Monday, July 07, 2008

It was a FUN 4th of July!

As many of you know, a group of us Rancho Bernardo residents have been working hard to raise funds for the construction of a new history museum on the grounds of the Bernardo Winery.

We are very close to meeting the $300,000 level needed to start contruction. We have several events planned, one of which is the Twilight Concert on the Green coming up on August 16th... please come!

This 4th I decorated a golf cart we borrowed from the Winery and drove it through the parade on Bernardo Center Drive in Rancho Bernardo. It was wonderful seeing many of you out there waving and giving us the thumbs up :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Are You Ready for the New Cellphone Law?

Under a new California law, all drivers will be prohibited from using handheld wireless devices, including cell phones, while driving beginning July 1. Driver's 18 and older may use a headset or other hands-free device, but drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any form of wireless telephone communication device while driving, even with a hands-free device. Drivers who violate the new laws face fines of up to $190.

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions put together by the California Highway Patrol:

Q: When do the new wireless telephone laws take effect?
A: The new laws take effect July 1, 2008

Q: What is the difference between the two laws?
A: The first law prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle. (Vehicle Code (VC) §23123). Motorists 18 and over may use a hands-free device. The second law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a wireless telephone or a hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle (VC §23124).

Q: What if I need to use my telephone during an emergency, and I do not have a hands- free device?
A: The law allows a driver to use a wireless telephone to make emergency calls to a law enforcement agency, a medical provider, the fire department, or other emergency services agency.

Q: What are the fines if I’m convicted?
A: The base fine for the FIRST offense is $20 and $50 for subsequent convictions. According to the Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule, with the addition of penalty assessments, a first offense is $76 and a second offense is $190.

Q: Will I receive a point on my drivers license if I’m convicted for a violation of the wireless telephone law?
A: NO. The violation is a reportable offense: however, DMV will not assign a violation point.

Q: Will the conviction appear on my driving record?
A: Yes, but the violation point will not be added.

Q: Will there be a grace period when motorists will only get a warning?A: NO. The law becomes in effect on July 1, 2008. Whether a citation is issued is always at the discretion of the officer based upon his or her determination of the most appropriate remedy for the situation.Q: Are passengers affected by this law?
A: No. This law only applies to the person driving a motor vehicle.

Q: Do these laws apply to out-of-state drivers whose home states do not have such laws?
A: Yes

Q: Can I be pulled over by a law enforcement officer for using my handheld wireless telephone?A: YES. A law enforcement officer can pull you over just for this infraction.

Q: What if my phone has a push-to-talk feature, can I use that?
A: No. The law does provide an exception for those operating a commercial motor truck or truck tractor (excluding pickups), implements of husbandry, farm vehicle or tow truck, to use a two-way radio operated by a “push-to-talk” feature. However, a push-to-talk feature attached to a hands-free ear piece or other hands-free device is acceptable.

Q: What other exceptions are there?
A: Operators of an authorized emergency vehicle during the course of employment are exempt as are those motorists operating a vehicle on private property
DRIVERS 18 AND OVER Drivers 18 and over will be allowed to use a hands-free device to talk on their wireless telephone while driving. The following FAQs apply to those motorists 18 and over.

Q: Does the new “hands-free” law prohibit you from dialing a wireless telephone while driving or just talking on it?
A: The new law does not prohibit dialing, but drivers are strongly urged not to dial while driving.

Q: Will it be legal to use a Blue Tooth or other earpiece?
A: Yes, however you cannot have BOTH ears covered.

Q: Does the new hands-free law allow you to use the speaker phone function of your wireless telephone while driving?
A: Yes.

Q: Does the new “hands-free” law allow drivers 18 and over to text page while driving?
A: The law does not specifically prohibit that, but an officer can pull over and issue a citation to a driver of any age if, in the officer’s opinion, the driver was distracted and not operating the vehicle safely. Text paging while driving is unsafe at any speed and is strongly discouraged.

Q: Am I allowed to use my wireless telephone hands free?
A: NO. Drivers under the age of 18 may not use a wireless telephone, pager, laptop or any other electronic communication or mobile services device to speak or text while driving in any manner, even hands free. EXCEPTION: Permitted in emergency situations to call police, fire or medical authorities. (VC §23124).

Q: Why is the law stricter for provisional drivers?
A: Statistics show that teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to be involved in crashes because they lack driving experience and tend to take greater risks. Teen drivers are vulnerable to driving distractions such as talking with passengers, eating or drinking, and talking or texting on wireless phones, which increase the chance of getting involved in serious vehicle crashes.

Q: Can my parents give me permission to allow me to use my wireless telephone while driving?A: NO. The only exception is an emergency situation that requires you to call a law enforcement agency, a health care provider, the fire department or other emergency agency entity.

Q: Does the law apply to me if I’m an emancipated minor?
A: Yes. The restriction applies to all licensed drivers who are under the age of 18.

Q: If I have my parent(s) or someone age 25 years or older in the car with me, may I use my wireless telephone while driving?
A: NO. You may only use your wireless telephone in an emergency situation.

Q: Will the restriction appear on my provisional license?
A: No

Q: May I use the hands-free feature while driving if my car has the feature built in?
A: NO. The law prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using any type of wireless device while driving, except in an emergency situation.

Q: Can a law enforcement officer stop me for using my hands-free device while driving?
A: No. For drivers under the age of 18, this is considered a SECONDARY violation meaning that a law enforcement officer may cite you for using a hands-free wireless phone if you were pulled over for another violation. However, the prohibition against using a handheld wireless telephone while driving is a PRIMARY violation for which a law enforcement officer can pull you over.

(Source: California Highway Patrol)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What? Multiple Offers?

I'm seeing more and more a situation that I thought was to be extinct for some time. Back in 2004 and 2005 many of my buyers were faced with bidding against multiple offers on homes. By the time the bidding war was over, the home sold for well over asking price. I had many cases where my buyers would lose the bid on a home and start all over again on another home. This would go on for up to a dozen times.

Fast forward to today. A completely different market where homes have dropped in value up to 22%, foreclosures dot the landscape, and banks own more real estate than they know what to do with. Yet, I have clients who are trying to buy a home as soon as it gets listed and they are being beat out by other bidders. On one house, the seller told me that they had some 20 offers. Whats going on here?

Don't get me wrong, most homes are taking a long time to sell and buyers are in control when it comes to negotiating a great price. Where I am seeing the 2004 style bidding wars is on Bank Owned homes. These are properties that the bank foreclosed on and evicted the former homeowners. Many times these homes go to the banks in horrible condition-- damaged walls, broken fixtures, filthy carpeting, etc. Some banks fix the homes up to make them sell faster and they do.

There are some really nice bank-owned homes available at a great price. These attract many buyers and the inevitable bidding wars. Its very frustrating to buyers who don't expect to compete with other buyers when every newspaper talks about a buyers market. Still, these bank-owned homes do sell for bargain prices compared to most other homes. And the buyers do feel that they are lucky in getting what they believe is a better price than what the average buyer is spending on a house!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rancho Bernardo Museum Ground Breaking Ceremony

The Rancho Bernardo Historical Society has come a long way. After years of planning and fundraising, ground has been broken on a new museum building to be built on the grounds of the Bernardo Winery! As many of you may already know from my prior postings, I have been a board member of the RBHS for the last 2 years and have had the priviledge to be involved with this wonderful project.

This Saturday, February 9th, Ken Kramer, host of About San Diego and reporter for NBC 7/39 welcomed over 160 visitors to this historic event. County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and Councilmember Brian Maienschein were also present to reaffirm their support.

It takes lots of dedicated work from volunteers, contributors, and supporters to go from a dream to what will become a beautiful new building. I must acknowledge the sponsors for this particular event who provided the food, shovels, decorations, and money... Merrill Lynch, Cafe Merlot, Bernardo Winery, Dixieline Lumber, Bernardo Gardeners. Thanks to you all!

Please visit our RBHS website and help us continue our fundraising as we begin the year-long construction phase!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Start Making Plans for Next Year!

As we come to the end of 2007 and look forward to 2008, many people are looking to change jobs (besides changing homes!).

My colleague is holding a special workshop next month called "The Right Fit". If you are thinking about making a career change or looking for a new job, do yourself a favor and give yourself an advantage by attending this 3 hour class!

Read more about it below and contact Nancy to make a reservation!



Let me help you increase your chances of success in finding the RIGHT FIT, and SHORTEN your time searching by using techniques proven to have success rates in the 80%+ range, rather than the usual 4-14% that you probably have used in the past

After seventeen years interviewing, hiring, reviewing, training, managing, and coaching thousands of people in a high tech manufacturing environment, I can advise you on how to target the right company, and the right job at my workshop,

“The Right Fit”

January 12
9 am to 12 noon
San Diego North Chamber of Commerce
11650 Iberia Place #220
San Diego, CA 92128

$69 includes workbook (Chamber Members 10% discount)

Contact Nancy Canfield
619-871-9333 or

Reservations in advance, small class size

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Federal Discount Rate Drops 1/2 %

The Federal Reserve today surprised many banks and economists by lowering the Federal Discount Rate a full .500%.

The most immediate impact for most homeowners is drop in their home equity lines of credit. These loans are tied to Prime Rate, which has just dropped to 7.75%. A half percent drop in these rates is very significant.

The full impact on mortgage rates may take a few days to become evident, although we do expect to see a fall in some adjustable rate loans very quickly. Thirty year fixed rate loans are not dependent on Fed actions. If the market views the Fed moves as inflationary, fixed rate loans may actually rise.

Stay tuned, as we are sure there will be lots of rate news over the next few days.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Seller Asking $725,000.

Stunning views of La Costa and Carlsbad await you in this highly desirable 4 Bedroom, 3.5 Bath two story home near San Elijo Hills. Located in a quiet Cul-De-Sac high above the neighbors to the west, this is one of the few available homes that has no facing homes across the street and privacy in the backyard with incredible unobstructed views to the hills of La Costa and Carlsbad. Enjoy the convenience of one bedroom downstairs with its own private bath and patio. The Family Room includes a gas-fired fireplace and 42" Plasma TV with Bose Lifestyle Theater System. The Stainless Steel and Granite Kitchen features a center island walk-in pantry, and rich wood cabinetry. Whether you are in the kitchen, nook, master bedroom, master bathroom or spa you will enjoy breathtaking views! Upstairs, treat yourself to panoramic views from the large Master Bedroom that includes his and her closets, upgraded tile, beautiful accent tiles along the vanity, and still more views from the Master Bath! The backyard is very private and features a Spa with built-in waterfall. Old Creek Ranch is a great place to live with lots of hiking trails, community parks, tot lots, great access to freeways, shopping, and close to the La Costa Resort and San Elijo Park! Homeowners chose one of the very best lots in Dove Valley at Old Creek Ranch. Now, it can be yours!

Click Photo to View Virtual Tour