September 19th, 2014 at 10:30 am

Post by: Marsha Shepard

When my husband got ready to retire, we checked out several different West Coast spots. We are from Oregon and wanted warm weather. Although we could get a well-priced townhome in Las Vegas or a casita on the golf course in Arizona, we chose to retire in downtown San Diego. It is true that cost per square foot is more, but do you really need as much space? We sold our Oregon home furnished and hit the road. We’ve never looked back. Here are just some of the reasons we’re retiring in downtown San Diego.

10. Walkability
We wanted to be able to ditch the car. If needed, we could live quite well here without a vehicle. There are four grocery stores downtown as well as a multitude of restaurant delivery services. We walk to get our hair cut, teeth cleaned, to the doctor’s office, optometrist, jewelry repair, notary and office-supply store. Downtown San Diego has everything you need within a short walk.

9. Bike-ability
When you’re retired, you’ll find biking an easy-on-the-joints exercise that is sure to please. Downtown San Diego offers some of the most scenic paved, off-road bike trails anywhere. There’s even talk of constructing a hanging bike path under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

8. Low energy bills
Because the temperature is constantly in the 70s, we find we seldom need air conditioning and never need heating. Open the windows and feel the breeze.

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September 18th, 2014 at 2:00 pm


In decades past, suburbs were the place to be. Affluent residents moved out of the cities to settle down and start families. Today, we’re seeing the reverse. As poverty levels rise in the suburbs, more well-educated and affluent residents are choosing to stay in cities across America in favor of shorter commutes, walkable communities and urban amenities.

According to a recent report by the Brookings Institution, in a survey of the 100 largest metro areas all but three saw the number of poor living in high-poverty or distressed neighborhoods in suburban areas grow during the 2000s. While poverty has worsened in neighborhoods throughout the Unites States, it’s growing in the nation’s suburbs. “Suburbs now have nearly as many poor residents in high-poverty neighborhoods as cities,” the study says.

Read the full study and see how it’s affected your city at


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September 18th, 2014 at 11:00 am


Whether you’re buying or selling a home, your relationship with your real estate agent is more than just a business relationship. Its foundation should be built on trust and confidence. Sometimes the relationship might not be working as you expected, and you and your agent just aren’t a good match. It’s OK to terminate the relationship if you believe you could be better served elsewhere.

As a buyer, you should only be working with one real estate agent. Although you may not have signed a contract, real estate agents put in long hours, often based on good faith. If you are working with more than one agent, you should break off ties and only work with one. The newer a relationship is, the easier it will be to end. If you’ve been with an agent for a long time but don’t think things are going well, start by being honest with that person. Give your agent feedback about what is and isn’t working for you. If the agent can work to remedy the situation, let him or her know. However, if you are ready to move on, make that clear to the agent.

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September 17th, 2014 at 11:30 am

When it comes to interior design, a staircase can present both a challenge and an opportunity. Below we’ve compiled some of our favorite interior design trends to help you lighten, brighten and freshen up your stairway. For more design inspiration, check out our staircase board on Pinterest at

  1. Create a wall gallery along the wall of your staircase. For best viewing from the first floor, hang the frames low on the wall and follow the angle of the stairs.
  2. Use a vinyl wall decal. These can be found on a number of websites and in stores. Some places allow you to create your own text. For a bolder statement use, vinyl decals along the base of your stairs to create a message as you walk up.



  3. Go contemporary by using a stencil or wallpaper only on the adjacent staircase wall.



  4. (more…)

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September 16th, 2014 at 11:30 am

About eight miles east of the Puerto Rico mainland, in the northeast portion of the Caribbean, is the picturesque island Vieques. The 55-square-mile island is home to about 14,000 people and the brand-new El Blok hotel.

Music executive Simon Baeyertz formed a partnership with architects Fuster + Partners to create El Blok. Twenty-two rooms come in five varieties: Estandar, Esquina, Terraza, Doble and Silencio. Rooms are simplistic with a touch of luxury and designed with relaxation in mind. Most of the furnishings were crafted locally from native materials.

El Blok’s restaurant and bar, Placita, is run by chef Jose Enrique and plays on the traditional Spanish and Creole influences of the island. “I like to say we’re a restaurant with rooms above,” Baeyertz says.

Read what The New York Times had to say or book your reservation by visiting


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