Solar Panels – Free Energy?

Solar Panels

Escondido home solar panels.

Being able to install solar panels on your Escondido home just got a little easier to finance.  The County of San Diego just approved a program that lets homeowners in the Escondido real estate area repay the cost of their solar panel installation over 20 years.  These payments would be made as an addition to their Escondido real estate annual property taxes.  Supervisor Dianne Jacob said, “This is a big deal for San Diego County.”    Supervisor Ron Roberts said the long-term goal is to reduce energy demand as much as possible.   Participation by Escondido home owners is strictly voluntary, but is it a good deal for the Escondido home owner.  Is it a good deal for the taxpayers?

So far San Diego North County home owners haven’t rushed out to start buying solar panels, so I decided to check into why?  I soon discovered that there is a huge upfront cost of adding solar panels to your Escondido house.  In fact the cost ranges from $20,000 to $60,000.  But do they pay for themselves?  Of course, I went to Google to get my answers.    I found a website,  that will allow you to calculate the savings on your own Escondido property.  Your start by plugging in your monthly average SDG&E bill.  I used $200 a month.  Based on just that data, the solar estimator quickly gave me some calculations for my home.  They were based on saving me 1/2 of my electrical utility bills.  That means they would be saving me $100 per month.  The initial cost of my custom solar system was estimated at $$40,410.  SDG&E would provide me a $4,445 credit.  The Federal government would give a 30% credit (out of your tax dollars) to me for installing solar.  With these credits I would still have an out of pocket, up front cost of $25,175.  Wow!  That would save me $100 a month or $1200 a year assuming no maintenance cost.   Bottom line, it would take over 20 years just to get my money back on installing solar panels.  With maintenance, etc. it would take considerably longer.  Bottomline, solar panels are certainly not free energy for the tax payers paying for them and they certainly are not free for the Escondido home owner.  Will they help you sell your Escondido real estate for more money or faster?  I don’t think so.  For more information contact Gary Harmon, your top Escondido Realtor.

Merry Christmas Video from Gary Harmon

Merry Christmas from Gary Harmon.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is almost here again.  I hope everyone has finished your Christmas shopping and have fun plans for Christmas Eve.  In all the hustle and bustle, please don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas, the celebration of our Savior’s birth.

Since I can’t see all my friends, relatives, and clients, I have posted this YouTube video.  Please check it out.  Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Staging: Secret To Selling Your Escondido Home In A Down Market

Escondio Home

Staging for Selling

You have just seen a series of post on how to ready your Escondido property for sale.  Remember the saying, “People buy what they see and not what will be.”  Or,  “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”   We have just discussed approximately 100 ways to get your Escondido home ready for sale.  But, what if you have to move and leave your home vacant.  There is always something a little unappealing and sad about a vacant Escondido house.  That is where staging or showcasing your home comes in.

Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor, can arrange to have a professional company stage your home and keep it ready for sale.  In a recent survey of Realtors, over two-thirds estimated that a staged Escondido home sells for 10 to 20% more and closes 60 to 90 days faster than a vacant Escondido property.  Staging companies (and we recommend Showhomes) help take the stress out of showing and selling your Escondido property by providing a turnkey package including whole-house furnishings, a professional staging and a live-in Home Manager to keep your Escondido home in show-to-sell condition seven days a week.  Staging a home can save you the Escondido homeowner holding  cost such as utility bills, cleaning fees, vacant house insurance premiums,and mortgage interest expense.  The Escondido homeowner savings  combined with a higher sales price, typically far exeed any  staging fees.  Staging companies, like Showhomes, provide commercial liability insurance on each home.

Whether a Escondido buyer, Escondido seller, or Escondido Realtor, the Escondido home selling and purchasing process is fraught with potholes.  In this weak Escondiodo real estate market, everyone involved in the selling process must increase their efforts. In order to sell Escondido homes at top dollar, Escondido houses must be “prepared for sales.” That’s where Staging, sometimes called showcasing,  becomes the secret weapon.   Contact Gary Harmon, your top Esondido Realtor more information on this great selling technique.

Living Room and Dining Room of Your Escondido Home

Dining Room

Dining Room

Many potential Escondido buyers evaluate your Escondido home by the beauty and livability of your living room and dinning room.  These are two of the main rooms that the buyer sees first upon entering your home.  Once again, make the buyers first impression a good lasting impression.

  • Floors and walls must look great.  Many people have strong accent colors on their dining room walls, but a neutral color will probably appeal to the majority of buyers.
  • If you have a fireplace in the living room of your Escondido house, make sure to clean out the ashes and soot.  Polish or clean any screens and fireplace tools.
  • If you have sheets, towels, or throws on your living room furniture, put them away.
  • When showing your home make sure the lights are turned on.  Your Escondido Realtor could do this, but a better impression is made if they are on as the buyer enters the home.
  • In the dining room, turn down the lights if the switch is adjustable to create a pleasant ambiance.  This is a room that the buyers will use to impress their guest, so show them how  easily it will be.
  • Some times we make the living room or dining room a multiple purpose room.  For example, I have my office and desk in the dining room.  However, how  we live in our Escondido homes and how we sell a home needs to be entirely different.  The living room should feel and look like a living room and the dining room should be only a dining room.

There are a lot more things you will be able to think of to improve these rooms.  Some of my clients  like to formally set the dining room table to make it look inviting.  For more information on getting your Escondido home ready for sale, contact Gary Harmon, your top Escondido Realtor.

The Entry Way of Your Escondido Home

This is another post relating to 100 Ways to Prepare Your Escondido Home for Sale.  Remember, “You never get a second chance at a first impression,” so when the front door of your Escondido house swings open, things need to look good.

  • If you foyer has a beautiful floor, focus on that.  Make sure it is shined and maintained scrupulously.
  • Keep furniture to a minimum in the entry way.  You want to make it feel as large as possible.
  • If you have ugly rugs entry floor, put them away unless the weather is bad.
  • If you see the stairs as soon as the front door opens, make sure the carpet is clean.
  • Paint any worn spots on the walls, repair any wallpaper, in general make sure the area looks first class.
  • Make sure the bannister in your Escondido home is not loose.
  • Make sure the stairs don’t creak.
  • If there are windows in the entry, make sure they sparkle.
  • The front doors, both inside and out must be perfect.  And, please make sure the lock works easily.
  • Fresh cut flowers from the yard adds a nice touch on an entry table.

The front door and front entry will play a big part in getting your potential Escondido buyer off it a positive viewing of you Escondido property.   For more tips read the other related post.   To find out more about successfully selling your Escondido real estate, contact Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor.

Spruce up the Kitchen of your Escondido Home

Kitchens are King

Kitchens are King

Kitchens are King

No other room is more important in selling your Escondido home than the kitchen.   This is the top place to spend your money when getting your Escondido real estate ready for market.  Escondido sellers that do a kitchen remodel usually find they get more than their money back in the selling price of their home.  Whats more, their Escondido home sells faster.  If you are not up to a full kitchen remodel, there are things to do that don’t cost a lot of money.

  • The kitchen in your Escondido property must be absolutely spotless.  Hire someone to professionally clean it.  There must be no odors.
  • Check out the flooring in the kitchen.  If it is vinyl, consider replacing it with new.   If it is tile make sure the grout is clean.  If it is hardwood, make sure it is shined.
  • Take all the extra clutter off the kitchen countertops.   Baskets make a good item to put things in.   Make sure countertop grout is clean.  Replace grout and caulk where necessary.
  • Make sure the kitchen in your Escondido house is lite and bright.  Think of how model homes look.  Have the windows cleaned and be sure to turn on the lights before each showing.
  • Consider replacing all but new faucets.
  • If you have stainless appliances, make sure they shine and are free of any waterspots.

We spend a lot of time in our kitchens, so make sure everything is in top shape for your potential Escondido home buyer.  Need more tips, contact Gary Harmon, your top Escondido Realtor.

How Escondido Home Buyers Search for Homes has Changed

The way buyers search for Escondido homes for sale has changed.

In the past few years, the way prospective Escondido home buyers find and purchase Escondido real

estate has changed. Forever gone are the days when Escondido buyers came to town, were attracted

to the Prudential California Realty sign and stopped into the local Prudential Realty office to see what

was available by going through the San Diego MLS book.  Also, gone is the practice of going through

the San Diego Union or North County Times newspaper ads each Sunday for the family looking to

purchase an Escondido home. Foot traffic, people seeing the Prudential yard sign, your Escondido

Realtor doing floor duty—all these things that use to produce buyer prospects for Escondido homes

for sale, are  not in the quantity they used to.

Escondido home buyers start their searches on the Internet.

Things have changed and the Escondido home buyer usually starts their Escondido real estate search

on the Internet.  Most start with a Google search.  Today’s Escondido home buyer is most likely to

simply sit down in front of a laptop, go to Google, type in “Escondido homes for sale,” Escondido real

estate,” or Escondido Realtor.  Your agents website or blog must appear on the first two pages of the

search results for the above terms that buyers are using.  If your Escondido Realtor is Gary Harmon,

his blog will be on the first two pages for all the important search terms and

your home will be found.  Increase the chances of selling your Escondido real estate, contact Gary


Spruce Up the Interior of Your Escondido Home

Spruce Up Interior

Spruce Up Interior

We have concentrated on the outside of your Escondido home and now it is time to go inside and make some changes. Try to look at your Escondido property through the eyes of a potential buyer. Remember, “People buy what they see and not what will be.” Most of the suggestions that follow will help improve any kind of Escondido real estate. Most of these ideas apply to all room in the house.

  • The first thing you probably should notice is the carpet.  Is it clean, is it a good current color, is in worn or in good shape?   I know you are thinking that the Escondido buyer can buy new carpet when they move in, but don’t count on it.  Remember the slogan above and do what needs to be done.  New carpet that updates and cleans up your Escondido home can easily pay for itself.
  • The next large thing your buyers may notice is the walls.  Consider getting rid of any “strong” colors.  Neutralize your Escondido house.  Remember you want the buyer to think of it as their potential home.  Clean all walls where necessary, patch holes, and repaint if needed.  Escondido real estate with new carpet and paint seldom stays on the market for long.  It also lets you get the most money for you Escondido home.
  • Remember our saying, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness?”  That goes double when marketing your home.   Give every room in the house a thorough deep cleaning.  Some buyers need the home move in ready.
  • Almost forgot the most important thing, “Escondido homes that smell are Escondido homes that don’t sell.”  You may have grow a custom to the pet smells in your home, but the potential Escondido buyer will notice them right away.  How do you know if you have pet smells?  You could also ask a friend, neighbor, or your Escondido Realtor if they smell anything.  Problem with this is that people trying to be polite and nice don’t always give you the straight scoop.  Here is the rule.  If you have a dog or cat, you have smells.

Work on the items above,  see the other hints in my earlier post, and contact Gary Harmon, that’s me, to get your Escondido home sold fast.

Online Exposue for Your Escondido Home

Escondido Real Estate Exposure

Over 87% of all Escondido home buyers use the Internet to start their search for Escondido real estate.    Your Escondido Realtor may promise to put your Escondido home listing on a number of websites, but this is really only a scattershot approach.   Prudential California Realty has developed an integrated Internet strategy that can create real demand for your Escondido property.    Your top Escondido Realtor, Gary Harmon and Prudential Escondido Realty partner with leading multimedia resources to give your Escondido home a compelling visual showcase.  We make sure your Escondido house is seen in all the places that count including the following:

  •   Over 900,000 unique visitors per month
  •    Host over 7.1 million visitors a month
  •    425 million users
  • Zillow  5 million unique visitors per month
  • Google  Over 137 million unique visitors a month
  • RealtyTrac  2.2 million visitorn
  • SignOnSanDiego  More than 2.5 million per month

This is just a few of the places that Gary Harmon and Prudential California Realty make sure your Escondido home is seen.

For more information on getting the maximum visibility for your Escondido home listing, contact Gary Harmon.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my friends and clients in Escondido. Hope this has been a great year for you. Please take a few moments to watch this Christmas card. It is definitely one of the best I have seen.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

[pageview “Merry Christmas” Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor, wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas.]