Rentals in Ocean Beach>Question Details

Shelley Mosl…, Renter in San Diego, CA

I am a nurse who plans on relocating to San Diego in June. When should I begin my search for a nice rental property?

Asked by Shelley Mosley, San Diego, CA Thu Jan 3, 2013

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Hi Shelley,
My name is Vickie, I relocated to San Diego from WI over 7 year ago for the Navy and I have to say that while the weather is absolutely amazingly warm all year, it has also been a major culture shock to say the least. I am not sure where you are living now but I can honestly say that living in San Diego is unlike living in any other place I have ever lived, which sadly happens to be more places than doubled the number of fingers and toes on a person's hands and feet. I hope that no one takes this wrong because I am not intending it any other way than as a warning to let you know that the very first thing you want to do before you rent or purchase anything is to make sure that you are in a good and safe location. I wish someone would have told me that there are some neighborhoods that are clearly best avoided at all costs but I learned the hard way and I hope to prevent that for you. A lot of this will depend on your income level and what areas will work best for you in order to be close to work or whatever things you like to be near, but just keep this in mind when you are looking. I have learned that for a more rural type feeling than Santee is a wonderful place to live but if you want to be in the heart of San Diego's night life than you would chose areas such as North Park, Normal Heights, or Kensington. Also keeping in mind that in each of these divisions there are also still areas that are best avoided and neighborhoods that you are best to steer clear of. I am still learning all of the little things about living in San Diego but I would be happy to be of any assistance that I can since I know how intimidating it can be to move to a place like this on your own or even with a family. I hope this helps and I wish you good luck in your search, also be very careful of giving money to people to hold the a place because I have run into several that have taken a deposit only to turn around and rent the place to someone else 3 or 4 days later while keeping my payment because it was taken off the market for those days! I hope all goes well during your relocation and your new beginning as you get to know the city, good luck with your move, I hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 14, 2015
Hi Shelly,

All of the agents have given great advice. One question for you, are you working registry? If the anwer is yes, and you need a furnished rental. You should start making contact with vacation owners now in the slow season. Owners are more likely to negotiate in the early part of the year. If your looking for a traditional unfurnished rental, I would begin looking 5 weeks out.

Welcome to San Diego....It is an amazing place to call home!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
Hi Shelly,

I work at a full service brokerage that has a very strong niche in the rental markets of San Diego. I talk to people every day about rental properties and show a lot of them and know the market well.

I don't think that you can ever be to proactive in finding a place. Sure, you will probably always end up with something but this is the place you are going to call home and you should start putting feelers out now.

First consider where you might want to live. Have you been here before? Do you know what type of commute you expect to encounter? Have you set a budget? Is it just you or are there other people that will be living with you? Do you have any pets that would be living with you? Is it important for you to live near the beach? Do you need a garage? Do you have good credit? How long of a lease are you looking for? Furnished or unfurnished? Condo, duplex, single family home?

I would suggest that, if you can, you make a trip out and explore the neighborhoods and commutes to narrow down your areas and rank your selections so that you don't end up regretting a hasty decision. Create a profile of you must have requirements and would like to have and send it out to Realtors that specialize in rentals or property management in the areas you like. We have a good number of properties we manage for owners and the leases turn over regularly. Tonight I just went through listings and found what may be a perfect match for a highly desirable tenant - her lease expires in July and can go month to month and a property we have should become available right in that time frame and she loves the property.

Craigslist is a good source and we post on it as well as the MLS but if you are proactive you may find the perfect property before it is ever even posted or hits the market and get first dibs on it. The best properties that are rented by owners direct are usually not posted until maybe a month out and with that you have to compete with everyone else looking at CL plus hope that there are good properties at that time.

I also wanted to note that we get slammed with requests for summer rentals and sometimes there are rentals that will hold out for top dollar and won’t even rent their properties long term until after the high season of summer has passed. Charnholm has a very strong presence in Del Mar and Solana Beach and with the track season, fair, Arizona residents that come to San Diego to keep cooler and summer in general the rentals selection can be pretty lean or high priced much of the time.

Anyway, those are my thoughts~
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 11, 2013
Hi Shelly,

We feel it would be best to start looking in May so the availability is current.

When looking for rentals, your best bet is Craigslist. 85% to 95% of all rentals leased in San Diego County are fulfilled using Craigslist. It is used by owners, property management companies and agents alike.

The best way to search is to put the zip code in the search box and then enter the rest of your parameters. Check often and call/e-mail right away as many rentals move quickly!

Lastly, beware of rental scam listings and ads that "look too good to be true”. Make sure you talk to the person managing the property and meet them to see it. Scams usually involve people asking for a deposit prior to seeing the property or filling out a rental application.

Best of luck to you,

Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
National Association of Realtors
CA DRE License 01713506
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 7, 2013
Hello Shelly,

Is this a temporary move (ie, are you a travel nurse) or something a bit more long term? With vacancy rates hovering around 5%, the rental market is certainly hot and properties are being rented out relatively quickly. Thus, many that you'd come across will be gone within 30 days, if not much sooner. Having said that, there are plenty of situations in which someone may be advertising their place for rent down the road, thus it does not hurt to keep your eye on places right now. If you have a good idea of where you'd specifically like to be, you can have an agent use their resources and reach out to the community/other agents and have them be made aware that someone (ie, YOU) would like to rent starting in June and to let them know if something comes up. Either way, you are going to be very happy moving to America's Finest City. Best of luck!

Chad Basinger, REALTOR®, CPA, CFP®
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2013
Yes, mid- April to early May would be best. Welcome to San Diego!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2013
I agree with my colleagues - Start looking 4-6 weeks before you need a rental.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2013
Hi Shelley,

Congrats on your move to San Diego. It's a great place to call home!

I usually suggest setting up showings 3-5 weeks before your desired move in date. Anything much further back is likey to result in seeing homes that won't be available for your timeframe.

Feel free to utilize my website, which has the largest database of rentals in San Diego. It is made up off all the listings from various Realtors as well as some homes being rented directly by homeowners.

By the way, I am the co-founder of Greater Good Realty. In addition to providing valuable information about the San Diego real estate market, my company donates 10% of our commissions to local charities and non-profit organizations throughout San Diego.

We hope to make a difference for those in our neighborhoods!

Take care,

David Stone
Greater Good Realty

CA DRE#01888818
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 4, 2013
Tenants typically give 30 day notice so landlords won't usually know much before that if they will have a vacancy. If a property is being remodeled, has a new owner or a tenant gives more advance notice the upcoming availability may be advertised as much as 60 days in advance. You probably won't find anything available for June rental if you start more than two months in advance. Don't wait too late because it can be a challenge to find something (depending on where and what you're looking for) in the current market.

Jill Miranda - DRE #01413799
Pacific Sotheby's International Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 3, 2013
35 days out. Idea. stay in a vacation rental sort out what area of San Diego suits you best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 3, 2013
Hi Shelley!
t is never to early to start exploring your new city. I can certainly set you up for a search of rentals in the neighborhood to give you an idea of the average rental fees. Feel free to email or call. Good luck on your move. Don't miss the San Diego Zoo. It has to be one of the best in the country.
Stacey Redgrave
Coldwell Banker HPW
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 3, 2013
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