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Old 08-25-2017, 02:59 PM
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,365,208 times
Reputation: 1946


Greetings! Its been a while since posting on C-D as I have my head buried in a consulting business for the past several years.

The day has come and after 7 years of owning a home in Lemon Grove, its time to move on to the next chapter and pass the torch.

In short, Lemon Grove has been very good to us and we are listing our impeccable first home in the next week or so and heading to UTC to rent and sit on the market for the next couple of years. It was always our goal when we bought that we would either exit at a certain dollar amount or depending on length of time we had it, keep it and rent it. The truth is, I dont even want to manage a rental or be a landlord. I just dont have the DNA for that regardless if it was managed.
We did buy another home in Murrieta in 2011, so we still have property in CA that we will hold on to.

There are several reasons why we are moving out and none of them really have anything to do with negative perceptions about the area.
1. Quality of life/ Needs and Wants
2. Homeownership responsibilties
3. Financial gain relative to market forces

1. QoL is a highly subjective matter as everyone has differing opinions on what their QoL threshold is and rightfully so. Everyone has different stages of their lives where certain things are more important than others. We are in our early 40s and our wants and needs have changed.
For us, we never intended to live in LG as our first choice and it happened by accident. However in 2010 when it seemed the proverbial housing sky had fallen, there was truly no better time to buy a home for my wife and I and couldnt be happier.

So what happened?

- Job changes, location of job changes and commute turned the world upside down.
Having to take the 805 north/south during the week from UTC was simply not worth it anymore. Literally in the past several years my spouse has endured 1+ hour commutes back home on average and 40+ min commutes in to UTC.
We dont have kids that need to be in a certain school district or some other ties that keep us here. So this was a no brainer.

- Urban pioneer crusader days are over. I was super involved with community groups, city council appointed working groups etc. This became rewarding but very time consuming while trying to focus on business. On the downside, this is still very much a bedroom community with porous borders and while there are some good bones here, feel it will take about 20 years to really hit its gentrification stride. But in the short time I have been here it has certainly improved.

2. Homeownership responsibilities
- We dont have kids and wont be having any. So in essence we are sort of like a retired couple in terms of housing needs. But when we bought, the plan was to grow a family in a starter home and move.
But life has many twists and turns along the way which impacted those plans.
For me personally, I never grew up in a single family home so this was my first stab at it. I would say for two years it was great, really got quite handy then the newness wore off, the upkeep just started to become an annoyance and with the rain adn drought etc. Just didnt want to manage it anymore with or without a gardener.

Neighborhood character- Even though we had the nicest house for several blocks, it became evident that my neighbors really gave zero ****s about their properties and one reason I get the HOA thing now. The neighbors themselves were very nice but typical for an area like this in terms of home upkeep in other parts of CA.
For as nice as it felt having a beautifully maintained landscape, the idea faded of investing more and more money into any area that wasnt following suit got old. But this was not something I wasnt expecting, more the reality of it over time in this particular area.

3. The market peaks. Every real estate market is different, even every zip code. I follow it daily in San Diego and feel there is really no better time to sell if you have a game plan. It is fitting into ours since we bought 7 years ago. Buy at the bottom, sell at the top. Not rocket science.
Despite all the rah rah bull**** from the real estate related industry news, I take an economists point of view and look at other market forces that play into consumers wallets such as local economy, wages, stocks etc. In its most simplistic terms, these all play a part in overall consumer sentiment and affordability.
I truly believe in certain areas like Lemon Grove, we are getting near the price ceiling or at it already. The reason I say this is that regardless of media hyped inventory levels, people are still only going to pay what they feel is worth something or simply rent and I dont think Lemon Grove can sustain price levels too far above bubble prices relative to all the other points above.
I still think great houses will move quickly, but the middle of the road stuff may see some pricing pressure. By then, people that tried to time the market will be jumping on too late and we may get more listed homes before prices start dropping and get competitive.
Interest rates are going to rise. Its unknown when, but an area like this will see some pressure from that as well.

So what does the future of Lemon Grove hold? Smart growth. I have seen 7 homes change hands on my semi private street alone. 7 on a street of about a dozen. The makeup of these neighbors consist of young active duty couples, young hipster-ish families priced out of North Park and some local born and raised families all under 40.
Ryan Bros Coffee has moved in and is literally busy all day. City Council make up is more diverse than before reflecting a change in population. A brand new market rate apartment building opened downtown near the trolley station. Plans for growth in the downtown are in the books. All great signs despite human traffic quality.

I still think its about 20 years out from the changing of the guard in terms of population makeup and business types.

Coming from living in rented condo downtown San Diego to buying our first home in LG, its been interesting in San Diego for the past 13 years. There truly are many different lifestyles in San Diego, but it really takes time to open your eyes to it in terms of how people live here, the people that leave and why and what makes people stick it out that decide to move here.

Take care LG, it been fun! On to the next adventure.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:29 PM
8,496 posts, read 27,480,264 times
Reputation: 4747
Cheers and great post! beer soon?
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:32 PM
Location: San Diego
40,488 posts, read 36,293,407 times
Reputation: 24782
Good to see ya still around! I think you have a great game plan.
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:06 AM
Location: San Diego
4,542 posts, read 6,094,976 times
Reputation: 3391
Good to hear from you. Sounds like "you're movin' on up...". Good luck.
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:14 AM
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,365,208 times
Reputation: 1946
Nice to see some of the C-D gang here cruitr, 1ATP and Sass! Sass I will ping you about meeting up.

Thanks for the comments. Yes, 1ATP the gameplan is pretty solid and are excited about the prospect of 'hitting our number' on selling the house.

Really looking forward to lots of travel in 2018 with golf clubs in hand as we are planning a trip to Europe in June-July and likely some other roadtrips to Yosemite, Sequioa and Yellowstone, kicking it off in NYC at the end of this year. I put fun stuff off for far too long busting my hump and banking it the past few years. Time to start enjoying the fruits of my labor.

Also looking forward to checking out the new Illumina I3 campus when my spouse moves there in January. Have you guys seen the media coverage? Looks amazing and spouse has give rave reviews on her walking tour. Amazing company BTW. Illumina innovative culture revealed in i3 campus - The San Diego Union-Tribune
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:21 AM
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,365,208 times
Reputation: 1946
In the spirit of this reflective post, here is the first one created when we moved from Downtown San Diego to Lemon Grove.
Living differences: From Gaslamp/Marina to Lemon Grove
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:23 AM
Location: Bonita, CA
1,273 posts, read 1,723,479 times
Reputation: 1581
I love posts like these, well written and informative. In my line of business we would almost call this an after action report (AAR)- but its more than that. Good luck and Godspeed. In the end, everything works out the way it is intended.
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:01 PM
Location: San Diego CA>Tijuana, BC>San Antonio, TX
4,962 posts, read 5,039,209 times
Reputation: 4651
Awesome, thanks for checking in Schmoov. Since you're moving closer to your wife's office in UTC, sounds like you are still in SD for the long run despite leaving Lemon Grove...?

Side note, a friend of mine just got a job at Intuit, so I told him "ah, so you work in biotech now" and he said "no, its tax software development".... I was confused but just went along with it and your post just made me realize I was confusing it with Illumina.
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:55 AM
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,365,208 times
Reputation: 1946
Thanks @echo42! Totally agree!

Hey @malcorub16, good to see you still on here.

Oh yeah, we are staying in SD for the foreseeable future and have no desire or plans to leave. After 13 years of living in SD we are practically locals

Funny about Intuit> Illumina. Yup totally different verticals. Several former colleagues in software development work at both, so there is definitely some correlation there
You may start hearing more about Illumina in the coming years as I feel they are going to ramp up to be the next Qualcomm in our region due to convergence in biotech. They truly are pioneers in the genome and DNA sequencing arena. So for the consumer, all the at home DNA "spit kits" like Ancetry.com, 23 and Me and tons of others use their technology in a similar fashion to how Qualcomm became synonymous with mobile device chipsets.
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:11 PM
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
4,252 posts, read 11,054,302 times
Reputation: 5385
Enjoy the new, much shorter commute. A long commute can be brutal. My NYC commute used to be 1 hour and 45 minutes, but I didn't have to drive it.

Congratulations on your well timed purchase 7 years ago. When I purchased my home, the market had been declining for 4 years, and I thought surely this must be the bottom. It wasn't. The market declined for another 3 years, in my case probably 10% more. If a buyer gets the cycle right, a person can do well in San Diego.
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