Top 10 Questions Asked by Condo Shoppers:
Q. Whats the best condo building in downtown San Diego?
A. If by best, you mean highest quality, then the answer is the Bayside condos, rounding out the top five highest quality condo buildings in alphabetical order are Electra, Metropolitan, Park Laurel and Pinnacle.
Q. Whats downtown San Diego’s best neighborhood to live in?
A. This is very very subjective. To answer this I need to know how you rank your preferences for views, walk ability, tolerable noise level (planes, trains, people, etc), proximity to shopping, etc.
If you want the prime views, which usually include bay views, then you want to be in either the Columbia or Marina neighborhoods which have a lot of condos located as close to the waterfront as zoning allows. The quietest neighborhoods are Cortez Hill and Bankers Hill.
Q. Whats the best way to shop for a downtown condo?
A. The best way is to tell me as much as you can about what your looking for in a condo, info such as size, how much you like to walk, what you want to be close to, number of bedrooms and or bathrooms, how important a view is, amenities you would like to have in the building, budgeted price range, etc. Since your visiting my website, I can tell you like to do some research on your own. My number one on line suggestion, would be to visit the automated “Selection Guide” listed in the above menu (in red). Answer ten multiple choice questions and I have built a program to recommend some condo buildings based on your answers. Be realistic in your answers or it will not be able to find any buildings that fit your preferences. In other words, don’t say you want “great views” and also say you want a “low price range” because that combination does not exist.
One thing I would caution against is to shop by price alone, there are a lot of inexpensive condos downtown and each come with their share of reasons why they are so inexpensive, reasons that may lead you to not wanting to live in a particular building. I think its best to start with your wish list and if you need to reprioritize it until you find a condo that meets this criteria and your budget.
Q. Are there a lot of foreclosures (bank owned) condos for sale in downtown?
A. As a percent of the total, foreclosures represent just under 20% of the downtown market, as of mid 2010. About 60% of them are in the $300K and under price range, 35% in the $300K – $500K range and a about 5% (or less than 5 a year) in the $700K – $1.0M range. Reason for the concentration in the lower price range is thats what investors were buying a few years ago, inexpensive condos, often with 100% financing and now they are just giving them back to the bank since they are worth less than their mortgage. The upper end buyers in years past had to make a larger down payment and are often owner occupied, two reasons for keeping owners in their condos today.
Q. How much of a discount should I ask for off the list price?
A. Buyers of condos in downtown San Diego are getting an average discount of 4.7% off the last asking price, for condos sold through mid 2010, so keep this in mind when making an offer.
Q. What is the average price of a condo in downtown San Diego?
A. As of mid 2010, $719,000, for 1,314 sq.ft., equates to $547/sq.ft.
Q. What is the average HOA fee downtown?
A. In a low rise building with out full time staff on site (other than cleaning people) the HOA fee is about $400/month, for a typical 2 bedroom 2 bath condo. In a high rise building, which typically have a lot of on site staff, the average fee is about $800/month.
Q. Are you allowed to have pets in downtown condos?
A. Yes, almost every building allows pets, most all have a limit of two. Some condominiums have weight limits and breed restrictions for dogs.
Q. Whats the best way to sell my condo?
A. Real Estate Agents have a multitude of methods for marketing a property for sale. I think the most important is to get your home in front of online condo buyers eyes via the internet. It’s been my experience over the years that most buyers of downtown condos come from outside of downtown and often out of state.
Q. Where can I find a list of condos for rent?
A. Surprisingly there are more units listed for rent on craigslist.org than in the MLS. Most condo owners do not want to involve real estate agents in their quest for a new tenant. One exception is the high end rental market, those units above $4,000/month, often these units are only listed with Realtors in the MLS.