Maximize the Chance of Selling Your Ocean Hills Home

Get your Ocean Hills home in top condition

  • There are many things Ocean Hills sellers can easily do to get their Oceanside homes for sale in top physical condition to sell.   Type “fix up your home” in the “Search this Blog”  box to the right on this page to get many useful articles on making simple improvements. 
  • Do what you know needs doing?  You are probably already are aware of things that aren’t working just right around your home and now is the right time to fix them.  You want the Ocean Hills Country Club  buyer to get the right first impression.  Do those things that you have been putting off.
  • Learn from my 21 years of selling San Diego North County homes  and my two October sales of Ocean Hills Country Club homes what comes up most often in the property physical inspections.  Fix these items before you start to sell and you will get more money faster.  Also, the buyer always likes it when he pays for a physical inspection and the Ocean Hills home he has chosen comes out great in the inspection.  Here are some of the things that show up most often in physical inspections.   (1)  Grout-Check the kitchen and bathrooms for areas that need the grout touched up or replaced.  This improves the looks of both areas and is usually an item the physical inspector always catches. (2) Air gap at kitchen-If water comes out of your air gap at the sink when you run the diswasher, it shouldn’t.  Take the hose loose under the sink and clean it out with a close hangar.  Easy to do and a quick and cheap fix.  (3)   Furnace filters-I know the Ocean Hills buyer cannot see this, but might as well get it done up front.  During your physical inspection the buyer will think you keep a well maintained and clean home.  (4) Replace windows that have broken seals and show condensation between the dual panes. 

If you are thinking of selling your home, I would be happy to come by and do a quick walkthrough to see items that you can do cheaply and easily to get your Ocean Hills home in top condition.

Hire the right real estate specialist

Why hire one of the rest when you can team up with the best, contact Gary Harmon and put Gary Harmon’s Winning Team to work for you.

Team Up with the Best – Sell Your Ocean Hills Home

Prudential California Realty

Why work with the rest?  Team up with the best, Gary Harmon and Prudential California Realty.  If you were selecting a doctor or lawyer, you would want the best.  When you are selling your most expensive asset, your Ocean Hills Country Club home, you owe it to yourself to also have the best.  Gary’s winning team is the best.  You don’t have to take our word for it, see the objective opinions of the San Diego Union and J.D. Power and Associates.   Put Gary Harmon’s winning team to work for you today.

Once again this year, Prudential California Realty has been honored by the Union Tribune, 2010 readers poll. “Of all endorsements real estate professionals can receive, the ones that come from our clients mean the most.”  Thank you San Diego Union readers for voting us the best for 2010. I can assure you that we are already working to be the top in next years poll.

Prudential California Realty was again recognized by the San Diego Business Journal as being #1 in real estate home sales in San Diego for the 14th straight year.

Nationally, Prudential Real Estate Network ranked “Highest Overall Satisfaction for Home Sellers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms” in J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Home Buyer/Seller Study. This marks the second time in three years that the Network ranked highest in seller satisfaction.
Nationally, Prudential was ranked by JD Power as top.

I am proud to have Prudential California Realty as part of my winning team. Maximize the chance of selling your Ocean Hills home for more money and less time, team up with Gary Harmon and Prudential California Realty. For more questions contact Gary Harmon, your top Ocean Hills Country Club Realtor.

Halloween Safety Tips – San Diego North County

Halloween – Sunday, October 31st

Halloween Trivia

Halloween is one of the oldest holidays celebrated in the world.

It dates back more than 2000 years ago.

The largest pumpkin on record weighed over 1,500 pounds.

Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.

Orange and Black are the traditional colors of Halloween.

Halloween History

On Halloween,  Irish peasants would beg the rich for food.  For those that refused, they would play a practical joke.  Thus “trick or treat.”  To avoid being tricked, the rich would hand out fruit, candy, and cookies.  This practice morphed into todays Halloween tradition.  With such a large number taking part in Halloween festivities every year, it is important to remember some safety tips.

Halloween Safety Tips

  • Help your young child pick out or make a costume that will be safe.  Be sure to purchase or make costumes out of flame-resistant materials such as nylon or polyester as these specially marked fabrics will resist burning and extinguish quickly.   Also, children should wear something reflective on their clothing and carry a flashlight or glow stick.  
  •  In most San Diego North County communities it’s not safe to let kids walk the streets by themselves. Your best bet is to make sure that an adult is going with them.  Small children should always be accompanied by adults (hopefully parents).  And children always make sure that your mom or dad is within sight while you go out trick-or-treating. 
  • Older children should travel in groups.  Always make sure that your parents know where you are going and who you are going with.
  •  If you parents give you a curfew, be home when they say. If you are going to be late, call them and let them know.
  •  Be careful when you cross a street. Make sure to look in both directions and make sure that there are no cars coming.
  •  If a street has a stop light, wait until the cross walk light tells you that it’s okay to cross, but still look both ways.
  • Never go into a stranger’s house or even ring their door for treats unless your parents are with you and say that it’s okay.
  • Don’t consume homemade treats or treats that are unwrapped, have torn wrappers, or appear old or tampered with.
  • Do not approach homes that are not well lite.
  • If you can tell that someone does not want to participate in Halloween, honor that and leave them alone.
  • Do not pet strange dogs or cats.  Your costume may scare them and they may become aggressive.
  • Vandalism is never cool! Throwing eggs at cars and houses is not cool. If you get caught. You can also be arrested and punished.

Adults need to be aware of things they can do to make their San Diego homes safer at Halloween.

  • If you are doing Halloween lights, do not connect more than three miniature light strings together.  Also, be sure to check the rating on your extension cords and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage. Cords should not be run under carpets or tacked-up with metal nails or staples.
  • Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard. Look for a red UL mark to indicate that lights are certified for both indoor and outdoor use. A green UL mark indicates certification for indoor use only
  • Beware of Candles!  Candles, especially in a Jack O’Lantern, should be off the ground and out of children’s reach.  Try battery-operated LED candles for an even safer option. 
  • Halloween costumes should allow full movement for your kids. Costumes that drag, constrict or drape pose a dangerous hazard, especially at night. Check to ensure that costumes don’t restrict your children’s vision, and instruct them to watch out for tripping hazards, such as cords.
  • Be Safe and Bright.  Choose costumes that are lighter in color and attach reflective materials to costumes. Make sure each child has a flashlight to help them see and be seen.
  • Keep Hungry Monsters from Feeding.  Never let your kids eat Halloween candy before you inspect it in the light at home. Even if you know your neighbors, you should always check to be safe and throw away open candy or anything that looks at all suspicious.
  • Talk to your Little Ghouls About Safety  Here’s a fun way to go over basic safety rules with your kids before the evening arrives. Give them this Halloween family safety quiz, and when they’re done, award them with a UL safety certificate that they can post on the front door!
  • As bad as it sounds, this is just a fact of life now. Get on the internet and check your California local website for sex offenders.  Look up your zip code and it should have a list of registered offenders in your area that includes street addresses. Make sure that your kids stay away from these houses!
  • Know what other activities a child may be attending, such as parties, school or mall functions. If they are going to be at a friends home, get the phone number and make sure that you’ve met the parents.
  • Make sure you set a time that your kids should be home by. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time or to call immediately if something happens and they are going to be delayed.
  •  Serve your kids a filling meal before trick or treating and they won’t be as tempted to eat any candy before they bring it home for you to check. Check your local grocery store or craft store for Halloween cook books full of tasty treats on a horror theme for both kids and adults.

For planned things to do this Halloween, see my blog: “Halloween Activities in San Diego 2011.”

Need to be safe doing a San Diego North County real estate transaction, contact Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor.  Gary’s 21 years of experience with Prudential California Realty can help protect your most important investment, your home.

Halloween Activities in San Diego 2010

These great Halloween activities are brought to you by Gary Harmon and California Title Company.   See what halloween activities are scheduled in San Diego North County and other areas of San Diego county.  This includes the Haunted Hotel, the Haunted Trail, the Scream Zone haunted hayride, the Halloween Ball at the Prado, the Monster Manor, Searworld Spooktacular, Bates Nut Farm activities, Haunted Tails of the Ship, Nightmare on Normal Street, Monsterbash 2010, and many more things.  See what Halloween costumes are the most popular in San Diego for 2010.

The above schedule of halloween activities in San Diego was provided by California Title Company, one of Gary Harmon’s winning team members.  Other winning team members are Prudential California Realty, HomeServices Lending, and Pickford Escrow. For up to date San Diego North County real estate information, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor. 

Have a great San Diego Halloween, but please be safe.  See Halloween Safety Tips – San Diego North County

According to channel 6 tv news, this year the single most popular Halloween costume sold for adults in almost 60 years is lady gaga. “50 % of women are asking for it,” said Carl Hill, Manager of Spirit Halloween in Kearny Mesa. The company that makes the Halloween costumes expects to sell at least one million Lady Gaga items by Halloween. Another Halloween costume people are really sinking their teeth are modern day vampires. This trend is inspired by the Twilight Saga and the C-W’s hit show “Vampire Diaries.”

According to Halloween costume distributors, two of the all-time best sellering Halloween costumes are little Red Riding Hood and Spiderman.

San Diego County Homes – Market Update

If you’re a bargain hunter, you naturally want North County housing prices to go lower. So it may seem like a good strategy to ride the San Diego housing recession all the way to the bottom before you jump in and buy.  The problem is … no one knows where the bottom is in the market for San Diego North County homes.   Just when it seems Oceanside homes, Carlsbad homes for sale, Encinitas homes, and Escondido real estate prices won’t go any lower, buyers jump in, and interest rates rise.  You may get the San Diego North County home for less, but you pay a little more in interest. Or sale volume improves and you end up competing with other San Diego North County buyers and paying a little more to get the house.  It’s much smarter to weigh the advantages of a current market with generous inventory, low interest rates, and low prices. If you plan to stay in your North County home a long time, buy within your means, and buy the best house you can afford, you should make out very well.  Advice for North County Buyers: Don’t try to time the market.  It’s rare that high inventories, low interest rates and low prices align any better than they do right now. In August, 2010, mortgage interest rates reached the lowest levels since the housing recession of the 1990s, hitting 4.43%. The previous year, interest rates averaged 5.19%, according to, so you’re still way ahead of the game. 

Let me introduce you to one of the members of my winning team, HomeServices Lending.  They can help you get todays best rate.  To get more information about buying a San Diego North County home, including San Diego Ocean View Homes, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.

Ocean Hills Country Club – Maximize the Chance to Sell Your Home

87% of all home buyers start on the Internet

According to the National Association of Realtors over 87% of all home buyers start their search on the Internet. Most of these searches start with a “Google Search.” If you are thinking about selling your Ocean Hills home, you’ll want to maximize your Internet exposure. To do this you must list your home with a Realtor whose website is on the first page of “Google.”

Your Realtor’s website must be on the first page of Google

You can easily test to see what websites show up strongest for terms related to “Ocean Hills Country Club.” Go to Type a related search term in the “Google search box.” Click “Search.” Search terms important to Ocean Hills Country Club would be as follows: “Ocean Hills Over 55, Ocean Hills 55+, Oceanside Over 55, San Diego Over 55, Ocean Hills Country Club Retirement, Ocean Hills Country Club Homes, Ocean Hills one story, and Ocean Hills homes” is on the first page of Google

 My website, offers maximum exposure for your Oceanside home by being found in more Ocean Hills Country Club searches than any other Realtor’s websites. Check it out for yourself.  To maximize the chance to sell your Ocean Hills Country Club home, contact Gary Harmon, your Ocean Hills Realtor.

Identity Theft – Don't Get Scammed

You don’t have to be online to be a victim of idenity theft, but that helps.  As we all use the Internet more, so do Internet theives.  The following tips are a few of the ways that San Diego North County home owneres can help avoid getting scammed.

  • Only give your credit card info to secure sites.  These sites should display an “https://” in the address bar.  For example, this blog is (not secure) but my online Bank of America account is (secure).
  • Avoid clicking on unfamiliar links in any email.  I know friends and family send you funny things, but these can be the source of trouble.
  • Avoid providing personal information to someone else in emails.  Remember, sites that are secure start with “https://.”
  • Make your Internet passwords complex.  Use upper and lower case letters as well as numbers.  And please don’t use the same password for everything.
  • Keep your computer operating system updated.  For example, Microsoft is always updating its systems with more secure things.
  • Use a good security program on you computer such as McAfee or Symantec (that’s Norton).
  • Remember, most of your secure websites will never ask for personal information, such as your password, PIN, or credit card numbers in an email.

If you follow all the above online identity theft rules, you will help keep your online data and your computer safe.  For ways to avoid other types of identity theft see: “Identity Theft – You Made It, Now Keep It!” and “Minimize Identity Theft.”

To get great help in buying or selling San Diego North County real estate, contact Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor.

San Diego County Foreclosure Comparison – YTD September 2010

Notice of Defaults and Foreclosures

The following data is from the San Diego County Assessor’s office.  It is provided as a courtesy by one of Gary Harmon’s Winning Team members, California Title Company.  It shows year to date through September 2010.  Both notices and foreclosures have slowed.  To see San Diego North County Notice of Defaults and Foreclosures go to “Foreclosure Search.”  

Free Foreclosure Search is a foreclosure map search that allows you to find preforeclosure, auction, and foreclosure North County homes, many times before they are listed in the San Diego MLS.  Use the popular “map search” or search by location.   For more information on North County Foreclosures, contact Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor.

Purchase Reverse Mortgage Examples – Oceanside Homes for Sale

Two examples of how a purchase reverse mortgage (HECM) can work for you when buying Oceanside homes for sale.

Purchase reverse mortgage(HEMC)  example 1 – Oceanside clients ages 65 & 64 who are just retiring want to downsize to a Ocean Hills Country Club single story home with all the amenities of their existing home and use the proceeds from the sale to pay cash.  Their goal is to have no future payments on their Ocean Hills Country Club home. 

I estimate that the net proceeds from the sale of their current San Diego North County home to only be around $200,000.
I suggested that my Ocean Hills buyer take a look at the Reverse Mortgage Purchase offered by HomeServices Lending, an affiliate of Wells Fargo bank.      
The clients really want a Ocean Hills home that is a great deal at $450k  (3 yrs ago $600k).  We all sit down and run the numbers on this Ocean Hills home using a Reverse Mortgage Purchase.   Here is what we came up with:

Purchase Price                         $450,000
Reverse Mortgage Funds        $262,800                         

Cash Required to Close           $187,200

The clients takes $187,200 of the $200,000 from the sale of their old home combined with the
$262,000 reverse mortgage proceeds from their HomeServices Lending loan through Wells Fargo to purchase the new home for $450,000.  And they will be achieving their goal of  never having any monthly mortgage payments as long as they live in the home! 

To sum up, many Ocean Hills Country Club home buyers pay cash.  In this case that would have been $450,000.  In our case they invested only $187,200 of their money and have no payments for life.  Several years ago, the selling price of this home would have been over $600,000 and no reverse purchase mortages were available.  Good deals are available now.

Purchase reverse mortgage (HEMC) example 2 – Marge and John, both 74, want to buy a one story manufactured home in Emereal Lake Village in Oceanside, CA.   They are currently selling their Carlsbad, CA two story home.  They feel a single story home will be better suited health wise for the rest of their life. 

Marge and John look at several homes in Emerald Lake Village for around $300,000.  All of Emerald Lake Village is one story detached homes with reasonable homeowners fees.  Marge and John meet with a reverse purchase mortgage specialist at Home Services Lending. 

They make an offer and get it accepted at $300,000. 

Purchase price of  $300,000,   reverse mortgage proceeds of $177,213,  leaves an investment of $122,787 needed.  Marge and John have no more payments for live.  

To find out more about purchase reverse mortgages read my other blogs:

Reverse mortgages for San Diego home purchases

Reverse Mortgages – Frequently Ask Questions

Reverse Mortgage – Purchase Ocean Hills

Purchase Your San Diego Home with a Reverse Mortgage.

Also, contact Gary Harmon, and I will put you in touch with my reverse purchase mortgage specialist at HomeServices Lending.

* Ever effort to make these examples correct have been take, but rates constantly change.  The amount that you have to put down on a reverse purchase mortgage changes with your age.  See my table for purchase reverse mortgage   for a general idea. 




Reverse Mortgages – Frequently Ask Questions

Senior purchasers for North County for over 55 should understand how a reverse purchase mortgage can be used to buy their retirment home.  Reverse purchase mortgages can be used anywhere to buy San Diego North County homes, but work especially well in Ocean Hills Country Club, Emerald Lake Village, Oceana, Oaks North, and Seven Oaks. A purchase reverse mortgage will let you put down a fraction of the purchase price and have no more payments for life.  This frees up money you may have used for later need.

Below are some of the fequently ask questions reguarding using a reverse purchase mortgage for your home.

What sources are allowed for the cash required to close?

  •  The sale of the departure home you just sold
  •  The sale of the senior homebuyer’s other assets
  •  A homebuyer’s savings accounts
  • Gift money from parties not involved in the transaction

What sources cannot be used for the cash required to close?!

  •  Seller financing of any kind or seller concessions
  • Cash withdrawn from your credit cards
  • Bridge loans of any type
  • Any subordinate financing

What property types are eligible? 

  • Single family San Diego homes. Can be one story, two story, attached or detached
  • HUD-approved condos
  • Planned unit developments (PUDs).  Many San Diego homes are Planned Unit Developments.
  • Two- to four-unit San Diego properties (one must be owner-occupied)
  • Manufactured North County homes (like those in Emerald Lake Village) built after June /3, /754

What requirements must the new North County home meet?

  • Must become the buyer’s primary residence

Which San Diego North County home is the purchase reverse mortgage for?

  • Must be occupied by the senior buyer within 4 days from closing date
  • Construction must be complete, the property habitable, and a certificate of occupancy or its equivalent issued prior to the loan application.
  • The reverse mortgage is placed on the new San Diego home. If the cash required to close comes from the sale of the departure home, that sale is a transaction separate from the HECM for Purchase transaction.

You can make this opportunity yours.  Work with HomeServices Lending, affiliated with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the nation’s leading retail originator of reverse mortgages. Need more information on how to make a reverse mortgage work for you, contact Gary Harmon, your Senior North County Realtor.