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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50 Shades of Color!

Since when is Gray Sexy?shades of color

   Will buyers remember a home that is unexciting or blase’? Will your wall drab into the other walls or will one wall make an entire room pop? Wouldn’t you rather have 50 shades of color in your home? 

Navajo White

For 20 years, Navajo white reigned supreme in apartments and tract housing because it did not readily show fingerprints and cigarette smoke stains.  Since fewer people smoke indoors and Sanitary Wipes are everywhere, it is time to bring color back into our lives.

On www. , the site discusses how to bring out the interest in a home by using bolder hues to make architectural details more interesting.

Blues are calming and lighter shades can represent the sky. Browns feel stable and natural.  Red/orange can be energizing and warm. Off whites and creams can shine and be a very safe color choice. Grays can be calming and elegant.

Wait.  I thought we weren’t talking about Grays. I wasn’t talking about 50 shades. One or two can work well.

According, Bob Vila, former host of ‘This Old House’ talks about exterior colors and states,  “Earth tones play well in natural settings such as wooded lots. The color also should take into account other features of the home. A good color takes into account the roof color, stonework, bricks and other elements of the home. The color selection also depends somewhat on the vegetation on the lot. Shrubs and trees might impact your choice of exterior color. Lastly, some homes simply feature an architectural style that demands conforming to some traditional colors. As Vila says, Colonial-style homes often look their best with white exteriors, but ranch-style homes are more appealing with more color.”

Final Brushstroke

Consult with a home stagger prior to undertaking any paint project Use caution as the RDJ* has come out with a warning! Accent walls do not constitute  every wall in a room and subtle colors are not bold colors. They are muted, sublime, soft and, well, SUBTLE!

*RDJ is the Real Estate Department of Jeff

Image courtesy of Winnond at

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Don’t Be a Seller Preventing Sale

seaguls flyingA seller in control is a transaction out of control

They say one thing we pay for not to get is education. The other element we pay for not to get is control. Never be a seller controlling every marketing move, all the contract decisions and each action of the agent. Yes it is your home however if you don’t get to closing, the home remains yours.

Inner Peace in the Transaction

Everyone is looking out for themselves and their client. All good people understand that getting means giving. This is the give and take of the negotiation. This process can be a bit stressful. Some agents believe that controlling the entire transaction from beginning to end is the way to find success. Top REALTORS let go of control and are supreme masters of “calm.”

Spin the Magnet

When a seller push push pushes only to find resistance, it is time to take a step back. Today’s real estate market is not the climate to adopt the “we will wait for another buyer” position. When the ideal combination of the right buyer, the right co-op agent and well qualified financials exist, a seller must work to find ground where everyone can be happy. Ideal buyers may not be abundant.  Let go of control and adopt calm. Sometimes spinning one magnet will attract the other one to your side.

About the writer – Jeff Campbell is the Manager at Pacific Growth Sales.  He revels in the lighter and deeper side of real estate.

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Sex , Lust and Real Estate Eros

Sex and Buying Real Estate                     firematchblog

               This expose’ draws your eyes hard into the real estate advertising world where glorified steamy seduction titillates your pulsing senses to such a degree that you must reread the ad over and over and over again until you drop the magazine in the exhaustive release of your grip and with eyes half mast, you feel for a cigarette, and grope around for a light.

The Master Suite

               What boudoir does not feel more inviting, is more enveloping than one with a four poster bed? You say personal property has little to do with the home sale? Au contraire says every home stager,  developer, builder, and every professional real estate agent.  Stay classy San Diego – no mirrored ceilings and no nude statues, but sheer and lace and silk tassels, draperies and décor that is modern-day fashionable is always alluring.

Baths and Closets

               The embrace of beads of water cascading down the occupants of a wonderful shower is an improvement not to be overlooked. And let’s not forget the stories made in the closets. Make sure they show clean and roomy for your open house. Allow buyer’s minds to wonder and imagine the possibilities of integrating with the home.

The Kitchen

               More work is done in the kitchen than in any other room in the house. Whether it’s with guests, in the morning or evening time, it’s where the groceries are delivered, the goods are prepped, and most of the cooking is done. From the sink, the dishwasher and the stove, this is one steamy room. Make it feel open, clean and inviting. Plenty of counter room is desirous. Room to spread out and entertain is a plus.

The Garage

                Keep it clean. Uncluttered work benches make it easy to imagine pounding our projects. Also, a clean floor  allows the prospect to see that one can  pull in and out without getting a door ding. Stay organized by putting it in a box or on a shelf. Store your equipment out of site until you need to use it then put it away when done. Buyers don’t want to see your junk everywhere.

               Creative advertising can be alluring. Since residential real estate purchases are influenced by emotion, the sensuality of a home is one of many characteristics that a house represents to people. A professional agent remains clever, tasteful and understanding of buyer’s emotions, needs and wants and professionally translates these psychological components into staging and marketing. Try staging and advertising ideas yourself. Shoot for the moon and see what you come up with.

Image courtesy of Idea go at

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