Monday, October 30, 2006

Just Listed in Poway: 4 Bed/2 Bath/1501sf

This single-story model is rarely available and sought after for its great location, roomy kitchen with stainless steel appliances, open floorplan, fireplace, attached 2-car garage, tile roof, ceiling fans, alarm system, and sliding doors to the backyard. The home has recently been remodeled with a new kitchen, all new windows, upgraded bathrooms, carpeting, and modern paint colors. No need to do a thing... just move right in! Enjoy a private BBQ next to the freestanding covered patio or relax on the lush oversized backyard lawn. Tall trees behind the house provides for the perfect level of shade on those sunny San Diego days. The freestanding canopy over the patio stays and is a wonderful place to relax the day away. The property line extends beyond the rear fence and some neighbors have built a deck over the rear slope to further take advantage of the priceless views. Owner states that a wonderful breeze frequently flows up the canyon behind the home to provide natural and refreshing cooling. The sunsets to the West are breathtaking and this home is conveniently located with I-15 and Pomerado Road just minutes away. Avoid the rush hour traffic heading up the 15 and enjoy a central location near major areas of employment. No Homeowner fees and no Mello Roos!!!

Seller entertaining offers between $535,000 and $585,876.

Click Photo to View Virtual Tour

You can also find out more about this home by entering the search code PRU8X3H6 in any Yahoo! search window.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rancho Bernardo Rotary Fundraiser

The First Annual R.B. Rotary Foundation Golf Tournament will be held Monday, October 30th on the beautiful Fountains Course at the Welk Resort off HWY 15 north of Escondido. Registration starts at 11:30am, golf at 1:00pm. Golfers of any level are encouraged to attend. The $100 registration fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, box lunch, dinner, and many golf-related prizes. There will also be $10,000 hole-in-one and $5,000 putting contests. They're also raising funds to sponsor a day of golf at this event for Marines from the San Diego area with a $100 donation per Marine.

For more information contact John O’Neill at 858-487-8800 or register online at

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Local Museum Planned

The Rancho Bernardo Historical Society is planning a new museum building on the grounds of the Bernardo Winery located in Rancho Bernardo. Use of the land was donated by the Winery and a $600,000 capital drive is underway for building construction.

A virtual tour featuring the existing temporary museum and plans for the new building can be seen here.

A Pancake Breakfast fundraiser will be held on Veteran’s Day, November 11th at the Winery from 7am to 11am. There will be food, live entertainment, and prize drawings. $5/person. Contact Susan Floyd at 858-248-2030 or 858-487-4599 for tickets info or visit to learn how you can help!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Getting Ready For Fall

Temperatures are dipping and nights are growing cooler - the perfect time for a home heating system checkup. Savings, efficiency, comfort and maintenance are all important this season. Without yearly cleaning and inspection, a heating system can wear itself out fast. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your system running at peak efficiency and make the seasonal transition more comfortable and costeffective:

• Have ducts cleaned and sealed by a professional every three to five years.
• Clean or replace furnace filters about every two months.
• Use ceiling fans. They are a useful tool to keep the house warm. Heat rises and the ceiling fans push the heat back down.
• Turn down the thermostat. Homeowners can save 8 percent to 10 percent on their annual heating costs by turning the thermostat from 72 F down to 65 F at night.
• Trim or remove grass, weeds and leaves from around the outdoor heating and cooling unit. When airflow, air return and distribution vents are blocked, it puts a strain on the system and lowers efficiency.
• Use caulking or expanding spray foam to seal spaces around pipes and wires that lead from the attic or crawl space into the home.
• Place weather stripping around door frames and at the top and bottom of window sashes. Insulate attic doors and pull-downs.
• Upgrade older heating systems to optimize energy consumption. A Hybrid Heat system allows homeowners to heat their home by joining a heat pump with a gas furnace. This allows homeowners to choose between gas or electricity for their heating fuel, whichever would be more efficient for local weather and energy cost conditions.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

8 Financing Tips

Thinking about getting a home? Think about the mortgage first!

1. Don't Stretch Your Loan Qualification Limits to Buy a Home Beyond Your Budget.
Living poor just to own a bigger or better home, makes for larger mortgage payments and risks difficulties in the future.

2. Get a Written Confirmation of Your Locked-In Interest Rate and Interest Rate Terms.

3. Understand All the Conditions of Your Loan.
You or a professional that you trust should thoroughly scrutinize each document.

4. Understand the Unique Terms of Your Loan.
There are many types of interest-only loans out there. Make sure you understand the details of your particular type of loan.

5. Pick the Right Kind of Loan.
Rates are higher on 30 year loans than on comparable 15 year loans. That's because there is a greater risk that rates will go up the longer the lender commits to a fixed rate.

6. If You are Buying Rather Than Refinancing, Consider Getting a Pre-approved Mortgage or Contingent Loan Approval Letter.
The former is a binding commitment for a loan up to a certain amount. It can strengthen your negotiating position with the seller, but it puts pressure on you to close a deal before the loan commitment expires.

7. Save Everything.
Keep copies of everything you send the lender and everything the lender sends you.

8. Take Advantage of the Deduction.
The mortgage interest deduction is one of the few remaining tax deductible interest payments, and it's also the cheapest form of long term financing.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Home Sellers Providing Incentives

The increasing inventory of available homes for sale has forced many sellers to reduce the asking price of their homes.

An alternative approach to reducing price is to pay down the interest rate a potential buyer would pay. This is called a buydown and it is typically cheaper to do than to reduce the price of the house.

A buydown is a type of financing where the buyer or seller pays extra points to reduce the interest rate on a loan. Buydowns make it easier to qualify for a loan because they lower a loan's interest rate. They can also allow you to buy more house for your money.

Sellers benefit from assisting with a buydown by increaseing the buyers ability to qualify for a loan, therefore, allowing the home to be sold quicker.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Importance of an Appraisal

An appraiser is a professional person who can tell you what your home is worth. The appraiser will come to your house and list the number and size of the rooms and any extras, such as a fireplace, porch, pool, or garage. The appraiser will compare your home and property to other homes that have sold recently with similar features. The appraiser then estimates that your home might sell for approximately the same amount of money as similar homes. This is called an "appraisal." In short, an appraisal is the estimated amount of money your home may sell for.

Home Inspections Are Not Appraisals!

A property appraisal is a document that provides an estimate of a property's market value. Lenders require appraisals on properties prior to loan approval to ensure that the mortgage loan amount is not more than the value of the property. Appraisals are for lenders; home inspections are for buyers.

What's My Property Worth?

It is common to ask the appraiser this question as soon as the appraiser has inspected the property. The truth is at that time the appraiser doesn't yet know. The inspection is the first step of many that the appraiser must complete before a value is determined.

The appraiser measures the house from the outside to determine square footage. The appraiser takes notes concerning the features of your house such as room layout, number of bedrooms, baths, etc. The appraiser also makes a determination of the general condition, appeal and functional layout of your house. All of these items are taken into consideration in the appraisal report.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Inspect Before You Buy

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you will make in your lifetime, so you should be sure that the home you want to buy is in good condition. A home inspection is an evaluation of a home's condition by a trained expert. During a home inspection, a qualified inspector takes an in-depth and impartial look at the property you plan to buy. The inspector will review the readily accessible exposed portions of the structure of the home, including the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, basement and foundation, as well as the heating/air conditioning systems, interior plumbing, and electrical systems for potential problems. Home inspections are not intended to point out every small problem or any latent defect in a home. Most minor or cosmetic flaws, for example, should be apparent to the buyer without the aid of a professional.

During the Home Inspection

While not necessary, it is recommended that the buyer be present for the inspection. This allows the buyer to observe the inspector, ask questions directly, and obtain a better understanding of the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. The written report may be easier to understand if the buyer was present during the inspection. It is important that safe access and sufficient lighting is provided so that the inspector can inspect the property.

At the conclusion of the home inspection, the buyer should be well informed of the condition of the home. It should be known if there are visible, apparent problems, if repairs need to be made, or whether or not there are any risks of concealed damage, and whether further investigation is recommended and/or required. After the inspection is complete, you will receive a written report of the findings, usually within five to seven days.

Spending Hundreds May Save You Thousands

When you make a written offer on a home, you should insist that the contract state that the offer is contingent on a home inspection conducted by a qualified inspector. You will have to pay for the inspection yourself, but it could keep you from buying a house that will cost you far more in repairs down the road. If you are satisfied with the results of the inspection, then your offer can proceed.

It should be clearly understood that a home inspection is not to be confused with an appraisal, a building code inspection, a guarantee of any kind, and/or an insurance policy on the condition of the property.

Selecting a Home Inspector

As the homebuyer, it is your responsibility to carefully select a qualified inspector and pay for the inspection. The following sources may help you find a home inspector:

  • State regulatory authorities.
  • Some states require licensing of home inspectors.
  • Professional organizations.
  • Professional organizations may require home inspectors to pass tests and meet minimum qualifications before becoming a member.
  • The Internet or phone book.
  • Search under "Building Inspection Service" or "Home Inspection Service."
  • Your real estate agent.
  • Most real estate professionals have a list of home inspectors they recommend.

Other Inspections and Tests to Consider

It is strongly recommended that potential buyers consider having the following inspections and/or tests performed prior to signing the final purchase agreement:
lead paint, pests, wood destroying insects, and air quality, including radon gas. While some home inspectors are qualified to offer these services, these inspections and tests are not part of the basic home inspection and should be contracted through qualified licensed professionals in those fields.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Should You Have Your Ducts Cleaned?

Most people are now aware that indoor air pollution is an issue of growing concern and increased visibility. Many companies are marketing products and services intended to improve the quality of your indoor air. You have probably seen an advertisement, received a coupon in the mail, or been approached directly by a company offering to clean your air ducts as a means of improving your home's indoor air quality. These services typically but not always range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climatic region, and level of contamination.

Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.

If not properly installed, maintained, and operated, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased and spores from such growth may be released into the home's living space. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people if they are exposed to them. If you decide to have your heating and cooling system cleaned, it is important to make sure the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so. Failure to clean a component of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus negating any potential benefits. Methods of duct cleaning vary, although standards have been established by industry associations concerned with air duct cleaning. Typically, a service provider will use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris in ducts, then vacuum them out with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.

When buying a home, make sure you evaluate whether you need to have the ducts cleaned. In reality, most of my buyers don't have it done unless we have a case where the system is old and obviously dirty.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Interest Rates

Here are the latest rates....