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Carlsbad Relocation A to Z

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An informational source for people who are relocating, with a particular focus on moving to the Carlsbad area of North County San Diego (and nearby coastal communities), with advice, guidance and true stories to help you on your way and make it a great journey, from a REALTOR� with plenty of personal (4 major moves, most recently from Boston to Carlsbad, California) and professional relocation experience. Are you running into problems selling your home? Need to find a new one quickly? Never moved before and haven't a clue? You'll find some great tips on how to solve your relocation issues here. Or ask me a question any time and I'll share some solutions or tell you where to get more information. CA BRE Lic. #01490977


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My Relocation Services for Buyers and Sellers

Having made 4 major moves myself, the most recent from Boston to Carlsbad, and also helping my Mom move from PA to SoCal just last month, I know a bit about relocation. Hence my moniker…the Southern California Relocation Dude!

In addition to significant personal experience (invaluable, in my opinion) I previouslywas involved with relocation as a Human Resources professional, helping employees move but also setting up and coordinating relocations. I am worked with corporate relocation packages and companies and know how those work, too.

Here are some of the services I offer my Relocation Clients:

My ActiveRain Blog

A terrific source of articles about real estate, plus tons of posts about neighborhoods, subdivisions, condo complexes and towns, dining, shopping, tourist stuff, beaches and more. If you are trying to learn about an area you are interested in around Carlsbad you’ll likely find it on my blog.

Additional Video and Photos

Often listings are sadly lacking in information, in particular photos and videos. I spend a fair amount of time taking photos and videos for those who are relocating and need to know more about the house. Yep there is sometimes good information on the Internet but not always. What’s the yard like? The street? The neighborhood? The views?

Relocation Checklist

I have a 4-page checklist of things to consider when planning your relocation, from start to finish. You will be amazed at the number of details to coordinate if you haven’t made a major move. Want a copy? Let me know.

Questions to Ask Your Movers (checklist)

This checklist will help focus on the relevant issues to get the answers you need to make an informed decision about who to hire to move your household goods.

Moving Boxes

I have a bunch of boxes and paper, plus some bubble wrap. If you are moving locally, or out of the area, I will drop some off at your door, then pick them up when you are done. Or keep them if you wish. Do you need to de-clutter before we list your home? I’ll supply some boxes. If you are moving to this area, I will pick up and recycle your unwanted boxes after you unpack.


Posted: 2:03 PM, Sep. 16, 2013
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Buyer's Lifestyle Questionnaire

One of the reasons for your relocation, or simply a result of it, may be a LIFESTYLE CHANGE.

WHile you may be seeking to maintain your current lifestyle in your new home you may be hoping to make some changes.

No doubt whatever your plans, LIFESTYLE is generally a pretty important part of the HOME SEARCH, and likely involves aspects of the house you hope to buy as well as the surrounding neighborhood and the larger community.

Of course many buyers moving here to SoCal are seeking a lifestyle by the beach, being able to be outdoors all year including dining, and a wealth of recreational activities.You may want to be near shopping and dining, or perhaps golfing is an essential part of your lifestyle.

My LIFESTYLE QUESTIONNAIRE may be helpful to you as you think about those things that are really important to you as part of your home search. You will also find a copy of my WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU questionnaire to help in your home search.

If I can help in any way in your home search here in Southern California (Carlsbad and beyond), please don't hesitate to get in touch.

LINK TO LIFESTYLE QUESTIONNAIRE and

WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU QUESTIONNAIRE

(you will be able to download or print)


Posted: 8:40 AM, Sep. 8, 2013
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Questions to Ask Your Movers

I have substantial experience moving, both by myself (and helpful friends) but more so with moving companies, for short distances but especially long distance (I’ve made 4 significant relocations and have been involved with family relocations in a couple others).

Selecting the right moving company is an essential step in your relocation, and it is not just about pricing, although that is important. Remember – you get what you pay for. If budget is really a concern, options like PODS may be more suitable than a moving company.

You should obtain estimates of the move from at least 2 reputable vendors; 3 estimates are even better. Don’t hesitate to ask others who have moved for suggestions. One of my favorites is North American since I have experience with them from 3 moves.

I strongly advise that you develop a list of questions to ask each moving company. This is essential, and particularly helpful if you have never moved a significant distance. Keep in mind the dates you need to be out of the house (if you are flexible, so much the better) and when you can move into your new home or rental.

*      What dates are you available to move us?

*      When would you pack and how many hours or days would this take?

*      Is there an additional charge for packing?

*      Will you provide boxes for me to use for packing and will you deliver?

*      When will you load the van and will this be the same day that you pack

*      If we need to sleep in the house between packing and loading can you leave our beds and other basics out for us to use?

*      What insurance do you provide and what, if anything, does this cost?

*      What is the cost of additional insurance?

*      Does your insurance cover items I pack myself (i.e., PBO)

*      Will my Homeowner’s Insurance cover any damages?

*      Are there any items you cannot ship? (e.g., hazardous)

*      Will you need a shuttle truck because of the location of my house/size of drive way, and if so what does this cost?

*      Can you provide storage at my new location until I can move into my new home?

*      Will you make more than 1 drop off (e.g., my house and a storage unit) and is there a charge for this?

*      Will you ship my car(s)? Will they be towed or go on the moving van?

*      What is the cost of shipping a car, boat, tractor/riding lawnmower, snowmobile or other similar items? Are any of these items you cannot ship for me?

*      How long will it take for my household goods to arrive in my new location?

If you have had movers before you know how efficient they are. They will pack just about anything, and may or may not label things in a way that will allow you to easily identify. Don’t hesitate to be involved to help make this more efficient.

Need more relocation tips? Read further on my Relocation A to Z Blog or give me a call at (760) 840-1360.


Posted: 11:34 AM, Aug. 29, 2013
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Where are the NEW Tips on Relocation??

No doubt you have noticed that I haven't written anything new recently on this RELOCATION blog.

That's not because RELOCATION is no longer a focus of mine. Indeed, I am doing more work on this with buyers and sellers than ever.

I found that it was too difficult to keep up with posts on multiple blogs so now I am focused on writing on my www.AtHomeInCarlsbad.com blog and www.CarlsbadRealEstateNews.com which includes tips and information about RELOCATION.

But take a look at the archives here - there are useful articles on RELOCATION TIPS that go back to 2006 that will help you in the process, based on my personal experience and work with multiple relocating buyers. Just because it is not a NEW article does not mean you won't find it useful. Some things never change!

I will continue to add articles on RELOCATION here from time to time, but don't forget...if you have ANY questions or need help with your RELOCATION, don't hestitate to get in touch by phone (760-840-1360) or email (JeffDowlerSolutions@gmail.com)


Posted: 9:17 AM, Aug. 1, 2012
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Are You Going to Buy Now? Or Later?

The question or whether to buy now or in the future often comes up with relocation.

And there are many issues to consider - finding the right home, selling the old one (if necessary), financial (job, income, debts, credit) and so one.

Some buyers want to buy now, but must wait because they can't find what they want, prices are not what they would like, or financially they just cannot swing it.

And sometime people are waiting becuase they think, or hope, prices will decline. While that may be the case, as it has over these last few years, the rising interest rates could work against any savings you might get from lower prices. You simply won't know when the bottom is until it has passed.

Are you ready to buy now or will that be in the future? Read the full article...


Posted: 7:01 AM, Dec. 20, 2010
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The Psychological Impact of Relocation

Relocation will have an impact no matter who you are, although it does affect people differently, both emotionally and physically. It is a major change in your life and a major adjustment, for you, your spouse or partner, and for any children. You may not always be aware of how it is affecting you, but the important thing is to realize that these feelings are very normal.

It's normal to experience a range of feelings after the decision has been made (or perhaps made for you) - sorrow and maybe depression, fear, anxiety, and excitement, to name a few. While any move will cause a range of emotions and lots of tension and stress , a major move is likely to cause more.

Packing for your relocationIt's certainly common to feel overwhelmed with all that has to be accomplished - selling a home, finding a new one, house hunting, dealing with financial matters, saying good-by, packing, talking with movers, keeping the house in order to show to buyers, paperwork to review and sign, on top of the normal everyday stuff like kids, chores at home and full time jobs.

Fatigue will likely set in, and some people may have problems sleeping. Other common physical issues are loss of appetite, or the opposite...stress eating, increased smoking and/or drinking, headaches, stomach aches, a feeling of burning in the chest, and more.

But you will likely feel some excitement about your move. Keeping a positive attitude about what is happening and the future will help keep it all in perspective.

Trying to maintain as much normality as possible in your schedule and daily life, keeping a positive attitude, and being organized around all that has to be done will go a long way toward minimizing the tensions of your relocation.

But recognizing that this is all normal and will pass with time is important too!

Good luck and have fun!


Posted: 1:49 PM, Dec. 13, 2010
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Learning About Neighborhoods

A common question buyers ask is "what is the best way to learn about neighborhoods?" THis may be particularly important if you are not familiar with the area.

Finding the neighborhood that feels right to YOU is very personal. While you can describe to me, or YOUR agent, what you want, only you can really tell is a particular community "feels right."

People have different ideas of what is important to them in a neighborhood, and most issues are best discovered on your own (e.g., the way an area looks adn feel, proximity to desired amenities, traffic, is it friendly, demographics, safety, etc.).

Sometimes price will determine what neighborhoods will be suitable (this may be true in expensive areas, like Southern California, or if your budget is limited), or access to certain schools or other amenities may dictate where you will want to live.

In this day and age you have the Internet to help you do your research on things like schools, shopping, crime, demographics and ahost of ther issues that may be important to you.

But to really get a feel for the neighborhoods that feel right and meet your requirements you will have to spend time exploring them in person - spend significant time in the area, driving or walking around and getting a feel for the community and the people who live there. You can also stop in at some houses if you wish and chat with some of the neighbors, although some people aren't comfortable doing this. You might visit the area at different times of the day or on weekends if traffic and noise is a concern.

Bear in mind that as an agent there are some things we cannot discuss because of potential discrimination issues, e.g., what school is the best, which areas to buy in due to the presence of different religious institutions, or the demographics of the community, or the crime statistics, and so on. We are prohibited by law from directing folks to or away from areas based on these kinds of factors, so please be understanding if we say we can't provide the precise information YOU would like to have. Those are things that you can investigate if they are important to you.

READ MORE:  Internet Aids for Your Relocation

If I can help in any way to provide you with some other on-line resouces, please let me know.


Posted: 1:08 PM, Dec. 12, 2010
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How to Research Schools in Your New Community

Area schools are often one of the major criteria buyers are concerned about when searching for a new home. Indeed, some homeowners will only buy where their children can attend a certain school.

And it’s not only those with school-age children, because schools, saleability, and home values are closely linked. So being in a particular school district or near a certain school CAN make a difference.

 

This is important, especially in some communities (Carlsbad, Oceanside, Cardiff, Encinitas) where there may be mutiple school districts.

So how do you find out about the schools in the communities you are thinking about for your new home?

There are some websites that buyers I have worked with recommend. Keep in mind the data may be a bit dated, and it's not just about school rankings. But it will give you a good start so you can following up with the actual schools to learn more, and also talk with parents who have kids attending.

School Digger

Great Schools


Posted: 11:37 AM, Dec. 9, 2010
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Should I Buy or Rent Before I Buy

New Home in Carlsbad CAIt is not uncommon in a RELOCATION that you find yourself needing to sell your current home first.

But the issue often becomes - "should I rent first and then look for a new home?"

Timing can be tricky but many choose to do this, or have no real choice.

With diligent efforts using the Internet and working with a competent REALTOR in your new city, plus a househunting trip or two, this can generally be accomplished fairly readily. Lots of people don't want to move more than once, so they prefer to go from the old home to a new one right away.

Depending on your reasons for moving and other timing issues (selling a home, getting kids into school, starting a new job), renting a place while you look for a home to buy may be the best solution.  And if you cannot sell your current home right away, your budget may not allow the purchase of you new home  right away.

Finding the right home is important, and if you are renting you have the luxury of time, so you can look more effectively, without a time crunch, and then will be ready to buy when the right thing comes along. Another advantage is not having to coordinate the sale of your old home with the purchase of a new one, unless you can buy without needing to sell...a luxury many do not have.

The downside, of course, is needing to move a second time, and finding a short term rental, unless you are willing to rent for a year, can be tough.

Having relocated 4 major times, I think renting first can make a alot of sense for some homeowners, especailly if they have no familiarity with their new home.  When making a personal choice to move here, being sure that this is what you want and finding the right community are so important. Taking the time you need to do so can make a huge difference to your peace of mind.

Either way, if I can help any way in your home search or answer any questions about relocation or the North San Diego County area, please don't hesitate to ask.


Posted: 1:59 PM, Dec. 7, 2010
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There Are Things to Know about the Freeways in California

If you are relocating to Southern California, there are some things to know about the highways, uh, freeways.

I wrote this artcile, in part in jest, but it really is different in some ways than dirving in some other part of the country. Having moved here from Boston, 5 years ago, it took a while to get used to the freeways. I had done quite a bit of driving here over the years while on business, but dealing with them everyday was eye opening.

And if you are moving here from a small community, you will liekly find the transition tougher than if you are accustomed to traffic in a major metropolitan.

Hopefully the article (link above) will be sueful to you. I'd be curious what you think after you have a freeway experience for the first time here.


Posted: 6:46 PM, Dec. 2, 2010
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How to Put Out a Fire with a Fire Extinguisher

Since we seem to be on the topic of fires, here's an article I just did that has a lot of practical value.

Many folks HAVE fire extiguishers but do NOT know how to use them

Here are a couple of videos that will cure that problem.

 

HOW TO PUT OUT A FIRE WITH A FIRE EXTINGUISHER


Posted: 6:10 PM, May. 8, 2010
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25 Tips on How to Protect Your Home from Fires

I received this article via email and felt it was worth sharing.

While it has nothing, really, to do with relocation, it has everything to do with protecting your biggest investment - YOUR HOME!!

Fires can be so destructive, whether an individual home fire or the wildfires we see so often here in California.

Smoke from the October 2007 wildfires in San Diego

I hope you will read it and share it with others who might benefit.

25 Tips to Protect Your New Home from Fires

 

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If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers  How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler


Posted: 8:12 AM, May. 2, 2010
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Some Great News - California Homebuyer Tax Credits

California just signed a new bill, AB183, giving California first time buyers and buyers of NEW construction homes a tax credit of up to $10,000, or 5% of the purchase price, whichever is less. There are restrictions, of course, and you should consult a tax professional to see what this may mean for you and your taxes.

This is great news if you are thinking about buying.

If you time it right (the new tax credit kicks in for home bought on or after May 1, 2010) you could get up to $18,000 if you qualify for the federal first time buyer tax credit or move-up buyer credit, AND buy a new home between May 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010.

Read more about the New Tax Credit in California

 

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE THE LINK TO THIS WITH OTHERS WHO MAY HAVE AN INTEREST IN THE TAX CREDITS

 

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Follow Jeff Dowler on Twitter

 

If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers  How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler


Posted: 11:29 AM, Mar. 26, 2010
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First Time Buyer's Tax Credit Misconception AND Deadline

I wrote and article on my First Time Buyers Central blog about the tax credit and the fact that it is getting close to the deadline (true, also, for the move-up buyers' tax credit).

Also, there are some folks who think you get the whole shebang (i.e., $8000 or $6500). But, as always with these sorts of things there are limitations. I made a mistake when I first wrote the article, and thanks to a careful reader the information has been reposted.

 

Read the article for more information.

 

And here's the website on the tax credit with lots of good information.

 

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Follow Jeff Dowler on Twitter

 

If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers  How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler


Posted: 3:54 PM, Feb. 13, 2010
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Shall I Rent or Shall I Buy?

If you are relocating here to Southern California (Carlsbad, Encinitas or other nearby San Diego coastal communities) you may be considering if you should rent or if you should buy.

It's a tough question, and there are pros and cons to both sides. And I have done both

Getting the lay of the land before buying in a new community makes sense. And financially you may need some time to get things in order, especially if you are moving here from a less expensive area, or if your home has not yet sold and you do not qualify for a mortgage until that happens.

It can be a great time to buy, however, for some buyers. The prices are about where they were in 2004, give or take. Mortgage rates are terrific and still in the 5% range  (but that is expected to shift upwards over the next few months so you will pay more each month for the same house). Given the general downward trend in inventory (some communities in my area have less than 5 months of inventory), there is a lot of competition, especially at the lower price points, and we are seeing some upticks in average prices of homes sold.

Will this continue?

Hard to say. Waiting a year to buy could mean you will pay more for your home, both in terms of price as well as in the interest rate.

We could also see more inventory, especially of short sales and Roes, but that can also mean more competition.

But the choice is personal and does depend on your personal situation. If I can help with more information about the market so you can make an informed choice, please let me know.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A RENTAL:

  • Most of the area rentals will be found on sites like Craigslist and SignOnSanDiego. Landlords can list their properties for free and do not have to pay a fee to a real estate agent.
  • I can also send you rental listings from the MLS but there will be fewer options to choose from.
  • Know that if you have pets, especially dogs, that some rentals have restrictions, either due to the home owner's preference on in the case of the HOA or condo association.

 

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WANNA GOOGLE ME?

  

 

 

Follow Jeff Dowler on Twitter

 

If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.

Search for Homes Community Information First Time Home Buyers  How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler


Posted: 8:15 AM, Jan. 21, 2010
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Jeff Dowler, ABR, CRS, e-PRO, SRES (RE/MAX Associates): Real Estate Agent in Carlsbad, San Diego County, California
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