Imperial Beach – April 2017
Imperial Beach has changed a lot over the last few years and like it or not, there are no signs of stopping. With the emergence of the Marriott’s luxury hotel collection which hosts a Cohen restaurant, Sea 180; luxury condos with ocean views; developments like Coronado Brewing Company at the Bikeway Village, Siam Imperial Thai, and the Navy Coastal Campus’ projection of completion around 2027, we can see a direct impact on the real estate housing market. Imperial Beach was one of the last communities with beachfront access at relatively affordable prices, but that’s all changing now.
San Diego real estate inventory has been low for quite some time and Imperial Beach properties are seemingly on back order. Beazer homes has endeavored to capitalize on this demand by building Bayside Landing, with approximately 187 condos to help fulfill the need of the community.
For those buying a condo, across from Bayside Landing is the 9th and Palm, Imperial Beach mixed-use, Breakwater Town Center. Phase 1 is slated to open as early as July 2017 for the following tenants: Grocery Outlet, Starbucks, Jersey Mike’s, T-Mobile, Baskin Robbins, Chipotle, Five Guys, and Wing Stop, among others. Phase 2 of this project will include the most recent approval for a Hampton Inn.
I’ve been following Imperial Beach’s condo project since inception and have seen a great deal of intrigue surrounding the purchase process on social media. I’ve decided to chronicle the buying process of a Beazer Homes condo through the eyes of my clients as I take every step of this journey with them as their representative.
Get on the list!
When the Imperial Beach condo opening was first announced, I quickly contacted those who expressed their interest in these condos and arranged a phone consultation with each of the builder’s preferred lenders. After speaking to all three of the preferred lenders: CNN, Navy Federal, and Wells Fargo, I found the rates and terms competitive when measured against lenders I’ve used in the past. Based on what we heard from the builder and lenders, there is an extremely high interest for these condos. I heard figures around 800 are on the interest list, yet only an estimated 300 have been pre-qualified for a loan. CNN’s Tiffany Taradash was amazing and extremely responsive; her team had all my clients qualified in less than a day and on the list for the first event. By getting pre-qualified, these early birds showed they were a step ahead of the average buyer and were among 85 people invited to the first phase release.
A Raffle in Imperial Beach
The first evening event was held March 29, 2017 at an off-site location in Imperial Beach. Thirteen condos were to be raffled off to the 85 pre-qualified guests. I had six clients who were anxiously waiting and hoping to hear their numbers called. In attempts to keep the complex mostly owner-occupied, Beazer permitted one investor per Norfolk (3 stories) and Hampshire (2 stories) category models, all other participants in the raffle were to be live-in buyers.
If your number was called, you selected from one of four available Norfolk or three Hampshire various style floorplans (not all floorplans were offered at the first phase release). Depending on when your raffle was called and how many options remained unpicked; some participants passed in hopes of being called at the next raffle with more options. After 12 lots were raffled off, one remained and it just so happened one of my clients’ number was called! They took what was left and it was one of the largest three stories available, with a courtyard view and only one other condo on connected on the side. They were pleased with what they were offered. I would advise anyone interested to be flexible and open to whatever floorplans are available.
Once chosen, the lucky buyer had to leave a $5,000 deposit that same evening. Within the next few days, the buyer would meet with a Beazer representative to go over any questions and finish signing the purchase contract.
When I met with the Beazer representative for my clients, I went over several questions after reviewing the purchase contract and disclosures. Many of the answers were to be determined as much of the process was and still is being finalized. Buyers were asked to “bear with” [Beazer] because information is coming in daily. Soil reports were received only days prior, blue prints for each model needed to be gathered, insulation r-values were in the works, and much of what is standard or on an upgrade list needed to be released based on the model purchased. As of now, the model homes are almost finished and a soft opening will be held the second to last weekend in April. The first phase homes are scheduled to be finished mid-July, just a couple weeks after their original deadline of June 30th.
The next step for a buyer is finalizing his or her loan application within 7 days of signing the purchase contract. Don’t forget all the closing costs and $286/month HOA fees! Beazer offered $5,000 in closing costs for those who chose to close with a preferred lender, or $6,000 for those purchasing a Hampshire model. Within 21 days of signing a contract, a buyer must have underwriter approval and then he or she sits, waits, watches the interest rates, and plays the game of locking in a good rate.
Now the fun part: buyers head to Irvine to the Beazer home design center. Buyers rove through all the standard materials and then decide what upgrades, if any, they would like to roll into the loan or pay at close of escrow out-of-pocket. The largest necessary upgrade was flooring. The standard flooring options were very cheap in appearance and of the lowest quality. Of the 13 lots in phase one, most everyone I’ve spoken with is updating the flooring ($20,000 for Armstrong Lux Plank Vinyl which are water and scratch proof for approx. 1,700 sf of flooring). Beyond flooring, there were quartz counter tops ($4,500), soft-close drawers ($2,000), and a steel farm sink ($95.00) to list my top upgrade options. I would want to do most of the other upgrades myself later on. While I helped my buyers select options, I feverishly texted my cohorts to price check and make sure these upgrades were not gouging a privy buyer. I am happy to announce, for the items these buyers selected, the prices were competitive. The only major difference was pricing for appliances (fridge, washer, dryer) – buyers should check out at Home Depot or Lowes. Once the upgrades were selected for the Imperial Beach condo, a deposit for may be required for items selected over $25,000.
After finalizing upgrades, buyers conducted their first official walk-through of the model floorplan and then the exact model they would purchase. With the heavy construction in full flow, all walk-through attendees donned hard-hats and met with a Beazer representative at the model home site. The model floorplan had not been completed yet but it was nice to visualize the room sizes and potential furniture placement. Unfortunately, the models had some built-ins which do not come standard and aren’t even an option at the design studio although they looked amazing. The home site that was purchased was in phase 4 of construction, which means only the framing, and some insulation and plumbing was complete. My buyers invited their trusted contractor to the walk through and he concluded the homes were built well, thought they did a good job, and nothing stood out as a red flag.
All-in-all, this process has been really fun and exciting, I hope all my clients get their numbers called! I snapped a few shots of potential views and took some videos in order to provide a better idea of what it looks like, I hope you enjoy and please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding buying a condo in Imperial Beach through Beazer, especially if you’d like to get in on the action. *I’ve since learned I should be taking videos a different way so next post, I’ll be sure to get them right!
There is a soft opening coming-up, as well as another phase release raffle so I’ll update thereafter! In the meantime, search for more homes in Imperial Beach: