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The Browar Brief

The Browar Brief is dedicated to exploring the latest trends in multifamily and commercial real estate in San Diego.


Covering a wide range of topics, from rental changes and landlord laws to zoning regulations, we aim to provide valuable insights and answers to questions related to investing and selling in the dynamic real estate landscape of San Diego.


Whether you're a tenant, landlord, or someone interested in the real estate market, The Browar Brief offers a platform for staying informed and engaged with the evolving trends in San Diego's real estate sector.

If you have questions about acquiring or selling, click below. The Browar Group is happy to answer all your questions about San Diego's dynamic real estate.

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San Diego's Housing Conundrum: Urban vs. Suburban

In Andrew Bowen's thought-provoking KPBS article, "If San Diego Wants More Family-sized Apartments, An Update to the Building Code May Help," we ponder a compelling question: do families truly desire larger apartments in San Diego, or are they enticed by the affordability of more spacious homes further inland?


San Diego leads the charge in reevaluating nationwide zoning laws for increased housing, but the focus remains on smaller apartments. This prompts us to explore: why do families aspiring to make San Diego their home find themselves drawn to larger homes in the suburbs? The answer might lie in a peculiar building code mandating two staircases for buildings exceeding three stories.


Advocates of the "single-stair reform" movement argue that a century-old rule, originally designed for fire safety, has become outdated. Technological advancements in fire prevention and California's sprinkler system mandate have significantly diminished the necessity for a second staircase.


Last year, the San Diego City Council took a significant step by waiving fees on specific three-bedroom apartments to encourage developers. Architect David Pearson proposes that adopting single-stair layouts could play a crucial role in alleviating the scarcity of family-sized apartments in the urban core.


Pearson's innovative design for a three-story, single-stair apartment building, breaking ground this summer in Grant Hill, prioritizes shared space, preservation of existing structures, and increased housing efficiency. Single-stair layouts not only offer practical benefits but also allow more units to have windows on multiple sides, reducing electricity use through natural light and ventilation.


California is currently assessing the safety of single-stair apartment buildings through a state fire marshal study, expected by year-end. While concerns exist, San Diego's local fire marshal, Tony Tosca, expresses openness to taller single-stair buildings if accompanied by robust life and safety regulations.


The Livable Communities Initiative, based in Los Angeles, passionately advocates for statewide single-stair reform. Their focus on benefits like improved light, ventilation, and increased density in smaller buildings that blend with neighborhoods is gaining momentum. Collaborating with officials in various cities, the initiative aims to amend building codes to allow taller single-stair structures.


Architect David Pearson and Ed Mendoza from the Livable Communities Initiative are hopeful that San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria will recognize the value of single-stair reform in creating safe, family-friendly units. Could this be the key to retaining residents within the city, rather than witnessing migration to the suburbs? And what other building code reforms might contribute to a more inclusive and diverse urban living experience in San Diego?

Are you interested in contributing to the resolution of San Diego's housing crisis through property acquisition or sales? Feel free to connect with us through this website at or josh@thebrowargroup. We are eager to hear from you.

Multifamily Market Insights - 2024

2024 Multifamily & Commercial Real Estate Outlook: Navigating Nationwide Trends and Seizing Opportunities in San Diego, CA


In 2024, the multifamily housing market experiences a profound transformation with the largest wave of new apartment supply in decades. This construction surge is poised to impact rent growth and affordability on a national scale. Join us as we explore the multifamily housing landscape, with a spotlight on San Diego.


Nationwide Overview:

Anticipate the delivery of 440,000 new apartment units, accompanied by over 900,000 units under construction in 2024. This surge is expected to influence vacancy rates and decelerate rent growth across the nation, with 17 of the 69 tracked markets poised for substantial inventory growth.




Rent Growth and Occupancy Projections:

Despite rising vacancy rates and economic uncertainties, demand is projected to maintain an average occupancy rate above 94% according to the latest CBRE Research. The multifamily sector plays a pivotal role in addressing the shortage of single-family homes, with the premium for monthly mortgage payments compared to average monthly rent forecasted to remain above 35% in 2024.


Construction Trends and Long-Term Outlook:

Multifamily construction starts are expected to decline significantly, creating an opportunity for a robust recovery in occupancy and rent growth by 2026. Investors are encouraged to consider longer-term strategies, with the Midwest and Northeast regions offering positive leverage opportunities in 2024.


Market Performance and Opportunities:

Balanced supply-and-demand dynamics in the Midwest and Northeast support rent growth, while San Diego stands out with muted supply growth at 2.4% in 2024. Fueled by strong demand-side fundamentals, including high-quality life sciences jobs, San Diego is positioned to outperform the overall market.


Considerations for Investors:

Given the influence of softer fundamentals and higher borrowing costs on property values, investors are advised to shape their longer-term investment strategy. Local factors like regulatory environments, climate risks, public safety, and infrastructure become crucial considerations in multifamily investment decisions.


Think About:

For 2024, the multifamily housing landscape presents dynamic opportunities for investors to navigate market fluctuations. Beyond nationwide trends, San Diego's unique market dynamics make it an enticing location for those seeking stability and growth in the multifamily sector.


For inquiries about acquiring or selling your multifamily or commercial real estate portfolio, feel free to reach out to us at


Our team is ready to provide insights and assistance, ensuring your real estate investments align with your long-term goals. Stay informed and adapt your strategies to capitalize on the evolving real estate landscape.

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San Diego's Sustainable Efforts: 

Multifamily Green Building Trends

San Diego, with its unique environmental challenges and forward-thinking ethos, is a prime location for multifamily investors to leverage innovative green building trends. Here, we'll explore how these eco-conscious trends are not only profitable but also relevant and advantageous to the San Diego market specifically.


  • Solar Power Integration: Harnessing San Diego's abundant sunshine through solar power integration not only reduces utility costs but also aligns with the city's commitment to renewable energy, making it a profitable and eco-conscious choice for multifamily investors. Moreover, the city's push for clean energy positions your property as a green energy leader in a market primed for sustainability.

  • Energy-Efficient Appliances & HVAC Systems: Regardless of how you look at the data, San Diego has the most expensive electricity in the country. In a region where energy bills can soar due to the hot, dry climate, implementing energy-efficient appliances and HVAC systems is profitable. It meets tenants' expectations in a city that values sustainability and seeks energy-efficient solutions, thereby increasing tenant retention and property value.

  • Green Roofing and Urban Gardens: Green roofing and urban gardens create serene oases within bustling urban areas. They align with San Diego's green infrastructure initiatives, offering a profitable and eco-conscious way to enhance property value and increase tenant satisfaction, potentially allowing for higher rental rates. Plus, green roofs can help you save even more on energy. By keeping the roof environment cooler, they help reduce air conditioning in the floor below and increase the energy efficiency of rooftop technologies such as photovoltaic panels and HVAC units.

  • Water-Efficiency Upgrades: Addressing water conservation through water-efficient fixtures and drought-resistant landscaping is both profitable and responsible. It ensures sustainability and resilience in a region where water resources are limited, potentially leading to lower water bills and boosting net revenue. This is especially important in San Diego, where water bills have risen almost 17% in just the past 5 years. 

  • Smart Building Technologies: San Diego's tech-savvy population appreciates smart building technologies. They enhance tenant experience while reducing operational costs, aligning with the city's forward-looking culture, and providing more energy-efficient living spaces. Furthermore, these technologies can make property management processes more seamless, saving time and money. Examples of these technologies include IoT sensors and digital mapping of the building. 

  • Sustainable Materials and Construction Practices: Using sustainable materials and construction practices is not just eco-friendly, it’s also in the best interest of investors and developers. It ensures durability and value retention in the face of San Diego's unique environmental challenges, enhancing long-term investment prospects. Additionally, these practices can reduce maintenance and repair costs over time (CalRecycle).

  • Green Certification: In San Diego's competitive rental market, green certifications like LEED or ENERGY STAR set properties apart. These certifications resonate with environmentally-conscious tenants willing to pay a premium for sustainable living, making them a profitable choice for investors looking to stand out and increase property values. Furthermore, if your project achieves certification while following the Green Building Incentive Program, you can receive a 7.5% reduction in plan check and building permit fees.


San Diego's commitment to sustainability, coupled with its specific environmental needs, makes embracing these green building trends a strategic move for multifamily investors. By aligning your properties with the city's eco-conscious culture, you not only contribute to a more sustainable future but also position your investments for long-term success in this unique market, offering appealing and eco-friendly living spaces to a growing population of environmentally-aware residents.


If you have any questions about acquiring or selling, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

The Browar Brief - Inaugural Post

Welcome to the inaugural post of our Browar Brief series! Get ready to delve into the latest market trends and multifamily education focused on San Diego. Our first article is tailored for multifamily real estate investors in San Diego, offering invaluable insights on navigating tax strategies. We hope you find it both informative and enjoyable. Stay tuned for more!

Lesser Known Tax Strategies for Multifamily Real Estate Investors in San Diego


Investors in California, especially those in high-cost areas like San Diego, face higher tax rates compared to investors in most other regions of the country due to the state's hefty sales tax of 7.25% - the highest in the nation (CNBC). Combine that with additional county taxes and property taxes in California coming in at 0.71% on average, this can lead to significant overall tax liability. As one navigates the multifamily investment landscape in this vibrant city, it's essential to be well-informed about the following lesser-known tax strategies that can help you minimize that taxable income and maximize your returns.  


1. Installment Sales: Easing Capital Gains Liability

Investors can employ the effective strategy of Installment Sales, commonly known as "seller financing" to manage the capital gains taxes they incur when selling a property. By structuring the sale to receive payments over time rather than upfront, this approach not only eases the burden of capital gains taxes but also aligns well with the financial position of potential buyers who may not have the cash on hand to pay upfront for the property in full. 


How It Works:

When you sell your multifamily property using an Installment Sale, you'll only pay taxes on the portion of the proceeds received in each tax year. This spreads the tax liability over several years, potentially reducing the overall tax rate applied to your gain. For example, if you sell a property for $1.2 million and the buyer puts down 0% upfront you wouldn’t need to pay any taxes on the “sale” of the property because you didn’t receive any cash upfront. Instead, you would only need to pay taxes on the monthly installment payments they send you each month. 


Key Considerations:

  • Consult with a tax professional and an attorney to ensure your Installment Sale complies with IRS regulations.

  • Be cautious with the buyer's creditworthiness to mitigate default risks.

  • Negotiate an interest rate that compensates for the delay in receiving the full payment.


2. Conservation Easements: Preserving Historical and Ecological Value

San Diego's multifamily properties can often possess historical or ecological significance when you consider the fact that any property built over 50 years ago has the potential to be considered historic. Moreover, a property can be ecologically significant if it’s in any coastal overlay zone, hillside, or on a biologically sensitive resource. By educating yourself on these regulations, however, it’s possible to actually use them to your advantage.


How It Works:

A Conservation Easement is a legal agreement between the property owner and a qualified organization, such as a land trust or a government agency. According to the Congressional Research Service, you can claim a charitable deduction on your income taxes by donating the development rights of certain portions of a property (e.g., historical structures, ecologically sensitive areas). 


Key Considerations:

  • Work with experienced appraisers and tax advisors to determine the value of the easement, ensuring you maximize your tax benefits.

  • Ensure the chosen qualified organization complies with IRS guidelines for Conservation Easements.

  • Familiarize yourself with local preservation regulations and restrictions to make an informed decision.


3. 1031 Exchanges with Tenancy In Common (TIC) Interests: Deferring Taxes Smartly

The 1031 Exchange is a well-known strategy to defer capital gains taxes, but when combined with Tenancy In Common (TIC) Interests, it becomes an even more powerful tool for multifamily investors as it enables participants to pool their resources together with other investors (1031 Crowdfunding)


How It Works:

By acquiring TIC interests, you can pool your resources with other investors together to purchase larger, high-quality properties while still enjoying the tax benefits of a 1031 Exchange. Investors then have the flexibility to reinvest their sale proceeds into a wide range of like-kind properties. They can consider various real estate options, including but not limited to residential properties, commercial properties, vacant land, industrial properties, and even investments in syndications where multiple investors pool resources to collectively invest in larger properties. 


Key Considerations:

  • Engage a qualified intermediary to handle the exchange process to comply with IRS rules and deadlines.

  • Choose reputable TIC sponsors and properties to ensure the investment aligns with your financial goals.

  • Be mindful of individual financial objectives within the TIC structure to avoid potential disagreements down the road.


As a multifamily real estate investor in San Diego, minimizing taxable income is crucial to optimizing your investment returns. The lesser-known tax strategies of Installment Sales, Conservation Easements, and 1031 Exchanges with Tenancy In Common (TIC) Interests provide valuable opportunities to achieve this goal. However, it's essential to consult with experienced tax professionals, attorneys, and real estate advisors like @The Browar Group to tailor these strategies to your specific situation and ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements. By leveraging these tax-saving methods effectively, you can enhance your multifamily investment journey and pave the way for lasting financial success in the dynamic San Diego real estate market. 



Have questions about buying or selling throughout San Diego county? Reach out to us anytime at 619-701-6797.

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