San Diego, CA

Looking to Buy a Home in San Diego? Here's What You Should Know

Mike Peterson

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San Diego's housing market is booming.Stephen Leonardi

If you’re looking to purchase a home in San Diego in the current housing market, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind.

The housing market is booming across the U.S. — and in San Diego especially. The Washington Post has called San Diego one of the hottest markets in the country, with many homes selling in 36 days or less back in January.

The median home price in San Diego hit $740,000 in the past year, according to a San Diego Association of Realtors report seen by CBS 8. The demand for housing is affecting virtually every type of home in the county, including houses, townhomes, and condominiums.

During the pandemic, many people saved up money and moved to remote jobs, which made location much less of a factor when it came to buying homes. San Diego being the city that it is, many work-from-home employees set their sights on the coastal town.

That isn’t the only reason San Diego’s housing market is booming. The county has long had a lack of affordable housing. Interest rates are also low, enticing potential first-time home buyers.

Essentially, that means that you’re up against a lot of competition if you’re looking to buy a home in America’s Finest City.

There are, of course, a few tips that potential home buyers can keep in mind to make the process much less stressful.

Carla Farley, former president of the San Diego Association of Realtors, told CBS 8 that consumers have to educate themselves. Learn about the market, what it’s doing, and analyze your own limitations.

“What are your limitations and what’s reasonable for you?”

You can also use a research tool like Zillow to find home prices by region. Coastal areas will be the most expensive — La Jolla’s median home price was $2,950,000 in the past year.

You’ll find homes at a lower price point if you go further east. For example, El Cajon’s median sale price for $356,000 during 2021.

Before you even think about purchasing a home, you’ll need to take a few actionable steps, such as getting your finances in order, saving up for a down payment, and shopping around for mortgages that are right for you.

You can also look into government programs such as those through the San Diego Housing Commission, which can help provide funds to first-time homebuyers in the city.

From there, it’s helpful to go through a realtor or a real estate company. Berkshire Hathaway, for example, has houses for sale in San Diego. Do your research and find a company that resonates with you.

And if buying a new house isn’t in the cards for you quite yet, it might be smart to wait. You’ll have more time to save money down payment cash and pay off any high-interest debt.

Better yet, according to The Washington Post, price appreciation is expected to slow later in the year because of a rise in interest rates. Since that’s one of the reasons the housing market is hot currently, you may find a better selection if you can hold off.

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Mike Peterson is a journalist, editor, and yoga teacher based in North San Diego County. He's a fan of indie bookstores, local craft beers, and excellent tacos.

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