Next time you’re at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, keep an eye out for the swallows.
For about 5 years now, the Mission has attempted to lure San Juan’s famous migrating birds back to its grounds, and it looks like the efforts are finally working.
The swallows have been coming back to San Juan Capistrano, but there hasn’t been a new nest at the Mission in a long time. Since 2012, the Mission has been working with Dr. Charles Brown, a swallows expert and professor of biological sciences at the University of Tulsa, to work on encouraging the swallows to come back. They’ve done everything from playing recorded courtship calls through a speaker on the grounds to deploying manmade nests (since swallows often prefer to inhabit existing nests).
Rough-winged swallows have been spotted nesting in the ruins of the Great Stone Church at the Mission, and it’s thought they may be largely responsible for motivating the cliff swallows to come back and settle. Apparently, cliff swallows have a thing for their rough-winged counterparts.
No matter the reason, it looks like the cliff swallows are back. A second nest and multiple birds have been spotted. Welcome back, guys!
It’s in the exclusive gated community of Hunt Club Estates in San Juan Capistrano
A kitchen Martha Stewart would love
Dream backyard: Pool, built-in BBQ, basketball court
Custom finishes and appointments throughout,including Palladian windows, hardwood flooring, leathered granite countertops in the laundry room and remodeled baths, plantation shutters, a 3-car garage and extensive attic storage
Is Your Home Inspector Legit? Why Buyers Should Inspect Their Inspectors
Of the roughly 30,000 U.S. home inspectors nationally, those in about 15 states don’t need to be licensed, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. Among the non-licensure states—you guessed it includes California.
How to inspect the home inspectors—and find a winner
Good sources to finding a Home Inspector are professional trade associations. There are two quality associations available in California: the California Real Estate Inspection Association, CREIA and the American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI. Both organizations require their members to pass an exam showing competence in the home inspection profession along with requiring that each member maintains continuing educational credits each year, CREIA requiring 30 hours per year and ASHI requiring 20 hours per year.
The client should interview all potential Inspectors they are considering and ask the following:
Is the inspector a member of CREIA and/or ASHI?
What does the inspection cover? Make sure the inspection and the inspection report meet all applicable requirements and comply with the CREIA and/or ASHI Standards of Practice. Both Standards of Practice are recognized by the California Legislature
How long has the inspector been practicing and how many inspections have they completed?
Does the inspector’s company offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection? This is against the CREIA and ASHI Code of Ethics as it is a defined conflict of interest
How long will the inspection take? The average for a single inspection is 2 to 3 hours for a typical single-family house; anything less may not be enough time to do a thorough inspection. Some inspection firms send a team of inspectors and the time frame may be shorter
Does the inspector prepare a written report? Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector’s reporting style
Does the inspector encourage the client to attend the inspection? This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector’s refusal to allow this should raise a red flag
Does the inspector participate in continuing education programs to keep his or her expertise up to date? One can never know it all, and the inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his professionalism and service to the consumer
As for what to do if problems crop up that the inspector should have found, the first course of action should be to contact the inspector directly to discuss the issue. No corrective work should be undertaken before the inspector has an opportunity to review the report and be given the chance to revisit the property. Good inspectors will make good on their services if they missed something that should have been discovered during the course of the inspection. Keep in mind that the inspector is operating per an accepted Standards of Practice which states what is required to be inspected and what is not. Also many Inspectors carry professional liability, errors and omission insurance (although it is not required).
Are you prepared for an Earthquake? If you’re not sure, there’s a TON of good information online and I’ve selected my favorites below.
To start, this is the most comprehensive earthquake guide that I could find. It contains lots of interesting info on Southern California’s history of earthquakes, what kinds of damage future earthquakes might do, and how you might be able to minimize the impact for your family.
Stay informed about your community’s risk and response plans.
Here is a concise, 1-page checklist for what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Here is a more thorough guide.
Protecting your home Here is a great document on the various ways you can inspect your home and identify and fix potential problems before they happen.
Communicating with loved ones Communication may be tough after an earthquake. Internet and cellular services may be unavailable, so it’s always a good idea to diversify and have a backup plan. In the event that cell phones work, there are some really good apps for emergency preparedness.
I also thought this Google PersonFinder app was a really useful tool to use and get familiar with if you’re ever in a situation where you’re searching for a friend or family member.