September 25, 2006 at 9:04 AM #7598saskwatchParticipant
My husband and I are new to San Diego and looking to buy in about a year. We really liked the Carmel Valley area, but noticed that the brand new houses just a few minutes east in Del Sur were substantially cheaper. Any thoughts about these areas in terms of value? We’re not looking to make a killing in real estate–we just want someplace to live but our large dogs has made renting increasingly difficult and expensive–at the same time, we’d like to maximize our chances of finding a home that will hold its value better in a down market.
We’d appreciate any insight from anyone who lives in or is familiar with those areas.September 25, 2006 at 9:34 AM #36311speakerParticipant
where to begin….
You didn’t say if you have kids or not but I am going to assume that you don’t but are planning to have them in the near future. Based on this assumption then Carmel Valley is a great place to set down roots and raise a family.
Spend a considerable amount of time on this blog and others that deal with San Diego and you will quickly rethink buying in one year. By being new to San Diego are you also new to the concept of Mello-Roos? This wonderful little non-deductible tax will have you running away from places like Del Sur. However, because of this special tax it makes the older homes in Carmel Valley more desirable because they don’t have Mello-Roos and have much larger lots.
I can empathize with your desire to buy because of the dogs but if you do find a good rental then just sign a 1 yr or 2 yr lease. This will give you even more time to scout out the areas and more time to watch the real estate market. Granted you have pay a hefty fine for breaking your lease should you decide to buy during your lease, but if you plan ahead for that contingency then it is manageable.
“End of line.”September 25, 2006 at 10:21 AM #36317ocrenterParticipantSeptember 25, 2006 at 10:56 AM #36327CarlsbadlivingParticipant
I drove around Del Sur a few weeks ago and that place was a ghost town. It will definelty be nice and quiet out there for anybody dumb enough to buy. It’s so secluded out there but yet the houses are still right on top of each other. Why live in BFE if you can still reach out and touch you’re neighbor? I think that Del Sur will be hit extremely hard!!!September 25, 2006 at 12:38 PM #36341
Here are my 2 cents as a San Diego native and someone who has recently returned to the area and now rents in Carmel Valley: My simple advice would be to wait to buy ANYwhere. Carmel Valley has low crime, highly-ranked schools and is relatively close to freeways and centers of employment, but apart from that there is little to recommend it. With about a half-dozen exceptions, CV is 100% tract housing (and last holdouts are being bought out), and most homes (especially newer developments) carry hefty Mello-Roos and homeowners’ association fees. Yes, the schools usually achieve high scores, but unless you and your kids are highly competitive, there is a good chance s/he may be left off the team as space in extracurricular activities is always limited. Every house looks the same…every family is competing for the same limited opportunities (at school, on local teams, etc), and frankly most homes are jammed onto undersized lots. Del Sur will also end up a cookie cutter community; it will be relatively cheap for early buyers, but lots there are also small and the commute will be a lot tougher — Camino del Sur was not designed to handle a lot of traffic. If someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to buy today, I would probably look for a shabby 3BR/2BA somewhere in the older parts of Encinitas — lots of 1/2 acre+ lots up there. Poway would be another option; relatively spacious lots and great schools. But again, my primary advice is to WAIT until you get a feel for the neighborhoods before buying…DHSeptember 25, 2006 at 1:49 PM #36346
By the way, could someone elaborate on how purchasing optional features from the big developers works? Like another poster here at Piggington, I work in the same building as the Pardee “Design Center” on El Camino Real in Carmel Valley; this is where home purchasers go to order upgrades in carpet, tile, etc. On a lark I once stepped into the office and asked for a price sheet for options at one of the new developments in Carmel Valley; I was told these were only available to people who had signed a purchase contract. Can this be correct? The “standard” flooring and tile at these developments (even the monstrous $1m+ 4,000 sq ft homes!) is pretty awful, and I am certain most buyers would opt for upgrades, either direct from Pardee or via Home Depot or an independent contractor. But not knowing the price of these options before you sign on the dotted line? Isn’t that like going to the Toyota dealer and being told, “base price is $18K, and we’ll show you the cost of the options after you’ve committed to buying”. Crazy! DHSeptember 25, 2006 at 3:38 PM #36360sdcellarParticipant
They’ll show you the options before you sign a contract, you just have to ask the sales associate. I’m sure some are tougher about it than others, but I’m sure you can get it if you insist.
I’m not surprised they refused you at the design center though.
Also, the options they’ll show you are strictly for builder options, which is pretty much anything you can do or add to the house with the notable exception of flooring, window coverings, and most landscaping. They’re not trying to do anything devious by keeping those separate, it’s more a matter of too many choices. I’m sure you could get prices for those as well before signing a contract (or at least make it a contingency).September 25, 2006 at 5:28 PM #36377BugsParticipant
As much money as they charge for those upgrades, I’d seriously consider making a deal for a house with no flooring or cabinetry and do the interior myself. Pay the base price as if it had the standard buildout; get a credit for the itemized total of the “standard” cabinetry, fixtures, appliances and flooring; and then hire an outside contractor to finish the interior to your specs. You could probably parlay an accurate credit into a very nice interior buildout and save yourself an easy $50,000 or more. And it would still be financed in with the base price.
One more thing to keep in mind – it’s highly likely that the differences in builder upgrades for these homes will become basically invisible in the resale market 5 years from now. Friends don’t let friends get carried away at a developer’s design center.September 25, 2006 at 5:34 PM #36378
Thanks for these comments! I agree that if I were to buy, the most cost-effective way would be to get the home unfinished, then do the final finishes myself with my own contractor. I believe the homebuilders make SICK margins on these upgrades…but it seems the party is coming to an end!
- The forum ‘Properties or Areas’ is closed to new topics and replies.