Author Archives: John A Silva

About John A Silva

As your professional real estate adviser, I focus on client satisfaction. My business is about service and I am not happy until you are happy. My years in the business have provided me the experience to assist you with nearly every real estate need. Whether it's finding you a home, finding the best loan, or helping you getting the most out of selling your home I am here to guide you. If there is anything you need, please let me know via email at johnasilva@sbcglobal.net.

California’s February 2017 Sales

Compared to February 2016, 2017’s February shows strong gains in both sales and price.

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS at CAR.org.

Money Monday: Tax Breaks for Parents

Now that it’s tax season, it’s time to consider what tax breaks you as a parent might be able to claim.

1. Childcare tax break

One way to save is to set up a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, or DCFSA, during Open Enrollment. You might be able to save up to 30% in taxes on the money you put toward it.

2. Child care credit

If you did’t sign up for a DCFSA, check out the Child and Dependent Care Credit when filing your taxes.

3. College savings plans deductions

“Many states offer full or partial tax deductions for parents saving for college in state-sponsored 529 plans.” (“Taxes made easy: 5 breaks for childcare and education.” Jeanie Ahn. Yahoo Finance.)

4. College tax credits

There are two college tax credits that you might be able to gain: the American Opportunity Tax Credit and The Lifetime Learning Credit.

Read more on these tax credits and deductions here: “Taxes made easy: 5 breaks for childcare and education”.

San Diego County Events for March 17 – 19

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! While you can find plenty of St. Paddy Day activities online, here are some suggestions for the rest of your weekend in San Diego!

San Diego county events this weekend

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

The famous Flower Fields in Carlsbad Ranch officially opened for the season on March 1; the fields are open daily, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through May 14. Patrons will enjoy nearly 50 acres of colorful displays of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers, which are in bloom for six to eight weeks. The famous fields also include roses, orchids, sweet pea blossoms, petunias and poinsettias.

When: Now – May 14 | 9am – 6pm daily
Where: Carlsbad Ranch | 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Cost: $14 | details here
More information: www.theflowerfields.com


San Diego Homebrew Festival & Competition

Indulge in unlimited tastings of 35 homebrewed beers from 9 San Diego craft breweries at the San Diego Homebrew Festival & Competition. Chit chat there with beer professionals, check out vendors’ offerings, enjoy food and more!

When: Saturday, March 18 | 12 – 4pm
Where: North Park Mini Park | 2896 North Park Way, San Diego, CA 92104
Cost: $40
More information: www.sdhomebrewfest.com/event-info


South Park Spring Walkabout

The South Park Walkabout is a quarterly fun-filled evening festival that showcases all the unique and independent businesses within South Park. Enjoy complimentary treats, live entertainment and special offers.

When: Saturday, March 18 | 6pm
Where: South Park Neighborhood | Kalmia and 30th St., San Diego, CA 92102
Cost: Free
More information: www.southparksd.com


34th Annual San Diego Cake Show

The 34th annual San Diego Cake Show presents Confections for a Cause, a local event dedicated to educating and inspiring the public with cake decorating demonstrations and activities at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

When: Saturday & Sunday, March 18 & 19 | 10am
Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds | 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA
Cost: $10 per day, $18 for both days, or $12 at the door
More information: www.delmarfairgrounds.com

Money Monday: Top Budgeting Tips

If you haven’t been successful at sticking to your budget yet, perhaps you just need a refresher on how to best make your budget work.

piggy bank saving

photo from 401kcalculator.org

  1. Set and stick to your budget — number one on making the budget work!
  2. If you’re constantly overspending, try sticking to an all-cash budget. Handing over crisp bills instead of your credit card hurts far more!
  3. Make your financial priorities top…priority! After each paycheck, set aside how much you know you’ll need for that month, on: rent or mortgage payment, utility bills, grocery budget, and any other monthly expenses.
  4. Check in financially every day or week. It’s difficult to keep spending in check if you don’t keep on how you’re doing — which may make you uncomfortably and unnecessarily stretch those dollars too much at the end of the month.

These ideas (and many more!) are from The Muse’s article here: “50 Personal Finance Tips That Will Change the Way You Think About Money.”

San Diego County Events for March 10 – 12

Enjoy this wonderful San Diego weekend by attending one of the great events below! And if these aren’t enough things to do, check out my list of the top 20 must-do activities to do in San Diego here!

San Diego county events this weekendFIRST Robotics Competition

Check out robotics in action at the San Diego FIRST Robotics Competition at the Del Mar Arena at the fairgrounds. The event showcases teams of 25+ students who, under strict rules and time limits, must raise funds, design a team brand, work together and build and program a robot to perform tasks.

When: Wednesday – Saturday
Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds | 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, California 92014
Cost: Free, parking is $13
More information: www.sandiegoregional.com


37th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival

Join the Irish Congress of Southern California for the 37th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival taking place on Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM at Balboa Park between 6th Street and Laurel. Join more than 30,000 attendees in our annual celebration featuring a parade with over 125 entries, more than 75 food/craft booths, a beer garden, two band stages, and a Celtic village. The Kids Zone has a band stage featuring young performers and traditional Irish music, carnival rides and crafts.

When: Saturday, March 12 | 9am – 6pm
Where: Balboa Park, between 6th Street and Laurel, in San Diego, CA
Cost: Free
More information: www.stpatsparade.org


The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

The famous Flower Fields in Carlsbad Ranch officially opened for the season on March 1; the fields are open daily, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through May 14. Patrons will enjoy nearly 50 acres of colorful displays of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers, which are in bloom for six to eight weeks. The famous fields also include roses, orchids, sweet pea blossoms, petunias and poinsettias.

When: Now – May 14 | 9am – 6pm daily
Where: Carlsbad Ranch | 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Cost: $14 | details here
More information: www.theflowerfields.com


22nd Annual Youth Fitness Expo and Family Fun Day

Join California Fitness Fun and Heartlight San Diego for the 22nd fun day. Browse through education exhibits, participate in fitness activities, play in carnival games and more. Plus, more than 100 San Diego County elementary schools will perform.

When: Saturday, March 11 | 12:30 – 4pm
Where: Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion, San Diego, CA
Cost: Free
More information: www.heartlightsandiego.com

California Real Estate Sales Dip — Except for Southern California

California pending home sales dip slightly in January; Southern California market continues to outshine other regions

Source: C.A.R.

Following relatively strong closed escrow home sales over the past few months, California
pending home sales slipped negligibly from a year ago, which suggests a softening in the
housing market in the upcoming months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
(C.A.R.) said.

housing market forecast

Making sense of the story

  • Based on signed contracts, statewide pending home sales decreased in January on a
    seasonally adjusted basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* slipping 0.2
    percent from 107.4 from January 2016 to 107.2 in January 2017. On a monthly basis,
    California pending home sales were down 9.2 percent from the December index of 118.0.
  • Only the Southern California region posted a year-over-year improvement in pending
    sales last month, rising 8.1 percent from January 2016 and increasing 10.5 percent on a
    monthly basis. Riverside County led the region in pending sales, posting a 16.2 percent
    increase from a year ago. Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties also posted
    modest year-over-year increases of 7.1 percent, 8.0, and 4.0 percent, respectively. San
    Bernardino County was the only area within Southern California that saw pending sales
    lower on an annual basis by 2.8 percent.
  • For the San Francisco Bay Area as a whole, tight housing supplies and low affordability
    contributed to a fall in pending sales of 9.7 percent compared to January 2016. Only San
    Mateo County posted an annual increase, rising 5.3 percent from January 2016 after
    posting a significant double-digit annual decline (35.3 percent) in December. Pending
    home sales decreased 21.2 percent in San Francisco County, 7.1 percent in Santa Clara
    County, 24.9 percent in Monterey, and 4.8 percent in Santa Cruz County. A shortage of
    homes on the market and poor affordability will likely persist throughout the year, and
    impact Bay Area home sales.
  • Pending sales in the Central Valley fell 7.9 percent from January 2016 and were up 2.2
    percent from December. Within Central Valley, pending sales were down 14.6 percent in
    Kern County and 11.8 percent in Sacramento compared with a year ago.

Read the full story from CAR.org here.

Money Monday: Financial Fitness of the Generations

Members of the different generations view their financial situations in various ways.

The different generations — Millenials, Gen Xers, Boomers and Matures — view their financial situations in different ways: financially comfortable, have just enough to get by, or financially struggling.

Financial Fitness of the generations

This infograhic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

San Diego County Events for March 3 – 5

Performances, flowers and garden shows, crafts — what more could you ask for on a beautiful San Diego weekend?

San Diego county events this weekend

Spring Home/Garden Show

Now in its 32nd year, the San Diego Spring Home/Garden Show returns to Del Mar Fairgrounds for a three-day show, with: hands-on demonstrations, hundreds of home-improvement products and services exhibitors, educational seminars, plant sales, and face-to-face consultations with top experts.

 When: Friday, March 3, 11am – 6pm | Saturday, March 4, 10am – 6pm | Sunday, March 5, 10am – 5pm

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds | 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA
Cost: Free – $9
More information: springhomegardenshow.com


The Boardwalk Craft Market

Now in its 25th year, shop the Boardwalk Craft Market for unique, beautiful and useful items created by local artists in the Arts & Crafts tradition.

When: Saturday, March 4 | the first Saturday of the month – ongoing
Where: Old Poway Park | 14134 Midland Road, Poway, CA
Cost: Free
More information: poway.org/454/Boardwalk-Craft-Market


11th Annual Seaport Village Busker Festival

The annual Seaport Village Busker Festival brings colorful street performers – from jugglers on unicycles to stilt walkers, contortionists and acrobalancers – to the waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment district — the amazing (and bizarre) acts that will compete for a chance to win the coveted People’s Choice Award. Visitors can also enjoy shopping and specials from more than 50 shops, restaurants and eateries at Seaport Village.

When: Saturday, March 4, 12 – 6pm
Where: Seaport Village | 849 West Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
Cost: Free
More information: www.seaportvillage.com


2017 Travel & Adventure Show

Taking place March 4-5 at the San Diego Convention Center, travel enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with travel experts from around the world who are on hand to help attendees dream, personalize and book their next trip.

When: Saturday, March 4, 10am | Sunday, March 5, 11am
Where: San Diego Convention Center | 111 West Harbor Dr., San Diego
Cost: $11 – $35
More information: travelshows.com/shows/san-diego


The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

The famous Flower Fields in Carlsbad Ranch officially opened for the season on March 1; the fields are open daily, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through May 14. Patrons will enjoy nearly 50 acres of colorful displays of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers, which are in bloom for six to eight weeks. The famous fields also include roses, orchids, sweet pea blossoms, petunias and poinsettias.

When: Now – May 14 | 9am – 6pm daily
Where: Carlsbad Ranch | 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Cost: $14 | details here
More information: www.theflowerfields.com