Best downtown condos to buy in?

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Submitted by jayesky on July 30, 2007 - 4:31pm

Hi - i'm an out of state person. used to live in SD and looking to buy a place downtown. I have cash now and am very i'm wondering what people would recommend as a good complex to buy in when things fall further? i would be looking for a 2 br up to 500k. if i have to wait a few years, i'm fine with that...just tryiing to figure out what the good buildings are to monitor - good resale value, quality, low HOA fees, etc.

thanks for your input in advance.

Submitted by Mr_Brightside on July 30, 2007 - 5:31pm.

I would look at anything by Bosa or Citimark. On the site below look for Discovery, Horizons, The Grande and The Legend as Bosa projects. Citimark has done M2i and Fahrenheit.

Submitted by jayesky on July 30, 2007 - 5:56pm.

can you share any specifics about what you recommend these condos? i'm looking for precise detail from all of the great contributors here. which buildings have best amenities? which ones have unique things to offer? etc...

i will check out the ones you suggested - thanks!

Submitted by PerryChase on July 30, 2007 - 7:29pm.

Don't buy now. Rent for 6 months at a time in different projects, if you don't mind moving.

Mr B gave some good advice.

Do you need a swimming pool? A gym?

One building I know well is The Grande.

- Superior amenities such secure access and operation of the elevator using a keychain wand.
- Concierge 24/7. You guests are required to sign in and the concierge will announce the visit.
- Next door to the train and trolley station.
- As close as you can get to the bayfront.
- Super location if they close Harbor Drive and build the bayfront park.
- Nice gym and nice pool.

downsides include:
- cheap laminate wood flooring.
- not the best quality cabinets
- northside view will be blocked by Bayside building
- southside view will be blocked by Navy complex redevelopment.
- Can the holiday Inn build higher and block the west ocean view in the future? Probably because the holiday Inn location is best. When the market booms again, the holiday Inn land will be worth a lot.
- noise from the train.
- low ceilings in individual units (not loft style).
- High HOA.
- Tandem vs. side by side parking (not sure if it's the same for all units).

Submitted by PerryChase on July 30, 2007 - 7:41pm.

For a more basic building in terms of amenities, I like 350 Ash. The unit are airy with high (18ft?) ceiling so you can be more creative with you private unit. It's close to Little Italy so you can walk there if you like those restaurants.

I'm not fond of the Little Italy restaurants so I would prefer to be closer to the embarcadero park on the bay.

Submitted by PerryChase on July 30, 2007 - 7:47pm.

I also suggest you go the CCDC office right outside Horton Plaza next to the Westin Hotel. They have a model of Downtown as well as information on all the buildings, existing and upcoming downtown.

Submitted by SD Realtor on July 30, 2007 - 9:34pm.

Jayeski definitely do not even consider buying downtown now. There is a REALLY great website that focuses 100% on downtown condos for a small fee. One of the posters here was posting about it and if you look back at previous posts you can find it. I will try to find the URL for you.

As Perry was saying the condo you will want will depend on the amenities you want. Discovery for instance has great amenities but you will pay close to 600 a month HOA for them. Also downtown has quite a variety of condos. There is the east side, there is Little Italy, there simply is ALOT to choose from.

Give it another 2 years and the same 2 bedroom condo you want will most likely be at least 20% cheaper then it is today. I have an escrow in Discovery that sold for over 600k 2 years ago and is in escrow today for 532 with a 7k credit to the buyers. My sellers are happy to get out with at about 6 figures when it is all said and done.

SD Realtor

Submitted by jayesky on July 31, 2007 - 7:50am.

thanks SD realtor- i have been monitoring the market closely and will definitely wait for sure.

so any advice on specific buildings that are good value for the money (best price per square footage, lower relative HOD and quality construction/resale)?


Submitted by MANmom on July 31, 2007 - 8:41am.

You might check out Lew Breeze's website on downtown properties, you can check out amenities, parking, HOA fees, and everything else relevant to a downtown condo on his sight, even see pictures. It's a great resource. The address


Submitted by PerryChase on July 31, 2007 - 8:48am.

Downtown is overvalued. No building meets you criteria. As far as resale is concerned, at today's prices, you can forget it.

Owners cannot lower their prices because they owe too much. For good value, you need to wait until the assets are transferred to motivated owners. That's a crucial feature of Capitalism so you need to wait until that takes effect.

In the mean time, review the downtown listing for their entertainment value. SDlookup allows you to sort by list price, by price/sf, HOA, etc. Just click on the heading to sort the listings.

Whatever you do, DO NOT get a Realtor involved at this point. You'll be too tempted (perhaps influenced) to buy too soon. Watch the prices drop and enjoy the show.

Submitted by jayesky on July 31, 2007 - 10:11am.

sorry...let me clarify some more. i have been reading/watching all of the websites y'all have mentioned. there appear to be tons of condo buildings. I appreciate all the comments about waiting to buy, so let me clarify why i posted this.

*i am not going to buy anytime soon
*i am patient and will wait for prices to drop
*i read many SD websites each week

the one thing i can't get is a good overview of the qualities of the different buildings. I can look up the prices anytime online but i'm trying to really learn more about what the best buildings are - w/o having to engage a realtor and go look at 100 condos. Looking for that insider expert knowledge.

can those of you with inside knowledge share about what the good/BEST buildings are and why.

Submitted by sdrealtor on July 31, 2007 - 10:23am.

Dont listen to Perry as he wants downtown to go down as far as possible as quickly as possible so he can buy what he wants down there. You know what you want and when you will look to buy. Do your own due diligence and get the information you seek from both sides of the equation.

Submitted by SD Realtor on July 31, 2007 - 11:09am.

Jayesky the best thing you can do is pound the pavement and kick the tires of the different developments. Sounds like you have a clear view of what you want to do and when you want to do it. I can only give you advice on Discovery as I know that building well. However take some time and check them out. I think in your case the best advice I would give would be to work with a Realtor who is located downtown and who knows it very very well. There are some very good people downtown who do just that. They know all the developments and can give the comparison for which you are seeking. You may want to be a bit vague on the timeframe of the purchase with them.

SD Realtor

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