FAQ: Common Buyer Questions When Looking At San Diego Real Estate
Is it the right time to buy San Diego Real Estate?
Despite advertising and media reporting that tells you it’s always a good time to buy a home, the decision is a highly individual one. At any time, it can be either the wrong or the right time to buy for you real estate in San Diego. If you must move for your job, then it’s the right time to buy if renting isn’t an option. If you are just thinking you’d like to change homes, study the market to see if prices are rising, falling or standing still.
Should I rent instead of buying?
There are indexes that track the rent-vs-buy numbers and they might say that it’s cheaper to rent in a certain area than to buy. If it’s purely a monetary decision, then renting in those areas may be right for you. However, when you can’t paint the colors you want, or add features to your rental home, then owning affords you the control you want. You’ll also not be forced to move because your landlord wants to sell. Renting vs Buying is a highly personal decision when looking at San Diego real estate.
How do I locate and choose a San Diego Realtor?
The Internet has changed the way buyers search for homes in San Diego. You can start a lot earlier in the process, and spend more time doing your own research. So, use the Web for early research. When it comes to actually working with a Realtor, you can use someone you’re referred to by a friend or relative. Or, you can begin to ask questions via email and see which agents are most responsive and helpful.
Should I buy a new home or an existing one?
This is mostly personal preference. Normally the latest bells and whistles are in the new homes. However, if cost and the ultimate investment value are important to you, sometimes you can buy an existing home for less than you could duplicate it for as a new home. San Diego real estate consists of many areas that have previously been developed so it is more common to find a San Diego property that has existed for awhile.
Should I buy a foreclosure?
If you have cash and won’t need a mortgage, you should definitely look at foreclosure properties. If you need a mortgage, you can still look, but it becomes a bit more of a challenge. Lenders want the home to be ready to live in, and many foreclosures need extensive repairs. Those that do not are usually in more demand, and you can’t get the great deal you were hoping for.
Are there better areas in which to buy?
Most analysts will tell you that the days of rapid price appreciation are finished. There will always be areas that are more desired by buyers, and they’ll hold value better or appreciate in value faster. However, your decision about where to buy your San Diego home should be based more on how you’ll enjoy living there and on how far from your job it’s located. In the San Diego real estate market it is important to find an area that works for your needs. In San Diego there are great pockets everywhere so it is a personal decision and what is needed to fit your lifestyle.
Should I make a low offer to get a good deal?
Balance the market conditions, current inventory of homes listed and the advice of your agent in deciding on a first offer. Too low and you could get your walking papers. Be realistic in trying for that bargain buy. The San Diego real estate market is a competitive market. When looking at real estate it is important to understand that there are competitive buyers in the area. San Diego real estate is desirable and will remain a hot commodity no matter what market conditions may exist.
Where should I look for a mortgage?
Asking your real estate agent for a mortgage broker recommendation is one way. Another is to get a referral from a friend or relative. Or, just visit some of their offices and ask questions. Most of them are dealing with the same major banks, but some will have lower fees. We work with many mortgage brokers and are more than happy to recommend a good fit for your San Diego real estate transaction.
Can I still get a loan with less than 20% down payment?
Yes, but it’s not nearly as easy as in the past. FHA backed loans can still be had at 3.5% down payments, but it’s likely going to go up if currently proposed laws get passed. Getting a normal conventional loan with less than 20% down is not likely to happen.
How long will I have to hold a home to get my money back out?
Few market analysts will predict this, but the optimists say five years, and the pessimists say 8 years or longer. Of course, real estate is local, and there are now areas showing appreciation that’s greater than expected.