San Diego Community and Neighborhoods
If you are looking at homes for sale in San Diego, you need to decide which community right for you. San Diego real estate is diverse in terms of house prices, home styles, and neighborhood amenities. The Realtors at Keller Williams will help you make the right choice.
San Diego is a catch-all term that includes a wide variety of neighborhoods and micro-climates. Best-known for its beach communities, the city also has a vibrant downtown surrounded by exciting and culturally diverse urban neighborhoods.
The San Diego “suburbs” extend to the East, North, and South, stretching into the rural desert farms and high-desert mountains. San Diego Homes and lot sizes are smaller along the coast (and in San Diego generally,as compared to other parts of the country). We enjoy a strong economy and what most people describe as the best climate and weather conditions anywhere in the world. As a result, homes and land sell at a premium here, though still below other high-end real estate markets like San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C.
Downtown San Diego is the economic and cultural center. The downtown Gaslamp District, Marina District, and East Village is loaded with restaurants, clubs, and events that draw visitors and tourists year round. Condominiums, townhomes, and a scattering of detached single-family houses provide housing from affordable to expensive and luxurious. The result is a diverse mix of people who enjoy the convenience and excitement of downtown living.
Coastal San Diego includes Pt. Loma, Ocean Beach and Hillcrest/Mission Hills/Old Town just North of Downtown, and also the 1950’s and 60’s era suburbs of Pacific Beach, Clairemont, Bay Park, Linda Vista, and Serra Mesa which are just inland from the coast. The legendary and ever-exclusive neighborhood of La Jolla is at the northern end of this central-coastal zone, with University City (UTC) and Sorrento Valley just East of I-5.
Homes along the coast sell at a premium, with beach-front properties financially out-of-reach of most buyers. The original houses in these older communities averaged 1,200 to 1,500 square feet, which is quite small by modern standards. Quite a few homes have been remodeled or rebuilt over the years. So there is usually a wide variety of homes for sale in these neighborhoods at mid-to-upper end prices relative to other neighborhoods in San Diego. The climate remains cool and pleasant throughout the year in all of the central-coastal neighborhoods, tending toward the chilly side in winter and even on breezy or foggy Summery days.
Central-Inland San Diego includes North Park, University Heights, Del Cerro, San Carlos, and Tierrasanta, along with the College Area neighborhoods surrounding San Diego State University south of Interstate 8. These neighborhoods include a culturally and economically diverse mix. Homes range from low-end affordable condominiums, townhouses, and early 20th century houses to upscale executive homes on quiet tree-lined residential streets.
North County Coastal San Diego begins with the small incorporated City of Del Mar, moving North along the coast to Solana Beach, Cardiff by the Sea, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside. Just East of Del Mar is Carmel Valley and just North is the world-renown Village of Rancho Santa Fe. These are the cream of the crop of San Diego neighborhoods. Homes are upscale, the schools are most highly rated, and the neighborhoods as clean and safe as anywhere you’ll find in Southern California. Homes are quite expensive, but the quality of life is exceptional.
The North County Inland Neighborhoods stretch from Scripps Ranch (East of the Miramar Air Station), North through Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, San Marcos, Vista and Fallbrook. The micro-climates in these areas include temperate/breezy zones and some more desert-like environments. The Poway School district (which includes Rancho Penasquitos/Rancho Bernardo/Santaluz/Del Sur/4S Ranch) consistently outperforms all but the very top schools of the San Diego County Unified School District. Homes in the inland neighborhoods are larger and less expensive on average, with a large number multi-acre ranches and horse properties available for sale.
East San Diego includes some densely populated neighborhoods with lower-end affordable homes. Neighborhoods include Oak Park, Lemon Grove, and Spring Valley, beautiful Rancho San Diego, and the incorporated cities of La Mesa and El Cajon. Quite a few homes in these neighborhoods, as far as Mount Helix in La Mesa, enjoy views back toward San Diego, the Coronado Bridge and the Pacific Ocean.
South Bay San Diego includes National City and Logan Heights close to Downtown, and South through Chula Vista to Otay Mesa and San Ysidro on the Mexican border. The beach neighborhoods of the South Bay include the landmark Coronado Island and the more affordable Imperial Beach furthest South. Coronado homes include single-family beach houses, Victorian Bungalows, and newer homes and town homes with access to boat slips and sailing. With considerable up-side potential, Imperial Beach has some of the most affordable beach properties and beach-near homes anywhere in California. The award-winning planned community of Eastlake in Chula Vista was built mostly in the 2000’s. Recent price declines have made these South Bay new-home developments a hot spot of San Diego foreclosures, with the largest number of discounted foreclosure properties for sale in San Diego.