3. January 2012 14:34
On Christmas Eve, in the middle of the day, chaos ensued at the Whole Foods Market on University Avenue in San Diego. Too many shoppers, with too many cars, were creating gridlock/ Despite the valet parking service as well as the traffic control officers hired for the day, it was the price of doing food shopping that day at that store. On New Years Eve, in the middle of the day, the REI store on Copley Drive drew so many buyers that the check out line stretched around the store and held steady under the kayak section and into the shoe section. The estimated wait time to reach a cashier was 35 to 40 minutes. On New Years Day, the Hotel del Coronado was not serving meals to non-guests. “We are not accepting walk-ins,” announced the hostess at the 1500 Ocean restaurant, “Only guests of the hotel are being served.” These are all signs of consumption by consumers with confidence. Of course, this bodes well for how we perceive the economy and thus how we spend our money. In real estate, inventory is low in most neighborhoods. Along with interest rates at the lowest they have ever been, this points to an improved value for existing homeowners. For starters, 2012 bodes well.
16. December 2011 11:09
Four years is a long time to wait for a home. Neighbors of mine began the house search with me in 2007, initially focused in Coronado because of the excellent school system. Their adorable daughter referred to our house hunting as “looking for a yard house”, because she was born & raised in a condominium. After a 6-month search, they concluded Coronado inventory was too limited for what they needed. The next step was to sell their existing property, a luxury 3 bedroom condo on the 18th floor at Renaissance in downtown San Diego’s Marina District. The condo was completely remodeled in 2004 and offered views of the Pacific Ocean, San Diego Bay, Coronado, Point Loma & the downtown skyline. In the winter, snow-capped Cuyamaca Peak in the Laguna Mountains was clearly visible. Problem is, the market was soft back then for luxury property. To add insult to injury, the Renaissance filed a construction defect lawsuit against the developer, as is customary within the 10-year statute of limitations; Renaissance was built in 2002. So, with a soft market, a lawsuit, plus time off the market for a 2nd baby, and time off the market during the holidays, we sold the condo in March of this year. Now it was crunch time – with vigor we searched resale homes in Mission Hills, Point Loma, Carmel Valley & Del Mar, and then brand new construction in Del Sur and 4S Ranch. The resale's were attractive because they were move in ready. Brand new construction was essentially a customized home. Despite a 9-month construction timeline, which meant they would have to rent a home until the new one was built, that is the path they chose. Del Sur’s highly-prized school system was the icing on the cake. So, four years later, we closed escrow on their beautiful “yard home”. Thus begins an exciting chapter for this young family in a brand new home in time for the holidays.
29. November 2011 18:10
I recently took a trip up the coast of California and on the way, stopped and visited each of the 21 Missions. The history of California is evident at each of the Missions, which provided people with much more than religion and worship; indeed, they acted as outposts for food in a remote land, which ran parallel in time with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Most of these structures have been extensively rebuilt or remodeled . It is not a surprise, then, to learn that the Vatican has established a new commission to evaluate and approve the construction of Roman Catholic churches. Prompted by a large number of garage-style churches and other boldly-shaped structures that have little resemblance to a church, the commission’s goal will be to promote spaces that elicit an emotional response. Not unlike homes, where nurture, comfort and warmth are readily provided, churches are places of worship that should call out to the congregation, beckoning and welcoming with a strong sense of familiarity. The commission will be in charge of evaluating construction projects for churches of various dioceses. Regulations will be drafted and offer precise instructions to these dioceses. The architecture will reflect the purpose of the Catholic Mass, so a cookie cutter approach to design is not the goal. Raising the bar on architecture is a noble call.