Rancho Penasquitos Monuments

In the Rancho Penasquitos area, new Rancho de los Penasquitos monuments have been erected throughout the community.  It was at the January 5, 2011 Penasquitos Town Council meeting that the monuments were approved to go up throughout 92129.  They are located in the following areas: 12800 Rancho Penasquitos Blvd., 11114 Carmel Mountain Road (South of Penasquitos Drive), 8700 Carmel Mountain Road (North of Sedorus Street), 14500 Black Mountain Road, and 12500 Black Mountain Road. 

They are beautiful reminders of the community that many people live in and love and have chosen to make their home.

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Mortgage Relief Fraud: Will You Be the Next Victim?

Mortgage Relief Fraud: Will You Be the Next Victim?

 Not if I have anything to say about it!

 The FBI reported a jump of 71% in mortgage relief fraud investigations from 2008-2009, and expects this number to have grown in 2010.

 That’s why it’s my duty to educate homeowners in my community on the cautions they need to take, and what the government has recently done to protect you from unscrupulous individuals and companies who want to take advantage of their desperate situations.

 What you need to watch out for if you are looking for mortgage relief assistance: 

  1. Upfront fees—just don’t pay them! In fact, they are now illegal!
  2. A request to sign over your deed (this only spells trouble)
  3. Lots of paperwork without the opportunity for review
  4. The claim of government-affiliation

These are just a few red flags you need to be wary of. I’ve created a free report on the homepage of my website that details more of what you need to watch for. 

If you are struggling with an unaffordable mortgage and are looking for help, educate yourself. These scammers can be very shrewd and will say almost anything to steal your money. 

The Federal Trade Commission has required disclosures of anyone offering mortgage relief services. If you’d like to see an example, check out any of the pages of my website. If a company you are dealing with has not provided these disclosures, please ask why they are not compliant, and proceed with caution! 

As a CDPE, you can trust that I have the tools to be in full compliance of FTC regulations, and will always work with your best interests at heart. 

If you want viable alternatives to foreclosure, give me a call today. I’m always here to help!

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Halloween Happenings in San Diego

Halloween Happenings in San Diego

Make the most of those Halloween costumes

Who says Halloween has to last only one day?  Those costumes are too cute to wear only once.  Here are some of the fun events happening throughout San Diego to celebrate Halloween and the fall season, although it still feels like summer here!

Legoland California Resort’s Brick-or-Treat (Weekends in October) – Two trick or treat trails, a giant Lego pumpkin, themed décor and much more. 

SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween Spooktacular (Weekends in October) – Silly and spooky shows like the Pirates 4D movie experience and The Search for Captain Lucky’s Treasure walk-through adventure.  Trick or treat alongside SeaWorld characters. 

Scream Zone Del Mar (October 17-21, October 24-31 7pm until midnight) The best San Diego Halloween adventure awaits you at the Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Tickets $14.99 for one scary adventure, $27.99 for all three – Haunted Hayride, House of Horror and The Chamber.  Recommended for teens and above. 

The Haunted Hotel (September 29 through October 31st) – Gaslamp Quarter at 424 Market Street.  NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 10 OR THOSE EASILY FRIGHTENED. Buy tickets online to avoid waiting in line.  Tickets cost $17 Friday and Saturday, $15 other nights. 

Bates Nut Farm (September 29 through October 31st) – Over 40 year tradition.  Pumpkin patch, picnic, farm zoo, straw maze and hay rides.  One of the great San Diego Halloween events.  All ages. Open daily 9am-5pm 

Balboa Park Halloween Family Day (Saturday, October 27) – Children under 12 will be treated to free admission to over a dozen museums.  There will be a doggie costume parade and contest at the Lily Pond, a Great Pumpkin parachute drop at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, and activities that explore legendary local ghosts at the San Diego History Center. 

 Halloween Carnival (Friday, October 26th 4:30-6:30 at Mira Mesa Recreation Center) – Even with absence of Monster Manor this year, Halloween fun (not scary) can be had as Mira Mesa Theatre Guild joins the Mira Mesa Halloween Carnival.  Children can enjoy carnival-style games, trick-or-treat, costume contest for ages 11 and under, face painting and more. 

Haunted Birch Aquarium: Shipwrecked!  (October 26 & 27 6-9pm) Live music, games, story times, walk through a “whale fall”, create slime in “deep-sea” slime lab, collect tricky treats, costume raffle.  Members $15, Public $17, Door (all) $19, Free for children 2 and under. 

Carmel Mountain Plaza (October 31st 3-5pm) – Trick-or-Treating throughout the center at participating stores.  Halloween fun, balloons and live music featuring 80’z All-Stars (2:30-5:30 in front of Barnes & Noble).  Register near Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or Reading Cinemas and receive a free treat bag, while supplies last.  Give a treat too – bring a can of food to support the San Diego Food Bank. 

Spooktacular 10k/5k Run-Walk (October 27th at 8:00am – subject to change) Lake Murray.  Register online by October 25th at midnight.  USATF certified map. Scenic gentle rolling, paved course.  Get your freaky fitness on. Fun for the whole family. 

And for those who don’t mind the drive……

Disneyland Resort’s Halloween Time (September 14 through October 31) – Experience the year ‘round favorites like Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure as well as seasonal treats like Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy.

Knott’s Berry Farm’s Snoopy’s Costume Party (Weekends in October) – Non-scary daytime event offers shows, activities, and trick-or-treating geared for kids ages 3-11.  Costumes are allowed.

Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights (until October 31st, select nights) (Ticket purchase required, not included in regular park admission) – Costumes not allowed, Not recommended for kids under 13.  Navigate through hundreds of haunted mazes and ScareZones, and take a ride on the Terror Tram, which drops guests off on some of the scariest sets on the Universal back lot.

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Solving Your Mortgage Crisis Just Got Easier

Solving Your Mortgage Crisis Just Got Easier

5 Steps for a Successful Short Sale

Lenders and the federal government, prompted by the sheer volume of loan modification and short sale requests, have overhauled their systems and programs, making the foreclosure avoidance process much easier than in the past.

If you are considering short selling your home to avoid the financial and emotional fallout of foreclosure, you should be aware of the five steps you should take to increase your chances of a successful transaction.

First, do you qualify?

You must:

  1. Have a verifiable hardship, like unemployment, medical bills, or relocation
  2. Must have a monthly income shortfall
  3. Be insolvent (you have no cash or assets that can be sold to pay down the mortgage), or headed towards insolvency

If you meet these qualifications, follow these five steps to a successful short sale:

  1. Contact me so we can identify your servicer, fill out a short sale packet for the lender, and assemble all the required information needed to list your home for sale
  2. Gather financial information (i.e., bank statements, pay stubs) from at least the last three months
  3. Keep your house in showcase condition for showings, and make as many repairs as necessary and that you can afford
  4. Expect the lender, junior lien holders, and private insurance companies to request more paperwork, and try to gather requested information quickly to ensure transaction efficiency
  5. Set realistic expectations and work with me, the lender, and the buyer to the satisfaction and benefit of all parties involved

For more information about how the short sale process works, or about any other foreclosure alternatives you may qualify for, call me today. I can help you alleviate the burden that the threat of foreclosure brings, and we can develop a strategy to help you breathe a little easier.

IMPORTANT GOVERNMENT DISCLOSURE: You may stop doing business with us at any time. You may accept or reject the offer of mortgage assistance we obtain from your lender (or servicer). If you reject the offer, you will not have to pay us for our services. The above brokerage is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan.

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It’s time to take another look at short sales

Short sales becoming more streamlined

It’s time to take another look at short sales

As recently as a few months ago, if you would have told a real estate agent who specialized in short sales that they’d be raving about a lender’s stellar service and rapid approval times—not to mention significant cash incentives for financially strapped homeowners for pursuing a short sale—you’d have gotten some strange looks.

That’s all changed.  And it’s changed faster and to a greater extent than most real estate professionals ever could have imagined.

With a glut of bank-owned properties dragging down the recovery of the real estate market, as well as the national economy, major lenders are more eager than ever before to avoid foreclosure. So they’ve sharpened their focus on short sales. Big time.

The biggest lenders in the country have staffed up to ensure rapid processing of short sale applications. They’ve ponied up with cash incentives at closing for homeowners who pursue a short sale. And they’re proactively reaching out to CDPE agents and putting them in touch with delinquent borrowers.

This is big news and the media has not really caught onto it yet. What’s important for you to know is that whatever you’ve read or heard in the past about long lag times and frustrations with short sales is probably no longer the case.

As a member of the CDPEAdvanced community, I’m tapped into major lenders and on top of major developments affecting short sales and bank-owned properties.  I invite you to visit my website www.AvoidingForeclosureSanDiego.com to learn more and feel free to contact me any time at 619-994-5515 or MEHAYWOOD@QFRE.NET  if you or anyone you know is struggling with an unmanageable mortgage.

 

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Oktoberfest 2012 in San Diego

Oktoberfest is coming

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest in San Diego

Obviously, when you think of Oktoberfest, you think of Munich, Germany. Six Million people attend the world’s largest fair every year. It is a sixteen day festival held from late September to early October. This event is a very important part of Bavarian culture.

However, if you are limited in time and travel, we have plenty of places right here in San Diego County to go to enjoy some beers, brats, and a little “oom-pah-pah”!

  • The Carlsbad Rotary Clubs’ Oktoberfest being held on October 6, 2012 at Holiday Park from Noon to 10PM.  Go to their website at www.rotaryoktoberfest.org for more information
  • San Diego’s Original and Authentic Oktoberfest is being held at the German American Societies of San Diego September 28,29,30, October 5,6,7. 1017 S. Mollison Ave, El Cajon, CA  92020. www.oktoberfestelcajon.com
  • Ocean Beach Oktoberfest is on Friday, October 12th from 4-10 pm, and Saturday October 13th from 11am-10pm, being held on Newport Avenue.
  • Finally…my personal favorite, The La Mesa Oktoberfest, October 5-7th. Friday and Saturday 11am-11:30pm, and Sunday Noon-5pm. This festival boasts 300 booths, 2 beer gardens, Food, rides, live music…the works.
  • Click on the link below to determine which San Diego Oktoberfest is best for you!

http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/Blogs/Around-Town/Fall-2011/Which-Oktoberfest-Should-You-Attend/

As they say in Germany…Prost!

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There’s an App for “A”’s – back to school apps

Back to school Apps that Earn “A”’s

Mobile applications to help kids with school.

 Now that the school year is in full swing, it is good to know that back to school gear is not limited to pens, pencils, Trapper Keepers and other items available at Target or Office Depot.  Nowadays, back to school gear also can include mobile applications (or “apps”) for smart phones or tablets that can do everything from teaching young kids how to hold a pencil to keeping those teenagers on top of their homework assignments and managing their time with all of their extracurricular activities.

Here are a few apps that were featured on www.appolicous.com/education

Chalk Walk (iPad) – Free – Surprisingly enough, a child can learn how to hold a pencil with a proper pincer grip by using a touch screen tablet computer.  Chalk Walk, an iPad game, has young learners practice drawing and tracing lines while holding their thumbs and index fingers together.  In addition to offering challenges that develop motor skills, Chalk Walk also includes a basic word construction game.

iStoryBooks (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android) – Free – iStoryBooks is like an e-reader for little ones.  It has the option of having a narrator read the books to you.  Classic children stories such as The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood are a few of the selections.  Included are other educationsl books that teach everything from ABCs to geography and sound association.  Parents have the option of choosing what books kids can find within the app’s library.  iStoryBooks also introduces a brand new story every two weeks, and provides up to 25 free selections. 

Number Line (iPhone) – Free – Winner of the Virginia Mobile Learning Apps Development Challenge, this app targets elementary school students between second and eight grade.  It is a fun and mildly addictive math game that would challenge most parents too!  The idea is simple – A row of fractions, percentages and decimals are presented in random order and it’s up to the player to arrange the figures in order from smallest to largest.  The faster you can complete the task, the higher the score.  The game’s difficulty increases the more levels one advances.

Wikipedia Mobile (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android) – Free – As long as Wikipedia research is complemented with other sources, there is great value in the service.  Most of the information published in Wikipedia is community-vetted, which isn’t always the case with other search results.  The app also includes professionally – produced stories and historical tidbits of the day.

iStudiez Pro (iPhone, iPad) – 99 cents – Voted 2011 Best College Student App, 2010 Best Young Adults App, 2010 Best Parenting App, 2009 Best App Ever in Education.  Help your high school student stay on top of their deadlines and exam prep with this productive application designed specifically for students.  Entries are color-coded based on subject, and information entered into iStudiez also syncs with your calendar.  The app provides Push Alerts when assignments are due, and includes a GPA calculator.  There is also a free version, but it may be worth to invest the 99 cents in iStudiez Pro.

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Bank of America promises up to $30k in short sale bonuses

Banks offer cash for completed short sales

Incentive helps bank minimize losses.

 Bank of America launched a nationwide program that offers delinquent mortgage customers an opportunity to prevent foreclosure, minimize damage to their credit scores and walk away with some extra cash for relocation expenses.  With an already strong and solid short sale initiative, this short sale relocation assistance program has already led to 200,000 completed short sales in the last two years and another 30,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

In order to qualify, borrower must work proactively with the bank to obtain a pre-approved sales price prior to submitting a purchase offer for review and approval.  To be eligible for this program, the short sale must be initiated by the end of this year and close escrow by September 26, 2013. 

The relocation assistance provides borrowers anywhere from $2,500 to $30,000 at the completion of a qualifying short sale.  The average payout has been around $12,000. 

In addition to the relocation assistance being offered to qualifying short sales, there has been a significant decrease in the time it takes to approve a short sale.  The process has been streamlined by real estate agents’ use of the Equator system – which keeps banks and agents in communication about the status of a short sale. 

In our experience with Bank of America short sales, we have had approvals come in as little as a few weeks.  We have also seen the relocation assistance payments be presented to sellers, often times on top of the HAFA incentive payment being offered.

If you would like to see if you are eligible to participate in this program, contact us.

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Fire Season is approaching, be prepared!

Wildfire season is approaching, are you prepared?

Things you can do around your home to prevent wildfires.

 According to website www.readyforwildfire.org :

Cal fire warns that this fire season may be especially dangerous, as the winter months were relatively dry. Much of the vegetation from the 2007 fires has returned. So, it is not a matter of if we are going to have a large fire…but when!  It is important for us to be prepared.

Preventative steps to make your home defensible:

  • Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds
  • Remove dead or dry leaves from your yard, roof and rain gutters
  • Keep trees trimmed so they remain a minimum of 10 feet from other trees
  • Remove branches that hang over your roof. Keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney
  • Relocate wood piles into an area at least 30 feet away from the house.
  • Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks

Assembling an Emergency Supply Kit (as per Cal Fire)

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person. 
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.

 For other tips in preparation for fire season, such as evacuation guides and the best emergency supply kits, http://www.readyforwildfire.org/defensible_space

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San Diego Restaurant Week 2012

San Diego Restaurant Week September 16-21 2012

San Diego County’s Largest and Most Successful Dining Event

San Diego Restaurant Week 2012With the growing popularity of the term foodies and with San Diego’s idyllic climate, there is always a reason to go out and eat.  When I was a kid, going out to eat was reserved for a super special occasion (not even birthdays – those were only celebrated at McDonald’s).  But in this day and age, even my young children have gone to more restaurants in their short years than my husband’s parents and mine in their whole lifetime — combined.

Here’s the perfect opportunity to try some of the restaurants that you’ve heard about from your co-workers or have driven by and are curious about.  It is the twice annual San Diego Restaurant Week – over 180 restaurants with prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner.  Most of the menus include three courses – an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert.  But check out each individual menu for their particular offering.

San Diego Restaurant week spans 6 days from September 16th through September 21st.  There are no tickets or passes to be purchased, just check out the website and menu – see if the particular restaurant takes reservations, otherwise just head on down there for a good time.  This would be perfect for date night or to get together with your group of foodies friends.  You just may find a new favorite among the offerings.

Some of the ones restaurants I am curious about include one of Brian Malarkey’s restaurants called Gabardine in Point Loma ($30 prix fixe dinner menu), La Gran Terraza at USD ($15 prix fixe lunch menu, $30 prix fixe dinner menu), and Kensington Grill in San Diego – I may be the one person who hasn’t been here yet.  ($25 or $30 prix fixe dinner menu).

There are, however, a few restaurants that I have enjoyed in the past that should be a sure hit.  Some of them include Bo-Beau in Point Loma / Harbor Island ($30 prix fixe menu – love the moules) as well as Pamplemousse Grille in Del Mar (no menu posted at time of write-up).

Bon Apetite

 

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Mary Ellen Haywood
CA BRE License #01264878
Mobile:619-994-5515

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
810 West Washington Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Office: 619-269-2277
eFax: 619-819-9910

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