It can be extremely confusing on where to move when your life demands a change in location. Maybe you were single for years, Now you’re married, you have a baby, maybe a second on the way, 2 dogs, a cat, you are absolutely bursting at the seams in your tiny North Park condo that served you so well for years! Key word here is you. It was great for you. Maybe you are over the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s time to make a change, something a little more quiet in the evenings, peaceful at dusk, you know what I mean. Or maybe you are over the current state of things during the virus and you just need a little more space. I could go on and on. There are a thousand reasons (probably more) that you are looking into the suburbs. Here is my list of the top 9 suburbs to consider in San Diego:
Family-friendly amenities? Check. Is the neighborhood safe? Check. How are the schools, they have to be decent at least. Check. Does the neighborhood feel good? Are the people friendly? Check, well mostly. Is the cost of living in reasonable? Well, this is San Diego so you got me there!
With my job, I have the luxury of getting to visit so many diverse and amazing neighborhoods. That being said, it’s 100% impossible for me to include every great suburb so make sure to include your picks in the comments. I want to make sure to include it on the next blog so everyone who reads this sees that as well. I want this blog to be as helpful as possible.
Neighborhood Number (#1) on my list is going to be Encinitas. Encinitas is an awesome and diverse community and well known as one of the best surf towns in the country, if not the world. If you’ve been following my vlogs tracking my brothers home build in Leucadia, you know I spend a ton of time here. I actually found the lot for my brother to build on off market and before anyone else knew it was for sale. If that’s something you are interested in, hit me up and maybe I can find you one as well. Sorry for the tangent, back to the specifics. It’s not only an amazing suburb in San Diego, its technically its own city. The city or Encinitas is made up of Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, Leucadia, & Olivenhain. If you live there, expect top schools, a coastal living feel with a modern touch, easy walk-ability to stores, the restaurants, schools, and coffee shops. You are going to have everything from amazing play parks for the kids, top surf spots and beaches, it’s great for singles as well, and you even horseback riding by going a little inland. I’d say the main negative is the cost of housing. Encinitas is a spectacular place to live, work, visit and raise a family! The homes are very pricey. Condos and townhomes come down in price a bit. Not a ton but a little.
Neighborhood Number (#2) is going to be Torrey Hills. Torrey Hills is pretty much what I would say is an A+ just about all the way across the board. If you live here, expect top schools, minimal crime rates, your neighbors are mostly families, access to many social activities, easy access for your commute (that is if we don’t all turn into working from home even after we clear this virus). I had to dig deep to find a con but really it’s the same problem Encinitas has, the cost of living. Real estate prices are not cheap in one of the most desirable family neighborhoods in San Diego. There are some rental options but most residents own their home in this neighborhood. You’re going to have semi walkable access to restaurants, coffee shops, and parks located in either Torrey Hills Center to the east, Pacific Plaza to the southwest.
Neighborhood Number (#3) is on my list is going to be Poway. People often think of Poway as being in North San Diego but it’s really not, it’s located in between the north and central right up (or down I suppose) the 15 freeway. Great schools, phenomenal shopping centers, low crime rates, a very suburban type fell. Poway is incredibly popular. There are parts that feel extremely rural and after about 2 minutes in a car ride they turn into modern suburbia in a heartbeat. It’s very clean, people tend to be very friendly. It’s also very close commute for many of the large companies nearby such Sony, Qualcomm, and so many more.
Neighborhood Number (#4) is also going to be Clairemont Mesa. Just about everyone has heard of Clairemont. I have several extremely good friends that planted their roots in Clairemont and absolutely love it. I find myself visiting with them very often and always enjoy my time there. It was actually one of San Diego’s first suburbs, if not the very first! It’s a huge place and an incredibly popular place for families and or first time home buyers to seek out their first home. It’s no wonder, it definitely checks most of the boxes as far as safety, family type of activities available, parks, shopping centers close by, and good schools. A quick note here, Clairemont is actually made up of 5 different sub communities including Bay Ho, Bay Park, Clairemont East, Clairemont West, Clairemont, North, and Sunset. One of the best things about Clairemont is going to be its location. It’s an area right outside the city center consisting of beautiful mesas and canyons, with views of the Ocean, Mission Bay, and canyons full of natural beauty. You will have Tecolote golf course which is a ton of fun. Expect a semi-dense suburban type of feel with many most residents owning their own homes. There are a decent amount of rental options as well. There are lots of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. There is a movie theater in Clairemont Town Square (right nest to Krispy Kreme) there that I really like. It reminds me of the theaters I grew up with, not the giant fancy ones with five star dining and full bars available these days. The public schools in Clairemont Mesa are above average.
Neighborhood number (#5) is going to be amazing one but it’s a tough one to get into, it’s going to be Fairbanks Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe. It’s easily one of the best places to live in the entire San Diego County. It’s an extremely affluent neighborhood located minutes away from world-class shops, boutiques, beaches, private country clubs, the Del Mar, and so much more. Its tucked away if you make your way down San Dieguito road and past the Helen Woodward Animal Center. If you are looking for luxury living, this is not a neighborhood to miss. Safe, family friendly, and full of prestige. The neighborhood consists of a who’s who list of entrepreneurs, professional athletes, socialites and celebrities alike. I know a few of the names but I don’t want to say them out loud ()you know, they might have people who will). If this is affordable to you, this is highly recommended to check out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though, Fairbanks Ranch is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the nation! And don’t drive up expecting to just drive by and check out the homes. Its behind gates with armed guards. I showed up there one time. I had this client who wanted to see what it was like in the evening. He wanted to make sure it as quiet before he bought the house. The seller forgot to call me in for access at the gate. When I showed up and the guard didn’t have me on the list, oh my god, the swat team just about showed up. Fun times that night.
Neighborhood Number (#6) on my list is going to be La Mesa. La Mesa is an amazing neighborhood to raise a family. There are so many of fun parks and good schools. I have several longtime friends and clients that love living in La Mesa. They love it and definitely consider it their forever homes. Every Friday there is an amazing Farmer’s Market along La Mesa Blvd. There are many popular community events that happened throughout the year such as an incredible Oktoberfest celebration, concerts during the summer, Christmas in the Village, Back to the 50s Car Show, and the Antique Street Fair. Downtown La Mesa is going to have shops, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and everything else you could possibly think of. It appeals to families, singles, and just about everyone. An interesting fact about La Mesa is that La Mesa doesn’t operate under its own city charter. Instead, it operates under all the laws of the State of California when a specific city ordinance doesn’t address an issue. Lake Murray, which is part of the Mission Trails Regional Park system there has 7 plus miles of paved pathways for biking, walking, dog walking etc. Mount Helix park is right there as well. Great suburb to live in!
And Neighborhood Number (#7) is going to be a community I bet you are familiar with but it’s not a neighborhood that gets a lot of attention as being a great suburb. We are talking about Coronado. Yes, Coronado! Its more than just the Navy Base and the Hotel Del Coronado! As far as location, it probably doesn’t get much better. You are have close proximity to Downtown, the ocean and beaches, easy access to Imperial Beach, and the freeway system. Its makes getting anywhere ultra-convenient. Coronado is an amazing little beach town situated on a peninsula island with easy access to the beaches, surfing, the main street with all the shops, restaurants, and cafes, and of course the world famous Hotel Del Coronado, plus other great hotels. It’s an amazing community full of shops, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, walkways along the beach and the San Diego Bay. The schools are great. If you are looking for a unique neighborhood to plant your roots, consider Coronado. A unique aspect to Coronado that’s tough to find anywhere else is going to be in the Coronado Cays. You can live there and have your very own boat slip and doc.
Rancho San Diego
Neighborhood #8 Rancho San Diego located out in east county. This is an ultra-popular suburb perfect for families with shopping centers, parks to relax and take the kids, good schools, and relatively low crime rates. The options for living out here are slightly less than the San Diego median home prices so it’s a great landing spot for a first time home buyer just hopping into the real estate game. You also have easy to access to many hiking trails, bike trails, and other outdoor activities.
Neighborhood #9 is going to be San Carlos. San Carlos is an amazing little community. It often gets confused with La Mesa because they are right next to each other but they are not the same. You can expect good schools, a amazing family friendly environment, close proximity all the hiking a mission trails and all the recreation available at Lake Murray. You have restaurants, shops, shopping centers, and everything else you could possibly need. Its also a great location for commuters, very close to the freeway system. It’s a very low key community driven neighborhood. I always enjoy my time here and all my friends and clients that live here have nothing but great things to say.
Those are my picks for the best 9 suburbs in San Diego county.
If you are thinking about moving to, from, or inside San Diego, hit me up anytime. I love to help and I’m always here for you!