What To Expect In 2014: San Diego & Southern California Residential Real Estate Market Prediction

San Diego’s real estate market correction has been nothing short of extraordinary over the past 12-18 months. It has taken some by surprise and rewarded those homeowners who have withstood the market correction of the past 8 years, as well as those who took a risk and entered into the market in the depths and despair of the local market recovery.A home that was purchased for $300,000 in 2011 or 2012 would now be worth about $450,000 in 2014. This is due in part to an over-correction of the market in the first place, but also in part to a long-term real estate listing shortage; there is simply not enough homes to buy and the demand is greatly outweighing the supply.This article identifies what happened in the past 12 months and what to expect in the next 12.The San Diego housing market started out incredibly strong for 2013, but sales hit an air pocket once it became apparent that the Federal Reserve’s intent was to wind down its monthly securities purchases (a.k.a Quantitative Easing) in mid-2013.The market was ON FIRE for the first six months of the year, but the earlier-than-expected talk about “tapering” by the FED briefly sent mortgage rates soaring up to 5% right in the middle of the key home buying season. Up to that point, prices were increasing each month at a rate reminiscent of the peak/boom years from 2004 to 2006, and when the interest rate increase was coupled with higher home prices, many potential buyers suddenly developed a case of cold feet, leading to a slowdown in the sales of new and existing homes. (source: Wells Fargo)At the same time, potential home-sellers saw homes on their street sell for prices that they could not believe. The San Diego market has been brutally beaten down in price since the great recession began in 2007. Some areas of San Diego experienced a 60% decline in their real estate values due to the massive amount of short sales, foreclosures and distressed properties that were a cause and effect of the recession. Many people lost their homes or did a short sale to the point at which nearly 40% of the market between the years of 2009 and 2012 were distress sales in the market. There was a lot of fear and uncertainty throughout the market and economy both locally and nationally – ironically this was the best time to be purchasing real estate.At the height of the peak market in 2005-2006, there was about 5000 homes on the market, and at that time people thought it was an incredibly low amount of homes for sale. This amount includes all homes and condos throughout the entire county from the $50,000 condo in El Cajon to the multimillion dollar mansion in Del Mar. Buyers were clamoring for every property that hit the market; there were offers being written on hoods of cars and a bidding frenzy of demand. This was the mentality that, along with loose lending requirements, created the momentum for prices to get as high as they did. We all know what happened after that.Flash forward 7 years later and we are fully in recovery mode for 2013 in the San Diego market. In April of 2013 there was only 4000 homes available throughout San Diego. This was a ridiculously low number of homes available for sale – even less than the 2005 market and at this time there were much more people and many more homes developed and built since 2005, making it that much more significant. Also at this time, mortgage rates were at historic lows in the low 3%’s. (source San Diego Association of Realtors; Dataquick)This time around, lending standards are tight, and only buyers with good credit could purchase, allowing for a more-sensical approach to the market compared to the sensationalism that preceded us in the booming years.It was this environment of an incredibly low supply of homes combined with incredibly cheap money to borrow which led to the red hot market in the early part of 2013. It was only as prices rose quickly throughout the year, interest rates began to increase as a result of the overall improving national economy as well as more listings hitting the market where things began to shift.All the homeowners who purchased at or near the peak of the market, and who bit, fought and scratched to stay in their home and make the payments and avoid foreclosure or short sale no matter the adversity they faced now realized a market where the prices were again where they originally bought, and could finally have the opportunity to sell and get out of the home that became a ball and chain.Take for example a young couple who purchased in 2006 in North Park – They bought their home, a 2 bedroom, 2 bath 1000 square foot residence for $625,000. They expected to live there for a few years, save money, build equity and then buy a bigger home that they could raise a child in. Their mortgage is at 6.25% and they owe nearly $550,000.In 2011, their home is worth $425,000. They have a 2 year old. The home is too small but they are $125,000 underwater and $200,000 below what they originally paid. This was the point in which many folks cut their losses and did a short sale or let the property go to foreclosure. This couple however had a good $75,000 of their own money in the house and they would be dammed if they let that home go. They made due, and now in 2014 that home is worth $625,000 again. Now they can sell and take the proceeds into a newer, bigger home so they can continue building their family. There are many, many families just like this in San Diego that only 12 months ago were nowhere close to having the move-up choices that many sellers now have. This as well as record prices caused many new sellers to put their home on the market through the middle and to the end of 2013. The amount of active listings rose as high as 8000 properties, doubling the amount for sale just a few short months prior.The increase in interest rates, prices as well as available properties all served to settle the market in 2013 from its white hot start.As we moved into winter, mortgage rates pulled back to less than 4.50% and employment conditions improved. Many listings sold, and demand revived a bit toward year-end.The total amount of volume of transactions was the highest since the peak/boom years. Your average condo increased by 30%, and your average home increased by nearly 20% in value. By all accounts 2013 was a banner year for real estate and homeowners equity. (source voiceofsandiego.org)We remain in a supply-constrained market, and this will continue for the next few years. This has been due in part to so many consecutive years where no new properties were being built or developed. Nationally, the US needs to build 1.2 Million dwellings to keep up with population growth and to replace properties that are no longer habitable. Between 2007 and 2013, an average of 350,000 dwellings were actually built, leaving nearly a million-dwelling deficit of homes for 6 years. It is because of this that we have a housing shortage today, and will continue to have a housing shortage for the next several years as we build, develop and grow our way into full recovery. A normal market in San Diego would have about 15,000-18,000 homes for sale at any given time. Last April of 2013 there was only 4000. In November it was nearly 8000. As of January 2014, we have under 6000. This supply-constrained market will headline San Diego real estate for the foreseeable future as we cannot build new homes the way places like Phoenix or the Inland Empire can. Rather, we must re-sell our way out of this housing shortage. As long as we have a lack of supply, we will continue to see prices rising to meet the demand of the market. (source buffiniandcompany, yahoo news)Rising home prices will encourage more homeowners to put their homes on the market, adding much needed inventory to the marketplace. As a result, the real estate industry appears to be generally upbeat going into 2014. Homeowners also seem to be more upbeat.With all this in mind, I expect prices to continue to rise throughout 2014. The level of increase will be tempered by how high increases in interest rates will be as well as the fact that the government won’t be supporting the housing market as much as they have been in years past.2014 will be one of the most balanced and normalized markets than in any year in the past decade. We will see prices approach and surpass the peak values seen in 2006 (if they haven’t happened already in your neighborhood).Move-up buyers have the best opportunity to make a move this year – up to this point its been the bottom part of the market that has recovered fully, which pushes its way up the affordability ladder to allow more mobility for more expensive homes and potential sellers (including the example of the family in North Park) and sellers who have been waiting on the sidelines now have a great selling environment to take advantage of.Many analysts predict that San Diego will experience appreciation in the 10-14% range, but I believe we will see a more modest 6-9% improvement because the large moves have already been made and we have “corrected” the over-correction.Nevertheless, the market and our economy are doing quite well as we move further into a broad-based long range economic recovery. Here’s to a wonderful and successful 2014.

Bringing Art Into the Lives of Children is an Extraordinary Gift

Bringing art into the lives of children is an extraordinary gift that will enrich them for a lifetime. No matter their age, children love to use their imaginations and creative minds. Art is a fantastic way for them to expand their horizons and open the doors to a new world. There are so many creative ways to educate your children, even if you are not an art expert.Lead by example regarding art and your child. If you show a genuine interest in some forms of art, children usually follow. A great idea is to take your child to the local art museum. This simple trip can lead to a vast array of knowledge. Art museums are an inexpensive way to show your child wonderful pieces of artwork. Do some quick research online about pieces of art at your local art museum. You can find some information about a few pieces that are relevant to your child. Did you know that Pablo Picasso’s first word as a child was pencil? His father was an artist and taught him the word “piz,” which is short for the Spanish word “lapiz,” meaning pencil. Quick facts like this can excite a small child.Obtain different art tools for your child. There are tons of inexpensive products that you can purchase for your child to find what they enjoy the best. Paints, colored paper, colored pencils, crayons and markers are all fantastic tools for your children. If you are looking for interesting drawing tool for your child, the Draw Like A Pro by Alex Toys, is perfect for your youngster. This tracing toy will surely give your child hours of excitement. With 124 fascinating slides your child will be able to trace a wide variety of different objects. Tracing is a wonderful way for children to begin the joy of drawing. In the warmer weather, sidewalk chalk is a fun way for children to express their inner artist.Everyone favors different aspects of art and children are no different. The more your child is exposed to art, the more likely he or she will find what they are interested in. An important part of the art process is keeping your children interested in what they are doing. Has your child lost interest in painting the same old dog or cat? Have them paint their favorite video game character, or even you. You can bring many different elements of life into the world of art. By creating themes you allow your child to come up with new ideas and adventures on paper. It is not how well your child can paint or draw, but it is about the opportunity for them to stretch his or her mind with the conceptual and imaginative aspects of art.Perhaps you have a child that a bit of a comedian? Have your child start a cartoon comic strip. You can make this a once-a-week project for your child. This will allow enough time for them to come up with funny ideas for their comic strip. What a great way to introduce art into your child’s comedy. It doesn’t matter how well your child can draw or color. As your child gets more involved in the process his or her drawing skills will improve with each and every time they create their cartoon strip. There are vast arrays of different topics they can cover with their cartoon strip. This process will allow them to educate themselves with creative writing as they experience their art.Drawing is not the only way for children to express their artistic side. Pottery is a great interactive activity that allows your child to build beautiful creations. Alex Toys Deluxe Pottery Wheel is an awesome art tool that will surely have your child spinning their way to wonderful creations. Your child will be able to become a real pottery pro with this unique set of tools. Everything they need to be successful is included in this special pottery kit. You can display their unique creations all over your home. It is also a great way for them to give homemade gifts to family and friends.As you can see, there are many different ways to bring the world of art into your children’s lives. It is important for you to find the aspect that your child enjoys. Once you have found it, you can certainly create many different projects with your child. Allow them to have a slumber party with family or friends to let them in on the fun. Education is important to you. A beginning art education will certainly be an added bonus to your child’s life.

Outdoor Activities For a Weekend Vacation at Fisherman’s Village in Marina Del Rey

Marina del Rey is nestled along the coast of Los Angeles’ west side, located near such popular beach towns as Playa del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica. Popular for its waterfront location, this town boasts charming seaside Marina del Rey restaurants, hotels and shops as well as many recreational outdoor activities including sport fishing, ocean activities, bicycling and dining cruises. This makes the coastal town a perfect location for a weekend vacation, all situated in a charming town with irresistible allure.Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey is the local attraction on the waterfront of the town. There are five restaurants including such popular spots as Shanghai Red’s and Sapori as well as a few souvenir shops and quick service cafes. In addition to the seaside attractions, there are many activities for all people ranging from taking a stroll around the marina, afternoon concerts featuring live bands as well as enjoying a drink and some food at one of the waterside restaurants.Sport fishing And Other Ocean ActivitiesFisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey is a great spot for both sport fishing as well as other ocean activities including boating and gondola rides. There are morning, afternoon and twilight excursions available for sport fishing with the opportunity to catch halibut, yellowtail, sea bass and more. With both charters utilizing knowledgeable guides on hand, as well as unskippered private boat rentals to choose from, people have the ability to create their own fishing experience.There is also an array of ocean activities with the option of renting an electric boat, sailboat, kayak, powerboat, jet ski or stand up board from the Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey. Hourly, half day and full day rentals are available to ensure there is an activity for everyone.For a special occasion, vacationers can enjoy a romantic gondola cruise on an Italian gondola, complete with pillows, music, lamps, gondolier, appetizers and drinks.Bicycling On The CoastRenting bikes and skates are a great way to see the sites and get some exercise along the coastal trails. People often like to ride on the 22-mile coastal South Bay Bicycle Trail or pack a picnic and either head south to Playa del Rey or north to Venice and Santa Monica.Dining Cruises And Harbor Tours For EveryoneFor a more laid back option, there are a variety of dining cruises that go through the scenic waterways of the coast offering such features as breathtaking views, delicious meals, cocktails and specific activities. There are dining cruises for everyone including Friday and Saturday night dinner and dance cruises, Sunday Champagne brunch cruises, Summer Sunset Cocktail cruises along with sunset sails and jazz cruises.Hour-long harbor tours are also available and allow vacationers to see the beauty of the beaches from the water, enjoy the marine life and relax. Day trips to the popular destination of Catalina Island from Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey on a high-speed catamaran are also available seasonally.From activities on the beach to water sports and fishing, Marina del Rey offers vacationers a wide array of both relaxing and adventurous activities to create a perfect weekend getaway.