Even in an active real estate market, some homes sit unsold for months. San Diego County’s real estate market is a prime example of this. The overall expected market time in San Diego is 38 days, the lowest it’s been since 2013. Even so, a third of the active listed inventory has been on the market for two months or more.
Why do some homes sit on the market while others sell in a matter of weeks? There are a few things that could be slowing down the sale of your home. Let’s look at the most likely causes.
The price is too high
Aspirational pricing is the number one biggest mistake sellers make when listing their homes. It can be especially tricky to pick the right price if you’re selling in a growing market or recently revitalized area because the last selling price of houses in the area won’t always be the best indicator of the current market value.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 22% of sellers in 2017 reduced their asking price at least once before selling their home. Setting a competitive price from the beginning saves you that delay.
One reason it’s hard to pick the right price for a home is that there are a lot of factors you have to consider. It’s not just about the home’s condition and features, either. The exact same home in two different neighborhoods can sell for drastically different prices. In San Diego, the length of commute can play a big role. Buyers will pay more for a home closer to the city, paying a price premium to spare themselves a long daily drive that puts lots of wear and tear on their car.
It’s poorly staged
Staged homes sell up to 87% faster than those that aren’t. This might seem silly at first glance since the home will be vacant by the time the buyer moves in. The difference is more psychological than practical. It’s easier for potential buyers to picture themselves living in a staged home.
Having too much stuff in a home can be just as detrimental to its sale time as leaving it completely empty. Cluttered spaces look smaller and don’t give buyers a good look at the home’s potential. Smart staging emphasizes the home’s highlights and downplays its flaws.
Luxury homes can take longer to sell
The demand for luxury homes has been climbing steadily in San Diego. That climb has slowed in July, but even so pending sales are up and the number of available active listings has dropped. Even with this high demand, a significant percentage of the luxury housing stock sits on the market for 60 days or more, as you can see in this price break-down from the San Diego Housing Report:
The higher the sale price of a home, the more limited the pool of potential buyers is. There simply aren’t as many buyers out there who can afford (or even want) a home that costs $1.5 million or more.
The key to selling a luxury property quickly is knowing how to market it. Quality virtual tours and photographs are crucial for attracting buyer attention. You also need to know where to post listings to get them in front of the right buyers.
Price plays a role here, too. Just because someone can afford a million-dollar property doesn’t mean they want to throw their money away. It’s common for luxury homes to start off priced too high for the market. An in-depth comparative analysis of similar homes in the area can help you set a competitive price from the beginning.
Is a Fast Sale Important?
Some homes simply take longer to sell. This is often the case with unique properties that offer features appealing to niche demographics. In some cases, you’ll be better off waiting for the right buyer than reducing the price or making modifications to make a quick sale.
If your home’s been on the market for 60 days or more and you’re not sure why consulting an expert is your best next step. Talk to local realtors and ask if they think it’s priced too high or staged incorrectly. A few small tweaks could be the answer to getting a buyer’s attention.
When it comes to real estate, it’s a sellers’ market here in San Diego. There are many, many buyers out there looking for a new home. They are looking because interest rates are so low that it makes it possible to purchase a much larger home today then they could afford yesterday. In fact, there is a major “traffic jam” when it comes to banks even processing all of these new mortgage applications.
The is good news for anyone considering selling in today’s market is that there is a noticeable shortage of available homes in the San Diego housing market. According to Zillow, the San Diego market is predicted to be California’s hottest real estate market in 2020.
Features Attractive to Buyers
Hardwood Flooring – it is a fact that, on average, having hardwood floors can add around 2.5% to a home’s sale price. Buyers love the ease of cleaning and the durability of hardwood.
Updated Kitchens and Baths – updating these two areas will bring you the greatest return on your investment. Stainless steel appliances and granite or quartz countertops are like magnets to buyers. Also when doing any upgrades, consider adding a kitchen island if space permits. Buyers also love for the kitchen to be open to a family room or great room so that they can cook and still be a part of any gathering.
Electronic Extras – Ring doorbells and Nest thermostats are popular features. Mobile devices that can control lighting, home theater projectors that can connect to the various streaming networks like Amazon Firestick and Google Home are more electronic extras that influence buyers in a positive way.
Additional Storage – that added storage could be in bedroom closets, kitchen pantries, or mudrooms. Garages are also a good place to show off additional storage features by installing shop cabinets and built-ins or by creating overhead storage options.
Outdoor Spaces – it can be a wooden deck or a paved patio, as long as you also add outdoor furniture and maybe a fire pit or Spanish fireplace to show off the space. When adding lighting make sure that it also can be controlled by mobile devices.
Marketing In a Sellers’ Market
Selling now in a sellers’ market, you can expect to receive offers in days instead of weeks. Straightening things up week after week for showings is just not going to be required. Your home is going to sell. As a matter of fact, don’t feel like you need to accept the first offer that will be presented. Quite often during times like this you will receive multiple offers and will be able to accept the one that pays you the most or offers you better options. Options could include the number of days to close on the deal or the number of days for you to vacate the property, things like that.
Also, remember to limit showing times or days. People always want what they think they can’t have. Having more than one buyer in the home at the same time could also increase the feeling of urgency or make them submit a higher than asking offer.
Talk to your agent and consider keeping the asking price slightly under the true market value. This may attract more buyers and start a bidding war. Let it be known that any and all offers will be considered at a set time and not as they come in. You may lose a buyer with this strategy because people hate to wait, but the buyers that are truly interested in your home will make sure to put forth their best offer the first time.
Hire a Knowledgeable Realtor
Every REALTOR® has to start somewhere, but you don’t need to finance his or her acquisition of experience. Hire a proven winner who has been marketing homes like yours in your area for a number of years. When the market is swinging in your favor you need to hire a sharp, experienced REALTOR® who knows how to set your home apart and attract quality buyers.
Contact Shirley Smith today to sell your home for top dollar!
It’s no secret that the cost of living is high in San Diego. Fortunately, San Diego offers lots of free or cost-friendly activities for families to enjoy, especially if they’re on a budget! All you really need is a car and comfortable walking shoes and you’re ready to go. Find out things to do on a budget in San Diego below.
Balboa Park is the largest park in San Diego and offers so much to do, even on a budget. If you want a day completely free of charge, pack yourself a picnic and hang out inside the park. After your picnic, walk through the park to explore the different gardens and architecture. If you’re lucky, there’s likely some sort of event going on. You can also ride your bike, practice photography, and even catch a concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
If you’re okay spending a little bit of money, you can check out one of the many museums, visit the San Diego Zoo, or watch a play at the Old Globe. In the month of February, you can visit museums for 50% off admission.
La Jolla Cove/Children’s Pool in La Jolla
One of the best parts of San Diego is the endless sunshine. La Jolla Cove offers gorgeous views of the cliffs and ocean and if you’re lucky you’ll spot a few sea lions. If seeing Sea Lions is high on your agenda, head to the Children’s Pool to see sea lions and their babies take over the beach. La Jolla Cove is also a great spot to snorkel, kayak, or paddleboard while seeing lots of sea creatures.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
With tall cliffs and amazing ocean views, Torrey Pines is one of the hottest hiking spots in San Diego. You can find it jam-packed on the weekend, but a fun adventure none the less. With dozens of miles of hiking trails and lots of plant and wildlife information along the way, it’s a fun and cheap way to spend the day. Find parking outside the park to save money.
Mission Trails Regional Park
Whether you’re an avid hiker, enjoy mountain biking, or just love being in nature, Mission Trails Regional Park offers something for everyone. You can spend your day hiking, biking, running, rock climbing, bouldering, viewing wildlife or just escaping the craziness of city life. The visitor’s center is a great place to start if you want advice about the best trails to go down or activities to enjoy.
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Grab a front-row seat to the best views of the sunset in San Diego. Sunset Cliffs is not only a gorgeous sunset spot, but offers bird watching, amazing surfing, trails, and the perfect place to relax. If you don’t want to trek down the steep paths to the beach, the cliffs offer a nice spot to relax and catch a breath of sea salt spray.
Cabrillo National Monument
If you have a National Park Pass, Cabrillo National Monument is included, otherwise, you need to pay a small admission fee of $20 per vehicle to enter the park. Once you’re in, you can take a tour of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, visit the tide pools, go hiking or biking, see old bunkers and learn about the history of San Diego. Bring a lunch and spend the day exploring San Diego’s oldest location.
Head to the Beach
When in doubt, visit the beach if you’re trying to stick to a budget. It’s free, relaxing, and a beautiful sight. Although it costs a lot to live here, there are plenty of free activities to make up for it.
If you’re interested in buying a home in San Diego, selling your home or even downsizing to save money, I would love to help you in your home buying or selling journey. I have helped homes sell in less than a week of being on the market. In today’s competitive housing market, you will need a real estate agent who has the negotiation skills to help you buy your dream home. Contact me today to get started!
Residing just 100 miles south of Hollywood, San Diego is actually home to some famous movies. Our beautiful beaches and unique locations have made their way onto film screens. The following movies had filming locations in San Diego. Go rewatch them to see if you can recognize these familiar San Diego locations.
Bring It On (2000)
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This classic 2000s movie starring Kirstin Dunst, Eliza Dushku, and Gabrielle Union is a favorite among 90s babies and features several different San Diego locations. Bring it On follows a group of high school cheerleaders through different competitive cheerleading competitions which features several different San Diego locations. For example, the school in the movie, Rancho Carne High School was actually San Diego State University. You can see Hepner Hall in the scenes.
The movie also features local spots such as Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn, The Marlin Club, and the Academy of Our Lady of Peace. The closing scene of the movie that features the final cheer competition on “Miami Beach” was actually filmed at Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater in Oceanside.
Top Gun (1986)
Although most San Diegans know that Top Gun took place in San Diego, not all of them know where to find the filming locations. You can visit Kansas City Barbeque in the Marina District of San Diego to hang out in the same bar as Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis and Tim Robbins or head to the intersection of Union Street and West Laurel in Bankers Hill to see where Maverick drove around.
Top Gun also filmed scenes at the Wave House Athletic Club in Mission Beach in the locker room in addition to the Point Loma Lighthouse to see Viper’s house. Top Gun also filmed at Miramar Naval Air Station and the Naval Training Center.
Almost Famous (2000)
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This Oscar-winning film starring Kate Hudson, Patrick Fugit and Billy Crudup is about a high schooler writing an article about an up and coming rock band who he follows on tour. The movie filmed in Ocean Beach to capture the 1970s beach town vibes seamlessly. You can see Newport Avenue in the opening scenes in addition to San Diego Sports Arena where the main character greets the band for the first time.
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Another one of San Diego’s most famous movies, Anchorman stars Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Christina Applegate and Vince Vaughn in this hilarious tale about a male-dominated news crew. Although the film took place in San Diego, the only scene that was actually filmed here was a scene where Ron Burgundy walks through Balboa Park.
Some Like it Hot (1958)
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This classic movie starring Marilyn Monroe is one of San Diego’s most known movies. The romantic comedy filmed scenes at Hotel Del Coronado as well as Coronado Municipal Beach. It’s hard to believe we can walk in the same place Marilyn Monroe once stood just 60 years ago.
Freaky Friday (1976)
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Don’t confuse this classic with the Linsey Lohan remake. The original Freaky Friday stars Jodie Foster and filmed one scene in San Diego, a water skiing competition. The water skiing competition takes place at Mission Bay! Next time you spend the day at Mission Bay, remember Jodie Foster once water skied here.
Make San Diego Your Home
It’s unlikely Hollywood is done using our beautiful city to shoot movies. Recently Top Gun 2 filmed here. If you want to enjoy the famous movie scenes without the craziness of Hollywood, consider making San Diego your permanent home by buying a house. Contact me to get started with the buying or selling process of your home!
The holiday season is finally here and so are all of the festive, fun events in San Diego! Get your holiday season off on the right foot by planning the next month around these fun holiday events in San Diego.
Holiday Films at Rooftop Cinema Club
Experience a new kind of movie theatre by visiting the Rooftop Cinema Club to view your favorite Christmas classics like Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, The Santa Claus, The Holiday, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and many more. Make sure to bundle up and bring a blanket so you can enjoy your viewing and gorgeous views of the city skyline comfortably.
Balboa Park December Nights
December 6th from 3:00pm-11pm and December 7th from 12:00pm to 11:00pm
December Nights is back for another fun, festive weekend. The 42nd annual December Nights is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Bring your family out to enjoy free museum admission, Christmas lights, food trucks, vendors, choirs, bands, and plenty of fun-filled attractions.
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Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village
December 7 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Enjoy the festive décor in Little Italy as you shop the Christmas Village, listen to live music, watch live entertainment, enjoy horse-drawn carriages, a tree lighting, a visit from Santa, holiday treats and so much more! Get ready to see all of Little Italy’s streets lined with gorgeous white lights and their infamous nutcrackers on every corner.
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56th Annual North Park Toyland Parade & Festival
December 8th from 10:00am to 3:00pm
Start your Sunday morning with one of the longest-running parades in San Diego. Grab a seat on University Ave to view vintage cars, dance groups, marching bands, Santa Claus, beauty queens and city officials. There are lots of creative floats to look at! Following the parade is a holiday festival with lots of festive fun.
San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
December 8th and December 15th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is back for another year. Gather around the San Diego Bay to see over 80 boats decorated with Christmas Lights as they reflect off the bay.
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La Mesa’s Holiday in the Village
December 13th and 14th from 4:00pm to 9:00pm
Downtown La Mesa is transformed into a beautiful Christmas Village for the weekend with plenty of local shops and food vendors to choose from. The festivities include live music, snow, craft vendors, a kid’s area, food, and cozy fires.
Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo
December 13th – 23rd and December 25th to January 5th
The San Diego Zoo hosts extended hours featuring the celebration of lights, the toy shop hop, festive music and new this year – Aurora – a unique blend of music and 3D projection lighting. You can also enjoy a visit with Santa, unique animal experiences and delicious holiday eats.
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Start Thinking About 2020 Real Estate Goals
Although the holiday season is upon us, it’s never too early to start thinking about your 2020 real estate goals. If you’re thinking of buying or selling in the new year, give me a call so I can help you get started. Contact me today by calling (619) 559-6548 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not everyone loves to cook and not everybody is a good cook. You don’t have to spend Thanksgiving Day slaving away in a hot kitchen if you don’t want to. Whether you don’t want to cook or you’d prefer to let a professional handle dinner, San Diego has plenty of options for you to choose from. Listed below are 5 places to have Thanksgiving dinner in San Diego if you don’t want to cook.
1. A.R. Valentien
Spend Thanksgiving Day at the Lodge at Torrey Pines, overlooking the Torrey Pine’s Golf Course and beautiful ocean views. This upscale restaurant is hosting Thanksgiving lunch/dinner from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The three-course meal is prepared by Executive Chef Jeff Jackson and the staff. It will feature seasonal ingredients in an elegant and charming dining room. You can make a reservation for your Thanksgiving dinner online.
2. Farmer’s Bottega
If you’re looking for a traditional Thanksgiving Feast, Farmer’s Bottega in Mission Hills will grant you your wish. On Thanksgiving Day from 4 pm to 9 pm, they will host a three-course meal – farm to fork. You can look forward to turkey day classics like stuffing and mashed potatoes in addition to delectable Julian apple pie served warm alongside vanilla ice cream. Each three-course meal is $60 per person with an optional $15 wine pairing. Kids are $20 per three-course meal.
3. Mister A’s
If you’re looking for amazing views of the city to eat your turkey dinner with, Mister A’s offers the best seat in the city. Located in downtown San Diego, choose from a traditional turkey meal or enjoy gourmet spins on classic dishes like lobster bisque, and beet salad. This luxury Thanksgiving meal is hosted from 12 pm to 3 pm or 4:45 pm to 8:30 pm and costs $79.50 per adult. Make a reservation and view their prix fixe menu online.
4. Café Gratitude
If you would prefer to dine at home without cooking a fancy vegan or vegetarian meal, Café gratitude has you covered. Place an order with their special Thanksgiving Catering Menu and then pick up your order between 1 pm and 10 pm. Some of their dishes include butternut squash loaf, pumpkin, apple and pecan pie, roasted maple miso Brussels sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes and more.
5. Ranch 45
If you want to head up to North County to pick up Thanksgiving dinner, Ranch 45 makes it well worth the drive. Located in Solana Beach, Ranch 45 has an extensive holiday menu TO GO! Your Thanksgiving dinner will be ready to serve without you breaking a sweat in the kitchen. The menu features herb-crusted prime rib, sweet potato pie, French onion soup, smoked Cornish hens, and roasted vegetables. No cooking involved!
Buy a Home with Your Dream Kitchen and Dining Room
If one of the reasons you don’t want to cook or eat at home is because you dislike your kitchen or have a small dining area, Shirley Smith can help you find the perfect home that’s inviting for the holidays. If you’re ready to start your search for a new home so you can host your own Thanksgiving Dinner next year, please contact me.
October is finally here and it officially fall in San Diego! What better way to celebrate the spooky season than with fun Halloween events in San Diego perfect for the whole family. Listed below are my top choices for Halloween events in San Diego. Don’t forget to call Shirley Smith for all of your real estate needs.
Oakoasis Haunted Trail
What’s more San Diego than taking a spooky hike? Head out to the Oakoasis Preserve in Lakeside to take a night hike with some scary surprises. The hikes are a half-mile long with moderate uphill climbs. The last hike leaves at 7:40 pm. Be sure to bring a flashlight so you can see where you’re going!
When: October 12, 2019 – 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Where: Oakoasis County Preserve – 12620 Wildcat Canyon Road Lakeside, CA 92040
Birch’s Aquarium’s Haunted Aquarium: Sea Monster Mash
Celebrate Halloween while enjoying rare close encounters with creatures rarely seen at Birch Aquarium. The aquarium will display a sea of glowing monsters, slime to play with, spooky stories, live music and much more. The event is recommended for ages 2+.
When: Oct 25 – Oct 27, 2019 – 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: Birch Aquarium at Scripps – 2300 Expedition Way La Jolla, CA
Trick or Treat on India Street
This fun Halloween tradition allows urban families to enjoy traditional trick or treating in Little Italy’s business district. Business owners will be standing by to hand out candy and treats to trick or treaters. Don’t miss out on this fun 13th annual tradition.
When: Oct 25, 2019 – 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Where: Piazza della Famiglia and participating businesses along India Street 523 W Date St San Diego, CA
Balboa Park Halloween Family Day
Flock to Balboa Park with your family for the region’s largest Halloween carnival for the 11th year in a row. The event features Halloween activities like free craft projects, costume contests, parades, carnival games, live entertainment, and food trucks. Some of the museums will also offer free admission to children under 12 years old accompanied by a paying adult.
When: Oct 26, 2019- 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM – All activities 11am to 4pm
Where: Balboa Park House of Hospitality San Diego, CA
Halloween at the Station
Point Loma residents can visit Liberty Station to celebrate Halloween with fun community games, daytime trick or treating throughout the district at different businesses, live entertainment, music, arts and crafts, an inflatable course, a Hollywood car show and much more. This is the perfect event to bring your whole family to for a day of fun.
When: Oct 27, 2019 – 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Where: North Promenade – 2848 Dewey Road San Diego, CA
Waterfront Pumpkin Patch
Head to San Diego’s scenic Waterfront Park to take in gorgeous views of the San Diego Bay while picking out the perfect pumpkin to carve. The event will also feature crafts tables, inflatable toys and much more.
When: Oct 27, 2019 – 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Where: Waterfront Park 1600 Pacific Highway San Diego, CA
Contact Shirley Smith, REALTOR
Now that you know exactly what you’re going to do to celebrate the Halloween season in San Diego, it’s time to start thinking of where you want to live. Whether you are in the market to buy or sell a home, I’m here to help. Please contact me to see how I can help you sell your home for top dollar, or buy the home of your dream in San Diego’s competitive market.
Although summer is still in full swing, it’s never too early to start planning one of the best times of the year. The tourists are gone and we can finally enjoy empty beaches and tourist attractions once again. Although fall foliage isn’t at its peak in San Diego until November, there are still plenty of fun ways to kick off the fall season. Discover the top 6 ways to spend fall in San Diego below.
1. Pick Apples in Julian
Visiting Julian is the perfect day trip to make this fall. Driving through the mountains is one of the best ways to enjoy San Diego’s fall foliage and escape from city life. Once you reach Julian, you will find several different apple orchards to choose from. Make sure to research ahead of time if your go-to orchard has apples that are ready to pick. September is the prime of apple season so make sure you make the trek to Julian sooner than later. Spend the day picking apples with your family and then head over to the town center to enjoy a fresh slice of apple pie and other homemade treats. Picking apples in Julian is a fun way to kick-start your fall this year.
2. Visit a Local Pumpkin Patch
Late September is the start of spooky season and also the opening of several local pumpkin patches in San Diego. Visit one of your favorite pumpkin patches to take family photos and to pick out the biggest pumpkin you’ve ever seen. Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center is the perfect place to visit this fall. They have everything from pumpkin patches, hayrides, a petting zoo, general store and straw maze to food trucks and events throughout October.
3. Enjoy a Local Oktoberfest Celebration
Celebrate Germany’s favorite holiday in San Diego without the long flight. With several celebrations throughout the county, you can enjoy delicious German beer, pretzels, bratwurst and other fun German traditions originating from a 150-year tradition in Munich.
4. Take a Hike
With cooler weather finally on its way, fall is the perfect time to break into hiking season. Fortunately, San Diego has a plethora of hikes to choose from. Browse the All Trails app to find your next favorite hike. To see beautiful fall foliage on your hike, make your way up to Mount Laguna, Lake Cuyamaca, Ramona, or Palomar Mountain for a real fall hiking experience.
5. Take Advantage of Kids Free October
Whether you have your own kids or a kid in your life you love to treat, San Diego has tons of offers around the county that gives kids free admission! The San Diego Zoo is just one of the places that offer free child admission all month long. You can also take advantage of discounts and free admission to places like SeaWorld San Diego, LEGOLAND California, Birch Aquarium, Maritime Museum, and the USS Midway. What a great month to be a kid!
6. Haunted Houses and Attractions in San Diego
San Diego is also home to plenty of haunted attractions. If you want to celebrate the spooky season right, head to the Haunted Hotel, Haunted Trails in Balboa Park, and the Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. You can also visit Scotty’s Scare Trail at an abandoned amusement park, Whaley House Museum, SeaWorld, and LEGOLAND for Halloween celebrations.
Don’t Forget to Fall Back
Before you get too wrapped up in all of the festive fall fun, don’t forget to set your clocks back on November 3, 2019.
Love Fall in San Diego? Let Me Find You The Perfect Home
Fall is the perfect time to sell or buy your home. Not to mention, if you love fall in San Diego, you’ll want to buy a home so you can live here for life. With my proven marketing strategy, I can help you sell your home for top dollar in record time. If you’re in the market to buy, I’ve got the negotiation skills you need in our competitive housing market.