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Saturday, January 11, 2014


Frame: Plan One (from $538K)

Frame: Plan Two (from $542K)

1 CONDO VS 1 BUNGALOW--Yesterday in this space, we discussed how high home prices have risen in San Diego’s historic North Park neighborhood and gave one example of an 1,100 square foot unattached home with little yard and on a very narrow and busy street that was selling for $600,000. 
Focus: Plan One (from $465K)

For the sake of discussion we offer an alternative by doing a one-on-one comparison: that small bungalow in hipster North Park vs. new condominium in the Civita neighborhood of mid-Mission Valley.  We compared size and price and didn’t get into mortgage rates or homeowner assn. fees.

Our condo example is located within Frame & Focus, a pocket of recently available condominiums built by Shea Homes and located just east of Freeway 163 and north of Friars Road. Frame & Focus are names given to two styles of condos.  Frame has small backyards, while Focus has front porches.  We visited Plan Four in the Frame section because it is also the largest (1,985 sq. ft.) and most expensive of the F&F units (under $600,000).
Frame: Plan Four
Compared side-by-side, the condo almost doubles the size of the bungalow.

Both have small backyards.

The bungalow has a one-car garage and the condo has garage space for two cars, say an Infiniti G-37 and Lincoln MK sedan.

The bungalow has constant traffic noise 30 feet from the front door.

Frame: Plan Four (from $584K)
The condo has homeowner association fees on top of the mortgage.

The bungalow has one bath, while the condo has 2.5 baths.

As life happens, the condo (3 sleep areas) can absorb a growing family, but frankly, the bungalow is a starter home for a couple or ideally a studio with property rights.

The condo floor plan has three-levels and the common area includes a pool.

The condo buyer will be the first owner, while the bungalow is almost 100 years old.

Both locations are in path-of-progress communities and excellent have resale potential.

Again, the point here is to compare a small home in hipster North Park with a master planned node of brand new condos within a master-planned community located a couple of miles north of North Park.   The comparison is size and price.

The condo comes off as a better deal.  It’s not North Park, but the Civita neighborhood is just as central for car travel. 

But, if your heart is set on a Craftsman bungalow neighborhood like North Park, be patient and consult the real estate professionals who specialize in the mid-city market.  You can find the active realtors easily in any issue of North Park News.

 Frame & Focus contacts: 858-256-0092 or or YouTube:

Focus: Plan One
Directions: North on Mission Center Road from Friars; west on Civita Road and follow signs to Frame & Focus units.

Civita Road and follow signs to Frame & Focus units.

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