5 of the Most Popular San Diego Festivals To Attend This Summer

Posted By Mclain

Summer is rolling around the corner, and with it, some of the best San Diego Festivals start to launch in full force. Whether you’re a local or planning to purchase real estate in San Diego, it helps to understand what’s happening in your city. And believe it or not, some San Diego festivals aren’t as widely known as their attendant count suggests. To help choose your summer itinerary, we’ve catalogued five can’t miss festivals in San Diego:

1) Cinco de Mayo Festival


The three-day Cinco de Mayo fiesta is one you won’t want to miss. Restaurant specials span the entire weekend, not to mention live music throughout from several popular Latin bands. Take the lowrider Lane to see some of the most impressive classic cars, and don’t forget about the Stagecoach rides. This year, the historic Old Town will be transformed into the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration, and the event is kid-friendly, too. A designated kids area will keep children busy with activities during the day, while parents can listen to live tunes nearby. Different events will take place on each day; head over to their website to see the daily lineup of musical acts and activities.

2) 2018 Rhythm & Brews Festival


Craft beer aficionados will rejoice at the 2018 Rhythm & Brews Festival. Guests will be able to sample over 120 types of craft beers from over 50 award-winning breweries, and there will be plenty of food to pair it with. A special VIP section includes early admission, a tented beer garden, three different food items to pair, and access to some of the more rare beers. As with any great event, live music will keep you entertained throughout. The event takes place on May 5th, and proceeds from the event go to the San Diego Brewers Guild.

3) Oysterfest


Oysterfest is one of the city’s most popular events for beer, seafood, live music, an art exhibition, and ideal bayside views. This event is a true ode to the oyster, and fresh, succulent oysters will be shipped in from all around California’s coasts. The 2010 festival is from June 9th and 10th, with live performances by Ghostland Observatory, Matisyahu, Billy the Kid, and over a dozen others. The event is sponsored by brands you know and love, like Lyft, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Sierra Nevada craft beer, and Parking Panda.

4) Sun & Sea Festival


The annual Sun & Sea Festival is free for everyone, and is the perfect summer family outing. The event takes place in July, and brings together some of the best sand sculptors from around the world, where they compete to make some of the most intricate, elaborate sand creations you’ll likely ever see. Dubbed “the original Imperial Beach sandcastle competition,” it never fails to impress. Expect a pancake breakfast kickoff, followed by a wide array of stunning sand scenes, a live parade, carnival rides, and music.

There’s also plenty of children’s craft activities, including a Kidz N’ Kastles Competition. And lastly, no San Diego event is complete without a curated selection of foods. Guests will be able to sample foods from the Certified Farmer’s Market, and local restaurants will offer special, discounted menus. This year’s event takes place on July 13th & 14th, 2018.

5) Kaaboo Del Mar Festival


No list of festivals is complete without a music festival, and the Kaaboo Del Mar is certainly one of San Diego’s best. Taking place right at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, North County residents no longer have to make the trek down South, and can partake in the festivities right in their own backyard. KABOO’s lineup is mix of legacy and local acts. In the past, bands like Aerosmith, Cypress Hill, Hall and Oates, and Chris Isaak have performed alongside local acts that define the community. This year’s lineup includes Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, and the Foo Fighters.

The festival takes place over three days, and unlike your typical music festival, is very well-organized and clean (real, flushing toilets, versus portable toilets). The main mission for KABOO is to appeal to all five senses by mixing music, art, comedy, and cuisine. There are several levels of the festival that are optional for guests that make this possible. For example, with “Palate,” visitors will be able to sample artisanal fare in an upscale culinary environment, while “Amplify” elevates the festival experience to another level. And lastly, over at “Bask,” guests can enjoy premium beach-side cabanas, and a direct stage view with a pool. This year, the event takes place between September 16th – 18th.

7 Things Relocators Need To Know About San Diego

Posted By Mclain

Image source: https://www.halfmarathons.net

Relocating is never a walk in the park, especially when you’re traveling far distances. And culture shock isn’t just apropos for international travel–even people moving to San Diego from San Francisco can experience a bit of “culture shock.” After all, this is a huge city with a small-town feel. Whether you’re a real estate professional helping a client, or an individual researching what to expect when you move, the following tips can help you.

1) The Weather Is Always Temperate
The weather in San Diego is temperate year round, which means you can expect a nice day most of the year. The average temperature in the city is 63.65, and the annual low temperature is 57.5 degrees. There aren’t too many places like this in the country, so it’s important to prepare. If you plan on staying for a while and purchasing a house, it may to be time to shed some of the weight of those heavy winter clothes. You can get rid of them by hosting a clothing swap (advertise on sites like Meetup), selling them on a site like Poshmark or Ebay, or donating them.

2) You May Need To Pass A Smog Check
If the model of your car is 1976 or newer, you might need to pass a smog check before you’re able to transfer your out-of-state vehicle registration. California’s Smog Check program is a part of the state’s effort to enhance the way we breathe, and keep pollution to a bare minimum. These checks are able to detect when vehicles have higher emissions than normal. You’ll need to do this within 20 years of moving, and then every two years after that. Here’s more information on the California Smog regulations.

3) You Can Visit Tijuana For The Day
Living in San Diego, you’re right at the border of Mexico, which means you get to hop into another country on-demand. From San Diego, Mexico’s nearest city, Tijuana, is just a 30-minute drive. Within less than an hour, you can immerse yourself in another culture. And there are plenty of things to do in Tijuana.

You might also want to check out Valle de Guadalupe, which is considered Mexico’s Napa Valley. Valle de Guadalupe produces 90% of the country’s wine, and there are dozens of wineries to explore, and some are home to amazing restaurants with fresh, gourmet cuisine. Before you cross the border, download the Best Time To Cross The Border app, which pools crossing wait times for all Mexico and Canadian borders. Otherwise, there’s the official Border Protection Border Wait Times from the U.S. Customs site.

4) Local Farmers Markets Are Everywhere
If you’re a foodie and value healthy eating, San Diego is one of the best places to be. Fortunately, this is Farmers Market central, and you won’t be hard pressed to find the nearest one. After all, San Diego has more small farms than any other county in the United States. The city is the top producer of avocados, and ranks number three in honey production, and number nine in strawberry production.

No matter which farmers market you go to, you’ll find straight-from-the-farm fresh fruit and produce. Ocean Beach Certified Farmers Market features live music, llama rides, and art vendors on Wednesday, while North Park Farmers Market is chock full or artists and innovators in this hip little area. Check out this Farmers Market Guide for more info on all available choices.

5) Not All Beach Areas Are Safe
Dare devils take heed: while it may be tempting to hop in the San Diego waters and revel in all their beauty, some beaches are very dangerous to swim in. Although the beaches are idyllic, many of them have riptides and backwash (when a harsh wave crashes against a cliff) year round, especially near the La Jolla area.

All beaches are clearly marked, advising visitors which are safe and which are not, and it’s crucial that you follow these rules. If you’re interested in surfing, for example, don’t run any beach with nice waves–there are specific beaches that are designated (and ideal) for surfing, like the Tourmaline Surfing Park.

6) Walk & Transit Scores Vary
Think about your prefered method of transportation, and do your research on how your ideal San Diego neighborhood stacks up. From neighborhood to neighborhood, public transportation and walk scores vary. Little Italy has the highest score on both measures, while Carmel Valley has the lowest. Check out neighborhood guides to see which is most appealing to you, and then look at their corresponding score. You can also take a look at the Walk & Transit Scores here.

7) Your Dog Needs A License
California State Law requires that dogs older than five months be licensed. And to get your license, you’ll need proof that your canine has passed inspection for rabies and has received proper vaccinations. You’ll need to do this within 30 days of your move, and can get your license at your local animal shelter or online.

Without licensing your dog, you could impose fines and in the unfortunate event that you lose your dog, may have trouble locating it and getting it back. Most jurisdictions charge $20 for a license. If you happen to have a horse, pony, donkey, or mule, you’ll need to license them, too.

Home Staging Tips For Your Long-term Rental Property

Posted By Mclain

Contrary to what many people think, staging is just as critical for rental properties as it is for selling a home. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are strategically staged sell 73% faster than those that are not.

Photo source: https://go2guysinc.com

Staging your rental property can be challenging, regardless of the property type you’re listing. Whether you’re staging real estate in San Diego or decking out a cabin in Aspen, your techniques will play a crucial role. Keep in mind that staging for long-term rentals vary from staging for short-term rentals. When you’re renting your property for a long-term lease, all your hard work will eventually be evacuated.

Still, your home’s interior is crucial for visitors to be able to envision themselves living there. And when it comes to staging, you’re forced to remove your personal preferences of style and design in favor of what your guests are most likely to enjoy. With the right home staging techniques, you are well on your way towards getting your property rented quicker, at much better rates. Here are a few home-staging tops for your long-term rental:

Pay Attention To Curb Appeal

When you pay attention to your curb appeal, you make it much easier to create a great first impression. Of course, the basics apply to your outdoor upkeep: trimming, mowing, pulling weeds, and cleaning up fixtures are among some of the standard practices for ensuring your curb appeal is clean and inviting. From there, you can take it up a notch incorporate decorative features.

Maintain Neutral Colors

It may be tempting to design according to your personality, but when it comes to staging, neutral is the way to go. Bold colors and patterns are okay in small doses. The overall theme of the home should be neutral, too. What seems like a good theme on your own agenda might not be a good staging theme. Be wary of color clutter, which can occur when you have too much decoration and statement pieces with varying colors. To help guide you, create a color palette that you can refer to often. Use this free Color Generator to create the perfect palette.

Make Your Home Look Lived In

Making your space look “homey” and lived in makes it easier for prospective renters to picture themselves in the space. There’s a fine line between making a home look comfortably lived in and the home appearing messy. Think of this like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Here are a few ways to achieve this:

  • Drape throw blankets and throw blankets over sofas, armchairs, and bedspreads.
  • Leave books and magazines on tables and nightstands. Keep some books open to show full pages.
  • Incorporate family heirlooms. Photos and other heirlooms give a home personality and individual character. It shows that the property and the people behind it have a story.
  • Let your storage show. Organized items make a home feel clean and filled in. Your organization and home storage also reveals a lot about your space, and it demonstrates how different areas can be utilized. Check out these storage space tips for different rooms in your house.
  • Take advantage of distressed items. Even when distressed items are new, they give off the appearance of classic, care-free character.
  • Spread plants. Greenery has not only been psychologically proven to improve moods and boost creativity, but can liven up a dull space. Incorporate different type of plants in your home, from larger varieties to small air plants and geraniums along your window sills.

Tailor Your Style To Your Environment

Every business caters to different audiences depending on the market and target. Similarly, you want your property to be marketable to those that are most likely to sign the dotted line. When choosing your staging furniture and accessories, consider your local environment and the people that reside there. Is it contemporary and suburban, or young and trendy? For the former, you’d likely want to go with a more minimal, modern approach, while the later could use bohemian or industrial finishes.

The more you understand about your neighborhood, the better you can predict the type of tenant that will be interested in your property. And when you can predict the type of people who will walk through your doors, you can better cater to their lifestyle and needs.

Highlight Your Selling Features

Your home’s selling features should be highlighted to maximize your sales potential. For example, if you have built-in bookshelves, emphasize them with accessories, LED lights, shelving wallpaper. If you have a fireplace, make it the focal point of the room. For example, some tips for highlighting your fireplace include adding unique lighting styles like taped or puck lighting, and throwing in art around the mantle.

Consider A Professional Staging Service

Sometimes, getting the help of a professional staging service is just the best way to go.This absolves you of the responsibility of curating your own rental property, which can be time-consuming laborious. A home staging service will listen carefully as you articulate your vision, and provide valuable suggestions and design advice that you may not have been previously aware of. They are training in increasing the perceived value of your home, and don’t have any emotional attachments that could distract you from what needs to get done.

Another major benefit of a professional staging company is that it can save you from having to purchase all of your staging furniture independently. With staging companies, you can rent all the furniture you need. This is particularly useful if you won’t be able to benefit from investing in furniture yourself.

Spring Break Guide to Carlsbad and Oceanside for Families

Posted By Mclain

Sunny weather, striking landscapes, and a thriving culinary scene have made the Carlsbad and Oceanside areas a popular vacation destination. In this post, we’ll share some of the best local options for families, so you can plan the perfect getaway!

spring 1

LEGOLAND – Photo Credit: Legoland California

We’ll start with an international family favorite – LEGOLAND! Although this part of Southern California’s coast may be most famous for sun and sand, it’s also home to LEGOLAND California, one of the larger and more elaborate theme parks inspired by this beloved children’s toy. Many LEGOLAND attractions are designed around hands-on learning and play, including interactive musical instruments.

spring 2

Sea Life Aquarium – Photo Credit: Citytoursofsandiego.com

The LEGOLAND California complex also includes the Sea Life Aquarium, where you can get an up-close look at some of California’s aquatic wildlife – including sting rays, starfish, and sharks. In keeping with its LEGOLAND affiliation, the Sea Life Aquarium houses a pirate-themed water-cannon battle.

spring 3

Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation Nature Center – Photo Credit: Batiquitoslagoon.com

Tourists flock to mountain biking and hiking trails in the region. Although there’s plenty on offer for experienced mountain bikers, hikers, and trail runners, family groups with children in tow will find plenty of outdoor options for shorter, less-taxing excursions. If you’re looking to stay close to the beach, the Batiquitos Lagoon offers birdwatching trips along the coastal wetlands.

spring 4

Carlsbad Ranch Flower Fields – Photo Credit: Sandiegan.com

Every spring at the Carlsbad Ranch, the Flower Fields open for visitors. These vibrant flower gardens are home to a “sweet pea maze” of lush sweet-pea hedges and a greenhouse filled with orchids. If you’re looking for a retreat from the sun, take a stroll through this unique botanical exhibit.

spring 5

Campfire Restaurant – Photo Credit: Sandiegomagazine.com

Last but certainly not least, where to eat? California’s coast has always been a culinary standout, and the San Diego region is no exception. Carlsbad restaurant Campfire specializes in grilled dishes, with most menu items cooked over an open fire, infusing meat, fresh fish, and vegetables with signature smoky flavors. Kids will love the broccoli with aioli and lime vinaigrette, and adults will enjoy the artisan cocktails.

If your kids are clamoring for pizza after a long day at the beach, the best pizzas in San Diego County can be found at Carlsbad’s Pizza Port, which serves up traditional pies like pepperoni along with in-house creations like their Pizza Ocean Beach with portabella mushrooms and butternut squash. We recommend pairing your pie with Pizza Port’s house-made root beer.

These are just a few of the attractions on offer in the Carlsbad and Oceanside area. Whether you love chilling by the pool, hiking in the hills, gazing at colorful fish, or diving through the waves, you’ll be able to enjoy a fun-filled vacation in spectacular surroundings. And as you can see, there’s plenty here for the whole family!

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Vacation Rental vs. Hotel Room – What’s Your Best Bet?

Posted By Mclain

From boutique bed and breakfasts to chain hotels to luxury resorts, it’s easy to find a hotel that fits your preferences and price range. But what about vacation rentals? Travelers are increasingly using vacation rentals as an alternative to hotel bookings, and in this post, we’ll look at some of the pros and cons.

rental 1

Photo Credit: Houzz.com

Here are some benefits to vacation rentals:

  1. More Flexibility

If you like the idea of last-minute flexibility, or if your company puts a lot of “blackout days” on your professional calendar, a vacation rental may help you maximize your holiday time. You also won’t have to deal with cancellation fees, deposits, or peak season price surges.

  1. Less Competition

Want to take a trip to the beach in the height of summer? Hotels often fill up months in advance during the high season, particularly if they offer excellent service or a prime location. A vacation rental means that you can set your own dates, no matter how stiff the competition is for local accommodations.

  1. Personal Touch

A bed-and-breakfast can be lovely, but even the nicest hotel is hard to mistake for a home. A vacation rental allows you to personalize. Vacation rentals are also much closer in setup to home living – in addition to your own kitchen and living space, you have the option of a personal patio, pool, and yard area.

  1. Value

Although a vacation rental may seem more expensive, it’s worth considering the value-added aspect of vacation rentals vs. hotel properties. Hotels can be luxurious, but they’re harder to customize, and amenities like pools and patio areas can be very crowded during the high season. Vacation rentals give you the chance to upgrade your vacation experience without

  1. Family (and Friend) Connection

Depending on the dimensions of the property, you may be able to schedule group vacations with much more flexibility for all parties – a major plus when you’re working around multiple shifting schedules, especially for families with children.

rental 2

Photo Credit: Beachblissliving.com

Here are some drawbacks to vacation rentals:

  1. Services and Amenities

Vacation rentals can give you all the comforts of home – but these usually don’t include daily maid service and an on-site spa! If you like to vacation in pampered luxury, you may prefer to hunt for a bargain suite at a luxury hotel. On the other hand, if you prefer a laidback vacation vibe, you may feel more comfortable in a vacation rental.

  1. Added Responsibility

It’s also important to consider this level of staff support in terms of maintenance and repairs. If your hotel room has a plumbing emergency, staff will respond within minutes – and the worst-case scenario is usually a replacement suite! Vacation rentals typically have dedicated, professional maintenance services available, but they’re more comparable to maintenance in a conventional rental. You may want to take this difference into account.

  1. The “Bulk Buy” Principle

Vacation rentals offer savings based on a volume discount – the more time you spend occupying a vacation rental, the less expensive each day of your vacation becomes. This principle doesn’t provide an equal advantage to visitors who probably won’t be able to get away for more than a handful of days per year.

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Photo Credit: Purentonline.com

There are definite advantages to vacation rentals – but it is important to weigh the added cost and obligation. Whatever you decide, make sure you take advantage of all the resources at your disposal, so you can make an informed choice about vacation rental options in your area.

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!