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By Amanda Mitchell | Agent in San Diego County, CA
  • Easy Mortgage Calculator for San Diego Home Buyers

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Diego, Financing in San Diego, How To... in San Diego  |  July 22, 2013 4:15 PM  |  504 views  |  No comments
    Click here to get answers from a loan proOne of the most asked questions I receive on a daily basis from San Diego home-buyers is how much their monthly mortgage payment will be. There are a number of factors that will affect the amount of a payment (e.g., current interest rate, type of loan and down payment) but there is an easy formula you can use to get a quick estimate. Check it out below!

    Based on today's rates, here is the easiest mortgage calculator you can use based on the type of loan:

    FHA Loan
    An FHA buyer can expect to pay $720 a month for every $100,000 of a purchase price. So the monthly payment for a home that is purchased for $300,000 is calculated as follows:
    $720 X 3 = $2,160/month

    VA Loan
    A VA buyer can expect to pay $630 a month for every $100,000 of a purchase price. So the monthly payment for a home that is purchased for $300,000 is calculated as follows:
    $630 X 3 = $1,890/month

    Conventional Loan w/ 10% down
    A conventional buyer with $30,000 down can expect to pay $590 a month for every $100,000 of a purchase price. So the monthly payment for a home that is purchased for $300,000 is calculated as follows:
    $590 X 3 = $1,770/month*
    assumes lender paid mortgage insurance which is a higher rate 

    Conventional Loan w/ 20% down
    A conventional buyer with $60,000 down can expect to pay $527 a month for every $100,000 of a purchase price. So the monthly payment for a home that is purchased for $300,000 is calculated as follows::
    $527 X 3 = $1,581/month* 
    * A buyer does not pay mortgage insurance with a 20% or greater down on-line.

        Of course, there is no substitution for a professional loan officer who will give you an accurate number down to the cent, but this is simply used for a quick estimate. A pre-approval should be the very first step a home buyer takes before looking at homes but many times I'll speak with them before this step has been taken. When I discuss the price criteria for a home purchase with a buyer who hasn't yet been pre-approved for a loan, instead of asking how much they want to keep their purchase price under, I'll instead ask them how much they can afford to pay a month and I'll use this calculation to give them an idea to start with.
        If you're ready to get started on your house hunt, click the search for homes for sale link below and search over 10,000 homes currently on the market! And don't worry, if you're not great with numbers and you dont have a basic calculator handy, you can use our handy online mortgage calculator you'll find on listing's page!


  • Best spots in San Diego to watch the 4th of July Fireworks shows

    Posted Under: General Area in San Diego County, Entertainment & Nightlife in San Diego County, In My Neighborhood in San Diego County  |  July 2, 2013 6:16 PM  |  1,009 views  |  No comments

    There is just 2 more days before America celebrates her 237th birthday. Instead of a birthday cake, we'll celebrate with 
    fiery colorful displays of explosives in the sky. Last year I was unfortunately smack dab in front of the Big Bay Boom and bust  when hundreds of fireworks, that were supposed to create a show lasting over 10 minutes, went off simultaneously and ended in less than 30 short seconds. Needless to say I am hoping for an extra spectacular show this year. Luckily there are tons of options for us here in San Diego. Below is a list of all scheduled shows in San Diego County from North County to South County and East of course. Where's your favorite spot for fireworks?

    San Diego

    • Annual Big Bay Boom July 4 Fireworks Show
      Location: Multiple Locations along San Diego Bay
      Time: 9:00 PM
      Take in the largest display in the county, with fireworks launched from four barges strategically placed around North San Diego Bay, they can be seen from Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero area and Seaport Village/Coronado Landing. Just find a place along the bay and you will not be disappointed. Music from 105.7 "The Walrus" FM radio.
    • SeaWorld San Diego
       SeaWorld San Diego
      Time: Fireworks at 9:30 PM
      Extended fireworks show, Into the Blue, set to patriotic music. The park will stay open late until 11:00 PM.
    • Ocean Beach
      Location: Ocean Beach Pier at the end of Newport Ave.
      Time: 9:00 PM
      Spend the day picnicking, swimming in the ocean, walking and playing in the sand and shopping along Newport Ave. Then bundle up as the sun sets and pull up a blanket for a really spectacular fireworks show launched from the OB Pier.
    • Old Town 4th of July
      Location: Old Town State Historic Park
      Time: 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM
      Parade, crafts and activities of early San Diego recreate an old fashioned Independence Day celebrated on the frontier. (no fireworks)


    • 4th of July Celebration in Coronado
       Various Locations on Coronado
      Time: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
      Celebrate the 4th of July in the Crown City with a parade down Orange Avenue at 10:00 AM, a concert in Spreckels Park at 4:00 PM and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9:00 PM.

    North County Coastal

    • San Diego County Fair 4th of July Celebration
       Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar
      Date: July 4, 2013
      Time: Starts at 9:30 AM, Fireworks at 9:00 PM
      Start off the day at the Fair with a patriotic opening ceremony at 9:30 AM, then enjoy the Hometown Heroes Parade at 7:00 PM, a concert provided by the Navy Band Southwest followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
    • La Jolla Cove 4th of July
       Ellen Browning Scripps Park, 1180 Coast Boulevard, La Jolla
      Time: 9:00 PM
      After a day on the beautiful beaches of La Jolla, take in a spectacular set of fireworks with a picturesque background.
    • Red, White and BOOM!
       LEGOLAND California, One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad
      Time: Fireworks at 8:30 PM
      Take the whole family and spend the day enjoying over 60 rides, shows and attractions along with some all-American picnic games like burlap races and water-balloon tosses and then top it off with an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to patriotic music.
    • Oceanside Freedom Days Parade
      Location:North on N Coast Hwy 101 from Wisconsin Ave to Civic Center Drive (just past City Hall
      Date: June 29, 2013
      Time: 10:00 AM
      Come see floats, bands, walking groups, cool cars and much more. The theme this year is "The Spirit of Freedom." (no fireworks)
    • Camp Pendelton Beach Bash
      Location: Del Mar Beach on Camp Pendelton
      Date: July 4, 2013
      Military members and their families enjoy an explosive fireworks show, live bands, a video tribute, sun, surf, patriotism and Esprit de Corps all in one day at the 4th of July Beach Bash!

    North County Inland

    • Independence Day Celebration
       Grape Day Park, 321 North Broadway, Escondido
      Time: 4:00 to 9:00 PM
      Pack a picnic, and grab a blanket to enjoy a day full of music, magicians, baton twirlers, kid-friendly activities, contests and fireworks.
    • Grand Tradition July 4th
       Grand Tradition, 1602 South Mission Road, Fallbrook
      Time: Starts at 4:00 PM, Fireworks at 8:45 PM
      Enjoy a day of live entertainment, dancing, kid friendly activities, Quack-Up Suck Race, Rubber Raft Regatta, food and drink, and fireworks! Tickets include admission and tickets which can be used for food, beverages and activities.
    • Mira Mesa Fourth of July Celebration
       Mira Mesa Community Park, Mira Mesa Boulevard and New Salem Street, Mira Mesa
      Time: Fireworks at 9:00 PM
      Come early for the parade and family friendly activities and stay late for the fireworks.
    • 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks
       Poway High School Stadium, 15500 Espola Road, Poway
      Time: 7:00 to 10:00 PM
      Following the Poway Old-Fashioned Fourth of July celebration at Old Poway Park (10:00 AM to 4:00 PM), head to Poway High School for music, more food, glow sticks and fireworks.
    • Rancho Bernardo's The Spirit of the Fourth
      Location: Webb Park
      Time: 7:00 AM to 9:30 PM
      It's a whole day of fun in Rancho Bernardo with a pancake breakfast; a festival with food, music and games; a parade; and fireworks!
    • Rancho Santa Fe's Independence Day Concert on the Green
       1:00 PM
      Pack a few blankets and chairs for a free patriotic concert performed by the Coastal Communities Concert Band.
    • San Marcos 4th of July Celebration
       Bradley Park, Rancho Sante Fe Road and Linda Vista Drive, San Marcos
      Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
      Carnival games, jumpers, food and fireworks!
    • Scripps Ranch 4th of July Parade and Festival
       Scripps Ranch Hoyt Park (Festival)
      Time: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
      After the community parade, enjoy fun, food, music and games at the free festival. (no fireworks)
    • Red White and Boom! Celebration
       Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista
      Time: 1:00 pm - 9:00 pm
      Celebrate Independence Day Vista Style with live music, the Light up the Night Dinner ($40 for kids 10 and under and $60 for adults) and fireworks. Admission is $5 (kids 5 and under are free). Parking is $5 at Vista High School with shuttles from 1:00 - 11:00 pm and $15 at Brengle Terrace Park.

    East County

    • El Cajon 4th of July Celebration
       Kennedy Park, 1675 East Madison Avenue
      Time: 12:00 to 9:00 PM
      Enjoy a picnic in sunny San Diego East County and stay for a spectacular fireworks show.
    • Julian 4th of July Parade
      Location: Along Main Street from Julian High School to Frank Lane Park
      Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
      Julian presents a homegrown event that celebrates the town's gold rush era history, the dedication of veterans and active duty military who serve our country, and local residents who cherish the special qualities of the little town tucked into the Cuyamaca Mountains east of San Diego.
    • Ramona's Annual Fourth of July Celebration
       Olive Pierce Middle School, 1521 Hanson Lane, Ramona
      Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
      Join the Romana Kiwanis and Rotary clubs for food, fun and fireworks.
    • Santee Salutes
       Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive, Santee
      Time: 3:30 to 9:30 PM
      Rock out with 80z All Stars playing hits from the 80s, a patriotic ceremony by the HMH-462 Color Guard, inflatable zone, food trucks and fireworks. Parking is $5 for regular and $15 for preferred. Free parking is available at the nearby Costco and Rio Seco School.

    South Bay

    • National City Carnival
       Kimball Park
      Time: TBD
      The Carnival excitement starts on Friday with games rides food and drinks. The party continues until the 4th of July with fireworks to cap off a long weekend of fun!\

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  • 100% Financing in San Diego is still available to home buyers

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Diego County, Financing in San Diego County  |  September 27, 2012 9:38 PM  |  623 views  |  1 comment

          That's right! 100% Financing is still available to San Diego home buyers! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has partnered with local lenders to build home-owning opportunities by offering buyers the option to finance 100% of their new home's purchase price! 
          This program is available to buyers who are looking to buy in certain areas of the county. And there is hope for those who were victims of the market's downturn! Buyer's who were able to repair their credit after a short-sale have the opportunity to start over fresh with a new home just 3 years after. There are eligibility requirements of course, but its nothing to strict, take a look:
    • Good credit history for the past 3 years! (no open collections, judgments, liens etc.)
    • Home must be your primary residence (cant currently own a home)
    • Verify-able income within 120% of S.D.'s median income.
    • Home must be loacted in the eligible areas (see map below.)
    This is honestly one of the best programs available to buyers right now! Take a look at the advantages:
    • No down-payment required!
    • No monthly mortgage insurance!
    • Can finance up to 103.625% of the purchase price to cover closing costs!
    • Low interest rates - under 5% right now!
          Now many of you are thinking "Well, what areas are considered rural"? Take a look at the map below of Alpine! Anywhere not shaded in orange is considered "RURAL". 

           As you can see ANYWHERE east of  Dunbar Ln. is considered "Rural" to the USDA. This means that just about ANY home (condos, town-homes and detached houses) in east El Cajon, Alpine, south in Harbinson Canyon, Dehesa, Jamul and even some parts of Otay can be purchased with 100% financing! And the same is true when you head north into Lakeside, Ramona, Valley Center and Hidden meadows! Click the map above to link to my page and send me an email to receive a list of homes eligible in areas you are interested in!

  • The City of La Mesa's Home Buyer Assistance Program Offers up to $70,000 to Homebuyers for their down payment.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in La Mesa, Financing in La Mesa, In My Neighborhood in La Mesa  |  November 10, 2011 6:50 PM  |  1,485 views  |  No comments

      From Escondido to Spring Valley, just about every city in San Diego County is offering some type of Home-Buyer Assistance program to their residents. The city of La Mesa has a fantastic program that still has funds available.  La Mesa's Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance (DCCA) program was designed to make additional funds available to those who are buying a new home. These funds are offered in the form of a “Silent Second” mortgage. Here are the basics:

    • Available to buyers who haven’t owned a home in the past 3 years
    • Will loan up to $70,000
    • No payments are due until the home is sold
    • Available for condos, town-homes or detached homes
    • Typically a 30 year fixed rate loan at 3%
    • Available to households whose income is 80% or below the San Diego County median.
      *A household making $66,100 a year, depending on how much debt they already have, should be able to qualify for a purchase price in the low $300,000 range.

       The home-buyer must still qualify for a first mortgage through a qualified lender then the city will provide the additional funds in the form of a second mortgage. As I mentioned above this loan is typically a 30 year fixed rate loan at 3% interest. It is referred to as a “silent” loan meaning it is deferred, requiring no monthly payments and isn’t due in full until there is a transfer or sale of the property, the borrower dies or no longer occupies the property.   

          Lastly in order to qualify for this second loan, all applicants are required to attend an 8-hour homebuyer education class given by a HUD approved agency.  The cost of the class is $40 per family but will be reimbursed by the City of La Mesa for the cost of the class following the funding of the loan.
      This is just one more reason why it is a great time to buy a new home. Home prices are low, rates are crazy low - 4.25%, and there is TONS of free money and other assistance available to all types of home-buyers.

    Search hundreds of La Mesa home for sale

    Search for Bank Owned deals in La Mesa
  • Crazy Low Down Payment Programs and Record Low Interest Rates for San Diego Home Buyers

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Diego County, Financing in San Diego County  |  June 17, 2011 2:15 PM  |  1,663 views  |  No comments

    If the thought of buying a home has crossed your mind in the past few months, what are you waiting for? Its time to quit thinking about it and time to do it! Conditions couldn't be better! FHA is offering a 1/2% Down Payment loan program and interest rates are at record lows of 4.25%. Here is a quick overview of the FHA 1/2% Down Payment Program:
    • 30 year fixed rate mortgage
    • Requires only .5% down from the buyer
    • Offers additional 3% towards the down payment or closing costs
    • Additional funds sit as a silent second (no payments towards second until the house is sold, re-financed or paid off.)
    This program is available for any home in San Diego that is FHA approved! The very first step to take is to get in touch with a lender to get pre-approved. As long as you have a good credit history, no short-sales/foreclosures for the past 3 years, and verifiable income, you should have no problem qualifying for this program!

    Once you are approved you can start searching for your new home. I can refer you to a lender who will get you the very best rates available and send over a FREE list of homes currently available! Here is a sneak peak at a few homes that would qualify for this program:

    This 3 bedroom historic El Cajon home has real character! - Only $1050 Down!

    Beautiful remodeled La Mesa home on a spacious corner lot - Only $1400 Down!

    This pristine 3 bedroom Alpine home is a traditional sale with a professionally landscaped backyard! - Only  $1850 Down!

    This 2200 sq. foot, 4 bedroom Fletcher Hills home is a traditional sale and has just been completely remodeled and features panoramic views - Only $2100 Down!

    If you are interested in more information about 
    FHA's 1/2% down payment program or any of the homes above or, give me a call or shoot me a message! You can also search thousands of homes for sale by clicking the gray or orange buttons below!


  • San Diego Home Buyer Programs offering 100% Financing, Closing Costs & Down-Payments & $1000s for upgrade

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Diego, Financing in San Diego, Remodel & Renovate in San Diego  |  March 25, 2011 11:34 AM  |  1,822 views  |  No comments
         In the past few months I've brought to you a number of programs aimed to create more opportunities for new home buyers. These include; 100% Financing (That's $0 down people!), 1/2% Down Payment program with FHA, Closing cost GRANTS (Don't have to be paid back, EVER!), Down-payment assistance (Doesn't have to be paid back after 30 years!), and the FHA EEM offering $1000's for upgrades!
        If you dont think now is a great time to buy, you are mistaken! I've just given you 5 reasons why it is a GREAT time to buy!

    Here is quick glance at the programs mentioned above!

    USDA's 100% Financing Program
    • Will loan up to 103.625% of the purchase price
    • No Down-payment required!
    • Flexible credit score guidelines
    • No monthly mortgage insurance!
    • Closing costs can come from ANY source including gifts!
    • Low interest rates - Under 5% right now!
    • Home must be in a Rural Development eligible area (Alpine, Harbinson Canyon, East El Cajon, Lakeside,  Ramona, Valley Center etc)
    FHA's 1/2% Down payment Financing
    • Will loan 99.5% of purchase price
    • 3% can be used towards closing cost or additional down payment
    • Minimum credit score of 580 (borrowers are under 620, additional restrictions apply and homebuyer education is also required.)
    • 120% Area Median Income ( $90,600 in San Diego county)
    • Not Limited to first time home buyers
    • Gift funds allowed from family members 
    • No borrower reserves/assets required
    Closing Costs Grant
    • Provides up to 4% of purchase price to cover closing costs
    • Quick Processing
    • Completely forgive-able after 6 years - WONT HAVE TO PAY BACK!!!
    • Buyer income cannot exceed 80% of area minimum.

    Down Payment Assistance

    • Offers up to 17% of purchase price to cover down-payment needed of 20%
    • No payment (interest or principal) for 30 years
    • After 30 years its forgiven, only original mortgage principal is due!
    FHA EEM - Energy Efficient Mortgage
    • If you qualify for FHA you automatically qualify for the EEM
    • Offers financing up to 5% of median home value - $430,000, up to $21,500
    • 15 or 30 year fixed and ARM available
    • Can be used for new windows, HVAC, Insulation, Solar Technology, Appliances, chimney upgrades etc.
    So, there you have it! Just 5 of the MANY reasons why it is a great time to buy! There are so many options out there paired with thousands of homes for sale! Owning a home doesnt have to be a dream anymore! To search over 15,000 homes for sale click the links below!

    1000s of San Diego homes for sale
     bank owned homes
  • San Diego Home Buyers only need 1/2% Down Payment with FHA's CHF Access Program!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Diego, Financing in San Diego  |  March 23, 2011 10:20 AM  |  1,630 views  |  1 comment
      Owning a home doesnt have to be a dream anymore!
    San Diego home buyers can qualify for the FHA ½% down payment program! If you're still thinking now isn’t a great time to buy, you're crazy! Its more affordable today than it has been in years! And I'm not the only one who thinks so! Look at what the Trump said just a few weeks ago! “This is a great time to go out and buy a house. And if you do, in 10 years you’re going to look back and say, ‘You know, I‘m glad I listened to Donald Trump’.”

        This program is designed to assist qualifying homebuyers with their down payment and/or closing costs by offering up to 99.5% financing  to increase homeownership opportunities for low-to-moderate income individuals and families. There are of course requirements but nothing too strict, take a look:

    • Home must be principal residence
    • Borrower provides ½% of the purchase price for a down-payment.
    • Minimum credit score of 580 (borrowers are under 620, additional restrictions apply and homebuyer education is also required.)
    • 120% Area Median Income ( $90,600 in San Diego county)

       This program isn’t only available to first-timers, it will help both first-time and move-up or second time home buyers more easily qualify for a home. This program only requires the borrower to put down ½% of the purchase price. Here are the highlights of this program:

    • Not Limited to first time home buyers
    • Minimum credit score of 580
    • Purchase price up to $697,500
    • Additional financing of 3% available to cover the down payment or closing costs. (info below)
    • Gift funds allowed from family members
    • No borrower reserves/assets required

       As mentioned above, in addition to only requiring  ½% down payment, the borrower can also borrow up to an additional 3% of the purchase price which can be used toward closing costs or the down payment.  The borrowed funds are given as a 2nd mortgage, at 8.25% fixed interest rate on a 15 year loan, fully amortizing.  The entire payment is lumped together, so the borrower only has to make one payment each month.

        This is just one of the MANY programs out there designed to help new home buyers easily qualify for a home. Its time to take advantage of them! Click on the Orange and Grey buttons below to search for your new home!

    Click here to read about 100% Financing for East County Home!

    Look for your new home today!
    Search over 15,000 homes for sale
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