Pickford Escrow – Gary's Winning Team

An escrow company acts as a neutral third party in the North County real estate transaction.  As such, they are bound by law to notify both buyer and seller if the instructions given to them are not mutually consistant or if they cannot be carried out.  Pickford Escrow holds legal documentation and funds on behalf of the North County buyer and San Diego seller.   The escrow holder works closly with Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor, the buyer, the seller, and the lender to assure the sale’s conditions are complied within the time period call for the the purchase contract.

Pickford Escrow is one of the largest full service escrow companies in the state, with 13 offices in Southern California. Pickford Escrow has a distinguished reputation for experience, stability, and dedicated customer service. I have been proudly recommending Pickford Escrow since its inception.

Since its establishment in 1991, the firm has focused on a single mission: to deliver the highest level of professional service to its clients. As part of a comprehensive, collaborative real estate team (Realtor®, lender, title officer, escrow officer, transaction coordinator), the company acts as a neutral party to facilitate a variety of real estate transactions for a diverse range of clients.

Pickford Escrow is fully licensed by the Department of Corporations which holds it to a higher standard in both experience and trust accounting practices. Pickford Escrow is part of HomeServices of America Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. This powerful alliance reinforces the strength, excellence and integrity of its service to you.

There are many great escrow officers at Pickford, but Gary has found Karyn Dillon to be especially professional and caring.  Karyn, with over 12 years of escrow experience, has become a valuable member of Gary’s winning team.  You too will find Karyn and her staff a customer service driven team of professionals always focused on consistently providing the highest level of quality escrow service.  For more escrow information see the main Pickford Escrow site.

Make Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor, and Pickford Escrow your winning real estate team.   Other members of the Gary Harmon team include Prudential California Realty, California Title, Home Services Lending, and Prudential Relocation.

Home Warranty – Who Does it Benefit?

Home Buyers Protection

By covering major home systems and appliances, a Home Protection Plan can help make buying or selling a San Diego North County home a more rewarding experience.   See reasons below photo.

Home Warranty - San Diego North County Home

San Diego Home buyers benefit:

  • Coverage for unexpected repair or replacement costs of many of your North County home’s major systems and appliances.
  • Convenience with access to our network of local certified contractors through our service representatives available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
  • Budget protection by only paying a nominal service fee per trade call in most situations.

San Diego Home sellers benefit:

  • Competitive edge for a faster sale.
  • Potential additional negotiating power to sell your San Diego home at a higher price.
  • Reduce after-sale liability.

When representing you as your North County Realtor I work with First American Home Warranty, one of my Winning Team Members.  When you buy a San Diego North County home, I suggest you also purchase a home warranty on your new home.  First American Home Warranty has been on the my winning team for many years.  First American has provided over 1,000,000 homeowners with high quality service since 1984.  It has an “A” rating by A.M. Best which stands for excellent.  I carry a home warranty on my own personal residence provided by First American Home Warranty.  For more information on home warranties, contact Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor.

  To find your San Diego North County home, contact Gary Harmon.

The Time to Buy a San Diego North County Home is Now

The San Diego housing downturn will reverse itself one day, will you have missed out?   While economists and consumers may be uncertain when the bottom will come, there are growing signs that it’s already here or extremely close. The best time to buy a home is now — and here’s why.

It’s hard to tell if the San Diego North County housing market has reached bottom until prices and sales volume start to rise again. So the best time to buy is when market conditions are indicating the approach of a bottom.  To take advantage of near-record low mortgage interest rates and home prices as low as they were a decade ago, home buyers may have to take some risks, such as riding out another short-term dip in property values.
But the rewards may be well worth it. A number of factors point to a small window of opportunity to buy “at the bottom” before the market turns more favorable.  Here are the six greatest reasons to buy a home right now:

  1. The economy is growing
  2. More jobs are available
  3. Houses are a hedge against inflation
  4. Mortgage interest rates are near record lows
  5. Pent-up demand is ready to release
  6. Buy-versus-rent ratios favor home ownership

Advice for buyers: A San Diego North County housing recovery doesn’t proceed in a straight line. The question is, how deep are the dips? San Diego buyers could wait for even better conditions, but the current alignment of falling mortgage interest rates, lower home prices, and wider selection is unlikely to happen again. Prices may go lower, but mortgage interest rates may go higher. If this isn’t the bottom, it’s very close. Act now.

Need help ?  Contact Gary Harmon, and find your San Diego North County  home now.  See Current Listings of ALL San Diego homes.

Rent vs Buy – San Deigo Homes

San Diego North County Homes make good investments, so why rent when you can buy?   Moving from “Renter” to “Owner” may be easier than you think.  You may be able to find a San Diego North County home with a total monthly payment comparable to your current rent payment!
Interest rate and payment illustrations are below. Contact Gary Harmon, and I will put you intouch with Home Services Lending for current interest rate and payment information. Rates are illustrative and are subject to change daily.

Payments will vary during the initial 123 months due to annual adjustments to the required monthly mortgage insurance premium. After 123 months the mortgage insurance premium is dropped. Closing costs are assumed to be paid by the borrower at closing. If the closing costs are financed, the loan and payment amounts will be higher. Your loan’s interest rate will depend upon the specific characteristics of the loan transaction and your credit profile up to the time of closing. Amounts shown for hazard insurance and taxes are estimates and are subject to change.
1. Financing the UFMIP is optional. Borrower can pay the premium at closing.

Get Started Now

Take your first step to buying your San Diego North County home by talking to a tax advisor for more information. To get more information about borrowing money see HomeServices Lending.  To get more information about buying a San Diego North County home, contact Gary Harmon, your North County Realtor.

Current Listings of ALL San Diego homes is the easiest way to see photos and get details about what is available in San Diego North County.

San Diego Home Prices Going Up?

California touts the most metros on the top 10 list.

Confusing though the various statistics may be, they do point to one overarching conclusion: Now is a good time for buyers in most markets, including San Diego,  to get started again. The U. S.  housing market is merely a collection of local markets. And while those markets have moved together to an unusual degree during the past 15 years or so, new data show that the pattern is changing—and that many markets are safer now than they have been in years.
Local Market Monitor Inc., a real-estate research company based in Cary, N.C., that ranks local housing markets for banks, investors and builders, combines the best of both. It takes repeat-sales prices compiled by the Federal Housing Finance Agency across 315 housing markets and compares them with the “equilibrium prices” that can be sustained by local economic conditions. Then it ranks markets accordingly.
California touts the most metros on the Top 10 list. San Jose (No. 1), Santa Ana (No. 2) and San Diego (No. 5) offer housing markets where property prices are expected to rise steadily over the next three years. The Greater Los Angeles area didn’t crack the top 10, but does offer the prospect of appreciation.

To get a personal viewing, contact Gary Harmon, your top San Diego County Realtor.  Also see,   Reasons to buy a San Diego North County Home NOW.

Reasons to Buy a San Diego North County Home NOW

If you have been on the fence waiting for the best time to buy a San Diego North County home, NOW is the time.  See 5 reason below photo.

Housing Affordability Still at Record High Levels

Each month the National Association of Realtors issues its “Housing Affordability Index,” which measures the ability of the average family, in a particular geographical area, to afford the average priced home for that area.
In September 2010 the national affordability index was 179.1. This means that if a family with the median income of $61,395 wanted to purchase a median-priced existing single-family home at $172,600 (with a 20% down payment of $34,520), they would have 179.1% of the qualifying income needed to purchase that home.  Of course in California, the index was lower.  For San Diego North County homes ist was about 140.  This is still great and considerably above the 2009 level.

Interest Rates Are at Historic Lows

In the 1990s rates were higher than 8 percent. This look back through time makes it easy to see that today’s mortgage rates are relatively low.  Take the first step toward a San Diego North County home purchase and
contact me.  I will put you in touch with a great HomeServices Lender.   They will do a PriorityBuyer® preapproval to see how much you qualify for at today’s interest rates.

Tax Advantages of Homeownership

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, up-sizing, or down-sizing, most North County homeowners qualify for tax breaks annually.

  • Interest paid on a home mortgage is almost always tax
    deductible (up to the value of the primary residence)
  • Property taxes are typically deductible for most San Diego North County homeowners

Plus, for most San Diego homeowners, there are no capital gains taxes when a primary residence is sold.

Inventory of foreclosure and short sale properties

Also called real-estate owned or REO, lender-mediated, lenderowned, or non-traditional, these properties may appeal to bargain hunters looking for that hidden gem.

Inventory of homes overall is at an 10.5-month supply nationally. 

It is a buyer’s market!  More sellers than buyers in the marketplace can mean more choices and more bargaining power for buyers.  (Information above courtesy of HomeServices Lending, a Wells Fargo Affiliated Lender.)

To get a personal tour of San Diego North County homes, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.

Carlsbad Homes – Purchase Reverse Mortage

Maybe you have retired and no longer have an income.  Maybe have lost your job.  Perhaps your credit score is a little too low for a regular loan.  A purchase reverse mortage could be a way for you to get a loan to buy that Carlsbad home.   Below are some of the benefits of a purchase reverse moretgage.

FHA Purchase Reverse Mortgage Benefits 

     -No income required                    
     -No minimum credit score
     -No Income to Debt ratio             
     -Down payment can be a Gift
     -No Mortgage payment for life       
     -No minimum or maximum sales price
     -Can own other properties 

You need to be 62 years old to qualify for a purchase reverse mortgage.  A Reverse Mortgage will cover as much as 77% of the price of the home!  A Purchase Reverse Mortgage can eliminate the need for a Carlsbad homebuyer to make a house payment. All that is needed is the down payment and closing costs the Reverse Mortgage will cover the remaining balance!

The age of the youngest buyer and the value of the Carlsbad home are what determine how much money is needed to close.

Use the table below to see what you could expect with an appraised home value of $309,000.   Contact Gary Harmon, your San Diego North County Senior Realtor, for different purchase (appraised) values up to $625,000. have included the Down Payment and estimated closing costs.

purchase reverse mortgage

See Gary’s other articles relating to purchase reverse mortgages:

Reverse Mortgages – Frequently Ask Questions

Reverse Purchase Mortgage – Ocean Hills Homes

Purchase Reverse Mortgage Examples – Oceanside Homes for Sale

Reverse mortgages for San Diego home purchases

Reverse Mortgage – Purchase Ocean Hills

Now is the Time to Buy Ocean Hills Real Estate

Purchase Your San Diego Home with a Reverse Mortgage

Home Services Lending, one of Gary Harmon’s Winning Team, can customize a reverse mortgage to fit your situation.  Contact Gary Harmon, Prudential California Realty, for your best move ever!

San Elijo Hills Best Buy – $699,900

Single Family in San Marcos
Property has been sold, but there are many others available.  Just contact Gary Harmon.
Phone: 7607451220



Location: 1627 Trenton Way, San Marcos, California 92078

Type: Single Family

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 5.00

Square Feet: 3241

Price: $699,900

Contact Information: Gary Harmon

Address: “NO” Login Required, San Diego North County Homes, CA

Phone: 7607451220

for more information.

Additional Photos:

For more information about the San Elijo Hills best buy, contact Gary Harmon, your Hadley Home Team Realtor.


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Carlsbad Schools – Carlsbad Educational Foundation

Where Kids Are Worth a Million

This week in our Prudential California Realty office meeting, we had a spokesman from the Carlsbad Educational Foundation.  I was very impressed at the work they do in our community and wanted to share it with you. 

Since 1983, the Carlsbad Educational Foundation has been working hard as an independent non-profit organization with one mission-to raise private support for public school programs in the Carlsbad Unified School District.  In the upcoming school year, the Carlsbad Educational Foundation will be funding nearly half a million dollars towards student programs through the generous support of corporations, foundation grants, special events, and individuals like you!


Every dollar you give to the Carlsbad Educational Foundation goes to support local students! Our Kids’ Care and Enrichment Programs generate the revenue to cover our operating expenses so every donation can impact local students.

In addition to funding great programs across the school district, the Foundation operates the Kids’ Care childcare program at each elementary school. This high-quality, onsite, licensed childcare program ensures that working parents have a safe and affordable learning environment for their children throughout the year from 7 am to 6:25 pm.

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation also operates an annual Summer Enrichment Program each June and July—offering more than two dozen half-day enrichment programs designed specifically to inspire and teach students ages 5 to 14 in the areas of science, music, technology, and the arts.


•Make a donation to our Annual Fund Drive in October
•Volunteer to be part of one of our programs or help with one of our special events
•Help spread the word about the Foundation and our efforts to support educational excellence in our schools.
•For more information about the Carlsbad Educational Foundation or to support Carlsbad schools, please visit www.CarlsbadEd.org or call us at (760) 929-1555.

Next great fundraising day is “Celebrate Carlsbad Day” at Legoland on Saturday, May 7, 2011.

My website and blog provides you info about Carlsbad School locations, Carlsbad homes for sale, Carlsbad real estateCarlsbad homes and Carlsbad ocean view homes.  To talk with Gary, contact Gary Harmon at 760-745-1220 or garyharmon@prusd.com.

Buying a San Diego North County Homes – Secret One

Get “Pre-Approved” – Not “Pre-Qualified!”

Do you want to get the best San Diego North County home you can for the least amount of money? Then make sure you are in the strongest negotiating position possible. Price is only one element in the negotiations, and not necessarily the most important one. Often other terms, such as the strength of the buyer or the length of escrow, are critical to a San Diego North County home seller.   See tips below photo.

I always recommended that my buyers get “pre-qualified” by a lender. The lender I recommend is Curtis W. Fox of HomeServices Lending.  Curtis works in my Carlsbad office and is extreemly easy to work with.  Gettin pre-qualified means that you spend a few minutes on the phone with Curtis who asks you a few questions. Based on the answers, Curtis pronounces you “pre-ualified” and issues a certificate that you can show to a seller.

Getting pre-qualified is only the first step.  To increase your negoiting position, I suggest you get pre-approved.  This is the way to make the strongest offer today.  This happens AFTER your HomeServices Lender verifies all the information you have provided.  You are actually APPROVED for the loan and the only loose end is the appraisal on the property. This process takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on your situation. It’s VERY POWERFUL and a weapon I recommend all my Prudential California Realty clients have in their negotiating arsenal. HomeServices Lending is hear to meet all your lending needs.

To get referred to Curtis, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.

See why Gary Harmon teams up with Curtis Fox.