All posts by Cherie Young

Carlsbad Real Estate – The Benefits of Chalkboard Paint

chalkboard paint


What Is Chalkboard Paint?

chalkboard paint sunshineWhen choosing painting surfaces for your Carlsbad real estate, there have never been so many options as there is today where paint is concerned. However, your children probably don’t care as much about the kind you choose. Fortunately, now there is chalkboard point and you can bet they’ll love seeing this option on the walls.As the name suggests, chalkboard paint is paint you can apply to any walls that will then function just like the surface of a chalkboard. It’s as easy as that. It makes for a great way to leave notes for your family. But it’s your young children who will really get a kick out of being able to use this chalkboard surface to draw to their delight.

You may have already had issues with your little one writing or drawing on your walls before. It’s a natural tendency they have a hard time fighting. With chalkboard paint, though, you no longer have to worry and they no longer have to hold back.

Other Surfaces

Chalkboard paint is good for more than just chalking up the walls though. You can apply it to any surface in your home. For example, you can paint a table into a chalkboard, so your child stays occupied during meal time after they’ve cleared their plate. It’s even possible to paint your refrigerator with this method, making it easy to leave notes where you know people where see them or even write down your grocery list.

Many people have used this paint on the backsplash in their kitchen. While this is a good way to fill otherwise empty space, it also makes remember a recipe a no-brainer. Plus, if you have guests over for dinner, they’ll have a cool piece of decoration waiting for them that will better help them appreciate the meal.

Try the inside of your cabinet too. it makes for a great way to label where food items go or which measuring cups are what size. This way, too, you can keep whatever aesthetic you have in this room while the chalkboard stays out of sight when the cupboards are closed.


When we say any surface, we really mean it. So long as it can hold a coat of paint, it can turn into a veritable chalkboard. Something like your dresser, for example, can become easily labeled so you always remember what drawers hold which clothing options. Of course, you can do the same with your closets.

Learning Activities

Are you a teacher or do you home school your children? Consider what a coat of chalkboard paint could do around the home. You can make it at your students’ level so they can easily practice their ABCs anywhere they stand.

This barely begins to scratch the surface in terms of what chalkboard paint can do for your home, your children or your classroom. The only limitation really is what you can imagine. So get busy today applying chalkboard paint wherever you like and you’ll soon experience a more colorful, creative and productive world around you.

~ Cherie Young ~

The Best Ways to Buy Your First Carlsbad Home

Carlsbad HomeBut all of the choices and decisions you have to make can be overwhelming. Determining location, selecting the size and style of your Carlsbad home, figuring out how to obtain financing, and deciding what features to look for are just some of the tasks to tackle when buying your first home. Here are some tips to simplify the process and make it easier on you.

Determine How Much You Can Afford

Before you start looking for a Carlsbad home, determine how much house you can afford to buy and get pre-approved for a loan. You don’t want to spend countless hours and even days or months looking at Carlsbad homes for sale in a price range that you can’t realistically afford. It’s best to determine at the outset how much house you can afford and how much of a down payment you will need to pay so that you can save time and get the best deal possible. Armed with this knowledge, you will know what kinds of houses you can look at and in what locations. If you need to come up with more of a down payment than you had originally estimated, knowing that upfront will give you extra time to save while looking for houses in your price range. Ask your real estate agent or broker for a referral to a lending institution or mortgage broker to get this process started.

Having a preapproval letter in hand is a must and will help any offers you make on a home go straight to the top of the list. If you have to wait to get a preapproval letter before you can make an offer, you may miss out on the Carlsbad home of your dreams, especially in a hot market. If you submit a preapproval letter with your offer, you won’t miss out on any opportunities.

Think of your current needs and anticipate your needs five and ten years down the road


For many first time homebuyers, this means you should think about what your needs will be when you add a child to your family. A two-bedroom home may suit you and your spouse now, but three years from now, a two-bedroom home may seem cramped and unlivable. Add more than one child, and even a three bedroom home can feel tight. A more urbane setting is just right for you and your spouse now, but when you have a child you might be more interested in having a yard and living in a great school district.

Also, consider the possibility that one or more of your parents may come to live with you in their elder years. For them, a separate living space within your home would be ideal. To accommodate that situation, you will want a bedroom on the first floor or that is easily accessible for someone with disabilities or who has a hard time getting up and down stairs.

Think About Resale Potential

Most people only live in their first Carlsbad home for five to seven years before selling and moving on. When choosing your first home, think of what would be appealing to other buyers five to seven years from now. A big playscape may be appealing to you for your children, but they will quickly outgrow it and it may be a potential roadblock for you selling your home in the future. Other buyers see that play structure as a huge eyesore that needs to be removed.

Don’t Expect Perfection

List the things your Carlsbad house must have (e.g. three bedrooms) and the things that it would be nice to have, but that aren’t necessities (pool). Chances are with your first home; you won’t be able to get everything you want at a price you can afford. Make sure your needs and wants for your first home are aligned with those of your spouse. If you both have realistic goals for buying your first home, it will be a satisfying and enjoyable experience rather than a stressful one.

~ Cherie Young ~



Encinitas Real Estate – Living Solo in Encinitas

Encinitas Real EstateMore and more people are choosing to live solo and purchase Encinitas real estate, or find themselves living alone because of life circumstances, like divorce or death.  The number of young people choosing to live alone is ever increasing and the demand for housing for singletons is on the rise.  In addition, more and more seniors are living independently longer than ever before.

In Encinitas, even if you live by yourself, you will never feel alone, because every day the city offers something new for its residents and visitors to experience.  Located close to North County Coastal areas, Encinitas is a city filled with enough adventures to last a lifetime.



San Diego is home to some of the best golf courses in the country.  With the numerous San Diego golf clubs and courses in the area, you will have no trouble finding a league (or more than one league) to join to keep your golf game top notch and to meet other golf lovers.  Indeed, a golf lover could spend every single day of the week golfing here and never get bored with the courses.


Nature & Physical Activities

In addition, the beach (10 minutes depending on where you live), mountains and desert are within an 1 1/2 hours near Encinitas, and is ripe for exploring.  For people who love to hike and immerse themselves in nature, Encinitas is the place to be.  You will find countless parks and preserves to explore on your own, with your dog, or as part of a guided tour.  There’s also horseback riding, surfing and more for adventurous nature lovers.  If you’d rather exercise in an indoor setting, there are numerous gyms and clubs to join in the Encinitas area so that you can maintain your physical fitness and meet new people.   The Encinitas YMCA has a beautiful gym with a gorgeous pool area for adults and youngsters.

Encinitas Car Club

Photo courtesy of Brett Shoaf,

Spas, Shopping, Art, & Food

life-and-love-driftwood-artThe spas in Encinitas are world-class and will ease your stress and make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.  In addition, Encinitas is renowned for spiritual exploration, Swami’s surfing, vintage cars – a literal vintage collides with hip and modern!   If classic cars excite you we have a Classic Car Nights.  Encinitas areas have enough events, shops, and food offerings to allow you to explore and see new things every day.   Foodies will love the variety of Encinitas restaurants.


People from all walks of life make their way to Encinitas for the amazing culture, weather, and smorgasbord of things to do.  No matter where you are from, you can find someone else from your home state or country in living in Encinitas.  In addition, Encinitas is close to the San Diego Airport and Palomar Airport and is easily accessible, which is especially great when you have family members who want to visit you or for when you want to check in with family living elsewhere.  A quick cab ride to the airport and you’re off.

In addition, Encinitas condo living comes with the perks of not having to maintain a yard or deal with exterior home issues.  When you’re living solo, you deserve ease of living and the Encinitas real estate market has excellent options to serve you.

~ Cherie Young ~



Why is it still hard to get a Encinitas home loan?

Encinitas Home LoansIt’s been six years since the stock market crash of 2008. Since then the economy in the U.S. slowly has been improving. Jobs are coming back. Locally, Encinitas real estate prices are on the rise. So why is it still hard to get a Encinitas home loan? In an attempt to prevent what happened leading up to the financial crisis in 2008, new regulations and policies were put into place regarding financing to purchase property and homes. Lenders today want more than your W-2’s and a tax return. You may be asked to provide voluminous amounts of financial information to get a loan. This is especially so if you are self-employed or own a business. Securing all of this information can drag out the Encinitas home loan process and cause people who, ten years ago, would have been able to obtain financing without a problem, to be declined for a home loan.


What you can do when you run into financing problems:

First, to increase the chance you will be provided a Encinitas real estate loan from a lending institution, get your paperwork in order. Ask in advance of the loan application process what documentation your lending institution will need to process a loan application and provide financing. Gather all of that information before you apply for a loan and it will make the process much quicker. You might also learn in this process that you may have to wait a while before you will qualify for traditional financing. If you haven’t been at your job for very long or if you just started a business, you may need to wait one or more years before you will qualify.Pay as much in cash as possible. If you make as big of a down payment as possible, you won’t need to borrow as much. That way you won’t have to meet the requirements necessary to borrow more money.Get creative about how you go about financing. If you have chosen a home you want to purchase, offer to pay for the Encinitas home through seller financing. If the seller doesn’t need all of the cash up front for the purchase of the home, you can pay them for the house on time. Generally, seller financing is beneficial to both parties to such a transaction. The seller receives interest payments from the buyer on the sale of the home, which are usually higher than they could receive if they had the asset in a savings, money market, mutual funds, or other investment account. It is beneficial for the buyers because they don’t have to meet the strict requirements of lending institutions in order to finance the purchase of a home.In this same vein, as a buyer, you could also borrow part or the entire purchase price from a friend or family member. The person or people you borrow from will make more money in interest than they would if that money was in a traditional savings or investment account, usually upwards of 5%.



Another alternative is to have someone else with a very good credit history and financial backing, co-sign for the loan. Typically, this would be a parent or other close family member who trusts that you will make the installment payments to the lender in a timely manner. When someone co-signs for a loan, they are making themselves 100% liable for repayment of the money. That’s a big request to make of someone, but if they want to see you get into a home and start moving forward, they may be willing to help you out.

~ Cherie Young ~



Encinitas Homes – Move up or Stay?

You’ve been in your Encinitas home a few years and things are starting to feel a little tight. When you first moved in you had no children; now you have two. There’s no more spare bedroom for your mother to use when she comes to visit because you converted it to a nursery. It seems like all of your friends and coworkers are moving into newer and bigger Encinitas real estate. Is it time for you to follow suit? Ask yourself the following questions to help you reach a decision.



Why do you want a bigger Encinitas home?

Think about why you are considering moving to a bigger Encinitas home. Is it because you actually need more space? Do you want to keep up with your friends? Do you really need a house with a theater room and spa-grade bathrooms?

If you need more space, consider adding on to your existing home. Meet with an architect and/or general contractor and have some preliminary plans drawn up to see if an addition to your home is feasible or even legal. Sometimes building restrictions (zoning and ordinances) will prevent you from adding on to your home or restrict where and how you can build on your lot. If you can modify your home, adding on to your home can be more affordable than upgrading to a bigger home, but not always. Some older homes are not well suited for adding on and doing so can come with a high price tag. For example, if your home was built before 1978, it may have lead paint on the walls and contractors must be certified to work with such materials. Hiring certified workers can be pricey. When remodeling an older home, you might also discover problems lurking behind the walls that will mean extra cost and expenses for you. In these situations, purchasing a newly built larger home may be a better financial decision than adding on to your existing home. The Encinitas real estate market has a lot to offer in the way of new homes that can suit your growing family perfectly.

Encinitas Lagoon, photo courtesy of Brett Shoaf

Encinitas Lagoon, photo courtesy of Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals

Can you afford the increased expenses?

A larger home often comes with a bigger mortgage payment. Look at your income and expenses. How much more money can you comfortably pay towards a higher mortgage payment? You might want to get an appraisal or market analysis of your home to get an idea of how much equity you have in your home. That, in turn, can help you get a handle on how much you afford in a new home. In addition to an increased mortgage payment for a larger home, you are probably also going to be faced with increased property tax, home insurance, utility, and maintenance expenses. Homebuyers often overlook these costs when they are looking to upgrade their home. For example, your utility expenses will increase because you have to heat, cool, light, and bring electricity to more square footage. In addition, you may have to purchase more furniture to decorate and fill up the extra space. A bigger space means more to maintain, not only in dollars and cents but also in sweat equity. Are you willing to spend more time cleaning and maintaining a bigger space? Can you hire someone or a service to help you with home maintenance and cleaning?

Can you sell your current Encinitas home?

If your home is in need of repairs or if delayed maintenance problems need to be taken care of before you can sell your home, you need to take care of those things before you even consider buying a new home. If you don’t take care of these things, you will have a hard time selling your home and getting into a new one.

What do your spouse and kids think about moving?

If a move to a bigger home would take you out of your current school district, how would that impact your children? Would a move to a bigger home mean a longer commute to work for you or your spouse? Have a family meeting to let everyone voice his or her opinions and take everyone’s thoughts into consideration when making your decision.

~ Cherie Young ~

FICO Scoring Changes May Help More Qualify for Mortgages

FICO recently told lenders their high credit score “cutoffs” were stricter than necessary, and urged lenders to consider lowering minimum score requirements.
FICO - Encinitas Real Estate

The changes include reducing the toll that overdue medical bills can take on credit scores, as well as removing other past penalties from consumers who have paid off debts that had been assigned to collection agencies. A consumer whose only major delinquency comes from an unpaid medical bill could see their credit score rise by 25 points due to the changes.

The changes come after a recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study, which found that both paid and unpaid medical debts were unfairly penalizing consumers’ credit ratings. An estimated 64 million Americans have a medical collection item on their credit reports, according to Nick Clements of Magnify Money, a personal finance site.

The FICO changes will go into effect this fall, but borrowers may have to wait a year or more until they see the impact of the changes in their scores, lenders say.

The changes may help consumers with blemished past credit histories or high medical debts qualify for mortgages more easily. Consumers with higher scores also might qualify for a lower rate, housing experts say.

“In recent years the [credit score requirement] has been dialed so tightly that only fairly upper-tier consumers were able to qualify for a loan,” says Lawrence Yun, National Association of REALTORS®’ chief economist. “We’re looking at people who are currently being denied potentially being offered a mortgage because of this.”

In June, the average FICO score for a closed mortgage was 728, a drop from 742 a year prior, according to data from Ellie Mae, a company that processes mortgage applications for lenders. FICO scores range from 300 to 850.

Borrowers with higher FICO scores can usually expect to pay less in interest on a loan. A borrower with a FICO score of 675 may nab a 4.75 percent interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which would be about $2,086 a month in payments on a $400,000 loan, according to Informa Research Services. In comparison, a borrower with a 700 FICO score may qualify for a rate of 4.212 percent, which could drop the monthly payment to $1,959 and bring a $127 savings.

The credit scoring changes will not remove any unpaid debts from a credit report, so some lenders may still be able to factor that information into their lending decision.

“This move will ultimately make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans, who have been shut out of the housing market or forced to pay higher mortgage interest rates because of flawed credit scores,” Steve Brown, NAR’s president, said in a statement. “Since the housing crash, overly restrictive lending has been the greatest obstacle to home ownership. NAR will continue to support efforts to broaden access to credit for qualified homebuyers.”

In other news, two of the big national credit bureaus Experian and TransUnion recently reported they’ve added verified rental payment data into credit files, which will be used to compute a consumers’ score when applying for a mortgage. A recent TransUnion study showed that the inclusion of rental data could raise some consumers’ scores. For example, nearly 20 percent of renters’ scores rose by 10 points or more after just one month.

Source: “New FICO Criteria Could Help Borrowers,” Los Angeles Times (Aug. 8. 2014) and “Experian, TransUnion Start Adding Rent Payment Data to Credit Profiles,” Los Angeles Times (Aug. 10, 2014)

Encinitas Real Estate as of 9-9-14

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