Viewing homes in Pacific Beach with a real estate agent

Knowing which properties to schedule and view should be a task shared between you and your real estate agent. Visiting open houses and viewing homes online are a great way to start your research. However, if you’re planning on buying a home in Pacific Beach, you need to have a game plan. Pacific Beach is a competitive market and you will want to work efficiently and quickly when the right homes comes onto the market. Scheduling and viewing homes in Pacific Beach can take some time, and in a fast market, it could be the difference between either securing or missing out on your dream home

We will go over the process of viewing homes in Pacific Beach and make a list of what to look for during your showing.

Requesting to view a home in Pacific Beach:

Pacific Beach is unique, in that there is a large percentage of vacation homes. Properties listed for sale may have tenants in town for the same time period that you are in town.

Planning in advance is the best way to make sure you see all of the properties that are best for your situation!

Communicate! Please be respectful of your real estate agent’s time.

We encourage showing requests, questions, and communication. However, if you’re planning on coming into town for a weekend and you would like to see some homes, please do not call or message your real estate agent Saturday morning with a request to spend the next 36 hours looking at 10 properties you’re interested in.

Some homes can’t be seen on any given day with short notice. This could be due to tenants in the properties, availability of the listing agent who is required to be present for each showing, or owners who are having guests over.

A week’s notice of your trip into town is preferred so that we can anticipate scheduling and also let you know of any other properties that could be a good fit.

viewing homes in Pacific Beach on laptop

How do I know which homes to view in Pacific Beach? 

Personal preference and common sense will help make the decisions of which properties to choose, but there are still some important questions to ask yourself, like:

Are schools important now or in the near future for your new home?

Do you have, or plan on having kids? You can use to find out which schools your potential home will have access to.

Where do you work and what is your commute?

If you work and use a car to commute, you will want to plan for your commute. Using navigation software during your hours of commute is helpful. You should also try out the commute in your car if you are seriously considering a property. Drive to the property with enough time before work, so that you can leave from the new home instead of your old one. Then drive to your new home after you get off.

If you are already planning on viewing homes in Pacific Beach, you should be Ok with the commute to PB. The coastal areas of PB will take an extra 5-10 minutes to get to the freeway than parts of east Pacific Beach.

Commuting can take up valuable hours of your life, and while living at the beach is amazing, the traffic getting into Pacific Beach from the north can be very busy. There are changes coming to public transportation in San Diego, including the trolley expansion plans, which could help commuting.

Could you see yourself living in the home for 5 years or more?

If you think your job may change or if you want to leave San Diego in the near future, investing in a home might not be the best decision. Buying and selling a home can be a stressful process with fees paid towards all of the third party services. While the Pacific Beach market tends to have positive appreciation, these fees can really eat into your investment returns.

You might be able to consider renting the property out if you move. You will need to do research on property management, and see if it makes sense for your situation.

What to look for when viewing homes in Pacific Beach

For houses in Pacific Beach:

How old is the house?

Inspectors are really important!

Maintenance is important with any property, but especially with a house. The age of the roof, plumbing, electrical, furnace and condition of the structure are important things to look at, since you will be fully responsible for maintaining the property. Hiring a general inspector and then getting specialists to determine the condition of the property is extremely important.

Some of the plumbing in Mission Beach connecting to the main sewer has been known to need repair and will need additional inspecting. A scope of the line is important for all houses, but especially in Mission Beach.

In northern and eastern Pacific Beach in the hills, you will want to make sure any retaining walls or sloped grounds leading to important walls are inspected for water intrusion. While Pacific Beach does not get a lot of rainfall, water can be a problem and it’s easy to miss if you are looking at the home during a dry season.

For viewing condos in Pacific Beach:

Inspecting the interior of the property should be a priority, but the condition of the complex and the home owners association is also important.

How active is the HOA? How are the reserve funds? Do they have any major repairs scheduled?

How are the neighbors and the condo situated?

How thin are the walls?

How close is the trash chute or trash can?

Where in the laundry located?

Is water includes with the HOA fees?

Does the HOA allow for renovating things like floors?

For viewing Townhouses in Pacific Beach:

All of the questions listed above for condos can apply here except for flooring renovations and laundry location.

Typically a townhouse will have no upstairs or downstairs neighbors, but you will want to make sure you’re OK with the stairs. Condos may have elevators, but townhouses typically only have stairs, sometimes with a private garage underneath the living levels.

Maintenance of the building may be slightly shifted towards the owner when comparing townhomes vs. condos.

Townhomes can have smaller or sometimes inactive home owners associations. So you will want to check on insurance coverage, as well as building maintenance liability.

What is it like to schedule properties to view in Pacific Beach?

This next part is a little selfish, but I would like to share with you what it’s like to be a Real Estate agent, to hopefully give you some perspective for the process of scheduling homes.

When’s the last time you’ve scheduled 3-6 events to happen in chronological order in a short period of time?

Think about what it takes to plan a day of showings.

How do Real Estate agents schedule showings?

Let’s say there are 4 homes to view.

Typically a realtor will list the 4 properties in geographical order, so that driving from property to property is time efficient.

Then the realtor will have to contact the listing agent and request that a certain time be scheduled for a showing. The Buyer’s agent will talk with the Seller’s agent for some time about the property, and will then wait for the Seller, tenant, or listing agent to confirm or deny the requested time for showing.

Assuming the property is available, we now have 1 property scheduled!

Assigning time slots for properties – How long will it take to view a home?

Realtors will then have to estimate the amount of time a buyer will spend at that property, and the commute time that it will take to get to the next property, and look to schedule property #2 for a time period.

Then the realtor will repeat the steps taken for property #1, talking with the listing agent, waiting for a response, and then confirming the showing time.

Hopefully property #2’s agent agrees with the suggested time, and not “No we actually need a [insert time 4 hours away from first showing] appointment, can you do that?”

When a realtor does this for 4 properties, there is a pretty tight schedule. In order to make the occupants of the properties happy, and also the listing agents that may be accompanying the showings happy, the time slots need to stay on time. This also means taking into account traffic and finding the property (this can take a while in large condo complexes).

What happens if the scheduled showings change?

All it takes is a buyer, or seller, to change their mind last minute on showing or seeing a property, and the entire schedule can have a large gap. Or, if a buyer wants to spend a lot of time at a property or there’s more traffic than normal, the timing can be off and everything will run late.

Then there are the “hey I noticed a property down the street, can we go look at that one too?” while you are in the middle of property #2 and #3.

Or a buyer that’s running late and decides to show up to property #1 30 minutes late.

We want you to know that scheduling showings does not just happen at the click of a button. Sometimes realtors can get approval to see a property quickly, but it’s not a guarantee, and it might not flow with the schedule.

Talk to a realtor today about viewing homes in Pacific Beach

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