Tax Donations

Blog, Finances, I am Home (A Personal Blog by DRL)
Today is the first day of spring. With all the rain in the last couple of months, San Diego is the greenest I've ever seen it. Be sure to head out and see all the pretty flowers. I heard a lot of people are heading to Anza Borrego Desert Park to see the colorful wildflowers. They should stay blooming the rest of this month and April. With Spring, comes tax season. If you haven't filed your taxes yet and made non-cash charity donations, I thought I'd post this donation value guide from Goodwill to help with your taxes. Happy Spring and Good luck! Category Item Type Price Bedding Bath Towel - $1.99 Bedding Bedspreads - $6.99 Bedding Blankets - $3.99 Bedding Comforter - $6.99 Bedding Curtains - $2.99 Bedding Drapes…
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My February

Blog, I am Home (A Personal Blog by DRL)
It's been awhile since I've been able to update my blog. Besides the holiday months of November and December, February is one of my more busier months. Every year I have Chinese New Year, Valentine's day, my birthday, my Dad's birthday and Toby's birthday. This year I was fortunate enough to close escrow on a dream home for my client. This one-story home is located in a quiet area of Mira Mesa with a very open layout. Overall, the whole transaction went very smooth. The house did have some termite damage according to the wood destroying pest and organisms inspection report. In this report, there's a Section I and Section II. Section I items are issues where there's evidence of active infestations or conditions that have resulted from infestation. Section…
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Toby the Cavachon – Tear Stains

I am Home (A Personal Blog by DRL), Toby the Cavachon
Tear stains are the worst part of owning a beautiful white dog. Toby has had tear stains since he was a little puppy. Tear stains are these reddish-brownish stains that are commonly found underneath the eyes but can also be found on other areas of their body. For Toby, it started with just under the eyes. Over time it spread to his mouth and then eventually to all parts of his body that he licked excessively. Remedy We spent a good amount of time researching why this was happening. We tried changing his dog food and water type and both didn't work. We also tried the natural Angel Eyes and that did absolutely nothing. Finally, our vet recommended us to try probiotics.  We decided to purchase Dr Mercola Complete Probiotics…
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A Seller’s Market – Creating a Competitive Offer

Blog, Buyer, Real Estate
In San Diego's real estate market today, seller's are receiving multiple offers on their homes, creating bidding wars for buyers.  This is what you would call a seller's market, a market where the amount of buyers is greater than the amount of sellers.  Due to the amount of demand on homes, buyers are facing more competition and homes are selling above list price.  These days you need to have your offer stand out from the rest.  Here are a few ways to make your offer more attractive: Make a Competitive Offer In a seller's market, you need to make a competitive offer.  There's too much competition for you to low ball and hope they'll negotiate.  Make your best offer upfront. Increase your Earnest Deposit Your earnest deposit is a deposit…
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Our Honeymoon in Moorea and Bora Bora

Blog, I am Home (A Personal Blog by DRL)
Sometimes you need to leave home to understand what home really is.  After the 1.5 years of wedding planning, we decided we needed a honeymoon that was relaxing and rejuvenating.  We contacted a travel agent, Melanie D'Souza (melanie@divinedw.com), that my cousin and his friends recommended.  We had a nice long conversation with Melanie and ultimately chose Moorea and Bora Bora as our honeymoon spot. Planning Melanie's been to Moorea and Bora Bora many times over the years.  She recommended staying at the Intercontinental Resort in Moorea for 4 days and the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso for 8 days.  She said Moorea is a great island for outdoor activities and a good appetizer to the main course of Bora Bora.  She gave us a list of restaurants/activities with comments from both…
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Toby the Cavachon

Blog, I am Home (A Personal Blog by DRL), Toby the Cavachon
Our home would not be a home without our baby, Toby.  So I decided to write this blog about how we found our best friend Toby.  Toby is a Cavachon, a mix between a Bichon and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and has been in our lives for almost 5 years now.  When we were searching for our perfect companion, my wife was actually scared of dogs.  I wanted a guard dog, specifically a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  Our home was unfortunately broken into while we were at work and I figured a Staffy would be a great addition to the new alarm system.  Being afraid of dogs, I was vetoed pretty quickly.  Staffy's are pretty intimidating so I understood where she was coming from.  She said for her first dog she'd be…
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I am Home

Blog, I am Home (A Personal Blog by DRL)
Happy New Years! This year, I was blessed with many positive and amazing changes.  I got married to my girlfriend of 10 years at the San Diego Botanic Garden and enjoyed a fantastic honeymoon in the French Polynesian Islands of Moorea and Bora Bora.  My wife Dung and Toby InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa We were also lucky enough to travel to New York City, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Sedona and San Francisco.  My sister in law gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and I also started a new career at Northrop Grumman as a Logistics Engineer.  I'm very fortunate that Northrop Grumman's work culture is similar to my old job at HP.  They both have flexible work hours and both my manager's support my real estate career.  With all…
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2017 San Diego Loan Limit Changes

Blog, Buyer, Financing, Real Estate
There are usually three types of mortgages: conventional, high balance and jumbo.  The loan limits for these mortgages will be increased starting Jan 1, 2017.  Here's a breakdown of what it will look like in 2017: Conventional - up to $424,100 High Balance - $424,100 - $612,950 Jumbo - above $612,950 In general, the conventional loan will have the lowest interest rate.  When banks talk about interest rates, they are usually referring to the conventional loan rate.  Any loan amount above the conventional loan limit introduces more risk to the bank.  Due to this, they normally charge a higher interest rate and have stricter underwriting guidelines.  High balance loans will normally have a higher interest rate than the conventional loan and jumbo loans will generally have a higher interest rate…
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Buying with Emotion

Buyer
Buying a home is probably the largest purchase you’ll ever have to make. An investment that large is extremely personal. Getting emotional will come naturally and it could get you in trouble. Here are emotional mistakes that homebuyers often make: Falling in love with a house Ideally, most buyers should look at five to seven properties before making an offer. If you happen to fall in love with the first home you see, make sure you inspect the property thoroughly and try to find the flaws. Sooner or later, you’ll learn that no home is perfect. Make sure you find a home based on what you need. Otherwise, you’ll realize you overpaid for a home that doesn’t meet your needs and that will be difficult to sell for a reasonable…
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Patient and Decisive

Buyer
Record low interest rates are drawing in a lot of buyers. Owners of foreclosed homes during the real estate crash are now ready to buy. Investors are also ready to buy with all cash offers. The amount of buyers in the market are increasing the demand for property. Unfortunately, the San Diego market is being constrained by it’s low inventory levels, thus increasing the selling price of every home. In this type of market, buyers need to do two things: be patient and be decisive. Be patient and do NOT make an offer if the home does not meet all your minimum criteria. Do think, “There will be another home that meets my criteria. I just need to be patient.” Although the housing inventory is low, you should not settle on a home that…
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