In my story today, I spoke with a couple of San Diegans who’d been featured in a Money magazine article from June 2005 that labeled San Diego as “America’s scariest housing market” and “Boom Town USA.”

I just heard back from another of the investors from the story, Manuel Altamirano, who works for a local computer company.

The Money story revealed that Altamirano had grown up in Chula Vista, bought his first house there in 1998 for $150,000, selling it two years later for $320,000. They put the windfall from that sale into a down payment on a 2,400-square-foot home in Rancho Bernardo. In the story, Altamirano said he and his family were hoping to move again soon, to a house with about 3,000 square feet. He said then, “We got that equity the first time and have been able to roll it over and over.”

Now as the rate of appreciation has slowed on his home, he doesn’t fawn quite so much over the market.

Of the plan to move up, Altamirano said this afternoon, “We pretty much put that on hold.”

“I ended up changing jobs about three months after that article was published,” he said. “My wife and I are thinking about just holding off a little while longer, just to see what the market will do.”

He said he doesn’t watch the market very carefully, but said real estate appears to be slowing in his community, at least. He suspects a new housing community that just popped up in his area is affecting how long it takes to sell a home.

And so, for now, the Altamiranos wait to see what will happen.

Check out the original story from Money magazine that featured the Altamiranos, Kelly Pearson and the Donovans.


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