How important is it to stage your home? Very. Why? Typically, and my own experience as a realtor has illustrated this, your home will sell nearer the top of its range, if not for more, and in a shorter selling time. Remember – you only have ONE chance to make a good first impression and, according to the rules of advertising, it is usually done in the first ten seconds. This is really a no brainer.

So, why balk at staging? Do you think it is too expensive? Not as expensive as your first price reduction. Are you in love with your own decorating style? Realpro 53, a real estate blogger who is an experienced agent in Chicago, reminds us of a very important fact: “Interior design is for living in your home, staging is for selling.” Staging creates a very strong emotional response: DESIRE. Who doesn’t relate to a cool, tastefully up-dated layout, and envision themselves living there? Who doesn’t want to?

And what about your photo shoot? You don’t think a staged home is going to look far more exciting to that potential buyer in London, or down the street, than one that isn’t? (And based on photos seen on the internet, I did sell a high-end home to a Londoner and am working with two others). Doesn’t it sound reasonable that the internet buyer can visualize more clearly the movement and traffic patterns of a home, and be more ready to jump in and purchase based on that first impression? How many potential buyers for your home, search on the internet? According to the National Association of Realtors, 92 percent!!

In the words of Realpro53, “You get a good feeling when you walk in a home that has been properly staged. Its not fake, it’s more than just placemats and wine glasses on the dining room table. It just feels good.”

As I said. Staging? A no brainer.

Zillow, Realpro53, Margaret La Grange


Calling all vegetarians, pescetarians, and carnivores! Grab your appetite for lunch or dinner at Leroy’s kitchen during Restaurant Week San Diego, January 18 – January 25, 1015 Orange Avenue. Enjoy scrumptious cuisine from Leroy’s chefs, made from the freshest ingredients from local farmers and artisans. Enjoy a 2-course prix fixe lunch – $15 or a 3 course prix fixe dinner for $30. Call 619-437-6087 for more information.

Source: Ecoronado


“Even though the recent financial crisis is barely in the rearview mirror, risk is starting to build once again in both the U.S. mortgage and housing markets”, so reports RealtyTrac.

According to RealtyTrac, risk is already beginning to build in the U.S. mortgage and housing markets. Why? because of a misconception that only borrowers with great credit records can get a mortgage today when in reality many risky loans are still being made. The International Center on Housing Risk at the American Enterprise Institute, based on approximately three-quarters of all home-purchase loans across the country, has published a new index that shows that many current mortgages would “not perform well under stressful conditions. This conclusion holds for the nation as a whole and for nearly every state individually, including California”.

Buyers? Keep a sharp eye on your market. Sign-up for auto email alerts for the type and location of home you are interested in. If you need a loan, establish a relationship with a good lender. Interest rates are still low! You never know what is just around the corner! Who knows, maybe it is your dream home.

Source: RealtyTrac, Margaret La Grange


Forecasts by and Trulia, predict that not only will San Diego County see stable price gains but increased demand as well. Wage growth, employment, supply and demand will drive the market with annual gains at about 4%. According to Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for, interest rates may rise about .05% which will impact affordability. The good news, according to Smoke, is “San Diego falls into a short list of markets where I would say demonstrably already that demand outpaces supply…. That very tight supply condition puts it in a market that has next to zero chance of seeing prices decline.”

Jed Kolko, the chief economist for Trulia, noted that interest rates never rose as expected in 2014. San Diego is listed as one of his top ten markets to keep an eye on. Kolko comments: “They [markets to watch] have strong fundamentals for the housing market without the risk that prices look overvalued. These are the markets that are in that sweet spot where the conditions are ripe for a strong year, without much downside risk.”

U-T San Diego: Jonathan Horn