My Real Estate Obsession

Friday, July 14, 2006, 17:03 —by JeSais
This item was posted in General, Real Estate in San Diego category and has 26 Comments so far.

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26 Responses to “My Real Estate Obsession”

  1. JeSais said on Friday, July 14, 2006, 17:08

    OH, but wait, on further read, its the OCCUPANT not the OWNER who must be economically disadvantaged… and the rent is controlled (you’ll be able to charge $792.50 for this 3 BR unit) but not to worry, you can sell this property for what its really worth in 55 years… I’ll be 90 then, so I’m sure I’ll appreciate being right next to the coaster since I won’t be driving.

  2. Michael Allen Smith said on Friday, July 14, 2006, 18:31

    Did you see the U-T story this week? Real estate just went negative.

    San Diego County’s once blistering housing market moved into negative territory for the first time in 10 years as overall prices declined 1 percent last month from June 2005.

  3. Sassy said on Friday, July 14, 2006, 21:10

    owning a home is not a right or a priviledge. There are a whole lot of places in San Diego that are a lot cheaper than Solana Beach. No offense, but this seems like a little bit of whining. Yes prices are high, insanely so perhaps, but you could always rent, move, or concede on property type and location. That’s what I had to do to get a house, and I suspect that’s what most people had to do to as well.

  4. jessie said on Saturday, July 15, 2006, 8:31

    I don’t think this is whining at all. I despair frequently over the fact that even as a double income no kids household we still have no hope of buying anything but the tiniest of condos in the worst neighborhoods. If owning a home isn’t a right or a privilege, what is it? For me it’s a fantasy.

  5. Michael Allen Smith said on Saturday, July 15, 2006, 11:00

    Don’t despair. Keeping saving and wait.

  6. JeSais said on Saturday, July 15, 2006, 11:13

    I don’t feel like I’m whining at all…. but I do feel that I should not have to choose between owning a house and having a life. I would like to still enjoy an occassional dinner with friends, a movie, a show at the Old Globe, a concert, and yeah, maybe some groceries. I don’t need to be in Solana Beach , but I would like to NOT spend 2 hours commuting to work every day….

    I have been feeling especially grumpy about everything lately…. but I’ll be saving and waiting :-) or moving. Who knows.

  7. Sassy said on Saturday, July 15, 2006, 14:43

    I guess my point is that San Diego has always been one of the most expensive places in the country to own a home. I would assume y’all were aware of that when you moved here?

    We all make choices in life and not all of them are easy. Not everyone wants to live in a 1BR condo but many do and did in the past. Millions of New Yorkers raise children in 600sf 1BR apartments. At some point you have to accept your situation and make a plan to do something about it.

    Save, wait, move, whatever. Make sacrifices. No one wants to drive 2 hours and no one wants to give up eating out every day. No one wants to cut back on vacations and car payments. But everyone wants what they want when they want it, and when they can’t get it, they say “it’s not fair!”.

    Are you special and deserve not to have to commute 2 hours or live in the ‘ghetto’ or live in a 1BR? What about all those people who do live in the ghetto or commute 2hrs a day? What do they deserve?

    The final point I’d like to make is that we live in a time where a 100k salary no longer can be considered a lot of money. Obviously salaries have stagnated while everything around us has become increasingly expensive. I made a decision early on to earn as much money as I possibly could, even at the expense of my personal time and enjoyment. I chose this road because I knew that my goals – i.e. owning a home – were worth the sacrifice.

    Pining and hoping and wishing will not really help anything. Take control, make a plan. If you really want it, you can make it happen. Best wishes and Good luck.

  8. JeSais said on Saturday, July 15, 2006, 16:08

    “Are you special and deserve not to have to commute 2 hours or live in the ‘ghetto’ or live in a 1BR?


    What about all those people who do live in the ghetto or commute 2hrs a day? What do they deserve?”

    THE SAME THING. to be special and to not have to live in a ghetto or commute 2 hrs a day. I don’t want for myself more than I wish for everyone else. I may think I’m special, but I am not selfish….

    As far as “making a plan” that I am doing. The blog is a place to rant….

  9. Sassy said on Saturday, July 15, 2006, 16:30

    See… this is where we disagree. I do not believe that anyone ‘deserves’ anything – aside from their freedom and right to excersize it. Beyond that… it’s all about what you choose to do (or choose not to do).

    I believe that the person who chooses to drive 2 hours away does so because he believes it is the best for his future, and sacrifices his time accordingly. Not a decision I had to make, thankfully, but I live in an area of San Diego that a lot of people might consider ‘ghetto’ – and I live in a great area!

    I’ve only lived in 2 places in my life – NY and SoCal. And both are very competitive, expensive, money-driven, status-driven places. I have accepted that money is essentially the measure of success in our culture, as distasteful as that may be.

    Like I said… no one has to own a house. It’s not a right. It’s not something you deserve. It’s something you either can afford to do or can’t. Concentrate on making it something you can afford!

    Great, now I sound like a republican!

  10. jessie said on Saturday, July 15, 2006, 20:56

    I do live in the ghetto. I rent. I would love to be able to buy in this neighborhood but even a cheap house payment would be literally more than double my rent.
    I knew real estate was expensive before I moved here, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel sad about the statistics that so few people who make normal incomes can buy.
    True though, that SD is affordable compared to NYC.

  11. Sassy said on Sunday, July 16, 2006, 8:48

    If I felt I had no chance of owning a home in San Diego, I would be gone in a heartbeat. There are tons of affordable, totally livable cities in this country. Personally I would move to either Denver or Philadelphia… both big cities with lots of amenities, both totally affordable.

  12. JeSais said on Sunday, July 16, 2006, 9:43

    I am hopeful that I will be able to afford something someday… just not right at this minute. I have to be able to do it while affording the moderate lifestyle that I have grown accustomed to. As I said, the blog is nothing more than a rant, the rant of a gal having a bad day- er, ah, week…. month maybe. I agree too that there are tons of affordable cities, and in fact am confident that my job skills would afford me an even better lifestyle in many of those… family obligations at this moment, however, would make it difficult for me to move, so I wait, I plot, I plan, I save, I hope and I scan the real estate listings and rant on occassion. But mostly I hope. Without hope, what’s the point?

    And, you don’t TOTALLY sound like a republican!

  13. KirkH said on Monday, July 17, 2006, 11:04

    Have a look at this graph SD Price To Income Graph

    We are in the midst of the biggest housing bubble the world has ever known and San Diego is in the top 5 most overvalued cities according to a CNN article.

    You’re supposed to spend 2 to 3 times your income on a home. If the median home price is near $600,000 than, in a sane world, median incomes should be $200,000 to $300,000. It’s closer to $50,000 in San Diego.

    So… Either median incomes triple or prices drop. I’m betting on the latter considering the number of soon to be unemployed mortgage brokers and RE agents in SD.

    These cycles usually take 5 or so years to play out, we’re at the very beginning of the reversion to normalcy. I’m saving for five years at which point prices will probably be near their historical relations to income, which means about half of what they cost now.

    Hard to believe, I know. Read the Bubble Primer Part 1 and Part 2

  14. Sassy said on Monday, July 17, 2006, 13:44

    Ahhh yes, the bubble.

    Food for thought – my parents bought a house for 67k in 1976 on an income of 8k a year. (New York). That house is now worth about 400k. Their combined income: about 90k. They have no mortgage.

    The 2-3x income rule has been dead in NYC for about 20 years. Now I realize that some silly people have bought houses at 6,7,8x earnings, but do you think 2-3x income makes sense for a couple earning 150, 200k a year?

  15. Michael Allen Smith said on Monday, July 17, 2006, 16:08

    The 2-3x rule is not applicable in low interest rate environments. A better rule is your mortgage shouldn’t exceed 40% of gross income.

    I think this comment thread has drifted from the original post. The Solana Beach house is an AWFUL investment, since whoever buys it is most likely too successful to live in that property and buying it restricts the owners rights. The house might be worth more if it weren’t for the rent control.

  16. JeSais said on Monday, July 17, 2006, 16:46

    maybe a good investment if you need some sort of write-off, for the next 55 years… or brownie points for providing affordable housing.

  17. Sassy said on Monday, July 17, 2006, 17:56

    These Solana beach townhouses are most likely the flip side of a deal where a developer was granted a variance to build luxury condos on zoned single-family land. In exchange they built ‘affordable’ for-sale housing. AFAIK the upper limit for FHA family of 4 is like 100k, so a family with a large downpayment could theoretically afford this with FHA loans.

    This is common in City of SD but I have not seen it in prime coastal areas. No one will buy these and they will be rentals within a year.

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  19. Sarah said on Sunday, August 6, 2006, 7:00

    interesting discussion about real estate prices here.

    This is on a different topic, but since you all sound like you know the neighborhood and prices pretty well- here’s a question for you- I hope you can help me out?

    My husband and i are moving to san diego with our 7 month old baby this fall. We’re looking for an apt in South Bay/ Imperial Beach which is close to his work. All the sites i can find are pretty cookie cutter/ i know there are nicer places out there.

    Do you have any advice for me? How does one moving to San Diego find the right place to live- via newspaper/websites (which ones?)/ local postings…?

    also how far ahead to people usually look? We’re in NY now and you usually only start looking 2-3 weeks in advance. But in Toronto (Canada) where we’re from, we usually look 2 months in advance.

    Thanks and hope to hear from you.


  20. Michael Allen Smith said on Sunday, August 6, 2006, 7:33

    You need to find a good buyers agent that can do the legwork for you. As far as South county goes, I’d look at EastLake.

    Although 7 months is young, you may want to measure the school districts at the STAR web site.

  21. leahpeah : Blog Archive » Current Smarts: Real Estate said on Monday, March 26, 2007, 18:01

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  22. frank fernandis said on Thursday, April 5, 2007, 23:03

    I’m betting on the latter considering the number of soon to be unemployed mortgage brokers and RE agents in SD.

  23. david law said on Monday, April 23, 2007, 2:24

    Mean this topic will be fresh for years to come? Perhaps online aggregators that sum up real estate news from all sides, from bear to bull, will be the most valued in the future.

  24. Marko said on Monday, May 21, 2007, 11:02

    I dont see how anyone with that kind of income could afford a house that expensive… I noticed the value of homes has been going down over the past year. This site had some tool on there that estimated the home value which was pretty cool.

    Easy One Mortgages

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