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9 Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home at the Same Time

Selling your home when you still need to shop for a new one can feel daunting to even the most seasoned homeowner––especially when the demand for new homes keeps rising, but the supply feels like it’s dwindling. You’re not alone either if you’re already feeling drained by the complex logistics of trying to sell and buy a new home all at once.

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How Much Mortgage Can You Afford?


Are you thinking about buying a home but don’t know how much you should spend? In this video, I’m going to walk you through how to determine a monthly housing payment you’re comfortable with. By breaking down the costs of homeownership, you’ll be able to make the best decision that will be right for you.

Your Monthly Housing Costs

Buying a house can be an emotional decision, and sometimes emotional decisions can be bad ones. If you’re thinking about buying a home soon, the first and most important point to consider is how much you are willing to spend.

The first place we need to start is to break down all the monthly costs associated with homeownership. In addition to your mortgage payment, there are other costs of owning a home every month. You need to find out what your cap of expenses is that you’re willing to pay every month to own a home.

One way to do this is by reverse engineering. This is the word that I like to talk about with my lender all the time. We want to figure out how much you’re willing to spend each month so we can reverse engineer a purchase price.

Mortgage Payment And Taxes

If you’re obtaining a loan to purchase your home, there are going to be two major components of that payment. First, you’re going to have your principal payment plus your interest. This is going to be a fixed amount every month for you. A portion of that fixed amount is going to be applied to your principal, and the other fixed part of that will be applied to your interest. Your mortgage payment will never change, but certain other variables will depending on the property. Every property is going to have a tax bill, and every tax bill is going to be different.

The reason they’re different is that properties are assessed taxes at the time of sale based on the price. That’s why you’re going to see varying property tax amounts as you’re looking around—even within the same neighborhood—because it’s all based on time of purchase at the price of purchase.

To give yourself a pretty clever estimate of what your annual property taxes would be in San Diego County, you can use a simple equation. Take your purchase price, multiply it by 1.25%, and that’s going to give you your annual property tax. Divide that by 12, and that’ll be your monthly taxes. If you purchase a home for $700,000, your property taxes are going to be roughly $8,750 per year. Divided out into a monthly payment, and that would be $729 a month. Pretty good fast math, huh?

Homeowner’s Association Fees

One of the other things you’re going to need to take into consideration when buying a home in San Diego County is HOAs. If you are living in a condo, almost assuredly you have a Homeowners Association fee every month. Additionally, single-family homes are often built in PUDs, or Planned Urban Developments. These also have a monthly fee.

Your homeowner association fees are used for trash, water, sewage, termite protection, and general building and grounds maintenance. If you have common area facilities like a barbecue area, swimming pool, jacuzzi, a training room, or manned security from dusk till dawn, those are what your HOA fees cover.

Private Mortgage Insurance

Another expense you might incur related to getting a loan is PMI, or private mortgage insurance. If you’re using a loan to purchase the property, this is something a lender might tack onto your loan if you don’t put at least 20% down. They think that, if you don’t put at least 20% of your own money into the loan, it’s riskier.

Once you get 20% equity, you can have your PMI removed. You need to be on top of that; when you know that your home has 20% equity, you want to call your lender and ask to have it taken off your loan. This way, you’ll save more money every month.

This is also something that you want to talk with your lender about when you’re getting pre-approved upfront so there are no surprises. You can calculate PMI into your mortgage payment to make sure you’re comfortable with your monthly housing expenses.

Searching Within Your Budget

Before you start looking at properties, we have to take into consideration your budget. Then, we have to set up a search that stays within those parameters. This will allow us to look at the right properties for you and your budget.

The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a property that’s way over your budget. I’ve been there before and trust me—it’s not what you want to do. We want to do all that homework upfront to make sure we’re looking at things that you can afford. We don’t want you to fall in love with that three-million-dollar house. I guarantee you’ll love it, but you won’t love the payment.

I hope this helped you identify the various costs of owning a home to help you get better prepared for the process. If there’s anything that I can do to help, please give me a call at (619) 925-2322. I look forward to hearing from you.

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How To Decide Where To Live In San Diego

Are you thinking of moving but are having trouble figuring out where you want to go? In this video, I’m going to walk you through where, when, why, and what you should buy when looking for a new home. I’ll help you narrow down your options by considering the three most important things to consider when deciding where to live: price, location, and amenities.

Sorting Out Your Needs And Wants

One of the hardest things about moving is figuring out where you want to live. There are so many things to consider, and the process can be overwhelming. Do you need to be near work? Are you looking for a place with the right schools for your kids? Or are you just trying to figure out where in San Diego you can get the biggest bang for your buck? Out of all these questions, trying to decide where to live can be difficult

Buying a new home is like a process of elimination. It’s figuring out your needs versus your wants to decide which way you should go. Are your needs more important or are your wants more important? Do you want that affordable monthly payment or breathtaking view? To narrow it down, we’ll consider the three most important things when it comes to choosing what to buy.

#1: Your total monthly payment. The first thing—and maybe the most important thing—is what your total monthly payment will be. This includes everything associated with the cost of the house, like your principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

Are there any homeowners association fees? Are there any Mello-Roos fees or other special tax bonds? What are those fees altogether calculated out into a monthly expense? What is that number for you? Where do we need to cap that so that you’re happy? These are all important questions to consider.

#2: Location. The second thing to consider is how important location is to you. Do you need to be really close to work? Do you need to be really close to your kid’s school? Do you need to be within walking distance of grocery stores, the park, bars, or restaurants? Or, is it okay if those things are further away and you don’t mind driving? Do you need to be close to the ocean? Are you a surfer, bro? Do you need to catch some waves in the morning? These can all be deciding factors.

#3: The features of your home. The third thing to consider is what features a home needs to have for you to move forward with it. In other words, does your new home have to have four bedrooms and three bathrooms? Could you settle for less? Do you have to have new construction because you cannot stand the idea of replacing anything? You may want a home to be turnkey and move-in ready. Some people just don’t like shag carpet.

Searching Within Your Budget

The first and most important thing you need to realize is that no one gets everything. You just don’t. It doesn’t matter what your price point is; you’re always going to have to compromise on one of those things. Location, price, and amenities always need to be considered and ranked in their priority order for you.

For example, what if you found a great home with the price that suits you in the neighborhood you want—but the interior needs updating? Or what if you went $20,000 over budget, but you got the house of your dreams in the place that you want and with all your amenities? What if your house came $50,000 under your budget, but you had to sacrifice location?

For most people, the most important factor is going to be price—unless you won the lottery or somebody left you a ton of money and budget is not a factor. If that’s the case, we can go ahead and cross price right off the map. Usually, though, price is the first thing that we have to consider. Once we figure out what your budget is, that will automatically help us with geography. Certain neighborhoods are just going to be exed out because they’re not going to fall within that budget. Conversely, there are going to be a lot of neighborhoods that’ll be put into your search parameters because they’ll fit within your price range.

Amenities And Location

Once we have your budget nailed down, we have to consider amenities and location. It’s up to you to decide what’s most important. Is it the location or is it the amenities that the property is giving to you? For example, if you know you need a fourth bedroom and we’ve already nailed down your budget and monthly payment, that’s going to narrow down the neighborhoods that we can look in for you. It will make your search much easier.

On the other hand, if the location is more important and you are willing to sacrifice some amenities, then we can go ahead and zero in on the location first. For example, maybe you thought you needed a four-bedroom house at first. Now you realize that location is more important, and a two- or three-bedroom will do. That’s going to make our search much easier.

A Process Of Elimination

A good real estate agent is going to help you determine what’s important to you, but fair warning: you may end up with something that was the complete opposite of what you thought you wanted. Sometimes, these things change. In fact, they almost always do.

Finding a new home is really just a process of elimination. The sooner you realize what your needs are, the easier it will become. I hope this helped you understand the most important factors to consider when finding a new home. If you have any questions about buying a house or home here in San Diego, please give me a call. I would love to talk to you and help you narrow down your home search!

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Exploring The Diverse Community Of Logan Heights

Are you looking to live in a vibrant San Diego neighborhood with great amenities and community pride? In this episode of Live, Laugh & Learn with Chris, I’m going to give you a tour of the historic and vibrant Logan Heights neighborhood. We’ll chat with my friend Danielle Berkeley to learn about the top 3 things that you can’t miss if you call Logan Heights home.

Fun Things To Do And See In Logan Heights

Logan Heights is a great community that has a lot of pride. One of the reasons is because it’s one of the oldest communities and most ethnically diverse. There is no shortage of art here displaying the love and pride of their community.

One of the essential things you’ll want to check out in Logan Heights is Chicano Park. Over the 20 years that Danielle has lived in the area, this park has changed dramatically. It’s a beautiful site, offering residents a place to walk and explore. You can walk down Logan Avenue, explore the local shops and get some spring bling. Main Street includes many old warehouses that are awesome to look at.

As a diverse neighborhood, Logan Heights offers a variety of great options for eating and drinking. For example, Thorn Brewing is a great local brewery that offers a tasting room to enjoy their craft beer. Another option is Ciccia Osteria, a great little Italian restaurant on Logan Avenue. And of course, Tacos El Gordo is a delicious option for authentic Mexican food.

Make This Diverse Neighborhood Your Home

As you can see, there are some exciting things to see, do, eat and drink here in this awesome neighborhood of Logan Heights. If this seems like the right community for you, I want to give you a heads-up. In a very short time, I’m going to have a great new listing available here in Logan Heights. It’s going to be a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, single-family home with an auxiliary dwelling unit as well.

So, if you don’t want to miss out on this exciting opportunity at a great value, I’d be happy to provide you with more information. If you want to see it, please give me a shout at 619-925-2322. Stay tuned to the next episode of Live, Laugh & Learn with Chris to see what neighborhood we feature next!

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More Client Testimonials

Are you a long-time renter or current homeowner that’s ready to make a change and buy or sell a home? In this video I share more testimonials of past clients that achieved their real estate goals and moved on to their next chapter. We’ll hear about a variety of situations, wants, and needs and discover how I was able to assist my clients to get the results they wanted.

Making A Change

Many of my clients come to me as renters, many from San Diego along with those looking to move to our beautiful area. They often come to me ready to make a change and wanting to take the leap into homeownership. One of the driving forces is that they could be paying into their own equity instead of someone else’s.

Chiro and Peggy, for example, were renters that began to feel like they were throwing their money away into a black hole—never to be seen again. After living in their apartment for 4 years, they decided to seek out my help to get into their own home. They’re now happy homeowners with a space of their own.

Other clients, such as Jennifer, dream of moving to our fair city from other areas. While it can be a challenge to find a property with all their wants (such as space to breathe or the amenities of a condo), I love helping clients get into the exact home that fits their goals.

Working With Me

Because I pride myself on easy communication, I love to hear that my clients feel comfortable and reassured during our early meetings. My knowledge of the real estate industry is what I use to help guide their journey, whether they’re looking to buy or sell. I also have many friends and colleagues to connect clients with to help along the way.

Whether you’re in a rush to sell or are facing a difficult financial situation, I can find a way to help. Phil, for example, was behind on payments and facing foreclosure. I was able to connect with an investor, put thousands into a remodel, and get Phil’s property sold in record time for $755,000. Finding solutions to a variety of problems is part of my job, and I was thrilled to help Phil get out of a difficult situation.

When you work with me, I’ll go over every detail and take as much time as is needed to make sure you’re informed. As my client, you’re my priority, and I want to be accessible to you. I’ll bring my energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge to each situation so that you feel comfortable and taken care of. In addition to crossing all my T’s and dotting my i’s, I’ll always be honest with you while treating you with kindness.

I’m Here To Help

I hope these testimonials have helped you to see what it’s like to work with me as your Realtor. Whether you’re a renter looking to buy or a homeowner looking to sell, I’ll always do my best to help you navigate your particular situation.

If you’d like more information about the buying and selling process or are ready to make a change, please reach out to me and I’d love to connect with you. Don’t forget to also subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of my show. Stay tuned to see what real estate tips and San Diego spotlights I feature next!

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Understanding The Home Buying Process

Have you decided to buy a new home here in San Diego County and want to know what your next steps are? In this video, I’m going to walk you step-by-step through the process of buying a home in San Diego County. I’ll explain everything from finances to paperwork so you’ll know exactly what to expect.

Choosing The Right Agent

The most important part of the home buying process is preparation. This is because homes here in San Diego go fast, fast, fast. The very first thing you need to do is pick a great real estate agent. The reason why over 87% of all homebuyers in San Diego are represented by realtors is that number one, there’s no out of pocket expense, and number two, they keep you out of trouble.

How do they keep you out of trouble? Well, they’re going to answer important questions for you. Are you really making a good move? Have you considered all aspects of the inspection? Do you understand how the home buying process works? It’s your agent’s job to make sure you choose the best home for you. I don’t care where you buy, I care what you buy. If you’re happy with it and it’s a great investment for you, then I’m happy too.

Finding A Lender And Looking At Properties

After you get a good agent, it’s time to get a great lender. How you finance your home is extremely important—which is why you want to start working on that preapproval process with that great lender right away. Depending on the loan product that is right for you, we need to figure out what your down payment is going to be so that we can make sure we’re looking at the right things for you.

Now that you’ve got your financial ducks in a row, the fun part can begin. This is where we go and look at properties. It could take as little as one time, or it could take a year or more. It depends on you and your timeframe. Remember that when you’re buying a home, you’re not just buying a home. You’re also buying into the community as well. You want to make sure that that community serves your needs. Is it close enough to work for you? If you have kids, is it close enough to their school? Is it in the right school district that you want for them?

What about the actual house that you’re looking for? Does your budget match your realistic expectations? Once you find that home that speaks to you and that you love, it’s time to move on to the next step: submitting an offer.

Negotiations And Escrow

It’s your agent’s job to handle all the negotiations for you and get your offer accepted. Once you get your offer accepted, now we enter stage five, which is escrow. Now the real work begins. This is the part of the process where you are under contract but you don’t yet own the property.

Escrow is the time where we do all of our due diligence, like home inspections, title searches, the appraisal, and more. This is also when your loan application can be finalized since the last piece that they’re waiting for is your executed purchase contract. Once they have that, they go to town on doing their appraisal and working with the title company to make sure that they have a clear title.

The average time that an escrow takes from an accepted offer to closing in San Diego County is between 21 and 30 days. Just before the end—usually five days or so before the close of escrow—we’re going to schedule our final walkthrough. This is to establish that the property is in substantially the same condition as it was when you agreed to buy the home. It’s not a condition of the close of sale. The condition, rather, was the request for repairs, binding the seller to do anything that you agreed to.

This is just to make sure that everything has been done. If it hasn’t, it gives the seller a heads up to make sure that it gets done.

Closing On Your New Home

Once we finish our final walkthrough, we’re going to be in our last step: closing. That’s when you’re going to hear from the escrow or title company, and they’re going to arrange a time and place for you to sign your loan documents. The title company will take that title or send it electronically to the County Recorder’s Office. We’ll get an email confirmation that says, “You have confirmation and recording.” That’s when you officially own your home!

I hope this gave you a good idea of the steps that it takes to buy a home here in San Diego County. If you have any questions at all, or are excited to jump into this awesome pool of buying a home here in San Diego, please give me a call at (619) 925-2322. You can also text or email me and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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How to Bridge the Appraisal Gap in Today’s Real Estate Market

If you’re searching for drama, don’t limit yourself to Netflix. Instead, tune in to the real estate market, where the competition amongst buyers has never been fiercer. And with homes selling for record highs,[1] the appraisal process is receiving more attention than ever. That’s because, in a rapidly appreciating market, a property is more likely to appraise below the sales price—which can lead to major repercussions for both buyers and sellers.

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Why Work With Me: Client Testimonials

Are you thinking of buying or selling a house here in San Diego and want to work with a realtor? In this video, I’m going to share some client testimonials so you can hear first-hand what working with me is like. We’ll learn how my past clients were able to overcome the challenges of the housing market and successfully buy and sell properties here in sunny San Diego.

Helping You Sell

One of the most important aspects of my business is referrals. When past clients recommend me to their friends, I’m proud to come in with my knowledge and expertise to get them started in the process. Regardless of whether you’re looking to buy or sell, I strive for attention to detail. My goal is to ensure that your house shows well, impresses buyers, and sells as quickly as possible so you can move forward with your journey.

Real estate decisions are one of the biggest you’ll make in your life. It’s natural to have high expectations. Rather than convince you to lower your standards, I strive to meet you where you are and do my best to get you where you want to go.

One of the ways I do this is with a creative, strategic marketing plan that isn’t underhanded or dishonest. Rather, it’s based on my extensive knowledge of the market and what buyers are looking for here in San Diego. The best outcome when selling is to get you multiple offers so you end up with a sale price you’re happy with.

Finding The Right Home For You

When buying, my clients come from all walks of life and are dealing with varying circumstances. Many who move to San Diego may be undergoing transitions in employment or family life, which can all create a measure of stress. I desire to help you find the right house that works best for you, not for my commission.

Helping clients through the financing process and getting to closing is my ultimate goal for you—and I’ve even made lasting friendships along the way. I love hosting client parties and calling clients on their birthdays to check in and see how everything is going. You see, being professional doesn’t have to mean not being a great friend to those I’ve helped get into the exact home they were looking for.

I’m Here To Help

I hope these testimonials have given you an idea of what you can expect when you work with me. I’ll always go above and beyond for my clients and use all of my resources to find them what they need. I’ll negotiate on your behalf and make sure your best interests are represented.

So if you’re ready to buy or sell, please reach out to me and I’d love to connect with you. You can also subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of my show, all about real estate and living in San Diego. See you next time!