Archive for January, 2015
Residents living in the City of Carlsbad have several choices when it comes to high schools. Parts of southeastern Carlsbad are in the San Dieguito High School District, such as residents of La Costa Valley and neighborhoods in the La Costa Canyon High School vicinity, but for those living in other parts of the city the choices are worth investigating, as each offers something different for your student.
Carlsbad High School: Carlsbad High, or CHS, is a public high school that has been around since 1957, having just undergone major redevelopment that was completed in 2012. It is the main high school in Carlsbad and is home to over 3,000 students, grades 9-12. CHS offers a typical public high school curriculum and is on a semester system, with finals in January and June. CHS classes are split up, so that a student takes 3 classes every other day, alternating with 3 different classes on the remaining days. Each week switches off, so there are “odd” days – where students take periods 1, 3 and 5; on “even” days students take classes for periods 2, 4 and 6. Each class is 2 hours long.
CHS offers many different electives, a large athletic program, and honors/AP classes. It also has strong music program, award-winning dance, choir and dramatic arts programs (including drama, television, production, and art). The football program is a big part of the school. If your student does well in a traditional school this is a great place for him or her. Click here to visit the CHS website.
Sage Creek High School: Sage Creek is the newest public high school in Carlsbad, currently in it’s second year. At the present time it houses only freshman and sophomores, but will have a junior class in the Fall of 2015 and a senior class in the Fall of 2016. Sage Creek does not currently have a large athletics program, but plans to have one in the future as the student body grows. There are some sports available at the current time, as well as drama and other classes.
Sage Creek runs on the trimester system, with each trimester lasting 10 weeks and finals at the end. Many current students like the fast pace of this system, which mirrors that of many universities. Sage is already known for it’s dedication to academic excellence, and many of the brightest educators comprise the staff. At the present time students feel as if they are attending a private school, due to the small student body and class sizes. It is a great opportunity for students who want to be part of a growing school where they can start future traditions. Click here to visit the SCHS website.
Carlsbad Seaside Academy: Also known as CSA, Seaside is not as well known because it is a self-study school. Created for those students who needed to get a high school education but had other interests that were making that a challenge (skateboard/snowboard champions – Sean White was a student, professional ballerinas and other students who needed time to dedicate to other areas have attended), CSA has become more popular in the last few years as an alternative to or in conjunction with a traditional high school education.
CSA students meet with their assigned teacher every few weeks, are given work for their classes, and complete it on their own in time for the next meeting, where they review it and discuss with the teacher. Classes like science have additional labs that students must attend. CSA is not open for general admission – students must apply. Students can also be enrolled as concurrent students, where they attend both CSA and either CHS or Sage – upon approval. It is a great alternative for those who do not learn well in traditional systems, or for those who have schedules or situations that make attending traditional school difficult. Click here to visit their website.
Carlsbad Village Academy (CVA): CVA is a continuation school for those who need to recover credits toward high school graduation. Students are allowed to earn up to 90 credits a year via the trimester system, which allows them to either transition back to conventional high school or remain at CVA and graduate. For more information click here to visit the website for CVA.
Pacific Ridge School: This is a private school located in the Bressi Ranch neighborhood of Carlsbad, housing students in grades 7-12. This school is a top-rated school that offers exceptional learning and access to sports, the arts, clubs and annual travel. All the classes are connected and the teachers relate them to the real world, using seminar style learning, otherwise known as “Harkness” learning. If you are looking for a completely integrated learning style where your student will be immersed in discussions that will teach them to use their voices to make a difference, this is a school you must visit. Class sizes average 15 students and push the button on both creativity and interest. For more information visit their website by clicking here.
Other high school options: There are other high school options outside of the city limits, including several more private schools and home school programs. Depending on your child there is a program that will be just right, so investigate and visit schools before making a choice.
Appraisals are getting “tighter” and soon even more deals could begin crashing as buyers and sellers haggle the run up in asking prices. Understanding ( to an appraiser) your listing is simply a $500 appraisal fee, to you it’s a 3-6% commission; so by being proactive you will minimize the risks of losing large commission checks !
Quick Background on Appraisals
Dodd-Frank created a standardized federal licensing process for loan officers (“L/O’s) and appraisers. All appraisals must be performed by an independent third party (“arm’s length”) appraisal service.
The appraiser’s job is to inspect the property, compare it to similar (sold) properties, in closest proximity (up to one mile) and in the most recent time frame (up 6 months). The appraiser uses mathematical formulas (primarily price per sq. ft.) to derive a market value. Pretty straight forward, until we get to amenities -then it becomes very subjective. One appraiser can value a fireplace at $8,000 and another at $15,000 or a view at $35,000 and another at $100,000.
There is no effective way to determine which appraiser is most accurate.
What Agents Can Do
1. When the appraisal is ordered make sure the loan officer lists you as the only “property access” contact. If the home is vacant, take off the lock box (and enter that notation into the MLS). This guarantees the appraiser will call you for access to the property. Meeting the appraiser at the property is an opportunity to present the most up to date comps.
2. If it feels appropriate, walk the appraiser thru the highlights of the property.
3. Be friendly and helpful but NOT pushy!!! Appraisers are very sensitive about pressure to “hit the value”.
4. Are there listings currently closing? Call the other listing agents and get info on when they are due to close. Better to delay the appraisers’ appt. until another home (with a higher value) closes a day or two later.
5. Don’t rely on the MLS, call your title service (daily if necessary) to check on a pending recording. As you know: It’s not unusual for MLS data “to lag” several days!
6. FHA and VA appraisals often focus on more on “minutiae” than conventional Fannie/Freddie appraisals. Minor repairs ( i.e. leaky faucets – missing lite bulbs-etc) can require an appraiser to come out for a 2nd time to “sign off” on the completed repairs) and delay your escrow’s closing by days/weeks and add several hundred dollars to the buyer’s costs. So be prepared to (pre) employ a handyman to fix small items (In reality, buyers will want many items repaired anyway).
This helpful article was written and reprinted with permission by Dan Dobbs. You can visit his website at http://danieldobbs.org/ I felt this was a great article to share it because it provides great information to agents and sellers alike, which can help make sure all is done to assure a successful appraisal.
This beautiful recently upgraded Seagate Village townhome has an abundance of natural light, two generous bedrooms with attached bathrooms, private patio with attached 2 car garage, numerous upgrades, and is situated in a desirable community with few resales. You will love this tranquil, tree-lined complex filled with meandering pathways and chirping birds, community pool, recreation center, tennis courts, play area, and walking paths along the outskirts. Offered at $459,000
– 1097 sq ft, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
– Upgraded kitchen with custom glass tiled backsplash
– New stainless appliances (oven/cooktop, dishwasher, and microwave). Stainless refrigerator.
– New porcelain whitewashed plank flooring downstairs
– Travertine tiled shower in master bathroom
– Generously sized bedrooms with attached bathrooms and ample closet space
– New fixtures throughout and canned lighting
– New furnace and water heater
– Private patio for BBQ, garden or whatever you desire
– 2 car garage attached to patio with private entrance to home
– Encinitas and San Dieguito Union High School Districts
– Located close to everything Encinitas offers – shopping, dining, parks, entertainment, schools, transportation and just moments to Encinitas and Cardiff beaches and downtown areas
Please contact listing broker for more information: Rachel LaMar, LaMar Real Estate 760-310-9466. CA BRE license #01399682. For more information please click here.
Welcome to 3372 Avenida Nieve! Offered at $869,000
This beautiful and bright Sonata cul-du-sac street home comes complete with west-facing views to La Costa Valley and beyond. Vaulted ceilings, large, open granite kitchen with stainless Thermador cooktop, hardwood flooring in the living room/dining room combo, downstairs bedroom, fresh paint throughout, plantation shutters, nice private backyard and elegant, large master suite with adjoining sitting area, balcony and west facing views.
Talk about location! This home is ideally located close to shopping, dining, parks and entertainment. Highly rated San Dieguito School District, with all schools in close proximity – Mission Estancia Elementary, Diegueno Middle School and La Costa Canyon High School. All information is deemed reliable, but buyer and buyers’ agent to verify all, including square footage, prior to close of escrow.
For more photos, video and further information, please click here. To schedule a showing please call broker Rachel LaMar at 760-310-9466. MLS #150001504
2014 was a positive year for the housing market, with many areas experiencing recovery and more houses selling than previous years. Prices rose quite a bit, and there was a lot of conflicting news about the future of housing. Now, as we head into 2015, many wonder what is in store for the housing market. Of course I do not have a crystal ball, but based on what I see in my local market here is what I think we will see as we head into the new year.
1. Price Increases Will Slow Down
Buyers were out in force on a pretty consistent level in 2014 here in North San Diego. We saw increased competition for listings, multiple offer situations, interest rates remained low, and prices jumped. Heading into the new year I believe prices will continue to rise, however in a much slower (think “normal”) manner. There are two factors that contribute to this: the exit of many investors from the market and lower inventory levels. According to Case-Schiller prices on a national level are near their spring 2005 levels; the 20 cities tracked by the real estate analytic giant are about 15% to 17% off their mid-summer 2006 peaks.
Zillow predicts prices will rise this year about 2.5%, while Relator.com thinks the number will be closer to 4-5%. The California Association of Realtors predicts that single family home prices will appreciate 5.8% in 2015 – that is a lot less than the appreciation this year, which statewide climbed to almost 12% (obviously some areas were higher than others, like San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, and parts of Northern California). Moving forward the market will likely follow a more “normal” growth pattern as predicted.
2014 saw quite a gain in the number of homebuyers – low rates and lower inventory levels had many people determined to purchase before prices jumped too high. Since the majority of investors have left the housing market (due to rising prices and the inability to get a great “deal,”) rates are still low and credit rules have eased, I expect we will continue to see an influx of ready, willing and able buyers to the market. These factors will lead to increased inventory levels, which means that more sellers will list their homes and be able to find replacement properties (one of the biggest challenges for sellers last year was that there was so little inventory that they had nowhere to move to if they sold).
3. Affordability will Decrease
Along with more inventory and a stronger market, I think affordability will worsen. Just because housing market prices are rising does not mean that buyers’ income is rising in sync. With rising prices, even though the rise will be slower, buyers whose incomes remain the same will not be able to afford the homes they may wish to purchase. When mortgage rates start to rise that will add to the challenge. Realtor.com thinks that affordability will decrease 5-10% in 2015.
4. Mortgage Rates Will Rise
This is inevitable. Those who are sitting on the fence need to start looking now before rates rise and affordability decreases. Freddie Mac predicts a rise to a 4.5% interest rate this year, while others (like the Mortgage Bankers Association) predict rates will hit 5% by the end of the year.
Market stabilization should generate more inventory as we settle into calmer housing waters, as sellers realize the price frenzy is now over and there is no longer a need to wait and see if prices will continue to jump exponentially. Buyers who have been considering a home purchase will likely jump off the fence to do so before interest rates rise – which they will. The slowing down of price jumps could be a big benefit to the market as a whole, bringing us back to a much more “normal,” thus safer-feeling market.