Oscar Castillo
"Residential" Real Estate

Posts by : Oscar Castillo

Email Me


"Dress Up" your Slope - Hillside

Wed, Jan 31st 2018 9:25 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Dress up your Hillside

Great ground cover on slopes on your property are dual purposed. One is the beauty of the plants and the other purpose is that it helps in the prevention of any dirt and water run-off.  

We all know that slopes/hillsides on most properties are usually larger areas than what is depicted in the above pictures used for this article. The pictures are meant to give you an idea of what can be done to beautify the hillside while at the same time you are taking preemptive action in regards to avoiding any potential water run-off and soil erosion due to heavy rains.

If you know that someday you will be selling your home, a great and well thought out ground cover adds to the...

No comments

Street Potholes - do affect the value of your home.

Thu, Jan 18th 2018 2:05 pm by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

     Street Potholes do affect value of your home          

If you live in a neighborhood where asphalt street maintenance appears to not be a priority of your City Street Department, this could be costly to you as a homeowner because continual unsightly potholes and dry cracked asphalt are attributable to driving the value of your home "downward" and/or at the minimum they hinder the increase of value in comparison to similar homes at nearby neighborhoods that have better maintained streets.

For example if you have your house for sale and it is very obvious that the asphalt has not been maintained on a routine basis, potential buyers will see this street neglect thus making your home/neighborhood less desir...

No comments

Baking Soda - many uses at home.

Sun, Dec 31st 2017 9:15 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Baking Soda many uses at home

Have some baking soda around your home? Many household surveys state that baking soda is a great product to have at home because it can be utilized for many household purposes. Some uses are listed in the picture above but below I have also included more uses for what I personally call a "magical and brilliantly created product".


1)  Make Toothpaste - a paste can be made with baking soda or sprinkle some over your tooth paste and brush thus giving you an extra boost to cleansing.

2)  Freshen Your Mouth - Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit and rinse. Odors get neutralized, not just covered up.

3) Soa...

No comments

Flood Insurance - Myths and Facts

Fri, Dec 15th 2017 7:20 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Residential Flood Insurance Myths and Facts

It is easy to say “I do not need flood insurance” because my house is not in a flood zone or that you have been told that I (homeowner) cannot get flood insurance because of the location of my home. These statements validate what many homeowner’s think in regards to flood insurance coverage on their homes/property.

Initially, flood insurance may not be on every property owner’s mind, but the reality is that it is more important to have coverage than most homeowners think.

Many homeowners do not think that flooding will have any affect to their property – until it’s too late.

Sadly there is also many homeowners who are not aware of what their homeowner’s insuranc...

No comments

Supplemental Property Tax Bill

Thu, Nov 30th 2017 8:45 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Supplemental Property Tax Bill

OK so you bought a house, you are all settled-in and then a couple of weeks later you receive in the mail a “Supplemental Property Tax Bill”. Your first words that come out probably will be… What the heck is this?  Then you start thinking that you were told that all your property taxes are to be paid via your escrow impound account – mortgage holder/Lender (also known as an escrow account)…. and you also specifically remember being consulted that in addition to your monthly mortgage payment, one-twelfth of your annual property taxes is to be included in that monthly payment.  Keep that thought as we continue along on this page OK ?

Note:  You are not alone in receiv...

No comments

Electrical Power Distribution - Residential

Wed, Nov 15th 2017 8:15 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Electrical Power Distribution

The following is a condensed version of how electricity is generated and how electricity travels through the various stages of the power-distribution-grid. Ultimately the electricity is safely transmitted to our homes, place of work and/or business.

How do we generate electricity ?

Electricity is produced at Thermal Power Plants. All aspects of producing and the distribution of electricity are important but the first step is to produce heat. The production of heat can come from various fuel sources… such as coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear energy. Coal, oil and natural gas fuel sources are fed into a combustion chamber.

The heat from the combustion chamber is used...

No comments

Backflow Preventers

Tue, Oct 31st 2017 4:15 pm by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Backflow Preventer Assemblies - Residential or Commercial

Ever see one of the above pictured beauties alongside a road or on the side of a home?  They come in various sizes depending on the amount of water flow that they are meant to handle.  They are called “Backflow Preventers”  (aka: Backflow Prevention Assemblies).

What type of water flows through them - drinkable or irrigational ?

What flows through is what is known as piped “Potable Water”. This is the “field” sanitation standard name which defines "Potable Water" as water that meets the quality standards prescribed and identified in the U.S. Public Health Service Drinking Water Standards. In-other-words, “potable water” is known as water which is approved for drink...

No comments

Homestead vs. Homestead Exemption

Sun, Oct 15th 2017 3:30 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Homestead vs Exemption

A “Homestead” simply means a person's primary residence which encompasses the house, the land, and any outbuildings (ie: sheds, a barn, workshop and/or a detached garage) that are on that property.

The wording “Homestead Exemption” is socially well known, but far too often is not fully understood.

(A) The term “Homestead Exemption” does refer to various exemptions from property taxes that homeowners can claim.

(B) Also the “Homestead Exemption” is referred to as a homestead protection which is designed to protect a person's primary residence in the case of financial hardship, such as the death of a spouse or another example is if the homeowner becomes severely and...

No comments

Lender JUNK FEES - Buyers need to be on alert !

Sat, Sep 30th 2017 6:00 pm by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

No Lender Junk Fees - Buyers need to be on alert

If you plan on applying for a mortgage, you should be on the lookout for “junk fees”. Your lender’s junk fees may leave you paying much more than necessary at closing.

When you apply for a mortgage loan, your lender will give you a Good Faith Estimate (GFE). The GFE provides you with an itemized list of the fees your lender intends to charge to process your loan and close the deal. Each fee should be clearly listed on your GFE.

Closely scrutinizing the charges listed on the GFE is the key to catching junk fees early in order to challenge and negotiate them.

A general consensus states that most buyers go through a mortgage loan process maybe 1-to-3 times in a li...

No comments

Tax Base Transfers - Propositions 60 & 90

Fri, Sep 15th 2017 5:30 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Tax Base Transfers - CA Propositions 60 and 90 : Oscar Castillo - Broker Associate (858) 775-1057

I find that a lot of Senior homeowners who are thinking of selling their home and buying another do know a little about or at least have heard of the California voter passed Propositions 60 (in 1986) and 90 (in 1988).

These 2-propositions 60/90 are in regards to “property tax base transfers”. But in most all cases, these particular senior homeowners are not informed enough and are missing the “rest of the picture”.

Yes, what these homeowners are wanting is for their current property tax base to transfer to the house they want to buy and/or have bought already. But there is some misunderstanding as to how this transfer can be accomplished.

So in order to have more cl...

No comments

Household Appliances and HVAC System - Life expectancy

Thu, Aug 31st 2017 9:15 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Lifespan of Major Household Appliances - Oscar Castillo : Broker Associate (858) 775-1057

Prudent Buyers who have their budget, their eyes and heart set on older homes are consulted to indeed do their due diligence and observe the condition-and-age of the major kitchen appliances, the water heater, the air conditioning (compressor) and the furnace. After observations, I get what follows is an important and a much anticipated question… How long will the current major appliances as well as the Heating and Air Conditioning system last from this date forward?

To answer that, we need to know the average life of an appliance, when was the purchase date of that particular appliance and who is the manufacturer. All this information is helpful in order to hel...

No comments

SEPTIC TANK SYSTEM - Things to know about.

Fri, Aug 18th 2017 1:00 pm by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

SEPTIC Tank System flow

As-you-know, the homeowner/s are responsible for maintaining their septic tank system. Consistent care and attention of your system are essential to preventing a septic system failure.

As a Realtor, I am so surprised to hear from people who have septic systems yet they do not know where their septic tank is nor where their leach-line drainfields are located in their property. My immediate thought is…WOW these homeowners have not done anything to maintain their system for quite some time – Yikes !!! (this not bueno ! )

For your bank account sake, health sake and to avoid any embarrassment due to a possible system failure when visitors or family members come over, ...

No comments

Automatic Seismic Gas Shut-off Valve ...All homeowners of earthquake prone areas should know about this.

Mon, Jul 31st 2017 12:05 pm by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Automatic Seismic Gas Shut off Valve


What is an Automatic Seismic Gas Shut-off Valve?

The functionality of a Seismic/Earthquake shut-off valve will automatically shut off the flow of natural gas to your property when an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 or greater occurs at or near the location of your home.

Even minor earthquake activity could potentially cause damage to gas lines and create the risk of gas-line explosions and fires. Also know that appliances whi...

No comments

Buyers ask - Why do Lenders require Homeowners Insurance

Sun, Jun 25th 2017 3:40 pm by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Why do mortgage lenders ask for Homeowners Insurance

Buyers ask: Why do Lenders require Homeowners Insurance?

Look at it this way: The home you want to buy is the mortgage lending institution’s “collateral” for the money they are lending you. So the reality of it is that the lender wants to protect their asset/investment. This just in case there is a catastrophe such as fires or a natural disaster and/or an accident in which the house is somewhat damaged or completely destroyed. So until you pay-off your mortgage in full, your lender has a financial interest in your property. Think of it as being similar to when you go buy a car and have it financed… believe me the lender will ask for full coverage insurance.


No comments

Reasons to "DOWNSIZE" - Before or after Retirement

Mon, May 29th 2017 8:15 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Reasons to Downsize before or after Retirement

If you are retired and/or near retirement, a common thought that goes through one’s mind is “how can I cut down on my expenses, spend less time on maintaining the house so that you and your significant other can do the traveling that you have always dreamed about".  Did you know that the most common “retirement dream” is being able to travel?

When you really think about it, you are probably are no longer “tied down” to your home location anymore. By that I mean that you are no longer commuting to work so it is not like you have to live near your place of employment any longer and living in a particular School District is not as important anymore because more-than-likely t...

No comments

Disclosures - What Sellers need to do.

Sun, May 14th 2017 8:00 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Disclosures - what do buyers need to know

Sellers must Disclose all Material facts:

Seller Disclosures are documents provided by a home seller to a home-buyer that outlines known issues with a property and other material facts that could or would affect the buyer's decision to purchase or could ultimately affect the original purchase price that the buyer has offered. Simply remember that the seller is most always obligated to disclose known problems that could affect the property's value or desirability.

In general, sellers should disclose any known facts about the physical condition of the property, existence of any dangerous materials, dangerous conditions, any lawsuits or pending matters, inspection reports, or...

No comments

Building Permits - Do I need one?

Sat, Apr 29th 2017 8:25 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Do I need a Building Permit for my home project

The thought of renovating your home and/or a portion of your home can be an exciting undertaking. In regards to permits, it is important to know what you need to do before you proceed with your project. Simply know that building permits primarily exist to protect the health & safety of the home's residents and visitors. It is fully understood that while it might be inconvenient to apply for a building permit, it can and will be worth it in the long run.

1.  But how do you know if you need a building permit for the project you are planning?

Generally speaking, any structural or structural system changes requires a permit. This means adding on to the home or moving wal...

No comments

Spring Cleaning "Projects"

Wed, Mar 29th 2017 12:22 pm by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Spring Cleaning projects

Say goodbye to winter and hello to spring! Time to open the doors, windows and slide doors to freshen up your home. And yes, time to take on those spring cleaning projects.

I guarantee you that if you try to do all your spring cleaning at once, you will “tire out” and more-than-likely you will not finish all the projects you had in mind. So you don’t get too “tired out” and give up halfway through your projects, make a “to-do” list and aim to accomplish several tasks per day. Whether it’s dusting off the bookshelves, organizing home office files, dusting the blinds or repainting a room and/or rooms, it will feel great at the end of each day to check off items listed on yo...

No comments

More "VA Financed" Home Purchases needed in San Diego, CA

Sat, Jan 7th 2017 9:25 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

More VA financing needed for Veterans and current active military

San Diego is a great town to live in. It is known to be that because of its almost perfect year round weather conditions which allows outdoor activities to seemingly always be going on throughout the entire City and County.

There is one other aspect of San Diego – and that is that we have military bases of most all branches of the armed forces located here. With that said, San Diego is considered to be a “military town” therefore there is a lot of military Veterans and active military personnel currently living here.

San Diego has an enormous gratitude and respect for our current military and Veterans. Therefore, I would like to see and be involved in consultin...

No comments

Get a C.L.U.E. - this goes to both home Buyers and home Sellers

Fri, Dec 23rd 2016 5:45 am by Oscar Castillo All San Diego CA Real Estate

Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange - C.L.U.E.

What is C.L.U.E.?

The C.L.U.E. (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) is an insurance “claims” history data-base that is generated and monitored by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions - a consumer reporting agency. If you were clueless about a CLUE report, do not feel alone in this matter. About 85 to 90% of Americans have never known of the existence of this very beneficial report to both the potential buyer and seller of a home.

In regards to housing: Once a homeowner has submitted an insurance claim on their home, what comes next is most all insurance companies will then submit the homeowner’s claim information to this CLUE data base.

This information contained in the...

No comments

Search The MLS Get Green Market Value

Posted By Oscar Castillo on Fri, Nov 11th 2022 5:45 pm
Inflation not a friend to current home Buyers and Sellers

I do not know of one person who has not been affected by this current "inflation" nightmare that we are all living in.  As-you-know inflation has "rocked" everyone's world in the sense that the...Read More

Posted By Oscar Castillo on Fri, May 13th 2022 1:15 pm
Mortgage interest rates trending upward - Lock in the Lower best rate

Interest rates have been going up-and-up and will continue to rise again and again. Unless you have had your head "in the sand" and/or are not keeping up with the latest Real Estate/Business News...Read More

Home Sales Realty Listingbook

Blog Categories