Should You Buy A House Sight Unseen?

By Caroline Abkar, Realtor, B.Sc.Eng.


It used to be that buying a house sight unseen was mainly for out of area buyers who needed to get their hands on a home but didn’t have the ability to be present on site on time. Now, with COVID-19 changing our interactions and the way we do business, there are more and more statistics showing that several buyers successfully buy their house sight unseen. This is even truer in competitive price points when time is of the essence. I personally have had several clients ask if this is the “new” way of purchasing real estate. It’s time to share my honest opinion!

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Posted on May 21, 2020 at 6:13 am
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Real Estate Tidbits | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Top 3 Things To Look For in a Realtor!

By Caroline Abkar, Realtor


👩🏻‍💻👨‍💻👩🏽‍💻🧑🏿‍💻👨‍💻🎥 There is one thing you can do right now if a move is in your future, and that is leveraging video calls to interview and identify your dream team, including your Realtor & lender! In this video, I share the 3 very important things to look for in a Realtor!


About the author: Caroline Abkar is an established San Diego Realtor and Bay Park resident who is absolutely passionate about the community as well as representing her clients in selling and acquiring the biggest investment of their lives. She will go above and beyond for those who place their trust in her. You can contact her anytime at 619-808-4804.


Follow me!
YouTube: My YouTube Channel
Facebook: My Facebook Business Page
Instagram: My Instagram Page

Posted on May 12, 2020 at 7:35 pm
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Real Estate Tidbits | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Q&A with Bay Hill Tavern in Bay Park, San Diego

By Caroline Abkar, REALTOR

Please note: I wrote this pre-COVID-19 but didn’t get around to publishing it. I hope you enjoy getting to know our new local restaurant a little more. At the moment, they are open and offering their menu!

As with all my blog posts, I was not offered any complimentary meals in exchange for this post.

A few months ago, locals in Bay Park, Bay Ho, Clairemont and nearby neighborhoods rejoiced as a new eatery opened in town: Bay Hill Tavern. This family friendly restaurant defines itself as a neighborhood bar and restaurant offering brunch on weekend mornings, hosting live music on weekend nights and open late 7-nights a week. Their mission is to offer a clean, open and inviting atmosphere serving cold beer, wine by the glass and well-executed cocktails and American-fare.

Bay Hill Tavern, Bay Park San Diego


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Posted on May 12, 2020 at 1:45 am
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Local businesses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

COVID-19 & Real Estate: What You Should Know if You’re in the Market.

By Caroline Abkar, Realtor

Whether you’re in the market now or will be in the near future, this video will help you understand what to look out for and how COVID-19 is affecting the real estate market right now.

Posted on March 28, 2020 at 6:08 am
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

California’s Proposition 13 Ballot Measure 2020: What, Why?

By Caroline Abkar, Realtor

There is good reason to be confused about the California Proposition 13 ballot measure. While I won’t sway anyone’s vote one way or another, I think it’s important to make the most informed decision possible so here is a breakdown of what you need to read/know.

Firstly, this ballot measure is not, nor does it have any real bearing on, the Proposition 13 — the landmark 1978 initiative that limits property taxes and restricts their annual increase. That Prop 13 transformed the state’s finances and has since become a “third rail” in California politics. It seems like an accident of fate that they have the same name.

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Posted on March 3, 2020 at 4:44 am
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Best Answer to ‘What Is My Home Worth?’

By Caroline Abkar, REALTOR


‘What Is My Home Worth’? Ah, the million dollar question. Today, I’m give you tidbits to figure out what your home is worth. The classic thing that everybody does is go on Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, to see what their home is worth. And while that’s a good starting point, it definitely is not going to give you the best answer possible. And that’s because algorithms and computers do not take very specific factors into account. I have a whole other tidbit that you can find on my YouTube channel about Zestimates and how they’re calculated. But in order for you to know what to list for, the first thing you need to do with your realtor is look at comps. Actually your realtor should be looking at comps. And when I say comps, I don’t mean all the homes that have sold that have the same specs as yours within your entire zip code. That is too broad.

You need to look at what I like to call your micro neighborhood. You need to first of all, look at your home and your lot and find homes that have sold in the recent past three to six months that are similar in lot size and also are they a flat lot or is yours on a hill? That’s something that you need to take into account as well. The layout of your home, so inside your house, how is it laid out? You can’t know that, but your realtor who is a neighborhood expert, should have a good sense of those homes that have sold and walked inside of them to know functionally how well they were laid out compared to yours. Indeed, a functional layout is one of the top things that can affect the price.

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Posted on March 2, 2020 at 1:55 am
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Real Estate Tidbits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Can You Cancel Escrow As a Buyer or Seller?

Are you wondering if you can cancel the contract once you are in escrow on the purchase or sales of a home? Watch your tidbit of the week to find out!

By Caroline Abkar, REALTOR



About the author: Caroline Abkar is an established San Diego Realtor and Bay Park resident who is absolutely passionate about the community as well as representing her clients in selling and acquiring the biggest investment of their lives. She will go above and beyond for those who place their trust in her. You can contact her anytime at 619-808-4804.

Posted on February 11, 2020 at 8:51 pm
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Real Estate Tidbits | Tagged , , , , ,

Bay Park Home Coming Soon! 2760 Deerpark Dr, San Diego, CA 92110

By Caroline Abkar, Realtor
February 5th, 2020


2760 Deerpark Dr

2760 Deerpark Dr


🏡 Sneak peak! This beauty will be ready any day now in Bay Park and I plan to hold it open this weekend Sat 2/8 & Sun 2/9 @ 1-4pm 🔥🔥

🌴 3 bedrooms
🌴 2 bathrooms
🌴 1,722 Sq Ft
🌴 2 car garage
🌴 6,800 Sq Ft lot
🌴 Partial bay and ocean views!
🌴 Fully remodeled
🌴 Price being finalized, most likely $1,195,000-$1,295,000.

For more details and to confirm readiness, please call/text/message me at 📲 619-808-4804

Caroline Abkar, REALTOR®, B.Sc.Eng.
Your Trusted Realtor and Advisor For Life
Windermere Homes & Estates
DRE# 01998434
📲 : 619.808.4804
📧 :

Posted on February 6, 2020 at 6:09 am
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , , ,

Should You Remodel or Move?

By Caroline Abkar, Realtor | January 14th, 2020

Are you wondering if you should remodel your existing home or sell it and buy something new instead? I made this video to help you answer just whether you should remodel your home or move. It is chock full of all the information you need to consider when making this important decision.


There is so much that goes into the thought process of figuring out the right answer for you when it comes to remodeling vs moving. You need to first have all this data in hand with the help of your Realtor and lender:

  1. Remodel bid(s)
  2. Current loan balance on your home
  3. Fair market value of your home (appraisal or comps analysis from your realtor).
  4. How much savings you would put toward your remodel/new home
  5. What options do you have for a remodel loan including qualifying amounts (cash out refi, rehab loan, HELOC, etc)
  6. What you qualify for, for a new home.
  7. Net sheets if selling and buying.

Once you have all this information, you will need to determine what it would cost to buy a comparable home to your remodeled home in its future state. In other words, you are now going to figure out if you can get a turnkey home that you will love just as much as your remodeled home, without having to go thru the remodel, which for many people is an extremely stressful event.

 Here are a set of tips and questions to think about for this step:

  • Use your remodel specs (To-Be) as search criteria for a new home
  • Review list of homes for sale or have sold that meet that criteria
  • What is likelihood you will find a home like your To-be that is all done that you love?
  • Do you love your current location?
  • What is the after remodel value of your future home (ARV)? Don’t overbuild.
  • Where will you stay during remodel?
  • Impact on quality of life during remodel
  • Include a $ buffer for unknowns during remodel


Hopefully all this data crunching and analysis will give you a good idea of an apples to apples comparison in order to determine if you should remodel, or move!


About the author: Caroline Abkar is an established San Diego Realtor and Bay Park resident who is absolutely passionate about the community as well as representing her clients in selling and acquiring the biggest investment of their lives. She will go above and beyond for those who place their trust in her. You can contact her anytime at 619-808-4804.

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Posted on January 14, 2020 at 9:40 pm
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Real Estate Tidbits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2020 Real Estate Market Forecast

It’s that time of year when Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner dusts off his crystal ball and peers into the future to give us his predictions for the 2020 economy and housing market!

U.S. Economy

In general, the economy performed pretty much as I expected this year: job growth slowed but the unemployment rate still hovers around levels not seen since the late 1960s.

Following the significant drop in corporate tax rates in January 2018, economic growth experience a big jump. However, we haven’t been able to continue those gains and I doubt we’ll return to 2%+ growth next year. Due to this slowing, I expect GDP to come in at only +1.4% next year. Non-residential fixed investment has started to wane as companies try to anticipate where economic policy will move next year. Furthermore, many businesses remain concerned over ongoing trade issues with China.

In 2020, I expect payrolls to continue growing, but the rate of growth will slow as the country adds fewer than 1.7 million new jobs. Due to this hiring slow down, the unemployment rate will start to rise, but still end the year at a very respectable 4.1%.

Many economists, including me, spent much of 2019 worried about the specter of a looming recession in 2020. Thankfully, such fears have started to wane (at least for now).

Despite some concerning signs, the likelihood that we will enter a recession in 2020 has dropped to about 26%. If we manage to stave off a recession in 2020, the possibility of a slowdown in 2021 is around 74%. That said, I fully expect that any drop in growth will be mild and will not negatively affect the U.S. housing market.


Existing Homes

As I write this article, full-year data has yet to be released. However, I feel confident that 2019 will end with a slight rise in home sales. For 2020, I expect sales to rise around 2.9% to just over 5.5 million units.

Home prices next year will continue to rise as mortgage rates remain very competitive. Look for prices to increase 3.8% in 2020 as demand continues to exceed supply and more first-time buyers enter the market.

In the year ahead, I expect the share of first-time buyers to grow, making them a very significant component of the housing market.


New Homes

The new-home market has been pretty disappointing for most of the year due to significant obstacles preventing builders from building. Land prices, labor and material costs, and regulatory fees make it very hard for builders to produce affordable housing. As a result, many are still focused on the luxury market where there are profits to be made, despite high demand from entry-level buyers.

Builders are aware of this and are doing their best to deliver more affordable product. As such, I believe single-family housing starts will rise next year to 942,000 units—an increase of 6.8% over 2019 and the highest number since 2007.

As the market starts to deliver more units, sales will rise just over 5%, but the increase in sales will be due to lower priced housing. Accordingly, new home prices are set to rise just 2.5% next year.


Mortgage Rates

Next year will still be very positive from a home-financing perspective, with the average rate for a 30-year conventional, fixed-rate mortgage averaging under 4%. That said, if there are significant improvements in trade issues with China, this forecast may change, but not significantly.



In this coming year, affordability issues will persist in many markets around the country, such as San Francisco; Los Angeles; San Jose; Seattle; and Bend, Oregon. The market will also continue to favor home sellers, but we will start to move more toward balance, resulting in another positive year overall for U.S. housing.



About Matthew Gardner:

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governors Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.

Posted on December 19, 2019 at 7:08 pm
Caroline Abkar | Posted in Market News | Tagged , , , , , ,