Save Time & Avoid Hassle With These Tips

Check out these useful tips for saving time and avoid hassle:

  • Dental & Medical Care
    • Schedule an annual dental appointment several years in a row. This may help you avoid having an undiscovered little issue become a big one.Useful tips for saving money & avoiding hassle
    • Schedule an annual doctor’s appointment.
  • Vacation
    • Plan & prepare for your trip in pieces. The next time you decide on a vacation destination, put the initial preparation tasks like booking a flight/boat/rental car/lodging/etc… on your calendar for the following week.  This will give you a week to mull over your decision and ask a few friends if they have any recommendations for your desired vacation spot.
    • After making all your reservations, make a pre-vacation to-do list and include tasks such as wardrobe planning, destination research, vacation activities or tours you want to participate in, etc…
    • Reading about your destination in the weeks or months before your vacation will help you enjoy your trip more and give you a mental vacation that will be followed by your physical vacation.
    • Breaking your vacation preparation into small tasks can help you avoid a last minute rush.
  • Budget, Filing & Bill Paying
    • Keep better track of your budget and spending habits. Consider a financial app on your phone, such as Mint or LearnVest.
    • Set up a pay schedule for bills. NOT on your computer, on your calendar.  Stay in control of bill paying by setting aside one night a week or every 2 weeks or monthly.
    • Create a filing system that includes a “maybe” file. Review the “maybe” file periodically and save or toss items as appropriate.
  • Email & Cell Phones
    • Upload your digital photos to the cloud monthly.
    • Take a little time once a week to unsubscribe from email lists you no longer want to be on.
    • When you are stuck waiting somewhere with nothing to do, use the time to remove unwanted photos, notes and even contacts from your phone!
  • Around The House & In The Car
    • Purge your accessories, make-up, medications, pantry items AND closet regularly.
    • Organize your closet and drawers by outfit to save time.
    • Flush sediment from your hot water heater to save money and gain a boost to the heater’s efficiency!
    • Keep a list of “easy dinners” and use them as your go-to-whenever you are short on time. When you DO cook, make enough to freeze another night’s portions.
    • Put any coupons you want to use in your car where they’ll be handy! Also put reusable grocery bags in your car right after unpacking groceries so you have them with you whenever you need them.
    • Prioritize your morning tasks (unless you have very small kids) in this order: Exercise, Breakfast and Personal Hygiene.  Doing this will become a habit that will improve your days!
    • Hire a housekeeper, gardener, errand person, pet sitter, child entertainer, etc…  You’ll soon realize how freeing and fun it can be!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Safety Tips For Driving In The Rain

Our rainy season isn’t too far away and traffic here in SoCal certainly gets worse when the rain is upon us.  Driving in the rain or on wet roads is risky and paying attention to the following safety tips can help you protect you and yours:

  • Put your patience in high gear. That “idiot”Safety Tips For Driving In The Rain who is “going slow” in front of you is obviously intimidated by the wet surfaces, and honking or swishing quickly around them may exacerbate the situation.  Slow down and think how you would want to be treated if you were afraid.
  • Hydroplaning is an instant effect. It doesn’t happen gradually.  So slow down and leave room between you and other vehicles.
  • Before the season, and certainly before a big deluge of rain or snow, be sure your tires have the minimum tread needed for good road traction.
  • If you go into a skid, look and steer in the direction you want to go in. Do NOT brake, let your vehicle slow down naturally.
  • According to the AAA, cruise control increases the chances that you will lose control in wet conditions so save your cruise control for dry days.

Cheers…Drive Safe,
SD County Escrow Team

Landlord-Tenant Q & A Regarding Notices & Eviction

Question:  Do I always have to give written notice to our resident before making a repair?  They called yesterday and we simply made an appointment for the plumber to meet them at the property next week.

  • Answer:  Normally, you would have to give aLandlord-Tenant Q&A Regarding Notices & Eviction written 24 hour notice, but if the tenant and the landlord orally agree to an entry to make repairs or supply services for a specific date and time, and the entry is within one week from the date of the agreement, no written notice is required.  Also, in cases of emergency or abandonment, the landlord is not required to give written notice.

Question:  If a tenant gives a 30-day notice on the 15th of the month, is it legal to charge them the full rent for the next month and return the prorated remainder of the rent once they have turned in the keys?

  • Answer:  No, they are only required to pay the prorated portion of their rent for the next month.

Question:  I have a tenant who is driving everyone in the apartment complex nuts.  He plays his stereo and television all day and all night and keeps everyone up.  We call the police constantly but they can only do so much.  I want to evict him but he signed a one-year lease.  None of the notices I have make sense in this situation.  What can I do to get this noisy tenant out?

  • Answer:  If the tenant is producing major and continual disturbances to the quiet enjoyment of the neighboring property and it is severe enough, the court could allow you to evict the tenant after service of a 3-day notice to vacate.  This notice does not allow the tenant to cure anything.  Therefore, it has to be a severe situation.  Otherwise, writing warning letters and documenting the disturbances can bolster your case if the tenant does not stay quiet.

We hope this Q & A was helpful!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Source:  Kimball Tirey and St. John, Tenant Landlord attorneys in San Diego

Protection & Self-Defense Tips Learned From Movies & Books

There is actually a lot we can learn about protecting ourselves from “entertainment” sources such as mystery and espionage movies and books.  Some tips we can all use for our own safety are:

  • Be Aware – Even in our own neighborhoods special circumstances can put us at risk, but in a big public location you are likely to be targeted by a mugger, caught in aProtection & Self-Defense Tips Learned From Movies & Books shooting incident, even attacked by a car-jacker. Being aware of faces and the body language of people around you can provide a savvy warning and alert you to unexpected incongruent actions.
  • Test The Situation – If you think you are being followed, take a route that doesn’t really go anywhere in particular, or dodge into a public space with lots of other people around for protection. If the person still seems to be following you, point them out to a security person or police.
  • Avoid Seclusion – This can help you avoid many potential threats.
  • Don’t Be Passive
    • Make direct eye contact, or confront them. Let them know you will not be a passive victim.  Convince them to move on to a more suitable victim.
    • Ask a question that should be simple & quick to answer to throw a potential attacker off, like “do you need directions?”
    • If a person knocks on your door, before you remove the security chain and open the door, ask where their car is parked. If they appear to be a salesperson or service provider, ask how many people they have sold to that day.  When they answer you, notice whether or not they appear uncomfortable or nervous.
  • Have an Effective Self-Defense Tool
    • Guns are good only if you know how to use them.
    • Consider carrying a folding knife which can fit in a pocket or purse. You could use it to defend yourself or escape if you are trapped.
    • Tactical pens actually write, but a strong, steel type can be used like an icepick to jab.
    • Lightweight sheets of Kevlar can be slipped into backpacks or briefcases, and held up to protect you in the case of a shooting.
  • Ward Off Danger by Appearing Invulnerable – Security cameras, alarms, dogs, and lights can protect you from home invasions:
    • Even hints of a big dog, such as big dog toys in the yard can dissuade an intruder!
    • Amazon has fake security cameras for a low price.
    • Motion-sensor lights, powered by solar, can be another inexpensive deterrent.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

‘NewSchool of Architecture & Design’ Is An Asset To San Diego

Whether reaching out to the community with monthly lectures or student exhibits, or offering collaborations with universities and architectural projects around the world, the NewSchool ofNewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego Architecture and Design is globally recognized for its forward-thinking professors, industry connections and inspiring and inspired campus community.  Working toward careers in Architecture, Construction Management, Interior Architecture and Design, Product Design, Design studies and Media Design, the students work independently and collectively to push creative boundaries and develop new solutions.

Established in 1980, the NewSchool offers typical 4 year curriculums and 6 year curricula for those students working full time while studying part time. The Master of Architecture Program was ranked Top 30 in the World by Frame Magazine and the Design and Digital Arts programs were developed cooperatively with two award-winning design schools in Auckland, New Zealand and Milan, Italy.  NewSchool has multiple accreditations, but most exciting is the energy and thrill-level of everyone involved from the student body, to the faculty and administration.

Believing that international study is essential for architecture students, they offer opportunities for their students to study and work in other countries and they host lectures by linguists, cultural anthropologists, historians, landscape architects and even musicians.  They work with the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture and with scientists from Salk Institute and UCSD.

Data has proven that exposure to daylight or having views to nature inside a school aids kids in learning and the NewSchool takes the data seriously by training students in human-centered design for better, healthier buildings.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Business & Personal Gifts That Make A Difference

I bet you have pens, pads, calendars or other token gifts with someone’s advertising prominently on the face.  These are not bad things…they keep our names in front of the people we want to think of us.  But they are not “gifts.”  They are more of a business deal.  “I will trade you this token for the hope that when the time comes, you will call me.”

Gift Giving Tips

  • A gift need not be expensive, but to be effective it has to touch the recipient in some way. It needs to be given without any “agreement”Gifts That Make A Difference or expectation.  It should come from the heart and giving a gift as a surprise is best.  You may still give a pen, pad or calendar, but if they have your name and advertising on them, they no longer count as a gift.
  • Expected items, such as party favors or a bottle of wine, don’t count as gifts.
  • A simple hand-written note, flowers or a piece of original art by the giver, all say to the recipient ‘you are special, and I appreciate you!’

Gifts Can Also Be Things You Say & Do

  • Genuinely telling someone how you appreciate a quality they have or their behavior can be more meaningful than spending many dollars on a tangible gift.
  • Giving a friend the gift of truth and trust can be big. Imagine what caring and trust it takes to tell a friend a truth they really need to hear about themselves!
  • A compliment can be a gift! Imagine how it might feel for a man to hear how his courtesy to your friend or mother impressed you.  This is the type of compliment he may not hear often.
  • Imagine being engaged in a conversation with someone who is genuinely interested in your words and shows it by consistently adding relevant information or commentary.
  • Consider that one of the most desired gifts people would like these days is sincere acknowledgement or appreciation. And it’s not that expensive!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Renovations Are Popular With Both Buyers and Sellers

Many home buyers are hesitating to buy homes that need work or improvement, but those that do are showing a willingness to spend an average of $60,400, according to Houzz.

Anyone with an eye on the real estate market is aware that sellers are strongly encouraged to “stage” their homes, because the spread between homes in excellent condition and “needing work” isRenovations Are Popular With Both Buyers and Sellers frequently significantly more than the cost of making that difference.

Staging originally came on the scene as decluttering and furniture placement.  Then quickly grew to include touching up paint and exposing windows.  In today’s market, staging may also include upgrades such as new surfaces in the kitchen and baths, landscaping and exterior accoutrements.

Part of the reason for greater pre-sale home preparation is that there is such a significant difference in sales price for the same home “au natural” and used, -vs- “stylishly upgraded and presented”.  Markets vary around the country, but in San Diego, an expenditure of $10,000 (unless of course done with careless craftsmanship and a lack of attention to the current design trends) can easily earn the sellers $25,000 above their earlier expectations.  People who consistently maintain their homes in excellent condition can also benefit with pre0sale touches such as freshening house numbers, hardware and accessories, and removing 25% of their personal belongings.  When a house is on the market and being shown, a seller’s furnishings can almost never be too sparse.

Another reason that many home buyers spend so freely on upgrading is that, once their loan has closed, they can rely on credit cards.  Nevertheless, studies show that most renovation work is funded at least partially with cash or a home equity line of credit which has a much lower interest rate than credit cards.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Celebrate Spring With Changes To Home, Work & Personal Life

One of the challenges of adulthood is juggling a fullCelebrate Spring With Changes To Your Home, Work & Personal Life schedule that frequently gets added to!  And just when you would like to celebrate that the rains have gone and flowers are coming, and tanning time is here, and there’s great weather for tennis, hiking and being outside with friends, that nasty old to-do list pops up.  So when are you going to pack up winter and move your household into spring and summer?

Take it a little bit at a time!  Here in San Diego we are lucky to have a long season of Spring and Summer, so you don’t need to give up one or more weekends to lighten up your home and your life.  Consider some things you would like to change in your home, your life, and your business, and then let them simmer in your mind until you are clear on how you want to celebrate and enjoy SPRING in these areas.  Consider the following:

  • At Home – Work with your family to reduce “stuff”.  Open windows, remove heavy and extra accessories you don’t need, expose hard cool surfaces, bring in some flowers and plants, accessorize with a few bold happy colors and open your home up to the fresh air outside.  How about adding outdoor plants that produce pleasing scents?
  • At Work – Notice what you have been doing that doesn’t really bring in business, results or a feeling of accomplishment. Delegate better.  Proceed with purpose and greater clarity.  Not sure how?  Brainstorm with others on how you can lighten your load and expand your results.  You are not the only person who has too little time and too much work and others may provide valuable insight!
  • In Your Personal Life – Start to weed out your obligations to make more time for joyful people and activities that you love.  It’s okay to entertain and not spend the previous week cleaning and shopping and cooking.  Go for casual entertaining…have a quick conversation about the clutter if you feel the need to…and order in!  Do one thing really well, then relax and let everyone have a great time.  Sometimes simply inviting the right people is the Big Secret to entertaining Success!

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Allergy Season & Your Children

Scripps Health organization has offered the following information about how you may treat your child’s symptoms during the blossoming allergy season:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics says that nearly 50% of kids 6-18 years of age are sensitive to one or more allergens in the environment.  Reactions may include asthma, eczema and others.Allergy Season & Your Children
  • Airborne or environmental allergens are the most common type in San Diego, coming from pollen in grasses, trees and shrubbery, as well as dust mites, mold spores and animal dander.
  • Symptoms may resemble a cold – runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, a scratchy throat – without a fever, and they can go on for weeks or months.  Untreated, they can also lead to other problems, such as difficulty sleeping, fluid build-up in the ears, and more.
  • Preventative measures like the following can be very helpful:
    • Avoid the outdoors on windy days
    • Keep bedding freshly laundered and wash it in hot water
    • On a weekly basis, wash stuffed animals or put them in a dryer for 30 minutes

Your pediatrician can help identify your children’s allergy triggers and relieve their symptoms.  Talk to them before using non-doctor recommended cures.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

Interesting San Diego Real Estate & Business Statistics

A new U.S. multi-housing overview by ARA/Newmark Company shows that investors purchased $150 Billion in multi-housing assets due to strong underlying fundamentals.  Demand outpaced new supply across the nation in Atlanta, Jacksonville andInteresting San Diego Real Estate & Business Statistics San Diego.  International capital is a growing segment of the buyer pool with foreign groups concentrated on high-quality, stabilized assets in secondary markets.

  • The average cap rate in San Diego for 2016 was 4.5%.  In San Francisco it was 3.3 and 3.6% in Manhattan.  Meanwhile Jacksonville at 5.6%, Houston at 5.6%, Austin at 5.0%, San Antonio at 5.4% and Dallas at 4.9% drew investors to those locations.
  • Top Buyers are coming from Canada (43%), Israel (11.2%), Singapore (8%), China (5.1%), Germany (4.7%), the UAE (4.5%) and others.
  • In 2016, Atlanta, Denver and Phoenix have experienced increased demand from foreign groups seeking stable quality assets.
  • Multi-housing yields are at a premium compared to treasury rates, despite a sharp rise in rates since the U.S. election.
  • San Diego is in the middle of rent growths at 4.5% with Sacramento at 11.3%!  San Diego is also one of 11 markets with demand in excess of supply.
  • It is also interesting that San Diego is not included on the Sandag study of domestic migration patterns as one of the 10 California communities receiving either a high % of in or out migration.
  • Sandag also reports that the highest % of jobs by industry in California are in government, then professional and business, leisure and hospitality, education and health, then retail.
  • California manufacturing dropped from 11% in 1990 to 6.4% in 2010, and is expected to continue to decrease.
  • 69% of San Diegans work outside the sub-region where they live.  For us in the central region of San Diego only 33% of our employed people live in the area, and 67% commute to work here.

Cheers,
SD County Escrow Team

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