Prepare Your Carlsbad Home for Winter

Considering selling your Carlsbad property this fall?  Now’s a good time to complete some fall maintenance to make sure your Carlsbad home is in tip-top shape. Even if you aren’t planning to sell your Carlsbad home, you should still add these chores to your list to help preserve your home’s value and help avoid major repairs later on.

Check the outside of your Carlsbad Property

Look for any damage caused by summers’ weather. Check for those sagging or loose gutters. Over time, leaves, dirt and debris may have accumulated in your gutters. Check your gutters for clogging and damage and schedule an appointment for cleaning. Check the condition of your stucco, clean or patch if necessary. Check the eaves and patio cover for dry rot. Promptly schedule repairs for those home maintenance  items you can’t do yourself.

Walk around your yard as if you were a first-time visitor. What impression does your Carlsbad real estate make? Loosen the soil around perennials, plant annuals or a vegetable garden. Prune shrubs and trees. Fertilize you lawn and remove weeds from the flowerbeds

How long has it been since your really look at your irrigation system.   Test your automatic sprinkler system. Reset your timer. Replace old washers or sprinkler heads.

Don’t forget the backyard! Is it time to condition your deck? Be sure to hammer in any loose nails, or replace them with galvanized deck screws. Replace any broken boards or rails. Consider renting a power washer to clean dirt and mildew from the wood, and then apply an all-weather sealer or stain. This will get your North County property ready for winter. 

Repair any broken fence boards and paint or seal them as needed. Wash windows and screens.

Take a Tour Inside Your Carlsbad Home

Start making a list of things to do in each room. Then go to work. Dust walls and ceilings to remove cobwebs and wash any grimy areas. Wash window curtains or remove drapes for dry cleaning. Deep clean rugs and carpets. Dust and polish wood or laminate floors. Make sure tile grout is clean.

Clean fan blades using mild soapy water. Check the central air-conditioning unit for debris and obstructions; vacuum the main condenser coil on top of the unit.

Make sure all exhaust fans and vents are clean and clear. Don’t forget to remove the lint buildup from the clothes dryer vent. Take strainers off the ends of all the lavatory faucets and clean them.

One often-overlooked area is the fireplace. Be sure to sweep ashes carefully into a dustpan. Have the flue professionally cleaned every few years. Look around for clutter. Are there items you don’t use any longer? If you are planning on moving, what items will you not need? Consider having a garage sale and then either donate or trash the remaining items.

And lastly, don’t forget to replace batteries in smoke detectors and change air filters. A good time to change them is when you change your clock for standard times.

Although performing these fall chores may be dreaded task, they go a long way in maintaining and even enhancing the attractiveness and quality Carlsbad your home. With more buyers out and about, you must be sure your Carlsbad property is ready for its next new owner!

If you are considering placing your Carlsbad home for sale, call Gary Harmon, you top Carlsbad Realtor.

[idx-listings city=”Carlsbad” propertytypes=”335″ orderby=”Price” orderdir=”DESC” count=”25″ showlargerphotos=”true”]

Hadley Home Team Current Real Estate Listings

Current Hadley Home Team real estate listings are shown at the bottom of this page.  

In June 2011, the Hadley Home Team joined Real Living Lifestyles.  At Prudential California Realty, our team was ranked 4th in number of transactions for the first part of 2011.   Our new office address is as follows: 300 Carlsbad Village Drive #223, Carlsbad, CA 92008.  We are in the Carlsbad Village Faire, right behind the Ocean House at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Carlsbad Boulevard. At the Hadley Home Team we provide our clients with 11 experienced agents to serve you efficiently and competently. We at the Hadley Home Team are enthusiastic, positive and possess the exceptional skills required in listing or selling your home. If you are purchasing or selling property in Carlsbad, La Costa Valley, Encinitas, Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, Valley Center, Fallbrook, Bonsall and any of the surrounding communities in San Diego North County, make the RIGHT choice and contact the Hadley Home Team. Members of the team include Sandi Hadley, Don Reedy,  Joe Post,   Jim Johnston,  Jean Beck,  Chris Parnell, Bonnie Maloney,  Eileen LaRosa, Nadia Donnelly, Donna Fisher, and yours truly, Gary Harmon.  To buy or sell San Diego North County real estate, contact Gary Harmon.Hadley Home Team current listing are as follows:[idx-listing mlsnumber=”110039426″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110032452″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110035122″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110035767″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110034656″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110045240″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110038416″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110045555″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110032653″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110034687″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110032636″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110013721″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110026168″ showall=”true”][idx-listing mlsnumber=”110032456″ showall=”true”]

[idx-listing mlsnumber=”110037799″ showall=”true”]

[idx-listing mlsnumber=”110041961″ showall=”true”]

Real Living Lifestyles

300 Carlsbad Village Drive, #223

Carlsbad, CA 92078.

Real Living, with over 10,000 agents, is a full-service, international real estate franchise company with a comprehensive suite of resources aimed at helping brokers, agents and their clients successfully navigate through the home buying and selling processes.   Real Living Lifestyles is our local San Diego franchise name.

Since its founding more than half a century ago, Real Living has maintained a reputation as one of the most innovative companies in the real estate industry. 

In 2009, Real Living was purchased by Brookfield Residential Property Services. They merged GMAC Real Estate under the Real Living brand and now represent more than 400 offices throughout the United States and Internationally.  In 2011, Real Living Lifestyles became a part of the Real Living network.

Gary Harmon joins Real Living Lifestyles in June 2011. 

After 21 years of  selling  San Diego North County homes, Gary Harmon has moved to Real Living Lifestyles.   The first step of this actual journey started in January 2011 when Gary joined the powerful Hadley Home Team.  The members of the  Hadley Home Team worked well together, resulting in the team being ranked 4th in number of units sold for Prudential California Realty in the first quarter of 2011.  When the team decided to move to the high energy company of Real Living Lifestyles and the Carlsbad Village Faire location, naturally Gary chose to go along. 

The leadership and the agents in Real Living Lifestyles are not new to Gary.   Real Living Lifestyles, formerly Windermere Exclusive Properties, is led by partner and president, Steve Rodgers.  Steve was one of Gary’s first managers at Prudential California Realty and had a lot of influence on his career.  Gary was privileged to watch Steve grow from a Prudential manager to president of Prudential California Realty.  Much of Prudential’s growth was the result of his leadership.   Gary is looking forward to working with Steve and the Real Living Lifestyle agents to continue to grow  Real Living Lifestyles.  Many of these agents at Real Living Lifestyles are also good friends and fellow agents that Gary has worked with in the past.

To get more information about San Diego North County homes ore Real Living Lifestyles, contact Gary Harmon, your Hadley Home Team Realtor.

North County Home Market Statistics for August 2011

Altos Research provides me a monthly recap of market statistics for Carlsbad homes for sale, Oceanside homes for sale, Vista Ca homes for sale, San Marcos CA homes for sale, Escondido homes for sale, and Encinitas homes for sale.  If you would like the full reports sent to you (very detailed) shoot me an email.  This months recap is shown below.

Carlsbad Statistics:  The median list price of Carlsbad homes for sale this week is $699,900. Inventory has been lightening lately. Though days-on-market is increasing, these are mildly positive indications for the Carlsbad homes market.

Oceanside Statistics:  The median list price of Oceanside homes for sale this week is $349,000. The 685 properties have been on the market for an average of 140 days.

Vista Statistics:  The median list price in Vista CA homes for sale this week is $339,900.

San Marcos Statistics:  The median list price of San Marcos CA homes for sale this week is $424,500. Inventory has been lightening lately. Though days-on-market is increasing, these are mildly positive indications for the market. San Marcos home sales have been exceeding new inventory for several weeks.

Escondido Statistics:  The median list price of Escondido homes for sale is $351,900. Inventory has been lightening lately.  Escondido home sales have been exceeding new inventory for several weeks.

Encinitas Statistics:  The median list price of Encinitas homes for sale is $949,950. Encinitas home sales have been exceeding new inventory for several weeks. Since this is a Buyer’s market prices are not yet moving higher as excess inventory is consumed. However, as the supply and demand trends continue we are
likely to see upward pressure on pricing.

To get your own personal tour of San Diego North County homes, contact Gary Harmon, Real Living Lifestyles real estate.

Buy San Diego Homes Now – Why Wait?

Invest in San Diego North County Real EstateIt seems that every time we’re talking about San Diego North County homes, the conversation immediately goes to the financial aspects of buying a North County home.
How’s the market? Should I wait to try and get a “better buy”? Where are prices headed? Where are interest rates headed?   Should I wait until I can get a “steal”?The interesting thing about all these questions is that survey after survey keep telling us that price is not the primary reason families buy a San Diego North County home. However, money is typically considered in terms of affordability and in light of not paying rent to a landlord.  See surveys under photo.The Survey Says:According to the 2011 National Housing Pulse Survey, most Americans still believe that owning a home is a solid financial decision, and a majority of renters aspire to home ownership as a long-term goal. Seven in ten Americans also agreed that buying a home is a good financial decision while almost two-thirds said now is a good time to purchase a home. The top five reasons given in the “National Housing Survey” for buying a home are, in order:

  1.  It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
  2.  You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
  3.  It allows you to have more space for your family
  4.  It gives you control over what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)
  5.  Paying rent is not perceived as a good investment—at the end of the rental period all you have is a stack of cancelled checks.

The top four reasons given in the “Myers Research and Strategic Services Survey” for buying a home are, in order:

  1.  Home ownership provides a stable and safe environment for children and other family members
  2. • Home ownership means the money you spend on housing goes toward building equity, rather than to a landlord
  3.  Home ownership creates the opportunity to live in a neighborhood that you enjoy
  4.  Home ownership allows you the right to decorate, modify and renovate your home as you see fit

The Survey’s Bottom Line?Finances and price dominate the conversation when we talk about buying a home. However, when it comes down to it, we actually buy for the same reasons our parents and grandparents did—we want a better lifestyle for ourselves and our families. And now, with affordability in Southern California at its best level in decades, it makes all the sense to buy for all the right reasons.Why Wait?As the chart below illustrates, by “staying on the fence” you may have saved a few dollars in terms of your monthly payment, but you missed an entire year of the other benefits of home ownership.To find the North County home of your dreams, contact Gary Harmon now.

7 Steps to a Successful Home Inspection

Because buying a San Diego North County home is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make, you should take every precaution to ensure that you know as much as possible about your new San Diego home before completing your purchase.

A San Diego property inspection, sometimes called a physical inspection, can save you thousands of dollars in future repairs. At the very least, if no major defects are found, the inspection report will give you piece of mind in knowing the exact state of your new North County house and what you might reasonably expect after taking possession.

During an inspection, the inspector will review the readily accessible, exposed portions of the San Diego North County home, including the attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, and exterior. The inspection will also look at the foundation, heating/air conditioning systems, interior plumbing and electrical systems and appliances for potential defects. Although small blemishes or cosmetic flaws may be apparent to the untrained eye, a thorough home inspection should point out every minor defect.

Before the Inspection

RULE #1 — Buyers of San Diego properties should choose their own inspector—preferably one that a co-worker, friend or neighbor recommends. Your Realtor may provide you a list of inspectiors that he has used in the past.

RULE #2 — Your inspector should be a member of

By definition, a San Diego North County property inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and major interior systems of a residential building. An inspection is not a substitute for an appraisal or a building code inspection.

RULE #3 — The standard San Diego North County property inspection does not provide a warranty or guaranty for the following:

  • Roof, Soil, or Geological Conditions
  • Earthquake Hazards
  • Invisible or Latent Defect Termite Damage
  • The Insides of the WallsCracking and Settling Covered by Wall Coverings

During the Inspection


RULE #4 – The San Diego home buyers should be physically present at the end of the San Diego North County home inspection. This is when the inspector will go over any concerns that he has found. Ask your home inspector any concerns you may have about the home.

RULE #5 — Soon after the inspection you will receive the written report. Take time to review, in detail, every item listed on the report. Discuss any concerns with your North County Realtor.

RULE #6 — San Diego North County home buyers are well advised to have safety items repaired or replaced by the close of escrow or final walk-thru.

After the Inspection

RULE #7 – Get estimates for repairs listed in the report. You may choose to have the seller repair some of the items, ask the seller for a credit, or do some of the repairs yourself. Go

over your request with your Realtor. Remember, he has been through this process many times and will know what is a reasonable request and what is not.  After selling San Diego North County real estate for over 22 years, Gary Harmon is qualified to help guide your through the steps of a home inspection. Contact Gary Harmon, and find you San Diego home today.

927 Parkwood Avenue

927 Parkwood Avenue

Current Real Estate Listings of Vista CA Home for Sale 

 927 Parkwood Avenue, Vista, CA 92081 is a regular listing, but priced to compete with foreclosures and short sales of San Diego North County Homes.  This home is in a gated community on a half acre view lot.  It has 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms including a bedroom on the main floor.  In addition it has a loft/den.  The kitchen features an island and granite countertops.  There are 2 spacious paito areas for entertaining.  There is also gated RV or boat parking.  Esf = 3646.  Enjoy the photos in the video below.


For more information on Vista Ca Homes for Sale, contact Gary Harmon, your Real Living Lifestyles real estate agent.


[idx-listing mlsnumber=”110046245″ showall=”true”]

Waiting Period after Short Sale or Foreclosure

How Soon Can I Get a Loan

One of the questions clients often ask me is “How long do you have to wait after you go through a short sale or a foreclosure to qualify for a new loan.  Although I do not do loans, I know the answer is “it depends.”   I hope the following information furnished by Dan Dobbs of American Commerce Mortgage will help answer some of your questions.  In addition, you should always consult your own tax advisor and attorney before starting a short sale or foreclosure on your San Diego North County home.

There is much “mis” information regarding the length of time borrowers are required to wait between the final date of the foreclosure / short sale and the date the new escrow opening.

Wait periods can be as short as 2 years or as long as 7 years.

What contributes to the confusion….are the additional “overlays” (additional underwriting criteria) for each specific investor.

Criteria are different for “conventional” loans vs. FHA/VA loans.

For both types…..what determines the “wait time” is your buyer’s (i.e. former “short seller”) circumstances at the time of the sale?

Specifically….what were the “extenuating circumstances” that can be clearly documented. (The “burden of proof” will clearly be on the buyer and there is USUALLY more than just ONE circumstance)!
Examples of extenuating circumstances are:

1) Job loss job in a specialized field and what caused the extended period of time to find a new job.

2) Significant health issues for borrower or close family member.

3) Death /illness of close family member PARTICULARLY if the victim is a signatory on the loan. (must provide medical records and/ or death certificate).
Strategic Defaults

Strategic Defaults

Buyers are NOT eligible for a new FHA- INSURED MORTGAGE ….if they pursued a short sale agreement on their principal residence simply to:

1) Take advantage of declining market conditions


2) Purchased at a reduced price…a similar or superior property…within a reasonable commuting distance.

In other words if your buyer engaged in a “strategic default”…they can kiss off any FHA financing for the foreseeable future.

Buyers seeking “conventional financing” who previously “strategically defaulted” currently have up to a 7 year wait period before they are eligible for financing.

For information on San Diego North County homes, contact Gary Harmon, your Real Living Lifestyles Realtor.

Fasest Growing Real Estate Brand

Real Living Lifestyles is proud to be a part of the Real Living franchise. Real Living is the fastest-growing real estate brand in the United States in terms of net office growth. Real Living in San Diego North County is expanding, hiring top agents, like the Hadley Home Team, and providing advanced real estate support that is improving our business in a very real way.   Real Living has also put together a top Real Living Lifestyles management team.

Real Living Lifestyles is proud to be a part of the successful franchise system of Real Living Real Estate and parent company Brookfield Residential Property Services.  While many San Diego residential real estate brokerages have been closing offices and losing agents, the Real Living Lifestyles brand stands out as an extreme example of success and progress.

Since 2009 Real Living has opened 265 new offices. We now have 425 real estate offices and 10,000 agents through out the country. “It feels wonderful to be a part of this real estate movement,” said Real Living Lifestyles President Steve Rodgers. “We are making a big impact in the San Diego North County markets and as a global network. It’s about staying positive, staying focused and giving people more than they expect.”

Here in San Diego we have 8 offices and over 450 professionals. My office is located in the Carlsbad Village Faire. For North County real estate information, contact Gary Harmon, your Real Living Lifestyles Realtor.

Realtors Give Back to San Diego North County

Real Living Lifestyles real estate had its first Community Service Day Fair on July 29th.  The Community Service day was held in the Westfield Mall parking lot in carlsbad: 2525 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA 92008.  Hundreds of Real Living Lifestyle Realtors volunteered their time including yours truly.

There were more than a dozen charities participating this year and there were also many different events. I chose packing food for the hungry for around the world and here in San Diego.  Amazingly, the food packaging volunteers packed over 50,000 meals.  Some of the other events are listed below:

  • Leez’s PJ’s for Kids
  • Red Cross Blood Bank
  • Rady Childrens Hospital
  • Bone Marrow registration
  • Child ID Services
  • E-World Recyclers
  • Helen Woodward Animal Center

It was great to see so many of my fellow Real Living Lifestyle realtors involved in such a great cause.  Real Living Lifestyles gives back to the San Diego North County community.  If you are interested in learning more about Real Living Lifestyles real estate, or want to buy or sell a San Diego North County home, contact Gary Harmon, your Real Living Lifestyle Realtor.  Gary’s office is in the Carlsbad Village Faire shopping center, suite 223.