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Aug. 1, 2011

Carbon Monoxide Detectors are Now a Requirement in Your Home

There is a New California State Law regarding Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

First of all, what is Carbon Monoxide?   Carbon Monoxide is also called Carbon Oxide (CO).  It is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas which is slightly lighter than air.  It is highly toxic to humans and animals in higher quantities.  Carbon Monoxide is produced whenever any fuel, such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal, is burned.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistakenly diagnosed as the flu.
The new Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill 183) requires owners of all existing single family homes with an attached garage or a fossil fuel source, to install a CO alarm device by July 1, 2011. Owners of multi-family leased or rental homes, such as apartment buildings have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law.

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Posted in Around The House
July 18, 2011

Short Sale? New California law gives added protection to home sellers....

This is GREAT news, 1st and 2nd lien holders cannot go back after a Seller when approval is given for a short sale.

A new California law will further protect homeowners pursuing short sales by barring first and secondary lien holders from going after sellers for money owed after the short sales close.

A short sale is a transaction in which the homeowner owes more on the loan than the property is worth. To sell the home, the lien holder or lien holders must approve the sale because the amount owed to the lien holder will be "short" of what is currently owed by the borrower.

May 2, 2011

What you Should do if you find Mold Growing on or Behind your Walls?

Over the past 8 years, I've run across many homes infested with mold.   I've seen mold in virtually every room in the house, but the most common area to find mold is in the kitchen.   Mold will begin to grow due to water leaking into an area because of roof leaks, plumbing leaks, floods and poor upkeep of the house.   My team and I usually discover it behind the refrigerator or underneath and inside the kitchen cabinets.  Mold can grow for months and years undetected.  My suggestion is to check behind the refrigerator and look into the back of your kitchen cabinets along the drywall at least 3 times a year.  I've seen entire kitchens ruined from mold and replaced at a cost of 25k-60k.  

Not only can mold in your house be extremely expensive, there are potential health hazards as well.    Mold has been linked to Lung Damage, Brain Damage, Cancer and even Death.   Mold exposure and exposure to Mold Fine Particulates can cause sickness and disease.

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Posted in Around The House
April 28, 2011

It's Termite Season in San Diego, CA

Spring is here, so that means termites.   It's time to worry about what they can do to your home.  No matter if you are buying a home or currently own a home and haven't had a termite inspector out to your house in 5 years, my suggestion is you call them right now.  For a small fee, or sometimes at no cost, they can come out and in a manner of minutes, let you know if your home has termites.

There has been a reported uptick in termite swarms in the region (because of all the rain and warm weather).   There are two kinds of termites here in San Diego County.  There are Drywood Termites, the type where you have to put tent over your house for a few days, and the other type live in the ground and build mud tunnels inside the sturcture, e.g. the walls and attics.  These types of termites are called subterranean termites and are often treated with liquid and baits.

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Posted in Around The House
April 28, 2011

Ocean Beach

ocean beach

Grab your towel, sunscreen, umbrella, surfboard, fins, boogie board, goggles, sand pail and shovel and head to one of San Diego’s spectacular beaches!  It’s time to enjoy the incredible sand and surf on one of the beaches of San Diego.

Let’s start with Ocean Beach, a cozy little beach that is very popular with the locals.  It’s a beach where surfers enjoy riding the waves created by the jetties, while the swimmers and sunbathers enjoy their form of entertainment and relaxation.  The water at Ocean Beach is divided into two zones.  One is for surfing while the other is for swimming and boogie boards. Well patrolled by lifeguards, the beaches are safe for you and your family.

Just south of Ocean Beach lies Sunset Cliffs which has several beaches below. Sunset Cliffs Park, named for its location to watch beautiful sunsets, encompasses 68 acres of bluffs and walking paths high above the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

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Posted in Ocean Beach
April 28, 2011

San Elijo Hills

Just north of San Diego and only six miles from the Pacific Ocean in North County is a community relatively new to the San Diego county family.  This neighborhood of San Elijo Hills was established in 2000 and is now home to more than 7,000 residents. When the “Master Plan” is complete, it will have more than 3,400 homes and over 10,000 residents.  Currently, San Elijo Hills is a mixture of single family homes, condos, townhomes and several gated community estates.  San Elijo Hills is located within the San Marcos Unified School District.

San Elijo Hills is a complete community with a central urban business district built around a Town Square.  Besides shopping and dining, this neighborhood has a 19-acre community park equipped with ball fields and playgrounds along with a 6,000 square foot community center.  For all you outdoor enthusiasts, there are 18 miles of hiking trails which are also used for biking and horseback riding.  Lease your dogs and take ‘em along!

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Posted in San Elijo Hills
March 11, 2011

Own a Rental Property in San Diego County?

Do you own a rental property here in San Diego?  What about in anywhere in California or any other state for that matter?  Guess what?  If you're the owner of a single unit of rental property, starting this year you must begin tracking all your vendors doing at least $600 worth of work for you.  Federal Law now requires you to send them a 1099 form.

Vendors typically include independent contractors that provide services in the real estate context - plumbers, electricians, painters, cleaning services, gardeners, landscapers, accountants and handymen.

This is not new to everyone though.   Those of you who own multiple properties are already doing it.  But last year when Uncle Sam enacted the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297), it expanded this requirement to all property owners, no matter if you only own one property.  Even property owners who are part timers or have property as part of their retirement, now must issue the 1099's.

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Feb. 18, 2011

La Jolla, the possibilities are endless.

La Jolla

La Jolla is an affluent seaside community occupying over seven miles of the beautiful Pacific Coastline.  If you love the shoreline, here is where you will find the most beautiful beaches and houses in all of California.  Caves, cliffs, beaches and spectacular sunsets are all part of its wonder.   As you drive north through Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Bird Rock and then into La Jolla, it will take all doubt away on why this is the place to be.  It has everything a resident is looking for (great beach front houses, ocean view homes with views, affordable condos, large upscale custom homes, outstanding beaches, shopping, restuarants and of course great weather).

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Posted in La Jolla
Feb. 9, 2011

Upgrades that Bring Value!

KitchenAs a Realtor, I have seen hundreds of San Diego houses over the past 8 years.  I've shown and sold homes from Bonsall to Oceanside, all throughout the Hwy. 78 corridor and down the I-15 and I-5 freeways into Rancho Santa Fe (20,000 sq. ft. homes).  I have shown homes in every beach community such as La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Mission Beach and out to East county and down to the border.  So in other words - I've seen every kind of home imaginable.  I've also sold homes ranging in price from $80,000 to over $10,000,000.  I've seen everyone kind of upgrade available from custom movie theater rooms, multi-level pools, a 5,000 sq. ft. kitchen to 8 flat screen TV's in the Master Bedroom!

My buyers and investors always ask me what upgrades provide the most value to a home when it comes time to sell?  Below is a list of what I consider the most important upgrades to add value to your home.

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Posted in Around The House
Jan. 19, 2011

New California Real Estate Laws that will affect You!

To all my San Diego County Clients

1. There are no more Short Sale Deficiencies (primary residences only):  Starting January 1, 2011, a sellers first trust deed lender cannot obtain a deficiency judgment against the seller after the short sale (the bank or investor cannot come after you for more money).  Providing written consent to a short sale shall obligate the first trust deed lender to accept the sales proceeds as full payment and discharge the remaining amount owed on the loan.  This law applies to first trust deeds secured by one-to-four residential units, but does not limit the lender from seeking damages for fraud or waste by the borrower.  This is Senate Bill 931.

While there are many reasons why a bank/lender would choose to sell "short," the important question is:  What should you (as the seller of the property) know about this type of sale?  If you participate in this type of sale, please be aware that in some instances, you may be sued by the lender/bank for the money that was "forgiven."  The amount you did not pay back, which is a form of "debt forgiveness," may be taxed by taxing agencies.

Before "selling short," be sure to do the following:

A.  For Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act & Debt Cancellation tax information, visit:,,id=179414,00.html

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