What’s the Best Neighborhood in San Diego?

What’s the Best Neighborhood in San Diego?

There are a lot of great neighborhoods in San Diego. After all, when you’re within driving distance of the beach and have seventy-degree weather all year long, you really can’t complain no matter where you end up. However, this pandemic helped Courtney and I realize just how much we love living in our own neighborhood, Torrey Highlands

In this video, we take you on a little tour of Torrey Highlands and what makes our neighborhood so great!

One of the best things about our neighborhood is the location. Torrey Highlands is located just off the 56 freeway in North County San Diego. We are just twelve to thirteen minutes from Torrey Pines State Beach and super close to the 56. The 56 freeway is kind of like the center of San Diego, it pretty much divides North County and South County. And we’re in between the 5 and 15 freeways, too, which gives you access to the airport and downtown on either freeway. Torrey Highlands is so central to everything San Diego has offer, it makes our neighborhood one of the best places to be in our opinion!

We also have this big grassy space in the middle of the neighborhood where people hold block parties for Memorial Day, Labor Day, 4th of July, etc. You can also have movie nights here in the park, birthday parties, and all kinds of things. Next to the park, there’s also a canyon which is so pretty and fun to explore.

Torrey Highlands is comprised of four separate neighborhoods. We have Cabrera, San Lorenza, Avalon Point and Montellano. To the west of us, we have Carmel Valley and to the east of us, we have Rancho Peñasquitos.

One reason we both chose to buy in this neighborhood is the school district. We’re in the Poway Unified School District, which is an excellent public school system. You can also choose which elementary school you want your kids to go to. You can either go to Willow Grove Elementary or Park Village Elementary. Courtney’s kids have gone to all the schools here so she can tell you about all of them. Just reach out if you have questions!

Another interesting fact about the little pocket of neighborhoods where we live is that it’s home to just one office building. That is Intuit TurboTax and they employ a lot of people here. It’s a really nice campus. They’ve got volleyball courts and basketball courts back there. It generally seems like a really nice place to work, plus you’ll have time to go home for lunch!

Another cool thing about our neighborhood that you don’t get everywhere in San Diego are the views. A bunch of the homes in our neighborhood, Avalon Point, Montellano, Cabrera, all have some really good views. On a clear day you can actually see the ocean in the distance, looking off toward Torrey Pines State Reserve.

The hiking and mountain biking trails nearby are one of my favorite things about this neighborhood. It’s very secluded, quiet, and beautiful in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon. The canyon encompasses over 4,000 acres and even features a waterfall! When you’re in the canyon, you can’t see your house or any buildings nearby, so it just feels like you’re out in the wilderness. You can bring your dogs out here, too, but keep them on a leash because people do come through on horseback.

Also, make sure you don’t go out at sunset because you can easily get lost in the dark back here. There are mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, and rattlesnakes living in the canyon, so just be aware of them and be smart.

We hope you guys enjoyed that quick tour of our neighborhood here in San Diego. This was our last video of 2020 and we want to say thank you to everyone who’s watched, read, or subscribed to our YouTube channel and blog. We also want to say thank you to all the people we’ve helped buy or sell a home in 2020. Truly, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! We appreciate all of you. If you’re thinking of making a move this year, just reach out and let’s get started. Here’s to a much better 2021!

Living in Solana Beach in San Diego

Living in Solana Beach in San Diego

Today we’re taking you on a tour of Solana Beach, a laid-back beach town in North County San Diego! Sandwiched between Del Mar and Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Solana Beach is an awesome community to consider calling home.

We start our tour at one of Solana Beach’s most recognizable landmarks, Fletcher Cove. Where Fletcher Cove Park is now used to be all one big cliff. But thanks to some committed San Diegans, the cliff was opened up in 1924 to create an access point down to the sand. That paved the way for Solana Beach to become the beach town we know and love today.

Next on our list, we head up Highway 101 to check out some of the restaurants, bars, and shops that line San Diego’s coast highway. Solana Beach is very walkable and possesses a laid-back beach town vibe – no wonder it’s been named one of the best places to live in the US! The local schools are also excellent. Though if you have high school students you should be aware that Solana Beach high schoolers actually go to Torrey Pines High School, which is just a few miles away in Carmel Valley. Solana Beach also has a train station just off the 101, where you catch the Coaster to go down to the city of San Diego or head up the coast toward Los Angeles.

Cedros Avenue, sometimes called the Cedros Design District, is the next stop on our tour. It’s a cute little street just off the 101 that’s filled with art galleries, boutiques, home décor shops, antique stores, and the famous San Diego music venue, the Belly Up. The Belly Up hosts events year round and has welcomed some famous musicians and bands like the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, and more. There are also two great coffee shops on this street we love to check out whenever we’re in Solana Beach, Lofty Coffee and Barefoot Coffee Roasters. Culture Brewing is a cool outdoor brewery in the area as well.

So what’s it like to live in Solana Beach? Similar to other beach towns we’ve visited on Off the 56, Solana Beach has a bunch of different types of homes from little beach bungalows to condos and apartments all the way up to large single family homes. But no matter what you’re hoping to buy (or rent) in Solana Beach, know that it’s going to be pretty pricey. The median home price in Solana Beach is $1,288,000. Thinking of moving to Solana Beach? Be sure to reach out to get your real estate journey started. I’d love to help you buy (or sell) a home in Solana Beach or anywhere in San Diego County!

The 7 Best Places to Live in San Diego for Millennials

The 7 Best Places to Live in San Diego for Millennials

Welcome to Off the 56! Today’s video is for the Millennial who is looking to move to San Diego. If this sounds like you, keep reading to learn which neighborhood is right for you. I hope you enjoy!

North Park & South Park

North Park is located just north of Balboa Park and is very centrally located in San Diego. In contract, South Park is located (you guessed it!) on the south side of Balboa Park. This area is full of great restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, and bars to enjoy. In fact, South Park is home to one of the best Italian restaurants in all of San Diego, Buona Forchetta. The school district isn’t the best in this area, but Garfield Elementary School is does have high rankings in San Diego County. The median home price in this area is $715,000.

Normal Heights

The quaint neighborhood of Normal Heights is a great area for Millennials and families alike. The main street of Adams Avenue has many coffee shops, restaurants, and lots of antique shops housed in its Antique Row. The homes in this area have a lot of charm and are much more affordable than in North Park and South Park. The median home price in Normal Heights is currently $608,000.

Little Italy

This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in all of San Diego- and it’s not just for Millennials! Little Italy is very walkable and has some of the best restaurants in the city. Some of my favorites are The Crack Shack, Juniper & Ivy, and Mona Lisa Deli just to name a few. This area is not the most affordable, but it isn’t the most expensive either! The median home price in Little Italy is $520,000.

UTC/ University Town Center

University Town Center, also known as UTC, is located just east of La Jolla. This area is best known for the great shopping at the recently renovated Westfield UTC Mall where you can go browse a wide variety of stores, as well as enjoy dining and entertainment. They are currently building a trolley line that will connect UTC to Downtown San Diego, which will be great for commuting! The median home price in UTC is $645,000.

Solana Beach

Solana Beach is a very walkable area, as are most of the neighborhoods on this list! Cedros Design District is full of cool art shops, furniture stores, coffee shops, and eateries to enjoy. The Belly Up is a great live music spot that is a local favorite! Solana Beach is very centrally located to Downtown San Diego as well as other beach communities, making it an easy pick for many Millennials. It is one of the most expensive areas to live, with the median home price at $1,255,000.

San Marcos

San Marcos sits on the edge of North County San Diego. Because it is a little out of the way, San Marcos is on the more affordable side compared to other neighborhoods on this list. And it has some great food options, too! Some of my favorite local spots in San Marcos are Urge Gastropub and Old Cal Coffee. There are lots of breweries in this area too, including the famous Stone Brewery in Escondido. If you have kids, San Marcos has some of the best schools in all of California! There is also great entertainment nearby, including LEGOLAND California and the San Diego Safari Park! The median home price in San Marcos is $607,0000.

La Mesa

This hidden gem of San Diego is located about nine miles east of Downtown San Diego. La Mesa has a great main street that has a very charming feel to it. The main street has great restaurants and shops to explore, perfect for Millennials looking to get out and socialize. La Mesa also has an impressive 21 parks and sports fields! It is a very community-centric area; they hold lots of seasonal events every year like Oktoberfest and a Christmas festival. It’s worth noting that it can get pretty hot in La Mesa. The average temperature tends to sit around 85 degrees! It’s a more affordable area of San Diego though, with a median home price of $585,000.

That wraps up my list of the 7 Best Places to Live in San Diego for Millennials! What did you think of my list? Let me know in the comments below!

Best School Districts in San Diego County

Best School Districts in San Diego County

There are a lot of schools in San Diego, but today on Off the 56 we’re covering the overall best school districts in San Diego County so you can make an informed buying decision for you and your family. If you’d like more information on homes or communities located within each of these top school districts, just reach out!

First, a few facts about what it’s like to go to school in San Diego.

If you’re new to San Diego, you might be surprised to learn that most of the schools in San Diego are outdoors. Which means kids are outside for a lot of the day as they move from classroom to classroom. Lunch is often eaten on a covered patio area rather than in an enclosed room. So you will need to make sure your kids wear sunscreen to school every day!

Another thing you might not be aware of is that many schools in San Diego don’t offer transportation to school in the form of school buses. If they do have transportation, you often have to pay extra for it. For example, Poway Unified has a charge for bus transportation. That’s partially because in San Diego they really try to build the schools in neighborhoods so that the kids can actually walk or bike to get to school.

Many San Diego Schools also offer great before and after school programs which fall under the heading of ESS – Extended School Services. ESS also offers summer camps and programs that can be very affordable.

Schools may have varying start times even within the same district. This is something to keep in mind if you are planning to drive your kids to school and both parents also have to get to work.

Finally, since San Diego is a coastal city, there are many different sports offered here that are not offered at schools across the country like surfing, crew, beach volleyball, water polo, and more. Similarly, there are also schools that don’t have traditional school sports like football or activities like cheerleading.

So with that in mind, let’s get to the best school districts in San Diego County!

San Dieguito Union School District

This is the public school district that encompasses Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carmel Valley, Rancho Santa Fe, and more. Niche.com has actually ranked San Dieguito Union School District the best school district in San Diego. Schools in this district include Torrey Pines High School, Canyon Crest Academy, Carmel Valley Middle School, and more.

Visit District Website

Poway Unified School District

Poway Unified School District is also an A+ rated school district on Niche.com. This is the school district that our kids are part of as well. This district encompasses communities like Rancho Peñasquitos, Torrey Highlands, 4S Ranch, Del Sur, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, and more. There are thirty-nine schools in this district, making it the second biggest district in all of San Diego! Schools include Del Norte High School, Westview High School, Poway High School, and others.

Visit District Website

Coronado Unified School District

Heading south, another A+ rated school district on Niche.com is the Coronado Unified School District. This is probably the smallest school district in San Diego as it just covers Coronado Island.

Visit District Website

Carlsbad Unified School District

Another smaller district, Carlsbad Unified School District covers all four Carlsbad zip codes. Ranked the 38th best school district in all of California, schools in this district include La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad High School, Pacific Rim Elementary School, and more. Schools in this area are known for their aquatic sports and also for baseball – the Phillies #1 draft pick a few years back, Mickey Moniak, attended high school in this district!

Visit District Website

San Marcos Unified School District

Ranked the 45th best school district in California by Niche.com, San Marcos Unified School District is another top district in San Diego County. It’s A-rated on Niche.com and includes schools like San Marcos High School, Double Peak School, La Costa Meadows Elementary, and more.

Visit District Website

Grossmont Union High School District

This A-rated district covers Grossmont, El Cajon, La Mesa, and some other areas in East County San Diego. This district is ranked #74 on Niche.com’s list of the best school districts in California.

Visit District Website

San Diego Unified School District

This is the largest district in San Diego County and covers the bulk of the schools that are located in the city of San Diego. Because it is so large, it has a wide variety of schools with different individual rankings though the district itself overall has a B rating from Niche.com. One school in particular, the Preuss School, is the 87th best school in the country and 9th best in California! San Diego Unified School District covers schools in La Jolla, Sorrento Valley, Mira Mesa, and Scripps Ranch all the way to downtown.

Visit District Website

If you’re interested in private schools, the #1 ranked private school in San Diego is the Bishops School in La Jolla. Other highly rated private schools include La Jolla County Day School, Francis Parker School, Cathedral Catholic School, San Diego Jewish Academy, and more.

Have questions on what we shared? Need help figuring out which neighborhoods and school districts might be best for you? Shoot us an email and let’s talk!

The Job Market in San Diego

The Job Market in San Diego

Today on Off the 56, I’ll be talking all about what the job market is like in San Diego. If you’re making the move to San Diego and need help finding a home in the right neighborhood, contact me anytime!

Top Industries in San Diego

If you didn’t know already, San Diego’s top industry is the Military. The United States Navy is the largest employer in San Diego County. Other top industries in San Diego include tourism, international trade, and research and manufacturing.

Top Employers in San Diego

As for top employers in San Diego, UCSD comes in second behind the U.S. Navy with around 38,000 employees. UCSD is followed by Sharp Healthcare, the County of San Diego, San Diego Unified School District. and Scripps Healthcare. Other large employers to mention include Qualcomm, Intuit, and Kaiser Permanente.

Highest Paying Jobs in San Diego

If you’re curious about what the highest paying jobs in San Diego are you might be surprised! The highest paying job in San Diego is an Obstetrician, making just over $255,000 a year. Chief Executives are also at the top of the pay scale in San Diego, earning around $205,000 a year. A Natural Science Manager earns around $170,000 a year. Another high-paid and popular profession in San Diego is a Dentist, earning around $168,000 annually. Other well-paid jobs in San Diego include Marketing Managers and Lawyers.

Jobs Most Likely to Grow Over the Next 5 Years in San Diego

Engineers, Physician’s Assistants, and Physical Therapists all have growing demand here in San Diego County. If you work in these industries, you might want to keep an eye on the job market here over the next several years!

Top Entry Level Jobs in San Diego

For top entry-level jobs, Data Scientists made the list as well Engineers, Product Designers, and UX Designers.

Tech Moving to San Diego

There have been many rumors of major tech companies moving to San Diego! In fact, Apple is looking for their second office here and currently has over 119 job openings for engineer and designers. Click here for more information on jobs with Apple. Amazon also plans to hire an additional 200 workers at its San Diego Tech Hub. And they’re not just searching for delivery drivers! Click here for a current list of positions available at Amazon. If you’re interested in working in tech, definitely keep an eye on new offices opening in San Diego County.

That’s my overview of the job market in San Diego! Obviously, there are many more job opportunities and busy industries here that you may be interested in, so always keep an eye out for new and exciting opportunities. San Diego has great restaurants, breweries, and entertainment across the county like LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, and the San Diego Zoo!

I hope you enjoyed my blog and video about what the San Diego job market is like! Be sure to check back every week for more new videos and as always, if you’re moving to San Diego, reach out to me anytime.

Questions About Living in San Diego

Questions About Living in San Diego

Today on Off The 56, we’re going to be answering some questions we’ve gotten on our YouTube channel! And if you haven’t checked out our videos, click here to check it out!

  1. How much do you need to make to live in San Diego?

This is a great question! To live comfortably, $50,000/ year would be a great place to start. However, this all depends on where you want to live and how many people are in your household.

2. Do you need air conditioning in San Diego?

Air conditioning isn’t a must-have in San Diego! San Diego actually has four micro-climates: coastal, inland valleys, mountains, and desert. So, if you live by the coast, you likely won’t miss air conditioning. However, if you live inland, you will appreciate your AC during the summer months.

3. Do you need a car in San Diego?

We agree that you do need a car in San Diego! Unless you live and work in downtown, you will need a car to get around as our public transportation system isn’t robust.

4. How is the traffic?

Since San Diego is such a freeway-centric city, there is some traffic. However, it’s not nearly as bad as other major cities like Los Angeles or Boston. We have the normal morning and evening rush hour with people going to school and work, but the rest of the day is not too bad.

5. Are the people in San Diego friendly?

Yes! We’ve both had great experiences with the people in San Diego. We definitely think the people here are friendlier than in some others places we’ve lived.

6. I’ve heard that San Diego has some of the best beer and best healthy food? Is that true?

We would definitely agree with this! San Diego has a great craft beer scene! People here especially love their IPAs. In general, there are many wonderful breweries and beer gardens located all over the county for you to enjoy. San Diego also has some great healthy food options.

7. Can you do a video about the job market and how it compares with other places in the nation?

We’re planning on doing a video on this topic next. Stay tuned!

8. Thoughts on San Marcos vs. Oceanside?

Oceanside is one of the most affordable beach communities in all of San Diego! San Marcos is the more family-friendly of the two, with many award-winning schools. It’s also still fairly affordable.

9. Do you have a video for single people living close to the beach on a budget?

Living by the beach on a budget can be tough, but if you keep your eyes open you may be able to find an affordable place in Pacific Beach or Oceanside, like we mentioned. We’re planning on making a video on this topic in the future also.

10. Can you make a video on ‘the train’ you’re referring to? Where does it go and how much does it cost?

The train we’re usually referring to is either the Coaster or the Surfliner. Both trains travel from San Diego to San Luis Obispo with stops along the way in Orange County and Los Angeles. For more information and current pricing, click here.

11. Which of these is better for a family of three: La Jolla Village or Carmel Valley?

Both of these neighborhoods are great! In our opinion, Carmel Valley is probably the more family-friendly area. It’s centrally located and has great parks and activities for the whole family. La Jolla Village is close to UCSD so while you do have families living there, you also have a much younger demographic of students and working professionals. If you’re working at or near UCSD, commuting from Carmel Valley is not bad.

12. Why do you guys look so alike?

Yes, this was an actual question! We’re not related, so we don’t know how to answer that. Just coincidence.

13. What do you guys do for a living?

We work in real estate and help people buy and sell homes in San Diego! If you are in need of a Realtor in San Diego, reach out to us!

14. Why compare San Diego to San Francisco?

We did this video because we have a lot of people moving down to San Diego from the Bay Area and thought it would be helpful! The cost of living is comparable (San Diego is one of the most expensive metropolitan areas in California) which is why we chose to feature San Francisco vs. San Diego on our channel.

15. I am moving to San Diego in 3 weeks and I’m beyond excited!! Thank you for the great videos and tips!

This is not a question, but we wanted to show some positivity! Thank you for the comment Griffin!

16. We would love to see a video with tips from moving to San Diego from out of state!

We’ve touched on this in previous videos, but we will be sure to make a video specifically about moving from out of state soon! Also, if you are moving here from out of state, reach out to us to get a free copy of our San Diego relocation guide!

17. You guys need to stop looking at each other while speaking to the audience.

Thanks for the comment! We’ll work on this, but we do genuinely like each other and enjoy our conversations!

18. The cost of living in San Diego video was useless and didn’t breakdown anything.

Well, thanks for watching! We appreciate the feedback.

19. How are the bugs? No one mentions bugs!

Bugs aren’t a big deal in San Diego. There are your typical small spiders, flies, and ants, but nothing you can’t handle. You can easily leave your doors and windows open at home with no problems!

20. Courtney, will you please adopt me?

We thought this would just be a fun question to end on! Thanks for the laugh!

Thanks for stopping by! Remember, if you are thinking of making the move to San Diego, contact us anytime!

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