Greatest Flip Zone Failure

So you paid the $40,000 penalty

burnttoast-you cashed in the retirement money. Grandma left you a couple hundred thousand. You want to make your retirement fund grow quicker than your stock broker has. You decide to enter the “Flip Zone.

You kept your home operational for all these years. You know basic plumbing, electrical and roof repair. Lord knows you are an expert at painting and drywall screwing. A master with tools that have interchangeable bits and blades. You can figure it out or bail it out.

You drop $1,200 into a weekend

class that promises properties, tradesmen and financing. You realize they want you to go find properties for them.

You call a few real estate agents who get calls from dreamers like you every day. You want to be at the top of their list for great flipper buys but since you want a part of their earnings, you cheap your way to the bottom of their list.

It’s ok; you are a #DIY’er. You find a property on Zooliow, go directly to the listing agent thinking you can swing a deal only to find out that you closed escrow on a home that was “At Market.” You forgot that the $1200 class said to buy “Below Market.”

What was to be a 30 day “Fix and Close” project is now a 120-day septic disaster that a toilet snake couldn’t fix and is a hidden mold-monster impervious to bleach.

Avoid the greatest “Flip Zone Failure”

Don’t do it all yourself. Hire your own professional REALTOR® and have a professional contractor team to help.

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Hamlet and the One Story House.

Hamlet and the One Story House..

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Hamlet and the One Story House.

To buy, or not to buy…

…that is the question. Although home buyers, in contemplating the nature of action, do not characteristically wax existentially. They do however repeat the question “to buy or not to buy.”

One or a two story Home?3 story house

Another question that they have is whether to purchase a one story or a two story. Builders have often built Two Stories in order to get more square footage on the parcel and more units in the development. Another benefit to managed density is the ability to bring the infrastructure of community closer to residents. Parks, shopping, and schools can be located closer to the population.

Builders also understand the desire for homes without steps. Buyers like ranch-style homes that offer elbow room and stair-less navigation. As the economics permit, builders incorporate one-story models within many community projects.

What are today’s buyers looking for?

As the baby boomers get more knee and hip replacements, they generally avoid stairs. However, location, demographics and inventory availability contribute to demand. Here are some snapshots of San Diego County sales over the past *90 days:

Community     Single Story Sales      Two Story Sales

Alpine                           61                                 47

Granite Hills               38                                 22

Mt. Helix                      65                                 12

Ocean Beach               24                                 14

La Costa                       32                                164

San Diego County remains a collective of micro areas and general statistics never tell the full story. Hiring a professional REALTOR® will help you with information in your specific community.

*Date collected from Sandicor MLS 8/24/15. Areas are general in location and have some overlap into adjoining areas.

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Can your kids afford to buy a home in San Diego?

According to SANDICOR MLS, the median home price in San Diego County is $517,000 and depending on the rate and down payment, the payment can be green housearound $2,148/month. A condo is $348,500 with a payment around $1,632/month including HOA fees.

Can your kids afford to own a home nearby? At what age will they be able to purchase a property? Will they need to purchase an affordable home in Wahoo, Nebraska?

The answer is yes, they can buy a home in San Diego County.

Here’s how they can do it:

With a little help from my parents.

There are many good reasons for a parent to help a child to purchase a home. Parental assistance can help a child to “settle down faster than he or she might be able to on his or her own,” explains David Weliver, the publisher of www.

According to  “Refinance your home, let your kids buy your home for the difference and assume the debt. You now have cash equity from the home to purchase another one, they didn’t have to qualify and they have a home.  You need to get the lender’s permission to do this.”

Purchase a property for them when they are young and rent it out. The rental payments will reduce the debt owed and have built up 22 years’ worth of equity when they graduate college

With a little help from my friends

Co-op purchasing. I purchased my first property in my early 20’s with my buddy Lorenz Stacks. Find a few friends and go in on a purchase with them. This is a fabulous way to combine assets and resources to afford a down payment.

Have the seller participate by carrying back a loan. Although hard to find, this is a nice way to save financing fees and can be easier to qualify.

So don’t dismay. With a little help, your kids you can afford to purchase a property in San Diego County.

Image courtesy of James Barker at


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Selling Your Home? Stop the Solar!

           At least for the moment. We all know solar energy is solargood for America. But how you pay for converting sunshine to electricity is what this is all about!

            Some buyers will avoid homes with solar leases. The seller exclaims, “The solar panels lower my electricity bills and my contract caps the rate I pay for juice.” This is true. However the question is, why did you get a lease instead of buying the system?

            -You leased because you don’t have to maintain the system,

-You didn’t have to pay any down payment.

Why do some buyers avoid a solar lease?

First, the buyers don’t enjoy the fact that you avoided putting any money down. Like alarm systems, water softeners and any other leased element that the buyer is compelled to take over, the buyer is limited in their choices of service providers. Additionally, leases are often considered in qualifying for a new home loan which affect the seniority of the purchase loan and the debt ratio of the buyer.

According to Ken Harney at, “Some would-be buyers balk when they learn that they’ll need to qualify on credit to take over your solar lease payments for the next 15 to 17 years. Others say they like the house but won’t sign a contract unless you buy out the remaining lease payment stream — $15,000 or $20,000 or more — because they’re worried that the solar equipment will become obsolete or won’t save as much on electricity bills as advertised,” as distributed by Washington Post Writers Group.

What happens at the end of the solar lease agreement? There are typically two options that are stated in leasing contracts: 1. You can buy the solar power system at “fair market value,” which unfortunately, no one can predict what that cost will be. 2. Have the solar panels removed from your roof.

Consultation Group

            If you are a owner thinking about selling within the next year, call a professional REALTOR® as part of your consultation group and get feedback before deciding whether to lease or own. Include your tax preparer and mother-in law in this group. Only if she has recently installed solar.

If you are a buyer, don’t shy away from homes leased with solar systems as they are lower maintenance and do save you money. Check the credentials of the solar company, have your agent provide you the contract information as soon as is practical and, review the lease terms with your lender. This is yet another good reason to never purchase a home without a professional REALTOR®!

Good resources include

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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Selling AS-ISN’T

5houses     Did you know every sale in California is an AS-IS sale? At least that is what the contractsays. You don’t even have to ask your REALTOR® to stipulate this. It is automatic. Yet if this is true, why is it that most homes that are not Flips or Short Sales are sold with requests to fix something or credit money towards the buyer?

Sell a Property 5 Times

          A professional agent must sell a home several times. The marketing and promotion continues every hour on the hour throughout the listing period. The sale comes when a buyer’s agent has expressed interest in the property. At this point, the first sale begins.

The listing agent helps sell the buyer’s agent sell the property to the prospect. The listing agent then sells the real estate to the inspectors, the appraiser, and the lender.

The Re-Negotiation

     Often, the buying party must be sold again! After the buying party has received all the disclosures and inspections, they may ask for credits/repairs. Wait! What happened to As-Is? The buyer often has the option to terminate the transaction if they are not satisfied with the inspection report. The buying party usually comes back with a list of repairs and now gives the seller the option to fix or terminate the transaction.

Selling As-Is

     Purchase a home inspection before you list and know what to expect. Make repairs up front or include the cost of repairs in the asking price.  If you list your home properly based on agent recommendation, the market place and current condition, then you can stand firm on your price, avoid last minute repairs and truly sell your home As-Is.

      Jeff Campbell is the sales manager for Pacific Growth Sales and has offices in Alpine, El Cajon and Mission Valley. He and his team of Concierge REALTORS® can be found on line at

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The Best Buyers Agent


When  sellers list their home, they hire a professional agent. They sign a contract for performance and compensation outlining their desired terms. If the professional performs, she is compensated. The agent is motivated to get the job done because they know that if they work hard and do well, they will be paid. Not so with some agents working with buyers.

That is unless you hire a buyers agent.

“-I want to see properties up to 50 miles from my work.

-I want to see a home as soon as it comes up on the market.

-I want to revisit a home 2 times before I make an offer.

-I want my parents and uncle to see it before I buy it.

-I am only available to see homes after work.

-I can only see properties on Saturday and Sunday.

-I want to offer a lower price no matter what the listing price is.

-Send me 100 internet listings then I will ask you questions on them.

-Find out why the internet listing is wrong.

-Find out why the home around the corner is not in the MLS.

-The listing agent tells me a different story; to whom am I to trust?”

Then the agent might receive a call that goes like this-

“-I put in an offer with the listing agent to save on closing costs, get a lower price, beat out other offers and because they were at the open house.”


What I just described was perhaps a wonderful buyer who deserved a better agent. A better agent who sophisticated the buyer up front.

A professional agent develops wonderful trust and explains how the home screening process is performed by the agent. The process takes serious time on the agent’s part and yields only the “Best Fit / Available Properties” to the buyer. This saves the buyer time and frustration and makes the shopping for a home both efficient and enjoyable.

This professional agent uses a Buyer broker agreement outlining the duties and responsibilities of the professional agent and states that for a specified period of time, as long as the agent remains true to his or her promise, the buyer commits to using that agent to purchase a property.

A buyer broker agreement is the first and perhaps most telling sign that you found the BEST Buyer’s Agent.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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