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Possibly Relocating to Greater San Diego - Commuting to La Jolla

Old 05-10-15, 08:55 PM
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Wiggles_dad
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Possibly Relocating to Greater San Diego - Commuting to La Jolla

I currently work in Biotech and live in Salt Lake City. My spouse and I are trying to relocate to the greater San Diego area. The majority of companies that I am looking at (Pharma and Biotech) are located in the La Jolla area. On the other hand, it seems like areas that are affordable (less than $400k for 2-3 bedrooms or less than $2k/month in rent) AND have a good quality of life are not located within practical bike commuting distance of La Jolla.

Let me define "good quality of life" as: good schools, low crime, walking friendly, and eclectic culture (i.e. not strip mall suburbia). I would also define my practical bike commuting distance as anything less that 1 hour by bike.

That being said. Does anyone have any experience with mixed transportation in and around the greater San Diego area, particularly to the La Jolla area? IF we moved out there I was thinking of options like: 1) driving the car for part of the way and riding the bike the rest 2) combining bike transit.

Cheers
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Old 05-10-15, 09:36 PM
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it's pretty pricey out here but I would suggest looking at the bay park area just east of the 5 fwy and mission bay. also a little bit more than the 1 hr mark commuting by bike but you may want to look at the university heights and normal heights (especially north of adams avenue) areas.
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Old 05-10-15, 09:55 PM
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By "La Jolla", do you mean UTC/Sorrento Valley (the area along the 5 north of the 52)?

Generally speaking, your demands are not reasonable. Precisely because six figure jobs are concentrated in that area, you are not going to find anything affordable and with good quality of life, matching your definition, anywhere within 1 hour by bike from UTC.

And requirements of "good schools" and "walking friendly" drastically reduce your options. There are areas with good schools and reasonable prices within 1 hour by bike UTC, but they are in suburbia. There are walkable neighborhoods within that range, but they are either very expensive, have bad schools, or both. (Strange but true. The general trend is that walkable neighborhoods are mostly populated by singles and childless couples, which means that local schools end up filled with inner-city minority kids. Your odds of finding a walkable neighborhood with good schools are better outside San Diego city limits, up along the 5, but those would still be expensive.)

What exactly is your kid situation? That would help narrow down the options.

You can pretty much forget about public transportation. In the are you're considering, it's extremely slow and it's generally considered to be low priority by city officials. Car/bike commute is not all that helpful either.
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Old 05-10-15, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
it's pretty pricey out here but I would suggest looking at the bay park area just east of the 5 fwy and mission bay. also a little bit more than the 1 hr mark commuting by bike but you may want to look at the university heights and normal heights (especially north of adams avenue) areas.
Absolutely not. If he has kids, all these are a big no-no unless he wants to explore intradistrict transfer & busing options, or he's willing to pay for a private school. (And, from the requirement of <$2k/month in rent, he's not, since good private schools start at $1k/month/kid.) I think the only decent elementary schools in that whole area are in Mission Hills, and that's an absurdly expensive neighborhood in terms of $$ per square foot.

Last edited by hamster; 05-10-15 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 05-10-15, 10:13 PM
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Where can you even find a house for under $400k around SD with decent schools? I'm thinking you'd have to go to Temecula...
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Old 05-10-15, 10:25 PM
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$400k is a tall order... if you double your budget you can find a place in Del Mar or Solana beach that meets the rest of your requirements. San Diego is just... expensive.
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Old 05-10-15, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
Where can you even find a house for under $400k around SD with decent schools? I'm thinking you'd have to go to Temecula...
I live in northern San Diego (in Rancho Penasquitos, about 9 miles from Sorrento Valley). If you would actually be working in Sorrento Valley, then the bike commute is doable in an hour from places like Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, Scripps Ranch and Carmel Valley. The Poway Unified School district is well regarded, and most of these areas are within that district. There is a quite excellent bike path along the Route 56, running from the I-15 to coastal Del Mar and Sorrento Valley. It's around 5-7 more miles into La Jolla village proper. If you would actually be working in La Jolla Village, right by the coast then you would have a much tougher time finding places within a 1 hour bike ride - unless you can manage ~15-17 miles of somewhat hilly terrain in an hour. Good luck finding a house for $400K - that's the going rate for a small 2 BR attached townhouse in Poway or Penasquitos. A 3 BR single family home is maybe $550-600K.

I would add that the places where you might well get a decent 2 BR townhouse for $400K, or rent a nice 2 BR for $2K/month or less, are generally somewhat strip-mall suburbia in character, but are within 10-15 miles of places that are more walking friendly. The fact is, those specific walking friendly, non-strip mall type neighborhoods are outside of your housing budget.

If OP were to PM me, with specifics about the locations where you might be working, I can give you more details.

Last edited by D1andonlyDman; 05-10-15 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 05-10-15, 10:45 PM
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Look at South Bay. It's the last inexpensive housing near the water.
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Old 05-10-15, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by GP View Post
Look at South Bay. It's the last inexpensive housing near the water.

It's also not a 1 hour bike commute from the La Jolla area.
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Old 05-11-15, 02:20 AM
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priorities-you can't have everything at that price in san diego given the parameters.
if there are no kids currently-under 3 years old, i'd say bay park-uni heights-normal heights. commute factor + some good funk or close to it.
if there are kids older than 3 years old, i'd say rancho penasquitos/poway for the schools and commute factor. strip mall/suburbia tho.
carmel valley/del mar/la jolla would be ideal but would likely double your monthly living expenses. it's all about compromise, prioritization and tradeoffs in socal.

in terms of the "partial" commuting...mission bay is a great place to park and ride up to/back from ucsd/sorrento valley/biotech central. anywhere from
35 mins-1 hr depending on fitness and/or how sweaty you wanna get before work.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 05-11-15 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 05-11-15, 09:17 AM
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I guess things have changed since I went to SDSU and had my $125 per month apartment in PB with a view of Mission Bay.......oh yeah, graduated in 1976!
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Old 05-11-15, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
Where can you even find a house for under $400k around SD with decent schools? I'm thinking you'd have to go to Temecula...
Under 400k, nowhere. Just took a look at the real estate listings, apparently housing went up substantially in the last 5 years or so. In 400k-450k range, you can do Santee or San Carlos (schools are hit and miss, but nowhere near as bad as most of San Diego proper south of 52.) In 450-500k range, you can get a small 70s house in Mira Mesa.

Originally Posted by nesdog View Post
I guess things have changed since I went to SDSU and had my $125 per month apartment in PB with a view of Mission Bay.......oh yeah, graduated in 1976!
I moved to San Diego in 2001, and by that time decent apartments were starting around $1000/month for 1br. If you were willing to commute from a dumpier part of town and accept having no W/D in unit, you could find a place for 800. But not much lower than that.

Last edited by hamster; 05-11-15 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 05-11-15, 10:19 AM
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Everyone is assuming that I'd be looking for a single family home for under $400k. What about a 2 br / 2 ba condo pr townhome? I see a lot of stuff for under $400k on Zillow.
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Old 05-11-15, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Wiggles_dad View Post
Everyone is assuming that I'd be looking for a single family home for under $400k. What about a 2 br / 2 ba condo pr townhome? I see a lot of stuff for under $400k on Zillow.
You can buy a 2/2 condo under 400k or rent one under 2k/month right in La Jolla Village.
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Old 05-11-15, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by hamster View Post
You can buy a 2/2 condo under 400k or rent one under 2k/month right in La Jolla Village.
I'm not sure about La Jolla Village itself, but certainly you can in UTC, which is maybe 3-5 miles from La Jolla Village, and a similar distance from Sorrento Valley. But I used to live in one of those places as an apartment, before it was condo-converted, and I would not buy one, as the construction quality of all of those places is pretty shoddy for a place to sink $400K of equity into, IMHO, and the monthly condo fees are substantial. But in it's an area that may fit the OPs other criteria quite well.
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Old 05-11-15, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by D1andonlyDman View Post
I'm not sure about La Jolla Village itself, but certainly you can in UTC, which is maybe 3-5 miles from La Jolla Village, and a similar distance from Sorrento Valley. But I used to live in one of those places as an apartment, before it was condo-converted, and I would not buy one, as the construction quality of all of those places is pretty shoddy for a place to sink $400K of equity into, IMHO, and the monthly condo fees are substantial. But in it's an area that may fit the OPs other criteria quite well.
That's what I meant. And yes, personally I wouldn't buy there either.

Available Jun. 17th! $1,950 2 BR/2.5 BA at Venetian! 3 Parking Spaces!
Beautiful 2bd/2ba single-level townhome in UTC
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Old 05-11-15, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Wiggles_dad View Post
I currently work in Biotech and live in Salt Lake City. My spouse and I are trying to relocate to the greater San Diego area. The majority of companies that I am looking at (Pharma and Biotech) are located in the La Jolla area. On the other hand, it seems like areas that are affordable (less than $400k for 2-3 bedrooms or less than $2k/month in rent) AND have a good quality of life are not located within practical bike commuting distance of La Jolla.

Let me define "good quality of life" as: good schools, low crime, walking friendly, and eclectic culture (i.e. not strip mall suburbia). I would also define my practical bike commuting distance as anything less that 1 hour by bike.

That being said. Does anyone have any experience with mixed transportation in and around the greater San Diego area, particularly to the La Jolla area? IF we moved out there I was thinking of options like: 1) driving the car for part of the way and riding the bike the rest 2) combining bike transit.

Cheers
There are somethings that you can meet in that budget. As far as avoiding strip mall suburbia well welcome to urban California. I am in Penasquitos aka strip mall suburbia. Here is a condo for rent which is right next to a ymca a library and a police and fire station. It is walk able to the grocery store pub restaurants and more in the "strip mall". The Poway school district is one of the best in California and takes pride in community and education especially at the grade school level. The 56 bike path runs from almost next to the complex and is the route many of my bio tech friends use for the commute. Depending on your company location there is also a dirt option through the PQ canyon which my neighbor commutes through. There are other option but I think I hit most of them save one.

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/apa/5017984727.html

Poway Unified School District | California | Best High Schools | US News

Poway Unified School District in San diego, CA | GreatSchools

Cheers
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