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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North County Market Statistics April 2012

The May 2012 HomeDex™ Report provides April 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 North County home sales – attached and detached – remained at $365,500 in April 2012.
• Detached homes in North County increased 1.2 percent in April 2012 to $420,000 compared to $415,000 in March 2012. Year-over median price in North San Diego County fell 6.67 percent compared to $450,000 in April 2011.
• The countywide median SFD price increased 1.12 percent in April 2012 to $339,750 compared to $336,000 in March 2012.
• The number of North San Diego SFD listings (active and contingent) declined 2.53 percent in April 2012 compared to March 2012.
• The number of sold North San Diego County SFD units increased 10.6 percent in April 2012 compared to March 2012 (after a 22.37 percent jump last month), and increased 10.2 percent year-over compared to April 2011- an 11-month trend of increased year-over sold units.
• Median days-on-market for single-family detached homes sold in North County decreased to 51 days in April 2012 compared to 57 days in March 2012.

Content by  and North San Diego County Association of Realtors.

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Finding the Perfect Tenant

Assuming you want to take full advantage of the historically high returns found in San Diego North County real estate,  you might decide to use the equity in your San Diego home to purchase one or more North County rental properties.  I can help you find the right  San Diego home to purchasel 

Some homeowners are anxious to put their equity to work, but are hesitant about owning North County investment properties.  Many believe it is difficult to find perfect tenants who will properly maintain their investment.  Finding the perfect tenant may be next to impossible, but finding a good tenant is certainly atainable.  You can choose to do it yourself or hire a Real Living Lifestyles agent.  If you decide to do it yourself, be prepared to:

  • Advertise-Have flyers printed and distribute them to the surrounding neighborhoods.  Put them in the community center, at local colleges, and run lots of newspaper ads.  Be prepared for calls at all the wrong times.
  • Applications-Have a good rental application and have prospective tenants complete them.
  • Credit Checks– In finding the perfect tenant, alway run a credit check on any tenant before renting your San Diego investment property.
  • Showing the house-Put signs in front of the San Diego rental and be prepared to take people through the home at their convience.
  • Rental Agreement-A rental agreement is a legal document that must be filled out correctly.  Use a good form.

If all of this sounds a bit discouraging, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor, and he will help you navigate throught the rental process. 

Remember, owning San Diego North County investment properties is another way you can maximize the advantages of owning real estate.

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Golf Course Guest Rules

One of the greatest benefits of living in Ocean Hills Country Club homes is to be able to enjoy the beautiful 18 hole executive golf course.  Whether you play golf, live on the Ocean Hills course, or just nearby, the Ocean Hills golf course adds benefits to your Ocean Hills home ownership.  If you live in an Ocean Hills home, you can play golf for free.  That isn’t even the best part.  You can being up to three guest and they can play for free.  If you live right on the course, you can play from your home.

Rules for Guest

If you bring a guest to play golf at the Ocean Hills Golf Course, you must register them and pick up a golf guest pass at the front desk in the clubhouse.  You must always accompany your guest while they are playing golf at Ocean Hills.  No specttors, pedestrains, children under fourteen, or pets are allowed on the Ocean Hills Course or practic area at anytime.

For more information about Ocean Hills real estate, contact Gary Harmon

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California Foreclosure Rates

The chart below shows California foreclosure rates by county.  As you will see San Diego County and especially San Diego North County has done well when comparing it to the rest of the state.  Only 1 in 27  households have been foreclosed on in San Diego County compared to 1 in 10 in many counties.  If you are looking for a distressed home to buy, you might want to consider a San Diego foreclosure homes, short sales, REO’s or bank owned homes. 

If you are interested in finding  San Diego foreclosure homes or other distressed properties, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.   See up to the minute San Diego North County homes market statistics here.

Ever wonder which lenders made the most bad loans, see San Diego Short Sale Lenders.

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Foreclosure Homes

San Diego foreclosure homes, REO,s and short sales continue to be available in San Diego North County.  However, overall, the amout of San Diego homes for sale of any kind is down this year as compared to recent years at the same time.  If you are interested in finding  San Diego foreclosure homes or other distressed properties, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.   See up to the minute San Diego North County homes market statistics here.

The San Diego North County housing market may still be struggling to gain solid footing—low interest rates and significantly-discounted prices make it a great time to purchase North County homes.  San Diego housing prices are still below their peak in 2006, and another wave of foreclosed properties is expected to hit the North County housing market this year as banks unload their backlog—offering homes at low prices.  Currently there is a shortage of North County homes to sell, partially because lenders are still holding inventory.

Vice president of Realty Trac, Daren Blomquist, says “Home prices will continue to be very fragile.” “We don’t expect prices to fall another 20% to 30%, but there won’t be a recovery until the distressed inventory has cleared.”  RealtyTrac estimates that home prices will start to increase once banks clear their 17-month inventory of foreclosed properties. The national average of prices for foreclosed (real estate owned or bank-owned) properties at $152,465 continues to be lower than the sales price for all properties (including foreclosure and non-foreclosure) at $203,779, according to RealtyTrac.

While some housing markets Nationally, started to recover, home prices started to fall again in all markets last quarter, according to Standard & Poor’s Indices. “On a nominal basis, housing prices are the same as those in 2002 and 2003, having declined from their peak in 2006 due to the high number of foreclosures.”

According to the National Association of Realtors, all cash sales accounted for 33% of real estate sales in February. “In February, 20% of closed sales were of foreclosures– they’ve been at comparable levels for some time,” says Walter Molony, senior public affairs specialist at the National Association of Realtors. “There’s competition in most market areas between cash investors and first-time buyers, with reports of multiple bidding on discounted foreclosures becoming more common.”

Nevada, California, and Arizona experienced the highest number of foreclosure filings at the end of February, according to RealtyTrac. They had between two and three times more than the nation, as one in every 637 homes in the nation, or 0.16% of homes, received a foreclosure filing, a notice that the foreclosure process will begin. The number of foreclosure filings in a state can translate to that state having the highest percentage of foreclosure sales, as Nevada had 56%, California had 43%, and Georgia had 39% of all sales being foreclosed homes during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to RealtyTrac.

Ever wonder which lenders made the most bad loans, see San Diego Short Sale Lenders.

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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.


Ocean Hills Rentals

Gary Harmon does not handle rentals.


See the top website for Ocean Hills Country Club homes –


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Five Star Award Winner – Gary Harmon

Congratulations Gary Harmon! You are a 2012 Five Star Real Estate Agent

Five Star Professional conducted research to determine the North County real estate agents in the San Diego area who rated highest in overall satisfaction. Clients, peers and industry experts participated in research that resulted in Gary Harmon’s selection as a Five Star Real Estate Agent.

How was Gary Harmon selected?

Our research team contacted consumers in the San Diego area and asked if they had experience working with a real estate agent. Consumers who agreed to participate in the survey provided the name of the real estate agent and rated that individual according to key criteria such as integrity, negotiation and closing preparation.

Surveys were sent to San Diego area residents who recently purchased a home over $150,000 (more than 40,000 households) within a 12-month period (April 2010 to April 2011) and 1,000 subscribers of San Diego Magazine. An additional 250 surveys were sent to mortgage and title companies.

The survey data was collected and scored, resulting in the list of 2012 San Diego Five Star Real Estate Agents.

These results place Gary Harmon in the top 7% of all Realtors in San Diego County.

As a Five Star award winner, Gary Harmon will be listed in the special advertising section of San Diego Magazine and on the Five Star Professional website.

You can get the same personal service that made Gary Harmon a Five Star Award Winner.  Contact Gary Harmon, for your best move ever.

Real Living – Brookfield – Prudential

On December 6, 2011, Brookfield Residential Property Services aquired Prudiential Real Estate and Relocation Services.    Brookfield has a diverse portfolio focasing on global relocation services, real estate franchising, tranaction data and analytics.   The parent company, Brookfield Asset Management, has over $150 billion in assets under management.   Brookfield is focased on the real estate and relocation business.  With the addition of Prudential Relocation,  Brookfield is the number two global relocation services provider with over 85,000 relocations per year across 125 countries.    Brookfield has a network of over 80,000 real estate professionals including agents in our company, Real Living Lifestyles,  and agents in my prior company, Prudential California Realty.   Brookfield is over more than 2800 real estate offices.  Real Living Lifestyles is proud to be a part of the ever growing, dedicated, Brookfield team.

Put the power of Real Living Real Estate and Brookdale to work for you, contact Gary Harmon, your Real Living Lifestyles Relocation Realtor.

For more see my blog: Kissing Cousins – Real Living Lifestyles and Prudential California Realty.  See “Carlsbad Christmas.”