Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Real Estate Ride: Still Looking for a Bargain


Published:

(page 1 of 4)

A CABIN ON MOUNT LAGUNA. Search for the cheapest detached home for sale in San Diego County, and of the more than 26,000 properties now up for grabs, that’s what pops up: a cabin on Sunrise Highway, selling price $89,000, with 700 square feet of living space sitting on leased National Forest land. But don’t even think about a 30-year mortgage; the land lease, which costs an additional $1,500 annually, is good for only 20 years.

Narrow your search to a home within San Diego city limits, on land you can actually own, and you can forget about anything less than $100,000—or $200,000, for that matter.

Of the 2,462 single-family homes for sale through San Diego’s Multiple Listing Service one recent morning, a grand total of 12 were priced below $300,000. At the bottom end: a two-bedroom, 980-square-foot house on Imperial Avenue in Southeastern San Diego. The house, on a 2,500-squarefoot lot, lists for $230,000.

These examples demonstrate the sticker shock facing house-hunting transplants from anywhere else in the country. Forget Fortune magazine, which in May branded San Diego one of seven real estate “dead zones” in the United States, where “contracts are being canceled, deals are drying up, and prices are starting to drop.” Home sales may be slowing, but prices for singlefamily detached homes have dipped only slightly from their high of around $560,000. At the current cost, says veteran local Realtor Mark Oatman, only 11 percent of San Diegans can afford to buy.

And yet, potential buyers who don’t want to live in a cabin or shack in the mountains, or in a re-emerging inner-city neighborhood, still can find relative bargains. If they look hard enough, and in the right places.

“If I wanted to buy a house for myself in the lower price range, I’d look in East County, somewhere farther from the ocean,” says independent Realtor/broker Charles Jolly, who has been selling homes in the San Diego area for 33 years and is this year’s president of the San Diego Association of Realtors. “Everyone wants to live near the water,” he says, “and that runs up the price.”

Oatman agrees. “The least-expensive homes are going to be in the southeast portion of the county—Campo, Borrego Springs,” he says. “Anywhere else, you’re looking at a purchase price much closer to the median.”

Indeed, according to the latest Data- Quick statistics, as of midsummer, some of the lowest median prices for detached housing could be found in East County, bottoming out in Boulevard, at $210,000. In Campo, the median was $430,000; in Lemon Grove, $455,000.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 10 Best New Restaurants in San Diego
    Our food critic picks the top 10 new restaurants of 2014. Time to add these hotspots to your must-try list.
  2. FIRST LOOK: Stella Public House & Halcyon
    Stella Public House and Halcyon open in East Village near Downtown San Diego. Part coffeehouse, part Neapolitan pizza joint, park cocktails and craft beer, part tableside s'mores.
  3. San Diego New Year’s Eve Guide
    Ring in 2015 at these parties, concerts, dining, and family-friendly events
  4. 25 BIG Ideas
    Fascinating San Diego people inspire us with big, bold ideas on everything from genomics to urban planning, art to architecture, food and more
  5. About that story we "stole"...
    8 things to ask yourself before you accuse a publication of stealing your stuff and barf all over their beautiful Facebook page
  6. Food Self-Righteousness Is For Assholes
    Gawker calls foie gras eaters lots of bad names. A response.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

Valentine's Day Giveaway

Win Tickets to the Rotterdam Philharmonic and dinner at Mr. A's
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags