-noon shootout, and there are activities galore for the kids.
Time: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location:  Gaslamp Museum at 4th and Island Avenues, San Diego
November 8 – January 10
Kettner Nights in Little Italy
On the second Friday of the month, Kettner Nights will serve as an art and design “open house” event that will give visitors a chance to meet with shop owners, enjoy the area venues and enjoy viewing and purchasing of the latest available finds. Participants will stay open late until 9 p.m. and entertainment venues will be open even later based on their Friday night hours.
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location:  Little Italy, San Diego
November 6 – 27, 
The Pearl Hotel proudly presents “Dive-In Theatre”
A FREE weekly “cinema social” combining eclectic film selections, food and drink, and light conversation. Showing on November 6 is the 80s classic Weird Science, and the rest of the month features blockbusters The Big Lebowski, Planes Trains and Automobiles, along with one night of the Viewer’s Choice. Showtime is 8:00 pm; Food served until 10:00 pm; and bar open until 11:00 pm. Takes place at the poolside lounge and theater.
Time: Occurs Wednesdays starting at 8:00 pm
Location: The Pearl Hotel, 1410 Rosecrans Street, Point Loma
November 7-15
14th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival
The largest exhibition of Asian-American and Asian cinema in North America presents films, videos and workshops that celebrate the work of Asian artists from around the world. Screenings are held at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinema in Hazard Center and showcase feature films, shorts and animation.
Time: Various-refer to website
Location: Various-refer to website
November 8 – December 31 
The Adopt-A-Beach program gives people of all ages the opportunity to learn about and actively participate in conserving coastal resources and inland areas. The Adopt-A-Beach program is I Love A Clean San Diego’s most popular volunteer program. Anyone can participate in the AAB program, as long as they agree to perform 3 cleanups during the course of one year– a very flexible volunteer program.
Time: Varies
Location: Varies
November 11
2013 Veterans Day Parade
As Veterans Day is observed nationwide, the San Diego Veterans Day Parade recognizes the contributions of all of our Veterans from every branch of Armed Forces in all eras of service. During the USA 50th Year Commemorative of the Vietnam War 1962 – 1975 , the 2013 Parade includes
“A Tribute To Vietnam Veterans”.
Time: 11:00 am until 1:30 pm
Location: Downtown: N Harbor Drive to G Street
November 14
A Night in Baja
Leave your passport at home and head to Ortega’s, A Mexican Bistro in Hillcrest for “A Night in Baja.” Join Ortega’s and other local sponsors in supporting the efforts of the Corazon de Vida Foundation to end the cycle of child homelessness in Baja. Enjoy live music, bidding for silent auction items and Ortega’s Baja-inspired buffet, drinks and desserts for the cause.
Time: 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm
Location: Ortega’s, a Mexican Bistro, 141 University Ave.
November 17
Silver Strand Half Marathon
Run along the Strand from Coronado to Imperial Beach! The 5K Run/Walk starts and finishes at the Imperial Beach Pier Plaza. Run the 5K and then enjoy the post race festivities while watching the half marathoners cross the finish line. The half marathon course is open to runners, walkers, skaters, hand cycles, and wheelchairs (helmets are mandatory for all skaters.)
Time: Starts at 7:00 am
Location: Imperial Beach Pier Plaza
November 20 – January 15
SD DrinkAbout
An informal bus ride taken by members of the communities of Normal Heights, North Park, South Park and beyond, for the purpose of drinking without driving, sampling the wares at multiple local establishments, and being seen by the public. Busses loop for 4 hours, stopping at 8 craft-beer bars. Hop on and off FOR FREE at Blind Lady, Small Bar, Live Wire, Toronado, Ritual Tavern, Sea Rocket, The Station & Hamilton’s. This event occurs monthly, on the third Wednesday of the month.
Time: Refer to website
Location: See website for specific bus stop locations
November 21
Mother Goose Parade
The Mother Goose Parade is the largest parade in San Diego County and the largest of its type west of the Mississippi. Each year, the parade attracts thousands of spectators to the streets of El Cajon,
to view the parade for free on the “Sunday before Thanksgiving”.
Time: 9:00 am until 3:00 pm
Location: The streets of El Cajon, 1130 Broadway
November 24
Encinitas Fall Festival
This festival is a ready-made bazaar for holiday shoppers and weekend fun seekers. This year, fair-goers will enjoy a day where coastal breezes meet people gathering to shop, eat, be entertained and enjoy the community’s historical district.The festival features over 450 vendor booths showcasing various arts, crafts, gifts, food and more. The 200 shops and 40 restaurants and eateries along the Coast Highway from D to J Streets will be open and ready for business.
Time: 9:00 am until 4:00 pm
Location: Encinitas, Coast Highway 101: D Street to J Street
November 27 – December 1
San Diego Jazz Fest
Discerning jazz fans call the San Diego Jazz Festival “the crown jewel of jazz festivals.” The event is held during the Thanksgiving weekend. The SD Jazz Fest is a favorite of festival-goers from around the globe. All venues are conveniently located in the Town & Country Convention Center. The Festival bands represent a wide variety of traditional jazz, dixieland, ragtime, swing, and rockabilly styles. The festival offers something for every taste in classic jazz.
Time: Refer to website
Location: Town & Country Hotel and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North
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Homebuyers Beware: Waiting May Cost You

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

I speak with a lot of industry people on a daily basis, and all seem to agree with my notion that the market has slowed in the last month. The craziness of summer is past; the uncertainty of the government shutdown (although it promises to threaten again in mere months) caused hesitancy amongst buyers of homes and all kinds of other goods and services; that “seller’s market” we were enjoying seems to be waning, and prices are not going up right now.fence-sitter

Given the economic factors and the things that have transpired in the last month or so, it is no wonder the housing market has slowed. There are some sellers who refuse to believe this, and want to price their homes over comparable market value, but they may be in for a lengthy market time, and as we head into the holiday season and year-end, they could find themselves stuck in a rut.

The changing market makes one thing very clear: it is a great time to be a buyer. However, it is not such a great time to be a hesitant buyer, and here is why: as we head into the new year there will likely be some big changes that could affect buyers and the money they borrow, as well as limit their choices when house shopping. Let’s take a look at some of these possibilities.

dreamstime_5173354Rising interest rates/loan difficulties. It is inevitable that interest rates will go up, and I think that will happen in early 2014 and again thereafter (maybe in Q2 or twice in Q1). They have been low for a long time and it is time for them to adjust. This will effect big purchases like homes, and will likely alter the affordability factor for many buyers.

Another issue will be the ability to obtain a loan. Many lenders have stated that moving forward, they will be instituting policies that make it even more difficult to qualify for loans. This could obviously shrink the buyer pool, or cause many buyers to alter their criteria and start searching for smaller homes.

Limited inventory/“selling season” uncertainties.. If rates go up and loans become harder to obtain, combined with many other potential challenges (status of the economy, jobs, and government problems), there is a chance that inventory will be affected, causing it to go down.

The typically hot selling season usually begins in Spring and lasts into the summer months. With the uncertainty as to interest rates and some other economic factors it is unclear how inventory will be affected come Springtime – there could be a slew of inventory (sellers wanting to sell properties before things potentially become more difficult), OR sellers may decide the market too volatile and hold onto their properties. This latter possibility – higher interest rates, lack of inventory, loan challenges…could turn the housing market in the other direction.

There is still a decent level of inventory in many areas, but typically as we head closer to the holidays some of those properties will be pulled from the market. This is why right now is a great time to make offers. For those buyers who are in a position to do so, I recommend sitting down and discussing your area and inventory with your local, skilled real estate agent. You will likely be sitting in your new home a few months down the road, glad you decided to jump in and purchase.




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Homebuyer Optimism is Way Up

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013


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Two Fabulous New North County Coastal Listings!

Friday, October 18th, 2013

839 Mistletoe Lane, Carslbad, CA 92011 – This is an absolutely turn-key townhome!

Offered at $459,000

•  2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1263 SF, 2 stories but all living space is on top floor image001_mls

• Beautifully appointed master suite with hand-scraped walnut flooring,

built in storage in closets, vaulted ceiling and lots of natural light

• Fully remodeled master bathroom with walk-in shower/steam and sunken tub

with glass mosaic tile, cork flooring and skylights

• Custom paint and new fixtures throughout

• Attached single car garage with direct access to home, plus plenty of storageimage011_mls

• Oversized outdoor private deck off kitchen

• Indoor laundry closet with washer and dryer included

• New dual pane windows throughout

• Vaulted ceilings in master bedroom and living room

• Plantation shutters in dining room

image015_mls• End unit offers privacy and tree-lined views, plus beautiful sunset views

• Complex offers 2 pools/spas, and many grassy areas

• Low HOAs ($231/mo), no mello roos

• Carlsbad Unified School District

• Beach-close and convenient access to highways, schools, shopping and restaurants

To see virtual tour and more photos click here. MLS#130055852. Call me for more information! 760-310-9466



4700 Ventana Way, Oceanside, CA 92057 – Terrific detached home in the wonderful community of Belamar

Offered at $489,000

•  4 bedrooms, 3 baths, loft, 1881 square feetimage001_mls

•  Corner lot

•  Open floorplan

•  New laminate flooring in living room, family room, stairway, loft and bedrooms

•  New tile flooring in bathrooms and kitchen

•  Newly painted inside

image003_mls•  Fireplace in family room

•  Lovely mountain and tree views from master bedroom

•  Nice sized backyard – ready for your creativity

•  Light and bright throughout

•  Upstairs laundry room

•  2 car garage

•  Centrally located close to shopping, dining, highways and the beachimage006_mls

•  Low HOAs – only $$105/month

•  Nice sized backyard – ready for your creativity

To see virtual tour and more photographs, click here. MLS# 130055859. Call me for more information at 760-310-9466.



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How Do You Find the “Right” Home?

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Buying a home is one of the most challenging and emotional processes – with such a big purchase of course buyers want to make sure they are making the right decision, but oftentimes that is difficult to do. Let’s look at some of the things to consider when looking for the “right” home (in no particular order).house_question

Location. Of course this is a big ticket item when buying a home. Location takes into consideration many things – proximity to work, school or loved ones, or to highways and public transportation, airports/train stations. It might be that someone wants to live by the beach, or far from it. People may wish to be away from power lines or noise, or may want to live where all the action is. No matter what the location issues might be, a buyer needs to identify them and then focus on the properties that are in the right locations. Many buyers end up changing their minds and expanding searches to other locations, so the searches can mold into different shapes as the search progresses (and a skilled agent can help you with this as well).

Amenities. Whether you want to be close to transportation or have personal or community amenities like a pool, spa or tennis courts, this is an important part of your decision. Focusing on properties that will meet your specifications will help you find the right property.

Schools. For families with children or planning to have them, schools are very important. Many buyers have definite ideas as to which districts they want to live in, and that will help narrow the search. If you are a family (or plan to have one) moving into an area from out of town, it is important to research local schools and districts – visit them, speak with staff and families whose children go to the schools, research the test scores and other relevant information so that you can feel good about the schools in the neighborhood(s) in which you are looking.

house_shoppingcartAffordability. Of course price will always be a factor in home shopping. It is important to get pre-approved with a lender and to know how much mortgage you can afford before home shopping. This may also have an effect on the areas you search.

Gut Reaction. I don’t know about you, but I am a big believer that my gut instinct is always right. The few times I have decided to go against my gut I have always realized down the road – whether sooner or sometimes later – that I should have trusted my gut. As a Realtor I can often tell when a buyer finds the “right” home, and usually I can see it very quickly, even if they are not yet sure. You won’t always know right away what home is “the one,” and sometimes they actually grow on you, but if you do have instincts listen to them.

Get Help From Your Agent. Another key factor to finding the right home is to make sure you are working with a local agent who not only knows the area and different neighborhoods, but can really understand what you are looking for. S/he can guide you in your search, and even point out some things you may not have considered that could broaden or narrow your search.

Note that there may be challenges even if you find the right home, such as financing issues or appraisal problems. All you can do is be prepared to deal with these should they arise; for example, if your “right” home does not appraise, you can try several things – click here to read about dealing with appraisal challenges. Just stay informed and work with your agent to try and anticipate challenges, and hopefully by doing so you will be able to overcome them.

There is a “right” home for every buyer, sometimes even many that can feel right. The best way to know if you have found “the one” is to do your homework before you start looking at homes – research neighborhoods, amenities, different areas and the proximity of desired places. Study comparables and floorplans, drive around neighborhoods before going inside any homes, chat with people who live there. Once you have identified those areas that have the right characteristics you will feel great about looking at homes in those neighborhoods. Trust your instincts, get help from your agent, and you will find a wonderful home.


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Home Features Buyers Value

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013


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Current Housing Market Challenges

Friday, October 4th, 2013

We all know that the housing market has been in recovery, and in most areas like here in San Diego, things are looking pretty positive. However, there are some challenges that face buyers and sellers in any market. Let’s take a look at some of those that should be considered now if you are a buyer or seller.

The Government Shutdown: This is definitely having an affect on the market. As mentioned in my last post on this topic (click here to read the post)  , if this nonsense is resolved quickly there should not be much to worry about. However, if it goes on for some time there could be problems surrounding loans, loan verification, interest rates and other issues. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the nincompoops creating this mess can sort it out.

Buyer and Seller Apprehension: Aside from the shutdown, this can be a time of apprehension for many buyers and sellers. That is because the market is “in recovery.” Many people still many not feel comfortable with this fact, and may choose to “wait and see” what happens down the road. The problem with this logic is that people may miss the proverbial boat. When the market is strong and interest rates are still low, and if you are a buyer this is the time to get serious. No one knows what will happen as we head into the new year, but I and many other agents, as well as other industry experts, expect that rates will rise. This could possibly price some buyers out of the market and lower inventory levels.

dreamstime_1960863As for sellers, prices have increased substantially in most areas. Those buyers out there are serious, as we head out of the summer “buying season.” So if you are thinking of holding on until prices rise higher, you may be out of luck heading into the new year, since rates could rise, causing many buyers to have to reconsider the types of homes they can comfortably afford. Also, as I and many others have predicted, moving forward I do not believe that we will see price increases such as those we have seen in the past months; rather, prices will likely level out and “normal” market increases will prevail over the next few years. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but when things are strong that is the time to act if you are thinking of selling.

Low Inventory Levels: Inventory still remains low in many areas. Even though we here in San Diego did see a slight spike in the summer months, the pickings out there on the market are still slim. As we head into the holiday season it is doubtful we will see jumps in inventory. As for the Spring “selling season,” so much is unknown and there are many factors that could affect the market – interest rates, the economy, the debt ceiling, jobs… If you are a buyer and you find a home you love and can afford, now is the time to jump on it in my opinion. Similarly, if you are a potential seller now is a great time to sell, while it is technically a “seller’s market;” that could change if rates go up.

Financing Difficulties: It is still tough out there for many buyers to obtain loans. The big lenders have been cracking down on requirements for qualifications, and there is news that it may get even tougher to qualify. From personal experience many loans seem to be taking longer on the approval and funding ends, and it is not uncommon for escrows to close later than expected. If lenders do start to scrutinize potential borrowers even more heavily, this will obviously have an affect on the market and the numbers of sales. If you are qualified now and ready to purchase, my suggestion is to get out there and find the right home before it gets harder to borrow money. Of course it will also affect sellers exponentially if there is a smaller pool of qualified buyers out there.dreamstime_5173354

Appraisal Problems: Luckily I have not had appraisal issues this year on my sales or listings, but I have heard of many agents who have. For a while it seemed that appraisers started “catching on” to the price increases, and they seemed to be a tad more lenient in blessing prices that were higher than comparables. But now that price increases are starting to slow and there are still sellers out there putting their homes on the market for prices above comparables, we could start to see appraisal issues creep up once again. To read more on how to deal with appraisals that do not come in at value, click here.

The real estate market will always ebb and flow, and no one has a crystal ball. The best advice when considering whether to buy or sell property is to hire an experienced local area agent and learn as much as you can about the market. I also recommend speaking with your accountant and financial planner as well. As with any important decision, the best thing you can do to assure you make smart choices is to get educated.


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Will the Government Shut Down Affect the Real Estate Market?

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Many people are concerned that the government shut down that took effect at midnight will affect various markets and industries in this country. Government-run parks and industries are shut down, over 800,000 people are on furlough, there will be an interruption in many services. But will the real estate market be affected? images

Loan problems: if you are in the middle of obtaining financing via an FHA single family housing loan, you may be in a difficult situation. HUD initially announced that the FHA will not be able to fund, underwrite or approve any new loans during a shut down. Considering the FHA represents 80% of new loans this could be a problem in the real estate market. Luckily, HUD since amended that statement to say that FHA loans will be funded and approved during a shut down, albeit with a limited staff. In other words, the FHA will be able to underwrite and approve new loans, but it may take longer to do so. If you are in the process of obtaining a loan, waiting for a loan to fund or waiting for loan approval and are on a deadline to close escrow, be sure to speak with your mortgage professional immediately to see if you will be affected.

Government backed loans that are purchased by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are apparently not affected by the shut down. VA loans will also be unaffected, as they are funded by user fees charged to lenders (much like Fannie and Freddie).

If loans take longer to close due to the shut down it could become more of a buyers’ market once again. Those who have loans that do not need government underwriting or insurance may be in a better position to bargain. However, this will also depend on what happens to mortgage rates – an unknown scenario should the market be affected by a lengthy shutdown. Everything will depend on how long the shutdown lasts – if it is brief the housing market will not be overtly affected; but if it goes on for some time we could face problems. Hopefully Congress can find a resolution quickly.



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