Dan Melson: September 2008 Archives

Once per month, I run a web carnival, called the Consumer Focused Carnival of Real Estate, all the articles submitted that are actually helpful to the consumer of real estate information. It's now up for the month of September at that link.

If you would like to submit for some future month, The guidelines are here.

If you're comparing rates with last week, you see that there has been a slight decline. If you are considering a refinance, I would get the rate locked in because I do not expect this short term decline to last.

The Best Loans Right NOW

5.75% 30 Year fixed rate loan, with nine tenths of a point point to the consumer and NO PREPAYMENT PENALTIES!. Assuming a $400,000 loan, Payment $2334, APR 5.875! This is a thirty year fixed rate loan. The payment and interest rate will stay the same on this loan until it is paid off! 30 year fixed rate loans as low as 5.25 percent!

5/1 Rates

Truthfully, I am not seeing enough difference between 5/1 Rates and the thirty year fixed to justify the choosing the ARM. That same 5.75 you can get on a thirty year fixed for nine tenths of a point costs seven tenths of a point to the consumer on a 5/1 (Payment $2334 APR 5.857 on a $400,000 loan)


10 year interest only payments available on 30 year fixed rate loans!

Great Rates on temporary conforming, jumbo and super-jumbo loans also available!

Zero closing costs and zero points loans also available!

Yes, I still have low to zero down payment and stated income loans available!

These are actual retail rates at actual costs available to real people with average credit scores! I always guarantee the loan type, rate, and total cost as soon as I have enough information from you to lock the loan (subject to underwriting approval of the loan). I pay any difference, not you. If your loan provider doesn't do this, you need a new loan provider!

All of the above loans are on approved credit, not all borrowers will qualify, based upon an 80% loan to value and a median credit score on a full documentation loan. Rates subject to change until rate lock.

Interest only, stated income, bad credit and other options also available. If you need a mortgage, chances are I can do it faster and on better terms than you'll actually get from anyone else in the business.

Designing transactions for low to zero down payment a specialty

Please ask me about first time buyer programs, including the Mortgage Credit Certificate, which gives you a tax credit for mortgage interest, and can be combined with any of the above loans!

Call me. Clarion Mortgage Capital at 619-300-7425, ask for Dan. Or email me: danmelson (at) danmelson (dot) com

Today's new consumer article is Second Trust Deeds: Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit, talking about the basics of what forms that these loans take, the Home Equity Loan and Home Equity Line of Credit.


Newly Written Articles

Earnest Money: Copy of a Check or Proof Of Funds? talks about which I'd rather have, and why.

The Return of Portfolio Lending discusses the plusses and minuses of lenders that underwrite to their own standards, rather than with an eye towards selling the mortgages on Wall Street.

"Buy and Bail" or Buying One Home Before Foreclosure on Another examines the effects that the practice is having upon perfectly legitimate investors with no intention of allowing foreclosure.

A Highly Leveraged Way to Ameliorate the Financial Crisis gives a suggestion that would save the federal government lots of money, if followed. Of course, if the banks and mortgage insurers hadn't panicked by over-contracting lending standards, there wouldn't be nearly so much of a crisis.


Updated Articles

Seller Carrybacks covers the seller lending the buyer part of the money they need.

Using the Real Estate and Mortgage Information Found Here is an article about intelligent planning and knowing the situation, rather than ignorantly hoping to get lucky.

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster? evaluates both the financial numbers and the psychology involved.

Altering the Terms of A Real Estate Purchase Contract. It has to be done by negotiation and agreement, not unilaterally.


These are newly listed HOMESTEPS properties from Freddie Mac for the areas I work

I also have a list of upcoming HOMESTEPS properties not on the market yet

If you have questions, Contact me

El Cajon

Address: 1509 E WASHINGTON AVE UNIT 10, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 144,900.00

Address: 12190 CUYAMACA COLLEGE DRIVE E, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 184,900.00

Address: 294 CHAMBERS STREET 53, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 3 Bed: 1 Bath: 1.0 Price: 72,900.00

Address: 589 NORTH JOHNSON AVENUE 230, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 1 Bath: 1.0 Price: 92,500.00

Address: 170 CHAMBERS STREET 18, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 104,900.00

Address: 190 CHAMBERS STREET APT 13, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 127,500.00

Address: 1797 WOODBURN STREET, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 349,900.00

Address: 745 EAST BRADLEY AVENUE 37, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 99,000.00

Address: 1321 OAKDALE AVENUE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 109,900.00

Address: 1321 GREENFIELD DRIVE 25, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 119,900.00

Address: 1423 GRAVES AVENUE 230, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 131,300.00

Address: 551 WAYNE AVENUE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 177,000.00

Address: 1526 STONE EDGE CIRCLE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 209,500.00

Address: 584 BROCKWOOD DRIVE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 1.0 Price: 227,900.00

Lakeside

Address: Address: 11505 POSTHILL PLACE, LAKESIDE, CA
Rooms: 7 Bed: 4 Bath: 2.0 Price: 232,900.00

Santee

Address: 7895 RANCHO FANITA DR E, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 1.5 Price: 259,900.00

Address: 10235 BRIGHTWOOD LANE 3, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 3.5 Price: 318,900.00

Address: 8803 APPLE BLOSSOM CT 5, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 8 Bed: 4 Bath: 4.0 Price: 319,900.00

San Diego City

Address: 4287 48TH STREET, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 199,000.00

Dan Melson, Agent
Clarity Real Estate Network
619-300-7425

Today's new consumer article is "Buy and Bail" or Buying One Home Before Foreclosure on Another, describing lender response to what has become a widespread phenomenon, as people think they are somehow saving themselves money try to defraud lenders in order to get another loan before their current home goes into default.


The Best Loans Right NOW

5.875% 30 Year fixed rate loan, with six tenthsof a point point to the consumer and NO PREPAYMENT PENALTIES!. Assuming a $400,000 loan, Payment $2366, APR 5.973! This is a thirty year fixed rate loan. The payment and interest rate will stay the same on this loan until it is paid off! 30 year fixed rate loans as low as 5.25 percent!

5/1 Rates

Truthfully, I am not seeing enough difference between 5/1 Rates and the thirty year fixed to justify the choosing the ARM. 5.75 on a 5/1 costs one full point to the consumer (Payment $2334 APR 5.885 on a $400,000 loan)

10 year interest only payments available on 30 year fixed rate loans!

Great Rates on temporary conforming, jumbo and super-jumbo loans also available!

Zero closing costs and zero points loans also available!

Yes, I still have low to zero down payment and stated income loans available!

These are actual retail rates at actual costs available to real people with average credit scores! I always guarantee the loan type, rate, and total cost as soon as I have enough information from you to lock the loan (subject to underwriting approval of the loan). I pay any difference, not you. If your loan provider doesn't do this, you need a new loan provider!

All of the above loans are on approved credit, not all borrowers will qualify, based upon an 80% loan to value and a median credit score on a full documentation loan. Rates subject to change until rate lock.

Interest only, stated income, bad credit and other options also available. If you need a mortgage, chances are I can do it faster and on better terms than you'll actually get from anyone else in the business.

Designing transactions for low to zero down payment a specialty

Please ask me about first time buyer programs, including the Mortgage Credit Certificate, which gives you a tax credit for mortgage interest, and can be combined with any of the above loans!

Call me. Clarion Mortgage Capital at 619-300-7425, ask for Dan. Or email me: danmelson (at) danmelson (dot) com

Today's new consumer article is The Return of Portfolio Lending, on the subject of what a portfolio loan is and the differences between portfolio and security based lending, and what the return of portfolio lending means, even to those who may not have a real estate loan.

Today's new consumer article is Earnest Money: Copy of a Check or Proof Of Funds?, talking about what good various sorts of evidence of deposit do.


Newly Written Articles

Mortgage Accelerators, Money Merge, and Paying Your Mortgage Down Discusses how there is no magical "free money" in any kind of mortgage accelerator.

Wells and Community Water Systems goes over the minimum basics on wells and community water.

Listings Not Sourced on MLS talks about why listings that aren't sourced from the local MLS are not to be trusted.

Updated Articles


The Escrow Process and Reasons for Falling Out discusses why escrow falls out. Note: It usually has nothing to do with any failing of the escrow officer or escrow company, who all too often get used as scapegoats so the people who really screwed it up can pretend it wasn't their fault.

Mortgage Markets and Providers and Yield Spread Explained discusses the different places to get a loan, and What It All Means in practical terms.

How to Effectively Shop for a Buyer's Agent talks about just that - how to find a buyer's agent who will actually make a difference on your transaction.

How Are You Going To Compare Loans Without Specific Numbers? reminds you how to look at those numbers to tell which loan is better.


This is part of a series on the neighborhoods of the area I primarily work, which includes La Mesa, San Carlos, El Cajon and Santee. For this one, we're in the central part of La Mesa, uphill from the Normal Avenue Neighborhood, while being south of Summit Hill. This neighborhood includes everything up on the hill south of Junior High Drive and Orien and east of Murray Hill Road, up to the intersection of Summit and Eastridge Drive.

Looking Down Eastridge Drive from Eastridge and Summit
Picture 052

Eastridge is a mostly a professional neighborhood, probably La Mesa's most expensive neighborhood after Mt. Helix. These lots are all high enough up the hill that if there's a property without a great view in the neighborhood, I don't know about it, and the ones near the top have panoramic views of the entire area, whether they're on the northwest side looking towards the ocean and Mt. Soledad or the southeast side looking towards the mountains, and a lucky few get both. There isn't a better view in east county, and there may not be a better one anywhere in San Diego.

Looking Down the hill on Cinnabar Drive
Picture 054

There are no commercial roads within the area. It's all residential, and I cannot name even an apartment building or duplex in the entire neighborhood. Single family detached housing, 100% of it. It's pretty trivial to get to the stores, but there is nothing commercial or multi-family within the neighborhood itself..

Looking up to Arrieta Circle:
Picture 057

Eastridge was built out in two stages: One in the late fifties and early sixties, and another very recently, as there had been some shenanigans with the land the newer part of the neighborhood sits on. The older part of the neighborhood does have the better views and sits on the higher, northeastern end, while the lower, southwestern end is where the newest housing sits. The older part of the neighborhood also does not have an HOA, while the newer part does. Physically, the first generation houses are mostly single story 3 bedroom or more, 2 bath or more houses from around 1800 square feet going up from there to well over 3000 square feet, sitting on lots of anywhere from 7000 square feet up to maybe 12000 or so in the older part of the neighborhood, while the recently built properties are mostly two story in the range of 2500 square feet and up, pretty uniformly sitting on lots of about 5000 square feet. Many of the lots have a heavy slope so less is usable than most people might expect. The houses in the older part of the neighborhood are pretty much all individual, the ones in the newer part are all cookie cutter tract housing. Pretty much all of them have concrete foundations. The ridge is essentially bedrock, so foundation issues and settling have always been rare.

A couple of houses at the top of the ridge, in the older part of the neighborhood:
Picture 053

Brooke Court, a cul-de-sac in the new area:
Picture 064

As of this writing, asking prices in the neighborhood start at about $500,000 and go up to over a million, with a typical property being somewhere in the 700s. This is down significantly from a couple of years ago, but activity is pretty consistent. The neighbors will be business people and professionals. People making San Diego Area Median Income need a down payment in the area of $200,000 or so to afford the Eastridge neighborhood. Even with the people who are in distress situations, there are a grand total of 11 properties for sale in the neighborhood. There generally is not a lot of turnover in this neighborhood.

Looking down to the Intersection of Sacramento Drive and Eastridge. As you can see, there's still an excellent view even though you're at maybe half the elevation of the other end of the ridge:
Picture 067

The neighborhood elementary school is La Mesa Dale. The Middle School is La Mesa Middle School (formerly La Mesa Junior High) an SDSU partnership school, and the high school is Helix Charter. Helix, in particular, has a long record of academic achievement. Here's the most recent account Helix Accountability Report Card

La Mesa Dale School
Picture 016

La Mesa Middle School, an SDSU partnership school
Picture 012

The closest community college is Grossmont, the closest four year college is San Diego State University, which is actually closer.

Looking west from Corolyn Drive. You can see where the two halves of the neighborhood meet:
Picture 063

The Eastridge neighborhood is a prestigious place to live, but it does have good transportation access. 94 can be accessed via Yale Avenue or Massachusetts, Spring Street goes to Interstate 8 and 125 as well - You should be on the freeway within five minutes of leaving your driveway. You have your choice of several major supermarkets within a mile or so. You can get to Mission Valley in fifteen minutes, downtown even quicker. The San Diego Trolley runs close to the neighborhood, although not within it - lots of people park in the lot at the Spring Street stop and ride it downtown. Major shopping centers are found at Grossmont Center (Target, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Theaters and dining), and College Grove (WalMart, Sam's Club), and there is La Mesa Springs Center just down hill from the neighborhood as well as all sort of other stores in many avenues nearby.

Looking north on Cinthia from the top:
Picture 061

If you'd like to talk more about Eastridge or any other neighborhood of La Mesa, Contact me. I will be happy to discuss which neighborhoods might be right for you, or the marketing of your current property for an advantageous sale.

Caveat Emptor


These are newly listed HOMESTEPS properties from Freddie Mac for the areas I work

I also have a list of upcoming HOMESTEPS properties not on the market yet

If you have questions, Contact me

El Cajon

Address: 1509 E WASHINGTON AVE UNIT 10, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 144,900.00

Address: 12190 CUYAMACA COLLEGE DRIVE E, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 184,900.00

Address: 294 CHAMBERS STREET 53, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 3 Bed: 1 Bath: 1.0 Price: 72,900.00

Address: 589 NORTH JOHNSON AVENUE 230, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 1 Bath: 1.0 Price: 92,500.00

Address: 170 CHAMBERS STREET 18, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 104,900.00

Address: 170 CHAMBERS STREET 16, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 118,000.00

Address: 1797 WOODBURN STREET, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 349,900.00

Address: 745 EAST BRADLEY AVENUE 37, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 99,000.00

Address: 1321 OAKDALE AVENUE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 109,900.00

Address: 1321 GREENFIELD DRIVE 25, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 119,900.00

Address: 1423 GRAVES AVENUE 230, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 131,300.00

Address: 1526 STONE EDGE CIRCLE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 209,500.00

Lakeside

Address: 11505 POSTHILL PLACE, LAKESIDE, CA
Rooms: 7 Bed: 4 Bath: 2.0 Price: 232,900.00

Santee
Address: 7895 RANCHO FANITA DR E, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 1.5 Price: 259,900.00

Address: 10235 BRIGHTWOOD LANE 3, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 3.5 Price: 318,900.00

Address: 8803 APPLE BLOSSOM CT 5, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 8 Bed: 4 Bath: 4.0 Price: 319,900.00

San Diego City

Address: 4481 ORANGE AVE, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 109,900.00

Address: 4775 SEMINOLE DRIVE 207, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 159,500.00

Address: 4287 48TH STREET, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 199,000.00

Today's new consumer article is Listings Not Sourced on MLS, in which I discuss the limits that a system checked for facts imposes upon those claiming to have a property for sale, and why it is good to have those limits, and why properties on sites not sourced on MLS usually do not exist, at least in the sense of being for sale for the claimed price, having the claimed characteristics, etcetera.

It's all about signal to noise ratio.

I'm hoping to have both a Real Loans for Real People post and another Neighborhoods post before Friday.

Today's new consumer article is Wells and Community Water Systems, which talks about some basic issues having to do with one of the classic reasons for real estate fights: Water.

Today's new consumer article is Mortgage Accelerators, Money Merge, and Paying Your Mortgage Down, which deals bluntly with the contention that these programs that allegedly "pay off your mortgage in a fraction of the time" actually help. They don't. I have yet to find one where you're not better off simply taking the sign up money and using it to pay your mortgage down.


Almost forgot my weekly round up of consumer articles I've written

Newly Written Articles

Negotiation Requires More Than Dueling Ultimatums, talking about the exchange of ultimatums faxes that often passes for negotiation today.

Personal Loans For A Real Estate Down Payment talks about one possibility for getting a down payment quickly, and the downsides.

There Are No Schools That Teach What A Good Agent Needs to Know refutes the canard that since real estate doesn't require college, let alone an advanced degree, obviously there's no value provided.

Updated Articles

Owner Occupied Loans Only Require A Year of Occupancy Once you have met that threshold, there is no need to refinance just because you move out.

Listing Agreements: Exclusive Right to Sell Versus Exclusive Agency talks about the differences in the various listing agreements.

How Much Can Lenders Low-Ball Their Quotes? gives some concrete examples of legal low-balling techniques.

"You've Got Something I'm Interested In, But I Don't Want to Pay You" Trying to cut out the person who demonstrates they know what they're doing is foolish, but people will try.


These are newly listed HOMESTEPS properties from Freddie Mac for the areas I work

I also have a list of upcoming HOMESTEPS properties not on the market yet

If you have questions, Contact me

El Cajon

Address: 1509 E WASHINGTON AVE UNIT 10, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 144,900.00

Address: 12190 CUYAMACA COLLEGE DRIVE E, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 184,900.00

Address: 294 CHAMBERS STREET 53, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 3 Bed: 1 Bath: 1.0 Price: 72,900.00

Address: 589 NORTH JOHNSON AVENUE 230, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 1 Bath: 1.0 Price: 92,500.00

Address: 170 CHAMBERS STREET 18, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 104,900.00

Address: 170 CHAMBERS STREET 16, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 118,000.00

Address: 1797 WOODBURN STREET, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 349,900.00

Address: 745 EAST BRADLEY AVENUE 37, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 99,000.00

Address: 1321 OAKDALE AVENUE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 109,900.00

Address: 1321 GREENFIELD DRIVE 25, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 119,900.00

Address: 1423 GRAVES AVENUE 230, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 131,300.00

Address: 1526 STONE EDGE CIRCLE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 209,500.00

Lakeside

Address: 11505 POSTHILL PLACE, LAKESIDE, CA
Rooms: 7 Bed: 4 Bath: 2.0 Price: 232,900.00

Santee

Address: 7895 RANCHO FANITA DR E, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 1.5 Price: 259,900.00

Address: 10235 BRIGHTWOOD LANE 3, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 3.5 Price: 318,900.00

Address: 8803 APPLE BLOSSOM CT 5, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 8 Bed: 4 Bath: 4.0 Price: 319,900.00

San Diego City

Address: 4481 ORANGE AVE, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 109,900.00

Address: 4775 SEMINOLE DRIVE 207, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 159,500.00

Address: 4287 48TH STREET, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 199,000.00

Today's new consumer article is The Are No Schools That Teach What A Good Agent Needs to Know, which directly takes on the canard that since being an agent doesn't require a college degree, therefore there's nothing special about it and agents cannot possibly be worth any significant money.

I'm in a different kind of September 10th mindset today - our younger daughter is 4, so we're having grandma over and a little party this evening. If I don't get a new article done for tomorrow, please understand.

Today's new consumer article is Personal Loans For A Real Estate Down Payment, which discusses an uncommon but doable alternative for rapidly acquiring a down payment. It has significant downsides even if done correctly, and if you do it wrong can stop you from qualifying for a loan at all, but it can work.

Today's new consumer article is Negotiation Requires More Than Dueling Ultimatums, which discusses and suggests improvements to the common model of faxing over bare offers and counter-offers.

I don't understand why anyone who wants a transaction to succeed would do that.


Sorry this is late.

Newly Written Articles

All Buyer Assistance Programs Require Full Documentation of Income, an article that talks about one important fact of life for all first time buyer programs, or indeed, any government loan assistance whatsoever - the fact that you must document enough income, and enough history of income. Stated Income is not an option if you want taxpayer assistance.

What Do Loan Qualification Standards Accomplish? discusses why have loan qualification standards at all, and what the benefit is.

The State of the Loan Market and How Much You Can Borrow September 2008 (Part I) and The State of the Loan Market and How Much You Can Borrow September 2008 (Part II). In the first part I discuss what the issues and limits are with real estate loans right now, and in the second part, I discuss what programs there are available to help.

Updated Articles

FSBO Horror and Failure to Disclose Property Defects

Investing in Second Trust Deeds

What Does Escrow Do?

Today's new consumer article is The State of the Loan Market and How Much You Can Borrow September 2008 (Part II), which discusses the loan market and the state of lender paranoia that currently prevails, and the possible solutions to the problems raised yesterday.

If you are one of those who can qualify for a loan, the fact that a lot of other people can't is an excellent reason to buy now.


These are newly listed HOMESTEPS properties from Freddie Mac. I also have a list of upcoming HOMESTEPS properties not on the market yet

If you have questions, Contact me

El Cajon

Address: 1509 E WASHINGTON AVE UNIT 10, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 144,900.00

Address: 12190 CUYAMACA COLLEGE DRIVE E, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 184,900.00

Address: 294 CHAMBERS STREET 53, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 3 Bed: 1 Bath: 1.0 Price: 94,900.00

Address: 170 CHAMBERS STREET 18, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 104,900.00

Address: 170 CHAMBERS STREET 16, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 118,000.00

Address: 1797 WOODBURN STREET, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 349,900.00

Address: 745 EAST BRADLEY AVENUE 37, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 99,000.00

Address: 1321 GREENFIELD DRIVE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 6 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 121,200.00

Address: 1423 GRAVES AVENUE 230, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 4 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.0 Price: 131,300.00

Address: 1526 STONE EDGE CIRCLE, EL CAJON, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 209,500.00

Lakeside

Address: 9932 LINDO LAKE PLACE, LAKESIDE, CA
Rooms: 8 Bed: 3 Bath: 2.0 Price: 259,900.00

Santee

Address: 10235 BRIGHTWOOD LANE 3, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 3 Bath: 3.5 Price: 318,900.00

Address: 8803 APPLE BLOSSOM CT 5, SANTEE, CA
Rooms: 8 Bed: 4 Bath: 4.0 Price: 319,900.00

Eastern San Diego City

Address: 4775 SEMINOLE DRIVE 207, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.5 Price: 159,500.00

Address: 4287 48TH STREET, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 1.0 Price: 218,500.00

Address: 1441 CAMINO ZALCE, SAN DIEGO, CA
Rooms: 5 Bed: 2 Bath: 2.5 Price: 292,500.00

This is part of a series on the neighborhoods of the area I primarily work, which includes La Mesa, San Carlos, El Cajon and Santee. For this one, we're in the central part of La Mesa, just uphill from and wedged between The Village (aka Downtown La Mesa) and the Normal Avenue Neighborhood. I've heard this area called Windsor Hill and Pasadena Hill as well, but I'm going to use the name I learned growing up near there. Some people think it's even part of the Village, but it is a distinct neighborhood, and property values are mostly higher than The Village.

Something Unique: The public staircases for pedestrians, so they're not limited to the street routes:
Picture 041

The opposite end of that one:
Picture 045

Another one down the west side (there are five)
Picture 046

Summit Hill is mostly a professional neighborhood, and is bounded by Normal Avenue on the west, Fairview Avenue, all the houses above Acacia Avenue, and a line running up the hill to the Intersection of Summit Drive and Eastridge, and thence back down to Normal Avenue at the Windsor and Avon intersections. I understand that this neighborhood was the original area for La Mesa's well-to do. Most of the houses were built in the 1940s and before. They are built high enough up the hill that if there's a property without a great view in the neighborhood, I don't know about it, and the ones near the top have panoramic views of the entire area, whether they're on the western side looking towards the ocean and Mt. Soledad or the eastern side looking towards the mountains, and a lucky few get both. There isn't a better view in east county, and there may not be a better one anywhere in San Diego.

This is from about halfway up, on Pasadena looking west. I could see Mt. Soledad, but it didn't come out in the picture.
Picture 033

From across the street from that spot, a view of the higher parts of the hill
Picture 035

There are no commercial roads within the area. It's all residential, and with the exception of a few two unit places on Fairview, they are are single family dwellings. There are commercial areas all around, but nothing within the neighborhood itself.

House on Pasadena
Picture 030

House on Summit
Picture 047

Physically, the houses are mostly single story 3 bedroom or more, 2 bath or more houses from around 1500 square feet going from there on up to maybe 2500, sitting on lots of anywhere from 7000 square feet up to maybe 12000 or so, with a very few smaller than that added as fill in after most of the neighborhood. The houses are pretty much all individual. Most use the older pier support, but you there are concrete foundations in a few. The hill is essentially bedrock, so foundation issues and settling were rare in former times, and those that existed should have long since been dealt with. As of this writing, asking prices start at about 400,000, but three of the five properties for sale are asking over $600,000 and one is over $900,000. It's usually tough to find a property for sale on Summit Hill, and people earning San Diego Area Median are going to need a six-figure down payment or a major fixer (extremely rare).

There are lots of cul-de-sacs like this one, roughly 2/3 of the way up
Picture 037

This picture was taken by turning 180 degrees in that same exact spot. It was still a little misty, or visibility would have been better
Picture 038

The neighborhood elementary school is La Mesa Dale. The Middle School is La Mesa Middle School (formerly La Mesa Junior High) an SDSU partnership school, and the high school is Helix Charter. Helix, in particular, has a long record of academic achievement. Here's the most recent account Helix Accountability Report Card

La Mesa Dale School
Picture 016

La Mesa Middle School, an SDSU partnership school
Picture 012

The closest community college is Grossmont, the closest four year college is San Diego State University, which is actually closer.

view east from top of Beverly Drive (about 3/4 of the way up)
Picture 040

Internal view on Vista Drive (about 2/3 of the way up)
Picture 039

The Summit Hill neighborhood is a prestigious place to live, but it does have good transportation access. 94 can be accessed via Yale Avenue or Massachusetts, Spring Street goes to Interstate 8 and 125 as well - You should be on the freeway within five minutes of leaving your driveway. You have your choice of several major supermarkets within a mile or so. You can get to Mission Valley in fifteen minutes, downtown even quicker. The San Diego Trolley runs close to the neighborhood, although not within it - lots of people park in the lot at the Spring Street stop and ride it downtown. Major shopping centers are found at Grossmont Center (Target, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Theaters and dining), and College Grove (WalMart, Sam's Club), and there is La Mesa Springs Center just down hill from the neighborhood as well as all sort of other stores in many avenues nearby.

Three pictures of the view from Summit and Eastridge, near the top. This one looks directly west, and would include an ocean view if the mist had burned all the way off
Picture 050

This one is looking north from the same spot. The hill in the near right is Del Cerro Heights.
Picture 049

This one is looking east from the same spot on the street level. You can see Mt Helix and Grossmont, but the mist was limiting visibility. When it's good, you can see Cuyamaca Mountain.
Picture 051

If you'd like to talk more about Summit Hill or any other neighborhood of La Mesa, Contact me. I will be happy to discuss which neighborhoods might be right for you, or the marketing of your current property for an advantageous sale.

Caveat Emptor

Today's new consumer article is The State of the Loan Market and How Much You Can Borrow September 2008 (Part I), which discusses the loan market and the state of lender paranoia that currently prevails.

If you are one of those who can qualify for a loan, however, the fact that a lot of other people can't is an excellent reason to buy now.

Cheap Fixer in a Great Neighborhood!
.
Picture 028

General: La Mesa, 3 Bedroom, 1.75 Bathroom

Con:

What's Wrong With It: Everything is seventies vintage. The property seems physically solid, but it's not pretty right now. Needs new paint, new carpet, and some other minor updating.

Why It Hasn't Sold: Most folks won't look beyond how it looks now to how it could look with not very much expense.

Who it's Not Appropriate For: People who need a turn key property.

Picture 030

Pro:

Selling Points: Decent size back yard and family room. Walk across the street to get to elementary school, two blocks for middle school and three for high school - and all three are sought after schools. DIning room looks out into front garden.

Who Should be Interested: People looking for a place where a little bit of sweat will build a lot of equity.

Why it's a Bargain: Cheapest house in a good neighborhood, and what needs to be done won't take that much.

Picture 033

Financial:

What I think I can get it for: $305,000.

Investment potential: If you keep it ten years and it averages only 5% annual average appreciation per year: Based upon a purchase price of $305,000 the property would be worth approximately $500,000. If you held it those ten years before selling, you would net about $230,000 in your pocket (not including increased value from updates!), assuming zero down payment. As opposed to renting the $1800 per month most comparable currently available rental and investing the difference at 10% per year tax free, you would be approximately $200,000 ahead of the renter, after the expenses of selling.

To learn more: Agree that you'll use me as a buyer's agent if you buy it. If you don't like it or don't buy it, no obligation is incurred. If you're not working with someone who will go out and find properties like this, maybe you should consider working with me instead!

Contact Information:

Dan Melson, Buyer's Agent
One Stop Lending and Realty
9025 Carlton Hills Blvd STE B
Santee, CA 92071
619-300-7425

Today's new consumer article is What Do Loan Qualification Standards Accomplish?, which talks about the good that having and adhering to standards of qualification does, and the problems it avoids for all concerned.

This is part of a series on the neighborhoods of the area I primarily work, which includes La Mesa, San Carlos, El Cajon and Santee. For this one, we're in the southerly part of La Mesa: Normal Avenue

Normal Avenue is mostly a working class neighborhood, and is bounded by Yale Avenue on the west, University Avenue on the north, La Mesa Boulevard on the east, and Normal Avenue on the south. Normal Avenue itself curves sharply to the north to meet La Mesa Boulevard, so if you were looking down from an airplane, it would not appear to be a rectangle. The area south of University is broadly similar, and some pricier homes are found at the edges of the Normal Avenue neighborhood, as well as uphill from it.

View from Yale and Orien (looking north)
Picture 006

The only real commercial road serving the area is University Avenue. The views vary from basically flat to to excellent, looking mostly looking north and west, with properties near the tops of Orien, Yale, and Normal Avenues having the best views.

Yale and University
Picture 001

Physically, the houses are mostly single story 3 and 4 bedroom, 2 bath houses from around 1200 square feet to around 1600, sitting on lots of about 7000 to 8000 square feet. Some lots are as big as 12000 square feet or so, a few may be as small as 5500. Many have been added onto, and they've pretty much all got individual character. Most were built before tract housing became popular in the 1950s, but a few were built as fill in or replacement later on. Many use the older pier support, but you will find concrete foundations in maybe 20% of the houses. Foundation issues and settling were not rare in former times, but those that existed have mostly long since been dealt with. The vast majority of the neighborhood is single family detached housing, but there are some apartments and condominiums along Lowell, the western end of Normal, and also Parks between the elementary school and middle school. As of this writing, asking prices start at about $260,000 and go up to $550,000 for detached properties, but there are only seven detached properties and six condominiums and townhomes for sale in the neighborhood.

A house in the neighborhood
Picture 026

The neighborhood elementary school is La Mesa Dale. The Middle School is La Mesa Middle School (formerly La Mesa Junior High) a SDSU partnership school, and the high school is Helix Charter. Helix, in particular, has a long record of academic achievement. Here's the most recent account Helix Accountability Report Card

La Mesa Dale School
Picture 016

La Mesa Middle School
Picture 012
The closest community college is Grossmont, the closest four year college is San Diego State University, which is actually closer.

The Normal Avenue neighborhood is a good place to live, with good transportation access. Yale Avenue goes over the hill and down to 94 West. It's five minutes to Interstate 8. You have your choice of several major supermarkets within a mile or so. You can get to Mission Valley in fifteen minutes, downtown even quicker. Two lines of the San Diego Trolley run close to the neighborhood, although not within it. University Avenue is a major bus route. Major shopping centers are found at Grossmont Center (Target, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Theaters and dining), and College Grove (WalMart, Sam's Club), and there is La Mesa Springs Center at the east end of the neighborhood as well as all sort of other stores in many avenues nearby.

Looking west on Normal Avenue towards Helix Charter
Picture 023

Looking north on Maple Avenue, towards University
Picture 022

If you'd like to talk more about Normal Avenue or any other neighborhood of La Mesa, Contact me. I will be happy to discuss which neighborhoods might be right for you, or the marketing of your current property for an advantageous sale.


Beautiful House, Country Feel, City Close!

Picture 054

General: La Mesa, 3 Bedroom, 1.75 Bathroom

Con:

What's Wrong With It: Dividers between kitchen, living room and dining room. You get some traffic noise outside. Facade needs paint.

Why It Hasn't Sold: It's in a small hidden neighborhood.

Who it's Not Appropriate For: Fixers and Flippers, because there's really not much left to do.

Pro:

Picture 057

Selling Points: There's lots of trees on the street, and it has a good view. Large lot with back yard deck and garden - perfect for parties. Detached two car garage, semi-circular driveway with enough room for at least four cars. Inside is beautiful, too. Hardwood floors and lots of light!

Who Should be Interested: This would be a great place to live! Good schools for families!

Why it's a Bargain: I would expect a property like this to have an asking price at least forty thousand dollars higher.

Picture 055

Financial:

What I think I can get it for: $410,000.

Investment potential: If you keep it ten years and it averages only 5% annual average appreciation per year: Based upon a purchase price of $410,000 the property would be worth approximately $670,000. If you held it those ten years before selling, you would net about $320,000 in your pocket (not including increased value from updates!), assuming zero down payment. As opposed to renting the $2100 per month most comparable currently available rental and investing the difference at 10% per year tax free, you would be approximately $220,000 ahead of the renter, after the expenses of selling.

To learn more: Agree that you'll use me as a buyer's agent if you buy it. If you don't like it or don't buy it, no obligation is incurred. If you're not working with someone who will go out and find properties like this, maybe you should consider working with me instead!

Contact Information:

Dan Melson, Buyer's Agent
One Stop Lending and Realty
9025 Carlton Hills Blvd STE B
Santee, CA 92071
619-300-7425

Today's new consumer article is All Buyer Assistance Programs Require Full Documentation of Income, in which I go over one requirement of all government programs, first time buyer programs, and all other programs where a consumer is getting assistance to purchase or afford a property: the requirement to document sufficient income to be able to afford that loan.

 



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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Dan Melson in September 2008.

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