What are the best communities (or zip codes) to live in San Diego for young families?

Asked by Sd New Casa Buyer, San Diego, CA Tue Mar 6, 2012

We are already pre approved for a 400k FHA loan but we are still not sure where to leave. Of course at least a 3 bedroom town home move in ready in a central location would be nice but could be flexible on that end. We realize real estate agents could specialize in specific SD areas, type of loans or clients, etc. Any insights or experiences you could share are more than welcome. Thanks in advance!

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Jennifer Dom…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Mar 7, 2012

If you would like, you can visit my website.. http://.www.HomeVisionSanDiego.com

On the left hand side, you will see a tab called "Neighborhoods"

I have summaries of most of the neighborhoods in San Diego County.

Hope it helps :)
0 votes
Christine Ba…, Agent, Coronado, CA
Tue Mar 6, 2012
Dear SD New Casa Buyer -
Having lived in SD for 27 years & raised four children, now all in their early 20's, I have very personal experience & can relate to your question about where is the best place to live. The Poway Unified School District (which includes areas of SD - Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs, Rancho Penasquitos & 4S Ranch in addition to the city of Poway) still remains the most affordable area with a high performing public school. There are still some values out there but they don't last long. Please feel free to check out my website http://www.BakerSellsSanDiego.com for information on schools, myself and of course a dynamic search engine to all properties on the MLS.
Christine Baker, GRI
Willis Allen Real Estate
cell 858 449 3200
1 vote
Jerry Heard, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Mar 6, 2012
Sd New Casa Buyer
Well your timing is great. If I were looking and had concerns for my young family, I would look at the schools primarily. This link http://www.thesandiegopropertyshop.com/3/W0000019683/P000036… will give you information about the various schools in San Diego County.
I would also recommend looking in an area that is an easy commute for your work. Will you be driving or taking public transportation as more and more people are doing these days. Having made hour long commutes in the past makes me appreciate being close to work.
Once you have decided on which school district or particular school you like for your children then finding the right neighborhood is relatively easy.
All that said Poway, Clairemont, Rancho Penasquitos, La Mesa, North Park, Chula Vista are areas that many families like and are within your price range. There is not one best community in San Diego but rather many spread throughout the county.
I would like to help you find the best place for you and your family. Please contact me and we can discuss in more detail your specific needs.

I am never too busy for your referrals

Jerry Heard
Your Broker
The San Diego Property Shop
Direct 619-920-9796
Office 619-269-5545
Fax 619-269-9168
CA DRE # 00648687
1 vote
Sheryl Brown, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Tue Mar 6, 2012
If I were you, I would start first with my needs and desires. My recommendation is to make a list of what you want minimally - how many bedrooms, bathrooms, size lot, square footage, garage needs, maximum you want to consider for HOA and any Mello Roos, how long you plan to live there, how old a a home you want, etc. Then on location, what areas do you like? Do you want to be close to the ocean, do you want a more country feel, where do you work and how far are you willing to drive?

Then once you have identified general areas, you can start searching for homes on a site on the internet like http://www.searchingnorthcountyhomes.com or any other one. With your budget and minimum needs you can begin to get a feel for what you can get. After that, you should be ready to identify a couple areas that you think might satisfy your needs and you can select an agent that services those areas. At that point, stay a little open because a good agent may have some ideas you haven't considered. If I work with a client that is still trying to narrow what they want down to one area, I might team up with another agent that covers the other area until our client has identified the location they want to focus on.

Hope that helps.

1 vote
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Mar 6, 2012
There are many great communities for young families, so I understand your uncertainty. The first step is to make a list of what's most important to you and your family. Is it good schools? A nearby park? Shopping? The beach? When you've come up with a list of criteria for your family, this will help you choose the area.

With FHA, you'll need to look for a FHA approved complex, although you can still buy in some complexes that are not approved. You can always buy a detached house too, depending on the area; prices have come down a lot. And, remember, if you do choose a condo or town home, watch those HOA fees, they take away from what you can pay for your home if they get too high.

And, now you're ready to get listings and go out and see some homes!

Warm Regards,
1 vote
Amber Essman, Agent, Chula Vista, CA
Tue Mar 6, 2012
Hi SD New Casa Buyer,

Congratulations on your move! San Diego has so many wonderful communities for families. I would encourage you to meet with different agents that specialize in different areas so you can get a good idea of neighborhoods, work commute and home values. I specialize in an area in San Diego called Eastlake and Rolling Hills Ranch (zip codes 91914 and 91915) and it's a newer community and has a lot to offer families.

Check out the homes on Trulia and let me know if you are interested in a complimentary community tour.

Amber Essman, REALTOR®
San Diego Realty, Inc./Keller Williams Realty
DRE license #: 01512584
619-818-6111 CELL
1 vote
Jason Richar…, Agent, Encinitas, CA
Tue Mar 6, 2012
The fundamentals of San Diego's real estate markets are in a great position right now. There is a lot of activity in the markets and a general level of frustration of not enough properties for sale. This is a signal that prices have stabilized and for the most part, real estate has become a very attractice investment vehicle.

Focus first on what excites you, location, beach communities, arts communities, urban communities, rural communities. List the top 5 things you would most like to have and we can make reccomendations from that.

Based on your budget, San Marcos in North County is very popular with young families these days. This is due to newer neighborhoods mostly with young families and a school system that has made great strides in recent years. Downside is proximity to Central San Diego.

Your budget will present many options, even those within walking distance to the ocean.


Web Reference:  http://www.noviproperty.com
1 vote
Marcie Sands, Agent, Poway, CA
Tue Mar 6, 2012
SD New Casa Buyer,

When considering where to live for your family thing about the following:

1.) The commute to work - how far are you willing to drive and traffic patterns.
2.) Do you have a family or plan to? If so investigate the school districts
3.) Does the 400K approval take into consideration HOA fees and mello roos taxes? (If not your qualifying purchase amount will be lower - check with your lender because most town homes have HOA's, the newer they are the higher the HOA).
4.) Do you prefer to live in a city, suburb or rural area?
5.) Do you have any climate preferences (the more inland, the warmer it gets)

Working directly with a Buyer's Agent is a good idea, they can make suggestions based on your qualifying amount and information that you give to them on what you are looking for. You want to get the best location possible. Any Trulia agent would be happy to help or ask for referrals from friends and family of a REALTOR who they have had experience working with.

Kind Regards,

Marcie Sands, REALTOR
Simply The Best Real Estate Co., Inc.
1 vote
Sinead McAll…, Agent, Oceanside, CA
Tue Mar 6, 2012
Hi SD New Casa Buyer,
How exciting! As the mother of three girls under 8, I can empathize. Realtors have to be very careful about steering.... pushing buyers into certain neighborhoods based on demographics, but here are some neighborhoods I really like: Scripps Ranch, Carmel Valley, North Park, Tierrasanta, 4S Ranch, UTC area and Rancho Penasquitos. Feel free to contact me directly if you need any assistance in finding the perfect home.

Sinead McAllister
McAllister Homes Real Estate
1 vote
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Fri Apr 6, 2012
I have a one acre estate in a great school district that would fit your buying criteria that I would love to share with you.
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Mar 20, 2012
If your children are school age, you can't beat the Poway School system. You can obtain a townhome in Rancho Penasquitos and Rancho Bernardo - both in the Poway school system.

The city of Poway has a lot of starter homes - a number of which can be purchase in your price range. These might be small houses of about 1500 sq ft.

Mira Mesa, Clairemont, Serra Mesa, and La Mesa offer great affordability. You can find a house in your price range in these neighborhoods.

You definitely have choices. Where you decide to live will undoubtedly be affected by a number of variables. Feel free to call me any time for additional support and direction.
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Sat Mar 17, 2012
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Sat Mar 17, 2012
Most RE professionals with an online presence have websites that will navigate you through any neighborhood you wish to visit. However, as others have stated it's really up to the lifestyle you choose to buy into. Beach, agri, equestrian, rural, suburbia, downtown, eclectic? These are choices only you can make.

In any event wherever you choose to live you can call on a Trulia member to assist you in choosing a property that will bring you and your family years of quality, comfort and enjoyment . Please feel free to call on us should you choose a surf culture or a semi rural to rural country setting.
0 votes
Anne Yeo, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Sat Mar 17, 2012
Hello, if you are looking for a safe, well planned community with family events throughout the year, I recommend north county San Diego. There are a few available that could fit your needs. Depends on where you work. I also can prequalify you based on your budget. Would be glad to assist you and send you some to view if interested
0 votes
Jennifer Sta…, Agent, Simi Valley, CA
Sat Mar 17, 2012
Hi! There are so many great places in San Diego for young families! There are a few things to think about. Do you know where you will be working or is that flexible as well? I personally like the Rancho Penasquitos or Poway area which is close to shopping and the freeway but is a little quieter. You could also go the Mission Valley route which is central to all but a little bit busier. If you need any help with your house search let me know! There are so many options!

Jennifer James
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Mar 14, 2012
I think anything in the Poway school system is your best best. This includes the communities of Poway, Rancho Bernardo, and Rancho Penasquitos. For the price range, you will send your kids to the best schools in the city.
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Tue Mar 13, 2012
We have a multitude of options and opportunities for you to consider. You don't have to purchase a townhome unless that's what you really want. With that kind of pre approval you can purchase an acre of property with a nice home on it. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime. 760 815-6977.

We offer a turnkey solution for any of your real estate need. Please feel free to check out our websites anytime.

0 votes
Jared Wilson, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Mar 6, 2012
Hi SD New Casa Buyer,

My area of expertise is Clairemont, the community is family friendly and close to downtown and beaches.

Clairemont provides affordable housing in great communities. There are many canyons that border the west and north communities that provide views and large lots.

In 2008, I bought a house in North Clairemont on a half acre, canyon lot for $360K. We are in walking distance to the Clairemont square, and a 5 minute drive to the beach. It's a very safe neighborhood and lots of children for my daughters to play with, we absolutely love it here!

Good luck with your purchase and welcome to San Diego!
0 votes
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