10 Road Trips Within 5 Hours of San Diego

Recently Willis Allen published a blog post about 7 road trip destinations within 5 hours of San Diego; we liked the post so much we thought we’d share it, and include a couple more suggestions!


One of the benefits of living in America’s Finest City is the ability to easily go someplace else awesome for a quick getaway. There are numerous hot spots and hidden retreats around SoCal. Here are seven of our favorites that you can get to within a five-hour car ride.

Julian (Travel time: 1 hour)
The small mountain town of Julian, 50 miles northeast of San Diego, is a Designated Historical District and as American as apple pie (because of all the apples they grow!). Tourists are drawn to its historic mining and frontier-town image. In addition to Julian’s old-fashioned downtown offerings (eating apple pie is a must-do), you can take a mining tour, pick apples at a local orchard (in season), hike the surrounding mountain trails, get a tasting at a winery, visit your first camel dairy, and check on the wolves rehabilitating at the California Wolf Center.

Palomar Mountain State Park (Travel time: 1.5 hours)
Palomar Mountain is most famous as the home of the Palomar Observatory and the Hale Telescope. There are campgrounds for vacationers, as well as day use sites and many hiking trails. The mountain is densely wooded with abundant oak trees, making for a picturesque winding drive up the mountain.

L.A. (Travel time: 2-3 hours)
Just 120 miles away, a visit to the City of Angels is an easy day trip from San Diego. That means you can mark off all the tourist attractions and really get to know the city, beaches, and hidden gems you won’t learn about in the tour books.

Catalina Island (Travel time: 2 hours by car and 1 hour by ferry from Long Beach)
An island playground 22 miles south-southwest of L.A., thousands of people visit Catalina Island each year. There are tons of water and outdoor activities to fill a whole weekend, including glass-bottom boat tours, scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, golfing, or just relaxing on the beach.

Big Bear (Travel time: 2.5 hours)
Big Bear Lake is Southern California’s largest recreation lake, located 145 miles north of San Diego. During the summer you can fish, hike, camp, kayak, and more. Take a trip during the wintertime, and you can ski or snowboard.

Lake Gregory (Travel time: 3 hours)
Located in the community of Crestline, CA, Lake Gregory Regional Park is tucked in the cedar and pine forest of the San Bernardino Mountains. The lake has 84 surface acres for swimming and water sports and Lake Gregory is a cool respite in the hot summer months.

Joshua Tree (travel time: 3 hours)
Joshua Tree National Park is a vast protected area in southern California. It’s characterized by rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. Named for the region’s twisted, bristled Joshua trees, the park straddles the cactus-dotted Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert, which is higher and cooler. Keys View looks out over the Coachella Valley. Hiking trails weave through the boulders of Hidden Valley.

Solvang (Travel time: 4.5 hours)
Considered the Danish capitol of the America, Solvang (which means “sunny field” in Danish), is a unique getaway in a charming Old World setting. Hop aboard the horse-drawn trolley with a pastry in hand. Then, bike the rest of the way through downtown to work it off before visiting a few of the 120 wineries and vineyards in the area.

Las Vegas (Travel time: 5 hours)
If the glow of the strip and the thrill of casinos aren’t up your alley, there is so much more to do in Vegas than you may realize. Check out this bucket list that includes Red Rock, Hoover Dam, and the Colorado River, among other activities.

Phoenix (Travel time: 5.5 hours)
One of the fastest growing cities in the nation, we’re including Phoenix despite the extra 30 minutes over our driving time limit. With beautiful winter weather, there are plenty of outdoor activities year-round. Favorites include hiking to top of Camelback Mountain and golfing, as well as a surprising number of arts and cultural attractions.

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Quick recap of how 2017 compared to the previous year


Want to watch my monthly video market updates? Visit my YouTube Page:

Vincent Crudo | Crudo and Associates Real Estate


Hey Guys, I’m Vincent Crudo with Willis Real Estate. It’s January 2018 and I’m exited to give you your Frist Pacific Beach Market Update for 2018!

I want to give you a quick recap of how 2017 compared to the previous year:
Th Number of Active Listings in 2017 down 4%
The Number of Sold Listings in 2017 was down just lightly at 1.3%

But one thing that has NOT gone down was The…Average… Sale Price. There was a 16.9% increase in 2017 compared to the previous year.
That’s pretty good if you ask me.
Keep this in mind…there are ONLY 37 Homes for sale in Pacific Beach. That’s not a much of a selection… I have quite a few buyers at the moment actively looking for property and we have exhausted all available options on the active market.
If you are a property owner in 92019, would you sell your home, duplex or multi-unit property!!!!?? If so I want to connect with you. Leave a comment, send me a direct message, or even an old fashion phone call I ALWAYS answer my phone.
I look forward to connecting.

Is it a good time to sell during the holidays?


Want to watch my monthly video market updates? Visit my YouTube Page:

Vincent Crudo | Crudo and Associates Real Estate


Why didn’t’ the skeleton go to the ball???? Because he had NO BODY to go with!

Happy Halloween Guys…

I’m Vincent Crudo of Willis Allen Real Estate, It’s October, 2017 and I’m here to give you YOUR Pacific Beach Market Update.

In Pacific Beach it’s still a good time to be a Seller

With our current inventory is down 6% from last month and 14% from last year makes it a competitive time to be a buyer. This year’s smaller inventory means that buyers who waited to make a purchase have smaller selection to choose from.

There was a slight increase in pending properties compared to last month (5%)

And There were 18 properties sold in September, down 18% from September of 2016 and 14.% lower than the 21 sales the previous month.

As Holiday Season is coming upon us I have been getting the question form sellers “whether or not it’s a good time to sell during the holidays?

Usually most sellers don’t want to be bothered during the holiday season

or want to wait until after the new year and that is usually why our inventory shrinks.

In Short, my answer to that question is YES, it’s a great time to put your house up for sale if you are think about doing so.

As a seller you will have less competition and a lot of active buyers in the market place.

I’m mean…come on…Look at this setting, I’m here at Law St park on the bluff, it’s 80% this place is a amazing. I used ride my skate board to this beach as a kid to go surfing and have my mom pick me up at sunset, it’s a wonderful neighborhood to grow up in and I’m blessed to live here.

If you need help in this market, buying selling or investing, who you work with matters…send me a text email or give me phone call…I’m here to help.

Want to watch my monthly video market updates? Visit my YouTube Page:

Vincent Crudo | Crudo and Associates Real Estate

Based on the current interest rates and trends you have been noticing, where do you see the market going this spring?

I think the market is going to be very strong this spring, if you look at the current interest rates for jumbo loans, that are still around that 4% and some banks even have interest rates under 4%, it makes it very attractive for home owners and home buyers to make that purchase they’ve been wanted to do.

As interest rates go up, the cost is going to be more expensive to obtain that same loan and I don’t know if you’re going to see home prices come down, therefore some buyers would be priced out of a certain price point if the didn’t potentially get in the market, not only this spring but sometime during 2016.

We are at a point where rates have no where to go but up, and quite frankly, it’s inevitable that that is whats going to happen. So you are someone who’s been on the fence about whether or not to get into the market, now would probably be the most ideal time to take advantage of how cheap money is to borrow, or course if you can qualify.

Visit www.freddiemac.com to see the most recent Economic & Housing Research, which address where they predict 30-year fixed mortgage rates will be headed.

Click Here to view and compare current mortgage rates.

How Do I Determine a List Price and What Goes Into It?

This is a great question … it’s a little bit of a science and quite frankly it can be hard to determine prices, especially in the luxury market, because each home is different and unique, whether it be in its orientation, the view, how it lays out or the finishes. So as a professional realtor, I look at a combination of factors when determining a listing price: I look at what has sold in the area, my knowledge of that particular area, buyer demand, the finishes and overall condition of the property, the view and most importantly talking with the home owner on how aggressively we want to list the house for sale, depending on their goals. Ideally it behooves the home owner to list the home appropriately, in order to obtain the highest value possible in the shortest amount of time, which is the ultimate goal for my clients.

To sum it up, typically some of the most important factors for determining list price are: looking at the comparable sales, knowing the neighborhood and knowing the current market (i.e., buyer demand and current inventory).

4 Reasons to Buy Before This Spring

  1. Home prices are continuing to rise
    • Each neighborhood will have a different fluctuations depending on the buyer demand.  But in general, the most recent Home Price Expectation Survey reports an average annual appreciation of 3.6% over the next 5 years. Meaning a house with a listing price at $500,000 today, is projected to be listed at $518,000 next year and $536,648 the year after! This is over a $36,000 increase in just two years. This rate of appreciation is great news for homeowners who are looking to increase their net worth, but scary news for those that are waiting.
  2. Mortgage rates are on the rise
  3. Save money in the long run
    • If you are renting a home while trying to decide if now is the time to buy, you end up spending more money in the long run. Check-out this infographic that breaks down how much money you save when you invest in real estate.
  4. Less competition from other buyers
    • Many people wait until Spring and Summer to begin their house hunt. By starting in the Winter you have a jump on other buyers, who could potentially put a competing bid on the house of your dreams.

If you still have reservations, give me a call; I would love to talk more with you about the current market trends in San Diego.


If I Was A Seller, How Would You Market My Home?

This is a question I am asked frequently and I love to answer it, because this is where my brokerage and team outshine the competitors.

My brokerage, Willis Allen, has quite a few exclusive affiliations here in San Diego, one being Luxury Portfolio which I believe is a phenomenal platform. It allows me to advertise your property, as long as it one million or more, to an international market. I can also couple this platform with another exclusive affiliation, Christie’s International. The synergy between both platforms allows me to capture a larger audience, ultimately giving the property worldwide exposure.

In today’s market, especially, the most important thing for sellers of properties one million or more, is getting the necessary exposure. Whether they are in Italy, Spain, France, or China, the buyer is out there, and that is where I will be able to market the property. In addition to the worldwide syndication, I can give you a detailed analytic report on the exposure of the property, which breaks down who’s looking at your property, by country, language or even what currency. Based on this data we can strategically market your home to whoever we determine is best suited.


When it comes to print advertising…

We have an awesome company magazine, Collection, which has a readership around 200,000 which is distributed every quarter. This is a great marketing tool, which allows me to advertise a house, regardless of price point, and gets great exposure.

Some of the regular print media Willis Allen Real Estate advertises in: Union Tribune, Riviera, Wall Street Journal, San Diego Business Journal, Luxe Magazine.

Here at Willis Allen, I have to ability to market your home anywhere and everywhere. Some of my favorites right now are Riviera, Locale and San Diego Magazine.

When it comes to online advertising…

In addition to print marketing of the home, our office website syndicates to over 600 websites, worldwide (Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com to name a few). When roughly 90% of homebuyers start their search online, our affiliations ensure your home will be found.