Your question is too broad to answer easily, even though there are GOOD values in just about all locations.
FIRST, do your due diligence research on MLS (multiple listing), looking for SIMILAR SQUARE FOOTAGE, AGE, CONDITION AND NEIGHBOOD. I like to look over the place using ZILLOW.COM and 2010 GOOGLEearth.COM as well as the MLS listing for lthe zip code(s) I am interested in. Checking the comparables will help, but watch the DATE OF LAST SALE compared to the prices you see. 6 months can make a HUGE difference in some neighborhoods, and last year versus this Spring are often off by 20% or more. Hate to discourage you, but many places are still seeing FALLING PRICES.
SECOND, get a BUYER'S AGENT, like Dan Melson (check his website for hints, danmelson.com) since an honest agent is worth his weight in silver-plate, if not gold.
THIRD,and maybe most important, RENT if you can for a few months to get a feel for the ENTIRE AREA within which you can COMMUTE and FEEL COMFORTABLE. Nothing works better than being there first.
Best of luck. Be wise and be wary. Most agents are too hungry and pushy (sorry, folks, the truth shalll set you free). Love the agent you are with or move on. Sign only SHORT TERM CONTRACTS with agents for your own safety . . . and NOTHING OPEN-ENDED . . . good hunting. It can be much fun.!
I'm a little late to the party, but would like to weigh in as well. If you are an investor as some on here might believe, you'd definitely want to run a cash flow analysis to see what your cash on cash return would be. A lot of people think something is a good deal, but don't actually run the numbers using accurate inputs (remember garbage in equals garbage out.) As far as neighborhoods, there is little to no doubt that Scripps Ranch and 4s Ranch are very nice, but you pay more of a premium for this than the Mira Mesa area. However, there are great deals to be had in 4s Ranch now with properties going for just around $200/sq ft (the downside to this area are the Mello Roos/monthly fees). 4s is known as a family centric neighborhood and this will always have an appeal as far as resale goes. Scripps Ranch is quite nice as well and being further south along the 15 freeway, you are able to avoid a lot of the traffic congestion that starts to back up on the 15. Mira Mesa may be more affordable than the other two areas and a good spot for first time buyers. Given all this, the question of what is worth buying depends on way too many factors...entry point, planned improvements, condition of the property, stability of the neighborhood and the list goes on.
Hope this helps!
Chad Basinger, REALTORÂ®, CPA, CFPÂ®
Windermere Exclusive Properties
Judging by your question you are an investor. I would contract with you as your buyer's broker and show you the inventory of all three areas so you can get the best return on your investment. Historically all three areas show significant price improvement on a market upswing so your purchase comes down to location, condition, and price.
Steve Innis, REB
I usually wont disagree with agents on Trulia , but I think who ever put that report out about the best places to live are missing some screws!.The reason I say this is because I know first hand of the Poway areas cause I grew up there. Now put it this way: Ask anybody who lives in or around Poway that does not live off Garden Road and ask them what they think of the area when you mention the word "Garden Road" . I would agree that Poway has a ton of value, but I would not suggest Garden Road area AT ALL, if you are curious about Scripps Ranch and 4S Ranch and Mira Mesa, Garden Grove is not in the same league at all, although it is in Poway Unified, which I'll give it that. You should actually consider RANCHO PENASQUITOS, which half of falls in the Poway unified. I'd say it's a bit more like Mira Mesa, but surely would be a better choice than Garden Road area.
HEY ALL YOU GARDEN GROVE RESIDENTS!. Nothing personal against Garden Grove! I'm just giving my personal feelings on this one for "Sam" and all the other Trulia Lookie Loos. I'm sure you'll understand.
SEARCH ALL THE NEIGHBORHOODS IN SAN DIEGO ON http://www.HomesAroundPoway.com in ONE CLICK
Scripps and 4s Ranch are great for resale, but you might also consider Poway. Great school system and you can get great value for your money. The Garden Road-Sycamore Creek area was just named one of the best values in the country, and you can find a number of properties around $450k in the area.
Let me know if I can help in any way.
Brian Adkins, Esq.
Engelby Real Estate
Im very familiar with all of these areas. I guess it comes down to.. what is the most you can pay? You will not really find a home comparable in size in 4S ranch or Scripps Ranch to that in Mira Mesa. I'd say a home for around 450K would give you as much value as a place in 4S Ranch or Scripps Ranch would for around 650K
The hot price point, or entry level price point, that is selling in Mira Mesa, and receiving multiple offers is around 350K. 450K would be an upscale or nicer home in Mira Mesa. In 4S Ranch Single Family homes will start around the high 500's or low 600's for a comparable size of home, and same for Scripps Ranch. I guess, if you can afford to go up a bit, it may be a better investment in 4S Ranch or Scipps, if not, then take your time and make sure you are getting the right home in Mira Mesa, which at 450 is a bit on the higher side.
All three areas have pros and cons. Mira Mesa is all about the location, lot sizes, and prices, usually with little or no HOA. 4S Ranch is an very nicely designed master planned community where it has a small town feel, but the HOA and Mello Roos Scare alot of people away from it, but its in Poway unified, a huge plus.
I guess you ultimately need to make sure you are working closely with a local REALTOR to help you figure out what fits best for you and your family. I'd be more than happy to help, feel free to stop by http://www.HomesAroundPoway.com to browse homes. I almost always answer my cell phone, which I can say most agents don't, so let me know if I can help provide a bit more guidance for your house hunt.
Keller Williams Realty
760 207 7245
starting in the $600k range. Regardless,
keep in mind all parts of the equation now and for resale that buyers will be attracted to.
It's true that Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch are also solid options but keep in mind age of home, upgrades needed, overall maintenance, etc, basically the nitty gritty of a home at that price point in those areas when weighing your options compared to 4S.
I have experience in all these areas and can speak further with you if you're looking for representation.
Willis Allen Real Estate
good luck and let me know if I can be of further assistance.