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Today we hosted the 4th birthday party for our first grandchild, Jackson. The theme was transformers and my daughter went to great lengths to play out the theme, including doing a fondant transformer design on the cake. Very ambitious! There were about 35 people including 12 kids under the age of 6…..busy times for all! The sun was out in perfect San Diego style, and the backyard looked great, if I do say so myself.
Gardening is what I love to do, (though it now kills my back), but I was determined to (8 comments)
As I’ve previously noted, getting a home loan these days can be extremely difficult unless you have a 20% down payment, a credit score in the mid 700’s and sufficient income so that your housing costs are no more than 28% of your gross income. In fact, according to the Financial Institutions Examination Council, roughly 25% of all conventional home loan applications are rejected.
These stringent qualification requirements are for loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but luckily they aren’t the only game in town. Today, more (1 comments)
A home, for 99% of homeowners, is not just an investment; it’s the picture frame and forum for your life. So when it’s time to pass the deed to the next owner it is usually an emotional experience.
Today I had the opportunity to share a truly rich experience, as the divorced mom, short sale seller, lovingly walked my buyer and I through the intricacies of managing the 3500 sq ft home and the 1 acre property, pool, Koi pond, and 9 hole putting green. (17 comments)
If you love traditional slow-cooked barbecue, you can’t miss The Barbecue Pit in Fletcher Hills where the meats are cooked over an oak fire according to recipes handed down since the 1930s.
The first Barbecue Pit was opened in San Diego in 1947 by brothers-in-law Edward Jensen and Joe Browning. Joe had learned the barbecue business from his step-father R.T Shoemaker in Dallas who owned Shoemaker’s Famous Barbecue. The in-laws pooled their money to open the first Barbecue Pit on 6th Ave in downtown San Diego, and just days later a (3 comments)
We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. You show your buyers a home in their price range and they think you’re nuts because (insert one or more); it’s too small, the kitchen counter is tile instead of granite, there’s no walk-in closet, they really wanted hardwood floors, the bathrooms need updating….
Sigh. First time home buyers are often unrealistic about what their money will buy in your market. They have spent months, maybe even years saving their money, dreaming about buying a (80 comments)
Surprisingly located at the front of a rather non-descript strip mall, the Vine Cottage offers a unique La Mesa dining experience. The ambiance of the small restaurant is cozy and intimate with a bit of a European feel to it, and there is a charming outdoor seating area with plenty of heaters to keep things toasty.
The food and drink however are the real stars of this young restaurant that is getting rave reviews. Executive Chef Schuyler Schultz imagines the food as “wine country comfort food” with a Mediterranean flair. The dishes rely (4 comments)
Buying a new home and moving is an exciting and usually exhausting experience. If you’re buying a foreclosed property it can be especially challenging, as the bank has no knowledge of the property and you are really on your own to not only do all of your own investigation, but to figure out how everything works. On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to buy from an owner who occupies the property, you have the chance to gather a lot of information that goes way beyond the mandatory disclosures.
If you’re looking for a great way to spend an afternoon, head over to La Mesa Blvd, between Spring Street and 4th Street and wander through time in the many antique stores that line the street. Although not as popular as the antique stores on Adams Avenue, Hillcrest, or in Ocean Beach, La Mesa has a variety of stores offering everything from large pieces of furniture to jewelry and knick-knacks.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Park Estate Company Antiques This is a large store with a wide (0 comments)
For anyone who is a real estate professional in San DiegoCounty, you know that the inventory of homes for sale has dropped tremendously, but did you know that it is almost 50% off from where we were a year ago? This graphic, courtesy of the San Diego Association of Realtors says it all.
Since June of 2011 the number of active residential listings has dropped from a bit over 12,000 to a bit over 6,000. And Since January of this year, pending sales have risen from 4,000 a month to (1 comments)
Fitness, Fun and a First Kiss at the EastCountyYMCA
My memories of the East County YMCA all revolve around the “Y” dance. Once a month, the Y, which is a couple of blocks from Parkway Middle School, (then Junior High), put on a Friday night dance, and for a few hours and $1 I was swept into the rock ‘n roll fun of the mid ‘60s. Boys asked girls to dance, and we all wore mini skirts and poor boy tops with plastic bangles and beads. We learned to do the jerk, the swim and of course the (0 comments)
Last night the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences held the 38th annual Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards at La Costa Resort and Spa. My very talented husband, was not only asked to be a presenter with film star Bai Ling, but was nominated for an award.
The Pacific Southwest Emmys honor achievement in all southwest television markets, except Los Angeles, including San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, OrangeCounty, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Arizona. It is always held in San Diego and provides a great opportunity to dress-up in our formal (8 comments)
I always get a bit nervous declaring anything the best, especially when it comes to food, as taste is inherently subjective. But judging from not only personal experience, but the hundreds of reviews spread across the Internet, Beef ‘n Bun Whistle Stop has the best milk shakes in San Diego County. Beef ‘n Bun Whistle Stop is a small mom and pop restaurant located in the east county neighborhood of Fletcher Hills. I believe it opened in the 1950s and was definitely going strong when I moved to Fletcher Hills in 1962. (3 comments)
Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks in East County San Diego
Not sure who coined the phrase about teaching an old dog new tricks, but the Grossmont Union High School District is out to prove them wrong! Registration for the Summer session of the Grossmont Adult School is now open and ready to help you explore your hidden talents or career goals.
The Summer session runs from July 2nd through August 3rd. A wide variety of classes are held at locations in La Mesa, El Cajon, Alpine, Pine Valley, Lakeside, Santee, Lemon Grove, Rancho San Diego, (2 comments)
Nestled in the heart of the village of La Mesa is one of the best Italian restaurants in San Diego County. Tiramisu Trattoria offers a great dining experience in a relaxing and intimate setting. The food is multi-regional and carefully prepared with great attention to taste and plating. And the service is some of the best I’ve ever experienced. The restaurant opened in May 2004, and has had great reviews ever since.
I usually start with the insalata Tiramisu which includes mixed baby greens, caramelized onion, baked goat cheese and olive and (0 comments)
OK. I admit to being something of an HGTV junkie. I took a day-off today to baby sit my 4 month-old granddaughter and during her nap, indulged in 4 back-to-back episodes of “Curb Appeal”, “House Crashers” and “Yard Crashers”. I loved every moment, which really got me thinking: What is so appealing about watching strangers paint their house or get a barbecue island? Why am I (and apparently millions of others) even vaguely interested?
“Reality” TV is a relatively recent phenomenon that everyone from networks to individual producers is eagerly embracing. Why? Because (8 comments)
Fletcher Hills is a family-oriented community that includes many activities at its churches. Here are the most popular, in no particular order. If I’ve left any off the list, please let me know so that I can update.
Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church – As I remember this church has been around since the early 60’s. It is located at 455 Church Way, El Cajon, 92020. Phone number is 619-463-6631. Sunday services are at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m., with the earlier service including more contemporary music and the latter, more traditional hymns. They also (2 comments)
I attended FletcherHillsElementary School back in the early 60’s, and have nothing but fond memories of the experience. All the girls wore dresses, and the boys were mainly polite. We had actual P.E., art, and music classes and the cafeteria served up warm food everyday. Dr. Marks was principal and Miss Asbury was my favorite teacher.
Well, today FletcherHillsElementary School is still providing a great education to nearly 600 kids in grades 1 – 5. The school is one of the highest ranking in the La MesaSpring ValleySchool District and has received (4 comments)
I remember as a young girl, riding home from school with a new friend and her mom for an afternoon at their home. As we turned the corner onto their street, I saw one home that stood out from the rest (not in a good way), and couldn’t help commenting, “Wow! Look at that bright pink house!” And of course that was their home, I felt awful, and the friendship went nowhere. Color is a very personal decision, and in another neighborhood, that pink house might have worked great…just not (8 comments)
Well they’ve done it again. B of A has figured out one more way to stall a deal, and waste the time and money of all parties. I’m furious. We have an approved Bank of America short sale that is currently in escrow and scheduled to close on June 20th. The only condition for final loan approval for the buyers is an IRS form 4506T, which basically just confirms that their tax return has been received and processed. The buyers have checked with the IRS, and it appears (6 comments)
There are many different ways to hold title to real property, and they vary from state to state. It is always advisable that you consult an attorney and/or an accountant as the manner in which you hold title impacts what happens to the property in case one of the owners dies. This article is not intended as legal advice, but merely serves as a guide to help you understand the options here in California.
Real property in California can be owned by one person, Sole Ownership or more than one, (2 comments)
You’ve saved for a down payment and you’re ready to start looking for a home to buy, but have you also calculated the costs of maintaining your new home? Here are a few expenses to keep in mind when setting your annual budget.
Trash collection. If your city does not provide collection service you’ll need to hire a waste management company. Average cost is $20 - $40 a month.
Gardener. If you have a black thumb, or just don’t have the time or desire to do your own (3 comments)
Title insurance is protection against loss or claims arising from a defect in the title to your property. As a property is bought and sold over the years and title is passed from one owner to the next, there is the possibility for a problem to have been created or never addressed. For instance, a previous owner might have forged the trust deed, or avoided paying-off a junior lien or back taxes. Any of these issues create a “cloud on the title” which would need to (2 comments)
Depending on where you live, foreclosures are still a big part of the current real estate market, and they can offer buyers a great deal….or a disaster. Here are a few important things to know before sinking your money into a foreclosure.
#1. The biggest difference between buying a foreclosure and a traditional sale is that the current owner has no knowledge of the property and most likely has never even seen it! With a traditional sale, the owner is legally bound to disclose anything and everything they know about the property (2 comments)
I recently set-out to show some homes to a young military couple buying their first home. They are very responsible, have great credit and are pre-approved. And I was very impressed when I learned that for the last 18 months they had lived on his military salary alone and put all of her pay checks into the bank in order to save for a home. With over $30K in the bank and a solid pre-approval, we were ready to start looking for the perfect first home.
I first moved to Fletcher Hills with my family back in 1960 (yes, I am that old). The small community is at the edge of El Cajon, bordered by La Mesa to the south and San Diego to the west and is characterized by custom homes on good sized lots. My parents bought a 3/2 ranch home on a view lot for $32,000. I remember that the mortgage payment was $100 a month. The central part of the community was a small shopping center that was anchored by a grocery (2 comments)
The process of buying a home starts long before viewing your first house, and should start with preparation for getting pre-approved for a mortgage. An experienced, professional Realtor will NOT show you homes without knowing exactly what you are qualified to pay and the dollar amount of the mortgage you can support. If someone tells you otherwise, run. This is not the person who will provide you the most qualified representation.
Your preparation to get pre-approved for a mortgage should actually begin about 14-18 months in advance. Check your credit (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.