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January 11, 2014 / patrickbelhon

Best Places to Live Just Outside San Diego

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, and presidential candidate, has enough money that he could afford to live anywhere in the United States. He chose to buy an oceanfront home in La Jolla. Raquel Welch grew up in this coastal community and attended La Jolla High. Gregory Peck had a residence here and co-founded the La Jolla Playhouse. Theodor Geisel, the man who gave us Dr. Seuss, was another of the many prominent residents of beautiful La Jolla.

La Jolla cove by night 2014

La Jolla Cove by night Jan 2014

About 10 miles to the north is another beautiful area of San Diego County. Del Mar, home of the famous racetrack was also the home of some very well known celebrities such as Jimmy Durante (actor), Burt Bacharach (composer), Anthony Robbins (motivational speaker) and Willie Shoemaker (Hall of Fame jockey).

If you are thinking about moving to Southern California and the San Diego area, La Jolla and Del Mar are two of the best places you could choose to buy a home. Located along the coast, La Jolla is about a 20 minute drive from Downtown San Diego. Del Mar is a little further north of La Jolla and is about a 30 minute drive from Downtown San Diego.

Well, if living in the same neighborhood as that of famous actors, authors, politicians and corporate leaders is not enough to impress you, there is so much more that makes La Jolla and Del Mar a great place to call home.

Homes in La Jolla and Del Mar

America’s Most Expensive Zip Codes, published by Forbes, included both Del Mar and La Jolla on its list of the 500 most expensive zip codes in the United States. Data for homes listed for sale in more than 22,000 U.S. zip codes was narrowed down to the 500 zip codes that had the highest median sales price for homes in a three month period. While not using assessed value or actual sales to determine rankings may make the survey results less than perfect, it does give a fairly good indication of the most expensive places to live in the United States.

Sunset in La Jolla

Sunset in La Jolla

Zip code 10065, representing an exclusive Manhattan neighborhood, was number 1 on the list with a median home sale price of $6,534,430. Zip code 94027, in the Silicon Valley was the most expensive place to live in the state of California with the median price of homes at $4,897,864).

Del Mar and La Jolla did not come close to the top few zip codes, but both had median homes-for-sale listings in 2012 of more than $1.8 million.

• Del Mar ranked 70th with median home sales of $1,866,204
• La Jolla ranked 76th with median home sales of $1,829, 954

When you talk about median home prices that means that half of the homes sell for more than the median price and half sell for less than the median price. In affluent communities like Del Mar and La Jolla, prices can range from more than $20,000,000 for a 10,000 square foot beachfront mansion to less than $400,000 for a nice, but modest, condo.

Patrick Belhon is a San Diego realtor who has an office 200 yards from the ocean in La Jolla. He knows the San Diego and Southern California real estate market like the back of his hand. He knows what is available and he knows the prices that homes have been selling for in La Jolla and Del Mar. Whether you are looking for a small two-bedroom home or have your eyes on a 5,000 square foot dream house, let Patrick Belhon know what you need and want. Every client is special to him and he will work as hard to find a great home for someone wanting to spend $500,000 as he would for someone ready to put down $5,000,000 on a La Jolla or Del Mar property.

Coastal homes are a good investment

Buying a home along the coast in San Diego County is not just a place to live. It is also an investment. When you are spending serious money, be it in the hundreds-of-thousands or in the millions, you don’t want to make a mistake. Home prices in La Jolla and Del Mar have been going back up as the economy has recovered from the housing crisis that started about five years ago.

Happy Couple in La Jolla at Night

Happy Couple in La Jolla at Night

Home buyers should do their due diligence before buying a home no matter where it might be located. Just like you would have the house you are considering inspected before finalizing a deal, you should also know something about the neighborhood, schools and trend in property values. While no one can predict with 100 percent accuracy what the price of homes will be in 10 or 20 years from today, a good realtor can give you valuable insight into the long-term trends.

In the case of property in Del Mar and La Jolla, home values are expected to rise due to shifting demographics and a large increase in population over the next 20-30 years. With the largest segment of our population, the Millennials, coming into their highest earning years in the next two decades, the demand for high-end properties will certainly rise. There is only so much beachfront property and property near the coast. As has almost always been the case, upscale homes tend to go up in value more in a good economy and also go down more in value when the economy goes into a tailspin. Home values in Del Mar and La Jolla will continue to rise as the population grows and the economy continues to do better.

Homes in La Jolla and Del Mar are good investments because not only because property values will continue to rise, but also because mortgage rates are still very low. You could be building equity in a home that you own as opposed to making your landlord rich by paying rent. While 30 year mortgage rates are still under 5 percent, most economists believe that over the next few years they could easily hit 6 or 7 percent. Beyond that, it is anyone’s guess how high they might go. Combining today’s low rates and taking advantage of the mortgage interest deduction, it can cost you less each month to own rather than rent.

If you have a nice house by the beach, you can easily turn it into an income-generating property. Whether you only use the house in the winter or you are no planning to move in until you retire, your coastal San Diego home can be a real money-maker. If you have a big home in La Jolla and he Super Bowl is being played in San Diego, you could easily get $20,000 for a one week rental. You may be able to collect enough rent in six months to pay your mortgage for the entire year. Anything over that is pure profit.

As your realtor, Patrick Belhon can help you make arrangements if you plan on buying and then renting out a home. You can use a rental agent to find temporary or even long-term tenants and you will not have to worry about collecting rents or dealing with minor maintenance issues. While being a landlord is not for everyone, it can be an excellent source of income.

What is so great about La Jolla and Del Mar?

Schools – If you have children, you will appreciate living in a school district that is ranked in the upper echelon of all school districts in the state of California.

Both La Jolla and Del Mar have fabulous public schools (and a number of great private schools). According to the Academic Performance Index (API) , almost all of the public schools received a State Rank of 10 on a scale of 1-10 and a performance ranking in the mid to high 900’s based on a scale of 200-1,000. As an example:

• La Jolla Elementary School received a 10 and had a performance score of 984
• Del Mar Elementary School received a 10 and had a performance score of 968.

Things you can do in La Jolla

• Golf at Torrey Pines
• Snorkel at La Jolla Cove
• Enjoy the pristine beaches
• Take in a performance at the La Jolla Playhouse
• Spend a few hours at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps
• Tour the Museum of Contemporary Art
• Shop in the boutiques and galleries on Girard Avenue and Prospect Street

Things you can do in Del Mar

• Sunbath and swim at Del Mar City Beach
• Take your pooch to Dog Beach
• Watch the thoroughbreds run at Delmar Racetrack
• Enjoy the fairgrounds at Del Mar

Remember that Del Mar and La Jolla are just a few minutes away from many of the most popular attractions in all of San Diego. You have Belmont Park, Old Town, the Convention Center, Sea World, Balboa Park museums, the San Diego Zoo, the Harbor, shops and restaurants, and so much more that you will never get bored.

If you are looking to buy a beautiful home just outside of San Diego, give Patrick Belhon a call. He is a realtor who will always look out for your best interests. He has new listings every month and gets some listings before the houses are even put on the market. If you are in need of a loan, want to learn more about San Diego, or just want to start looking for your dream home, call Patrick.

Article Copyright ©2013/2014 – All Rights Reserved Patrick Belhon

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Leave a Comment
  1. purerealestateteam2013 / Jan 11 2014 6:33 pm

    Really nice!!

  2. dchan189 / Jan 13 2014 7:30 pm

    Great article! San Diego native here! Neighborhoods like Coronado, Encinitas, are great coastal communities as well.

  3. patrickbelhon / Jan 13 2014 7:52 pm

    Thank you for your feedback Dan! Have a beautiful day…


  1. A Prime La Jolla Property for Buyers this Summer – Best Home Under 2 Million In La Jolla California | Patrick Belhon's Blog

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