I’ve just returned from a road trip that took me through almost all of California, and here are a couple quick observations:
A small sports car is more fun to drive on tight, curvy roads like the Big Sur coast than driving an SUV (or help me, a minivan).
Don’t buy a business alongside a highway in a remote area, especially a restaurant, because there are a lot of long-vacant and decaying structures that appeared to have housed a business in a remote area, right alongside a highway.
Starbucks is the universal symbol of life, almost like a mirage in the desert. Your eyes get trained to seek out the Starbucks green logo wherever you go.
San Diego, L.A., Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Carmel, San Francisco, Marin, Napa, Yosemite – all these places are thriving, with people spending money seemingly without concern. After speaking with REALTORS in these areas, and reviewing real estate pricing and advertising, it appears these are all healthy and many have held strong at the luxury end of the spectrum. Parts of the central valley, as well as the far east bay, appear to be wilting in their business districts – a likely sign that too many strip malls and too many shopping centers were built during the boom years, and offered too little diversity from mall to mall. These wilting areas also have a significant amount of land and open space to build upon yet. It is true about location….
For buyers on the sidelines, weighing concerns about the economy, Wall Street, the Euro and beyond, please consider the following facts:
Return on Investment from January 1, 2000 through May 1, 2011 has been 17% positive in the Dow, -2.2% negative in the S&P, -27.1 % negative in NASDAQ, and a whopping 55.1% positive return on investment in San Diego Real Estate. (sourcing: Case Shiller, MSN Money.com)