Explore the San Diego Real Estate Market with Insights on News, Trends, Tips for Buying & Selling Homes, Local Coastal Activities and More - Only on San Diego's Realtor's Coastal Edge Blog

Welcome to our blog, your go-to source for all things San Diego Real Estate. Whether you're looking to buy, sell, or refinance your home, Coastal Edge Realty is here to simplify the process and provide you with powerful solutions to find your dream home in San Diego County. Our team of expert San Diego Realtors specialize in San Diego Homes for Sale, San Diego Condos, San Diego Townhomes, and San Diego Residential Property, and have a deep understanding of the San Diego Real Estate Market. Here, you'll find the latest market trends, neighborhood insights, and tips to make the most of your San Diego Home Search. So, stay tuned and join us as we navigate the ever-changing San Diego Real Estate landscape together.

Life is better on the Coastal Edge!

-Broker Kristen

Jan. 8, 2024

Zoning In: How San Diego's Zoning Laws Can Make or Break Your Property Dreams!

San Diego skyline illustrating the impact of zoning laws on property development and investment.


Zoning In: How San Diego's Zoning Laws Can Make or Break Your Property Dreams!

Hey there, San Diego dreamers and doers! Whether you're eyeing that cute bungalow by the beach or planning to invest in a bustling commercial space downtown, there’s something you can’t afford to overlook: zoning laws. As a real estate agent in sunny San Diego, I've seen firsthand how zoning can make or break property dreams. Let's dive into the world of zoning and how it impacts your property plans.

Understanding the Basics of Zoning Laws

The Blueprint of City Planning
Zoning laws are like the rulebook for city development. They determine what can be built where, balancing the city's growth, community needs, and environmental considerations. For instance, you wouldn't want a noisy factory in the middle of a residential neighborhood, right? That’s where zoning comes in.

Zoning’s Role in Property Buying

Choosing Wisely
When you're looking for a property, zoning laws can greatly influence your decision. Say you're considering a property in Pacific Beach. It's not just about the property itself but also about what the zoning laws allow you to do with it. Can you add another story? Turn it into a rental? These are crucial considerations.

Digging into the Details
Before you fall in love with a property, check its zoning status. The City of San Diego's Zoning Map is a great place to start. I once had a client who was set on buying a property to convert it into a bed and breakfast, only to find out that the zoning regulations in that area didn’t allow for such conversions.

The Impact on Property Development

Navigating Development Opportunities
Zoning laws can either expand or limit your development opportunities. They dictate aspects like building height, density, and land use. Understanding these can help you estimate the potential and limitations of your property.

Securing the Green Light
Getting development approvals can be a journey. It involves understanding the zoning laws, preparing the right documents, and sometimes, presenting your case in front of planning boards. Patience and thoroughness are your allies here.

Zoning and Real Estate Investment

Smart Investment Decisions
For real estate investors, zoning knowledge is power. It can guide you on where to invest and what type of properties to focus on. For instance, investing in a commercial property in a zone slated for development could mean a significant return on investment.

Learning from Real Stories
I recall a savvy investor who bought a plot of land in an area that was rezoned for commercial use. This foresight led to a profitable development project that wouldn’t have been possible under the previous zoning laws.

Challenges and Common Misconceptions

Clearing the Confusion
Zoning laws can be complex and often misunderstood. For example, some people think that zoning laws never change, but they can and do! Staying informed and adaptable is key.

Tackling Zoning Challenges
Encountering zoning issues isn’t the end of the road. There are ways to navigate these challenges, such as applying for variances or rezoning, though these processes can be intricate and time-consuming.

Staying Informed and Updated

Keeping a Finger on the Pulse of Change
Zoning laws evolve, reflecting changes in community needs and city planning goals. Keeping abreast of these changes is crucial, especially for long-term property plans.

Useful Resources
The City of San Diego Planning Department is a goldmine of information. Additionally, connecting with real estate professionals and legal advisors who specialize in zoning can provide invaluable guidance.



Understanding San Diego's zoning laws is a critical step in realizing your property dreams. Whether you’re buying your first home, developing a property, or making a strategic investment, a solid grasp of zoning regulations will empower you to make informed decisions. And remember, in the ever-changing landscape of real estate, knowledge is not just power – it's profit and peace of mind. Happy house hunting, and here’s to making your property dreams come true in beautiful San Diego!

Posted in Home Buyer
Dec. 21, 2023

Unlock the Secrets: First-Time Home Buying in San Diego!

Unlocking the secrets to first time home buying in San Diego.


Unlock the Secrets: First-Time Home Buying in San Diego!

Hey there, aspiring homeowners! Are you dreaming of your own little slice of paradise in sunny San Diego? If you're navigating the maze of first-time home buying, especially if you're between the ages of 20 and 40, this article is your treasure map. Let’s dive into the exciting world of real estate in one of the most beautiful cities on the West Coast, if not all of America.

Understanding the San Diego Real Estate Market

Dubbed “America’s Finest City” San Diego isn't just famous for its stunning beaches and perfect weather; its real estate market is as diverse as its landscapes.

Neighborhood Highlights:

From the laid-back vibes of Ocean Beach to the bustling streets of Downtown, each neighborhood has its unique charm and price tag. When I was house hunting, I was torn between the artsy allure of North Park and the tranquil suburban feel of Carmel Valley but ended up settling down in the quiet, recently gentrified community of Bay-Ho. It’s all about finding a place that resonates with your lifestyle and future plans.

The market can be competitive, but don’t let that discourage you. With the right preparation, you can find a gem that fits your budget and dreams.

Financial Preparation and Budgeting

Here comes the not-so-fun part, but it’s crucial.

Assessing Financial Health:

It's time to get real about your finances. How much can you realistically afford? Remember, it’s not just about the mortgage; consider property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs. I learned this the hard way when the termite inspector overlooked the damage on the second story roof of my Bay-Ho home. Fortunately, I re-read the report and there was no mention of the damage so I reached out to the company and they fixed all of the repairs at no cost to me because of their oversight as I would have included this in the “Request For Repairs” (RFP) during the purchase negotiations.

Be sure to also look into financial assistance programs. San Diego offers several first-time homebuyer programs that can give you a much-needed boost like on the San Diego Housing Commission website.

The Mortgage Maze

Navigating mortgages can feel like trying to solve a Rubik's cube. But here's a simplified breakdown. Types of Mortgages: Fixed-rate mortgages are great for stability, while adjustable-rate mortgages might offer lower initial rates. If you’re a veteran, VA loans are a fantastic option with no down payment required.

Getting pre-approved is like having a VIP pass in the San Diego real estate market. It shows sellers you’re serious and ready to go.

Finding the Right Home

Now for the exciting part! Defining Home Preferences: Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves. When I was searching for my first home, I knew I needed a dedicated space for my home office, RV or boat parking, and a yard for my dog, Peeve.

Use all the tools at your disposal. Online listings, real estate agents, and open houses are your best friends here. And when you visit homes, look beyond the surface. Check the condition of things like foundations, roofs, plumbing, and electrical systems.

Making an Offer and Closing the Deal

So you’ve found “The One”? Time to make an offer. In San Diego's market, you need to be quick but also smart.

Crafting a Competitive Offer:

Know what to send! You’d think that including a personal letter with your offer can make a huge difference. Years ago I remember writing a letter explaining how I could already imagine growing fresh herbs in the planters in the backyard and sunflowers in the front, and the seller was touched by the personal connection. Her late father’s favorite flower was a Sunflower. While it may appear innocuous, the National Association of Realtors recommends avoiding the practice of sending a "love letter" when purchasing a home. Such correspondence could inadvertently breach fair-housing regulations and result in discriminatory behavior.

The closing process will involve a lot of paperwork and patience. Ensure you understand each step and don’t hesitate to ask an agent like me or a lawyer for clarifications.

Planning for the Future

Owning a home is a long-term commitment and an exciting journey.

Long-Term Considerations:

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your home’s value. It’s also the perfect opportunity to make your home truly yours. I started with simple DIY projects like adding a bigger closet upstairs and gradually moved to more significant renovations like a bathroom remodel.

Remember, buying your first home in San Diego is more than a financial investment; it’s where your life stories will unfold, where you’ll have barbecues on warm summer evenings, and maybe even where you’ll take your first steps into parenthood.

Wrapping Up

Embarking on the journey of buying your first home in San Diego is thrilling. Yes, there will be challenges, but the reward of owning your place in this vibrant city is unparalleled. It’s a blend of smart financial moves, a bit of patience, and a lot of heart.

Feel free to reach out if you have questions or need an ally in your home-buying adventure. Remember, every big journey starts with a small step, and your dream home in San Diego is waiting for you!

Need More Info?

If you're thirsty for more knowledge or need specific advice, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help you unlock the door to your new home in San Diego!

Posted in Home Buyer
Nov. 28, 2023

La Jolla Luxury Homes: Your Gateway to Coastal Elegance

Luxury Home in La Jolla California


I'm Kristen Kalepp, the proud owner of Coastal Edge Realty, and I have the privilege of guiding clients through the exquisite world of La Jolla luxury homes. La Jolla, affectionately known as "the jewel" of San Diego, is where luxury living and coastal serenity meet, creating an unparalleled lifestyle for those who call it home.


In my years of experience in San Diego's real estate market, I've developed a deep appreciation for the unique beauty and sophistication of La Jolla's luxury homes. These properties are more than just residences; they are masterpieces of design and comfort. From contemporary architectural wonders to classic Mediterranean estates, each home in La Jolla is a testament to the elegance and exclusivity of this prestigious neighborhood.


Living in La Jolla is an experience in itself. Imagine starting your day with panoramic ocean views, taking leisurely walks along the sun-kissed beaches, and enjoying the finest dining experiences with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop with the local sea life. This is the lifestyle that awaits you in the La Jolla luxury homes market– a perfect blend of opulence and tranquility.


At Coastal Edge Realty, my team and I specialize in connecting discerning buyers with their dream homes in La Jolla. We understand that purchasing a luxury home is not just a transaction; it's a step into a lifestyle of unparalleled elegance. Our personalized approach ensures that every aspect of your real estate journey is as seamless and luxurious as the homes we represent.


In conclusion, La Jolla's luxury homes are not just properties; they are gateways to a lifestyle of coastal elegance. If you're ready to explore this exclusive world, I am here to guide you every step of the way. Let's embark on this journey together and find the La Jolla luxury home that resonates with your dreams and aspirations.

Posted in Home Buyer
Nov. 27, 2023

Exploring San Diego Homes for Sale: A Journey Through the Vibrant Property Market

Welcome to the dynamic world of San Diego real estate! Embarking on the journey of buying a house in this beautiful city is not just a transaction, it's a voyage into a lifestyle. As someone who's navigated these waters personally in 2018, I can attest to the allure of San Diego's stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and diverse neighborhoods. This guide is more than just an overview of San Diego homes for sale; it's a collection of insights and personal experiences in the property market, tailored for prospective buyers like you.

The Appeal of San Diego Real Estate

San Diego's real estate market is as diverse as its landscape, something I've experienced firsthand. From the luxurious beachfront properties in La Jolla, where I've marveled at the sunset views during open houses, to the historic charm of the Gaslamp Quarter, reminiscent of my strolls through its vibrant streets, each neighborhood presents its unique allure. The city's consistent climate, thriving job market, and quality of life make it an attractive destination for buyers from all walks of life, including myself.

Understanding the Market Trends

Before diving into the San Diego property market, understanding the current trends is crucial. I've seen the market's dynamism, with fluctuations influenced by various factors such as economic conditions, interest rates, and housing demand. Keeping ahead of these trends has been key in making well-informed decisions for me and my clients when selecting their dream homes.

Choosing the Right Neighborhood

Each of San Diego's neighborhoods offers distinct lifestyles and amenities. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly suburb, an urban downtown experience, or a serene beachside retreat in Pacific Beach, there's a place for you. My own journey through these neighborhoods has shown me the importance of aligning your lifestyle with your living environment. Researching and visiting these areas can give you a better sense of where you might want to settle, just as it did for me when I decided on Bay-Ho.

Navigating the Buying Process

Purchasing a home in San Diego involves several steps, from securing financing to navigating home inspections and appraisals. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent or a real estate broker like myself who understands the San Diego market is invaluable. They can provide expertise, as I was able to for my transaction, from finding properties that meet your criteria to negotiating the best deal and even a home warranty.

Investing in San Diego's Future

Buying a home in San Diego is not just about finding a place to live; it's an investment in your future. The city's growth, coupled with its enduring appeal, makes it a wise choice for long-term property investment. As a homeowner and real estate professional in San Diego, I've witnessed the long-term benefits of investing in this market and it's only getting more lucrative.


San Diego's real estate market offers a world of opportunities for those looking to call this city home. With its diverse neighborhoods, robust market, and endless charm, finding a home here can be a rewarding experience. If you're considering buying a house in San Diego, now is a great time to explore the vibrant property market, as I have done. Let this city's unique character and potential become a part of your own story! If you're ready to start the hunt for your next property be sure to reach out to me and I'll help you track down that special property.

Posted in Home Buyer
Jan. 26, 2023

Living sustainably in San Diego: From eco-friendly homes to green transportation options

San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches, perfect weather, and laid-back lifestyle, but did you know that it's also a leader in sustainable living? From eco-friendly homes to green transportation options, there are plenty of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and live sustainably in this beautiful city.


One of the most popular sustainable options for homeowners in San Diego is to invest in a green home. This can include features such as solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Not only do these features help to reduce your energy bills, but they also have a positive impact on the environment.


Another way to live sustainably in San Diego is by choosing a home in a walkable or bike-friendly neighborhood. This reduces the need for cars and helps to decrease air pollution. Many neighborhoods in San Diego are designed with this in mind, making it easy to get around on foot or by bike.


When it comes to transportation, San Diego offers a variety of eco-friendly options. The city has a robust public transportation system, including buses and trolleys, and is also home to the world-renowned Coaster commuter train. For those who prefer to drive, there are also several electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city.


Finally, San Diego is home to a variety of community gardens and farmers' markets, which make it easy to access fresh, locally-grown produce. These markets also support local farmers and reduce the carbon footprint associated with transporting produce long distances.


Overall, San Diego offers plenty of opportunities for those looking to live sustainably. As mentioned before, from eco-friendly homes to green transportation options, there are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy all that this beautiful city has to offer. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a long-time resident, consider all the ways you can live sustainably in San Diego and make a positive impact on the planet.

Posted in Miscellaneous
Dec. 16, 2021

A Cautionary Tale About Renters Insurance


 Here’s why you and your tenants need to have the right insurance coverage.


Today’s message is for all the landlords out there. I have some great advice to share with you about renters insurance that will help avoid potential disaster with your future tenants.


First, a quick tip. I highly recommend that you call your insurance company and double-check to make sure you’re properly covered. With home prices and material costs going up, you might not have as much coverage as you need.


You know this, but your tenant might not know that your homeowners insurance policy doesn't cover them as a renter. They need to get renters insurance. If they can’t afford that extra $20 a month, it might be a red flag that they shouldn’t even be a tenant of yours.


You or your tenant may be lacking in coverage.


I suggest adding a clause in your rental contract that requires renters to get renters insurance and require proof of it. You may not think that a disaster like fire or flood will happen to you, but it can happen to any of us. If your tenant doesn’t have insurance, all their stress will land on you and add to the stress you’d already have after a home disaster.


To further reinforce the point that it can happen to anyone, I recently ran into a situation like this. I have a rental property, and I got a call at 9 p.m. on a Sunday while I was out of town. My tenant was as well. Water was pouring out of the house, and it could have been going on for a week as far as I knew. 


After the fact, I found out that my tenant didn’t have renters insurance even after I asked her to get it when she signed the contract. Most of her belongings were destroyed, and it was a very sad situation that could have been avoided, at least partially. It makes a stressful situation even more stressful.


If you have any questions for me about renters insurance, homeowners insurance, rental properties, or anything else related to real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Posted in Things To Do
July 1, 2021

5 Tips to Help You Build & Maintain Excellent Credit

Strong credit matters. Here are my tips for maintaining an excellent credit score.


When it comes to your financial health in general, your credit score matters. Maintaining a good credit score will make it easier for you to qualify for financing for a home loan, too. Here are my best practices for keeping a good credit score so that your financial ducks are in a row for your next purchase:


1. Pay on time. At 35%, your payment history is the largest part of your FICO score, so pay your bills on time to keep your score high.


2. Keep your balances low. Aim to use less than 30% of your credit limit. Pay attention to your score. Monitor your credit report regularly so you know where you stand. If you think your score is lower than it should be, consider running a credit report to see if there are any errors.


3. Be patient. While negative credit information is frustrating, it typically ages off your credit report after a few years, depending on your situation.


4. Shop smart. Do your research before you apply for any loans or credit cards to avoid unnecessary hard impacts on your loan that may lower your credit score.


"Be sure to pay off your cards each month and keep a low balance."


Now that you have some tips under your belt, here are a few common misconceptions about credit scores to avoid falling prey to:


1. Closing your unused credit card account will help your credit score. That’s not true; keeping your old credit cards will boost your credit history and potentially help your credit score.


2. Checking your credit score will lower it. When you check your credit score, it’s a soft impact that shouldn’t affect your credit at all.


3. Any debt will hurt your credit score. Not all debt is bad. For example, if you have a mortgage and you’re paying it on time every month, that will help your credit score. If you have excessive credit card debt, that will hurt your score. Be sure to pay off your cards each month and keep a low balance.


Hopefully, these tips will help improve your credit. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help.

Posted in Home Buyer
June 22, 2021

Great Credit Gives You These 5 Hidden Perks

Here are the hidden perks of great credit.


Your credit score is your track record of financial responsibility, and maintaining great credit comes with several perks, including a few that might surprise you:


1. It’s easier to buy a home. You’re more likely to get approved for a mortgage when you have stronger credit. Good credit grants you a lower interest rate for most loans.


2. You get discounts on car insurance. Car insurance companies won’t turn you down for having bad credit, but they may raise your rates. Maintaining good credit could lower your monthly premium. 


"Maintaining great credit comes with several perks."


3. You can get a better phone plan. Having excellent credit will determine whether or not your phone carrier will grant you a contract with potential discounts or a costly monthly plan (which often requires a security deposit). 


4. You can secure the best credit cards. If your credit is in a good place, you can qualify for excellent credit cards with amazing incentives and benefits. You can also qualify for a higher credit limit if you've been proven to pay your bills on time. 


5. More options for renters. Good credit shows landlords that you’re responsible, which could potentially lower your security deposit and other upfront fees. Get your credit score for free at creditkarma.com, creditsesame.com, mint.intuit.com, or credit.com. Also, everyone gets one free credit report per year, so if you’re interested in that, visit annualcreditreport.com


If you have questions about this or any real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Remember, life is better on the Coastal Edge!


Posted in Miscellaneous
June 8, 2021

Sellers: Don’t Miss This Window of Opportunity

Here are five reasons why now is the time to sell in our market.


The spring buying season is back! Although summer is right around the corner, here are five reasons it’s better to put your home on the market sooner rather than later:


1. Pent-up demand. The pandemic put a delay on the 2020 spring buying season, so many people who waited are ready to get back in the game and get top dollar for their properties. 


2. Faster process. Homes are selling quickly right now, with the average days on market being just 21 days. This means you won’t have to wait months and months to sell—your home will sell within the first couple of days it’s on the market, if not within the first week. 


"I’m seeing homes sell for over their asking prices and with multiple offers."


3. Supply may increase. With new home construction rising in 2021, prices may stabilize. Put your home on the market now if you want the best chance at making the most money possible. 


4. Sold home prices. With low inventory and high demand, home sellers are getting top dollar right now. Don’t miss this window of opportunity. I’m seeing homes sell for over their asking prices and with multiple offers. It’s definitely a seller’s market out there. 


5. Low interest rates. It’s affordable and attainable to get a new loan. If you want to buy a new home after selling your current one, take advantage of these rates now because they’ll eventually increase. This is another window of opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. 


If you’re ready to take advantage of this market, I’d love to give your home a free valuation or answer any questions you have, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you.


Posted in Home Seller
May 10, 2021

My Top Tips for Writing a Stronger Offer

Here are my top tips for writing the best offer possible.

When you’re trying to purchase a property in a competitive market and there are tons of other buyers interested in the same home, here are a few tips that will help you write the strongest offer possible:


1. Write an offer that’s over the asking price

2. Waive the appraisal contingency (if you have the cash to do so)

3. Do a 10-day inspection period or waive the inspection period altogether

4. Buy the property as is

5. Wave the one-year home warranty

6. Don’t ask the seller for seller credits or closing costs 

7. Try to do a 21-day escrow instead of the normal 30-day escrow

8. Write the homeowner a personal letter detailing how much you love the property—tell them a little about yourself as well


I know a lot of buyers won’t be able to do all of these suggestions, but that’s okay. Do the best you can, stay positive, and don’t give up. The right home will eventually come along. If you have any questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I’d love to help you. Remember, life’s better on the coastal edge.


Posted in Home Buyer