November 24th, 2009

Our Friend TPREG Grows a Moustache!

Prostate Cancer Foundation LogoDid you know that you can grow a moustache, as well as help raise awareness and funds to fight male cancer, at the same time? Follow the footsteps of a man named Jay Thompson who is doing exactly that.

November also happens to be the month of “Movember”. That’s right. Every year, awareness and funds are raised during this month for male health through a worldwide moustache-growing charity event to fight depression and prostate cancer in men. Now on its 6th year, the “mo” is being embraced once again.

In case you didn’t know, prostate cancer can strike 1 out of 6 men within their lifetimes, while testicular cancer happens to be the most common cancer that afflicts men aged 18 and up – definitely something you should think about.

Whether you’re a man who values his goods (what man doesn’t?) and understands how much other men value theirs, or a woman who appreciates movember and would like to support the same efforts, you can bring the look back and have some fun for two serious causes.

Even if Movember hasn’t been formally launched in your particular country, you can still help raise money and register at any of their charity partners through the internet. All of the funds raised are going to go to Livestrong (remember their bracelets?) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Any donations would be appreciated. So why not skip the barber and grow all of your hair out this month to donate your money for a good cause? A lot of men will be eternally grateful.

November 17th, 2009

New Downtown Chargers Stadium?

phillip rivers san diego chargersWhen I heard that Mayor Jerry Sanders and Chargers President Dean Spanos were in serious talks about the possibility of a new stadium located in downtown San Diego, I was THRILLED by the prospect. No offense to the city of Escondido who have been courting the Chargers to move their team there for a quite few years now. It’s just that the Chargers are not Escondido or Chula Vista, and most certainly, not Los Angeles. They are San Diego!

For anyone who has been to Qualcomm Stadium, you fall in to one of two categories:  One type of person believes Qualcomm is an ill-designed cracking slab of concrete with narrow walkways and a cold, uninviting aura. The other type of person is one who has never been to another NFL Stadium to see just how big of a difference a nice stadium can be.  In fact, as far as I’m concerned, Qualcomm and Candlestick in San Francisco are on par with one another and both should be torn down. The Spanos know this and understand this, which is why they want to build a new stadium. But the fact that the city and its taxpayers don’t want to help pay for a new stadium, is the biggest hurdle the Chargers face.

Just because the taxpayers don’t want to help out however, does not mean they are not supportive of Mayor Sanders who is working with Dean Spanos to figure out where the money to build a new stadium can come from. According to Matthew T. Hall of the Union Tribune, one financing option that is being thrown around could come from “selling or developing the city-owned 166-acre Qualcomm Stadium site, which the team would leave vacant.” This is an option where the city can help out without a tax hike. It also brings to light the fact that Qualcomm’s site is HUGE and the proposed site downtown would be much smaller.

The downtown site would be 15 acres directly next to Petco Park that currently includes the city-owned Tailgate Park, the Wonderbread Building, and the bus yard for the San Diego Transit Corp. The beauty of this site, is that the infrastructure is all in place thanks to Petco Park. There’s parking, public transportation set up, and a slew of bars and restaurants in the area that make a killing on game days.  In addition, Hall reports that Charger’s special counsel Mark Fabiani says the downtown stadium makes financial sense “because infrastructure improvements to accommodate a stadium of up to $1 billion elsewhere could cost $200 million, but they are a fraction of that downtown”.

Of course there are naysayers who don’t want to see a stadium go up downtown. Business owners that would have to move, nearby residents who don’t want a huge construction project going on in their neighborhood or the influx of crowds that would be present on game-days.  But I am not going to address such people or such issues, for this is an unapologetically biased blog in favor of a downtown stadium.

Yes, there are hurdles to overcome before this dream can become a reality, mostly of the financial kind. But the city needs this. It needs something it can rally around. Something to be proud of besides the weather, and a beautiful new stadium in the city’s up and coming downtown is just what the doctor ordered.  And can you imagine how much money a Super Bowl hosted downtown would bring into the city?  But all the benefits of a new stadium are light years away. At this point it’s just good to see that San Diego is once again the front-runner for the new home of the San Diego Chargers.

November 12th, 2009

Realtors Conference & Expo 2009

realtor conference & expo 2009Let’s face it: real estate has been hard this year and because of this, the 2009 Realtors Conference & Expo should be a must-visit, if you are a realtor in the United States of America. No time would be better than now to invest in networking and education for your personal business and you can do so this weekend in San Diego.

From November 13 to 16, the National Association of Realtors will hold the 2009 Realtors Conference & Expo in San Diego, so get ready for the latest upturn in the industry and think about taking part today. This year’s main sessions include:

– One hour with the commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, David Stevens, who will talk about today’s primary issues such as appraisals, condominium rules, loan limits, and solutions for the insurance fund of the FHA.

– Testing your presence on-camera with the host of HGTV’s Real Estate Intervention, Sabrina Soto, through an interactively simulated home walk-through. Plus, she will share tactics that can be put to use in your personal marketing plan.

– A political and legislative forum by political insiders Bill Press and Michael Murphy, who will talk about the ever-evolving political landscape, as well as how this will impact the races of the House and Senate from their very own perspectives.

Plus, you’ll even get the chance to meet William Shatner on Saturday, November 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. If you happen to be a realtor who is also an avid fan of Boston Legal or Star Trek, you will not want to miss out on this opportunity to get his autograph or pose for a photo with him, would you?

Besides, San Diego in itself is worth the time to visit. If you miss the summer weather or simply need to take a break from everyday life, San Diego would be the perfect place to kick back and relax, with November being the city’s sunniest month of the year.

If you’re worried about shelling out too much cash and your budget is quite tight at the moment, here are some ways you can save money on your trip to the conference:

1. Opt for registrations that will fit your personal schedule and needs. Passes for the expo itself are $25, while passes for one whole day are going for $130 and passes for the entire conference are $330.

2. Room with somebody. (There are several low rates still available if you book now.)

3. Take the shuttle. To get to the Convention Center itself, there are complimentary shuttles from various hotels and you can even get a cheap airport shuttle from the National Association of Realtors.

San Diego meetings are always something worthwhile. Recently coined as the country’s top meetings and conventions destination, visitors enjoy exploring this urban playground. Not only will you be surrounded by fun and the sun, but there are tons of attractions that you will love in San Diego, as well. Trust me.

November 11th, 2009

We say thank you!

remember our VeteransI would like to thank all of the Military men and woman who are serving and who have served our country. It’s hard for someone like me to understand the sacrifice they have made. I am a younger individual (29 years old) who has never had to live in an era with a draft. We have had the benefit of living our life without having to think about being drafted or going to war. It wasn’t very long ago when you may have been called upon and it was expected for you to go fight for your country.

I didn’t grow up in a Military family or have anyone in my immediate family who was an active Military member. I don’t know what it feels like to have a loved one deployed for 6-12 months at a time or know what it’s like to lose an immediate family member. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be.

I don’t think enough of our younger generation realizes the sacrifice our Military and Veterans have made to allow us the freedom to do many of the things we take for granite. Today is a day to thank all of our Military men and woman. I wish you all the best and can’t tell you how much we appreciate your service.

Everyone in my family and here at Team Aguilar would like to extend our thanks and appreciation for all that you have done.

November 10th, 2009

San Diego Real Estate Outlook 2010

the glass is half fullAccording to Sign On San Diego’s Roger Showley, the Urban Land Institute released its “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2010” report last week.  On the report’s 9-point scale, San Diego’s real estate market is predicted to improve to 5, a whopping one tenth of a point above 2009’s ranking. What does this mean? Not much really, but it does mean that things certainly are not getting worse.

As we all know, San Diego’s residential sector took an enormous hit dropping from a median home price of $517,500 in 2005, to a much more realistic $325,000. An now, with the residential market coming around, so too will other real estate sectors. Showley reports that Jonathan Miller, a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, who wrote the “Emerging Trends” report said “San Diego is improving because its housing market, having declined earlier than markets in most places, has “stabilized” and is thus setting the stage for nonresidential properties to recover.” “Setting the stage” doesn’t mean nonresidential properties WILL recover in 2010, but I don’t think anyone is going to complain about a stabilizing market that brings with it the hope of once again having flourishing real estate market, even if it is still a ways off.

What else did the reports say?

“For 2010, the market is a pure hold’ meaning investors should retain their properties and not rush to buy or sell.”

“Shopping center owners should ‘hang on for dear life’ as retailers struggle with falling sales and many vacate their premises.”

“Office-building landlords should expect a game of ‘tenant musical chairs’ as lessees seek the best deals.”

“Hotels can’t get any worse but will ‘lead the commercial real estate industry in recovery’ as the economy improves.”

As for San Diego, even a miniscule glint of improvement on the real estate front is a sign of hope. Jonathon Miller adds, “the point is San Diego, unlike some other markets, has taken a tough hit here, but it appears to be stabilizing, and that’s better than other markets around the country.”  It’s funny to think that just a few years ago “appreciation” was the word that was being used. Appreciation was expected and relied upon, and taken for granted. And now, with our heads in our hands and hopefully a little wiser, appreciation is a distant memory. Now, the word “Stabilizing” holds a similar connotation that “appreciation” once had.

November 5th, 2009

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Update

If you missed your chance to reap the benefits of the first-time homebuyer tax credit this past year, you will get one more shot.  The Senate passed a bill on Thursday 98 to 0 that will extend the original first time homebuyer tax credit for another seven months and expand the bill to benefit some current homeowners looking to buy a new home. The bill should reach the House floor by next Thursday and then require the signature of the President.

So what does this new bill consist of? Well, for starters, contrary to many of the proposed bills, this bill does not increase the amount of tax credit. It remains $8000 for first time homebuyers. However this time around, if you are currently a homeowner that has owned your home for at least five consecutive years, you are eligible to receive a $6500 tax credit if you buy a new primary home. In other words, if you are buying a 2nd home you will not get a tax credit, but if you looking to move and buy a new primary residence, you might be eligible.

Who is eligible? Obviously first time homebuyers, and as previously mentioned, folks that have owned a home for at least five consecutive years. But the bill limits the purchase price of the home to $800,000 and there are income caps, which disqualify any individual who makes more that $125,000 annually and couples who make more than $225,000. In addition, this tax credit offer won’t last as long the second time around. One must sign a contract by April 30 2010, and close on the home by June 30th to qualify. And if you think they will probably end up extending the offer even further, think again.

According to Dina ElBoghdady of the Washington Post reported that Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), “a longtime advocate of the tax credit, praised passage of the bill in his chamber but said the extension would be the last one. “Tax credits like this only work by creating the sense of urgency to take advantage of them”.  So if you are considering buying a home and are eligible for the tax credit, you better get a move on.

But will this extension of the tax credit really stimulate more home sales? Stephen Ohlemacher of the Associated Press reported that there are those like Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) who question its effectiveness. “For the vast majority of cases, the homebuyer tax credit amounted to a free gift since it did not affect their decision to purchase a home,” Bond said. “And for the small minority of buyers whose decision was directly caused by the credit, this raises the question of whether we are subsidizing buyers who may not have been able to afford buying a home in the first place”.  Though there may be plenty of truth to that statement, it seems that at this point there is nothing else that can be done to at least try and stimulate home buying. And the 98-0 vote in favor of the bill confirms that our Senators don’t think there is anything else that can be done either.

Team Aguilar Offers Real Estate Services in San Diego and Imperial County California