Real estate roundup: What’s hot and why

By most indicators, the national real estate market is looking up. There are lots of reasons for this and we’ll get into some of them here. But for the most part, the real estate market follows the general state of the economy. When employment is high and the economy is on a strengthening trend, buyer [...]

Sustainability: A new word in our real estate vocabulary

We hear the word sustainability bandied about these days and this week we’re taking a look into what makes a house “sustainable” and the many virtues of this approach. Sustainable building, also called green building, is a method of maximizing the energy efficiency of our homes so that natural resources are not depleted and our [...]

My mortgage guru answers lending questions — Part 2

Matt Young of MDC Financial Services Group ( has been kind enough to answer a few questions posed by potential real estate buyers. This is the second part of his responses. Question from Myra, in Encinitas: I’m a senior citizen, just turned 65. Can I still get a mortgage or am I too old? Answer: [...]

My mortgage guru answers lending questions

I asked Matt Young of MDC Financial Services Group ( to answer a few questions posed by potential real estate buyers. He was kind enough to fill us in. In fact, his answers were so comprehensive that I decided to give you his complete answers and to spread this column over two issues. Question No. [...]

California dreaming

We know California is a big state with a big economy, big trees and lots of people. But these generalities do not begin to suggest the magnitude, magnificence and only-in-a-dream realities of this truly wonderful place. So this week, we’re hitting the highlights, and every entry should be punctuated with a wow. Let’s just start [...]

Houses of the future

In my last column, we had some fun talking about how smart technology is beginning to transform our homes, creeping into our basic energy systems and every other nook and cranny of our homes. This is a trend that will surely continue, as developers, engineers, builders and home goods suppliers endeavor to one-up one another. [...]

It’s a new world, and getting smarter!

Happy New Year one and all. Many of you will be reading this article on your smartphones which, as we know, have become ubiquitous. And, in spite of the many things they currently do for us, we are only in the infancy of the “smart” world. This week we’re taking a look at the new [...]

The art of negotiation: Tips for sellers

Part two of our look at the dynamics, techniques and attitude required to make the best deals in real estate covers sellers. Let’s start with timing. The seller’s friends are scarcity and demand. When there are few houses on the market, and demand is high, the seller is in the driver’s seat. Whenever there are [...]

The art of negotiation: Tips for buyers

Real estate is a game, partially determined by chance, and timing, but skill does play a part. Each party to the sale – both seller and buyer– want to get the best deal and either move out or in, happy and content in the transaction. This two-part look at the dynamics, techniques and attitude required [...]

What can you get with a $1 million budget?

In the 1955-1960 television program The Millionaire, the millionaire John Beresford Tipton would call his secretary, Michael Anthony, into his drawing room. In a booming voice, he would utter the following, handing his assistant an envelope, “Mike, our next millionaire …” Mike would then set off to find the lucky recipient and we would watch [...]

Pride Card Deals

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