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Old 06-13-2008, 12:05 PM
 
20 posts, read 74,183 times
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Have lived and worked in the DC area for 15 years. Was considering a move to a place with better weather (weather affects my health), close to water, and a place that wasn't so focused on work all the time. Was thinking about San Diego. Am Married with child (maybe more on the way) so family neighborhood, schools are important. Has anyone lived in both places that could give me some insight? Could spend about 750,000 on a house. Will that get me anything in a decent neighborhood in SD?
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
657 posts, read 1,777,436 times
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I had looked at moving to San Diego about a decade ago. When I was out there I noticed with a few things; it was definitely pretty, extremely expensive, and brown. Everyone out there was in shape..which I liked. I was looking at homes that had a yard, because I had two Labrador Retrievers at the time and needed a yard. My good friend bought a 900sqft (yes, 900) house in San Diego in 1998 for $250,000. Also i knew that i was going to have to get a new car. You definitely don't have much of a change of seasons there. At the same time, you are close the mtns and the beach...and there is a lot to do. The pacific doesn't warm up like the Atlantic. I went snorkeling in August and still had a 5mm wetsuit on.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Orange, California
1,575 posts, read 6,021,634 times
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San Diego definitely has better weather than DC and you will definitely be able to find a decent (but certainly not palatial) house in your price range. The previous poster correctly noted that it is very brown compared to DC. The green you see is often a result of well watered lawns and landscapes that would not otherwise naturally appear in the dry south california climate. I moved from DC to San Diego several years ago (I'm in Georgia now) and I remember really enjoying how different SD was and the plethora of outdoor activities that you can do year round. That said, there were definitely things I missed about DC, like the culture, nightlife, and the ambition that so many young people in DC have. There is an energy in DC that does not seem to exist in SD. Some people view that energy as a negative and prefer the more laid back attitude of SD, but I think that energy gives DC much of its vitality.

Bottom line...if you are looking to make a move from DC and you have a hefty home budget, you could do WAY worse than San Diego.
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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I grew up in SD and return every year. It's a nice place, and definitely less stressful than DC. People seem friendlier too. But I would choose to pay more and get a smaller place near the ocean (ie. within a few miles of the coast). Once you get past the first range of hills you may as well be in Arizona with 100+ degree temperatures in Summer. Traffic has gotten a lot worse, but it still seems much more manageable than DC. Then again, there's essentially no public transport so it would have to be!

I think you can find some "neighborhood" areas that might give you the best aspects of Eastern cities. Pacific Beach, Del Mar, Coronado are all walkable areas with strips of shopping. But other areas (El Cajon, Clarimont) seem much more spread-out and cater to automobile culture. I prefer the former but that's just me.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Orange, California
1,575 posts, read 6,021,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm67 View Post
But I would choose to pay more and get a smaller place near the ocean (ie. within a few miles of the coast). Once you get past the first range of hills you may as well be in Arizona with 100+ degree temperatures in Summer.
That is the absolute truth. Coastal San Diego is beautiful and you have that awesome mediterranean weather. It is almost worth the incredibly high cost for homes there. But what always killed me about San Diego was that you could go to, say, El Cajon and STILL find that the home prices are in the stratosphere. If I had a million dollars, I would love to live in La Jolla. But no way would I buy a million dollar house to live in El Cajon. It might as well be Bakersfield.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:10 PM
 
36 posts, read 341,389 times
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live in La Jolla, or just west of the 5 if you can. You won't regret it
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia,New Jersey, NYC!
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they are very similar in some ways...
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:39 AM
 
7 posts, read 27,800 times
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We just moved to Bethesda from San Diego - have only been here a few weeks, so can't make too many generalizations about the DC area yet. But as far as San Diego goes, it's a very nice place to live and raise a family - especially if you have some money to spend. One good thing for home buyers is that home prices have falled pretty dramatically in San Diego this past year. They haven't falled as far in the coastal areas, but still things are generally going down. You could buy a nice house in Carmel Valley for $750,000 right now. Carmel Valley has great schools and is just east of the 5 freeway (next to - or essentally part of Del Mar) and so it is very close to the ocean. We lived just west of the 5 in Del Mar and loved it, but I'm not sure whether you could get a place for under a million. If you could hold out for short sales, you might be in luck though. Encinitas and Solana Beach are also very nice and have good schools.

As the other poster said, it will seem quite brown as compared to the DC area. However, just keep your eyes on the water and the sky and all you'll notice is the blue.

The downside to the Carmel Valley/Del Mar area is that people are pretty focused on work (my impression anyway). You might find a more laid back attitude in the Encinitas area.

There are a lot of fun things to do with kids too. We always had annual passes to the Scripps Aquarium, Legoland and Sea World. If you go a lot, it really pays off and it's fun to be able to go for just a couple of hours. There's also the beach and Torrey Pines state park.

One other quick impression that I have - it's a bit harder to meet other families in San Diego. Don't know why that is and it might just be my experience and not other people's experience. Maybe it has to do with the fact that most kids in San Diego just play in their backyards and not in their front yards? But once you meet people, they are nice.

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:37 PM
 
3 posts, read 16,226 times
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i wanna move to cali sooo bad

dc is great though
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:40 PM
 
196 posts, read 885,647 times
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For a laid back, warm weather/beach lifestyle I think I would opt for a beach town on the Atlantic side of Florida - somewhere an hour or two south of Daytona. When I was there a few years ago I really liked the atmosphere. Very laid back and slow paced. San Diego and southern california obviously can't be beat for culture, but if all you want is warm weather and ocean I think Florida is a better (more affordable) option. You would probably be able to live closer if not right next to the beach on that budget. but you also won't have as many options when it comes to employment or entertainment/shopping.
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