Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Beating San Diego's High Home Prices: Don't Live Here

WHAT? Now you're probably thinking that I must have some sort of mean spirited slant to my character to make such an indignant statement such as this. Not true, but it did catch your attention didn't it? In fact, not moving here is one of the alternatives that some of my clients have employed to beat the high San Diego home prices. They bought homes 40 miles up the I-15 in Riverside County. In fact, many people from San Diego have been snatching up homes in places like Temecula and Murrieta for 30% to 40% less than what a comparable home would sell for in San Diego. Many of those people commute to San Diego for work. But with gas prices going well above $3 a gallon, the cost advantages have been eroding. Plus, the freeways at rush hour can be terrible.

Still, if you don't mind the drive, it could be a great way to save on housing costs. As an example, you can buy a 5 bedroom, 3300sf newer home in Murrieta for around $500,000. In San Diego, a similar home may go for $750,000. That $250,000 difference equates to a mortgage savings of about $1500 a month! Are you one of those who made the move to take advantage of the savings? Drop me a comment and let us know how it worked out!

This 5 bedroom 3 bath 3,200sf Murrieta home sold for $512,000. Its only about a year old and has a large 10,000sf yard:

Want to know more about Murrieta? About 15 years ago, the population was about 16,000 and there wasn't a single traffic light. It was an old rural community of horse ranches and farms. Today the population is over 80,000 with sparkling new tracts of homes and modern shopping amenities designed to attract families from San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County.

Murrieta is at the edge of southern California's wine country where you can tour some two dozen wineries in the nearby Temecula Valley. Look up in the skies and you'll see hot air balloons which have become a symbol for the region. The mild climate is hard to beat with warm days and cool nights. Because the area is so new, its more difficult to make a living there with very few major employers other than the numerous retail businesses. But if you are self-employed, retired, or if you don't mind the commute to the major job markets in Los Angeles, San Diego, or Orange County, then this can be a great place to live in some of the last affordable housing left in Southern California.

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