Buying a House in San Diego? Local Agents Share 15 Tips

San Diego is among the most fascinating locations to dwell in the US, and for good purpose. With its pristine seashores, year-round sunshine, and thriving job market, it’s no surprise that so many individuals dream of proudly owning a house in America’s Best Metropolis. Nevertheless, the method of shopping for a home in San Diego will be overwhelming, particularly for first-time consumers. 

That will help you get began, we turned to a few of Redfin’s high Associate Brokers in San Diego that can assist you navigate the method with confidence. Whether or not you’re a neighborhood renting an residence or an out-of-towner hoping to personal your first home in San Diego, the following pointers will enable you discover the right place to name your personal.

1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage

My recommendation to first-time homebuyers is to discover a good mortgage officer and get pre-approved, totally underwritten approval is greatest. Work with that mortgage officer and their agent to grasp what timeframes they’re snug with in a proposal. Sellers need shorter contingency intervals in order that they don’t waste time on failed escrows and are extra snug that the deal will shut on time. By shortening these contingency intervals you’re making your provide stronger and your provide will look higher to a vendor. – Robert Cenzer | Redfin Agent

Don’t leap in and begin home looking till you’ve got been pre-approved by your native financial institution or lender. You’ll wish to know what your month-to-month mortgage fee is so you’ll be able to repair your month-to-month family finances. This manner you’ll know precisely how a lot home you’ll be able to afford. You may make a stronger provide once you discover the house you actually like. – Gary Giffin | Redfin Associate Agent, AARE

2. Know the prices related to shopping for a home in San Diego

I can’t stress sufficient how vital it’s for a purchaser to speak with a lender and actually perceive the prices of the down fee, closing and month-to-month funds. As soon as now we have that squared away, they will store with confidence. Plus, as soon as now we have a finances setup, I will help arrange a saved search that’ll hone in on what might work for them.  With the Redfin app, they’ll be one of many first to know when a brand new itemizing pops up in an space they wish to be in. – John Copeland | Redfin Premier Agent

When you’re shopping for a home in San Diego, you’ll have to think about further prices like property taxes, dwelling insurance coverage, and potential house owner affiliation charges when calculating your finances. John Varon | Redfin Associate Agent, Avaron Realty 

3. Study totally different San Diego neighborhoods

When contemplating shopping for your first dwelling in SD, I counsel shoppers to start out by speaking to a neighborhood realtor to get a way of which San Diego neighborhood is likely to be an excellent match. You’ll complement that with on-line analysis to get a greater sense of every space and the way a lot you’ll be able to count on to pay month-to-month. – Patrick Cohen | Redfin Associate Agent, Coldwell Banker Realty

4. Guarantee you’ve got enough financial savings 

Ensure you have sufficient financial savings in your checking account for a down fee and shutting value plus reserves.Joe Nichols | Redfin Associate Agent, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

saving for a mortgage

5. Think about talking with a number of lenders

Speaking to totally different lenders when shopping for a house permits homebuyers to match totally different mortgage choices and rates of interest. Every lender could provide totally different charges, charges, and phrases, so it’s vital to buy round to seek out the very best deal. Totally different lenders could focus on several types of loans, equivalent to FHA loans, VA loans, or jumbo loans. Every lender could have totally different qualification necessities, equivalent to credit score rating, revenue, and debt-to-income ratio. By speaking to a number of lenders, homebuyers can discover the lender that most closely fits their distinctive scenario and mortgage wants. – Sez Sezer | Redfin Associate Agent, Douglas Elliman Actual Property

6. Be ready to navigate by way of excessive costs and excessive rates of interest

In some areas, we’ve seen costs dip a bit of bit and among the properties are staying available on the market for an extended time frame. This could be a nice alternative to ask the vendor for purchaser credit to shut and use these credit to purchase down their rate of interest, in flip decreasing their month-to-month funds. Shopping for down a excessive rate of interest is a good way to get the month-to-month fee right down to a quantity that’s extra reasonably priced for first-time consumers. If the speed purchase down places the rate of interest 1.5% decrease than with out the buydown, it may possibly make a giant distinction in your month-to-month fee. – Steve Cazel | Redfin Associate Agent, AARE

7. Get a house inspection

For these shopping for a home in San Diego, I all the time suggest a dwelling inspection. Ideally by a licensed contractor with inspection certifications, equivalent to CREIA and/or ASHI. The state of California doesn’t license dwelling inspectors so being a member of certainly one of these organizations that require sure requirements, helps give the client some further standards in selecting a house inspector. Spending the a whole bunch of {dollars} on the house inspections can save 1000’s of {dollars} for the homebuyer. – Virginia Edwards | Redfin Associate Agent, AARE

8. Discover your dream staff of San Diego specialists

As a first-time homebuyer, there’s nothing extra vital than getting your “staff“ so as upfront. This implies discovering a realtor and a mortgage officer to have in your nook to stroll you thru the method from begin to end and to look out to your greatest curiosity. Some brokers, together with myself, can have a complete session with every shopper to judge their desires, wants, and timeline to get the complete image of their scenario. This permits us to assist homebuyers in the simplest means potential. – Jon Fields | Redfin Associate Agent, Keller Williams San Diego

Working with a Redfin agent

9. Don’t attempt to match a sq. peg right into a spherical gap

Don’t settle and be affected person as a result of discovering the appropriate home is so vital. Attempt to not enter every home scrambling for a method to make it match, hold strolling till the magic begins to occur. When the appropriate home comes, you’ll comprehend it and really feel it. Carol LaRosh | Redfin Associate Agent, Compass

10. The San Diego market is aggressive, be persistent 

The San Diego housing market is hard for first-time homebuyers proper now with purchaser competitors, excessive costs and rising charges, however there’s nonetheless lots of alternative that consumers can capitalize on. In markets like these particularly, it’s very important to behave shortly and be ready forward of time on the lending facet of issues. Give attention to one thing you’ll be able to see your self in for the subsequent 2-7 years in an space that may admire the very best of what your metropolis has to supply. – Sara Swikard | Redfin Associate Agent, eXp Realty

11. Bear in mind, your first dwelling will not be your eternally dwelling

Keep in mind that your first dwelling doesn’t must be your eternally dwelling, however fairly a stepping stone to start out constructing fairness and get your foot within the door. Investing in actual property is an extended recreation, so the earlier you begin the higher off you’ll be in the long term. Additionally, take into account that stock is proscribed right here in San Diego. With houses promoting shortly, it’s vital to be decisive and have your desires/wants record able to go when you begin home looking. – Mark Seaberg | Redfin Associate Agent, Massive Block Realty

Beige colored stucco home with green shutters

12. Be ready to compromise

Shopping for a home in San Diego will be very aggressive. Be sensible and be able to make some compromises. When it comes time to make a proposal on a house you like, discuss along with your Realtor about provide methods which can be working within the present market. It’s not all the time in regards to the value of the house that will get the accepted provide. An excellent Realtor can have expertise in numerous markets and an excellent staff of supporting professionals to be sure you are profitable. – Kevin Endres | Redfin Associate Agent, Actual Dealer LLC

13. Reap the benefits of the positives available in the market

I do know the dialog craze in the true property market right now is targeted on greater charges, however there’s a constructive facet. Consumers are seeing much less competitors (for probably the most half), are in a position to negotiate extra repairs and credit, and should you plan forward, you’ll be able to refinance later down the highway. – Jeanne Liebel | Redfin Associate Agent, Actual Dealer LLC

14. Keep in mind that refinancing is all the time an possibility 

It’s greatest to remain targeted on dwelling possession even when charges have elevated. When you can qualify for a house possession in San Diego then you definately’re golden. You possibly can all the time refinance when charges drop and luxuriate in not dealing in extremely aggressive consumers markets whereas trying to find your private home buy (as we have been in 2021.) It’s nearly all the time higher to personal than lease particularly with rental charges being so excessive right now. – Franchesca Meram | Redfin Associate Agent, Avenu Realty Group

15. Perceive the present state of the San Diego market 

As a first-time homebuyer in San Diego, it’s vital to pay attention to the present market circumstances, that are characterised by excessive demand and low stock. It’s additionally vital to be versatile and ready to behave shortly when a fascinating property turns into accessible. With the appropriate technique and assist, nevertheless, it’s nonetheless potential to seek out your dream dwelling in San Diego’s aggressive market. – Alex Sidransky | Redfin Associate Agent, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties


Associate Brokers work for conventional brokerages, however have teamed up with Redfin to assist clients purchase or promote a house. Prospects are related with companion brokers when Redfin Brokers are experiencing exceptionally excessive buyer demand or if a house is exterior our direct service space