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San Diego Real Estate Blog

~Education about Today's Real Estate Market

By Laura Kelley | Agent in San Diego, CA
  • Price Reduced! Best Buy in Del Cerro!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Del Cerro, Home Selling in Del Cerro, Military Movers in Del Cerro  |  May 23, 2014 9:17 AM  |  318 views  |  No comments

    LINK: http://www.laurasandiego.com/listing/mlsid/219/propertyid/140016070/
    Schedule a Showing: http://www.laurasandiego.com


    Courtesy of Laura Kelley, Keller Williams Realty

  • List Your Home & Give Back to Charity

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Clairemont Mesa East, In My Neighborhood in Clairemont Mesa East, Military Movers in Clairemont Mesa East  |  October 28, 2013 12:27 PM  |  652 views  |  No comments

    The Laura Kelley Group is looking for Home Owners ready to List a thier home to Help Support San Diego Charities!!

    Join Our 3rd Annual Holiday House Charity Drive
    Host a Holiday House donation bin at your office! All proceeds go to local children, military families, seniors, and the homeless. 

    Would you like to nominate this years Holiday House venue? Our chosen location and listing agent will receive free media coverage and be seen by all attendees of the Holiday House event.

    Nominated homes must be available December 4-7 and meet our event requirements. To submit your home please fill out our online form by November 4th. 

     Contact Laura Kelley @ 619-985-3362 or AgentLauraSanDiego@gmail.com


    Home Requirements:

    Preferred vacant Property (unfurnished or furnished accepted) Minimum square footage desired: 3,000 Minimum: 2 bathrooms Utilities required Access required December 4th - 7th Ample street parking Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) require signatures by parties involved Proof of homeowners liability Insurance is required. SDAR will provide event liability insurance. Location area within 20 miles of Kearny Mesa


    Contact Laura Kelley @ 619-985-3362 or AgentLauraSanDiego@gmail.com
  • Halloween Events in San Diego

    Posted Under: Entertainment & Nightlife in San Diego County, Parks & Recreation in San Diego County, In My Neighborhood in San Diego County  |  October 27, 2013 1:26 PM  |  632 views  |  No comments
    Check out San Diego's 2013 Halloween activities. 

  • DIY Toolkit: Essential Tools for Minor House Repairs

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Pacific Beach, Design & Decor in Pacific Beach, Home Ownership in Pacific Beach  |  October 27, 2013 12:30 PM  |  659 views  |  1 comment

    DIY Toolkit: Essential Tools For Minor House Repairs

    It takes time to build a complete DIY toolkit. Start with the essentials, and build on your collection as you take on new projects. Eventually, you will become proficient at a wide range of DIY home projects - and your toolkit will reflect this (as will your wallet, considering the money you will save on hiring someone to do it for you!).

    A Basic DIY Tool Collection

    Hammer: From hanging a picture to replacing wall molding and millions of DIY projects in between, a hammer is probably the most-used tool there is. Don't choose just any hammer. Select a claw hammer – a hammer with a claw on one end for pulling nails and prying material – with a flat peen (the surface which drives nails) rather than rounded.

    Tape Measure: Many home repair and improvement tasks require a tape measure. Get aretractable tape measure, which is made of a rigid metal and snaps back into the case when you push a button. For most jobs, a 25-foot tape measure is sufficient.

    Carpenter's Level: With a good level you have a straightedge for cut lines and a tool to tell you if an item is flush (straight up and down) or level (perfectly flat). Don't let the store's selection overwhelm you – a basic 4-foot bubble level, which uses air bubbles inside a liquid-filled cavity, is basic but dependable.

    Carpenter's Square: Get both a speed square, which is hand-held, and a larger framing squarewhen possible. Squares are great straightedges, tape measures and right-angle testers.

    Utility Knife: Whether you call it a box cutter, razor knife, or any of several common terms, a utility knife is a DIY tool essential. Your utility knife makes quick work of slicing through drywall, carpet, linoleum, rigid foam insulation and many other materials. Keep a supply of razor blades in the knife's hollow body.

    Flashlight: From peering underneath your foundation to working in the dark to restore power to your breaker box, your flashlight will shed some light on various tasks.

    Screwdrivers: If you plan to limit your DIY ventures to basic carpentry and fixture installation, a handful of screwdrivers will get you started. Choose both Phillips-head screwdrivers (which have a cross-shaped tip) and flat-head screwdrivers (with a knife-shaped tip). More advanced repairs may require different heads. To save money, consider a multi-bit screwdriver with interchangeable tips.

    Pliers: If you need to pull staples, cut wire, or loosen tight connections, pliers will help. Look for three basic types: needle-nose pliers (which have a pointed end), side-cutting pliers (which look much like scissors) and adjustable flat-nose pliers (aka flat-head pliers).

    Wrenches: When pliers won't get the job done, look for your wrench. Grip or remove pipes, nuts, bolts and other stubborn household items. Start with a set of adjustable crescent wrenches for all-around usefulness.

    Staple Gun: A staple gun comes in handy for installing faced fiberglass batt insulation, hanging plastic sheeting and other projects around the home. Manual staple guns require a little more muscle but eliminate the need for electricity.

    Drill: Once you have a drill, you'll wonder how you ever got along without one. From simple tasks such as hanging curtains to more complex jobs like replacing wood flooring, a drill – cordless or not – makes it easier. A cordless drill is more convenient but has a limited battery life.

    Saws: Two basic saws will see you through most general DIY home projects. First, select ahandsaw for places where you don't have power or for situations where a power saw just isn't practical. Next, decide on either a table saw or a circular saw. A table saw is sturdy and makes cutting boards and other material easy. However, a circular saw is portable and hand-held, making it more convenient. When you're ready for a new saw, consider a jigsaw or reciprocating saw.

    Stud Finder: A stud finder will help you quickly find the framing members in your walls, ceiling and floor.

    Orbital Sander: Small enough to easily control with one hand, an orbital sander is perfect for basic work. Keep a supply of sandpaper, of various grits, on hand.

    Ladder: Depending on the jobs you anticipate tackling, you might prefer a stepladder instead of an extension ladder. Extension ladders are useful outdoors and reach higher, but stepladders work inside or outside.

    All of the tools in the world won't help you if you don't have accompanying supplies. Keep wood glue, superglue and caulk in your supplies. Add an assortment of nails, screws, bolts and nuts to your tool collection as well. Don't forget tape: masking tape, electrical tape and duct tape in particular. A heavy-duty extension cord is essential. Your collection will continue to grow over the course of your DIY adventures.

  • Factors Affecting Mortgage Interest Rate Changes

    Posted Under: Financing in Clairemont Mesa East, Credit Score in Clairemont Mesa East, Investment Properties in Clairemont Mesa East  |  October 27, 2013 12:28 PM  |  674 views  |  No comments

    Factors Affecting Mortgage Interest Rate Changes

    There's more to the cost of owning that dream home than the price the seller is asking for. The interest rate on your mortgage loan affects the price and how much you'll pay every month to your mortgage company.

    Comparing mortgage interest rates is important because they may change daily, and different rates may be associated with different types of loans. With variable-rate or adjustable-rate mortgages, it is understood from the outset that the loan's interest rate will change over time, becoming higher or lower depending on the current economic climate.

    Let's look at why mortgage interest rates fluctuate so frequently.

    The Federal Reserve and Interest Rates

    The Federal Reserve System ("The Fed"), although considered our country's central banking system, is independent of the federal government. In essence, the Fed controls the movement of money throughout the U.S. financial system.

    The Federal Reserve System is composed of a Board of Governors and 12 Federal Reserve Banks, spread throughout the country. The seven members of the Board of Governors, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and four other reserve bank presidents serve on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the policy-making body that determines, among other things, the interest rate charged to commercial banks.

    The FOMC controls inflation by tightening or loosening the country's money supply. One way they do this is by raising interest rates to control inflation. When borrowing money costs more, consumers tend to shy away from taking out loans, hopefully leading to lower prices.

    By the same token, lower interest rates encourage consumers to borrow and spend, which in turn boosts the economy. Overall, the fluctuations in mortgage interest rates reflect an attempt to keep a balance in the economy, and to prevent inflation without bringing the economy into a recession.

    Mortgage Investors and Changing Interest Rates

    The Federal Reserve is not the only player affecting changing mortgage rates. To create more money to lend, banks often sell their loans on the secondary market, now controlled by the federal government. Banks and other mortgage lenders sell mortgage-backed securities to investors. The return on investment for these investors is generated by interest paid by mortgage holders on their loans. For the investors to realize a return, banks must charge a higher interest rate.

    Homebuyers (the mortgage loan borrowers) want low interest rates on their mortgages. This force drives interest rates back down. In addition, when investors know rates are going to drop, they purchase these securities, increasing demand and eventually sending interest rates back down. Banks must balance these two opposing forces, and the resulting push-and-pull drives mortgage interest rates.

    The Effect of Changing Mortgage Interest Rates on Loans

    Though they are locked-in once the application process is completed, fixed-rate mortgage rates are constantly changing. Interest rates for variable-rate loans fluctuate as well, and continue to change throughout the term of the loan. Another impact on interest rates occurs when lower interest rates attract homeowners wishing to refinance their mortgages.

    While all of this may seem complicated to the average homebuyer, an awareness of what drives interest rate changes can help you know when the ideal time has arrived to apply for a loan.

    Clairemont     Bay Park      La Jolla        

     Del Mar    Solana Beach     Pacific Beach    Point Loma

     Mission Valley      Mira Mesa

  • DIY Flooring Installation

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Clairemont Mesa East, Home Selling in Clairemont Mesa East, Remodel & Renovate in Clairemont Mesa East  |  October 27, 2013 11:41 AM  |  820 views  |  No comments

    DIY Flooring Installation

    Installing a new floor is a great way to liven up your house. Before you change your floor, however, you need to decide what type of flooring is best suited to your budget and lifestyle. Hardwood floors are a classic choice, while many homeowners prefer the ease of tile or the affordability of laminate flooring. While some floors can be installed by an inexperienced homeowner, other floor types require the services of a professional or an experienced handyman.

    Hardwood Flooring

    Hardwood floors have always been a popular choice. Beautiful, traditional wood floors can last a lifetime if properly maintained and, because hardwood floors are more hygienic than carpet, they are a good choice for people with allergies. The National Wood Flooring Association, points out that wood is:






    Hardwood floor types can be new or salvaged and might be smooth, distressed, or hand-scraped for an antique look. Stains give you a variety of color choices, even allowing oak to masquerade as rare exotic lumber. Research all your options before investing in a hardwood floor, as each of the many choices offers advantages of its own.

    Maintaining Hardwood Floors

    Prefinished hardwood flooring can be expensive, but it is easy to maintain. To keep your hardwood floor looking its best, you should put down area rugs in places that get a lot of foot traffic. You should also damp mop your floor frequently to remove dust and dirt. If your hardwood floors get a few minor scratches, you can repair them with a touch-up stick. Solid hardwood floors can be refinished if they have a lot of scuffmarks, which is one advantage over other products like laminate flooring.

    Installing Hardwood Flooring

    If you have never installed any type of flooring, you might want to hire a professional to lay your hardwood floors. Get an estimate, ask for references and never pay for the entire job upfront. If you do decide to do it yourself, do your homework because installing flooring can be tricky. The following tools are needed for installing hardwood floors:

    Circular saw

    Measuring tape

    Nail gun or hammer

    Table saw


    Floor sealant


    Safety glasses

    According to Steve Seabaugh, director of technical education for the NWFA, installers of wood floors must take care to:

    Check the subfloor for flatness.

    Avoid laying over particleboard, which does not hold nails well.

    Acclimatize wood to the space in which it will be installed.

    Laying hardwood floors takes time, and this last step adds several days to your project calendar. The flooring should sit in your home for at least 48 hours before installation in order to expose it to the room's environment. This allows it to expand or contract according to the temperature and humidity of the room. If this takes place after the floor is laid, you'll wind up with shifting boards and uneven flooring. In addition to this brief period of acclimatization, plan to spend at least a few full days installing hardwood floors, depending on the size of your home.

    Quick-Growing Alternatives to Hardwoods

    Some homeowners choose cork or bamboo floors as an alternative to hardwood. These faster-growing products can be "green" in more ways than one - gentle on the planet and on your wallet. Prefinished bamboo is made from a grass and performs much like hardwood when it's used as flooring. Cork is a wood-bark product that can also make an attractive floor. According to BuildGreen's independently published Environmental Building News, the most eco-friendly bamboo floors are those with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

    Tile Flooring

    Tile is another beautiful choice and a great option for DIY flooring. The price of tile varies greatly because there are so many choices, from ceramics and terra-cotta to marble and slate. Regardless of the price, tile is extremely durable and will last for decades with proper care.

    Before installing new floors, you should first learn as much as you can about how to tile. Many hardware stores and home centers offer classes in tiling. You can also hire a professional to install your tile floor, but this will greatly increase the price of your total flooring expenses.

    When you do undertake a tiling job, be sure you already understand the process. You'll need to be sure your subfloor is suitable and then create a level bed of mortar. Tiles will be set according to a careful plan, with room left between for grout. After the mortar has set, you'll fill the gaps with grout, carefully wiping the surface of the tiles as you go. Finally, a week or more later, you'll seal the grout to protect it from stains.

    Tile-Laying Supplies

    The basic supplies for laying tile include:

    Grout floats

    Mortar trowels


    Tile cutters

    Tile grout, mortar, and sealant

    Tile saw

    Tape measure



    Rags and a sponge

    Installing tile flooring will take time, as grout and mortar take several days to dry. You should expect to get your hands dirty during this process, but the end result will be one of the most easily maintained flooring options out there.

    Laminate Flooring

    Laminate flooring is made from a synthetic material that looks like hardwood or tile. Laminate flooring is a great choice for anyone who wants the look of hardwood or tile but doesn't have a big budget to work with. Laminate flooring is usually less than half the cost of hardwood floors. 

    Another advantage of laminate flooring is that almost anyone can install it. For most types of laminate flooring, the manufacturer's instructions are easy to follow and the pieces snap into place for "lock and click" installation. According to the North American Laminate Flooring Association, glue and fasteners are usually not required. Durability and affordability are listed by NALFA alongside ease of installation as reasons to consider a laminate floor.

    Eco-friendly Laminates

    Environmental concerns can sway consumers towards laminates, too. A product with NALFA's green seal will have the following features, according to the association's website:

    Natural ingredients such as wood chips


    Low emissions

    Recycled content

    No VOC-producing installation adhesives

    Easy to Buy, Install and Maintain

    Caring for and maintaining laminate floors is very easy - simply sweep or wet-mop regularly. With excellent care, laminate floors can last up to 20 years. The time and skill required to install a laminate floor are relatively low, making this a popular choice for first-time DIY floor installations.

    A Floor for Every Lifestyle

    Whether you choose easy laminates, classic hardwoods, or beautiful tile, your floor will help define your home's personality. By matching your budget, taste, and skill to the best product for you, you can find a DIY flooring solution that will make your home more comfortable, beautiful, and valuable.

    Clairemont     Bay Park      La Jolla        

     Del Mar    Solana Beach     Pacific Beach    Point Loma

     Mission Valley      Mira Mesa




  • ***JUST LISTED***

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Escondido, Home Selling in Escondido, Home Ownership in Escondido  |  October 27, 2013 11:30 AM  |  663 views  |  No comments

    Clairemont     Bay Park      La Jolla        

     Del Mar    Solana Beach     Pacific Beach    Point Loma

     Mission Valley      Mira Mesa

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