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Carlsbad Relocation A to Z

My Relocation Services for Buyers and Sellers

Sep. 16, 2013
Categorized in: Relocation Tips

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.

Buyer's Lifestyle Questionnaire

Sep. 8, 2013
Categorized in: House Hunting

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)

Questions to Ask Your Movers

Aug. 29, 2013
Categorized in: Due Diligence

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.

Are You Going to Buy Now? Or Later?

Dec. 20, 2010
Categorized in: Financial Stuff

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...

Learning About Neighborhoods

Dec. 12, 2010
Categorized in: 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.

Should I Buy or Rent Before I Buy

Dec. 7, 2010
Categorized in: Financial Stuff

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.

Some Great News - California Homebuyer Tax Credits

Mar. 26, 2010
Categorized in: Taxes

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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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

Shall I Rent or Shall I Buy?

Jan. 21, 2010
Categorized in: Financial Stuff

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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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

Carlsbad Relocation Tips - Finding the Right Comunity and Your New Home

Aug. 24, 2009
Categorized in: House Hunting

Relocating presents many challenges, especially if you are moving a long distance say from the right coast to the left coast as I did.

Finding the right community adn the right home are usually at the top of the relocating buyer's list. And while that can be a chore, with today's technolgoy adn a few tips, you can conduct a search for where you want to live without too much trouble other than some time and some good questions.

I have been writing a series on relocation on my ActveRain blog and Carlsbad Real Estate News.

Since reprinting word for word can creat a problem for the search engines, here are the links to those articles that I believe will help in your search and answer some of your questions.

Carlsbad Relocation Tips - Finding Your Community

Carlsbad Relocation Tips - Finding Your New Home

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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

How Does Inventory Affect Buying and Selling?

Aug. 18, 2009
Categorized in: Selling Your House

If you are selling your home as part of your RELOCATION, and planning to buy a new one in your new location, you really need to understand about INVENTORY and how it can impact the decisions you  need to make.

Inventory will affect the price you will determine for listing your home so it is positioned well in YOUR particular market.

Bbut inventory will also impact the options you will have in your new location. A well-informed agent WILL understand this and be able to provide you with the information you need most so you can be an informed consumer.

If you need help in finding a qualified agent in your area, please feel free to let me know. I have a huge network of agents I know around the country becuase of my substantial Internet marketing plus my professional certifications (Certified Residential Specialist or CRS for one).

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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 © 2009 Jeff Dowler

Carlsbad Relocation Tips - Finding a REALTOR and Finding Your Community - A Series

Aug. 18, 2009
Categorized in: Finding a REALTOR

I'm writing a new series of articles on RELOCATION on my ActiveRain Blog.

Part 1 is about FINDING YOUR REALTOR

Part 2 is about FINDING YOUR COMMUNITY.

Stay tuned for  Parts 3, 4 and 5 where I will help you find the right home, get through the house hunting process, and navigate the transaction from a distance so you can move to your new home in your new location.

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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 © 2009 Jeff Dowler

Considering a Short Sale or REO in Your Relocation Plans?

Jul. 21, 2009
Categorized in: House Hunting

Lots of folks want to buy a short sale or an REO...or think they do.

This is fairly common for folks who are relocating here to Southern California because of the perception that these may be great deals given what they have heard about California foreclosures, and major price adjustments in the last several years. While it is true that prices have come down, substantially in some areas, the belief that you can get a home for 50 cents on the dollar is just not realistic, nor is buying a waterfront home in Carlsbad on the ocean for $500,000 a possibility.

That does not mean that you should not consider short sale and REO (foreclosure, bank-owned) homes, along with traditional resales so you get the full picture of your options. Indeed, you should. But being aware of some of the issues is important so you make an informed decision.

One thing you will often find is that things you normally would find in a resale are missing in a short sale, and even more commonly in an REO.

Read more about buying a short sale or REO to find out what you may be missing...

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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 © 2009 Jeff Dowler

Checking Out the Schools When Relocating

Mar. 13, 2009
Categorized in: Schools

For many buyers who are relocating, checking out the schools is a critical part of the process in their move.

It can impact where they move to (i.e., the specific neighborhood) as well as the timing (in some school districts you must be a resident for a period of time before registering AND provide proof of occupancy), so doing the research in advance is smart.

Here are several sites that buyer clients have recommended from their own research. I have looked at all of them and find School Digger to be my favorite becuase of the amount of information and the functionality, but make you own decisions.

School Digger

Great Schools

School Matters

Private Schools

 

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If I can provide more information about Carlsbad 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 Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2009 Jeff Dowler

The ActiveRain Real Estate Network - A Powerful Consumer Tool

Jan. 14, 2009
Categorized in: Research

I have mentioned, on more than one occasion, my writing on ActiveRain, the largest real estate social and informational network on-line with over 128,000 members of the RE biz.

I suspect many of you have been there as a result of links to articles posted here on Relocation A to Z. I have been a member of ActiveRain for over 2 years now, with almost 1000 articles written. The membership when I started was a little over 6,000 folks.

ActiveRain, or AR as it is fondly called, is a powerful consumer tool (see link below)

ActiveRain real estate network logo and link

There are many thousands of articles on AR written by REALTORS like myself, mortgage brokers, staging professionals, home inspectors and others in our business. These articles have to do with communities all over the US, housing, things to do and places to visit, as well as a wealth of information useful to buyers and sellers.

A recent article by founder Jon Washburn indicated that while AR is a powerful peer-to-peer platform, it is even more powerful as a consumer tool, with about 9 times as many consumer hits as members, and a growth rate in 2008 of about 200%.

Walkable Neighborhoods in North County San Diego

Dec. 17, 2008
Categorized in: House Hunting

Read about walkable real estateI have had a good number of buyers who are relocating here and want to be within walking distance of amenities such as shopping, restaurants, services, and the public library, among other things.

While this is not an easy thing to find, there are real estate opportunities in a number of North County San Diego communities where I work that will allow for this - Carlsbad, Cardiff, Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar for example.

Walkability, of course, is in the eyes of the beholder, or should we say the feet of the walker?

Some people consider 15 - 20 minutes a very reasonable walk and others want to be closer, say 10 minutes or so. So as I am sharing information about these communities, bear in mind that if walking distance is important you will need to check it out for yourself to be sure.

There is a neat web tool that allows you to gain an idea of walkability. I talk about it in the first of my walkable neighborhood series articles - it's called a WALKSCORE. You simply enter an address and it will calculate a score based on proximity to a variety of amenities (plus you get the distances to those amenities so you can sort of judge for yourself). Being close to one store will not get you a high walkability score - what is more important is general walkability to a range of amenities and services.

READ MORE: Finding a Place to Live With Great Walkability (Walkable Neighborhood Series)

I am continuing to add communities to my walkable neighborhood series, but here are the first few. And if I can provide more information, please let me know. Or stop by the search page on my website and search for homes in the MLS (the link is BELOW). Grab a few and enter the addresses into Walkscore to see how it works. Or use your own address. have fun, and happy searching.

Carlsbad Village Real Estate in Carlsbad, California

 

 

Downtown Encinitas

 

 

Cardiff Real Estate in The Walking District in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

 

 

Carlsbad Homes for Sale in La Costa, Carlsbad

 

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If I can provide more information about Del Mar, Carlsbad 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 Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2008 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits

Carlsbad Relocation A to Z

Blog by Jeff Dowler
Carlsbad, California

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´┐Ż 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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Sounds like you made the right move. Best of luck,...
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