Spring Forward

This Sunday, March 10th, set your clocks forward an hour.

Don’t know about you, but I have been waking up real early these bright sunny mornings.   Glad to see us Spring Forward and have better sleeping in the morning and better play time at night.

Waiting Period after Short Sale or Foreclosure

One of the most frequently asked questions these days has to do with how long someone has to wait before they can buy a new San Diego North County home after experiencing a foreclosure, short-sale or bankruptcy. It can be vary depending on the type of financing one is trying to obtain.

VA financing is the most lenient. Typically, one has to wait two-years in all cases. Extenuating circumstances could reduce the amount of time before one could buy.

FHA is typically three-years in the case of a foreclosure or short-sale, two-years with a chapter 7 bankruptcy and one-year for a chapter 13 bankruptcy. Personally, I think FHA financing is the best option for most people.

Conventional financing is the most restrictive. Seven-years is usually the waiting period for a foreclosure but in some cases it can be only three-years. Short-sales are from seven down to two-years, depending upon the amount of the  down-payment. A chapter 7 bankruptcy is two to four-years with a chapter 13 being the same.

Information in the above article was provided by Cindy Choice of American Capital Home Loans.  Call to get Cindy’s phone number or email address.

Need more info about buying a San Diego North County home, contact Gary Harmon today.

Best Way to Finance

What is the best way to finance your San Diego North County home.  Best answer, it depends on each persons goals and financial situation.  However, in the current market, a FHA loan seems to be the easiest loan to get in today’s market place.

FHA only requires a 3.5% down-payment to a maximum loan amount of $697,500. That would cover most of the sales prices in San Diego North County.  Unlike conventional financing, FHA is not as sensitive to credit scoring. This can translate into much lower interest rates and payments. Despite the fact that FHA has the upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium to contend with, the impact to payment is minimal since it can be financed. Did you know that the qualifying standards are more flexible than conventional financing, that 100% of the down-payment can be a gift from family or a close friend, that the strength of qualifying can be from a non-occupying co-borrower and that there are no mandatory seller fees?

If you would like more information about FHA loans, Reverse Mortgages, or any other type of loan, contact Gary Harmon and he will put you intouch with a lending expert.

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Getting Ready to Buy

Six tips for getting ready to buy:

  • Get a pre-approval letter from your lender of choice.  Gary Harmon has worked with many lenders in the past 23 years and would be glad to refer you to a lender experienced in San Diego North County.   A pre-approval letter makes you attractive to sellers, and most sellers will insist that a pre-approval letter accompany any offers.  By determining how much you can afford before you ever start looking, you can save yourself from falling in love with a home out of your price range.
  • Have your North County Realtor show you properties that meet your criteria in the neighborhood of your choice.  Your Realtor can ask questions and determine factors affecting the purchase price of your North County home such as relevant repairs, upgrades, or warranty information.
  • Be a fair negotiator.  Gary Harmon can provide comps and help you with this phase of the purchase.  Not all sellers are desperate or heading for foreclosure.  Short Sales and Bank Owned properties in the North County real estate market are usually fairly priced and are currently selling for list price and above.
  • Get your home on the market now if you need to sell before you buy.  Most sellers and no lenders are going to be accepting offers based on a contingency of you selling your home.  You should have a plan in place in case you sell your home and can’t find your next home immediately.
  • Don’t be overly demanding.  Write an offer with as few contingencies as possible.  Your offer will probably be compared with offers and you want your offer to be the one that is accepted.  Your North County Realtor, Gary Harmon can help you know how to write a purchase offer that will be competitive.
  • Last, but very important, select a North County Realtor that has experienced this type of market before, a Realtor that will put your interest first. contact Gary Harmon .

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Welcome to Oceanside

Ideally situated at the junction of Interstate 78 and Highway 5 with over 3.5 miles of beaches is Oceanside, San Diego County’s most northern city. Camp Pendleton, the nation’s largest U.S. Marine base, separates the City of Oceanside from Orange County.

Photo by Gary Harmon

The earliest settlement in Oceanside was the San Luis Rey Mission, know as the “King of Missions.”  Other San Diego North County settlements branched out from there.  Before the turn of the century, families who lived on inland ranches near the mission, would travel to the seashore and picnic by the “ocean side” — therefore the name.   Special features worth visiting are Oceanside Pier, one of the West Coast’s longest wooden piers  and Oceanside Harbor, one of the finest protected harbors for small Craft in California.  Oceanside is a thriving urban center that offers residents and visitors virtually unlimited recreational choices.  Surfing, swimming, tennis, golf, boating, and sport fishing are just a few of the choices.

The “Coaster,” an express rail train, connects Oceanside to downtown San Diego with many intermediate stops.  The “Sprinter,” a light rail system, connects Oceanside to the North County cities of Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido.

Oceanside homes for sale offer a great variety of living styles.  You could choose Oceanside oceanview homes, condos, all types of single family homes, Camp Pendleton off base housing, and great senior communities like Ocean Hills Country Club homes.

New Real Estate Tax

This blog is about the possible affect of the 3.8% tax that will become effective January 1, 2013 as the result of Obama Health Care.   Since this new tax will affect some San Diego North County real estate transactions, it is useful to try and understand this tax and the possible impact it could have on North County home sellers.

Most importantly, this tax does not affect most North County home real estate sales.  This tax only falls on sellers with adjusted gross income (AGI) that are above $200,000 if you are single and $250,000 if you are a couple filing a joint return.  Please talk to your CPA or tax advisor for details and to learn all your options.

If we are applying this tax to the sale of principal residence, before anything happens, you have to have a gain on your sale of over $250,000 if your are single and over $500,000 if you are a couple filing j0intly.  This elimanates most people.  Since the price of most San Diego homes has gone down considerably over the last 6 years, not many San Diego home sellers have these large gains.   And again, you have to have at least the AGI’s mentioned above.

Here is a simplified example:  You sell your personal residence for a gain of $350,000 and you are filing as a single individual and your AGI is over $200,000.  You would subtract the $250,000 from the $350,000 for a taxable gain of $100,000.  3.8% x $100,000 is $3,800.  Again, ask your CPA since many other things go into this calculation.


Maximizing Your Sales Price

One thing I have learned from over 23 years of real estate sales is “buyers buy what they see and not what will be.” This might as well be written in stone just like the 10 Commandments. Sellers like to think that buyers can visualize what a home will look like if they fix it up. Buyers do visualize, they visualize how much it would cost to fix it up. They usually way over estimate the cost and then expect the seller to reduce their sales price to accomodate. One way to stop this problem is to work with a staging company.

VACANT NORTH COUNTY HOMES: We all know that homes that are sitting vacant feel uninviting. North County home buyers often have a hard time picturing themselves in the space. This also gives the buyers an opportunity to analyze every minor flaw. An empty San Diego home can often stay on the market for a long period of time, which is undesirable for everyone. and can sometimes lead to reducing the price of your listings. Let a staging company like Baker Interior Design Group help you stage your homes and speed up your profits.

So how much does staging cost? Well staging can cost anywhere from $4000-$10,000 or more. However prices vary depending on the size of your home and how many rooms need to be furnished.

OCCUPIED NORTH COUNTY HOMES: Baker Intrior Design Group offers consultations for home owners that want to maximize their sales price. This is done as a flat rate fee. $355 for a 2.5 hour Consultation Walk-Through which includes a Recommendations Page (a list of things to do or change, so the homeowner can get ready to sell their home). However, if the homeowner just wants a little advice, Baker provides a 1.5 our Consultation Walk-Through, verbally discussing any recommendations that can help stage the home using the furniture and accessories already in place. This costs $200.   Baker Interior Design Group can be reached directly by calling Diana Baker: 909-379-9376 or Christina Melendrez: (909) 260-2568.  See more at www.BakerIDG.com.

If you need recommendations on how to make your home more presentable, therefore maximizing your sales price, contact Gary Harmon your top North County Realtor. All content by .

Norv's Last Season?

Is this Norv Turner’s last season with the San Diego Chargers? The opening game is tonight at 7:15 on Channel 8 Monday Night Football. Who wins this game and the games to follow in this 2012 season opener may seal Norv’s fate. Enjoy the game against Oakland and root for the Chargers.
See schedule below for games.

Root for the home team!

I am posting this schedule pretty much for my own personal pleasure.  I am always having trouble finding the Charger Schedule without having to go through a lot of ads on a lot of sites.  Hope it is helpful for you also.

Wow! Didn’t know that Google would like my blog and stick me at the top of the page.  Also, had no plans to make comments, but just can’t pass this up.

Chargers vs Oakland:  Chargers win 22 to 14.  Well that is a streatch, almost a lie.  The truth is if you saw the game, Oakland just gave us the game with their mistakes.  If fact, I told the guys at my work that this was my last day, I had received a call from Oakland to be the long snapper.

Even though the Chargers have no running game, maybe the worst I have ever seen, they seemed to get their offense on track and move the ball. Phillip Rivers made some of the better throws that I have ever seen him make.  Gates caught some of them.  And the Chargers pass defense was pretty good, even though the Chargers line did a terrible job rushing Palmer.

And the last comment I will make is about the Charger’s coach, Norv Turner.  Why couldn’t the Chargers run some type of play to run out the clock at the end of the game rather than risk giving Oakland a last shot.  Is this Norv’s last season?

Chargers vs Saints  Saints defete the Chargers 31 to 24.   Don’t even know what to say about this game.  Just another loss that shouldn’t have been.

Chargers vs Denver  Denver comes from way behind to beat the Chargers 35 to 24.  Did I say the Chargers had Denver down 24 – 0 at half time.

Norv doesn’t even know how to cheat well.  If he was using a sticky substance to help the Bolts hold on to the ball, he must have ran out at half time.

Chargers vs Cleveland  The Chargers even found a way to loose to one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Browns 7-6.  Although Norv wasn’t brilliant in this game either, you can hardly blame him for Meachem dropping a clear touchdown pass.  A ball that hit him right in the hands and stomach.

Chargers vs Tampa Bay   San Diego gives the game away to Tampa Bay 34 to 24.  I think that I have figured out the Chargers passing problem.   Philip Rivers is color blind!   Nothing else can explain why he throws the ball directly to players of the other team.



Get your personal tour of current listings in San Diego North County.  Contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.

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Welcome to HomeInfoSanDiego.com

You will find HomeInfoSanDiego.com to be one of the most complete websites available for infomation, photos, and videos on San Diego North County homes for sale and related community information.   Use the links in the blue band under the “wave” header to go directly to a specific community.  Under the specific community use the drop down links to see current listings of homes for sale in that community and more.  Above the “wave” header, in the grey band, you will also find links to great information on “Ocean Hills CC” or Gary Harmon contact info.

On the right side of every page is a search box where you can just type in what you want to know, hit search, and go directly to that information.  Under the search box will be a list of the latest blog post.  This one is the first.  Also on the right side are links to many major items of interest.

If after viewing the website, you have suggestions, I would love to hear them.  My goal is to improve the site and to make easier the purchase or sale of your next San Diego North County home.

Memorial Day San Diego 2012

Memorial Day in San Diego County, Monday, May 28 is very special indeed. San Diego is the largest military area in the nation with nearly 200,000 active duty and retired military. We salute those who have died in the defense of our country on May 28th.

Memorial Day officially began in Waterloo, New York on May 5, 1866. It has been a continued tradition each year since that date.
The brunt of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been shouldered by San Diego military personnel carrying the fight to our enemies. The 3rd Battalion of the Fifth Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton has had dozens of its troops wounded or killed, more than any other unit in recent years.
Here in San Diego County, we certainly know how and why we honor our nation’s finest. We visit cemeteries, fly our flag at half mast, and if you really want to participate you can pause at 3 p.m. on May 30th and remember those who sacrificed their lives for our great freedoms. We are also most thankful that thousands of our local men and women return home from their combat tours to their families and San Diego neighborhoods and try to settle into a normal real living lifestyle.
As a Realtor selling San Diego North County homes, I have set up special web pages to offer help and a Military Discount to those are serving our country.

See this pages at:

To get a personal tour of San Diego North County homes, contact Gary Harmon, you military off base housing expert.

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