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Old 07-09-2011, 01:29 PM
 
Location: London, United Kingdom
7 posts, read 15,229 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello again,

My husband and I will be moving to SD in September.
We are also expecting our first baby!
We have a budget 3500 a month,

- we are looking for a three bedroom house in a beautiful district with easy access to the beach or to parks

- i dont drive; walkability is important

- close to restaurants and bars

- Baby and mom friendly (yoga, play groups for kids and moms, organic food or farmers markets close by)

I've read on other threads here that San Diego is not known for its ethnic diversity. Is there a multiethnic (even milticultural) area of San Diego or an area that is filled with newcomers?

We have been told that La Jolla is good but reading threads here has introduced me to del mar, carmel valley...

Based on what i have written, what do you suggest?

I REALLY NEED HELP....

Thanks for your insight
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Mission Hills, San Diego
1,471 posts, read 3,117,646 times
Reputation: 604
Mission Hills is not on the water-although you might get a water view. It is a very nice neighborhood with great walking, cafes and would be very new mommy friendly-
In your budget, if you compromised for a condo, La Jolla village would be nice. Since you don't have a car just make sure it is in the village and you will have plenty of walking. The type of people that live there will be less ecclectic than Mission Hills though.
San Diego is actually verydiverse, but the new immigrant population does not live coastal. You will find great ethnic foods and markets around the city. Every place is filled with new comers-Its San Diego!
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:36 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,554,265 times
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Happynomads,

Wow that is trek! Where in London are you? I might be able to give you a good side by side analogy as I lived there for several years in the northwest near Regents Park and Marylebone High Street. I have a decent knowledge of London so try me.

Off the top, DO NOT expect the depth of a world class city here when it comes to the cultural aspects and ammenities. I am not saying we dont have it, because we do, its just scattered throughout and in smaller bites. When you get to know a lot of the places, its really great. Several of the city-data posters here, including myself have a good beat on food and places to go, so dont think you will ever be short of that.

Here is map that will give you at least an idea neighborhoods and cities within San Diego County. Even though this map represents homes for sale, it can at least give you the break down of areas by zip code as well as what proerpties look like. You can probably then back track to start looking at rentals.

SDLookup.com | Map of San Diego Neighborhoods

THe other thing you really might want to consider is where you will be working in relation to your commute times from home. Do you know this yet?
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:03 AM
 
Location: London, United Kingdom
7 posts, read 15,229 times
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Thanks for writing

Clevlandgal, we will have a car as my husband will be driving to work. He'll be working in Rancho Bernardo.
Ill be getting a car as well, but have to learn how to drive first
Do you think we should up our budget? How much should we allocate for rent considering our prerquisites?

Schmoov! So happy you offered to compare London to San Diego! We live in South Kensington right now...its such a great place to live. We have access to private gardens; we run in Kensington gardens and hyde park and the food and bars are all walking distance or short cab away. Plus, there are lots of mommy and Baby activities here and the people come from all over to study and work or just chill in London (its just a great mix). That said, we're really excited about the weather, the beach and living on the west coast for the first time.

Looking forward to hearing from you both and more folk with their insight. I really appreciate it.
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Mission Hills, San Diego
1,471 posts, read 3,117,646 times
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I will do the best I can to provide feedback...I am pretty new to the area. I have been to London a couple times and it is an amazing city-easily one of my favorites in the world. There is nothing in SD like a London neighborhood!

Given your husband will be working north, you want to be near the beach or parks, walk to stores and cafes and get around until you get a drivers licence, I think La Jolla Village is standing out (Mission Hills is pretty far). La Jolla however is an upscale area- of course it will not have the buzz and energy of London. I see many moms in strollers, yoga studios and you might like that it gets a lot of international visitors. Check out padmapper.com to get an idea of what you might need to spend. Remember if you want to stay walk able stick with homes near the village.

Meetup.com is how a lot of people find local interest groups around here.

In your price range there will be lots of tempting options inland where you could get a bigger house and yard, but I think you would regret it. Most Europeans/Brits don't care for American subdivision life where you have to drive everywhere.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:39 AM
 
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,554,265 times
Reputation: 1947
Happynomads,

South Kenn is GORGEOUS. Love that area. Reminds me of where I grew up in NYC in the upper west side

When it comes to access here and commuting, its fairly easy across the board by auto.
However, if you REALLY like the mix of having a world class park nearby, restaurants and some degree of electric vibrancy, I would say Mission Hills. Its an area that a majority of expat colleagues prefer to live as its very central to just about everything for leisure activities. The only downside is that it can take approx 25 mins drive to/from Rancho Bernardo. But if you are going to be a stay at home mom, there are a lot of places to walk and socialize.

On the flip side of an area like Mission Hills is what Southern California is really known for. Gated communities in the suburbs. Homes are pristine, fairly new and almost insular in lifestyle approach (bubble).

The amenities are incredible: Pools, spas, some small shopping areas are all within arms reach or within each community. Its EXTREMELY convenient to live in and very safe. Each community has its own "rules" or HOA board. It keeps the neighborhoods all clean, safe, uniform and perfect. Some HOA communities are more restrictive than others, but in essence are like their own little government. There are pros and cons to living in these areas, some find it sterile and others prefer the cut, clean, safe atmosphere. Regardless they are the modern day Southern California suburban lifestyle at its finest. Plug and play.

It will be a bit of a departure from the South Kenn scene here in San Diego, but any Brit expats I have met here, typically colleagues, REALLY like it here. There is a pretty decent sized Brit expat scene here and quite a few pubs that are frequented by said groups if that is of any interest.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:56 AM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
5,843 posts, read 9,153,811 times
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Without trying to be ironic, what about, Kensington? Honestly even though Mission Hills is closer to the beach by the crow flies the two communities are effectively the same time-wise to get to a nice beach by car and the admittedly sparse cultural amenities (compared to London) of the city are at least very close by to take in. The "village" area of it is decidedly limited in size and amenities but charming as can be and the overall neighborhood is beautiful, walkable (again, rather limited to its own manicured streets) and very family oriented. The drive for your husband will be a straight shot up the 15. Just as another place to consider in addition to Mission Hills which I would also think may be a great fit for you.

For those of us who have spent any time in London I can't imagine a worse culture shock (OK, I am a bit of an urban snob) than gorgeous, classic, urban yet green South Kensington to a dry gated suburb in inland or in N. County San Diego- it would make me just about cry. Make your husband suffer the commute a bit and the both of you enjoy what little slices of nice classic urban communities that SD offers.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Mission Hills, San Diego
1,471 posts, read 3,117,646 times
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Yeah I am pretty sure most people used to living in London or other urban dream city, after getting over the novelty of having so much space, would wither and die in a classic suburban cul-de-sac. With that said, I am sure most would enjoy sunny coastal (or near) living if moving to S. Cal as a change of pace. I still think Mission Hills is best based on the criteria set forth,but thought the commute would be too great. I have not been to Kensington yet so I cannot comment.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:22 AM
 
Location: London, United Kingdom
7 posts, read 15,229 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks again!! Padmapper is great and the prices appear to be cheaper than on san diego rent finders. Also, I'll be looking into meetup to meet other expats, hikers, runners, readers and foodies once i get there.

The good news is that we'll be coming to SD in late august/september for three days to check it out and ill look into the hoods you all mentioned: la Jolla village, mission hills and Kensington. If anyone else would like to add onto my list, please do.

I know that London is in a league of its own but i think San Diego, what with the weather and the allure of healthy outdoorsy living, is a great step now that we'll be welcoming our baby in late December. Its as cold as a witch's teet in London in December/January. Still, tbh, Ill miss Europe in general...i spend a lot of time in Paris (im here now) and love being able to go back and forth. Anyway, San Diego here I come!!!!!

Thanks again for your advice. Hope you're all well!
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:58 AM
 
3,322 posts, read 2,246,265 times
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With your budget and based on walkability, safety, parks and a short drive to the ocean along with a very short and easy highway free commute for your husband- I'd look at 4S Ranch. Its a small community in Poway Unified School District between Rancho Sante Fe (upscale) and Ranch Bernardo (older demographic). Also, homes within the Poway Unified School Districts will hold their value better on a later resale and this is also one of the fastest growing communities in San Diego County. A few drawbacks its a little isolated for some and the Mella Roos is a little out of control.
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