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.

$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.

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 Homes – Rent vs Buy

Don’t miss this great opportunity to own a piece of Escondido real estate.  Don’t always be the person that is sending all their money to a landlord.  Gary Harmon is providing the table below so you can see how easy it is to own an Escondido home.  Take how much you pay in rent for your Escondido house and find that amount under an interest column, for example assume 5%.   Now go to the left and that will tell you roughly how much of an Escondido home you could afford.

Sorry about the size of the chart.  For example, if you pay $2,147 in rent for your Escondido house, look under the 5% column and read to the left.  You could own a Escondido home that cost $400,000.  Of course there are many other benefits to owning your own Escondido property.  To get more information about borrowing money see HomeServices Lending.  To get more information about buying Escondido real estate, contact Gary Harmon, your Escondido Realtor.

North County Homes for Over 55 – Escondido Homes

OHCC SunsetThe Escondido real estate area does not have any large over 55 (55+) retirement areas.  The nearest such communities are south across Lake Hodges in Rancho Bernardo.  These North County homes for over 55 are the communities of Oaks North homes and Seven Oaks Homes.

To the west of  Escondido in Oceanside are the North County homes for over 55 communities of Ocean Hills Country Club homesOceana homes, and Emerald Lake Village.   Today, we are going to be reviewing the community of Ocean Hills Country Club, or OHCC  for short.

Ocean Hills Country Club is a gated, over 55, 55+, senior community that caters to the active lifestyle.  Your Ocean Hills home owners dues includes golf on the Ocean Hills executive golf course.  No separate green fees!   Ocean Hills Country Club also has tennis courts, a workout room, and a large swimming pool to keep you fit.

Ocean Hills Country Club homes  for sale range in price from $250k to over $600k.  Some homes even have a view of the Pacific Ocean, while others are on the golf course or greenbelts.  Ocean Hills homes are the premier retirement community in North County homes for over 55.  There are about 8 neighborhoods and over 1600 Ocean Hills properties.  All are painted white with red tile roofs.  Exteriors and front yards are maintained by the Ocean Hills HOA.

For more info on Ocean Hills Country Club homes and other North County homes for over 55, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.

Escondido Homes – Life of an Escrow

Once you have written a contract on your Escondido real estate purchase and it has been accepted by the Escondido seller, your escrow should start.  Hopefully you have chosen to work with a full service escrow company like Pickford Escrow.  The following will describe what takes place during the four week escrow period based on a 30 day escrow period.

Week 1 – Opening Escrow on you Escondido home

  • Escrow gets a copy of the fully executed purchase contract on your Escondido house.  Many times this includes counter offers.
  • The Escondido buyer takes his deposit to escrow (usually within the first 3 days).
  • The escrow company request lender information and/ or a pre-qual letter.  These can be provided by HomeServices Lending.
  • Escrow opens a title order with the chosen title company.  Gary recommends California Title Company (CalTitle).
  • Escrow request CC&R’s and payoff demands.
  • Faxes escrow instructions to both Gary Harmon, your Escondido real estate agent, and the other Realtor.
  • Sends out escrow packages to both the Escondido buyer and Escondido seller for completion.

Your Escondido Realtor, Gary Harmon will make sure the physical inspection, Disclosure Source natural hazard report, and pest control inspection are ordered.

Week 2 – Of your Escondido home escrow

  • Gary Harmon, your top Escondido Realtor, will call escrow to make sure paperwork is being returned.
  • The Escondido selling agent, will check to make sure the lender has the completed loan package.
  • Make sure the credit report is in and the Escondido property appraisal is ordered.
  • Title report and CC&R’s are sent to the Escondido buyer
  • Check  to make sure termite inspection has been done and a copy forwarded to escrow.
  • Check with Pickford Escrow to make sure payoff demands, HOA demands, and docs have been ordered.

Week 3 – Escrow on Escondido property continues

  • You Escondido real estate agent checks with escrow to see what may still be outstanding. 
  • Your Escondido Realtor follows up on outstanding items and checks loan status.
  • Has the termite work on the Escondido real estate been finished?
  • Have repairs been completed as specified in the Escondido home repair request?
  • Order Escondido home protection plan from First American.

Final Week – Escondido home escrow

  • Docs should now be back to escrow for a on  time closing
  • Make an appointment with Escondido buyer to sign docs.  Also, let buyer know how much money to bring in.
  • Go over any final items with your Escondido Realtor and transaction coordinator.
  • All docs go back to the lender and escrow coordinates with lender to fund the Escondido buyer’s loan.
  • When the loan funds, and documents record, your Escondido home escrow closes.  Your Escondido real estate agent will get you your key.

For more information on escrow, title, etc., contact Gary Harmon, your best Escondido Realtor.

Escondido Real Estate Market Statistics for February


Escondido HomeThe median price of available Escondido Homes for Sale this Feb 15, 2010 is $399,900.   The 598 Escondido houses  have a market time of 146 days.  The Escondido real estate market has been consistently cool for several weeks.   Escondido home inventory and days on the market have been rising. It is still a buyer’s market and Escondido real estate prices have continued to fall somewhat. 

Statistical information in this monthly report is supplied by Pickford Escrow and was developed by Altos Research.

Escondido Homes Market Summary (Feb 15, 2010)
Zip 92025
Zip 92026
Zip 92027

Median Escondido Homes Asking Price 


List Price per Square Foot
Average Days on the Market
Median Escondido Homes Size (sqft)  
Median # of Bedrooms
Median # of Baths


The median prices in Escondido homes in the above table does not always give the whole picture.   It sometimes helps to look at Escondido home median prices broken down by quarters.  The following for Escondido homes for sale is an average of all four zip codes.  The median Escondido properties price for the most expensive 25% of Escondido homes is $765,000.  The median price for the upper middle 25% is $485,000.  The lower middle median price for Escondido properties is $320,000 and the bottom 25% of Escondido homes for sale median price is $218,000.  For more information about Escondido homes for sale, contact Gary Harmon your Escondido real estate agent and top Escondido Realtor.

Escondido Foreclosures and Escondido Homes for Sale

Welcome to my Escondido Homes featured listing page.  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.  Start your own custom serarch here.   You can also see Escondido foreclosures, auction, or pre-forclosure homes at “Free Foreclosure Search.”  For a personalized tour of any of these Escondido homes contact Gary Harmon.
Escondido Homes $300k – $400k
Escondido Homes $400k-$500k
All Other Price Ranges
See Video and learn how to SEARCH LIKE AN AGENT!

Escondido Homes and Escondido Foreclosures

Welcome to my Escondido Homes featured listing page.  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.  Start your own custom serarch here.   You can also see Escondido foreclosures, auction, or pre-forclosure homes at “Free Foreclosure Search.”  For a personalized tour of any of these Escondido homes contact Gary Harmon.
Escondido Homes $300k – $400k
Escondido Homes $400k-$500k
All Other Price Ranges
See Video and learn how to SEARCH LIKE AN AGENT!

Escondido Market Update

Escondido Housing Market  as of 2-15-2010

This week the median price for a home in the  Escondido real estate area was $399,900. This is down from the median price in November of 2009 of $415,000.  The average asking price per squae foot was $193.  The inventory of Escondido homes for sale is increasing.  This is partially due to the usual homes coming on the market after the first of the year.  The other contributing factor, and somewhat more concerning, is the slow down in sales of Escondido homes. In is definitely a buyers market as the demand level is low relative to the available inventory of Escondido homes for sale.  This weakening Escondido real estate market has caused prices to start to come down. See the chart below for trends supplied by Altos Research.

Escondido Market Data

Another good way to look at Escondido real estate data is to look at sales by quartiles, the most expensive to the least. In the top or first quartile the median sales price was $749,500.  Down from $875,000.  In the second quartile Escondido housing prices were $485,000, down from $508,000. In the 3rd quartile Escondido properties had a median price of $319,990, down from $339,000 .  And in the bottom quartile Escondido housing had a median price of $217,000 which was up from $210,000 last November.  To get more current market conditions on Escondido homes for sale, call Gary Harmon, your Prudential California Realty Escondido Realtor.