George, Home Buyer in

Moving to California...San diego area

Asked by George, Sun Sep 22, 2013


We are moving to California next summer, I am narrowing my searches to RSF, Encinitas, Carlsbad and a new one that I just discovered Santaluz, and I have to say, I am quite impressed to what I have seen so far online.

I am in Utah, and we live in a safe nice community with a nice Tennis/swimming/health club and close to nice public and private schools. We would love to to find something as good or even better, and of course, much better climate!

This is our profile:
We have two girls age 8 (twin girls). Our plan is to rent for a year or longer to get the pulse of the area. possible rent for $5,000 -$7000 per month. Lease option could be a possibility.

We are looking for 4-5 bedrooms, 4 bath, 3 car garage home, maybe a swimming pool.
Nice and safe community with a lot of kids.
great schools.
not too isolated that will take us an hour going to go to the movies, shopping...

As I said, Santaluz got our attention, any other ideas?

Help the community by answering this question:


Have you considered financing for your new home? I am a lender based out of Southern California and I would be glad to help you get the loan that you need. I have done plenty of loans throughout the state including San Diego, so give me a call! Well I hope this helps! If you have any other questions or if you would like a loan, feel free to contact me. Good Luck! Brian Nguyen Sr. Mortgage Banker NMLS # 659743 Phone: 949.667.2887
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 19, 2014
For your budget you will certainly find a place that suits your needs. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any help or with any questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 14, 2014

Looks like you have been given a ton of good advice. I also just moved to San Diego and I am in the Poway area. Its a little more inland than Carlsbad and Encinitas but has some great schools. My opinion is that it is better to try to live close to where you work if possible. The traffic here can be bad at times and if you can avoid having long commutes. Overall there are a ton of amazing areas to live. When you ready to buy, i would be happy to help with any financing.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 10, 2014
Good choice…San Diego is a beautiful area.

Please call me directly for more detailed information about areas fitting your criteria.

Jeannie Thompson
Coldwell Banker
930 Prosepct St.
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 395 7727
California BRE# 01021435
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 10, 2013
You are making a great choice. For mortgage help, call or email for a free pre-approval in less than 10 minutes. We lend our own money and are licensed in 49 states.

We can do: FHA, Conventional, USDA, VA, HARP, Interest Only, Home Equity, Fixed, and Variable. Find out which product is right for you by calling Brad at (855) 415-5626.

Brad Neumann
Sr. Loan Officer
Crosscountry Mortgage Inc.
Toll Free: (855) 415-5626 ext. 5734
NMLS# 948036
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 9, 2013
You really can not go wrong with any of the areas you mentioned. A few additional areas that many of my family clients have found worth looking at are Poway (92064) and Rancho Bernardo (92128 & 92127 - includes Santaluz, 4S Ranch).

Best of luck in your search and welcome to San Diego, California!

David Rudd
Kindred Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 25, 2013
Hi there...

As a resident of Santa Luz, I can tell you that my 10 year old daughter takes full advantage of the camps and activities offered by the community. She has several friends her own age, and your concern about how close (or not) the houses are for kids to be playing is valid. We tend to go to the large community park and join other friends there. It's less than 5 minutes on a bike from most addresses.

For some helpful reports on Santa Luz and the surrounding areas, check my web reference link below. Often times, properties are leased in Santa Luz before ever hitting the market, so I'd be happy to "keep and ear open" for you if the need still exists. Take care! J.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 19, 2013
I know someone who owns a house on the eastside of Santa Luz, the gated area, who is considering renting it out. If you're interested don't hesitate to contact me.

Benjamin Altman
Real Estate Broker/Consultant
CA DRE 01746810
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 25, 2013

Two other things we forgot to mention.

1. Santa Luz have a lot of space between the homes which make it challenging for kids to "play together". There are great facilities there, the HOA varies between $410 and $635 depending upon the home.

2. There is a neighboring gated community to Santaluz called Santa Monica. The lots are smaller (12,000 - 15,000 SF) and was also built in 2003. Hence it makes the community kid friendly. They have a pool, tennis courts and a work out facility. There are currently 3 homes for sale from $1M to $1.38M. The HOA is $310 and there is a Mello Roos as well.

We also feel it is best if you rent until you figure out where you want to be. As a rule of thumb, expect approximately $1.00 to $1.30 a square foot when you rent a larger home.

Thanks much,

Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
National Association of Realtors
CA BRE License 01713506
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 23, 2013

You are going to get many offers from agents to help you find a house. First, a lease option is a complicated transaction that typically only benefits the owner of the home.

We know each of the areas that you mentioned well.

Encinitas is a mixed area, from newer "Master Plan" communities like Encinitas Ranch to 1,000 sf beach bungalows to large homes on large lots (Olivenhain). Master Plan communities in San Diego have HOA's and Mello Roos, which add to your monthly payment basis. If that is not an issue, the Master Plan communities tend to have newer homes.

Carlsbad is further north than Encinitas, with all of the same characteristics without an area like Olivenhain.

When looking in the coastal area, you can encounter noise from the 5 Freeway or the Coaster (train whistles). Only Olivenhain in Encinitas offers a "country living" and is typically quiet.

Rancho Santa Fe has 208 homes for sale right now ranging from $1,190,000 to $40M. There are a few segments of RSF that have large HOA's and other fees and there are others that do not. You need to be savvy and know specifically what you are seeking as many of the homes are older and have been remodeled. Many areas in RSF are gated communities, if that interests you.

Santa Luz is a very nice community with both a high HOA and Mello Roos and is also a gated community. The majority of the homes were built in 2003 and there are still many vacant lots available to build a new home. There are 42 homes available ranging from $890,000 to $6.9M. It quiet in the middle of a master plan called Black Mountain Ranch that features 9 different communities in the 92127 zip code.

We have found that Craigslist is your best option for a rental. 85% to 95% of all rentals leased in San Diego County are found using Craigslist. It is used to advertise rentals by property owners, property management companies and agents alike. Beware of rental scam listings and ads that "look too good to be true”. Make sure you talk to the person managing the property and meet them to see it. Scams usually involve people asking for a deposit in order to see the property. The "owner" usually states they live out of state or out of the country. Other scams involve people stealing pictures from homes for sale and then posting it as a rental with a low rental rate.

Best of luck to you,

Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
National Association of Realtors
CA BRE License 01713506

Please let us know if you would like further information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 23, 2013
What an exciting time for you and your family. There are many different resources where you can find rentals. But to save you the time and trouble you should have a Realtor do the searching for you. There are so many great areas in San Diego that fit into the description of what you are looking for.


Valerie Wengeler
Realtor BRE LIC# 01934056
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 23, 2013
Santaluz is perfect based on what you have mentioned. Have you visited the community? It is very central, boasts entry into the Poway Unified School District, and the amenities are family oriented but also have elements of a high end health spa. It is very community oriented, but you can live a private lifestyle if desired. It is unique intimate, and ideal spot for you to launch into living in San Diego.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 23, 2013
The Bridges of Rancho Santa Fe might also be a locale. Located west of Santa Luz and east of I-5, this is a great community. Schools will really be the key to your location with two children. Renting is also a good idea because that will give you and your family time to see if you like Encinitas, Carlsbad, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar Highlands or Olde Del Mar the best. All of these locations have excellent schools along with the option of private schools. Since education has been so important to me, I would suggest starting with the school district and that will help you narrow your search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 22, 2013

I can see that you're doing your research on the matter. An excellent resource with school ratings is
It includes public and private schools. As far as the rentals go, here at Century 21, we have a property management department with a list of many homes in the price range you specified. Let me know if you're interested in seeing some of these rentals and I can send you info on each.

Best Regards,

Media Fettinger
Century 21 Award
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 22, 2013
The best way to find a rental home is through Craigslist. It sounds like you have a few areas in mind. I would suggest looking around Carmel Mountain, Rancho Bernardo where you can take advantage of the Award winning Poway School District. I would be happy to help find a property you would be interested in buying and answer any questions about buying or renting in San Diego area. Dmitry. 619-977-4929.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 22, 2013
Hello Utah Family,

Schools, community, culture, other families with kids, shopping, and possibly near the coast?

Lots to select from.

Go to my website: On the left sidebar there is a button..."Home Search". It's connected to the MLS here in San Diego. Select zip codes like, 92037, 92014, 92075. That will help you locate active properties that are available to look at for sale. Within those communities, I can help you find a lease.

Please call me and we can discuss the details to help in your search. I can send you my references.

Jeannie Thompson
Coldwell Banker
930 Propspect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 395 7727
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 22, 2013
If you want to stay coastal, Encinitas, Carlsbad and RSF are excellent choices ... you may also want to add Carmel Valley to the list. I'd be happy to send you listings to give you an idea of what's available for the size and price range you have in mind ... there's beautiful homes available in these areas that I think you'd find very interesting. I've helped numerous clients relocate to the San Diego area and would be most happy to be of assistance to you.

Kind regards,

Kaye L. Hopkins, Realtor
BRE #01397372
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 22, 2013

First off congratulations for making the decision to move to San Diego! Utah is great too but as you alluded to nothing beats the weather in San Diego. Those are all great communities that you have listed (the best in San Diego). I would also consider The Crosby as well. Do you plan on coming out here to do any looking before you move? Let me know if you would like me to set up an automated search for you that pulls current listing directly from the MLS and emails you updates every time a new listing comes on the market that meets your search criteria. I would love to assist you in your search! Let me know if I can be of assistance.

Best regards,

Ryan Lamb
Buyer Specialist / REALTOR®
Reef Point Realty & Construction

716-997-6504 (C)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 22, 2013
You might want to consider Carmel Valley 92130, Carlsbad 92011. Santaluz is a great community, Fairbanks and Del Mar . Contact me if you need a realtors help.

Carmen Azizian

Century 21 United Brokers
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 22, 2013
Santaluz it is a great area. It's a very nice community and they have a lot of activities going on at the club. Do you like to golf? You're right about Rancho Santa Fe too. That is where my office is located. Fairbanks Ranch might be a nice area for you, very close to the school. Olivenhain is very nice too. Give me a call and we can discuss your options. I can also help you find a rental in the meantime. My office is always announcing rentals in that price range. I look forward to speaking to you further and being of help.
Thank you, Debbie Bulkeley
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 22, 2013
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