Del Coronado Realty Blog

 

Feb. 15, 2017

Turning Your Vacation Home into a School Year Rental

Coronado schools are among the best in California. Four schools in the Coronado Unified School District have been named California Distinguished Schools, two have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools, and one is recognized as a demonstration site for the state.

 

Many parents move here just so their kids can have access to a world-class education in a safe, welcoming, and walkable community. And, many families who don’t officially become Coronado residents will rent just for the school year, meaning your Coronado vacation home is a hot commodity even in the middle of winter.

 

International Influx

Coronado has always been extremely popular for summer rentals, but we’re starting to see substantial growth in the demand for school year rentals. Many families—particularly those from other countries—will rent in Coronado through the year and then spend the summer back home.

 

For example, a father will secure a job in San Diego and move the family to Coronado. The entire family is together for most of the year while the kids get an award-winning education. Come summertime, the whole family might fly home, or the father might stay for work and rent a small studio across the bay in Downtown San Diego. When summer is over, the family will return and rent again.

 

What This Means for Vacation Homeowners

Traditionally, renting out a vacation home during the off-season can be rather difficult. The same goes for finding a 9-months renter.

 

However, the Coronado market is unique. Our schools have become so coveted that school year rentals are now almost as popular as summer rentals. The year-round demand means you can:

 

·      Rent your property to a family for 9 months.

·      Enjoy your vacation home in summer.

·      Or, rent out the home in summer, too.

 

In the majority of markets across the country, you might estimate you’ll be able to viably rent out your vacation home for 6 to 8 months of the year. In Coronado, it is possible and common to earn rental income from your vacation home for 9 months or more—perhaps even year-round if you wish!

 

Finding the Right Vacation Home

School year rentals are most popular in the center of town, called the Village. However, the Shores and the Cays also offer a world of options. To take the first step toward owning a vacation home in Coronado, contact Del Coronado Realty at 619-437-1888.

Posted in Island Life
Feb. 15, 2017

Through The Years – Coronado Real Estate Then & Now

Having spent decades living and working in Coronado, we at Del Coronado Realty enjoy an all-access pass to the island’s evolution from remote enclave to mainstream destination. Just how far has Coronado come over the years? Let’s take a glance.

 

Coronado Then

Prior to the construction of the San Diego–Coronado Bridge in 1967, Coronado’s real estate market was rather limited. In order to travel to and from Coronado, you had to take the ferry—a scenic ride, but not necessarily a desirable mode of everyday transit. The majority of Coronado’s population consisted of military families stationed at North Island. Wealthy families were still buying vacation homes in Coronado, but many people saw the lack of accessibility as a deal breaker.

 

Fast forward to the 1970s and ‘80s, and the newly constructed bridge proves to be an expressway to growth. Coronado’s population grew from 18,039 in 1960 to 26,540 by 1990. The ease of access became apparent, and the real estate market expanded accordingly. People began visiting and moving from across the bay, country, and even from overseas.

 

Coronado Now

Today, Coronado is one of the most sought-after living, vacation, and investment destinations in the U.S. Whether you prefer a quaint home in The Village, a boater’s paradise in The Cays, or a luxurious vacation condo in Beach Village at The Hotel Del Coronado, our island offers something for everyone. Coronado is beloved for its:

 

·      Year-round mild weather

·      World-famous beaches

·      World-class school system

·      Low crime rate

·      Walkability

·      Endless entertainment and outdoor activities

·      Gorgeous properties

 

Looking Ahead

With a total land area of 32.7 square miles, room for new development on the island is limited. We are seeing plenty of redevelopment, remodeling, and multi-unit development, but Coronado isn’t sprawling like other cities. What that means for Coronado homeowners and investors is that property values will continue to climb. There will always be a strong demand for homes, vacation properties, and rentals.

 

Are you looking to buy or sell property in Coronado? Del Coronado Realty can help! Call us at 619-437-1888, or visit us in The Shops @ The Hotel del Coronado at 1500 Orange Avenue. For ongoing information about real estate in Coronado, visit our blog at www.delcoronadorealty.com/blog.

Posted in Buying, Island Life, Selling
Feb. 15, 2017

What Military Families Need to Know About VA Home Loans

Veterans and active military personnel receive well-deserved financial benefits for their service. While most are aware of their Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, many do not take full advantage of VA mortgages, commonly known as VA home loans. Having helped countless military families find beautiful homes here in Coronado, Del Coronado Realty is fully attuned to VA home loans. Here are a few bits of insight we’d like to share.

 

1. Your VA Benefits Give You Buying Power in Coronado

One of the most common misconceptions about Coronado is that it’s reserved for the ultra-wealthy. While the island certainly has its fair share of multi-million-dollar properties, there are also plenty of options at more manageable price points, particularly for those with VA benefits. These benefits include:

 

  • No down payment
  • No mortgage insurance needed
  • Lower fees

 

2. The Loan Limit isn’t Actually the Limit

With what’s called a “jumbo home loan,” VA borrowers can access a loan amount exceeding the regulatory “conforming limit” set by Fannie Mae and other lenders. In San Diego County, you can pair your VA benefits with a jumbo loan for 100% financing (meaning zero down payment) on a home purchase up to $580,750.

 

For homes exceeding $580,750, there is no maximum loan amount for buyers with VA benefits, as long as the minimum down payment is met. In addition to down payments that are dramatically lower than those of home buyers without VA benefits, veterans can even use their TSP (Thrift Savings Plan) as their payment.

 

3. The Money Still Comes from a Private Lender

A VA home loan does not come from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The loan is still made by a private lender—The VA simply guarantees a portion of it. When you work with Del Coronado Realty, we can refer you to an experienced lender specializing in VA home loans.

 

4. You Can Purchase a Multi-Family Property with Your VA Home Loan

Looking to invest? Your VA home loan can also be used to purchase a multi-family property. With this type of investment, you can live in one of the units, and rent out the others to help pay off the mortgage.

 

5. VA Home Loans Can Help You Build a Real Estate Portfolio

Speaking of investing, perhaps the most important thing to know is that your VA benefits can be used over and over again, enabling you to build a nationwide portfolio of properties as you move from place to place.

 

“If you’re seeking long-term financial success, you can consider purchasing your VA loan entitlement in the city you are stationed in,” says Ruth Ann Fisher, team leader of Del Coronado Real Estate. “You can then rent out your previous home(s) so that your tenants are essentially paying your mortgage(s).”

 

As a military wife, Fisher employed this strategy moving 17 times in 22 years, before permanently landing in Coronado. She adds that buying with VA home loans can also help to ease the anxiety of knowing that a home is temporary.

 

For more information about VA home loans and Coronado real estate, you can speak to Fisher and her team by calling 619-437-1888 or visiting Del Coronado Realty’s office in The Hotel del Coronado.

Posted in Buying
Feb. 14, 2017

The Tax Benefits of Owning a Coronado Vacation Home

A Coronado vacation home is more than an island getaway. Sure, it’s first and foremost an investment in your happiness, but it’s an equally appealing investment from a financial standpoint as well. A vacation home—particularly one in Coronado, where home values continue to rise—comes with various tax benefits. These benefits include: 

 

Interest Deduction

Just like with your first home, the interest you pay on the mortgage for your second home is deductible when you itemize your return. Realtor.com explains:

 

“In fact, you can write off as much as 100% of the interest you pay on up to $1 million of debt, which includes total debt taken on to pay for both homes, as well as money spent on improving the properties. (That’s not up to $1 million for each property—just up to $1 million in total.)”

 

Rental Property Depreciation

When you own a rental property, you depreciate its value each year, both to deduct the costs of improving the property, and to account for wear and tear. The amount you can deduct each year is dependent on the basis (or cost) of the building (not the land). You can depreciate a property using the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) over the course of 27.5 years, which the IRS considers to be the life expectancy or “useful life” of a rental property.

 

1031 Exchange

While depreciation allows you to reduce your taxes during the time you own a rental property, a 1031 exchange allows you to avoid the tax obligations when selling the property. With a 1031 exchange, you can mitigate capital gains and apply them to your next property purchase so that you do not have to pay taxes on the value you have depreciated over the years. When you reinvest or “exchange” the gains into a similar property, they become tax-deferred. The process for a 1031 exchange is as follows:

 

·      Hire a 1031 exchange accommodator to handle the funds associated with your sale.

·      Hire a realtor to advise you on both the purchase of your new property and the 1031 exchange process. Be sure to let them know that you wish to do a 1031 exchange.

·      Disclose to potential buyers that you are doing a 1031 exchange. (There will be no cost to them, but you still need to make them aware.)

·      Upon closing, the accommodator will hold on to the funds until you find your next property.

·      Identify three properties within 45 days of closing.

·      Choose one of the three properties and close within the exchange period of 180 days from the closing date of your current property.

·      At closing, the accommodator will utilize the funds from the sale of your previous property.

 

Tax-Free Profit on Sale

An IRS exclusion allows a married couple to take up to $500k in profit from the sale of their primary residence, tax-free. This entails living in the second home for two of the last five years. Investopedia sheds more light on the strategy:

 

“This primary-home sale exclusion does not apply if you sell your second home: If you sell a house that is not your primary residence, you may have to pay the usual capital gains tax. If you make the second home your primary residence for at least two years before you sell it, however, you may be able to reap some tax benefits, but it's not as easy as it used to be.”

 

Are you considering purchasing a vacation home in Coronado? Del Coronado Realty can assist you with not only finding your dream vacation home, but also understanding the tax implications of becoming a vacation homeowner. To learn more, call us at 619-437-1888.

Posted in Investments
Feb. 7, 2017

Mortgage Rates Are Up – What Coronado Buyers and Sellers Need to Know

With mortgage rates rising since the election, homebuyers and sellers are asking what the rate hike means for them. Del Coronado Realty, a
boutique real estate brokerage in Coronado, Calif., sat down with a local Mortgage Banker and Branch Manager from CMG Mortgage in Coronado for a brief Q&A session on current interest rates and the outlook for the foreseeable future.

How Much Have Mortgage Rates Risen?

In December 2016, shortly after the election, the Federal Reserve hiked rates for the first time since December 2015. The 0.25 percentage point increase, coupled with the surprise election result, pushed mortgage rates over 4 percent. They have since come down slightly, and currently appear to be relatively stabilized between the mid 3s and low 4s, depending on transaction specifics such as loan program, down payment amount, etc.

 

Why Did the Rates Rise? Will the Trend Continue?

With the stock market performing well since the election and the Dow breaking 20,000 for the first time ever, mortgage bonds have dropped in price. Mortgage rates are priced based on the performance of mortgage bonds. Bonds typically lose when stocks win, and the stock market has had some big wins over the past few months. The general consensus is that the rates will continue to increase, but probably not at an astronomical pace.

 

Will This Make it More Difficult to Sell My Home?

No. In fact, the situation is quite the opposite. Buyers are very active right now because they want to lock in a mortgage while the rates are still relatively low. If you have been considering putting your home on the market, now is a good time to take action. Not only do you have a larger pool of buyers, but those buyers are also feeling a hint of anxiety and moving swiftly when they see something they like.

 

Should I Wait for the Rates to Drop Before Buying a Home?

No. Consider where mortgage rates have been in the past. In 2000, they were in the mid 8 percent range, and in 2008, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was going for about 6.5 percent. While rates don’t appear to be going up tremendously, they don’t appear to be coming down anytime soon, either. Plus, you’re still getting a historically low rate if you lock in today. Those who bought homes in the 1980s will remember paying up to 13 percent! Locking in at the current rate may not get you the very lowest rate in history, but it will be a historically low rate, nevertheless.

 

Get Expert Real Estate Advice

Del Coronado Realty is here to help you navigate the Coronado and coastal San Diego real estate market in any economic condition. For more information about mortgage interest rates and buying or selling in Coronado, contact us at 619-437-1888.

Posted in Buying, Selling
Jan. 31, 2017

Why Buyers Shouldn't Wait Til Spring to Get Serious

NerdWallet: January, February prime months to purchase a home

Research using realtor.com data indicates that buyers would be wise to find a deal now

  • Ready to become a homeowner? Nerdwallet and Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke say January and February are the best months to purchase a home.
  • The median home sold in January sold for $7,003 less than the listing price, and home sales drop by 47 percent.
  • Smoke says another reason buyers should act now is an upcoming hike in mortgage rates, which are expected to reach nearly 5 percent.

Read the full article here>

Posted in Buying
Nov. 21, 2016

Beach Village at The Del: Luxurious in Every Way, Even While You're Away

Beach Village at The Del offers unparalleled luxury not only as a place to soak up the San Diego sunshine, but as an investment property that virtually rents out itself. If you have the opportunity to purchase a Beach Village vacation home, do not let it pass you by. Your investment will treat you wonderfully both while you are vacationing in Coronado and while you are back home. 

 

When You’re There: Endless Amenities

Beach Village at The Del is connected to Hotel del Coronado, one of America’s most beloved beachfront resorts. Those staying at Beach Village are treated like hotel guests, with access to all The Del has to offer, including:

– Secluded pools

– 24-hour fitness center

– Luxury spa and salon

– Private chef

– 24-hour room service

– Fine dining and cocktails

– Lounge chairs, umbrellas, cabanas, and beach beds

– Recreational sports and activities

– Personal concierge

– Laundry and dry cleaning

– Business center

– Shopping

– Housekeeping

 

Beach Village owners can spend up to 90 days in their unit during the year and up to 25 out of 50 consecutive days. These may sound like tight restrictions, but most owners find them to be non-factors. The 90-day limit is part of the California Coastal Commission’s efforts to preserve California’s beautiful shoreline and nature. The 25-day limit allows The Del to maintain its rental program, which works in your favor.


While You’re Gone: Turnkey Renting

Every bit as desirable as the amenities is the fact that a Beach Village condo fills itself when you are not using it. Hotel del Coronado manages all aspects of renting out your cottage or villa while you’re not there—from marketing and reservations to accommodations, maintenance and repairs—and splits the revenue with you. All you have to do is provide the hotel with which days you plan on staying, and they will put the unit on the market for the vacant days.

 

Beach Village is also the only rental property in Coronado exempt from a city ordinance prohibiting short-term rentals under 26 days. That means you are among just a handful of owners on the island who can accommodate the many weekend, weeklong, and holiday visitors Coronado attracts year-round—you don’t even have to communicate with them! The Del makes the arrangements on your behalf.

 

The Ultimate Vacation Home

Your Beach Village vacation home is spotless when you arrive, opulent while you stay, and effortless when you leave. Vacation homes simply don’t get any better than this. Looking for more information about Beach Village at The Del? Contact Del Coronado Realty at 619-437-1888, or visit us in Hotel del Coronado at 1500 Orange Avenue.

Nov. 7, 2016

Del Coronado Realty's Ruth Ann Fisher Shares Why Coronado is Her Home

When Ruth Ann Fisher first moved to Coronado in the early ‘80s, the island was another stop in the up-and-move life of a military spouse. She and her husband, Mike, spent only nine months here before moving on to their next destination.

 

In 1999, nearly two decades and roughly a dozen moves later, the Fishers–now with two kids–found themselves back in Coronado. This time, they expected to stay 18 months.

 

After falling in love with everything the island offers, the Fishers extended their stay in Coronado another three years while Mike worked with the Naval Special Warfare Center at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. Mike was then faced with a two-year deployment that would have caused him to miss their son’s junior and senior years of high school, to which he retired from the Navy and secured a position that would allow the Fisher family to make Coronado their permanent home. Ruth Ann established Del Coronado Realty shortly after and has been happily helping others find their “forever home” in Coronado ever since.

 

Why Coronado?

Small Town Atmosphere

Even during her temporary stint in Coronado, Ruth Ann felt the island’s small town charm.

 

“It’s a tight-knit community, right across the bridge from a big city,” Ruth Ann says. “You have instant accessibility to the endless attractions in San Diego, with a warm, welcoming, and laid-back neighborhood to come home to.”

 

Quality of Life

Do you prefer mountains or beaches? Surfing or snowboarding? Biking or boating?

 

All of the above are within reach, from the pristine shoreline right in our backyard to the adventures that await just a two-and-a-half-hour drive away in Big Bear Lake.

 

“And the outdoors aren’t just seasonal,” Ruth Ann adds. “You can get outside and be active year-round.”

 

Safety & Schools

“When you’re a parent, education is everything,” Ruth Ann says. “The Coronado Unified School District is truly extraordinary, and the island is extremely safe for kids going to and from school.”

 

The combination of award-winning schools and low crime was pivotal in the Fishers’ decision to stay and settle down in Coronado. Both of their children attended school here from a young age through high school graduation.

 

Why Del Coronado Realty?

For those who find themselves drawn to the many allures of Coronado, there is no better place to begin exploring the real estate market here on the island than with Del Coronado Realty. Led by Ruth Ann’s decades of local market knowledge and genuine passion for the local community, our team is here to help you not only find a home, but create the life you envision in Coronado.

 

“True to the Coronado spirit, we take pride in keeping strong ties,” Ruth Ann says. “Our clients are not transactions. They are our neighbors.”

Posted in Island Life
Nov. 4, 2016

5 Reasons Coronado is the Best Place to Buy a Vacation Home

From coast to coast and border to border, America boasts fantastic places to get away and enjoy life. Each is unique and inspiring in its own ways. However, few can stack up to the many allures of Coronado.

 Okay, so we’re a little biased. But just because we live and work here doesn’t mean we can’t make a reasonable claim for Coronado to be at the top of every vacation homebuyer’s list. Let’s run through the reasons why Coronado is the king of U.S. vacation destinations.

 

Year-Round Comfort

The Pacific Northwest and New England are both spectacular for a short window of time each year—and then comes winter. If you buy a vacation home in either of these regions, you will likely be visiting during their busiest times for tourism.

 

Next, let’s venture down south—think Florida, the Carolinas, or the Texas gulf coast. Here you’re faced with the other extreme: a sweltering hot vacation season. We’re talking heat index values well into the 100s by 10 a.m. Visiting in winter is great weather-wise, but many restaurants and attractions are closed.

 

Meanwhile, Coronado’s climate stays flawlessly temperate year-round. Whether you’re trying to escape the sizzle of summer or the wrath of winter, this is the place to be.

 

Lower Coastal Risks

The Atlantic hurricane season typically poses a much larger threat to the U.S. than the Pacific hurricane season. Most recently, Hurricane Matthew caused approximately $1.5 billion in property damage in North Carolina alone. The October 2016 storm made its U.S. landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 Hurricane, lashing a large swath of the Eastern Seaboard from Florida all the way up to Virginia.

 

There is no “one up” to be celebrated here. We can’t control Mother Nature, and it’s always deeply saddening to hear about people losing their homes in a storm. Nevertheless, the West Coast is significantly and scientifically safer from hurricanes than the East and Gulf Coasts. The only known hurricane to hit Southern California was in 1858, and only two tropical storms have made landfall here since 1900.

 

Amenities & Activities

It’s a special kind of life when on any given day you can be sitting on a beach, boating on a bay, exploring a big city, driving through the countryside or skiing down mountain slopes. Most places are able to provide just one or two of the above, and again, only during a specific season. Idaho, for example, has some of the most beautiful country you’ll ever see, but its most populous city is less than one-sixth the size of San Diego, and you’re hours from the ocean! Coronado caters to those who like a little bit of everything.

 

Walkability

For many people, driving amounts to hours of lost time, even on vacation. Not in it for an adventure? Leave your car at home—literally—and walk to just about everything you need in the heart of Coronado: the Village. Orange Avenue is lined with shops, restaurants, and boutiques, and you can catch a ferry on the Bay side to equally walkable Downtown San Diego. Being on an island makes vacationing blissfully simple.

 

Accessibility

People often associate islands with isolation. If you’re going somewhere like Hawaii, that is undoubtedly true. It takes a full day to get to Hawaii from the East Coast and a half-day from the West Coast. Between the time difference and high cost of goods, the trip can be more exhausting than rejuvenating.

 

A relatively short and affordable flight from every corner of the country, Coronado is an accessible paradise that captures every essence of a perfect vacation. When you buy a vacation home here, you’re investing in the island retreat you deserve. Let Del Coronado Realty help you find your dream vacation home in Coronado. Call us at 619-437-1888, or visit us in Hotel del Coronado at 1500 Orange Avenue.

Posted in Buying, Island Life
Sept. 28, 2016

7 Things We Can Tell You About Coronado's Schools


You want the best education for your children. That’s why great schools are at the top of your list of priorities when buying a new home.

Coronado’s renowned school system attracts parents, and even youngsters themselves, from near and far. With decades of combined experience living, working, and parenting in Coronado, here are seven things Del Coronado Realty knows about the schools on the island:

 

1. The School District is a Perennial Award Winner

The Coronado Unified School District is a consensus top school district not just in San Diego, but also in all of California. Four Coronado schools have been named California Distinguished Schools, two have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools, and one is recognized as a demonstration site for the state.

 

2. Parents’ Voices Are Heard

Our district consists of two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Compare this tight-knit system to larger school districts with hundreds of thousands of parents, and you’ll see an inspiring opportunity to get involved in your child’s education, whether through tutoring, sports, or any other initiative you find a passion for. 

 

3. Families Move Here Just for the Schools

Many clients come to us looking to buy in Coronado, specifically so they can place their children in the Coronado Unified School District—and you thought perfect weather, pristine sand, and panoramic city views were the main draws!

 

4. The Kids Are Welcoming

Since Coronado has a large military population, the children here are accustomed to seeing new faces regularly. That means your child will feel at home from their first day of school and won’t be “the new kid” for long.

 

5. Art Lives Here

When we said that even youngsters themselves covet a Coronado education, we were referring to Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA), where nearly three-fourths of the student body comes from outside of Coronado. San Diego’s premier performing arts high school, CoSA is located on the Coronado High School campus and offers classes in everything from theatre to music to visual art. The program is extremely competitive and equally successful.

 

6. Sports, Too

Coronado High School offers almost every major sport imaginable and consistently produces some of the most competitive teams in the state. In 2014, US News ranked Coronado High School in the top 1 percent of public high schools nationwide. Many of our athletes–particularly those in baseball, soccer and lacrosse–go on to excel at the next levels of their respective sports.

 

7. Coronado School Are Safe, Central, and Beautiful

Academic success aside, schools in Coronado offer all of the qualities you’re looking for. Between the island’s low crime rate and small area, it is unequivocally safe for your child to get to and from school. Meanwhile, top facilities, passionate teachers, and a caring staff make for an atmosphere where education is truly enjoyable.  

 

Looking to learn more about Coronado before you make the decision to move here? Del Coronado Realty can tell you everything you need to know. Visit our blog at www.delcoronadorealty.com/blog for ongoing tips and insight, or call us at 619-437-1888 with any questions you might have.