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Kiplinger magazine is out today (Sept. 30) with lists of the most expensive and cheapest places to live in the U.S. San Diego comes in tenth on the most-expensive list.

The magazine says the average home price is $555,768, so the metro area is one of the least affordable in the nation. (This is average home price, not the median, which is more frequently used.) Apartment rents are $1648 a month, about double the national average. Median household income is $62,901.

By contrast, San Francisco is the third most expensive. The median household income is $74,876 and average home price is $808,481. Rents average $2035 a month, triple the national average.

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svaz11 Sept. 30, 2011 @ 5:04 p.m.

As a boomer from Arizona hoping to retire in San Diego, I just have this question: given the fact that SD is such a desirable place to live, is the high cost of rent simply a case of the market at work, or could there be a problem with runaway landlord greed in the city?

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Don Bauder Sept. 30, 2011 @ 8:59 p.m.

Housing prices and rents in coastal California metro areas -- SD, LA, SF -- are very high because of desirability. There is lots of demand. I can see why someone who has spent his/her life in Arizona would want to retire to San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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ScottVoak Sept. 30, 2011 @ 10:53 p.m.

It is just the market at work. In fact, housing values are higher in San Diego in terms of rent than they are in Arizona. In other words, if you were to invest $200k in AZ property, you would generate more rents than your $200k in San Diego property. So, the greedy investors we work with invest in AZ, San Diego rents are actually cheaper per dollar of property value.

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2011 @ 5:57 p.m.

That could inhibit speculators from buying foreclosed or bank-owned homes to get rich on renting. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Sept. 30, 2011 @ 5:15 p.m.

Perhaps both. The real estate market is not perfect, but supply and demand is very much at work in San Diego as elsewhere.

The problem is more the imbalance of income to cost-of-living. San Diego workers also pay a “sun tax;” the willingness to earn less money to live near the ocean and enjoy a mild climate. In addition, San Diegans also enjoy paying more, by in large that other cities, for; gasoline, electricity, water, and many other commodities. Californians pay both sales and income tax. Oregon has no sales tax and Washington State has no income tax.

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svaz11 Sept. 30, 2011 @ 5:24 p.m.

Well, then, since the wife and I won't be working, and will have a monthly income of approximately 4K, we anticipate allocating at least a thousand a month for rent. Sounds like we could be on a tight budget, but we want to live in an environment where there is much diversity, lots of recreation and culture, and the ability to get around via mass transit, rather than depending on a personal car, etc. Lots of SD neighborhoods would seem to fit the bill. Also, we anticipate spending less on utilities because of the mild climate. But ultimately, you have to follow the old adage "You get what you pay for..."

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Don Bauder Sept. 30, 2011 @ 9:04 p.m.

Kiplinger says apartment rents in SD are above $1600 a month. MarketPointe Realty, the real experts, put them at above $1300. In either case, that's above your $1000 allocation. You might find that your rental unit is not as desirable as you would like. Best, Do Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 30, 2011 @ 11:12 p.m.

Also, we anticipate spending less on utilities because of the mild climate == When I was in college we would see how LOW we could get our 2 bedroom aprtment utility bill. $5.50 was the lowest.

I never used the heat in my condo-ever. So utility bills will be much lower.

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Don Bauder Oct. 1, 2011 @ 12:38 p.m.

Of course, if you run air conditioning much of the year you can run up pretty large bills. Best, Don Bauder

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June23 Sept. 30, 2011 @ 11:50 p.m.

Yes, you get what you pay for. Although SD has a nice climate, and you might enjoy it for some things, you may not for others. For instance, mass transit is almost nonexistent. It's a car culture, and most people spend large chunks of the day in their vehicles. Culture is also not much for a city this size. Recreation is good, though, as you can be outdoors all year on your bike or whatever. Suggest you visit at least once before you decide.

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Don Bauder Oct. 1, 2011 @ 12:40 p.m.

There is more culture than you realize. San Diego Opera is definitely in the nation's top ten. The symphony is good. There is great chamber music all year, and excellent theater. Best, Don Bauder

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June23 Oct. 1, 2011 @ 12:24 a.m.

I don"t know how much you pay in utilities now, but electricity is incredibly expensive in SD and getting more so all the time. If you live normally, with a fridge, etc, most people pay $100-200 a month. You may be able to get by without AC unless you live inland any distance. You may be able to cut back on heat, assuming you are hardy and remain healthy. Good luck.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 1, 2011 @ 8:59 a.m.

If you live normally, with a fridge, etc, most people pay $100-200 a month == No one using normal amounts of electricity with normal appliances is spending anywhere near $200 a month on electricity, not even $100.

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Don Bauder Oct. 1, 2011 @ 12:42 p.m.

Some heat their pools. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 1, 2011 @ 12:41 p.m.

It gets pretty hot inland. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 30, 2011 @ 9:01 p.m.

Yes, it's called the sunshine tax or psychic income. San Diegans have always been in a squeeze: moderate incomes, high cost of living. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Sept. 30, 2011 @ 5:48 p.m.

3.Well, then, since the wife and I won't be working, and will have a monthly income of approximately 4K, we anticipate allocating at least a thousand a month for rent.

For $1,000 per month in rent you're going to be living in an apartment building that is infested with Section 8 welfare recipients, gangs, and meth addicts. Most of the high end apartments are filled with smokers and heavy drinkers, so you may be shocked by the living conditions if you have not lived in an apartment recently. You're also going to need a gun for self-protection. Also, don't drive after 8 pm: at nite half the drivers on the road are drunk. Life in San Diego is not viable on less than $100,000 per year. You could make it on 4K per month, but only if you owned a house here that was fully paid for. San Diego is largely a slum with a few pockets of prosperity, mainly in areas near the ocean, where the wealthy live.

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Don Bauder Sept. 30, 2011 @ 9:06 p.m.

Oh, it's not that bad, Burwell, and you know it. But you are right that $1000 a month is not going to get our Arizona friend a very desirable place. Study the market carefully. Best, Don Bauder

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historymatters Sept. 30, 2011 @ 11:05 p.m.

Don I think alot of it has to do w/ the mortgage fraud. I have seen so many projects especialy affordable housing projects lie empty for years. I still think SD was deeply and is deeply involved in the air loan programs where properties are occupied on paper only. I dont believe there is a high demand for housing right now. I think there is alot of impetus to make it appear that there is high demand.

Curious what you think about the GIANT Civitas project in Mission Valley? Its like 230 acres and the developer is Stephen Haase the ex development services director who was serving on the mayors tech advisory committee advising on land use and fees etc when the project was approved. Where is all the funding coming from?

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Don Bauder Oct. 1, 2011 @ 12:45 p.m.

Downtown still has a lot of empty condos. Two big projects switched to rentals. Others did so earlier. Best, Don Bauder

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monaghan Oct. 1, 2011 @ 1:41 p.m.

This was an interesting and funny colloquy.

Nobody in their right mind would resettle here to retire and expect to pay $1000/month in rent. Burwell's hilarious comments will not be used by the ConVis people when they are promoting "America's Finest City," a slogan and falsehood born of a political scandal, but it's true that life in every respect is better near the ocean. It's also true that there's a lot of Culture, as Don says, but tickets to Symphony, Opera, Summerfest, Old Globe and La Jolla Playhouse cost a fortune.

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2011 @ 6:01 p.m.

Tickets to cultural events are expensive almost everywhere. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Oct. 1, 2011 @ 2:03 p.m.

Burwell's hilarious comments will not be used by the ConVis people when they are promoting "America's Finest City," a slogan and falsehood born of a political scandal, but it's true that life in every respect is better near the ocean.

My statements are accurate in all respects and I stand by them.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 1, 2011 @ 3:23 p.m.

I think monoghan was agreeing with you B-and commenting that the "America's Finest City" slogan was completely bogus. I think San Diego has been very mismanaged, but it is a beautiful city.

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2011 @ 6:04 p.m.

"America's Finest City" was cooked up after the Republican convention was moved out of San Diego because of scandal. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 2, 2011 @ 6:03 p.m.

No waffling by Burwell. He/she will never make it in politics. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Oct. 2, 2011 @ 9:40 p.m.

25."America's Finest City" was cooked up after the Republican convention was moved out of San Diego because of scandal. Best, Don Bauder

=======

That's right. Jack Anderson published the Dita Beard memo which blew the lid off the whole scam. IT&T agreed to underwrite the 1972 Republican Convention in San Diego if the Nixon administration dropped an anti-trust case against the company. Mayor Pete Wilson hatched a lunatic scheme to expand the Sports Arena for the convention. Nixon was supposed to helicopter in from his estate in San Clemente to accept the presidential nomination. Wilson of course thought that he was going to be standing next to Nixon on national TV as his running mate.

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Don Bauder Oct. 3, 2011 @ 7:14 a.m.

Those were not San Diego's best days. Best, Don Bauder

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svaz11 Oct. 4, 2011 @ 9:47 p.m.

So, Don Bauder, is it possible to get a decent place to live for say, $1300 a month? What if we looked out in the north county, for example? I'm not crazy about living in a district represented by Darrell Issa, but sometimes allowances have to be made...

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Don Bauder Oct. 5, 2011 @ 1:40 p.m.

$1300 a month is around the average monthly rent in San Diego apartments. So, yes, there are plenty of places at that price. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Oct. 4, 2011 @ 11:27 p.m.

You might be better off buying a small house in the Temecula area. Temecula is only about an hour from San Diego. The area is loaded with newer houses that are selling dirt cheap. If you move to San Diego, your $1,300 per month rent will increase relentlessly year after year. If the economy recovers, you could be paying $2,500 per month rent 10 years from now. Expect an annual rent increase of at least $50 to $100 per month. If you're living on a fixed income, it could get ugly living in San Diego as it has for many retirees. Also, expect to pay about 7% of your income in California state income taxes.

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Don Bauder Oct. 5, 2011 @ 1:41 p.m.

Still, Temecula is a long and nerve-wracking commute. Best, Don Bauder

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