Hillcrest is located a few miles away from downtown San Diego. This vibrant neighborhood is known as the LGBT hub of the city, offering different types of restaurants, bars, boutiques, coffee houses, and unique shops.

The community is applauded for its friendly streets, welcoming vibe, and sidewalk patios. The east end is denoted by a towering rainbow pride flag off main thoroughfare of University Avenue at the corner of Normal Street. The landmark serves as the starting point for San Diego LGBT Pride's annual mile-long parade held each July. A block away, down Harvey Milk Street, is where the San Diego LGBT Community Center resides. 

University Avenue leads into the neighborhood's "village" area designated by the historic neon "Hillcrest" sign. On Fifth Avenue, you’ll find a concentration of new and established restaurants, as well as a few dessert-centric eateries. Thrown into the mix are vintage clothing shops, book outlets and the multiplex Landmark Cinemas for taking in independent and foreign films.

Hillcrest Home Prices 

These are the median purchase prices for December 2022 and are the year to date numbers. For monthly stats, visit the San Diego Association of Realtors website

92103 Single Family Homes: $1,572,000

92103 Condos: $728,375

Rental Rates in Hillcrest

1B/1BA condos $1,750-$2,100, depending on upgrades
2B/1BA detached house $2,200-$2,900
3B/2BA house $3,000 - $3,900
4B/3BA house $4,000+

All properties here tend to rent very quickly due to high renter demand and relatively low inventory.

Pros of Investing in Hillcrest

Has a central location right next to Downtown, Balboa Park, and highways. It's a cultural hub of San Diego with diverse range of people and activities, making it very popular for renters. Historic Mission Hills offers some of San Diego's coolest century-old houses. Long-term appreciation is one of the many perks of owning property here. 

Cons of Investing in Hillcrest

Popularity leads to hyper-competitive offers and price-to-rent ratios that aren't very favorable to investors, though as mentioned in the long-term values should go up significantly. Lots of new development apartment complexes from big investment shops is driving up the amount of supply available to renters.

Sample Deals in Hillcrest

3940 Dove St Unit 209 - Full Deal Report Image of sample deal- 3940 Dove St

  • 285,000 purchase price ($65,550 cash needed)
  • -$249/month cash flow 
  • 3.2% cap rate 
  • -4.6% COC 

A nice starter condo in a very reliable rental area on the border of Mission Hills and Hillcrest. HOA fees are reasonable (for San Diego) at $360 and include all utilities, which is a nice marketing feature to renters. With conservative numbers the negative cash flow isn't too far into the red and in the long run, this should make a sound investment.

1633 Glenwood Dr - Full Deal Report Image of 1633 Glenwood Dr property

  • $875,000 purchase price ($201,250 cash needed) 
  • -$1,276/month cash flow 
  • 2.6% cap rate 
  • -7.6% COC 

A really two-unit opportunity in gorgeous Mission Hills--a 2B/2BA main house plus a studio apartment below it. With about $200,000 to acquire the property, this would be an ideal property for a house hacker looking to minimize their housing expenses by having a tenant in the studio below and even a roommate in the main house! The property is right down the road from some hole-in-the-wall bars and restaurants plus some nationally famous spots like Lucha Libre that would make renting the property out a breeze.


When choosing where to buy your investment property, you should be on the lookout for a few things. These things can be a red flag for the kind of area you want to avoid. 

  • Trash in the front or backyard 
  • Vandalism nearby (graffiti, damaged property, etc.) 
  • Multiple vacant homes close by 
  • Poor street light; street feels unsafe
  • Backs up or is close to a major highway or freeway 
  • Foundation issues 


Hillcrest Property Management

Good Life Property Management has become experts in Hillcrest property management over the last 7 years. As a result, we know how to effectively market and manage your Hillcrest home. We find that days on market are slightly better than average when compared to other areas and vacancy is about average. Hillcrest property management can be challenging, but doesn’t have to be with Good Life.

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