Buy or rent at University City near UCSD?

Asked by mistycheney, 92122 Thu Jul 4, 2013

I am a graduate student at UCSD. I have been paying expensive rents to live in a two-room apartment at University City with another student. Recently I have been thinking about buying a duplex house or a multi-room apartment in the same area. Since there are some years before I graduate, I will live in one room and rent the other room(s). Is this a good way to start real estate investment? Is now a good time to start such an investment? Thanks.

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Yoann Baral Baron’s answer
Yoann Baral…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sat Jul 6, 2013
Hi Mistycheney,

It is a great time NOW to buy real estate in southern California. As a real estate profesional and investor, I would strongly suggest to borrow whatever amount you can since mortgage rates are still reasonably low.

For the past 5 weeks, rates have been going up and dangerously approaching 5%.
Now is a great time and I would be more than happy to help you in finding the perfect deal.
As an Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, but with the mindset of a true investor, getting the best deal for my clients is my number one priority.

Moreover, I could also set you up with a great mortgage company that I have personally used over the years to get you the best financing possible.

PM me to schedule an appointment


Yoann Baral-Baron
Licensed Real Estate salesperson
DRE # 01930612
Allied Green Realty

Cell: (619)-995-9467
1 vote
Sinead McAll…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Fri Jul 5, 2013
Hi Misty,
I can completely sympathize with not wanting to pay someone else's mortgage every month. It really is going to be about the numbers for you. My suggestion is to speak with a lender to see what you qualify for based on your income, assets, etc. I can recommend a great one that is in the UTC area. Once you figure that out, we can find a home or condo that meets what you need. It is better to collect rent than pay rent! Feel free to contact me ASAP and we can start right away.

​Sinead McAllister-Clifford
Real Estate Broker/ Realtor®

McAllister Homes Real Estate
Residential Sales & Property Management
License 01366009
858-205-5215 CELL EMAIL
0 votes
Royce Kemp, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 4, 2013
Hi Misty,

It's all about the numbers! Besides being a Realtor, I'm an investor who owns two rentals in UTC (among others), and your approach to purchasing a duplex (not many in UTC) is a great way to get into the real estate game. You're able to purchase as owner-occupied and get low rates to qualify, and you can put less than 20% down.

I think UTC is a great place to invest, as you know, the rental demand is strong and the rates are high. Since you need a place for a few years, that's the perfect recipe to acquire your first investment property. If you would like to discuss this further and in greater detail, I'd be happy to help you evaluate your options and really see if it makes financial sense to make a move.

Royce Kemp, Realtor with Premiere Properties
Web Reference:
0 votes
Stef Seper, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 4, 2013
Hi Misty,
Sounds like you are a thinking a step ahead :)
It is a great time to invest in a condo or town home. Since you are in UTC, it is a perfect match. I would steer away from the single family residences at this time, due to the maintenance and time required to maintain such a dwelling. I have helped other students @ UCSD and residents @ the V.A. hospital complete an investment in your area. They are happy with their investments and I can share with you other tips on how to make your's a profitable and enjoyable venture as well. Look forward to hearing from you,
Steve Seper, Broker/Owner
-Balboa Park Realty-
BRE Lic# 01730524
0 votes
Neil Fjelles…, Other Pro, San Diego, CA
Thu Jul 4, 2013
First and foremost, living too rich while attending school (situation goes from bad to worse in grad school) is the number one contributer toward professionals pulling a ton of unnecessary debt into their earning years. So, the first principle of sound financial management is to live below your means and free up additional cash flow for investment now and into the future. The question you propose shows me that the lack of financial control you're experiencing though very common to your circumstance bothers you more than most. This is a positive sign because financial management requires discipline, discipline demands motivation which can only be maintained with a goal you want bad enough to stay on course. You'll need all this in play when you're chasing your renters (not roommates/kinda like when you're made the boss at work to supervise peers but worse) for rent, scrambling to make the monthly nut when a renter moves out without notice, figuring how to fix the flouded bathroom damage caused by a leaking commode that "nobody used" on the night in question. The fact is this is an opportune time to start such an investment strategy along with a natural method to initiate. It is also true that these facts don't matter until you're personally ready, willing and able. Here's a site for your continued education.
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0 votes
Hector Gaste…, Agent, Coronado, CA
Thu Jul 4, 2013
You are on the right track in your way of thinking, the next thing is to make a strategic plan of how this purchase is going to happen, as a former lender, I know the key to the transaction is the Financing, on our first meeting we will discuss: 1. down payment 2. Income 3. Possible co-signors or alternative financing

Happy 4th of July

Hector R. Gastelum
Realty Executives Dillon
REALTOR #01382940
efax 619-270-2516
0 votes
Frederick Re…, Agent, SAN DIEGO, CA
Thu Jul 4, 2013
Hi...yes it is a VERY good time to start and nothing is worse than flushing your money down the drain with paying rent. There are a number of opportunities for you out there. When I was in grad school about 15 years ago I did the same thing.

If you go to my site at you can do mls direct searches anytime day or night.

Feel free to give me a call tomorrow and we can discuss as well.

Good night and happy 4th!

Frederick Remick
619 519 3287
0 votes
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