Second Opinion

Purchasing your San Diego North County home may be one of the biggest purchases of your life.   The first major step is to get your financing lined up.  Many clients come to me preapproved by a lender. If so they may be well on their way to homeownership.  However, financing or lender performance is where we run into most of our problems in escrow. This is especially true with out of area or Internet lenders.  That is why I recommend getting a second opinion on financing.

For a good referral of a back up lender, contact Gary Harmon.

I have several trusted lenders that I work with that will provide your with a complimentary second opinion on your home loan even if you are already preapproved. Best of all, since they have worked with me many times, they will alway “shoot straight.”  If they have a better rate, you might consider using them. If not, it confirms that you have a good rate.  Since it is free you have nothing to lose and every to gain.

Living Trust

Should your home be held in a living trust?  Being in real estate, I am constantly being ask this question.  And yes, I do hold my personal residence in a living trust.  However, I cannot recommend that you hold your North County home in a trust.  Only your CPA or attorney can answer that question for you.

  • Why do people use living trust?  Some common reasons for holding San Diego property in a trust is to postpone or minimize death taxes, to shield the property from some creditors, or to help avoid time consuming probate.
  • What is a living trust?   A living trust is a trust created during your life time (inter-vivos trust) rather than being created by your will at death.
  • Who are the parties to a trust?  Typically a living trust is a Family Trust in which the Husband and Wife are the Trustees, and usually their children are the Beneficiaries.
  • Does the trust hold title to real estate?  No, title is held by the trustees on behalf of the trust.
  • What taxes can be avoided by putting my property in a living trust?  You should check with your attorney.  Married couples can usually exempt a large part of their assets from taxes by having their property in a living trust.
  • Can you cancel a living trust?  The trustees can cancel a living trust at anytime.

For answers to specific living trust questions contact your accountant or attorney.  For answers to San Diego North County real estate questions,  contact Gary Harmon your North County Realtor.

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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

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 .

Nine Eleven 2012

As we pause to recognize those that died on 9/11 (Nine Eleven) and all those who have died in the wars since, I wanted to share photos that I took in June of 2001.  I consider myself lucky to have seen the Twin Towers, to have gone to the top, and to have gone outside on the top of Tower 2 to view New York city.

After seeing such the buildings in person it is impossible to imagine how  airplanes could have brought them down.   New York will always miss these great landmarks.

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

You will find 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.