Real Estate Supergirlhome
Specializing in Downtown San Diego Condos.
Wow I just saw the sketching for the new library and I have to say I am really impressed! It makes me so happy to see the new buildings rise and a better, more convenient and quality life style for the residents of 92101 created!
In an historic decision on June 28, 2010, the City Council approved construction of the New Central Library by a vote of 6 to 2! This move helps improve the entire 35-branch library system and benefits San Diegans for generations to come.
So there has been a lot of controversy about the new gym Fit in East Village, Downtown San Diego that has opened last year. There is a sister company of this gym in Houston, Texas, and for some reason, the owners thought the same concept could work in San Diego as well.
So what is Fit?… As the website states: “Fit members are among a new breed of fitness enthusiast. They want more than a place to work out. They want to socialize, kick back with their friends, relax and enjoy their time in an environment where they feel as comfortable on our sofa as they do on their own. They appreciate the state of the art equipment Fit offers and they understand the differences between a large corporate gym and one that truly caters to its member’s individual needs and lifestyle. They enjoy and expect a higher level of amenities and service; and they get it at Fit.”
I remember a year ago when I was a member in Pure Fitness ( great gym, by the way ), I accidentally stumbled upon my friend in the locker room. She said she had this one day pass to Fit and she went yesterday. She spoke very negatively about her experience, which really surprised me! She said this is definitely not her type of gym, that it’s ridiculously overpriced and more of a “show offish hang out place” than a work out club.
Why do you say that” I asked her. Anna went on and on, telling me how uncomfortable she was and that guys kept staring at her and that all the girls wore make up and the trainers were arrogant and the place was absolutely and totally overpriced, etc.
Wow I thought, what a review! All my thoughts about switching gyms have evaporated completely and I decided to stay where I am, in a great, but comfortable gym, where girls don’t HAVE to wear make up?
But the life has different ways of unfolding and in couple of months I moved to East Village neighborhood Downtown. My Prudential office is on 5th, so it’s 5-6 blocks from where I live.
What’s amazing about Downtown San Diego, is how convenient everything is and in how close proximity shops, banks, gyms are from your home!
I quickly realized that Fit ( 3 blocks ) was so much closer to me than Pure Fitness ( 20 blocks ), that I simply owed to myself to at least go once and try it!
So I went. My colleague in Prudential has recommended me to Chad. He, at that time, was one of the sales managers for Fit. As soon as I walked in the gym, I was impressed by the modern urban design and the size of the place! It’s huge!. It is true, that some of the areas have felt more like a Downtown lounge to me than a gym, but I actually liked it!
The first thing I saw when walked up the stairs was this huge flat screen tv with Charges playing! There were maybe 5-6 ppl just hanging out on sofas, chilling and watching the game.
After I had a chat with Chad ( ? ), he set me up with the sales rep Mark, that has walked me through all different options and what the gym has to offer.
I had a week free to come back and try out the establishment, visit different classes and just see what I do and don’t like about it and decide for myself.
I have to tell you that once the week was over, I knew this is my new gym…
I have to admit that amongst all the gyms I’ve ever attended ( 24 hour fitness, Pure Fitness, YMCA, Bally’s, Curves, LA Fitness ) this was MY gym. I loved the ambiance, brand new class A equipment, awesome pool with Jacuzzi, and amazing locker rooms, showers, saunas ( dry and wet ), even music!
But the thing I like the most is the variety of classes Fit offers! I mean, OMG! The instructors are sooo awesome and have so much passion for what they do that it is just contagious! You know how sometimes you just don’t feel like going on that boring treadmill day after day and doing weights?. Well you don’t have to anymore! I’ve always been the kind of person, that did not like those silly aerobic classes. They seemed boring to me and I couldn’t imagine there’s actually any good in wasting 45-60 min of my life on a class like that! Well I changed my mind 180 degrees!
Not enough that I liked them, plus I PREFER them over my regular work outs! Moreover, I noticed more changes doing the classes than after months and months running and doing weights!
Not all of them are the same though. If you want an amazing super cardio class, that will kick you butt, I strongly recommend trying Trisha’s spin in the morning! I have to be specific about instructors though since now all of them provide the same experience, even if it is the same class.
For a cardio with weights implementation, you have to, HAVE to, try Monica’s Compound Burn on Monday’s 6.30 pm! I mean, WOW. It is absolutely unbelievable how much energy does this girl have! It’s a one hour of non stop Level 10 exercise! I honestly think I probably burn 1000 calories during that one work out.
If you want to get more defined body, I also like Magdalena’s and Connie’s classes as well.
As for pricing. They are quoting $125 per month and $500 negotiation fee.. I know, it’s a lot, but let’s look at it this way. 1 month of yoga only usually costs you $125 per month, same is 1 month of Cross Fit. And that’s with not getting any gym equipment at all! With this gym, not enough you get the classes that are included in the membership, but also, access to the amazing, state of the art equipment, pool, saunas, and all sorts of social networking meetings.
Is it worth it for me? Absolutely. Is it worth it for you?.. I don’t know. I would say, if your only concern is a treadmill and you use only 2 -3 machines on the constant basis, it doesn’t make sense for you to go to Fit. You might as well just get a 24 h fitness membership for $20-30 a month. But if you want what I described above, you have to pay for it.
And just a tip : the prices are negotiable
Oh, and no, I don’t wear make up when I go there ?
Cheers, San Diego,
Real Estate Supergirl
I had to write this article, because more than 50% of my current buyers today are paying all cash on the properties they are purchasing. I’ve dealt with a lot of situations, handled objections and sometimes overcame obstacles working with cash buyers, which I want to share with you and everybody who is either thinking of investing cash or working with a cash investor.
Advantages of cash deals:
1. No loan contingency. (that, by itself, is a great advantage, since we all know how often the financing falls through and the escrows are being canceled in today’s market)
2. No appraisal contingency. (usually cash buyers don’t order the appraisal, so the seller doesn’t have to worry about whether the property will appraise at the right price and the time currently associated with ordering and performing one)
3. Quick Close. (Nowadays the average escrow takes 30-60 days to close; with cash deals, you can close ad quick as 7-10 days; I’ve personally closed an escrow once in 5 days.)
4. Sometimes Cash is the only way of purchasing a property since other types of financing are simply not available.
Disadvantages of cash deals:
1. Cash buyers are often hard to work with. They have definitely been successful in their business (that’s why they have cash to pay when most of the people are getting loans..), so a lot of times they think they know the business better than you, their agent. (sometimes, it is actually the case, with certain agents…but that’s a minority.)
2. Cash buyers are often low balling their offers, which makes it really hard to get a property for them.
3. Cash buyers often submit multiple offers on different listings, in hope to get something, which results them backing away on deals.
4. Some cash buyers are not loyal. They will go anywhere and through any agent to get the property they want and very rarely sign the exclusivity contract.
NOW, I know at this point, all the cash buyers out there probably think that I am a cash buyer hater! I want to assure you that this is not the case. As I said I work with countless cash buyers and investors in San Diego and out of state, even out of country and I love working with them!
Why?.. Because I carefully qualify and prescreen people I am working with.
Why should I work with somebody who is not being loyal to me or has unreasonable expectations about the market? I am being paid only and solely when the deal closes. So no matter how many miles I drive clients around to see properties or how many hours I spend on property research, filtering, calls, emails, submitting offers, coordinating escrow, etc, I will not get paid until the escrow is closed. Since as a buyer’s agent, the only thing I ask of my buyers is to be loyal to me and give me feedback throughout our business relationship. That’s all. They don’t pay me. So I think that’s a fair thing to ask.
Sorry I got a little bit sidetracked. Back to our cash deals.
If you look at the SOLD’s statisctics for 92101 zip code, you will see that properties under $400,000, if they are priced at the market value, are flying off the shelves. If you look at the CMA report, the margins from the listing price to a price sold is usually very little or none at all. At some cases they are even selling for more than the asking price.
What is the seller’s biggest desire when selling a property? To get the most money. It’s as simple as that. Sure they would prefer a cash deal over financed and quicker close. But what they REALLY would prefer is to generate the highest net for themselves. Whether this money comes from the buyer directly or buyer’s bank, they really don’t care as much.
An example is a recent offer I put in with a client of mine. It was a 2br 2 ba, listed for $379,000. We submitted a very clean aggressive offer, with no closing costs, no contingencies, 10 day close and $350,000 ALL CASH. Doesn’t that seem a reasonable offer?… Well not to the bank I guess. Even after my buyer came up to $360K all cash, they still rejected our offer! I mean, wow! This property is currently in a pending status and from a little information I know it’s going to sell for around $370K with a buyer that’s getting financing! So $10,000 difference is more significant to this particular seller than taking a risk with a person that’s getting a loan and waiting for that loan to close!
On the other instance though, if the bank has 2 offers on the table at the same price or very slight difference, they would of course prefer the cash offer.
So the question is not whether or not you can get a better price paying cash, but how much better could it be?
The answer is not a lot. We are looking at 2-5% on average on the regular property in the lower end of the market in San Diego.
What the heck is going on with the market?… Isn’t that the eternal question in Real Estate?
Is it going up? Or is it going down? Is it seller’s market or Buyer’s market? When did we reach the equilibrium if we did, and is it going to double dip again?
“How is the market” is a very interesting question. When others can tell you it’s great or it’s horrible, I would say “that depend”. Are you a buyer, seller, investor or renter?
Those are all different perspectives and giving an answer to this question should be approached differently.
The truth is that nobody has a crystal ball to predict exactly what is going to happen. Different economists forecast us different future…
What I can do though is tell you what exactly is happening NOW comparing to the last couple of years.
Also extremely important is to realize that national real estate could be doing different than on the state level, city or even neighborhood. Those are so called micro real estate arenas and different factors are dictating different conditions.
Last year the most states that were hurting in USA, and had the most radical price reductions on the cost of real property were Arizona, Florida, Nevada and California.
In some of these locations prices have plummeted 50-60%!
2009 was definitely an amazing year to buy with dirt cheap properties and all the Government incentives. Investors and First time homebuyers drove the market.
What happened since 09?
From now on I will be specifically focusing on San Diego County, since this the area where I live and specialize in.
Well the last 13 months in a row prices on Real Estate were steadily but constantly increasing. We had offers on every property under $400,000, creating a Sellers’ market in that price range. First time home buyers fled the market in hope to get their first home and $8,000 tax credit, in some cases $18,000! Investors also didn’t waste their time looking for bargains and submitting cash offers left and right.
All this made it seem that the San Diego real estate is starting to stabilize at least. Plus the chef economist himself from National Association of Realtors said that San Diego will be one of the top 5 cities nationwide to recover from the economy the quickest and in the beginning of the year, by San Diego Journal was pronounced the number 1 city so far in US!
Wow. So what happened in July?… 27% LESS of resale homes sold and 12% less of new construction. Wow. This is big, my friends.
Is it because the tax credit have expired and since a lot of buyers were driven to buy in the last couple months were maybe pulled in from the months that are about to follow?..
Or is it because the economy really is still doing very bad in general and the unemployment is still up?
Is it just July, or the same story will repeat in August, September and to the rest of the year?..
I don’t know.
I do know something though.
This morning interest rate on a 30 year fix conventional loan was 4.25%. Are you kidding me? 4.25% on the house? I mean, come on! That’s like free money they are giving away, and your job is just to qualify. It’s 1% less than a year ago. That could potentially pay for that $8,000 you might have gotten on 2 years on a $300,000 house. If you keep it for more than 3 years you can get 2 3 times more money than the tax credit.
People don’t realize that even 1 % interest rate up or down can affect you buying purchase power by tens of thousands of dollars..
Plus the prices are still low.
In terms of San Diego Downtown Real Estate specifically, it’s the second zip code in the county that had the most sales last year. Downtown San Diego Condo prices have definitely been adjusted last year, pushing developers to drop the numbers around 30% across the board.
There are currently 484 listings in Downtown San Diego, and around one third of them are short sales and another 15% foreclosures! That’s almost half of everything that’s for sale is a distressed property!
It is not easy to currently get a property that is a foreclosure or a short sale and I agree they are pain in the …. BUT if you have what it takes ( awesome agent for one ? ), patience and understanding that you might have to bid at or above the listing price and maybe submit 5-10 offers, than at the end you can walk away with a property which to my personal opinion is an amazing investment right now.
Cheers, my friends and I hope I could shine some light and give you my opinion about the real estate market in San Diego,