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Making it in San Diego: Housing development is geared toward first-time buyers

otay mesa first time buyer
Posted at 11:37 AM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 21:35:37-04

OTAY MESA, Calif. (KGTV) - A housing development going up in the South Bay could be giving San Diego renters a better chance to become homeowners.

That's because the attached homes that comprise the Playa del Sol master plan community in Otay Mesa start from the high $300,000s, which is just above the median price for the area.

"This is an opportunity for the first-time home buyer," said Jimmy Ayala, division president for Pardee Homes, which is developing the community.

The development, with some phases already complete, will ultimately grow to 800 units, all with two or more bedrooms. It's located just north of the 905 freeway at Caliente Road.

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Ayala says the market has cooled in the last two years, and lower interest rates have helped turn renters into buyers.

He says Pardee has its own mortgage company, so it is able to work with buyers who may not have a large amount of cash for a down payment. Ayala says typical monthly payments range between $2,600 and $3,200 a month, and most people put 5 to 10 percent down.

"In this general vicinity, there's about 2,000 homes that are currently being rented and we draw from those folks who are cash flowing, so to speak, on a monthly basis but don't always have a down payment for a home," Ayala said.

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Ayala said currently there are two units available in the high $300,000s but that most are on the market $400,000s. The HOA fees for the complex run about $225 per month.

Heather Evans, who is paying $1,200 a month for her daughter to rent a room near Mesa College, said several of her relatives feel buying is out of reach.

"I'd love to see her be a homeowner someday but I have nieces in the area, early 30s, that are renting," she said, adding her niece and her nieces husband pay $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.

Ayala said the homes are priced to market. The properties Pardee is selling in East County are available for $500,000 to $800,000, while those in Coastal North County are on the market for $1 million to $2.5 million.

Need more help? The San Diego Housing Coalition and San Diego County have resources to help first-time home buyers.