Top Five Reasons to Buy a San Diego Loft vs a San Diego Condo

San Diego Loft Living Space

Urban Living spaces are always divided into several different styles.  When considering the purchase of a condo in Downtown San Diego, a buyer will always have the decision between a loft or traditional condo space. Because of a very distinct set of characteristics, Loft spaces work for some buyers but not everyone.   For those who consider San Diego loft spaces, there are always 5 top reasons that support this decision.

1. Style: The coolness of a loft space is undeniable.  San Diego lofts always represent tons of style.  Modern, contemporary, retro styles are three big components of loft style.  These are represented in high ceilings, exposed concrete or piping, open space, and unique floor plans.

2. Open Space: Buyer who have lofts do not want to be confined to a traditional floor plan.   The sense of wide open space is something that all loft enthusiasts can agree upon.   Not having rooms built out in the traditional sense allows a San Diego loft to feel open and larger than the square footage number that it actually represents.

3. Windows: In real estate terms…windows mean access to natural light.  The vision of an open loft space is more often than not inclusive of big “floor to ceiling” windows.   The bigger the windows, the more “wow” factor the loft will have.  Walls of windows contribute to the sense of open space that a loft will represent.

4. Higher Ceilings: In a traditional condo, ceiling heights can be as low as 8 feet.   In a San Diego Loft, ceiling heights are increased to 10 feet, 11 feet, and sometimes 14 feet and above.  High ceilings allow for a “grande feeling” of space…they can make a smaller space feel larger.  You don’t feel as confined when living in a space with elevated ceilings.

5. Opportunity to Design your Own Space: The fun aspect of open space is making the important decisions of how you will layout your home.  The ability to make these decisions and design your personal living space will always be a component of value for a San Diego Loft.  Anytime you have an opportunity to add a personal element to your living space…it feels more like home.

92101 Urban Living is a team of Realtors who specialize in helping buyers find their perfect San Diego loft.  Click Here to view all the current Downtown San Diego Lofts for sale.   Please let us know if you have any questions or want to set up a viewing of any loft spaces Downtown.

Featured Downtown San Diego Condo Rental | 1025 Island Ave #303

Downtown_San_Diego_Condo_RentalIt’s safe to say that we, here at 92101 Urban Living, love the Fahrenheit building in Downtown San Diego’s East Village. The Fahrenheit condo complex was developed back in 2006 by Citymark Development, just across the street from it’s sister property, M2i. Located on Island Ave between 10th and 11th Ave, Fahrenheit is perfectly located for anyone looking to be down in the midst of the action. Just steps away from Petco Park, the Gaslamp, Thomas Jefferson Law School, and the new Central Library, Fahrenheit is a walkers dream.

The building was built with a very industrial flair. Just looking at the exterior of the building, you’ll notice the exposed concrete and orange “train car” siding. Inside, the units keep that same approach with exposed concrete walls, exposed HVAC and fire sprinklers, and no wall/open loft units.

This specific Downtown San Diego condo rental, unit 303, is one of the few in the building that features a true 2 bedroom layout. This home is a two story town-home looking north out over Island Ave. As you enter, you see both bedrooms in a dual master suite set-up. The new carpet and paint look great and the larger of the two bedrooms features a fantastic floor-to-ceiling accent window providing great urban scenery. Up the exposed iron stairs is the living area. Hardwood floors, exposed concrete and piping help the unit keep its “modern loft” feeling. The modern kitchen features stainless steel appliances, granite counters, and an upgraded tile back splash. Located off of the living area is a nice balcony over-looking Island Ave, which adds extra square footage for entertaining and/or relaxing.

This Downtown San Diego condo rental also comes with in-unit washer and dryer and 1 assigned parking space in the gated, underground garage. The rental price of $2,400/mo includes basic utilities such as: water, sewer, trash, and gas.

For more information about this featured Downtown San Diego condo rental, please feel free to contact us anytime. Also, visit our Rentals page to view the rest of our available inventory.

Downtown San Diego Condo Review: Broker Caravan April 3rd

In this weeks Downtown San Diego Condo Review…there were 4 great Units to view ranging from $545k all the way up to $2MM Plus.   Two of the opportunities on Caravan this week were actually Columbia District Luxury Condos, along with an East Village Loft at M2i.   This is the time of year we consider the buying season for a Downtown San Diego Condo.   Over the next couple of months we really expect to see the inventory rise and many new Downtown Condos hit the market.

Electra CondoElectra #1904
One of the best buildings in Downtown… This 19th floor 2BR condo offers beautiful bay and city views. Spacious layout with hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, fireplace, and 2 balconies to enjoy the San Diego sunshine.

Listing courtesy of Gerry Burchard of Willis Allen.




Grande CondoGrande N #804
1BR condo in the luxury high rise Grande Towers located in the Columbia District Downtown. Spacious floor plan with cherry wood flooring, gas fireplace, lots of windows, private balcony, and panoramic city views. Walking distance to the North Embarcadero Waterfront.

Listing courtesy of John Husar of Berkshire Hathaway.




M2i Loft Unit 202

This condo was absolutely charming! Located in the East Village area of Downtown, this is a 1BR/2BA corner unit with floor to ceiling windows down both sides of the home and boasting of city views. Concrete 11ft ceilings and pillar add lots of character. Porcelein tile flooring throughout. Open and easy for entertaining. One thing I really liked about this particular condo is that each room had unique angles to it especially walking down the hallway. It simply felt amazing spending time in this place!

Listing courtesy of Jorge Verdugo of City Consulting Group.

Brickyard #602
Located in the Marina District, this three story 3BR/4BA brick home transports you back to the east coast. Ceilings soar to the top floor in the main living area and the sunlight and blue skies stream in. French doors open out to the grassy yard, garden, and patio. The staircase and 2nd floor hallway metal railings open up the entire first floor. The kitchen is stunning with top of the line appliances. Lovely tile flooring on main level of the home. There is an additional room with separate bath which has its own private entrance.

Listing courtesy of Marie Huff of Berkshire Hathaway.

Promoting Downtown San Diego Real Estate on the Craig Sewing Radio Show

Downtown San Diego Real estate

The life of a Downtown San Diego broker is busy to say the least. In order to be successful in this business and in this competitive market in Downtown, we have to “out work” our competition. However, one of the most rewarding and exciting things for me is when I have an opportunity to promote Downtown San Diego Real Estate and the 92101 Urban Living Brand. Thanks to our partners at Foundation Escrow, I am grateful to say I had that opportunity today on the Craig Sewing Radio show (1170 AM). Craig is the founder of the Nationally Syndicated Real Estate Radio Network and acts as a consumer advocate for San Diego Real estate.

Since Craig lives in Downtown himself, the conversation naturally led to some of the reasons we love living here. We are no different than our clients searching for that unique Southern California urban lifestyle. A benefit when we start working with a client is that the choice of lifestyle is usually already decided before we even have contact. It is very rare to get a client wavering between their preference of say: a beach lifestyle or an urban one. One of the most unique aspects of the lifestyle that we discussed, was how the attraction of an urban and downtown lifestyle can transcend age. I always like to say there is always a little something for everyone in Downtown San Diego: A trip to the Childrens Discovery Museum for my kids, the opportunity for great nightlife in the Gaslamp, and long walks along the bay front for mature and retired couples. I am grateful everyday for this experience to live and work Downtown. It is always my pleasure to share with those interested, what a great opportunity it is to live the way we do. Also on today’s show Craig and I were able to touch on several other topics which included: New Construction, Chargers Stadium, Issues with Litigation, and finally inventory levels as we approach the buying season for Downtown Condos.  Hit play to hear the full segment below:

Thank you again Craig and Foundation Escrow for such a wonderful opportunity today. Hope to do it again very soon.

Neighborhood Spotlight | Columbia San Diego

Columbia_san_diegoThis is part 4 of 6 in our “San Diego Neighborhood Spotlight Series.” Click here for part 1 on the Marina District, click here for part 2 on the East Village, and here for part 3 on Little Italy San Diego.

Nestled just below Little Italy and just above the Marina is one of Downtown San Diego’s newest distinct neighborhood, the Columbia neighborhood. Columbia San Diego is a small residential area located between Columbia St and San Diego Bay. Made up of some of San Diego’s most luxurious condo complexes, Columbia San Diego has quickly gained reputation, among Downtown residents with disposable income, as an up and coming living area. One of Downtown’s smallest residential areas, Columbia San Diego features just 5 residential living options: Bayside, The Grande, Electra, Sapphire Tower, and TREO.

Many of our Downtown San Diego residents praise the Columbia neighborhood for its close proximity to everything that Downtown has to offer. Centrally located just a short walk away from the India St strip of Little Italy and a $3 cab ride to the Gaslamp, Columbia San Diego is close to the party, without being right in the middle of it. Visitors to San Diego are probably familiar with Columbia as well, as the Santa Fe Depot train and trolley station are located on Kettner, right in the heart of Columbia San Diego.

I would be selling it short if I wrote about the Columbia neighborhood and did not mention the progress of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan. The NEVP is an ongoing project to help beautify Downtown San Diego’s waterfront space. So far, phase one is underway with some public park space being added on Ash and Pacific Hwy, as well as a new public park down in the Marina near Seaport Village. This project will continue through 2014 and into 2015. Stay tuned for more updates.

For more information on Columbia San Diego, visit our neighborhood page. To view the rest of our Downtown San Diego condo inventory, please visit our condos page. We look forward to helping you find you home.

Costs of Buying a Condo in Downtown San Diego

condo in donwtown san diego When you begin your search for a Condo In Downtown San Diego, one of the most important aspects of the process is understanding all of the costs involved.   Obviously, the “Purchase Price” of the condo is the primary focus of any buyers attention.  However…there are many secondary and hidden fees that can add to overall “Costs” of the purchase.   At 92101 Urban Living, we always help our buyers organize the fees and costs that are paid thru the escrow and the fees that are paid direct.  Fees that are paid thru escrow may include:  Escrow fees, Title fees, Homeowners Insurance, HOA Fees, Lender or Loan Origination costs, etc.   Escrow fees are classified as either “Recurring or Non-Recurring”.   The easy way to remember the difference is determining which are “one time” cost and which costs continue with home ownership.  For example: Escrow and Title fees are one time fees for the transaction and labeled Non-Recurring.  Things like HOA fees and property taxes obviously continue throughout home ownership and would be considered “recurring”.  Fees that are paid direct by the buyer in a real estate transaction include:  Appraisal, Home Inspection, any additional elected inspections.

-Buyers Agent:  This cost is FREE to a buyer.  Technically, the Seller pays the commission cost of the Buyers agent.

-Earnest Money Deposit: Until the removal of contingencies, the Earnest Money Deposit is a fully refundable deposit.  It becomes part of the down payment when the buyer removed contingencies and decides to move forward with the purchase.

-Home Inspection: It is the buyers right to enter the property and perform a Home Inspection.  This is always good money spent, as the home inspection is used to determine the quality and condition of the condo.

-Appraisal: The lender always requires a value appraisal of the condo in order to secure financing.

-Elected Inspections:  Elected Inspections are those done above an beyond a traditional home inspection.  They can include: Plumbing, roof, foundation, termite, etc.  With regard to purchasing a condo in Downtown San Diego, these inspections are rarely part of the the transaction.

-Transaction Coordinator: There is a ton a paperwork in a traditional real estate transaction.  It is always good to have a professional to help organize and prepare these documents for review and signature.

-Lender Fees/Loan Origination: Some of the highest additional cost involved with a purchase fall into this category.  The costs of getting a loan can be as high as 1% to 1.5% of the

-Pro-Rated HOA Fees:  Usually, the prorated HOA fees in addition to the first month of payments to the HOA.   This way…a buyer will not have to worry about a payment until the second month.

-Home Owners Insurance:  Always a cost of Home Ownership.  The good news when purchasing a condo in Downtown is that a significant portion of the condo “master policy” is paid monthy in the HOA fees.  As a result…Home owners insurance for a condo purchase is significantly less.

-Escrow Fees: Per common practice in San Diego, these fees are split by the buyer and the seller equally.

-Title Insurance:  This is only a buyer cost when a loan is involved.  The buyer will purchase title insurance for the lender on the condo.

-Property Taxes:  A recurring closing cost, the property taxes are based on the purchase price.   A condo in Downtown San Diego will have property taxes of about 1.25%

-Recording Fee:  The cost to record the property deed.




Neighborhood Spotlight | Little Italy San Diego

Little-italy-san-diegoThis is part 3 of 6 in our “San Diego Neighborhood Spotlight Series.” Click here for part 1 on the Marina District and click here for part 2 on the East Village.

 When it comes to our unique Downtown make up, there is not a neighborhood that is as cultured and diverse as Little Italy San Diego. Little Italy contains some of Downtown San Diego’s newest construction projects, as well as some of it’s oldest niche areas. Home to Downtown San Diego’s only dog park at Washington Elementary on Date and Union, and the weekly Farmers Market on Date Ave every Sat, Little Italy San Diego is quickly becoming the go-to spot for young families and professionals.

Little Italy has seen some new construction projects over the last 5 years, including Citymark developments new Aperture project in 2009, and the new Broadstone apartment community in 2014.

Little Italy Real Estate has a taste unlike any other Ranging from luxury options like the Breeza complex on Ash and Pacific Hwy, to some of Downtown San Diego’s coolest loft buildings in DOMA and Jonathan Segal’s Q Lofts, there literally is “something for everyone.”

Little Italy condos for sale saw a bit of a rough 2013 due to many of the condo communities being involved in litigation settlements. Acqua Vista, La VIta, Porto Siena, and DOMA all experienced a little bit of a slowdown, but now La Vita has settled and Acqua Vista is close behind.

For more information on Little Italy San Diego, visit our neighborhood page here. To view the entire Downtown San Diego condo inventory, visit the condo page here. We look forward to helping you find your home in Little Italy San Diego.


Bayside Condos Reviewed

Last week at Caravan local Downtown San Diego Real Estate agents held all the current Bayside Listings open for preview.   Bayside is the newest of BOAS’s luxury Towers in Downtown San Diego. With prime Bay frontage views, the Bayside complex represents some of the most valuable view orientations in all of Downtown.   Many who know downtown san diego real estate well will argue that the luxury appointments and upgrades that BOSA used in this construction make Bayside such a valuable investment.   Based on square footage, views, floor levels, and orientation…the 6 Bayside Condos reviewed range in price from $849,000 to $2,490,000.


Patio of Bayside Condo 3121325 Pacific Highway #312 – MLS#140012008

This 2,042 square foot contemporary, open concept Townhome has 2 bedrooms, 2 and 1/2 baths in 3 stories with hardwood, tile and carpeted floors. The 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths are privately on their own floor while the living room has high lofty ceilings and an adjacent kitchen with Ceaserstone counter tops, stainless steel and Miele appliances, Snaidero cabinets and a center island. It has a mezzanine/loft area that is perfect for a family room and/or office. There are 3 outdoor Terraces, a covered one that is like a second dining area and one that opens to the 3rd floor swimming pool, spa, exercise room, sauna, steam room, wine room, billiard room, movie room, library, conference center, community kitchen and 24 hour Concierge and Security, all at this Bayside building. This unit has 2 assigned, side by side parking spaces in the underground garage, is listed at $1,090,000 with HOA fees of $815.00 per month.

Listing and Picture Courtesy of Listing Agent Nicole Hazelton of Harcourts Pacific Realty


Bayside Condos in the Columbia District1325 Pacific Highway #1004 – MLS#140014372

A 1,462 square foot condominium on the bright Southeast corner with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths on one floor with distressed hardwood floors. It has a large living room, dining room and a kitchen with a center island, stainless steel appliances, beautiful counters and contemporary Snaidero cabinets.  The bedrooms are spacious with plenty of closet space and modern bathrooms. This unit has lots of built in cabinetry and it features great views from all rooms of the Santa Fe Station and downtown San Diego. There are 2 underground , assigned parking spaces in this Bayside building which has a pool, spa, exercise room, sauna, steam room, wine room, billiard room, movie room, library, conference center, community kitchen and 24 hour Concierge and Security. It is listed at $849,000 with $760.00 monthly HOA fees.

Listing and Picture Courtesy of Listing Agent Chad Dannecker of Harcourts Pacific Realty


Picture of Bayside Condo 17021325 Pacific Highway #1702 – MLS#140012554

This single story condominium has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths in 1,404 square feet and has many upgrades including Cherry wood and carpeted floors and custom window shades. There is a large living room, a dining room and a kitchen with granite, Snaidero Italian cabinetry, Viking and Miele appliances, a wine chiller and a center island with overhang to accommodate stools or chairs. This Bayside building offers a pool, spa, exercise room, sauna, steam room, wine room, billiard room, movie room, library, conference center, community kitchen and 24 hour Concierge and Security. This condo is a desirable southwest corner orientation with 2 balconies that afford spectacular views of the Bay, Point Loma, Coronado and the Embarcadero. Listed at $1,125,000 with $756.00 monthly HOA fees.

Listing and Photo courtesy of Listing Agent Lisa Ashkins of Ascent Real Estate, INC


Picture of the patio of Bayside Condo 29011325 Pacific Highway #2901 – MLS#140006335

A single story 1,860 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath condominium in the Bayside building which offers a pool, spa, exercise room, sauna, steam room, wine room, billiard room, movie room, library, conference center, community kitchen and 24 hour Concierge and Security. It has distressed Chestnut wood floors, a large living room with custom built-in cabinetry, dining area, and open kitchen with Caesar stone countertops, designer tile back splash, stainless steel Viking and Miele appliances and mahogany cabinets. The bedrooms are spacious with a Master Suite with large walk-in closet with built in custom cabinets and a special laundry room complete with cabinets. This condo has magnificent views of the Bay, Coronado, Point Loma, the Embarcadero, Lindberg Field and comes with 2 underground, assigned parking spaces. Listed at $1,595,000 it has HOA fees at $801.00 per month.

Listing and Photo Courtesy of Listing Agent Christine Baker of Willis Allen Real Estate


Living room of Bayside Condo 30031325 Pacific Highway #3003 – MLS#140012144

A great corner 1,458 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2 bath condominium with beautiful mix of hardwood, stone and carpet. There is a large great room, a dining room and a kitchen with stone countertops, stainless steel Viking and Miele appliances, great cabinets and a center island with an overhang for seating. The Master bedroom has a large walk-in closet and a nice den area separates the second bedroom from the rest of the living areas.  This is a Southeast unit that has great views of the Bay, Santa Fe Station, City and Mountains. There are 2 assigned, underground parking spaces with this condo at Bayside a full service building with a pool, spa, exercise room, sauna, steam room, wine room, billiard room, movie room, library, conference center, community kitchen and 24 hour Concierge and Security. Listed at $1,435,000 with $792.00 monthly HOA fees.

Listing and Photo Courtesy of Listing Agent Jasvinder Cook of Reality Source, Inc


Bayside Condos in the Columbia District1325 Pacific Highway #3204 – MLS#140012853

This beautiful upper floor condominium is 2,448 square feet with 2 bedrooms, 2 and 1/2 baths, living room, dining room, family/den, a pantry and a laundry/storage room with built-in shelves/cabinets. The living room is huge as is the dining room and the kitchen is spacious with an “L” shape counter with extra sink and a middle island with overhang giving room for stools or chairs. The kitchen has granite counters, Snaidero cabinetry and stainless steel Viking and Miele appliances including a built-in wine cooler. The Master bedroom is large with a double walk-in closet and a modern bath with a custom shower. This condo has custom wood floors by Kars, 2 assigned, underground parking spaces and is in the upscale Bayside building which offers a pool, spa, exercise room, sauna, steam room, wine room, billiard room, movie room, library, conference center, community kitchen and 24 hour Concierge and Security. Every room has a panoramic view which includes the Bay, Coronado, Point Loma, Lindberg Field and the city. It is listed at $2,499,000 and has $849.00 monthly HOA fees.

Listing and Photo Courtesy of Listing Agents Francine Finn and Raye Scott of Pacific Southeby’s


Write A good Offer for your San Diego Condo: Things a buyer needs to Know

Successful offer on a San Diego Condo

For most buyers and investors who are interested in a San Diego Condo, the fun part of the transaction is filtering thru all of the fantastic opportunities currently for sale on the market.   Once you have finally chosen a San Diego condo that meets all your preferences and criteria, the negotiation side of the transaction begins.  Now it is time for the buyer to put the terms on paper and prepare the “winning offer”.   Writing a good offer can make all the difference  in whether or not a buyer is able to put together the successful deal for a San Diego Condo.   At 92101 Urban Living when we are assisting our buyers with this process, there are several points we encourage are always considered.


-Choose an experienced agent to work with who has a good knowledge and understanding of contracts and pays high attention to details: He or she is there to represent your best interests and make sure all contract dates and timeframes are met. Good agents can foresee and sometimes prevent issues before they arise during escrow from experience and simply paying attention. You can potentially lose a deal using an inexperienced agent.

-Write a Clean Offer:  A good agent will contact the listing agent to discuss details of your offer before writing it up. What is the seller’s situation and expectations? Do they need to move quickly? Are you competing with other offers? Make it a goal to write a clean offer that the other party is able to accept on spot without having to counter. Knowing the other party’s situation can help you adjust the offer terms as needed. Make sure to use the correct form depending on type of purchase.

-Make a Strong Offer:Your agent can help by running comps of similar properties in the area to help you determine your offering price. Some properties are overpriced and some are priced to sell, all depending on how motivated the seller is. Don’t automatically assume you should discount an amount off the list price.

-Include Proof of Funds: Have your pre-qualification or pre-approval letter from your lender ready to submit with any offers. If all cash, have proof of funds to close included with your offer. You want the other party to have everything needed to make decisions.

-Earnest Money Deposit: should be 3% of the purchase price to show you’re serious about purchasing the property.

-Put it in Writing: Don’t assume. If you want a certain item included/not included with the property, put it on the contract. If you want the property professionally cleaned prior to move in, ask for it on the contract. If it’s in writing, it’s a binding agreement. If it’s not, don’t get upset when something doesn’t happen as you planned.

-Possession: Make sure it is very clear when possession transfers from one party to another. In my opinion I thing it’s best to state “upon notice of recording” which doesn’t leave any room for assuming a date or time.

-Communication:  Have open trust and communication with your agent. The more they know, the better they can present your offer and represent you and your best interests.

Neighborhood Spotlight | Downtown San Diego’s East Village

Downtown_san_diego_East_villageThis is part 2 of a 6 part series focusing on the specific neighborhoods of Downtown San Diego. To read the about the Marina District, click here.

When most people think about living in Downtown San Diego, they think about the world class restaurants, boutiques, Petco Park, and the great condo options. The East Village is the only neighborhood that offers homeowners all of these options in the same place.

Downtown San Diego’s East Village was abuzz this last weekend with Opening Day of the San Diego Padres 2014 baseball season. The East Village Opening Day Block Party was a huge success, hosting over 10,000 people along J St between 6th and 10th Ave.

The East Village neighborhood is home to the majority of the active building projects in Downtown. Currently, there are 4 new rental buildings under construction. Pinnacle Towers on Island and 14th will feature two, 40 story high rise towers. Urbana is a luxury apartment rental complex on 10th Ave that is entering its final stage. Oliver McMillian’s newest loft project, Lofts at 688 13th St, are now underway, and they just cleaned up the lot for the new Blue Sky rental project on 8th and B St.

Downtown San Diego’s East Village is also home to some of the newest condo communities for Downtown home buyers. The introduction of Petco Park in 2003 brought new development that Downtown hadn’t seen for years before. Industrial loft options such as M2i and Park Loft are great for a modern buyer looking for a creative space. in 2007, the luxury condo complexes joined the party with the construction of The Legend, The Mark, and Icon. Moderate options such as Nexus, Diamond Terrace, and Park Terrace bridge the gap and open up Downtown San Diego’s East Village to all buyers.

For more information on Downtown San Diego’s East Village neighborhood, please feel free to visit our neighborhood page. Or to view our entire Downtown San Diego Condo inventory, click here.

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