You have received a lot of good advice regarding your question. Please know that this one of the most difficult questions to answer, even for seasoned professionals in the real estate industry. The true answer is based upon a combination of your needs and wants and how those stack up against one another. Here are some of the key criteria when we work with home buyers:
1. Talk with a few national lenders (Wells Fargo, Chase, B of A, etc) to find out what you can afford
2. What kind of property do you want? Single family, town house or condominium. Each type of purchase can be different in terms of financing and the purchase.
3. What are your needs in terms of a school system? Age of your kids, transportation, etc.
4. How close do you want to be to your employment?
5. What kinds of shopping do you need and how close do you want it to be? Grocery, clothing, specialty stores, etc.
6. What kinds of activities are your kids involved in? Sports, dance, music, etc.
7. What kinds of activities do you like? Sports, theater, music, movies, etc.
8. What kind of neighborhood do you want? Subdivision, rural, etc.
9. What kind of area & climate do you want? Coastal, Mountain or desert?
10. What do you consider safe? Street traffic, crime, etc.
San Diego is both broad and diverse in many ways. We hope this helps you with making a decision of where to live.
Best to you,
Mark & Kari Shea
Shea Real Estate
Serving Greater San Diego