Moving to Monterey California

19 Replies

Hey everyone!

I'll be stationed in Monterey California in about 6 months. My real estate investment goals are to buy a single family home in each of my duty stations while active duty with the intention of renting once I'm stationed elsewhere. I currently own a single family home in the southeast US. This seems to be a muchhhh different real estate environment than California.

It looks as if it may be very difficult to buy a single family with the ability to rent at a higher price than a standard monthly mortgage. Any advice? Also, any advice on desirable locations outside of Monterey? Salinas and Marina look like good options.

Thanks in advance!

-Matt

I lived in Monterey. I personally could not afford to buy there as an E2 when I was there in '09, nor now as a 7. Marina is pretty nice. Salinas has nice pockets, but there are a lot of pretty rough areas too. That drive from Salinas into the Presidio can be brutal too.

I think you are much better off renting something and saving money to invest somewhere else. Not only is the gross rent multiplier atrocious, there are more challenges and costs associated with being a landlord in California relative to the southeast. Unless you are putting a lot down or find a place in particularly poor condition and have the cash to renovate, there is a very good chance you would have to rent out at a loss.

I'm a realtor here. Generally speaking the numbers don't make sense here. I would only buy here if you REALLY want a long term residence to come back to when you retire. Appreciation here is nice too, but I hate betting on that (even though it's likely to continue to go up....)

Don't do it!  I ended up renting a place with a roommate just down the street from the schoolhouse (DLI) and it was close to $2000 for a two bedroom/two bath apartment.  You're better off renting saving the rest of the BAH.  Just enjoy your time there and make sure you stop by Campagno's Deli.  

@Matthew Kabernagel , I concur with everyone else. I wanted to the same thing when I went to Monterey in 2007, but the numbers didn't work. Dodged a bullet there, huh? Ran into the same thing when I moved to the DC area after the crash as well. Bottom line, if the numbers don't work then just rent and wait. Or look in a market that makes more sense. Maybe pick up another property before you PCS.

When I was stationed in Hawaii a few years back I tried my hardest to pencil a out a deal but just couldn't make it work. Decided to rent a 2-bedroom place with a buddy instead and we each saved close to 1k of our BAH to put back in our pockets each month after expenses. Contrary to popular belief, you can build wealth renting

Hey Matthew, we just PCSed from there in December. We considered it because we were going to be there 2 years and all that BAH, but at the end of the day we decided against it for reasons listed above. 6 months is too short IMO for that kind of money. Completely agree about nice pockets of Salinas but commute can be rough.

Matthew, 

I have been stationed here for over a year now, and my wife and I decided against buying. The number just does not work here for a single-family home to include the expensive you will run into, like the property tax. I am currently renting a house in Carmel for under $600 the current BAH. We are using this time for saving to purchase a home when we move. Depending on your job Marina and Salinas will have longer travel time due to the traffic in the evenings. I also agree with Mr. Wright. Salinas is a nice area, but the increased risk is not worth the drive and investment. 

If you have any questions about the area, please let me know, and I would be happy to help!

Sincerely Josh 

@Greg Hamer What are you thoughts on the market in the next 5-10 years? I’m realizing I’d be banking on appreciation solely. I wouldn’t be able to cash flow. I’ll likely be in the location for around 6 years, so the appreciation could be substantial.

Maybe if you got a deal off market, you could find someone who doesn't realize its value or a "motivated seller." Probate or similar. You are going to be there long enough to build up some equity, or to ride out a down turn. I'd send hand writte mail to probate/inherited houses published in the local paper over the course of the next year and see if you get any bites.

I'm probably one of the few people on here that bought on his orders to NPS! It's for sure something that you have to find the right property for in this market. What everyone is saying is very accurate, extremely hard to find a SFR that would cashflow, I was able to get a very good deal on a new build out here, if you want to talk details on that deal shoot me a PM. Unorthodox in execution for sure.

I'm also still local in the area for the next two years if you're still around!

Tyler

Whoops...  looks like I never responded. Sorry. 

Appreciation is insane right now. Our market reports are showing good gains and couples with increased demand and low inventory, should keep the market going right now. 

Covid is a wild card of course, but that doesn’t negate the absolute lack of housing we have here. 

Rents in the new build areas are very high, so if Tyler bought in sea haven, the dunes, or East garrison, he should be good to go. 

I expect gains to keep going for the next 6 years. Even if there is a downturn, people still need a place to live, and we have completely recovered from the last downturn in regards to value.

Originally posted by @Kerry Baird :

Maybe if you got a deal off market, you could find someone who doesn't realize its value or a "motivated seller." Probate or similar. You are going to be there long enough to build up some equity, or to ride out a down turn. I'd send hand writte mail to probate/inherited houses published in the local paper over the course of the next year and see if you get any bites.

Most people here know the value, and if anything, they think their crap pile is made of gold. 

Deals are hard unless you buy a complete remodel, and even then the numbers are difficult to justify.  

Originally posted by @Tyler Roger Goble :

Right on the money @Greg Hamer! I'm in East Garrison.

I’ve done many deals in EG. The Mello Roos is a little hard to swallow. 

I’m curious how many people will prepay that in the near future and if it will have any effect on value or marketability in the future.  

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