Apocalypse Wow: Total Eclipse

In just three days, the first total eclipse since 1979 will occur. The eclipse will reach complete totality across 12 states in the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. While California may not be on the list for complete totality, San Diego will be able to see almost 60% of the sun covered which is still a big deal. You don’t realize the magnificence of a solar eclipse until a chunk of the sun is missing.

If you’re not entirely sure what this solar eclipse is you’ve been hearing about, it’s pretty rare how often it happens in the world because of the placement of the Earth versus the sun and moon. During the eclipse, the moon passes over the sun and covers it, which causes momentary darkness and a slight drop in temperature. In certain states, the sun will be completely blocked out and they could experience a 10 degree or higher drop in temperature.

For San Diego, the partial total eclipse will begin at 9:07 am. The max coverage will happen at 10:32 am with a 58% coverage, and it will end at 11:46 am. The moon will first appear in the upper left area of the sun and then move across to the lower left. While the movement may seem slow, did you know the moon is actually moving at 2,288 mph?

Make sure you are wearing the proper eye protection if you plan to look at the eclipse at any point. Even a partial eclipse can cause temporary blindness, blurred vision, and damage your retina. When purchasing the special glasses, the item should be labeled ISO standard or ISO 12312-2. Many retailers in San Diego will be selling them, including 7-11.

If you want a VIP viewing, The Fleet in Balboa Park will have a viewing party starting at 9:00 am. They will have astronomers with professional, eclipse-equipped telescopes to see an up-close view of the coverage. NASA will be projecting a live broadcast starting at 8:30 am, which will be playing in the theater screen in The Fleet. The weather forecast predicts there may be a marine layer blocking the sun, so viewing at The Fleet may be your best option to experience the eclipse.

[Photo Credit: NASA.gov]
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Apocalypse Wow: Nuclear Air Filtration Systems

For the first time since the height of the Cold War, more and more people are concerned about a nuclear war. According to bunker businesses, the “off the grid” folk aren’t the only ones preparing for a nuclear disaster. Ordinary people from wealthy to average families are taking precautions.

People are starting to invest in air filtration systems that protect from any air or water contaminants as a result of a nuclear, biological, or chemical attack. Business has been exploding for bunker and safe room companies. Disaster preparation businesses say this is the busiest they’ve been since before the election when there was a concern of a civil outbreak.

These military-grade filters are going for $5,000 to $6,000. In the simplest terms, these systems are basically high-tech vacuum cleaners charged by solar power and battery. In the worst-case scenario, they can be hand cranked to charge. Unfortunately, these systems are only built for a single attack, not multiple attacks over days, weeks, or months. After each use, the filter needs to be changed. The replacement could be about $500 or even more.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to afford a bunker, then you’re doomed.

Just kidding. Those who can’t afford the massive preparations are still taking their own precautions. People are turning their basements or closets into safe rooms, making them airtight, reinforcing the walls, putting in a pipe for air flow, and installing the filtering systems.

Luckily, there’s no need to panic…yet. The threats of attack from North Korea have seemed to calm down, at least for the moment. Regardless of what happens, the air filtration systems aren’t 100% foolproof.

Windows that aren’t sealed can let air seep in, along with cracks underneath the doors and around the hinges. A radioactive fallout could create dust that could make its way into your home and be fatal if inhaled. The systems aren’t a “fail-safe measure”. Creating the filtered air is one of the many steps to take if you’re concerned about an attack. The priorities are shelter, food, and water, so stock up while you can!

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Smart Mortgage Pay-Off Strategies

Being debt free is an appealing thought. Obviously, when it comes to home loans, mortgages, and any other amounts you have on cars or credit cards, it can be a little difficult to remove that debt. If you’re looking to minimize a few years off of your mortgage, follow these tips on how to help pay it off  early.

1. Make one extra payment each year

If you come up with extra money whether through a side job, a bonus, or an inheritance, think about putting some of that towards an extra payment during the year. You can choose if you want to make it at the end or beginning of the year, or whenever that extra money came up. Making an extra full payment at some point throughout the year could knock off four years from your loan.

2. Add a little extra to each monthly payment

Maybe you can’t afford an extra full monthly payment, and that’s okay. If smaller more manageable payments are a comfort zone for you, then that can help you, too. To make up for added interest and shave off a couple years, adding an extra $75-$100 to each monthly payment could help you save money in the mortgage long run.

3. Refinance to shorter-term loan

Refinancing your 30-year mortgage, for example, to a 15- or 10-year loan could save you a huge amount of money on interest if you had bought your home when interest rates were higher. Before you decide to refinance, make sure you have at least 20% equity based on the current market value of your home. Ask your lender to come up with numbers to break down the cost, especially if you don’t plan to stay in your home long term.

4. Create your own amortization schedule

You don’t need to refinance in order to pay off your loan early. By creating your own amortization schedule, you can skip all the fees associated with refinancing. You figure out the monthly payment in your desired year you wish to pay off your loan, then add that extra amount to your current monthly payment.

For any other questions regarding mortgage pay off, visit: http://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/smart-strategies-pay-off-mortgage-fast/ & http://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/what-is-an-amortization-schedule-2/

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Allied Energy & Electricity

An interesting article in the Del Mar Times talks about Allied Energy and its ability to save home owners on their electric bill, especially those with solar energy. Many houses in the San Diego region have converted to solar energy, which is the most of any utility in the U.S. Destined to save people money and helpful to the environment, solar and efficient energy has become a bigger focus with appliances and energy in today’s homes. If you’ve considered solar energy, then this article is for you.

Allied Energy has been in Carlsbad for 12 years, a business based on both solar and electric contracting licenses. Particularly, they specialize in solar + battery storage. According to their VP of marketing, they’ve installed more solar + storage systems than any business in San Diego.

Their system takes your home “off the grid” for a monthly payment that ends up being lower than your previous electric bill. They estimated that a $200-per-month electric bill before solar + storage could have a $10-per-month electric bill and a $160-per-month loan payment after the installation. Overall, you could be saving $360 a year on your electricity bill.

Allied Energy explains that “the use of batteries is important in San Diego because more than 100,000 homes in San Diego Gas & Electric territory have solar… but few of those systems also have batteries”. With solar panels, the batteries charge through the day. Then, homes run off the batteries when the sun goes down, which is when it is an “off-grid operation”.

SDG&E time-of-use rates will be active starting December 2017, so having battery storage is going to be a must to continue saving on your electric bill. Instead of paying peak-priced electricity from the grid during the hours of 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., your house would run off those charged batteries.

The batteries provide many benefits for those in San Diego when it comes to power outages, fires, earthquakes, or other natural disasters in the region. The batteries are used during those emergencies which could help save money.

For more information about Allied Energy and their services, visit: http://www.delmartimes.net/news/business-spotlight/sd-cm-nc-allied-energy-20170814-story.html

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Most Popular Interior Design Styles: Each State

A study done by Joybird has revealed that the Victorian style is the most popular décor style than any other. Even though that’s the most popular across 10 states, it’s not necessarily making its way across the entire country. Here in California and in New York, the styles preferred are more traditional and contemporary styles.

Out of the most searched on Google across the country, the rankings are as follows:

  1. Victorian
  2. Bohemian
  3. Contemporary
  4. Industrial
  5. Shabby Chic
  6. Traditional
  7. Mid-Century Modern
  8. Art Deco
  9. Transitional
  10. Western
  11. Coastal
  12. Modern Farmhouse
  13. Vintage

For those trying to keep up with the next best thing, sticking with the trends in New York and California is usually the route to go. What happens on the coasts in trends usually works inward. The contemporary style in New York focuses on rounded lines, and a mix of bold and neutral shades. In California, the more transitional style combines modern and traditional. What state does the style of your home fall into?

Alabama: Bohemian
Alaska: Bohemian
Arizona: Traditional
Arkansas: Shabby chic
California: Transitional
Colorado: Industrial
Connecticut: Victorian
Delaware: Victorian
Florida: Contemporary
Georgia: Bohemian
Hawaii: Traditional
Idaho: Shabby chic
Illinois: Contemporary
Indiana: Victorian
Iowa: Industrial
Kansas: Contemporary
Kentucky: Traditional
Louisiana: Shabby chic
Maine: Victorian
Maryland: Contemporary
Massachusetts: Transitional
Michigan: Industrial
Minnesota: Mid-Century Modern
Mississippi: Shabby chic
Missouri: Victorian
Montana: Bohemian
Nebraska: Victorian
Nevada: Victorian
New Hampshire: Bohemian
New Jersey: Bohemian
New Mexico: Art Deco
New York: Contemporary
North Carolina: Contemporary
North Dakota: Bohemian
Ohio: Industrial
Oklahoma: Vintage
Oregon: Industrial
Pennsylvania: Vintage
Rhode Island: Vintage
South Carolina: Coastal
South Dakota: Western
Tennessee: Shabby chic
Texas: Contemporary
Utah: Modern farmhouse
Vermont: Vintage
Virginia: Contemporary
Washington: Mid-Century Modern
West Virginia: Bohemian
Wisconsin: Industrial
Wyoming: Western

For more about the trending styles across the nation, visit: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-design-styles-by-state/

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Cash Giveaway: $20,000!

What would you do if you were given $20,000? You can spend it on anything you want! You could:

  • Travel to Europe, Asia, or South America. Or, all three!
  • Buy a brand-new car without a loan
  • Buy a Kawasaki ninja bike (https://www.kawasaki.com/category/motorcycle)
  • 1,667 copies of Jurassic Park on DVD
  • Create a home theatre
  • Give it to charity
  • Take a couple of vacations to Lake Tahoe
  • Make a chef’s kitchen
  • Pay for a year of college
  • Live in another country for a year
  • Invest and make more money

Some of those options probably sound enticing, or maybe you already have something personal you would do with that money. Now, all you need is $20,000. How can you get $20,000?

Enter for your chance to win in the Coldwell Banker $20,000 Summer Cash Giveaway! All you do is enter your information and you’ve got your entry! Presented by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Southern California, the deadline for this summer’s contest is quickly approaching.

Submit your contest entry form before September 1st and you’ll be just a few weeks away from potentially winning $20,000!

What have you got to lose? Head on over and complete the form in just minutes: http://www.coldwellbankergiveaway.com/lindamoore

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Plumbers Tell-All: 8 Things that Clog Your Pipes

Plumbing is definitely a messy topic. When we think of pipes clogging, we cringe at the image of all our nasty house hold items (and other gross things), piling in a pipe. Plumbers report house calls from $150 to $460. What they find can sometimes be embarrassing or just shocking when they pull out globs of food. To save yourself some money and embarrassment, here are 8 of the most common items clogging your pipes.

1. Fruit peels and rinds

While we all may have a handy-dandy garbage disposal these days, it’s still not best to test its limits. Fruit peels and rinds don’t break down easily, even with a garbage disposal.

2. Starches and other fibrous foods

This may be surprising, but any starchy or fibrous foods like potatoes, celery, corn, corn husks, onion skins, asparagus, and artichokes will expand in the garbage disposal. It wraps around the blades and damages the motor, which leads to backup.

3. Grease, oil, and fats

You should never put grease down the kitchen sink. It can coat the pipes, creating sludge. It builds up over time and prevents good drainage. Poor your grease into an empty container and let it solidify, then throw it in the trash.

4. Feminine products and cotton swabs

Plumbing professionals find these things clogging pipes all the time. Anything made from cotton expands as it gets wet, causing build up. It’s gross, but so are clogged pipes.

5. Wipes and cosmetic towelettes

Even if your wipes claim to be flushable, they still shouldn’t be flushed. It may go down the toilet and past the drainage system, but then it plays with the municipal system. Toilet paper falls apart quickly and is meant to – towels, towelettes, and wipes are not.

6. Kitty litter

Kitty litter is usually made from clay, silica, or sand, and this can cause a lot of problems for your plumbing system. These materials are meant to absorb moisture and create clumps, which clog your system immediately.

7. Egg shells

Some may think they egg shells are good for your disposal and the blades, but this isn’t true. The membrane layers in the shells can wrap around the blades and cause them to malfunction. The sand-like consistency of shells can also clog pipes.

8. Dental floss, hair, and other stringy stuff

Dental floss is on the top of the list with the most common clog “culprits”. Floss and string are not biodegradable. Adding hair to the mix creates knots and clumps, trapping odors and causing major clogs.

For more items clogging your pipes, visit: http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/plumbing-lines-clogging-culprits/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

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Farmers’ Markets: Support Small Farming Operations

Visit one of your local Farmers’ Markets this summer! Experience agriculture from around your area, purchase fresh foods, and support your small farming operations. Here are some locations and times, all listed in alphabetical order for your convenience.

CARLSBAD

When Wednesdays from 3-7pm
Location State Street between Carlsbad Village Dr & Grand

 

CARMEL VALLEY

When Thursdays from 2:30-7pm
Location Canyon Crest Academy (5951 Village Center Loop)

 

CHULA VISTA

When Tuesdays from 4-8pm
Location 2015 Birch Rd & Eastlake Blvd

 

CORONADO

When Tuesdays from 2:30-6pm
Location 1st & B Ferry Landing

 

DEL MAR

When Saturdays from 1-4pm
Location Upper Shores Park (225 9th St)

 

ESCONDIDO

When Mondays from 3-7pm
Location 8860 Lawrence Welk Dr

 

When Tuesdays from 2:30-7pm
Location 262 E Grand at Jupiter

 

When Sundays from 10:30am-3:30pm
Location 12655 Sunset Dr

 

IMPERIAL BEACH

When Fridays from 12-7:30pm
Location Portwood Pier Plaza (10 Evergreen Ave)

 

LEUCADIA

When Sundays from 10am-2pm
Location Paul Ecke Elementary (185 Union St; cross street Vulcan)

 

LA JOLLA

When Sundays from 9am-1:30pm
Location 7300 Block of Girard Ave at Genter St

 

LA MESA

When Fridays from 2-6pm
Location Date Ave & University Ave

 

MIRA MESA

When Tuesdays from 2:30-7pm
Location Mira Mesa High School (10510 Reagan Rd)

 

OCEAN BEACH

When Wednesdays from 4-8pm
Location 4900 block of Newport between Cable & Bacon

 

OCEANSIDE

When Thursdays from 9am-1pm
Location Pier View Way & Coast Hwy 101

 

PACIFIC BEACH

When Tuesdays from 2-7pm
Location Bayard St from Garnet Ave to Hornblend St

 

When Saturdays from 8am-12pm
Location 4150 Mission Blvd between Reed & Pacific Beach Blvd

 

POWAY

When Saturdays from 8am-1pm
Location 14134 Midland Rd (cross street is Temple)

 

RAMONA

When Saturdays from 9am-1pm
Location 1855 Main St

 

RANCHO BERNARDO

When Fridays from 9am-1pm
Location Bernardo Winery (13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte)

 

RANCHO PENASQUITOS

When Saturdays from 10am-1pm
Location 9400 Fairgrove Ln & Salmon River Rd

 

RANCHO SANTA FE

When Sundays from 9:30am-2pm
Location Del Rayo Village Center (16079 San Dieguito Rd)

 

SAN DIEGO-CITY HEIGHTS

When Saturdays from 9am-1pm
Location Wightman St between Fairmount & 43rd St

 

SAN DIEGO-GOLDEN HILL

When Saturdays from 9:30am-1:30pm
Location B Street between 27th & 28th

 

SAN DIEGO-GASLAMP

When Sundays from 9am-1pm
Location 400 block of Third Ave between Island Ave & J St

 

SAN DIEGO-HILLCREST

When Sundays from 9am-2pm
Location 3960 Normal St at Lincoln (adjacent to the DMV)

 

SAN DIEGO-LINDA VISTA

When Thursdays from 3-7pm
Location Linda Vista Plaza Shopping Center (6939 Linda Vista Rd)

 

SAN DIEGO-LITTLE ITALY

When Saturdays from 8am-2pm
Location West Cedar St from Kettner to Front St

 

SAN DIEGO-NORTH PARK

When Thursdays from 3-7pm
Location North Pary Wy & 30th St

 

SAN DIEGO

When Wednesdays from 5-8pm
Location 1655 Euclid Ave

 

SCRIPPS RANCH

When Saturdays from 9am-1:30pm
Location 10380 Spring Canyon Rd (corner of Scripps Poway Pkwy)

 

UTC

When Thursdays from 3-7pm
Location 7131 Regents Rd, South of Porte de Merano

 

SANTEE

When Wednesdays from 3-7pm
Location Corner of Mast & Carlton Hills Blvd

 

SOLANA BEACH

When Sundays from 1-5pm
Location 410 S. Cedros Ave

 

VALLEY CENTER

When Thursdays from 3-7pm
Location 28246 Lilac Rd & Valley Center Rd

 

VISTA

When Saturdays from 8am-1pm
Location County Courthouse (325 S. Melrose Dr)
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Buying a Flipped House

If you’ve been looking at the market and have come across a flipped house, there are some questions that you may want to ask before viewing or seeing the owners.

1. Who’s the seller?

You should be asking if the seller is an individual or LLC. People will use one-off LLCs to purchase a foreclosed home, renovate, and sell the property. But, when the buyer finds a defect in the property, the LLC was liquidated and has no assets. It no longer exists.

To tell the difference from a less scrupulous individual and someone who used them for a good investment, ask how long the LLC has been in existence. A longer track record means they stick around.

2. What was the scope of the renovation?

This is an open question that could get the owner talking about the property. You’ll learn about wall removals, major electrical or plumbing, or how old the roof and HVAC system are. Smaller rehabs will focus on paint jobs, flooring, and smaller renovations, so you’ll know how much money they put into it compared to its actual price.

3. Were permits used?

If they did any major work, it’s important to ask if there were permits and if there are copies. If they didn’t have the appropriate permits, that means they could very well have done substandard work.

4. Who owned the house previously?

Tracking the home buyer trail can help with any missed problems with the home. You want to know of every change that was made or not made, especially if the flipper was rushing to sell. They may not complete jobs if they are trying to sell quickly.

5. How long was the house vacant?

Knowing how long a house was vacant for will affect the future of the home. If it was empty for a long time, there’s room for flooding, leaking or freezing pipes, and vandals who may have destroyed a home. A renovation could have covered up a flooded or damp basement which unsolved would lead to mold growing and spreading.

6. Can we head outside?

Don’t forget the outdoors. Some problems in the yard will be a pricey fix. Make sure the fencing is good and, if there’s a pool, have an inspection done. Cracks can be expensive to fix.

For more questions, head to Realtor.com for the original article: http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/buying-a-flipped-house-ask-these-questions-first/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

If you’re considering buying or selling a home, trust Linda Moore to get you the best offer: http://www.lindasellsmoore.com/

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Housecleaners Hate These 6 Things

Housecleaners are blessings when it comes to cleaning our houses. They get into the cracks and clean the dirtiest places in our homes. While it may be their job, there are parts that they actually hate doing. Different things build up in your home, and that makes it harder for them to clean. If you do your own cleaning in-between visits, here are some things you can do to help out.

Oven Vents

Overtime, the vents in your oven accumulate a lot of grease. It can get stinky, tainting the air you’re trying to keep fresh.

How to hate cleaning it less:

Fill your sink or a bucket with boiling water. Add a quarter-cup of baking soda and liquid dish soap. Detach your vent filters and leave them to soak for five minutes, thoroughly rinsing afterwards

Showers and Tubs

The hardest part about cleaning showers and tubs happens to be the hard water and soap scum spots. They’re hard to remove and clean to leave it sparkling.

How to hate cleaning it less:

Soak the tub or shower with any household cleaning fluid and let it sit for five minutes. Grab a Magic Eraser and put some effort into it. Scrub brushes or industrial toothbrushes can get small spaces.

Shower Curtains

Scummed-up shower curtains usually turn into black mildew, which is a difficult removal. Spray cleaners turn out to be too weak. Scouring cleaners are difficult to rinse and could tear the liner.

How to hate cleaning it less:

Take down the shower liner, grab cleaning rags and white socks, and launder them hot water with half the normal amount of detergent and one cup of bleach.

Tile Grout

Tile grout is one of the most difficult tasks and can be time-consuming.

How to hate cleaning it less:

Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub warm water on the lines in a circular motion. Don’t push too hard or you can remove the grout. With dark or stubborn stains, add vinegar or baking soda for cleaning power.

Bathroom Floors

The bathroom floor is damp, germy, and is constantly piled with dirty clothes, which means it’s the dirtiest floor in the house.

How to hate cleaning it less:

Vacuum and steam your bathroom floor at least once a week to keep dirt buildup at bay and make cleaning up less challenging over time.

The Oven

Your oven should be cleaned out every three months. The longer you wait, the worse it will get and especially if you’re using it multiple times a week.

How to hate cleaning it less:

Take out the racks and put them into plastic bags. Generously spray each one with an oven cleaner. You can make a spreadable paste by using half-cup of baking soda with a tablespoon of water. Coat the inside of the oven and avoid the heating components. Let that sit overnight. Wipe it down in the morning, and spray solution of equal parts water and vinegar. When you rinse and dry the oven racks, put them back into place.

For more tips, visit: http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/things-housecleaners-hate-to-clean/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

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