Top 10 Questions Asked by San Diego Condo Shoppers

1. What's the best condo building in downtown San Diego?

If by best, you mean highest quality, then the answer is the Bayside condos , rounding out the top five highest quality San Diego condo buildings in alphabetical order are Electra , Metropolitan , Park Laurel and Pinnacle . 

2. What's downtown San Diego’s best neighborhood to live in?

This is very very subjective. To answer this I need to know how you rank your preferences for views, walk-ability, tolerable noise level (planes, trains, people, etc), proximity to shopping, etc. 

If you want the prime views, which usually include bay views, then you want to be in either the Columbia or Marina neighborhoods which have a lot of condos located as close to the waterfront as zoning allows. The quietest downtown San Diego neighborhood is Cortez. 

3. What's the best way to shop for a downtown San Diego condo?

The best way is to tell me as much as you can about what you are looking for in a condo, info such as size, how much you like to walk, what you want to be close to, number of bedrooms and or bathrooms, how important a view is, amenities you would like to have in the building, budgeted price range, etc. Since you're visiting my website, I can tell you like to do some research on your own. My number one on line suggestion, would be to visit the automated “Selection Guide” listed in the above menu (in red). Answer ten multiple choice questions and I have built a program to recommend some condo buildings based on your answers. Be realistic in your answers or it will not be able to find any buildings that fit your preferences. In other words, don’t say you want “great views” and also say you want a “low price range” because that combination does not exist. 

One thing I would caution against is to shop by price alone, there are a lot of inexpensive condos downtown and each come with there share of reasons why they are so inexpensive, reasons that may lead you to not wanting to live in a particular building. I think its best to start with your wish list and if you need to reprioritize it until you find a condo that meets this criteria and your budget. 

4. Are there any brand new condos under construction in downtown San Diego?

Yes there are three:

  • Pacific Gate condos in the Columbia neighborhood 
  • The Park - Bankers Hill condos in the Bankers Hill neighborhood
  • 41 West condos in the Bankers Hill neighborhood

5. How much of a discount should I ask for off the list price?

Buyers of condos in downtown San Diego are getting an average discount of 1.98% off the last asking price, for condos sold in 2nd quarter of 2017, so keep this in mind when making an offer. I was quoted in the July 2010 issue of Money magazine saying your starting offer should be 10% below the current asking price, they did not print my next comment which was to expect to get half of that (5% off). Times have changed and asking for a 10% discount these days just might insult the sellers and result in a rejection of your offer with out a counter. Your offer should depend on the comps and most sellers respect that, but know that some don't care about the comps and just want their asking price. 

6. What is the average asking price of a condo in downtown San Diego?

As of July 2017: $936,000. The average sold price per square foot in 2Qtr 2017 was $581, up 9.0% over Q2 2016. 

7. What is the average HOA fee on a San Diego condo?

In a low rise building with out full time staff on site (other than cleaning staff) the HOA fee is about $500/month, for a typical 2 bedroom 2 bath condo. In a high rise building, which typically have a lot of on site staff, the average fee is about $900/month. 

8. Are you allowed to have pets in downtown condos?

Yes, almost every building allows pets, most all have a limit of two. Some San Diego condominiums have weight limits and breed restrictions for dogs. 

9. How much are property taxes on a condo in San Diego?

The state of California has a base tax rate of 1.0%, then on top of that are local taxes for things like schools, street lights, the downtown "clean and safe" program, etc. Add all those up and its about 1.2% of the purchase price due every year. 

10. Where can I find a list of San Diego condos for rent?

Surprisingly there are more San Diego condos listed for rent on than in the MLS. Most condo owners do not want to involve real estate agents in their quest for a new tenant. One exception is the high end rental market, those units above $4,000/month, often these units are only listed with Realtors in the MLS.

Bonus Question. Why should I work with a RE/MAX Agent?

RE/MAX has the most productive sales force in real estate averaging more transactions per agent than any of our national competitors and almost twice as many as our closet competitor, this happens year after year. Our office has been in downtown for over 15 years, we are experts on downtown.

As a resident of the Historic Gaslamp Quarter neighborhood in downtown San Diego for over 15+ years I know the condo market better than most. Please call, email, or drop by my downtown office and let me know how I may assist you in selling or buying your downtown San Diego condo.