San Diego Home Ownership Problem


San Diego Home OwnershipSan Diego home ownership is a problem for many.

Even while San Diego area home prices are on the rise—fueled by the low supply, low mortgage rates and investor buying—the number of San Diegans that own homes, as a percentage of the population, is decreasing.

Why the drop in San Diego home ownership?

The reasons certainly vary, since many current renters are former homeowners who lost homes during the financial meltdown– while others simply do not have enough income to qualify. Some potential homeowners, regrettably, with savings for down payments and the desire to own may be priced out of the market by as little as $1000.

A recent report by the National Association of Home Builders states that an increase of just one thousand dollars in the price of a new home can upset the delicate balance of income-to-debt ratios required to qualify for mortgages. According to their report, that $1000 increase in a home’s price knocked over 200,000 potential buyers out of the market in 2013 This was assuming a 10 percent down payment and a 30-year amortized mortgage.

And the government contributes to the problem

The NAHB report suggests that local regulatory increases (and certainly including San Diego and local communities)—including fees, permits, zoning costs and higher taxes for new construction—frequently price new homes out of reach for otherwise qualified potential homeowners. Since it is in the best interest for most localities to have more homeowners than renters, this inadvertent price increase imposed by local regulations may ultimately produce the opposite of what they hoped to achieve.

Buying Re-Sale Homes in San Diego

Since homes in established neighborhoods are less likely to have the higher regulatory fees, Mello Roos and taxes that new construction has, a solution is to buy a resale home. At San Diego Previews, we are matchmakers who specialize in finding the right home for the right price for qualified buyers. Homes in older neighborhoods have other advantages as well. For instance, initial outlay for a new home does not often include the cost of landscaping. A resale home typically has at least some landscaping in place as well as other desirable upgrades. When a new homeowner is on the very edge of what they can afford, extras like that raised flowerbed or covered patio, the stone pathway or an in-ground sprinkler system and even newly laid sod are often put on back burner out of necessity.

Seeking a home within your means?

With incomes not keeping pace with the cost of new housing, you may find yourself priced out of the new-home market–and a resale may be your only alternative. We can help you find an affordable solution without sacrificing the amenities you want in your new-to-you home. Compared to new homes, pre-owned homes have the advantage of negotiation between buyer and seller on some or all of a home’s features or components. Remember that any upgrades the previous owner put into the home—ceiling fans, upgraded faucets, hardware and appliances—typically come with the home.

New homes often have warranty issues. The first owner ends up dealing with all of those issues so that by the time the second (or later) owner moves in, the potential for problems is less. A home inspection before your purchase should reveal any potential problems that then can be included in final negotiations at the time of close.

If you need assistance with your search, feel free to call Roberta or Scott Murphy at either 760-942-9100 or 760-613-6190 or email

Listed below are newer homes in San Marcos, which has seen a flurry of new home building in the last decade–and might present a good buying opportunity for the savvy home buyer. Note that most landscaping is in and most have numerous improvements.

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