Home Buying in San Diego>Question Details

Jon Olson, Home Buyer in San Diego, CA

Me and my wife are looking for a home somewhere between La Jolla and Del Mar. What should we be considering?

Asked by Jon Olson, San Diego, CA Wed Aug 27, 2008

We just moved to San Diego from North Carolina and absolutely love the coast. Our credit is spotless and we have quite a bit of savings for our young age. We would like to buy something in the Torrey Pines, Sorrento, Del Mar area at some point in the next 8-12 months. We've been looking for something in the 300k - 400k range and would like around 1200-1300 sq/ft. Is this unrealistic to the area? We are young and don't want to be presumptuous or unrealistic, but what should we be looking for, especially in a foreclosure? My search so far has revealed several neighborhoods in the Sorrento Valley as well as up into Del Mar Heights that seem like they would be wonderful first homes. I would love some advice from an expert who has been in the area longer than we have. Thanks!

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Dear Jon,
I am a 27 year resident of San Diego and a real estate broker and firm owner. I am very qualified to answer your question. The type of home you describe starts at about $700,000 even in this market. There are condos in the price range you describe. Foreclosed homes are selling for nearly the same price as non-foreclosed homes: lower than before but not as low as you describe. I have lived in and near the area you describe and believe that you should probably, for now, abandon this particular area and concentrate on getting a GREAT house for that price. I suggest zip codes 92123, 92111, 92110 and 92117. I love the cheap houses in 92116, particularly north of Adams Avenue. We have a wealth of homes in your price range. Don't miss your own buyer's market by being fixated on Del Mar and Carmel Valley. Please feel free to view homes for free, anonymously on my website!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2008
From a future neighbor (and NOT a realtor!) :)

I live in Torrey Hills and drive through Del Mar and La Jolla frequently. You will find NOTHING for 300-400K in the nicest parts (we're paying 2100/mo for an APT)...Even with a foreclosure you are getting your hopes up. so sorry but I know ur thinking the area is great but there are no homes for sale around here at the moment. Everyone is just holding on..and even if people go under with their HUGE loans I would never assume it would go that low. I have grown up in San Diego and know almost every part of it, so please feel free to tell me more about what ur looking for (I know some great places for cute historic homes)..or if u def. want something closer to the ocean you would want to go N of Encinitas or S of La Jolla for that price. PB is too much of a party town...Oceanside is too military. Escondido (where I grew up) has a great downtown and is very much for the new age...You may LOVE the funkiness of Encinitas/Leucadia...though nothing W of the 5 will be for that price...still not sure but I LOVE SD and have been here for my 25 years, so good luck and feel free to update me on what kind of house you're thinking of and I will try to better tell u what city to go for!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2008
If you are planning to buy in the next 8-12 months, you have plenty of time to relax and take a few vacations. Inventory will be proabaly be very healty. If you have great credit, dont rush into getting pre-approved. Being pre-approved means you are ready to buy in todays market, not a potentially a year.

Once you decide its time to buy.. interview realtors and a loan officers for your business. I would not waste your time or the realtors time until you are absolutely sure you are ready to buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
Hi Jon,
While it's true that prices are soft, you are a little off in your expectations. The price for the area you are looking in means you'll be able to buy a condo with less than 1,000 square feet. Move further north and you can get more for your money. Move up to Oceanside and you can get a house but don't be shy. Jump in with both feet! Step 1 is to get preapproved for the purchase from a direct lender. Step 2 pick a realtor that you are comfortable with and start looking. There's never been a better time to buy. Rates are low and prices are good. When rates go up you'll lose some purchasing power. How much is between you and your lender and the rate. If you want to wait 8-12 months it's too early to start looking. You can be in a home in 40 days!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
Hi Jon: You certainly have great taste in picking communities. I have lived and worked (full time Realtor) in the area for the past 8 years. In your price range, you would be looking at a condo. I would be happy to answer any more detailed questions that you may have...just let me know how I can help you...thanks, Maria Weiss
Web Reference: http://www.mariaweiss.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2008
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