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In a highly competitive market, one San Diego woman shares her frustrating story of purchasing her first home

"I just didn’t think we’d be able to afford to live here anymore, and I didn’t want to have to leave my home state," said Trisha Cortez.

SAN DIEGO — Trisha Cortez, 35, said she started her search for her first home with her partner back in 2021. They needed to move from the North Park property they had been renting for 10 years because their landlord was doing renovations.

"I just didn't think we'd be able to afford to live here anymore, and I didn't want have to leave my home state," said Cortez.

Last fall, they began submitting offers. Cortez said the process was frustrating.

"[We submitted] 33 offers before we finally got an accepted offer," she said.

The San Bernardino native is a pharmacy tech at Scripps Hospital. 

"It felt impossible, it felt daunting, it felt like we just didn't have enough money, I didn't have a good enough job."

"But then I found out I had pharmacists that I work with, they can’t find homes. Doctors are having problems being able to purchase a home," she said.

Cortez told her story during a news conference Wednesday morning outside the County Administration building.

State Assembly Member Chris Ward unveiled AB 1771. It's a bill aimed at discouraging real estate speculation in California by hitting short-term investors with a 25% income surtax on profits gained from a property's appreciation within three years.

"Those with means who have no intention of living in these residences are outbidding would-be neighbors and even each other, pushing up the prices and this activity unchecked affects us all," said Assembly Member Ward.

According to University of San Diego Economics Professor Alan Gin, the median home price in San Diego last year was $764,000, a 26% increase compared to the year before. Gin said the median price is eight times the median income in San Diego.

"I'm an economist and I believe in the free market, but the situation seems to be broken here," said Professor Gin. "A lot of typical people are being priced out of the market by these big organizations that have a lot of capital behind them."

CBS 8 asked Professor Gin if he believes AB 1771 will make a difference. 

"I think it'll have some impact," he said. "I think it'll help curtail speculation somewhat by the fact that it'll tax some of the gains people make by speculating, by investing and holding just for the short term."

"It won’t end it completely, but by reducing the returns that should help slow down speculation and make more housing available for the typical home buyer," he added.

How long would it take?

"It’s hard to say," he said. "A journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single step so I think you need to start taking steps in order to get the process going."

Critics of the bill include investors like Said Abdallah, owner of G & E homes.

"I don't think it addresses the main issue of why prices are so high," said Abdallah. "It's a supply and demand issue."

Cortez said she finally bought a home in the College Area. It's a one-bedroom condo a little over 500 square feet.

"We paid $60,000 or $70,000 over asking price," she said.

RELATED: New CA bill would impose 25% gain tax on house flippers who sell within 3 years

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Watch Related: San Diego cost of living compared to other cities in the US (Feb 28, 2022)

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