I am graduating soon and planning to move to the San Diego area. Should I rent or buy?

Asked by Breanne Brehm, Honolulu, HI Sun Mar 31, 2013

Hoping to be somewhere around Mission Beach/ Pb/ La Jolla. Any advice wether to rent or to buy a house/ condo/ apartment.

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Royce Kemp, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sun Mar 31, 2013
Hi Breanne,

First, there's a great calculator I keep a link to from the New York Times, it's the most comprehensive rent vs buy calculator out there.


Other things to consider are more personal, like your current credit situation, or your life goals/plans and how owning a piece of real estate would factor into that.

If you'd like a more in depth discussion where we can discuss your personal details feel free to contact me via email @ roycekemprealtor@gmail.com

Whatever you choose to do, San Diego welcomes you! Congrats on graduating and moving into the next chapter of your life!

~Royce Kemp
2 votes
JR Thrasher, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Jul 29, 2013
The first step you need to take is to find out if you can buy a home. Talk to a lender and see if you can get pre-qualified.

J.R. Thrasher
(619) 929-0105
1 vote
Katie, Renter, San Diego, CA
Thu Aug 15, 2013
I currently live in PB (and LOVE IT)- and I rent. I would recommend renting at first until you get familiar with the neighborhood and San Diego itself, then look to buy
0 votes
Logan Hall, Agent, Glendale, AZ
Wed Jul 31, 2013
0 votes
Yoann Baral…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jul 31, 2013
Hi Breanne,

If you can afford to buy, then buy. Find out if you can qualify for a mortgage, as it has been a little difficult these days.

The housing market in San Diego is still a little low, but is coming back rapidly.

Let me know if I can be of any help.

Yoann Baral Baron
Allied Green Realty
619 995 9467
0 votes
Robert Chome…, , San Diego, CA
Sat Jul 27, 2013
My advice would be to rent for a while. That way you can feel out the area and see what are you want to live in. Also, in the neighborhoods you mention, rent will likely be a lot less than a house payment + maintenance. Also when you rent you don't have to come up with a big down payment and closing costs.
0 votes
Rene' De Bla…, , San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 25, 2013
If you can afford it, buy. Rates and housing prices are not going to be this low much longer.

0 votes
Jeff.besch, Home Buyer,
Sat Apr 13, 2013
Everybody who is new to San Diego thinks they want to live there ( PB,MB,). Just be sure to always budget 30-40 minutes to get down Grand or Garnett Ave in either direction, unless its 3 am. Then add on your regular 30-60 minute commute from the 5 freeway to your good paying job elsewhere in the city/county. As a side note...PB/MB are consistently in the highest crime ratings for sexual assaults and general assaults/crimes. Maybe it is related to the dozens of bars there ?
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed Apr 3, 2013
You've received some very astute and professional advice and information, however, it really depends on your particular financial situa tion. If you're going to be a working stiff and climbing the ladder of success with little skin to put into the game and perhaps not such a huge income out of the chute you'd be wise to rent in some of the areas you're considering permanent residence in.

But if you've got some deeper pockets or are fortunate enough to be a trust fund baby now couldn't be a better time to purchase a home in the areas you've mentioned. They're not making anymore property in those areas and the prices just keep going up.

I was raised in Newport Beach and personally saw what happened to property values there. I sat on the fence in disbelief and got left behind. Moved to San Diego and didn't let any California surf pull the sand out from under my feet. Not only that, San Diego has Newport Beach beat hands down. I wouldn't live anywhere else. But don't sit on the fence too long.

If we can help you in any way please feel free to reach out anytime. My cell is 760 815-6977 and my email address is onthelevel@cox.net. We're a one stop turnkey family owned and operated real estate broker, developer, general contractor and interior design company with over 100 years of combined experience.

Please take a few moments to peruse our very user friendly websites:

0 votes
Robert Chome…, , San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 1, 2013
First even if you buy, I would rent for 3-6 mos to figure out where you want to live. Second, you really need to look at the rent vs. buy calcuation. Take you mortgage+taxes+insurance+water bill+monthly repair & maintenance and compare what that monthly payment is vs. renting. Also, when you buy you get to write off the mortgage interest and property taxes. Plus will a fully amortizing loan part of your payment will be going to principle every month. So don't forget to factor in the tax savings and principle pay down when comparing rent vs. own. Other benefits of owning are you get to remodel the place to your liking and no one can ever kick you out (which can happen if the landlord sells or moves back in).

Also don't forget to factor in the cost of maintenance and repair on a property you own. When you rent your landlord gets to pay all of this.

If rent is much less than the payment to own, you might choose to keep renting. Renting is also very flexible in that you can move immediately if you have a job change, without having to sell or rent your house.
0 votes
Shane Pliskin, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 1, 2013
Completely depends upon what you want to pay per month, if you can qualify for a mortgage, and if there is porperty being sold in that area for the monthly mortgage you are qualified for.
First stop...a lender. I am not one, but can refer you to a few if you do not have someone you trust.
Thank You.
The San Diego Homes Team
0 votes
Sinead McAll…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Mon Apr 1, 2013
Hi Breanne,
It depends! I am advising pretty much anyone who can, to buy right now, but each situation is different and we don't have a crystal ball as to where the market is going to go this year (although, there are so many indicators that say UP). I would love to chat with you about your specific situation, if you are pre-qualified, what you want/need in a home, etc. so feel free to contact me directly and we can work together to see what is best for you. Sometimes, my clients need to rent for a year and then we go house-shopping, it's only what's best, if it's what's best for you!

All My Best!
Sinead McAllister-Clifford
Real Estate Broker/ Realtor®

McAllister Homes Real Estate
Residential Sales & Property Management
License 01366009
858-205-5215 CELL
brokermcallister@gmail.com EMAIL
0 votes
Alessandra S…, Agent, Coronado, CA
Mon Apr 1, 2013
There are benefits with renting and buying. If you will be settling in California for a while and you have can qualify and have the means to cover closing costs buying is a great option. Also it is recommended that you have a reserve of up to 6 months mortgage for any unexpected costs. If you can talk with an established lender they will give you the best representation of what you can afford. Then you can take the next step and call a realtor!
Mission Beach, La Jolla, and Pacific Beach are beautiful areas by the ocean (most comparable to Hawaii ;)). Condos in those areas can be affordable but you will most likely be looking at substantial HOA dues, especially in La Jolla. Good luck! You will love it here!
0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 1, 2013
Hi Breanne,

Welcome to San Diego, you'll love it here!

Normally, I'd say rent until you get acquainted with the neighborhoods, but prices are rising due to low inventory. So, it depends on if you know where to buy, although your budget may end up guiding you.

What I do suggest right now is to have some listings sent to you in your price range, even if you're just going by monthly payment right now. Or you can get pre-qualified to see what you're price range actually is. You'll start to see what's available where, and soon you'll have already narrowed down your neighborhoods.

A couple of questions to ask yourself are, do you have money set aside for closing costs? You can ask a seller to pay them, but we're in a really competitive market now, and sellers are looking for the highest and cleanest offers.

What sort of down payment do you have? This will let you know what type of loan you'll have, and your loan will tell you what properties you can buy (some loans are more restrictive).

Do you know your credit score? This will also help you with a loan type, and will also dictate your interest rate, which affects your monthly payment.

A lender will want to see documents like W-2's, tax statements, bank statements, etc.

When you're ready to go out and look at homes, I can let you know what your monthly payments will be before you even write an offer. The more you understand, the less stress you'll feel.

Feel free to contact men anytime with questions, I'm here to help!

Warm Regards,
0 votes
Shane Pliskin, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 1, 2013
Good Morning Breanne,
If you have the opportunity to buy now-do it.
Look at any statistics both short term and long term, for San Diego, and you will see that we are trending up at a rapid pace and heading to what may be our next peak in the market. Even if your life takes you to another city in the future, you have in most cases, an excellent rental to hold on to after the move. In the event you want to return,you've reserved that option.
A wise old gentleman once said to me, 'If you can afford to buy land in Souther California-do it and hold onto it'.
Do your research.
The closer to the Ocean you get, the more demand there is.
Any of these great Agents can help you understand neighborhoods where you want to live, and where you'll be happy.
Don't worry about the price of the property-set the bar for the amount of mortgage you want to pay every month. Once you set this number, we can work backwards to find the price of a property that allows you to keep that monthly comfort level-this is how to keep a healthy quality of life.
There are many more factors here to consider, BUT FIRST talk with a lender to establish your monthly comfort level and get preapproved. Some properties are getting over 50 offers, Yes 50! No Seller today, will look twice at an offer that does not have a Preapproval and Verification of Funds accompanying it. Sounds scary I know, but it's my job to let you know what the playing field really looks like, and then equip you to successfully negotiate the game.
If I can answer any questions for you, please contact me through phone, text, or email or you can visit my site at: http://www.SanDiegoHomesByShane.com
Thank You and Good Luck!
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Apr 1, 2013
Your answer depends upon a number of variables.

Can you afford what you want to buy?
Do you have a substantial down payment? closing costs?
Do you have 3-6 months of savings after you buy?
What is your credit score?
What is your income?

If you meet the needed loan criteria, by all means buy. Most folks just graduating need to get established at a job, save up money, and so on.

Feel free to call me directly if you would like to explore this further!

Take care.

Cindy - 619-379-8616
0 votes
John Georges, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sun Mar 31, 2013
Congrats! If your personal situation is one that allows you to buy, I say go for it. I have six grown children. I persuaded our youngest two ( one just graduated as well) to buy and they did. With the help of great First time buyer programs and various Grants that aee available it became a no brainer. Payments in both cases were either at or just a bit more than rent. Contact me anytime to further discuss yiur specific needs.
John Georges
Area Manager
OCMbancorp, Inc
A Direct Lender
0 votes
Song Hasell, Agent, Del Mar, CA
Sun Mar 31, 2013
I would recommend to rent a place until you built up your credit. You also need to study an area you would like to live.

Song Hasell
Realty Experts
Dre #01772039
0 votes
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