Goodbye to San Diego

User Forum Topic
Submitted by EconProf on February 22, 2021 - 2:26am

After 45 years in San Diego as teacher, real estate investor, and contractor we are leaving. Apparently, so are a lot of other people. The cost of living, and especially the housing cost difference is one of the many reasons, and here are the specifics:
1. Our brand new custom-designed house will cost about 1/3 the price we are getting for our current house and be 10% larger, all on one level.
2. Our HOA will fall from $495/month to about $100. For that HOA we will be a two-block walk from a clubhouse with an exercise room, two pools (one summer, one winter), tennis courts, pickleball courts, etc., etc.
3. Our property taxes will fall from $16,500 per year to about $3000.
4. Monthly utility costs will be vastly lower.

Piggs are invited to guess our destination.

Submitted by gzz on August 5, 2021 - 3:31pm.

I just did invest in western us water rights. VWTR.

Very speculative small-cap co so i kept it to 300 shares.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 23, 2022 - 11:03am.

sdrealtor wrote:
Looks like they may hit 110 tomorrow in St George.

Had a friend who just took the trip through St Goerge up to ski counry in Utah and it reminded me of our old pal EP. I figured id check in to see what is doing there. Todays weather is in the 30's all day but at least he has his conservative politics away from CA liberals and his skyrocketing home val......ooops. Looks like they have hit a little speed bump. It looks like median price is down about 4% year over year. Well he's got his family and that is why he really went after all. Hope they are all doing well.

https://www.redfin.com/city/16751/UT/St-...

Submitted by EconProf on February 26, 2022 - 9:03am.

Thanks sdr for keeping this old thread alive. I still like to keep up with SD RE trends on Piggington.
Re your comments, yes it can get cold here, and warm in the summers, although our elevation keeps us better off than nearby Vegas.
I looked up official average St. George temperature highs and lows and rainfall for February: average daytime high 59, nighttime low 37. Brutal! 3 days with precipitation.
For March, 68, 43, and 4 days of precipitation.
That must account for our awful utility bills on our 2550 SF house: January water + el bill: $170.24. Gas bill: 97.28.
In hot July, el + water = 213.19. (Combined because the City collects for both). sdr, care to tell us what your July numbers were?

Submitted by EconProf on February 26, 2022 - 9:23am.

Now about our RE...hard to accept Redfin's claim our home prices are down 3% YOY, since all other reports say 20% or so. Could be because Redfin does not hold constant the size or quality of homes sold. So more small houses or condos would yield that misleading figure.
I can only speak for my own experience of moving last April into our new house for $556,000. Am now refinancing and the appraisal came in at $730,000. The refi will enable me to add to my stock of rental condos (3 currently).
PS: our house price was set in the previous July, so appreciation was not as large as it appears.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 26, 2022 - 11:53am.

EconProf wrote:
Thanks sdr for keeping this old thread alive. I still like to keep up with SD RE trends on Piggington.
Re your comments, yes it can get cold here, and warm in the summers, although our elevation keeps us better off than nearby Vegas.
I looked up official average St. George temperature highs and lows and rainfall for February: average daytime high 59, nighttime low 37. Brutal! 3 days with precipitation.
For March, 68, 43, and 4 days of precipitation.
That must account for our awful utility bills on our 2550 SF house: January water + el bill: $170.24. Gas bill: 97.28.
In hot July, el + water = 213.19. (Combined because the City collects for both). sdr, care to tell us what your July numbers were?

My water bill was about $40 as I have beautiful drought tolerant landscape. People take pictures of it all the time. My gas was $35. I have no electric. My solar is long paid off. My house is bigger than yours

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 26, 2022 - 10:43am.

EconProf wrote:
Now about our RE...hard to accept Redfin's claim our home prices are down 3% YOY, since all other reports say 20% or so. Could be because Redfin does not hold constant the size or quality of homes sold. So more small houses or condos would yield that misleading figure.
I can only speak for my own experience of moving last April into our new house for $556,000. Am now refinancing and the appraisal came in at $730,000. The refi will enable me to add to my stock of rental condos (3 currently).
PS: our house price was set in the previous July, so appreciation was not as large as it appears.

Stats are stats. As you noted your price was set two years ago and it appears the appreciation happened the first year. Also you bought new, how much more did you spend to get it move in ready. I’d guess about $50k but may be more or less

Liquidating all your San Diego real estate 2 to 3 years ago has likely already cost you well over $1 million. But you do get the joy of living in a red state while we suffer in a prosperous blue state. My next-door neighbor made a similar choice and thought he made a killing. He left in June and his house has already gone up around 400 K. Such is life. I hope you are enjoying the time with your family. It has come at a very high price but those years are priceless and you can’t get time back

Submitted by EconProf on February 26, 2022 - 5:16pm.

sdr, you are usually pretty good with math, but a few corrections are in order.
July of 2020 was more like a year and a half ago, not two. So our appreciation rate was about 20% per year, in line with most all the RE reports on St. George houses.
No I did not sell my San Diego RE investments 2-3 years ago...more like twelve years ago, investing in AZ. Yep, it would have done better if left in San Diego, but not by much.
The new house we moved into last April did not require any money to be move-in ready as the developer (Brio) gave us so many choices and optional add-ons, costing about 50K but included in the $556,000 price.
Back to the bigger picture, CA has the highest unemployment rate 7.7% (BLS, December), and Utah second lowest (1.9%), with St. George the lowest in Utah. Utah has the 2d fastest population growth and CA is losing population faster than all states except NY and IL. I'm guessing the politics of each state is a major factor. Incidentally, our property taxes are about one-half of one percent, so moving to a better house with better government cut our taxes paid by about 80%. Income taxes, likewise.
Congrats on your low utility bills, but let's not ignore the $20,000 to $40,000 you probably spent to put in solar.
As you and I have previously pointed out, SD is benefitting from people moving from the two other worse-governed coastal California metropolitan areas who still want to stay near the ocean. With employers fleeing CA to other western states, I'm not sure how long that will prop up San Diego prices.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 26, 2022 - 6:35pm.

That’s great that the market is so strong there the builder throws in upgrades worth $50k and you didn’t have to pay to landscape your own property. Here I’m down and out California if you’re unlucky enough to be one of the few on the waiting list to get a house all they throw in is thanks for coming. And nice of you to omit the 4.2% unemployment rate here which is rapidly dropping. I did not omit the cost of my solar I said it was long since paid off which means that it has already paid for itself and is returning the equivalent of close to $4000 in savings every year.

EP your math skills are usually good also. But I’m going to have to correct something because you did not compound that return. If it was 20% over two years compounded twice it would now be worth over 800 which as you said it is not. It’s actually more like 15%.

While our markets are appreciating 30% so it’s not even close to what we are getting. If you had what we had you would be close to 950k. And our taxes are a very small price to pay for that appreciation. Over the last two years My average weekly appreciation has been more than my annual tax bill. My taxes are about 1/3rd of 1% of my current value due to prop 13.

Unlike Utah we are constantly birthing new unicorn tech companies and now even have them in small towns like Encinitas. The blue line on the trolley opened and ridership is soaring. They just opened 9 more miles of car pool lanes on the 5 freeway last week with more coming. Things are absolutely blossoming here and there looks to be no retreat in sight.

Submitted by Coronita on February 28, 2022 - 9:45am.

sdrealtor wrote:
That’s great that the market is so strong there the builder throws in upgrades worth $50k and you didn’t have to pay to landscape your own property. Here I’m down and out California if you’re unlucky enough to be one of the few on the waiting list to get a house all they throw in is thanks for coming. And nice of you to omit the 4.2% unemployment rate here which is rapidly dropping. I did not omit the cost of my solar I said it was long since paid off which means that it has already paid for itself and is returning the equivalent of close to $4000 in savings every year.

EP your math skills are usually good also. But I’m going to have to correct something because you did not compound that return. If it was 20% over two years compounded twice it would now be worth over 800 which as you said it is not. It’s actually more like 15%.

While our markets are appreciating 30% so it’s not even close to what we are getting. If you had what we had you would be close to 950k. And our taxes are a very small price to pay for that appreciation. Over the last two years My average weekly appreciation has been more than my annual tax bill. My taxes are about 1/3rd of 1% of my current value due to prop 13.

Unlike Utah we are constantly birthing new unicorn tech companies and now even have them in small towns like Encinitas. The blue line on the trolley opened and ridership is soaring. They just opened 9 more miles of car pool lanes on the 5 freeway last week with more coming. Things are absolutely blossoming here and there looks to be no retreat in sight.

That new I-5 northbound opening is awesome. Same with the UCSD trolley.

Submitted by an on February 28, 2022 - 11:17am.

Coronita wrote:

That new I-5 northbound opening is awesome. Same with the UCSD trolley.

Now, if they can finish the North Bound through OSide and open the South bound. But it seems like they're already 2 steps behind since there's still a ton of traffic. Should have followed Orange County and what they did w/ the 405 in Irvine.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 28, 2022 - 1:47pm.

Traffic seems better to me but gotta be due to COVID also. The construction is causing delays also. On a weekend it can take me 30 minutes to get from S Carlsbad to 78 due to it. Looking forward to that section getting completed. Should go much quicker as much straighter except between Cannon and Tamarack

Submitted by teaboy on February 28, 2022 - 3:43pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
My water bill was about $40 as I have beautiful drought tolerant landscape. People take pictures of it all the time. My gas was $35. I have no electric. My solar is long paid off. My house is bigger than yours

Sdr, how TF do you get a (monthly?) water bill of $40? Who's palm or other bodily appendage do I need to grease to get in on that?

I also do not have any irrigation, but my last SD water bill (2100sq SFH) was $173 bi-monthly. My Base fee & sewer fees alone were over $60/month, so I ask you.. WTF? do you have a mini desalination plant on your property and have net-metering setup for that, too?

tb

____________________________________
Service Period: 12/16/21 to 02/11/22
Water Services
Single Family Residential Base Fee 53.74
Water Used 9 HCF
Tier 1 8.00 HCF @ $5.3713 42.97
Tier 2 1.00 HCF @ $6.0200 6.02
Total Charge for Water Used 48.99
Sewer & Storm Drain Services
Sewer Base Fee 28.94
Sewer Service Charge 39.47
Storm Drain 1.90
Total Current Charges 173.04

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 28, 2022 - 4:16pm.

Drought tolerant landscape and two in the household. That was last July but it has increased and is now about $50 due to the higher system access charges. I’m in the Olivenhain municipal water district.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 28, 2022 - 4:36pm.

You got me curious so I checked bill and I was off a little. I just have an auto payment of $50/month and once a year or so I reconcile what I owe them or skip payment. Its a bit higher this month as I had a bunch of company. My house is closer to 3K sf and my lot is 11,000 sf. I dont have those monthly sewer charges. I Checked and they are in my tax bill ($378 this year). All in it looks like we arent far off

System Access charge $39.44
SDCWA Infrastructure Access Charge $3.98
Usage (4 units at $3.39) $13.56

Total bill is $56.42

Most recent gas bill was $87. Its much higher than last July due to higher rates and it being winter (gas heat)

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 17, 2022 - 10:55am.

Wonder what’s going on in St George beyond 100 degree weather?

Submitted by XBoxBoy on June 17, 2022 - 12:05pm.

Watched an interesting Netflix show, "Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey", about the FLDS and their ties to St George Utah. Made me wonder if EconProf has any ties to them.

Submitted by phaster on June 18, 2022 - 8:45am.

sdrealtor wrote:
Wonder what’s going on in St George beyond 100 degree weather?

XBoxBoy wrote:
Watched an interesting Netflix show, "Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey", about the FLDS and their ties to St George Utah. Made me wonder if EconProf has any ties to them.

anyone else wonder is the real estate boom in places like St George Utah and Lo$t Wages (for example) an upscale and temporally more successful version of California City?

https://laist.com/news/entertainment/cal...

PS the reason I specifically mentioned "temporally more successful version" is because of the drought in the SW region

https://www.piggington.com/megadrought_t...

Submitted by Myriad on June 18, 2022 - 9:11am.

sdrealtor wrote:

System Access charge $39.44
SDCWA Infrastructure Access Charge $3.98
Usage (4 units at $3.39) $13.56

Total bill is $56.42

Wait, so you have no sewer charge? or you have a septic system?
My fixed charges alone are $112.

Submitted by Myriad on June 18, 2022 - 9:13am.

*dup

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 18, 2022 - 11:03am.

Myriad wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:

System Access charge $39.44
SDCWA Infrastructure Access Charge $3.98
Usage (4 units at $3.39) $13.56

Total bill is $56.42

Wait, so you have no sewer charge? or you have a septic system?
My fixed charges alone are $112.

Recent bill was $58 and no sewer charge on water here. We are Leucadia Waste Water district and have a $378 annual charge on tax bill

FWIW my tax bill is about $7200. Thats $5600 based upon assessed value, $800 mello roos which should go away in several years, the roughly $400 sewer charge and another $400 or so of miscellaneous charges and bonds

Submitted by gzz on June 18, 2022 - 6:27pm.

The problem with investing in St George RE isn’t any lack of water. This is such a tiresome worry. Western states waste most of their water on low-value agricultural in a bizarre system where wasteful farms pay far less than residential or industrial users.

Any real water shortage would result in residential users who are a large majority of the population outbidding agricultural users. But we actually won’t have any water shortages, this is just Chicken Little propaganda by major water users eager for even more state subsidies.

In a free market for water, Western state residential water bills would decrease substantially. The “cost” would be, e.g., on Chinese consumers who wouldn’t get our almond exports quite so cheaply, and the ultrarich owners of farms that get water subsidies.

St George’s issue is low density small metro suburban housing in middle America deprecates over time and trends downscale, and there’s always ample developable land to build newer and nicer housing. I don’t think his Utah RE is going to be a disaster for EP, but it will probably return over a 20 year period roughly inflation minus 1%.

Submitted by barnaby33 on June 19, 2022 - 12:11pm.

Any real water shortage would result in residential users who are a large majority of the population outbidding agricultural users. But we actually won’t have any water shortages, this is just Chicken Little propaganda by major water users eager for even more state subsidies.

In a free market for water, Western state residential water bills would decrease substantially. The “cost” would be, e.g., on Chinese consumers who wouldn’t get our almond exports quite so cheaply, and the ultrarich owners of farms that get water subsidies.

We have a real water shortage. California grows 50% of Americas fruit and veg. So what you are really stating is that in a free market, we'd all have plenty of residential water (more expensive than now but not horribly so) at the expense of fresh fruits and veg a lot of the year. That's cutting off your nose to spite your face. Yes the Chinese should pay more for almonds, and agricultural water should be more expensive with the explicit social goal of moving us towards perma culture, but be careful what you wish for.
Josh

Submitted by EconProf on June 21, 2022 - 4:38pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
Wonder what’s going on in St George beyond 100 degree weather?

Answer: still flocking here in big numbers, esp. from CA.
About that weather, two factoids. We are higher in elevation than Phoenix and Las Vegas--both at about sea level--so are a bit cooler. And we have a big temperature swing between the day's high and low. So people jog and bike ride in a.m., not mid-afternoon. Secondly, the hotter temperatures in those two big cities does not seem to be deterring Californians from moving in big numbers to those cities. Gosh, I wonder why that is?

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 21, 2022 - 10:52pm.

EconProf wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
Wonder what’s going on in St George beyond 100 degree weather?

Answer: still flocking here in big numbers, esp. from CA.
About that weather, two factoids. We are higher in elevation than Phoenix and Las Vegas--both at about sea level--so are a bit cooler. And we have a big temperature swing between the day's high and low. So people jog and bike ride in a.m., not mid-afternoon. Secondly, the hotter temperatures in those two big cities does not seem to be deterring Californians from moving in big numbers to those cities. Gosh, I wonder why that is?

Big numbers? ROTFLMAO! St George is the same size as Oceanside. Demand in Vegas and Phoenix is falling much faster than here you just havent seen the numbers yet.

Here is some data

Inventory Y-o-Y through May in a few of the markets Californianians are alegedly fleeing to

SD -12%
Santa Clara +12%
Vegas +71%
Phoenix +101%
Austin +140%
Nashville +44%

Inventory M-o-M through May in a few of the markets Californianians are alegedly fleeing to

SD +9.5%%
Santa Clara +31%
Vegas +48%
Phoenix +62%
Austin +51%
Nashville +44%

Current Inventory at end of May with population in parentheses

SD 3200 (3.3M)
Santa Clara 1658 (1.9M)
Vegas 4367 (2.8M)
Phoenix 10508 (4.6M)
Austin 4173 (1M)
Nashville 4539 (1.3M)

So comparatively

Vegas about 33% more inventory despite over 15% smaller population

Phoenix almost 250% more inventory despite only 33% bigger population

Austin 30% more inventory with less than 1/3 the population of SD

Nashville 40% more inventory with about 1/3 the population

Woe is me! Data does not lie

Submitted by EconProf on June 22, 2022 - 7:25am.

sdr: I accept all your numbers, but what does it prove?
Assuming "inventory" means houses on the market, does the inventory/population ratio predict future price trends? Or does it mean people in those cities move a lot, or existing owners want to cash in on their sudden capital gain, or the recent jump in interest rates prompts fence-sitters to try to sell and move up in the same city, or ...what? I honestly don't know.
What counts, and is readily measured, is where people are moving from and where people are moving to. And, importantly, what kind of people. The techies that are moving from CA to Florida, Texas, Tennessee, etc. does not bode well for San Diego, which is now losing population in an absolute sense after being a refuge from LA and Bay area escapees. And what kind of people are moving TO San Diego (hint: where would you most like to be homeless?)
Snark aside, I'm not sure what your data proves.

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 22, 2022 - 8:50am.

If it was my data Id be honored that you accept it but its from calculated risk where you can find some more. Inventory in absolute and the trend is the best leading indicator there is for pricing. It is the best most trackable measure of the balance between supply vs demand. The exact reasons dont matter and could be different each place. Its the trend which is unfavorable that matters. So what it means is those alleged CA destination markets are showing very strong signs of large price declines to come while SD continues to be perhaps the strongest market in the country.

I included Santa Clara also as its one of the prime coastal markets and would have included LA if the data was there. I didnt include Sacto which had numbers but is more of fleeing high cost CA market and has more incommon as a place and the inventory trend is similar to LV/PHX/NVille than SD. There wasnt good FLA data but what seems to be going on there is more the great resignation/earlier than expected retirement gang then WFH crowd.

You keep talking about CA losing population of techies but have provided nary a single data point. Its CA for chrissakes! There are and always have been people coming and going here. Its what we do here! So while we lose some techies, we birth as many or more techies on an ongoing basis. Encinitas has 2 $1B+ unicorn companies at the moment. Those were unheard of in SD just a few years ago and now we have TWO at Mayberry by the Beach! SD economically is in boom times and looks to continue the same for quite some time

BTW at last count we have about 8400 homeless in SD. Thats a colossal tragedy for them and they seem to be mostly congregated in high profile downtown areas but in the grand scheme of things is a pretty small number and has no effect on our economy. It only makes for good fodor for right wing nut jobs who leave a place that treated them very well but prefer to take backhanded swipes on their way out the door about political climates they dont agree with

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 23, 2022 - 8:09pm.

EconProf wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
Wonder what’s going on in St George beyond 100 degree weather?

Answer: still flocking here in big numbers, esp. from CA.
About that weather, two factoids. We are higher in elevation than Phoenix and Las Vegas--both at about sea level--so are a bit cooler. And we have a big temperature swing between the day's high and low. So people jog and bike ride in a.m., not mid-afternoon. Secondly, the hotter temperatures in those two big cities does not seem to be deterring Californians from moving in big numbers to those cities. Gosh, I wonder why that is?

Wonder no more! Here is what is going on in Utah!

https://www.deseret.com/utah/2022/6/23/2...

No market out west is weakening harder and faster than the Utah metro areas and of course St George has gotta be right there with them.

My favorite quote in the article came at the very end!

“The trend has started to reverse in both places, with Salt Lake City seeing a net outflow (more Redfin.com users looking to leave than move in) for the first time on record in the first quarter,” Redfin reported.

Game, Set, Match

Submitted by zk on June 24, 2022 - 7:30am.

sdrealtor wrote:
Never said that but keep believing I did while your rent climbs. Real estate is local. It’s different everywhere. I only care what is happening locally. What happens elsewhere? It’s not my problem

(bolding is mine)

sdrealtor wrote:
EconProf wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
Wonder what’s going on in St George beyond 100 degree weather?

Answer: still flocking here in big numbers, esp. from CA.
About that weather, two factoids. We are higher in elevation than Phoenix and Las Vegas--both at about sea level--so are a bit cooler. And we have a big temperature swing between the day's high and low. So people jog and bike ride in a.m., not mid-afternoon. Secondly, the hotter temperatures in those two big cities does not seem to be deterring Californians from moving in big numbers to those cities. Gosh, I wonder why that is?

Wonder no more! Here is what is going on in Utah!

https://www.deseret.com/utah/2022/6/23/2...

No market out west is weakening harder and faster than the Utah metro areas and of course St George has gotta be right there with them.

My favorite quote in the article came at the very end!

“The trend has started to reverse in both places, with Salt Lake City seeing a net outflow (more Redfin.com users looking to leave than move in) for the first time on record in the first quarter,” Redfin reported.

Game, Set, Match

Yeah, real estate is local. Except when you use an article that has data for Provo, Salt Lake City, and Ogden (and no other places in Utah) to make a point about St. George. Sacramento is on that list, too. If someone had tried to use that to make a point about the market in San Diego, you'd be wearing out the LOL keys on your keyboard.

dz gets kicked off, and you can't go for more than a couple days without throwing jabs at somebody, so you dig this old thread up and use irrelevant data to claim "game, set match." Showing your true colors, sdrealtor.

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 24, 2022 - 10:01am.

Welcome back and good to see you still lurking regularly but so misguided. If my true colors are taking EP to task for throwing CA (which created great wealth for him and his family for decades) under the bus because he disagrees with it politically i'll wear those proudly every time!

If you took the time to actually read you'd see I mentioned Sacto earlier and specifically why I did not include it as it bears a lot more in common with places like UT, Id, AZ, TN, LV etc than SoCal or the Bay Area.

Those 3 Utah MSA's make up well over 80% of the population of UT and are very representative of what is happening all over Utah including St George which is just too small to be followed by the major data collectors. The entire SG metro is no bigger than Oceanside and I'd bet $$ to donuts it will follow what is happening in the rest of the reported UT areas as there is no industry to support what has happened there with RE

As for this thread and EP this thread stays active and pops up regularly. I have no issue with his moving there and think he did it for great reasons. ive told him countless times. He moved there to be around his kids and grandkids. Thats a great reason and Ive told him over and over I hope he enjoys them. where we divurge is perpetual attacks on CA wihtou ever bringing a single data point...ever. He just rolls out his lazy political nonsense when he feels like taking a jab that at the place that made him what he is.

I wish EP nothing but well and sincerely hope he's enjoying the heck out of life there and watching his grandchildren grow

Submitted by sdrealtor on June 24, 2022 - 10:00am.

sdrealtor wrote:

I included Santa Clara also as its one of the prime coastal markets and would have included LA if the data was there. I didnt include Sacto which had numbers but is more of fleeing high cost CA market and has more incommon as a place and the inventory trend is similar to LV/PHX/NVille than SD. There wasnt good FLA data but what seems to be going on there is more the great resignation/earlier than expected retirement gang then WFH crowd.

here

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