Gary's Pledge During Escrow

Escondido KitchenYou have found your San Diego North County home,  made and offer, and the offer has been accepted. You are now starting into a process that everyone calls “escrow.”    The following is my “pledge to the you, my Carlsbad Home buyer.  During escrow I will:

  • Make sure your escrow has been properly opened on you Carlsbad property.

Check that the escrow office has received your good faith deposit on your Carlsbad home.

Help you schedule a physical inspection on the Carlsbad real estate you are purchasing.

Help you review the Carlsbad home physical inspection and help you make up a repair request list.

If requested in the contract, make sure the pest control inspection is done on the Carlsbad house.

Review all documents with you and make sure that they have the proper signatures and initials.

Make sure the Carlsbad home seller provides you all disclosures necessary in a timely manner.

Review all disclosures with you before you sign.

Visit with your Carlsbad home mortgage lender to insure the loan is progressing.

Make sure you remove all contingencies in the timeframes of the contract.

Help solve any problems that may arrise during the escrow period on the Carlsbad houseby providing you with options as necessary.

Conduct a final walkthrough with you within the last five days of the escrow period to make sure all items requested, if any, under the physical inspection have been completed.

Make arrangements to get you the key upon closing.

Answer any questions or provide any other information that you may need.

Haven’t found the home you like, contact Gary Harmon for  “Your Best Move.”    Like to look at great San Diego homes,  see Current Real Estate Listings of San Diego Homes for Sale.

Oceana Homes

Current Listings of Oceana Homes 


One of San Diego North County’s most affordable, over 55, 55+, retirement communities of Oceanside real estate is Oceana homes.  Oceana homes are just north of Highway 78 and East off El Camino Real.  Tun in on Oceana and you will first see the large recreational facility, clubhouse, pool and spa.  The Oceana real estate community was designed for the “over 55.”  There are many different floorplans of Oceana homes ranging from 650 to 1500 esf.   Most Oceana homes are 2 bedrooms.
 Click here to Play Video of Oceana Homes

 Oceana real estate is an older development of both attached and detached Oceanside homes built in the late 1960’s to early 1970’s.   Oceana homes are made up of four communities: Oceana Mission, Oceana East, Oceana South, and the original Oceana homes.  Oceana, like Ocean Hills, enjoys great weather with over 330 days of sun and the cooling Pacific coastal breezes. 
Oceana is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of and elected by Oceana home owners.  Oceana 55+ homeowner’s fees range from about $250-$300 a month.  These fees include outside common area maintenance of greenbelts, trash, sewer, insurance, and water in some areas.  If you want an over 55 retirement community where someone else does the yard work, Oceana may be for you.  See the location of Oceana.  If you are looking for more active retirement living check out Ocean Hills Country Club homes where golf is part of the homeowners fees. 

Other great 55+ retirement communities in Oceanside are Ocean Hills Country Club, Emerald Lake Village and Rancho Carlsbad Homes.  For more information, contact Gary Harmon, your Senior specialist.

Vista Homes Market Statistics

Current Real Estate Listings of Vista Homes for Sale

The median Vista homes value in July 2011 is $342,190. The total inventory of Vista CA homes for sale is 381.   The National median home value is only $175,100.  See the chart below for a ten year average of median Vista homes values and how they stack up against the City, County and the Nation. There is also a chart of Vista homes appreciation for the same ten year period.

If you would like to see Vista homes for sale and take advantage of this great San Diego North County real estate market, contact Gary Harmon, your Real Living Lifestyles Real Estate agent.

Homes are Currently 24% Underpriced

Lowest in Over 35 Years

This summer, qualified San Diego buyers – those with excellent credit and with funds available for down payments – couldn’t be in a better position to buy a North County home.  According to experts, prices have overcorrected to their lowest since 2002. Since 2006, prices have fallen 33%, greater than the 31% decline recorded during the Great Depression. Using historical wages to home prices, Capital Economics’ senior economist Paul Dales says that housing is currently 24% underpriced – the lowest in 35 years. That translates to the best affordability in decades, and an end in sight to the housing malaise, he says.

Across the US

In the latest existing home price survey from the National Association of REALTORS, the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $163,700 in April 2011, 5.0% lower than in April 2010. Distressed homes, which sell at a discount of approximately 20%, were 37% of sales, up from 33% a year ago.  Foreclosures, which have pressured both prices and real estate appraisals for non-distressed homes, are still high but leveling off. RealtyTrac says that U.S. foreclosure filings were down 9% in April 2011 from March, and down 34% from a year ago.

Across California

Like the rest of the nation, California home sales also declined in April 2011 from the previous month, but were up 5% over a year ago. And, unlike the national trend, home prices actually increased.  The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California rose 2.5% in April to $293,570, up from a revised $286,510 in March, according to the California Association of REALTORS (C.A.R.).  Yet, despite improving conditions, the Southern California housing market is trending softer, with sales volume the lowest April sales recorded in three years. In Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura and Orange counties, sales volume drifted 5.5% lower than March, and 9.2% lower than the previous year, keeping in mind that sales in April 2010 were being heavily stimulated by federal and state tax incentives.

Advice for San Diego North County Buyers

The biggest hurdle for San Diego buyers today is creditworthiness. To compete against cash buyers and to take advantage of unprecedented affordability, North County buyers should get their finances in order quickly. Contact HomeServices Lending, one of Gary’s winning team,  for preapprovals now, so that glitches in credit reports that impact credit scores can quickly be resolved.

Advice for San Diego North County Sellers

With continued competition from distressed North County homes, it’s more challenging for sellers to get top dollar for their San Diego homes.  San Diego North county sellers should carefully analyze their equity position before they price their home for sale. Lenders will work with sellers who are “short” or owe more than their homes will sell for in the current market, but the process may be lengthy. Contact Gary Harmon, your North County real estate expert for a comparable sales analysis before pricing your home for sale.

San Diego Beach Safety

This Fourth of July is  a great time to enjoy San Diego North County beaches.  However, the first rule is to always be safe.  Beach safety can be broken down into water safety and avoiding sunburn. 

Beach and Water Safety

  • Learn to swim before you go to the beach (teach you children)
  • Never go in the water alone
  • Swim near a lifeguard station
  • Supervise children closely, even when lifeguards are present
  • Know which adult is watching
  • Don’t rely on flotation devices, such as rafts or inner-tubes. These can turn over.
  • Call or wave for help if you get in trouble.
  • Do not swim while under the influence of  drugs or alcohols.
  • Swim parallel to shore if you wish to swim long distances.
  • If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel and with the current until you get out.
  • Report hazardous conditions to lifeguards.
  • Stay clear our coastal bluffs, they can collapse and cause injury.
  • Never turn your back to the ocean.

Safety from the Sun:

Many more San Diegoians will be injured by sunburn than anything else this Fourth of July.  Follow the following safety tips:

  • Limit outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Wear a good pair of sun glasses to ward off the sun from your eyes.
  • Wear a hat to protect your head.
  • Be extra careful on cloudy days, you may receive a “surprise sunburn.” 
  • Some drugs & cosmetics — Tetacycline, diuretics, major tranquilizers — may increase susceptibility to sunburn.
  • If you are among those likely to burn, use a sunblock with a PF of 15 or greater.  I suggest above 40.
  • Apply sunblock at least 15 to 30 minutes before venturing out into the sun and re-apply at least every hour.
  • Re-apply more often if you are perspiring heavily or going in the ocean.
  • Use sunblocks with higher PFs on areas that need extra protection like the tip of your nose, your ears, your collarbone, the tops of your feet, and your shoulders.
  • Do not use sunblock on your lips. Instead, use only sun protection products designed specifically for lips.
  • Always, keep all sunblock and sun medications away from your eyes.

And the most important rule to be safe and have a great time at our San Diego beaches, is always use common sense.

To find great San Diego North County real estate deals, contact Gary Harmon, Real Living Lifestyles.

Click Photo to See Listings in Your Favorite Community

Select photo of your favorite San Diego North County community.  Click photo to see current listings.  Stop  slideshow by hovering over photo with your mouse.   Use your browser’s back arrow to step backward and to select a different community.  If you had rather not use the current listing photo slideshow, you can see current real estate listings of San Diego homes using the links or buttons below:

Schedule your personal tour to see one of these San Diego North County homes, contact Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor.

Correct Way to Display the American Flag

There is a right way and a wrong way to display our country’s flag here in San Diego County, which stands for America and represents the people who risked their lives for it.  Here are some of the correct ways to display the American flag:

  • In the morning, raise the flag quickly. At night time, bring it down slowly.
  • If you’re going to fly it at night it should have a light on it.
  • The flag should not be flown when it’s raining or when the weather is bad.
  • After a tragedy or death, you should fly your flag at “half staff” for 30 days. (Raised halfway up the pole.)
  • The American flag is always on top; any other flag, such as your state flag, are below it.
  • Never put your flag upside down.
  • Never let your flag touch the ground.
  • The flag should be flown from sunrise to sunset.
  • Fold your flag when it is not flying. Don’t throw it in a drawer or box.
  • When your flag is old and worn out, get a new one. Old flags should be burned or buried; never thrown in the trash.

Enjoy flying the American Flag in San Diego North County this July 4th (Fourth of July).  Here are two links to fourth of July things to do in San Diego in 2011:

  1. Happy Independence Day San Diego
  2. San Diego County Fireworks 2011

For great San Diego North County real estate deals, contact Gary Harmon, Real Living Lifestyles.

Turn on your sound and enjoy Lee Greenwoods “God Bless the USA.”