San Diego is one particular of the most fascinating places to dwell in the United States, and for great motive. With its pristine shorelines, calendar year-spherical sunshine, and flourishing work market place, it’s no question that so numerous folks dream of proudly owning a residence in America’s Very best City. On the other hand, the system of getting a residence in San Diego can be frustrating, particularly for initially-time potential buyers. 

To enable you get began, we turned to some of Redfin’s leading Agents and Husband or wife Agents in San Diego to assistance you navigate the process with confidence. No matter if you are a regional renting an condominium or an out-of-towner hoping to possess your initial dwelling in San Diego, these ideas will support you find the great place to simply call your personal.

San diego

1. Get pre-authorized for a mortgage loan

My guidance to initially-time homebuyers is to obtain a superior financial loan officer and get pre-accepted, fully underwritten approval is ideal. Operate with that loan officer and their agent to have an understanding of what timeframes they are comfortable with in an supply. Sellers want shorter contingency periods so they never squander time on unsuccessful escrows and are extra snug that the offer will near on time. By shortening these contingency periods you are building your present more robust and your give will glimpse better to a vendor. – Robert Cenzer | Redfin Agent

Really do not soar in and start home searching right up until you have been pre-permitted by your local financial institution or loan provider. You will want to know what your regular property finance loan payment is so you can fix your regular monthly family price range. This way you will know specifically how a lot house you can afford. You can make a stronger supply when you discover the residence you genuinely like. – Gary Giffin | Redfin Lover Agent, AARE

2. Know the costs related with shopping for a property in San Diego

I can’t worry enough how crucial it is for a purchaser to speak with a financial institution and actually recognize the fees of the down payment, closing and regular monthly payments. At the time we have that squared away, they can shop with assurance. Furthermore, once we have a spending plan set up, I can enable set up a saved research that’ll hone in on what could do the job for them.  With the Redfin app, they’ll be just one of the first to know when a new listing pops up in an space they want to be in. – John Copeland | Redfin Premier Agent

If you are obtaining a dwelling in San Diego, you will need to have to variable in supplemental prices like house taxes, property insurance coverage, and possible house owner association charges when calculating your funds. John Varon | Redfin Husband or wife Agent, Avaron Realty 

3. Find out about distinctive San Diego neighborhoods

When looking at buying your very first dwelling in SD, I suggest purchasers to commence by speaking to a area real estate agent to get a feeling of which San Diego neighborhood might be a very good in good shape. You’ll nutritional supplement that with on the net study to get a superior sense of each region and how significantly you can expect to shell out regular monthly. – Patrick Cohen | Redfin Associate Agent, Coldwell Banker Realty

4. Guarantee you have sufficient savings 

Make sure you have sufficient financial savings in your financial institution account for a down payment and closing price moreover reserves.Joe Nichols | Redfin Husband or wife Agent, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

saving for a mortgage

5. Think about speaking with multiple loan companies

Chatting to distinct loan companies when getting a dwelling enables homebuyers to assess diverse loan selections and curiosity costs. Just about every loan company could give unique costs, service fees, and phrases, so it’s vital to shop around to uncover the greatest deal. Various lenders may focus in distinct sorts of loans, these types of as FHA loans, VA loans, or jumbo loans. Each and every loan provider may possibly have distinct qualification necessities, this sort of as credit rating score, earnings, and personal debt-to-earnings ratio. By talking to various creditors, homebuyers can come across the loan company that greatest matches their unique condition and loan needs. – Sez Sezer | Redfin Partner Agent, Douglas Elliman Authentic Estate

6. Be organized to navigate by way of superior rates and significant fascination charges

In some spots, we have seen rates dip a very little little bit and some of the attributes are staying on the marketplace for a more time period of time. This can be a excellent possibility to inquire the vendor for buyer credits to shut and use these credits to buy down their fascination charge, in turn reducing their monthly payments. Getting down a large fascination amount is a excellent way to get the regular payment down to a number that’s more affordable for 1st-time consumers. If the price obtain down places the fascination level 1.5% lower than devoid of the buydown, it can make a huge variance in your regular payment. – Steve Cazel | Redfin Companion Agent, AARE

7. Get a household inspection

For those getting a residence in San Diego, I normally suggest a residence inspection. Preferably by a accredited contractor with inspection certifications, these kinds of as CREIA and/or ASHI. The state of California doesn’t license dwelling inspectors so remaining a member of just one of these corporations that call for specific requirements, can help give the buyer some added standards in picking out a property inspector. Investing the hundreds of bucks on the dwelling inspections can help you save thousands of pounds for the homebuyer. – Virginia Edwards | Redfin Husband or wife Agent, AARE

8. Uncover your aspiration staff of San Diego specialists

As a initially-time homebuyer, there is absolutely nothing a lot more vital than getting your “team“ in buy upfront. This signifies discovering a real estate agent and a bank loan officer to have in your corner to stroll you by way of the system from start out to complete and to look out for your very best curiosity. Some brokers, such as myself, will have a in depth session with every single shopper to consider their would like, requires, and timeline to get the total photograph of their situation. This permits us to assistance homebuyers in the most productive way feasible. – Jon Fields | Redfin Spouse Agent, Keller Williams San Diego

Working with a Redfin agent

9. Really do not check out to fit a square peg into a round hole

Really don’t settle and be patient mainly because discovering the appropriate residence is so significant. Consider not to enter just about every residence scrambling for a way to make it in good shape, keep walking till the magic commences to transpire. When the suitable house will come, you’ll know it and truly feel it. Carol LaRosh | Redfin Husband or wife Agent, Compass

10. The San Diego marketplace is competitive, be persistent 

The San Diego housing market place is difficult for first-time homebuyers appropriate now with purchaser levels of competition, higher charges and mounting prices, but there is still a whole lot of chance that consumers can capitalize on. In marketplaces like these especially, it is crucial to act immediately and be prepared forward of time on the lending side of matters. Aim on one thing you can see your self in for the upcoming 2-7 many years in an location that will appreciate the ideal of what your city has to present. – Sara Swikard | Redfin Partner Agent, eXp Realty

11. Keep in mind, your initially household could not be your forever home

Keep in mind that your very first home does not have to be your eternally household, but alternatively a stepping stone to start out setting up equity and get your foot in the door. Investing in true estate is a long match, so the sooner you start off the much better off you will be in the long operate. Also, maintain in head that inventory is limited right here in San Diego. With properties promoting speedily, it is vital to be decisive and have your wants/requirements record all set to go as soon as you start out household searching. – Mark Seaberg | Redfin Spouse Agent, Massive Block Realty

Beige colored stucco home with green shutters

12. Be geared up to compromise

Obtaining a property in San Diego can be really aggressive. Be real looking and be all set to make some compromises. When it will come time to make an offer on a household you adore, communicate with your Real estate agent about present methods that are functioning in the recent market. It is not often about the rate of the home that will get the approved supply. A very good Real estate agent will have knowledge in distinctive markets and a good staff of supporting pros to make certain you are profitable. – Kevin Endres | Redfin Lover Agent, Actual Broker LLC

13. Consider gain of the positives in the market

I know the discussion trend in the genuine estate marketplace right now is centered on higher costs, but there is a constructive aspect. Buyers are observing much less competitors (for the most section), are capable to negotiate more repairs and credits, and if you plan forward, you can refinance afterwards down the street. – Jeanne Liebel | Redfin Lover Agent, Serious Broker LLC

14. Don’t forget that refinancing is often an option 

It is greatest to continue to be centered on home possession even when charges have greater. If you can qualify for a house possession in San Diego then you are golden. You can always refinance when rates drop and love not working in hugely competitive customers markets though exploring for your home purchase (as we ended up in 2021.) It’s practically often improved to very own than lease especially with rental fees becoming so significant nowadays. – Franchesca Meram | Redfin Husband or wife Agent, Avenu Realty Group

15. Recognize the existing point out of the San Diego market 

As a initial-time homebuyer in San Diego, it is essential to be aware of the latest sector problems, which are characterized by higher need and small stock. It is also significant to be flexible and geared up to act swiftly when a fascinating residence will become accessible. With the right system and help, nonetheless, it’s however achievable to uncover your aspiration residence in San Diego’s competitive sector. – Alex Sidransky | Redfin Associate Agent, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Homes


Partner Agents get the job done for classic brokerages, but have teamed up with Redfin to assist shoppers get or offer a residence. Shoppers are related with lover agents when Redfin Agents are experiencing exceptionally superior client desire or if a household is outside our immediate provider area