Axios San Diego

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Hey, it's Tuesday. As far as we know, today should hold no rare astronomical events.

  • Today's weather: Coast — Sunny with highs in the upper 60s. InlandSunny with highs near 80.

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Situational awareness: The Padres celebrated the 20th anniversary of Petco Park Monday by overcoming an 8-0 deficit to defeat the Chicago Cubs, 9-8, on an eighth-inning, two-run homer by Fernando Tatis.

Today's newsletter is 883 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Homebuyers get a steep discount with cash offers

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Homebuyers who pay cash for a property can spend 10% less on average than those who take out a mortgage, new research from UC San Diego's Rady School of Management suggests.

Why it matters: The discount gives cash buyers another advantage in a competitive and expensive real estate market, where they're already favored over mortgage borrowers.

Between the lines: Sellers prefer cash, even when it means leaving money on the table, because the deals are quicker and less risky than a mortgage offer.

  • A mortgage deal requires lender approval and faces more potential barriers in appraisals and inspections, according to UCSD finance professor Michael Reher, who co-authored the study.

State of play: About one-third of home purchases are paid in cash — the highest share in nearly a decade.

Mortgage borrowers spend more on principal and are saddled with paying thousands more in interest over time.

Zoom in: In San Diego, where the median home price is $935,000, those taking out a mortgage will pay $93,500 more than cash buyers for a typical home.

  • With 20% down on a 30-year loan, the monthly payment is about $5,200 (principal plus interest). So, they end up paying more than $1.87 million for that same home over the life of the loan.

The fine print: The researchers analyzed county and Redfin data from millions of home sales and offers nationwide from 1980 to 2021.

  • They also conducted an experimental survey asking homeowners to consider competing offers from all-cash and mortgage buyers.

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2. OB Pier's potential new look

A rendering of the planned Ocean Beach Pier. Photo: Courtesy of the City of San Diego

The city unveiled plans for an extended and elevated Ocean Beach Pier, with architectural designs and new amenities based on community feedback.

Why it matters: San Diego's iconic and aging pier, one of the longest on the West Coast, needs replacing due to deterioration and damage from high surf and storms that have caused sporadic closures through the years.

The preferred pier design — the "braid" — utilizes multiple pathways along the 2,000-ft pier, including improved ADA access. The proposed new and upgraded features include:

  • An elevated walkway, a cafe and shop with bait and gifts, a new restaurant, restrooms and an open plaza with seating.
  • Two fishing terraces with city and ocean views, plus fish-cleaning stations.
  • A surfer's lounge with shaded, terraced seating to watch surfers catch waves.

Between the lines: In addition to the new amenities, the pier would also be built higher to accommodate rising sea levels and offer better protection.

Flashback: The historic fishing pier, built in 1966, has been closed since October because of storm damage.

  • San Diego has spent at least $1.7 million on temporary fixes over the past five years, and the pier's been closed about 30% of the time since early 2019, per the Union-Tribune.

State of play: The city is still assessing whether to repair and stabilize the current structure for reopening.

By the numbers: The estimated cost of a new pier is $170 million-$190 million. The city is working on securing more necessary funding from the state and through federal grants.

Reality check: Before any demolition or construction begins, the project needs environmental reviews and permitting, which could take two years.

What's next: The architecture, engineering and design firms, including Civitas and Moffatt and Nichol, will reveal a final concept later this year.

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New jobs to check out:

💼 See who's hiring around the city.

  1. Director, Infrastructure at Sirva.
  2. VP, Chief Information Security Officer at Advarra.
  3. Federal Field CISO at CDW.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

3. The Lineup: Local news roundup

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Cal State San Marcos pitcher Jillian Albayati on Sunday became the second college athlete in history to play in softball and baseball games on the same day. (NBC7)

🥡 Taco shops, pizzerias and other small businesses still using Styrofoam containers can now be fined for violating the citywide ban on the products. The law's one-year grace period ended this month. (Union-Tribune)

🧑‍🎓President Biden announced a new plan Monday to forgive student loan debt for millions, including canceling up to $20,000 of a borrower's accrued interest, regardless of income. (Axios)

4. Autism venture fund invests in SD-based Cortica

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Autism Impact Fund, a venture capital group focused on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, has closed its debut fund with $60 million and is making a big investment in a San Diego company.

Why it matters: AIF is a five-year-old firm created by investors who have kids on the autism spectrum and wanted to support life science and health-tech startups focused on the disorder.

  • 1 in 36 kids in the U.S. had autism in 2020, up from the prior rate of 1 in 44 in 2018, according to the CDC. But treatments lag greatly.

Driving the news: Cortica, a San Diego-based autism care provider, is one company into which AIF has poured some of its capital.

By the numbers: AIF has already deployed about 60% of its capital into a dozen companies.

  • Cortica, founded in 2017, has blossomed into 1,800 employees in 23 care centers across the country, as of October when it announced raising $40 million from CVS Health Ventures and other firms.

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5. 1 photo to go: The eclipse on the border wall

Shadows of the eclipse are seen on the border wall in Playas de Tijuana. Photo: Gullermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

Outside the path of totality, it's hard to beat this photo of crescent shadows against the border wall, taken from Playas de Tijuana by Guillermo Arias.

  • But, just in case, send us your photos of the eclipse in San Diego — maybe you had better luck capturing the phenomenon than we did.

Tell an amateur photographer

Our picks:

🚰 Andy is kind of embarrassed that he just got around to reading "City of Water."

🥰 Kate is gushing over her best friend's baby girl, born just before the total solar eclipse in Ohio.

This newsletter was edited by Carly Mallenbaum and copy edited by James Gilzow.

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