Short Sale Lenders

Below is a chart showing the top short sale lenders for San Diego County homes.  The top lender that made loans that ended up in short sales is Countrywide.  Another major San Diego short sale lender was Washington Mutual.  Neither of these lenders surviveded the housing crsis.  Other major short sale lenders on San Diego homes like Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank are still in business. 

Gary Harmon is a fully qualified short sale specialist.   I have been successful in 100% with short sales over the past two years.  I work with a team that has an assigned person to continuously follow up on all short sale weekly.    If you think your home my qualify for a San Diego short sale,  contact Gary Harmon, your short sale specialist.  See a list of short sale resources under the chart below.

For more information on how to do a short sale see:

Remember not all real estate agents are short sale specialist.  Gary Harmon is an experienced short sale expert in Oceanside and other communities in San Diego  North County.

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Home Sales for February 2012

This blog and my main website ,, focus on the communities of  Carlsbad homes, Encinitas homes, Escondido homes, San Marcos and Vista homes.  Below is the median price of San Diego homes from 2012 and 2011 with the last column showing increases or decreases (marked by “-“). 


You can also see  current Carlsbad statistics, Encinitas statistics, Escondido statistics, San Marcos statistics, and Vista statistics.

To purchase any great San Diego North County home, contact Gary Harmon.

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Rekey Your San Diego North County Home

To “Rekey” a lock means to change the internal workings of the lock to operate with a new key cut. The old key no longer works in the lock, only the new key does!

Many of my San Diego North County buyers ask me if they should rekey their new home.  Yes, yes, yes!  You just don’t have any idea who has ourstanding keys to your new San Diego property.  Maybe neighboors, maybe friends and relatives, and maybe several previous owners.  Rekeying is not that expensive and provides a great value and level of security.  The following gives you more information on when to rekey.

What are the benefits of rekeying?

  •  SECURITY – Be certain who has a key to your property, and who does not.
  • SIMPLICITY – Just one key can operate all locks in the home!
  • ECONOMY – Much less expensive than replacing locks and hardware.

When should a home be rekeyed?

  • When a new home is purchased.
  • As a closing gift for a home sale.
  • Tenant turnover of leased property.
  • When keys are lost, stolen or unreturned.  
  • When you change cleaning or service companies.
  • When a roommate moves out.

To find out more information about rekeying or general info about San Diego North County homes, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.

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Timeshare Scams

Over the years, I have owned 8 different timeshare weeks, and I can say it was a great way for me and my family to vacation.  I owned Carlsbad Inn, Tamarack, Lawrence Welk, Kahana Falls in Maui, and Plantation Village in the Cayman Islands.  I traded my timeshares for great vacations at Harborside Atlantis,  Manhatten Club in New York,  Vistanna Disney World, Kauai, Key West, Saint Martin, Aruba, Bonaire, and many other great places.  When I sold these timeshares, I sold them myself, and I seldom lost any money.

  1. There was one thing in common with all these timeshares…I bought them “cheap” on the resale market.  If you bought your timeshare from a timeshare developer, you are probably in trouble.  Don’t get desparate, avoid being ripped off.  Most timeshare scams involve a promise of a quick sale of the seller’s timeshare interest in exchange for an upfront fee. However, after the fee is collected, little or nothing is done to sell your timeshare interest. But, as is the case with most scams, there are variations of timeshare resale fraud as well. The following are three of the most common fraudulent practices, according to DRE officials:
    1. Unlicensed and illegitimate timeshare reseller fraudsters pose as legitimate and licensed real estate brokers, thereby providing a false sense of security, and then demand the payment of monies up front in connection with the purported resales. However, no services of any kind are actually provided.
    2. Scammers falsely tell timeshare owners that the “agent” has found a “ready and willing” buyer for their timeshares. The scammer asks for listing or “paperwork fee” to effect the transaction, but once the fee is collected, the seller never hears from the company again.
    3. Fraudsters pose as timeshare buyers and use such advertising slogans as “Will Buy Your Timeshare for Cash”, “Timeshares Wanted”, or something similar, to lure timeshare owners. The scammers then ask the owners for “a small amount” of money up front to process the paperwork for the transfer. Once those monies are paid, the owners never hear from the scammers again.

The following practical advice can help consumers from falling victim to a timeshare scam:

  • The request for an upfront or advance fee is a red flag. You should contact DRE before agreeing to pay an advance fee to determine the lawfulness of the fee.
  • Only licensed real estate brokers may list and sell “timeshares for resale”. Check the license status on the DRE’s website to determine if the company or broker is properly licensed.
  • Request a copy of the reseller agent’s written contract that you will be required to sign and a written disclosure of all fees and costs, and you are wise to never pay for services or assistance in advance of the performance of services.
  •  Check out the company or persons with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Check them out through a Google, Facebook, or related search on the Internet. Often consumers who have been scammed will post their experiences, insights, and warnings long before any criminal, civil or administrative action has been brought against the scammers.
  • If you have been a victim of a timeshare scam, file a complaint with the Department of Real Estate.

Several places that I have gone to sell my timeshares are “Timesharing Today” magazine, TUG (Timeshare User Group at  and the website “”   If you wonder what your time share is worth on the resale market, these sources are also a good place to look.

I think the timeshare marketplace has changed over the years and there is no longer a need to own a timeshare.  You can go to and rent a timeshare for about the same price as the timeshare owners are paying for just their maintenance fees.  Don’t pay what they are asking, but negoitate.  Renting a timeshare this way is fun, cheaper, and you don’t have any ownership responsibility.

If you would like any type of real estate advice, contact Gary Harmon, your San Diego North County Realtor.


San Diego North County Market Statistics February 2012

The March 2012 HomeDex™ Report provides February 2012 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 22 years.

• The median price for all San Diego North County home sales – attached and detached – increased to $357,500 in February 2012 compared to $344,500 in January 2012.
• North County detached homes increased 3.75 percent to $415,000 in February 2012 compared to $400,000 in January 2012. Year-over median price of San Diego North County homes was stable with a small 0.6 percent fall compared to the $417,500 in February 2011.
• The San Diego countywide median SFD price increased 3.12 percent in February 2012 to $359,900 compared to $349,000 in January 2012.
• The number of San Diego North Country homes – detached listings (active and contingent) have remained steady through early 2012, decreasing just 0.92 percent from January 2012 to February 2012.
• The number of sold North San Diego County homes – detached units increased 20.37 percent in February 2012 compared to January 2012 (after a 32.21 percent fall last month), and jumped 27.13 percent year-over compared to February 2011. Each of the last four months experienced double-digit year-over increases in home sales.
• Median days-on-market for North County single-family detached homes sold decreased to 66 days in February 2012 compared to 68 days in January 2012.


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High Country Villas

The closest North County homes for over 55  to downtown San Diego is High Country Villas homes in Encinias, CA.   These Encinitas homes offer senic views, a golf course, pool, and clubhouse.  Homeowners fees and other fees are around $300/month.  High Country Villas homes range from 884 esf to 1056 estimated square feet and were built between 1973 and 1985.   The community is located east of El Camino Real and south of Encinitas Boulevard.   To get a personal tour of High Country Villas homes, contact Gary Harmon, your San Diego North County homes senior Realtor.



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San Diego North County Fireplace Safety Tip

Every time I do a home inspection, the inspector always finds the same thing.  People have installed gas logs in a wood burning fireplace, but have not installed a damper clamp.  A fireplace damper safety clamp is a necessary devise for all San Diego North County homes if you have gas logs.   It is easy and cheap to install. 

Why do you need a fireplace damper safety clamp in your fireplace?  The clamp keeps the flue open so that gas log exaust can excape up the flue and not into the home.  It is a very simple item, a simple “c” clamp will work.   

Another thing always comes up in this years inspections: You need a CO detector in your home.  This carbon monoxide detector can be a simple plug in model or a wall mount.  I would suggest you also have one in your garage.  These can be purchase cheaply at Lowe’s or Home Depot.  Very easy to install in you San Diego North County home. 

If you would like to talk about these safety items, feel free to contact Gary Harmon, your San Diego North County Realtor.

Ocean Hills Rentals

Gary Harmon does not handle rentals.


See the top website for Ocean Hills Country Club homes –


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