San Diego is expensive. It’s actually really expensive. It’s not as expensive as San Francisco or Los Angeles yet but it’s creeping up there. Home price appreciation in San Diego over the last 12 months through July is second only to Phoenix Arizona. Home prices have risen 27.4% from July 2020 to July 2021 in San Diego. Absolutely insane when you think about it. Are we headed for a real estate market crash? No, absolutely not. More importantly, is there anything left that’s affordable in San Diego? I mean, do you need a million dollars to live in a decent neighborhood?
So let’s define affordable. The median price for a home is now $860,000 and sixty thousand dollars in San Diego. If you include condos and townhomes, the median drops to $760,000. So what if your price point is less than $760,000? You can’t buy a home in San Diego? At least not in a desirable area? Absolutely not. I’m going to show you 5 neighborhoods where the median home price is less than $760,000 and the neighborhood has decent ratings as far as schools, crime, safety, good for families, weather. FYI, I used the website Niche uses dozens of public data sets and millions of reviews to grade each category so I think they should be pretty reliable. Also, these are just the top 5 Niche picked, there are more.
Miramar Ranch North
Neighborhood number one is going to be Miramar Ranch North. So check out the median home price, $719,493. Not exactly cheap but it’s less than the SD median at $760,000. Arguably, the only con to living here is the cost of living but that’s going to apply to all of San Diego. If you are wondering where Miramar Ranch North is exactly, here it is on the map. The Median Household income $147,238 comes in at just under $150,000. Let’s take a look at what one of the actual residents has to say:
“In my area the weather is excellent. When it comes to housing, the quality is extremely good. Some houses are small and look very much the same and even attached to the one next to them, while the richer neighborhoods consists of house that are more unique”.
Neighborhood number two is going to be University City. With a median home price of… ready for this $617,666. Pretty surprising right? This is the UCSD area but what a lot of people don’t know if it’s not just student housing, there are homes here as well and even families. The location here is ideal, if you live in San Diego, I’m sure you’ve been to or at least driven through this area near the freeway. The Median Household Income $86,065 Niche is reporting is significantly lower than a lot of other neighborhoods in San Diego. I think that could be due to the fact there are students included in that figure. Here is a review from a local resident:
“The people are very friendly. The schools here are pretty good. The neighborhood is also relatively safe. There are many job opportunities here (There’s a large Westfield Mall called the “UTC Mall”.) The traffic however, can be kind of bad in certain areas around 4-6 P.M. but mostly it’s decent. It’s definitely very diverse. Many people in my area come from different countries and states but there are also many people here that have lived here their entire lives”.
For neighborhood number three, let’s talk about Rancho Penasquitos. The median home price here comes in at $797,946. Sort of similar to University City, if you remove the condos from that equation, the median price sky rockets over 7 figures. Still Rancho Penasquitos is an awesome community and offers several different housing price points. It grades extremely well on just about all categories from Niche except housing prices, no surprise there. They give us an average rent for the area at about $2,559 just below the median purchase price point. The vast majority of residents own their homes. The Median Household Income comes in at $144,186. The schools are great in this area, highly competitive and sought after. Here is a resident review:
“I have lived here for over 25 years. It is quiet, scenic, and neighbors are warm and friendly. Many families walk, run, and bike daily. People take good care of their yards and homes. The canyon is an added benefit, great for hiking and outdoor activities. Very, very safe. Just an excellent area to live in! Also accessible to entertainment, shopping, and dining”.
Just keep in mind, if you decide to start looking at houses in this area, it is extremely competitive to buy or even rent a home here. This is and has always been extremely popular because, well… it’s an awesome community to live, especially for families.
Carmel Mountain Ranch
So for the next community, we are going to jump across the 15 freeway next to Ranch Penasquitos and talk about Carmel Mountain Ranch. Just off the 15 freeway. The median home price here comes in at just about $636,470. When you pull the condos, It goes up a bit. So we have good grades on the Niche grading system in just about all categories. They give us a Median Rent for the area at $2,250. It’s pretty close as far as owners and renters, just about 50/50. The Median Household Income sits at just about $119,349. Great school ratings as you can see. Let’s check out a review:
“Living in Carmel Mountain Ranch is truly a blessing. Everything you need is close by, ranging from restaurants, stores for clothing, electronics, and general needs, as well as banks and grocery stores. Carmel Mountain is always busy most of the week and there is a community feel to living here. The neighborhoods around Carmel Mountain Ranch are decent and well-kept, and you’ll always find something to do while you’re in the neighborhood.”
For our final community, let’s look at Mission Valley. The median price here is $518,367. That figure is made up almost entirely by condos and townhomes. If you are looking in the new communities of Civita or Escala, technically they are all condos but some of the homes are detached, meaning no walls connected to anyone else. For San Diego, it doesn’t get more central than Mission Valley. Grade wise it does pretty well although it falls shorter than our other neighborhoods on crime and safety. Something to check into if you are considering this area. The median rent is $2,121 and renters outnumber the homeowners in the neighborhood. Robbery is by far the biggest issue as far as crime in this neighborhood. The Median Household Income is $90,192. The percentage of families with kids is only 17% but I think that changes considerably when you start getting specific in Civita and Escala for example, those communities are extremely family and kid friendly. Let’s check out a resident review:
“I like Mission Valley for the sole fact that it has ease of access to everything nearby. It is centrally located and close to the interstate. I would like to see the homeless situation improve. Sometimes it is very hard to feel safe in this neighborhood because there are a lot of homeless persons in this area that will steal your personal property. Safety should be a higher priority here.”
There you have it, those are 5 neighborhoods with housing options under San Diego median home price. There are a ton of other neighborhoods, these are just the top five ranked by Niche.
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