Former renter values benefits of owning her new Shea home

by Meridith Doucette on June 6, 2012


New Shea homeowner Susan Bustillos had been a renter since 2008. But as she watched market conditions trending in her favor, she knew her time had come. “With interest rates and housing so low, we decided the time was right,” said Bustillos. “We knew we needed to find our own house.”

Bustillos found her dream home at Tapestry at Lomas Verdes, where tri-level detached homes range from 1,822 to 2,253 square feet, priced from the low $300,000s.

“Now that we have our own home, we pay about $200 less than we paid in rent,” she said. “This is an investment, this is something that will be ours forever.”

 But for Bustillos, the move from renting to owning isn’t just about the money.

“For me, it’s a place that each night when I come home from work, I know it’s mine,” she said. “It’s something that we can make our own. We can paint, we can have a dog, we don’t have to worry about any of those things.”

With local rental rates on the rise, homeownership is a more favorable economic alternative for many San Diegans. A story in the April 21, 2012 North County Times proclaimed, “HOUSING: ‘This is crazy’: Home ownership cheaper than renting.”

Recent statistics back that up.

As reported in yesterday’s UT San Diego, March 2012 rents jumped 2.6 percent from a year ago, according to real estate data company MarketPointe.

An April 2012 report, published by USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate, said San Diego rents spiked 4.3% last year, and predicted continued increases in the San Diego rental market

• Rents are expected to rise 3.4% this year
• Rents are projected to jump 5.2% in 2013

“Projections for ongoing rent increases may motivate those who are seriously evaluating tax consequences as well as out-of-pocket costs for renting vs. owning,” said Vanessa Linn, vice president of sales and marketing for Shea Homes San Diego. “When you factor in today’s historically low interest rates, this could be the most affordable time to buy in the last generation.”

For case studies of current renters who are considering a first time purchase, visit


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Werth June 14, 2012 at 3:18 am

It’s very good to see an article like this. Recent comments from first time buyers I work with indicate a “fear” of buying, as the press has not been kind to homeownership. The fear results from feeling that the new home will be worth less after closing than what the purchase price was. But few understand that many buyers are investors looking to pick up properties & control them-with tenants paying the bill, until sometime in the future when things turn around, and property values stabilize. Good deal for investors, and although homeownership is not for everyone, not so good for tenants. Find a nice home, make a reasonable offer, lock in with unheard of interest rates, and enjoy what will be a better investment-over the long haul, than being a tenant.


Meridith Doucette July 12, 2012 at 10:35 am

Thanks Tom!


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