New California Smoke Detector Laws

April 2, 2014

A new California law, having taken effect January 1, 2014 and extended to July 1, 2014, requires property owners to have smoke detectors installed in properties that meet the Fire Marshall’s new regulations.  These regulations are:

  1. The date of manufacture is displayed on the device
  2. The date of installation is displayed on the device
  3. The device incorporates a hush feature
  4. The device incorporates an end-of-life feature with notice that the device needs replacement
  5. If the device is battery-operated, the battery must be non-removable and have a minimum 10 year life span

The vast majority of smoke detectors on the market now in California are of this new type required by the Fire Marshall.  At Peak Property Management & Realty, we are actively replacing all devices for our owners so that all of our properties are up to date with the new law.

Beach-Front Property for Sale in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach | Southern California Oceanfront Property for Sale

July 30, 2013

To free information on connecting with sellers of beach-front property in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, please contact us at:

(619) 764-8300

Pacific Beach oceanfront properties for sale

Are you looking for beach-front property to purchase in the Mission Beach/Pacific Beach areas?  We can put you in contact with owners in the area who are looking to sell their ocean-front investment properties in the Mission Beach and Pacific Beach areas.  Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are excellent areas to invest in vacation rentals and long-term rentals, due to near-constant high demand from renters and limited real estate availability.  We have access to property owners looking to sell in those areas.

Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are iconic Southern California beach towns. Residents and visitors enjoy surf, sand, and sun along wide sandy beaches that are great for rejuvenation.  These two towns offer endless opportunities for entertainment and outdoor fun.  Activities include biking and skating along the boardwalk, lounging in the bay areas, surfing, kayaking, sailing, kiteboarding, beach volleyball, Belmont Park amusement park, shopping, and fine dining.

For a free list of beach-front properties available in the Mission Beach and Pacific Beach areas, please contact us at (619) 764-8300 or

El Cajon, CA Condo Property Management

March 23, 2013

Many condominium owners in El Cajon are turning their units over to become rentals, and for good reason.  Rental rates have been steadily increasing over time, while condo sales prices have remained stagnant.  For many condo owners, it makes more sense to rent out the condo unit than to sell it in this real estate market.  Some condo owners wish to hold on to their condos until they are no longer “under water” in order to avoid the credit implications of a short sale or foreclosure.  At Peak Property Management, we understand the many different situations that condominium owners in El Cajon have, and can work with them to make good financial decisions.  We specialize in the El Cajon rental market and can give our unique perspective from a pure property management side (vs. a sales side).  As condo owners ourselves, and former HOA board members, we are familiar with the ins-and-outs of condominium ownership.

For a free, no-pressure property management assessment of your El Cajon rental condo, please contact us at (619) 764-8300 or at

If you would like an online quote, please fill in the fields below:

La Mesa Condominium Unit Property Management

March 22, 2013


Managing rental condominiums in La Mesa is our specialty here at Peak Property Management.  As former condominium owners and board members ourselves, we are very familiar with all aspects of marketing and managing your condo unit.  From marketing your unit’s and complex’s special features, to providing tenants with CC&Rs and explaining the HOA rules, to handling disputes between neighbors and working alongside HOAs, we take care of it all.   We provide condo-specific options for our clients, including paying the HOA dues from your monthly rent and being the primary contact for communications from the HOA.  All of this…. for a great value!  Our office is in La Mesa Village, making us conveniently located to your unit.

Give us a call at (619) 764-8300 or email us at for a free La Mesa condo property management quote.

You may also fill in the fields below for a free management quote online:


As part of our full-service property management package, we offer free architectural photography to our clients to help their property shine in marketing.  We are committed to becoming your preferred La Mesa condo property manager!  Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.


Mt. Helix Homes for Rent

November 28, 2012

Are you looking for a home to rent in the Mt. Helix neighborhood of La Mesa in San Diego county?  We specialize in rental properties in Mt. Helix.  You may reach us at (619) 764-8300 or email us at to begin your search for a property to rent in Mt. Helix.  Here are a few reasons why renting a house in Mt. Helix is a great idea:

  • Peace, privacy, serenity. The rambling hills of the Mt. Helix neighborhood offer plenty of opportunities for peace, privacy, and serenity at home.  The lush landscaping and well-spaced lot sizes afford residents of Mt. Helix plenty of space to spread out and relax.  Most homes are situated on at least 1/4 acre, with the majority on 1/2+ acre lots.  This means you can spend lots of time outdoors around your home and feel like you’re in your own world.
  • Mt. Helix Park.  This is an awesome place to watch a beautiful sunset over all of San Diego county.  The park sits at the very top of Mt. Helix and gives visitors 360 degree views of all of San Diego county.  There are also various events that take place at Mt. Helix Park throughout the year, including plays, concerts, Christmas caroling, Easter services, and art shows.  The recently-added 1/4 mile hike around the Mt. Helix peak is a wonderful opportunity for families to take a stroll together in a beautiful setting.
  • Ideal location.  Mt. Helix is located just 10 minutes from San Diego State University (SDSU), 20 minutes from downtown San Diego, 20 minutes from the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park, and 25 minutes to beaches.  Its location is ideal for anyone looking to be close to the city and all its benefits, yet far away from the traffic and congestion that comes with city life.
  • Excellent schools.  Most homes in Mt. Helix are part of two excellent school systems:  La Mesa/Spring Valley School District and the Cajon Valley Union School District.  Both districts receive stellar ratings and offer residents a multitude of opportunities for their children.
  • Proximity to shopping.  Despite its rural feel, Mt. Helix is actually situated very close to a plethora of shopping areas.  To the west is Grossmont Center, which boasts big brand stores like Target, Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, and Pier 1 Imports.  Several chain restaurants are situated in Grossmont Center as well, including Panera Bread, Red Lobster, BJs, and Fuddruckers.  To the east are the large shopping areas of Rancho San Diego, with several large chain department stores and restaurants similar to Grossmont Center.  To the south is the charming La Mesa Village (also known as downtown La Mesa), where you will only find local small businesses.  Several of these small businesses offer unique, one-of-a-kind antique shopping.  There are also several award-winning restaurants – my favorites are Tiramisu, Swami’s cafe, and Cosmos Coffee.  There are several hair salons in La Mesa Village as well, the most popular being Salon Radiance and SR2.

If you would like more information about rental properties in Mt. Helix or to find a home to rent in Mt. Helix, please use the contact form below and we will be in touch shortly.  You may also call us at (619) 764-8300 or email us at


Thank you for your interest in Peak Property Management & Realty of San Diego.  We specialize in management of rental homes in Mt. Helix, La Mesa, El Cajon, Fletcher Hills, Rancho San Diego, Lakeside, Santee, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, and Casa De Oro.

La Mesa Property Management – La Mesa, CA

November 4, 2012

At Peak Property Management, we are pleased to offer property management services in La Mesa, CA.  We are experienced in placing high-quality tenants in rental homes, and we have several clients who can attest to that!  We have a special business connection with a professional photographer, which allows us to offer professional architectural photography as part of our full-service property management package, at no additional charge to our clients.  This is a $1400 value!   From internet advertising, to top-notch tenant screening, to collecting rents, to coordinating contractors and services…. We do it all so you don’t have to worry.   If you don’t need full-service property management, we also offer lease-only services.

Renters love living in La Mesa because it has a lively downtown with a cornucopia of small local businesses, great shopping at Grossmont Center, excellent schools, and an abundance of parks for quality outdoor time.  As La Mesa residents ourselves here at Peak Property Management, we are an excellent resource for tenants regarding where to go and what to do in our lovely town.  It is our pleasure to serve the east county area.  Hands-down, we offer the highest quality property management at the best value in La Mesa and other areas of east San Diego county as well.  For more information about hiring us as your La Mesa property manager, contact us at (619)764-8300 or at  Please fill out the form below for a free management quote online:

Please visit the following webpages to find out more about what we offer to our clients:

9 Reason to Hire Us

What We Do For You

Free Professional Architectural Photography of Your Property

Camarillo Property Management

August 17, 2012

For an excellent Camarillo property management experience, we highly recommend Esquire Property Management.  We are proud to refer all of our Ventura County clients to Esquire. Every client we have referred has nothing but rave reviews for this company.  If you are looking for the best property manager in Camarillo, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, or anywhere else in Ventura County, look no further than Esquire Property Management.  Their full-service property management team has always exceeded every referral’s expectations of them.  We are fortunate to have such a great referral for property management in Camarillo and the surrounding areas within Ventura County.

Their extensive rental list offers tenants “one-stop shopping” for high-quality rental homes.  If you are a tenant looking for the top property management company in Camarillo, Esquire Property Management is it.  Esquire was rated Ventura County’s favorite property management company by the Ventura County Star!

Check out their website at: and tell them we sent you!




Introduction to Buying Real Estate in San Diego

April 19, 2012

If you are new to buying real estate in Southern California, this post will be very helpful to you. I also recommend checking out NOLO’s real estate section for lots of detailed information about the purchase of real estate in California.

Finding a Broker, Agent, or Realtor

The first thing you should do is find a real estate broker, real estate agent, or Realtor who you trust.  The difference between the three classifications is as follows: a broker is someone who runs their own real estate firm (also called a “brokerage”).  They usually have many years of experience in the field of real estate, and subsequently decided to form their own company.  Many times real estate brokers are individuals working for themselves only, without any real estate agents working under their broker’s license.  In fact, about 80% of brokerages in California are  run by individual brokers working for themselves only.  A real estate agent is someone who works within a real estate brokerage.  They usually work for national, regional, or local chains.  An example of a national chain would be Century 21 or Prudential.  A Realtor can be either a real estate broker or a real estate agent.  The Realtor classification means that the person joined the National Association of Realtors and has agreed to abide by the Realtor Code of Ethics.  It is always a good idea to work with a broker or agent who is also a Realtor.

My recommendation for finding a quality broker, agent or Realtor is to ask your friends and family for recommendations.  Then conduct an interview with the recommended person to see if your personalities mesh.  You will provide a lot of personal/financial information to this person, so it is important that you get along well.  You will also be working under stressful conditions at times, so it is good to work with someone who understands your personality and who can handle stressful situations with ease.

Information To Give Your Realtor

Your Realtor will want some basic information about your needs before she can start a search for your perfect property.  Some of the information she will want to know is:

  • The area where you would like to buy.  Your Realtor will have access to a database called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which lists all of the properties that are active, under contract, and sold in your desired search area.  The vast majority of properties that are sold today go through the MLS.  Your Realtor can narrow down your search to a tiny area on a map, if you so like, or you can have her search a large metropolitan area with very specific property requirements.
  • The minimum (or maximum) number of bedrooms and bathrooms you want.
  • The minimum (or maximum) square footage you would like your house to be.
  • The minimum (or maximum) lot size you need. Some measurements to keep  in mind: 1/4 acre is roughly 10,000 square feet, 1/2 acre is roughly 20,000 square feet, and a full acre is roughly 40,000 square feet.
  • The price range you are interested in.  It is a good idea to go a little higher than your maximum in your search, because many properties do not sell for their full list price.  You may be missing something that could potentially be within your desired price range.  For instance, a home listed at $325,000 could end up selling for $295,000.  If your upper price limit were $300,000 in your search, you would have missed seeing this property.
  • There are many other search options you can request.  You can ask to only see properties with a pool or a view, for instance.  Talk further with your Realtor if you have more specific requirements.

Getting Pre-Approved For a Loan

Your Realtor should be able to direct you to a lender or a loan officer, or you can go with a referral from a friend or family member who has worked with one in the past. A lender is someone who gives loans directly (a bank, for instance).  A loan officer (or loan broker) is someone who searches through a lender database to find the right loan for you.  Before you can purchase a property, you need to be pre-approved for a loan.  Your loan officer will need lots of information from you to get the loan process started.  You need to have the following items ready to give to your loan officer:

  • Three years’ tax returns (personal and business)
  • Two most recent pay stubs
  • Three months’ bank statements
  • Your ID

Your loan officer will run a credit check to see if your credit score is high enough to get you approved for a loan.  In general, they look for FICO scores averaging at least 700.  The higher your score, the less you will pay for your loan.  Generally, you will need to be able to provide 20% of the purchase price of a property as a down payment for a loan.  There are loans that require as little as 3% down (FHA loans), but they have strict requirements and slightly higher interest rates.  Check with your loan officer for more information on this.

Once you are pre-approved for a loan, you will begin your search for a property in earnest.  Most Realtors want their buyers to be pre-approved for a loan before going out to look at properties.  The reason for this is that buyers may think they can afford more than they actually can.

Writing an Offer on a Property

You may end up looking at dozens of properties before finding the right one.  This is fine and normal, and no cause for frustration.  Sometimes it takes awhile to find that perfect property!  Once you find the right property that is in your price range, you are ready to write an offer to purchase the property.  This is when the paperwork begins.  The standard contract used by Realtors in California is the Residential Purchase Agreement.  This agreement will spell out the finer details of your offer to purchase.  It is designed to protect you and the seller legally.  I highly recommend reading through the entire contract on your own when you have time, so that you really understand it.

In your purchase agreement, you will be asked to put a deposit toward the purchase, as security in case the contract fails.  In San Diego, deposit amounts are generally 1% of the purchase price.  So for a $300,000 property, your deposit will be around $3,000.  This amount goes directly toward your down payment once the purchase goes through.  In most cases, deposits are returned when a purchase contract does not go through, because the contract sets forth contingency periods.  Contingency periods allow the buyer to do their due diligence on the property. This means the buyer has a certain number of days to perform all inspections and appraisals on the property to ensure that it meets the buyer’s criteria.  The contingency period is also the time when the buyer solidifies the loan on the property.  If the property does not appraise for the purchase price, or it does not pass the buyer’s inspection, or the loan cannot be made, then the buyer can rescind the offer and receive the full deposit back as long as this occurs before the buyer removes the respective contingencies.

You Realtor will also give you other forms, addenda, and advisories.  All of these are designed to inform you of your duties and rights as a buyer, as well as allocation of certain costs associated with the purchase of the property.  If your offer is good, and the seller agrees to all of the terms in the purchase agreement, he/she will accept your offer.  If the seller wants to make changes to the purchase agreement, he/she will write a counter-offer, which you in turn must either accept or write your own counter-offer to.  This usually does not go on much further than 2 exchanges, but is certainly not limited to that!

Once your offer to purchase is accepted, you will open escrow.

Opening Escrow and the Escrow Process

An escrow company is a neutral third party that has no interest in the real estate transaction.  Escrow acts as a financial intermediary between the buyer and seller, and handles all monies exchanged in the transaction. As soon as your offer to purchase is accepted by the seller, all parties will open a transaction with an escrow company (this company is decided upon in the purchase agreement, and is usually the seller’s choice).  Your deposit will go into the escrow account, where it will be held throughout the transaction.  During the escrow period, you will:

  • Get an appraisal on your property. Your loan officer will assign an appraiser who is on his/her approved list.
  • Get a home inspector to do a thorough inspection of the property.  He/she will give you a report with any issues found during the inspection.  You, as a buyer, can negotiate for money for repair of these issues.
  • If the home inspector recommends it, you will need to get further inspections done (such as soil, engineering, plumbing, electrical, etc).
  • Read through and sign all of the disclosures given to you from the seller and from both agents in the transaction.  Many of these disclosures are standard environmental disclosures given to all buyers in the area.  Some are specific to the property.
  • Put together a loan package, which includes signing loan documents towards the end of the escrow period.

The escrow process usually takes 30-45 days when a loan is involved.  When there is no loan, it can take as little as 5 days.

Close of Escrow

After all inspections, appraisals, and loan documents are completed, the escrow process will reach an end. Toward the end of the escrow process, you will meet with a notary public to sign your loan documents.  You should spend a good amount of time reading through these documents, to make sure that everything in them is what you had initially agreed to with your loan officer.  Bring your checkbook, because you will have to pay for notary fees as well as closing fees.  Closing fees will include such costs as pro-rated property taxes, pro-rated mortgage payment, title insurance costs, escrow costs, and recording fees.  Once you complete your loan documents and all other closing documents, the escrow company will record the transaction with the county.  Once the transaction is recorded with the county, you are officially the owner of the property and you can obtain the keys from the seller’s agent to begin moving into your property.  Over the course of the next few days, you will receive papers related to the closing of your transaction.  I advise keeping a folder with all of the transaction details in a safe place.  All electronic files of the transaction should be backed up.

Property management and leasing agent in San Diego, La Mesa, Mt. Helix, El Cajon, Lakeside, Rolando, Mission Valley, Clairemont Mesa, Allied Gardens, Lemon Grove, North Park, South Park, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach

Peak Property Management
8407 La Mesa Blvd.
La Mesa, CA 91942

We specialize in rentals and leasing of single family homes, condos, townhouses, duplexes, and small apartment complexes. Browse our Rental List for available rentals throughout metro San Diego and East County.