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San Diego Property Management Blog

New Rules for Vacation Rentals in San Diego

Luis Rosales - Friday, August 21, 2015



There has been a lot of buzz recently about the impact the vacation rental business is having on our local communities. San Diego is one of the top tourist destinations in the country, and as a result more and more homeowners are taking advantage and opting to utilize services such as AirBnb and Homeaway to rent out their properties for extra income. As referenced below by a recent article in the San Diego Union Tribune, some local residents and community leaders are putting up a fight to develop regulations for vacation rentals:


For the last two years, Roland Stroebel has depended on the healthy rental income he collects from San Diego vacationers staying at his La Jolla property to help pay the hefty mortgage. At the same time, he rarely gets a good night’s sleep as large numbers of guests at a next-door vacation rental home chatter, laugh and party into the early morning hours.

Such is the conundrum also bedeviling San Diego policy makers as they draft new rules governing short-term rentals, an increasingly contentious issue that has sharply divided the City Council, as well as whole neighborhoods.

City planners released this month their first attempt at proposed rules for regulating such rentals, whether it’s a whole home or the sharing of one, popularized by online sites like Airbnb and HomeAway. While the proposal offers, for the first time, a precise definition of short-term vacation rentals and home sharing, it steers clear of addressing what has become the most divisive issue: how frequently you can rent out your home to visitors.

That will be left to the City Council to decide.
The “framework” for an ordinance, as the city’s Development Services Department is calling it, comes in response to two hours-long council committee hearings held in April and May when home sharing hosts squared off against homeowners, who complained that vacation rental homes have taken over their neighborhoods and disrupted their lives.

The latest proposal is sure to stoke even more debate.

“This was one of the more difficult processes we’ve been through because there wasn’t any clear direction, and it seemed whichever way we went, we’d be in conflict with one side or the other, and typically that’s not the case,” explained Robert Vacchi, development services director. “You never please all the people all the time but usually you get clear direction which way to go. But in this case, it was pretty even on both sides.”

While the city currently has various provisions in its municipal code that can be applied to vacation rentals, such as “boarder and lodger” and bed-and-breakfast rules, they haven’t been adapted to respond to the rapidly growing popularity of home sharing that has gone global, thanks to Airbnb. There are more than 4,000 listings in just the city of San Diego.

Under the proposed ordinance offered up by city planners, there would be a new category for short term vacation rentals of an entire dwelling unit that includes strict guidelines for addressing growing neighborhood concerns about noise, overcrowding and disorderly conduct. Additionally, the municipal code’s existing boarder and lodger regulations have been expanded to permit short term stays by families or a maximum of two adults in a home where the owner is present.

While current rules for renting out a room in one’s home for under 30 days can vary by residential zones and communities, the applicable regulations generally fall under the city’s bed-and-breakfast category, which in most instances requires a special permit that can take as long as a year to secure.

What remains unanswered, though, is the question of how frequently homes and rooms can be rented to visitors. City Council members have offered suggestions ranging from minimum 21-day stays when an entire home is being rented to no restrictions at all.

“Individuals should have the right to rent out a room in accordance with the laws set by the state and other noise issues on the books,” said Councilman Chris Cate, who does not favor a limit on the frequency of short-term stays. “We should focus on weeding out the bad actors. My feeling is we have an evolving (sharing) economy, and we need to be in the forefront of that.”

Stroebel, a software consultant who is currently looking for a new job, has been renting out on a short-term basis a two-bedroom home just a couple of blocks from the beach and located on the same lot where he lives in a three-bedroom home. The income he gets from vacationers – nightly rates can be as high as $357 – far exceeds what he would be able to collect from a long-term renter, says Stroebel, who is now preparing to turn his home as well into a short-term rental in anticipation of a possible move outside of San Diego for a new job.

“We live in a vacation mecca of North America. What are we going to do, turn the lights off and say we’re closed,” said Stroebel, whose properties are managed by a local vacation rental company. “I put in over 27 years of savings into this property. I have house rules, but you have a lot of homeowners in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach where they just want to make money and they’re giving us a bad reputation.”

For the last year, Pacific Beach resident Ronan Gray says his family has had to endure almost daily disturbances from the vacation rental home next door where late-night revelers, loud music and door-pounding have interrupted their sleep and frightened the youngest of his three school-aged children.

“This proposal from the city looks to us like Airbnb wrote it, they got everything they wanted and the communities will be devastated by this,” said Gray, who has lived in Pacific Beach for 15 years. “There have been times during the middle of the day where the level of profanity and marijuana smoke is so much that my wife and children have had to leave. The rules say no visitor accommodations in residential zones and that’s what these are, visitor accommodations.”

Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, who chairs the city’s Smart Growth and Land Use council committee and represents many of the beach communities, remains firm in her stance that vacation stays in single-family neighborhoods be limited to no less than 21 days for the rental of entire homes. It is likely that the draft ordinance will eventually return to her committee, but no date has been set. The committee’s next regular meeting is in late September.

“It’s the whole home rentals that are affecting the livability and character for our long-term residences,” said Alexandra Bell, a spokeswoman for Zapf. “It’s not fair to change those allowable uses and allow these mini hotels in a single family zone.”

In the last couple of years, cities have taken widely varying approaches in regulating vacation rentals. One of the stricter measures is in Santa Monica, which bans rentals of an entire unit for less than 30 days. Earlier this year, the city of Carlsbad adopted new regulations that would allow short term stays only in the city’s coastal zone but there are no restrictions on the duration of the stay.

“We did some research with local property management firms, and they estimated that the market establishes those minimum stays themselves, so we didn’t feel we had to specify that,” said Carlsbad Senior Management Analyst Steve Didier. “We tried to keep it relatively simple.” (via signonsandiego.com)

McKee Properties is a San Diego Property Management company. We specialize in Property Management in San Diego and have been helping clients with their Property Management and Leasing needs since 1982. For more information on our San Diego Property Management services, visit us online at www.mckeecompany.com or give us a call at (619) 435-7780.

Nationwide, the Median Existing Home Price Rose

Luis Rosales - Thursday, August 20, 2015



Increasing in 93% of markets in the U.S., according to the National Association of Realtors, with 19% experiencing double-digit growth. Nationwide, the median existing home price rose to $229,400 in the second quarter, up 8.2% from last year.

More people bought goods that cost $900 or more.
Americans increased spending on appliances, tools, plumbing, décor, lighting, kitchen and bath hardware and flooring. Another positive sign: The amount of Home Depot transactions exceeding $900 rose 6% last quarter. Home Depot also said sales momentum built during the summer, going from 3.5% growth in May to 8% in July.

The rest of Southern California saw similar growth, according to CoreLogic, with the median home price up 5.5 percent to $438,000. The area, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, also sold 24,235 homes in July, up 17 percent from last year.

The region had its best July since 2006 for home sales, CoreLogic said. Job growth, rising consumer confidence and some concern that interest rates may soon rise from historically low levels contributed to the recovering sales, it said.

"Southern California home sales have risen year over year for six straight months now, and we're finally approaching an overall sales level that could loosely be called 'normal' in the context of the past quarter-century," CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said.

Millennials are Renting Longer before Buying First Home.

Luis Rosales - Monday, August 17, 2015



The typical first-timer now rents for six years before buying, up from 2.6 years in the early 1970s, according to a new analysis by the real estate data firm Zillow. The median first-time buyer is age 33 in the upper range of the millennial generation, which roughly spans ages 18 to 34. A generation ago, the median first-timer was about three years younger.

Financial challenges facing millennials: Renters are struggling to save for down payments as wages have largely stagnated. Increasingly, too, they're facing delays in some key landmarks of adulthood, from marriage and children to a stable career, according to industry and government reports.  

The share of the U.S. population who own homes has slid to 63.4 percent, a 48-year low, according to the Census Bureau.

Housing industry experts note that surveys still show a strong desire to buy among millennials, but that their timelines for purchasing depend on achieving more stability in their careers."As long as there is the job market to support millennials — just as it has for previous generations — I don't believe their habits will change," said Darius Mirshahzadeh, CEO of The Money Source

San Diego New Homes on the Rise

Luis Rosales - Monday, August 10, 2015


With a steady rise of new homes in San Diego County.  Here are some new homes that have been built in the following  neighborhoods.  

-Shea Homes is opening Serra, offering 73 new detached homes behind a private gated community in the city of Vista.  Opening on August 1, with a celebration at 11 a.m. in which Shea Homes will unveil three elegantly furnished model homes showcasing Spanish, Cottage & Prairie style floor plans ranging.  Prices expected to range from $430,000 to $490,000

-Davidson also released its final phase at New Crest Court, 16 new homes in Carlsbad. Award-winning schools is what makes Carlsbad one of the most sought after neighborhoods to live in.  Prices start from $1.2 million & feature American Classic, Spanish Revival & California Bungalow styles.  

-Standard Pacific Homes offers more stunning architecture at Del Sur in two now open luxury neighborhoods - Kingston and Avondale - in San Diego's north coastal  hills.  Both offering one-of-a-kind floor plans.  Final homes are now available at the Prado, Marston, Descanso and Brookfield Sentinels.   Del Sur's, The Estates offers elegant architecture and richly detailed interiors that earned it 2015 Community of The Year designation.  

San Diego continues to exceed its annual peak season which is a great  sign for anyone that is interested in buying, selling or investing in new property.  Contact our team for all your real estate inquiries, McKee Properties (619)890-7682 or Info@McKeeCompany.com
Our office is located in beautiful Coronado Island.  1001 B Avenue, Suite 203, Coronado, CA 92118

Calendar of Events: August 2015

Luis Rosales - Wednesday, August 05, 2015



Our days and nights in San Diego are filled with fun things for you to do, see, learn and taste. Many of our events in San Diego are free. You'll also find a variety of events, something for every age group. After you call it a day, make a night of it! People come here from all over the world for the beaches, nightlife, culture, Spanish-influenced architecture, and the authentic Cal-Mex cuisine. But most of all, they come to experience the palpable feeling that the locals refer to as the SoCal vibe.

August 5: Shuck it up at Ironside’s Lady Chef Shuck-a-Thon, featuring six female chefs over six hours to benefit six charities.
August 6: Treat your family to the “greatest show on earth,” as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey returns to Valley View Casino Center with exotic animals and extraordinary performers in Circus Xtreme. 
Mix and mingle and celebrate Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008 at San Diego Museum of Art’s Culture and Cocktails summer soiree.
August 7: Clock out before 4 and head to Del Mar for Thievery Corporation’s free concert after the final race.
August 8: Learn to decode the Bard’s lingo at the informative Thinking Shakespeare Live! encore event at the Old Globe.Feast on sustainable fare and support local wildlife at the Farm to Bay Food and Wine Classic at the Living Coast Discovery Center.
August 9: Trade your ball gown for board shorts at the Luau and Legends of Surfing Invitational fundraiser for UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. 
August 12: Spend a night with Captain Jack Sparrow at the Swashbuckling Summer Movie Series at The Headquarters at Seaport, which presents a free outdoor screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
August 14: Long live a legend, as the San Diego Symphony’s Summer Pops series salutes Old Blue Eyes at Sinatra at 100. 
August 15: Raise a pint in honor of craft beer at the Stone 19th Anniversary Celebration and Beer Festival, taking over the campus of Cal State San Marcos. It’s a toga party takeover in Little Italy at the Ferragosto summer night party at Amici Park.Add artwork to your weekend at the two-day ArtWalk NTC at Liberty Station, featuring 175 local and international artists.
August 16: Enjoy slapstick Shakespeare under the stars at The Old Globe’s performance of The Comedy of Errors. It’s sure to be a hot summer night at Sleep Train Amphitheater when country star Dierks Bentley takes the stage. 
August 18: The show may be winding down but there’s still time to see your favorite “idols” on stage at the American Idol Live! concert at Humphrey’s by the Bay. 
August 21: San Diego Magazine’s Best Of San Diego Party brings together the city’s top restaurants, wineries, and breweries for a night of sipping and sampling at Liberty Station. If you can’t get enough free outdoor films for the family, head to Santee Lakes for Movies by the Lake.
August 22: Sip while you shop at the Uncasked at Westfield UTC neighborhood craft beer festival in support of the San Diego Brewers Guild. 
Add a furry friend to your family—or simply support animal adoption—at the Doggie Street Festival at NTC Park at Liberty Station.
August 25: Follow “one young man’s journey to be extraordinary” in the newly revived performance of Pippin at the Civic Theatre. 
August 27: Feast on food and fashion in support of the San Diego Sports Medicine Foundation at Taste at the Cove, which this year recognizes community legend and longtime San Diego Charger LaDainian Tomlinson.
August 29: Shake it off with Taylor Swift as the-superstar takes over Petco Park for her 1989 tour.

San Diego Ranked 6th Best Place to Live

Luis Rosales - Tuesday, August 04, 2015


According to rankings on Monday from WalletHub. San Diego is ranked the sixth-best large city to live in. 62 cities were ranked with over 300,000 people based on several factors which include education systems, economy, livability & health. Sub-categories included diversity, traffic, affordability, while health took account of air & water quality, crime rates & life expectancy.  San Diego's school system tied for first, along with Austin, Raleigh, Honolulu and Lexington, Kentucky.   The rankings only applied to actual city boundaries and did not evaluate surrounding metro areas. 

Keeping Your Home Safe this Holiday Season

Brendan Mckee - Monday, December 08, 2014


The holidays are officially upon us!  As you get ready to celebrate the season with holiday parties, decorating the house, or traveling out of town, it’s important to remember that there are some unique risks that can occur in your home this time of year.  Here are some useful tips to help mitigate these problems to ensure you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season:

Fire Safety: The holidays are a popular time for lighting candles and building fires. 

  • It’s critical to never leave candles lit while leaving the house or going to bed, and make sure fires are completely burned out. 
  • Another safety tip is to ensure your Christmas tree is getting plenty of water.  A dry Christmas tree coupled with holiday lights can lead to disaster if not monitored.  Remember to water the tree regularly and turn off the lights when leaving your home.
  • Exterior holiday lights can also be a potential hazard.  Ensure that the lights are designed for outdoor use and that they are not touching any flammable materials. 

Property Theft:  Property theft increases dramatically during the holiday season.  Burglars know that this is a busy time of year for families, and that many homes are sitting vacant while residents are out of town visiting loved ones, attending holiday parties, etc. 

  • Keep a close eye on your home and be aware of suspicious activity.  Try leaving a light on while you are gone, or if you know you will be returning home after dark. 
  • If traveling out of town, have a neighbor collect your mail and put your newspaper delivery on hold.  Another tip is to have a neighbor park in your parking space until you return.

The holidays should be exciting, and if you follow these tips mentioned above you will be on your way to keeping your spirits high this season!  For more tips on fire/public safety, try contacting your local fire department or law enforcement agency.  

Rental Market Continues to Stay Strong.

Web Admin - Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The rental market continues to stay very strong in San Diego.  With demand for housing outrunning supply, rents are expected to rise, making now a great time to be a property owner in San Diego.  According to new date released in March from real estate data company MarketPointe, the average rent in San Diego County was $1,361, up 2.6 percent from a year ago.  Fewer units and more stringent standards for mortgages has pushed more people into the rental market.  Vacancy rates also hit a new record this year at 4.43 percent, the lowest rate since March of 2008.  San Diego has the sixth-lowest vacancy rate behind New York, Minneapolis, Portland, OR, San Jose and Seattle.

How Credit Inquiries Impact Your FICO Score (via mint.com)

Web Admin - Friday, May 09, 2014
It’s no secret that FICO scores and other credit risk scores consider credit inquiries when calculating your credit scores. A credit inquiry, if you are not familiar with it, is a record of who pulled your credit report and on what date.

If you want to bone up on inquiries you can do so here. I wrote that article for Mint a couple of years ago and the content is still accurate today.

When it comes to credit applications, many consumers are worried that by applying for credit they might lower their scores. That is certainly a possibility. Credit inquiries can lower your FICO scores. Notice I used the word “can” and not the word “will.”


The True Impact of an Inquiry
Before you choose to not apply for whatever it is you’re applying for, consider the fact that inquiries have a marginal, at best, impact on your credit scores.

Further, just because an inquiry causes your score to go down it may not cause it to go down enough to change any lender’s mind.  Going from FICO 790 to FICO 786 because of new inquiries is likely going to be an irrelevant change when it comes to your credit application.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that the majority of credit applications result in one new inquiry on one of your three credit reports.

Applying for a new credit card doesn’t mean all three of your credit reports are being accessed. Only one is going to be pulled so the new inquiry will only appear on that particular credit report. That means your FICO scores at the other two credit bureaus are not impacted at all.

The only exception to this rule is a mortgage application where the lender or broker will likely pull all three of your credit reports.


The Grand Scheme
Something else to keep in mind…credit inquiries really aren’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things. Inquiries account for up to 10% of the points in your FICO scores. When it comes to pieces of the FICO score pie, it’s the smallest piece. The age of your credit report is more important than your inquiries.

FICO just released some data quantifying the true impact of inquiries to their scores. 57% of consumers are getting the maximum number of points from the inquiry category, which means inquiries are not lowering their scores at all. Inquiries are one of the top four reasons your FICO scores aren’t higher only 11% of the time.

And finally, only 4% of consumers lose more than 20 points in their FICO score because of inquiries. According to Frederic Huynh, one of FICO’s credit score scientists, “The bottom line is that I would not characterize inquiries as being a very important score factor relative to other predictors.”

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