Mark’s Market Update- 2021 Q1

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I hope 2021 has been good to all of you so far. The San Diego real estate market has remained strong, but we are already starting to see some changes from last year. San Diego is one of the hottest markets in the nation. We are behind only Phoenix and Seattle for the largest increase in prices during this year. We entered the year with the same low interest rates we continuously saw throughout last year and prices were still high due to strong buyer competition and very limited inventory. Interest rates started to rise slowly in January. March saw rates increase even faster. We are seeing mortgage interest rates close to 3%, compared to 2.5% on New Year’s. I expect rates to continue upward to about 3.5% by the end of the year. 

At the beginning of the year, the median home price was $640,000. That is a 9.4% increase in the last 12 months. This was due mostly to the strong competition for homes and the low inventory we experienced all year. Many potential sellers have waited to sell because of the pandemic, but now that rates are increasing it may be better to sell sooner rather than later.

I do not anticipate price appreciation to slow this year. Although rates are rising, fewer pandemic restrictions, vaccinations, commercial openings and the Stimulus Package will all support strong growth for the balance of 2021. The Fed has committed to try to keep inflation low. But, real estate is always a great asset class in inflationary times. The improving economy will overpower the impact of higher interest rates on real estate prices.

What does this mean for you?


  • Keep an eye on rising rates
  • Prices are more likely to continue to climb than decline
  • Act fast when you find a home you love, there are many pre-approved buyers competing for the limited inventory of homes.


  • Whether you plan to move to a larger or smaller home, you can get top dollar for your departure residence now and hopefully a better price and interest rate on your next home.
  • Be prepared for a fast closing
  • Take advantage of rates yourself before they rise

Let me know when I can help.

  • Call me to formulate a mortgage plan for your purchase.
  • Let me get your financing approved before you start shopping to make your offer more compelling.
  • We can close FAST.

Zillow Shaking Up the San Diego Market

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10News recently reported about Zillow’s Zestimate program being used to purchase homes in San Diego.

Sellers can check if their homes qualify for an all-cash offer from Zillow and can typically expect this process to be faster than a typical transaction. While this may be a good opportunity for sellers who are looking to quickly sell their home, I don’t think it fits everyone.

Those who want to make sure they can get a top offer should go the more typical route and work with an agent that can market their home properly. I spoke with 10News about the competition we are seeing that is helping to drive up prices.

“Buyers are in tears because they can’t get an offer accepted. There’s a shortage of inventory that we haven’t seen before. It’s just very difficult for someone who is trying to buy a home.”

For the full article and more information, click here.


Financial Planning for Home Buying

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Whether you are thinking of buying a home this year or next year, there are some important factors to consider. A few questions to begin are:

  • How much will you have for a down payment?
  • How much down payment do you need?
  • How much can you afford each month?
  • How much will a bank lend you?
  • How much are you willing to pay back?

These questions may seem daunting, but I can help you answer them. Many buyers believe they need a down payment of 20% or more, but that is not always the case. There are some loan programs that require as little as 3.5% down. When thinking of a down payment you’ll want to think about your overall budget for a home. You will want to consider what your monthly payment will look like when deciding what your budget will be. This is why getting pre-approved is a great first step to home buying. Through the pre-approval process I can help you determine what a bank is willing to lend you and what that will look like on your finances.

Apart from the above questions, you need to keep your credit score in mind. I always tell borrowers, “Your car payment guy doesn’t care about your house payment, but your mortgage guy cares about your car payment.” When applying for a loan don’t take on new credit in the form of credit cards or car loans. This can negatively affect your credit score and may put your home loan at risk.

When deciding on your mortgage options we will take a look at you Debt To Income Ratio. This is a ration that shows how much monthly debt you have with your housing payment, plus other payments compared to your gross income before taxes. Keeping your debt low can go a long way to helping you get the loan you need for the house you want.

This may be a lot of information to consider, but we can help you through the loan process.

Do Low Interest Rates Make A Difference?

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Recently rates dropped to below 3%, which is a new low we have not seen for many years. In the midst of a pandemic this can be great news for many people who are looking to buy a home. Here in San Diego low rates can definitely help to make buying a home more affordable, but the amount of change it will make in the overall market may not be that much.

Home prices in San Diego have continued to rise over the past few years, and even now during the pandemic. This is a result of a continued low inventory of available homes over many years. At the beginning of the year there was already a low inventory, but once the state started to close down many sellers pulled their homes out of the market, understandably so. The homes that were still left started selling faster than expected and competition between buyers increased. If you’re thinking of buying be prepared to face some competition and to act fast when you find a home you want.

With unemployment rates still high, this means many people are simply not in the place to buy a home at all. Sadly, San Diego is already a city that can be difficult to afford. Many of the residents that lost their jobs would already have had a hard time affording a home. So while the low rates can help some people to afford a home, they won’t make a big difference in the overall affordability of owning a home in San Diego. Home prices will likely stay constant or possibly rise with continued competition within buyers.

Now, if you were able to maintain your job during this time and are contemplating buying a home, then now may be a great time for you. Requirements are getting tougher for loans, but it is still possible to get a low rate during this time. Let’s discuss your options today. Click here to get started.

For the article this post is based on, click here.

Spend Some Time Outside

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Spending too much time inside may be causing some of us even more stress, so let’s try to spend some time outside. Now is the perfect time to work on the exterior of your home. If you have projects you started and didn’t finish (don’t we all have that endless list), try find some time to continue working on them. Even if you don’t finish them, it will still help you to feel productive and get you moving.

If you are looking for new projects to start here are some ideas:

  • painting your front door (make the right first impression)
  • pressure washing decks and exterior
  • landscape clean up or renovations
  • repainting your home’s exterior

With these ideas, make sure you are staying safe and following social distancing guidelines. Many of these tasks can be accomplished on your own and don’t require you to hire contractors. If you do work with others, make sure you keep the recommended distance and try to complete any paperwork electronically. Stay safe!

For more information on this article, click here.


Increase In San Diego Home Sales

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I recently spoke with 10News about the increase in home sales we have seen over the last few months. This is a nice change to the trend we had been seeing in San Diego. For the past year, home sales had been declining due to factors like rising home prices and high interest rates. With interest rates decreasing over the last few months, sales have been picking up. While this is a good change for home buyers borrowing to purchase a home, the factor that has not changed is home prices. For this reason many buyers are looking outside of San Diego county when deciding to purchase a home.

These are some of the topics discussed, for the full article click here.

Loan Programs For Self Employed Borrowers

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Right now the hot new programs in the loan world are those suited for self employed borrowers. These programs allow you to use bank statements or stated income instead of your tax statements. Whether you’re looking for an investment property or a home for yourself, we can find the right option for you. Check out the video below for more information and give me a call to discuss. I look forward to helping you!

More Buying Opportunity In San Diego

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I spoke with ABC10 News about the current state of the real estate market in San Diego. Activity is still slow and interest rates remain high, but this could become an opportunity for those looking to buy. I do think we will see an increase in activity in springtime, but I don’t expect prices to skyrocket. If you are looking to buy, give me a call to discuss financing options.

Read the full article here.

No-Cost Appraisals

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For a limited time we will cover the cost of your clients’ appraisal. This could help to save them hundreds of dollars at closing and make the buying experience even better for your clients. It is available for all conventional loans that close before December 31st. At the time of closing a credit for up to $525 will be applied. This opportunity will only last until December 31st, 2018 so don’t wait too long. For more information give me a call today.

Rent Control In San Diego

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I spoke with ABC10 News about the rent control debate currently affecting San Diego.High rental costs in San Diego are prompting people to pursue rent controls to limit rental increases. I believe the long term solution is more supply of housing. The current supply has not met the demand in our city. Rent control would serve as a short term solution that may not be feasible and may not result in the needed changes. 

Watch the video here.