Karen Urata Realtor

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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

 

 

 

 

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Living In La Mesa – The “New” La Mesa Library

In La Mesa, San Diego County, Things to do in La Mesa, Uncategorized on January 27, 2014 at 9:37 pm

The “New” La Mesa Library

La Mesa Library

One of the great things about living in La Mesa is the welcoming library we enjoy.  Located at 8074 Allison Avenue is what we will likely call the “new” library for many years to come.  This library was built in 2008 along with a new post office and new fire station.  When you drive up to the library you will likely see the fire station to the left, but you will have to pull into the parking lot and take a right at the top of the incline to find the post office.

Inside La Mesa Library

Not every community today has a library that is open daily but the La Mesa Library has hours 7 days a week.

Mon-Thurs 9:30AM – 8PM, Fri & Sat 9:30AM – 5PM, and Sun 12 -5PM.  They offer a wide variety of programs including children’s storytimes, teen activities and reading club, adult information meetings covering such subjects as Foster Parenting, Taxes and the Affordable Care Act, as well as book clubs,  e-tutoring, Scrabble Club, Chess Club and Knitting Club.  For more information visit their website www.sdcl.org or call or text a librarian at 619 469-2152.

La Mesa Library Card

What do you enjoy about the “new” La Mesa Library?   Thinking of buying a home in La Mesa?  Click 3 bedroom 2 bath homes for sale in La Mesa to check out what is currently available on the market.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

Century 21 Award

(619) 454-7959

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

Is It a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?

In CA, El Cajon, Escondido, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on January 11, 2013 at 5:08 am
Interest Rates

Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? is probably the question that I hear most often and of course, the answer to that question changes over time.

Sometimes, when there are lots of homes on the market, and not too many ready willing and able buyers, we see a buyer’s market.  This means that, generally speaking, buyers are in a position to ask for concessions, such as a laundry list of repairs, extensive credits, and often make offers under the list price.  Buyers often try to time their purchase for a buyer’s market because they feel that they can get more house for their money that way.  Other times, when there are lots of buyers and not too many homes on the market, we see a seller’s market.  This means that, generally speaking, sellers are in a position to ask for concessions, such as no contingencies, no repairs and purchase prices exceeding the list price.  Sellers often try to time to time their sale for a seller’s market because they feel that they can get the best return on their home  that way.

But sometimes, like now, we see a market that is both a buyer’s market and a seller’s market at the same time.  That can happen when there is low inventory, or few homes available on the market creating a larger return for sellers and low-interest rates, that result in buyers actually getting more home for their money.

What the heck, how does that work?  Well, the largest factor in the actual cost of a home is the interest rate, not the purchase price.  Did you know that a change (reduction) of half a percent on a home with the loan amount of $300,000  from3.5% interest to 3% interest represents a reduction of  $82.32 an month  in your monthly payment. Your principle payment would drop from $1347.13 to $1264.81.   In this example, the half a percent interest rate change represents approximately $20,000 more in purchasing power.  In other words, you would have approximately the same principle payment on a loan amount of $300,000 at 3.5% interest as you would on a loan amount of $320,000 at $3.0% interest, not to mention that now you can qualify for  a home that has $20,000 worth of additional features that you would not have qualified for at the higher interest rate.  This could actually change the neighborhood that you live in or the size of the house your family grows up in.

Having the right knowledge can really make a difference in maximizing the benefit for everyone in a transaction.  If you are thinking of buying or selling now is a great time.

Just call me and we can talk about how you can maximize your benefit when buying or selling in this buyer’s and seller’s market in San Diego County.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

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

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

What is Title Insurance Anyway?

In CA, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, Norh San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on January 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm
Transaction Tuesday

Image courtesy of smarnad/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Well it’s Tuesday again and that means it is time for another installment in our series, Transaction Tuesday.  Grab your coffee and an a snack and come with me.

If you have purchased a home chances are you have purchased title insurance but you may not know exactly what title insurance is or why you need it.

Unlike most forms of insurance, title insurance premiums are paid just once at the time of purchase but cover your interest as long as you, or your heirs, own the property.

Generally speaking, title insurance is meant to protect an owner’s or a lender’s financial interest in real property against loss due to title defects, liens or other matters.  There are two types of policies, one that protects the lender’s interest in a property and one that protects a homeowner’s interest in a property. If you have a mortgage on a property, the lender will require a policy to protect their interest for the amount of the loan.  You can also purchase a policy, at a small additional cost, during escrow to protect your interest as a homeowner.

Escrow will order the preliminary title report which should be reviewed and approved by the buyer.  This report should specify what is covered by the title policy and what is excluded.

For more details check out these links:

http://www.stewart.com/title-insurance/what-is-tile-insurance

http://www.firstam.com/title/resources/reference-information/title-insurance-reference-articles/q-a-about-title-insurance.html

If you have questions about title insurance or anything else in the transaction process, please feel free to contact me.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

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

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

This Is What Being a Realtor Is All About

In El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, Norh San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Uncategorized, Vista on October 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Dream Egg – Photo by Karen Urata

What is being a Realtor all about?  I was thinking about that today after having the pleasure of handing my buyer the keys to his new home.

So many plans for the future, and they all fit neatly into this beautiful home.  A warm, almost glowing kitchen where many dinners will be prepared and shared with friends and family.  A fireplace where comfort with a great book can be found on a chilly winter evening.   An office, so you can catch up on work without a commute to the office.  A studio, where you can explore the artist in you, whether it be the painter, the musician or the writer.

Outside, a park-like yard, perhaps the scene of  a future picnic table full of covered dishes and burgers from the BBQ and a crowd to enjoy them.  Maybe a tree swing, the kind that children always remember and smile.

The garage, where projects start and sometimes finish, precious relics of life are stored in cardboard boxes, and sometimes even where a car or two reside.

How many people can say their job is to help people make their dreams come true?  This is what being a Realtor is all about for me.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

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

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

Do Not Be a Victim of Mortgage Fraud

In Avoid Foreclosure, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on July 9, 2012 at 6:46 am
My Mortgage Docs to be Reviewed by an Expert

My Mortgage Docs to be Reviewed by an Expert (Photo credit: Casey Serin)

 

If you or anyone you love or care about is struggling to make your mortgage payments please take a moment to  get the information about mortage fraud at this link. http://bcove.me/wfnrskkf

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

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

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

If You Are Thinking Of Doing a Short Sale You Need to Know About This Deadline

In Avoid Foreclosure, CA, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, Norh San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on June 26, 2012 at 11:15 pm
Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401K 2012)

If you are in a position where you feel you might need to do a short sale you need to know about this upcoming deadline.  The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 is set to expire at the end of 2012.

What does this mean to you?  It means that the temporary provision to waive the taxes that are due on the amount of “income” that is created (on paper) when a debt is forgiven is to expire at th end of this year.  Yes,  you heard that correctly, the government considers the dollar amount of the difference between what you owe on your home and the amount that you are able to now sell your home, (the amount that the bank is forgiving on your loan as the result of a short sale), as income to you that you must pay taxes on.  When you consider that the average amount of time, (your experience may vary), to complete a short sale has been about 6 months that makes this valuable information that must be considered.

Based on this, now is a good time to start the process by getting your home on the market.  Here is a link to the IRS information regarding this deadline http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=179414,00.html.

Please let me know if I can help with this in any way or if you just have questions about the process.  I am here to help.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

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

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

How to Make Your Home Show Well

In El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on June 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Beautifully staged home

It is the prime time for home-selling and we often hear talk about making your home show well.  What does this mean and more importantly, what does this mean to you?

Over the years I have interacted with sellers that had a desire to sell their home and a number of different reactions to the concept of making some changes in order to allow their home to show in it’s best light.

It is my experience that the most successful sellers, the ones who sell their home in the shortest amount of time for the highest amount of money, are those who are able to “emotionally move out” and allow themselves to view their home as a product that is competing in a marketplace with other products within a particular price range and geographic area.  That is a bit tough to do, as your home means so much more than that to you, but the reality is that it does not mean anything to your prospective buyer, yet.  And this is actually the way to make that happen. Builders understand this concept, they use model homes as a way to sell their homes.  You can do this to, often with no or low-cost changes to what you already have in your home.  Sounds a little strange, but it works.

What is the best way to help your prospective buyer fall in love with your home?  There are many things that you can do that start with ideas like  reducing the amount of furniture and smaller items that distract from being able to see the amount of beautiful space and features that your home has to offer, to a fresh coat of paint in the best color to create the feeling that best reflects your home.

A great place to start for getting great ideas for making your home show well is to click here for a recent article found in Realtor Magazine.    For a more detailed assessment of your home in San Diego County contact me to schedule a Showing Assessment Consultation.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

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

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

Great News For Veterans -The VA Steamline Loan

In Avoid Foreclosure, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, Mission Valley, Norh San Diego County, North San Diego County, Oceanside, Poway, Ramona, Real Estate, San Diego County, San Marcos, Santee, Uncategorized, Vista on May 30, 2012 at 6:53 pm
Interest Rates

Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401K)

If you are a veteran who used your VA benefits to purchase a home and now are underwater there is now a way that you may be able to refinance and take advantage of the record low-interest rates that are available today without your home appraising at current market values. Even if you are not underwater and want to take advantage of the incredibly low rates, this is a way to easily make this happen.

This program is called VA streamline loan program and the new guidelines are effective May 15th 2012.

It is actually possible for you to get a loan up to $625,000 with no appraisal, no income documentation, no loan to value restrictions for owner occupants with no mortgage lates for the last 12 months.  It is important to note that lenders sometimes have their own guidelines that they overlay on this VA program that may be more restrictive than what the VA program allows, so it is important to  what questions to ask and to check with several lenders to see what they offer for their  particular VA streamline program.

To get the information that will help you know what to look for when shopping for a lender click here to view the VA streamline guidelines as outlined by the VA  http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/irrrl.asp.

For those who are not veterans, but who are underwater and want to take advantage of the historically low-interest rates for refis available today check out my post about the HAMP 2.0 program.

For those who live in California, if you would like a list of lenders to start your search I would be happy to send you a list that will get you started on your research.  Just leave your request in the comments.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

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

Serving Buyers and Sellers in San Diego County

Have You Visited Queen Califia’s Magic Circle Garden?

In Art, Escondido, Family Fun, Norh San Diego County, North San Diego County, Real Estate, San Diego County, Things to do in Escondido, Uncategorized on May 23, 2012 at 5:23 am

One thing I find surprising is that many people do not know about the great things about living in Escondido, so today I am going to talk about one of my personal favorites.  Tucked away in Kit Carson Park is Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden by the acclaimed artist NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE’S.   It is just one piece of Escondido’s considerable Public Art Program which makes it a special place to live or visit.

You will find this magical, joyful place in the park, just behind the 17th hole of the Frisbee Golf course.  Imagine fanciful colors, and mirrors all working together to create a maze of imaginative creatures.  There is also a treasure waiting to be discovered at the heart of the maze. So I will say no more least I spoil the surprise of discovery for you.  This is such a fanciful place no one can leave here without a song in their heart and a smile on their face.

The park also offers beautifully shaded picnic tables, play ground areas for the younger  kids, and as noted before an awesome Frisbee golf course for the big kids.  It is a great place to spend a lazy Southern California day.  It’s  location is 3333 Bear Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92025.

The thing that got me thinking about this was the fact that I just listed a beautiful home in Escondido.  If you are here to enjoy the Kit Carson Park and decide that Escondido looks like a great place to live you should give me a call.   I can help you with that.

See you in the neighborhood,

Karen Urata

DRE License # 01720025

B W Real Estate Group

(760) 609-0952

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

Serving Home-Buyers and Seller in San Diego County