Home Buyers Cozy Up To Fireplaces

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1904 Estrada Way, La Jolla, Italian Renaissance estate home tucked away on a private cul-de-sac with spectacular ocean views and a two story great room featuring a grand fireplace.

 

While San Diego enjoys some of the most mild and enviable winters in the country,  home buyers still cozy up to properties that offer fireplaces despite our warmer temperatures. In fact, many still consider a working fireplace a worthwhile investment, and while San Diegans may not care much about this feature as a heat source, it adds ambiance, comfort and luxury to a room like no other amenity.  

Fireplaces have changed dramatically through the years, especially with the revolution in home building and design.  Classic wood burning fireplaces are still extremely popular and used primarily for its rustic charm, while more modern design uses other materials such as concrete and stone veneer.  Also in demand are long, linear fireplaces that boasts a clean, contemporary look.

According to the Census Bureau latest data, almost half of new homes in the United States include a fireplace. The majority of buyers who opt to purchase a home without one, have been willing to pay on average $1,400 extra according to the National Association of Realtors, which is more than they would pay for a kitchen island or walk in closet.  In the past several years, outdoor fireplaces have continued to grow  in  popularity and are an added focal point to the yard making dining alfresco or sitting outside on a cool evening, all the more attractive.

If you are in the market this year for real estate, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty offers a variety of properties at all price points.  Here are just a few with incredible fireplaces designed to bring warmth and style to your home.

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6885 La Valle Plateada, Rancho Santa Fe – This stunning Spanish Colonial Revival In sought after Rancho Santa Fe, offers not one, but 14 fireplaces, including an outdoor fireplace for year round comfort. Truly spectacular.

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1019 Oldham Way, Encinitas – Beautiful home on cul de sac with ocean views has multiple fireplaces throughout the home including a two way fireplace in the dining and living area as well as outdoor.

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16568 La Gracia, Rancho Santa Fe – This stunning contemporary Spanish estate sets a new standard for custom new construction and design. The modern fireplace is large enough for friends and family to enjoy.

 

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty Recognized at SDAR’S “Circle of Excellence”Awards

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The Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS (SDAR) honored San Diego’s top real estate producers and members who exemplify excellence at their annual “Circle of Excellence” award gala on Saturday, January 21, 2017.  Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty’s Mark Marquez, Manager of the company’s Inland Corridor office was honored with the 2016 Manager of the Year Award of Excellence.

The Award of Excellence recognizes those who have exemplified outstanding service to their clients, community, the association, and the real estate community as a whole. Each of the honorees reflects the highest ethics, integrity, and professional standards of the individuals who are members of SDAR. Nearly 100 nominations were submitted for the awards.

“Mark is truly deserving of this honor. He is an integral part of our growth and success in Inland North County,” according to Steve Games, Chairman of the Board, Pacific Sotheby’s Realty. “His knowledge and experience, combined with his genuine love of our industry and desire to see each of our agents grow and succeed, has created a positive team dynamic among the agents in his office and has affected the success of the whole entire company.”

2016 also marked the inception of the SDAR’s “Recognition of Excellence” award. The award was created to recognize the top 1% of real estate professionals in San Diego County for production as an individual or team with a minimum of 15 units sold and $15 million in sales. Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty agents had a strong showing at the event and the company would like to recognize the following agents who were honored:

 PLATINUM INDIVIDUAL (Individuals selling more than $50M or 40 units)

Marie Jo Atkins, Scott Aurich, Eric Iantorno, Seth O’Byrne, Deniese Ossey

PLATINUM TEAM (Teams selling at least 100 units)

David Schroedl & Associates, The Huff Team, K. Ann Brizolis & Associates,                    The LOTZOF Group

 GOLD INDIVIDUAL (Individuals selling at least $25-50M or 25 units)

Marguerite Apostolas, Todd Armstrong, Casey Cooke, Lindsay Dunlap, Cathy Gilchrist-Colmar, Stephanie Jezek, Laura Lothian, Craig Lotzof, Gary Massa, Debbie McCauley, Jim McInerney, Donna Medrea, Neda Nourani, Clinton Selfridge, Jenniffer Taylor, Valerie Upham, Scott Voak, Carolyn Yarbrough

 GOLD TEAM (Teams selling 70-99 units)

Anderson White & Associates, Dan Conway & Associates, Inc.

 SILVER INDIVIDUAL (Individuals selling at least $15-24M or 15 units)

Jay Becker, Jenn Blake, Paul Caparas, Cynthia Caricchio, Michael Chious, Patty Contreras, Sara Driscoll, Kim Drusch, Celeste Dunn, Paul Ferrell, Gerri-Lynn Fives, Elaine Gallagher, April Halvarson, Shannon Itzaina, Nicole N. Klopp, Dawn Leahy, Vincent Morris, Jeff Nix, Carlos Pastrana, Mary S. Raser, Ria Scoma, Richelle Szczygiel, Gina Vreeburg, Gary Wildeson

 SILVER TEAM (Teams selling 45-69 units)

Denny Oh & Associates, Greenwald/Gerke REALTORS®, Scott-Finn and Associates

“We are very proud of our agents who received the 2016 Recognition of Excellence recognition as we are very proud of each and every one of our Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty agents who work tirelessly to ensure their clients receive the best possible service, marketing exposure and results,” says Brian Arrington, CEO, Pacific Sotheby’s Realty.

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MARKET SPOTLIGHT: DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO

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Downtown San Diego continues to be a hot real estate market. With more than 35,000 residents and an additional 75,000 employed in the area, this number is expected to increase in the coming years.  In fact, the California Department of Finance predicts San Diego County’s overall population will rise to a little over 4 million people by 2060. Downtown commercial and residential development will continue to impress with up to 165,000 jobs and close to 90,000 residents in the next fifteen years.  

The city center of San Diego is a bustling and thriving community, and home to amazing parks, plazas, one of a kind restaurants and bars, unique shopping, arts and culture as well as a well run public transportation system.  Residential properties include a variety of opportunities – luxury high rise penthouses, lofts, modern condominiums, eclectic town homes and rental apartments. All of this, not to mention San Diego’s sought after climate,  adds up to an urban lifestyle unlike any other city in the nation. 

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700 West E Street, 3102 | $1,499,000-$1,599,000* Panoramic bay and city views surround this luxury residence in the heart of Downtown’s Columbia District. Raye Scott 858.229.5424 & Francine Finn 858.518.5288

 

According to Raye Scott, Principal/Partner, Pacific Sotheby’s Realty’s Downtown San Diego Office, “There are a variety of people attracted to the downtown or urban lifestyle. For Baby Boomers, condo living affords a more carefree lifestyle and freedom to enjoy friends and family with less time spent on home and garden maintenance.  The easy access to several means of transportation is also very compelling. The Millennials are migrating to neighborhoods with great walkability and vibrant environments to work and play. The rest of the downtown population is comprised of 2nd or 3rd home owners with the intent of making downtown a future permanent home, but enjoying it now every chance they get.”

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200 Harbor Club Drive, 3901 | $5,900,000 Incredible 4BR/4BA property high above the Harbor Club Downtown. Ann LeBaron 619.252.2494

Downtown is comprised of the following communities, all offering a unique perspective of America’s Finest City.

  • Columbia District – The Museum of Modern Art, Cruise Ship terminals, the Embarcadero, Sante Fe Train Depot are all located here as well as businesses and waterfront condos.  Lots of development activity is on the agenda, including changes at Navy Pier, more parking and public space and the Lane Field, a $375 million dollar redevelopment which will continue to make the area a welcome and thriving destination.  
  • Core – A thriving business community, City Hall, financial institutions, and The Civic Center are located here among historical buildings with quaint retail, commercial and residential opportunities.
  • Cortez Hill – Located in the northeast section of downtown, this is one of San Diego’s oldest residential neighborhoods and named after the historic and iconic Cortez Hill Hotel, which now houses condominiums.  This is an  ideal neighborhood that offers a mixture of home styles, including Victorian houses, high rise condominiums and  contemporary lofts, mixed in with small businesses and cafes.
  • East Village – Downtown’s largest and fastest growing residential community, here you will find Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.  An  active neighborhood, with block parties, Mardi Gras parade, community gardens and more, homebuyers are attracted to the various artists lofts, galleries, restaurants and unique shopping that gives off a very trendy vibe that caters to an urban lifestyle.
  • Gaslamp District – Well known for its countless restaurants, bars, nightclubs, music venues and theatres, this area has come a long way in the past 30 years or so when it was recognized as an unsightly and unsafe area of San Diego.  Today, it’s a bustling neighborhood filled with historic buildings, retail space, hotels, Horton Plaza and residential properties.  Always busy, and especially popular with tourists, this energy filled district is unlike anything else in San Diego.
  • Little Italy – In recent years, this community  has transformed into one of the most trendy neighborhoods in the city. With a traditional neighborhood type feel, this is where you will find wonderful restaurants, cafes, galleries, and other small businesses.  Housing choices are various and boast condos, lofts and rental apartments, all unique and offering a wide array of styles and sizes.  
  • Marina – One of the most desirable areas of downtown San Diego, the Marina District includes a variety of housing options from luxury water view condos to smaller loft units. Ideal for professionals to retirees,  who want to be close to everything the Marina is within walking distance to popular spots such as Horton Plaza, the Gaslamp District and San Diego Bay.  Expansion  efforts are ongoing and will continue to make this an appealing place to purchase a home, or investment property.
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800 The Mark Lane, 1001 | $760,000 Modern 2BD/2BA condo on the 10th floor of The Mark Condominium Tower. Denny Oh 858.243.2092

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty offers a wide variety of housing opportunities and top professional agents who are experts in downtown San Diego and beyond,  No matter your budget or preference, for those seeking to live the ultimate urban experience, contact our offices today to find your next home.

To find out more about downtown real estate contact our Downtown San Diego office at 619.481.6300 or visit us at 560 First Avenue, San Diego, California 92101 or our Little Italy Office at 619.255.2020 or visit us at 868 West Ash Street, San Diego, California 92101.

 

 

Dana Whittaker Profiled by NSDCAR

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She Knows How it Feels to be Scared

You might know Dana Whittaker who is serving as a 2017 NSDCAR board member representing the South Coast District. She is in her second year on the board. “Getting involved and giving back to your profession by helping others will lift you up, inspire you and open doors to meet the right people who can help you,” Dana said. “I wouldn’t have my position today if it wasn’t for NSDCAR.”

Dana serves as Carlsbad Sales Manager for Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. She has a true passion for coaching and consulting agents, teams and sales offices. She is certified as an Advanced Professional Coach by Quantum Leap Leadership. Many of Dana’s clients have become some of the most successful agents in the industry.

But did you know that Dana, in her 20s, sold animal hospital architectural services when she lived in Las Vegas? “I worked as a hostess at various conventions, and modeled a bunch of different things, from surf apparel to sunglasses,” Dana said. “One of my favorites was a veterinarian convention and an architect hired me to talk to vets about building animal hospitals. The vets would walk into our booth and try to trick me and stump me with questions, but I had read the brochures and I knew the answers, which helped the architect get more business.”

Dana moved to San Diego at age 7. She graduated from Helix High School (class of 1992) and from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in English. In 1998, she moved to Las Vegas with some friends. A year or so later, a friend recommended enrolling in a real estate school. “My intention was to learn about real estate so I could make money as an investor and not get ripped-off by agents,” Dana said. “Instead I became a sales agent and did very well at the start until 9/11 happened (on Sept. 11, 2001). Overnight, everything changed. The market came to a screeching halt. People in our office, which had been the number two Century 21 office in the world, were now struggling to make their house and car payments without escrows closing.”

Then, one day, Dana went home and found a notice of default tacked to her front door. “I know how it feels to be scared, I’ve been there at the lowest point,” she said. “I decided right then that I would do whatever it takes to make it in this business. Excellence is not an act, but a habit. So, I made cold calls and pounded the pavement in high heels in 120-degree weather and eventually saved my house. It was several months later, in February 2002, when I finally got my next closing.”

A few years later, in 2009, the recession hit, not long after Dana had decided to go into real estate coaching on a full-time basis. “The Vegas real estate market tanked again and that time I used survival skills I learned from my step-dad, who had served as a Navy Seal,” Dana said. “It was hard, but I helped our agents get their lives back. Some of them reinvented themselves with REO and short sales. Others were able to build new foundations for themselves. It wasn’t easy, but we made it through with a warrior mindset.”

In April 2011, Dana and husband Chris moved to San Diego to be closer to family. They got married in Maui, Hawaii. “It was supposed to be just a vacation, but then Chris proposed on Saturday and, four days later, we got married barefoot on the beach at sunset, it was beautiful,” Dana said. Today, Dana and Chris are raising two children, a son age 10 and daughter age 5.

After arriving in San Diego, Dana worked as a vice president for an independent brokerage in Carlsbad. There, she helped grow the office from 30 to about 100 agents, and increase sales by 431 percent over two years. In June 2016, she joined Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. “I work today with an extraordinary local team of people who are passionate about real estate and generously support our agents,” Dana said.

Dana is a strong advocate for NSDCAR. “First and foremost, our Association puts the interests of the brokers and agents as the top priority,” she said. “We are committed to doing the right thing, even when it’s unpopular. There is a willingness to do whatever it takes to help agents build, expand and protect their business.”

Pacific Sotheby’s Realty’s Luxury Auction Division Profiled on Inman News

Recently, Steve Games, Chairman of the Board, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty along with Anna Houssels and Brittany Hahn, who lead the new Luxury Auction Division at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty spoke with Gill South from Inman News regarding the new future of Luxury Auctions in real estate.
The article below was published on DEC 28, 2016 by GILL SOUTH Staff Writer, Inman News.
 
How a $40M duo is leading a luxury auction brokerage branch 
2 real estate professionals take the high-profile marketing tactic to San Diego
 
Key Takeaways

  • Steve Games, chairman of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, has high hopes about his new auction division.
  • PSIR, the auction division and Concierge Auctions are compensated by a negotiated fee from the buyer in combination with a seller’s incentive.
  • The marketing and timing aspect of auction sales mean that luxury buyers are more inclined to move quickly.
The grand, revered auction rooms of Christie’s and Sotheby’s in London, Paris and New York — which sell millions of dollars of fine art, antiques and jewelry every year — are testament to the fact that the wealthy like the auction process.
They want to see who they are bidding against, for their purchase process to be transparent and sometimes public — though some bidders might be phoning in — and when they make the winning bid, they want to feel smart and triumphant. They like to win.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the wealthy are receptive to buying and selling by auction when it comes to property — often a second, third or fourth home.
A two-woman auction team

Anna Houssels and Brittany Hahn

Australian-born Anna Houssels and Brittany Hahn, two real estate professionals who lead the new luxury auction division at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty (PSIR) in San Diego, are making the most of this, closing five large sales in the last six months ranging from a $2.5 million home to luxury properties of more than $10.6 million, a total of $40 million in all.
The two-woman business team, who have worked across Australasia, where auction is the standard method for selling for all levels of homes, are operating in partnership with Concierge Auctions to build business in San Diego.
Concierge Auctions has a database of up to 375,000 luxury clients and top real estate agents all over the world to whom it markets high-end properties.
Steve Games, chairman of PSIR, has high hopes about his new auction division. He would like to see it be the leader in the country for luxury auctions.
“If we can make auction a success in San Diego and be the flag-wavers for it, that‘s what Pacific Sotheby’s International would like to do,” he said.
The auctions will feature properties at a variety of price points, although “always luxury in some way,” he added.
The luxury auction division is open to being the adviser to any listing agent, not only at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, he stressed.
“In a million-plus marketplace in San Diego, we are No. 1 — we are No. 1 because I tried with my luxury agents to sell everybody’s property. I believe in the cooperative brokerage system,” he noted.
Auction division works alongside listing agent
The PSIR arrangement is not disruptive to traditional buyer’s agents and listing agents, Games and his auction experts make clear. The auction process does not interfere in any way with the listing and selling agents’ original compensation agreement, as stated in their contract.
PSIR, the auction division and Concierge Auctions are compensated by a negotiated fee from the buyer in combination with a seller’s incentive, which typically ranges between 10 and 12 percent of the total purchase price.
Auction properties have accelerated marketing
Luxury properties have a tendency to sit on the market for too long, said Games.
By comparison, the luxury home up for auction is aggressively promoted for around four to five weeks — the intensified marketing campaign is local, international and domestic through online, social media and both local and international print media, and with open houses held between four and seven days a week, depending on the homes’ location.
A date is set for the auction so that buyers are not given a chance to procrastinate — auctions are held either at the property, at the brokerage offices or online, depending on the instructions from the seller.
There are two social events, often held during the evening, where potential bidders are encouraged to come and spend time at the property.
At the open houses and events, the listing agent, the Concierge Auctions project manager and both Houssels and Hahn are in attendance.
All this activity seeks to wake up buyers, said Houssels. And it works.
“What we have seen is a number of people come out of the woodwork who have known about a property but have been putting off taking action. Now they are stepping up — people are flying in from out of state as well as local people. It’s great to see that the auction is getting people to act,” she said.
The theater of a live auction can result in some excellent results. “We have seen some very emotional buyers. It really has created that fabulous competition, and it’s why auction is so exciting,” said Houssels.
Added Hahn: “The seller is so impressed when we tell them that 700 people have been through this house in the last three weeks, 18 people returned for another viewing and six people are doing due diligence. They understand that meeting the market is forcing buyers to compete.”
Games, in the real estate industry for 40 years, likes the way the auction process is more definite and clear-cut.
“One of the trying things about conventional sales is the counter offer process, so often it becomes a process where buyer and seller, using the real estate agent, are debating with each other,” he noted
What the auction does is keep the debate among the bidders — it allows them to fight it out among themselves.
Meanwhile, all the due diligence and inspections normally required in traditional transactions are completed and provided to the buyer prior to the auction, so everyone can proceed with a non-contingent sale.
“One of the biggest bonuses for the sellers is people are fully engaged. All the due diligence is done; you are not getting the wrong buyer tied up in escrow, and if that person falls out, you have to start again,” said Hahn.
Auction a possibility for the mainstream
Could the auction be for property at all levels?
Houssels and Hahn are in talks with the builder of a new apartment building to auction a number of condominiums, which will range in price between $400,000 and $700,000.
Due to the demographic of PSIR’s office locations, the majority of the auction business is the luxury market — however, this project would work well, said Hahn.
“To sum it up in a slogan, it’s ‘luxury at every level,’ and we like to showcase each individual project that we take on, regardless of price point, at the luxury level,” she said.
The association between auctions and distressed property in America has not been a problem for this luxury auction team.
Houssels is optimistic about 2017. “Because of the success of the last five auctions, we have caught the interest of sellers and agents. Brittany and I are very busy educating sellers and agents. We are very confident.”
Hahn added that they are also seeing people from previous auctions return for more.
“Once they get that first experience of an auction, they are encouraged and love the fact that it is so transparent,” she said.

PSIR REALTOR’S Host Fundraiser to Help San Diego Youth In Need

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Event Co-Chairs Colleen Coen, Darcy Delano Smith and Christine Wright, along with Steve Games, Chairman, Pacific Sotheby’s Realty
It was a cold and blustery night in La Jolla on Thursday, December 15th, but that didn’t stop those who gathered at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty’s Global Headquarters to help raise funds to improve the lives of homeless, abused and at-risk youth and their families. Unwrap the Gift of Kindness, the holiday shopping event hosted by Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty agents Darcy Delano Smith, Christine Wright and Colleen Coen, raised over $4,000 dollars to support San Diego Youth Services.
“1 in 60 children in San Diego are homeless and in some areas of the county the numbers are much greater,” according to Darcy Delano Smith. “San Diego Youth Services is a well-respected and established local organization dedicated to supporting the needs of homeless children throughout our community.”
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The open house style event offered attendees the opportunity to enjoy tasty treats, mingle with friends and shop with purpose. Darcy, Christine and Colleen partnered with Jewels with a Purpose, a charity-driven jewelry company featuring unique and exclusive Italian-made jewelry inspired by the latest designer trends.  The company’s mission is to help raise funds for non-profits and organizations through donations of event proceeds.
“As we are all in shelter today with the rain, remember, there are children out there without parents or a place to go and somehow still making it to school despite the odds,” says Christine Wright. “San Diego Youth Services is so important to give a child not just food and shelter, but programs to help them to thrive.”
San Diego Youth Services (SDYS) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that since founded, has helped to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of homeless, runaway, abused and at-risk youth and their families. Launched in 1970 when volunteers established one of the first runaway youth shelters in America, SDYS now provides intensive services to more than 20,000 children and their families each year. This nationally recognized agency offers emergency services, safe places to live and long-term solutions for kids “on their own” by providing shelters, group homes, foster homes, community centers and transitional housing. Professional help for high risk youth is provided at all 14 major locations in San Diego County.
“The number of children in our community in need of assistance and support is so great and we are very appreciative to those who came out to shop to make the fundraiser a success,”adds Colleen Coen.
Next year’s fundraiser has already been scheduled for December 14, 2017.
Realtors Darcy Delano Smith, Christine Wright and Colleen Coen are based in Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty’s Global Headquarters located at 1111 Prospect Street in La Jolla, California.

Chris Mannerino Named PLOBRA “Agent of the Year”

 

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Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to announce that Realtor Chris Mannerino has been named “2016 PLOBRA Agent of the Year” by the Point Loma Ocean Beach Realty Association.
 Chris was presented with the award during the Point Loma Ocean Beach Realty Association’s annual Holiday luncheon and was humbled and honored to receive the recognition by his peers in the real estate community. “I am so grateful to receive this award because Point Loma has such wonderful Realtors,” says Mannerino. “Doing my best for my clients is what I always strive for, and to be acknowledged by my peers is such an amazing honor.”
 The Point Loma Ocean Beach Realty Association’s“Agent of the Year” award is presented to one agent each year that exemplifies excellence in service and professional standards to the real estate industry and within the Point Loma/Ocean Beach community.
 “Chris is truly deserving of this honor,” says Brian Arrington, CEO, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. “He is a great representation of the high ethics, integrity and hard work that is at the foundation of our company, and we couldn’t be more proud that he received this recognition.”
 Chris Mannerino began his real estate career in 2004 and has received numerous awards and accolades within the industry. He has lived in the Point Loma/Ocean Beach community since 1991 and feels that it is important to stay actively involved within the community that he works, plays and lives with his family. Chris served on the Board of Directors for the Peninsula YMCA and volunteers his time to support local charities.
Chris Mannerino is based in Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty’s Point Loma office located in the Historic Liberty Station. He can be reached at 619-820-6800 or via email at chris.mannerino@sothebyrealty.com.