New house

30 Jul

We haven’t really posted much on this blog about the fact that we’re buying a place, but it’s now official, so let the posting begin! Mike and I decided a few months ago to start looking at properties again. Prices are falling and interest rates are still at historic lows, so why not look?
Mike is a big proponent of buying multi-unit properties, and I think he’s right. You increase your buying power, because when you rent out a unit (or units), the rent increases your income– in a sense, they’re paying part of your mortgage. We concentrated our search on multi-unit places in the city’s urban core. We wanted a place where we could put in some sweat equity, but not something that was falling down.

After looking at more MLS listings than you can shake a stick at and driving by a ton of places where we’d never want to live, we narrowed it down to three properties. One was a house with an amazing backyard that fronted a canyon. It had a tiny one bedroom rental unit, and was tucked away in an area off the beaten path of a slowly revitalizing area. The house had foundation issues and needed a ton of work, so we crossed it off the list. The second house was a cute two bedroom place and had a two bedroom rental unit in the back. It was cute, but there wasn’t anything special about the place. It also was sort of off the beaten path, but the street was busier than I would have preferred and we also scratched it. The final place was a triplex with a four bedroom, two bath main unit and two one bedroom rental units. It has a great view of the Coronado Bridge and the San Diego bay, and is just a hop, skip and a jump from downtown.

In the end, we made an offer on the almost downtown (Grant Hill/Golden Hill, for those who know San Diego) property, and after quite a bit of back and forth, we settled on a price and are moving forward with the sale. We’re going to renovate the rental units, putting new kitchens and flooring in each, and totally re-do ours, as well. At this point, it looks like we’ll take possession of the property in mid-September.

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