Foreclosure in Encinitas>Question Details

Monica, Home Buyer in Carmel Valley, CA

Hi, we are going to move to San Diego in Feb. and want to find a real estate agent with expertise in the

Asked by Monica, Carmel Valley, CA Thu Jan 17, 2008

Encinitas, San Marcos, Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley area. We are not in a hurry to buy and really want to learn about each of the markets including homes in short-sale, pre-foreclosure and foreclosure states. How do you find the right agent with the right expertise? Can you use different buyer agents for different areas (i.e. one for Encinitas and one for San Marcos?) By the way, does anyone know why San Marcos is being hit so hard? ($100,000 plus drops in home prices!)

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If you have no source for referrals, you might want to Google the areas of interest, and find Realtor blogs and websites that interest you. Then, feel free to call or email the agents to find one with whom you feel most comfortable.

Any seasoned agent in North County would be familiar with the markets in Encinitas, San Marcos, Carmel Valley --and most likely Rancho Penasquitos.

As for the real estate crash in San Marcos: This area had an enormous amount of new construction (eg San Elijo Hills) that offered E-Z financing along with fairly stiff HOA and Mello Roos fees. This, coupled with San Marcos condo conversions that ultimately failed, led to a high number of foreclosures and short sales that have precipitated the steep decline in San Marcos real estate prices.

Today, some tremendous real estate bargains can be found not only in San Marcos, but in Carmel Valley, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Rancho Penasquitos. Count your lucky stars that you are a buyer in today's market, rather than three years ago!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 22, 2009
Roberta Murp…, Real Estate Pro in Carlsbad, CA
Hi Monica,

Ask who ever you know in San Diego for a referral. Main question, "would you use the agent you are referring again? If so, why?".

Best of luck,

Mark & Kari
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 10, 2009
I recommend you take some time with an agent and map out your wants and needs. There are many factors involved in a proper home search. The three areas you mentioned are different in many ways. Do you have kids? Is the school district a concern? There are many other issues that a good agent will discuss with you when starting your research. I am based in Rancho Bernardo and have worked in these areas. (North County of San Diego). I would be happy to set up a customized MLS property search for each of these areas that will notify your email as properties come on the market.

If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me.

All the Best,
Marcie Sands, REALTOR
Simply The Best Real Estate Company, Inc.
(760) 644-1562
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
Hello Monica,

well I can surely understand your concern as I had to move to San Diego at one point too and it wasn't easy from out of state, fortunetly I knew the area (not as good as I thought) and had some great realtors helping me that I'd love to recommend you. They are the top of the top as they belong to the same group as I belong, they are part of the elite of the realtor of all over north America. Of course everyone will answer you when you say you want to buy a home but be careful in who you choose as your agent, strong negotiator (like myself) are always your best allies!

I am also licensed in California, so I know that when you look at a home you want your agent to be honest with you, at least that's what I expect as a client.

If you are not in a hurry to buy, rent for a little bit 3-6 mo the time to get familiar with the area and time that the market prices cool down. It is inevitable, the prices are falling and I am carefully watching the market as well, to buy another home and I love San Diego so much too!

Using a different agent isn't a bad idea but I wouldn't recommend it, you need a very well grounded agent that know the area, Encinitas and San Marcos are really not far one another.

San Marcos got it hard because lots of people where able to built properties (more land is available to build) versus Encinitas where there is not as much new construction and mostly re-sell properties, and of course the sub prime loan where given like candies to everyone by mortgage lenders without making sure they can really afford their homes and unfortunately these people are now loosing their homes!! Also some people were living beyond their liquidity and over spend their money when it was easy in real estate, mortgage and construction, rather than saving to pay their mortgage.
You can buy newer and at a very affordable price homes in San Marcos, where in Encinitas, you will pay a higher price tag to be closer to the ocean. Location, location, location!

Remember a short sale is taking a long time to sale (make sure your agent know what he or she is doing, it is a very long and time consuming endeavor and sometime it can take up to 3 month just to find out if your offer is accepted…they really should be called LONGGGG SALES), a bank owned or REO property is great, you get a great deal and it can close within 30days, or simply write an offer to a real seller that want to sell, if they are motivated they will work with you! Good luck!
I hope this helps you!

Angelique Kenney
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2009
My recommendation to you is to find a good agent who can help you find a rental first and a home to buy down the road after you've done your due diligence. We are very experienced in North County properties and have four offices from Encinitas to Escondido and truly know the neighborhoods.

San Marcos and Escondido have been particularly hard hit, but currently represent great values in terms of what you can buy. I recommend that you continue your web research and find the agent that best fits your needs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2008
Hi Monica,

My recomendation to you is to rent for a while, this way you get to feel the pulse of the neighborhood that you would eventually want to be living in. Mistakes and frustrations are often a result of buying in haste....learn and feel the neighborhood.
What I would keep a watchful eye for however is the continuing tightening of the credit lending by banks. This might squeeze you out of qualifying if you dont have good credit (680 Ficco plus, great income plus adequate down payment. 100% financing is a rarerity and one I would not recomend anyway. the 80/15/5 or 80/10/10 are extremely difficult to get since the secondary loan market is literally gone. If you were to consider buying still, I would be more concerned about the loan amount than I would the price. Any loan amount of over $417,000 (the conforming loan limit) is considered a jumbo loan ..meaning your payments will be much,much, higher..... The perfect home ownership scenerio for you in a tight credit market as well as uncertainty is to "rent to own". Home ownership can be achieved through a rent to own situation if propertly structured. Feel free to call me if you have any questions on renting to own. 619 957 4663...Peter
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 22, 2008
Hi Monica,
You will want someone you are comfortable working with. If you are interested in the Short Sales or the Foreclosure market. You will want someone that is experienced in that. If for no other reason, than to tell you that is not what you are looking for. Main reason being, Short Sales and Foreclosure in the Encinitas or Carmel Valley areas are few and far between. If that is what you are looking for you will want someone that knows that side of the business.

Don't wait too long interest rates are incredibly low and lower interest rate greatly affect your buying power. (unless you are a cash buyer)

As for San Marcos and other areas that have the big price drops I don't think any one REALLY knows. You will get a lot of good answers that you will need to weed through. Bottom line when you look at the 50 year cycle of real estate in San Diego. This is what it does and the more desirable areas hold there value better than less desirable areas. You can not have a high with out a low.

A lot of blame (and rightly so) goes to the sub prime loan market for the loans that they made to get people in to homes that had no business buying homes. The lenders played on peoples emotions on buying a piece of the American dream - Home Ownership - who does not want that. Then all of those loans with the adjustable interest rates adjusted and the home owner can now no longer afford their home, and it is just a matter of time before foreclosure hits - we see a ton of these in chula vista, temecula and oceanside.

If you would like to talk more about the market and what area is right fir you, please contact me. I would love the chance to earn your business.

James Baxter
Prudential California Realty - Encinitas
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 22, 2008
Based on your criteria, Encinitas or Carmel Valley would be my recommendation, of course, your budget really dictates what you can afford in those areas. Also, you shouldn't focus soley on short sales and REOs. There are deals out there even from regular sellers esp. if they have a lot of equity, they have more room to negotiate as opposed to desperate sellers and banks to whom every dollar counts. All the areas you mentioned should be serviced by one agent. One person could help you compare and contrast the neighborhoods and give you a true picture of the neighborhoods. I work in the area so call me if you have school or other questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2008
I think it is important to find an agent that is going to give you the best education on the market, as well as have the proper negotiating skills to get you the best deal possible. Furthermore you want to work with someone who is fully educated and capable of explaining the purchasing process as well as the mountain of paperwork you will undoubtable experience.

There are many agents that are suffering for business right now, and you want to work with someone who has your best interest in mind, not someone who will rush you into the wrong deal because they just want a pay check.

I hope these tips on what to look for have helped you. I currently work for Prudential California Realty, and while I live and work in the Orange County area, I would be more than happy to give you referrals of a few agents in the San Diego area who would be able to take great care of you and make sure you recieve the premium attention you deserve.

You can contact me at anytime for more information or referrals of a few agents. You can also go to my website and browse the MLS for homes to look at as much as you would like for free.


Tiffany Mueller
Prudential California Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2008
Hi Monica

The local Redfin agent is somewhere in that area. The combination of the agent and the online Redfin resources could be helpful, as well as the refund you would receive.

I don't have a phone number here but you can find all you need at the Redfin site. I do a blog for them and I think they're pretty cool.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2008
Thanks for the helpful info. Just to add some additional context, we are looking for a location that's a close net community, a 20 min drive from Solana Beach (where I will be working) and Carmel Valley (where my mother in law's family lives).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2008
Monica, my husband Steve and I are very familiar with all of these areas. We just sold a home in Rancho Penasquitos, and that is a great area for families as well as young couples. We have also sold several in San Elijo Hills and Discovery Hills in San Marcos (by the way, Discovery Hills does NOT have Mello Roos.) I would add to your other answers that the prices in San Marcos vary quite a bit according to location. For example, the 92078 zip code is generally higher than 92069 for the same home. There are also some great buys in Carlsbad right now. Carmel Valley can be a great location depending on the freeway access that you desire.

You can search the entire MLS at our website as well as find school and community information. We would love to talk with you and understand your needs and wants in a home and area. We are experienced with short sales and foreclosures, and were in the top 3% of agents nationally last year in sales.

You are wise to take your time until you really have a good feel for where you want to live. Please feel free to contact us at 760-785-8877. We will be happy to set you up to receive automatic email updates on any new properties that come on the market with your parameters, and also any price changes.


Susan Caudill
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2008
Monica, I would have to agree that you don't need a seperate agent for the different areas that you mentioned. My office is in Encinitas, and I have listings constantly in San Marcos and the other areas that you mentioned. Roberta was correct in her assessment of San Marcos. The amount of building, the type of client (many first time homebuyers) and the loan situation really hit it hard there. Depending on the particular neighborhoods you look in, schools can be a deterent to some people.

Another reason for Encinitas holding much of it's value is, in addition to the well respected schools, the proximity to the beach! the ocean probably isn't moving any time soon, and so the values hold here slightly better.

I'd love to speak with you about the opportunity of working with you as your buyers' agent. My 27 years in North County makes me an expert in the area. I was 2007 President of Women's Council of Realtors- so you know you are working with a full time, professional agent.

Let me know if I may help you in any way.

Patti Phillips
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2008

You have selected some lovely areas to consider in the San Diego real estate market. Encinitas and Carmel Valley have excellent schools and neighborhoods--and wonderful micro climates as well.

Is school district an important issue for you? This may strongly influence your decision on where to live.

Most seasoned agents who work in San DIego's coastal North County would be familiar with Carmel Valley, Encinitas, Carlsbad and San Marcos. I don't think you would need a separate agent for each community.

San Marcos has been hit especially hard recently because it had such a big building boom during the past five years. Homes in many of these new subdivisions were purchased with 100 percent financing and variable rate loans. When those loans reset, many could no longer afford their homes--and a downward spiral was started. Additionally, these newer subdivisions (San Elijo Hills, DIscovery Hills, etc) have high Mello Roos fees, which further impacted the ultimate affordability of these homes.

If you would like additional information about theser communities, please feel free to browse the link below--or feel free to give me a call at 877-818-8197 or my cell: 760-402-9101. We know these North County areas very well and are adept at short sales and foreclosures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2008
Roberta Murp…, Real Estate Pro in Carlsbad, CA
Great questions. As buyers, I'd suggest you check out the REBAC website to locate an Accredited Buyer Representative to actively assist you in your search. From what you shared, locating an agent who's part of a team specializing in those areas would be ideal--each team member may know more about each of the areas. You can use different agents for different areas but it can get confusing--for you; it's hard to remember and keep 4 different agents updated on changes from your end. I, and lots of agents, can get you access to short sales, foreclosures. Now it sounds like educating yourself if the priority. Look at to see the most properties in these areas.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2008
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