Some Tips for Homebuyers in a Fast-Paced Market

Homes are selling a lot more quickly in the U.S. than they used to. This is obviously great for sellers but if you are a home-buyer in this climate you must be prepared to move very fast to get the home that you really want. I tried finding some useful tips on how to move as quickly as possible so that house you like isn’t already in contract by the time you make an offer.

The first tip is to set up some instantaneous property alerts. You can do this on various websites by giving your preferences along with your name, email, and number. By doing this you can receive alerts by email or text only minutes after a home goes on the market. This can give you the upper hand on seeing the house first and making an offer before anyone else gets there.

Another vital tip is to make sure you get a good agent who knows how to move fast. This might seem like a bit of self-promotion but, whether it’s me or someone else, you will need someone who can act fast and make moves aggressively to get you the house you want!

When the market is as fast paced as it is now sellers can sometimes have so many offers at once that if yours doesn’t stand out as beneficial they will just throw it aside. Therefore, it is important to be prepared to make an aggressive offer. Plan an offer strategy ahead of time with your agent before you get caught up in the emotion of falling in love with a particular home.

Buying a house in a fast-paced real estate market like the one we are in now can be very stressful but the process can be easier when you know what to expect from the process and have a good agent by your side.


Check out the full article here to prepare yourself for your home-buying journey:

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Back to School Time is Here

Sadly, for most, summer is coming to an end. It is that time again for back to school and that time can mean chaos for your home. Usually that means there will be stacks of paper piling up higher and higher as classes start. Here are some ideas I found on Organized Home to make the transition back to school life a whole lot easier:

Kids might be used to staying up a lot later because of the late rising summer schedule but now school is starting that won’t work for long anymore. Instead of changing their bedtime all at once, change it incrementally so that the new bedtime will be an easier transition.

You should create a calendar central in your home. A space specifically designed to keep track of all the school functions, lunch menus, parent-teacher meetings, music lessons, and soccer practices. You can have one big calendar that you can write everything in so it’s all in one place instead of scattered around your house.

Make more thorough plans for your mornings. Mornings during back to school can be some of the most hectic but if you plan ahead of time and even try to do certain prep the night before those chaotic mornings can become so much easier. Try using the launch pad concept where each family member has a dedicated space to put their stuff for the next day. With this method you are bound to have a lot less forgotten books, assignments, lunch money, or permission slips.


Check out the article below for even more tips and some great printable schedules and checklists:

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Crazy and Fun Ideas to Make Your Home Awesome

Happy Friday one and all! Whew. It has been quite a week but we have made it to the weekend. I thought since it’s Friday I would share something fun with everybody to get the weekend off to a good start.

I found an amazingly cool collection of pictures showing some of the craziest home installments I have ever seen. Some of my favorites include the aquarium bed, the swing set table, and the beach desk, a work desk set on top of an indoor sandbox. I love the idea of a backyard cinema with a projector and screen and the staircases that double as bookcases. There are pictures of a see-through bathtub, a backyard office, a balcony pool, and a spiral wine storage that is located under a glass opening in the kitchen floor. One of the scariest ones on the list is a bathroom with a glass floor with an open shaft underneath! You have to see that one.


Check them out and get some of those creative juices flowing for your own home:

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Even Though Rent is Going Up, Homeownership Costs Are Going Down

There has been quite a few headlines recently on the rising rent prices in San Diego but what about those high rents compared to the cost of home owning? Apparently, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the cost of homeownership including mortgage and maintenance expenses has dropped 17.8 percent while renter’s costs have gone up 3 percent. This rise and fall in both prices took place during our Great Recession from 2007-2014. This is a great thing for homeowners whether new or those who stuck it out during the recession but not quite as good news for those who rent and can’t afford the switch to ownership.

Andrew Woo, the Apartment List data science director, said something very interesting about this in the article. Here is the quote:

“This phenomenon may exacerbate inequality in our society as those wealthy enough to invest in real estate benefit from lower interest rates, whereas minorities and younger Americans, hit by rising rents and student debt, risk being locked out of homeownership.”

Although, not all people who rent are unable to afford the switch. Some can afford the switch but are still not taking the big step. Big lifestyle changes are a contributing factor as to why home owning percentages are still lower than they used to be even with the dipping prices. Younger Americans are waiting longer than the previous generations before getting married and having kids. It is far more common, also, to move from city to city than it used to be because of the current job market.


Really interesting stuff! Read the article here:

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Strategies to Save Money When Moving

Moving can be pretty expensive; not in terms of the cost of your new place but the price of the actual moving day. The whole process can be even more expensive as your possessions accumulate and your family grows. I found a great article with strategies on how to make the day so much cheaper.

First of all, go through all your possessions and figure out what you don’t use and sell it. This way you have less stuff to pack up and you make a bit of money off of your move. Use Craigslist for the larger items, eBay for the smaller items, and yard sales or consignment shops for bulk items such as clothing. Once you start thinking you might move then begin saving every sturdy cardboard box you can and keep any old newspapers you come in contact with.

If you can, don’t hire movers. They are very expensive so try asking your friends for help and thank them with pizza and beer. If you have no choice but to hire movers, then you should get as much done as possible before the movers get there. The more done the less they have to do and the less hours of work you have to pay them for. Have everything boxed up and clearly labeled by the time they show up. Lastly, if a utility or service that you pay monthly isn’t essential then cancel it over a month before you move so that you don’t pay for it when you aren’t there.

There you go, those are some good tips for saving some serious cash on moving day. Will you try them out? Let me know how you fare!


Check out the full article here:

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Encinitas to Get New Bike Lanes

When we live in such a beautiful climate we ought to take advantage of it by using multiple forms of transportation! You’d be amazed at how big of an improvement biking or walking to work can make in your health, both emotional and physical. If you are interested in making this life-change then you are in luck. There was a recent discussion about re-striping dozens of Encinitas streets at the Traffic and Public Safety Commission meeting last week.

There was an unanimous decision to make these changes to various streets. Where roads are wide enough there will be a 6-foot-wide bike lane re-striped onto the roads. Where the lanes are not wide enough there will be symbols the commission is calling “sharrows” so the vehicle traffic will know to share the lane with bicyclists. Some of the streets that will be re-striped include Manchester Avenue, both South and North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas Boulevard, and Leucadia Boulevard.

Speaking of Leucadia Boulevard, after the re-striping project was announced there was a hit and run accident including a white SUV and a bicyclist. The incident occurred on Sunday morning around 6:45 am on eastbound Leucadia Boulevard. Thankfully, the bicyclist’s injuries do not appear to be life threatening. It is a good thing that Leucadia will be one of the streets set for re-striping.

I am glad that this decision has been made because as Leslie Goldberg said at the August 8th meeting, “I think in Encinitas we can have it all. We can have bike lanes, accommodate traffic and accommodate packing as well.”


Check out some more information here:

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The 28th Annual Taste of MainStreet Encinitas

The 28th annual Taste of MainStreet is returning for another year of tasty treats and drink samples tomorrow night, Tuesday the 16th. There will be over 30 restaurants participating in the event offering food and drink samples and 15 separate “Sip Stops” offering local wine and craft beer. It doesn’t stop there because there will also be eight venues featuring live music throughout town.

Tickets cost 35 dollars and the event sounds well worth it. The Taste starts at 5:30 pm and goes until 8:30 pm.


Some of the restaurants included in the map: Solace and the Moonlight Lounge, St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro, Chuao Chocolatier, Bier Garden, Encinitas Fish Shop, Sakura Bana, East Village Asian Diner, and so many others.

Some of the “Sip Stops”: Ballast Point Brewing, Danza del Sol Winery, The Lost Abbey, Falkner Winery, Aztec Brewing Company, and a few others.

Live Music at: Encinitas Fish Shop, E Street Eyes, Leucadia Pizzeria, The Lumberyard Courtyard, Pacific Station, Bier Garden, Roxy Restaurant, and Kealani’s.


This will make a prime Tuesday night, make sure you’re there! Don’t miss out.


Get more information about participating restaurants and how to purchase tickets at these two links:

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The Ten Best Beaches in San Diego

We are all aware that San Diego County has some of the best beaches in all of the United States but have you ever wondered which beaches are the best in the county? Well DiscoverSD compiled a list of the top ten best beaches. Can you guess whether any Encinitas beaches made the list? Of course they did! We didn’t only make the list but we took two spots on the top ten list!!!

Our very own Moonlight Beach, located at the end of Encinitas Boulevard, took number six. DiscoverSD described it as one of the best family beaches with its large playground, fire pits, snack bar, and beach volleyball courts.

Our little beach community located within our city borders, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, got the number 1 spot because of its classically breathtaking views and excellent surfing spots.

Here is the full list:

#10: Tourmaline Surfing Park

#9: Solana Beach

#8: Mission Beach

#7: Carlsbad

#6: Moonlight Beach

#5: Silver Strand

#4: Ocean Beach

#3: La Jolla Shores

#2: Coronado Beach

#1: Cardiff-by-the-Sea

Check out the article here for some amazing pictures:

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Looking for Something to Do This Weekend? Have a Dog?

We made it to Thursday and weekend plans are starting to be made. If you have a dog, or just really like dogs, then look no further than the Cardiff Dog Days of Summer event this Saturday, August 13th. This sounds like quite the street fair according to the Encinitas Advocate. This free event will be starting at 10am and going until 6pm taking up Newcastle street, Aberdeen street, and Liverpool street.

The funding for this event is coming from various sponsors including San Diego County and the city of Encinitas. There will be 200 dog-related vendors located up and down the streets even including a pet adoption section led by various rescue groups. Local music artists will be playing throughout the day on a live music stage at the Lost Abbey beer garden. Of course there will be a dog parade and a silent auction along with several dog contests that you could watch or enter. There will be four different dog contests including Cutest Puppy, Best Looking Big Dog, Best Looking Small Dog, and, of course, a Dog and Owner Look-Alike contest! How funny is that last one? Cardiff Animal Hospital will be the “paw protection sponsor” meaning that green turf will be laid out all around the event to ensure the comfort and protection of the doggy’s little feet.

This event definitely sounds like a blast!  I’m sure that it would be such a fun event for the kids. The organizers, Cardiff 101 Main Street, say that they expect the event to draw around 10,000 dogs, family members, and dog-lovers. Whoa, that is quite a crowd. If you don’t already have plans, make sure to check this out!

Also, if you need a ride, there will be a free shuttle leaving from Encinitas City Hall at 505 S. Vulcan!

Get more information here:

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San Diego’s Housing Crisis Hurting the Middle Class

It is common knowledge that San Diego is dealing with a little bit of a housing crisis. KPBS recently did a story on the effect this has had on the middle class in San Diego County. They interviewed experts on the matter and those who wish to fix the issue in any way they can.

The story starts with Guy Chandler’s presentation at the recent San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ meeting. He described the difficulty of his daughter moving away with her family including his grandchildren because they could no longer afford to live in the area. Chandler went on to assert that “droves of young families are leaving the state of California because they can’t afford to live here.”

In an interview, Stephen Russel, the executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation, explained that even though rents have increased by 32% wages have actually decreased by 2%. Pricing is such an issue because of lack of availability of housing. According to the those interviewed in the story any housing that is available is much too expensive for middle income families let alone lower income families.

What can be done about this? It is a comfort that there are people such as Russel who are fighting for solutions to this housing issue. I have trust that those in control in San Diego County will up incentives to build more environmentally friendly and affordable housing so that our families can stay in the area and more families can call this wonderful place home.

Check out the full story, including the video clip and transcription, here:

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