Coastal San Diego Living

Considering Selling Your Home? Check Out These 5 Tips to Prepare!

by Tisha Carney 6. December 2010 16:38

5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Sale 

Working to get your home ship-shape for showings will increase its value and shorten your sales time.

1. Have the home inspected by a professional home inspector

Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will warn you about troubles that could make potential buyers balk. Make repairs before putting your home on the market. You will have to disclose what the inspection turns up.

2. Get repair & replacement estimates

If your home inspection uncovers necessary repairs you can’t fund, get estimates for the work. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home and the repairs. Also hunt down warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for your furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items you expect to remain with the house.

prepare-home-sale-getty_6b084f79e6d351b974ca6822fa6ffce0_3x2_jpg_168x112_q85 3. Make minor repairs

Not every repair costs a bundle. Fix as many small problems—sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, dripping faucets—as you can. These may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression your house isn’t well maintained.

4. Clear the clutter

Clear your kitchen counters of just about everything. Clean your closets by packing up little-used items like out-of-season clothes and old toys. Install closet organizers to maximize space. Put at least one-third of your furniture in storage, especially large pieces, such as entertainment centers and big televisions. Pack up family photos, knickknacks, and wall hangings to depersonalize your home. Store the items you’ve packed offsite or in boxes neatly arranged in your garage or basement.

5. Do a thorough cleaning and paint touch-up

A clean house makes a strong first impression that your home has beepaintn well cared for. If you can afford it, consider hiring a cleaning service. And don’t forget the touch-up paint!

Also, wash windows and leave them open to air out your rooms. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Wash light fixtures and baseboards, mop and wax floors, and give your stove and refrigerator a thorough once-over.

Pay attention to details, too. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, clean inside the cabinets, and polish doorknobs. Don’t forget to clean your garage, too.

By: G.M. Filisko; Houselogic, National Association of Realtors



Real Estate News | San Diego Real Estate | Selling Your Home

Is The Housing Market In Recovery? Pending Sales of Existing Homes in U.S. Increased a Record 10% in October

by Tisha Carney 3. December 2010 11:42

Pending sales of U.S. existing houses unexpectedly jumped by a record 10 percent in October, indicating the industry at the center of the last recession is stabilizing as the job market improves.san diego coastal properties

The increase in the number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes followed another report showing claims for jobless benefits over the past month on average dropped to a two-year low.

Combined with figures showing chain-store sales topped estimates last month, the reports added to evidence the world’s largest economy is strengthening, sending stocks up for a second day. Cheaper borrowing costs, lower prices and more jobs may entice homebuyers in coming months, helping the real-estate market regain its footing after the end of a tax credit caused demand to slump.

“The fundamentals that are driving home sales are low mortgage rates combined with job and income growth and that’s why housing should be expected to grow in coming months,” said Dean Maki, chief economist at Barclays Capital Inc. in New York. “Housing activity will still look low relative to the boom years, but we expect a solid growth rate to occur.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1.3 percent to 1,221.53 at the 4 p.m. close in New York. Treasury securities fell, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year note up to 3 percent from 2.97 percent late yesterday.

Unemployment Claims Slowing

The number of applications for jobless benefits averaged 431,000 a week over the month ended Nov. 27, the lowest level since August 2008, Labor Department figures showed. “The labor market is definitely improving,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “Overall, the economy seems to be outperforming expectations this quarter, which is encouraging because it gives us positive momentum into next year.” ANB1912

‘Uneven’ Recovery

“The housing market clearly is in a recovery phase and will be uneven at times, but the improving job market and consequential boost to household formation will help the recovery process going into 2011,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement. “But activity needs to improve further to reach healthy, sustainable levels.”

Fed’s View

The Fed’s report, released yesterday, showed the economy strengthened across much of the U.S. as hiring improved, manufacturing expanded and retailers anticipated a stronger holiday shopping season.

The average interest rate on a fixed 30-year mortgage reached 4.17 percent in mid November, the lowest level since Freddie Mac records going back to 1972.

Pending Sales is a Leading Indicator

Pending home sales are considered a leading indicator because they track contract signings. Purchases of previously owned homes are tabulated when a contract closes, typically a month or two later. These unexpected high pending homes sales numbers could surely be a sign that the housing market is finally on the road to recovery.

Bloomberg, By Courtney Schlisserman and Timothy R. Homan - Dec 2, 2010


This Holiday Season Realtors Are Giving Thanks to American Troops and Families

by Tisha Carney 25. November 2010 14:00

As the holiday season approaches, the National Association of REALTORS® is giving thanks to American troops. NAR will provide care packages and housing assistance to support soldiers and their families here in the U.S. and abroad. Two national charities will receive support from NAR – Operation American Soldier and USA Cares.

“During this Thanksgiving and holiday seasons the REALTOR® family would like to recognize the tremendous sacrifice by our service men and women, as well as their families,” said NAR President Ron Phipps Ron Phipps. “REALTORS® work every day to ensure the American Dream is a reality for all Americans, while at the same time our troops defend and protect that same dream. We strongly believe these two causes are worthy of NAR’s attention and will directly impact the soldiers and their loved ones during the holiday season.” coastal san diego properties

Operation American Soldier, one of the causes that will receive assistance from NAR was founded in 2003 by Realtors, Wendy and John Rocca, who had learned from their daughter stationed overseas that some soldiers were not receiving mail. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the charity assembles and ships care packages and hand written letters to soldiers overseas who wouldn’t otherwise receive mail. Since 2003 Operation American Soldier has shipped more than 30,000 pounds of packages filled with snacks, beverages, books, magazines and other items. Care packages can be sponsored for $10, $15, or $25.

The second charity that NAR will assist is USA Cares, through NAR’s successful Facebook Causes campaign, Operation Home Relief, sponsored by HouseLogic. NAR launched Operation Home Relief in October through its consumer Web site,, a free comprehensive Web site about homeownership. Consumers can “join” the Cause or donate to it, and HouseLogic will donate one dollar for every “join” as well as match donations dollar for dollar up to a specified amount, which was initially $20,000. The Cause quickly became one of the fastest-growing causes Facebook has experienced, reaching the initial goal in 20 days.

Operation Home Relief aims to increase awareness, rally support and raise funding for USAcoastal san diego properties Cares, a nonprofit that provides foreclosure assistance in the form of financial counseling and grants to post-9/11 active duty U.S. military service personnel, veterans and their families. Due to rapid success, HouseLogic increased its match grant to USA Cares by $11,000 on Veterans Day. HouseLogic will sponsor the charity through the holidays.

Source: National Association of Realtors



Just For Fun

Is The Current Mortgage Interest Deduction Vital to The Housing Market?

by Tisha Carney 21. November 2010 12:43

The home mortgage interest deduction saves the average home owner thousands of dollars at tax time, supports home values at the community lecoastal san diego prpertiesvel, and helps American home buyers get into their first house.

How the deduction works

In general, any home owners who pay U.S. taxes and who itemize their taxes can deduct mortgage interest attributable to primary residence and second-home debt totaling $1 million, and interest paid on home equity debt of as much as $100,000.

Mortgage interest deduction threatened

In recent years, the mortgage interest deduction has come under attack. Among the suggestions for cutting it back to deal with the deficit:

  • Reduce the mortgage interest deduction for upper-income taxpayers—they’d only receive 28 cents on the dollar, even if they’re in a 33% or 35% tax bracket and can now deduct 33 or 35 cents on the dollar.   
  • Reduce the $1 million cap by $100,000 a year.
  • Change the mortgage interest deduction to a 15% tax credit.

In the past, members of Congress have suggested other mechanisms for eliminating or limiting the mortgage interest deduction. None of those has ever gained traction.

Arguments against mortgage interest deduction coastal san diego properties

Arguments against the mortgage interest deduction center on who benefits and whether the government should support home ownership. They say:

  • It primarily helps the wealthy, since high-income taxpayers are more likely to itemize their deductions and to own homes. About 90% of taxpayers earning more than $100,000 itemize, while only 18% of those earning less than $50,000 follow suit, the Tax Foundation estimates.
  • Taxpayers who don’t itemize deductions get to use the “standard deduction.” They do that because it gives them a bigger tax break than itemizing to use the mortgage interest deduction.
  • Ending or reducing the mortgage interest deduction would create a deep source of money for reducing the budget deficit.
  • In the aftermath of the mortgage crisis, the U.S. needs to rethink its favored tax treatment of home ownership.
Arguments for mortgage interest deduction

Those who favor keeping the mortgage interest deduction say it helps middle-income families, who already pay nearly all U.S. income taxes. Plus, getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction would hurt home prices.

  • More than 60% of the families who claim the mortgage interest deduction have household incomes between $60,000 and $200,000, estimates the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. house
  • A disproportionate number of those high-income taxpayers live in areas where housing is especially expensive, such as California and New York. In high-cost housing markets, lowering the $1 million cap would add a tax burden on families who already must pay high prices for homes.
  • Home owners already pay 80% to 90% of the income tax in our country, and among those who claim the mortgage interest deduction, almost two-thirds are middle-income earners, says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. So home owners, who are the pillars of federal income tax revenue, would have to shoulder a bigger tax burden.
  • Home values could fall 15%, says Yun, as buyers discount the value of the mortgage interest deduction in their purchase offers.
  • It’s faulty to link the mortgage meltdown to the country’s support for home ownership. The meltdown is rooted in lax underwriting and faulty ratings by credit rating agencies of the securities backed by the mortgage, says Yun.

Protecting the deduction promotes housing. In supporting the mortgage interest deduction, you help ensure that tomorrow’s families can follow the same path to home ownership that so many of us have already traveled.

By: Dona DeZube, REALTOR HouseLogic


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