Month: July 2014

What is an HOA?

HOA

Recently, I had a client who was looking to purchase a townhome in the Santee area. With each townhome we went to view, there was an “HOA” attached to it that was a monthly expense. My client, being a first-time home buyer, had a few questions about what an HOA is and what it covers.

HOA means Home Owners Association. It can exist in planned housing developments, townhomes, and condos. It is billed typically on a monthly basis, however sometimes can be billed quarterly. Most developments in areas of San Diego, such as Rancho San Diego and El Cajon, have HOA fees that an owner must abide by paying.

HOA fees are dues to pay for upkeep of common areas within the development, such as parks, tennis courts, swimming pools, and elevators. Sometimes, HOA fees also pay for things like trash pick-up and in certain complexes, water. They also serve as special assessments on homeowners when the association lacks sufficient reserves to pay for unexpected repairs.

Home Owners Associations are typically run by the home owners themselves within a neighborhood, and the up-keep is done through a property management company. Some homeowners are extremely picky about what their members can do with their properties, so picking a home with the right HOA is important. Sometimes, homeowner associations dictate whether Christmas lights can be hung, or what kind of window coverings can be used, while others are more relaxed and just want to keep property values up by doing things like mowing the grass in common areas or preventing homeowners from painting their homes unusual colors.

Home Owner Associations can have a huge impact on your decision to buy a property. When you are ready to purchase a property, you will be shown the HOA documents, which include the HOA budget and HOA contracts.

If you have questions or a concern regarding what an HOA is and what they cover, leave us a comment!

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Stephen Nissou

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The Benefits of an Open House

Open House

You’re ready to sell your home and your real estate agent suggests an open house to showcase your home. What are the benefits to an open house?

Open Houses are one of the most effective ways to showcase your home to potential buyers. It gets eyes on your home to bring in potential buyers who would otherwise be too lazy or unmotivated to book a showing. By adding in advertising and signage and you’re going to catch the eye of casual and serious prospective buyers.

By doing an open house, you can set the scene your way with prospective homebuyers. Many times, prospective buyers will want to view your home with little to no notice. It can be stressful keeping your home “showcase ready” while on the market. With an open house, you’ll be able to prepare for an event that has the potential to bring in many potential buyers. Sweeten the deal by baking cookies and setting them out or filling vases with fresh flowers.

Another benefit of having an open house is that you are able to lock in an interested buyer. If your home has already caught the eye of a potential buyer they are more willing to come back for a second look at your home in a less formal setting. An open house gives the buyer the opportunity to also bring family and friends to the showing. Any given weekend, you’re likely to see multiple open houses in a particular location.

Buyers that are interested in purchasing a home in your area is able to compare homes in the area that are for sale by attending many different open houses, which gives you the opportunity to allow your home to stand out in a crowd.

Finally, another benefit of an open house is that you get to choose the timing to showcase your home. Holding an open house has the potential to put your home on the real estate map. Work strategically with your agent to schedule and organize a successful open house.

 

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Stephen Nissou

 

Staircase Crazy

This week has a been a busy one. I recently checked out a home for one of my clients that had one of the most beautiful staircases I’ve seen in a home. Since then, my team and I have been a little “Stair Case Crazy!”

Since we’re heading into the weekend, here’s a little bit of stair case heaven I wanted to share with you! Check them out and tell us what you think by leaving a comment below!

 

 

 

 

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Inspector

home-inspection

As home buying season has kicked off in full gear for the spring and summer months, open houses are attracting prospective buyers. With that, hiring a home inspector can provide negotiation leverage for your buyer, or warn them of any potential problems.
Not all states have licensing requirements for home inspection companies. Ask your realtor if they have any suggestions for contacts.

Here are a few things to ask before hiring a home inspector:

1. Do you preform repairs, or just home inspections?

Some homebuyers will request advice from a general contractor rather than a home inspector. Home inspectors are typically checking the roof or appliances if they are included in the home. A general contractor is coming in to look at problems from a repair standpoint and can quote any repairs that need to be done.

After the home inspection, it might be in your best interest to hire a specialist or general conractor to find out how much the kitchen renovation or plumbing upgrade might cost you. Get the un-biased opinion first, then bring in a contractor to quote you for any repairs that need to be done.

2. Are you bonded and insured?

It is best to be sure that you are insured, so that if something happens to the inspector (i.e falls through the attic, or slips while inspecting your roof) you are covered. If the company doesn’t have proper insurance, they might sue you or the current homeowner. They can also try to a put a lien on the property. Be sure that the company is insured before the inspector comes onto the property.

3. Can you provide me wih references?

Check the inspection companies references by asking previous clients about the inspection, such as; if they arrived on time, if they inspected all aspects of the home (including the roof/attic), etc. Does the inspector offer you a full comprehensive report that spells out all the findings and lists all areas of the home?

4. Can I tag along on the inspection?

Sometimes, homeowners will leave the inspectors alone to examine the home, while others are more hands-on and will follow the inspector around. Ask the inspector to walk around with them and see if you can ask all the questions you need to.
5. What does the home inspection include?

You need to ask what the inspection includes in order to fully be aware that the inspector is not missing any parts of the home, or any important issues that may arise. The inspection really should be as thorough as possible. Open every door and every window and test every outlet. Many inspections don’t test the appliances, but they will turn on dishwashers and laundry machines to see if there is any damage on the gaskets, etc.
6. Will you send me a sample inspection report?

The inspector should send you a detailed report after completing the inspection. Ask to see a sample to make sure the information is presented in a clear and thorough format that is easy to read and understand. Also, see if the reports have any color photographs because those images can clearly demonstrate problem areas and help during the negotiation process with the seller and the seller’s agent.

7. Do you have any special expertise?

If you’re buying a special type of property (new construction, historic home, etc.) be sure that the inspector understand that there are special considerations for these types of properties. Older homes will have issues that newer homes won’t have, while recently constructed properties may have new materials and different types of framing that require a more critical eye.

8. How much do you charge?

Shopping on price alone will lead to cutting corners. You might save a few hundred dollars to hire the cheapest inspector but you could be paying in a bigger way because the inspector wasn’t thorough enough or the report was difficult to understand and follow.

Do you have questions about home inspectors? Give me a call today to see how I can help you! 619-250-4541

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

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Ways to Enhance Your Entryway

Are you looking to add some fizz to your foyer? First impressions matter so when you’re ready to re-design your entryway, look at it from the viewpoint of someone who has never seen your home before.

Define the space with a bold color to exude a warm welcome. Be sure that the color ties in with the rest of the adjoining rooms. Try to keep the space clear of any type of furniture so that the space has a feeling of openness and feels larger.

Accessories are important. Be sure that lighting is prominent in the area by adding a fun chandelier or table lamps on an entry way table. Add a mirror on one of the walls to open up the space and make it feel larger. If you have a few mirrors you love put them together in a fun cluster to make the space more inviting.

Buffet and console tables are in right now for entryways. Add a small three-drawer chest or console table against a wall to add depth to the space. Or if you have a large entryway, add a round table in the middle of the room. You can then put a floral piece in the center.

There are so many different ways to enhance your entryway. Take a look at more inspirational photo’s we just love and see more on our Pinterest Page – www.Pinterest.com/NissouRealtyGroup.

 

Your Local Real Estate Expert,

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Del Mar Races Begin July 17th, Del Mar Racing Season

 And they’re off…..Thursday, July 17th begins the Del Mar Racing season! The races include many interactive opportunities for San Diegans, including Opening Day and the Hats Contest, as well as Family Fun Day on Sunday, July 20th.

In 1937, Bing Crosby welcomed the first guest to the horse racing track and created a rival against the Kentucky Derby. Since then, the races welcomes thousands of guest every year. For the first time in history, Del Mar is ading a 15-day meet in the fall which begins on November 7th. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Hats Contest, which has five catagories, including the best racing theme and most outrageous. The grand prize include a two-night stay at the Grand Del Mar with dinner for two, and a $500 gift certificate from the Village Hat Shop.

Race admissions are $6.00 for general admission, and $3.00 for Diamond Club members. They offer free summer concents on certain Friday and Saturday nights, while Race days are Wednesday-Sunday.

For more information about the races, including Del Mar hosting the 2017 Breeders Cup, check out http://www.dmtc.com!

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

 

Short Sales- What Are They?

short-salesWhen looking to buy a home, many times you see the phrases “short sale” and “foreclosure.” For many first time home buyers, they may not know or understand what that means.

A short sale is defined as a “sale of real estate in which the proceeds from selling the property will fall short of the balance of debts secured by liens against the property, and the property owner cannot afford to repay the liens full amount and where the lien holders agree to release their lien on the real estate and accept less than the amount owed on the debt.”

To put it in sim
pler terms: a short sale is a sale of property that sells for less than the balance owning on its mortgage.

Short sales can be on apartment buildings, vacant land, or single family residences. Not every property can qualify for a short sale in the banks eyes. A bank has to agree to a short sale if they feel as though it is in their best interest to approve theshort sale if they see that it can make more money through a short sale rather than a foreclosure.

So what’s necessary for a short sale? Many short sale transactions are normally handled by agents that specialize in short sales and/or foreclosures. What makes a short sale work is an “underwater home,” a willing short sale bank, a seller with a financial hardship, and a buyer that is willing to purchase the home.

Agents will determine the type of short sale (Fannie Mae HAFAs, non-GSE HAFA’s, etc.) and gather the required paperwork to submit to the bank. The agent will help the seller to price the home so that it is attractive enough to entice buyers to buy it, and is high enough to satisfy the banks interest in the home. The agent will put the home on the market and submit all offers to the seller. The realtor will also negotiate the short sale and submit the short sale approval letter to the seller.

Still have questions about a short sale and the process? Give me a call today at 619-250-4541 and I would be happy to help!

Your Local Real Estate Expert,

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Happy 4th From Nissou Realty Group!

4thofJuly

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

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Just Listed in the Heart of El Cajon! Private, Gated Condo For Sale!

188 S Lincoln, #18, El Cajon, CA 92020

MLS # 140035480

2 BED | 2 BATH | 805 Sq ft.

Just listed in the heart of El Cajon! A beautiful 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in a quiet, gated community! Located in a beautiful upstairs unit, enjoy 805 sq feet of enjoyable living space with 2 assigned parking spaces included! Listed at a remarkable $169,900, this is definitely a must see and wont last long!

For more information, please contact STEPHEN NISSOU at 619-250-4541 or Stephen@StephenNIssou.com.

To see complete listing details:

http://www.NissouRealtyGroup.com/listing/mlsid/219/propertyid/140035480

Your San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Stephen Nissou

 

July 4th Fireworks in San Diego County 2014

Fourth of July, 2014 Fireworks and Festivities Schedule for San Diego County and Surrounding Cities (July 1st – July 4th, 2014)
Where and when can you see the fireworks display for July 4th? Whether you’re looking in San Diego Harbor or Surrounding Cities, the events will be fantastic!

San Diego

  • Annual Big Bay Boom July 4 Fireworks Show
    Location: Multiple Locations along San Diego Bay
    Time: 9:00 PM
    Take in the largest display in the county, with fireworks launched from four barges strategically placed around North San Diego Bay, they can be seen from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero area and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing. Just find a place along the bay and you will not be disappointed. Music from 105.7 “The Walrus” FM radio.
  • Sea to Shining Sea 4th of July Firework
    Location:
     SeaWorld San Diego – 500 SeaWorld Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
    Time: Fireworks at 10:10 PM
    SeaWorld San Diego is excited to light up the sky with an amazing fireworks extravaganza to celebrate the 4th of July.
  • Ocean Beach
    Location: Ocean Beach Pier at the end of Newport Ave.
    Time: 9:00 PM
    Spend the day picnicking, swimming in the ocean, walking and playing in the sand and shopping along Newport Ave. Then bundle up as the sun sets and pull up a blanket for a really spectacular fireworks show launched from the OB Pier.
  • Old Town 4th of July
    Location: Old Town State Historic Park
    Time: 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM
    Parade, crafts and activities of early San Diego recreate an old fashioned Independence Day celebrated on the frontier. (no fireworks)

Coronado

  • 4th of July Celebration in Coronado
    Location:
     Various Locations on Coronado
    Time: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Celebrate the 4th of July in the Crown City with a parade down Orange Avenue at 10:00 AM, a concert in Spreckels Park at 4:00 PM and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9:00 PM.

North County Coastal

  • San Diego County Fair 4th of July Celebration
    Location:
     Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar
    Date: July 4, 2014
    Time: Starts at 9:30 AM, Fireworks at 9:00 PM
    Start off the day at the Fair with a patriotic opening ceremony at 9:30 AM, then enjoy the Hometown Heroes Parade at 7:00 PM, a concert provided by the Navy Band Southwest followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
  • Red, White and BOOM!
    Location:
     LEGOLAND California – One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad
    Time: Fireworks at 8:30 PM
    Take the whole family and spend the day enjoying over 60 rides, shows and attractions along with some all-American picnic games like burlap races and water-balloon tosses and then top it off with an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to patriotic music.
  • Oceanside’s Independence Day Parade
    Location: North on N Coast Hwy 101 from Wisconsin Ave to Civic Center Drive (just past City Hall)
    Date: June 28, 2014
    Time: 10:00 AM
    Come see floats, bands, walking groups, cool cars and much more. The theme this year is “The Spirit of Freedom.” (no fireworks)
  • Oceanside Fireworks Show
    Location: El Corazon Site at Rancho Del Oro Road
    Date: July 3, 2014
    Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
    Bring a beach chair and enjoy Oceanside Fireworks Show with music by El Camino High School and Oceanside High School bands along with bites from amazing food trucks.
  • Camp Pendelton Beach Bash
    Location: Del Mar Beach on Camp Pendelton
    Date: July 4, 2014
    Military members and their families enjoy an explosive fireworks show, live bands, a video tribute, sun, surf, patriotism and Esprit de Corps all in one day at the 4th of July Beach Bash!

North County Inland

  • Independence Day Celebration
    Location:
     Grape Day Park, 321 North Broadway, Escondido
    Time: Starts at 4:00 PM, Fireworks at 9:00 PM
    Pack a picnic, and grab a blanket to enjoy an afternoon full of music, food, kid-friendly activities, contests and fireworks with the 1st Marine Division Band.
  • Grand Tradition July 4th
    Location:
     Grand Tradition, 1602 South Mission Road, Fallbrook
    Time: Starts at 4:00 PM, Fireworks at 8:45 PM
    Enjoy a day of live entertainment, dancing, kid friendly activities, Quack-Up Suck Race, Rubber Raft Regatta, food and drink, and fireworks! Tickets include admission and tickets which can be used for food, beverages and activities.
  • Mira Mesa Fourth of July Celebration
    Location:
     Mira Mesa Community Park, Mira Mesa Boulevard and New Salem Street, Mira Mesa
    Time: Fireworks at 9:00 PM
    Come early for the parade and family friendly activities and stay late for the fireworks.
  • An Old Fashioned Fourth of July and Fireworks
    Location:
     Poway High School Stadium, 15500 Espola Road, Poway
    Time: 7:00 to 10:00 PM
    Following the Poway Old-Fashioned Fourth of July celebration at Old Poway Park (10:00 AM to 4:00 PM), head to Poway High School for music, more food, glow sticks and fireworks.
  • Rancho Bernardo’s The Spirit of the Fourth
    Location: Webb Park
    Time: 7:00 AM to 9:30 PM
    It’s a whole day of fun in Rancho Bernardo with a pancake breakfast; a festival with food, music and games; a parade; and fireworks!
  • Rancho Santa Fe’s 33rd Annual 4th of July Parade & Picnic
    Location:
     16948 Avenida De Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091
    Time: 1:00 PM
    Pack a few blankets and chairs for a free patriotic parade followed by a concert performed by the Coastal Communities Concert Band. (no fireworks)
  • San Marcos 4th of July Celebration
    Location:
     Bradley Park, Rancho Sante Fe Road and Linda Vista Drive, San Marcos
    Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
    Carnival games, jumpers, food and fireworks!
  • Scripps Ranch 4th of July Parade and Festival
    Location:
     Scripps Ranch Hoyt Park (Festival)
    Time: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
    After the community parade, enjoy fun, food, music and games at the free festival. (no fireworks)
  • Independence Day Celebration: Honor our Heroes, Celebrate our Freedom
    Location:
     Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista
    Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
    Celebrate Independence Day Vista Style with live music, the Light up the Night Dinner and fireworks.

East County

  • El Cajon 4th of July Picnic and Fireworks
    Location:
     Kennedy Park – 1675 East Madison Avenue
    Time: 12:00 to 10:00 PM
    Enjoy a picnic in sunny San Diego East County and stay for a spectacular fireworks show.
  • Julian 4th of July Parade
    Location: Along Main Street from Julian High School to Frank Lane Park
    Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Julian presents a homegrown event that celebrates the town’s gold rush era history, the dedication of veterans and active duty military who serve our country, and local residents who cherish the special qualities of the little town tucked into the Cuyamaca Mountains east of San Diego.
  • Ramona Rotary Community Fireworks and Family Picnic
    Location:
     Olive Pierce Middle School – 1521 Hanson Lane, Ramona
    Time: 5:30 to 10:00 PM
    Join the Romana Kiwanis and Rotary clubs for food, fun and fireworks.
  • Santee Salutes
    Location:
     Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive, Santee
    Time: 3:30 to 9:30 PM
    Rock out with 80z All Stars playing hits from the 80s, a patriotic ceremony by the HMH-462 Color Guard, inflatable zone, food trucks and fireworks.

South Bay

 

  • Independence Day at the Border
    Location:
     Larsen Field – 4061 Camino de la Plaza, San Ysidro, CA 92173
    Date: June 28, 2014
    Time: 3:00 to 4:00 PM
    Come and enjoy an Independence Day Celebration in San Ysidro complete with family activities, live music, drinks, food and fireworks!
  • National City’s 4th of July Carnival
    Location:
     Kimball Park – D Ave & E 12th St, National City, CA 91950
    Dates: July 2-6, 2014
    The National City Host Lions Club invite you to celebrate the 4th of July with a weekend long carnival complete with rides, games, food, fun and fireworks on the 4th of July at 9:00 PM!
Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,