Why San Diego is The Place to Buy – Location, Location, Location
The well-known cliche “location, location, location” exists for a reason, especially when it comes to buying a home or condominium in San Diego, California. This Southern California city is the second largest city in California with a population of nearly 1,300,000 (according to population estimates from 2006) and the eighth largest city in the country. As culturally diverse as it is geographically interesting, this area shares a border with Mexico, lies just south of the affluent Orange County, boasts miles of white sandy beaches, offers one of the mildest climates in the country, hosts bases for the Navy, the Coast Guard and the Marines, and has some of the finest public schools in the country under seven separate school districts.
But enough about that. The reason San Diego is THE location in the country is because of its variety of housing choices. Whether you choose Carlsbad, La Jolla, Del Mar, Coronado or the exquisitely renovated downtown area, you’ll be able to find the perfect home in a matter of days. So where do you begin? By knowing a little bit about the area.
San Diego was first settled in the Eastern and Southern parts of the city, and many of those older houses still exist. These homes tend to be smaller than the newer areas of the city you might find to the North, but prices may be just as competitive due to their closer proximity to the center core of downtown. North County is a newer area, with underground utilities, landscaped medians in the middle of wide streets, and newer schools. In fact, some of the best schools in San Diego County are in this Northern section that includes Carmel Valley, Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad along the Northern corridor of San Diego County.
Inland are areas like Scripps Ranch, which sports newer housing, schools and shopping centers. Sabre Springs, Rancho Penasquitos and Carmel Mountain, all near Poway, are also lovely areas. The median sale price for all of this housing has significantly decreased over the last year and buyers are beginning to realize the opportunities available for buying a home at an affordable price.
As for downtown, you’ll find a number of distinctive neighborhoods including the City Core, Columbia, Cortez Hill, East Village, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza, Little Italy and Marina, all with unique histories and style. Currently more than 24,000 people live downtown. Why? It offers the ability to live in arguably one of the most exciting cities in the country, near to work, shopping, world-class restaurants, entertainment and more. Downtown inventory is being absorbed month after month and once the inventory reaches a more “normal” number of condos for sale, pricing will begin to increase.
Naturally there are many questions regarding price. How much of a down payment do you need? What are the closing costs and how are they tabulated? Is there a Mello-Roos tax? How do I figure my monthly payment?
Questions regarding location are sometimes even more important because you want to live in an area where you’re happy and comfortable, and in the event that you decide to sell, you want your home to be in a desirable area. Ask yourself these questions: Is this a good neighborhood, and how do I know for sure? What are the neighbors like? Are the yards well kept? How far am I from work? What are the schools like? Will it be very hot in the summers? Would I be better off closer to the coast?
Buying a home in any city is a big undertaking and San Diego is no different. By making yourself familiar with the city and the areas that you are interested in focusing on, you’ll be able to make an informed decision, and, to quote another cliche, buy the house of your dreams. Just remember: location, location, location.
And get yourself a top-notch experienced realtor.