Downtown San Diego Condos – $200-300K

Posted on April 4, 2011 | by Denny Oh

If I were looking to buy a condo in downtown San Diego today(or in the near future), there’s a lot I’d need to think about – what part of downtown do I want to live in(which might be different from where I like to spend my time), how much space do I need vs want, how long do I plan on living there, can I rent/sell it if I need to move, etc.  There’s a lot you’d want to consider.  And if it were an investment…how much are the HOAs, what’s are the rents in that building, how many renters are there in the building, who would I rent to, etc.

With that said, here are some buildings I’d think about buying in, if I were looking to buy a $200-300K condo in downtown San Diego.

1. La Vita – La Vita in my opinion, is one of the nicest highrises in Little Italy. La Vita was built in 2004 and has two buildings – the Tower( 300 W Beech Street) and the Mid-rise(1580 Union Street).  The tower is 24 stories and the midrise is 7 stories high.  All together, there are 304 condos.

What I like about La Vita, is that it’s in a great location(not too busy/loud, but not too quiet/removed).  It also has a nice feel and is aesthetically, very appealing.  The most recent sales prices range from about $200-700K.

One of the most unique features at La Vita, is that some of the townhomes have their own garages! Some lucky homeowners have their own private garages once they pull into the main parking structure.  There a remote controlled gate that allows these select homeowners to park their cars and store extra items in their own space.  These garages also have direct access to their townhomes.

Additionally, La Vita has LOW HOA dues!  Most condos are in the $400-500/month range AND there’s a pool, hot tub, gym, rec room and a great courtyard.  La Vita also has some great views bay/city views and in my opinion, is generally speaking, a great buy.

2. Acqua Vista – now this isn’t the best building in downtown San Diego, nor is it the highest quality.  However…for $200-300K(or even less!), you can buy some pretty decent square footage.  You can buy a ~600-700 square foot 1BR/1BA condo for about $200K(plus or minus $25K) and even get a great view.  A client of mine recently purchased a 16th floor one bedroom for $225K and it has great bay views and is an end, corner unit.

For about $200-300K, you can buy a pretty good sized two bedroom condo as well.  At Acqua Vista, this will buy you about 800-1000 square feet and can even get you up on the higher floors.  Acqua Vista was built in 2004 as well and is 17 stories high.  There’s a north and south tower, connected by a mid-rise building, but everyone has the 425 W Beech address.

Acqua Vista has a pool, spa, gym and valet parking. The valet parking is mandatory and some people really like this, others don’t.  Regardless, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything this inexpensive in downtown San Diego(at least anywhere you’d want to live).

3. Hard Rock Hotel – this downtown San Diego condo-hotel is a four start resort in one of the best spots(for a hotel) downtown San Diego has.  Located at the end of Fifth Ave(right next to the Gaslamp sign) and across the street from the San Diego Convention Center, the Hard Rock Hotel was born to be a destination for visitors.

The Hard Rock Hotel is not a time share.  It looks and feels like a hotel, but each room is owned by someone and that person gets a portion of the income for that room.  Owners at the HRH also get to stay there for free and be Rock Royalty.

Current prices are about 40-70% below the original sales in 2007/2008 and make a lot of sense for those who have cash.  Some of the condos I’ve recently sold there generate between 6-11% ROI(based on 2010 rental revenue numbers).  It depends on which room you buy(more so, the type of room you buy) and obviously the price.

The HRH isn’t for everyone and you can’t “live” there, but it’s pretty great if you want to buy something that A) used to be worth a LOT more B) manages itself(well Tarsadia manages it, but that’s still not you) C) pays you every month D) allows you to become “royalty” without marrying into it, nor by conquering any countries.

There are a few other buildings that are pretty good buys, but this is it for now.  Please contact Denny Oh if you have any San Diego real estate needs, and click here if you want to learn about great San Diego real estate deals.

Denny Oh 858-243-2092 [email protected]

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  1. Jim Waites says:

    Like your thoughts on what to look at, I will be in town June 16th to 19th maybe we can hook up.

  2. Denny Oh says:

    Hi Jim – I just sent you an email. Thanks.