25. March 2014 11:55
I know, it is a big claim, but listen to this: The wind, the sand and sky compliment the ocean & the trees to create a most beautiful & serene place. The sound of breaking waves & the call of the red hawk, these are witnessed today no differently than the experience eons back. The military jets from Miramar break the silence and distract, but they fly ridiculously fast and away from this peaceful place. The 2,000 acres of land was deeded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps to the City of San Diego in the early 1920’s. (The City has since transferred the land to the State of California). At the time of gifting, many moneyed citizens had their eye on building homes here, and many more pushed to have a road built along it’s cliffs to create a convenient passage north to south. I have often hiked or jogged the many paths and thought “this is a perfect setting for my dream house”. The State Park operates the park as a Natural Reserve, which is the highest level of protection of natural resources while still availing to the general public. (entry fee is $8-$15). The park hosts the nations rarest pine tree, and a high perch from it’s many trails to observe migrating whales and schools of porpoise in the Gulf of Santa Catalina,( the body of water in the Pacific that extends from La Jolla Cove north to Orange County). The ocean off Torrey Pines offers a sand break for surfing and bodysurfing the waves. I have been a volunteer docent at Torrey Pines since 1998, and served as the docent President, Secretary and Program Director in years past. There are educational programs and hikes available to all, and recently, the Torrey Pines Association in coordination with the Torrey Pines Docents, have established an endowment fund at the San Diego Foundation. Most importantly, a visit to Torrey Pines today affords each of us the experience of the natural elements that make San Diego such an awesome place to call home.
10. March 2014 13:05
“Woman Keeps Up Mortgage Years After Death”. This was a recent headline about a homeowner in Michigan who passed away 6 years ago, but not one of her neighbors knew that. Her body was found in the car of her garage. When she died she had $54,000 in her bank account and her bills were automatically deducted; it wasn’t until the money ran out that the bank, not her neighbors, discovered she had died. It is an unsettling story, but I reference it because our neighbors should be some of the most easily accessible people in our lives. They know our routines, what we drive, if we like working in the yard, how late we stay up…the list is pretty long, actually, when you consider it. Many of San Diego’s neighborhoods are sought after because of the friendliness and walkability that offer opportunities to meet & greet. My neighborhood has the added benefit of a business district which includes Starbucks, several restaurants, a movie theater and a public library – all places to gather and share. Almost every neighborhood in San Diego has a community planning group, or an Home Owners Association, to join and get involved. When I owned a townhouse in downtown San Diego, I was concerned that it would be an insular experience, but that was far from the reality. Riding the elevator, gathering mail, & other simple every day tasks are shared with neighbors when you live in a high rise setting. Some of my closest friends are neighbors that I have shared many good times with. Reach out and get to to know the people around you.
20. February 2014 19:43
San Diego is home to 3 million residents, and growing. The region ranks #1 in the United States for percentage of the population aged 18-34, otherwise known as ‘millennials’. This means only one thing: we’re going to need a lot more homes! The developers are fully aware of the inventory crunch, and have planned to increase the housing stock. The master-planned community “Civita” in Mission Valley (near Fashion Valley mall) will eventually offer 10,000 homes. (Pictured above is Standard Pacific Homes and Shea Homes product’s currently for sale at Civita). Downtown’s wave of development is concentrated heavily on apartment construction in the East Village, located east of Petco Park. In University Town Center, a massive apartment complex near I-805 and La Jolla Village looks like Dubai. In Mira Mesa, adjacent to the I-15, another massive apartment complex is underway. Eventually, the millennials will transition from renters to property owners. When I work with clients in this demographic I help educate them on the benefits of ownership. In San Diego County, it is not simply the tax write offs and the return on investment, it is the reality of supply / demand. We do not have large-scale tracts of land, and our new product will be the result mainly of re-imagining older homes; knocking them down and building several homes or townhomes on the lot. Or, re-habilitating older buildings, creating new living spaces while preserving a piece of local history. One thing is absolute: in a region like San Diego, our youth, our millennials, are a major factor in the culture we share.
3. February 2014 13:33
He is the strongest candidate, hands down. As a city councilman, Faulconer has represented the downtown and Point Loma neighborhoods. Downtown is naturally the focal point of the city, drawing millions of residents annually to professional baseball at Petco Park, to the San Diego Zoo, to the Gaslamp Quarter, the Symphony, Summer Pops, concerts & plays at the Civic Theatre, tours of the USS Midway Museum, and events at the convention center. Downtown is the engine to many economic benefits enjoyed by all those who call San Diego home. The mayoral campaign, which is underway to replace the disgraced Bob Filner who resigned in August, is between 2 candidates: Faulconer and David Alvarez. Unfortunately, Alvarez is pointing out that all the benefits & venues downtown are a detriment to other neighborhoods in San Diego. That is simply not true. As a REALTOR, I am a member of the San Diego Association of REALTORS, where I serve as a volunteer on a couple of committee’s. The REALTOR Political Action Committee interviewed 4 candidates for mayor, and Alvarez was the weakest, in my opinion, on matters that effect homeowners. Falcouner opposed and Alvarez voted in favor of linkage fees, and Lead Based Point of Sale Inspections….both which impact the cost of selling and buying homes. Linkage fees are designed to fund affordable housing mandates, despite the fact this ‘tax’ is simply an additional fee property owners pay; or, the fees are passed along by developers to buyers of new property. And, no guarantees that affordable housing will be built in the neighborhoods that pay for them. The Lead Based Paint Point of Sale Inspection is a dangerous and expensive mandate to sellers of homes that were built before 1980. There were alternatives presented to the City Council, including data that favored not allowing lead based paint to become airborne; the costs to eradicate a 1200 sq.ft. home are estimated at $15,000 – $25,000, depending what is found…and those costs will only be added to the list price that are passed on to buyers. These issues passed due to Alvarez’s unwillingness to use logic and be fair. As mayor, Kevin Faulconer will best represent all of San Diego.
10. January 2014 10:34
That’s a very wordy headline, I know. The abbreviated version is here: La Casa Del Zorro has re-opened! For those familiar with Borrego Springs, this is awesome news not just for travelers but also for the local economy. Borrego is about a 2-hr drive from downtown San Diego, a route that takes you from sea level to the foothills up to alpine elevations (3000’), then a descent into the desert at or about sea level. The adjacent Anza Borrego State Park is a 600,000-acre hikers paradise, with thousands of trails and canyons, with diverse options from hot springs to wind caves to badlands, mountain peaks and palm canyons with waterfalls. There is a stillness, a silence in the desert that offers one a chance to relax. Borrego will never be as “popular” as Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, located just over the mountain, simply because Borrego does not have an interstate freeway nearby. (I-10 shuttles the masses of L.A. efficiently within 10 minutes of P.S.) What Borrego does have is a zen-like atmosphere. A recent sculpture installation know as Galleta Meadows by the late Dennis Avery (heir to the Avery labels fortune) is fantasy-like, as it features steel figures of animals and people planted in various places. Real estate in Borrego Springs is very affordable, for 2nd home buyers or those looking for retirement options. There are several golf courses if that is your sport. La Casa Del Zorro is a wonderful & affordable luxury resort that I highly recommend you consider as your home base to explore the many natural wonders of Borrego Springs and Anza Borrego State Park. It is a resort with a storied past dating back to the 1930’s, and filled with local San Diego history.