Stay Classy, San Diego

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Submitted by north park girl on September 21, 2015 - 10:56am

Just closed on selling my place in San Diego and moved to the Bay Area for a new job. I figured I’d share my experience and a few random thoughts.

- My house is weird, and it was hard to find real comps for its size and condition. I met with half a dozen or so agents, and got a $150-200K range on the suggest list price. I ended up listing in the middle (which I thought was still a bit optimistic, but hoped there maybe was a buyer who would fall in love with it), and it sold on the low end if that range.

- It was a long and sometimes painful process. 3 or 4 price drops, and a relist. It took almost 4 months. I had a few offers each time the price changed, but more than once the offer backed out before we got to escrow, and another backed out during escrow, after the inspection. I learned my lesson on pricing right the first time! I suspect I cost myself 30K and a few gray hairs from what the “smart” list price should have been.

- Despite the drop in price, it still sold well above what I bought it for, so I can’t complain. Timing wise, I bought during the housing crash and I feel like prices are running a bit high right now, so I’m glad to sell now.

- I initially thought I’d use the proceeds for a down payment in Silicon Valley, but even for me (who grew up in San Jose) the prices are ridiculous and out of reach. I’m living in Mountain View and am paying less than $3K for a 2br/1ba. Another 2br/1ba 800 sqft a few blocks away is selling for $1.3 mil!

- I’ve heard rumors that the VC bubble in the valley is gonna crash soon (banks are starting to call in collateral on loans). I might be one of the few people here hoping it’s true.

- I got a solid pay increase from my old job in San Diego, though I also got a new degree, so it’s hard to draw a comparison on salary differences. On the whole it’s probably 20-30% better pay up in the Bay Area for tech/engineering jobs, depending on what you do. But cost of living is easily 50-100% higher. And “keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality is pretty high. Lots of people I know trying to get out of the rat race. As much as people complain about housing prices in San Diego, it’s a great place to live if you can find a job there (unfortunately, nothing much up my alley), and I miss it.

Submitted by spdrun on September 21, 2015 - 11:16am.

Stay in San Diego and go freelance. Or open a small business, or get your Ed degree and teach. Tech isn't the be-all and end-all of life.

Submitted by ocrenter on September 21, 2015 - 12:23pm.

There's also the China Bubble. Chinese money is a big component of several sub-markets in the Bay Area, LA/OC and SD. Mountain View being a big part of that sub-market that may be aversely affected.

It really is starting to look like the financial system was able to find another bubble after the real estate bubble, and that is the China Bubble.

Was talking to someone going to China on vacation, $500 per person including airfare, hotels, buses, and all meals for 7 days.

Submitted by Clifford on September 22, 2015 - 12:57pm.

north park girl wrote:
- ...banks are starting to call in collateral on loans ...

Can you elaborate on this ?

Submitted by north park girl on September 22, 2015 - 1:28pm.

I wish I knew more, just a comment I heard from a lawyer friend who's pretty active in the startup scene, who heard it from someone else. All unsubstantiated rumors, possibly just wishful thinking on my part.

Submitted by evolusd on September 22, 2015 - 5:16pm.

ocrenter wrote:
There's also the China Bubble. Chinese money is a big component of several sub-markets in the Bay Area, LA/OC and SD. Mountain View being a big part of that sub-market that may be aversely affected.

Do you think there's a possibility, given the recent Chinese stock and bond market freak out, that even MORE money will flow from China into US residential real estate as a 'safe haven'?

Submitted by ocrenter on September 22, 2015 - 11:00pm.

evolusd wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
There's also the China Bubble. Chinese money is a big component of several sub-markets in the Bay Area, LA/OC and SD. Mountain View being a big part of that sub-market that may be aversely affected.

Do you think there's a possibility, given the recent Chinese stock and bond market freak out, that even MORE money will flow from China into US residential real estate as a 'safe haven'?

I suppose that is certainly possible. But if the Chinese economy continues its downturn, they will likely devalue the yuan even more. Can you imagine if the yuan went back to 1:8 instead of the 1:6 we've seen over the last 4-5 years? They'll be looking at a drop of 25% on their buying power if that happens. The worse is certainly not over yet.

Submitted by CA renter on September 23, 2015 - 1:52am.

Thank you for your observations, North Park Girl. Sounds like you timed your entry and exit very well.

I agree with you about bubbles in tech and the Bay Area. Also agree with OCR regarding the Chinese bubble(s) and their potential effects on our markets, along with other markets around the world.

It's probably a good idea to sit on some cash and just watch how things pan out right now.

Hope you enjoy the SF area as it really is beautiful up there and they get rain. Lucky you!

Submitted by skerzz on September 24, 2015 - 4:38pm.

Clifford wrote:
north park girl wrote:
- ...banks are starting to call in collateral on loans ...

Can you elaborate on this ?

I'd like further elaboration on this rummer as well.

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