Reasons to stay in/move to San Diego

San Diego has always been praised as one of the best cities worldwide whether it be for its food, it’s entertainment, the people, or the amount of sunshine they all get year round.  Here are a few motives to stay in or move to the sunniest region in California.

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1.  The Beaches.

If the sun is shining on the weekend where does everyone go?  The beach, because they sure aren’t going downtown.  There is one for each flavor, check out Mission Bay for some great biking or hit Pacific Beach for a little bit more prep.  With over 70 miles of coastline you are bound to hit one that floats your boat, some of which are leash free for you favorite companions convenience.  However, many locals tend to wait out the tourist season until October where the beaches aren’t as crowded, the jellyfish have dispersed, the water gets warmer and there’s plenty of parking.

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2. Weather Fit For Paradise.

Winter.  Summer.  No matter the season you can bet on it being close to 70 degrees outside.  With the edges of the city reaching around 80 or the suburbs getting in excess of 100 you can be sure of ditching your winter clothes

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3.  The mouth-watering food.

Between all the varieties of ingredients and ethnicities of meals in San Diego, the mexican cuisine is what most San Diegans take to heart.  Fish tacos, enchiladas, and the most sacred of sustenance, the famed California Burrito.  Beloved by starving surfer, college student and businessman alike, the burrito’s filled with carne asada, cheese, salsa, guacamole and the magic ingredient: french fries.

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4.  San Diego knows a thing or two about beer.

San Diego knows its way around a tasty IPA.  Coming in hot at No. 3 on the Forbes best beer cities ( behind Portland and San Fran.), nearly every bar carries a selection of local brews like Karl Strauss, Stone, and Ballast Point.  However, with great beer comes great festivals.  The Festival of Beer in September donates money to cancer-fighting causes while the International Beer Festival in June crowns a best in show.

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5.  The Festivals

Yes, San Diego has great weather, that’s no secret.  What isn’t widely known is that the year-round sun means there’s almost always a free street festival to crash.  From the Adams Avenue Street Festival to Chula Vista’s Lemon Festival, each celebration gives you a taste of our many different neighborhoods.

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Pet Moving Guide

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After you have figured out how to sell a home with a pet,  your next mission will be to figure out how to move with them. As exciting as it is to move to a new home, there is always a fair amount of stress involved in the process. This is true for everyone in your family, including your pet. Whether you have a dog, cat, guinea pig or fish, you can guarantee that your pet will feel at least some stress while moving. Below, you will find some exceptional tips for moving with pets that should hopefully make your life (and theirs!) less complicated.

 

1. Pack over time-

This moving tip is guaranteed to make things easier on both of you. Many people make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to pack up all of their belongings. Packing always takes more time than you expect. You wind up going through a bunch of old things that you didn’t even know you had and it takes a while to separate out what you want to keep and what you want to give or throw away. If you are hurried your pet will often pick up on your anxiety, making it more uncomfortable and anxious. Pets also tend to like things they way they are and tearing up your home over a short period can really upset an animal.

2. Research pet laws and regulations- 

One of the often overlooked things to do when moving with pets is to find out what the laws and regulations are about owning them in your new area. You may need to register the animal, pay a certain fee, or meet different vaccination requirements. Knowing all of this beforehand will give you time to take care of it before you arrive.

3. Talk to your vet- 

Let your vet know that you are moving so he or she can help you prepare your animal. You may need to update vaccinations. If you are moving far enough you might want to get a recommendation from your current vet for a new vet in your area. If your pet suffers from any sort of anxiety the doctor can prescribe you medication to help. He or she can also fill prescriptions for any other necessary medications.

4. Update all pet identification- 

Your pet should have a good collar that is unlikely to slip off. Update your pet’s id tag with your new information including how they can contact you in case of emergency. If your pet is micro-chipped, be sure to contact the company that stores the microchip information to provide an update. If your pet is not micro-chipped, now is a good time to have it done. Dogs and cats can become lost very easily in a new neighborhood and you want to make certain they can be identified.

5. Prepare your new home- 

It is easiest to do this while the house is still empty. Scan the fence for any holes or gaps the animal could get through and repair them. Make sure there is no leftover poison out where a dog could get to it. Doing a general safety and security check will make you more comfortable letting your animal loose. Depending on the personality of your pets, you may find that they are either frightened and confused or completely hyperactive. Your pet might be just as excited to be in a new environment as you are or just as easily be upset by it. Once you have brought your pets into their new home making sure that they have everything they are used to like their bed, food, water and toys becomes important. You want to make the move with your pet as stress free as possible.

6. Make a travel kit-

Set aside a small supply of food for your pet, along with its bed, toys and any other things that you will want quick access to. This way you can pack most of it along with the rest of your belongings without worrying about digging through boxes to feed your animal.

7. Secure the pet in your vehicle- 

It is worthwhile to secure the animal for the trip on moving day. It may be quite agitated and prone to running off or acting up, the last thing you want while you are driving or when you get out of the car. A kennel or carrier is the best option when secured in the back seat. A car restraint is also an option.

8. Stay secure on moving day-

Keep your pet secure on moving day. It may be easiest to leave it with a friend, but if this is not an option you should determine how you will keep it isolated and safe as you move out of the old house and into the new house. You can keep it in a crate or a bathroom, for instance. Just keep checking on the animal periodically and make sure it is comfortable and fed and watered.

9. Start small-

With dogs and cats it is often best to start small in the new home. You know your animal best, but keep in mind that generally an animal will be more comfortable staying in a smaller area like a bedroom before having full run of the house, especially cats.

10. Meet the neighbors-

While it may sound corny, one of the best tips for moving with pets is to introduce them to your new neighbors. As stated before, it is easy for dogs and cats to get lost upon first moving to a new area. If they get out you want as many people as possible to know they are yours. Consider taking your pet around with you as you go to introduce yourself to your neighbors. This way if your pet does escape your neighbors can tell you about it.

11. Walk your dog- 

Throw a leash on your dog and start walking as soon as you can. Dogs love to explore and smell new smells, so it will help reduce the stress of the move. It will also give your dog some reference points on how to find his or her way home. The more often you can walk the better your dog will know where home is.

12. Find out local laws and customs-

Finding out whether there are any specific leash laws will also be an important consideration.Some cities and towns require dogs to be on leashes at all times or possibly during certain hours. If you are buying into a planned community or a condominium complex where there is a homeowners association, you should also make sure you take a very hard look at their by-laws to see what you can and can not do with your pets.  When you purchase into a homeowners association you will be governed by other peoples rules. Many people lose sight of this if they are used to having a home where no such arrangement exists.

Top 5 Advantages of Off-Base Housing in San Diego

Living off base has some wonderful advantages! True, you’ll be farther away from the military community on-base, but some of things you can gain include building equity, avoiding training noise, and being able to choose your child’s school district.

Here are the top 5 advantages of off-base housing in San Diego and why your family might benefit!

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Credit: Ed Philbrick

1) Building Equity

By owning your own property, you’ll start building equity. Even if your next PCS takes you out of San Diego, you can choose to rent out your property while you’re away. Our Relobase agents would be happy to speak with you about your options for purchasing in San Diego!

2) Rent Costs

There isn’t any question that most on-base living has major restrictions. Some of them don’t allow pets and rent is usually set at exactly the military BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) rate. If you decide to rent off-base rather than purchase a property, San Diego has an abundance of rentals to fit all budgets. You may find a rental at a better rate than you would get on a military base. Some military families have even found special rental deals for military members!

3) Luxury of Choice

While most on-base communities provide plenty of activities for families, you have to live with what’s available. Living off-base gives you the luxury of choice. Whether you want to be walking distance to shopping and dining or closer to the beach, San Diego’s varied communities offer just what you’re looking for!

4) Peace and Quiet

It’s true. Living on-base means you’ll hear the “Sound of Freedom” on a regular basis. The boom of artillery and the chatter of gunfire may be a very typical part of your day. If you prefer peace and quiet, you might want to consider off-base housing. This is also an important consideration if you have pets. Loud noises can cause them anxiety.

5) Choice of School Districts

Determining the best school district for the kids is nearly always a consideration when PCSing. By living off-base you can choose the school district you want to be in rather than going with the one the base is located in.

Not sure where to start? Our Relobase agents would be happy to speak with you about your specific situation!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

Stationed in San Diego? Let’s Talk Housing!

You know that “dream sheet” you filled out? Well, you just hit the U.S. military’s version of the lottery. You’ve been assigned to San Diego!

Let’s get your boots on the ground and talk about things to consider for San Diego housing!

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San Diego and San Diego County: San Diego is the second largest city in California, second only to Los Angeles and is home to 28 zip codes. It stretches from the U.S. southern border to Escondido, its most northeastern point.

San Diego Bases: Click the links below for more information about each of the military installations in San Diego.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO

NAVAL BASE CORONADO

NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO

US COAST GUARD STATION SAN DIEGO

Off-Base Housing: Off-base housing in San Diego isn’t cheap. The average two-bedroom apartment is San Diego rents for $1,823, depending on the location. Buying vs. renting in San Diego could save you about 15% over time.

On-Base Housing: If you need base housing as an option, apply through Housing Early Application Tool (HEAT) now, if you haven’t already done so! It’s not the waiting list for housing, but it gets you on the contracts you need to get on that waiting list the moment you’re eligible. Dependents or active duty members can fill it out and you can get it going even before you have your orders in hand.

Weighing Whether to Buy or Rent?

If you’re an active-duty military service member, you have even more to consider than the average American when considering whether to buy or rent. Here are just a few of the things you need to think about:

-The base you’re stationed at

-The specific needs of your family, including school districts for the kids

-The housing wait-list, if on-base housing is your preference

-Your budget

-Credit score and ability to qualify for a loan, including the military’s special programs, VA and Cal-Vet loans!

Need help sorting out whether it makes sense to buy or rent a home in San Diego? Talk to one of our qualified Relobase agents in San Diego!

Once you get your housing settled, and you can finally take a deep breath, it’s time to start enjoying all San Diego has to offer!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

The 5 Top Trip Planning Apps for Your PCS

Constantly moving around the United States and in some cases, the world, is a part of life for military families. As they develop and grow in their careers, service members fulfill their duties in a variety of ways. These can include serving aboard in different installations, in small towns for recruitment, or in joint commands. Fortunately, modern technology has provided us with many ways to plan our trips to and from installations. Here are 5 trip planning apps that will not only help you move to your next installation, but also help you plan a memorable trip along the way!

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1. TripIt

Out of the five apps listed here, TripIt is the one of the most well-known apps and boasts a number of features. Its main functions include combining all itineraries, tickets, hotel bookings, rental car reservations and flights onto one simple screen. The entire trip can be managed from the app dashboard and you’ll know exactly where and when to do things. It does not provide recommendations though, which is seen as one of its chief deficiencies.

2. TouristEye

TouristEye is a great companion to TripIt. TouristEye helps you find out the most interesting, fun, educational and insightful things to do in each location. Plan your trip with TripIt and then allow a little extra time to make memories with TouristEye!

3. TripCase

This app is much like TripIt in that it helps organize all of your travel bookings and schedule. However, this app has a much more integrated mapping function which allows you to plan out your driving in a much more concrete way. TripCase also identifies places along your journey that you may be interested in. You can highlight these and stop when necessary. TripCase integrates with Google Maps and all of the amazing functionalities of that service.

4. WorldMate

WorldMate is used frequently by business and world travelers, but can also be used for families. It has a particular focus on loyalty programs and gaining the most benefits from your stay. It highlights discounts, special bonuses and secrets of traveling. Experienced travelers love this app because it takes the heavy lifting out of finding the best deals and loyalty points programs.

5. TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is one of the oldest and most well-known travel sites on the web. Although not particularly focused on military families, the user base and the site offers a global perspective with reviews of restaurants, hotels and hostels all around the world. Because of its enormous user base, it provides excellent reviews and recommendations for places across the US as well. With plenty of family friendly recommendations, helpful hints, and advice on fun things to do wherever you are, the site is a veritable gold mine.

Approach your next PCS with confidence knowing that not only will you arrive at your next PCS on time, you’ll also have made new memories with family along the way. Make sure to also download our Relobase app before you PCS!

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

5 Tips for Making Military Friends in a New Town

Making friends can be tough, especially when constantly on the move. Fortunately you are moving among many other military spouses who understand moving to a new place and starting fresh! Here are 5 powerful ways to diminish that loneliness and build a network of military friends in your new town!

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1. Volunteer

Why not help yourself while helping others? Getting out of the house and assisting your new community will allow you to gain access to information about upcoming events and ultimately lead you towards getting to know other people. Check out your community service building to find a particular place or project that sparks your interest and hop on board!

2. Create a Meet up Event

Perhaps you’re a book lover? Or maybe you’re extremely talented in the arts? Have you considered creating connections by simply engaging in the activities you love? Try setting up a local book club or even a painting class! If you’re having trouble finding interested people, try joining a site like meetup.com, where you can find people near you with similar interests.

3. Join Facebook Groups

Ditch the fan pages for a while and browse through some of the private group recommendations. When you find one that seems like you can fit right in with, send an invite to join the group. Once you’re accepted, introduce yourself on the dashboard, interact on previous posts, and maybe even become acquainted with someone in your area! Either way, you’ll have someone new to talk to, even if it’s not face to face.

4. Set Up a Play Group

If you’re out and about with your little one and happen to notice another parent with a child about the same age as yours, try striking up a conversation to see what the chances are of setting up a playdate. With luck, you might just hit it off with the parent and can bond over similar interests while the kids play. This is the perfect way to ensure that both of you experience the joys of friendship.

5. Use Your Connections

Take advantage of your surroundings and daily encounters. The neighbor you bump into every morning could be a potential best friend. While working out at the gym take a look at the boards and see if anyone is seeking a gym buddy. Have an at-home business? Observe your business connections to see who you share interests with and invite them out for coffee. Maybe your spouse knows of someone who is in the same position you are friend-wise. Opening your eyes to the daily opportunities you have to make friends will increase your chances of creating solid friendships.

Don’t let the friendships of others discourage you, let them inspire you! Take action and put yourself out there. Don’t dwell on what you might have missed out on, but take it into your own hands to create something new and everlasting in your new town!

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)

 

16 Organizational Strategies for Military Families

The phrase “military relocation” is simply a part of military life. Military families typically move ten times more frequently than civilian families. Because military families have to move often, it make sense for them to use portable storage and organizational strategies for their belongings. Take a look at our list of 16 functional and transportable ideas for home storage and organization!

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Storage Solutions for Kitchen Items

-Portable kitchen pantries come in a wide range of options and are ideal for military families on the move. Consider how easy it is to store canned goods that you can take with you when it’s time to relocate when you have a portable pantry!

-Why not store silverware in plastic, lidded containers instead of the usual way of tossing flatware into kitchen drawers? You could also store silverware in a regular flatware box.

-Use rolling kitchen carts that include baskets for storage.

Storing Toys

-Stacking baskets work very well for toy storage. These can be color coordinated as an added layer or categorization.

-Plastic crates can hold toys and be easily transported from one home to the next one.

-Larger wicker baskets with lids can also be used for storing toys. What’s more, you can also use them in your living rooms or bedrooms as they’re useful for storing various types of items such as blankets!

Clothing Storage Ideas

-Adjustable garment racks can be an effective way to store and transport clothing when you have to move to a new house.

-Use heavy duty cardboard dressers to store clothing items, such as tops, pants, underwear and other types of smaller clothing. They’re also great for storing linens, towels and other bedding, as well as bathroom belongings.

-Many have discovered the convenience of using hanging shoe sorters for storing and moving their shoes when it’s time to move on to a new location.

Storing Small Items

-Invest in several sizes of Ziploc bags for storing smaller items.

-A plastic storage cabinet with many containers is commonly used for storing screws, nuts, bolts and other tiny hardware items. You can also use these to organize jewelry, sewing things, office supplies, school supplies, and others odds and ends your family needs.

-Ottomans are not only designed for resting feet. They also work exceptionally well for storing items, such as magazines, craft supplies or just about anything you need near you when relaxing in your living room.

Other Storage Ideas

-If you have a considerable amount of craft items, a good storage solution is to use peg boards. They are especially suited for storing and transporting sewing items and needlework items, such as embroidery floss.

-Consider what things you need to take with you and which ones that you can store, especially when your new home doesn’t have a lot of square footage.

-Before you move, do as much decluttering as possible. Make a daily routine of going through all the rooms of your house, selecting those items that you want to donate or discard.

-Buy only what you need to feed your family for a few months. In other words, don’t invest in huge boxes of staples such a rice or pasta. This not only saves room in your kitchen cupboards but lessens the clear out during a PCS.

Ready to get started looking for housing in San Diego? Our Relobase Realtors are happy to assist you!

(Article originally appeared on Relobase.com)