Relocating to SD

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Submitted by Trob on July 13, 2016 - 9:20am

My family and I are strongly considering relocating to SD this fall and I was looking for advice on areas to live. For background, my wife and I are both from Massachusetts, we have two kids (ages 4 and 2), and currently live in a top 10 school district. We lived in San Diego from 2006 - 2010, mostly in PB and loved it there, but that was pre-kids. The job I am looking at is based in CV right off Carmel Valley road exit, and would have very early hours (pre-6 am start times), so I would avoid the brunt of traffic - at least on the AM commute. Ideally, I would like a commute that is less than 25 minutes. My wife will be staying home for at least the next few years.

Key criteria includes:
- Great schools and strong, family friendly community
- Ideally less cookie cutter-ish homes
- A center of town with some character / nightlife.
- Have the possibility of buying a home for less than $1 million in 2 years time (will likely rent for a little while). Doesn't need to be a monster. Live in a 4BR 1.5BA 1,700 sq foot older home now.

My searching keeps pointing towards Encinitas/Cardiff, but was curious if there are other areas that we should consider. Any thoughts/advice on different areas would be appreciated, and any info on solid non-daycare-ish pre-schools in areas would also be appreciated as well.

Also, curious which sites are the best for finding rentals.

Thanks in advance for the help!

Submitted by spdrun on July 13, 2016 - 9:26am.

Can't really go wrong with Encinitas/Cardiff/Solana/Del Mar considering your commute. Shorter the better.

Submitted by XBoxBoy on July 13, 2016 - 1:15pm.

I would mostly recommend picking a neighborhood that is a short commute. Traffic on the freeways has only gotten worse and isn't likely to get better. Schools in Carmel Valley are part of the Del Mar Unified School district (at least through elementary) and are very good. Some prices are over $1 million but some places can be had for less.

Submitted by moneymaker on July 13, 2016 - 4:14pm.

Clairemont? Bus the kids/or let wife drive them? I've heard Clairemont has gone down hill but I personally have no idea. Bay Ho? Maybe Rich can chime in on that one. Here's a nice one even has a diving board with the pool, that's a rarity these days.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on July 13, 2016 - 5:14pm.

You'll end up compromising on one of your criteria, but overall that's doable.

Submitted by carli on July 13, 2016 - 5:22pm.

I think Encinitas/Cardiff area is hard to beat these days. Their downtown areas are more vibrant than ever yet they also have a pretty good grasp on development/planning. The beaches are some of the best in north county; Moonlight is super family-friendly with its little playground and snackbar. Both towns have great libraries (esp Encinitas library) and park and rec programs. Both have excellent elementary schools and are part of the SDUHSD middle and high school district, which includes the top performing middle and high schools in San Diego.

In two years (even now) it may be impossible to find anything west of 5 for a million, but there are some great neighborhoods just east of the 5 in both Encinitas and Cardiff.

I also love Solana Beach but would give Encinitas/Cardiff area (east of the 5) the edge for better affordability and family friendliness.

We moved here from the east coast 10+ years ago and chose Del Mar, which at the time looked like the best bet for schools, beach/family life, having a town w/character, etc. Unfortunately, the Del Mar downtown has sort of stuck with overpriced shops and restaurants catering to high end tourists while the towns to our north have evolved into more fun places attracting younger people and families.

Good luck!

Submitted by cvmom on July 14, 2016 - 7:45am.

Carmel Valley schools are truly outstanding but it is definitely more of a "cookie cutter" suburban environment. We chose to sacrifice neighborhood character for excellent schools and super-short commute. Of course there are great neighbors in almost any neighborhood! But I think the previous poster is correct that you will need to compromise on one or more of your criteria.

Submitted by bewildering on July 14, 2016 - 10:38am.

How strict is your 25 minute commute requirement?

In the evening from Carmel Valley road exit to the Encinitas/Cardiff will mean a longer commute than 25 minutes. 25 minutes would be the minimum time under 'ideal' conditions. More like 35-40 minutes I would guess. Google maps predicts typically 22-45 minutes for the evening commute time of 5:30pm.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 14, 2016 - 11:47am.

You can look for a house west of the 5 and make it like this house:

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