Category Archives: Solana Beach

Rescue Dogs Can Make Great Family Members

dougieI was actually opposed to the idea of getting a dog, since I knew I would end up being the primary care taker – not my kids who were the ones begging to get one! Then we walked by an Open Arms Rescue setup outside of a pet supply store and met Dougie (named “Spunky” at the time).  It was his sweet, calm disposition that sold us on him.  He didn’t yap and whine, nor smother us with wiggling excitement and licks.  He was calm and serene, and looked like a truly gentle spirit.  We took him home for an extended visit (about a week) to see if he would get along with our cat and fit into our family.  He turned out to be absolutely perfect – friendly to every other dog on walks, sweet to the kids and the cat, and never barks when left alone.  We couldn’t be happier with our new member of the family!

This weekend, August 1-2, Coldwell Banker offices in communities across the United States, along with shelters and rescue groups in the Adopt-a-Pet.com network, will join forces for one of the largest adoption events of the year.  This nationwide event builds on the success of the “Homes for Dogs Project,” a national campaign hosted by Coldwell Banker® and Adopt-a-Pet.com, that aims to find homes for 20,000 adoptable dogs in 2015.  If you are interested in a pure bred, please know you can still adopt a rescue animal.  There are several rescue groups that are breed specific such as Labradors and Friends Dog Rescue Group, Inc., Maltese Rescue California, Southern California Pomeranian Rescue and more.   We hope you will consider attending one of the events this weekend and adopting a new member of your family. Please use this link to find an event near you: The Homes for Dogs National Adoption Weekend.

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4th of July – A great day to celebrate our country!

The 4th of July is a great time to celebrate our country.  For most Americans, it means enjoying a BBQ meal and watching fireworks.  North San Diego County has no shortage of options to enjoy fireworks this year.  Check Discover San Diego’s website to see a list of firework locations throughout San Diego County.

In addition to fireworks, North San Diego County has some fun local 4th of July events.  The City of Del Mar hosts an annual 4th of July Parade in the beautiful Powerhouse Park.  Show up dressed in your favorite patriotic custom with your decorated bikes, scooters, wagons, baby strollers and leashed pets to participate in this annual tradition  The San Diego Botanical Gardens also has an annual 4th of July Parade through the garden that is wonderful for young children.  Families can parade  decorated strollers and wagons (no bikes) and wear red, white and blue!  Legoland’s Red, White and BOOM! has patriotic activities from morning to night including custom building contests, dance parties, costume contests and, of course, fireworks! The San Diego County Fair also has special Independence Day events, in addition to their amazing fireworks, including  a  Stars, Stripes and Stems Floral Design Contest, Patriotic Costume Contest, Hometown Heroes Parade and the Navy Band Southwest performing at the Grandstand Stage.

Though we may enjoy the excitement of the day, it is important to keep pets safe and stress free. The ASPCA has this great list of tips on what to do to keep your pet safe:

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

The Geller-Meier Team hopes you enjoy and have a safe 4th of July Holiday!

Fiesta Del Sol and Solana Beach

Solana BeaBanner_Web_Fiestach’s 36th Annual Celebration of Fiesta del Sol is happening this weekend – May 30th and 31st at Fletcher Cove!  This free two day music & crafts festival has been Solana Beach’s kick off to summer for decades and is appropriate for all ages.  Solana Beach’s Belly Up Tavern, a popular live music venue known throughout the region for hosting both world famous and local acts, has lined up the entertainment again this year and it promises to be the best year yet with 18 amazing bands. Check out the Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce site to get more information and see the schedule of performers.

There are many things that make Solana Beach stand out among North County beach towns. Solana Beach’s Cedros Design District is a great shopping area known for its unique boutiques, home and garden shops, antique stores, as well as a weekly farmer’s market.  Solana Beach also has a wide range of both local and chain shops and restaurants. There is a train station which is a stop for both local Coaster trains servicing San Diego to Oceanside as well as Amtrack trains to Los Angeles with connections all over the US.

We have had the pleasure of representing both buyers and sellers in Solana Beach.  Though the population is only around 13,000, there is a wide variety of options for real estate from custom estates to one bedroom condos and everything in between.  As for townhomes and condos there are options with ocean views, walking distance to the beach, close to golf or by the world famous Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.  Homes vary too – from to custom homes to lovely planned communities.  No matter what type of property you are looking for, chances are there is a place in Solana Beach for you.  Please contact us to help you find that perfect place.

Summer is a great time to enjoy San Diego Beaches!

del-mar-del-mar-city-beach-1Though we are lucky enough to enjoy our beaches year round in San Diego, summer is definitely a time of year when there is a noticeable uptick in the crowds at local beaches. Like elsewhere in the country, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer here in San Diego. Whether you are looking for a place to surf, have a bonfire, take your dogs or search tide pools – North San Diego County has a great beach for you.  As experts in the area we can happily direct you to the surf spots in Cardiff, the bonfire pits at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, Dog Beach in Del Mar and the tide pools in Solana Beach. For a listing of area beaches and their features, be sure to check out The San Diego Visitor’s Website Beach Guide . If you are going to enjoy the water, you might also want to check out the local San Diego Surfline Surf Report and County of San Diego Beach Water Quality site for water safety following the rain.

If you are looking for a great beach home  – call us or peruse options using the “Home Search” on www.DreamHomesByTheBeach.com!  We specialize in the North San Diego Coastal real estate and would love to help you find a property – whether it is a hill-top ocean view estate in La Jolla, a house on the sand in Del Mar or a condo on the bluffs in Solana Beach, we know the coastal towns and would love the opportunity to work with you to find you a jewel among the San Diego Dream Homes By The Beach!

First time home buyers can find choosing a location to be overwhelming

When you’re ready to buy your first home ever, or your first home in San Diego, location is going to be important. We appreciate that every buyer is unique in what amenities they desire, what they need and want in a neighborhood — and that they have a budget. Having over 30 years of combined experience representing buyers and sellers all over North San Diego County we have a lot of knowledge and expertise about the different towns that make up this great region. For example, though Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff, Solana Beach, Del Mar and La Jolla all offer ocean view real estate options such as condos, townhomes and houses, the cultures of these communities are quite different. The same is true of the different planned communities in areas such as Santaluz, Del Sur and Carmel Valley.

Over the years we have helped countless first time home-buyers, such as Tricia and Andre, and first time San Diego buyers, such as Pam, within every price range – from $300K condos to $7M homes. These clients perfectly describe the experience you can expect working with the Geller-Meier Team:

“Eva and Maxine were wonderful to work with. As first-time home-buyers, the whole process of finding and purchasing a home felt rather overwhelming. Eva and Maxine did a great job of educating us on the process and communicating with us, our lender, and the other parties involved. They stayed on top of all the details and we always trusted they had our best interests in mind. We were really grateful for their help, and we’re so excited about our new home!” – Tricia and Andre

“The ease with which you made it possible for us to move from the east to the west coast was unbelievable. From the start of our first conversation you put me at ease. Generally I am full of questions and found that I had very few. You provided me with kind and thoughtful information on all aspects of the areas that we had an interest in. From Family neighborhoods, school systems, to cultural and last but not least the directions to the closest mall for my 15 yr old. You provided me with the answers before I could form the questions. Your efficient, extremely organized and thoughtful handling of our search for a new home was truly unbelievable.” – Pam

We would love to use our expertise to help you find a San Diego home in a location that’s right for you and within your budget.

For more information on what to consider about location see Zillow’s article First-Time Home Buyer’s Guide to Choosing a Neighborhood

Spring is in the Air – Time for Spring Cleaning!

nullWe are so lucky to have beautiful weather year round in San Diego that we sometimes do not appreciate the transition from winter to spring.  Even though there is not a big change in weather it is still a great time of year to tackle a big house cleaning.

 

Planning on renovating your home? Consider resale value even if you are not ready to sell!

Of course you should remodel your home to maximize your own enjoyment. However, if you are planning on selling in the future, it is always a good idea to think about resale value when considering renovations. If you are thinking of tackling remodeling projects to sell in the near future, you should research which home renovations make sense and how to accomplish them to add value to your home.

Remodeling.com has some great statistics for the Pacific Region that show the average costs and returns for various projects. Projects that add usable living space top the list in the Pacific, including deck additions which we are lucky enough to be able to use year round in San Diego. New windows and front doors also have excellent return. Notable is that minor kitchen remodels have a better return than major remodels and bathroom remodels have a high return.

These numbers do not tell the whole story. If you are going to spend money remodeling to resell, you should also be sure to keep in mind choosing styles that match the home and materials that will appeal to the widest range of buyers. This Old House’s has a great article on this topic: Renovations That Give You a Return on Your Investment.

Your best bet if you are remodeling to sell is to let us give you our expert perspective. We would be happy to meet with you and share our knowledge of what buyers notice, appreciate and value in the North County Coastal Region depending on what type of home it is – whether it be a townhome in Carmel Valley, a beach house in Cardiff or a planned community in Carlsbad.

photo credit: new plans via photopin (license)

Staging tips for sellers!

Even though San Diego’s coastal communities stretching from La Jolla to Carlsbad and inland to Fairbanks Ranch are in a strong seller’s market resulting in multiple offer situations, sellers should make the investment in staging their condo, townhome or house to make it look its best to appeal to the widest range of buyers to maximize offers.

The first step of staging any home – whether it is a condo in Carlsbad or an estate in Rancho Santa Fe is to store away or remove clutter. By depersonalizing your home you allow potential buyers to picture themselves living in the house. A fresh coat of paint is inexpensive and always makes a home feel refreshed and new. Adding lighting or making sure your home is making the most of natural light is also important as plenty of light will show off your home and make it seem inviting. Lastly, make sure your home makes a great first impression by focusing on the curb appeal. Be sure bushes and trees are trimmed and pruned, lawns are manicured and that any flower beds are well-maintained.

Though you can do a lot of things yourself, it might make sense to invest in professionals who have the expertise to showcase your home to the widest range of potential buyers to help your property sell.

For more on this topic, check out this great article on HGTV’s frontdoor.com

Hot sellers market means buyers need to be prepared this Spring

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This Spring, we are continuing to see a hot seller’s market in San Diego. Buyers should check out the great tips in the MSN article below to be prepared. In addition to having financing in place before you start looking, working with great, experienced, professional agents such as the Geller-Meier Team is on the top of the list! Give us a call to schedule a consultation – we’d love to share our strategies with you!

Click here for MSN’s 12 Tips

 

Happy Earth Day! Celebrate by reducing water usage!

Happy Earth Day! We have all seen the signs around town about “When in Drought” and know that we have water use restrictions in place.  What better way to celebrate Earth Day in San Diego County than to take time to consider how to reduce our water usage.

Inside our homes we can switch to low flow toilets and showerheads, as well as high efficiency washing machines.  We can regularly check toilets and faucets to make sure they are not leaking. Of course, reducing the amount of time we shower and turning off the faucet while brushing our teeth can also contribute greatly.

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As a homeowner, there is another way to reduce water usage to switch to watersmart landscaping.  The San Diego County Water Authority and its member agencies are partnering with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to offer FREE training classes this month and next on WaterSmart landscaping. The classes introduce a holistic approach to landscape design and maintenance that emphasizes water-use efficiency.  Click here to learn more!

California Friendly Landscape Training Classes