Get Paid to Conserve Water

We just did this for our house and we’re getting over $2,200 to re-do our landscaping. The website states funds have been exhausted, but they just got funded 10 days ago. Any questions please don’t hesitate to call either Christian or Ivana. Remember you must be in the City of San Diego in order to apply for the Turf Replacement Rebate. Please click on the links below to find out more information on how you could save!



Mowing down Pollution Lawnmower Trade-in

SATURDAY,  May 19 2012       8:00am – 10:00am
County Administration Center1600 Pacific Highway San Diego

Developed and hosted by Supervisor Ron Roberts, the event will feature the exchange of 650 gasoline lawnmowers for new, rechargeable battery-powered, Black & Decker CM1936 mowers with 19-inch blades and 36 volt power systems.

All residents of San Diego County with proper identification and a qualifying gasoline mower are eligible for this program. The price of the new mower is $99.99, thanks to a special four-year bulk purchase agreement and funding from air pollution fines. The mowers retail for about $420.

The exchange process is simple. The event is first come, first served. Traditionally, county residents line up well before the 8 a.m. start time.

Experts Expect to See Broad Improvements, Home Prices to Rise in 2013

The Urban Land Institute released its Real Estate Consensus Forecast Wednesday morning, and overall, the 38 real estate economists and analysts surveyed projected broad improvements for the economy.

With signs of improvement in the housing sector already emerging, participants expect to see housing starts nearly double by 2014 and project home prices will begin to rise in 2013.

The average home price, which has declined somewhere between 1.8 percent and 4.1 percent over each of the past three years, according to FHFA data, is expected to stabilize in 2012, followed by a 2 percent increase in 2013, and a 3.5 percent increase in 2014.

Single-family housing starts are expected to rise from 428,600 starts in 2011 to 500,000 in 2012, and jump to 800,000 in 2014.

The unemployment rate is expected to continue falling, with the rate dropping to 8 percent by the end of 2012, 7.5 percent by the end of 2013, and 6.9 percent by the end of 2014.

GDP is expected to grow by 2.5 percent in 2012 and grow to 3.2 percent in 2014.

But, with the improving economy is inflation and higher interest rates. These rising rates will increase costs for investors, and those surveyed do not expect substantial increases in real estate capitalization rates for institutional-quality investments (NCREIF cap rates), which are expected to remain steady at 6 percent in 2012 and 2013 and then rise slightly to 6.2 percent in 2014.

By property type, National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) total returns in 2012 are expected to be strongest for apartments (12.1 percent), followed by industrial (11.5 percent), office (10.8 percent), and retail (10 percent).

By 2014, returns are expected to be strongest for office (10 percent) and industrial (10 percent), followed by apartments (8.8 percent) and retail (8.5 percent).

ULI CEO Patrick L. Phillips advised that while the ULI Forecast suggests that economic growth will be steady rather than sporadic, it must be viewed within the context of numerous risk factors such as the continuing impact of Europe’s debt crisis; the impact of the upcoming presidential election in the U.S. and major elections overseas; and the complexities of tighter financial regulations in the U.S. and abroad.

“While geopolitical and global economic events could change the forecast going forward, what we see in this survey is confidence that the U.S. real estate economy has weathered the brunt of the recent financial storm and is poised for significant improvement over the next three years.,” said Phillips.

Non-housing sector growth, according to the ULIForecast, which was conducted from February 23 to March 12, 2012

-For the apartment sector, year-end vacancy rates are expected to decline further in 2012 to 5 percent, and then rise slightly to 5.1 percent in 2013 and to 5.3 percent in 2014.

-Apartments are expected to show strong rental rate growth, rising 5 percent in 2012, then slowing down to 4 percent in 2013, and 3.8 percent in 2014.

-Issuance of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) is expected to increase from $33 billion in 2011 to $40 billion in 2012, $58 billion in 2013, and $75 billion in 2014.

-Ten-year treasury rates are projected to rise to 2.4 percent by the end of 2012, 3.1 percent for 2013, and 3.8 percent for 2014.

-Future equity REIT returns are expected to rise to 10 percent in 2012, then drop to 9 percent in 2013, and 8 percent in 2014.

-Returns for institutional-quality direct real estate investments are expected to trend lower, with returns of 11 percent in 2012, 9.5 percent in 2013, and 8.5 percent in 2014.

-Hotel occupancy rates are projected to increase to 57 percent by 2012, 58.2 percent by 2013, and 59.2 percent by 2014.

-For the industrial/warehouse sector, vacancy rates are expected to decline steadily over the next three years to 12.8 percent by the end of 2012, 12.1 percent in 2013, and 11.5 percent by the end of 2014.

“Unconditional Surrender” May Become Permanent Fixture on the San Diego Waterfront

Unconditional Surrender,” the 25-foot sculpture of a sailor kissing a nurse during a celebration of the end of World War II, may find a permanent home on San Diego’s waterfront.

At its regularly scheduled business meeting on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, the Board of Port Commissioners conditionally agreed to accept a local group’s offer to donate a painted bronze version to the Port of San Diego. The bronze version is more durable than the foam-urethane sculpture that has been in Tuna Harbor Park since 2007.

The donor group estimates it will cost nearly $990,000 to purchase and install the sculpture. Read more of this post

Japan Offers Cherry Trees To People of San Diego and Port of San Diego

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first gift of cherry trees from Japan to the United States, the Consulate-General of Japanin Los Angeles is offering more than 20 Pink Cloud cherry trees to the people of San Diego through the Port of San Diego.

Kuniko Nakamura, a Consul with the Consulate-General, attended the Board of Port Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, and asked the Commissioners to accept the offer of the cherry trees “as a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan.”

By unanimous vote, the seven-member Port Commission approved a resolution accepting the offer. Read more of this post

Proposed Bill to Speed Up Short Sale Process and Prevent Foreclosure

To avoid losing homes to foreclosure due to long response times for short sale transactions, three senators introduced legislation to speed up the short sale process.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Arkansas), Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) proposed the bill addressing the issue of short sales timelines on February 17. A short sale is a real estate transaction where the homeowner sells the property for less than the unpaid balance with the lender’s approval.

“There are neighborhoods across the country full of empty homes and underwater owners that have legitimate offers, but unresponsive banks,” said Murkowski. “What we have here is a failure to communicate. Why don’t we make it easier for Americans trying to participate in the housing market, regardless of whether the answer is ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘maybe?’”

The legislation, also known as the Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act, will require a written response from a lender no later than 75 days after receipt of the written request from the buyer. Read more of this post

Port Commission Approves Artistic Team For Lighting San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge

Port Commissioners have embraced a selection panel’s recommendation of a combined European and North American artist-led design team to artistically light the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

The Board of Port Commissioners accepted the recommendation at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010. The team will be lead by London-based artist Peter Fink of FoRM Associates in collaboration with Speirs and Major Associates and Buro Happold. The team was selected over two other finalists, the Bideau Company and the team of Ned Kahn/ Patrick McInerney/Arup.

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