Look Beyond The Decor When Buying A San Diego Home

It doesn't matter if you are buying your first San Diego home or are a veteran home buyer, you will have list of wants' and needs' for your new home. The wants' are things that would be nice to have such as a gas fireplace or granite counters. The needs' are things like, well a bathroom' or the number of bedrooms to suit your family. It is rare that you will get all your wants' and needs' in the home you buy.

The key to maximizing your San Diego home investment today is distinguishing between the types of wants' and needs' you're better off buying as part of the property, and those you could add later without too much trouble and expense. Here's some information to help you prioritize the amenities on your list.


Location is the one thing you can't change about a property. Location is about being in a desirable neighborhood and close to (but not necessarily next to) valued amenities or planned ones -- employment opportunities, good schools, shopping, public transportation, major highways, parks and recreation, cultural activities, etc. A good location is also about not being on a high-traffic street, near noise, next to run-down properties, in a flood plain, etc.

Structural integrity:

Make sure the San Diego home you buy doesn't come with a cracked foundation, pest infestation, drainage issues, mold or other problems that may be difficult and expensive to correct. A home inspection will help you determine if these items are an issue.


The size of a home is important, especially if you're just starting to raise a family. You don't want to buy a home that is perfect for the two of you, knowing you want children in the next couple of years and making the home you buy too small.

It's easier and less expensive to reconfigure existing space (turning a basement into a family room or a garage into a bedroom, for example) than to bui ld an addition. And, you can only add that addition if yard size and zoning restrictions allow.

It is significantly more cost effective to remodel a bathroom than to add one, so look for a home that has the number of bathrooms you really want.

Find a home with at least the minimum number of bedrooms you require, but with space (perhaps an attic or enclosed porch) that could eventually be converted to a bedroom should you need another one in the future.


Although a neon pink bathroom might make you cringe, that's exactly the type of problem you can easily and inexpensively correct. You could repaint it yourself for around $50, or hire someone else to do it for a few hundred more.

Other items:
You can change -- or add -- over time without too much effort or cost: carpeting, landscaping, appliances, hardware and fixtures, lighting, counter-tops, cabinets, upgraded doors, vanities, closet space, siding, windows and lots more.

Buy a San Diego home with "good bones" in a good location. A home you're likely to enjoy living in for many years to come -- improving as you go. When you get ready to sell, you'll have exactly what other buyers are looking for!