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. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2018
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. First Look: Cloak & Petal
    The owners of Tajima bring Japanese small plates to Little Italy with Cloak & Petal
  3. 15 Coolest Jobs in San Diego and How to Get Them
    We asked 15 San Diego professionals with the coolest jobs in town how they landed their gigs—and how we could steal them
  4. Your Guide to San Diego's Best Happy Hours
    Here's where to throw back a cold one while the sun's still out
  5. First Look: Bivouac Ciderworks
    A new craft cidery opens in North Park, designed for the outdoors person in all of us
  6. Green Rush: Inside San Diego's Emerging Cannabis Industry
    Marijuana's legal. How did it go from evil death drug to medical miracle and billion-dollar industry?
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.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags