An Open Letter to San Diego Homebuyers

Dear San Diego Home Buyers,

Time’s are tough. I get it. Unemployment is high. The economy is on the rocks. The housing market, however, is pretty great for a buyer. I know it’s tough, but try not to be quite so eager. It’s kind of a turn-off.

Home prices are high in San Diego. They are staggeringly high compared to certain portions of the country. You could travel to, for example, Texas, and buy what would qualify as an estate in San Diego for about 1/3 the cost of the most basic home here.

The fact that home prices here have dipped along with the market around the rest of the country is not, however, an excuse for you to act a damn fool when you’re shopping for a home. Just because something is cheaper than it once was does not automatically mean that it is a good deal at its current price. The housing market being in the state it’s in does mean that you should be taking the time to research and bargain when homebuying.

What you should not do, for example, is bid for a home at a price that rounds out to be more than $330 per square foot when comparable sales in the area average out at about $275 per square foot. You don’t need to have taken much math at all to see that this delta means that you have just paid nearly $90,000 more for a 1,600 square foot home than market value would suggest. I know that we all want to see the housing market recover, but you don’t have to be the person to single-handedly kick it all off.

Do me a favor, consider that a home’s worth is not the same as its listing price. A home is a product not unlike any other object you’re going to buy. The fact that it costs as much as it does just means you should be that much more prepared for your purchase and informed as to its actual worth relative to others of its kind. Would you pay full list price for a car? (Hint: No.) You owe it to yourself to become educated just a bit about the market you’re shopping in.

So please, San Diego Home Buyers, let’s make an effort to help each other out. Let’s not inflate prices past where they are now. We can all find homes at cheap rates. We’re in San Diego, we need them this way.



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