Best Family Areas for Low-$1Millions Budget

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Submitted by yuhtey on December 2, 2015 - 9:52am

Greetings.

I'm having trouble deciding which neighborhood suits my needs best. Any and all comments welcome. I've been out on home tours and have the following observations so far:

Carmel Valley is sort of bullshit. Either I'm walking back through the 1990's in a trac home filled with czarist-Russia trinket furniture, honey-stained wood, white appliances, and pools that will have to be removed. Ok, maybe some of these seemingly 80-year-old owners have gone ahead and put in some tasteless flooring to gussy up the place, but the westerly properties for the most part are in need of a complete freshening. Ok, so new construction... right, Pardee. Even their models are falling apart already. They are literally going as cheap as they possibly can because their land is indeed very valuable. Overall, it seems CV is out of my budget to find something I'll like. Are the schools really worth it? This place feels CROWDED.

Encinitas has slim pickings. And the 5 north traffic is really bad. Is anyone OK with driving home everyday at 5pm from the south to get back to Encinitas? What are the neighborhood positives? Maybe the stop/go is worth it overall.

Santaluz, even with all of its fees and taxes still looks really nice. Anyone live inside those gates? Is it too "elitist" for pragmatic people? Any other input on this one? I'm wondering if this neighborhood is sensitive to price swings. Doesn't seem as stable as it looks. Just a hunch there.

Del Sur looks ready to support the little ones. But the Mello-Roos for Poway Unified is eye-watering. And the place feels removed. Driving up there gives me the sense that I'm way out from the rest of the city. New construction is pretty much done and the remaining stuff is priced higher. Standard Pacific strikes me as an organization that uses particle board cabinets with metal drawers and tries to charge $1.5M for a house. Oh wait, that is what they actually are doing.

Alright enough smarmy commentary - would appreciate your thoughts. thanks.

Submitted by Hobie on December 2, 2015 - 10:13am.

You might check Skyranch in Santee. good reviews. And maybe even look at Newport Coast. Lots of good stuff up there.

Submitted by yuhtey on December 2, 2015 - 12:15pm.

Thanks for the input.

Clantee not really in the cards.
Newp is too far a drive from SD, and I'm pretty sure the needed budget would have to be the low-2Millions.

Submitted by harvey on December 2, 2015 - 12:16pm.

You would love Temecula

Submitted by XBoxBoy on December 2, 2015 - 12:28pm.

It's hard to say much without knowing much about your situation. Where will you be working from? Personally, I would really consider the impact of my commute if I were you.

Looks like you are only considering North County? What about Mission Hills, or Kensington, or North Park? Are you willing to go into an older neighborhood?

How important are schools? How many kids and what ages? How important is a yard? Would you trade being able to walk to stores for a smaller house?

Submitted by ocrenter on December 2, 2015 - 1:10pm.

Hobie wrote:
You might check Skyranch in Santee. good reviews. And maybe even look at Newport Coast. Lots of good stuff up there.

another great thing about Skyranch is it is only 10 minutes away from La Jolla.

Submitted by bearishgurl on December 2, 2015 - 1:32pm.

I'll bite.

yuhtey, if you want "quality construction" of 2000 sf or more on a well-located bigger than city-standard lot in SD County (over 5K sf city, over 6K sf county) in your price range, you should be prepared to do some work on it after COE. Or be prepared to live in the home while working on one room at a time.

I think your posts are spot on except for a few caveats. Santee hasn't been "Clantee" in over 20 years. There are likely few to zero 80+ yo longtime owners in CV as this area's development originally broke ground in the mid-eighties. 60+ yo longtime owners .... yes ... but a proliferation of 80+ yo longtime owners ... uhh, no. Sorry you didn't like the decor of the furniture of the listings you viewed in CV but those furnishings weren't actually for sale :=0

I get the impression from your posts that you may have grown up in SD County, left at one point (for college and/or work) and are now considering returning here or already renting here (for work?) with kids in tow. If this is the case, where does the bulk of your family live? You will undoubtedly need their help with your kids and living more than 45 minutes away from them will make your lives hardscrabble when it doesn't have to be ... especially if both parents in your household work.

I agree with XBoxBoy. I think you would be most happy with a custom built home which is adorned with "real" hardwoods and travertine and the like. Age is entirely inconsequential! If you have 2 kids or less and your limit is 2 kids, then you don't need more than 2000 feet to raise them in and could get by with 1650 sf if the lot is ample, imho. Within the City, these homes tend to be more expensive, hence you will need to lower your size expectations. Within the County (and most of its cities), I believe you could find a suitable custom home to buy, even on a 1/2 AC (or slightly larger) lot in your price range. It may very well need work but you don't have to do all the work at once. The land will be all yours and you won't have to constantly listen to your neighbor's toilet flush or put up with their overflowing trash/recycle bins blowing into your yard on trash day. OR pay Mello Roos.

Out in the county, I would suggest you check out 92028, 92019 and 91902.

And for G@d's sake, stay OUT of the PUSD! That District's debt bomb will likely implode before all your kids get out of the public school system there. If you think the taxes + MR within the PUSD are high now, just wait! There are provisions within CA law enabling county assessors to raise taxes (in this case, add accelerated bond payments) to the ad valoream portion of each affected parcel's tax bill (irrespective if it is located within a CFD ... or not). See:

http://piggington.com/powaythe_real_debt...

http://piggington.com/poway_school_bonds

Future property tax hikes will undoubtedly affect resale value of homes within the PUSD, ESPECIALLY within those CFD's which already have exorbitant MR (ex: Del Sur).

Expect a mass dumping of properties within the PUSD beginning three years BEFORE their (sub-prime) school bond comes due.

Submitted by flyer on December 2, 2015 - 5:01pm.

Welcome to the realities of buying a home in San Diego in 2015.

As a native who purchased property here a long time ago, and who has also lived elsewhere, I agree with many of your comments concerning the choices you have available to you at this point in time.

A million doesn't go as far as it used to around here, so, you will most likely have to decide what you can live with and what you can't, based upon your financial situation, schools, access to work, etc. There's a lot of give and take in CA housing today, so be prepared to be flexible.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on December 2, 2015 - 5:06pm.

If you work in Sorrento Valley (QCOM, biotech), Encinitas isn't that awful of a commute. Frankly the commute in SD at 5 PM is pretty bad unless you live near where you work.

I get your dislike of Carmel Valley. The bang for the buck is pretty low there. It's near coastal prices without serious coastal benefits, aside from being a bit cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than those of us east of the 15.

Submitted by flu on December 2, 2015 - 8:06pm.

ocrenter wrote:
Hobie wrote:
You might check Skyranch in Santee. good reviews. And maybe even look at Newport Coast. Lots of good stuff up there.

another great thing about Skyranch is it is only 10 minutes away from La Jolla.

You stole my line. That's trademarked. Watch out for the lizards.

Submitted by flu on December 2, 2015 - 8:07pm.

I am considering getting a place in Carlsbad, though if you work in Sorrento valley, that would be a suckville commute.

Submitted by Hobie on December 2, 2015 - 8:59pm.

As mentioned, Skyranch is not Santee. It should have its own zip code as its in the hills with a terrific view. You must not have lived here for very long. Are you from back East?

BG has some excellent points regarding south county. Check them out. Another local hidden spot is called Elfin Forest. In the hills between Escondido and RSF. Some jewels in there.

You have pretty much have called out the only other acceptable spots in SD. I would look near the border. It might be more of a drive than you would like but doesn't have the issues you have already discussed. Good Luck. Good news is interest rates should remain low for a while.

Submitted by paramount on December 2, 2015 - 9:17pm.

harvey wrote:
You would love Temecula

Agree, Temecula worth a look:

*Safe
*Well Ran City
*Great real estate values
*Low crime
*Great schools

I would check out Meadows, Morgan Hill, Santiago Estates.

Submitted by yuhtey on December 2, 2015 - 10:18pm.

harvey wrote:
You would love Temecula

good one.

Submitted by yuhtey on December 2, 2015 - 10:20pm.

ocrenter wrote:

another great thing about Skyranch is it is only 10 minutes away from La Jolla.

that's stated like a realtor!

santee sucks. i would never live there. last time i visited a friend back in 2008 there was a freak in boots with nazi crap on.

Submitted by yuhtey on December 2, 2015 - 10:22pm.

paramount wrote:
harvey wrote:
You would love Temecula

Agree, Temecula worth a look:

no it's not. i do appreciate the inputs but c'mon i don't want to sit in a car for that long everyday.

Submitted by yuhtey on December 2, 2015 - 10:33pm.

XBoxBoy wrote:
It's hard to say much without knowing much about your situation. Where will you be working from? Personally, I would really consider the impact of my commute if I were you.

Looks like you are only considering North County? What about Mission Hills, or Kensington, or North Park? Are you willing to go into an older neighborhood?

How important are schools? How many kids and what ages? How important is a yard? Would you trade being able to walk to stores for a smaller house?

yes - commute is important. i like to keep it to 20-30mins and 35-45 in heavy traffic or accident clog. let's just say i work at REI near the 52.

so i lived up-town in banker's for awhile and loved it. but that was when i was single or with girlfriend but no kids. after becoming a parent, people with man-buns make me angry and i don't want to be near that many weirdos/hipsters. basically all the democrat voters now cause deep rage in my soul. so those older hipper places are kind of out.

schools are very important, but with the real-world expectation that they will actually suck because california is just awful in this regard. let's just say i have 2 kids that are not yet in elementary yet. yard requirement is "no fucking pool, we're in a god damn drought"

house can't be small.

Submitted by yuhtey on December 2, 2015 - 10:37pm.

bearishgurl wrote:
I'll bite.

fantastic, thank you!

Submitted by paramount on December 2, 2015 - 10:45pm.

yuhtey wrote:
paramount wrote:
harvey wrote:
You would love Temecula

Agree, Temecula worth a look:

no it's not. i do appreciate the inputs but c'mon i don't want to sit in a car for that long everyday.

Your looking at it the wrong way: it's time for personal reflection. Also, very few libs/dems in Temecula.

Submitted by njtosd on December 2, 2015 - 10:49pm.

yuhtey wrote:
paramount wrote:
harvey wrote:
You would love Temecula

Agree, Temecula worth a look:

no it's not. i do appreciate the inputs but c'mon i don't want to sit in a car for that long everyday.

yuhtey - you seem to be in the unusual position (note sarcasm) of having to compromise. There are drawbacks to all San Diego locations. What are you willing to give in on? It's either going to be price, location or aesthetics. For a million dollars you can get a lot more house that looks a lot more like the decorating magazines in 4S ranch than you can in CV, but there is the convenience factor, mello roos, etc. Everybody recognizes many of the factors that you mention (I'll leave aside the man-buns and related comments). You realize that you're not the first to recognize all of these things, right?

Submitted by ocrenter on December 2, 2015 - 11:04pm.

flu wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
Hobie wrote:
You might check Skyranch in Santee. good reviews. And maybe even look at Newport Coast. Lots of good stuff up there.

another great thing about Skyranch is it is only 10 minutes away from La Jolla.

You stole my line. That's trademarked. Watch out for the lizards.

Haha, I was waiting for you, you took too long!

Submitted by ocrenter on December 2, 2015 - 11:52pm.

yuhtey wrote:
ocrenter wrote:

another great thing about Skyranch is it is only 10 minutes away from La Jolla.

that's stated like a realtor!

santee sucks. i would never live there. last time i visited a friend back in 2008 there was a freak in boots with nazi crap on.

Haha, sorry, it's an inside joke. Whenever Skyranch is mentioned on piggington one of us old timers will chime in with that line.

Back to your question:

Most of the professionals in SD are concentrated all alone the entire 56 corridor. We moved to SD almost 10 years ago and have looked at homes in almost every single neighborhood mentioned. You'll find a lot of SD's top schools essentially from the coast to Poway/Scripps Ranch all along the 56 corridor. With the price point of $1 million, you are looking at income range that would essentially put you right within this entire area. Let's break this area down from coast and inward:

Carmel Valley: considered the best school district but prices extremely high and yards typically very minimal. Huge amount of money from China/HK/Taiwan propping up the market. Slim pickings at $1 million.

Del Sur: well planned, good schools, very high MR, up to 0.9% on top of the typical 1% property tax. Small lots usually.

Santaluz/Crosby/Lakes: much bigger lots, high MR and high HOA ($1k plus per month). Schools are great. Prices are mostly well north of $1 million.

Santa Fe Valley: in between 4S and Del Sur, lower MR and lower HOA, older, built in early 2000. Larger lots as well. Might be able to find something here, but low inventory.

4S (North): built mostly during the bubble, higher MR, packed in neighborhoods, good schools.

4S (South): built before the bubble, lower MR, more green space. good schools.

Sabre Springs: older, mostly late 90's. Smaller homes.

PQ: older than Sabre Springs, smaller homes, schools are good.

Torrey Highland: essentially the southern part of 92129. Newer stock of homes. Good schools, you'll be able to find something here for a mil and meet a lot of your criteria.

Poway: some nice estate sized homes in the north and east parts. The core is a little rotted. Gets quite hot during summer. Schools not quite as good as those west of the 15.

Scripps Ranch: Miramar North, early 2000 built, average 3000 sqft, excellent schools, low inventory, low MR, low HOA.

Scripps Ranch south of Pomerado, bigger homes, average $1.5 million, excellent schools, low MR and HOA.

Old Scripps: 70's, 2000 sqft would be considered bigger sized.

Stonebridge: large estate homes on large lots, mid level MR and HOA, more inventory, zip code is Scripps but Poway schools, schools further than typical "neighborhood" schools.

Submitted by svelte on December 2, 2015 - 11:09pm.

Personally, I would not want to live too close or too far from work. Too close and I'm tempted to go in even on weekends. Too far, and I don't want to go in even on weekdays. :-)

For me, 15-25 minutes is the perfect commute.

If you think you'll be employed at the location you're at now for awhile, I would draw the bounds of an area that would keep your commute under 25 minutes and focus on those areas.

But that's just me.

Also - don't think you've specified the ideal square footage? Number of bedrooms? lot size? Amenities you want nearby? Number of stories? Coffee or tea? Paper or plastic? What was in this drink I just drank?

Submitted by bearishgurl on December 2, 2015 - 11:31pm.

yuhtey wrote:
bearishgurl wrote:
I'll bite.

fantastic, thank you!

You're welcome yuhtey!

Why don't you consider viewing this listing? I came within a hair of making an offer on a spec home on Vista Grande in the very early nineties. This listing is newer (but needs landscaping and fencing) and sits on one acre. I love this area and feel its an excellent place to raise a family with room for many toys, big and small!

http://www.sdlookup.com/MLS-150051823-21...

This listing is in a fantastic area with excellent schools K thru 12! It's not heavily populated out there so your daily commute to/from the Jct 805/52 area shouldn't be too bad if you can figure out a quick way to get on the 52 through the back roads out there! I would put it at 30-40 mins one way (a little longer on Friday afternoon).

Oh, and as a plus, this area tends to be a little "redder" than those "hip" City parts of the county (if you know what I mean). But it is NOT Santee by any stretch of the imagination. It is quite a bit more upscale and "sophisticated" than Santee.

Good luck in your search .... I haven't checked any outstanding encumbrances on this listing but feel there could be some wiggle room in the price due to lack of landscaping/fencing .... that is, IF it is truly a "traditional sale" and not a short sale.

Edit: It has no MR or HOA. Public schools are Vista Grande Elem, Hillsdale Middle and Valhalla High ... all excellent!

Submitted by bearishgurl on December 2, 2015 - 11:46pm.

Well, I just took the online video tour of the listing I just posted and it DOES appear to have new backyard fencing. And what a fantastic backyard for kids! It just needs landscaping and touching up on those honey-colored kitchen cabinets that you so detest (this young family was a bit hard on the property, it seems).

If refinishing/refacing kitchen cabinets and installing landscaping is all you have to do to make it yours, I say you will be lucky. You get a LOT of bang for your buck out there, yuhtey. IIRC, a Ralphs shopping center and several banks are just a 3 minute drive from there. It's the best of the city and the country ... combined in one area.

Just think about it. And make a trial run to your workplace from out there early on a weekday morning to check out the time/hassle factor from this location.

Submitted by AN on December 3, 2015 - 12:29am.

flu wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
Hobie wrote:
You might check Skyranch in Santee. good reviews. And maybe even look at Newport Coast. Lots of good stuff up there.

another great thing about Skyranch is it is only 10 minutes away from La Jolla.

You stole my line. That's trademarked. Watch out for the lizards.


And walls.

Submitted by harvey on December 3, 2015 - 4:30am.

yuhtey wrote:
[...] let's just say i work at REI near the 52.

so i lived up-town in banker's for awhile and loved it. but that was when i was single or with girlfriend but no kids. after becoming a parent, people with man-buns make me angry and i don't want to be near that many weirdos/hipsters. basically all the democrat voters now cause deep rage in my soul. so those older hipper places are kind of out.

I'm guessing you don't really work at REI.

Submitted by flu on December 3, 2015 - 6:56am.

I can't wait until I retire. Then I don't need to plan my next house purchase based on where I work. If you don't buy into the hype about school district such as Carmel VAlley, you could consider the newer homes in Sorrento Vallley done by Pardee. Still good schools, but probably not nearly the preimum as in CarmelV. But I'm sure some people have strong opinions on "tract homes"

Submitted by The-Shoveler on December 3, 2015 - 8:45am.

flu wrote:
I can't wait until I retire. Then I don't need to plan my next house purchase based on where I work.

I like John Travolta's place, its in nowhere Florida but its got covered parking for his several jets (never needs to get in the sun from house front door to Jet door).

And a helipad,

Submitted by scaredyclassic on December 3, 2015 - 8:49am.

harvey wrote:
yuhtey wrote:
[...] let's just say i work at REI near the 52.

so i lived up-town in banker's for awhile and loved it. but that was when i was single or with girlfriend but no kids. after becoming a parent, people with man-buns make me angry and i don't want to be near that many weirdos/hipsters. basically all the democrat voters now cause deep rage in my soul. so those older hipper places are kind of out.

I'm guessing you don't really work at REI.

U probably don't want to buy the place next to me. The hipster radiation could prove fatal.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on December 3, 2015 - 9:31am.

Seriously Scaredy?

In TV?

Wait I get it, that be you! LOL

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