Is It Me, or is My Rent Really High?

This post goes out to all of those who have paid or do pay rent in Encinitas. We hear you!
First off… Congrats! Even though you rent, you found yourself a spot to call home in a highly sought after location in the greater United States. And on top of that, even finding a place to rent in Encinitas should be rewarded with a high five (it is not an easy task in this competitive housing market).
So we come to the question you may ask yourself.
“Is it me… Or is my rent really really high?”
If you can relate, you are not alone. Rents in Encinitas have sky rocketed and in turn made it that much harder to live the dream of the Encinitas Coast Life. With over 11.8 million people in the U.S. spending 50% or more of their income on rent in 2015, this is an increasingly important topic to dig into.
Let’s review what might be causing these ever climbing rents and what you can do about it:

Great Location Gives Way to High Rent in Encinitas

Being so close to postcard perfect beaches, gourmet dining, a quick Coaster ride or drive to downtown San Diego may come with a high price tag. Location is still a huge determining factor of price in the real estate world, and Encinitas hits that sweet spot of everything, therefore raising the cost of rent in the area. We pay more for square footage in rent that many San Diego residents but would we give up the sweet location for cheaper monthly rent? That’s the big question when it comes to high rent in Encinitas – we pay for living in such a wonderful town.

The Options Aren’t Endless to Rent in Encinitas

Before I bought my home, I remember scouring Craigslist for what seemed like over priced and barely any options to rent in Encinitas. The reality of living in a highly desirable coastal town really hits home when trying to get a place to actually call home. There just simply isn’t enough space for all the people who dream of living in Encinitas, which make rental properties all that more rare and desirable (like a precious metal or rare gem – the less there is the higher the price). Rent in Encinitas is high basically because it can be due to lack of inventory you will see this effect the price you pay as a renter.
Do you have kids or plan on having them down the line? What’ the biggest selling point aside from living somewhere safe? You guessed it… good schools! Encinitas has no lack of great academic institutions from private schools to the award winning school districts such as Encinitas Union School District and the well known San Digueto Union High School District . Good schools mean cost of living tends to be higher – rent in Encinitas tends to me higher because of this. So vying for a coveted 92024 or 92007 zip code home address to get your kids a good education comes at a cost (who said learning can be free might not live here).

Scarcity of Homes Affordable Homes Leads to High Rent in Encinitas

So we have been hearing about an “inventory” shortage in housing in Encinitas – this is partially true for the housing market of Encinitas. But a bigger topic that effects all of us, is that people are just not buying homes on the market at the rate that they should be. More people are opting to rent in Encinitas. Why? Well because the average residents can’t afford a 2 million dollar 900 SqFt home right next to the 5 freeway. This lack of home ownership in our area means the number of people who rent are ebbing higher than those that own – keeping those property managers raising rents and pricing a lot of renters out of the area.

Investing in Your Future – High Rent in Encinitas May Hurt Your Long Term Goals

The advice that most financial planners and financial councilors give is that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your take home pay on rent. This seems next to impossible with how high average rents in San Diego and Encinitas tend to be. But spending so much of what you make on rent will lead to less money being put away for retirement, that long trip you want to take, or even that down payment for a home that you want to buy so you don’t keep getting ripped off on renting. Buying over renting can give you equity and sweeten the retirement pot. Ask some big real estate investors who own a lot of properties… this is their big plan on making money on their money instead of making someone else rich by paying rent. 

Wages Aren’t Up to Par With Rent in Encinitas

The numbers are in and our economy is slowly but steadily bouncing back after the great recession following the housing bubble burst (side note, I recommend that you watch The Big Short to just get a simple idea of how and why that happened) The problem now is that wages still haven’t matched the cost of living, particularly in Southern California. See above about renting digging into your retirement or long term financial goals. If wages don’t increase, rent in Encinitas will become seriously unaffordable for most people – So it might be time to ask your boss for that raise!

What Can You Do About High Rent in Encinitas?

So yes, rent in Encinitas is high, and it will most likely only increase with time. So what can you do about it? Here’s a few points to help!
  • Get roommates.
    • Not the ideal situation but helping to ease the pain of writing that rent check every month might come in the form of having someone else pitch in too.
  • Write your Mayor.
    • There are laws and bills being passed all over the country about rent control, or capping certain rental prices. If you are enraged by how expensive rent has become, do something about it and put your local government representative to work for you.
  • Buy a home and pay yourself rent each month (aka a mortgage).
    • That 20% downpayment can be a struggle to save for but owning a home is so valuable and your mortgage payments will most likely be cheaper than if you rented the same exact property. Buying a home will help build your capital at a steady rate – read our 5 Steps to Buying Your First Home.
  • Go smaller with your first home purchase.
    • Some may gag at the idea of an attached townhouse or condo, but you have to start somewhere right? There are still some affordable condos and areas of Encinitas – it can be a stepping stone to one day owning a detached home in Encinitas.
  • Buy a home and then get roommates.
    • What better way to pay your mortgage than with other peoples’ money? If you aren’t sure if you can swing the cost of home ownership look into seeing if some buddies will want to bunk up with you and cut you a reasonable amount each month to lessen the sting.
We all understand the pain of renting, and to be honest (not just because we are an awesome real estate team) buying a home over renting is almost always a better idea. But if you have to rent, at least you are in the best place – Encinitas! If you need more real estate advice, feel free to reach out to us. 

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