Ring ring, brief pause; a few minutes later, ring ring again. “That’s the life of a working mother,” Escondido commercial/residential and senior housing specialist Sabrina Covington says with a laugh as she puts the phone that is ringing off the hook on mute.
Sitting at the Escondido Promenade Starbucks, Covington looked out across the Escondido real estate market and saw that it was good. “I feel the market locally is strong,” she said. “The peak selling time is the spring.”
Mortgage rates are low, qualifying has loosened up a lot in the last year, and several specialized programs have made real estate affordable for many people who didn’t realize they could get into a home, according to Covington.
Inventory is tight, however, with homes barely lasting two months when they go on the market compared to the usual six months. Covington believes this is due to more people holding on to homes as they watch uncertain global markets and uncertain election results.
“Sellers are trying to get the purchase values up while buyers aren’t budging,” Covington said. “It’s almost like a staring contest.”
The latest Escondido market statistics from Sandicor Inc.’s regional database shows a median home sales price at $428,250, up 10 percent in the past year. The average time on market is 49 days. Area housing inventory is experiencing a record low of 1.9 months on market, down almost 40 percent in the last year.
“There are not a lot of houses on the market so you may need to modify you ‘wish list’ or your housing budget if you are looking to buy right now,” Covington said to buyers, whom she represents.
Also representing sellers, Covington added: “The market needs inventory so it’s a good time to list. Affordable rates and attractive loan programs are available for buyers and they are out looking for properties. P.S., it’s not a good idea to overprice your home as your property will typically need to appraise with the buyer’s lender.”
Real estate the Covington way
The past few years, Covington has combined her love for the medical field with her love of real estate. While operating as a full-service broker, able to represent buyers or sellers, she has expanded into a niche field, representing residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE) home sales.
Also known as board and care homes, these typically are small-scale specialized homes with around a half-dozen seniors under the care of a licensed health care specialist. Homes have special features and considerations, necessitating a real estate professional with special knowledge and certification to execute sales successfully.
Covington stays current with real estate contract law necessary to avoid liability associated with title, escrow and all aspects of facilitating the sale of residential and commercial properties. She provides professional and relevant continuing educational information for Family Law, Elder Law and Probate Law Attorneys as it pertains to dissolution and liquidation of real estate assets.
Covvington holds multiple professional designations including Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert, RCFE Administrator.
More claims to fame includes being recognized as a top producer in residential home sales at Realty ONE Group at Rancho Bernardo where she manages a 4-agent residential sales team. Covington’s team includes licensed agents Gretchen Moreno, RN, and her mom; and Andrea Hamacher.
The Sabrina Covington back story
Covington’s great grandparents came to the U.S. from Chile. Her great grandfather was an U.S.-born Seventh Day Adventist pastor. Her mother was Chilean. They returned to the U.S. with the family settling around Los Angeles in the early 1900s.
Covington was born at Glendale, but grew up mainly at Shreveport, Louisiana before attending TCU where she received a Bachelors of Science degree and began a career as a dietician.
Moving on to work at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, her friends there mainly were medical students. Many of her friends left the are to enter into residency at other hospitals.
Meanwhile, Gretchen Moreno, her mother, moved from Shreveport to San Diego. Covington decided to follow suit in 1996. She worked as a dietician and in the medical field before getting married in 2000. Her husband was a real estate agent and she followed suit, getting her real estate license in 2002.
“I wanted to get married, have kids, and a little more flexibility,” Covington said, “so, I got out of the medical field and started selling real estate.”
From 2001 to 2007, Covington, and family, became pioneers of sorts. They lived off the grid on Palomar Mountain. She gave birth to two children — Cedar, now 14, named after, well you know; and Shelby, 12.
Shelby was both a blessing and a challenge. Born with the lunderappreeciated and under-publicized Mosaic Down Syndrome, Covington found that part of her commitment to health excellence also included letting people know about the syndrome that even half of medical doctors have trouble diagnosing. It’s Down Syndrome without many of the symptoms people come to expect. Shelby has done very well considering the challenges and now attends Del Dios Middle School
Living off the grid was interesting to say the least. Covington had to clean diapers by candlelight when the finicky solar power system didn’t jibe. She also had to use a gas-powered generator. She continued to work in the medical field along with real estate. She was a marketing and admission director at Palomar Health’s Pomerado Hospital, a one hour commute each way as she also sold real estate.
Covington and her then-husband, also leased Palomar Mountain Lodge in 2006, but her husband found running a bed and breakfast to be tough going and decided to leave the business. Then, the Witch Creek Fire finished their time on the mountain. The raging wildfire burned down their home. It also signaled the end to their marriage.
Covington found a new home in Central Escondido, and now a working single mom, went into the real estate business with renewed enthusiasm.
Covington also devotes time to her non-profit. As a mother of two girls and a registered dietitian, she is a passionate advocate for healthy eating and children’s health, serving as executive director for Healthy Kids Choice Inc. The non-profit recently completed a grant to establish healthy lifestyles in an underserved area of Lemon Grove, known as the Healthy Living Active Living (HEAL) Zone Project.
Covington’s efforts to create a healthier community includes an annual Halloween Candy Buy Back, accumulating 14,194 pounds of candy this past year that was sent to our U.S troops overseas.
For more information, call or text Covington at (760) 703-2907 or visit http://SabrinaCovington.com