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.

Money Monday: Ask Yourself These Questions Before Renting or Buying

Whether to buy or rent doesn’t necessarily have a clear-cut answer. But hopefully these questions will provide some guidance:

  1. What’s your top financial priority?
  2. What do you have savings for: down payment or first and last months’ rent?
  3. How long do you plan on living in the area?

There’s five more questions to ask yourself before you rent or buy; find them here on Yahoo: “8 Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding to Rent or Buy a House.”

San Diego County Events for March 31 – April 2

Come to San Diego County to check out some fun events and activities, or just to enjoy our great area! And if these aren’t enough events, check out my list of the top 20 must-do activities to do in San Diego here!

San Diego county events this weekendJulian Gold Rush Days

Julian Gold Rush Days celebrates the discovery of gold in this mountain community and invites visitors to learn more about its history with a weekend of entertainment including gold panning, tomahawk throwing, candle dipping and more. Located at The Julian Mining Company in Wynola, the old fashioned mining camp will offer re-enactors, an arts and crafts market, food and drink, a petting zoo, pony rides, and old fashioned laundry, free parking and plenty of family fun.

When: Saturday & Sunday, April 1 & 2 | 10am – 5pm
Where: Julian Mining Company | 4444 CA-78, Julian, CA 92036
Cost: $3; 12 and under are free
More information: www.visitjulian.com/to-see-do/special-events/gold-rush-days


Latin American Art Festival

Over 70 visual artists will be participate in this festival. After being selected by a panel of experts, artists from Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Guatemala and many cities of Mexico and the United States, will be present.

When: Saturday & Sunday, April 1 & 2 | 11am – 6pm
Where: ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station | 2730 Historic Decatur Rd. Barrack 16, San Diego, CA 92106
Cost: Free
More information:  www.latinamericanartfestival.com


Goodguys 17th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals

At the Del Mar Nationals, there will be over 2,500 rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and trucks thru ’72, indoor car show, 2017 March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance Competition, live music, exhibits, model and pedal car show, and much more.

When: Friday & Saturday, March 31 and April 1 | 8am – 5pm
Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds | 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
Cost: Tickets are $20 for adults; $6 for children ages 7 to 12; kids 6 and under get in free. Parking is $13
More information: www.good-guys.com/dmn-2017


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

Money Monday: Investing wisdom from Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is renowned for his financial and investing wisdom.

Here’s just a few gems from him:

  1. “Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years”
  2. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing”
  3. Most people should avoid individual stocks.
  4. Remember to give back.

Read about all seven over on the Motley Fool’s article, “7 Personal Finance Tips From Warren Buffett”, by Matthew Frankel.

San Diego County Events for March 24 – 26

This weekend in San Diego County, there are so many fantastic activity options available! Soak up the beauty in nature, reveal in the city’s events, and soak up some tunes.

San Diego county events this weekendFred Hall’s Fishing, Tackle, Boat & Travel Show

The 41-year-old Fred Hall Show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is the largest outdoor recreation show in the nation’s fifth largest county. It is San Diego’s biggest fishing show, biggest boat show and biggest outdoor recreation event of the year. The show features nearly 500 booths, hundreds of boats, vehicles, campers and RV’s. Over 200 outdoor recreation seminars will take place over the 4 days of this show.

When: Thursday – Sunday, March 23 – 26 | 12 – 8pm
Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds | 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
Cost: $15, 15 and under are free
More information: www.fredhall.com/san-diego


2017 San Diego Beatles Fair

To be held at Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center in North Park, this year’s edition of the San Diego Beatles Fair — the 15th since 1995 — is set to be the biggest yet. More than three dozen bands and solo artists are scheduled to perform on four stages

When: Saturday, March 25 | 12 – 11pm
Where: Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center, 3925 Ohio St., North Park, San Diego, CA
Cost: $10-$25
More information: sandiegobeatlesfair.com


Tequila & Taco Music Festival

California’s largest traveling tequila and taco music festival is coming to San Diego this weekend. On Saturday, sample top-shelf tequilas, while enjoying gourmet tacos, live music, margaritas, craft beer, and art vendors to shop from! Tequila sampling will only happen on Saturday, 11am -3:00 pm.

When: Saturday, March 25, 11am – 5:30pm | Sunday, March 26, 11:30am – 6pm
Where: Embarcadero Marina Park South, 200 Marina Park Way, downtown San Diego, CA
Cost: $10 – $60 | Must be 21+ to attend
More information: tequilaandtacomusicfestival.com/sandiego


Farm Stand Spring Farm Fair

At Golden Door Resort’s Spring Farm Fair, there will be local vendors, kids’ crafts, live local music, organic fruits & vegetables, refreshments and more.

When: Saturday, March 25 | 9am – 3pm
Where: 314 Deer Springs Rd., San Marcos, CA
Cost: Free
More information: shop.goldendoor.com/farmstand


Rolando Street Fair

Enjoy one of the county’s most intimate street fairs on Rolando Blvd in San Diego. The Fair boasts a great musical line-up every year and offers tons of food, arts and crafts, and service booths. The Rolando Street Fair has a wide assortment of carnival rides and games, face-painting and balloon artists, and plenty of youth-friendly booths too. Something for everyone in the family!

When: Sunday, March 26 | 10am – 6pm
Where: Rolando Blvd at El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA
Cost: Free
More information: rolandocc.org/p-25118-street-fair


Stars at West Sycamore

Join the San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA) for this springtime stargazing session at Mission Trails Regional Park Friday night. Weather permitting, the group meets at the West Sycamore staging area located at the east end of Stoneybridge Parkway in Scripps Ranch. The event is free; and there will even be telescopes that you can use.

When: Friday, March 24 | 7 – 10pm
Where: Mission Trails Regional Park | 1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA 92119
Cost: Free
More information: www.sdaa.org


Arbor Day Celebration

El Cajon, now in its 20th year of receiving the Tree City USA Award, will host its 28th annual Arbor Day Celebration with a tree-planting ceremony at Kennedy Park.

When: Saturday, March 25 | 8am
Where: Kennedy Park | 1675 East Madison Ave., El Cajon, CA
Cost: Free
More information: www.ci.el-cajon.ca.us


8th Annual Chamorro Cultural Festival

Join the CHE’LU San Diego organization for this free cultural event at California State University San Marcos. The family-friendly festival will include live music, dancing, food, raffles, art, workshops, a beer garden and more – all to celebrate the Chamorro culture of the indigenous peoples of the Mariana Island.

When: Saturday, March 25 | 9am – 6pm
Where: Cal State University San Marcos | 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos, CA 92096
Cost: Free
More information: www.chelusd.org/events

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.”