Pacific Highland Ranch (Pardee)

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Submitted by bryan995 on April 27, 2017 - 3:27pm

New resident of SD as of early 2016. Things are going well and we are considering setting up roots here.

Thoughts on the PHR development?
Mainly pardee homes (casabella, casavia)?

With most existing, dated inventory priced around ~800k, it seems reasonable to consider the jump to new construction, 2600sqft @ 990k (+tax+melloroos).

This development in particular.

Any PHR residents on this board? Any new sub-1mil developments planned by other builders? Is the traffic really as horrible as everyone says it is (heading west/south)? Is new-construction a horrible buy right now? Which builder is best?

I assume we can buy without a RE agent to save a bit on agent commission and have the builder roll the discount into the purchase price. Is the mello-roos payoff still worthwhile in PHR?

We are a young couple, planning to stay for a minimum of 5 years.

Thanks in advance !

Submitted by Escoguy on May 7, 2017 - 5:22pm.

Where do you work?

We're in Escondido and I've worked downtown, Lakeside and Carmel Valley, and Vista. I've usually been able to commute within 35-40 min to anywhere from south Escondido (used HOV to downtown).

Why do I ask this? For the area, the price is about right but you will get more space in Escondido.

You say you're a young couple. I'm assuming combined income of 200K+ for a home like this. This may require both of you to work to pay the mortgage.

If having kids is important soon, getting a cheaper house may be a better option.

Mostly depends on what lifestyle you want.

Submitted by njtosd on May 8, 2017 - 5:22pm.

Have you factored in the cost of landscaping? Very pricey. Also, most of the older inventory has low or non existent mello roos, so I would consider that, especially since I believe it is not tax deductible. I live off Del Mar Heights road and there are currently 2 high schools (CCA CCHS) one middle school (PTMS) and at least two elementary schools (Sycamore Ridge and Pacific Highlands Ranch) that snarl traffic in the PHR area significantly in the morning. I would drive around on a Tues, Thurs or Fri morning between 7:30 and 8:00 (Mondays can be late start for PTMS and Wed. can be late start for CCA) and see what you think. I had never seen rush hour traffic around here but it is bad now in the evening on DMHR, increasing as you get closer to Carmel Valley Rd. Once the buildings by CCA and the new development One Paseo are up and running, it will be even worse. If I were you, I'd look for well maintained existing stock conveniently located to the express way.

Submitted by zk on May 8, 2017 - 6:02pm.

A couple good data points above. Here's another:

I live in CV south of the 56. PHR generally has somewhat higher mello roos (than here), so that's kind of a bummer. But I've found Carmel Valley a great place to raise a family. Generally you'll find lots of families with young children in these new neighborhoods. Plus, when you and your neighbors all move in at almost the same time, there's an immediate sense of community that you probably won't find in an older neighborhood. We have block parties, our kids play together, sometimes we hang out, we watch out for each other, we all know each other. That kind of thing. The PHR area has some pretty nice shopping centers, if you like new and clean (some prefer old with character).

The weather here is nice, especially if you don't like heat. Most parts of Escondido are pretty hot, and some parts are brutally hot. CV rarely gets above 75, even in summer. If you like the heat, you won't get much here.

Obviously it depends on what you prefer; I'm just trying to paint a picture of life in a new development in CV.

I've bought 2 new homes from Pardee in CV, and I don't think saving a bit on agent commission will work. I don't think they'll give you a discount based on not having an agent - a few people we know tried that and got nowhere. And they won't pay a commission unless you tell them about your agent on your FIRST visit to the sales office (you might even have to bring him to the office, I'm not sure). They will (or they did 6 years ago) pay a commission to that agent if you buy a home (I think it was 1% or 2%, I'm not sure) The best you can do (as far as I know) is to make a deal with an agent beforehand that all he has to do is show up once, and work out with him where he gives you some of that commission. Works best if you have a friend or relative who's an agent.

Submitted by zk on May 9, 2017 - 7:50pm.

Thinking back, maybe it wasn't your first visit to the office. I think it was either the first time you signed in or when you got on the "priority list."

Submitted by bryan995 on May 9, 2017 - 10:25pm.

Thanks for all of the great comments.

My wife works downtown (near seaport) and I work in the Torrey Pines / UCSD area. DINKS, ~250K income with (hopefully) plenty of room for income growth.
We have 15% downpayment + reserves. We've been considering a 80/10/10 mortgage. We rent currently, very much looking forward to the potential tax deductions.

1st child now on the way, so DINK status will be retired soon.
Wife plans to continue to work, but we also do not want to over-commit.

I do sometimes wonder about the average income for families in these developments - DINK or SINK or SIWK (single income with kids). Helps to calibrate what exactly we are getting ourselves into. Willing to run things a bit lean/tight for a few years, will help to establish some 'forced' savings in our mind. Also wanting to lock in low rate now, in a potential 'forever' home rather than buying a small starter home now and feeling the urge to upgrade in 3-5 years.

By landscaping, do you mean monthly maintenance?
Or an initial cost since the builder leaves the home with only dirt?
How much $$ are we talking here? :)

Everything I read suggests that RE tax AND mello roos are tax deductible (mello roos seem to be in a grey area) but most seem to add this as a deduction.
We will certainly attempt to simulate our commute from PHR a few mornings - will also look a bit more into existing stock along the xpress-way.

You experience with the sense of community in CV + lots of young families with children is exactly why we are considering this development - it is nice to hear some positives. Also with the temperature, we would prefer more mild temps :)

About the agent commission, I did some additional reading after making this post and found exactly what you describe. The builder is unwilling to offer a discount for buyers without agents because it would then set a precedent for a lower price for the next buyer (with an agent). So they basically stand firm on this. We might as well either use redfin for the rebate, or find a local agent willing to stand-in for a small piece of the pie.

We were very careful not to sign anything formally just yet and I believe you are right - it is only after one is added to the priority list, or fills our the form to tour the standing units that the buyers agent needs to be formally acknowledged.

Thanks all!

Submitted by bryan995 on May 9, 2017 - 10:29pm.

I've also read some posts, discussing a potential 'fire' sale come end of year for some new homes / builders.

Apparently they are willing to offer steep discounts as Q4 wraps up (and especially as a particular development comes to a close) to boost revenues.

We were hoping that if we can hold off until nov/dec, that some significant discounts can be had for these units. $992k -> $950k? or more?

Any truth to any of this?

Submitted by zk on May 10, 2017 - 8:33am.

bryan995 wrote:
I've also read some posts, discussing a potential 'fire' sale come end of year for some new homes / builders.

Apparently they are willing to offer steep discounts as Q4 wraps up (and especially as a particular development comes to a close) to boost revenues.

We were hoping that if we can hold off until nov/dec, that some significant discounts can be had for these units. $992k -> $950k? or more?

Any truth to any of this?

I guess it's possible. I've never seen it - and I've spent years watching. On rare occasion, prices may come down as the weaker part of the real estate sales year comes around (Nov/Dec), but no more than is commensurate with prices in the area in general (and usually less). And usually, in that case, they won't actually lower prices so much as offer some incentives or upgrades. Far more often, in a time of rising prices, prices go up with every phase. Part of that is that they frequently sell the better lots in later releases. But I would say most of it is just plain old rising prices.

The biggest incentives I've seen are on really bad lots that don't sell for a long time. There were one or two on Gablewood Way that have power line towers right behind them - practically in their back yard. They sat for a long time, and finally they either lowered the price enough or offered enough incentives that they sold. I don't have any numbers, but it was quite a bit. In my experience, if you want a good lot, you get on the list as high as you can, and pay what they're asking. They're pretty good at timing their releases so as to get as much as possible for their houses, and there's not much you can do about it.

Submitted by njtosd on May 10, 2017 - 4:45pm.

The last time I checked, new construction came with no landscaping and a requirement that some sort of landscaping be installed within 6 months - and usually this would have to be paid cash (not mortgaged). I have heard outrageous prices, but it depends a lot on whether you want a patio and/or patio cover, lots of hardscape, etc. I did a quick look up and found this estimate:

Not sure if it's accurate.

I agree with others about the issue of trying to get a bargain - Pardee knows how to play this game and has been doing it for a long time. Much more likely to get a bargain when you buy existing stock (divorce, job transfer, etc.). Also, FWIW, last I checked most mortgage lenders won't lock a rate in long enough for a home to be built (or maybe you have to pay for extension of the lock - I can't remember). So you have the risk of mortgage rates rising during the construction period.

Submitted by Andrew32 on July 16, 2017 - 11:55am.

@bryan995 - any updates/decisions made that you're willing to share? Just saw this thread and curious because it 95% describes my wife and I's situation, I had to do a double take and make sure I didn't write this. We've been primarily looking at Del Sur though with January being our time frame.

Your tolerance to traffic and your work location(s) play a factor. How one person describes their commute can be different than someone else's. Drive your potential commute one weekday or quickly check that commute for a week when you're walking out the door at your home using Google Maps or Wave.

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