Tag Archives: Cardiff-by-the-sea

Spotlight on Cardiff-by-the-Sea

2010-2011 Volcom's Totally Crustaceous Tour, Seaside, Cardiff CaCardiff-by-the-Sea is a very special place.  Originally founded in 1911 by developer J. Frank Cullen, the community was named in honor of his wife’s native Wales, and many streets have English names. This distinctive town became part of the incorporated City of Encinitas in 1986, but has retained its unique character and identity.  The community is known for its “walkability”, with the beach, lagoon, restaurants, markets, post office, library, restaurants and other services within easy walking distance of each other. Cardiff’s Restaurant Row, along Highway 101, provides great dining options right on the beach, with fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean.  The small town hosts some fun festivals throughout the year including the annual Cardiff Surf Classic  & Green Beach Fair, Taste of Cardiff and the Dog Days of Summer.

Around the world, Cardiff is well known for its awesome surfing, particularly Cardiff Reef, which attracts professional and amateur surfers year round.  Surf fans know about Cardiff for local legend and Cardiff resident, Rob Machado. He can be regularly seen catching a waves or enjoying one of the bowls named after him at a local café, Sambazon. In addition to surfing, Cardiff’s beaches are a great place to relax or enjoy a variety of other ocean sports including boogie boarding, paddle boarding and kite surfing. 

The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, a state wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary, is a jewel within Cardiff that attracts approximately 300 bird species annually. It has a lovely nature center that hosts numerous events throughout the year.  It is great not only for bird-watching, but for its ideal hiking trails through coastal wetland habitat. The entire reserve encompasses 1,000 acres of habitat that hosts more than 700 species of plants and animals and numerous hiking trails. 


A statue nicknamed “The Cardiff Kook” has received world-wide attention and is definitely a well-known attraction on the Coast Highway. The official name of the statue is “Magic Carpet Ride”, but soon after its unveiling, local surfers took to calling it the “Cardiff Kook”.  It has become a tradition to decorate it based on a theme, either public or private.  Sometimes it is adorned with simple happy birthday signs and sometimes it is dressed up much more elaborately, for example as a surfer about to be swallowed by a giant papier-mâché shark.  This famous landmark even has its own website, calendar and swag!

As for rSunseteal estate, Cardiff is highly desirable and inventory tends to be very low.  If you are interested in properties in this community, you need an agent who is knowledgeable and experienced in Cardiff that can provide you the expert guidance to be able act quickly, as properties tend to sell fast.  Eva Meier has been a resident for 27 years and a real estate agent for 17 years in Cardiff.  She has the insider knowledge to help you, whether you are looking for an affordable condo, an oceanview twinhome or a fabulous custom home in the composer district. Speaking of which, right now the Geller-Meier Team has an amazing custom home listed in the Composer District.  Check it out at www.CardiffViewHome.com, contact Eva (760.815.1318) or Maxine (858.353.5512) to schedule a private showing or come to the Open House this weekend on Saturday or Sunday from 1-4 PM.

So, you want to buy an REO – Part 1

Foreclosure in San Diego County Real EstateIt seems everyone wants to get in on the action!  Everyone’s heard about the economic and housing crisis, the sinking home prices, and they all want to cash in by finding a steal of a deal.  Fortunately for my partner and me, the coastal North San Diego County real estate market where we do most of our business is not suffering as much as other areas.  Newer tracks that were built and sold at the peak of the market from 2003 -2005, that offered insane incentives such as highly risky loan products, are suffering the most.  More established communities and those with timeless appeal like Del Mar and Cardiff-by-the-Sea are faring far better.

One Buyer Chooses to Venture into Heavy REO Territory

After living in Carmel Valley for the last several years, one set of clients, a growing family with two young children, decided they needed a bigger home.  By surfing various internet real estate sites, they discovered that Chula Vista, an area with many newer tracks located in southern San Diego County, had been hit particularly hard by the housing downturn and offered a great opportunity  to find a big house at discounted prices.  That’s where we came in…

Sifting Through the Housing Rubble

When they asked for our help, we admittedly were wary.  REO’s and short sales are notorious for being hard to purchase.  It can take weeks or even months to get a response to one’s offer, and that’s just the beginning.  They may not even close.  But our clients were determined.  So, we sifted through pages of available listings until we came up with 6 that matched their criteria and seemed worth seeing.  After visiting them, our clients designated their first, second and third choices, and we were ready to write offers.  That’s when we began to discover yet a few more reasons why REOs are so challenging:

  • many of these listings already had multiple offers on the table, one as many as 25!
  • many of these homes had been so neglected by their owners, they were in horrible condition!
  • some had even been stripped of every removable part like fixtures, doorknobs and switches!

Writing Multiple Offers

Unlike the San Diego Coastal real estate market, specifically, the Del Mar real estate market, concurrently writing offers on multiple properties is a normal practice and is not considered unethical in areas with many REO listings for sale.  We’ve always felt that this practice flies in the face of the covenant of “good faith and fair dealing” because there is generally no intent for a buyer to ever buy more than one house at a time. But, we did what we had to do.  So many of these listings already had multiple offers pending, chances were slim of any of our offers getting accepted.  Long story short, after an intensely steep learning curve, we successfully submitted a few offers and eventually got one accepted…. 

And The Waiting Game Begins…

(stay tuned for part 2)

Dog Friendly Development in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

Though I’m not a dog owner now, I used to be and am still very sympathetic to those whose dog is a vital member of their family yet is not allowed or unwelcome in their neighborhood. Many of our clients have dogs and are generally frustrated by their limited San Diego County home buying options when it comes to finding a suitable place to live happily with their pets.

Pet-friendly North San Diego Real Estate

If you are looking for a truly dog friendly community, look no further than Park Place in Cardiff located in northern San Diego County.    This development consists of 624 homes, spread out over an almost 100 acre area.  There are 328 townhomes in a 4-plex arrangement with 4 units per building, 286 twinhomes where each home is attached to only one other, and 10 detached homes.

The Dog’s Life in Cardiff Real Estate

This wonderful Cardiff neighborhood shares a beautiful private 25 acre park centered along a canyon with wide open grassy spaces, lovely shaded spots and picnic areas.  Not only are dogs allowed in this park, but they can be unrestrained, i.e. unleashed!  Numerous dog litter bag dispensers are located throughout, making it easy for owners to keep the park clean.  There are few places like this where dogs can truly roam free.  Of course, dog owners still need to be responsible in controlling their animals as many homeowners with young children use the park on a regular basis.  By the way, the park also offers a swimming pool, a toddler pool, volleyball area, baseball field, and an RV parking lot, all included in you HOA fee.

Sniff for Park Place Homes for Sale!

Ready to sniff out your next North County San Diego home?  Give us a call if you’re interested in more info, or visit our North San Diego real estate website to search the MLS for availability in Park Place.

Woof up Your Feedback!

What other San Diego neighborhoods do you consider to be pet-friendly? Be the first to comment.