Author Archive for Don Pelletier

Prices & Sales Continue Rising in 2016

Prices for single-family homes, while not quite reaching the highs set in 2005, ended the year with modest gains. The median prices for homes gained 5.4% compared to 2015. Making it the fifth year in a row of year-over-year gains.

The median price for condos/townhomes did reach all-time highs in 2016, gaining 8.3%.

Sales were up marginally in 2016. Single-family home sales rose 0.7% year-over-year. Condo/townhome sales were up 0.3%.


The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released the conforming loan limits change for 2017. This change resulted in higher loan limits beginning in January for many counties across the country.

The Federal Housing Administration is insuring loans for people looking to purchase a home or refinance a home with a little equity. The program insures loans up to the maximum loan limit in the county in which the property is located.

The maximum loan limit in San Diego County is rising to $612,950 for 2017. This represents a significant change for people looking to purchase a home who have good income, sufficient credit, and a healthy debt-to-income ratio who are otherwise tight on cash to close. This change represents bigger borrowing power in nearly every county across the United States.

To read the full report click:

So How Did We Do For Our Clients-Compared to Other MLS Agents?

Our Listings Sold within 24 Days, on average, compared to 48 Days for MLS Agents.

Our Listings Sold for 99.1% of Our Sellers Full Asking Price-Compared to 95% of List Price For MLS Agents.

Home Sellers That Hire The Don Pelletier Group Sell Their Homes in One-Half The Time-AND For 4% MORE MONEY, on Average!

The Agent You Select Makes ALL The Difference! Choose Your Agent Wisely!

When You Want Your Home Sold Fast-And For TOP Dollar-Call Don Pelletier.

We Are Now Accepting Listings For 2017!

Why Pay Someone Else’s Mortgage?!

Before you make another payment on your landlord’s mortgage, here are a few things you should know:

Many people who rent can actually afford to buy their own home, no matter what they may think about down payments and affordability. Stop making someone else wealthy! With a down payment of 2% or less, you could own a home!

CalHAFA – 1st Time Buyer Program
-Offers up to 7% (2nd and 3rd loans) to cover down payment and closing costs
-1st loan is 30 year fixed loan
-2nd and 3rd loans are repaid when the home is sold or refinanced – unless loan/home is kept for 30 years – then it is forgiven. 2nd and 3rd loans are “silent” and have no monthly payments
-Buyers can get in with little to no money into the transaction

GSFA – Home Buyer Assistance Program
-Offers up to 5% (2nd loan) to cover down payment and closing costs
-1st loan is 30 year fixed loan
-2nd loan does not have to be re-paid and is “silent” – no monthly payments are made on it -Buyers can get in with very little $ into the transaction – maybe 2% of the home’s price

We will consult with you on an individual basis to help you determine what you can afford. (And you won’t have to sit in a bank to do it).
We will explain the whole process and answer any questions that you have until you feel you are ready to take the next step.
Most importantly, if at anytime you choose not to proceed, just tell us. There will be no pressure to continue. We know that buying a home can be stressful, and it is our job to make it as easy and comfortable for you as possible!

DPG-Renters copy

February Calendar of Events

Want a printable calendar? Click here for the PDF

Circus Vargas presents Steam Cirque   Feb. 2-13 

Goggles, gears, and gadgets set the stage for 2017’s retro-futuristic production, Steam Cirque! Meet and mingle with the entire cast after each performance. Capture the fun by posing for pics or selfies with your favorite cast members, all part of an unforgettable Circus Vargas experience!

See website for schedule. / Mission Bay Park

(877) 468-3861 / 

The Crow Show   Feb. 3-26 

Explore the beauty and mystery of our winged neighbors in this 3rd Annual art exhibition celebrating the crow. The exhibition seeks to represent the many faces of the crow in folklore and reality. This is a free event.

6-9pm / The Studio Door, 3750 30th St., San Diego 

Love Your Wetlands Day  Feb. 4 

The Kendall-Frost/Northern Wildlife Reserve in the northeast corner of Mission Bay Park is the only remaining saltwater wetland in Mission Bay and is normally closed to the public due to its fragile nature. This annual event is one of the few opportunities for the public to actually visit the wetland.

9am-4pm / 2055 Pacific Beach Drive, San Diego 

San Diego Fermentation Festival  Feb. 4 

Celebrating Food, Culture, Knowledge, and Community. Features a Makers Marketplace showcasing the southern California bounty of artisanal foodmakers and brewers, an Ambrosia Garden (21+) featuring fermented adult beverages such as mead, beer, kombucha and wine, workshops and presentations, Wellness Pavilion with yoga classes, live music and entertainment.

10am-5pm / Waterfront Park San Diego: 1600 Pacific Highway

Come From Away Gala  Feb. 4 

This event will feature a cocktail reception with COME FROM AWAY creators David Hein and Irene Sankoff, as a celebration of Artistic Director Christopher Ashley’s 10th Anniversary at La Jolla Playhouse and the 70th Anniversary of the Playhouse’s founding, as well as a special concert performance of La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere musical with Broadway-bound cast!

5pm / La Jolla Playhouse: 2910 La Jolla Village Dr.

(858) 228-3089 / 

Mitchell Thorp Foundation 5K Walk/Run  Feb. 4 

Warrior Spirit 5K Run/Walk for children battling life-threatening illnesses. Warrior Team Trophy to the largest team, great prizes for top individual and team fund raiser, Best Warrior or Super Hero get up and more. Kids timed obstacle course.

8:30am-2pm / Poinsettia Park, Carlsbad 

St. Rose of Lima 5k  Feb. 4 

In the spirit of building community, nurturing family time, promoting good health and celebrating community.

8am-12pm / Rohr Park: 4548 Sweetwater Road, Bonita 

Lake Poway Youth Fishing Derby  Feb. 4 

Fishing, prizes, entertainment, games, casting contest, a free barbecue lunch and more! Freshly stocked with 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout, the lake will be open only to ages 15 and younger.

6am-12pm / Lake Poway

(858) 668-4772 / 

San Diego Miniatures Show & Sale  Feb. 4-5 

Exhibits, sales and classes designed for crafters, artists and collectors of dollhouse size miniatures. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced miniaturist, you’re sure to find something that suits your fancy with our two floors of quarter, half-inch and one-inch scale miniatures.

Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm / Al Bahr Shrine Center: 5440 Kearny Mesa, San Diego 

Super Bowl LI Sunday  Feb. 5

Watch the SuperBowl game Sunday February 5. Game is played this year in Houston, Texas. Even if you don’t like football, the commercials are worth it.

5:30pm / FOX

Cardiff Kook 5K/10K Run  Feb. 5 

The scenic loop starts and finishes under the famous “Encinitas” sign, passes by the Cardiff Kook statue on Coast HWY 101, rises above some of the most popular surf breaks in San Diego and then make its way down to Cardiff State Beach.

7:30am / 505 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas

(760) 803-1797 /

El Cajon Citizen of the Year Luncheon  Feb. 7 

Please join us in this celebration of community service by making your nomination and honoring all those who serve our City.

12-2:30pm / Elks Lodge 1812: 1400 East Washington, El Cajon

(619) 440-6161 / 

San Diego Cactus and

Succulent Society Winter Show and Sale  Feb. 11 

Over 40 vendors from all over Southern Cal and Ariz, and show plants to wow you highlighting winter growers. Members may show early from 9 to 10 (memberships sold at the door for $15). Thousands attend so come early and bring some boxes for your purchases – we provide a limited amount.

10am-4pm / Casa del Prado, Balboa Park: Park Avenue

(619) 249-3032 /

San Diego Jewish Film Festival  Feb. 8-19

Be educated, illuminated, and entertained by an array of films that depict elements of the Jewish life, history, and culture in challenging, moving, and humorous ways. SDJFF will also feature guest actors, filmmakers, and scholars who will introduce their work in audience discussions and meet-and-greet events.

Refer to the website for times and location.

Cupid’s Carouse  Feb. 11 

Sample a large selection of champagnes, wines, beers and spirits, and pair many of these Valentine favorites with some tasty sweets. The event will also offer some amazing raffle and door prizes. All donations benefit the Hearts for San Diego nonprofit organization.

7-4pm / La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Dr., La Mesa

Succulent Society Winter Show and Sale  Feb. 11 

Over 40 vendors from all over Southern Cal and Ariz, and show plants to wow you highlighting winter growers. Members may show early from 9 to 10 (memberships sold at the door for $15). Thousands attend so come early and bring some boxes for your purchases – we provide a limited amount.

10am-4pm / Casa del Prado, Balboa Park: Park Avenue

(619) 249-3032 /

Mardi Gras Run  Feb. 11 

Start the party with a run along a scenic waterfront course to the tunes of a Jazz band. Then, indulge in all the festivities when you reach the finish line! The Mardi Gras Run is a party for all ages, filled with Jazz, carnival masks, New Orleans cuisine, and bright colors everywhere you look! Refer to website for registration.

7 am (Half Marathon), 7:05 am (10K), 7:15 am (5K)

1775 E. Mission Bay Dr., San Diego

Sandbag Give-A-Way Event  Feb. 11 

Residents must provide photo identification and show proof of residency. A water bill or electric bill is acceptable, which shows the customers address. 10 sandbags will be given for each address/property (while supply lasts). Residents must self-load and transport the sandbags.

8:30am-2pm / Public Works Facility: 160 Calle Magdalena, Encinitas

(760) 633-2600 / 

San Diego Chinese New Year  Feb. 11-12 

Join your friends and neighbors to welcome the Year of the Rooster! The fair will be filled with spectacular dance and cultural performances, as well as tantalizing street food that you might find at a lively Chinese night market. This is a free event.

Sat 10am-5pm / Third Ave. and J. St., San Diego

Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo  Feb. 11-12 

Sample and purchase hundreds of products, meet with local and national brands, receive coupons, and attend informative presentations by top-notch speakers. While all products at the Expo are gluten free, many are also free from the top 8 allergens. There is also a dedicated nut-free section.

Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 10am-3pm / Del Mar Fairgrounds 

Coronado Valentine’s Day 10K, 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run  Feb. 12 

In its 7th year, the event has earned a great reputation for its attention to detail, race management, and an awesome post-race party at Tidelands Park & McP’s.

Tidelands Park: 2000 Mullinex Drive

Valentines Day  Feb. 14

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

East County Honors Awards Gala  Feb. 16 

Honors businesses and individuals for their accomplishments and recognizes the tremendous and lasting impact they’ve made on our community. Serves as a fundraiser, raising money to fund community programs and services supported by the Chamber throughout the year.

6-9:30pm / MCAS Miramar Commissioned Officer’s Club: 4472 Anderson Ave., San Diego

(619) 440-6161 /

A Taste of Hope  Feb. 18

Join the Hope2gether Foundation for a fun and delicious evening at The Taste of Hope fundraising event! Enjoy local food, wine, and beer tastings, live music, and a silent auction. Proceeds from this event will go towards education and advocacy for reducing drug addiction and overdoses in San Diego County.

6-9:30pm / Del Mar Powerhouse Community Center

1658 Coast Blvd., Del Mar

5K Paw Walk in the Garden  Feb. 18 

The San Diego Botanic Garden is teaming up with the Rancho Coastal Humane Society for our fifth annual “5K Paw Walk in the Garden.” Both organizations will be benefiting from this event. Participants will follow a 5K walk through the 37-acre garden with their dog(s) in tow.

9am-1pm / San Diego Botanic Garden: 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas

(760) 436-3036 / 

Presidents Day  Feb. 20

East County Career Expo  Feb. 22 

Sponsored for Cuyamaca College and East County Career Center. OPEN TO ALL JOB SEEKERS!

9:30am-1:30pm / Cuyamaca College Student Center: 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, El Cajon

(619) 660-4695 / 

Salute to Local Heroes and Installation Dinner  Feb. 22 

Join us as we entertain you through this popular evening to celebrate our local heroes from the La Mesa Police Department, Fire Department, paramedics, and our Retired Volunteers of the La Mesa Police Department.

5-8:30pm / Town & Country Resort Hotel: 500 Hotel Circle N, San Diego

(619) 465-7700 /

Escondido State of the City Address  Feb. 22

Escondido’s Annual State of the City Address by Mayor Sam Abed.

7:30am / Conference Center of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido

(760) 839-4631 / 

Enlisted Recognition Reception  Feb. 23 

The Oceanside Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee created the Enlisted Recognition Program in 2001 as a way for the business community to recognize the excellence of the local enlisted personnel. This event is open to the public and will feature delicious hors d’oeuvres and an evening of celebration as we recognize Marines and Sailors who have been identified by their respective commands as top performers and contributors.

6-8pm / Veterans Association of North County (VANC): 1617 Mission Ave., Oceanside

(760) 722-1534 /

Go Red For Women Luncheon  Feb. 24 

The Go Red For Women Luncheon celebrates all the wonderful work the American Heart Association does to fight against heart disease and stroke.

10am / Fairmont Grand Del Mar: 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct., San Diego

City of Champions Celebration  Feb. 25 

The City of Chula Vista is joining together with Elite Athlete Services to celebrate the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center (CVTC) to celebrate the athletic, academic, arts and other accomplishments of people who live, work, play, study and excel in Chula Vista.

9am-2pm / Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center: 2800 Olympic Pkwy.

Tidepooling Adventure with Birch Aquarium  Feb. 26 

Learn how these amazing habitats and their inhabitants truly survive between a rock and a hard place. Trained naturalists will show you how to tread lightly during your visit and how to protect and preserve these natural wonders. Pre-registration is required.

2:30-4:30pm / False Point

(858) 534-7336 / 

VVBA Casino Night  Feb. 26 

The Vista Village Business Association presents Casino Night at the Movies: A red carpet event. Black Jack, Craps, Poker, Roulette, Silent Auction, Craft Beer & Wine. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Vista Art Foundation. $75.

6-9pm / Cinepolis: 25 Main Street, Vista

(760) 414-9391 / 

San Marcos State of the City Address  Feb. 28 

Mayor Jim Desmond’s annual State of the City Address is a focal point of the annual luncheon during which Mayor Desmond will detail City of San Marcos 2016 accomplishments and future goals for the City.

11am-1:30pm / California State University San Marcos

San Diego Mardi Gras  Feb. 28 

Celebrate with over 20,000 revelers at one of the biggest Mardi Gras parade festivals West of New Orleans! San Diego’s nationally recognized Mardi Gras celebration will bring over-the-top floats, live music, experiential entertainment, DJs, beads, and vivacious energy to San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. Be sure to catch the huge finale of the parade as the spectacular final float parks and becomes the roaring stage for the rest of the night. Refer to website for tickets.

5pm-Midnight / Fourth Ave. and E St., San Diego

Museum Month is all of February  Feb.1-28

Presented by Macy’s, San Diego Museum Month invites everyone to enjoy half-off entry fees at 40+ museums throughout the county for the all of February.


Presented by Macy’s, San Diego Museum Month invites everyone to enjoy half-off entry fees at 40+ museums throughout the county for the all of February.



Escondido – Welk: 3-7 pm


Coronado: 2:30–6 pm

Escondido: 2:30 – 6 pm

Mira Mesa: 2:30-7 pm

Otay Ranch: 4-7 pm

Pacific Beach: 2-7 pm

UCSD/La Jolla: 10-2 pm


Carlsbad: 3-7 pm

Encinitas: 4-7 pm

Mission Bay: 10 am – 2 pm

Ocean Beach: 4-7 pm

Santee 3-6 pm


Carmel Valley: 2:30-7 pm

Chula Vista: 3-6 pm

El Cajon : 3-6 pm

Fallbrook: 4:30 – 8 pm

Linda Vista: 3-7 pm

North Park: 3-7 pm

Oceanside CFM : 9 am – 1 pm

Oceanside Sunset: 5-9 pm

UC– Doyle Elementary: 3-7 pm

Valley Center 3-7 pm


Imperial Beach: 12-6 pm

Kearny Mesa: 11 am -1:30 pm

La Mesa: 1-5 pm

Rancho Bernardo: 9 am -1 pm


City Heights: 9-1 pm

Del Mar: 1-4 pm

Escondido: 10 am – 2 pm

Golden Hill: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Little Italy: 8 am – 2 pm

Pacific Beach: 8 am – noon

Poway: 8 am – 1 pm

Rancho PQ 10 am – 1 pm

Ramona: 9 am – 1 pm

Scripps Ranch: 9 am – 1 pm

Vista: 8 am – 1 pm


Sikes Adobe: 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

Gaslamp District: 9 am –2 pm

Hillcrest: 9 am – 2 pm

Julian: 11 am – 4 pm

La Jolla: 9 am – 1 pm

Leucadia/Encinitas: 10 am – 2 pm

Point Loma: 9:30 am – 2:30 pm

Rancho Santa Fe: 9:30 am – 2 pm

San Marcos: 11 am – 3 pm

Solana Beach: 1 – 5 pm

For more info and location specifics for San Diego Farmers Markets visit:

Want a printable calendar? Click here for the PDF

Industry Expert: The Only Thing to Fear in 2017 is Fear Itself

Housing market functioning at pre-crisis norms

The housing market is improving and in some areas, even back to pre-crisis levels. Now, one expert explains that the only thing to fear in 2017’s housing market is, well, fear itself.

During the past few weeks, the housing market saw an increase in existing home sales at the highest pace since 2007, a decrease in foreclosures and yet more jobs added in an already-full jobs market.

Because of these numbers, one expert, OwnAmerica CEO Greg Rand, explained that there is nothing to fear headed into 2017. The exception, he stated, was that the change in administration is causing some consumers to hold off on making decisions related to home ownership, purchasing and investing.

“I’d have to say that disruption from Washington is the only thing that I could see on the horizon,” Rand said in an interview with HousingWire.

Rand also mentioned the Home Price Perception Index from Quicken Loans, which showed a gap of 1.33% between homeowner’s estimates of their home value and the appraised price. According to Rand, “When appraisers and homeowners are within two percentage points of agreement on value-and that is amazingly good.”

Rand explained that the housing market is behaving normally, and that the market can expect to continue to see these numbers.

Rand joins many other experts in claiming 2017 will be a great year for housing.

“The biggest risk that we have is that somehow people begin to be convinced that the housing market is heading into negative territory when it’s not,” he said.

If you would like to know the current value of your home, or would like me to show you how you can best take advantage of the current market-whether you are considering buying or selling-please feel free to contact me. I can be reached at my cell number # 858-336-1114 or via email at:

Thank you.


January Calendar of Events

Want a printable calendar? Click here for the PDF

San Diego International Auto Show  Dec. 29-Jan. 2 

Will feature over 400 over the latest new models, a dozen test drives, exotics, automotive products and much more!

Thur & Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-7pm / San Diego Convention Center

Toss for Tots Campaign  Jan. 1

A fun and important way to help Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Simply pledge a donation for each San Diego Chargers’ touchdown during the regular season. You get some terrific benefits, but the kids in our community are the real winners, as 100% of your donation benefits the Brooke Humphries Fund at Rady Children’s.

Qualcomm Stadium

(858) 966-8597 /

 San Diego Resolution Run  Jan. 7

Resolve to begin 2017 in motion. The San Diego Resolution Run 5K and 15K will have you racing through Mission Bay Park’s beautiful De Anza Cove and looping around Fiesta Island on our 5K or 15K courses while keeping resolutions to stay fit, get outside, help the planet, and be social. Organizers work hard to keep the Run’s impact low through Earth-friendly race management practices. Proceeds will benefit San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project. Refer to website for registration.

7:30am, Check-in at 6:30am / 1590 E. Mission Bay Dr., San Diego 

Poway Winter Festival  Jan. 13-14 

Feel snow between your fingers while sledding down the snow hill; smell roasting marshmallows as you devour delicious s’mores; experience the wind in your hair skating around the synthetic ice rink; and peruse a variety of vendors and their sensational products. Lights will twinkle, as music sets the tone and laughter fills the air.

Fri 5-9pm, Sat 3:30-8:30pm / Community Park: 13094 Civic Center Drive

(858) 668-4671 / 

Tailgaters Chili Cook-Off Weekend  Jan. 13-14 

Bring your crockpot with your best chili for a chance to win a prize. Bring a can of beer to participate in Beer Bingo. Show your team spirit, decorate your site with your favorite football team colors for a chance to win a prize.

Pala Casino RV Resort: 11042 Calif. Highway 76

(844) 472-5278 / 

Winter Festival for the Special Needs Community  Jan. 14 

Experience the magic and charm of winter like never before! We’re inviting our Special Needs Community to join us for an extra-special edition of Winter Festival. Whether you’re building a snowman, sledding down our snow hill, trying your luck at wintry carnival games, or taking a spin around the synthetic skate rink, there is bound to be something for everyone!

11am-1pm / Community Park: 13094 Civic Center Drive

(858) 668-4671 / 

 San Diego Multi-Cultural Festival  Jan. 14

Experience San Diego’s rich cultural diversity and traditional heritage through live music, dance performances, storytelling, children’s activities (drum circles, face painting and crafts), and a wide range of ethnic vendors. The Festival will include a variety of entertainment from Native American, Asian, Cajun, Latin, Jazz and Afro-Cuban bands. This is a free event.

11am-5pm /  Ruocco Park, 585 Harbor Ln., San Diego 

Western Surfing Association Championship Tour  Jan. 14-15 

Surfing competition to qualify competitors to the West Coast Championships, U.S. Championships, Prime Event & any World Team Event.

6:30am-5:30pm / South Harbor Jetty, Oceanside

(949) 369-6677 / 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade  Jan. 15 

This is one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the United States in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The parade is filled with dazzling floats, phenomenal High School Bands, Drill Teams, College, Fraternities & Sororities, Churches, Peace and Youth organizations.

2pm / Harbor Drive – Embarcadero

(619) 203-2014 /

Carlsbad Marathon & Half  Jan. 15 

Our 26 fully staffed course support stations, continuous entertainment and unsurpassed volunteer support are just a few of our outstanding features. We also offer each participant a gender specific long-sleeve technical fabric shirt, virtual goody bag, spectacular finisher’s medal, post-race mylar blanket, refreshments (including chocolate milk!) and much more.

6:15am / Shoppes at Carlsbad

(760) 692-2900 /

San Diego Restaurant Week  Jan. 15-22 

8 days and over 180 restaurants. Presented by The California Restaurant Association San Diego County Chapter. 

The All Peoples Celebration  Jan. 16 

More than 1,000 business leaders, elected officials, faith leaders, community organizers, artists, and students come together for an inspiring program and common goal of honoring the work and the sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

10-11:30am / Balboa Park Activity Center: 2145 Park Blvd.

(619) 269-1823 / 

Fallbrook Chamber Member Expo  Jan. 18 

A great opportunity to discover and learn about all that our community has to offer! Light appetizers, cash bar, networking, prize opportunities and Aquaterra same-day dining discount.

4:30-7:30pm / Pala Mesa Resort: 2001 Old Hwy 395, Fallbrook

(760) 728-5845 / 

Our Great Tchaikovsky – A New Play with Music  Jan. 18 – Feb. 12

San Diego Repertory Theatrep presents the world premiere of our great Tchaikovsky. a new play with music featuring the compositions of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky with a book and performance by Hershey Felder.

Refer to website for times / $61-$102

(619) 544-1000

Taste of EastLake  Jan. 20 

Fantastic food and drink from local restaurants, wineries, breweries, spirit purveyors, silent and live excitement, and live entertainment. Will support much needed funding and celebrate 22 years of the foundation providing vital technology programs to our local public EastLake schools. Since 1995, the EEF has granted more than 1.9 million dollars to the schools.

6-9pm / The Venue: 871 Showroom Place #104, Chula Vista

(619) 997-6470 /

SDSU Writers’ Conference  Jan. 20-22 

Each year, more than 300 attendees from all over the world pursue their literary dreams and get direct feedback on their writing in 1:1 appointments with editors and agents. The three-day SDSU conference was among the first to pioneer these 1:1 appointments, giving writers unprecedented access to top-tier publishing professionals — many of whom interact with unpublished authors only through conferences.

Fri 1-9pm, Sat 8:30am-7pm, Sun 9am-12pm

San Diego Marriott Mission Valley

(619) 594-2099 / 

Carmel Valley 5K & Fun Run  Jan. 22

Run a beautiful 5K loop this year and enjoy the flat, fast finish along the new Manzanita trail, a beautiful scenic path hidden in Carmel Valley. There will also be a non-competitive 1K Family Fun run for all ages! Refer to website for registration.

7:30am (5K), 9:30am (Fun Run)

The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch

13490 Pacific Highlands Ranch Rd., San Diego 

San Diego Cat Show  Jan. 23-24

For cat lovers, this largest annual cat show on the West Coast features 450 cats competing for top honors and more.

10am-5pm / Del Mar Fair Grounds

San Diego Sunroad Boat Show  Jan. 26-29 

In addition to the tremendous boats, there will also be a plethora of marine vendors and electronics with the latest nautical products and services, boating seminars, FREE boat rides, as well as food and beverages – making a great time for all to enjoy a day on the San Diego Bay.

Thur & Fri 12-6pm, Sat & Sun 10am-6pm / Sunroad Resort Marina: 955 Harbor Island

(619) 497-5254 / 

Farmers Insurance Open  Jan. 26-29 

Seven-time champion Tiger Woods and other top players on the PGA Tour compete in this annual golf tournament while also raising money for local at-risk youth and military families.

Torrey Pines Golf Course

(858) 886-4653 /

National City Chamber Installation Dinner  Jan. 27 

Inaugural Celebration of the 107th Board of Directors and Presentation of the Ambassador of the Year, Business of the Year, Community Leader Award, Green Business of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award and Volunteer of the Year.

5-9pm / Jacobs Center: 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego

(619) 477-9339 / 

San Diego Tet Festival  Jan. 27-29 

A one of a kind bonanza with Free Entertainment, Lion Dancing, Music, Rides, and More! Home to Miss Vietnam, Golden Voice, and the Step Up Dance Competition, the San Diego Tet Festival is world renown for its epic celebration. Join us in welcoming the Year of the Rooster as we Spring To New Horizons!

Fri 5-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-9pm / Mira Mesa Community Park: 8575 New Salem St. 

North County SD Veterans Stand Down  Jan. 27-29 

Stand Down for North County’s Homeless Veterans, Veterans in need, and their immediate dependent family members. Showers, haircuts, clothing & hygiene kits, housing & hot meals, medical & dental exams, benefits counseling, mental health counseling, housing assistance, legal assistance. Pre-registration required.

Fri 12-5pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 9am-12pm / Green Oak Ranch: 1237 Green Oak Road, Vista

(760) 290-5235 / 

Mobile Vet Clinic  Jan. 28 

Affordable Licensing, Vaccination & Microchip Event. San Diego Humane Society will be on site providing affordable vaccinations and microchips. If you are a resident of Oceanside or Vista, you can stop by to renew or purchase a new license.

10am-12pm / Wave Waterpark Lot: 101 Wave Drive, Vista

(760) 726-1340 / 

Santee Active Lifestyle Expo  Jan. 28 

USATF National 50K Race Walk Championships at 7:30am: This is a professional athletic event and unique opportunity to watch elite athletes in action. Meet & greet with professional athletes. Vendor Fair with resources for a balanced lifestyle, interactive classes, health screenings, educational health information. Extreme Obstacle Course. Healthy Kid’s Fun Zone. State Entertainment.

9am-1pm / Santee Trolley Square: 9884 Mission Gorge Rd. 

Party in the Stars  Jan. 28 

La Mesa Arts Foundations Presents: Party in the Stars benefiting the La Mesa Arts Academy. The gala adds support to LMAAC and includes live entertainment, silent & live auction, dinner, dancing, & more! 6-8pm / La Mesa Community Center: 4975 Memorial Dr.

6-10pm / La Mesa Community Center: 4975 Memorial Dr.

(619) 668-5730 / 

Oceanside Craft Beer & Food Festival  Jan. 28

Enjoy the best of local breweries while supporting their craft! Oceanside Craft Beer & Food Festival is a unique event celebrating craft beer, gourmet food and live music. Proceeds from this event will go toward Community Aid Project for Education (CAPE). Refer to website for tickets.

2–6pm / Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre

1 Pier Plaza Amphitheatre, Oceanside 

San Diego Cat Show  Jan. 28-29

The nation’s finest cats will vie for top honors at “Food & Water Bowl XXIV,” the largest annual cat show on the West Coast. There will be more than 450 cats from more than 42 recognized cat breeds in competition.

Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 9am-5pm / Del Mar Fairgrounds

(760) 492-6457 / 

Hip Hop Run  Jan. 29 

Enjoy DJ’s throughout the course, playing all of the songs you know and love. Participants will have the option to take part in the 10k run, or the 5k run/walk. Be entertained after the run with a star studded lineup of DJ’s at our main stage finish line.

7am / Balboa Stadium: 1405 Park Blvd., San Diego

(408) 766-0195 /

Taste of Little Italy  Jan. 29-31

Enjoy live music while strolling and dining in San Diego’s hip and historic Little Italy. Appetizers, entrees, beverages and desserts will be served by the area’s finest restaurants. Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy Taste of Little Italy.


(619) 615-1092


Presented by Macy’s, San Diego Museum Month invites everyone to enjoy half-off entry fees at 40+ museums throughout the county for the all of February.

Want a printable calendar? Click here for the PDF

Are You Planning a Trip to the Snow This Winter?

If you are planning a trip to the snow this winter, and think you may need snow chains, I have an excellent service to refer you to. I grew up in snow country and recall all of the problems that you can encounter when putting chains on your vehicle-from the hazards of installing the chains on the side of the road, in a snow storm-with other vehicles swerving as they pass by. Sometimes, it seems to take forever, in the bitter cold. Or worse, yet-if the chains are not installed properly-it can be extremely hazardous-especially if the chains break while you are driving-and the roads are icy. This is one task that you want to get done properly-and as quickly as possible-to get yourself out of the road-and the cold! If you feel the least bit challenged with this-or think it would be a good idea to have everyone in your family know how to install snow chains, as a valuable learning experience, than look no further. Go to or call Thomas # 619-442-3767
Thomas embodies everything that you would hope to encounter in a service business; excellent personal and caring ‘hands on’ service, excellent product knowledge-you can learn something of real ‘lifetime value’-and his prices are very reasonable. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that you get to meet, first-hand’-a guy that is truly ‘one of a kind’. For the past 50 years, he has been known as the ‘San Diego Highway Man’-rescuing people that were stranded on the side of the road-and requesting nothing in return. He is the ultimate and ‘selfless’ ‘good Samaritan-and embodies the very best in each of us. He has donated his time to do ‘good works’ and has rescued countless people that were in need of dire help. Many people owe their life to him. When I met Thomas, he was truly an inspiration to me. He shows each of us ‘how much more we can do’ to help others-if we always come from a place of ‘serving’ and contribution. You can learn more about this remarkable person by checking out the links at:

San Diego Water Conservation: New Law That Takes Effect in January – That You Should Be Aware Of

Effective January 1, 2017, new water conservation regulations will take effect for interior water fixtures in almost all single family residential properties. Here’s what you need to know:


Background: In 1992, the California Legislature passed SB–1224. This senate bill imposed water conservation standards on all toilets and urinals installed in all single family residential homes, multi–family residential properties, and commercial properties. Subsequently in 2009, with California’s on–going drought, the Legislature passed SB–407, extending the toilet and urinal standards to all properties and further added shower and faucet standards. Those standards are:


Toilets – no more than 1.6 gal/flush
Urinals – no more than 1.0 gal/flush
Showers – no more than 2.5 gal/min
Internal Faucets – no more than 2.2 gal/min


Compliance Deadlines: The lawmakers appreciated that complying with these standards could cause some economic hardship if retrofit was immediately required, so a schedule of compliance was established:


By January 1, 2017, all single family residences must be in compliance; and By January 1, 2019, all multi–family and commercial properties must be in compliance. In addition, if any such properties were being substantially improved or refinanced prior to the compliance deadline, compliance must occur at the time of improvement or refinance.


Disclosure Obligations: The law requires that any Seller must disclose to any Buyer whether or not the property is compliant with the water conservation law. This is, in part, already referenced in the California Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (“TDS”) and non–compliance would have to be disclosed on the Seller Property Questionnaire (“SPQ”). While the law does not impose this disclosure obligation on real estate agents, the prudent agent should inquire whether or not a property is in compliance since it is possible that a Seller might not be aware of the law.


Non–Compliance Penalties: Currently, there are no state–wide monetary sanctions set forth in the law for non–compliance. However, local governments and water agencies have the authority to impose additional regulations which could include non–compliance penalties. Further, non–disclosing Sellers would reasonably be liable to Buyers for the costs of compliance.


Please let me know if you have questions about the new law-or need more information.

New FHA Increased Loan Limits is Good News for 2017 Home Buyers!

Lack of affordability in the housing market, as you know, has been an ongoing challenge for home buyers in San Diego for many years. Now that the median home price recently hit 545K in late 2016-just shy of the all-time peak of 576K in July of 2005-the affordability issue is, once again, ‘front and center’. At a price point of $500,000,for example, the typical 20% down payment is $100,000. Not a small feat for most individuals or families-and particularly millennial home Buyers who are dealing with 1.6 Billion in student debt, making it exceedingly more difficult to buy their first home. However, there is some good news. The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) recently increased their loan limits in areas of the US that are experiencing difficulty-based on lack of affordability-including San Diego.
Conforming high balance loans will now be $612,950 – that gets FHA purchases (with 3.5% down) to $635K, which is up about $33K from 2016. It also gets conventional 5% down purchase purchases to $645K, which is up about the same from 2016. There is another excellent loan option that helps home buyers purchase their first home with ‘no money down’. This loan is a special and unique program from CAL-HAFA. The basics are the buyer gets a regular 30-year fixed rate conventional or FHA loan. Then the program (Cal HAFA) gives them a 2nd loan of up to 4% of the new loan amount and a 3rd loan of up to 3.5% of the loan amount. These can be used for down payment and closing costs. Buyer can technically buy with no money out of pocket. They do have to be first time buyers and there are income and loan amount limits for this program. If you would like more information, please contact me-or check out the link below:
In closing, I will say that many of us have become complacent-because rates have been at historical lows for years now. Many people, especially those under 30, believe that rates are always in the 3.5%-4% range, not realizing that the last time interest rates were this low-was 1959. It is important to maintain a historical perspective when it comes to interest rates. For example, when I first began my career in real estate, in the early 1980’s, rates were in the 16% range!
There is currently serious upward pressure on raising interest rates, once again. If that happens, coupled with current historically high home prices, the dream of home ownership, for many, may be lost forever. If you are thinking of buying a home you may want to act now-before rates go up. Rents have increased by 40% in just the past four years-and there is no end in sight-due to a shortage of rentals. It now actually costs more to rent-than to own-for the first time ever in San Diego.
Please feel free to contact me if I can answer any questions for you-or help you to get qualified for a home loan. The Dream of home ownership may be just a phone call away.
Thank you.