Pacific Beach, San Diego Real Estate: Buying, Selling, and Investing

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Hey everybody, John Collins, San Diego Realtor. I wanted to start a series about buying and selling real estate in the particular neighborhoodsof San Diego. There are so many great neighborhoods and each one really does have its own characteristics and and factors that can effect how and if you should buy there, and how you should approach the deal.

So, today I wanted to talk about Pacific Beach. It's a town near and dear to my heart, a neighborhood, I should say, near and dear to my heart. I've
lived in Pacific Beach for over ten years. Like so many, I came here as a moved here as a young person, as a bachelor, and now flashing forward ten years plus, I am married, two kids, still live in Pacific Beach, still love it. So, while everybody knows it's a great place to come play, I can tell you from experience, Pacific Beach is a neighborhood that has something for everybody.

So, I want to hit really quickly on a few things to look out for and be aware of when you are either buying, selling, or investing in Pacific Beach real estate. And, I am going to try to move forward quickly, so this video doesn't get too long.

First off, selling One thing to be aware of when selling property in Pacific Beach is that there is a lot of investment property, property used as rental and income property. Now what that means for you, is you may be seeing offers from investors. There are good things about that, and there are things you want to be more careful of. First and foremost, the financing behind an investor offer is usually very solid, which is great. If it's not all cash, it's at least very secure in the fact that it will fund and you don't have to worry about somebody scrambling to make sure their loan goes through at the last minute, which is a larger risk with somebody who is buying to occupy it themselves, especially someone like a first time buyer. It doesn't mean those are bad offers, just something to be aware of. Also, investors don't tend to ask for as many fixes and repairs. They are typically people who are going to make some improvements anyway, so that can be something is taken off of your plate. But... and there's always a but, they are, investors are, business people, and they are looking at the margins and they are weighing them carefully. You are not going to see them making top dollar offers, or emotional offers, that can add a few percent to your purchase price if you are dealing with someone who is going to occupy it and really make that place their home. So, something to consider when you are weighing those different types of offers agains each other.

Now, if you are selling a property in Pacific Beach, there is a good chance it is forty years old or older. Not all of them, but the average age of a home in Pacific Beach is over forty years, and that is, on average, older than San Diego as a whole. So, I encourage people to take a close look, maybe get in a trusted friend who can tell you the way it is without hurting your feelings, maybe, a little bit, but that they can go in and say, "hey, you need to fix that, you need to dress this up", things that are sometimes hard to see for someone who's been living in a property. But it can really make a big difference when it comes to selling a property. It doesn't have to be big investments, but you know, when you're dealing with older homes, there are typically some things that can be spruced up before you bring in potential buyers to make sure you make that great first impression. And I have a whole other video on that, that I'll link to below for you to check that out. But something to be aware of.

Finally on the sellers side, Know about your HOA. If you are part of one of the many condo associations and you have a home owners association, you want to be aware of their financial health, owner occupancy for the building or buildings in your complex, and if there is any litigation, because that can effect whether buyers can get a loan for that property. And anything that you find out in advance, and can address, or at least be aware of, will save you headaches and potentially loosing a deal from escrow down the road.

Now, on the buying side, Everything in San Diego, value wise, has gone up since 2012, but Pacific Beach has gone up faster than average. So that's great news, it's a good place to call home and watch yourself gain equity in that property. Now, that does mean that you are going to pay a little bit more to live at the beach. Probably not a surprise, but of course something to be aware of. Median price for a home, a detached home at least, in Pacific Beach right now, is roughlly twice that of San Diego County on the whole. Now, if that detatched home price point is stretching you a little bit thin, don't be afraid, even if you're looking for a family home, to look at condos. There are a lot of large, family friendly condos that could meet your needs. I see a lot of families thinking they have to have a detached home, but that's not always the case. Ask your realtor to see some properties that might fit both price point and family need, even if they aren't a detached home.

Cloud condos, if you're not familiar with that term, are more popular now as well. And that is a condominiumized property that doesn't have an HOA so, maybe I'll do something different on that, it's a whole different topic, but something to be aware of and maybe keep an eye out for. Ask your Realtor.

Within Pacific Beach itself of course, there are neighborhoods within the neighborhood. Some are very quiet, and lots of detached homes, a little bit more of a suburban feel. And there are areas that have more traffic and a lot of fun night life and restaurants and things. Again, your Realtor can guide you if you don't know the neighborhood, to whatever suits you best.

Everybody knows location is key in real estate, but future location, what is that property and what is that area going to be doing in the future years is even more important, arguably. And Pacific beach, really the forecast is great. Its proximity to neighborhoods like Bird Rock and La Jolla as a whole, and just the limited amount of property, and the trend lately that we've seen; the population getting a little bit older, a little bit more professional and upscale, really bodes well for future values, and that Pacific Beach will continue to appreciate even faster than San Diego on the whole.

Now, finally, if you are an investment buyer, you are buying property and you are not planning on occupying. By and large, for all the reasons I've spoken to already and more, it's a great place to buy as an investment. Buy and hold long term, if you're planning to buy and then rent the property out, that's great. Flips, there are a lot of renovations and flips going on right now. It's a great way to make money investing in Pacific Beach property. One caveat that I will throw out there Vacation rentals and the rules surrounding them right now are a hot topic. There are sides, of course it's good for business in the area, but a lot of people don't feel that high volume turnover properties are something that they want in their neighborhood. That is an issue that is at the forefront right now. And, we may, we are already seeing rules change, and we may see new, tighter regulations as to what you can do by way of short term rentals. So, if that's your plan, daily, weekly rental rates; be aware that the jury may be out on some of that and you want to proceed on that with a little more caution, maybe, than with other kinds of deals.

Alright, I've gone on long enough! I hope this information has been very helpful for you. Any questions on this, or anything else regarding San Diego real estate, I hope you reach me. My contacts are all available via the website. I thank you for your time and I hope we get to speak in the future. I look forward to it. Enjoy life in America's Finest City.

John Collins

John Collins

DRE# 01948188
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