Best Neighborhoods for Singles in San Diego

Best Neighborhoods for Singles in San Diego

Where should you live if you’re single in San Diego? We talk about families a lot on Off the 56 because we both have families here and both haven’t been single in quite a while, so we’re probably the least qualified people to answer this question! However, we’re going to try on today’s episode of Off the 56 where we cover the best neighborhoods for singles in San Diego.

Downtown San Diego should probably be at the top of the list. There are lots of fun neighborhoods downtown like the East village, the Gaslamp District, which has the most vibrant nightlife in all of San Diego, and Little Italy. Little Italy also has some really fun restaurants and bars, and they’re all very walkable. The average rent in downtown San Diego is around $2,200 a month. So not the most expensive, not the cheapest, but they have a lot of options.  A one bedroom will probably cost you around $1,700-1,800 a month and it goes up from there. 

Next on our list is Pacific Beach, which is probably the mecca of single people here in San Diego. Let me just preface this by saying that families live there, singles live there, everyone can live there! But if I was single or if I had moved to San Diego when I was in my early twenties, I probably would have moved to Pacific Beach. It’s close to the beach, it’s got good nightlife, good restaurants, bars, it’s super walkable, and it’s one of the more affordable beach towns. It seems to have a sort of vibe of like, ‘I just got out of college. I’m not really ready to buy my first house yet. I just am sort of in between’. It’s one of those in between kind of places. Not that you can’t live there your whole life. It’s lovely! The median home price is around $734,000. So not super cheap, but by beach standards, that’s actually not terrible, and the average rent is just over $2,000 a month. 

Next on the list is Oceanside, not to be confused with Ocean Beach, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. The median home price in Oceanside is about $565,000, which is more affordable. Median rent is just below $2,000. So, it’s a beach town beach that you can live in where the cost is a little bit lower than La Jolla or Del Mar or something like that. Oceanside also has some nice restaurants, nice beaches. There’s one restaurant, Stratford at the Harbor, which is a really cool place to go on like dates and that sort of thing too. Oceanside is actually located on the very tip of North County, San Diego. So that’s probably one of the reasons why it’s a little bit more affordable. It’s a little bit tucked away. But if you’re looking to be by the beach, Oceanside is a good, slightly more affordable place to be here in San Diego. 

Next up, we have Hillcrest which is so cute. It’s Northwest of Balboa Park. The homes are really different and neat. There are little bungalows, small Craftsman-style homes, and larger homes too – overall it has a really neat vibe. It’s not a community of tract homes. It’s got so much character! The median home price is about $500,000. It can go much higher than that though. There are a lot of townhomes and condos in the area, too. Hillcrest has some really, really cute little spots, great restaurants, shops, and boutiques. They also have a lot of breakfast places like Breakfast Republic, Snooze, and more. Overall, it’s a highly walkable community and super popular with single people.

Last, but not least on our list is Ocean Beach, which is located near Point Loma and Mission Beach. If you’re familiar with Los Angeles and the Venice Beach area, that’s the kind of vibe Ocean Beach has. If you’re looking to live somewhere that’s a little more artsy and Bohemian, you’ll love Ocean Beach. Most people that move to Ocean Beach stay there. It’s not a jumping off point or an in-between move. People fall in love with that community – and for good reason. They have a lot of good restaurants and you’re right near the beach. There’s even a dog beach there. The median home price in Ocean Beach is around $707,000 and rent is about $1,900 a month. So, it’s fairly reasonable, especially as a single person, to live there and be so close to the beach. 

Before we wrap up, it should be said that if you’re single and a bit older, you might also enjoy life in Del Mar or Carmel Valley. They’re both wonderful communities, though home prices and rent are a little bit more expensive. They both have decent nightlife, but it tends to cut off by 10 o’clock. It’s not really for the 21-year-old as the bars and the restaurants close down. However, if you want to live in a friendly community with great community amenities close to the beach, definitely check out Del Mar and Carmel Valley.

So that’s our list of the best neighborhoods for singles in San Diego! Hopefully you guys found that useful and if you’re ever moving to San Diego, we’d love to help you find your next home!

Best Places to Live in San Diego

Best Places to Live in San Diego

Today, we’re going to talk about the best places to live in San Diego. I know there’s a lot of wonderful communities to talk about, but I picked three and Courtney picked three to give us a total of six of our favorite neighborhoods to talk about today on Off the 56!

One of my favorites which we don’t talk about very often is Del Cerro. It’s a little further east and down near San Diego State University. It’s actually very close to Lake Murray. It’s a really cool neighborhood and I love the architecture. Most homes in Del Cerro were built between 1950 and 1970. So, there’s a lot of mid-century modern homes in the area, which I love. A lot of those homes are single story, too, which you don’t always find here in San Diego. Every home has its own personality, they aren’t tract homes, and they’re on pretty good-sized lots. You can get a little more yard for your money than you can in other parts of San Diego. You’ve also got great local schools and are in a great location near Lake Murray, which is a really cool reservoir where you can fish. You can jog, hike, or bike around it, too. Del Cerro is a cool neighborhood and I just think it has a lot of character. 

Next on our list is Carlsbad Village. It’s a very walkable area near lots of great beaches. You’ve got Beacon’s Beach and Tamarack Beach, just to name a few. Lots of a good surfing and parking is actually pretty good at some of those beaches. Plus, it has one of the top-rated school districts in all of San Diego. Not to mention there’s plenty to do. Great restaurants, breweries, and Legoland. If you’re ever looking to do a staycation here in San Diego, they actually have a lot of family-friendly hotels up in Carlsbad. Another cool spot is the Flower Fields, which start blooming usually in March. It goes on for about eight weeks so it’s definitely worth checking out. Carlsbad is at the North end of San Diego County, which means it’s a bit further from Downtown, Balboa Park, and other areas of San Diego. But if you have to commute for work up to LA or Orange County, Carlsbad is a really good option because you’re closer. You can also jump on the Coaster over there in Oceanside and shoot up to LA on the train.

Another of my favorite neighborhoods is one we’ve actually done a video about, Solana Beach. It’s not a huge community, but it’s a great neighborhood and it’s got good schools. Obviously, the home prices are a little higher because you’re close to the beach, but it’s just a really cute little part of town. They have Fletcher Cove, which we’ve told you about before. They’ve got good restaurants and Cedros Design District, which is like their arts district full of boutiques and furniture stores. It’s a good place to see a show as well at the Belly Up. You can get really close to some of your favorite artists because it’s a very small venue. Solana Beach also has some great surfing of its own, while also being close to some of San Diego’s best surf spots in Del Mar, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Encinitas. There’s also a Coaster stop in Solana Beach which makes it easy to get up to LA, Long Beach, Santa Barbara, or to make your way to Downtown San Diego.

Next on the list is Carmel Valley, which is just west of where we live in Torrey Highlands. Carmel Valley is known as one of the most central spots in all of San Diego, sitting at the border of North and South County. It’s also got some of the best schools in all of San Diego, making it a great choice for families. The price points are a little bit high since you’re about five minutes to the Del Mar beaches and have such excellent public schools. Carmel Valley also offers new construction opportunities, particularly around Pacific Highlands Ranch. There’s a lot to do in the area like the shopping at One Paseo or visiting every one of the twenty-two neighborhood parks. One downside about Carmel Valley though is that it doesn’t have a big nightlife scene. It’s definitely a suburb so most things close around by about 10 o’clock at night.

Another neighborhood I love that’s close to Torrey Highlands is Del Sur. Del Sur offers residents apartments, condos, townhomes, single family homes, and luxury estates all within the same community! That makes Del Sur pretty cool since you could live there in whatever type of home you can afford. It’s a master-planned community that is highly walkable with lots of usable space. There are also community pools, playgrounds, lots of parks, hiking trails, and more. You always see people walking their dogs and riding bikes. Plus, there are tons of community events throughout the year and great local schools. Del Sur is a little more expensive than some areas of San Diego, though, as they have higher property taxes and higher Mello-Roos fees. 

Last, but not least is the neighborhood of South Park. What I like most about South Park is its location. It’s super close to Balboa Park, you can easily get to the museums, the Zoo, or over to Downtown within minutes. South Park has really good restaurants and is also a super walkable neighborhood. It’s not too busy and is a little bit quieter than nearby North Park or Hillcrest. South Park has a lot of coffee shops, boutiques, and even some tasting rooms popping up. The only downside of living in South Park is that the schools are not that great. So that tends to be why people don’t always stay there forever, but it’s definitely a good place to start or a great place to live if you don’t have kids. The 1920’s Craftsman-style home is one of my favorites and you can find a lot of these in South Park. The whole neighborhood just has great character. 

So that’s our list of the six best places to live in San Diego! There are many more amazing neighborhoods to discover, but if we had to narrow it down, those would be our top choices. If you’re planning to move to San Diego or already live here and want a change of scenery, we’d love to help you find your next home. Reach out to us! We’d love to help. 

East Coast vs. West Coast Living

East Coast vs. West Coast Living

One of the questions I get all the time is, what’s the biggest difference between living on the East Coast and living on the West Coast?

I grew up on the East Coast. I moved out to California when I was twenty-two and have lived here ever since. So, I have a little bit of experience living in both areas. In today’s video, I break down the differences I’ve noticed about life on both coasts.

First one, I would say is that the jobs are pretty different out here on the West Coast. On the East Coast, I feel like everyone’s like a lawyer, doctor, accountant, or a nurse, those types of jobs. On the West Coast, people tend to have multiple jobs, they consult, or have more creative jobs. I feel like that’s kind of the biggest difference. Also I noticed people tend to not care as much about what job you have. If you go to a party out here on the West Coast, people don’t really ask you, “Oh what do you do for a living?” I mean they do, but not quite to the extent they do on the East Coast. 

Another big thing is that I find the West Coast to be a little bit more entrepreneurial. Forbes Magazine came out with a list of all the top states for entrepreneurship and California was Number Five. Then they had the worst places for entrepreneurship and six out of the top ten were on the East Coast. Places like New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, and Connecticut.

Another one of the big differences between the West Coast and East Coast is the food. Both places have good food, but they’re different. Anything bread related I find to be way better on the East Coast. Like pizza, bagels, sandwiches, even just the rolls they have there. I’m from Philadelphia. You have some great Philly pretzels there in Philadelphia, and we just can’t get anything similar to that out on the West Coast. But if you’re on the West coast, Mexican food is a lot better, sushi, seafood, that sort of thing. So again, both places have great food; they just have different things that are better in my opinion.

Another obvious one is the weather. The East Coast you have more seasons. So you’ll have spring, fall, summer, and winter. On the West Coast, you’re not really going to have that big of a difference between the seasons. One thing I do miss about the East coast is the thunderstorms and just like an occasional rainy day. Out in California, we just don’t have that many rainy days and we rarely have a thunderstorm. Do I need them every day? No, but I wouldn’t mind the occasional one. It might sound crazy, but I miss a good thunderstorm.

Here’s another thing that’s different about the two coasts: I think there’s a quote that says: “Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in California once, but leave before it makes you soft.” That’s from Mary Schmich’s book, Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life. So people tend to think that those on West Coast are a little bit softer and people in New York, or just the East Coast in general, it makes you a little hard. I kind of agree. I have gotten soft when it comes to weather at least! 

One of the big differences between the coasts that I really enjoy is that the dress code out in California is much more casual. On the East Coast, people are more into shirts, suits, and ties. Although my East Coast friends have told me that it’s started to ease up a little bit in the last five to ten years or so. California is definitely way more casual than it is on the East Coast. I’m more of a t-shirt or polo shirt and jeans type of guy. On the East Coast, you don’t get away with that as easy. For example, Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, I think he wore a hoodie to his IPO. So I think if it was someone on the East Coast, like a big bank went to their IPO, I don’t think they’d be wearing a hoodie.

So another big thing I noticed is that I think people tend to be friendlier out here on the West Coast, but on the East Coast people are more direct. So on the East Coast if they like you, they’re going to let you know they like you. Or if they hate you, they’re going to let you know they hate you. On the West Coast they’re going to be friendly to you, even if they like you or don’t like you most of the time. So they might be a little bit behind your back, but at least they will appear to be friendly. On the East Coast, they’re going to tell you what it is and how they feel. So take that for what it’s worth. 

Another difference between the coasts is that the infrastructure and transportation seems to be much better on the East Coast. They have better public transportation like subways, trains, and buses, which is funny because the East Coast is much older than the West Coast. So you would think the West Coast would have been more on top of their transportation, but some of the car companies bought up some of the train tracks so people would have to buy cars. Over time, I’m hoping the West Coast can pick up with their public transportation. I like riding the subways, occasionally at least, but on the West Coast, it’s very hard to do. LA and San Francisco are a little bit better, but overall public transportation, infrastructure, and even the history I find to be a little bit more exciting on the East Coast. Just like how the United States started, the Declaration of Independence, and the Liberty Bell. You can take tours of all these different cities that have a lot of history like that on East Coast.

If you’re ever looking to move to San Diego, I’d love to help you find your next home. Whether you’re moving locally or coming from the East Coast, I can help. Let’s connect!

Buying a Home During a Pandemic in San Diego

Buying a Home During a Pandemic in San Diego

So you decided to buy a home in San Diego during a pandemic. We’re going to break down the best ways to do that but first, you should watch all of our videos. We have some excellent content on San Diego. We have great neighborhood tours, what it’s like to live here, pros and cons, and more. Anything you needed to know about San Diego, you can find it on our YouTube channel. 

Now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to our best tips for buying a home during a pandemic. We’ve been helping people buy and sell safely since the early days of COVID-19. As we prepare to head into the spring buying season, here are our best tips for buying a home in San Diego right now.


When you’re starting your search, you need to figure out what type of neighborhood you would like to buy in. San Diego County is really large so you’ve got to narrow your search. Is there a certain school district you’d like your kids in? Is there a particular program at a school you want your kids to do? Did you just accept a new job? If you’d like to, or can afford to be in a beach town, what type of beach town? Would you like to be in a more Metro area? Would you like to be downtown? Something more walkable? Just do your research and try to pinpoint a general, but specific area. 


The days of open houses in San Diego are over, at least for the time being. During the pandemic they’re not doing open houses because they don’t want a hundred people on top of each other and not socially distancing. So now you have to schedule a time. In the early days of the pandemic, agents were doing private open houses every thirty minutes. Since there are usually people living in the home, you only have a two-day period typically to see the house. A lot of times you’ll see appointments happening on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. So if you don’t schedule your appointment early, they’ll fill up. That’s happened to me a couple of times and you won’t even be able to see the home before they accept an offer.

Lately they’ve actually changed things a little bit. Now agents are doing almost like makeshift open houses where you show up some time between 10 and 3, and then you just wait in line until it’s your turn to go inside. We just did it this past weekend with a couple from Chicago and we waited outside the house for a good 20-30 minutes probably before we got it in.


Agents are still taking a lot of precautions to keep everyone safe and socially distanced. You have to use hand sanitizer, you have to wear masks, there can only be one person in the house or one family in the house at one time, etc. They also have you sign a form that states that you have not been having any COVID symptoms. You have to sign it before each tour, every showing that you have, which is a little bit annoying, but you know, better to be on the safe side! On certain listings, some agents are requiring that you have a preapproval letter ready to go because they only want serious buyers walking through the home. They also tell you to try not to touch anything in the house, if at all possible. You can also wear gloves as an extra precaution as well. Some of these things will probably stick around after the pandemic actually.


Homes do go quickly in San Diego. If a particular home is really in great demand, it’ll sell within four days max. They’ll list it on a Thursday, just have showings Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then it’ll be sold by Tuesday!

We’ve had people from Chicago, New Jersey, Northern California, even people from Italy contacting us and wanting to move to San Diego. But you can’t always get here to see every house that comes on the market. So if you’re really, really interested in a home we can do a virtual walkthrough with you either through FaceTime or on Zoom. People have actually bought houses without walking into them. I’ve had three people buy houses here in San Diego without seeing them in person! Between all the videos we do, the neighborhood tours, and the 3D tour that’s usually available of the home, some people feel confident they’re going to love the house and put an offer in. 

If you are able to make the trip out here and can stay for 48 hours or three days to see some homes, we will try to get you into as many homes as we can. Even if you don’t totally fall in love with one of the homes that you see that day, it may just help narrow down your search for a neighborhood or a general area. It’s kind of hard to get out right now to do touristy stuff and really get the full San Diego experience because a lot of things are closed, but you can still get a feel for the area. You can drive around and just see generally what’s nearby. I always tell my clients to just focus on the neighborhood you want to be in, and then the house will hopefully follow suit. 


If you’re looking to sell your home here in San Diego, don’t think it’s impossible to do so during a pandemic because a lot of people are doing it these days. There are a lot of safety precautions in place for sellers. Some people will even leave for the weekend, like stay in a hotel or Airbnb while people see the houses. When you come back, we can disinfect the entire house. If you want to leave for just a few hours, we disinfect all of the common touch areas after each showing like the door and the countertops. Anything that people will touch! 

That’s our blog on buying a home during a pandemic in San Diego! If you guys ever have questions about trying to buy or sell a house right now, please feel free to reach out! It can seem daunting, but it’s not really that scary. Sellers, know that there are people out there that want to buy your home. So don’t be afraid to list! We could definitely use more available homes as buyers are struggling with the super low inventory.
If it’s your first time on our blog, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. We post new videos every week. If there’s ever a neighborhood or topic you guys really want to see on here, feel free to put it in the comments or just send us an email or a text and we’ll be happy to make a video for you. We do read those comments! Thanks for reading and catch us next time!

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