Posted by: projectnado | March 25, 2009

Coronado Cays Home Sales Turn Positive in 2009

Gondola - Familiar Scene in Coronado Cays

Familiar Scene in Coronado Cays

Compared to somewhat disappointing home sales in 2008, the YTD results for home sales in the Coronado Cays are definately positive. In fact, there’s every indication that 2009 Sales will be significantly higher than 2008 sales.

Here’s an excerpt from my Coronado Cays & Beyond Report distributed to select Coronado Cays residents:

 Coronado Cays Market Report
by Heidi White, Realtor

YTD SALES of real estate in the Coronado Cays still anemic compared to total inventory, (43 homes as of 3/17)  but there are significant signs that the market is picking up.   In the first 2 1/2 months of 2009, only six homes sold in the Coronado Cays and each of these homes were in the sub one million dollar category.  Of the 43 homes currently active, a majority of these active properties are above the one million dollar price point.

Still, a sales boost in entry level priced homes is often the first signal that the market is turning around as they are often the first place we see an increase in activity when buyers start to return to the market in any quantity.

CORONADO CAYS—SOLDS (YTD: 1-1-2009 thru 3-17-2009)

1)    15 Gingertree      Sold Price    $595,000
2)   80 Antigua           Sold Price    $650,000  
3)   92 Kingston         Sold Price    $710,000
4)     7 Kingston         Sold Price    $935,000
5)   31 Delaport         Sold Price    $775,000
6)   57 Trinidad          Sold Price    $950,000

What really shows potential for a strong 2009 is the current pending inventory.  There are currently 8 homes  pending status. 

If all of these homes were to close escrow before the end of March, our total home sales for Q1’09 in the Coronado Cays would be at 14.

 When one realizes that the total home sales for the Coronado Cays during the entire year of 2009 was only 22 homes, our potential first quarter results actually look very promising.

Note also, that several of these pending properties are at the higher end of our market. Presuming these all close and more follow over the next few months, increased traction with high end homes could be another signal of a more viable housing recovery, then if only entry level homes were selling.

NOW may actually be the Best Time to Buy In Coronado – and not just another Realtor slogan. Especially if you believe prices will go up if sales go up. This may be your last chance in this century to buy a dream home in Coronado at a discount. Heidi White

CORONADO CAYS—PENDINGS (as of 3-17-2009*)

1)   52 Antigua                        Listed at         $895,000
2)   36 Catspaw Cape             Listed at         $887,900
3)   13 Blue Anchor Cay          Listed at      $3,265,000
4)   17 Buccaneer Way           Listed at      $2,750,000
5)   3 Port Royale                    Listed at       $1,175,000
6)   70 Kingston                      Listed at          $725,000
7)   17 Tunapuna Ln               Listed at      $1,275,000
8 )   41 Saint Christophers      Listed at          $783,900

*Pending properties may not close. Listing price and actual sold price may differ. 
C Be sure to check my next Coronado Cays & Beyond report to find out actual sold prices and the latest Cays Real Estate Market news.  

 Search to see what’s on the market.

Heidi White, Realtor
619 933-4741


Posted by: projectnado | March 1, 2009

$18,000 in Tax Credits possible for some lucky home buyers.

Home prices have fallen to almost affordable levels, interest rates if you can qualify for a loan are at record lows, and now for some lucky California buyers, it’s possible to get up to $18,000 in tax credits as incentive to buy a home. 

Ya think it might be time to get off the fence?

Here’s what is going on.

$8000 Tax Credit 
Starting with a Federal tax credit that anyone in the nation can take advantage of, provided they are a first time home buyer.  This tax credit offerred in the New Era of Responsiblity Act of 2009 allows first time home buyers a Federal (or IRS) tax credit of the lesser of $8000 or 10% of the purchase price of a new home, if home is purchased between Jan 1, 2009 and Dec 1, 2009.   Read my article for specifics on who qualifies as a first time home buyer and other details.) 

$10,000 Tax Credit
If you are a resident of California  get ready for an even bigger carrot. In this case, the incentive is to buy brand-new (never before lived in homes.)  Here the tax credit is $10,000 off you’re California state income taxes. The program begins this Sunday.

So, If you are First Time Home Buyer buying a First Lived In Home (new home) and you happen to make less then $150K filing joint, and you buy before Dec 1, 2009 – you might get as much as $18,000 in tax credits.

HOW TO BUY A NEW HOME TIPS: Before you go out and start exploring “new homes,” on your own, remember to do your research online first. If you want your own favorite Realtor (hint, hint) to represent your interests in a new home transaction, then most new housing developments will only let you do that (and pay your Realtor the selling side of the commission) if you and your Realtor register in advance.  If you go in on your own to view the model homes and sign the registration book, it’s usually too late at that point to include you’re own Realtor, and you’re stuck having the on-duty at the time agent as your representative in the transaction. Check out this Directory of New Homes in San Diego county, and if you see something you’re interested, let me know and I’ll call them and try and register you in my name before you head out to see them – or contact me for a day of new and used home tours.

Ofcourse, not everyone who wants to buy this year is going to be interested in a ‘new home,’  search all homes listed for sale in San Diego county at and save your preferences and get listing updates at my new supersmart MLS/IDX power site for home buyers:

Posted by: projectnado | February 27, 2009

$8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, Five Common Myths

$8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, Five Common Myths

By Heidi White, Realtor with Prudential California Realty, Coronado, CA.



Everyone in the Real Estate business that hasn’t had their head in the sand during the first 100 days of the Obama administration is basically aware of the key elements of the new First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit as modified in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of February 2009. 


Most Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and clients I speak to understand that the new law changes the 2008 credit from a $7500 tax credit which has to be repaid within 15 years, to an $8000 tax credit that doesn’t have to be repaid.* Most people I speak with also understand that at one point there was an effort by the NAR and other groups to make the credit $15,000 and to allow it to apply to anyone buying a principle residence and not just first time home buyers.  But beyond this basic understanding, there are some serious myths or misconceptions that I believe we as Realtors need to make sure we address to our clients.

Myth #1 – It’s only for first time home buyers and a first time home buyer is someone who’s never bought a house before.


Not so! Despite what common logic would dictate as the definition for “first-time” the fact is that most consumers and many Realtors and Mortgage professionals, do not realize that the definition of First Time Homebuyer in the eyes of the FHA does not mean you’ve never bought a house before


In fact, it’s very possible for someone to have bought a house before and still qualify as a first time home buyer.  I’m neither a CPA, an attorney, or even a mortgage expert, so I suggest you read the FHA guidelines for yourself at, to draw your own conclusions. 


Here’s my interpretation.

You could be considered a ‘first time homebuyer’ today if:

  • It’s been 3 years or more since you last owned a house.
  • You’re a single parent now and only owned with a former spouse while married (I think former spouse means you are now divorced.)
  • You’re a displaced homemaker now and you only owned before with a spouse (this one seems to imply that a divorce isn’t as important as being displaced – whatever that means)* 
  • You owned a principal residence that was not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation (Probably has to do with certain types of mobile homes, house boats or other weird modes of real property)
  • You owned a house that got condemned (or should have) and couldn’t be repaired for less then replacement costs (maybe this helps victims of fire, flood, disaster?)

So, if it’s been a while since you owned a home, or if you’ve changed you’re marital status since you last owned that last house, or if you no longer live with the spouse you bought a house with only a year ago, you may currently qualify to be a first time homebuyer again and thus qualify for this tax credit.  Many people might just decide they don’t qualify as a first time home buyer when in fact they do. It’s our job as Realtors to make our buyers and potential buyers aware of these rather limited restrictions.

Myth #2 – Every first time home buyer who buys in 2009 gets the full $8000 tax credit.


Not so.  First of all, there’s the income test.  If you make over $75,000 individually or if you file jointly having a combined gross income over $150,000 you won’t qualify for the full $8000. The amount you qualify for phases out above those caps ($95,000 and $170,000.) 


Secondly, the law states that the tax credit will be “the lesser of 10% of the purchase price or $8000…” so, if you buy a house for $60,000, you’ll only qualify for a maximum $6000 tax credit, not $8000.

Myth #3 – The tax credit will help me qualify for the loan (or less commonly misunderstood: the $8000 will be available to help purchase the property.)


OK, maybe this isn’t a common misconception, but some people might be confused about this aspect.  The money is a one time tax credit.  It’s not an upfront payment from the government. However, because you can purchase a house today and apply for the tax credit tomorrow to offset your 2008 taxes, it’s possible to get you’re money relatively quick.  Here’s a copy of the IRS Form 5405 for 2008 Taxes:

Myth #4 – I have until the end of 2009 to close on a house if I want to take advantage of this tax credit.

No you don’t! Actually, you must complete your purchase (or close and record- most likely) before December 1, 2009.   This is an interesting tidbit to be aware of, since it isn’t regularly discussed.  What’s likely to happen, in my opinion, is that many people who are currently thinking about buying in 2009 will procrastinate and put off beginning their search until sometime later this year.  By then, this delusion of ‘all of 2009’ will be shattered and they’ll join a rush of people in later summer and early September trying to get the property they want into escrow before the end of October. 

I anticipate a mad rush to buy between August and September this year and have scheduled my vacation for early June! I also think that this could create a temporarily price inflation caused by bidding wars on the most desired properties and leave some buyers wishing they had started the process sooner.

Myth #5 – Unlike the 2008 plan, I never have to pay this tax credit back.


Not necessarily so.  There is a recapture provision. If home is sold within 3 years of purchase, the entire amount of credit is recaptured on sale.  Still, it’s a heck of a lot better than the last years’ plan which requires recapture of any not-paid-back-amount of the $7500 repayable tax credit, if the home was sold within 15 years of being purchased.  It doesn’t seem fair that the people who took advantage of this deal last year are stuck with paying back $7500, and those who dragged their feet get the benefit of ‘free money.’


So, What Does All This Mean for the Housing Market?


People ask me all the time if I think property values will go up or down in the next six months.  My answer always begins with the same line, “I don’t know, I don’t have a crystal ball.”  And then I talk about how all real estate is local and sometimes illustrate this by showing completely unique and sometimes contradictory housing market trends in different service areas in San Diego County over the same period of time.


Othertimes, I’ll share my ‘gut’ feelings about what may be happening in the market, assuming I have one at the time.

But I always make it clear to my friends and clients that “I do not know anything for certain.  How can I?  I’m not God.”  


So many experts and non-experts alike have belittled the probable effectiveness of this second stab at housing market stimulation. Many of my cohorts believe that this $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit will not have a significant impact in bringing buyers to the table, especially in the higher priced markets – because it’s too little, too late. 


At this moment in time, my gut and I disagree with that conclusion. Personally, I believe that while this new law won’t be enough to move the non-qualified buyer back into the market, this tax credit may very well be just the right incentive to get many fence sitters off the fence and out making offers. 


I believe there’s a real pent-up demand of people wanting to buy homes. I believe that many of those individuals who really want to own, will get over some of their fears about the economy and whether or not we’ve hit the bottom yet, and will decide to jump on the chance to get something real and certain – such as the once in a lifetime opportunity to have the government essentially gift them $8000 if they buy a house. 


Even if prices continue to fall, it might not be a bettter deal for them then to skip taking this tax credit, especially if interest rates rise. So I honestly believe many of these fence sitter will enter the market in 2009.


Whether or not you believe that this $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit of 2009 will have an impact on our economy and stimulate housing, it’s a good idea if you are a Real Estate professional to make sure you understand the realities of this plan and don’t perpetuate the myths.





Posted by: projectnado | February 26, 2009

Fun at the Coronado Senior Center

Monday Bingo

Monday Bingo

Just wanted to post some pictures from the Coronado Senior Center.  In the heart of Coronado next to the Coronado Library, the Coronado Senior Center is a refuge for Seniors and friends of seniors who want to get out of the house and enjoy some good times.  Every Monday there is Bingo starting at 1:00pm which is open to the public, there’s a Wood Carving Class on Thursday’s at 1:00.  Bridge and other card games are played at various times throughout the week.  The center offers trips to the Casino’s, plays and other events throughout the year. 

Coronado Senior Center, 1019 7th St
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 435-2616

Coronado Senior Center

Coronado Senior Center


From NAR  – 

Fannie Raises Limit on Investor and Second Home Borrowers from 4 to 10 Financed Properties

At the urging of NAR, Fannie Mae announced a new policy on February 6, 2009, to allow investors and second home buyers to own up to 10 financed properties. The new policy takes effect on March 1, 2009, and replaces the current 4-property limit. The restriction applies to the total number of financed properties, not just to the number sold to Fannie Mae.

Investor and second home borrowers that seek to own between 5 and 10 financed properties must meet additional eligibility requirements. Borrowers must have a credit score of at least 720. The maximum loan-to-value ratio is 70% or 75%, depending on specified criteria. Borrowers may not have any history of bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past 7 years, or any mortgage delinquencies of 30 days or greater within the past 12 months. Reserve and other requirements also apply.

Fannie Mae Announcement 09-02 (2/6/09)


Why is this a good thing?

If you read the guidelines carefully, you’ll note that this change is geared towards allowing the financially capable and credit worthy investor to get financing to purchase more than double the amount they could finance previously. This is a tremendous opportunity for investors, interested in stepping in and buying much of the current inventory, but who held back due to these old restrictions.

If coupled with passing of a stimulus plan that should include a proposed $15,000 tax credit for every home buyer, first time or otherwise*, these two acts alone should mark for a sudden increase in demand to buy houses. [NOTE ADDED 2/25/09 Despite intensive lobbying from the NAR and other consumer and home builder groups, the $15,000 tax credit didn’t happen. Instead the plan was modified to a $8000 tax credit that unlike the previous $7500 tax credit did not have to be repaid, assuming you didn’t sell the house for 3 years or longer. This credit will still only be for First Time Home Buyers, but read my article above to find out that a first time home buyer may not be buying their first home. “5 Common Myths about the $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.”}

If this were to happen, then we could see some trend towards reduce inventories in several major housing markets, especially in those where a pent-up demand exists.  With the lowering of inventories and increasing of buyer demand, the fundamentals of supply and demand should start to help to turn the housing market back around in a positive direction.  And while it might be too early to call a bottom, there are no doubt some markets that will go up sooner than others – and therefore their bottoms may be here now.

Coronado Perspective

Since second home buyers will also now be incentivised to start looking for their vacation homes or second or third homes, thanks to these changes in Fannie guidelines, home markets which rely to a significant degree on purchases by non-resident owners, anotherwords, housing markets that attract second, third, and fourth home buyers – will be given a shot in the arm by these Fannie changes alone. 

For this reason, I recommend anyone who has been thinking about buying in Coronado, or any other desireable area that has been hit but is a favorite of the second home sector, should start looking for their chance to buy in sooner, rather than later, because once the market starts to turn around, the more desireable a place is, the faster it will rise.

Be sure to contact me if you want to see a list of properties in Coronado or other parts of San Diego.

Heidi White
Prudential California Realty
619 933-4741

Twitter @Coronado

Posted by: projectnado | February 7, 2009

Man, I got to get me a Kayak!

I think I’m going to have to get me a kayak.  

Man Chills on Kayak

Man Chills on Kayak

There’s something about seeing a group of kayakers suddenly appearing in the channel. 

I got off the phone with my client and raced to grab my camera then made it outside in the ‘nick of time’ to catch a few shots of these lucky people. 

Kayakers Cruising the Cays

There were about 15 kayakers coming down the channel and turning around.  They were talking and stirring up the water and obviously having a great time. They didn’t even seem to care that I started taking pictures.

I assume they must have been having some sort of Kayak Meetup in the Cays. The only other time I’ve seen that many kayaks together was on a Fourth of July night a few years ago, when the yacht I was on almost ran them down, because – it was dark and they only had these itsy bitsy lights.  Good thing we heard them in time.

So, even though I’ll probably pass on any late night touring, I can’t think of a better way to get some outside water time during the day then to take up kayaking.  Plus it looks like good excercise, and after too much blogging, twittering, and real estate-in’ I need the exercise!

There’s one guy that I see every morning at the crack of dawn – simply booking it through my channel.  Why I bet he puts in a 10 mile row at least. And I don’t know much about Kayaks but they probably cost less then serious road or mountain bike. And my bikes can’t swim.

Anyone know anything about this sport, what’s recommended or where I can join a club?   Comments for this post are welcome and if you’re a kayaker – feel free to post a link to your favorite kayaking website.



Posted by: projectnado | February 1, 2009

Mad Dawg Sailor – Dog Sails Boat in Coronado?

Mad Dawg Sailor

Originally uploaded by ProjectNado

Living and working in the Coronado Cays, I see something amazing everyday.

Today, as I walked Max on the docks, I looked up when he started barking at a Sail Boat going by fast in the channel.

I couldn’t see anyone at first but this large happy sailing dog. So, I took the shot without the rest of the crew.

Posted by: projectnado | February 1, 2009

Plan to visit Coronado for Valentine’s Day

If you live in the greater San Diego area, or you are up for a little travel, and you’re looking for a really awesome way to celebrate Valentine’s Day – you should consider spending it in Coronado.

Book a Gondola Ride for Valentines’ Day. (See link to Loewes Coronado Hotel.) They’re probably already booked on V-Day, but a day or so before or after can do the trick as well.

Go Gondola Go

Go Gondola Go

Go shopping in Coronado’s charming village shops. Kippy’s, Charisma’s, Austin’s Gallery are musts on the Hotel Del side of the Village. Don’t miss the Ferry Landing shopping area either.

Book dinner at one of Coronado’s fine restaurants. Check out review for Candelas by the Bay featured in this blog.

Ah the Good Life

Ah the Good Life

Posted by: projectnado | January 31, 2009

Living and Playing in the Coronado Cays

The Coronado Cays is a luxury residential marina community located between Silver Strand State Beach and the south end of the San Diego Bay. Immediately north of the Coronado Cays is the world famous Loewes Coronado Resort and Spa, which is currently having a great deal on rooms. 
  Loewes Coronado Special Rates

This residential marina community is part of the City of Coronado yet maintains it’s own unique character – primarily because of it’s separation from the hubbub of the Village, and it’s submersion into the quite serenity found in this peaceful natural oasis.

With several miles to the north and south of pristene coastline and bay views, the Coronado Cays embodies a quiet and a serenity like no other community so close to a major metropolitan area.

Cays residents enjoy the natural wetlands preserve and Port of San Diego maintained parks, miles of bike trails, and access within walking distance to Silver Strand State beach.

Residents of the Coronado Cays enjoy being surrounded by water, watching pelicans fly by, and delight in the sounds of waves crashing against the shore at night. Many homes in the Coronado Cays are directly on the water on one of the many Coronao Cays channels or inlets.

And whether the residence is situated directly on a channel or bay, most homeowners and tenants enjoy some access to either a private docks or boat slips. There are some moorages in the Cays of up to 100 plus feet.

Boaters delight in being able to live and unwind within steps of their boats or yachts, and when they want to take their crafts out, they enjoy easy entry to San Diego Bay. Anyone that enjoys nature, sun, sand, and water will love the Coronado Cays. Condominiums and single family homes in the Coronado Cays ranging between $600,000 and $7,000,000.

Most of the homes in the Coronado Cays have either private boat docks or shared community boat docks. In addition to individual community docks, there is also a fair number of slips available at the Coronado Cays Yacht Club, a private club with reasonable membership fees and limited available yacht slips.

Many of the residents don’t actually own a boat, a yacht, or even a Kayak, but still enjoy sharing space with all things nautical.

Posted by: projectnado | January 22, 2009

Life is Good

Life is Good!

Life is Good

Life is Good, especially if you are fortunate enough to live in Coronado.  This shot was taken on Monday, January 19, 2009 while browsing for a gift in the Village.  I thought this little fragment was very picturesque.  On the corner of Orange and C street, just next door to Austin’s Gallery at 1024 C Avenue • Coronado, California 92118.

Later, I ended up finding the perfect gift at Charisma, a delightful unique gift on Orange Ave near the Lambs Player Theater. Ceiling in Charisma

I took these two pictures inside the shop.  One picture shows the ceiling and all the interesting things going on inside, the other is of the stained glass from the front of the store as seen from inside.

I’m very fond of Stained Glass and this design is both refreshing and familiar.  At Charisma’s I selected a fun floppy felt hat, direct from the New York gift show and a very nice scarf, that was so well made and structured, I’m sure it’s recipient might decide to have it double as a table runner.

Stained Glass Window at Charisma's in Coronado

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