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Q. I'm looking for advice on whether to buy or rent in San Diego. I will be moving at the end of this month, and I plan to move into a 3 or 4 bedroom place either in, or within 10-15 of area code 92101. Type of home is not as important to me as the location.
Here are the mitigating circumstances in my situation:
- I may not be in San Diego more than three years.
- I have been pre-approved for a VA loan, but only to $450k. Not enough to find a 3 bedroom place in 92101.
- I have very good credit
- My Employer will pay for many fees associated with closing costs if I purchase a home.
- My employer will help me sell my home or even buy it back when I receive new orders taking me elsewhere. However, I've heard it does not guarantee you won't take a loss on the property.
- I own a small home in Florida that I rent out. It is paid off, but in the event I find myself in a period without a renter, I am looking at paying around $480/month for association dues and an assessment.
I know I will love San Diego, but I'm not sure I will be able to stay any longer than 3 years. For that reason I need to buy a place that will be able to sell quickly when I get ready to leave. With all of these things taken into consideration, am I smart to buy or should I plan to rent?
Thanks for your help and advice!
The San Diego Real Estate Market is at the Bottom. I'm a REALTOR(R) here San Diego, my advice is to Buy. I did a Search on the MLS for 92101 area and there are 47 Listing under $450K Attached and Detached Homes, with 3bedrooms or Less. I can assist you in finding the right home.
With the interest rates so low, if I were you I would buy a property that keeps my total monthly payments (mortgage+Insurance+HOA+property taxes) equal or less than the monthly rent.
I understand that you may be pre-approved for a bigger amount but you don't have to reach the top end of your budget. Also, when thinking of resale; it is easier to sell a starter home as the market base for starter homes is big. So whichever location you prefer, go for a home which would be an easy purchase for a first time home buyer.
Other than that, if your employer is helping you in picking up all these costs; I'd say take the leap and enjoy your own home!!
You have some great advice here from some smart professionals.
Interest rates are at an all time LOW
Home prices are believed to be at the BOTTOM.
These two things make buying more appealing than renting. No matter WHAT home you buy, you can never predict how soon it will sell, because we won't know what the market will do in 3 years.
However, given that the market is slowly swinging up, values in 3 years will be healthier than they are now, so you should be OK. If you would like a second opinion on how much you qualify for, or would like a lender that is skilled in working directly with your real estate agent, please give me a call. 714-455-9150. Having the right real estate team is crucial in today's buying market. The right agent + the right lender can mean the difference of your offer going as planned, and your offer crashing and burning. Good luck which ever way you go.
The area you are describing "within 10-15 of area code 92101" (I am assuming you mean 10-15 miles) encompasses a significant number of properties. I would try to stay away from attached properties as VA financing is key and as it is generally easier to purchase SFR properties using a VA loan. Using the criteria of 15 mile radius from 92101 there are 303 listings with 3+ bedrooms between 300 and 450K.
Depending on the area you may be able to rent a similar home between 2200 to 2500 / month. Monthly payment for a 400K home using VA financing will be in the same range as renting.
The future trend of home prices is really unknown. I really can not imagine home prices three years from now being lower than they are now. One thing that I am very confident, is that rental fees are very likely to increase to keep pace with inflation, thus providing a positive cash flow situation if home prices became further depressed.
Based on this analysis, I feel with the time frame involved, location and price point buying a property will likely be a good option.
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Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.