Value of a San Diego Condo View

San Diego Condo View
Views and orientation may be one of the most important aspects of your San Diego condo purchase.  The value of a Downtown view is part monetary and part personal preference.  What direction is the orientation of the unit? What does the view look at?  How unique is the view?  This set of questions are just some of the important factors that go into determining how much a potential buyer will pay for a San Diego condo view.  Here are some important considerations we use as Downtown agents when advising our clients and evaluating the value of a view for a Downtown San Diego condo.

1. Orientation: The way a unit faces in a particular complex.  Orientation will help determine sun exposure and natural lighting.   When buying a west facing San Diego Condo view remember that during the summer a full west exposure can mean hot afternoons.   South facing views will have more direct sunlight in the winter time when the sun is lower on the horizon.

2. Water Vs City Views: Every buyer will over spend for a water facing view.  Water views in Downtown Real Estate have always been some of the most valuable.  When buying in an urban area like Downtown San Diego, some of the most underrated views are of the City Skyline.

3.  Protected views:  Buying a protected San Diego Condo view is a very important consideration.  You must be sure to do your research and be able to determine if that parking lot across the street from your balcony is going to be a high-rise condo or office building someday.  The Columbia District and East Village will have many orientations and views that will eventually will have future building in front of them.

4. Relative Value:  Everyone has heard the cliche of “a million dollar view”.  Of course downtown views are valuable. Due to the personal preference of any given view, the question of how valuable an orientation is up for debate.  For this reason, it we refer to view value as relative.  In general, “water views” and the “highest views” are the most valuable in Downtown.  Unique views (like ballpark, library, Coronado Bridge, or skyline) will have a relative value.  They may be worth a million dollars to some buyers and worthless to a buyer without a specific preference.

5. Night Viewings:  When considering a San Diego condo view that has any city lights or city orientation, the value of a night viewing is so important.   Night viewings reveal the true value of a skyline orientation.   With a night viewing, you will be able to see and experience the view with a completely different feeling than in the day light.

Best Places to Eat in Downtown San Diego

best places to eat in downtown san diego

Puesto at The Headquarters in the Marina District

As Downtown San Diego prepares for Comic-Con yet again, we thought that it would be a great idea to give the influx of tourists a peek into the best places to eat in Downtown San Diego. With the help of our friends at Yelp (hey, that rhymed!), we compiled a list of the restaurants that have the best reviews, and some staff favorites as well.

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse – $$$ - This is for the meat-lovers out there. Brazilian steakhouses are by far and away my new favorite type of restaurant. Basically, you take your seat and are given a plate. You then have the option to visit the salad bar, which also includes fruit, shrimp, etc. Upon returning, you turn your red/green dowel thingy up to the green side and the servers start making rounds to your table with 12-15 different selections of meats including: bacon wrapped filet, house chicken, pork, lamb, etc. They will continue coming to your table until you turn the little dowel thingy to the red side, which is equivalent to “tapping out” in a UFC match. While its a bit pricey come dinner time, you’ll definitely leave full. Honorable mention: Rei de Gado Brazilian Steakhouse - $$$

Neighborhood – $$ – Staying near the East Village and looking for a casual atmosphere, beer, and great food? Neighborhood has all three. Coming from the same family as Little Italy’s Craft & Commerce and the new Rare Form Deli, Neighborhood is a local favorite. They pride themselves on staying true to the craft beer scene (you won’t find Bud Light) and specialty foods (you also wont find ketchup). Vegetarians love Neighborhood for their many options, and apparently the Mac and Cheese is a cult classic. Pro tip: If there is a line for the restrooms, don’t lean against the the wall of kegs. At least not without a reservation.

Blind Burro – $$ – Another East Village favorite. The Blind Burro is a South American – Mexican fusion restaurant/bar from the Good Time Design Restaurant Group. There are vegan and vegetarian options as well. My personal favorite is the skirt steak, the marinade is fantastic. You should use the Yelp link to make a reservation on Open Table, because there is usually a pretty decent wait. Also from Good Time Design: Bubs at the Ballpark, Moonshine Flats, Lucky’s Lunch Counter, Cat-eye Club.

Puesto – $$ – Hate to go with two mexican places back to back, but Puesto is THAT good. If you’re staying down near Seaport Village or the Marina, make it a point to visit. Taco Tuesday is going to be rough, and you will definitely need to have a reservation, but otherwise it’ll be less than a 30 minute wait. Some great outdoor seating with fire pits will provide a perfect lcoation for people watching. The tacos are unique and very good. On a normal night, the 3 taco for $11 special will hit the spot.

Prepkitchen – $$ – Staying up in Little Italy? Make sure to visit Influx Coffee Shop on India and Fir, and thank me later. No that I’ve got that out of the way, on to the food. Prepkitchen Little Italy is the 3rd restaurant from the Whisknladle Restaurant Group. Located upstairs from Yougurtland on India street, Prepkitchen is set up perfectly for a dinner and dessert date night. Prepkitchen has a cool/hipster-ish vibe with strong drinks and great food. The WNL Burger is one of my favorites in Downtown and they always have a special including the “fresh-catch” of the day.

Downtown San Diego Real Estate – Go with Experience

Whether you are buying or selling Downtown San Diego Real Estate, Experience is one of the most important qualities your Realtor should have.  Most Realtors love to advertise their experience in years, or the numbers of deals they have done.  In fact, the current numbers regarding the average experience levels of a California Realtor are impressive.  These stats represent the current culture in California Real estate.  Good agents found a way to survive and prosper even when the National and state real estate markets experienced its challenges.  Consider these statistics reported by the California Association of Realtors.

-The Broker Owner of a Real Estate company has 20 years of experience

-A Typical Realtor has 11 years of experience

-80% of current Realtors have at least 6 years of experience.

With respect to Downtown San Diego Real Estate, I would argue that it is the quality of experience combined with the specialization that truly makes a difference to a buyer and seller.  For example…I have been involved in Downtown San Diego real estate for over 11 years now.  This is great news relative to selling Downtown Condos and lofts. However…if you want to buy in Oceanside, my 11 years if experience may not hold as much value.  Can an experienced Realtor not specialized handle a transaction in Downtown…of course.  Combined with specialization though, experience will help a buyer or seller  understand the subtleties that can mean all the difference in a successful transaction: evaluating comps, determining severity of complex litigation, valuing views and orientation, and of course representing lifestyle.

All of the agents and brokers associated with 92101 Urban Living both live and work in Downtown San Diego. We are all dedicated to the specialization of Downtown San Diego real estate.  Our mission is to provide a high level of customer service combined with experience and specialized knowledge.  Let us know how we can be of service.

Nexus #212 | A Featured Downtown San Diego Condo Rental

Downtown _san_diego_condo_rental

There has been a lot of interest in our newest Downtown San Diego Condo Rental at Nexus. Nexus is located in Downtown San Diego’s East Village and is centrally located to everything that a young, urban client would be looking for. Located on the corner of 9th Ave and G St, Nexus is directly across from Cafe Chloe and East Village Cross Fit, two of the most popular locations in the East Village.

This rental is a 760 square foot studio unit with upgrades throughout. The modern kitchen features stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. A built out walk in closet i located off of the living area and two other closets add extra space for storage. The in-unit washer and dryer is located in the bathroom and has been recently upgraded to full sized, stack able units. The real selling point of this Downtown San Diego condo rental is the oversized balcony. Located on the back-end of the unit, this private balcony is over 400 square feet and features a fantastic view of the Downtown San Diego skyline. 1 assigned parking space is located in the parking garage as well.

Nexus was built in 2005 and is a great building for a young professional looking to be close to the Gaslamp fun, without living directly in it. The complex features a fitness center, secured entry, rooftop BBQ deck, and a gated/underground parking garage. For more information about this Downtown San Diego condo Rental at Nexus, contact us anytime. To view the rest of our Downtown San Diego condo rental inventory, visit our rentals site here. We look forward to helping you find your next home.

Getting Tech Savvy with San Diego Condos

More often as we are viewing San Diego Condos with clients, The Nest thermostats are seen more and more often.  Regulating cooling and heat relative to San Diego condos is usually not too difficult…there is usually not too much of a temperature range in southern California. However…everyone loves to talk about energy efficiency, saving money, and keeping your home comfortable.   San Diego condos are kept most efficient when a regular temperature is maintained. It takes 2/3 more energy to heat or cool your San Diego condo by 2 degrees.   Most people like to turn the A/C off when they leave and “cool” down their condo when they arrive home.   In the case of San Diego condos…they are made with a-lot of materials that radiate residual heat and cool (metal, cement, glass, etc).  If they are kept at a constant temp throughout the day…it will actually take less energy than significant gains or decreases several times a day. One of the best ways to keep a constant temperature is to install a digital and interactive thermostat device like The Nest.   Easy to use and install it is a great tool to make sure that your San Diego condo stays efficient and comfortable.

Auto Scheduling:  “The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself in about a week. It creates a personalized schedule based on the temperature changes you’ve made and continually adapts to your changing life.”

Energy Savings: “Want to know if you’re saving energy when you change the temp? The Nest Leaf appears when you turn Nest to a temperature that’s energy efficient. It guides you in the right direction.”

Remote Access: “Change the temperature in your condo from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. You can also adjust your schedule and check your Energy History.”

Auto Away: After you leave your condo, the Nest Thermostat senses you’ve gone and automatically adjusts the temperature to avoid heating or cooling an empty condo.”


Downtown San Diego Real Estate Market Update

As we approach the middle of the summer “buying” season for San Diego Condos, the market update for buyers is positive.  Specifically relative to the Downtown San Diego real estate market there has been a significant increase in activity.  In the month of July, 26 Downtown San Diego Condos have gone into Pending status.  This represents just under 10% of the total inventory of Downtown Condos for sale. Currently there are 274 condos Active in the Downtown San Diego Real Estate Market.  Here is how the current Inventory of Downtown Condos is broken down:

25 Downtown Condos Under $300k

95 Downtown Condos between $300k and $500k

100 Downtown Condos Between $500k and $1MM

54 Downtown Condos Over the $1mm Price Point

Interest Rates dropped this week.  This is good news for continued stability of the Downtown San Diego Real Estate Market.  Favorable financing and longer market times (Average Downtown is 60 days) leave buyers with a window of opportunity to find a good deal.   Most financial reports this week indicate that interest rates are expected to rise significantly by October as the Fed begins to “tapper” off their bond buying policy.  Here are the current rates reported this week by our friends at Gaylord Hanson Mortgage:

4% for a 30 Year Fixed Conventional Loan

3.85% for a 30 Year Fixed Jumbo Loan

3% for a 15 Year Fixed Conventional Loan

The big question for a buyer is trying to consider the most favorable time to purchase.  Right now the Downtown San Diego Real Estate Market is stable.   The values of Downtown Condos have remained relatively consistent due to the longer market times and slight increase in inventory.   Anyone interested in a Downtown San Diego condo should consider buying sooner rather than later, in order to avoid an increase in both values and interest rates.

“Re-Working Zombieland” – A Downtown San Diego Social Housing Idea

newschool-of-architecture-and-design-logo-One architecture student’s take on implementing a “Work to Live” model into social housing

I have to admit it, I am a little bit spoiled. Not only do I work at the most tech savvy, customer friendly, Real Estate Brokerage in Downtown San Diego (my broker reads these posts too :) ) but I also happen to live Downtown just a few blocks from my office. Living in Downtown San Diego has been a fantastic life choice both personally and professionally and now that I’m approaching the five year mark, I consider myself a true “local.”

When working with clients, I get to give a bit of an insiders view of the daily hustle and bustle of the city, such as the best places to eat, secret bars (see that red door next to Nikki Rottens?), and little-known parking tricks (area F permit). Downtown San Diego certainly has a little something for everyone. We like to say that Downtown San Diego is “urban living with training wheels.” We have all of the “feel” of a true urban metropolis, without most of the negative aspects like high crime rates or cleanliness issues. Unfortunately, one area of concern that we routinely come across here in Downtown is our high homeless population.

homelessOne of the questions that I come across most, especially when showing in the Gaslamp and East Village, is “what is being done about the homeless problem in the city.” Typically, I can talk about the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s efforts or the Red Parking Meter Program. What I’ve really been looking for though is a fresh, forward thinking idea. Enter Ashley Evans.

Ashley Evans is a friend of mine and is now also a graduate of the New School of Architecture, located here in Downtown San Diego’s East Village. One night over drinks, we got to talking about her final Thesis Project and she began to go into detail about some social housing projects that she had read about. I thought that she had some great ideas and was excited to hear that she chose to bring those ideas together and show what that would look like right here in Downtown San Diego.

Ashley’s idea of a ‘work to live’, social housing development would be a great addition to our city. Her project was located on the vacant lot on Park Blvd and K St next to the new library, right in the heart of an area that is currently a hot spot for homeless activity. The project hinges on the idea of everybody living in the community having a part to play in the upkeep and advancement of the housing project. It would not only serve a purpose of housing some of the cities ‘less fortunate’, but also serve as an “in-between” for people looking to transition back into society. Not only did Ashley layout a plan for Downtown San Diego, but in the thesis, you’ll also view case studies of projects around the world where this type of housing is already underway. She has shared her final Thesis Project, “Re-Working Zombieland”, for free on ISSUU, click here to check it out.

Aperture Condo Unit 308 For Sale

Aperture Condo for Sale in Little Italy

92101 Urban Living would like to introduce our newest Downtown San Diego Condo listing at Aperture in Little Italy. Built by Citymark…Aperture was designed to retain the qualities of a “loft” with more defined bedrooms and finishes.   Consistent with the contemporary concept…this Aperture condo also maintains the standard Citymark touches like exposed concrete accent walls and vaulted ceilings.  The floor plan of this Aperture condo is a spacious one bedroom (873 Square feet) with upgraded hardwood flooring and modern finishes. This urban condo features an extra large kitchen counter with very modern design.  This open kitchen concept provides a foundation for the space and allows for a good flow to the living area…whether you are cooking or entertaining.  The Upgraded kitchen includes: very sleek looking quartz counters, Glass Cabinet doors, and stainless steel appliances. The large balcony along the backside of the living area adds extra square footage for entertaining and/or relaxing. 1 Parking space is included in the gated/underground garage.

The Aperture Complex in Little Italy is a low-amenity, mid-rise building located on the corner of Union and Beech St. One of the benefits to a low amenity building (no fitness center, pool/spa) is that compared to other Little Italy Condos for Sale…this Aperture condo maintains low HOA costs $385/mo. Aperture is centrally located along the Beech Street Corridor in Little Italy.  Just outside your front door is access to restaurants, coffee shops, and the parks of Little Italy.   Click Here to View all Current Aperture Condos for Sale.


Rent or Buy a Downtown San Diego Condo

Is it better to rent or buy a Downtown San Diego Condo?

A renter living in San Diego will always face an important decision:  Is it better to Rent or Buy a Downtown San Diego Condo?  In the above graph provided by the California Association of Realtors, it is clear that most tenants think that buying is a better financial option in the long run.   However…in the short term: Are there enough resources for a “down-payment” and the monthly mortgage costs?  Rents in Downtown San Diego have skyrocketed over the past couple of years, while the interest rates and Downtown Condo values have shown signs of stability and gradual appreciation.  Before interest rates and Downtown Condo values rise enough to “price out” buyers…it is important for current tenants to explore the options of buying sooner rather than later.

I always refer tenants to the Rent Vs Buy Calculator on  This is a great resource to get to the “bottom line” of monthly costs.  Often times when tenants or first time home buyers calculate the monthly costs, they forget to include monthly HOA’s and Property taxes.  In the Advanced settings tab of the calculator, you are able to add in Property Taxes (calculated on a 12 month basis), and add in the cost of applicable monthly HOA fees (based of course on the complex being considered).

In either of the two scenarios above…the most important issue to consider are the options on both sides of the market.   To find out what is available for sale, Click Here to View all of the current Downtown San Diego Condos for Sale.  To compare these opportunities against what is currently for rent in Downtown, Click Here to view all of the current Downtown San Diego condos for rent.

New Downtown San Diego Rental Listing at Palermo

Downtown San Diego RentalLittle Italy is quickly becoming one of the most sought after communities to live in here in Downtown San Diego. World-class restaurants, boutique shopping, and waterfront views are perks that are enjoyed by our Little Italy residents. Luckily, we’re able to represent a new Downtown San Diego rental listing at Palermo in Little Italy.

This 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo rental is perfect for a young professional or a young couple, looking to experience Downtown San Diego living without living right in the hustle and bustle of the Gaslamp or East Village. Listed at $1,795/mo with a 1 year lease term required, this rental fits right in nicely with the available rental inventory in Little Italy now.

The unit itself is located on the east side of the complex, on the fifth floor. Balconies off of both the living area and the bedroom allow for views of the Downtown San Diego skyline and are best to view at night. The spacious kitchen is great for a tenant that likes to cook. In unit washer and dryer add convenience and 1 assigned parking space is included in the gated/underground parking garage.

Palermo condos in Little Italy is one of the only “full-service” amenity buildings in the area. Offering residents a courtyard poo and spa with a relaxing waterfall. A full fitness center with yoga and stretching room overlooks Beech St. The complex also includes a conference room, community rec room, billiards room, and on-site HOA manager.

For more information about this Downtown San Diego rental unit at Palermo, feel free to contact us.

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