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Pet Safety Tips as You Deck the Halls

December 13, 2018

Time to deck the halls for the holidays but remember to keep pet safety in mind, so the most wonderful time of the year doesn’t go to the dogs, or rather the vet. 

Holiday decorations can pose safety hazards for your cat or dog so County Animal Services has nine tips on how to protect your pets so you can keep the happy in your holidays.

  • Keep pets away from mistletoe, holly or poinsettias. They are toxic to animals.
  • Chocolate can be toxic, so keep stockings out of reach and any chocolate cookies you might leave out for Santa.
  • Anchor your Christmas tree so pets can’t tip it over. If you’ve used anything but tap water for the base of the tree, make sure they can’t drink it.
  • Cats love to play with tinsel and curling ribbon but then they’ll try to eat it. Prevent a trip to the vet and keep both tinsel and curling ribbon away from cats or don’t use it at all.
  • Hide electrical cords from your pets and make sure they can’t play with or knock over any candles.
  • Set aside a quiet room. Many dogs and cats get overwhelmed with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. A quiet room allows them to escape and sleep undisturbed.
  • Ringing in the New Year? Your dog needs a quiet, secure place on New Year’s Eve. The loud booms from fireworks can scare dogs. Some will do anything to escape the noise; they’ll run for miles and become lost. Create a safe place where they can hide out from the explosive sounds of the New Year and make sure your dog is wearing identification, just in case.
  • Microchip both dogs and cats. They might slip out the door unnoticed while you’re busy greeting holiday visitors. If someone finds your lost pet or pets, a vet’s office or shelter can scan for a microchip and you’ll quickly be reunited. Animal Services offers microchipping Tuesday through Sunday. The fee is $10 and includes national registration.
  • Use your computer or smartphone and sign up for Finding Rover. This free service uses facial recognition to identify dogs and cats. If your pet gets lost, Finding Rover has the photo on file for anyone who may find him.
By Tracy DeFore, County of San Diego Communications Office
 

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

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The Essentials

December 6, 2018

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

 

Real Estate At A Glance :: November 2018

November 29, 2018

Local Market Update - San Diego County - Real Estate
Real estate is about location, location, location . . .  If you have questions about the market in your specific area, please contact me via email or call 619-888-2117.

 

If the last few months are an indication of the temperature of housing markets across the country, a period of relative calm can be expected during the last three months of the year. A trend of market balance is emerging as we approach the end of 2018. Prices are still rising in most areas, and the number of homes for sale is still low, but there is a general shrinking of year-over-year percentage change gaps in sales, inventory and prices.

Stock markets experienced an October setback, but that does not necessarily translate to a decline in the real estate market. The national unemployment rate has been below 4.0 percent for three straight months and during five of the last six months. This is exceptional news for industries related to real estate. Meanwhile, homebuilder confidence remains positive, homeownership rates have increased in the key under-35 buyer group and prices, though still rising, have widely reduced the march toward record highs.

NOTE:  This month, I am providing you with the Local Market Update from October 2018 (latest data) and the November 28th San Diego Union Tribune article on the local real estate market (see below). 

 

 

A Coronado home in mid-November. (K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

 

 

A ‘swing toward buyers’? San Diego resale home prices slow

By Phillip Molnar,  San Diego Union Tribune – November 27, 2018

Existing home prices in September for the San Diego metropolitan area increased 4 percent in a year, the lowest in the West, said the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released Tuesday.

Among the 20 areas covered by the index, San Diego’s increase was the fourth lowest and below the national increase of 5.5 percent. The last time San Diego’s annual growth was lower was August 2012.

Price increases throughout the nation have slowed in recent months, with analysts mainly attributing declines to rising mortgage interest rates. Sixteen of the 20 areas studied showed smaller annual price gains.

The indices evaluate home prices by more than just price, tracking repeat sales of identical single-family houses as they turn over through the years. It is a favorite of economists, who use it to get a more complete view of the market instead of just the median home price.

Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia, said San Diego had been increasing above the national average for years and outpacing wages. She said it would have been tough to maintain that price growth and it’s important to remember the region’s costs are still above much of the nation.

“Prices are still really high,” she said of the San Diego market. “It is healthier when you have price growth that is more manageable. When you look at 4 percent year-over-year price growth, that’s more in line with wage growth.”

Young said in addition to rising mortgage rates, she thought buyers were also sensing weakness in the market and possibly holding off on jumping on anything — like they were a few months ago.

The median price of a resale single-family home in San Diego County was $615,000 in September, CoreLogic said. At the end of September last year, the interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan was 3.97 percent, said Mortgage News Daily. It was 4.78 percent at the end of this September.

That means the monthly cost for a resale home has increased in a year by $294 a month.

Las Vegas had the highest annual price gains in the nation at 13.5 percent. It was followed by San Francisco at 9.9 percent and Seattle at 8.4 percent. The lowest price gains were New York City at 2.6 percent and Washington, D.C., at 2.9 percent.

Los Angeles metro area annual home prices increased 5.5 percent, also a reduction from major price gains in the past few years.

Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, wrote in an email that the home market was becoming more balanced among buyers and sellers.

“There are already signs the market is beginning to swing toward buyers,” he wrote. “Inventory is up after almost four years of uninterrupted declines, especially in formerly red-hot and pricey West Coast markets, and price cuts are becoming more frequent.”

Trulia research showed the San Diego metropolitan area had the most price reductions — 20.5 percent — of the 100 biggest metro areas in the United States so far this year (as of October). It tied with Tampa, which also saw 20.5 percent of homes with a price cut.

* * *

S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices for September 2018

Yearly increases by city

Las Vegas — 13.5 percent

San Francisco — 9.9 percent

Seattle — 8.4 percent

Denver — 7.3 percent

Phoenix — 7.2 percent

Tampa — 6.7 percent

Detroit — 6.3 percent

Minneapolis — 6 percent

Atlanta — 5.7 percent

Los Angeles — 5.5 percent

Charlotte — 5.2 percent

Cleveland — 5.2 percent

Portland — 5.1 percent

Boston — 5 percent

Miami — 4.6 percent

Dallas — 4.3 percent

San Diego — 4 percent

Chicago — 3 percent

Washington, D.C. — 2.9 percent

New York — 2.6 percent

National — 5.5 percent

 

How to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

November 27, 2018

 

 

Wondering how to sell your home during the holidays? While putting your home on the market between winter celebrations, school vacations, and looming family visits might seem like miserable timing, sellers could actually benefit by using this period strategically to show and sell their place.

Here’s why: Many home sellers take a holiday hiatus until the New Year—and that could mean that your house may suddenly become a hot commodity. Plus, if buyers are truly squeezing in home showings between shopping trips and holiday recitals, you know they must be serious.

So if you’re ready to put up a “For Sale” sign under the cheery glow of your holiday lights, go right ahead! Here’s some advice on how to sell your home during the holidays.

Deck your halls…

A little mistletoe will likely help rather than hurt… but don’t go overboard.

Throw a party

Yes, you have a to-do list that stretches from here until Valentine’s Day. But consider squeezing in the time to host a holiday party anyway. This can be a great way to showcase your house to friends, family, and neighbors. Chances are that at least one person at the party is looking for a new home, or knows someone who is.

Preheat your oven

It’s wonderful for potential buyers to walk into a home that smells of fresh-baked cookies, sweets, and holiday cakes. You can sweeten them up a tad more by leaving a plate of treats out for them to enjoy.

Don’t encourage thieves

Although most people are wishing peace on Earth and goodwill, not everybody will take that message to heart. So, play it safe and don’t leave gifts (particularly expensive ones) under a holiday tree during a showing. Consider leaving empty decorative boxes instead.

Let your house shine

The days have never been darker or shorter, so to ensure your house gives off a warm, comfy vibe replace some of your lights with brighter bulbs to add more light for evening showings.

Give a little

As in, give a little more time than you might if you were selling at a different, less frenetic time of year. Be prepared to let people into your home even when it’s not convenient for you. Everyone doesn’t celebrate the same holidays, so you may be asked to show on days you normally wouldn’t want to.

Use bad weather in your favor

If it’s raining, have umbrellas handy for people to look at outside areas. (shoe covers by the front door are a nice touch).

Pour yourself a glass of eggnog and relax

 

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Looking to buy a home during the holidays? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

Moving sucks. Ex-Qualcomm engineers build AI startup Yembo to help

November 15, 2018

Yembo co-founders Siddharth Mohan (left) and Zach Rattner, with team. (Eduardo Contreras / San Diego Union-Tribune)

 

 

Tech startup founded by two ex-Qualcomm engineers has created software to make moving to a new home a little less stressful — and hopefully a little cheaper.

The company, called Yembo, is tackling one of the most common complaints surrounding moving companies: the price customers pay is rarely the price they were first quoted. Yembo’s co-founder Zach Rattner said one moving company he studied was charging customers up to 40 or 50 percent more than their initial quotes.

While customers feel like moving companies are intentionally pulling bait and switch tactics, Rattner said it’s more likely a lack of resources for movers.

“The home services industry is stuck in the 1980s when it comes to technology,” Rattner said. It costs time and money to send a human estimator to a home or business to assess a job. Instead, moving companies often give quotes over the phone, which can be wildly inaccurate when the final bill arrives.

The whole house-scanning process takes about 9 minutes on average for a three-bedroom property. Plus, it doesn’t require movers to survey properties on nights and weekends, nor does it require customers to rearrange their work schedules to accommodate a visit from the mover.

The concept has been popular with moving companies, Rattner said, with about 35 customers on a waitlist to use the software. After doing a soft launch in May, Yembo signed on three paying customers that collectively pushed 2,000 users to the site. For now, moving companies pay a monthly fee to use the software-as-a-service, and rates vary depending on the number of estimates the company conducts. Rattner said the company is using their feedback to polish the software before a wider launch.

Before Yembo’s launch, Rattner and his co-founder Siddharth Mohan were working together in Qualcomm’s innovation department, specializing in writing code for artificial intelligence. In their world there was lots of “sexy” technology companies. While entrepreneurship was alluring, Rattner said they had no interest in joining a crowded market of AI startups.

“We wanted to find an industry that wouldn’t fall into the popular and sexy AI realm,” Rattner said. “No self-driving cars or drones. Instead, we wanted to find a market that would never see this technology coming. And by the time people realize the opportunity… we’ll already be done.”

Founded in 2016, Yembo has raised $1 million from some high-profile investors, including Steve Altman, the former president of Qualcomm, and Arjun Bansal, the co-founder of Nervana Systems, an AI startup that sold to Intel for $400 million. Just last month, Yembo won $20,000 in San Diego’s largest startup competition — Quick Pitch — for taking second place and winning a bonus check for being the audience favorite.

The company employs 28 people worldwide, including eight at its San Diego headquarters at 6540 Lusk Blvd.

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

Choosing A Neighborhood

November 8, 2018

 

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Are you thinking of buying a new home? Do you know someone who is ready to graduate from renting to homeownership? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

Scary Real Estate Stories: The House Is Vacant, But Someone’s Home…

October 31, 2018

 

Credit: lynette

Credit: Lynette

 

By: Realtor.org

 

The Halloween decorations have already been up in my neighborhood for about a week, announcing that the season for spine-tingling ghost stories has arrived.

To get in the spirit, we asked real estate professionals to share their creepiest stories from the field. Your clients may not want to know what’s lurking out there — at least until All Hallows’ Eve has passed — but these real estate tales of terror could be fun to share with colleagues, friends, and family during this spooky time.

 

  • “I always make a habit of knocking or ringing the doorbell, even if the house is vacant. My clients and I were standing on the porch as I rang the doorbell of a vacant house, and we all distinctly heard “Who is it?” in a gruff little old lady’s voice. We all looked at each other. I asked if they heard it, and they nodded their heads up and down. We went in and checked out the house (and all the closets) but found no one. We didn’t make an offer, needless to say.” —Barry Long, EverStar Realty, Kennewick, Wash.
  • “Years ago, I had a listing that the seller said was haunted by a young boy. When my article came out in the newspaper for advertisement of the new listing, there was a young, dark figure of a boy standing in the doorway in the picture.” —Julie Beltran, Premier Real Estate, Tulare, Calif.
  • “I had a client a couple years ago who was eccentric, to say the least. Every time I showed him a house and we got to the basement, he would make a comment about how many bodies he could hide in it. Pretty nice guy, though.” —Chase Adams, 1st Rate Realty, LLC, Franklin, Pa.
  • “I was showing a home this past spring and as we were coming down from the walk-up attic, the door slammed in my face. I pretended that it was no big deal, but I was instantly unsettled and couldn’t wait to leave.” —Jane Johnson, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, Jackson, Mich.
  • “An agent I know had a listing whose owner kept taking it off the market (then back on, then off again) because, she claimed, the ghost of her deceased husband was telling her to do so.” —Sara Minshull, Redfin, Aliquippa, Pa.
  • “I was showing a home built in the 1800s. The kitchen was actually located in the basement. When I went to get the lockbox key, my client told me that the door to the basement/kitchen was unlocked, so we went ahead and went in that way. We pulled the door closed behind us but didn’t touch any locking mechanisms. We proceeded to preview the home. We decided to exit the same way we came in, but when we went to open the door, it was locked. That creeped us all out, so we ran upstairs and fortunately were able to get out of the back door.” —Beth Baldwin, GRI, ABR, Virginia Capital Realty, Richmond, Va.
  • “I showed a house once, and the only things in the house were two boxes in a bedroom closet — each box containing the ashes of the owners. Pretty creepy.” —Caroline Blankfort, William Raveis Baer & McIntosh, Nyack, N.Y.

Consider me your #1 resource for all things Real Estate! Household changing? Getting married (or divorced)? Time for a change of scenery or job relocation? Want to invest? Just send me an email or call 619-888-2117 – I can help.

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