Is a condo in sonama, ca or san diego ca 92103 / 92101 a better real estate investment ?

Asked by Steve, Florida Wed Jul 25, 2012

I'm thinking of buying a primary residence in either Sonoma, CA or zip codes 92101 or 92103 in San Diego, CA. I have cancer and need the best investment condo for appreciation over 5 years if I die. I have a trust for my son to leave the property to.

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Jeff Larabee, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jul 25, 2012
92101 and 92103 are much investment and appreciation areas. Sonoma is great but is mostly rural. If you can buy a property on or near the square in Sonoma that would be different . . . that would make Sonoma a better choice. But if you can afford something much further from the Sonoma square then the big city of San Diego and the jobs and Navy, etc will work harder to pull up the appreciation.
Good luck!
1 vote
Nick Robles, Agent, Mission Valley, CA
Wed Oct 23, 2013
Im sorry to hear about your medical condition.
I know that San Diego has very stable values, and more and more demand, and less room for growth. So that means we will have more demand. Which is always a good thing for homeowners. =)
1 vote
Carlos Gonza…, Agent, san diego, CA
Fri Sep 14, 2012
Steve - Due to the market conditions here in the Downtown San Diego market, there are great opportunities specially if you're buying cash! There is a very high demand for rentals in the area and you can buy a $200,000 studio and rent it for $1,400/month. Also there are some other great opportunities like buying units at the Hard Rock Hotel which are for sale for around $180,000- $230,000 and per feedback from several clients your ROI ends up being of around 10%. There are some developments in downtown San Diego where you're definitely going to find great deals such as 300 w beech "La Vita" or 425 w beech "Acqua Vista" ( or 1240 India. Those are older developments in neighborhoods with many new developments, new restaurants and more tourist friendly.

Check out this blog that I posted on my website for more info regarding the Hard Rock:

I hope this helps!

Carlos E. Gonzalez

Realtor Associate, CDPE ®


Phone: 888.407.4546

Cell: 760.525.9544

Fax: 619.819.4152


Oh, by the way... If you know of someone thinking of buying or selling a home, who would appreciate the kind of service I offer, I’d love to help them. So, as these people come to mind, just give me a call with their name and business number. I’ll be happy to follow up and tend to their needs.
1 vote
Bradley Neum…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Franklin, TN
Sat Nov 9, 2013
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Brad Neumann
Sr. Loan Officer
Crosscountry Mortgage Inc.
Toll Free: (855) 415-5626 ext. 5734
NMLS# 948036
0 votes
Connie Sunds…, Agent, Del Mar, CA
Thu Oct 24, 2013
Both are great investments. You cannot go wrong with Sonoma or San Diego...both areas are great vacation rentals and highly desired areas for re-sale. Call me anytime with more questions at 858-334-8114.
0 votes
Sam Cong, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Oct 23, 2013
Hi Steve,

I am a Realtor with access to both MLS in Sonoma (BAREIS) and San Diego (SANDICOR). I am also familiar with both markets since I used to live in Sonoma County.

The actual City of Sonoma is a wonderful place to live. The city is peaceful, safe, and there is still that small town feel. If you are thinking purely investment I would personally recommend other cities in that county like Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Windsor... etc. These cities are served by US Highway 101 (4-6 lanes), while Sonoma is accessed by some two lane state highways. The area is great for retirement but other than the wineries and tourism there isn't the diversity of industry to drive development.

I love the San Diego climate, we get many temperate sunny days without the high humidity you experience down in Florida. If you prefer the ocean and beaches to miles of vineyards then I would definitely choose San Diego. Downtown San Diego (all of San Diego) are recovering very well and most prices I see are going up but like most major cities you are getting very little space for a lot of money. I don't know if your son will live in the property or it will just be a rental in 5 years but you should take into account high HOA fees, possible building litigation, and other factors that might narrow your buyer list in the future.

In summary, there is positives and negatives of both areas. Personally, the prices that you pay for a condo in downtown SD, I might buy a house instead. But that is only a personal opinion.
0 votes
Jane Grant, Agent, Aguanga, CA
Wed Oct 23, 2013
I have to agree with Carlos below. San Diego is really popular. The trend is for future buyers to want to walk to everything, and leave their cars for occasional trips. San Diego is perfect for the future buyer and you won't go wrong.

Best wishes for a cancer free future for you. There are many positive things going on with cancer research and along with the others I wish you all the best.
0 votes
Michael Ford, Agent,
Thu May 23, 2013
i have to respectfully disagree with mr. credit.

regardless of the HOA fees, or any other expenses, if the numbers work, they work. an HOA fee is simply another expense to be considered with all the other expenses.

your question asked of appreciation and no one can assure that but generally speaking a beachtown is a better bet than not, and a destination city like san diego is a better bet on whole. that said if the sonoma property has some sort of wine country tie in it will make a good vacation rental if that's part of your plan. you can see what vacay rentals go for by doing a search on

this is an old question...have you made a purchase. if you did so in san diego you've been fortunate and seen some healthy appreciation already.
0 votes
Mr Credit, Other Pro, San Diego, CA
Thu May 23, 2013
Totally depends on location in each area... Personally, I would never buy a condo as an investment. That's just me. I think HOA fees kill any advantage you might get with that type of investment property. Condos seem to get dated eventually as well, which won't help. That said, since we're talking about your primary residence, you only have to ask yourself one question... Where do YOU want to live?

Mr. Credit
Web Reference:
0 votes
Michael Ford, Agent,
Tue May 21, 2013

for fun can you tell us where you decided to buy...and why?

best regards

mike ford
0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 26, 2012
Hi Steve,

I'm sorry to hear your news, and really commend you for thinking of your son's future in determining where to buy your home. Jeff gave good information as far as Sonoma goes, and as far as San Diego, there are several great areas. 92101 would be mainly condos, and some of the downtown complexes have really high HOA fees. You didn't mention if your son would be living in the home, or selling it. 92103 has both newer condos along with some beautiful older detached homes in neighborhoods like Hillcrest & upscale Mission Hills. Detached homes tend to appreciate a little more and sell a little easier, generally speaking. There are other areas around it that are desirable too.

Please let me know if I can answer any more questions, or if you need help with zip codes, neighborhood locations or pricing here in San Diego.

Warm Regards,

Cory La Scala, REALTOR
Independence Realty
0 votes
Jerry Heard, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 26, 2012
Sorry to hear about your cancer. My son is recovering from leukemia. I am sure that San Diego has better medical facilities than Sonoma and that should also be taken into consideration. UCSD has a major cancer treatment center that has been instrumental in my son's recovery.
I would think that San Diego would have better appreciation because it is a larger community than Sonoma. Most parts of California will take at least 5 more years to fully recover. Home prices in San Diego are starting to recover but it will be a long process.
If you would like more information on condos that are available in San Diego, please feel free to use my website or contact me to discuss your needs.
Best wishes,

I am never too busy for your referrals

Jerry Heard
Your Broker
The San Diego Property Shop
Direct 619-920-9796
Office 619-269-5545
Fax 619-269-9168
CA DRE # 00648687
0 votes
Hector Gaste…, Agent, Coronado, CA
Thu Jul 26, 2012

First of all, I am very sorry to know you have cancer. I prefer to be honest and not give you my opinion on Sonoma. I know that 92101 and 92103 are very good investments. I would love to talk to you in more detail to maximize your investment plan, sometimes condos are not the best if you are looking at the cash flow due to the homeowner association fees, but then again, you are also looking at capital appreciation. Each property needs to studied independently for the opportunity it creates for your son in the short term and long run.

The best investment you can make is spending time with your son. I tell you this as the 14 yr. old son that lost his dad in 1989.

Best wishes

Hector R. Gastelum
Realty Executives Dillon
(619) 954-2225
efax (619) 270-2516
0 votes
Sarah Scott, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jul 25, 2012
I'm so sorry to hear that. I commend you for working to make good decisions to protect your savings & son's future. I'm not sure there is a good way to compare the two areas, they're so different & located so far apart. But a trusted agent & lender can help you get the best deal in their community. If you'd like some help determining who is qualified where you decide to look, I will help you interview.
Sarah Scott, Windermere
619.840.2767 direct
0 votes
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