Sunset Cove

User Forum Topic
Submitted by Raybyrnes on February 11, 2007 - 9:11pm

Has anyone visited Sunset Cove. This property gives me a similiar feel to the Shona Development in Point Loma. While many posters complain about construction, size of units etc. I tend to think that all of these Public builders are actually doing a fairly good job. My problem with both of these developments is the location. They are looking to get in the Mid 500's for a very average to below average area in Point Loam. You are surround ed dby rental units that rent for less than 1400 a month. Why on earth would I take a mortgage out for 3500+. It is not a move up area, I can't see it as a move down area, I am just missing who is the target market for this development. I am surprized becaseu I feel William Lyon is a good builder. I think they are going to take it in the shorts on this development. Anyone else have a take on this?

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on February 12, 2007 - 9:19am.

Sunset Cove is in a decent area shouldering Bay Park/Clairemont. I think they knocked down a bowling alley to build these units. My guess is that whomever sold the property to the builder is doing pretty well.
But I have to agree. Their main problem is that single family homes in the area are already priced in the 600s range (towards the south/west) and in the 500s range to the north/east. The SFRs don't have HOA fees so it might be roughly equivalent to buy an older SFR in Bay Park than these units. For me, that's not a tough sell. It's an impossible sale.

Submitted by sdrebear on February 12, 2007 - 10:36am.

Just a little background on the sale.

I am actually very close with the family who owned Sunset Bowl (used to be Clairemont Bowl). I worked for the owner for several years while finishing college and beyond as part of their property development team and know pretty intimately the details of the sale to William Lyon.

William Lyon is in the hole for well over $15 million on this project just for the property. Yes, $15 mil! I'd say the old owner did very well. He now has other investment projects in LaJolla, Hawaii, and Birdrock. He had a large vacation rental property (about 13 units) called Ecco Sands down in Mission Beach that he flipped in a year for quite a bit of money as well.

Anyway, Sunset Cove is priced probably more out of necessity than anything else, as William Lyon bought right when everything was ramping up in the RE world and in my opinion, WAY overpaid for the property.

This purchase actually began way back in 2002-2003. There were a lot of contingencies going on regarding "if" the city counsel would allow the sale in the first place as it was being converted from a business to a residential area. Also, William Lyon had to cover some financial obligations of the Bowl for possible damage to business from the announcement of a sale. Bowling Alleys rely heavily on leagues for income and when a bowl announces that it will be selling (and closing), then all of these leagues have to find somewhere else to bowl. If the sale did not/could not happen for any reason, Sunset Bowl's business would have been severely damaged.

As for the neighborhood, it is a strange mix of nice and not so nice. The large rental complex just north of Sunset Cove just went through a major revamping, but it's still basically low-rent housing. The complex to the south is also all rentals. They tried a condo conversion, but bailed out when the market turned last year. Probably hurt too as they had pretty much cleared out all of their renters by that time. Oops! I have a really hard time seeing high $500's for these places given their location and the high density of the complex in general. I think they have plans for over 70 units on that lot. All of them 3bd with garages.

All in all (and no offence intended) it's still Clairemont and $500k+ for a townhouse is just ridiculous.

Submitted by PerryChase on February 12, 2007 - 11:23am.

I visited Sunset Cove. I concur with all the comments about pricing and Clairemont. The townhouses are pretty nice but not for the price they want.

Some units (yet to be constructed) will have nice Bay views. What's why you should get familiar with neighborboods now, and snatch a good buy (or several) on the resale market half a decade from now.

Submitted by 4plexowner on February 12, 2007 - 1:31pm.

Single family houses in Clairemont are now being priced in the $430K range

$430K for house and $70K on a remodel

Result: nice 3/2 SFR on its own lot for same price or less than these condos are being sold for - no HOA fees and no HOA rules - no shared walls

Which one would you buy?

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on February 12, 2007 - 2:22pm.

4-plex. That might be a little low, but I agree with your point. 3 of 79 listings for SFR in 92117 are for less than 430K. But, if you go up to ~500K you can get into nicer areas and decent SFRs.

Submitted by 4plexowner on February 12, 2007 - 2:40pm.

Currently on the market:

3/1, 1014 SQFT, Mount street in 92111 zip, $433K, backs onto canyon, fresh carpet and paint

This is your basic shit-box in Clairemont but it is on a decent street

Spend the bucks to add a 2nd bathroom and some square-footage, then do the landscaping and this house becomes a MUCH nicer place to live than any condo on Clairemont Drive


Of course, this assumes that it makes sense to buy anything right now or that $500K for entry-level housing somehow makes sense ...

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on February 12, 2007 - 2:48pm.

I once owned a Mt Street house in 92111 on the edge of a canyon, 3/1 1018 sq feet, so I had to look this up. Not the same house, mine was west of Genesee.

4-plex ... a great example of the competition that will hinder Sunset Cove. Especially when more properties in this range come on the market.

Submitted by PerryChase on February 12, 2007 - 3:29pm.

I think that the newnest of Sunset Cove will appeal to many buyers.

I agree with the buy low and rehab strategy (I'm planning to do just that in Point Loma in the future).

Few buyers see the potential of a house. If they did, the small contractors and flippers would be in the poor house.

The one thing that a new development has going for it is design and presentation. Most people have ugly houses and bad taste. They wouldn't know how to rehab a house; and when they do, the project is not down right. Builders are able to give buyers a completed product they can enjoy right away. Remember, we live in an instant-satisfaction society.

Submitted by CardiffBaseball on February 12, 2007 - 4:17pm.

If your kids are public school age is there something to be said for the west side of clairemont (Clairemont HS) vs. the Eastern Edge which feeds Madison HS?

Scores are a little better at CHS. Demographics a slight edge to CHS if you are caucasian, MHS, if you are african-american. Otherwise I hear good things about the Mount street area, but of course that's from my guy in Linda Vista.

Submitted by SupersunD on January 27, 2008 - 2:42am.

BUMPING this year old thread.

My parents recently called me because they were considering buying a property at Sunset Cove. Apparently, only half of the planned 70+ units were built. They are now offering one of their floorplans for $449,990 with a $20,000 lender incentive which can go towards the purchase price.

Opinions on this? Definitely a better deal now than the mid $500k asking price of a year ago, right? How about relative to the area?

Opinions will be appreciated!

Submitted by barnaby33 on January 27, 2008 - 10:06am.

Are these units open to view? I might pop over today and take a look if so.


Submitted by Raybyrnes on January 27, 2008 - 4:14pm.

Personal bias is setting in after my sister looked at a brand new 4200 square ft home in North Carolina for 440K. I would think that if you don't have kids who are of school age these place might work out. BUt with so many rental units in the area I am still wondering why you would lay out this type of money for these units.

Submitted by Stradivarius on January 27, 2008 - 6:33pm.

I live near Sunset Cove and work in Point Loma, so I have visited both Sunset Cove and the Shona/Cabrillo units. When I went to Shona, it was very noisy as they are building a school across the street. I also don't love tandem garages (Sunset Cove has side by side) but it doesn't matter that much for me (husband works from home). I do like the fact that Sunset Cove uses solar panels which roll your meter back, and also tankless water heaters. However, all of their units are 1400-ish s.f. so if you want a bigger place, Shona has some 3 and 4 bedroom units that are bigger. Also, if you are considering "bay view" units at Sunset Cove, I looked at one (I think unit 60 or 61) that had a bay view from the top floor (master bedroom), but the living room (middle floor) faced the back of a brown Century 21 building. Very ugly. Maybe some of the newer units will have better views, although I haven't seen them start to build their next phase yet.

I visited Sunset Cove last October-November and they seemed sort of desperate but also reluctant to lower their price, which correlates with the large debt William Lyon has on this property.


Submitted by ccutequeen on June 9, 2008 - 12:19pm.

Hi there, I am new here. Just saw this post and wanted to bring it back up to top again as I am interested in this place.

I just went to their sale office couple weeks ago after seeing ad they post on craiglist. I liked the second floor, how they did the living/dinning/kitchen with lot of storage. The bedrooms are ok but downstair one is really small. I love the fact that everything is new, with solar panel on roof and location is close to the bay + 5 freeway. They are now asking $419k for floor plan2, $429k for plan1 and $434k for plan3. Just wondering what does everyone think of this new price. Does it worth this price for this neighborhood?
They have two more phases coming up with one of them start sale on Dec of this year. Should I wait for that one and perhaps price will drop lower?
Any thoughts are appreciated.

Submitted by jpinpb on June 9, 2008 - 12:48pm.

I love the idea of solar panels and tankless water heaters and new everything and all. But the surrounding area is sketchy, even tough they revamped the apartments, some derelicts hanging out there. Still, somewhat insulated in the complex. But dealing w/HOAs is tough, paying it and their petty rules. Some people are ok w/them, but I have a hard time w/ some of them. Some HOAs act like they're dictators. And they can add or change rules at whim.

For the same price, recently saw this, which I imagine is pending.

So although Sunset Cove is nice, I still think a little high on the price when you can get a house for that, w/out monthly fees and rules. What you pay in fees, you can fix your house up the way you want.

Submitted by meadandale on June 9, 2008 - 1:09pm.

I don't fault the owner I suppose but I was really bummed when the Sunset Bowl closed. I've bowled there alot over the years.

Frankly, I'm kind of glad that the builder is taking a bath.

The same thing is probably gonna happen to the property next to Waring Rd that some jackass thought would be great for a bunch of condos at the top of the market. Right next to the freeway. To date, it looks like they've only completed about 10% of it and they haven't swung a hammer on it in months because they know they'll never get close to what they want for the units.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 9, 2008 - 1:18pm.

I'd be happer with this, but I like the old 50's houses in Clairemont, and there's 20 feet between houses:

Submitted by jpinpb on June 9, 2008 - 1:23pm.

If you add a second story to Deerpark, you get a clear bay view.

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 9, 2008 - 1:52pm.

Your bay view can be ruined by someone else's 2nd story, though.

But it is a decent house on a decent lot in a decent 'hood. Deerpark looks like a comp-killer for Clairemont, BayPark, and parts of Linda Vista.

Submitted by ccutequeen on June 10, 2008 - 4:05pm.

Thanks for the replies. I agree the neighborhood seem to be not as nice. This place kind stands out. I looked at the houses available in same area, they do seem to have better value considering there is no HOA. The reason I consider Sunset Cove is because I am a single girl and this is going to be my first place, I worry about the work thats involved with older houses. The repair and maintanence...I am really not that handy. And dont want to spend that much time on cutting grass..worry about roof replacement...other parts of house that might break down...etc.
It seems like HOA has been brought up many times. Is it really much more expensive to pay HOA vs repair house yourself? What kind rules can they restrict me with? Its my own place after all right..I mean how much saying are they going to have on what I do in my own place?

Submitted by Raybyrnes on June 10, 2008 - 5:20pm.

HOA fees are not generally understood. You have to collect money today for future repairs tomorrow. Therefore you are building a reserve. The problem in this environmnet is that if you don't sell out the units quicky enough the HOA Reserve is being underfunded and could produce problems down the line. If you are single and on a 5 year plan this may not be important. By this I mean you have a new unit that yu are not going to have to worry about. Additinally while the area is notthe greatest it is not the worst either. You are close to the beaches and downtown. You ae not that far to Sorrento Valley. The 5 Free way is right there. You do not have to think about schools for kids. And if you decide to hod on to this unit s a long term buy it might make a great rental for a young family down the line who like you might not care so much about the school system.

Submitted by jpinpb on June 10, 2008 - 5:39pm.

Everyone is different. I never owned a townhouse/condo, though when I was younger I was more inclined to consider one. Having rented in condos before, I found the rules excessive. Can't have your garage open, pet limitations, parking restrictions, car restriction (one place wouldn't allow you to have a lifted truck - not that I do, but come on - militaristic) and on and on.

They give you a list of the HOA rules. Read them carefully. They are lengthy. My understanding, the rules can change and be added at their whim.

Also, nowadays, w/defaults, condos are assessing special fees, since they are not getting enough money from everyone that should be paying.

Certainly/hopefully not the case w/Sunset Cove. They're fairly new. But that's not to say it can never happen ever in the future. You're relying on others to pay their share and that the money is managed properly.

Also, I think that the HOAs can also increase as their costs may be subject to inflation, rising costs of expenses, etc. I'm not 100% certain on that. Maybe they won't raise fees. But say, 10-15 years from now the place needs a new roof and there's not enough money in the HOA account, you may get hit w/a supplemental bill. Not your problem if you're not there for 10+ years. But you do have to sell it and someone else buying will look at that. I know I would.

I like Sunset Cove. I just think the price is a little high relative to surrounding homes selling at/near their prices, though not as new. I understand your concern about fixing older places. That doesn't stop others. Which means Sunset Cove is competing w/the others and should reduce. But prices are still sticky and as long as people are buying, then there won't be a reduction.

Submitted by SD Realtor on June 10, 2008 - 10:37pm.

I think that for your demographic, single girl who does not want to deal with alot of repairs and such, a condo is your best bet. However as a first time buyer and only having your own income to rely on, my concern would be that your attraction to the home may be clouding some basic budget issues. I would STRONGLY urge you to sit down and perform the following exercise... using an excel spreadsheet put down EXACTLY what your monthly loan payment would be, your HOA, and your property tax. Do the same thing for the next few years and add a few bucks to your HOA each year. Very rarely do HOA go down but them going up is commonplace. Now do the same thing for you budget if you did not buy this home and instead put the difference in savings. Also don't forget to add in your downpayment that you would not apply if you didn't buy the home. Then look forward 2 years from now to see how much you would have saved.

My concern here is that I believe that condos, even new ones such as these have a higher probability to go down then go up over the next 2 years. As a first time buyer, I am not sure I would recommend spending 419k on a condo. At that price along with an HOA I doubt you will ever get it to pencil out as a rental.

I don't mean to be a wet towel... and for sure I am one who actually understands that buying a home is a decision that involves more then just finding the bottom of the market. I have many a post defended families buying while admitting that the market will continue to depreciate. I just think that as a young single professional some decisions now of abstinence may pay huge divendends not so far down the road. Now if you had a family and wanted a school district and there were other issues then I may feel a bit different.

SD Realtor

Submitted by barnaby33 on June 10, 2008 - 10:56pm.

It is so erotic, the way you used the word, "abstinence."

Submitted by sdduuuude on June 10, 2008 - 11:09pm.

I'm with SD R.

I always give this advice to young people looking for a house:

Before even thinking of buying a house, put the difference between your current rent and your future house payment (including HOA, prop tax, and insurance) into the bank every month for 6 months, maybe a year.

For example, if you rent a place now for $1200 and your house payment will be $2500 / month. Put $1300 into the bank each month and don't touch it.

This accomplishes three things:

1) You know what it is like to live without the money you will have to spend on the house payment. You can really tell if you can afford it, or if you want to afford it.

2) You save up additional money for a down payment.

3) You let the housing market slide a little more.

Submitted by ccutequeen on June 12, 2008 - 10:38am.

Thanks so much for all the great advices!!

It sure did bring me down from the cloud quite a bit. I have mentally prepared for the stuff I will have to give up after taken on a house payment, but havent had a real feel to it. I will definitely do this little exercise sdduuuude suggested to see how it really feels to not have that money to spend....after June..there are too much good summer sale this month. In 6 month it'll be end of year, who knows, maybe their price will drop lower to middle 300k.

I will get my excel spreadsheet out to do a 2 year plan rent&save vs buying as well to get some difference in $number as suggested by SD Realtor. I admit 400k townhouse is bit crazy for a single girl. The reason I was considering it is because 1. I liked the townhouse in sunset cove..well, at least the models (they looks so nice..perfect set for emotional first time buyers like me)2. They have 3 bed, each with its own bath. I plan to have roomates and it will be easy to rent out when room comes with its own bathroom...i think. Not quite sure how much room can rent out that area though, so it might not help as great as I hope on morgage payment.
I was also looking at those at Spectrum center in Kearny Mesa area. Actually liked that location even better, close to freeway and restaurants. Not as close to the bay, but so central. But they dont have sidebyside garage. So much harder to have roomates when parking is issue. Also 2bd 2bath is asking $360-380 on resale, thats even more crazy price compare wth this one.
I have seen lately in UTC area that some 2bd 2bath condo for around $300k or even lower. I was so happy to see price finally come down but they are mostly just small apartment converted condos where you have to walk far to your car, no garage and have neighbors all around. Not only left and right but also up and down. It'll feel same as I live in apartment except I pay much more per month for it.
Sometimes I wonder at what price will it really worth to buy a place?

Oh, and now I am quite scared of HOA. Not just the fee..but the rules too. If I were to buy place, will I be also member of the HOA? Do I have a saying on what should or shouldnt be add as a rule? It shouds like HOA is more strict and scary than apartment leasing office.

Submitted by meadandale on June 12, 2008 - 4:13pm.

Oh, and now I am quite scared of HOA. Not just the fee..but the rules too. If I were to buy place, will I be also member of the HOA? Do I have a saying on what should or shouldnt be add as a rule? It shouds like HOA is more strict and scary than apartment leasing office.

Ohhhh yeah. You'll be a 'member' whether you like it or not. And unless you get on the HOA board, you don't have any say what the rules are (and even then you'd have to convince the others).

This is one of the reasons I bought a SFR in an older community--I couldn't stand the thought of some micromanaging idiot with more time than sense and a napolean complex sitting on my HOA board and making everyone's life miserable, especially mine; this is exactly what happened to a friend of mine up in CV--and the guy was his next door neighbor (ugh!).

Submitted by jpinpb on June 13, 2008 - 6:52am.

I posted this on other threads, but in case you missed them, I'll post it here.

Have you checked the solvency of the HOA? I doubt it will be a problem w/Sunset Cove now, but in the future, keep this in mind:

I remember hearing about a condo complex in El Cajon (no name or street location was provided) HOAs also paid for water. Many owners were underwater, upside down, defaults, foreclosures. They stopped paying the HOAs. The other FBs had to pay HUGE HOAs to cover those who weren't paying. They had no choice or the water was going to be turned off.

Submitted by ccutequeen on June 17, 2008 - 4:31pm.

Thanks for the information on HOA.

When I visited Sunset Cove, they told me the HOA is $225 and only contain exterior maintenance and common area (insurance?). I was thinking its expensive and it doesnt cover water,trash..etc. So now it sounds like it might not be a bad thing. If the water is seperate, then I will at least get my service as long as I pay even if My neighbors stop paying. Well, at least thats what I think it means.

Submitted by jpinpb on June 17, 2008 - 8:56pm.

I stopped by this place over the weekend for the heck of it, since I go by it often. Thought I'd stop and check it out. Salespeople were nowhere around. Went through all three models. Sales people nowhere around still. Picked up some brochure, map of tract and - financing paperwork.

Are you guys ready for this? One of the options listed was a 5 year interest only loan. Must put money down. But can you believe they are still offering this? I wanted to ask more about it, but I couldn't sit there forever and wait. I tried calling the next day, but no answer (machine).

Gave up. Don't know if it's old info and they didn't update the financing paperwork or if they're still actually doing 5-yr i/o. That would be really funny. 30-yr fixed was something like 3400 a mo. 5 yr i/o was something like 2500. If I remember right, that included PITI and HOA on both.

I say if I had to check my Ouija board, if they're really doing 5 yr i/o, I see defaults and foreclosures on the way in the not too distant future.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.