Thanks everyone for taking the time to answer.
Nick, I probably do not plan on living there the rest of my life. But, the problem is the SFR's that are in my price range are not in areas of San Diego I would want to live. You can get a MUCH better location with a condo conversion. You can get a 1 bedroom condo conversion in the low $100k range in a area with $400k-$600k average SFR price. I could technically qualify for SFR probably up to $500k, but I am single and very big on keeping my monthly overhead very low and not being "house poor". I like to have flexibility & extra funds to travel, have fun and enjoy my life vs. having a giant house pymt and living off top ramen:) Also, you never know in this volatile world and economy if you will have a job or income in 6 mos. If you have a low house payment you can withstand the brutal shocks the world economy seems to have on a regular basis these days.
I've checked out the HOA thoroughly and it's not in bad shape. Checked owner occupancy %, reserves, hoa delinq. It's a small 8 unit building that was converted in 2006 in North Park. The main thing I'm challenged with is "looking under the hood" and getting a good feeling of the condition of the plumbing, electrical and structure of the building so I'm not running into expensive special assesments down the road.
Also, these properties were renovated extensively only a few years ago, so the nice thing is you get a really sharp looking interior for such a rock bottom price and payment (40% of what they sold for at the peak in 2005/2006). They need absolutely no fix up work and are move in ready. After tax my payment is less than rent for a similar 1 bedroom and I also pay principle down every month with a fully amortized 30 yr fixed loan at 4.75%. So I can't see how I could go that wrong.