San Diego Real Estate Information Blog

March 31, 2015

Least Expensive Home in La Jolla Village

2015 has seen a continued rise in prices in La Jolla, as well as around San Diego County. 

While it is often interesting to look up the most expensive listings in a high net worth zip code like La Jolla, California 92037, I though it would be interesting to look at what is the least expensive property for sale.

7811 Eads #306 is a one bedroom, one bath condo bordering the heart of La Jolla Village priced at $469,000.  Just a block to the ocean, the property features include very well maintained finishes, and is on the quietest side of the buildings.  Small pets are allowed.  The unit does not have a washer dryer in the unit, but one may be installed with HOA approval.

The negatives?  It is on the alley side of the building so there is no view, but that is mitigated by the fact that the location has only one common wall, and the alley outside is rarely used.  Certainly there is less traffic there than on any other side of the buiding.

Devonshire House, the master name for the building located at 7811 Eads Avenue, has undegone major improvements over the last few years, including upgrading the courtyard, interior and exterior building paint, and most importantly a major plumbing overhaul.  Most of the heavy lifting has already been done so buyers should not expect to be surprised with hefty HOA dues increases or assesments.

This link will take you to the lowest priced real estate listing in La Jolla.


Posted in La Jolla
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March 26, 2015

A Case Study in Due Diligence When Buying Real Estate--5662 Ladybird Lane

5662 Ladybird Lane - A La Jolla Real Estate Case Study in Due Diligence

I recently had 5662 Ladybird Lane in La Jolla, CA in escrow, and again realized how far reaching and influential Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties can be...and how important it is to do your due diligence when buying real estate.

With the Ladybird home, it was easily the best ocean view home in the price range, and was in a nice neighborhood (La Jolla Mesa Vista) at the end of a cul-de-sac.  One could argue the layout was a little on the funky side, but there is potential to improve it over time.  None of those details are particularly important for this case study, which is mostly to make a statement about the importance of working with a brokerage that has fingerprints all over the La Jolla and coastal San Diego market.

Moving on....

Ladybird Lane was in escrow within a week after initially coming on the market.  However, shortly after going in to escrow, it came back on the market as active.  We were able to get it under contract shortly thereafter.

The 3 bedroom home was a foreclosed purchase and flip by a local agent and firm who specializes in these types of things. The asking price was fair for the conditions, location, and ocean view, and they were very professional to work with. 

We had our inspection, and while there the property certainly was not new and had many flaws, nothing was a "deal breaker" and could be fixed over time. 

***Here is where it gets interesting.

The last time the property sold, it was handled by a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties agent.  Within our company archives, we have the ability to go back and pull old disclosures and reports, so we did so as a part of our due diligence.  We found that in the past there was a landslide on the back of the property that had never been fixed, and even found a report by a geologist who inspected the project.  Because the property was being flipped, one could not see any visual cracks or settling due to the recent cosmetic upgrades, so finding this report was HUGE!

Another geologist was hired and in his report he found that the hillside was potentially prone to more movement and that the slide had never been repaired.  His conclusions included the sentence, "It is also concluded that the area of the 2003 slope failure may continue to experience movement, particularly during heavy rains."

The home itself inspected well enough to try move forward withe the purchase, however owning a property on a failed slope just doesn't make a lot of sense.  So, we provided both the older and new geologic reports to the seller, and asked explore a way to collaborate on slope repair.

Even though the seller by law now needs to disclose these reports to any new buyer, the seller declined the opportunity to find a way to fix the slope together and close the sale.  While surprising to me, it isn't my property and they may feel another buyer will feel different about the slope failure.  Only the market will determine that.**

Clients of mine often apologize when cancelling on a purchase.  I cancel millions of dollars of transactions ever year.  Cancelling is nothing to be sorry about. It is simply part of the buying process, and something that needs to happen if either the subject property has an unfixable problem, or if the seller is unwilling to work with you in order to get the problem fixed.

Buying real estate is a "Buyer Beware" type of thing, and having a big name brokerage behind you can potentially save you from too much heartache in the future.

**I think it is important to note that just because one buyer sees something as a problem, that doesn't mean that another buyer will also see that same issue as a problem.  Every buyer and their risk tolerance is different, and should do their own due diligence to the degree they are comfortable.

Posted in La Jolla
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Dec. 5, 2014

Buying and Selling Real Estate During the Holidays

Mark Stuart with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in La Jolla talks about the reality, not the perception, of dealing in real estate during the winter and holiday months.  Percentage of sales vs. summer months, income properties, and other facts about dealing in real estate during the winter in San Diego.





Posted in Housing News
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May 1, 2014

Is My Rental Property Efficient? | Cap Rate and Gross Rent Multiplier

Is your real estate investment property efficient? You might be surprised if you own a single family home or condo! Just because your income covers your mortgage, or because you own the property free and clear does not make it an efficient rental. By really understanding the numbers you can make yourself thousands more each year doing absolutely nothing.









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March 28, 2014

2014 2nd Quarter Spring Real Estate Market Update


How is the Real Estate Market in San Diego?

Well, following a stronger than expected 1st quarter, the real estate market continues to move higher, with two major components being the driving forces.  Both supply and demand, coupled with ongoing low rates are keeping the market healthy.  That being said, it is also becoming a hyper local situation with regards to average market times and buyer activity.

Supply and Demand:

Overall, the demand ratio (active vs, pending properties) continues to be  strong for sellers.  While this can be frustrating for buyers, they may take heart in knowing situations such as this drive prices upward, so getting in to the market should leave them with equity in short order.  Supply is up over last year, but is still far below the peak sales and activity periods of 2005.

Interest Rates:

Rates remain near historic lows, but have risen steadily over the last 12 months.  Conforming fixed rates are in the low to mid 4’s, while jumbo products are still in the low to mid 3's.  This inversion of rates has been a major factor in driving the luxury markets to near all time highs, and coupled with with limited inventory slow but steady pricing pressure should continue throughout the summer.

Location, Location, Location:

Due to the slow rise in rates, affordability in traditional neighborhoods is beginning to price out some buyers, stabilizing price growth, while highly coveted communities such as Carmel Valley, La Jolla, and luxury coastal communities continue to see very strong activity.

Outlook for the rest of 2014:

As long as rates stay below 5.5% for conventional loans and 5% for jumbos, we should see modest price growth on a macro scale, while individual neighborhoods will see variable rates of return.  The only way to determine what is going on in your neighborhood is by doing a demand study to show the most accurate and real time activity. 

Markets can flip in a hurry, as we saw in 2012.  Seemingly overnight things turned from a strong buyer's market to a historically strong seller's market.  While no one has a crystal ball, making practical decisions are always prudent and perhaps now more than ever.

Give me a call any time to discuss your individual situation.

Mark Stuart



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Jan. 29, 2014

Should I Use a Realtor to List (Sell) or Buy Real Estate

Lately with the San Diego real estate market normalizing again, I’ve been seeing a resurgence in self representation…or more accurately stated “attempted” self representation.  I say this as the success rate for folks representing themselves in real estate transactions is far below those who use an agent.

First, let me remind you I did dozens of transactions using a number of different agents prior to becoming one myself with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.  I know what I’m talking about from both sides of the coin.

Listen, it certainly isn’t rocket science to fill out a real estate contract.  There certainly is an art and a skill to developing a marketing strategy for marketing a home or to get noticed in a multiple offer situation for buyers.  In any case in real estate, you need to separate yourself from the crowd and make it known you’ll be easy to work with and perform every step of the way.

One thing is absolutely for sure.  A listing agent ONLY has a contractual duty to their seller.  If you are told you are getting a % off of the commissoion, that has zero to do with the actual market price of the property.  Remember, list price is ONLY a marketing tool and never is a reflection of true market value!!!

When a seller does an “entry only” or For Sale By Owner type listing, they are potentially signaling to the market that they may be  difficult to negotiate with, and that they don’t have the experience to follow the contracts as written to make a smooth transaction happen.  Deals fall apart for many different reasons.  This drives away buyers which invariably lowers the potential sales price of the property.

There is a reason I am affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices…reputation.  When we buyers and sellers walk in the door they know we will be tough but fair, educated, and capable of dealing with each twist and turn each transaction inevitably takes.

Find yourself a good one and stick with them.  You’ll be better off for it.

Posted in Housing News
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Jan. 9, 2014

2014 San Diego Real Estate Outlook and Forecast

Mark Stuart with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties give you his forecast for the 2014 San Diego real estate market.  Performance projections are merely an estimate based upon forseeable market data.  While no one has a crystal ball, 2014 should provide for moderate growth typical of a balanced market between buyers and sellers.


Posted in Best of San Diego
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Nov. 1, 2013

November 2013 La Jolla Real Estate Market Report and Trends

Mark Stuart with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is happy to present his La Jolla 92037 real estate market trends report for November 2013.  Included is information on home pricing, activity trends, as well as information for real estate buyers and sellers.  For more information on homes for sale in your La Jolla neighborhood, visit:

Posted in La Jolla
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Oct. 31, 2013

Best San Diego Mobile Real Estate Search App

 Best San Diego Mobile Real Estate Search App

We've officially launched what is easily the best mobile real estate search app available for La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, or homes for sale anywhere in San Diego.  Free and easy to use on iphone, android, ipad or tablet.  It is 100% accurate 100% of the time and, just like, it is powered by data complied directly from Sandicor, the local realtor's MLS system.

The free (no registration required!) app offers a very cool home scan feature which allows users to simply point the phone in the direction they are interested in searching and available properties instantly appear to review!  Free to use, or register to save searches, favorite properties, or have new properties emailed to you directly.  Search open houses, new to market, price reductions, and more.

Simply visit to download, or learn more at our YouTube video below.




Posted in Housing News
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