First off, I am not an economist. I don’t pretend to have a crystal ball to predict the future and I never make guarantees about future outcomes. There are times that lend themselves to make educated guesses about what the future may bring based on trends and other market factors, and this may prove to be one of those.


If you read my last article, you are aware that market forces are pushing residential real estate prices down and we’re in the midst of what I’ve deemed and “Affordability Bubble Burst.” Despite our robust economy, prices appear to be in decline, but not at the speed or depth of what we saw in 2008.  Many homeowners are questioning what they should do: Should you wait it out? Sell and go rent? Keep it and rent it out? Sell and Upgrade? Downsize? Every situation is uniquely different and motivated by your goals and current lifestyle, thus generalized answers are not suitable. That being said, if you’re a condo owner, I have some info to share with you.


Condominiums can be great investments and are truly a good way for first-time-home-buyers to get into home ownership. Condos are typically less expensive than single family residences (SFR) and often provide homeowners with wonderful amenities. They do go up and down in value, just like a single-family home; but the increases in value typically are not as large and the decreases tend to be big and fast.


Since we’re in a market with declining prices, I recommend being extremely vigilant of condo property values. If you’re of the mindset that you are happy where you are and in a good position, then market values do (up or down) won’t affect you much. However, if you’ve been contemplating selling your condo/s over the last year or so, then you need to pay close attention to what the market is doing.


If you own a condo that was purchased between 2010 and early 2016, you’ve probably seen some sizeable equity gains. NOW, may be the time to sell that condo!…especially if your condo is in a complex with an expensive monthly Homeowners Association (HOA) fee. Doubly so, if the property also sits in a high mello-roos district! Why? Mainly because of the reason stated above, a faster decline in values compared to SFRs. So, you want to hedge against steep declines in equity.


Additionally, if you find yourself with a high HOA fee (in the neighborhood of $375/month or higher), getting rid of that monthly cost could translate into more purchasing power – especially if your primary residence is your condo and you’re looking to upsize and buy a single family home! If this is you, this may be the time to act as you transfer your equity to your home purchase and rid yourself of a large monthly condo HOA cost! Again, everyone’s situation is different, and you should consult a tax and legal consultant. 


* This article expresses the opinions of the author and is NOT  to be considered as legal, tax or financial advice.*

“Is the market going to crash?” is the most popular question I get these days. The second most popular question: “Is this a good time to buy or sell?”

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering the same thing!

While I certainly cannot predict nor guarantee the future, all indicators point to a price correction. Many individuals fear another recession looming and if we follow historical cycles, we’re about due for one. I am NOT an economist and cannot predict a recession; however, I do actively study my market and can tell you that the activity I see is trending towards a price correction in residential real estate.

The pivot began in earnest, this past summer (right around July 2018). The San Diego region has been plagued by a housing shortage for decades and that shortage became more pronounced over the last decade. As we came out of the ashes of the great recession (circa 2010-2011), large investment institutions started to scoop up dirt-cheap properties to fill their portfolios.

Many new-construction projects were tabled or completely scrapped because many potential consumers were NOT able to finance purchases due to the negative credit impacts caused by short sales and foreclosures. Those consumers had a need to rent- hence rents in San Diego have skyrocketed! As the inventory on the resale market dwindled and consumer demand increased, prices began to inflate to near pre-recession levels (fueled heavily by extremely low interest rates). And, as of this year we’ve reached that peak!

So to the naked eye, you’d say, “Oh man, here we go again!” But, I believe this is a different type of correction – I don’t believe we’re experiencing an economic bubble burst (at least not yet), rather we’re experiencing an “Affordability” bubble burst! The truth of the matter is that something had to give! Housing has become too expensive –  plain and simple.

If you take into consideration median incomes compared to housing costs, the only two cities (in California) that are more expensive than San Diego to live in are San Francisco and Silicon Valley (i.e. San Jose). Let that sit for little bit. This means that it is technically less expensive to live in Los Angeles proper, than San Diego! That’s insane! So of course, consumers say, “Enough is enough!” And, the market has stalled! Add National economic trends to the mix, along with the Fed increasing interest rates and BOOM – a perfect recipe for prices to trend downward.

When this price correction trend begins, listings begin to sit a bit longer on the market with absolutely no offers in hand and quite possibly no showings. Then price reductions begin…

Neighbors who’ve been sitting on the fence waiting for the peak to come, place their home on the market to hedge against any further equity loss. Wanting peak pricing, they list high and their house sits endlessly on the market with nothing happening. They reduce the price…no bites…and then they reduce it again…nothing. The price reduction trend goes viral, inventory doubles (almost overnight) and buyers have more leverage to negotiate a deal…

Increasing interest rates however keep buyers on guard because their purchasing power is dwindling. So they write lower offers and stick to their guns… They will even walk away from the offer they made you and bid on the neighbor’s home instead (even though they like that house less). But heck, they’re getting a better deal, and this pattern continues – on and on…

…This is where we currently are in the market – at the beginning stages of an affordability bubble bursting!

Here are some stats on inventory:

The number of homes for sale has increased dramatically in the last quarter.  San Diego is up 26.5% from the same time last year with 8,051 Active properties today.  Last year this time there were 6,537.  According to Infosparks, San Diego sales were down 20.7% in September, rolling three months down 11.4% and for the year down 8.9%.

So what should you do? First and foremost – DO NOT PANIC! Do not act out of fear. First assess your situation and determine what your goals are (the “WHY” of things). Once you’ve defined your WHY, team up with a pro to define and create a strategy for the “WHAT” and the “HOW”!

Keep an eye out for my next article where I address what you should do if you’re a condo owner!

*this article expresses the opinions of the author and is NOT to be considered as legal, tax or financial advice. *

The answer to the question above is simple and short: YES! It is absolutely ok to use a friend as your real estate agent! But there’s a caveat to this:

Obviously, experience matters tremendously. There’s a lot to be said about knowledge base and expertise (which is really the top reason to hire a realtor, but more on this later in the article). That being said; your agent, irrespective of your relationship with him or her (be it your friend, cousin, brother, sister, former co-worker, etc.) should be vested in the industry. Your agent should not be a hobbyist or someone who just sees the work as a “side hustle”. Someone who does the real estate “side hustle,” typically, lacks the time to really put in the vital work to make a deal happen. Even a rookie full-time agent is better than a “Hobby” agent.

Agents who do this business as a hobby or a side hustle most often lack the knowledge of the important details about transactions, specifically negotiation, that can get you into trouble or be unable to get you out of trouble.  Further, the hobbyist, may lack the sense of urgency and drive to work effectively and efficiently for you. Back in the day (the stone age when nothing was online), you’d hire an agent because agents had the keys to the gates of information. Agents were your “in,” to obtain all data about new listings. NOW, that data is at your disposal 24/7 on that awesome smartphone! The value of the real estate agent lays in negotiation skill and strength, nuanced knowledge, industry experience and the brains and creativity to get you in or out of deals! There’s a slim chance a side hustler can be all of those things for you. Those strengths take full time discipline and practice! “You’re talking about practice?” YES! We are! A full-time agent must grind and hustle every day, taking massive action!

A full-time agent is dedicated and is going to work hard for you – this isn’t a hobby that he or she does only on the weekend – we live, eat and breath real estate! If you were getting brain surgery, would you want a part-time surgeon who does one or two surgeries per year? NO!!! You want the surgeon who does multiple surgeries per day. Now I am not equating being a real estate agent to being a brain surgeon, but it does take some degree of intelligence to do this job well and to sustain it for many years! So, do you want to work with a real estate agent who does one to two transactions per year and maybe works one Saturday every few months as a hobby? Or do you prefer to work with an agent who does multiple transactions per month and does this for a living – full time?  The choice is clear!

Mistake #3 – Writing Too Low Of An Offer

You’re in a peculiar situation by selling contingent. The odds are playing against you, which calls for a certain strategy. This video will help you understand why you shouldn’t place a low ball offer and what strategies to take. 


For more insight, reach out to us and we will be happy to answer any more questions you might have.

Mistake #2 – Listing your property too high

This is very common mistake home sellers make. We understand, you want top dollar for your home, but their are strategies we must take in order to get a quality offer.

For more insight, reach out to us and we will be happy to answer any more questions you might have.

Mistake #1 – Waiting to List Your Property

In this Short video series we will be addressing the top 3 biggest mistakes seller’s make when selling their contingent property. 

This is the biggest mistake contingent home sellers make! Being contingent puts you in a peculiar position, and it can be difficult for your offer to be accepted. Here we show you the importance of listing your home before writing any offers.

For more insight, reach out to us and we will be happy to answer any more questions you might have.

2 Fears Home Sellers Can Face

In this video we highlight 2 of the most common fears people have when selling their home in order to buy a new one. Learn the strategies we use to address these fears. 

For more insight, reach out to us and we will be happy to answer any more questions you might have.

Listing Price: $535,000 $525,000

Neighborhood: San Diego

Address: 1501 Front St Unit 422

Profile: 1,058 sq. ft. | 2 bed, 2 bath | Condo

To schedule a showing contact Miguel Contreras | 619.977.6447 |

Listing Price: $595,000 $570,000 $560,000

Neighborhood: La Mesa

Address: 8885 Lemon Ave. La Mesa, CA 91941

Profile: 1,628 sq. ft. | 3 bed, 2 bath

To schedule a showing contact Miguel Contreras | 619.977.6447 |