Profile picture for user3305733

First time buyers in North County

Just a quick question. Spoke with a lender and explained that we make roughly 38,000 annually and find that it may be more prudent to buy than rent. We have 1 car payment, no children, no other loans out besides credit cards that are paid monthly.
When we spoke with the lender she said we'd never find anything under 200,000 in San Diego/Riverside counties, I see a lot of homes/duplex/condos under this price range. What gives? are the #s on Zillow not accurate?
What am I looking on spending on a 2 bed/1 bath in Escondido realistically?
  • September 08 2013 - San Diego
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Answers (6)

If your gross monthly income is $38,000, you would be qualified for to pay +- $1,400 a month for your housing and all of your other obligations (car payment.) Assuming a minimum down payment, that would probably be less than $200,000 depending on how much your car payment is. As for condominiums, if you were qualified to buy a $175,000 single-family home, you would NOT be qualified to buy the same priced condominium. The reason for this is that the home owner's association dues will be considered in your housing expense. What sales price condominium you can buy will vary greatly depending on how much the dues are.
  • September 09 2013
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You should speak with other lenders as well so you can get multiple perspectives on the buying process. Lenders like myself would be more than willing to give you other information as well to help you with the buying process. Don't be afraid to talk to multiple lenders!

If you have any other questions or need a loan please contact me through the information on my profile page. Also, if you found this [self promotion deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]

Hope this helps and good luck!
  • September 09 2013
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Youd definitely be looking at a condo in Escondido in this price range. As of today there are about five listed online through the MLS as active in 92026 under $200,000. They're all two bedroom units with one bath. They're between $150,000 and $170,000. I doubt you will find a single family detached home in the price range under $200,000.
  • September 09 2013
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your choices will be limited but there is an occasional home that comes up under $250,000. Under 200,000 is very hard to find a detached home that will qualify for financing. There may be a condo in that price range.
Most agents have websites with up to date information and allow you to easily search for homes by area and price range.
  • September 09 2013
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Good Afternoon,
There is not a huge amount of inventory under $200K, but it definitely can be done. A couple more things to keep in mind:
1) When you are looking at a condo (and even for some houses), you need to think about HOA dues, that can affect your monthly payment pretty drastically.
2) There are a couple different loan products out there, but if you are going with FHA or VA, the condo complex has to be approved to use that kind of financing. 

I would be happy to assist you if you are not already working with an agent. I am from North County San Diego and know it well. I've also helped tons of first time home buyers like yourselves.

Good Luck!
  • September 08 2013
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr

I checked a few websites for "recent solds" in Escondido, and most showed a few hundred in the past 6 months for less-than-$225K. I did not search anywhere else.

If you are really serious about buying...

#1 - $38K is not very much income for buying in San Diego, especially with other bills (i.e., car payment). I'm unsure what criteria you used to determine it is more prudent to buy than rent, but I'd double-check those numbers.
#2 - Assuming you've laid out your family finances and the numbers still point to "buy", work to find a lender you trust to work with you.
#3 - Find a REA in the area you are interested in. They will know what is available.
#4 - Do a lot of homework on the neighborhoods. A REA cannot tell you about things like crime rate, etc. Personally, I'd be a little suspect of neighborhoods with properties under $200K. Look at things like # of rental properties, etc.

Good luck.

  • September 08 2013
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