Category Archives: General Interest

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SELLING YOUR HOME WITHOUT AN AGENT! THINK AGAIN!

Did you wake up this morning and decide you wanted to see your own home??  Have you heard horrific stories regarding Real Estate Agents and how all they want is to “cash the check”?  Are you considering putting a sign out on your lawn and seeing where that takes you in this low inventory market?  You might want to rethink this decision!!!

There are LOTS of good agents!  We frankly are right at the top of that criteria!  We handle transactions for beginning to end!  Ourselves!  We protect you from scary legal issues and once that new owner has the keys you can feel secure that all went perfectly.  Well we make it seamless!  A home purchase is one of the biggest transactions for a buyer.  No matter the price range!  The representation of a professional far outweighs the benefits of selling your own home!  These are the days of getting sued for “anything” by “anyone”!  A home seller just cannot know all the ins and outs of what a transaction entails!  When we present a client their complete care is our main focus!  We put your needs over our own every time!

Two normal people dealing with a sale.  No problems!  WRONG!  The owner or seller may have no clue as to what the real value of their property is.  They merrily go on Zillow and if they like what they see that’s “their price”.  If not they count on the home that just sold down the street and come up with that sales price.  Not considering that unless that home is EXACTLY like theirs this won’t work!  If they go with Zillow they most likely have a better chance of getting discovered by Brad Pitt for his next movie than to get that price.  Sellers are just not familiar with APPRAISALS!  I go to every appraisal armed with a report of the SOLDS in the neighborhood.  First of us all is “like for Like”.  Then I figure houses that have sold for less and for more and compare those to our listed property and adjust.  YES, appraisers can talk to me and truly do appreciate the work I help them with!  We do everything we can for the LENDER as he is HOLDING THE MONEY!

Don;’t even get me started on disclosures!  We as agents are held to a higher standard because we have licenses to protect!  Agents know how crucial it is to disclose, disclose, disclose!  Not to scare the buyers but to protect them and the sellers for any future problems!  YOU DIDN’T TELL ME YOU HAD A ROOF LEAK!!!Finding a Home Inspector is easy – finding a really good one – well that takes experience!  My partner goes to every inspection and “knows stuff”!  He can interpret issues professionally and knows what can be a problem and what isn’t.  Knowing the difference between a GFIC and a hot wired outlet is pretty important!

I could go on and on but too much for a single blog.  Neighborhoods, Schools, Parks, Shopping, STAGING, Marketing and so much more!  We do this every day!  A seller may have never left his block!  Hire an agent.  Interview a few!  Get client reviews!  Selling a home is like having a “short term” relationship while your home is on the market.  Hiring someone you like and trust can be a great experience!  And besides that you get the best price and terms on your sale.  Peace of mind is priceless!

 


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WORLD HOUSING AGENTS OF CHANGE!

 

I was introduced to World Housing yesterday at a company meeting.  Being in the Real Estate Sales business we sometimes loose the fact that the homes we are selling are hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.  We sit in our homes, in our favorite chairs with our children or pets by our side, and we stress about the silly things that happened today.  The story of World Housing Communities tugged at my hear and I decided that I needed and wanted to get involved.

World Housing Communities believes that safe, secure housing is a right that everyone deserves.  They travel the world to find inspiring, lasting community building partners and work with them to do what they are great at doing.  The company I represent has made a commitment to get involved with this amazing and heart tugging project.  A new home means a new start and the beginning of a life with safety, security and stability.  Things that most of us have worked for and obtained in our lives!  Stating copy from their information – what grows from this is restoration of dignity and hope for the future.  Communities begin to thrive, bringing up a new generation of healthy, educated and inspired leaders for their community.

It does take a village to build a village, and I believe that because Tijuana is at our back door we can relate to helping even more.  We will be able to “literally” see the results of our help and contributions.  We can change lives!  I just wanted to share my recent experience and will continue reporting as this project grows.  I feel lucky that I have my life,m my clients, my friends and family!  I now have a new focus and a new community to be involved with and help to thrive.  Let me know if you have questions regarding the Tijuana Project.  Check out World Housing web site!  You’ll be glad you did!


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HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND SAYING GOOD BY TO 2016!

We can’t say it hasn’t been an interesting year!  We as San Diego Coastal Homes have been blessed with having an amazing real estate year!  We couldn’t be more grateful for all our wonderful clients and the adventures we have gone thru with them!  Every home buying experience is an adventure!  Every home sale is a bit emotional and we navigate through the waters.   Understanding that a persons home is special and important to that seller!!    We try really hard to make transactions stress free as possible as purchasing a home should be a joyous and exciting time!  We have forged ahead with resolving foundation questions, truss cutting issues, and WHY WHY do people even think about cutting into trusses???  Termites eating their way from the ground up.  First time we had encountered subterranean termites.  Then we encountered it again!!!   Closing a transaction with clients that do NOT use the internet — driving for hours to make sure forms were property understood and signed.   People think this is an easy job – NOPE!  Yet what makes it easy is dealing with the wonderful clients we have and at the end knowing that we have served them well!!  I always try to do more than needed.  I am grateful that is more than appreciated!

The world is at an interesting time!  We seem to be regressing instead of going forward in how mankind treats each other.  So all we can do is be on the “winning” side and appreciate our country, our amazing veterans and service people that have kept and are keeping us safe, and that there is still more good than bad in the world!  Our election turned into a true reality show with many not liking either choice which is really sad.  Our foreign policy is dismal.  Everyday there is another disaster.   But the best way is to work together and instead of complaining try to do our best to make a difference.  Getting involved with some charity or organization that is meaningful to you.  I’m all about Veterans and hopefully can get more involved in 2017!

Of course every year is the same resolution – but this year I am going to TRY really hard to stay fit and healthy and stay away from life’s “noise”.  As a customer service expert I have to still focus on all that the profession of real estate brings – good and bad.  But to realize that all I can do is what I can do and that all the things I stress about are fixable!  It’s tough to be all about CLIENT SATISFACTION!  But no matter what it’s still my number one priority!!!   So HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WELCOME 2017!!!  We’re ready!


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HOME SELLING DECLUTTERING!

At almost every Listing Presentation we are asked the same question.  Can you go thru our home and let us know what we need to do to make it more sale friendly?  Fortunately I am fairly good at this process and after many years feel completely comfortable assuring an owner that it’s NOT them or their home that is a problem it’s the premise that we are “selling space”!  Don’t get me wrong many homes are almost 100% “sale ready” but most are not.   When you have to navigate your way around furniture in a room the space has shrunk considerably!

We go thru life with large work out machines in our bedrooms, our family rooms, even the garage.  YES the garage can be a possibility but unless you are literally selling a GYM that machine in the bedroom needs to go!  I know it works well for hanging clothes on the handles of the Treadmill but after you “clean out” that closet you’ll have lots of spare room.   Another trick that’s a problem is stuffing everything in a closet that when opened will spill out at  buyer’s feet who is innocently looking at the closet space.  Not such a good idea.  And it has happened!  Having a pantry that is over run by expired cans of soup, yes again has happened.    If you really think about it clutter is a giant scream of chaos calling out to you.  Most of us (including me) just don’t think of decluttering  and organizing unless we are forced.  When you are getting ready to market your home it’s the forcing time!

Just take a good look from room to room and then start the process.  Do the dogs really need a dog bed in “every room”.  Remember when you go to your new home those beds can come out.  Is your coffee table stacked with books, magazine, candles, bowls.   Let me show you how you can make it a piece of art.  Are your kitchen counters piled high with spices, storage jars, vinegar etc.  It looks great to the home chef but those buyers that use their oven to store sweaters won’t “get it”.

So if you are ready to put your home on the market or just thinking about it all it , all it takes is one phone call to us and we truly can help!  Some clients that I just closed escrow with actually thanked me for showing them the tricks to make their “bed” look nicer.  Things that I take for granted as a professional can be hard for a client that is not into home decor!  We’re only a phone call away!   san-diego-coastal-homes.com


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NORTH PARK SAN DIEGO FUTURE

I happen to LOVE North Park!  I’m also fond of South Park, University Heights, and Golden Hills.  I truly believe these neighborhoods are the future “favorite picks”  for home buyers!  Because I sell Residential Real Estate I am fortunate enough to explore areas of San Diego aside from coastal where I live.  I am empowered to be able to actually recommend to clients the areas that I believe are “on fire” (not literally)!!  Great areas to purchase a home under that 1 million dollar price range that it taking over many desired markets in our city.    Carlsbad is still hanging in there with good homes for under 1 million, North Parks younger and slightly “less urban” zip codes.  Carlsbad with its four zips of planned communities with one coastal area offers great family homes with fabulous schools.  It is truly appreciated by young families or retirees lucky enough to gobble up the single level homes.  But if you are urban minded!  Then areas of North and South Park are where to go!!!

I’m interested in the “future of North Park” because I think its a great area but also as a zip code to greatly promote to buyers.  Voted in 2012 as one of America’s HIPPEST neighborhoods by Forbes Magazine the years have done nothing but make it “hipper”.  The community of 45,728 is expected to grow to 70,000 in the next 20 years according to City documents.  This does make a community cringe!  The North Park Community Planning Committee is trying hard to encourage affordable housing as well as plan for that crop of “millennials” that is always talked about.  The committee hopes that this buying demographic will “not have cars” and my thoughts are that I have many friends in that age group and they all have cars.  Unless they can move the beaches, the bay,  the shopping malls etc. its going to be good luck to that parameter.  YES we all Uber and Lyft these days but not to go to work or to spend a day at the beach!  Planning to build future housing developments without appropriate parking is a “pipe” dream.  Developers have to minimize their profit and any new developments will have to include parking garages or underground parking like downtown.  The rumors of studios or single room buildings as builders know this zip code brings in top dollar – but parking in this area already congested is a MUST!

Regardless of everything these are amazing neighborhoods where you still feel that community spirit.  Where individual business owners can still open a coffee shop and not be surrounded by Starbucks.  Where you can walk down 30th street on a warm night and see restaurants, breweries, taverns full of customers spilling out to sidewalks and mingling with other customers.  I look forward to the future of North Park continuing to offer what I think is a “very special” slice of our city!

 

 

 


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SAN DIEGO HOUSING PRICES ON UPSWING!

Latest Real Estate VERY good news is that the San Diego housing market is still well positioned.  Scary as it seems we are literally outpacing national trends in sales!  The median home price in San Diego is now $475,000- obviously differs from zip code to zip code.  Its predicted we will have an increase in the next year if inventory continues to be low. However will be somewhat slower than this past year.  Great news for sellers – and good news for buyers as interest rates are never going to be this low again!  San Diego is literally the second highest market in affordability actually higher than Los Angeles.  Yes San Diego Housing prices are on an upswing!!!

Buyers need to BE READY to pull the trigger!!!  The right agent as well as the right “lender” will make the buying experience smooth in this high pace market.  If you talk to a lender that is NOT going to have the loan underwritten and funded locally RUN the other direction.  Getting pre approved by a credible lender goes miles in a market of “multiple offers”.  If you need a recommendation I have a great one!  Make this Real Estate experience one that as a buyer you have the upper hand in a highly competitive marketplace!

 

 

 

 


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Pork Chop With Romano Sauce

There is a wonderful restaurant here in North County that serves chicken with an amazing sauce.  I asked for the recipe but only got as far as the “ingredients”.  So I played around and came pretty darn close.  I used it with pork chops instead of chicken and it turned out really well.  The key is “arrowroot” as that is how I thickened it without using so much butter that an ambulance would show up at the door.  The sauce makes enough for chicken the next day.

FIXINGS:

  • 4 Pork Chops
  • 2 tablespoons – more or less olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Garlic chopped
  • 1 whole shallot – chopped
  • sprinkle of chili flakes
  • White cooking wine
  • Stalk of Rosemary – chopped  (NOT TOO MUCH)
  • 1/4 or so butter
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Juice of half lemon – more or less (TASTE when cooking)
  • Salt and Pepper – I use Lawry’s for both
  • Arrowroot for thickening

PREPARATION

Heat medium pot on medium heat.  Add olive oil and heat well — then add and sautee garlic and shallots until softened.  Add sprinkle of Chili flakes and rosemary- cook for about minute.  Add white wine, reduce and simmer.  Add beef and chicken stock, butter and lemon juice to taste.  Season with Lawry’s Salt and Pepper.

In a separate pan heat olive oil and season pork chops with salt and pepper. Cook n pan for 4 minutes on each side.  I use pork chops with bone in as I like their flavor more than boneless.

Pour Sauce over chops.  Add Arrow Root as needed to thicken sauce.  Maybe a tiny bit more butter.

Call 911 –  KIDDING

For the potatoes I just used baby red potatoes — par boiled them will soften .  Then used cast iron skillet and put in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, crushed garlic clove, and threw in potatoes.  When they start sizzling I used potato smasher and smashed them until they turned crispy.  Sprinkled a little Rosemary and smashed some more.  They are amazingly delicious!!!

 

 


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HOME BUYING LIFESTYLE CRITERIA

Home buying criteria is changing with the new crop of home buyers demographic including more young families.  Buying a home in 2016 is much more than what a floor plan or kitchen layout has offers.  Buyers are much more concentrated on “where to live” and “how to live”.  As agents making ourselves familiar with the activities and what neighborhoods have to offer to a buyer gives us a deeper connection to those buyers as well as showing sellers that we “know” their neighborhood!  For example I have gotten to love and know North Park really well though it’s 20 minutes from my office.  It’s all desire and knowledge of the area and market.

As a “lifestyle” agent we are pioneering the path that not only exposes what the “home has to offer” but what the “area has to offer”.  As always schools are important to families, but also quick access to parks, can dogs walk there, where are the soccer fields, the closest BBQ restaurant and so very much more.  I once had a client that HAD to walk to a nail salon.  Took awhile and she had to walk a bit farther- but it happened.

We are lifestyle tour guides and knowing what an area has to offer when a property is being marketed for sale gives us a much larger connection not only to the home but to the lifestyle it offers!


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MIRA MESA CANYON VIEW HOME!

This Mira Mesa Canyon view home is located in neighborhood of Mirador Park on a private and secluded cul de sac lot.  The views of Pesnaquitos Canyon are unbelievable as are the night lights of the homes located on the Canyon hills offering twinkling night lights that go on forever.  In the background you see Black Mountain which is comprised of 2352 acres or Chaparral, Sage covered hills, ridges and canyons.  The hiking trail is 2.5 miles long.  It feels close enough to touch!

High vaulted ceilings and formal living and dining room face you when you enter the home as well as decorative high windows to bring in these views.  There is a bedrooms and full bath on main level perfect for multi generational family living.  Family Room and kitchen offers tumbled oversized tile flooring and the kitchen with Corian counters and updated appliances is neutral and ready for new owners touches.  Views are expansive for both rooms with doors leading out to patio and large yard. There is Marble fireplace in family room for chilly nights watching twinkling night lights.

Upstairs there is large Master Suite with additional sitting area presently used as office.  French doors lead out to designer rod iron framed deck with again amazing views.  Master Bath is bright and light and offers views everywhere!  Walk in closet as well as second closet available.  Two other bedrooms and large full bath are also on upper floor.  Three car garage offers ample storage.

Mira Mesa is one of best located zip codes in San Diego – close to La Jolla, the coast, as well as downtown and the airport.  Enjoy best of San Diego living!