The Best Time to Buy a House in San Diego

By 

Clever Real Estate

Updated 

March 2nd, 2021

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Deciding to buy a home in San Diego is an exciting decision that comes with a lot of other choices in the process. In order to save the most money, it's important to know the best time of year to buy and where to buy in the city. This guide will walk you through your best options for buying in San Diego.

Buying a house is a stressful and emotional process. You'll likely have to spend weeks touring properties, fill out hundreds of forms, and invest a large chunk of your savings to secure the right house.

One way to make buying a house easier is starting the process at the right time. In San Diego, housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends vary from month to month.

For example, this year listing prices for homes in California were lowest in April. On average, homes were $158,882 less expensive. While in November — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $165,094 more than the annual average.

In truth, the best time to buy a house really depends on your priorities and situation. Read on to find out which time of year will give you the most options and the biggest savings when buying a house in San Diego.

Best Month For


Listing price
April
11.5% lower than average
Housing inventory
May
13.2% more homes to choose from
Mortgage rates
December
2.88% interest for 30-year mortgage
Realtor.com data (October 2020)
Bankrate data (December 2020)

If you're interested in buying a home, the first step in the home buying journey is getting preapproved by a licensed lender. Even if you’re already pre-approved, shopping around for lower rates can pay dividends over the life of the loan.

You can fill out the form below to be instantly matched with a licensed lender who knows the area and can guide you through the process.

Best Time of Year to Buy in San Diego

In general, late spring is considered to be the time when the largest amount of homes are on the market, which tends to lead to the highest prices. Winter is generally the best time to find homes at the lowest prices, although mortgage rates might be at their highest.

The real estate market in San Diego is extremely hot right now, with some homes selling in as few as 11 days. Most homes typically receive multiple offers and sell for approximately 2% less than the listing price. Home values average around $613k, up 3.9% since 2018, and are expected to continue rising. Mortgage rates are also expected to continue rising throughout 2019.

Following the national predictions, April is generally the worst time of year to buy in San Diego, with home prices at their highest. While winter does see fairly low prices in the city, late fall, specifically October is often the best time to buy. Buyers can expect to save around $7,800 on a $300k home. Plus, buyer competition is at an all-time low, making it easier to close on the home you want for a low price.

Buy your San Diego home when prices are low.

Local Clever Partner Agents know when the market favors buyers.

The Best Places to Buy a Home in San Diego

Now that you know the best time to buy, you'll want to narrow your search to some of the top-rated neighborhoods in San Diego. There are many great areas to call home in this bustling city, but these five are the highest-rated neighborhoods.

1. Del Mar Mesa

This top-rated San Diego neighborhood is home to 20k residents and boasts A+ school systems. This urban area offers a good selection of restaurants, night clubs, and coffee shops, while also offering a good selection of parks and family-friendly amenities.

Typical Home Value - $975k

2. Miramar Ranch North

This urban neighborhood houses approximately 19k residents and is one of the best places to live in the city. With A+ school systems, a diverse nightlife, great amenities for families, and slightly more affordable homes, Miramar Ranch North is a great place to call home.

Typical Home Value - $651k

3. Pacific Highlands Ranch

Those looking for a neighborhood with more of a suburban feel should look into Pacific Highlands Ranch, home to 12k residents. This suburb offers A+ schools, a good mix of restaurants and bars, and excellent amenities for families.

Typical Home Value - $1m

4. Torrey Hills

This urban neighborhood is home to 16k residents and boasts A+ schools. Torrey Hills has a great selection of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops while balancing great family-friendly activities.

Typical Home Value - $1m

5. Sabre Springs

Sabre Springs is home to 15k residents and has an urban vibe. This neighborhood also has A+ schools, has a good selection of restaurants and coffee shops, and has a good selection of parks and other family-friendly attractions.

Typical Home Value - $566k

4 Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in San Diego

Now that you know the best neighborhoods and months to buy in San Diego, it's good to find a few other buying strategies to ensure you receive the best possible deal on your new home. Here are four of the best tips to improve your odds of getting a great deal on your San Diego house.

Find a Great San Diego Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is absolutely crucial, particularly in a fast-moving marketplace like San Diego. Agents will help you navigate through the buying process quickly, without missing a beat. A great real estate agent will know your local buying market well and help you make qualified buying decisions.

Agents can also help you with financing questions while acting on your behalf during negotiations. Some even offer home buyer rebates that can reimburse you at the time of closing.

Learn More: What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for a Buyer?

Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals

No two buyers are the same and a great agent will help you determine what's important to you in a home. From the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to layout, your agent can help create a specific search that meets your individual needs. They can also search for option amenities, like green energy add-ons, pools, and finished basements, all within your budget.

Great agents can send you homes the moment they hit the MLS before they hit search sites like Zillow. This can give you a competitive edge over other buyers, and since the San Diego market moves quickly, making an offer even 24 hours before other buyers can make a huge difference in buying price.

Find a Lender and Secure Financing

Unless you plan to buy your home with cash, you'll need to apply for a mortgage. For most home buyers in San Diego, interest rates are among the biggest factors when choosing a lender. Doing a little upfront research and comparing options to find the best rates could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

For example, in California a typical house is worth $599,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $2,137. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $2,020.

Getting a mortgage is a big decision – and it pays to shop around! Keep shopping until you find a lender with competitive rates who also understands your goals. Don’t get pressured into taking on a bigger loan than you’re comfortable with – work with a lender who explains what you’re really signing up for.

» Get instantly matched with a lender who works in your area.

Negotiate for the Best Possible Price

One of the most important jobs an agent has is negotiating on your behalf. Your real estate agent knows best how these negotiations work and will act on your behalf to ensure you receive the best possible deal on your new home.

From helping you determine the fairest offer to place on a home to help you negotiate changes following the home inspection, an agent is an invaluable resource who will prevent you from overpaying throughout the buying process.

Learn More: How to Find a Buyer's Agent That's a Good Negotiator

Ready to start looking for your dream home in San Diego? Get matched with a Clever Partner Agent in your city today. Partner Agents can provide on-demand showings to help you view a home before other buyers. Get started by filling out the online form and a representative will be in touch to schedule your no-obligation consultation.

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