Why Live in San Diego?
Downtown San Diego is an urban hub with great shopping, entertainment, coffee shops, and outdoor dining. Home to celebrated universities and highly acclaimed leaders in the financial, telecom, multimedia, and biotech fields, this idyllic county is an international gateway surrounded by cutting-edge business.
San Diego is a hub for entertainment options—between the San Diego Zoo, the parks, the beach, and the Wild Animal Safari Park—there’s quite literally never a dull moment. Old Town San Diego is perfect for some traditional Mexican food and California history, while the Bay is home to the Navy Pier, Seaport Village, USS Midway Museum, the Star of India, and the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
To Rent or Buy in San Diego?
People living in San Diego (or those planning to move there) are often faced with the question of whether to buy or rent. Deciding whether to buy a house versus renting an apartment in San Diego can be a complicated question.
At this time (August 2022), renting has some quantifiable advantages when you factor in the peak home prices, soaring interest rates, and low inventory of housing, which has resulted in higher competition and multiple offers for home purchases. Just remember, renting can make a lot of sense depending on where you are in life, what kind of lifestyle you expect to have in five years, and your long-term financial goals.
San Diego Housing Market: High Prices, High Competition
According to the National Association of Realtors, it has never been more expensive to own a home in the U.S. than right now. Since San Diego has one of the best climates in the world (among other factors that make this county highly livable), the real estate market in the city continues to skyrocket.
Needless to say, the San Diego home buying market is very competitive, with homes often receiving multiple offers within a few days of hitting the market. In fact, according to Redfin, in 2022, homes in San Diego received six offers on average and sold in around 12 days. The average sale price of a home in San Diego was $905,000, with the average sale price reaching $648 per square foot.
The (Extra) Price of Homeownership
One perk that many renters enjoy is that their property management company or landlord is typically responsible for a majority of the household expenses. When you own your own home, you are responsible for all of the “extra” fees incurred – and they add up fast. Here are some items many people don’t consider when weighing the pros and cons of homeownership:
- Property taxes
- Mortgage interest
- HOA fees or condo maintenance fees
- Garden and landscaping costs
- Plumbing/repair costs
- Roofing issues
- Air conditioning/heating
- Appliance maintenance and replacement
- Pest control
Additionally, many times homeowners are often caught “surprised” by a sudden home repair such as a slab leak, or electrical or plumbing emergency, and therefore saving for these costs often isn’t part of their financial plan.
Renters Enjoy Amenities
Forget that gym membership! Most apartment communities feature on-site pools, gyms, and much more! Irvine Company apartments in San Diego, such as The Village Mission Valley, even have on-site markets, dog parks, state-of-the-art fitness, EV charging stations, outdoor fireplaces, and even on-site dining options.
Try Before You Buy: Renters Can “Audition” the Neighborhoods
San Diego County is vast. From Carlsbad to Carmel Valley, Mission Valley, La Jolla to Downtown San Diego, there are so many options to choose from – it’s hard to know which location is the perfect spot for you. Within downtown itself, discover neighborhoods like Little Italy, Cortez Hill, Marina District, Gaslamp, Civic Core, and East Village. Each has its own distinct personality and flavor. Renting gives you a chance to experience a city or a neighborhood without making a long-term commitment.
Downtown San Diego offers a vibrant culture of dining, boutique shopping, freeway and public transit access, major business campuses, universities and so much more!
Situated in North San Diego County, Carlsbad has a small town charm with tree-lined streets and sidewalks. Residents enjoy antique shops, pubs, handmade crafts, cafes, and live outdoor entertainment.
Further south in La Jolla, residents live near the most breathtaking beaches in California, including La Jolla Cove. Shop and dine at La Jolla Village Square, the Shops at La Jolla Village, and more.
Known for some of the best shopping and entertainment in San Diego, Mission Valley puts residents in the heart of scenic natural beauty, with beaches just a few miles away.
Situated near Del Mar and La Jolla, Carmel Valley offers convenient access to parks, trails, award-winning schools, and San Diego’s top employers. Surrounded by nature, Torrey Pines Natural Reserve, one of the wildest stretches of land on our Southern California coast, is close by.
The question of whether to rent or buy is a conundrum many people face in their lifetime. Determining the right move for you depends on your situation, and whether or not the timing is right. Whether you buy now or rent for a year to see how the market adjusts is a personal decision that depends on your goals, budget, and where you see yourself in the next five years.