Articles Posted in San Diego Real Estate

Author: Staff

Investing in California real estate often requires assistance from real estate professionals, who have specialized education and experience in particular aspects of the real estate business. The term “professional” often means that a person has obtained a license or certification from a state agency charged with monitoring and enforcing ethical obligations. Certain professions require a license from the state, followed by continuing education and adherence to a code of conduct, like California real estate agents and brokers.

The term “professional,” however, sometimes simply refers to an individual who works in real estate, but who is not bound by a specific code of professional ethics. In either case, real estate professionals owe certain duties to clients and investors, and are liable for damages if they breach those duties.

Author: Staff

Investing in San Diego real estate offers many great opportunities for returns, but it also poses many potential risks for losses and liabilities. Planning an investment requires researching and investigating risks associated with a particular property. This includes the property’s zoning designation and associated land use restrictions. The Land Development Code (LDC), located in Chapters 11 through 14 of the San Diego Municipal Code, sets forth the zoning regulations and procedures for properties located within the city. Zoning regulations allow certain types of construction and prohibit other types, but it is sometimes possible to get approval from the city to make an exception to the regulations, known as a variance. As a general rule, a variance cannot grant approval to a land use that has already been found to be in violation of the city code. This is why careful research on existing permits affecting a property is so important.

Zones and Regulations in San Diego

Author: Staff

Zoning is an important part of land use planning in nearly every major city in the United States. Local governments usually have jurisdiction over land use issues. Both the City of San Diego and San Diego County have zoning ordinances and procedures for permitting construction and development in different zones. California real estate investors need to be familiar with local zoning ordinances, as well as the restrictions of land use that go along with them, before committing to an investment. While investors should always keep in mind the adage that “you can’t fight City Hall,” it is possible to challenge or change a zoning designation. In San Diego, this can happen in several ways involving the Planning Commission or the City Council. Litigation may also be a means of modifying zoning designations, although it is rarely a first resort.

The Zoning and Rezoning Processes

Author: Staff

Investing in California real estate is, ultimately, a gamble. Even the most experienced and savvy investor cannot know what will happen to the property years, months, weeks, or even moments from now. Risk management is therefore one of the most important parts of California real estate investment. This may include measures intended to protect the property, such as security and fire suppression systems. It should also involve insurance coverage for various potential risks or losses.

Risk Management and Insurance

San Diego BayAuthor: Staff

San Diego real estate investors need to be aware of land use restrictions, such as restrictive covenants included in a deed, or zoning and other restrictions under city or county laws. Both the City of San Diego and San Diego County have zoning laws that restrict the use of land within their jurisdiction. We will focus on zoning within the City of San Diego.

What Is Zoning?

Author: Staff

Many California real estate projects involve common interest developments (CIDs), in which property owners have rights to various common areas in addition to the premises they own outright. In order to provide for the maintenance of common areas, owners of units in a CID are required to be members of a homeowner association (HOA). The HOA has considerable power to regulate the properties within the CID and to collect fees and assessments from members. In California, the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (“Davis-Stirling”) governs HOAs. San Diego real estate investors are likely to encounter HOAs. New developments will require the creation of a new HOA, while investors who buy existing properties might be bound by HOA rules.

Common Interest Development

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Author: Valerie Kriss, Digital Marketing Specialist for Real Estate Experts, a full service real estate firm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Trends in San Diego real estate have proven to present ample opportunities for investors. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) ranked the city fifth on its list of hottest real estate markets in America and recently moved it to fourth. And in September, San Diego rent prices reached a record high. Lastly, homes have a much shorter listing life than the average for the country. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that finding the right property is easy for investors who are looking for the right move. To capitalize on San Diego real estate, it’s important to find an investment property that is most likely to yield a profit.

Location, Location, Location

There’s much more to the location of a property than the city it’s in. As investors, you need to be able to understand what’s valuable in the area, and what nearby attractions you can leverage to your advantage.

Furthermore, when you purchase an investment property, you’re looking at the entire block, and not just the house. Each block has its own unique value; the property on one block can range from one on the next for this reason alone. This emphasis on highly specific location isn’t just unique to San Diego communities. Whether you’re in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego, or checking out Hillsborough realty in North Carolina, you need to understand your surroundings just as good as any other local.

Rather than just glance at the numbers and neighborhood statistics, do some field work. Drive around the neighborhood, and then walk on foot to visit some of the local stores, restaurants, and other businesses. This will give you a much better feel of the community vibe, and you may even learn about things you didn’t have previous knowledge of, like upcoming developments in the area.

Search For The Right Realtor

Not all realtors are created equal, and the realtor that you choose to help you during your search can easily make or break your experience. Your realtor should have highly relevant experience that aligns with your goals. For example, if you’re looking to invest in and run a bed and breakfast, a realtor with luxury home experience isn’t exactly best-suited. Or, if you’re looking to invest in a major condo project, a realtor that specializes in smaller apartment buildings won’t exactly fit the bill. It may be best to work with a local San Diego brokerage to get the best deals and most relevant agents.

Dig Deep Into Details

The age-old saying goes, “the devil is in the details,” and when it comes to real estate investments, this much can be true. Real estate tycoon Barbara Corcoran told Good Morning America that she once bought a 12-unit motel that had a great rent roll, and after the purchase was finalized, discovered that those tenants hadn’t paid any rent in nine months.

You’ll also need to consider property taxes. It’s not uncommon for property owners to discover that property taxes skyrocket after a buy. For example, if you bought a property from previous owners who had a homestead exemption for many years, you could be looking at a huge chunk of taxes.

Determine Realistic Maintenance Costs

The larger the property, the more maintenance it requires. When investing in any property, you need to be able to determine realistic maintenance costs of that property.  Many landlords have gone bankrupt because they failed to properly calculate their future expenses and grossly underestimated the cost of owning an investment property. If you don’t already own a property in the area, start by asking local San Diego property managers. Most will be more than willing to help you better understand what to expenses to expect in the area. You can also reach out to companies who issue the expenses to look for a previous average expense prices on the property (or comparable properties).

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Author: Staff

California offers more than 1,100 miles of coastline, greater than the distance over land between San Diego and Seattle. Owning beachfront property is a dream for countless people, and it can be an excellent investment. Owning coastal property in California comes with obligations, however, including restrictions on development and, in some areas, public beach access. The California Coastal Commission (CCC) regulates the development and use of coastal property. San Diego real estate investors looking at beachfront property anywhere in the state should consider how CCC rules may affect them.

The California Coastal Commission

Author: Staff

Real Estate News is a new feature at Titles & Deeds. We will periodically address new developments in the real estate world that matter to real estate investors. 

For the past few years, vacation rental properties have been a controversial topic in San Diego. Real estate investors often find vacation rentals to be a lucrative source of income in many San Diego neighborhoods, and companies like Airbnb  and HomeAway offer an efficient way to match property owners with renters. Neighbors of vacation rentals, on the other hand, often complain that allowing short-term rentals of residential properties harms neighborhoods in various ways, such as by increasing noise and traffic. After a rather confusing series of events, the San Diego City Council has scheduled a hearing on a proposed set of regulations affecting short-term vacation rental properties as a form of San Diego real estate.

Author: Staff

Successfully investing in real estate—with “success” covering a wide range of outcomes that generally all involve financial returns—requires careful research and planning. The old adage that the three most important considerations in real estate are “location, location, location” certainly holds true for San Diego real estate investing. Familiarity with the area in which one intends to invest is essential, along with knowledge of current market conditions and trends in both the area and the broader region. As of late 2017, the San Diego residential real estate market appears to offer many potential opportunities for investors, but as with any venture, it also presents risks. A few factors for prospective investors to consider are how the area compares to similar locations in other cities, property values and prices, trends in new construction, and the potential for rental income.

A “Hot” Real Estate Market