Downtown San Diego has about a hundred condo buildings for a buyer to choose from. Its an overwhelming number of choices. As of early 2009, there are over 500 resale condos to choose and two new condo building under construction.
How is a buyer to begin searching for the condo that best meets their wish list? Most buyers make the mistake of searching through listing by price. Sounds logical, but it’s a trap and time waster in the end. That approach does not work because the information contained in many on line databases of listings downloaded from the MLS, is very limited in terms of providing enough information for a buyer to rule out a property or keep it on the possibilities list.
Finally there is a way for buyers to see the downtown condo buildings all on one chart in a REALTIVE comparison of quality and pricing. The purpose of this chart is to help buyers understand that some condos are priced so low because the quality is so low. Likewise, the chart also helps buyers identify true values when shopping around for a deal. Buyers who have the ability to pay top dollar for a condo can help eliminate those buildings that are overpriced for the relative quality of some other offerings.
The chart has four boxes, with price on the vertical axis and Quality on the horizontal axis. So the upper right corner is a combination of the highest quality and highest price. The opposite corner, the lower left, is the least expensive and the lowest relative quality. I should note these quality ratings are my own personal interpretation relative to one another. The upper left hand corner is the highest priced and lowest quality, this corner of the chart does not have any buildings in it, meaning the low quality building have not been able to command a high price, which makes sense. The lower right hand corner is ideally where you want to look. A building in this corner means it’s the highest quality and the lowest price. No building actually made it all the way into that corner, but the closest one is Parkloft.
Some more examples worth noting on the chart are there is a four way tie for the highest quality. The condos at the top of the quality grid are Bayside, Metropolitan, Park Laurel and Sé San Diego. The least expensive of these four by a significant margin is Park Laurel. The Park Laurel condos. are less expensive then their quality equals because not everyone wants to live next to Balboa Park with skyline views of downtown. Seems hard to imagine, but most people prefer to be able have a more walk able address in the heart of the city as opposed to being up in Bankers Hill.
Some of the not so good value buildings are the Harbor Club and the Kettner Row Homes. Again this is a matter of personal preference and these two properties each have one strong point that is an important point to certain buyers. The Harbor Club condos have some of the best views in downtown San Diego. They look directly over the convention center so the bay views are not obstructed unless you look sharply off to one side or the other. The Ketter Row Homes are actually single family homes with no HOA fees and their own private one car garage. This type of property is very hard to find in downtown San Diego, as there are only a few of these small projects scattered about downtown. So some buyers will pay a premium to own their own private slice of downtown.
Use of this chart should prove very useful to the prospective downtown condo shopper as it gives them a relative education not found anywhere else except through years of experience visiting these condos, conversing with the owners and even taking surveys of the home owners to get their input on the building.
This chart can be found at http://www.liveatthetop.com/comparison.php