AB 957 and Encinitas Real Estate

HomeServices LendingThere are many technical things involved in a sale  transaction of Escondido real estate.  Here at Prudential California Realty, Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor is here to help. 

Legislation was signed into California law in December 2009 effecting us here in North County. Escondido home buyers and Escondido home sellers should be aware of several points:

1.A seller of REO residential Escondido real estate with four or fewer units “shall not require directly or indirectly as a condition of selling the Escondido property that title insurance covering the Escondido property or escrow service provided in connection with the sale of the property be purchased by the buyer from a particular title insurer or escrow agent.” In plain language it means that the bank, selling bank owned property, can’t require you the Escondido buyer to user their title insurance company or their escrow company. This is only true if you the buyer are paying for these services. Gary’s winning team member, Pickford Escrow and The Escrow Firm have closed over 9,000 REO (bank real estate owned) transactions in the last 18 months.
2.The bill provides that “sale” is intended by the Legislature to “include the receipt of an offer to purchase that residential Escondido property.” – means it is intended to prohibit sellers from conditioning the receipt of an offer to buy an Escondido REO property on the buyer’s agreement to use a specific title insurer or escrow agent. That means the bank has to look at your offer reguardless of which title or escrow company you choose. California Title Company, one of Gary’s winning team members is also experienced in bank REO’s sales.
3.AB 957 does NOT prohibit an Escondido buyer “from agreeing to accept the services of a title insurer or escrow agent recommended by the seller” PROVIDED THAT “written notice of the right to make an independent selection of those services is first provided by the seller to the buyer.” That means it is ok to use who the bank recommends provided they disclose that it is your choice.
4.AB 957 only applies to title insurance or escrow services “purchased by” or paid for by the Escondido buyer. That means if the bank is paying for both sides, they get to pick.
5.A seller who violates AB 957 “Shall be liable to a buyer in an amount equal to three times all charges made for the title insurance or escrow service.” A violation of AB 957 is also deemed to be a violation of the seller’s license law which can subject the seller to discipline by its licensing entity.

For more information reguarding AB 957, contact Gary or HomeServices Lending.

Escondido Real Estate – Get Maximum Online Esposure

Escondido home buyers once searched the North County Times and the San Diego Union  for Escondido homes for sale.  Today, over 87% of all Escondido real estate buyers start their search on the Internet.  These tech smart buyers don’t stop with just one or two websites.  They explore a whole range of Internet real estate destinations.

That is why Gary Harmon and Prudential California Realty insure that your Escondido property gets maximum exposure by making sure your Escondido home for sale is seen on all of the key sites.   Gary Harmon also makes sure your home is found on the first page of the Google keyword search for “escondido real estate,” the number one place Escondido buyers search.  Give it a try.  Type escondido real estate in the search  box on Google.  Hit search and you will find www.GaryHarmon.com right in the middle of page one of Google.  That is where the most Escondido buyers are looking to find Escondido real estate information.  Why consider listing your Escondido home with anyone else, let Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor, put your home on the first page and maximize the chance of selling your home.

CA 2010 New Home Tax Credit

The State of California has passed a new home credit for a qualified new principal residence.  San Diego North County buyers must buy from May 1, 2010 through the end of the year. This would apply to almost all new San Diego North County homes for sale. Escondido homes or Encinitas homes constructed by the taxpayer would not qualify since they are not considered purchased.

The new Escondido home, Oceanside home, Encinitas home, or other North County home must be new, but can be attached or detached.  They can also be condos or manufactured homes.  New means it has never been occupied. North County sellers must certify that the San Diego home has never been occupied in order for a taxpayer to receive an allocation of the credit.

You are not eligible if you used the 2009 new home tax credit or if you are under 18.

New home tax credits are limited to the lesser of 5% of the purchase price or $10,000.

The State has set aside $100,000,000 for this new home program, but when the money runs out, so does the program. When buying  North County homes, buyers who qualify for the new home credit may reserve a tax credit pri0r to close of escrow.  To reserve a new North County home tax credit, the buyer must fill out and fax to the state a reservation request which certifies that they have entered into a qualified new home purchase under the credit’s guidelines.  A copy of your signed North County home must be included with the purchase contract.  This credit  is strictly, first come, first serve. If you want to get in on this great opportunity you had better get started.

You should always take your Realtor with you on you first visit to new model homes.   Contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor today.  For other types of credits see California 2010 Tax Credit First Time Buyer.

$10,000 CA Tax Credit

The State of California has passed a new credit for qualified first-time home buyers who buy a qualified principal residence from May 1, 2010 through the end of the year.  This would apply to almost all San Diego North County homes for sale.  Escondido homes or Encinitas homes can be mobile homes, manufactured homes, attached homes, condos, or even a houseboat.  Haven’t seen many of those in San Diego North County.

To be a buyer eligible to buy these San Diego North County homes you must be a first-time buyer.  You or your spouse cannot have had an ownership interest in any home, anywhere, in the last 3 years.  You are not eligible if you used the 2009 new home tax credit or if you are under 18.

Applications for these credits are being accepted now by the State.  The State has set aside $100,000,000 for this program, but when the money runs out, so does the program.  It is strictly, first come, first serve.  It is estimated that the money will run out by the end of May.

If you want to get in on this great opportunity you had better get started.  Contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor today.  For more information see California 2010 Tax Credit First Time Buyer.

Sales Tax on Escondido Real Estate

No 4% sales tax on Escondido Home Sales

Regardless of what you may have read or heard in newspapers or Internet articles, there is not a 4% transfer tax or sales tax on the sale of a San Diego North County homes included in the recently signed Obama Care health bill. 

The new health care bill does include other taxes, however.  One such tax is a 3.8% Medicare tax for some of the higher income households.  This tax will apply to “net investment income.”  The money from this tax will go to the Medicare hospital insurance program.  It applies to households with adjusted gross incomes in excess of $200k and to married couples making more (AGI) than $250k.   Capital gains are included as part of “net investment income” so sales of Escondido real estate held for investment purposes may have to pay an additional tax.   This new Medicare tax will not take effect until January 1, 2013.  

Before you make any tax decisions you should always contact your certified public accountant.  For great Escondido real estate information, contact Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor and real estate specialist.

Don't Miss the Boat on Escondido Homes

Don't Miss the Boat!Get your first-time home buyers tax credit on your Escondido home now.  Under current federal law there are only three days left to purchase Escondido real estate in order to get your tax credit.  That means you must have the Escondido property in escrow before May 1, 2010.   San Diego North County homes that are purchased before May 1, 2010, must close escrow by July 1, 2010.  There is a special exemption for members of the armed forces serving on extended duty.  These military personnel get an extra year to buy a first time Escondido home or other North County home.    San Diego military wanting to receive this tax credit can also receive an addition homes for heroes military discount, by contacting Gary Harmon to buy their San Diego Off-base Housing.

If you miss the current federal first-time buyers tax credit you have just missed out on $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price of your Escondido home, whichever is less.  To qualify for this credit you must have not owned a principle residence during the three-year period prior to purchase of the Escondido property.  If you owned rental property or vacation property, that does not disqualify you from this program.

If you just missed the boat, all is not lost because a new boat is coming.  It is the California first-time buyers tax credit.  It is worth $10,000 and starts May 1st.  To get more information on this credit and to qualify for a “Free iPad,” contact Gary Harmon, your top Escondido Realtor.

Escondido Starter Homes for Sale

Escondido Homes for Sale and Escondido Foreclosures

Welcome to my Escondido Starter Homes featured listing page.  You can click on the hot links below by price to get a fast start.  If you would like to see an area not shown you can set up your own personalized search by zip code, area, price, features, and much more.  You can start your own custom serarch here.   You can also see Escondido foreclosures, auction, or pre-forclosure homes at “Free Foreclosure Search.”  For your on  personalized tour of any of these Escondido homes contact Gary Harmon.
Escondido Starter Homes $300k – $400k
Escondido Homes $400k-$500k
All Other Price Ranges 
See Video and learn how to SEARCH LIKE AN AGENT!

Now is the Best Time to Sell Your Escondido Home

It is spring in the Escondido real estate area and the flowers around your Escondido home are starting to bloom.    The skies have cleared of rain and the days are mostly sunny.  The lawn is looking lush green and is at its very best.  First impressions of your Escondido property are always the most important. NOW is when Escondido buyers will get that great first impression when they drive up in front of your home. 

In is a know fact in the San Diego North County area that Escondido buyers like to buy in the spring.  One of the main reasons is that tax season is over and they can now concentrate on their Escondido home search.   Another reason is that buyers like to buy in the spring so they are ready to move when school is out for the summer.  After summer the Escondido real estate market slows considerably.  So, the best months to have your Escondido house on the market are April through August. 

The San Diego North County real estate market is getting stronger.  Data Quick released results yesterday saying  the market has improved and prices have increased over this time last year.  The State of California is coming out with a new tax credit of $10,000 on May 1st  to help boost California real estate sales for new and first-time home buyers.  Interest rates are still relative low.   So the best thing you can do is list your Escondido real estate now.

To get a free CMA (competitive market analysis) of your Escondido home, contact Gary Harmon, your top Escondido Realtor.

White Water Views in Oceanside for under $700k

Seacliff Oceanside HomesFind out how to Save an extra 1%.  Just east of the Escondido real estate area down Highway 78 lies the  City of Oceanside.  Oceanside as the name implies is right at the Pacific Ocean.  There is a new community of Oceanside homes for sale call Seacliff.  Seacliff combines all the elements of luxury and style with convenient urban amenities and coveted beach access.  These new condominium Oceanside homes for sale are perfect for those that love the ocean and everything that the Ocean harbor area has to offer.  Don’t miss this opportunity to own a piece of Oceanside ‘s newest urban jewel.

There is a Model A #2412 that is a 2br/2ba, 1057 esf model for $436,990.  The description is: top floor  with courtyard, corner condominium with many decorator features and upgrades.

There is a C Plan #2214 described as follows: 2br/2ba, 1196 esf, great view of the resort style pool, large picture windows, upgraded 18 x 18 tiles throught, granite counters and stainless steel appliances.  This is offered at $439,990.

There is a D Plan # 2403, 2br/2ba, 1,387 esf model described as: Top floor gorgeous, white water ocean views!  Large over-sized balcony with storage, upgraded granite counters.  Unit is offered at $748,990.

The last plan is the E Plan, 2br/2ba, 1,412 esf with incredible white water ocean views.  Corner condominium, large panoramic windows and 3 balconies!  Unit is loaded with upgrades and is offered at $699,990.

You can walk to the beach and harbor from your new Seacliff home.  To see these fine Oceanside homes for sale, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.  To save an extra 1%, Gary Harmon must accompany you to your first visit to these great Oceanside Homes.  Gary will pay you 1% if you buy one of these condos throught him and close escrow by June 30th.

Fix Up Your Escondido Home for Spring

Considering selling your Escondido property this spring?  Now’s a good time to complete some spring maintenance to make sure your home is in tip-top shape.   Even if you aren’t planning to sell your Escondido 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 Escondido Property

Look for any damage caused by winter’s weather. Check for those sagging or loose gutters.  Over the fall and winter, 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 items you can’t do yourself.

Walk around your yard as if you were a first-time visitor. What impression does your Escondido 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.

If your sprinklers have been off for the winter, turn them back on. 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. Then dust off that patio furniture you kept protected over the winter.

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

Take a Tour Inside Your Escondido 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 daylight savings.

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

For more information read “100 Ways to Prepare Your Escondido Home for Sale.”

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