Home Buying in Bay Terraces>Question Details

Cc, Home Buyer in San Diego, CA

I'm planning on moving to the San Diego area within the next 6 months. Need some assistance with learning about the differing neighborhoods and

Asked by Cc, San Diego, CA Fri Mar 26, 2010

what may be the best place for us to buy or rent a townhome.

Help the community by answering this question:


San Diego county is very large with many different cities and communities. Things to think about when you are deciding on a neighborhood are schools, access to work, and what kind of activities you enjoy doing on your downtime. You can shoot me a quick e-mail with what is going to be important to you and I would be glad to provide information on the neighborhoods that might work for you. There are many links on our website where you can get information as well and also search properties that are currently available. Let me know if there is additional information that I can provide. Goodluck in your relocation.

Tony Francoeur
Coldwell Banker Residential, La Jolla
Web Reference: http://www.katieandtony.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010
Hello Cc,

Congrats on your move to San Diego! San Diego is a great place to live (We moved here from AZ several years ago, and we're so glad we did).

Secondly, I just answered another similar question on this site, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you... Although your question is a good question, you're only going to get so far asking something like that on a website like this. Here's my experience with San Diego:

(1) There are more than 10 beach communities in San Diego, and each one is totally different from the others (they're all so cool, too!).

(2) Going inland from the beach, there are many other areas that all very different from each other. I personally wish I could own about 15 homes in San Diego. I would use them all, because there are so many neat areas of town. I've found that there are people in many areas of San Diego who all swear that their area is the best area to live in. Which one is right for you? That depends on a lot of things.

That being said, here are my two recommendations for you:

(1) Don't buy when you first move to San Diego. Take a year and rent. This will give you time to get to know the different areas yourself, so you can make an informed decision when you do buy.


(2) If you must buy now, then hire an exclusive buyer agent to help you. This is going to take a lot of hard work and time, so make sure you choose your agent wisely. A good buyer agent will know how to help you narrow down your search criteria and help match you to the area that is the best fit for you (and an exclusive buyer agent will not work for a company that has any listings to sell you). One thing I do with my relocating clients is be their "tour guide" to learn about the different areas before we actually go look at homes for sale.

To learn more about exclusive buyer agency, go to http://naeba.org. If you'd like to learn about me and my company (I own Globella Buyers Realty in San Diego), go to http://activerain.com/globella. (I would send you to my website, http://globella.com, but we are currently re-designing it). Check back there in a week for so...


Justin Gramm
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 27, 2010

I live and work in north county coastal area. As others have stated it is proably a good idea to make a couple visits out to san diego to understand the different areas. Then when you know where your job is going to be you'll have an idea of how far from your job you wamt to live. Coastal homes are more expensive than living further from the beach. If you need any info on the local communities please visit ny website. http://www.coastalhomesinsandiego.com.

Good luck, I love living here it's the best weather anywhere.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 27, 2010
Congratulations on your decision to move to best citty in the US. I made the move almost 28 years ago from the East Coast and couldn't be happier with the decision. As for your request of where you should be looking for a townhome. Some of the best communities we have to offer are, La jolla, Del Mar, Mission Hills/Hillcrest, and Mission Valley. These areas have beautiful townhomes and are centrally located to all that San Diego has to offfer. Check this link out for info on all the best communities in San Diego.

I would be happy to help you narrow down your search a bit. My email is bobby@moveupsandiego.com and my cell is 858-204-7259. You can also search for homes on my website at http://www.moveupsandiego.com. Call for a free consult.

Have a great weekend!

Bobby Martins
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 27, 2010
Dear Cc,

As others have said below, San Diego is a huge County with many different communities. My suggestions would be to start looking in the areas near where you will be employed, as moving around the County during rush hour is a slow process. Of course if your moving here to retire then find an area that has lots of things you like to do close. In general coastal areas are more expensive than inland.

Once you have a general idea what part of the County works best for you find a REALTOR® that will help educate you to areas that would fit your price range and specification. I can't tell you how important it is to interview and pick someone that you are comfortable with and you feel is trustworthy. Not being from San Diego you will rely on this person to give you direction and suggestions as you search.

Start by asking friends and family for references or visit different agents websites. Interview a few of them via telephone or e-mail and meet the ones that you think best fit your needs. You will be spending a lot of time the the REALTOR® that you choose, so it might as well be someone that's a good fit for you.

Over the last several years I have written a series of articles on what you should look for in the REALTOR®. You might find it an interesting read.

San Diego is a wonderful place to live and I hope you'll take your time finding the perfect place to live. Also you may want to rent for a while to make sure the fit is right before committing on purchasing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010
Since San Diego means different things to different people, I would first start at this website to see if you mean the actual City of San Diego. http://www.sandiego.gov/neighborhoodmaps/ This map will give you an idea of how many different areas there are in the City of San Diego, not including all our surrounding cities. What may be of the most importance is where you are going to be working. If you are working in the North County, it would be quite a haul to drive from the South County. So I would say, first decide where you are working and then you can start to radius out from there. I would also suggest that you might consider renting for a few months until you become familiar with the numerous areas. If we can help you with rentals, let us know.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010
Hello Cc, These links may assist you with crime statistics:

Theses links should have the answers to any questions you may have on schools:

You should study RENT vs BUY options as you may qualify to buy with minimum out of pocket expenses and pay less than rent in many cities. You may qualify to buy FHA with fico scores between 500-579 with 10% down or minimum 580 fico score may qualify FHA 3.5% down or as low as .5% half percent down payment program. You may consider 3% down conventional from a minimum 620 fico score. Your fico scores can be raised within 3-4 days in most cases to qualify for programs, rates and terms as necessary.

Beware of the many rental scams out there these days on all sites. The scams are on all of the rental listing sites except one that us agents/broker use such as mls, multiple listing service.

You should not give anyone any funds or personal information without confirming with a licensed agent/broker or management company to find out whom you should be dealing with and the status of any address of interest.

If you figure out what cities/zip codes you are considering, minimum number of bedrooms and the maximum payment/price you are looking to achieve you can be emailed listings to fit your search criteria. Your email address is needed to set you up for the automatic daily updates.

You will need to be pre-approved to be able to meet an agent to view and submit offers on any homes of your choice. Your qualifications will be determined by your credit profile, debt to income ratios, fico scores, home price, loan program and how much you want to invest into the down payment and closing costs.

It only takes a few dozen questions to qualify, go over your options and email you listings to study and compare. Here are some links to study as well as web reference links to many loan program pages offered...

Sheryl Arndt, Real Estate Broker - Sr. Loan Officer CA only
Veteran & VA/CalVet Loan Specialist
REO & Short Sale Specialist
Credit Repair At No Cost
ALL Loan Programs Available
22+ Years Experience
BRE# 01140252
NMLS# 297251
9am till 5pm by phone Monday thru Saturday, Sundays by appt., EMAIL ANYTIME 24/7
Under640FicoScoreLoans@gmail.com or HomeLoans4U@live.com

If my response was helpful, consider clicking Thank, Link or Best Answer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 30, 2015
Wow. Ok man, I am NOT an agent or a realtor and have lived in various parts of san diego for the better(much better haha) part of 5 years. So here is a good low-down answer for you, this is personal experience, so if anyone is offended then tell your part I guess:

1. Imperial Beach, Normal Heights, La Presa, Chula Vista between the 8(I-8) and the 805(I-805), Most of national City, el cajon, most of lemon grove, East City....if you enjoy an adrenaline rush then these are your spots. By that I mean they aren't exactly "model" parts of the city. Lots of crime, etc. All of those place have some good patches but are hard to find. I personally lived in el cajon for a shrt 3 months with a friend and will never go back.

2. Santee, lakeside, alpine...east county, very country-fied, but a far drive to san diego city if you are working around there.

3. Ocean beach: If you want a home town feel and don't mind a bunch of hippies(or you are a hippy at heart), ocean beach is a great place to live. Very laid back and when you are a "local" things become very cool for you there. I lived there for 2 years and miss a lot of things about that place. Real estate can be very pricey and small.

4. Mission beach: More upscale than ocean beach, very pricey places around there. Nice area though.

5. Pacific Beach: Getting more upscale, given La Jolla is right north of here. You will find a lot of hot-heads and douchebags running around this place, I am personally not a fan after 10PM.

6. La Jolla: Very expensive and upscale area, for good reason. Basically a mountain right by the water with amazing views. Million dollar housing. Coronado falls into the upscalyness of this area, but no mountain.

7. Point Loma: South of Ocean Beach, also expensive real estate but a nice area in parts. Penensula with access to the harbor so a great place for naval types.

9. Mira Mesa: Good area to live not at all bad, but is right beside the marine air base, which runs fighter jets round the clock, sometimes late into the night.

10. Clairemont/Clairmont mesa: South of Balboa has some good areas, specifically the "Mt." Streets. Close to shopping and restaurants. I lived there for about a year, really enjoyed it. Very quiet.

11. Ranch pensquenitas/ Poway/ Rancho bernardo: all three pretty upscale places, though poway a bit more down to earth at some points...low crime, a bit of a drive to City. Poway has best schools in San Diego county. I live in Poway now and really like it here. Very very quiet. Very. Quiet.

12. Any beach north of La jolla: Upscale nice areas, all have a unique twist. Pricey.

13. Almost forgot(wow!): downtown, north park, south park...more the "park" areas than down town, amazing places. You will be driving through south park and feel like you are in a small town. North park is a bit more rowdy, but nothing bad bad. Lots of culture is being built in the areas and you will find lots of diverse events and places. I love visiting these parts of town when I get the chance to...in fact I get my haircut at a barber shop styled like the old ones that even does straight-razor shaves and gives you a beer when you walk in.

There are many other place but those are the ones I have frequented in my tenure. Overall the city is pretty tame compared to other cities I have lived in so there really isn't a horrible area to live here. San Diego really is a great city.

Anyways, if you want to get a hold of me I work for this realtor company....haha just kidding good luck in your search for a place here!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2015
A great way to check out the neighborhoods and find out more information is to Google San Diego,ca Neighorhoods " Several websites will come up and you can get more information , one i like is
http://www.sandiego.org/article_set/Visitors/8 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 14, 2010
Oh my gosh, townhomes are all over San Diego. Any of the agents here, including me, has a website with a direct link to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Look to your heart's content - it's free.

But, unless you plan to come out here once or twice to take a look around, I can't imagine how you're going to make a decision - whether you're buying OR renting!

So with that said, feel free to give me call when you get into town. I'd be glad to drive you around for the day and show you around. By the end of the day (a long day, haha) you'll have a much better idea.

Best regards,
Paul Montgomery
Your Realtor in San Diego
Prudential CA Realty, Del Mar
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 31, 2010
Without knowing more about what your looking for I have a townhome in one of the more exclusive areas of San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe. It's listed on VRBO. http://www.vrbo.com/187902 For personal clients I can give a great rate off what is shown.
Web Reference: http://www.vrbo.com/187902
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 30, 2010

We've put together some info on each San Diego community for folks in your situation - http://www.nuvilla.com/sandiego/communities.php.

Even with 6 months to research, it may be a good idea to start off with a short term rental as Chris K stated, just to get your feet wet. San Diego's communities each have distinct charm and it will take some time to get to know which area is right for you.

In the meantime while you are doing your research online, here are some areas to check out: Downtown, Encinitas (Leucadia), La Mesa (specifically Mount Helix), Solana Beach, North Park and South Park and Poway.
Web Reference: http://www.nuvilla.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 27, 2010
Here's a great way to search San Diego homes for sale by communities. You can click on any community, select your price range and then see all listings accompanied by GOOGLE maps.

Go to: http://www.queststarrealty.com/PropertySearch.ubr

I highly recommend you consider renting for 6 months prior to purchasing in order to educate yourself. I'd be happy to help!


Chris Keller
(858) 213-9999

QuestStar Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 27, 2010
Home Buyer,
I have lived in San Diego since 1976, have been a REALTOR since 1994. I also have Rental properties in Pacific Beach, near Bay Terrace. Where are you moving from? I have a FREE Consultation for Home Buyers to go over the Buying Process when you are ready. In the mean time visit my Website for information about me and a place to search for homes in San Diego and outside of San Diego. For Rentals, I suggest you go to "San Diego Reader", "Craig's List" and "Union Tribune" classified ads for updated rentals in all areas of San Diego.

Liz Hoffman CRS,GRI, E-pro, REALTOR®
Liz "SELLiz" Homes
RE/MAX RB- Ranch and Beach
Past Pres. & V.P. of Poway Real Estate Professionals
SDAR Director 2009-2010
12411 Poway Rd.
Poway, CA 92064
License # 0993454
(858)485-1100 Office
(858)967-9966 Cell
Liz@LizHoffman.com http://www.LizHoffman.com
P.S. Please don't keep me a secret! It is my goal to provide you with the quality of service that makes it comfortable for you to refer people you know and trust to me. Who is the next person you know who would benefit from my services?
We sincerely hope that you are pleased with the quality of your Real Estate Investment and support services which you receive. If you know of other Real Estate Investors who could benefit from our services, please refer them to me.
"When buying or selling a home, it’s way too important not to use a REALTOR. No one knows the market like California REALTORS -- helping you find your piece of California, with some peace of mind
Web Reference: http://www.lizhoffman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 27, 2010
You can start with a great website at: bestsandiegohomesearch.listingbook.com. But to really get to know the many diverse neighborhoods and what each can offer you, you need an experienced agent who can not only fill you in on neighborhoods, but also guide you through the many challenges in the market right now, and who you can count on to keep your best interests at heart. . A good idea may be to choose a couple agents who respond to you here, meet with them both and see who you like and trust the most and then go for it! After all: a Buyer's rep doesn't cost you anything as the seller pays for our services.... Good luck! Ellen Hayes
Web Reference: http://EllenHayesHomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010
Hello there, welcome to San Diego! Where will you be working when you get here? Any family or friends that you will be staying with? This may help in deciding on an area to research. Let me know if I can be of assistance. Good luck with your move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010

You can start by visiting my website full of valuable information.

Do you have any family here?

Web Reference: http://www.SearchSDMLS.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 26, 2010
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer