Retirement Living at Its Best

OCEAN HILLS RETIREMENT LIVING for 55+, over 55, active adults in OCEAN HILLS COUNTRY CLUB HOMES is the best kept secret in San Diego North County.  Located on 350 acres of rolling hills, this enclave is approximately 5 miles from the beach, is only 30 miles north of San Diego & roughly the same distance south of Orange County.  Located on top of a hill, the weather seems to be always perfect.  There are 17 models to choose from!  Most models are single story and most are twin homes.    See Ocean Hills Country Club Floor Plans for a listing of all models, floor plans, estimated square footage and many other details.

 Ocean Hills Amenities include an executive-style par 55 golf course (no green fees), lighted tennis courts, paddle tennis courts (where pickle ball is avidly played), bocce ball courts, & an Olympic-sized heated swimming pool, spa & pet park.  The 27,000 s.f. clubhouse has a Nautilus exercise facility, library, large auditorium, arts & crafts studios, sewing room, wood-working shop & many other activity rooms.  Some of the clubs & classes include ceramics, ballroom dance, Tai Chi, duplicate bridge & aerobics.  You can join Anglers, Sailing, Travel, Hiking, Ski, Bridge, Computer, Garden, Choral Society, or a large list of other outdoor & indoor club activities.  Ocean Hills Country Club is a fully gated community with security guard patrol 24/7.  Entrance into the community is closely monitored.  Each home contains pre-wired alarms that reports fire, police and medical emergencies to an HOA-monitored central facility, and security guard response is swift.  HOA dues also include front yard maintenance, common area landscaping, exterior home paint, roof maintenance & basic Cable T.V.  Have more questions?  See Ocean Hills Country Club  faq (frequently ask questions) for all the answers.

To schedule your personal tour of Ocean Hills Country Club, contact Gary Harmon, your Ocean Hills Realtor.

Thanksgiving Day Tips and Thanksgiving Day History 2011

November 24, 2011 is Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day here in San Diego North County will be celebrated November 24th.   See below photo for Thanksgiving Tips and Thanksgiving History.

Thanksgiving Day Tips

How to Best Use Your Appliances with a Turkey in the Oven

On Thanksgiving day ovens across the country are busy roasting turkeys.  Really busy.  The typical bird cooks for more than five hours.  If you have a bevy of other holiday dishes in queue for dinner, consider using your other appliances and keep the meal on schedule.
The Grill can be used as a second oven or as a stovetop.  Use it to grill corn, toast bread, or keep ready meals warm.Use your Stovetop to make side dishes and sauces.  Cook dishes in Dutch Ovens that will need to go under the broiler or be baked later.
 

Display gravies and sauces in Fondue Bowls.

They can be set up any place and turned on at any time.  Crockpots are a simple and space efficient place to keep food warm and fresh.  Mashed potatoes, stuffing, creamed vegetables and soups will be easy to serve and stay on buffet tables.  The Freezer can store premade meals for at least a week; and The Refrigerator will keeps salads, dips and cold appetizers fresh about a day.  Your Oven will be free again when you take the turkey out to rest.  Leave the turkey covered in tin foil for 30 minutes or more before carving to retain the most juices – And, give you enough time to reheat other plates.
 
Make a Timeline of When to Cook and When to Serve
Keep your Thanksgiving celebration on schedule with a simple serving timeline.  Just start at the end and work your back.
Ask yourself, when do you want to serve dinner?  Mark it down at the far end of the timeline.   Then fill in all the preparations needed to make it on time.
Let’s say you want to have guests sit down for dinner at 6:00; then you’ll need to pull the Turkey out of the oven and start the last round of re-heats at 5:15.   During that 45 minute span you can set out room temperature dishes and heat gravies on the stove top.  Side dishes can be cooked at 4:30 while guests enjoy appetizers and drinks…
 
Use Post It Notes to Plan Serving Dishes and Table Settings
Dishes like green bean casseroles and sweet potato pies can often be served in the same container they were cooked in.  Other items (like your freshly carved turkey or smashed potatoes) will need to be served on a new plate.

Set out your serving plates as you want them – whether on the dinner table or nearby buffet table.  Use Post It Notes to label the serving dishes and mark places for the other food.  If you have food coming right out of the oven, set out hot plates.  Feeling extra ambitious?  Set out serving utensils next to each item and avoid any last minute scrambles.
  
Put up a Chalkboard Menu to Whet Appetites

Thanksgiving dinners fill homes with mouth watering aromas.  Build excitement further by displaying a Chalkboard Menu of what’s to come.  Got kids?  Then give them a handwritten list and ask that they write it on the chalkboard.   Family and friends who are contributing to the meal can add on their dishes as they arrive.  Got an extra board?  Then make a second menu for drinks.
 
Share your Favorite Recipes with Family and Friends

Every family has their share of highly coveted recipes.  Do you make the perfect pumpkin pie?  Or have you discovered the secret to homemade stuffing?  Think about the recipe requests you get most and proactively plan to share them with guests. Print out your best recipes on festive cards.  Not only will they be appreciated by your admiring diners, but they can also be a great way to add to your table décor.  Display cards in coaster stands or business card holders; give them some flair with T-day stamps or stickers.  Encourage people to take them home so they can recreate your masterpieces.   Have a guest brining a dish you love?  Ask them early to bring copies of the recipe or email it to you so you can print it out.
 
Make the Kids Table the Coolest Place to Sit

A “Kids Table” comes with a certain stigma.  Break those bad vibes by making it to coolest place to sit in the whole house.  First, be sure to give kids enough room to be comfortable.  They don’t want to be stuffed in a corner without room to relax any more than adults do.  Turn the table into an activity station by covering it in kraft paper (it looks like a paper bag).  You can pick up a roll at a local craft store or order it online.   Then make ‘centerpieces’ out of art supplies.  Fill a pretty pot with colored pencils and a bowl with stickers.
Not only is this an inexpensive way to cater to children’s needs; it’s also great for clean up! 
  
Turn Giving Thanks into a fun Game for Guests

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on things in our lives that bring us joy and share thanks.  You can take this holiday tradition one step further by turning ‘giving thanks’ into a fun game that will brings guests together.  Pass out 2-3 index cards and a pen to each guest.  Ask everyone to use the cards to write down specific things they are thankful for and discretely place the cards into a basket.  (Note:  Tie a colorful ribbon around the basket and it can be part of your decorations.  Keep the index cards and pens in the basket until you are ready to play).

After dinner while everyone is still gathered around the table, take out the basket of thankful messages.  Give them a shake, pull out a random card and read the message out loud.  Can you guess who wrote the message?  Expect a lot of laughs and pointing as everyone tries to figure it out.  Pass the basket down and let the next person read a message out loud.  There’s no need to keep score, just enjoy the pleasure of sharing thankful messages and getting to know your Thanksgiving guests better.
 
Don’t Let Leftovers be an After Thought
If I am expecting 15 people for Thanksgiving, I cook for 32.   And I know I am not alone!  We all tend to go a little over board preparing our Thanksgiving feasts.  Most families have enough leftovers to last a week!  Rather than leaving leftovers as an after thought; plan ahead and make them a part of the sharing process.  Visit a craft store and pick out a nice set of ‘doggie bags’.  You’ll find tins with cardboard lids (like most restaurants use), folding cardboard boxes and attractive plastic containers.  Pick up the set that speaks to you, and a stack sticky labels and some holiday decorations.   Use the labels to personalize a to-go kit for your guests.  Let your kids decorate the containers and put them on display.  When it’s time to go, guests can ‘revisit’ the buffet line and pack themselves meals to take home.  By planning ahead, everyone will leave with a fantastic Thanksgiving mix to enjoy later. 

Save Money by Shopping for Next Year’s Decorations Now

As soon as Thanksgiving is over the stores will dramatically discount all the holiday decorations.  Drug stores, food stores, craft stores and card shops will all mark down prices 30 – 70%!  Set aside some time to pick out a basket full of Thanksgiving decorations for the following year.  You’ll find wreaths for the front door, kitchen towels, fragrant candles, holiday serving platters, fake leaves, table runners, cloth napkins and all types of other goodies.  Pack it all neatly in a box, label the box for next year and relax!  Though not for too long, because Christmas is right around the corner…
 
{tips provided by Erica Vautier Liodice, Real Living Lifestyles}

Thanksgiving History

 Thanksgiving day is full of history for our country, so I thought it might  be helpful to share a little Thanksgiving history.  Thanksgiving Day is celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada.  Thanksgiving is a holiday to express thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation to God, family and friends for which all have been blessed of material possessions and relationships.  Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.  That is why I use a photo of the horn-of-pleanty.  Thanksgiving for most of us is the day off and way too much good food to eat.

Thanksgiving Day falls on the fourth Thursday of November.   This year it is November 24, 2010.  

 Thanksgiving hasn’t always been on the fourth Thursday in November.  See the article below the photo to see how this day was selected.

Two Thanksgiving Days

On Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1939, Franklin Roosevelt carved the turkey at the annual Thanksgiving Dinner, and wished all Americans across the country a Happy Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, his greeting went unanswered in some states.  Many Americans were not observing Thanksgiving on the same day as the President.  Instead, they were waiting to carve their turkeys on the following Thursday because November 30th in many states was the official Thanksgiving Day.  Two Thanksgivings Days?  Why were Americans celebrating a national holiday on two different days?

At the beginning of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency, Thanksgiving was not a fixed holiday; it was up to the President to issure a Thanksgiving Day proclamation.  Thanksgiving Day was always the last Thursday in November because that was the day President Abraham Lincoln observed the holiday when he declared Thanksgiving Day a national holiday in 1863. 

25 Shopping Days Until Christmas

Since statistics showed that most people did not do their Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving, business leaders feared they would lose money, especially during the Depression, because there were only 24 shopping days between Thanksgiving day and Christmas Day.   Business leaders ask Roosevelt to make Thanksgiving one week earlier.  FDR considered their request and moved the date of Thanksgiving up one week.  Now Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth day of November.

I know economic times are tough, but I hope you still have many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day.  I know, I sure do, especially friends and family.  So Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.  If you have any San Diego North County real estate needs during the Holidays, please contact me, Gary Harmon, 760-745-1220 or garyharmon@prusd.com.  I want to be you North County real estate agent.

Helpful real estate information can be found on my main website: HomeInfoSanDiego.com.  On the main website you can search by using the main search buttons: Foreclosure Search, MLS Search, Over 55 Homes, Ocean Hills C C, Ocean View Homes, La Costa Homes, and Contact Gary.  If you want know more about the San Diego North County real estate communities you can go to the community buttons of: Oceanside, Carlsbad, Escondido, Vista, San Marcos, or Encinitas.  Your search possibilities only start with the main search buttons.  There are over 200 pages of custom, relevant, San Diego North County homes real estate content available.

November 2011 San Diego North County Home Statistics

The November 2011 HomeDex™ Report provides October 2011 San Diego housing statistics. Information in this report is used by permission from the North San Diego County Association of Realtors® (NSDCAR). Gary Harmon, your Real Living Lifestyles Realtor, has been a member of NSDCAR for over 21 years.

• The median price for all North County home sales – attached and detached – decreased to $354,500 in October 2011 from $375,000 in September 2011.
• Detached homes in North County declined 5.96 percent to $409,058 in October 2011 from $435,000 in September 2011; Monthly median prices have fallen during 6 months of 2011, and this month’s median price was the lowest reported in over two years.
• The countywide median SFD price declined 0.76 percent to $357,250 in October 2011 from $360,000 in September 2011.  Year-over countywide median SFD price decreased 7.75 percent from October 2010.
• The number of North San Diego SFD listings (active and contingent) declined 4.77 percent in October 2011 compared to September 2011.
• The number of sold North San Diego County SFD units decreased 16 percent in October 2011 from September 2011, but remained constant compared to October 2010.
• Median days-on-market for single-family detached homes sold in North County rose to 63 days in October 2011 compared to 57 days in September 2011.
• The HomeDex affordability percentage for all homes in North San Diego County – attached and detached – increased from 38 percent in September 2011 to 41 percent in October 2011.The median price for all North County home sales – attached and detached – remained constant from last month at $380,000 in May 2011.

If you like San Diego North County home statistics, you can always be up to date with Gary’s Altos Research Reports by major North County communities. Follow these links: Carlsbad homes, Oceanside homes, Encinitas homes, Vista homes, San Marcos homes, and Escondido homes.

To schedule a personal tour of homes in San Diego North County, contact Gary Harmon, your Real Living Lifestyles Realtor. If you would like to search for properties on your own, just click on the community of interest listed under “Current Listing” in the column immediately to the right.

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San Marcos High School Ranks High

California has just released the most recent academic data and our own San Marcos High School (San Marcos Knights) ranked 7th out of 65 San Diego County high schools.  Listed below are the top 15 schools.  Not that San Marcos High Shcool ranks high, ahead of Poway High School, Rancho Bernardo High School, and La Jolla High School.  Mission Hills High School is also in the top 15.   Elementary and Middle Schools in San Marcos Unified School District are also doing well as the district ranked 4th out of the 11 districts  in San Diego.   The school rankings are great news for potential buyers of San Marcos homes, Lake San Marcos homes, and Varadero homes.     See current listings of San Marcos homes for sale, including Lake San Marcos homes and Varadero homes below rankings.

  • Canyon Crest Academy in the San Dieguito Union High School District – 910.
  • Scripps Ranch High School in the San Diego Unified School District – 883.
  • Torrey Pines High School in the San Dieguito Union High School District – 881.
  • Coronado High School in the Coronado Unified School District – 872.
  • Del Norte High School in the Poway Unified School District – 864.
  • Westview High School in the Poway Unified School District – 860.
  • San Marcos High School in the San Marcos Unified School District – 859.
  • Poway High School in the Poway Unified School District – 854.
  • San Dieguito Academy in the San Dieguito Union High School District – 854.
  • Bonita Vista High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District – 851.
  • La Jolla High School in the San Diego Unified School District – 849.
  • Mira Mesa High School in the San Diego Unified School District – 846.
  • Olympian High School in the Sweetwater Union High School District – 845.
  • Rancho Bernardo High School in the Poway Unified School District – 841.
  • Mission Hills High School in the San Marcos Unified School District – 834.

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

To see San Marcos homes for Sale, including Lake San Marcos, contact Gary Harmon.

Ocean Hills

Ocean Hills is a 24 hour guarded and gated senior community in San Diego North County.  Below the photo are links to the most inportant information relating to Ocean Hills.

 Current Listings of Ocean Hills Country Club Homes for Sale

 

The links above provide the most comprehensive information about Ocean Hills Country Club on one website.  Contact Gary Harmon, your Ocean Hills senior specialist, for more information or to get your personal tour.

Ocean Hills Country Club

Ocean Hills Country Club is a fantastic, active, retirement community for the over 55.  Ocean Hills Country Club is located in Oceanside south of the 78 Freeway, just east of Carlsbad.  Hundreds of people each month visit my main website, www.HomeInfoSanDiego.com to learn more about homes for sale in Ocean Hills.   Current real estate listings of Ocean Hills Country Club homes are listed below:

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To get your personal tour of Ocean Hills Country Club homes, contact Gary Harmon, a top Ocean Hills senior specialist.

Internet Marketing Gains Top Spot in North County Home Sales

87% of All San Diego Home Buyers Start on the Internet

The National Association of Realtors say that over 87% of all buyers start on the Internet.  Therefore, if you are a San Diego North County seller, you should select your real estate agent based on how well your agent can market your San Diego North County home on the Internet.   My website blog: www.GaryHarmon.com and my website: www.HomeInfoSanDiego.com excels in marketing clients homes on the Internet with over 100 key phrases on the first pages of Google Searches

How Does Your San Diego Agent Rank

Be an informed seller.  See how any agent you are considering performs on the Internet before you list your most important investment.  Log into www.Websitegrader.com.  Put any agent’s website url address in the blank and click “Generate Report.”   This gives you an objective score of how any agent ranks on their ability to market your property on the internet.  My rank is listed below for you to compare.  Also,  YouTube is the # 3 largest search engine.  Go to www.youtube.com and put “garywharmon” in the search blank.  Click “Search.”  Try that with other agents.  If you shop and compare, the results will be clear.

Gary Harmon Ranks in the Top 5%

See how Gary can customize an Internet marketing plan to get your San Diego North County home sold.   Contact Gary Harmon, today.

 

How San Diego Home Buyers Use the Internet

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