BOB SPARKS AND DAWN SING - C21 GOLD TEAM - BEACH AND COASTAL HOMES
PROFESSIONAL REAL ESTATE SERVICES / COASTAL LIVING
Torrey Pines - La Jolla - Pacific Beach - Mission Beach - Ocean Beach - Sunset Cliffs - Mission Bay Bay Park - Point Loma - Downtown - Little Italy - Gaslamp - Marina - East Villiage - Coronado - Imperial Beach ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Customers First. Award Winning Experiances. Always.
Great Value in the UCSD Student Friendly UTC area of La Jolla. Priced at $225,000 to $245,000 end unit home features all new paint, new flooring and fixtures and plenty of natural lighting. Verano is located in La Jolla Colony close to parks, shopping, school and beaches. Active lifestyle grounds include lush landscaping, cybernet cafe, pool, gym and covered parking.
Our take on a recent real estate report. – SDAR has reported that the price of a single-family home increased 14 percent — from $360,000 to $410,000 — between February 2012 and February 2013. This marks the first time in two years that the median price of a house in the San Diego region crossed the $400,000 level.
We see this trend continuing with the resulting equity gains causing more and more sellers to decide that it’s finally time to make that move they have been putting off. Because most of these sellers will also be buyers making an up or down move this will probably not result in market flooding or put any real downward pressure on pricing.
For buyers it is still critical to be pre-approved for financing as it’s a super competitive market for quality homes in all price ranges.
If you have been wondering what your home would sell for in this market or if you want to get prepared to buy give us a call. We are ready to help!
“A picture is worth a thousand words”. This adage is universally known to be true, a proven concept that is practised in the marketing of virtually every product or service we buy.
Top restaurants understand that the presentation of a meal is almost as important as the food itself. Fashion designers use glamorous models to sell their apparel, the travel industry makes us long for a vacation, the auto industry a new car. From the beverage you drink to the soap you use, you can bet that the company selling it is investing tremendous time, thought and money into the images that form our initial impression.
It is a basic concept that to successfully compete in any market, selling any product, you must first attract customers. Attract enough customers and the demand for the product increases. Generate enough demand and the product becomes more valuable. Simple idea, right?
Strangely, very few real estate professionals seem to understand the power of imagery in the marketing and sale of homes. Our multiple listing service is filled with homes for sale featuring only a single photo, often an unbelievably bad photo. Agents using cell phone cameras to snap a blurry shot of cars in a driveway with the trash cans lined up in front of the house or a kitchen full of dirty dishes, towels on bathroom floors, toilet seats up, TV’s on, people in the picture (often the agent themselves in the classic bathroom mirror shot) all shot with bad equipment, in bad lighting, from bad angles by bad photographers, it’s so common it’s a cliche!
Why then, do sellers not demand a better marketing plan for their homes? Why would any seller settle for this inexcusably bad service? The answer can only be a lack of knowledge on the importance of a good marketing plan.
The video below will provide some good tips to anyone getting ready to sell their home. Additionally, here are a few quick things to consider when choosing an agent to sell your home.
•Photos taken by a professional using a high end DSLR camera result in significantly higher selling price. Source-WSJ
•Listings featuring fewer than six photographs are not syndicated to many real estate websites.
•90% of home buyers begin the shopping process online. Source-NAR
The agent and the marketing plan you choose will have a significant impact on your ultimate sales price. Choose wisely.
About us: Dawn Sing is a full time Realtor with a background in professional photography. Bob Sparks has been recognized by Realtor.com for his expertise in online real estate marketing.
It’s a growing problem in the northern Pacific Ocean and one that could change life on our planet within the next 20 years.
“I remember the first time I felt it; I was paddling out on my surfboard and noticed a mushy, plastic-like substance sliding through my fingers. That’s what started my obsession with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” says charity fundraiser and environmentalist Veronica Grey. “The patch is located between Hawaii and California in the northern Pacific Ocean, where millions of small bits of plastic have gathered in a vortex of ocean currents known as a gyre.”
As someone with ample experience raising awareness for worthy causes, Grey paired her professional skills with her personal passion for the ocean, creating the award-winning documentary “Aqua Seafoam Shame,” (www.Pacific-TV.com), which spotlights the mess in the ocean that has garnered precious little media attention, she says.
“Fifteen years ago The Patch was the size Texas, but now it’s the size of the continental United States,” says Grey, who used her iPhone to shoot the documentary, which features renowned scientists, journalists and environmentalists.
Plastic in the ocean has far-reaching implications that, if not addressed within 20 years, could change life on this planet, she says. To date, 177 species of sea life are known to ingest plastic; other species feed on those creatures, extending the chain of damage.
“People eat the seafood that eats plastic, and the planet gets its rain from the oceans, which are being polluted at an exponential rate,” she says. “We use significantly more of our planet’s surface as a dump than for growing food; this has to change.”
To begin addressing plastics pollution, Grey encourages people to use alternatives:
• Americans buy 2 million bottles of water every five minutes; ditch plastic bottles and use glass or recyclable cans.
• Carry a cost-effective canvas bag instead getting disposable plastic bags at the grocery store. We waste 10 billion plastic bags every week!
• Do not line your trash cans with plastic bags. Use paper bags or nothing.
• Skip the lid on your to-go drinks. The paper cup is normally recyclable but the lid usually isn’t.
• Remember that each and every time you flush; it all ends up in the ocean. Be mindful of what you toss in your toilet!
Veronica Grey is an award-winning author and filmmaker. A graduate of UCLA, she is a regular contributor to TV stations across the country and is the recipient of the 2011 New Media award from the Pare Lorentz Film Festival. “Aqua Seafoam Shame” is a critically acclaimed documentary that explores the diagnosis that 25 percent of our planet’s surface is now a landfill, due to the Pacific garbage patch and plastics.
With spring break right around the corner, many are beginning to think about their next vacation—and their bank account.
It turns out planning a vacation is good for both your spirit and your finances. Taking a vacation is something everyone should do because it helps you relax and get away from day-to-day chores. The key is planning in advance so you know all of your expenses are covered without creating new debt or other financial obligations.
BMO Harris Bank suggests four steps to make taking a vacation possible in 2013:
Create a vacation budget. The first step is deciding how much you want to spend on your vacation. Is it a weekend getaway or a weeklong excursion? You need to know how much travel, lodging, a rental car, dining and entertainment will cost. You can then divide it up between the months until your vacation to give you a ballpark figure for how much you need to save.
Open a separate vacation savings account. This allows you to watch your money grow and also keep you less tempted to spend it on other expenses. To make saving even easier, you can use an auto savings program to transfer a predetermined amount of money at set times during the month from your checking to savings account.
Save a portion of your tax refund. Also consider saving any work bonuses, gift money and even the loose change you have in your wallet or pockets at the end of the day. Many people are surprised that even small amounts can quickly add up.
Try a one week spending fast. Once a month, try spending as little as possible over the course of one week. For example, don’t spend money on coffee, lunch, going to the movies or happy hour with your coworkers. Instead, take that money and put it in your vacation savings account.
BMO Harris Bank
By John Voket
February is Responsible Pet Owner’s Month, so as a pet lover, I will devote a few segments in the coming weeks to taking the best care of your pet while keeping your home free of the damage, stains and smells pets may provide, along with all that wonderful companionship.
The LaRue Team, an architectural firm in Austin, Texas, recently shared great advice from Laura Foster-Bobroff, providing a few pointers on taking better care of your home while exhibiting responsible pet ownership at the same time.
According to Foster-Bobroff, the most common by-product of pet ownership is a ruined floor. Pet urine flowing between floorboards can cause wood to warp if left unchecked.
She advises you wipe up “accidents” immediately and monitor wandering puppies. A puddle allowed to remain on the floor will seep and eventually be absorbed by the flooring and sub-flooring.
An animal will return to the same place to "go" again and again. To prevent this, Foster-Bobroff says use odor-neutralizing products to clean up, discourage repeat behavior, and limit an untrained puppy to areas where cleanup is easy– like tiled kitchen floors.
Foster-Bobroff knows crating an animal is a popular training method, but galvanized metal crates are not waterproof. Water bowls in crates can also spill over or leak and often creating a chemical reaction between the wood floor and metal.
Even small spills disturb finish on wood floors, cause stains, or degrade grout between tiles. For crate training or "free range" pets, a mat under food and water bowls can prevent minor damage.
Finally, large dogs with large nails can do deep damage to flooring. So Foster-Bobroff says keep nails trimmed regularly to prevent small scrapes in the surface coating of wood flooring.
She says over time, the constant scraping of nails as they run back and forth between rooms will dull and wear away floor finish, especially in some pre-manufactured materials with thinner coatings.
In our next segment on the subject, we’ll fetch you a few more tips on keeping your pet from damaging windows, doors and appliances.
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes was virtually unchanged in February with a one-point decline to 46 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released recently.
“Following solid gains over the past year, builder confidence has essentially leveled out and held in the same three-point range over the last four months,” notes NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “This is partly due to ongoing uncertainties about job growth and consumer access to mortgage credit, but it’s also a reflection of the fact that builders are now confronting rising costs for building materials and, in some markets, limited availability of labor and lots as demand for new homes strengthens.”
“Having risen strongly in 2012, the HMI hit a slight pause in the beginning of this year as builders adjusted their expectations to reflect the pace at which consumers are moving forward on new-home purchases,” observes NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The index remains near its highest level since May of 2006, and we expect home building to continue on a modest rising trajectory this year.”
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
Holding above the critical mid-point of 50 for a third consecutive month, the HMI component gauging current sales conditions fell by a single point to 51 in February. Meanwhile, the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months rose by one point, to 50, and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers slipped four points, to 32.
Three-month moving averages for each region’s HMI score were mixed in February, with the Northeast up three points to 39 and the West up four points to 55 and the Midwest and South each down two points, to 48 and 47, respectively.
HMI tables can be found at www.nahb.org/hmi.
For more information on housing statistics, visit http://www.housingeconomics.com/.
By Barbara Pronin
According to tax experts at Kiplinger Personal Finance, there are five legitimate tax deductions taxpayers frequently overlook. Consider these, which can save you a bundle if they apply:
Important reminder on how to utilize home warranties: If you purchased a home with us you have a home warranty plan in place for the first year of ownership that protects you in the event you need repairs from a plumber, electrician, heating and air tech or just about any other trade professional. For one low deductible (about $60 in most cases) you can have a licensed professional repair or replace appliances or fixtures that have failed. The most important thing to remember is that you have to schedule repairs through the home warranty company, do not call repair person direct to schedule. For more information or if you need help with this just give us a call.