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Real Estate in San Clemente

Families Get Creative To Stay In The Market

Hartanov Team Hartanov Team

In 1987, my father bought our first piece of Real Estate in San Clemente, he paid $175K for a 4 bedroom 2 bath home. That very same home just sold for $770K last summer.

Everyone knows Real Estate in San Clemente is hot, hot, hot!!! So what is a young family to do to get in, or stay in, the Real Estate Market?

We had this same problem in 2004. We were a young and growing family living in a 2 bedroom 1 bath house just under 1000 square feet. Our twins were starting to walk and it became more and more evident that we were going to run out of space, and fast!

As we began looking for a bigger house we were astonished to find that a 3 bedroom 2 bath houses in a decent neighborhood were going to cost close to 1 million dollars! How would we ever get approved for a loan that large? And if we were approved, how would we ever afford it?

Just when we were beginning to give up hope, an idea struck us like a lightning bolt. Why not let someone else help us with the mortgage?

We noticed that the price of single family Real Estate in San Clemente had increased by, in some places, 35% - 45% in 2004. Income properties, however, were lagging behind with increases of only 15% - 20%.

You could buy a nice 3 bedroom 2 bath single family home in the heart of San Clemente with an ocean view for 1 million dollars. You could also buy a duplex with TWO 3 bedroom 2 bath units in the heart of San Clemente with an ocean view for 1 MILLION DOLLARS!!!

The answer was right before our eyes. We could buy a duplex and rent out the extra unit to afford the mortgage! We immediately began to look for a duplex that most resembled a single family home. Important factors to making a duplex feel more like a home are:

  • Separate Garages (not carports or shared garages)

  • Front doors far apart.

  • A private backyard.

  • A private balcony.

  • A quiet, long-term, single tenant living in the 2nd unit.

    When we found one that met all of our criteria we pounced on it making a full price offer.

    Since we had planned on living in the property (owner occupied) the lender restrictions are more lenient and we had the best chance of getting the loan.

    When we closed escrow on the property, all our friends and family turned up their noses “you’re going from a house to an apartment?” they asked. Yeah, it looked like an apartment at the time, but a year and a few upgrades later and the place is beautiful inside and out.

    With the extra rent we collect every month we have been able to upgrade paint, tile, window treatments, furniture, and landscaping. What a difference!

    Now, our friends wish they had done the same.

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