SPRING 2014 Willis Allen Real Estate’s Quarterly COLLECTION features a showcase of San Diego’s finest properties. This year celebrating a milestone for the company of 100 YEARS in Business!!
CELEBRATING A MILESTONE
100 Years of Continued Representation of San Diego’s Finest Real Estate
A letter from Willis Allen Real Estate President & Owner, Andrew E. Nelson
Willis Allen Real Estate is celebrating a milestone: 100 years of serving San Diego buyers and sellers. Granted, I was not here when our company first greeted clients in La Jolla in 1914. However, I have seen exciting, albeit sometimes scary, changes in San Diego real estate over my 40-year career.
Our front cover brings back many memories from the early-to mid-1960s. The main artery between San Diego and Los Angeles at the time was the famed Highway 101. I worked at the Texaco station at Ninth Street and Highway 101 in Del Mar, which was the first service station after you left downtown San Diego.
The traffic congestion you see in the photo was a daily routine through Del Mar, which was an “outpost” to San Diego. At the time properties in Del Mar were about half the cost of those in La Jolla, Point Loma and Rancho Santa Fe. The highway picture also illustrates what many visitors experienced – San Diego and its spectacular setting. If only those people stopping for gas at the Del Mar Texaco had also purchased a nice home; think how lucky their heirs would feel today!
Real estate prices in America’s Finest City have skyrocketed over the past 40 years. Think about this: a house in Bird Rock that I originally sold for $48,000 in the 70s just recently closed at close to $2 million. That’s quite a profit!
Construction costs have also climbed sharply. Today, a quality new construction project may cost from $300 – $400 a square foot. Add in permits and architectural fees, and it can cost a fortune to build your dream home. Not to mention the investment of time – an easy 18 months or more.
But back in 1975 one could purchase a quality lot for $25,000 – $50,000 and construction costs would be approximately $85 – $120 per square foot. Further, permits were easier to get and the time frame to obtain a permit was tolerable. Total time for a construction project would average about eight months.
How the times have changed! But there’s a moral to this story. It’s one that has remained consistent over the last century and one that will continue to be true 100 years from now.
Buy now. Hold on to the property for 20-40 years. Then chances are very good you’ll be able to retire on the proceeds! Prices in San Diego will continue to grow, you just have to be patient and be willing to weather the downturns in the market.
Do not be afraid of the future. Instead, be aware that we have a precious commodity in each piece of dirt, each lot and each home or condo. The San Diego housing supply is limited, and the allure of the lifestyle will not diminish. One’s investment in real estate today will ensure a viable and rewarding financial future tomorrow.
Pick up a copy of the Spring Issue at your local Willis Allen office, click here for locations.
Their back cover features a fun little look back in time…
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