I will soon buy a retirement home in the San Diego area. I would like to get advice on which area would be best for me. Don't know SD well.

Asked by marcorasi1960, San Diego, CA Tue Oct 9, 2012

Thanks Single family home with 3-4 bedrooms, in $1.5-2.5M price range, 2000-3000 square feet. I do not need all of the following, but I like: walkable location that allows me to reach most stores on foot, or close to good public transport (I do not like to drive); biking from home on safe streets; low crime; close to water, ideally within half a mile; views, ideally of ocean. Open to single-family or condo.

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


John Arendsen’s answer
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Fri Oct 12, 2012
Cleve is spot on about low crime rates. I mean after all anyone who wants to mess with Navy Seals come on down. That stated what might be a plausable idea for you is to spend a little time in each community before you make any long term financial committments.

You've received a lot of very good and valid information from a several RE professionals who know the SD market and obviously know their business. I would love to have you come and spend a weekend at our beach casita (Casita de Aire y Sol) "Little House of Air and Sun" when you have some time to visit the North San Diego area.

You would be our guest for the weekend. We have our primary residence close by and would love to show you around the area at your leisure. We are ver low key and do not pressure or obligate our clients in any way. We just want you to acclimate yourself comfortably to our quaint little beach community.
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Sat Oct 13, 2012
On what basis are you making these accusations?
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Sat Oct 13, 2012
On what basis are you making these accusations?
0 votes
Cleve Shirley, Agent, La Mesa, CA
Thu Oct 11, 2012
Coronado is the place for you- almost non-existent crime, very walkable and great for biking. It's also a beach community with some of San Diego's nicest beaches. You can read a little about Coronado (and all San Diego communities) on my website and view home listings in those areas. See web reference. Feel free to call me to discuss Coronado and other options that might work as well.


Cleve Shirley
0 votes
Kari Shea, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Oct 11, 2012

The areas you mentioned are worth looking at. Coronado provides the largest diversity of things available within walking or bike ride distance. It is an island, so driving on/off over the bridge is challenging for some. La Jolla has a downtown district with less available than Coronado, however, it is more centrally located in SD. Conversely, much of La Jolla has hills where Coronado is flat.

As for affordability, they are both about the same and offer what you are seeking in the size and price range. In our opinion, Coronado offers a broader diversity in the housing selection as you can find Cape Cod, Craftsman and California Spanish styles. La Jolla has housing diversity as well, though not as broad within walking distance. We have sold homes in both areas and are familiar with properties in you price point.

It will come down to the what you want in a community, the style of home that appeals to you and which area suites you best.

Good luck on your adventure,

Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
Serving San Diego
0 votes
Krystal Lane, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Oct 10, 2012
Hi marcorasi- here is the link to our transit system inSan Diego, we have trains that go up the coast to LA, Santa Barbara, San Francisco ect. Then we have a coaster that goes to most beach communities including Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encintias, Del Mar, old town & Downtown. It does not stop at La Jolla or Coronado. Then last thing we have a trolley system that stops at all the major sightseeing places in SD, including ballparks, downtown little Italy, colleges, malls and museums even the Mexico boarder. It is very convenient and they they link together so you can use these to get to different parts of the city without worrying about driving or parking. because Coronado is a peninsula, these railway lines don't go there. but you can easily take a boat shuttle to downtown. Good luck, I'm a planner too.
Web Reference:  http://Www.sdcommute.com
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed Oct 10, 2012
If you want the funkiest little beach town on the entire California barring none you may want to consider Leucadia, Encinitas, Cardiff or Solona Beach. These little surf communities are quaint, affordable and very low key.

They're like taking a surf town right out ot the 60's. They haven't changed much at all since then and properties are very affordable compared to most beach communities. We'd be happy to show you around anytime.
0 votes
Chris Whitta…, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Wed Oct 10, 2012
You can get the most bang for the buck in North County (Carlsbad village is full of dining and shopping options) and the Coaster is the train that'll take you south to the city of San Diego fairly quick and for $5 each way (there's 2 stops in Carlsbad so you have options). Coronado is a little too removed from the city but it's a cute village (very small and expensive). La Jolla is like a mini city. It's very trendy, great restaurants and shopping and coffee shops and the beaches are beautiful. I prefer Carlsbad because it's a little less crowded, the beaches are clean, it's safe and feels like how California was a long time ago. Good luck with your decision making.

Best regards,
Chris Whittaker
Keller Williams Realty Carlsbad
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed Oct 10, 2012
marcorasi, So sorry forgot to leave our direct contact info. You can email me at onthelevel@cox.net or call me anytime on my cell at 760 815-6977. Looking forward to working with you.
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed Oct 10, 2012
HI marcorasi, we're a San Diego family owned and operated real estate brokerage, general contractor and developer, architectural and interior design company with over 100 years of combined experience.

We offer a one stop, turnkey solution to any real estate investment you maybe looking for and we specialize in senior citizen sales & acquisitions.

Additionally as a general contractor and interior design company we are on the leading edge of hight end, upscale ADA compliant shared senior housing investments.

Please feel free to log onto any of our very user friendly websites for additional information about our services.

0 votes
marcorasi1960, Home Buyer, San Diego, CA
Wed Oct 10, 2012
Hello, this is Marcorasi1960@yahoo.com again. First of all let me thank all of you who have responded so quickly and with so much good information. I do not plan to contact you all directly in the near term, because I want to get some better appreciation for the communities/neighborhoods before I start looking at specific houses. Also, unfortunately I have limited time to dive into this right away. My plan is to pick couple of key areas from online info by end of 2012, visit them sometime in 2013, and buy the house in 2014.

After reading your emails and consulting online sources like realtor.com and walk score, I see La Jolla and Coronado as the potential top two locations for me. Would any one of you have the energy to compare the two by telling me how they differ and what the pros and cons of the two are? i would be interested both in the pluses and minuses about them. I know you all may tend to emphasize the positives, but issues/concerns about the two areas would be quite helpful as well to me in forming an overall opinion. Nobody mentioned the "Peninsula" area -- is that not a good neighborhood?

Note that I am not ruling out other areas yet, but my first reaction to places like Carlsbad and Del Mar is that they look very far from San Diego, so the big city advantages would not be at hand. Also, they don't seem to get as high as "very walkable", because their centers seem to be relatively small. One of you, though, mentioned some type of train to SD. Where could I find more about that? Thanks!!
0 votes
Hector Gaste…, Agent, Coronado, CA
Wed Oct 10, 2012
Congratulations Marcorasi1960,

Seems to me like you described Coronado living. I prefer the Coronado Shores, these condos were built in the 70s and they have wonderful views starting with the 3rd floor/4th floor. Some of them have views of the ocean, others have incredible views of the bay, and some very lucky homeowners have both views. The amenities at the shores include many pools, also next to the ocean if you prefer cold and salty water, tennis courts, plenty of parking, next to the famous Hotel Del Coronado. You can ride your bike and enjoy the lovely open air concerts at the park, go to watch movies or plays at the theater on Orange Ave, the northern part of the beach allows dogs, it is low crime, who wants to mess with Retired Military and active Navy SEALS.

Sounds like I am running a campaign to be the next Mayor of Coronado, so vote for me as your Realtor to select the home that is going to make you very happy in this, the next stage of your life.

Hector R. Gastelum
Realty Executives Dillon
REALTOR #01382940
1019 Isabella
Coronado, CA 92118
efax 619-270-2516
0 votes
David Inderm…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Hi There,
I forgot to disclose that 939 Coast Blvd #103 is my Listing.
0 votes
David Inderm…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Hi There,
I have the perfect single family home for you. Its located across the street from La Jolla Cove and is Walking distance to all the Restaurants, Shops and Boutiques in the heart of the Village in La Jolla. The address is 939 Coast Blvd #103 La Jolla Ca 92037. This is one of four château's that connects to the highrise 939 Coast Blvd. This home features 3br 2ba 1800 sqft with 24 hour concierge and vallet parking. Gorgeous ocean views from living area, kitchen and large master suite. This property is in your price range. Call, Text or Email me to see the property.

Thank You,
David R. Indermill
Re/Max La Jolla
Email: david@sandiegohomestore.com
0 votes
Alexander Pf…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Walkable locations and proximity to public transport seems to be an evergrowing trend. If I were representing you I might draw a map search along the coast within a half mile and with views. This would be a customized search and eliminate many listings that you might not be interested in.
I specialize in coastal property from Point Loma up to Carlsbad. If I were moving here to retire and had your specific requests I would tend towards La Jolla area by "The Village". It truly is "The Jewell" and a magical place. That being said, its important to keep in mind the pros and cons which can be discussed with you in person. Many find my website to be truly a wealth of info for custom created searches. I do have a custom search I created for homes with ocean and bay views.

It would be a pleasure to earn both your business and trust.


Alexander Pfleger
Direct Capital & Real Estate Investments SanDiegobuyersmarket.com
0 votes
Maria Weiss, Agent, Naples, FL
Tue Oct 9, 2012
all great responses. My choices would be Del Mar, Solana Beach or Carlsbad. These communities offer all the amenities you listed and are just a short trip on the Coaster Train to downtown San Diego.

I live and work in these areas and enjoy the areas. The beaches are fantastic. Local dining spots, bike trails and much more are all here. I suggest you spend some time in these neighborhoods which are all

Your stated budget will allow you to have a wonderful home with an oceanview.

If I can answer any more questions please let me know.

Maria Weiss
Prudential CA Realty
Del Mar, CA
Web Reference:  http://Www.mariaweiss.com
0 votes
Jerry Heard, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
I think that one area that would meet many of your needs is Coronado. It is surrounded by water, it is flat so bike riding is easier and there is a great village with all of the amenities that you mentioned. The drawback is that it is removed from the City of San DIego. However there is a ferry from Coronado that crosses the bay and it is free for residents of Coronado. Here is a link http://www.sdhe.com/san-diego-bay-ferry.html.
One area that is often overlooked is Oceanside. There is a great private community called Saint Malo that is right on the water and has a guarded gate entry. Homes occasionally come on the market in this community,
Carlsbad is also a great city and the area that is west of the I5 is pretty flat and there are all of the services right in the village.
Mission Beach and Mission Bay are also great areas with flat streets, right on the bay or ocean and easy access to public transportation.
I was born and raised in San Diego and am very familiar with the various communities. If I may be of help please let me know. Also please visit my website to view the homes that area available.

Local Help with Your Real Estate Needs

Jerry Heard
Your Broker
The San Diego Property Shop
Direct 619-920-9796
Office 619-269-5545
Fax 619-269-9168
CA DRE # 00648687
0 votes
Jill Miranda, , San Diego County, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
My suggestions for you would be Coronado, Point Loma, La Jolla and Del Mar. They are all coastal communities offering homes as you've described that would fall into your price range. Many of the properties in these areas also offer the views you'd like in addition to being close to stores and public transportation. I've lived in various communities in San Diego county over the past few decades and would be happy to familiarize you with the various communities that would suit your needs.

Jill Miranda, ABR, SFR, e-Pro
Pacific Sotheby's International Realty
DRE #01413799
0 votes
Jeff Zemecus, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
You are certainly choosing a great place to retire. I relocated from Northern California a few years ago and have found that there is a lot that San Diego has to offer. Typically being close to the water as you suggested certainly requires more of a financial commitment from its homeowners but the rewards are unbeatable. Not to mention that home values seem to hold as beach property is prime real estate. There are plenty of local shops and restaurants, biking is easily accessible, walking to local venues is not uncommon for its residence and public transportation has a pretty good system throughout the county. I believe that coastal living is a way that any San Diego resident would choose to live if given the opportunity. There are a few places that came to mind when you mentioned what it is that you are looking for. I would love to have a chance to speak with you so that we can see how I can best assist you.
Just so you know a little about me, I work on the largest listing team in San Diego, and we have at least 100 hundred listings across the county at any given time- This allows me to stay on top of the market, and helps me keep my finger on the pulse of pricing and activity in our market so I can get you the best possible deal. I have been licensed and working in real estate for over 11 years, and can help you with every aspect of the purchase of your next home. I am a licensed "broker", which is the highest form of licensing in California, and have earned the SFR (Short Sale & Foreclosure Specialist), ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) and GRI (the most complete and comprehensive certification available) designations. My training, education and experience are extensive, and put me in the top 2% of all agents in the US. Additionally, I sit on two leading committees for the San Diego Association of Realtors, and have genuine insight on what is going on in our community and our real estate market. My team also brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience, and together, we make sure you are handled by the best.
I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you soon.

Chris Boudreau, GRI, ABR, SFR
Foreclosure & Short Sale Specialist

Website: http://www.SanDiegoKey.com
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/SanDiegoKey

Cell: (858) 736-5393
Email: Chris@SanDiegoKey.com

License # 01273956
0 votes
Michael Alex, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Hello Marcorasi,

Coronado, La Jolla, Del Mar, Solano Beach and Cardiff by the Sea are all excellent locations that meet all your needs. I can explain to you what each area has to offer. There is so many properties and style of homes to choose from. Contact me so I can narrow down your search and find the perfect property for you. I have alot of information and questions to help you. Here are just a few questions like, what would be the perfect home that meets your needs other than what you have mentioned? What kind of things are important to you regarding floor plan? What is your attitude towards yard maintenance? How do you like to entertain? Do you want a single story or multiple story property? These are just a few questions I would need to know to find you the perfect home.


Always my best,

Michael Alex
Real Estate Consultant
cell. 619.581.9348
email. AskMichaelAlex@gmail.com
Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
San Diego, CA
0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Hi There,

You really have many options for most beach communities here, which are often great for walking. I can send you all of the listings we have available here for homes within a half mile to the beach, directly from the MLS. You'll then be able to see which communities have the type of home you want, and will be able to narrow it down from there. Just call or email me anytime, and i'll get them to you.

I can help you get accustomed to the area as well. I have some great .pdf maps i can email to you, showing the neighborhoods here, and zip codes, which are helpful when looking for a place to live.

Welcome to San Diego!

Warm Regards,

Cory La Scala, REALTOR
Independence Realty
Lic # 01443391
0 votes
Krystal Lane, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Welcome to San Diego, what a great place to retire! There are several communities that can offer you the lifestyle you desire. I would recommend Carlsbad Village, Del Mar, or La Jolla. There will be several properties in your price range. You can search SDHomes.com for homes in San Diego. If you have any questions I can be reached at Krystal@SDhomes.com, I'd love to help you relocate. I'm a San Diego native!
Web Reference:  http://Www.sdhomes.com
0 votes
Tim Skoglin, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
Marcorasi1960, I can see that walk ability is important to you. Most coastal communities offer great options for restaurants, parks and public transport. I would be more than happy to discuss some of the pros and cons of various of San Diego's best communities for your specific desires.

Please feel free to contact me at 858.592.0100, tim@skoglinrealestate.com
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
With your price range, you really can have whatever you want. I would want to talk with you more about your lifestyle to better determine the neighborhoods that are a 'FIT.'

The first area that popped in my mind with walk-ability is La Jolla Village. It's a rich and vibrant area close to the water with loads of shops, restaurants, libraries, recreational facilities, and medical care. While Del Mar Village offers 6-7 blocks to walk - La Jolla village is probably the best self-encompassing community I can think of.

We have many communities that are perfect for a luxury home...but honestly, I think you'd like La Jolla Village. Please feel free to call me. I'd be delighted to show you the city and those communities you might enjoy.

All the best.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more