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San Diego is one of the most popular counties in California. Its temperate weather and abundant cultural resources make it a prime destination for travelers and homeowners alike. If you are looking for San Diego homes for sale, now is a good time to do so.

San Diego County includes the communities of Carlsbad, Carmel Valley, Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, La Jolla, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, University City, and Vista. San Diego’s school system is highly rated as one of the best in the country. The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard all operate bases in San Diego.

There are 18 federally recognized Indian reservations within San Diego County, 17 state parks and protected areas, and 8 federally protected areas. Mountains, bays, lagoons, lakes, rivers, and the Pacific Ocean can all be found and enjoyed by those who love the great outdoors. Mexico is just a border crossing away.

San Diego real estate was among the top ten markets nationwide in 2011. Sales are still somewhat depressed, but compared to some other areas, San Diego is doing well. The number of foreclosures has increased as banks recover from the robo-signing scandal and grow used to the new government regulations. The resulting buyer’s market makes this a good time to get a great deal on a home in one of the most desirable cities in the nation.

Housing prices increased in the third quarter of 2011 relative to the second quarter, but were still lower than in 2010.

There are seasonal factors as well. Home sales are generally slower in the winter months, so sellers are more motivated. Employment is trending upward in San Diego, making this a good time to relocate. All types of properties are available, from luxury homes to more modest single-family homes and condominiums.

The large number of bank owned (REO) properties has appealed to investors, who are purchasing these homes to renovate or to rent out. 59 percent of Fannie Mae REOs and 70 percent of Freddie Mac REOs were sold to owner-occupiers, with the rest going to investment buyers, many in bulk purchases. An increase in rental properties has benefits for the general economy, as people who cannot afford to purchase a home are still able to bring their shopping dollars to the area.

First-time homebuyers can find assistance through the San Diego Housing Commission. They offer deferred loans, closing-cost grants, and mortgage credit certificates. They also provide advice and reference materials on a wide range of home ownership topics.

In San Diego, you can live by the beach or in the mountains, in a bustling town or more rural area. There are 55 and over senior communities, as well. There is truly something for everyone. With a large number of homes on the market and prices holding steady, now is a good time to take a look at San Diego homes for sale.