Pacific Beach Blog

Renting In San Diego

April 13, 2021
Finding a new place to rent can feel like entering a race with unique obstacles. Many newcomers become residents of San Diego every year so the competition can be tough to live in your place of interest and that's no surprise. San Diego boasts the best sunny weather, has many well-known universities and colleges and is a famous military town. It is also no wonder, the rent in San Diego has continued to sky-rocket. With popularity, comes demand and a high demand can increase the cost of living for an area. According to Zumper, "the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Diego is $1,815" and most residents in San Diego rent their home.

There are many beneficial reasons why most San Diegans are renters. The primary benefits to renting in San Diego versus buying is it allows some flexibility and is less of a financial burden. It is very common for San Diego residents to shack up or live with roommates to cut their rent costs. In some states or cities, buying a house with a mortgage is more affordable than renting if you have a good credit score and enough money in the bank for the down payment. It is really not the case here for San Diego. You have to earn a really high salary to buy a home in San Diego and even so, the mortgage every month can still be really high; much higher than rent for the same home with the average down payment. Therefore, most San Diegans can only afford to rent. Recent data by Zumper shows 52% of housing units are renter-occupied in San Diego.

Another perk for renting versus buying a home in San Diego is there is less of a commitment if you're not sure how long you're staying in an area. If you hate your neighbors, you can move within the year (assuming a rental contract is typically one year long) and it gives you time to explore the city and neighborhoods in the area while you're hoping to save and planning to make your big decision to buy a home. If you need further convincing about the perks of renting, read about my terrible living situation when I rented a studio to find out how I was able to move out within months, worry-free.

When trying to find the right home to rent, you have to analyze many important factors before signing that rental agreement. This list includes: how big of a home you can afford, whether you need an office workspace if you're remotely working and if you'd be open to the option of having roommates to save costs. Typically, the more roommates you have, the less cost it would be every month per person. Furthermore, a home could be one of many types of dwelling. It could be a house, room, condo or apartment. What type of living situation are you looking for and can you afford it?

In my own experience, finding a new place for rent can be fun, exhilarating or stressful. Thankfully, with the available resources on the internet now, you can find pictures of potential homes for rent, use Google Maps to locate the distance between your home and workplace and contact the landlord or renting manager without leaving wherever you're sitting (or standing) at the moment. Finding a place for rent is easier than ever. Take advantage of all the available online resources to save you time and gas money, before taking that trip out there for a tour.
 

New Pandemic Year and New Lunar New Year

February 16, 2021
We're in our second year of Covid and also officially second lunar new year of Covid as well. Starting Feb 12, 2021, we're in the year of the Ox. All of the lunar new year festivals and fairs in San Diego went virtual to ensure we don't have another spread and you can still only dine outdoors in the patio; no indoor patrons. 

As always, it's mellow in San Diego. If you ever get a chance, drive down El Cajon Blvd or University Ave in the City Heights area, which is about 7 - 10 minutes from San Diego State University. It's an urban area with a lot of culture. They had a lion dance performance out there. It wasn't a fair or festival, just a performance that a restaurant called Nhu Y paid for to get the community to come out for a bit. That was a nice treat.

I hope everyone is staying safe. See new events in Pacific Beach on our Facebook page.
 

The Best Roommates I ever had in PB

March 30, 2020

After living alone for a couple of years post-college, I've realized that it might be safer for me to live with roommates. The random knocks in the middle of the night were scaring me when I lived in my studio in Pacific Beach (read this post about this story when I lived alone).

The next place I lived at after my solo time in my studio was a 3 bedroom apartment on Pacific Beach Drive. The situation was a girl was looking for 2 new roommates to replace the roommates she was living with. She was a student at SDSU, also where I graduated from, and was working on her master's degree. The apartment was super cheap, even for 10 years ago. My share was only $600 a month and of course, we'd split the electricity and cable bills between the 3 of us. When she was interviewing me for a spot in the house, there was another person looking at it too. I told her my occupation and history and it didn't take long to realize that our personalities meshed. She ended up picking me and another friend of hers to move in with her. It worked out so well. In the time that I lived there, we had three house parties and went out for two special dinners. We were all in our twenties, working and generally just calm individuals. The other roommate/friend she picked was a nurse who worked night shifts. None of these ladies were crazy partiers. I was so impressed and happy with them until two things suddenly changed. 

My roommate, who was a nurse, had a serious boyfriend and he was moving to Syracuse, New York. She decided to follow him. They were madly in love. Not long after she told me and my other roommate that she was moving and that we'd need to find a new roommate, I discovered that my OG roommate, who had lived there the longest, had been having a drinking problem. Every week, there would be at least 5 - 8 bottles of wine in our recycling bin. I wasn't drinking any of it and neither was the sweet nurse. Her dad died not too long ago and she was basically drowning her sorrow with alcohol. I really felt bad for her. She became more distant to both of us. We both offered our listening ears but that was all we could do.

Immediately after my nurse roommate told us that she was going to leave San Diego, I offered my OG roommate the idea that maybe we should find a place for just the two of us because our misogynistic apartment manager was not the nicest person, even though we had always paid our rent on time. Our kitchen faucet would leak, the carpets were nasty and the place was just really run down. Every time we would mention something to get fixed, it was brutal and there would always be a blame on us, even though these things were already damaged when we had moved in. She agreed. However, I realized while I was searching for a new place for the both of us that she wasn't putting in any effort in helping me search. I think her drinking problem is affecting other aspects in her life. I was worried that if things got bad, she might have a hard time paying her share of the rent. So, a couple of weeks before our lease ended and after we've given our property manager our move out notice, I did a very selfish thing and said that I thought it would be best if we each find our own living arrangements. She was not assisting in the search and barely spoke to me and I was getting concerned. I know that I should've been a better roommate and maybe taken a bigger lead to figure it out for the both of us because she was going through a hard time. I asked my boyfriend at the time for some advice and he told me that if I went ahead and found an apartment for me and my OG roommate, things could go sour with her continuous drinking problem and that it wasn't my problem to fix. I took his advice and till this day, I've regretted not sticking it out for her sake. I ended up breaking up with that particular boyfriend after a year of being together. I realized I didn't see eye to eye in a lot of things with him.

I still think about my decision on not sticking it out with my OG roommate at the Pacific Beach Drive apartment. I've apologized to her when we split and went our own ways and I apologized a couple of years later when we exchanged an email. We lost contact after that but I still think about these two roommates when I think about the best roommates I've ever had. They indeed were. I still keep in touch with the sweet nurse on facebook and with my other roommate, I really didn't search. I just don't think it was fair of me to try to keep in touch with her because I was so ashamed of what I did. I think she ended up graduating with her master's degree and moved back to her hometown in Boston.

My next series of roommates were pretty nuts and a couple of them did not pay bills on time, which made my living situation even worse and so stressful! That story is for another blog entry in the next coming weeks. 

Stay safe during this coronavirus pandermic, everyone!

 

Random Knocks in the Middle of the Night in PB

March 10, 2020
I'm going to take you back to a time when I lived alone in a studio that was located on Fanuel Street in Pacific Beach. I was in my mid-twenties and wanted some independence and alone time to clear my head when I'd get home from work so I found the most affordable place I could find and signed a lease. This studio happened to be located behind a 7-11 where a lot of homeless people would gather around. 

Now, as a naive young professional, it didn't cross my mind that I would be affected by the foot traffic coming from this particular 7-11. I was only a block from Typhoon Saloon (which is a bar that is now closed but very popular at the time) so I thought I'd probably hear people being rowdy as they're walking to and from the bars.

I guess my studio door looked like an office door of some sort because in the middle of the night, I had gotten a few random knocks! I'd never opened the door when I'd get those knocks. I just pretended that no one was home and kept quiet. I signed a lease for 6 months for that place but I was out of there in 5 months. I couldn't handle being scared anymore and was fearful of what a weekend night in PB could bring to my doorstep. I even had a homeless person slept in front of my door on the night of Christmas Eve! It was terrifying. I wanted to call the police but I also didn't want to ruin someone else's Christmas Eve and get them in jail. This homeless man's mumbling in his sleep was so loud, I could hear it through my door and that kept me up! He wasn't one of the knockers though. He just simply slept in front of my doorstep because I had bushes there and it kind of shielded him from passer-byers so I guess he thought it was a perfect spot to pass out. He left early in the morning but I found his 7-11 cup that he had left on the ground as I was opening my front door. I was so glad he was gone. I think he was a homeless man. Til this day, I don't know for sure. He could've just been a lost depressed man on Christmas Eve who didn't want to go home. Who knows?!

Anyway, this was also a time when I was kind of in a weird cloud mentally. Our economy was in a recession and my workplace had put all of us on a furlough schedule. Every other Friday, I had a day off from work so that my workplace could save money on labor without having to lay off too many people. I was depressed that I couldn't progress in my career and not only that, I got diagnosed with an ulcer in my stomach from all the work stress. 

I generally love Pacific Beach and where I lived at that time was so convenient but I didn't love how much foot traffic the location of my studio got. People were always rowdy after coming out of bars and there were nights when I needed a decent sleep and the noise was just too much. In retrospect, I did enjoy being able to walk a couple of blocks to get to the grocery store from this studio. I was also a regular 24 hour fitness goer so it was nice to be able to walk a few blocks to the gym and be close to all the action and beach. However, the random knocks were getting too stressful for me and I didn't get the peace that I was hoping for when I especially needed them after a tough work day.

The next place I moved to after that studio was a 3 bedroom apartment on Pacific Beach Drive and to help me feel safer, I moved in with two other roommates. I didn't realize it at the time, but they were the most sane roommates I ended up ever having. I'll tell you a funny story about this Pacific Beach Drive apartment in a future blog post.

 

Thanksgiving Week in San Diego

December 6, 2019
Thanksgiving week was very eventful this year. We hung out at Stone Brewing World Bistro at Liberty Station (about a 10 minute drive from Pacific Beach) on Thanksgiving Eve. (A day before that, we took the $5 ferry from Broadway Pier to Coronado! Scroll down to see a picture of our view.)

We watched two football games with 25 other people at a large Thanksgiving feast at my cousin's house in University Heights on Thanksgiving Day and had way too much to eat and drink! That's what Thanksgiving is all about.

What made it super special for me this year was we planned to have a fun night out on Thanksgiving Eve to put us in the party spirit for the next day. Stone Brewing World Bistro did it for us. They had Christmas decorations up already so the holiday spirit was ready. They also had a Christmas tree lit inside.

The ambiance was warm and inviting. There was a wait for a table in the main dining area around 7:15PM so we opted for the bar where you seat yourself and order food and drinks at the bar. That worked for us because there was a lot of seating and we took our time to order. I ordered a flight set of four for $11 which was a pre-selected flight list brewed specifically from the Liberty Station location. That's pretty awesome.
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By the time, we were finished with our evening, most of the restaurants around there closed for the night. However, the Christmas lights all around the Liberty Station were still lit and that made it a great farewell experience.

As a native San Diegan, I'm ashamed to say that I did not find out about the $5 each way ferry from Broadway Pier to Coronado Island until this year!

It's a 15 minute ride and the views from the ferry boat are phenomenal. While you're in the middle of the water, you see the downtown skyscrapers on one side and then the Coronado Island and bridge on the other end. You must do this! It's a great alternative to paying for another more expensive boat ride when you're short on money and time. There are no restrooms to use on the the ferry boat so make sure you use the restroom somewhere else before you get on.
 

The Pacific Beach


Pacific Beach, San Diego, California Pacific Beach is one of San Diego's famous beaches to visit and stay for a weekend or vacation. It's also a fantastic lifestyle beach with many residents living out their California dreams.
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