Archive for November, 2013

San Diego December 2013 Event Calendar

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Happy December everyone! Have a wonderful holiday season!

 

 

December 1, SoNo & Chili Cook-off
A holiday festival in North Park with food, art & crafts, live music, and craft beer. Proceeds to benefit the McKinley Elementary Spanish, art and music programs. Buy your hand crafted ceramic chili bowl and eat! Your bowl comes with five restaurant chili tastings and if you want more you can buy five additional tastings for $5. Your bowl also entitles you to as much community chili as is available, located in “Chili Alley”. Also 5 food trucks will be on-site, and a beer & wine garden with craft beers available.
Time: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Thorn Street, North park (between Bancroft St. & Herman St.)
December 6 -7, Balboa Park December Nights
Balboa Park December Nights will take place for the 35th consecutive year bringing families and friends together to spread holiday joy. Participating Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm both evenings. Participate in a truly multicultural experience, enjoying delicious and diverse food, music and entertainment from around the world.
Time: Friday, Dec. 6, 3:00 -11:00 pm, and Saturday, Dec. 7, noon -11:00 pm
Location: Downtown: N Harbor Drive to G Street
December 7, North Park Toyland Parade & Festival 2013
Bundle up and delight in San Diego’s most joyful parade. Gliding down University Avenue, this cheerful pageant will feel like a Winter Wonderland, as melodious marching bands, upbeat dance groups, cool vintage cars, beauty queens, city officials, Santa and more warm your spirits.
Time: Starting at 11:00 am – 4:30 pm. Festival will start during the parade
Location: University Avenue between Utah and Iowa Streets
December 7, Holiday in the Village
Celebrate Chula Vista’s New Holiday Tradition! Holiday in the Village returns for its second year.  Head to beautiful Third Avenue Village for entertainment, shopping and holiday merriment.
Time: Noon to 5:00 pm
Location: Along Third Avenue, in Memorial Park and at E Street

December 7, The Mo Run
The Mo Run is the hairiest national moustache themed 5k race series around raising vital awareness and funds for men’s health through our national charity, Movember. Our timed race brings participants – whether they are Mo Bros, Mo Sistas, family, friends, or other supporters – together and unifies them under The Moustache. Runners sport their most fashionable moustaches while running, walking, skipping, or fox-trotting 3.1 miles of moustache-stic fun.
Time: 11:00 am
Location: De Anza Cove, 3000 North Mission Bay Drive, San Diego
December 8, Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade & Pet Expo
The Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade takes over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. All pet owners and their furry, feathered and scaled companions are invited to don their favorite costumes and put their best paw, wing and fin forward for this jolly promenade and pet expo, which starts and ends at Gaslamp Hilton Park.
Time: Parade starts at 3:00 pm / Pet Expo 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Gaslamp Hilton Park, at Fourth Avenue and K Street
December 8 & 15, The 42nd Annual San Diego Bay 
Parade of Lights!
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition brought to San Diego by the boating community. Join the festivities this December with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated according to a new theme each year. The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is held two consecutive Sundays each year in December.
Time: The procession will start at 5:30 pm from Shelter Island
Location: The parade is best viewed from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero,
Seaport  Village, and Ferry Landing in Coronado.
December 11, 3rd Annual Share the Love Food Truck Event
Enjoy gourmet food offerings from 7 different food trucks and support Meals-on-Wheels as a portion of the days’ proceeds feed San Diego seniors. Featured food trucks: Chubby’s Food Truck, Haad Sai Thai, New York on Rye, Not So Fast! Food Truck, The Slider House, Tornado Potato and Sweet Treats.
Time: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Kearny Mesa Subaru, 4797 Convoy St., San Diego
December 13 & 14, Christmas in the Village – La Mesa
The Village is transformed into a Victorian Wonderland! Don’t miss the strolling minstrels, carolers and street entertainers. Live music is featured in a number of stage areas, while the horse drawn carriage and bonfires fill the boulevard. The kids will love Santa, the carnival rides, ponies and the puppet shows. All specialty shops, boutiques and restaurants open late during event. There will also be food and commercial vendors as well.
Time: Fri & Sat: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: La Mesa Blvd. from Spring St. to Acacia Ave.
December 14, 2013 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis
The Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk for Arthritis raises awareness of America’s leading cause of disability and is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces, don your antlers, and run or walk a 5-kilometer route. Includes a fun run for kids (no fee). Awards, prizes, giveaways, health and wellness expo accompanies the event.
Time: 7:45 am – 10:00 am
Location: Balboa Park, 6th & Quince, San Diego
December 14, Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights
A decorated and lighted boat procession will parade in single file on
Mission Bay, some broadcasting holiday music. Begins at Quivira Basin, and along Crown Point, Vacation Island, Fiesta Island, & Sea World. Best viewing areas for this event is from Crown Point, or the west side of Fiesta Island, or the east side of Vacation Island. The parade ends with a firework display at 9:00 pm and the lighting of the SeaWorld Skytower Tree of Lights.
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Mission Bay, San Diego – Best viewing areas for this event is from Crown Point,
or the west side of Fiesta Island, or the east side of Vacation Island.
Website: www.mbyc.org
December 14, East Village Holiday Happening
It’s snowing in the East Village!  Bundle up, bring your sled and take a snow day! Featuring a sledding hill made with real snow that is sure to entertain kids of all ages throughout the day!  It will also include unique artisan gifts, great street food, music, and a beer garden!  The EV Holiday Happening features an animal adoption area and a skate boarding demonstration.  This is THE holiday event that’ll break you out of your normal holiday routine.
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 pm
Location: East Village San Diego,
15th Street (between F St. & G St.)
December 15 thru 31, Jungle Bells – San Diego Zoo
Jungle Bells – the San Diego Zoo is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. You’ll find a nightly tree-lighting ceremony, bell ringers filling the air with music, and lighted animal figures dotting the grounds. Dr. Zoolittle has an interactive “Night before Christmas” show. Enjoy “Animal Magic for the Holidays” critter presentations, “Candy Cane Lane Magical Journey,” and more.
Time: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Location: San Diego Zoo, 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego
December 16, Hot Buttered Run 10K & Kids Kandy Kane Race
An athletic event with a holiday theme: a 5K run/walk and a Kids Kandy Kane race. The race chute is lined with decorated Christmas trees, with festivities at the finish that include hot buttered rum (21+) and hot chocolate, awards, and of course, Santa Claus. Registration includes “Goodie Bag” and after party, music and fun!
Time: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location: West Mission Bay – Paradise Point, 
1404 Vacation Road
December 21-23, 38th Annual Hmong New Year Celebration
The Hmong New Year is celebrated with a cultural event where household spirits are renewed, ancestral spirits honored, and blessings are given for a
new year. A free event that showcases the Hmong culture and features music, dance, vendors & merchants, cultural foods, a fashion show, and beauty pageant.
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location:  Kearny Mesa Park, 
3170 Armstrong St., San Diego
December 30, Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade
As always, this exciting family event brings together world-class marching bands, magnificent floats, entertaining drill teams, and a procession of enormous balloons–more than any other parade! Over 100,000 street-side spectators will enjoy the parade along with a nationwide television audience.
Time: 10:00 am
Location: County Administration Building parking lot, 1600 Pacific Hwy
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On Being Thankful…and Thanking You!

Monday, November 25th, 2013

We each  have so much to be thankful for…some more than others, but each one of us can list a few blessings – good health, loved ones, a roof over our heads, a job, food…at this time of year most people reflect on their lives and realize that there are definitely reasons to be thankful.images

Among my many blessings, I count the support of clients and colleagues, for without them I would not enjoy the bounty of my labor, nor the path it took to get there, and most importantly – the bonds of trust and friendship that are reaped in the process. Thank you to all of those who have chosen to work with me, who have placed their trust in me and enabled me to provide assistance and support to others. It is one of my biggest blessings to be able to make a difference in peoples’ lives, and for that I am humbled and grateful.

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, spent with those you love. I hope that you take time to count your blessings and enjoy this crazy roller coaster we call life.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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Homebuyers’ Most Wanted List

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Mostwanted_Alex_11.18.13

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Happy Ending to a Horrible Short Sale

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

I used to love short sales…all it took was great organizational skills, persistence, a thick skin and a big mouth, and it was more or less simple to get a short sale closed. But after what my poor buyers just went through it makes me want to stay away from short sales for a while!dreamstime_6795077

First of all, I have to say that I had the sweetest buyers one could  imagine – kind, honest, and abundantly patient homebuyers who were so excited to buy their first home. They waited SEVEN months to get their home, and during this time saw just about every mistake a lender can make. The list is long, but here are a few of the mistakes either one or both of the short sale lenders made: failure to disclose the loan was being transferred (we could have had it postponed and closed months ago if they had been upfront, instead we had to start ALL over with one of the loans), misplacing the file in the wrong category (the second put it in the “first lender” category, which is a much longer process and thus held things up until it was discovered by the listing agent), granting approval and then not signing off on the paperwork before the deadline to close expired, and failure to sign off on the final HUD until the last minute possible – literally – and even that took multiple calls and threats to obtain.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image21158278Something to ponder: if a lender agrees to approve a short sale, and especially if that lender requires closing occur on or before a certain date, why would the lender hold off on getting the right paperwork to the listing agent so that can be accomplished? All parties in the transaction bent over backwards every time one of the lenders asked for something, yet the continued to not hold up their end of the bargain. In fact, it was so bad that we would get one approval, and by the time the other lender send over the approval the first one expired…this happened several times and we were constantly waiting for someone’s approval letter (while the lender whose letter was still valid was threatening to not renew it because we were taking so long!)

The icing on top of the cake came after we finally closed, when one of the lenders demanded original documents (they were sent the copies during escrow and specifically stated they did not need the originals), threatening to refuse to accept the escrow money if they did not receive it. Luckily all the parties – buyers, sellers and both agents – had saved their originals and that crisis was averted (lesson to remember: don’t ever throw anything away!)

Short sales can be horrible, or they can be easy. It is always a gamble to take on a short sale, and one must truly be patient. As a buyer’s agent you have no control over the banks and are not allowed to contact them, which makes me crazy. If you are contemplating a short sale purchase, make sure you understand all possible ramifications so that you are not surprised.

Congratulations to my clients for sticking it out and standing their ground – I know they will enjoy their beautiful new home!

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For Those Who Think Real Estate Agents are Overpaid…

Friday, November 8th, 2013

I have heard it for as long as I have been in this business: “real estate agents make too  much money.” Ironically enough, in my past career as an attorney I was paid by the hour, and thus my income depended on the amount of work I put into each case.  Being a hard worker by nature I have to say I did pretty well, likewise with real estate – I work very hard. When I hear people complain that I make too much money I know they do not understand how much work we real estate agents do..I have actually blogged about it before (click here to read that blog).

Here is a great infographic from Diggsy that sheds light on real estate agent commissions. The tax number is way too low (obviously it depends on one’s tax bracket – I have to put more aside for taxes), and of course some numbers vary (insurance, marketing, and of course many other expenses, especially if you own a brokerage like me), but it is a very good indicator of what we agents really end up putting in our pockets at a closing. Have a look and see what you think.

why-do-real-estate-agents-get-paid-so-much-money-to-sell-my-house_5029186c82a8a_w587

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Things Buyers Don’t Want

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

WhatBuyersdontwant2

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Real Estate News Roundup

Monday, November 4th, 2013

There has been much conflicting news lately about the real estate market – reports saying it continues to improve, others claim many fear we are heading toward another bubble. Let’s look at some of the latest news in the real estate industry…see for yourself what you think.dreamstime_5619602

Home Sales Increases: We have all read about home sales increasing in the last year, especially since the start of Summer/end of Spring. Realology reported that sales increased 29% in the third quarter, but does not expect a similar number for Q4. This is understandable, as Q4 generally is the slowest part of the year for home sales due to the holidays and resulting lower inventory levels.

Furthermore, indications that home sales are gaining momentum in big cities such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas point to possible dilemmas as we head into what will likely soon become a buyer’s market (the biggest being that many buyers could be forced out of the market if prices are higher).

More Households Have Emerged from Negative Equity: According to the National Association of Realtors, 2.5 million households have emerged from negative equity situations as of the second quarter of this year – the result of rising prices. This has a big effect on the future foreclosure market, and many of these previously underwater borrowers will be able to sell their homes and buy those that are affordable. This could contribute to more inventory in the coming months – Spring may be a busy time in many area markets.

New Construction is Improving: Building continues to be on the rise, and many builders are selling out quickly. Multi-family complexes in some parts of California are selling out before they are even completed, and the Wall Street Journal reported that properties built for rental purposes are even hotter. Many single family new construction homes here in San Diego county similarly have been selling quickly, often months before completion.

Shifting Neighborhood Preferences: A study by the National Association of Realtors found that 60% of Americans surveyed prefer to live in neighborhoods that are “walkable” – those with a mixture of homes and businesses, or mixed-use developments. The survey was comprised of 1500 Americans. 55% of those surveyed said the would prefer to have a smaller home and yard in order to be able to live in a walkable community. Here in North San Diego there are several communities that continue to be very popular mixed-use neighborhoods amongst buyers, like Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad and San Elijo Hills in San Marcos.

Buyers Face Tighter Lending Standards: It is no secret that loans have been harder to obtain for some time. According to the National Association of Realtors, tough lending standards are still making an impact upon would-be buyers. Single home buyers have a more difficult change of obtaining a loan over dual-income borrowers. The overall number of single buyers has declined in the last few years, but if we are to continue down the housing recovery path we will need to provide more opportunities for financing to all kinds of borrowers. Recent studies by NAR show that almost 9 out of 10 purchasers obtain financing.

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