Short Sale – Escondido Real Estate

What is the difference in a short sale of an Escondido home and a foreclosure? What is an REO and a bank owned property? Escondido home buyers often lump all of these distressed sales together, but they are very different and must be approached in different ways.

Foreclosure, REO, or Bank Owned Property

Let’s start by addressing the foreclosure which is easier to define. A foreclosure is a process where the bank takes back ownership of the Escondido real estate. The bank files a notice of foreclosue against the Escondido home. After 120 days the bank can then take ownership of the property. The homeowner is out of the loop so to speak. Properties that have been taken back by this process are often referred to as bank on properties or reo’s which stands for “real estate owned.” From a buyers point of view, foreclosures, reo’s, bank owned homes are very attractive. Buyers can make offers and the bank can make an immediate decision. For Esconido home buyers needing to move into a home right away this type of purchase beats the short sale.

Short Sale

A short sale is a sale where the proceeds from the sale of the property will not be enough money to pay off all of the leins against the Escondido property. A short sale requires approval from the lein holders. Many times this takes much more time than the Escondido buyer is willing to wait. Short sales have advantages and disadvantages from both the buyer and seller angle. This blog will take a look at all the various angles of the Escondido short sale in future blogs on this subject. For immediate information, call Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor. For immediate reading see Gary’s main website.  Get a summary of  “Short Sale Basics.”  Find out  “How to Qualify for a Short Sale.”  Find, “What are the Advantages of a Short Sale.”  And see “Short Sale Supporting Documentation” a lender may need.

Maui Timeshare for Sale or Rent

This is now sold.  

Maui Timeshare for Sale or Rent


Back to Back Summer Weeks Available!


Kahana Falls Resort (2bedroom/2 bath) (eoy) (even years) (fixed weeks)
Maui, Hi
Purchase Price: $1450/wk
Rental Price: $1000/wk Date: 8/14 – 8/21/2010
Kahana Falls Resort offers a friendly, accommodating staff, comfortable and clean rooms, and quality facilities. This Hawaiian, two-bedroom unit offers a queen bed in each bedroom, a queen sleeper sofa, kitchen, washer/dryer, and private lanai. Kahana Falls is located in Maui, Hawaii, just north of Ka’anapali Beach and just south of Kapalua Bay. All units are non-smoking and air conditioned. This unit (unit 410) is of one of the only units in Kahana Falls having partial ocean views. You have ocean views from the living room, dining room, master bedroom and lanai. It is also one of the few units with fixed time. These are fee simple weeks. Weeks 32 or 33 are available or both. Discount offered if you purchase both. Week 33 can be rented from 8/14-8/21/2010 for $1000. More photos or larger photos will be provided upon request.





FREE iPad offered by North County Realtor

FREE iPad when you buy or sell with Gary.


Offer no longer available.  Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor, is offering a FREE iPad to any North County buyer or North County seller that closes a transaction with Gary in March through May.  Since it takes time to sell your North County real estate, this free offer also applies to anyone that list their North County home with Gary Harmon during the same period.  To get the FREE iPad, the listing must sell and close.

Why would Gary Harmon make such an offer?  Gary realizes that buying a North County home in these tough economic times requires drastic measures.  First-time home buyer incentives are available and good loan rates, but some people may just need a little extra push.  Gary hopes this FREE iPad will help get some buyers or sellers off the fence and into the North County real estate market.  This would help the buyers, the sellers, the escrows, the title companies, and all phases of the San Diego North County economy.  This FREE iPad offer is not to be used with any other incentive given by Gary Harmon.   For more information and to get started on the road to a FREE iPad, contact Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor.

Check out all the features of the new Apple iPad.

Escondido Homes – Life of an Escrow

Once you have written a contract on your Escondido real estate purchase and it has been accepted by the Escondido seller, your escrow should start.  Hopefully you have chosen to work with a full service escrow company like Pickford Escrow.  The following will describe what takes place during the four week escrow period based on a 30 day escrow period.

Week 1 – Opening Escrow on you Escondido home

  • Escrow gets a copy of the fully executed purchase contract on your Escondido house.  Many times this includes counter offers.
  • The Escondido buyer takes his deposit to escrow (usually within the first 3 days).
  • The escrow company request lender information and/ or a pre-qual letter.  These can be provided by HomeServices Lending.
  • Escrow opens a title order with the chosen title company.  Gary recommends California Title Company (CalTitle).
  • Escrow request CC&R’s and payoff demands.
  • Faxes escrow instructions to both Gary Harmon, your Escondido real estate agent, and the other Realtor.
  • Sends out escrow packages to both the Escondido buyer and Escondido seller for completion.

Your Escondido Realtor, Gary Harmon will make sure the physical inspection, Disclosure Source natural hazard report, and pest control inspection are ordered.

Week 2 – Of your Escondido home escrow

  • Gary Harmon, your top Escondido Realtor, will call escrow to make sure paperwork is being returned.
  • The Escondido selling agent, will check to make sure the lender has the completed loan package.
  • Make sure the credit report is in and the Escondido property appraisal is ordered.
  • Title report and CC&R’s are sent to the Escondido buyer
  • Check  to make sure termite inspection has been done and a copy forwarded to escrow.
  • Check with Pickford Escrow to make sure payoff demands, HOA demands, and docs have been ordered.

Week 3 – Escrow on Escondido property continues

  • You Escondido real estate agent checks with escrow to see what may still be outstanding. 
  • Your Escondido Realtor follows up on outstanding items and checks loan status.
  • Has the termite work on the Escondido real estate been finished?
  • Have repairs been completed as specified in the Escondido home repair request?
  • Order Escondido home protection plan from First American.

Final Week – Escondido home escrow

  • Docs should now be back to escrow for a on  time closing
  • Make an appointment with Escondido buyer to sign docs.  Also, let buyer know how much money to bring in.
  • Go over any final items with your Escondido Realtor and transaction coordinator.
  • All docs go back to the lender and escrow coordinates with lender to fund the Escondido buyer’s loan.
  • When the loan funds, and documents record, your Escondido home escrow closes.  Your Escondido real estate agent will get you your key.

For more information on escrow, title, etc., contact Gary Harmon, your best Escondido Realtor.

Expansion of Home Improvement Tax Credit

Tax credits for making energy efficient Escondido home improvements are now 30% of the cost of the improvements.  The maximum amount you can receive is $1,500.  So for example, if you added qualified improvements to your Escondido house of $4,000 the credit you would receive a tax refund of $1,200 when you file your tax returns. Eligible Escondido home improvements include energy efficient exterior windows and doors,furnaces, heat pumps insulation, central air conditioners and water heaters. Generally, your Escondido home improvement contractor and/or the manufacturer selling the improvements issues a certification that clarifies whether the improvements meet the necessary standards for energy efficiency. Places like the Escondido Home Depot can also help you know what qualifies.  Most newer models of modern windows, furnaces, and air conditioners meet these requirements. If you’ve been of doing any of the improvements that qualify, this spring might be a good time to upgrade your Escondido property.  Watch for the great springs sales, get a good price and then a tax break.  There is also a substantial credit for adding solar panels to you Escondido house.  Before you do so read my post “Solar Panels – Free Energy?”

To get more Escondido real estate information, contact Gary Harmon, your Escondido real estate agent.

Disaster Supply Kit for Your Escondido Home

Natural Disaster

If you live in the Escondido real estate area, you should be prepared for at least two major kinds of natural disasters.  In a previous post, I shared with you the “7 Steps to Earthquake Safety.”    The other major potential disaster in the Escondido real estate area is fire.  Not just wildfires, but more often just Escondido house fires.  If fact, in San Diego North County house fires are by far the number one disaster. 

With any kind of disaster you need to be prepared as well as possible.  You should be prepared to evacuate your Escondido home or to stay in the Escondido property if necessary.  To deal with a disaster you need to have a diaster plan and you should have a disaster supply kit.  You can buy these from the San Diego branch of the American Red Cross or make your own.  You should store your supplies in waterproof, sturdy, and easy to carry containers.  Duffle bags and backpacks work well.   You have to be ready to just “grab and go” if necessary. 

When making your own disaster supply kit for your Escondido home you should include enough items to last you and your family for at least three days.   The following is a list of things to include:

  • A basic first aid kit
  • An extra set of car and Escondido house keys
  • A list of prescriptions (you also might want to grab your prescriptions at the last minute)
  • Battery powered radio and flashlight ( store the batteries separately)
  • Lighter and matches (don’t take or light candles)
  • Basic tools and a few kitchen dishes and utensils
  • Change of clothes and shoes
  • Sleeping bags or blankets
  • Water to last at least 3 days (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food that won’t spoil or that needs very little cooking
  • A manual can opener

Most of these items for your Escondido home disaster supply kit are very inexpensive.  Don’t make your kits too heavy to carry.  Don’t make your Escondido property disaster kit too complicated.  If you do you will never get one made.  Remember, any kit is better than no kit.  Be prepared.  Also, be sure to refresh food and water in the kits as needed. 

For Escondido real estate information, contact Gary Harmon, your Escondido real estate agent.

Escondido Real Estate Market Statistics for February


Escondido HomeThe median price of available Escondido Homes for Sale this Feb 15, 2010 is $399,900.   The 598 Escondido houses  have a market time of 146 days.  The Escondido real estate market has been consistently cool for several weeks.   Escondido home inventory and days on the market have been rising. It is still a buyer’s market and Escondido real estate prices have continued to fall somewhat. 

Statistical information in this monthly report is supplied by Pickford Escrow and was developed by Altos Research.

Escondido Homes Market Summary (Feb 15, 2010)
Zip 92025
Zip 92026
Zip 92027

Median Escondido Homes Asking Price 


List Price per Square Foot
Average Days on the Market
Median Escondido Homes Size (sqft)  
Median # of Bedrooms
Median # of Baths


The median prices in Escondido homes in the above table does not always give the whole picture.   It sometimes helps to look at Escondido home median prices broken down by quarters.  The following for Escondido homes for sale is an average of all four zip codes.  The median Escondido properties price for the most expensive 25% of Escondido homes is $765,000.  The median price for the upper middle 25% is $485,000.  The lower middle median price for Escondido properties is $320,000 and the bottom 25% of Escondido homes for sale median price is $218,000.  For more information about Escondido homes for sale, contact Gary Harmon your Escondido real estate agent and top Escondido Realtor.

Tips on Contacting Escondido Home Owners in Default

Be quick in contacting the Escondido home owner.

You have always heard, “The early bird gets the worm.”  That is very true when trying to get a good deal on Escondido real estate.  You should not wait too long before you make contact with the Escondido home owner that is in default.  Remember it is 120 days from the notice of default until the bank usually takes back the Escondido house.  Once you have gotten together a down payment, have been prequalified with a good lender like HomeServices Lending, you need to make contact with the home owner for any Escondido property that you have interest in.

Be nimble when contacting the Escondido home owner.

You basically have the following three ways to contact the Escondido property owner.

  1. Send the Escondido property owner a note or letter.  An email would work, but you probably do not have that address.
  2. Call the Escondido home owner if you have a telephone number.
  3. Drive to the Escondido property and knock on the door.  I do not recommend the 3rd option; there may be risk involved.

You may find that you end up using some combination of the above three methods to get intouch with the owner.  Contacting these Escondido home owners who are in default can be the most intimidating step in trying to buy a pre-foreclosure Escondido property.  When the house is already bank owned (REO) you would be contacting a lender directly.  Inexperienced Escondido foreclosure buyers should contact their Escondido Realtor who has some expertise in Escondido foreclosures.

If you are able to make contact with the Escondido owner, remember that they have no obligation to talk to you or work with you.  Let them know that you will give them an option that will be beneficial to them as well as to you as the Escondido home buyer.  You want to make it win-win.  Help the Escondido home owner walk away from the bad situation that they are in without an Escondido foreclosure on their credit.  Even better if they can walk away with a minimum amount of cash.

Be professional will dealing with a pre-foreclosure owner of an Escondido home.

After you have made initial contact, try to set up a meeting so you can see the Escondido real estate and discuss the situations and many options.  Be sure to find out how many loans are against the Escondido home.  If the home is “underwater” where there is more debt than value to the home, you should probably just walk away.  It would be very difficult for you to negoiate a short sale on their Escondido property.

When you contact the Escondido owner they may not want to talk to you immediately.  In that case leave them your name, phone #, email address, etc. and tell them to call you if they change their mind.

Last Tip when contacting an Escondido pre-foreclosure owner.

Expect some rejection from the pre-foreclosure owner.  They are in a very bad and sometimes embarrasing situation.  Try to be sensitive that they are going through hard times.  They may feel that you are just there to try to take advantage of them.  In any case, be prepared, be respectful, and just move on if they are not interested.  Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor, has delt with many short sale and foreclosure situation.  Let his 21 years of experience help you save money and hassle on your next Escondido home purchase.

Escondido Foreclosures – How do I buy?

How do I buy a pre-foreclosure Escondido home?

An Escondido home becomes a pre-foreclosure when it has a notice of default filed against the Escondido real estate.  There is usually a sale at auction 120 days after the pre-foreclosure is filed.  During this 120 day period the Escondido home owner still has a chance to stop the entire process by paying off what is owed on his Escondido home or selling his Escondido property.  You may contact the owner during this period, but they may not be ready to talk at this time.  To find pre-foreclosures of Escondido homes, use “Free Foreclosure Search.”

How do I buy an auction Escondido home?

After the Escondido property owner fails to make several mortgage payments the bank may file a notice of default on the Escondido house.  After 120 days the property will usually be scheduled for auction.  During the 120 days the Escondido homeowner has a grace period to bring payments up to date and to stop the foreclosure proceedings against his Escondido home.  If the Escondido homeowner fails to do so, his Escondido property will probably be sold at auction.  You can find Escondido properties scheduled for auction along with the dates of the auction at “Free Foreclosure search.”  For more information on how to actually buy this Escondido auction homes, contact Gary Harmon your Escondido Realtor.

How do I buy Escondido foreclosure homes?

Escondido foreclosure homes are homes the bank has taken back through the foreclosure process.  Most banks will list these properties with an Escondido Realtor.  You can find these Escondido homes by using “Free Foreclosure Search,” “Quick Homes Search” or use “Listingbook.”  Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor can help you find these homes and get the best deal available.

How do I contact the owners in default?

The only time you can contact the owners in default is during the pre-foreclosue period on their Escondido real estate.  This is usually about a 120 day window.  See Gary Harmon’s next post on “How do I contact the owners in default?” for great tips.