Patti Phillips
Prudential California Realty
6119 La Granada
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
Direct toll free: 800-680-9133
Cell: 619-507-2100 Office: 858-481-2020

Monday, March 31, 2008


In my travels around the real estate industry, I find that most buyers are aware that they should have a home inspection of a resale home that they purchase. Often, though, I find that people don't realize that they should inspect new construction before they close escrow. They wonder why they would need to when "everything is new." Always, always have a home inspection --- on ANYTHING that you purchase. It's just too big of a purchase not to be completely informed about!

Below, home inspector Mark Chaffee, owner of WIN Home Inspection answers some questions regarding home inspections on new construction.

"Why would I need to have an inspection on a brand new home?" I get asked this question a lot and the simple answer is: to protect your investment.
Buying a newly constructed home gives you the opportunity to customize details that make a house your own. But how can you be sure that the quality of your new home isn’t only skin deep? New construction inspections from WIN monitor the home building process at critical building stages. The inspection looks to verify that the construction is sound and will provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your new home.
Move-In Inspection: This home inspection is performed when construction is finished and ready for occupancy, but prior to the final walk through by the builder. You get critical information about your new home prior to closing and it gives the builder time to make any necessary corrections before the purchase is finalized.
One-Year Anniversary Inspection: This home inspection is performed approximately 30 days before the expiration of the builder's one-year new home warranty. It addresses any warranty-related concerns that you may want to bring to the builder's attention, and allows time for any necessary repairs before the warranty expires.

Mark’s vast experience and certification as a home inspector make him an expert in home maintenance. His contact info:
WIN Home Inspection
P.O. Box 235260
Encinitas, CA 92023


Last month, President Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Package into law - setting aside $168 billion in tax rebates and incentives to help boost the US economy. Those tax rebates are getting ready to hit the mail. So when should you expect yours? That depends on a few factors, including when you file your 2007 tax return, whether you choose direct deposit, and believe it or not...what your social security number is

Timing Is Everything! We all know the deadline for filing your 2007 taxes is quickly approaching. But you may want to be ahead of the curve if you want your tax rebate sooner, rather than later. That's because tax rebates will start going out on May 2... but only to taxpayers who have their returns "processed" - not just sent - by April 15. The closer it gets to mid-April, the more the IRS gets backed up to process the flood of returns--sometimes taking a couple of weeks to complete. E-filers will get their rebates more quickly, since electronic returns can be processed faster. However, even e-filers should have their returns in by April 10 to be safe.

Tax rebate checks will start going out on May 2. Here is how it will work... taxpayers who chose direct deposit will be first in line. According to the IRS, all direct deposit tax rebates will be wired between May 2 and May 16. Paper checks won't start going out until May 16, and aren't expected to be completed until mid-July.

Who goes first? The IRS needs some way to determine the order of distributions, so tax rebates will be distributed in order of the last two digits of your Social Security numberthe lower your number, the sooner you'll receive your payment. For a detailed breakdown of the order, take a look at the IRS's Stimulus Payment Schedule on their website.

About seven to ten days before your rebate is sent, the IRS will send you a notice informing you how much it will be. If you signed up for direct deposit, however, you'll probably receive that information in the mail about the same time your rebate is deposited into your account, since direct deposit transactions are processed so quickly. But you don't have to wait that long to determine approximately how much you'll receive. To calculate your approximate rebate, visit the new OnLine Stimulous Calculator on the IRS website.

Finally, it's important to remember that the rebate check will not be counted as taxable income and will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return. However, if you owe back taxes, the IRS will apply your rebate to that bill and send you whatever is left over.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Have Braggin' Rights!

This is a recent release in our local paper about "yours truly!" What an honor!

Patti Phillips Honored for Excellent Service

Patti Phillips, a broker associate with Prudential California Realty’s Encinitas office, will be among a small percentage of agents in San Diego to be recognized as a “FIVE STAR: Best in Client Satisfaction Real Estate Agent” in San Diego Magazine’s March 2008 issue. The awards are a result of a survey by the magazine, in which researchers polled over 30,000 recent home buyers, readers, mortgage lenders and title companies to identify exceptional real estate agents in San Diego County.

Dedicated to serving her community as well as her clientele, Phillips served as president of the North San Diego County Women’s Council of Realtors in 2007. Her most rewarding experience with a client involved helping a widow who found the real estate transaction process overwhelming. “By working with repairmen, contractors, termite people, and cleaning crews, I was able to make the experience stress-free and easy for her,” said Phillips.

A 20-year veteran of the real estate business, Phillips has earned the prestigious Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation, and is an International Fine Homes Specialist. Her strategy for success involves treating others how she would like to be treated, and analyzing each situation to figure out the course of action that is in her client’s best interest.

“Patti is constantly improving her knowledge of the industry, and striving to find ways to better serve her clients,” said Nelson White, manager of Prudential California Realty’s Encinitas office. “Her enthusiasm for self-improvement is one of the reasons she is one of the top producing agents in my office.”

Patti Phillips can be contacted through Prudential California Realty’s Encinitas office, at 1-800-680-9133, or via email at


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Free Credit Reports Are Your Right! Don't Pay for One!

Credit Reports Are Your Right!
Don’t Pay For One!

Did you know that by law you are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three big credit bureaus? Those are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They are more than happy to provide you with it, and there is a web-site that will order them for you free! Just be certain that you go to the right place- because if you don’t you will be charged!

The site that you want is There you can order free reports from all three bureaus. There is also a free number you can call to request your credit reports: 877-322-8228. Be careful when you order, because there are many others that SOUND the same, they will attract you with the promise of a free report, and then lure you into other services, many that will cost you money every month. Even the credit bureaus will try to sell you packages. These services can vary from Identity Theft reporting to credit monitoring, at costs from $9.95 to over $30.00 per month.

Are the services worth buying? Monitoring does alert you to unusual activity on your credit report, but if you don’t like paying a monthly fee, you can use free reports to do a periodic checkup. How? Rather than order all 3 reports at once, order a free report from a different agency each 4 months. This will help you to monitor any unusual activity. It is important that you look for anything on your credit which is not 100% correct- as well as possible identity theft.

After you place an order at, the credit bureau you specified will mail you the report, or you may be able to download it. Be certain to check it carefully- a 2004 study by U.S. Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups found 25% of reports contained serious errors. I know that in my own personal credit reports I have found numerous errors over the years.

You want to make certain your report is clean and stays clean so that if you want to obtain a mortgage or other loan you aren’t paying a higher interest rate because of erroneous items on your report. If you find ANYTHING incorrect, be certain to document it in a letter, send any supporting documentation and send a copy of the report with the error highlighted to the agency, requesting it be removed immediately. Keep a copy of everything you send in a file, just in case it doesn’t get handled or it reappears in future reports.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Is Your Home Safe From Burglers? Watch Out!

In our day and age we like to feel that we are safe. Our cars have alarms. We have nanny monitors to protect our children. You name it, we have it. But what if you found out that by simply buying a $2.00 item off of the internet any would-be burglar could simply open the locks on your home?

I was shocked to watch a video that a friend just sent me. You’ll want to watch this and do what you can to keep your home and family safe.

Since the video was forwarded to me, I can't post it on this blog. However, e-mail me and I will be happy to forward it on to you. What this video shows is an item called a "bump-key" which will fit into, and turn almost every common lock. I'll tell you, what I saw was frightening!

After I viewed the video I went on to You Tube, and there you will find videos that describe this disturbing practice, as well as dozens of videos that are telling would-be criminals how to make, purchase or find bump-keys that they can use. (I must say though, none of the You Tube videos are as top quality as the one that was forwarded to me.)

Since my job is helping people to fiachieve the American Dream, I certainly don't want to see people walking off with it's contents!

Let me know if you would like me to forward the lock bumping video, just put Lockbumping into the subject and I'll see you get it.

Meanwhile, stay safe!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mortgage Debt Forgiven!

Mortgage Debt Forgiven

Thanks to legislation passed by congress, effective Jan 1, 2008, distressed homeowners will not be required to pay taxes on mortgage debt written off or forgiven as part of a bankruptcy, short sale, foreclosure, or renegotiation that involved the homeowner’s principal residence. Under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, up to $2 million of indebtedness is shielded from taxes if the debt is the result of construction, acquisition and major improvement of the principal residence. (Use caution if you refinanced your home and drew money out. Ask a tax specialist whether you may be taxed in this circumstance.) The act applies to debt discharges from Jan. 1, 2007, through Dec. 31, 2009. (Found in California Real Estate magazine, Mar. 2008)