Recipe: Cherry Cheese Mystery


What You Need:


1/3 cup, pitted, halved fresh sweet cherries

3 tbsp. cherry jello

2 tbsp. orange juice

1 tbsp. finely, grated orange peel

1 two oz. bag pecan halves, broken

1 tbsp. ground chinese 5-spice

¼ tsp. ground ginger

3 eight oz. boxes cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup halved, salted cashews

1 box Club crackers

Several fresh mint sprigs (garnish)

2 cups whole, fresh cherries




  1. Wash, halve, pit, drain, 1 1/3 cup cheeries; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine jello, orange juice, 5-spice, ginger, and orange peel. Stir constantly on low heat until jello is dissolved.
  3. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, drained cherries, pecans, and cooled jello mixture. Mix on medium speed until well-blended.
  5. Chill 2 hours.
  6. Put cherry appetizer in a small cut glass dish.
  7. Around the edges of cherry mixture, sprinkle the cashews.
  8. Add mint sprigs to garnish.
  9. Place glass dish on a platter and arrange crackers and cherries attractively.

The History of San Diego Real Estate: 2000’s



In this special series, we will be covering the evolution of the real estate industry from the 1960’s to present day. These posts are based on the industry experience of Coastal Premier Properties Broker, Tom Tucker. It is our hope that by retelling the history of real estate in San Diego County, we will be able to trace the changes at a social, economic, and technological level that have led to today’s current industry profile and the results that have occurred for consumers, for better and for worse. Click here to read about San Diego in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s.



San Diego Real Estate History: The 2000’s


San Diego County Population: 2,813,833 people

San Diego County Population Growth For This Decade: 10%

Estimated Number of New Housing Units Built from 2000-2009: 38,142 Units

Estimated Number of Total Housing Units in the County by 2009: 289,961 Units (Including 47,015 Units Built Prior to 1960)

(information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau)


Overall, in the 2000’s, we saw a continuation of the reliance on technology and instant communication that dominated the past decade. Advances in technology, wireless internet services, and increasing speeds meant that people were growing even more connected.

Most prominently, this decade saw a reinforcement of the idea that real estate data was now publicly available for searching. The widespread use of websites, coupled with IDX searching, put a great amount of power into the hands of the public.

Marketing began to shift from print to online. More people spent time online than ever before and the real estate industry adjusted accordingly, spending lots of money on their websites and online advertising. By the mid-part of the decade, SEO and site-rank became new buzzwords in a real estate agent’s vocabulary.

Technology for mobile devices continued to improve, allowing us to take pictures and even short videos with our devices. We no longer needed to carry around extra equipment to showcase our listings for the public. We could even send these pictures and videos to clients, allowing them to see the house they were interested in, without going to the property.

By the end of the decade, the real estate industry’s relationship with technology was cemented. The instant delivery of information, access to up-to-the-minute pricing information, and ability to work remotely or “out in the field” greatly sped up the productivity of each agent and allowed them to form even better relationships with their clients.


Notable Changes in Real Estate Law From This Decade:


2002: Predatory Lending Laws. Assembly Bill 489 (Migden), as amended by Assembly Bill 344 (Migden), generally known as the Predatory Lending Law, added Sections 4970 through 4979.8 to the California Financial Code and imposed restrictions and limitations on specified loans secured by real property for which an application is made on or after July 1, 2002. Department of Real Estate (DRE) publications, as well as the DRE website, provided related consumer information in English, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.

2004: Consumer Protection Videos. The DRE funded the creation of videos and workbooks for first time renters and homebuyers. Approximately 375 videos and workbooks were distributed to educators at high schools, adult schools, colleges, libraries and community organizations to prepare the next generation for the rental and home purchase processes.

2005: Elimination of the Real Estate Advisory Committee. The Real Estate Advisory Commission elimination was undertaken to promote government reform by reducing duplication, overlap and bureaucracy.

2005: DRE Consumer Outreach. Developed educational videos, expanded information on DRE Web site, translated consumer material, developed common license information and search function on Web site and participated in numerous consumer outreach events.

2006: Multi-Departmental License Information Available Online. Through a collaborative effort with the Department of Corporations, Department of Financial Institutions, and the Office of Real Estate Appraisers, the Department of Real Estate developed and shared a common web page, open to the public, to serve as a one-stop resource for California real estate and financial services license information, laws, and regulations. This online enhancement was made available on March 11, 2005.

2008: Consumer Protection and Outreach Expanded. In conjunction with the Governor’s Interdepartmental Task Force on Non-Traditional Mortgages, the Department of Real Estate developed and participated in multi-departmental programs to mitigate the effects of mortgage foreclosures throughout the State by participating in and sponsoring various consumer protection and outreach programs. This marks one of the first times that a joint committee, known as the ‘Housing Committee,’ organized under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (BTH) and consisting of all the housing-related departments (Department of Housing and Community Development, Department of Financial Institutions, California Housing Finance Agency, Department of Real Estate, Department of Corporations, and Office of Real Estate Appraisers), has collaborated to provide a solution to address the problem.

2008: Expanded Mortgage Disclosure Requirements. Emergency regulations were enacted in order to comply with the provisions of Senate Bill 385 (Machado), which became operative on January 1, 2008. The legislation, among other things, requires real estate brokers to adopt and adhere to the obj. New Mortgage Loan Disclosure Statement/Good Faith Estimate, Non-traditional Mortgage Product. Forms are available in English and have been translated into Spanish, Tagalong, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese.

2009: Prohibition of Advance Fees For Loan Modification Services. Pursuant to Senate Bill 94, any person, including real estate licensees and lawyers, are prohibited from demanding or collecting an advance fee from a consumer for loan modification or mortgage loan forbearance services affecting 1-4 unit residential dwellings. Most of the provisions of SB 94 will sunset on January 1, 2013, unless otherwise extended by new legislation.

2009: Bilingual Outreach. The Department of Real Estate (DRE) formed the Bilingual Outreach and Advocacy Unit (BOA) to address the underserved multi-cultural needs of the Spanish speaking community and other non-English speaking consumers. The BOA Unit is committed to assisting consumers by providing them with real estate resources and advocacy within DRE, as well as with other government agencies, law enforcement, and non-profit organizations. The BOA Unit will assist in consumer education efforts to prevent the perpetuation of real estate crimes, thereby helping to balance reactive enforcement activities with proactive prevention efforts.

2009: Certified Sites Program. In an effort to support new investment and retention of expanding industries in California, the statewide Site Certification Program was created, whose aim is to allow commercial and industrial building projects to commence more quickly than ever before. The program allows local governments to register commercial or industrial sites that are ‘project ready’ and market them as locations for new business investment and expansion. The certification of a site is performed by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) who will review required materials to ensure a site meets specific criteria including, but not limited to, verification and availability of utilities, site access, environmental concerns, land use conformance and potential site development costs. The DRE will provide a current inventory of commercial and industrial sites that are available for purchase or lease, have the support of local permitting authorities, meet current evaluation criteria for various commercial and industrial uses and are readily available for project development or initiation of use in the shortest time possible.

2009: Loan Modification Task Force and Fraud. The Department of Real Estate (DRE) stepped up efforts to combat the loan modification scams, advance fee rip offs, and mortgage rescue fraud schemes through an internal Home Loan Modification Prevention Task Force. The Task Force was committed to protect consumers with over 2,400 investigations against loan modification companies, 100+ referrals to the California State Bar, 475 respondents named in Desist and Refrain orders and 50 accusations filed against real estate licensees. DRE appointed a Law Enforcement Coordinator to help ensure that all levels of law enforcement are informed of the administrative actions taken by the DRE and coordinate the filing of civil or criminal actions where appropriate. Through collaborative efforts of the Task Force along with local, state and federal law enforcement and government agencies, numerous administrative, civil and criminal actions have resulted and gained national attention. The unlawful actions of unlicensed individuals harm both the consumer and the industry.


Notable San Diego Events From This Decade:


2004: Petco Park opens.


Notable United States Events From This Decade:


2001: September 11th World Trade Center attacks.

2003: Iraq war begins.

2003: Columbia disaster.

2007: California Democrat Nancy Pelosi becomes the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives

2008: Barack Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected President.

2009: Sonia Sotomayor becomes first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.



Join us next month for the final installment in our series as we take a look at the present state of our industry and look back at what notable changes shaped the evolution of the real estate industry into what it is today.

Design Trends: Chalkboard Decor

It may be back to school time, but the humble chalkboard has been having a moment the whole year. Whether in a frame, painted a wall, or chalkboard labels in the kitchen, the schoolroom staple is all grown up and elegant. Whether you purchase a chalkboard item, buy the paint to give what you already have the diy treatment, or pick up some chalkboard paper, take a look at some of the beautiful ways people have incorporated the chalkboard in their home.

All images via our Pinterest






Decorating for Outdoor Entertainment

Whether or not you have a vast backyard, being able to set it up in a way to accommodate guests for a day/night of festivities should not be a dilemma.  Let us give you some pointers on making the most of your yard and transforming it into your own pocket-sized paradise.

  • Choosing Furniture: Being strategic when picking furniture is vital, try saving space by using “two in one” types of furniture such as storage ottomans and benches, nesting tables and folding chairs.

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  • Arranging the Furniture: Now that you have your furniture, its time to set it up.  Try placing the seating and tables around the perimeter and give your guests a nice plot of space in the middle to stand and move around with ease.

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  • Foliage:  You may already have plenty of plants, but be sure to watch where they are placed, plants easily make a deserted space feel like an alluring getaway.  Now that we’re in a drought, it would be wise to use plants that do not require a lot of watering such as succulents.

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  • Lighting:  When it comes to lighting, you can’t go wrong with string lights across the patio that can open up small areas around your get together.  Plus with these lights, you get a warm glow instead of an interrogating spotlight, resulting in cozy vibe.

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  • Adding Extra Seating: If you’re finding yourself coming short on places to sit toss down some floor throw pillows, they’re super cozy and very easy to add or subtract.

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What Are Your Best Tips for Decorating Your Yard For Entertaining?

The Pinteresting Five: Poolhouses to Die For

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool in San Diego, you might have a poolhouse or extra room to put one in! Many poolhouses can double as guest quarters, outdoor kitchen, or lounging space. Here’s a few outstanding poolhouse designs to inspire you.

(All images via our Pinterest)






Recipe: Pasta Sauce Rafael


What You Need:


4 lbs. ripe, meaty tomatoes

2 jars (6 oz. each) marinated artichoke hearts

½ c. best-quality olive oil

2 c. coarsely chopped yellow onion

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

¼ c. dried basil

½ tbsp. dried oregano

½ c. finely chopped Italian parsley

1 small dried red pepper, finely crushed

3 tbsp. whole black peppercorns

1 tsp. salt

¼ c. grated Romano cheese




  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop tomatoes, a few at a time, into the boiling water. Scaled for ten seconds, then with a slotted spoon transfer to a bowl of ice water. Scald all tomatoes in this fashion, then drain and slip off skins. Cut crosswise into halves, squeeze out seeds and juice, chop coarsely. Reserve.
  2. Drain artichokes and reserve marinade.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté onions, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, and dried red pepper over medium heat for five minutes.
  4. Crush the black peppercorns and add them to the onion mixture.
  5. Add tomatoes to the sauce, season with about 1 tsp. salt, and simmer uncovered over medium heat for 1 hour.
  6. Add reserved artichoke marinade and simmer, stirring often, for another 30 minutes.
  7. Stir in artichokes and continue to simmer until sauce is rich and thick, another 20 minutes or so. Stir in Romano cheese, taste, and adjust seasoning. Serve with your favorite pasta.

Design Trends: Outdoor Rooms

With all this great weather we are having this summer be sure to take advantage of it with these outdoor room ideas!  Whether its adding a whole other space complete with furniture, fire pits and kitchens or just an addition to the back patio, kickstart your creative thinking with these shining examples.

All images via our Pinterest