Great Condo Deals in Downtown San Diego

Posted on February 8, 2008 | by Denny Oh

So youre looking for a good deal on a condo Downtownso is everyone else. The good news is, Im going to share with you, several deals that I think are great investment opportunities. And no, the majority these are not my listings “ theyre just well priced condos that need to be sold.

If youre looking to cash flow a property, youll need about 30% down to make the numbers work.

Take a $400K place, put down $120K and youre payments are going to be between $1900 and $2400 (taxes and HOAs included), depending on what type of loan you get. Coincidently, the rent on these properties are just that “ anywhere from $2000“$2500! Look how well that works outyou spend around $2000 a month and your tenant pays you about $2000 a month “ crazy!

Are there any condos that are for sale that will yield you these rents? Well Im glad you asked.

Deal #1 “ 350 W Ash #809 “ FORECLOSURE – Loft with 1.5 BA and 840 square feet “ $334,900*(was $389,000, then 384,900, then $379,900, then $369,900, then $361,000)
350 W AshThis loft is an 8th floor unit in Little Italy. Whats great about this unit is that it comes with 2 parking spaces, is a corner unit, new paint, hardwood floorsetc, but the best part is that this is corporate owned(*as of 3/4/08 I just learned this is a foreclosure)! What does this tell me? This means that they dont care as much about what they get for it. There is no sad seller saying, But I painted the walls and installed hardwood floors! Why wont they pay me more for my beautiful home?

No “ corporate owned(FORECLOSURE) with over 100 days on the market means they want to get rid of it. The exact same unit, one floor down, was recently rented for $2,250/mo. Comparable sales in the building indicate that the price should be closer to the mid-low $300Ks. At this price, you dont even need the 30% down I originally mentioned.

Deal #2 “ 877 Island Ave #903 Parkloft “ Loft with 1.5 BA and 1,375 square feet “ $445,000(LOWEST priced unit in the building as of 3/26/08)

ParkloftSHORT SALE “ Yes, the oh so familiar phrase that has gotten everyone to believe the world is ending(at least in the housing market). This loft is in the Parkloft building “ one of my favorite Downtown buildings, period. Parkloft is one of a kind and simply put, is awesome. Now I realize lofts are not for everyone, but if you dont have kids, have a creative side (or can hire someone who does), this is a perfect place to invest in.

Unit 903 is priced extremely well at $445,000. Recent sales on the 3rd and 4th floors indicate that this 9th floor unit is a steal. This condo was purchased by the owner back in January of 2004 for $620,500! This is almost a 30% price reduction! Other units in the building on lower floors are also similarly priced, leading me to believe that unit 903 will not last very long (it was listed today, Feb. 8th “ yes, I try to stay on top of new inventory). And yes, rents here are very good.

Deal #3 “ 700 West Harbor Drive #905 “ 2BR/2BA 1,353 square feet “ $799,000 *SOLD FOR $755,000

Parkplace_smallSHORT SALE “ yes, another one. Unit 905 has a split floor plan, with the kitchen opening up to the living room and bedrooms on either side. The home also has two balconies that provide courtyard and limited bay views. For those of you who are not familiar with Park Place, this is a luxury high rise. Park Place is a BOSA development and arguably its best.

There is less turnover at Park Place compared to The Grande, or Discovery, or other buildings Downtown. I think this is due to the classic feel Park Place exudes and its one of a kind layout.

This unit is priced well and was recently rented for over $3,000 a month. Whether you want to rent this out, or call it your own, Park Place unit 905 is a deal.

Deal #4 “ 700 West E Street #1906 “ 2BR/2Ba 1,548 square feet “ $1,175,000“$1,225,000

Electraconservatory-smallWith Electra just coming onto the market, youll begin to see dozens of units for sale. These condos were purchased by speculators, people who thought they wanted to move Downtown, or as second homeseither way, theres a lot on the market and thats good news for buyers.

In my mind, the best floor plan by far, is the F plan(units ending on 06). These units face South East and have the best layout and views. Typically this unit comes with den, but the best move is to get it removed. This opens up your views and functional space “ trust me.

Unit 1906 is not on the MLS, but is priced to sell. Purchased for about what its on the market for, unit 1906 is priced well below its competition. Unit 1806, the same exact layout but a floor below, is priced at $1,349,000 and the developer has 2506 at $1,490,000. It doesnt take a genius to figure out that this is a deal.

Rent on a unit like 1906 is in the range of $4500“5000 a month. This unit would require a little more than 30% down to make it cash flow, but not too much more.

Deal #5 “ 1199 Pacific Hwy #2805 “ 2BR + Den/2BA 1,625 square feet “ $1,099,000

Grande2805SHORT SALE “ this last deal is incredible. Now Im not the fast talking car salesman who wont think twice about stealing candy from a baby, but this is too good of a deal to be passed up. Priced at $1,179,000, this 28th floor unit is only $24,000 higher than its 15th floor counterpart. If youre not familiar with The Grande, or high rise living, going from th 15th to the 28th floor is a HUGE difference. The premium you pay per floor is typically $10“15K on these levels, but at the listed prices, youd only be paying $1,800 per extra floor!

The recent sale of unit 2905(same layout, but one floor higher) at $1,225,000, translates to a floor premium of $46,000! Unit 1805 just sold for $1,100,000! Please, someone buy unit 2805!

Now I realize that out of the 5 deals I’ve shown you, 3 are short sales. And yes, I also realize that many of my posts talk about how the market isn’t tanking and short sales and foreclosures are not as common as Starbucks are on street corners. But that’s my point – these are the few true “deals” that I’ve come across. Yes there has been an influx in distressed sales and rising mortgage rates. Yes there are deals to be had. Yes prices are lower today than they were in the past few years. But when you read the paper and hear about these falling prices, make sure you read everything.

Are they talking about San Diego specifically? Or is this the entire country? And if they are talking about San Diego, what areas are they referring to? Temecula? Chula Vista? 4S Ranch? I can guarantee you they aren’t talking about the mass amounts of distressed sales in La Jolla, or Del Mar, or Downtown.

Click here to search the San Diego MLS.

Click here to search all California foreclosures, short sales and auctions.

In any case, the properties I’ve listed above are available today and are priced well. If you’d like to see any of these homes, or other deal in the area, please contact Denny Oh at 858.243.2092. You can also email me at [email protected].

Other Must Reads:

2006 vs 2007 Downtown San Diego Condo Sales Statistics
What Can SanDiegOh Do For You?
Home…What’s In a Name?

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  1. Dan Auld says:

    Outstanding marketing piece…simple, concise,includes payment information and examples of “deals” available in the Downtown condo market…

  2. Denny Oh says:

    Thanks Dan. Now I just need to find someone who wants to take advantage of these deals! Interested?

  3. Schahrzad says:

    Are you the listing agent for #3701 at The Grande? Very cool unit.
    I love your content on your website. I think this is very useful to investors. Best of success to you!

  4. Denny Oh says:


    Thank you for the compliment. Yes, 3701 at the Grande South is my team’s listing. We have 3901 in the North tower and 3902 in the South tower as well. We also have a few other units there…
    I LOVE the Grande and think 3902 in the South tower might be my favorite unit I’ve been in Downtown. Thanks again.

  5. Denny Oh says:

    Update – Deal #1 is now priced at $369K…who wants a deal?

  6. Dan says:


    Do you EVER see prices below $300K for a unit near Petco (walking distance)? Also, do you have relationships with the banks for short sales and do you know of any pre-forclosure units deals for all cash?

  7. Denny Oh says:


    Currently there are 48 condos for sale Downtown, all of which are listed at $300K or less. Some of these are short sales, or foreclosures, while others are just priced low in an attempt to get rid of them.

    I do know some people who work for banks and have access to all the Notice of Default(pre-foreclosure) homes.

    All cash deals can be very appealing to bank owned units, as there’s no concern about getting financing. Each case, seller and bank is different however, but the good news is, as a buyer, you have a lot of leverage.

  8. Carol says:

    I love your enthusiasm! I have one suggestion for your website. I’d like to be able to have the buildings listed by name and be able to click on that name and see everything that’s for sale in that building, just like you have Electra, Grande and Legend. Thanks for sharing your information.

  9. Denny Oh says:

    Thanks Carol – and you can search any of the Downtown building if you click on “MLS Search” on the top navigation bar and then click on “Dynamic Downtown Map” under the “Downtown Search” option.

    It’s a bit tricky, but very useful. And because my MLS Search is run by Sandicor(the company that provides the MLS to San Diego agents) all the listings are accurate and they’re updated every 15 minutes – there won’t be any old listings that should have been removed months ago, like on some other sites. Have fun shopping!

  10. Stephanie says:

    I agree, great article. Do you have any on 1Q08?

  11. Denny Oh says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    I do have some great deals and I’ll post them soon. It’s been getting busy lately and I appologize for the delay. I think more buyers are starting to come out and many of the “deals” are selling before I can post them.

    It’s not a seller’s market by any means, but when good deals do come onto the market, there are plenty of buyers to act.