My guess is that the property you are discussing is in a planned unit development which is quite different from condo ownership. You do own the land but are merely subject to the CC & R's of the gated community.
From a lending standpoint there can be disadvantages to purchasing a condominium vs. a single family home. There is additional documentation required to finance a condominium. Since the Homeowners Association controls and manages the condominium project, lenders will need to review and approve the HOA's financials, the CC&R's. We will also consider the percentage of owner occupied units vs. rentals, and the number of units that are delinquent on thier HOA dues. Finally, depending on the Loan to Value of the loan, the interest rate on a loan to purchase a condominium may be higher than a single family home.
I hope this information will be of use to you.
Regional Vice President
All Western Mortgage, Inc.
It is true that whether an owner owns the land the property sits on or not makes a sizable difference on the desirability and purchase price of a house in San Diego. However, some condominiums are more valuable than detached homes in a specific area (and vice versa). I hate to answer a question with a question, but what is the source of the listing information that lists some homes as condominims and others as fee simple in the same community? Are you working with a local agent? If not, a buyer's agent is highly recommended. They can readily answer questions about specific properiteis that you are interested in. Generally, a buyer's agent does not cost you since commissions are usually paid by the sellers. You should find an agent that you can trust to assist you in the home buying process.