Tag Archives: articles

>Brooklyn Girl Eatery coming to Mission Hills

5 Jul

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Cant wait for this new restaurant to open! I noticed the permit on the window a few weeks ago. Their website says:

Casual neighborhood American eatery with a
sustainable farm-to-table attitude.

We will be open breakfast + lunch + dinner + late night with an
extensive menu of seasonal and locally sourced organic products
at very attractive price points.

Full “artisanal” bar with a great selection of locally produced craft
beers on tap and an extensive and affordable wine list.

In addition we will have a “chef’s pantry” offering daily selection of
salads, pasta, sandwiches, pastries and pre-prepared entrees to go.

Locally owned and family operated,
we want to be YOUR neighborhood “go-to” restaurant!

More information is listed on here in their blog

Brooklyn Girl Eatery – San Diego Newest Restaurant!

>Time to buy a home? Now, says Barbara Corcoran

27 Jun

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“What you have here are the good old days that we were all talking about for 20 years,” says real estate magnate Barbara Corcoran. “You have cheap money, 4.5 percent for a fixed-rate mortgage, and you have prices that are 40% cheaper than they were before.” Corcoran told MoneyWatch that the residential real estate market looks very attractive right now, but potential buyers are too pessimistic to take advantage.
A combination of pessimistic housing figures, the expiration of the home-buyer tax credit, and difficultly of securing credit have weighed on the market and consumer confidence, says CBS economic correspondent Rebecca Jarvis. According to the National Association of Realtors, there is a glut of housing: 3.72 millions houses are on the market, and that doesn’t include the “shadow inventory” of foreclosed homes that haven’t hit the market.
Corcoran, who parlayed s $1,000 loan into a $5 billion real estate business, says that we tend to focus on the bad news, while ignoring signs of recovery. “What happens in neighborhoods is that negative news grabs a headline, but nobody is talking about the 20 percent of the market that, despite all odds, is turning around and appreciated in price.”
To find a neighborhood on the verge of recovery, Corcoran says, pay attention to the little offbeat things that will give you an edge over the other buyers.
  • Less bad news: “You can take a drive and see if there are fewer than three foreclosure signs within a 10 block radius. The minute those foreclosure signs become less, you should be buying.”
  • Shiny subcompacts “Look for brand-new cheap cars. Because if you see them on the street, young people are moving in.”
  • Overachievers: “If SAT scores are going up in any local area, you can bet your bottom dollar that prices are starting to go up as well.”
As for advice to potential buyers, Corcoran advises against trying to nail the precise bottom of the market. 
“Everybody thinks that they’re going to time the market, they’re going to sharpshoot the market, and buy right at the bottom. The truth of the matter is that nobody is good at it. I’ve been in real estate for my whole life, I’ve been trying to sharpshoot the market with my investments, I’m never right. All you need to do is get near the bottom. That’s good enough. What we are in now is near the bottom.”
“A funny thing happens in real estate,” she adds with a grin, “when it comes back, it comes back up like gangbusters.”

Inside the UES home of Barbara Corcoran
The Corcoran Group founder shows her favorite spot to be “bossy as could be,” demonstrates planting in her stairwell and talks about a lack of sex in the bedroom  

Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group and an investor in the second season of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” gives The Real Deal a tour of her three-bedroom apartment on 94th Street and Park Avenue, that she bought for $3.5 million in 2000, in the first in a two-part series. Corcoran, a real estate investor and author of recently released “Shark Tales,” lives with her husband William Higgins and two children, 17-year-old Tommy and Kate, who the couple adopted five years ago. She shows us her favorite spot in the 3,500-square-foot apartment, talks about a lack of sex in the bedroom and demonstrates how her son wedges himself into his airplane-size bathroom to shave.

Inside the UES home of Barbara Corcoran | The Real Deal | New York Real Estate News

Queen of NY real estate lived in 4th floor walkup

NEW YORK (AP) — The queen of New York real estate once lived in a rent-controlled studio. Illegally.

Barbara Corcoran says the living arrangement was instrumental in helping free up cash for The Corcoran Group, which was still a struggling real estate firm at the time. The brokerage went on to become an industry powerhouse before she sold it in 2001 for $66 million.

Corcoran, 62, is now a contributor for NBC’s “Today” show, where she comments on real estate trends. She’s also an investor on ABC’s reality show, “Shark Tank.” She lives in a three-bedroom apartment on Park Avenue with her husband, their 17-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Corcoran shared her experiences as a renter and first-time homebuyer. She also shared some advice for today’s uncertain market. One tip for sellers? Your neighbors are your enemies.
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Q: What was your most memorable renting experience in New York City?

A: I was renting a one-bedroom for $1,800 a month with my husband in the 1980s. It was after the stock market crash and my business was going through a tough period.

We moved out of our house and in to an illegal, rent-controlled studio that belonged to my husband’s cousin. It was a fourth-floor walk-up, $343 a month. I remember the exact rent.

It was painted all lavender. There was a large free-standing tub, and every night, a huge water bug would crawl out of the drain. I knew what I was doing was illegal. But we lived there for over two years, and it helped with cash flow until the business got back on its feet.

Q: How about the first time you bought a place. What was the most important lesson you learned?

A: I tried to buy in 1977 when prices were just beginning to go through the roof. I fell in love with this top story, one-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village. The price was $35,000, and I had saved $4,000.

But I got scared and intentionally failed the co-op interview. I chickened out. I was just too frightened to make a commitment. They said they didn’t want me in the building and refused to return my ($3,500) deposit.

After that, the prices ran away from me. It took another eight long years to save enough money to buy my first New York City apartment.

That taught me an important lesson. The first home is the most important — it gets you into the game.

Q: So what advice would you give to first-time buyers given the state of the housing market?

A: Buy now. There’s so much negative publicity, and uncertainty is the worst thing for the industry. But you can’t sharp shoot the market and pinpoint when it might peak. If you do that, life will always get in the way.

You always have these cycles. And when it’s down it can stay down for a while. But when it decides to turn the corner, it always comes back like gangbusters. And then you’ll be waiting in line with all the other buyers.
Buyers have two great advantages right now — low, low prices and cheap money.

Q: What other essential tips should buyers keep in mind when shopping for a home?

A: Buy with your heart, not your head. You can look at all the aspects that make a purchase practical, but that kind of thinking makes it an investment rather than a home.

I’ve never seen anyone who bought leading with their heart ultimately regret it. If you love it, the next buyer is going to love it too.

Also make sure you go visit the neighborhood at night and on weekends. Most people return the same time of day, the same time of the week. Go on a Sunday and hang out at the local shops. See who your neighbors are. You’ll know right away if it’s a place you can see yourself and your kids living.

Q: Then there’s the negotiation over the price. What are some mistakes first-time buyers make?

A: Don’t pay attention to asking prices at all. What people ask for has nothing to do with the value of a property. You might see a listing for $300,000 and think you should make a $250,000 bid. But hyper-focus on what the house is worth. You should know what the house is worth by looking at comparable properties. Base your bid on that.

If a house is priced appropriately, make a bid 10 percent below that amount.

Q: On the other side of the equation, what should sellers be doing differently in today’s market?

A: They have to have a different attitude. They have to remember that their neighbor is their enemy— they’re the competition. When considering where to price it, it’s not the kind of market where you price high and see what bids come in. Because the question everyone asks besides the price is: “How long has it been on the market?”

You want to have a good answer to that.

Q: Beyond setting a reasonable price, what advice would you give sellers?

A: Think of it as a beauty competition. You may not like the idea of putting money into a home when you’re moving out. But it’s demanded by the market. You need to show it off.

You don’t have to rip out the kitchen and bathroom. But maybe replace the tiles or the countertops. Get professional advice. Maybe hire a professional home stager. It depends on the kind of budget you have. But there are many talented brokers out there who can give you advice too.

Q: Agents seem to have such glamorous head shots. Why is that?

A: Most people shop for a broker online. So the bio and photo are what hook people in. And buyers put a lot more stock in the photo than you think. It turns out people do judge a book by its cover.
In other professions, including a head shot is considered unprofessional. But for brokers, it’s such the norm now that if you got a business card without a face, you’d probably think there’s something wrong with the person.

That’s why at Corcoran, there’s never a shot taken without professional makeup and lighting.

Q: What else should someone do to vet prospective brokers?

A: Ask them what they’ve sold. The properties should be in your sweet spot in terms of your price point. Don’t work with a broker who sells fancy homes if that’s not what you’re looking for.

Also ask to speak with one of the broker’s past clients. Because once a deal is done, that’s when the truth comes out. So it’s a bad sign if the broker starts stuttering when you ask to speak with a past client. You might worry that making such a request will breed mistrust. But it will give you great peace of mind.

Q: What are other qualities are essential?

A: High energy is the number one trait. You want someone with wild enthusiasm for the business.
You also need someone with manners. Remember that brokers need the cooperation of other brokers. And brokers like to deal with other brokers who have good manners.

The ability to play the bad guy is important too, because ultimately you want the broker who gets the best deal for you. And that’s the broker who could be as mean as you. Or if you’re a sweetie-pie or pushover, then you really need your opposite.

And trust your gut. You end up spending much more time with your broker then you’d think, so you should like them. That’s going to take away a lot of the pain and anxiety from the process.

>R.I.P., Sausage King

27 Jun

>Uptown News Briefs | San Diego Uptown News

27 Jun

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Mission Hills singer releases new album

Mission Hills resident and singer-songwriter Justin Henderson recently released an album with the national independent record label, Tate Music Group (TMG).

“Streetlight” is now available nationwide at the iTunes store, Amazon.com or at TateMusicGroup.com. Henderson’s eight track album shows off his eclectic musical inspirations, drawing from jazz, alternative and folk music.

Mission Hills starts planning Fourth of July bash

Note: My family is entering the competition under the team name Mission Hills Life, stop by and vote for us on the 4th! 

This Fourth of July will mark Mission Hills’ fifth annual Fourth of July celebration in Pioneer Park. The day will begin with a parade through the neighborhood leading up to a patriotic costume contest, BBQ contest, games for kids, free cake and live music provided by Mama Red, who will also be singing the national anthem.

The BBQ competition winner will receive a hand-crafted trophy by local architect Jim Gates, and will be judged by Phil Pace of Phil’s BBQ among others. Local Mission Hills business ForeverCali.com will provide all contestants with free embroidered aprons.

Mission Hills Town Council members will also receive free pulled pork sandwiches, and Town Council family memberships will be available for $20.

Note: My family is entering the competition under the name Mission Hills Life Team, stop by and vote for us!

Uptown News Briefs | San Diego Uptown News

>Homes need carbon monoxide detectors by July 1

23 Jun

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Customers walk by a display of carbon monoxide detectors in a Home Depot store in San Diego.
Customers walk by a display of carbon monoxide detectors in a Home Depot store in San Diego. — Howard Lipin / U-T Photo

A new law requires single-family homeowners to install carbon monoxide detectors in their home by July 1. 

Buying a monitor
Prices for the monitors vary because of the different models and features. Some devices are battery operated and others are hardwired. Others feature a voice alarm or are a combination of smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The state fire marshal’s office has a list of approved devices and installation requirements on its website at http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/

What is carbon monoxide
Carbon is an oderless, colorless gas that is produced from furnaces, fireplaces, common household appliances, vehicles and other devices that burn fuels including propane, natural gas and oil.

Symptoms of poisoning
Headache, dizziness, loss of consciousness, nausea, weakness, chest pain and vomiting. (For tips on preventing poisoning go to www.fire.ca.gov)

Homeowners in California have less than two weeks to get a carbon monoxide detector installed in their homes.  A new state law that goes into effect July 1 requires the devices to be installed in all single-family homes that have an attached garage, fireplace or a fosil-burning heater. The detectors of the odorless, colorless gas can be bought at hardware stores for anywhere from $20 to $90. The bill requires that devices sold are certified by the Office of State Fire Marshal.

The State Air Resources Board, a regulatory board at the California Environmental Protection Agency, estimates that carbon-monoxide poisoning causes 30 to 40 deaths every year in California. The board said inhalation of the gas has led to about 175 to 700 emergency room and hospital visits within the last three years in California. But not everyone has to install the detectors by July 1. Owners of other dwellings, such as hotels, apartments and dormitories, have until 2013 to comply. Homeowners who fail to install the devices by July 1 will receive a 30-day notice. If they fail to comply, they face a maximum fine of $200 for each offense.

Tonya Hoover, acting State Fire Marshall, said it will be difficult to enforce the law but that the focus should be in increasing awareness. “It will be challenging because they are a lot more homes than people able to verify,” Hoover said. “That’s why one should focus on education and outreach, informing people about the law and how to install the devices properly.”

California joins 24 other states, including New York, Florida, Illinois and Texas, in its effort to curb carbon-monoxide poisoning by mandating the use of detectors.

Jim Miguel, who owns several homes in Ocean Beach, Clairemont and Point Loma, said he has already installed carbon monoxide detectors in each of his homes. He says the detectors should not be mandated by the state. “I am for personal freedom of choice,” Miguel said. “It’s a smart choice to install detectors, but consumers should decide on their own.” Logan Heights resident Rebecca Gullans supports the law. Gullans said installing such a device is prudent because she has small children. But she’s concerned low-income families may not be able to afford the devices. “It seems like something they should subsidize,” Gullans said. Part-time county resident Loretta Alley, who owns three properties in Sun City Lincoln Hills near Sacramento, says the law is a great idea. “It’s the same as with smoke detectors, people resist it at first but look at how many lives it safes,” Alley said.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 12:07 p.m

Homes need carbon monoxide detectors by July 1 – SignOnSanDiego.com

>Timely, local real estate data trumps national reports | Inman News

15 Jun

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Let’s talk about the facts as they stand today and refrain from basing decisions on reports that are already five to seven months behind the market when they hit newsstands.

Perspective: A call for more useful real estate statistics

  Inman News™

Broad housing market reports are a dime a dozen these days, and if you ask me, that’s a good approximation of their worth. Markets are sliced and diced and compared across the board, drawing multiple — and often conflicting — conclusions with shaky, obsolete data. The market’s up, or maybe it’s down. It’s good, it’s bad, and it’s confusing.

For most people, even with access to all this information the results are more inconsistent than ever, often dated and out of context. But they don’t have to be.

Timely and accurate information, provided on a local level with a real-world perspective, is the real estate market’s most important commodity — and the ability of the public, government, financial institutions, investors and real estate professionals to make informed decisions on local housing markets is the cornerstone of an eventual housing recovery.

Isn’t it time we stop trying to drive by, looking in the rear-view mirror, and insist on seeing just the facts, clearly, as they unfold?

Considering the critical role that real estate statistics play in just about every housing-related decision, it is time for our industry to rally around better data. We owe it to ourselves, our clients and our profession to insist on timeliness and clarity while delving into the motivations and methodologies of every metric we disseminate.

The most recent Case-Shiller Home Price Index of May 31 is a perfect example: It noted, of all the U.S. markets it tracks, the Washington, D.C., metro area as the only market to experience an increase in housing prices for the first quarter of 2011.

While this index may be useful for Wall Street, it hardly constitutes breaking news. Improving market conditions were reported three weeks earlier in an index produced by an MRIS subsidiary.

Metric discrepancies are about more than selling products or securing a reputation in the marketplace — they go to the heart of how we think about information. The one real estate mantra that has remained unequivocally true through some of the most tumultuous years in the history of our profession is that all real estate is local.

By focusing on broad market-to-market comparisons instead of individual markets, we undercut our value as real estate professionals. Instead of chasing fleeting affirmations that change day in and day out, we should ensure that real estate professionals know how to read and apply local data.

Let’s focus more on whether single-family homes or condos are more prevalent in a single area, the variance of seasonal market shifts, or the changes in sales activity that often precede major trends.

Let’s talk about the facts as they stand today and refrain from basing decisions on reports that are already five to seven months behind the market when they hit newsstands.

We’re never going to move forward as a profession by basing decisions on old data, and we’ll never overcome paralysis if we compare our local markets to every other market in the country without considering the context of local driving forces.

Most people won’t buy stocks today based solely on six-month-old research, nor will they decide what to wear today based on the average temperature in New York. Why don’t the same principles apply to real estate?

David Charron is president and CEO of MRIS, the largest multiple listing service in the nation. MRIS facilitates more than $100 million a day in real estate transactions in the mid-Atlantic region.

Timely, local real estate data trumps national reports | Inman News

>Art + Design – Beach Chair

10 Jun

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 After a sluggish spring here in the East Coast, we’re enjoying a whiff of summer: the fruit vendors are out, office workers are actually taking lunch breaks, and tights and parkas have been replaced by espadrilles and linen suits. Of course, it’s always summer somewhere, and these five beach houses prove that good architecture (and warm weather) isn’t relegated to area code 212, 718, and 347. Check out these five projects and fantasize about your next beach vacation. Now, we just need a summer anthem to go with that dream house.

Continued in this link…Beach Chair | Life + Times