It’s all right to dream big and believe in luxury

Are you sick of hearing about the recession just like me? After a busy summer and my personal life taking center stage, I am now back in the driver’s seat of … normalcy. With talk of unemployment and a slow economy, it’s a wonder anyone stays motivated these days.
From my own personal experience in the last few months of working with this newspaper and real estate agents, I would like to share with you my findings from just being “around town.”
The Real Estate market is moving here in Rancho Santa Fe. Four homes sold in The Covenant, three in Whispering Palms and two in Fairbanks. Santaluz has had some recent “sold” signs, too.
Each week, The Coast News Group co-sponsors a realtor pitch session. So I have heard firsthand what is happening each month. There has been an upswing in sales.
Now you may be thinking, what about other businesses? I decided to do some investigating down on Miramar Road at some of the high-end luxury car dealers. From Platinum Motors to European Motors, I found out the inside scoop on each dealer. I found out one (I shall not say which) is on the verge of going out of business due to unfair treatment of employees and lack of professionalism, while the one right next to it is thriving with 33 cars sold in the month of July. I found out a new dealership just opened down the street. Not only did they find banks to finance with, this new car company even managed to turn a decent profit.
Max Babelli is the owner of Babelli Motors. He was kind enough to share some inside scoop on his own business. Just to give you the back story, Max started his business in 1996. His love of cars as a hobby inspired him to open his own dealership 12 years ago. He specializes in leases, consignment and carries a variety of “highline” vehicles and exotic cars. Max just recently expanded his showroom, giving him the billing of “The largest showroom in San Diego.” His tenacious business sense and love for the car industry has kept his business rock steady, while others might have faltered due to fear during the recession. Being a woman, I must admit to you I don’t know much about cars or how to buy one, so here are some direct tips from one of the most successful luxury dealers in San Diego:
 Learn all you can about the cars you’re interested in — models, options and prices — before you walk into a dealership. That way, you’ll have a good knowledge base to work from. Always get a Carfax run on the car your interested in to check the history of the car.
How can I shop for a car without feeling pressured to buy?
Before you visit a dealership, call to find out if it has the car you’re interested in. Spend a little time on the phone with the salesperson. If you feel comfortable with him or her, make an appointment to see the car, but also indicate that you don’t intend to buy a car that day. If you still feel pressured to buy or are uncomfortable with the salesperson, or don’t believe you’re getting complete and honest information, take your business elsewhere.
If you would like to find out more about Max Babelli and read more on his car tips, visit www.babellimotors.com or call (858)-547-9190 to test drive your dream car. Thank you, Max for sharing your story with me.
So please, let’s do each other a favor and start looking on a local level for improvements in the economy instead of trusting the nightly news. The media needs to stop preying on our fears and do their part to bolster the economy. My advice? Go test drive a car, visit some open houses on caravan and eat steak tartare at your favorite Ranch restaurant.
Around Town
On July 26, Solana Beach Chiropractic was busy sponsoring the Surf Classic at the Polo Field. This was the first time in 23 years that a chiropractic venue was established on the premises at the Surf Cup.
Dr. Cory Sartin shared some of his thoughts with me regarding that weekend: “One of the things that intrigued me was how much soccer was a family affair. As a sponsor looking into the craze of soccer fanatics, I noticed youth are absolutely passionate about soccer.” Solana Beach Chiropractic’s main goal is to educate families on the importance of spinal health. Their clinic is located right next to the Ross off of Lomas Santa Fe. Congrats on a successful fun weekend.
On July 30, Delicias Restaurant informed me of plans to improve its wine list. Delicias plans to apply for the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence as soon as 2010. The build-up of Delicias’ wine cellar will be spearheaded by Tyler Williams, general manager. California-style wines created in California will be the focal point of the new additions. The announcement comes from owner Owen Perry. “This new focus is part of our continuous pursuit to providing our guests the best dining experience possible,” said the Rancho Santa Fe local. “This is a great time to be buying wine, and we will pass that saving on to our customers.” For more information, call Delicias at (858)-756-8000.
On Aug. 4, Time 2 Shine, a new, beautifully renovated dance and fitness studio with a retail boutique, opened in the heart of 4S Ranch in the 4S Ranch Village in San Diego. They will be offering unique classes for the entire family in Pilates, Yoga, Dance Fitness, Music and Ballet technique. They have a class for any age and all levels of dedication to the art of dance and fitness. Early registration is available at www.wertime2shine.com. Register online and receive one week of free classes! Founded by Jennifer Miller, a dancer and certified Pilates instructor with 20 years of experience, Time 2 Shine is committed to bringing its students the best instructors and the highest standards in training. Jennifer is proud to offer a ballet program affiliated with the San Diego School of Ballet and has particular emphasis for children on future career training. Being affiliated with San Diego School of Ballet provides Time 2 Shine dancers with the opportunity to be a part of San Diego Ballet’s Nutcracker and student concerts. For more information, visit www.wertime2shine.com or call (858) 675-0772. Good luck and happy dancing!
On Aug. 5, John Pabst invited me to stop by at his Grand Opening Party located behind the fabulous gates of the Crosby. If you were lucky enough to make it by, you could’ve entered for a chance to win a trip to Quivira, Los Cabos. Champagne and fine wine was served with strawberries and a mixed assortment of cheese, while guests mingled in this newly built custom home by builder Jim Duncan. Find out who won this trip in the next “Machel’s Ranch.” In case you are wondering, I didn’t enter because it just didn’t feel right since I was only there to snap photos! I’m still dreaming of a house in the Bridges though.
Save the Dates
On Aug. 19, Ameriprise Financial is inviting you to attend “Women and Investing,” at the Del Mar double Tree Hotel at 5:30 p.m. Guest speaker Lauren Sanchez will be educating women on how to invest wisely with their finances (I would love to go to this). Hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served during the seminar. Please RSVP by Aug. 17 at (858) 259-3002. Women, if are like me … run to this event!
On Aug. 23, don’t forget to bring your hats to one of the ritziest events this season — The Country Friends, “Hats and Flats.” The Rancho Santa Fe News is proud to be co-sponsoring this event located at the San Diego Polo Club, off of El Camino Real. For more information, please contact The Country Friends at (858)-756-1192.
In my next column, find out which personal fitness trainer has the right balance between mind and body and why it’s necessary to consult a nutritionist when you go on a weight program.

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