Karen Urata Realtor

Viewing Christmas Lights, a Family Tradition in San Diego County

In El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, San Diego, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Things to do in El Cajon, Things to do in Escondido, Things to do in La Mesa on December 8, 2015 at 12:26 am

Image by Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Viewing Christmas Lights, a Family Tradition in San Diego County

One of our family’s favorite festivities during the holiday season is to bundle up, hop in the car and take a drive to enjoy the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.  Of course, it usually is not snowing , and it does not require much bundling up to keep warm.  These days it pays to have a plan rather than just driving around so here is a great list of Christmas Light put together each year by San Diego Family Magazine.  The list is organized by each area of the county, ex: North County, East County etc. and then broken down by city, ex: San Marcos, El Cajon etc.  To plan your Christmas Light outing click here to view the list.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

Century 21 Award


(619) 454–7959

DRE License # 01720025

Winner 5-Star Award San Diego Magazine  -2010, 2011, 2012, 2015

Santa is Coming to El Cajon Sat Nov 28th 12-7PM

In El Cajon, Family Fun, Things to do in El Cajon, Uncategorized on November 24, 2015 at 3:48 am

Christmas photo digidreamgrafix


Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Santa and Tree-Lighting in El Cajon

Looking for a family-friendly holiday event that is not too large and not too small?  Well, the Downtown El Cajon Business Partners are putting on  Holiday Lights on Main that you should find to be “just right”, on the Prescott Promenade.

The event takes place on Sat Nov 28th, 2015 starting at noon and ending at 7PM.  The festivities include Santa and Santa’s Village for the little ones as well as live music by a great local band, Danielle Tucker, and even an ice skating rink for everyone.

Some of the festivities will be held in front of Starbuck’s and Urban Street Brewing Company at West Main Street and Magnolia making it perfect to grab a hot chocolate or a favorite brew, whichever helps keep you cozy.  This will also be the scene of live music by the Danielle Tucker from 4:30PM – 7:00PM as well as the tree-lighting at 6:00PM.

Other attractions will be craft booths, where you can find that unique Christmas gift, and food vendors, where you can indulge in a little treat for your tummy.

The little ones will enjoy Santa, a Santa’s Village and even an ice skating rink.  When was the last time you went ice skating?  Sounds like fun for all.

See you in the neighborhood.

Karen Urata – Century 21 Award             BRE License # 01720025

619-454-7959                                                karenurata@gmail.com





I want to buy a home, Where do I start?

In El Cajon, Escondido, Home Buying, La Mesa, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Transaction Tuesday, Vista on June 26, 2015 at 11:14 pm
  1. Transaction Tuesday

    Image courtesy of smarnad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    I want to buy a home, Where do I start?

    Many people start their home -buying process on the Internet these days.  As a matter fact, it has been reported that 90% of home-buyers start here.  The reasons for this are many, including the fact that you can shop from the comfort of your own home, at any hour of the day or night, so this makes sense.  However, the most important first step in your home-buying process actually should be to get a pre-approval from a good lender.  Here is a little story that illustrates this point.

    Mr and Mrs Smith had been thinking of purchasing a home in a more central location to accommodate the separate commutes they now were making for work.  They had looked off and on over the last year or so but had taken a wait and see approach trying to time the market to catch the “bottom” so they would get the lowest price possible.   During that time, prices did go down, and following that, inventory or the number of homes available on the market went down also.  As a result of this, home prices started to rise slightly, then interest rates also started to inch up as well which eat into their purchasing power.  In other words, the monthly payment that they would qualify for, let’s say $2,000 now bought them a home priced at $400,000 rather than $430,000.  So now they will be able to buy but the home they can purchase for the same $2,000 a month payment will probably be smaller or have fewer of the features that they desired.

    In spite of the low inventory and the decrease in their buying power, the Smiths were online one day and found a perfect home with everything they desired in their price range.  This was really exciting because it had been a long time since they had see anything that fit their needs so well. So they got on the phone to contact an agent so they could tour the property and have the agent help them to construct an offer for submission.

    Imagine their surprise when the agent informed them that the sellers of this home require that to submit an offer you must show that you are already approved for financing through a lender with what is called desktop underwriting approval with credit report and proof of funds.  In addition, if your offer is accepted you will have to be approved through their preferred lender as well.   Of course, the home had an accepted offer long before the Smiths were able to gather the necessary documentation and approvals required in order to submit an offer.  So while this may have been the perfect home for the Smiths to purchase and the Smiths may have been the perfect buyers for these sellers to acquire the “highest and best offer” for this property, the transaction was stopped before it even started because the Smiths, like many buyer, had skipped an important step in the home-buying process, getting their financing in place.

    The moral of this story is that the most important first step in a transaction is to secure your financing with a good lender.  If you need guidance on how to select a good lender just give me a call.  I am always happy to help.

    See you in the neighborhood,


    Karen Urata

    DRE License # 01720025

    Cemtury 21 Award



    5-Star Award Winner  San Diego Magazine 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015

    Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County