Loving the Lifestyle Category

Nationwide Housing Affordability Reaches New Record High

posted on June 8th, 2012 | filed under: Buying Strategies, Cardiff, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Good People, Loving the Lifestyle, NoCo SD Market Conditions, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, Successful Selling, Trust & Probates, Uncategorized

RISMEDIA, Thursday, June 07, 2012— Nationwide housing affordability hit a new record high for a second consecutive quarter in the first three months of this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). Yet tight lending conditions continue to pose a major obstacle to many prospective home buyers.

The latest HOI data reveal that 77.5 percent of all new and existing homes that were sold in this year’s first quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $65,000. This beats the previous record set in the final quarter of 2011, when 75.9 percent of homes sold were affordable to median-income earners.

“Homes in this year’s first quarter were more affordable than they have been at any time in more than 20 years, yet many potential sales are not happening because of overly tight lending conditions that are keeping hardworking families from obtaining a suitable mortgage,” says Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “Without this significant hurdle, the housing and economic recovery could be proceeding at a much stronger pace.”

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May 2012 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook

posted on May 24th, 2012 | filed under: Buying Strategies, Cardiff, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Good People, Loving the Lifestyle, NoCo SD Market Conditions, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, Successful Selling, Taxes, Trust & Probates, Uncategorized

Freddie Mac released recently its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for May showing for the most part encouraging signs with the release of several first-quarter 2012 economic indicators.

Outlook Highlights
•Initial estimates for first-quarter 2012 economic growth was 2.2 percent, slower than the previous quarter, but better than three of the past four quarters.
•Personal consumption expenditures grew at a 15.3 percent annual rate reflecting continuing strength in consumer durables such as cars and kitchen appliances.
•Residential fixed investment like new housing construction and remodeling expenses have been a net positive contributor to growth for four straight quarters; however, it remains weak for this stage of the economic recovery compared with previous business cycles.
•Home prices at or near a trough in many markets bodes well for further declines in delinquency rates.
•Fixed-rate mortgage rates are the lowest in more than 60 years, providing extraordinary home-buyer affordability in many areas and likely translating into a sales pickup relative to last year.

According to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac, vice president and chief economist, “Taken together, the first-quarter data releases provide an encouraging sign for both the macroeconomy and the housing recovery. While not uniformly positive, for the most part the data trend in the right direction.”

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March Pending Home Sales Rise, Signaling Another Step in the Right Direction

posted on April 27th, 2012 | filed under: Buying Strategies, Cardiff, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Good People, Loving the Lifestyle, NoCo SD Market Conditions, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, Successful Selling, Taxes, Trust & Probates, Uncategorized

Pending home sales increased in March and are well above a year ago, another signal the housing market is recovering, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 4.1 percent to 101.4 in March from an upwardly revised 97.4 in February and is 12.8 percent above March 2011 when it was 89.9. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

The index is now at the highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said 2012 is expected to be a year of recovery for housing. “First quarter sales closings were the highest first quarter sales in five years. The latest contract signing activity suggests the second quarter will be equally good,” he said.

“The housing market has clearly turned the corner. Rising sales are bringing down inventory and creating much more balanced conditions around the country, which means home prices will be rising in more areas as the year progresses,” Yun said.

The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.8 percent to 78.2 in March but is 21.1 percent above March 2011. In the Midwest the index declined 0.9 percent to 93.3 but is 16.9 percent higher than a year ago. Pending home sales in the South rose 5.9 percent to an index of 114.1 in March and are 10.6 percent above March 2011. In the West the index increased 8.7 percent in March to 108.0 and is 9.0 percent above a year ago.

Copyright© 2012 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia

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Featured Community: Sea Cliff, Carlsbad

posted on February 15th, 2012 | filed under: Buying Strategies, Carlsbad, Good People, Loving the Lifestyle, NoCo SD Market Conditions, Successful Selling, Uncategorized

Located in Coastal Carlsbad, Sea Cliff is a unique gated community that offers all the amenities of a beach side resort with two pools and spas, a community clubhouse for indoor gatherings, an outdoor pavilion for parties and events and two tennis courts. The 300 Sea Cliff homes are nestled on 80 acres of meticulously maintained grounds with two lakes, streams and walking paths surrounded by award winning landscaping. Many of Sea Cliffs homes have panoramic ocean, canyon or lagoon views.

Homes in the Sea Cliff community range from 1180 to 1680 square feet and there are both single level and two story models. The price range for a Sea Cliff home is currently $479,000-$530,000*. Each residence has its own private and gated courtyard. Yard maintenance is a breeze since the Sea Cliff homeowners association maintains the front yard of each home. These homes are perfect for owners that want little maintenance, investors, seniors and frequent travelers. Shopping, dining, entertaining and beaches are all conveniently close to Sea Cliff, making this the perfect North San Diego community to call home.

*Data provide by Sandicor MLS and current as of this posting.

Sea Cliff Community Photos:

Selling Sea Cliff

Jeff’s success in selling Sea Cliff Homes has made him the go to realtor for listing in this desirable community.  Since his first listing 7 months ago, Jeff has sold 43% of the listings in Sea Cliff, making him the most referred agent in the community to date. See what his clients have to say about his service and dedication:

Selling Family Home from WI – $495,000

I live in Wisconsin and needed to sell a family townhome in Carlsbad. I set up a weekend to come down, look at the property and interview a number of agents in the area. After six agents, Jeff was the clear choice. I thought I had already made my mind up, but once I saw how prepared he was with detailed facts about the area, the quality person he is, and the personality he brings to the table, I was sold. We previously had the home listed through an agent with our property management company, but it sat on the market for months. Now I was ready to take real action with Jeff on my side. I knew from watching enough home selling shows that something had to be done and done well. Not only did Jeff sell the house in 45 days, but he also managed the clean-up and staged the property while I was back home. I trusted his choice on contractors and knew that my money was well spent. As you can imagine, selling a home over 2,000 miles away and two time zones can generate a lot of anxiety. However, before I ever had my questions together to ask Jeff, he would preemptively call or email, addressing all my concerns. Jeff has great integrity, knows what he’s doing and communicates excellently. The best part of working with Jeff, is that he treats me like a respected friend. Some business relationships are transactional, but working with Jeff is like working with a really great person you want to be friends with. He takes exceptional care of his clients and I would highly recommend him to others wanting to buy or sell their home.     -J’Neanne Palbicki

The Process Was Amazingly Smooth And The Home Sold in 13 Days!

I was working on my rental property when I noticed an Open House in the neighborhood on another one of Jeff’s listings. It was there where I met him and felt an instant connection.  I had been renting out this property for 15 years and it was time to sell it.  I decided to list the property with Jeff rather than a friend of 30 years who is in real estate. I felt that good from my initial interaction.  Jeff helped me finish the final stages of the remodel with his recommended contractor and stager.  We had one offer within two days of it going on the market and the house sold in 13 days! Jeff’s advertising strategy clearly worked well.  In fact, Jeff essentially “over sold” the home as the offer came in over its appraised value.  Selling this home was an amazingly smooth process with no drama, which often is not the case.  Jeff’s professionalism, honesty and down-to-earth quality were the key to our success.  Anyone could meet Jeff and say “there’s a good guy”. What’s even better is that he knows how to sell a home well.  I suggest you work with Jeff if you want exceptional care and to be put at ease when selling a home!        – Connie Crowley

Our Home Sold In Only 36 Days at 99% of Our Asking Price

We were just about to sign a listing agreement with another realtor when we received a marketing piece in the mail from Jeff. We were having second thoughts on signing with our existing realtor, so when we received the post card marketed specifically to our Sea Cliff community, we saw it as a sign and called Jeff that day. When we met with Jeff we were instantly put at ease by his experience and professionalism. He was completely upfront and honest about what we were up against in this market with the holiday season fast approaching. Jeff listened to our concerns and gave us his recommendations on the best way to list and market our home. We knew if we listed with Jeff, we would be his #1 priority and after our meeting, we were 100% sure Jeff was the realtor for us. The one thing that really stood out on Jeff’s post card was the pictures of the home he was marketing.  They were high quality professional photos and the home was gorgeous.  We later found out the home on the post card was professionally staged.  Jeff recommended staging our home along with a few minor upgrades and with his guidance we staged and upgraded the home with experienced vendors he referred.  With the staging, upgrading and aggressive marketing to the community, our home sold in only 36 days at 99% of our asking price with a short 21 day escrow! Throughout the whole transaction, Jeff was responsive, pro-active and always met or exceeded our expectations especially when we went out of town for Thanksgiving.  Jeff really stepped up and was always available to be at the home if needed, he really had our best interest at heart. We are so pleased with how quickly the home sold and with Jeff’s performance through the whole transaction. We have already recommended him to a neighbor and will be sure to sing his praises any chance we get.      – Ron & Sherri Harrison

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Top 5 Staging Tips

posted on January 23rd, 2012 | filed under: Carlsbad, Loving the Lifestyle, Successful Selling, Uncategorized

1. De-clutter – Everywhere!
Preparing you home for sale is a great time to get “move ready”. Cleaning out drawers, closets – getting rid of anything you do not plan on taking with you (or haven’t used in 2 years!).

2. Clean & Freshen
Dirt and grime is a big turn-off to potential buyers.

3. Bring in a Professional for a Consultation
A professional stager will look at your home through the buyer’s eyes. It is so important to create an emotional appeal…the experience you create in each room is important.

4. Update
This is especially important if your home was built before the 90’s. Put in new plumbing and electrical fixtures, counter tops and hardware. For a nominal investment you will gain interest and even excitement regarding your home.

5. Paint
Using the right paint color is the most inexpensive way to create perceived value, to warm up a room and to create a sense of design or high style.

Jeff DeChamplain is a huge advocate for professionally staging your home. Each home Jeff lists is staged on some level. Staging has been proven to sell a home quicker and for more money than homes that are not staged.

To transform his listings from ordinary to extraordinary, Jeff relies on home stager Tori Prince of Transformed to Sell. Tori has been a valuable member of Jeff’s team for years. Here are a few before and afters so you can see for yourself the difference home staging can make:

Before And After Photos

Sold in 36 Days for 99% of List Price – 868 Heather Way 


                               Before                                                    After

 Previously listed, but didn’t sell… Jeff listed it, staged it and SOLD in 45 days! – 7126 Lantana Terrace


                   Before                                                                After

Sold in 13 Days! – 824 Daphne Court


                                   Before                                                            After

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Real Living Lifestyles Parent Company, Brookfield Residential Property Services, Purchases Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services

posted on December 16th, 2011 | filed under: Loving the Lifestyle, Uncategorized

This acquisition is a major development for Brookfield and Real Living Lifestyles. Real Living Real Estate was just recognized as the fastest growing real estate brand in the nation. Our growing company is now #3 in the North American residential real estate market with almost 80,000 real estate agents and 2,800 offices. Brookfield Residential Property Services also owns and operates Brookfield Global Relocation Services, the world’s second largest global relocation services company.

This is exciting news for Real Living Lifestyles where our goal is to provide agents, clients and the community with a seamless real estate experience. Purchasing a leading employee relocation and real estate franchising company gives us the resources to create more opportunities and it validates that we are on the right and strongest real estate train to serve our clients.

Here are some links to more information about the acquisition and Real Living Lifestyles:

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Top 7 North County Restaurants to Take Out of Town Guests

posted on November 19th, 2011 | filed under: Loving the Lifestyle

When friends and family like to visit, I always like to take them out locally to some of our great North County restaurants. Here’s my pick for the top restaurants to take out of town guests.

Las Olas Cardiff1. Las Olas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea – Who doesn’t want great Mexican food with an ocean view? This is the perfect time of year to visit when Las Olas serves “Puerto Nuevo Style” California spiny lobster (mid-October through mid-March). Also known for their happy hours, house margaritas (ask for them fresh, not from the “gun”) and fish tacos, anytime is the right time to visit this local casual favorite. The best part about it, after dinner walk across the street for a barefoot walk along the beach. Second location in Carlsbad, but not so close to the ocean.

Twenty-20 patio2. Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar, Carlsbad – located in the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa, it’s named for the panoramic view of the Pacific coastline, which you can view from the 1700 square foot patio with heaters and mesmerizing firepits . The restaurant is elegant and casual with tasty, modern and fresh plates sourced from local ingredients. Happy hour specials offer a great opportunity on their excellent tapas and martinis, Thursday nights have Jazz on the Half Shell (with raw bar) and Pre-Fixed Fridays with a seasonal menu at a great price. Take advantage of the complementary valet parking since you’ll have to hoof it if they hotel is having a large conference on site.

(c) Megan T

3. Q’ero, Encinitas – This tiny restaurant features simple yet mind-blowing Peruvian and South American food. They have an extensive wine list that compliments the meals wonderfully and is sure to be a dinner you won’t soon forget. The Tres Leche cake for dessert is a must! Located in the heart of Old Encinitas along the 101, be sure to window shop the great local stores or catch a movie at the historical La Paloma Theater. Reservations recommended, although you may get lucky.

Jake's Del Mar4. Jake’s, Del Mar – Even though Jake’s is owned by T5 Restaurants (which also owns Hula Grill in Waikiki and Duke’s in Malibu), this restaurant is not to be missed. It sits right on the Del Mar shore within walking distance from Powerhouse Park and features fine California cuisine with an excellent selection of seafood. Service is fantastic and a comprehensive wine list compliment the view and the meal’s attention to detail. Opt for the valet parking as finding a spot in this part of Del Mar can be tricky. Reservations highly recommended.

Vigiluccis_Carlsbad5. Vigilucci’s Seafood & Steakhouse, Carlsbad – Vigilucci has seven restaurants from Carlsbad to Coronado, but my favorite is the fine dining steakhouse in Carlsbad. It’s situated across the street from the ocean and serves excellent steaks and seafood with an Italian flair. They have an extensive wine selection and delectable desserts. Reservations recommended.

Pacificas Ocean View Patio6. Pacifica, Del Mar – One of the best seafood restaurants in San Diego, it has been awarded the California Restaurant Association’s prestigious Gold Medallion for “Best Seafood Dining in San Diego,” and Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. Everything that I’ve ever tried here has been prepared to perfection and there is a wide selection of seafood, steaks and pasta to choose from. The service is excellent and the view from the covered patio is sublime. Reservations recommended and park in the parking garage of the Del Mar Plaza (restaurant on top).

Savory Casual Fare Bistro7. Savory, Encinitas – This little quiet gem of a restaurant is a favorite among local foodies. Savory serves casual California cuisine with a European flair in a fine bistro setting. The owner is a former executive chef of the Four Seasons Aviara and pays great attention to having a seasonal menu using fresh local ingredients. The flavor combinations are quite memorable. Recently awarded OpenTable’s Diner’s Choice Award based on user reviews.

posted by Jen Hibbits // Leave A Comment

Celebrating Clients

posted on November 2nd, 2011 | filed under: Loving the Lifestyle

Kids on jumper3rd Annual Jeff DeChamplain Client Appreciation Party

Last month we held the 3rd Annual Jeff DeChamplain Client Appreciation Party at San Dieguito County Park in Del Mar. Despite the initial fog, the location ended up being perfectly perched on a hill soaking up the sun as the afternoon rolled around. We had a great turn out of 75 friends and family members to celebrate the year in Mardi Gras style.Lunch Spread

The park pavilion was decorated with wonderful masks, tinsel and twirlies in purple, gold and emerald green. As soon as guests approached, they were adorned with beads and encouraged to nosh on the amazing appetizers and beverages. There were great family activities including a huge castle jumper and a craft table where the kids (and parents) could decorate their own Mardi Gras masks.

Jacklin winningWith zydeco music in the background, a delicious Louisiana-style lunch was served that included Smoked Turkey and Sausage Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Black Eyed Pea Salad and ending with with a to-die-for Banana Fosters Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce. All the food was catered by friends and clients of Jeff’s, Richard & Laura DeBell, who cook and cater for friends and family out of their passion for food. And boy oh boy! the food was amazing!

As lunch came to a close, Jeff shared about his love for his work and serving his community. In appreciation, he handed out some great awards and gifts that included Charger and concert tickets, gift certificates for excellent local dining, massage gift certificates, Oakley glasses and cutlery. The awards for Most Referrals went to Nick Tonner, Carol Anderson, Andrew Felsburg and Jeff’s wife, Calu DeChamplain. The Perseverance Award went to two clients, Jacklin Hawe and the Connaughton family, who overcame numerous bank hurdles on their individual short sales.  The raffle again this year was fantastic and included gear donated from Oakley and massages donated by Robert Sherman.

Check out this incredible gallery of the day’s pictures taken by Mike Foster. We’d love to celebrate you too at next year’s Client Appreciation Party.  It’s always a great time and a fabulous way to spend an afternoon. Thanks to all those that came out to celebrate this warm and wonderful community.

Jeff and friends

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Jeff DeChamplain