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Downtown views from Axos condos

Axos condos Bankers Hill

I love living in Banker’s Hill and my apartment has a gorgeous view of downtown San Diego. So I was very excited to see the new Axos condo development in Bankers Hill. From the outside, it looks to have great views of downtown. I took a tour last weekend with my agent and got a good idea of what is coming. The entire place is still under construction, but I was able to see a few units.

The Axos development is a condo conversion of apartments built in the early 90’s. The developer is creating a mediterranean environment with lots of stone walkways and pools of water surrounding the area. Should be very nice when finished.

What made me interested in the property are the views of downtown San Diego. There are three stories of units and as you go higher the views get better. The first floor isn’t very nice because your views are of the top of the houses near the unit. Not exactly something I would spend a lot of money for. The second floor is an improvement, but I’m still not getting excited.

The third floor is where I’m looking to buy. It has stellar views of downtown and you no longer have to look at the top of these crummy houses surrounding the property. If I was going to buy, the third floor would be the unit I would get. The second floor is decent and the first floor is not an option.

Re price the top floor units run between $750,000 and $785,000. Personally, for that kind of money I’m NOT going to buy in Bankers Hill. I’m going to Hillcrest or La Jolla if I could afford those dollars. Yes, the views are stellar, but the condo market in San Diego is in a downturn. Why pay a premium for property now when the market will be saturated in 2007?

The two bedroom units on the first and second floor units go for $500,00 to $580,000 (I didn’t check on the one bedrooms). One interesting point is that the units facing 21st street (i.e. no view of downtown) are priced exactly $30,000 less than the unit facing downtown. What??? The selling point for these condos is the downtown view. If I don’t get that, then I better be paying a lot less than just $30,000. For a $600,000 property, dropping the price by $30,000 isn’t much of an incentive to take the street view.

Again, I think this is overvalued. Now, if they put that price tag on the top floor units, I would have bought one that day. But that is not the case, so I’m still looking.
Here is what I think is wrong with the units:

  • Windows are too small. With stellar views of downtown just right outside of my condo, I want big picture windows to enjoy it with. Instead, the windows are small and I have to go onto the patio to see enjoy the views.
  • It’s freaking noisy! The condos sit right next to the I-5 / 163 interstate crossover. That’s a lot of traffic to listen to. Not only that, but you are just south of the Lindbergh Field flight path. So you get airplane noise as well.

What I like about the units:

  • The sound insulation is excellent. With your windows closed the traffic noise is almost completely blocked out.
  • The mediterranean motif is really going to be nice. They are gutting the place and putting in ponds and possibly a waterfall in the central area. When friends visit, they will be very impressed.
  • The views of downtown from the patio rock. Nuff said.

Other misc notes: The HOA fees haven’t been decided yet, but I was told to expect them in the $200+ range. The one bedrooms and cheaper 2 bedrooms get one parking spot. The most expensive two bedrooms get two parking spots.

The Axos condos are being developed by Urban Pacific Group. Their website is brand new as of this writing, so hopefully by the time you read this it will be finished. They also have the developments Suncrest Court Condos in the Adams Avenue Area, and Primavera condos in National City.

Axos Condos in Golden Hill
21s and B Street


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La Boheme condos – San Diego real estate drops?

La Boheme in Northpark San Diego


This page is the most popular page on my blog b/c everyone is researching the La Boheme condos. Please leave your comments or new information so that we can all learn from it. Thanks.

In January I was driving through the North Park area and I saw a new condo development that was being built: La Boheme. I was very intrigued because it was in the heart of the North Park redevelopment area. You could walk out your door and be within a few yards of the newest restaurants and shops. And just around the corner is the North Park Theater hosting the San Diego Lyrical Opera. How exciting!

To make a long story short, I was on the verge of buying a condo until I noticed that a group of townhouses on the same block were for sale as well. When I looked at the townhouses, they were much nicer than the condos, had ALL the upgrades, had a private garage and were in the same price range as the condos. What struck me as odd was that the townhouses weren’t selling. If the townhouses weren’t selling, then that doesn’t speak well for the future of the La Boheme condos which weren’t nearly as nice.

It has been five months since I made this discovery and my theory appears to be correct. When I originally talked to the sales rep they were offering me $10,000 towards closing costs if I bought by the end of January. It is now the end of June and they are still advertising that offer. Not only that, but they are now giving you two years of no HOA fees as well. That’s a huge incentive.

In my opinion, the ploy of giving you $10K towards closing costs is probably a scam b/c these lenders are known for giving you a worse deal than you can get elsewhere. And you know that the developer is getting a kickback too. So it’s not costing them anything to give you this offer. But to give you two years of no HOA fees is the equivalant of taking money out of their pockets. They would only do this if they were desperate.

Oh yeah, remember those townhouses that were right around the corner and were a much better deal? Out of eight townhouses, five months later three are still unsold. Doesn’t look good for either place. La Boheme is a 300 unit complex. That’s a lot of units to sell in a market where people aren’t buying. And my new theory about why they don’t list all the properties for sale at one time – so you don’t realize how many units they still have to sell.

For the past five years, the San Diego real estate market has been known for selling properties on the same day they are listed. People often got into bidding wars. Those days are long gone. Now properties sit on the market for months without selling. How quickly things change.

Here is the link to La Boheme and here.

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