(Closed) San Diego bees.. Tell me about your city!

posted 5 years ago in San Diego
Post # 3
1979 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@Talon:  I moved to San Diego just over 3 years ago for grad school.  I lived there during middle school and have family there too.  I have lived in a small farming community and Los Angeles (Go Bruins), but I think San Diego is the perfect in between for me.  Here are my answers to your questions:

Is the temperature really always in the 70s there?

The weather is almost always perfect, and I LOVE that!!  It seldom even rains- though when it does, it’s a big deal and people drive too slow on the freeway, lol- it’s just rain people!  But San Diegans aren’t used to that. 

What does the average  home look like, and how much does it cost?

There are all kinds of homes to choose from- condos, townhomes, single family homes.  While you can probably find any style, I would say  most houses have a Spanish architectural style.  Some neighborhoods require spanish tile roofs for fire prevention reasons, so if you don’t like that look, then a couple northern SD neighborhoods are out.  I don’t know a ton about real estate here because I am not house shopping, but it’s California real estate and in San Diego the weather is gorgeous so it is pricier than a lot of the country.  I have a friend in the market now because prices haven’t gone all the way back up from the housing crash so it is still a good time to buy.  One friend got an older but updated 4 bedroom/2.5 bath with a pool for between 300K and 400K, though she’s more inland.  I have friends who bought a 2 bedroom 2 bath townhouse in the best school district for 400K.

What are some of the best towns to  live in? Why?

La Jolla is very popular, but on the pricey side.  It’s right on the coast, lots of shopping and great restaurants.  If you work there, that would be great, ubt if you don’t then you may have a longer commute than you would like. 

Hillcrest is the West Hollywood of San Diego- lots of older places that are kept up well and some of the best places to eat are within walking distance.  I lived in Hillcrest and I loved it- it’s a hip place to live and walking distance from Balboa Park (the central park of San Diego) where there are ton of museums and the world famous San Diego zoo where they breed pandas.  Mission Hills is nearby and has a similar vibe but you would have to drive to dinner.  North Park, South Park (real place I swear), and Kensington has nice places, but they are more up and coming neighborhoods so some places still have bars on the windows.  All of these places are close to downtown if you are working there.

If you want to be near the main malls and the football stadium, then I would go with Mission Valley- but that will be mostly condos as opposed to single family homes.  Also a quick commute to down town.  Downtown definitely has more of a large city feel and lots of nightlife.  The only other place with a lot of night life would probably be Pacific Beach- lots of bars and near the beach- but also lots of drunk college kids. 

Point Loma, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach are typical beach towns- OB has a great farmers market.  Coronado is an island connected to down town by a bridge with nice homes, but rush hour is insane and it’s pretty expensive.  Imperial Beach, South Bay, and southern SD is pretty close to being in Mexico in terms of the culture.  Linda Vista is okay- some places has great views and it is close to downtown, but I would rather live in another neighborhood. 

East SD has San Diego State, so there are a LOT of college kids in that area.  El Cajon has higher crime rates, but also starts getting into more country living and ranchettes, especially as you get to Alpine.  Other more country area are Ramona and Valley Home.  Some neighborhoods are safe, but you just have to be more careful in that area.  Aero Road/ Tierra Sante is a lot of military families, lot of single family homes.  Kearny Mesa and Mira Mesa have different asian neighborhoods, restaurants, and markets.

Then there is what they call “North County” Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, and up to Escondido.  That area is pretty safe, mostly single family homes and very suburban.  There are a lot of families and Poway Unified School District is the best school district (it includes Poway and Rancho Penasquitos for sure and I don’t know where else).

Where the best neighborhood depends on what stage of life you are in.  For me, I lived in Mission Valley and Hillcrest (I preferred Hillcrest) and as a young working professional, I would live in Mission Hills, Hillcrest, or maybe La Jolla (since my fiance will be taking classes at UCSD and it is there).

Some general reasons why I like San Diego:

There can be traffic but it isn’t that bad (especially compared to Los Angeles) and if you really want to go to LA for some reason, it’s not a big trip.  There is always something to do- concert venues, plays/shows, symphony/orchestra, dinner cruises, mystery dinners, comedy shows.  During the summer there are fireworks at Sea World every Friday and Saturday night.  You are only 1.5 hours from Disneyland.  Padres stadium is a great place to watch a baseball game.  You could never eat at the same restaurant twice- and so many are really great (my Fiance was a chef so we are big on food).  The weather is nice for outdoor activities most of the year so many people are very active- you see runners and cyclists everywhere.  There are great water sports and tons of great hunting on mountains and canyons.  You are pretty close to the beach, the desert, and the mountains- you could go to the desert, so surfing, and then ski all in one day (a long crazy day for sure, but it’s possible).   

Cost of Living:

It’s do-able- there are plenty of married couples that make it on one income.  I survived as a grad student- I rented a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment (in a big victorian house that was split up between 4 apts) for $1200/month.  We went to the park, hiking, and running a lot and that’s all free.

I’m sorry this was long, but I hope it’s helpful to you! 🙂

Post # 4
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I grew up in San Diego County, but now live in Boston.

Is the temperature really always in the 70s there? 

People tend to think every day is in the 70s and sunny… The weather is typically pretty moderate (65-70 most of the year). Rarely rains. January is usually the rainy month.

What does the average home look like, and how much does it cost?

Most newer neighborhoods the homes are all very similar/the same. Homes usually are part of an HOA and they can be strict. Where we lived you could only paint your house (outside) certain colors and had to get approval from the HOA. 

What are some of the best towns to live in? Why?

North County (Vista, Carlsbad, San Marcos, O’side) is pretty nice. I grew up in Vista and I would definitely move back to that area. You get more bang for your buck than you would in say La Jolla. A 3-4 Bdrm house with 2.5 baths is around 450k. Whereas in La JOlla you would spend WAY more. Carlsbad is more coastal so more expensive but has GREAT schools. I went to school (UCSD) in La JOlla and loved it, but that area can be really overpriced.

I love, love, love San Diego and we plan to move back in a few years. I love the weather, there is a lot to do, there is easy beach and mountain access, grocery stores, etc are close. You can walk many places. I just love it there. 🙂



Post # 5
7211 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@Talon:  My SO is from San Diego and we spend a lot of time there as a result. We plan to end up there maybe in the next 10 years. 

Yes, it is pretty much always 70s. I mean, there may be a heat wave where it gets up to 90 in the Summer and there are a few rainy days, but it’s pretty darn near perfect most of the time. 

@HeartsandSparkles gave lots of good neighborhood info. We like South Park because it’s up & coming. If we were buying right now we’d probably look there first. It has a lot of character with a nice shopping/eating area to walk around and adorable houses, but isn’t as pricey as other neighborhoods yet. Plus, our friend’s chocolate shop (Eclipse- best brunch in SD!) is there 🙂 We’d also LOVE Hillcrest. But we’re childfree and will most likely be staying that way, so that’s a consideration for sure. Our priorities would be nice/cheap/fun places to eat & hang out. Basically where could we live and walk to a decent date night. If we were looking to start a family we’d most likely go north county. 

You’re not going to find a home for $200k in the SD area, I’m afraid. I’d guess closer to $350k for a small 3 bdrm in one of the suburbs. There are a lot of super small bungalow type homes that are maybe the size of a nice apartment but with a yard & stuff. These make good starter homes. The area is just so diverse it’s hard to say where you should go. I’d come out & spend a good long weekend exploring. 

Post # 6
51 posts
Worker bee

Commenting to follow and see if I can’t find a little information on Sam Diego. SO and ipI may be movingt here within the next year.

Post # 7
2968 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

i live in oceanside, which is in north sd county. i don’t think i’ll be much help because i’ve only lived down here for a year, but i’ll try.

weather-wise, it can be kind of all over the place since it’s right next to the beach. it will be foggy then sunny then overcast all in one day– typical coastal weather. personally, i don’t care for the fact that there’s only one season, but a lot of people love it. i’m just used to summers that are hot as hell and winters that are freezing cold.

i live in military housing on-base, so i don’t know much about other homes. when we were looking at apartments to possibly rent, average was about $1200 i think.

all in all it’s a nice little town. there’s a farmer’s market every thursday, mission san luis rey, the harbor and the pier are nice to check out, and there some cool shops downtown. if you enjoy biking, camp pendleton is a very popular place to ride. i see bike riders and runners out my window pretty much every day.

the high school is unfortunately, in a bad part of town. a lot of violence (sometimes gang related) occurs around there.

it’s about 30 minutes from orange county and about an hour from disneyland, which we love since we have annual passes! 

vista is the next over from o-side. that’s where we do most of our off-base errands and it’s a nice area too.

as previously suggested, i would come visit for a week or so to explore all the different areas.

Post # 7
219 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017


Moving to SD in January and very, very excited. Also, how are jobs out there? Good market? Bad market? Looking in sales as well as health clinics (Office side). 


Post # 8
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

Hi, I’m an SD native. Born and raised! 

If you could be more specific with what type of lifestyle you are hoping for when you come here, then i am sure I can be of more help to you.  

PS- real estate is pretty high- i own a 3Br/2Ba, 1274 sq ft condo in Rancho San Diego (a nicer part of El Cajon/La Mesa) and it just appraised at $285k. The farther east or south you go, the cheaper it gets.  If you are looking for a single family home and don’t mind living in BFE- then you can also look in Eastlake- a nice comunity close to the boarder of Mexico.

It also cracks me up when people say El Cajon is “country living.”  I only live 15 minutes from downtown…maybe Jamul or Alpine, but even then, they are a 5 minute drive to civilization. 

I feel like the first poster did a great job with the details and neighborhoods, and while there are many more, she gave you a pretty good breakdown to various regions. There’s also north county coastal, which includes Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Cardiff, and Oceanside (which is the farthest city north of SD before you get to Camp Pendelton). Aside from O-sode, those other town will cost you a pretty penny.  

Also, you get the pleasure of eating at In&Out if you live in SD and having endless days of gorgeous weather. Honestly, sometimes the weather makes me mad here- I just want it to rain or be cloudy sometimes so I can wear my cute sweaters.

Post # 9
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

Places to stay away from: encanto, city heights, paradise hills, some parts of National City, Logan Heights, Barrio Logan, Euclid, some parts of Lemon Grove and Spring Valley. Just sayin…

Post # 10
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

Also, you could look into Del Cero, La Mesa, and San Carlos…

Those communities are central and rather nicely kept up. 

Scripps Ranch is also really nice, but is getting further north (Not as far as say, Ranch Bernardo and Poway, but they have some gorgeous homes out there.  If you are a total baller, then you could look at Rancho Santa Fe and Santa Luz, BUT those are the most expensive portions of SD. Rancho Santa Fe has the highest median price point in all of CA (if not in the U.S.) but we are talking enormous mansions in a very private/elite setting. 

As far as the job market is concerned, since it is a large city, there are many job options. SD has some of the top hospitals in CA you could try to work for, and the pharmaceutical industry is enormous out here, so if you are experiences in sales, you might have some great options open to you. 

There is a lot of competition, but you just have to be resourceful.  you can look into Pfeizzer, Scripps Clinic, UCSD medical, Sharp, and Alvarado. I don’t  know all that much about different bio-tech companies, but that is also booming. I am a high school teacher (please excuse my typos/ it bothers me that I made some in my previous posts but haven’t bothered to correct them) and I know that many of the community colleges are starting to offer majors specific to that arena. 

And to give you an idea of the weather- it’s 2:25 right now in the middle of May, and this is what the weather is today (and this is on the cooler side): 

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