Margin for error?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by NotCranky on April 29, 2009 - 10:52pm

What would you consider a comfortable best guess margin of error for your owner occupied purchase? What are some of the thoughts that determine what is an acceptable margin of error.

Lots of piggs have purchased homes and must have known pretty well they were not getting an absolute price bottom? I think aiming for the bottom is great, nothing wrong with waiting. I have had clients say they are comfortable with somewhat probable 15-20% miss if other factors worked for them.This came up on the upward bubble trajectory when I started to get suspicious of the heights to which prices had risen and with the first house I sold post crash.

Submitted by Bob on April 29, 2009 - 11:47pm.

This is a tricky question, but if its an owner occupied property that I planned on living in for a number of years, and we are dealing in the current market, I probably would wait it out until fall...or at least until I get a better idea of what Bernanke plans on doing with interest rates. LOL

Having said that, in the price range I'd be looking at for an owner occupied, I wouldn't want to make a bad guess and miss by more than 10%-15%. In this environment, I feel safe to say I won't.

Submitted by briansd1 on April 29, 2009 - 11:53pm.

Interesting question considering that in the consumer goods market, any drop in price would have the buyers back to the store asking for a refund.

Considering all the posts about electronics and cars, Piggs are the types who want the very best deals.

FLU is a funny guy. He's resigned himself to having overpaid for his house; but he seems like a guy who would shop and shop before buying his new HDTV, car, carpet, hiring a baby-sitter, or whatever.

Me, I'd rather get a great price on a house so that I can feel generous and give a nice tip to my baby sitter at Christmas.

I have ambitions to buy at the bottom when houses sit and sit. In previous bottoms, houses would sit and sellers had to provide special financing to get houses selling.

A bottom is NOT a time when buyers bid against each other.

Submitted by Bob on April 30, 2009 - 12:02am.

briansd1 wrote:
A bottom is NOT a time when buyers bid against each other.

You know, thats the best statement I've read yet. And its a very important point that the Feds don't understand...at least with respect to the Southern California market. While some areas of the country, ie, Arizona, Michigan, South Florida, probably could use government assistance to get property moving, here in Southern California there wasn't a need for such assistance. As I've stated in another thread, even when supply far outpaced demand in TV, the good properties sold, often times only days after being listed. The reason ? Prices are once again reasonable.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on April 30, 2009 - 12:23am.

2.4%

Submitted by CA renter on April 30, 2009 - 12:48am.

It's a tricky question because we are more vulnerable now with respect to job and wage instability than any time in most of our lifetimes.

When buying a house today, you should seriously consider the **strong** possibility of lay-offs and wage/benefit reductions, even in "safe" government jobs that are now seeing many layoffs and wage/benefit reductions (much more to come, BTW).

If you don't have a cushion to provide for at least one year of un/under-employment, there's a strong possibility you'll have to sell or move out of the house.

Let's not forget the additional savings required to build up all those trashed retirement funds. That should be separate from the one-year's worth of "rainy day" savings.

If you put 20% down on a house (and most of us have to work long and hard to get that saved up), are you willing to lose 100% of your down payment? It's easy to say, "I don't care if it goes down another 15-20%," but is that really the truth, if your back was against the wall?

So many people were devastated by 30-50% losses in their portfolios, but claim to have no problem with 100% losses on a house. Remember that the various selling and closing costs alone will wipe out 5-10% of your equity from day one.

Personally, I don't want to lose a single cent on a purchase, but if an "acceptable loss" had to be quantified, the total losses would have to be no more than equivalent rent for the same type of house and duration of occupancy.

Submitted by 5yearwaiter on April 30, 2009 - 7:51am.

CA renter wrote:
Personally, I don't want to lose a single cent on a purchase, but if an "acceptable loss" had to be quantified, the total losses would have to be no more than equivalent rent for the same type of house and duration of occupancy.

CA renter - you are absolutely correct and this is what the correct understanding our fellow purchasers need to have at the time of house purchasing these days. Honestly this time home buying is more careful than the last time peak price home buyers. Most of them those bought past years (2004- 2006) may not be losing a dime at all due to various attractive baliout vs NODs. But now one has to be prepared to lose minimum 20% loss from their pocket for sure and the future of entire US economy is kid of foggy - it never ever get back to the stream line - though it gets back, not housing surge at all. Keep in mind first the forthcoming era is to increase taxes and interest rates - how long the housing will surge when high interest rates exist? I do agree rent vs home mortgage should be somewhat equivalent level instead losing saved money 20% and further downthe road live life with stress.

Submitted by an on April 30, 2009 - 8:31am.

briansd1 wrote:

A bottom is NOT a time when buyers bid against each other.

So, you're saying the coastal properties are at the bottom and the cheaper areas are far from bottom? Since no one is bidding against each other in the coastal areas but there are plenty of multiple offers in the low end areas.

As for the OP, I'm fine with buying when it's cheaper for me to buy vs renting the same house. Since I have no intention of ever selling the house, rental rates is more important to me. When I do move up, I will be renting out my house. One thing I also noticed, especially when looking at well established areas vs new for primary resident, you might not like any of the house that's on the market at the bottom.

Submitted by NotCranky on April 30, 2009 - 9:44am.

CAR,

I know some people feel that losing a job is a big threat to managing a mortgage realtively comfortably. Not sure anyone should buy under this situation. I also don't think this risk, at a very high level, constitutes living within ones means. Sometimes the buyers parents "guarantee" this risk.

Some depreciation is a much more acceptable risk with the thought that it could just be a paper loss. I just always got around it by buying what I could likely keep one way or another without a job. Who wants to be under the stress of depleting some type of "survival" reserves paying for a house? Makes sense to avoid that. It makes me wonder how the 'downward spiral' believers are going to deal with this. Because at some point one has to draw the line or pay cash.

Moving out seems like acceptable risk mitigation but then you have to find being a landlord acceptable too.If I had to move out but still had a decent rental, I would consider that a success.(It never happened involuntarily). Single people might have it easier in this regard...They can get roomates if their personality allows for it. I have met many people who calmed their buyers remorse, with the idea of a roomate to help in tough times.

I don't relate to relocating because of a job loss, but I understand many people do need to think about this.

Brian1
I am not sure there is a bottom where listings are universally unwanted. In fact, I tend to doubt that scenario ever comes.Maybe that is not what is meant? In the bubble there was practically no such thing as an unwanted house and now there is. I consider that a huge sign of improvement.

Submitted by jpinpb on April 30, 2009 - 8:56am.

I'm w/CAR. I want to be able to at least get close to my rents. I'll take a higher mortgage w/the tax write-off, even a little higher. But right now, looking in coastal areas, that is not happening. Only in really distressed condos in UTC or CV is it really close. I don't know about D/T. Brian would know better. I doubt it.

AN - I understood what Brian was saying. If there is a bidding frenzy, then tough to say bottom. When I tried to sell my house in the early '90's in Carmel Valley, I had it listed for the same price I bought it just a few years earlier. No offers for a year!!

I was lucky enough to be able to ride it out. The coast is not getting any offers b/c they're still listed at 2005 prices, from what I can see. If there were down to 2002 prices, there probably would be a bidding frenzy. And so it wouldn't be bottom then. The only thing close to 2002 pricing is in The Plaza in PB. Condos are the weakest link and a sign of things to come.

We are far from bottom. That said, I'd be tempted to get something if it were at least close to rents. I qualify this. I have no intention of putting 20% down. I will do an FHA 3%. I did 20% down before and learned. I'll keep the 20% on stand by in case of emergency.

Submitted by an on April 30, 2009 - 9:31am.

jpinpb wrote:

AN - I understood what Brian was saying. If there is a bidding frenzy, then tough to say bottom. When I tried to sell my house in the early '90's in Carmel Valley, I had it listed for the same price I bought it just a few years earlier. No offers for a year!!

I was lucky enough to be able to ride it out. The coast is not getting any offers b/c they're still listed at 2005 prices, from what I can see. If there were down to 2002 prices, there probably would be a bidding frenzy. And so it wouldn't be bottom then. The only thing close to 2002 pricing is in The Plaza in PB. Condos are the weakest link and a sign of things to come.

We are far from bottom. That said, I'd be tempted to get something if it were at least close to rents. I qualify this. I have no intention of putting 20% down. I will do an FHA 3%. I did 20% down before and learned. I'll keep the 20% on stand by in case of emergency.


That makes no sense. Where would you consider the bottom to be then? If you list it for 1980 price, I'm sure you'll get a massive bidding war. Would you consider 1980 price to be well below the "bottom"? You just confirm what I'm saying, if you list your house at price well above the bottom, you won't get any offer. But if you list it near, at or below the bottom, you'll get a bidding war. Looking back, we all can say bottom of the last cycle was around 1996-1997. If you would have listed your house in the early 90s at 96-97 price, you would have gotten a bidding war too. But you were trying to sell it at peak price, that's why you didn't get any offer.

Submitted by Coronita on April 30, 2009 - 10:20am.

briansd1 wrote:

FLU is a funny guy. He's resigned himself to having overpaid for his house; but he seems like a guy who would shop and shop before buying his new HDTV, car, carpet, hiring a baby-sitter, or whatever.

yes, that is the asian irony...My blood makes me squander pennies while missing out on the bigger dollars :)

Actually. Out decision was pretty planned.
Buy a SFH and dump two attached homes in two different high cost CA locations prior to marriage.
Neither of us wanted to be landlords right after marriage, tax free cap gains, and a SFH was still 25% less than two..Haggling with the seller who fell out of escrow twice $60k down from his asking was just icing on the cake.....

I guess completely cashing out in RE and just renting would have been an option....But some observations.

...5 years later rather than living in my home, I would have the option to purchase my neighbor's down the street which just closed about the same purchase price what we paid in early 2004

....Or I have the option to get into a bidding frenzy with those REO's in CV right now. I forget how many there are....

....5 years later, I'd still like to see a CV average comp in 2600-2800sqft significantly lower than 03-04 pricing...Let's knock off $100k...How many 2600-2800sqft listings are there that is $700k or lower listings in Torrey Hills, Carmel Country Highland, or old part of CV NOT along 56?

....Also, 60 months * $3k in rent. That isn't an insignificant amount of money. It's not like you have no cost by not purchasing (compared to buying a TV where you simply can choose to not spend)... You aren't living for free (unless you happen to be a squatter or someone that took out a mortgage and refuses to pay moratorium after moratorium).
Yes yes, if we put that "extra money" in investments, it would have earned 10%...Oh really? Did most people earn 10%+ consistently between 2004-2009?

....The bonus question is (which I don't haven an answer for)....How long do people think it will take for 2600-2800sqft SFH in CV to reach say $650k or lower? And what will interest rates be then? Are these government interventions (which are surely not going to stop a price decline) going to continue to cause a slow trickle versus a steep drop like so many of us (inclusive) are hoping so that we can get back into the RE game? Is inflation going to eat into our savings? Is the average investment for the average person going to outperform inflation? Is there a point when a sustained slow trickle price decline plus a slow uptick in interest rates plus eventual inflation will be a wash compared to slightly "overpaying" up front?

By all means, I'm not advocating buying right now..Personally I think it's a terrible time to buy in most higher priced areas especially if you've been waiting since 2003/04/05...Prices haven't fallen far and fast yet, you already waited 4-5 years. If you enter now, you're paying almost as much as you did back in 2003/04(not 05)...which is still inflated... and on top of that you also spend the past 4-5 years renting. Sit it out. Wait for the government's insanity to stop. Hopefully, when the dust settles, home prices are more reasonable in these higher cost areas. I'm not touching RE for some time until a lot of these government muckery subsides.

As far as why I penny pinch..Well, got to do it somewhere...Otherwise, I'll end up like so many broke americans.

Submitted by an on April 30, 2009 - 10:22am.

flu wrote:

....The bonus question is (which I don't haven an answer for)....How long do people think it will take for 2600-2800sqft SFH in CV to reach say $650k or lower? And what will interest rates be then? Are these government interventions (which are surely not going to stop a price decline) going to continue to cause a slow trickle versus a steep drop like so many of us (inclusive) are hoping so that we can get back into the RE game? Is inflation going to eat into our savings? Is the average investment for the average person going to outperform inflation? Is there a point when a sustained slow trickle price decline plus a slow uptick in interest rates plus eventual inflation will be a wash compared to slightly "overpaying" up front?

I hope it'll be around that price 10 years from now :-).

Submitted by NotCranky on April 30, 2009 - 10:51am.

"Is there a point when a sustained slow trickle price decline plus a slow uptick in interest rates plus eventual inflation will be a wash compared to slightly "overpaying" up front?"

Besides these,some near future buyers are siting in their current primary/soon to become cash cow rental property too. This could definitely affect rationale for the next owner occupied move-up or what not.

Submitted by Coronita on April 30, 2009 - 10:59am.

AN wrote:
flu wrote:

....The bonus question is (which I don't haven an answer for)....How long do people think it will take for 2600-2800sqft SFH in CV to reach say $650k or lower? And what will interest rates be then? Are these government interventions (which are surely not going to stop a price decline) going to continue to cause a slow trickle versus a steep drop like so many of us (inclusive) are hoping so that we can get back into the RE game? Is inflation going to eat into our savings? Is the average investment for the average person going to outperform inflation? Is there a point when a sustained slow trickle price decline plus a slow uptick in interest rates plus eventual inflation will be a wash compared to slightly "overpaying" up front?

I hope it'll be around that price 10 years from now :-).

You're not alone. Actually, I have a much more interest in a nice SFH in the Bay Area, just in case I want to move back there. Part of my plan for world domination: a home in NorCal, L.A. wood, and S.D. :)

There was one error... The really high end homes in CV $2million+ have seen some major price actions...But those are out of my league...

Submitted by an on April 30, 2009 - 11:00am.

flu wrote:

You're not alone. Actually, I have a much more interest in a nice SFH in the Bay Area, just in case I want to move back there. Part of my plan for world domination: a home in NorCal, L.A. wood, and S.D. :)

I grew up in SD, so I can never leave this place. I've been to many cities and it always feel so good when I come back here. I would much rather have a 2000 sq-ft house in Solana Beach/Del Mar west of the 5 than 2800 sq-ft in Torrey Hills though.

Submitted by Coronita on April 30, 2009 - 11:08am.

AN wrote:
flu wrote:

You're not alone. Actually, I have a much more interest in a nice SFH in the Bay Area, just in case I want to move back there. Part of my plan for world domination: a home in NorCal, L.A. wood, and S.D. :)

I grew up in SD, so I can never leave this place. I've been to many cities and it always feel so good when I come back here. I would much rather have a 2000 sq-ft house in Solana Beach/Del Mar west of the 5 than 2800 sq-ft in Torrey Hills though.

Oh, I wouldn't mind a home in del mar. Most likely it would need to be torn down and rebuilt for me though...
Maybe if I win the lotto or find another job at the next Web 3.0 company with a spectacular ipo.

In the meanwhile, I'm pretty content with my naggy HOA :)

Submitted by an on April 30, 2009 - 11:33am.

flu wrote:

Oh, I wouldn't mind a home in del mar. Most likely it would need to be torn down and rebuilt for me though...
Maybe if I win the lotto or find another job at the next Web 3.0 company with a spectacular ipo.

In the meanwhile, I'm pretty content with my naggy HOA :)


2600-2800 sq-ft in CV goes for 800k-1M right now. I did a quick search and there are several 800k-1M in Del Mar that's west of the 5. Would be nice if these drop to 650k :-).

Submitted by Coronita on April 30, 2009 - 11:55am.

AN wrote:
flu wrote:

Oh, I wouldn't mind a home in del mar. Most likely it would need to be torn down and rebuilt for me though...
Maybe if I win the lotto or find another job at the next Web 3.0 company with a spectacular ipo.

In the meanwhile, I'm pretty content with my naggy HOA :)


2600-2800 sq-ft in CV goes for 800k-1M right now. I did a quick search and there are several 800k-1M in Del Mar that's west of the 5. Would be nice if these drop to 650k :-).

Yeah i know. Seems like things around 700-800k are moving. Things 800+ aren't as fast. Well that was when the conforming+ loans were in their 5's...

I wonder with the latest rates, if we'll start seeing activity.

If SD's conforming+ rate is going to be $697k....You can borrow $870k with 20% down...Just wondering if this puts more people into the market... If SD ever goes to the $729k limit, then we're looking at a loan of $910k with 20% down.
Even in this economy, I'm wondering if there are people sidelined who would be buying because the can now get ta conforming+ loan for some of the more costly homes.

http://www.trustrealestatesolutions.com/...

Sigh, it's going to be a trickle trickle trickle i fear.

Submitted by jpinpb on April 30, 2009 - 1:40pm.

There's a difference between not getting offers b/c you're priced too high and not getting offers b/c the pool is drained and you're at bottom.

Submitted by NotCranky on April 30, 2009 - 1:56pm.

jpinpb wrote:
There's a difference between not getting offers b/c you're priced too high and not getting offers b/c the pool is drained and you're at bottom.

Can you explain more what you mean? What comments are you directing this to?

Submitted by jpinpb on April 30, 2009 - 2:15pm.

AN - said I made no sense.

Really all I can compare it to is my experience of the '90's. I mean, Carmel Valley was not less desirable back then. Yet I had my place listed for a year w/no offers. Explain that. It was bottom. There was no question. I mean, I didn't even get a lowball. That house was fairly new. I mean back in the '90's, much of Carmel Valley was new.

I want to say no one was buying. There wasn't bidding wars. The only thing that was selling was foreclosures. And back then, there was not a mega bubble like today. Places were foreclosed and sold for 25% off peak in CV. So 25% off something that wasn't a mega bubble. And that was if you were lucky to find someone w/the means to buy it.

Rates were still fairly low, like around 6 or under, which for prices back then, it's low, but lending was tighter.

But we didn't have government intervention, so that is a factor to consider.

Submitted by an on April 30, 2009 - 2:36pm.

jpinpb wrote:
There's a difference between not getting offers b/c you're priced too high and not getting offers b/c the pool is drained and you're at bottom.

Can you please explain what you mean by the pool is drained? Was there EVER been a period where there's no sale?

Submitted by Coronita on April 30, 2009 - 2:43pm.

jpinpb wrote:
AN - said I made no sense.

Really all I can compare it to is my experience of the '90's. I mean, Carmel Valley was not less desirable back then. Yet I had my place listed for a year w/no offers. Explain that. It was bottom. There was no question. I mean, I didn't even get a lowball. That house was fairly new. I mean back in the '90's, much of Carmel Valley was new.

I want to say no one was buying. There wasn't bidding wars. The only thing that was selling was foreclosures. And back then, there was not a mega bubble like today. Places were foreclosed and sold for 25% off peak in CV. So 25% off something that wasn't a mega bubble. And that was if you were lucky to find someone w/the means to buy it.

Rates were still fairly low, like around 6 or under, which for prices back then, it's low, but lending was tighter.

But we didn't have government intervention, so that is a factor to consider.

jpinpb,

In the 90ies, I can say that SD was just barely recovering from a big recession that had a big impact on the SD economy...Specifically, I recall that SD economy was wrecked by all the defense companies that was axed. SD was also much less well known back then...a La Jolla townhome 2/2 ran $300k....Folks were just talking about how the RE market was starting to pick up but still underwater. You had three chinese restaurants (4 if you counted PF Changs).

Around the mid 90ies a few select employers started hiring and growing. Niche players that were relatively unknown...Some of these niche players had a really big impact on the SD economy..

One of the key selling points in the early 90ies was that while wages were generally lower than say other tech areas like NorCal, so was the cost of living...Plus on top of that you get the weather (I know, but it was a selling point).With that, it attracted higher wage earners into SD (especially since beggars couldn't be choosers...)..Moving forward, when the tech bubble started to climb, so did these people's perceived wealth.

Things are slightly different from the early nineties in that San Diego isn't exactly a small town that no one really knows about anymore, despite the pathetic "international airport". San Diego grew up. Even the demographics has changed since then.

Submitted by an on April 30, 2009 - 2:42pm.

jpinpb wrote:
AN - said I made no sense.

Really all I can compare it to is my experience of the '90's. I mean, Carmel Valley was not less desirable back then. Yet I had my place listed for a year w/no offers. Explain that. It was bottom. There was no question. I mean, I didn't even get a lowball. That house was fairly new. I mean back in the '90's, much of Carmel Valley was new.

This is what you said a few post earlier:

jpinpb wrote:
When I tried to sell my house in the early '90's in Carmel Valley, I had it listed for the same price I bought it just a few years earlier. No offers for a year!!

So, if you tried to sell in 1996, but listed it at 1992-1993 price, of course you won't get any offer. Just like those houses that are listing at 2005-6 price today. Just because the market is at the bottom doesn't mean that you'll get an offer if you list it for higher than what the market can bare.

Submitted by CA renter on April 30, 2009 - 3:00pm.

I totally understand what jp is talking about.

Yes, you can pull purchases forward by opening the mortgage market to people who wouldn't have been able to buy until later in their lives, hisorically-speaking.

I bought in early 1998, and was not competing with other buyers. San Diego was not "unknown" back then. "The rich" have known about San Diego for a long time. La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad (esp. La Costa area), RSF, etc. have been known to the BIG money crowd for many decades.

Submitted by Coronita on April 30, 2009 - 3:05pm.

CA renter wrote:
I totally understand what jp is talking about.

Yes, you can pull purchases forward by opening the mortgage market to people who wouldn't have been able to buy until later in their lives, hisorically-speaking.

I bought in early 1998, and was not competing with other buyers. San Diego was not "unknown" back then. "The rich" have known about San Diego for a long time. La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad (esp. La Costa area), RSF, etc. have been known to the BIG money crowd for many decades.

I don't doubt the rich have known about those areas of exclusivity... I'm more referring to main stream upper middle class (folks that still depend on a W2)....When did the techie/lawyer/biotechie dudes first start cropping up here? Wouldn't you agree there was definitely an influx of these people starting around 97 onward? Aren't these upper middle income folks the same people that would happen to be buying in places like CV, Carlsbad?
(These aren't exactly the folks looking in LJ or RSF or DM I would think)...

Submitted by SDEngineer on April 30, 2009 - 3:26pm.

flu wrote:
CA renter wrote:
I totally understand what jp is talking about.

Yes, you can pull purchases forward by opening the mortgage market to people who wouldn't have been able to buy until later in their lives, hisorically-speaking.

I bought in early 1998, and was not competing with other buyers. San Diego was not "unknown" back then. "The rich" have known about San Diego for a long time. La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad (esp. La Costa area), RSF, etc. have been known to the BIG money crowd for many decades.

I don't doubt the rich have known about those areas of exclusivity... I'm more referring to main stream upper middle class (folks that still depend on a W2)....When did the techie/lawyer/biotechie dudes first start cropping up here? Wouldn't you agree there was definitely an influx of these people starting around 97 onward? Aren't these upper middle income folks the same people that would happen to be buying in places like CV, Carlsbad?
(These aren't exactly the folks looking in LJ or RSF or DM I would think)...

Earlier than that for the techie/biotechie crowd. It was pretty well known as a Mecca for high tech and biotech before the 90's. Torrey Pines already had lots of infant biotechs anchored by the Salk Institute, and there was substantial hi tech (though that was more defense oriented in the late 80's) with employers like SAIC, Titan/Linkabit, NOSC (one of the premier high tech research facilities for the Navy), and so on.

Submitted by jpinpb on April 30, 2009 - 3:27pm.

My neighbor at the time was research scientist. Maybe it wasn't the hotbed it is now, but enough for the homes that were there in the '90's.

Submitted by Bob on April 30, 2009 - 3:35pm.

Russell wrote:
"Is there a point when a sustained slow trickle price decline plus a slow uptick in interest rates plus eventual inflation will be a wash compared to slightly "overpaying" up front

People are assuming that mortgage rates will remain at low levels and then go up at a slow pace. Thats an assumption based on hope, but not necessarily on reality. The fact is, the bond market could very well be the next bubble to burst. The Federal Reserve is spending trillions in an effort to keep mortgage rates artificially low. Thats why you currently see 4.5% interest rates. But the Feds cannot continue this practice indefinately, as it will lead to hyperinflation. As it is, inflation is coming anyway, and mortgage rates will spike. The question is, how high will rates go ? And how will higher rates affect home prices in San Diego, particulary in neighborhoods which have yet to hit bottom ?

The unintended consequences of the feds actions to spend its way out of the current recession will eventually lead us right back into another recession. The only difference is that the first recession is deflationary in nature, where as the second will be inflationary in nature.

Submitted by CA renter on April 30, 2009 - 4:57pm.

flu wrote:
CA renter wrote:
I totally understand what jp is talking about.

Yes, you can pull purchases forward by opening the mortgage market to people who wouldn't have been able to buy until later in their lives, hisorically-speaking.

I bought in early 1998, and was not competing with other buyers. San Diego was not "unknown" back then. "The rich" have known about San Diego for a long time. La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad (esp. La Costa area), RSF, etc. have been known to the BIG money crowd for many decades.

I don't doubt the rich have known about those areas of exclusivity... I'm more referring to main stream upper middle class (folks that still depend on a W2)....When did the techie/lawyer/biotechie dudes first start cropping up here? Wouldn't you agree there was definitely an influx of these people starting around 97 onward? Aren't these upper middle income folks the same people that would happen to be buying in places like CV, Carlsbad?
(These aren't exactly the folks looking in LJ or RSF or DM I would think)...

As someone who was born and raised in L.A., my perspective may well be skewed toward a So Cal bias. I've always known people to visit/move to SD, and have never thought of it as an "off the beaten path" sort of city.

Naturally, this doesn't necessarily apply to what people in Nebraska or Texas think though.

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