“Way back in February of this year, I was looking for a place to buy, specifically a condo. Myself and my dad were looking around online, we found a couple properties, we found one that we really liked and there were already a couple offers put in on it. So we wanted to get an offer in that same day and I found Greg through my supervising partner here at the law firm I work at who had been doing deals with him in the past. So we went to Greg’s office and he was more than happy to help us get that offer sent in as soon as possible. Unfortunately it was declined, but the fact that he did it same day, actually same afternoon was really, really helpful. That’s how we paired up. After that we went out and saw a couple properties after I had given him a list of what I was looking for. On our first session out we found exactly what I wanted. So that’s the general story. Greg and Jamie, his assistant or protégé I would say, did an excellent job of trying to keep everything on track and knew when to jump in when they had to and knew when to stay out when they could. But I just think the whole process of keeping everyone on track and level headed as much as possible was something Greg and Jamie did very well. On my side with Greg and Jamie it was easy. There was no hiccups anywhere and in fact I have already recommended Greg to another person, another associate that works in the office. And he just put an offer in on his home and it was accepted. So there you go Greg, you got another sale!”
“Greg Flaherty was first recommended as a Realtor company that could manage the condo that I bought in about 2006 in San Diego. I bought a condominium and then I was looking for somebody to manage it. It was the Realtor that I was dealing with at the time to purchase the condo that made the recommendation. He managed my condo since I purchased it and he was very, very easy to work with, suggested helpful items, and took on tasks when I needed help. Things of that nature. That relationship remained for the complete time that I rented the condo until I decided to sell it. Called him, and knew that he also sold [properties]. I automatically went to him because of the good, positive relationship that I always had with him. Talked about it, we talked about a price, we thought we’d test the market and it came back very positive. [We had a] response within a couple of days. The buyer who offered the settlement started to waiver as we got into it. Greg and I talked about it, the strategy and decided well we should go and maybe put it back on the market but then the original [buyer] decided to come back in. I said, good enough for me and we closed the deal. It was very simply done. Greg made it very easy in dealing with that. We completed the deal in basically, I think the whole thing took a month. I would tell anyone that in my experience Greg was easy and good to work with. He was very helpful. As good as one can expect. So that would be my recommendation for anyone who asks me for a referral. I would not hesitate to recommend Greg Flaherty for a real estate transaction in the San Diego area, especially the Mission Bay area.”
Is it better to buy or rent a property in San Diego? Like most things in life, it depends on your perspective. Most Realtors will say it’s better to buy because it will get them your business, while most property managers or complex owners would say it’s better to rent. I happen to have my foot in both worlds, so I’d like to think I can give you some clear, unbiased thoughts on the dilemma. Before going any further, there are three questions you need to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent.
1. Do you love the Home and the Location?
2. Do you think you will live in that house for seven years or longer?
3. Do you have the funds? This includes 20% for a down payment, along with cash reserves to handle maintenance and property taxes.
If you can answer yes to all three of these questions, you should definitely buy a home. Over the long term, Trulia says buying is 32% less expensive than renting in San Diego. Here are five more reasons why buying over renting makes sense:
1. It’s a leveraged investment. This can amplify your gains.
2. You’re paying for Housing one way or another. Do you want to pay down your mortgage, or your Landlord’s mortgage?
3. When you make a Mortgage payment, you are paying down the principal balance. Over time, this is like a forced savings account and will provide substantial equity.
4. Substantial tax savings include write-offs for property taxes and mortgage interest payments.
5. Owning real estate is a great hedge against inflation. Inflation helps Owners and hurts Renters.
Buying a home is a leveraged investment.“
As you can see, it’s better to buy in most cases, but there are situations where renting is the right choice. It all depends on your individual situation. If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you soon.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “What are the things I should do to prepare my home for sale?” Today I want to flip the script and talk about the top six renovations you should not do if you’re thinking about selling your home:
1. Add wallpaper. Unless you have a custom home and a designer working with you, avoid wallpaper.
2. Install lavish light fixtures. Keep your light fixtures simple. In most middle price points, lavish light fixtures won’t pay off. If you plan on living in your home for the next 20 to 30 years, that’s a different story.
3. Replace carpet with more carpet, especially in areas like the hallway, living room, dining room, and bathrooms. You’re better off using inexpensive laminate, a hardwood floor, or a stone floor. Many entry-level hardwood floors are competitive with carpeting in terms of price, and the look is amazing.
4. Paint in bold colors. Feel free to paint, but avoid bold colors. Choose neutral and calming colors instead and avoid bright reds, deep blues, and deep purples. Colors like those are too specific and too dark for most people.
5. Overspend on landscaping. You want nice curb appeal, but you don’t want to get lavish with your landscaping. If you’re thinking about selling anytime soon, that $10,000 to $20,000 you plan on putting into a canary palm probably won’t pay off.
You want nice curb appeal, but don’t go overboard with your landscaping.“
6. Build a custom swimming pool. Many buyers have an aversion to properties with a private pool. We’re seeing that buyers like the idea of a community pool because they get all the benefits of a pool without having to pay for it. If you really want to have a pool, buy an existing one. If you’re already in the process of building a pool, by all means enjoy it—just don’t expect to get your money back anytime in the near future.
If you have any other questions about how to update your home to sell for more on the market, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help.
Should we be worried about another housing bubble?
In San Diego, home prices have gone up for five straight years. Nationwide, current home prices are only about 1% below record highs from 2006 at the beginning of the housing crisis. At the same time, mortgage rates are below 4%. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now just 3.95%, only a few points above the all-time low of 3.31%.
Put these two things together, and you’ve got many people wondering: Are we in the middle of a new housing bubble?
Let me set your mind at ease. The situation today is very different from the housing bubble that happened 10 years ago, and there are two main reasons why.
For one, lending has been cleaned up. The risky mortgages that fueled the housing bubble 10 years ago aren’t happening today because of new laws like the Dodd-Frank Act. There are no more ‘liar loans.’ In fact, the stricter regulation surrounding lending is one of the reasons why mortgage rates are so low right now.
Secondly, the current level of new home construction is below historical averages and is only a fraction of the level from 2006. It’s the opposite of what we would expect in a bubble: home builders simply don’t find it profitable to build new housing right now.
The situation today is very different from the housing bubble that happened 10 years ago.
This shortage of new housing also explains the high prices that existing homes are selling for. In other words, demand is higher than supply right now. It’s basic economics.
So is the current situation a housing bubble? No, we’re far from it.
The big housing crisis 10 years ago was set off by speculation and loose borrowing—we’re not seeing either of those things right now. Instead, we see a shortage of certain kinds of homes on the market—especially below $500,000—which has increased the home prices. It’s not uncommon for me to show a home to a buyer only to see the house go into escrow a few days later.
Hopefully that puts your mind at ease when you hear people speculate that we’re in a housing bubble. If you have any other questions about our market or you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, give me a call or send me an email soon. I look forward to helping you!
I’m coming to you today from beautiful Mission Bay in San Diego and I’ve got three properties for sale here on the Bayfront that are very unique. They will provide buyers and investors with a lot of options, and I’d like to talk about each of them today.
The first one we’ve got is 3291 Bayside Walk. It’s a three-bedroom, 3 ½ bathroom home that sits on a 5,000 square foot lot. That’s almost double the size of a normal lot. If you were to build here, you could build up to a 5,500 square foot home because of San Diego’s 1.1 FAR, or floor area ratio. That means you can build a property that is 110% the size of the lot. With this lot, you can also build a three-story condo complex. Either way you do it, you’ll end up with real estate that’s valued over $6 million. Our asking price is just $3.25 million.
The next property is 3286 and 3288 Bayside Walk. It has a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit up front and a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit in the back. The home is in its original condition from the 1950s, so it will need some work. It has generated rent in the past, but not enough to pay for the land value. This will need a tear-down and re-build.
Buyers and investors have lots of options.
The lot is about 3,180 square feet, so that tells me you can build a single-family home or a two-unit condo that totals around 3,500 square feet. The resale value on that would be approximately $3.9 million, asking price is $2.275 million.
Finally, we have 2774 Bayside Walk. This property is in South Mission Beach and unlike the other two, it’s completely ready to go. This beautiful ground-level condo is fully furnished and move-in ready. This is a fantastic vacation rental house or second home. All you need to bring is your toothbrush and you’re good to go. Asking price is $1,429,000.
As you can see, there are a lot of distinct options for you on the Bayfront today. If you have any questions about these properties or anything else relating to real estate in San Diego, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!