A Custom Local Real Estate Website vs A National Real Estate Website; There Is No Comparison


It amazes me how so many individuals turn to the big sites like Zillow & Trulia when searching for information about a particular real estate market. While these site are filled with information, the accuracy can be leaving you with more to desire. 

A Custom Local Website, like sdcoastalhomesales.com for instance, is linked with Sandicor; The San Diego Multiple Listing System. This website is updated daily providing you the most up to date information available. There have been numerous studies done that show significant variances in the accuracy of information provided to the customer from big national websites. 

A custom local website will generally provide about 10-20% more active listings in a given market. This is a huge pool of inventory that the consumer is not viewing and in markets where inventories are low such as San Diego, these results are critical and cannot afford to be missed.  

A custom local website will also show new home listings up to 7 days before those listings appear on Zillow or Trulia. Unless you have a Realtor sending you new listing updates,  7 days may pass before you are aware that a home that is perfect for you is on the market. While 7 days may not seem like a long time, it is more than enough time for a good real estate agent to sell a home. By the time you see this listing on Zillow or Trulia it is no longer on the market.  This leads to another major issue with these big national sites, their search results regularly show homes that have already sold yet still appear as active listings. Sometimes at an alarming rate of 25-33%.  This means that for every 3 to 4 homes you view, 1 of these listings may not even be available.

When choosing a website to search for homes, the choice is simple. A custom local website with a great search platform will keep you up to date and informed as if you were a real estate professional yourself.


April 29, 2014



Palisades Park Pacific Beach1)      Palisades Park-Watch the surfers from Palisades Park (Ocean Blvd., between Law/Wilbur Streets) - Watch as surfers catch waves from the cliffs above at Palisades Park. The ocean glimmers with Crystal Pier as a backdrop in the distance.  Sip on coffee from nearby Pacific Bean as you watch the sunrise or grab food to go from Café 976 for a picnic at sunset.

2)      Costa Brava-Enjoy Happy Hour at Costa Brava, Garnet Avenue – Sangria and Tapas – need we say more. Almost hidden on bustling Garnet Avenue, step through the green ivy and enter the world of Spanish Tapas and Sangria. A full dinner menu is also available.  The bartenders are fun and the food amazing (the marinated mushrooms are a must). Their Happy Hour is from 4-6pm daily and as a bonus check out their Pata Negra cheese shop right next door.

3)      Bike the Strand-One of the best ways to spend a sunny day in PB is to grab a beach cruiser and ride up and down the Strand. Great scenery, the sunshine glimmering off the water and the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Peddle down to Belmont Park and stop off at the Wave House and catch some waves on their artificial wave machines.

4)      Cali Burrito @ PB Shore Club-The Burrito may have not been invented in San Diego but San Diego has definitely perfected it. Loaded with Carne Asada, French Fries, Cheese, Sour Cream, & Pico de Gallo, the Cali Burrito has become a staple of San Diego food culture and nobody does it better than PB Shore Club.  Wash it down with a few Pacificos and watch the sunset from Shore Club's Ocean Front Bar & Grill. 

5)      Better Buzz-Sip on some fabulous coffee from Better Buzz.  Better Buzz is a San Diego institution for coffee lovers.  With only a handful of locations in the San Diego area, Pacific Beach is lucky to have 2 locations nearby.  (Garnet Avenue & Mission Blvd) They don’t call it the ‘Best Drink Ever’ for nothing!

PB6)     Paddle Board Sail Bay-The calm water of nearby Sail Bay (Mission Bay) make it the perfect place to Paddle the day away. Grab some lunch or a cold drink at the bay front outdoor restaurant at the Catamaran Resort and watch the sun move over the Bay and drift off into the Pacific from their chaise lounge chairs that are open to the public. 

7)     Garnet Avenue Pub Crawl-There is one thing Pacific Beach isn't lacking and that is great day drinking Bars. Bustling Garnet Avenue is lined for nearly a mile with great bars like the Tavern, PB Cantina, & Bub's. Head north or south on Mission Blvd and you will find many more options like Duck Dive, Miller's Field, or PB Ale House.  Plan your route in advance or just head where the day takes you. In PB, there is always a cold drink nearby.

8)     Kate Sessions Park-Spend an afternoon relaxing at Kate Sessions Park. Pack a few beach towels, some sunscreen, and be prepared to relax.  Kate Sessions Park offers unparalleled views of PB, downtown San Diego, and even Coronado Bridge on a clear day. The hillside portion of the park is filled with couples lounging in the grass or under the trees and dog owners playing catch with their pups.  Don’t forget about the additional 60 acres features hiking trails through natural sage shrub.

Patio on Lamont Pacific Beach9)   The Patio on Lamont Street. Brunch at The Patio is a PB must. The portions are huge, food is delectable, and the atmosphere is electric. Bring your best four-legged friend and receive half off of their dog-themed brunch cocktails.  Keep in mind that anytime at The Patio is a good time – Happy Hour cocktails at the Bar, Dinner with friends on the Patio sipping fine wine by their fireplace, or a private event in their indoor dining space.

10)      Sunset on the Beach- San Diego has some of the best sunsets in the world. Post up in your beach chair, sip some wine on the terrace at the oceanfront TWR 23's JRDN Restaurant  or head out into the surf. Wherever you end up, you are sure to see a gorgeous sunset.

April 2, 2014

California Property Tax Relief

Understanding Proposition 60/90California Property Tax Relief

Understanding Proposition 60/90 

Propositions 60 and 90 are constitutional amendments passed by California voters that provide property tax relief for individuals 55 and over. Prop 60 provides property tax relief by preventing property reassessment when a senior citizen sells their existing residence and purchases a replacement property equal to or less than the cost of their previous property.  Prop 90 allows you to sell your property in a participating county, and purchase a replacement property in any of the 7 counties that participate in the program.

The 7 counties that currently participate in this program are: San Diego, Alameda, Orange, Los Angeles, San Mateo, Ventura and Santa Clara.

The seller or their spouse must be 55 or older on the date of sale of their original property. This is a one time benefit unless you become disabled. 

To qualify for Proposition 60/90, the replacement property must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be equal to or less than the sales price of your current residence if you purchase the replacement property before you sell your current residence
  • The replacement property purchase price must not exceed 105% of the sales price of your current property if purchased within the first year after the sale of your current residence
  • The replacement property purchase price must not exceed 110% of the sales price of your current property if purchased within the second year after the sale of your current residence
  • You Must close on the replacement property within 2 years of the date of sale of your current property to qualify                             

The property tax transfer is not automatic. You have up to 3 years to file a application to transfer with your local assessors office. If you are looking to take advantage of Prop 90 be sure to contact the county assessors office to confirm this program is still in place.  You can find more detailed information on Prop 60 & Prop 90 by visiting the California State Board of Equalization web site.  

All information presented deemed reliable; however always consult your CPA, Real Estate Attorney or local tax office for specific information.
Posted in Tax Relief
March 24, 2014

Should You Buy A House Or Condo

Should You Buy a House or a Condo?

Moving to a new city and making decisions on your residence can be a critical decision. Should your new home be a single-family house or a condo? With rates on average mortgage loans trending near all-time lows, this is certainly the time to buy any property.

Here’s a handy, five-step guide to help you make the home vs. condo decision before you move:

Location: First and foremost, you must decide where you want to live. From there, find out about the condo and single-family house options in the area. Condos generally have a lower entry price than single family homes but tend to appreciate at a slower pace than a single family home and are more affected in an economic downturn. 

Privacy:  Think about how much privacy you would like. Having complete privacy is possible in a single-family house, while condo living means neighbors will be quite close. Outdoor space at a condo is generally shared space and doesn't offer the enjoyments of a private yard. 

Responsibility: When it comes to decisions affecting your home, do you feel comfortable involving neighbors? Many condo communities have strict rules about everything from paint choices to the hours when you can take out your trash cans. Pet restrictions are very common to the size of the animal or the amount of pets you can have. These are all issues that have no impact on owners of single family homes.

Maintenance: Many condos include maintenance fees that cover landscaping and exterior maintenance on the unit. While a homeowner of a single family home does not incur these monthly fees, they are solely responsible for any issues that arise with their property.

Budget: How much do you want to spend on the property? Condos are usually more affordable than a house, and if you are a first time home buyer the last thing you want to do is overextend yourself financially. Consult a lender and get pre-approved before you go house hunting. This will give you a better idea of what price points give you a monthly payment that you can manage as well as which price points you will be approved for  financing.