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aerial view of San Diego beaches

Best San Diego Suburbs To Live in 2024

San Diego, known for its stunning coastline, vibrant culture, and year-round sunny weather, offers an array of suburbs that provide a desirable quality of life. Whether you’re a homebuyer, a relocation planner, or a current resident looking for a change, these suburbs offer the perfect balance of amenities, natural beauty, and community charm. Here are the best San Diego suburbs to consider when searching for your dream home in 2024.

1. Del Mar

aerial view of del mar, california

Nestled along the coastline, Del Mar offers a picturesque setting with breathtaking ocean views. Its quaint village atmosphere, top-rated schools, and proximity to beautiful beaches make it a highly sought-after suburb. This area exemplifies the best neighborhoods San Diego has to offer, blending luxury with community spirit. Del Mar is also known for its world-class dining, upscale shopping, and the famous Del Mar Fairgrounds, where the renowned Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosts horse racing events. With its strong sense of community and stunning coastal homes, Del Mar is the epitome of coastal living.

  • Top High Schools: Del Mar Hills Academy, Torrey Pines High School, Canyon Crest Academy
  • Best Restaurants: Poseidon on the Beach, Jake’s Del Mar, Sbicca
  • Best Beaches: Del Mar City Beach, Dog Beach, Torrey Pines State Beach
  • Median Home Price: $4.4 million (1) 

2. La Jolla

aerial view of la jolla, california

La Jolla, known as the “Jewel of San Diego,” exudes elegance and natural beauty. This upscale suburb is not just among the best neighborhoods in San Diego but also stands out as a prime example of the luxury lifestyle that cities near San Diego can offer. With stunning oceanfront properties, upscale boutiques, and fine dining establishments, La Jolla attracts residents seeking a sophisticated lifestyle combined with a thriving academic community.

  • Top High Schools: The Bishop’s School, La Jolla High School, The Preuss School UCSD
  • Best Restaurants: George’s at the Cove, The Marine Room, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
  • Best Beaches: La Jolla Cove, La Jolla Shores, Windansea Beach
  • Median Home Price: $2.8 million (2) 

3. Carlsbad

beach in carlsbad, california

Carlsbad, located in North County San Diego, showcases the variety of environments that towns near San Diego have to offer. Offering a laid-back coastal lifestyle with a family-friendly atmosphere, Carlsbad is a testament to the diverse suburban life within the best San Diego suburbs. This vibrant suburb is known for its award-winning schools, beautiful parks, and a wide range of recreational activities, including the family favorite LEGOLAND California.

  • Top High Schools: Pacific Ridge School, Carlsbad High School, Sage Creek High School
  • Best Restaurants: Campfire, Paon Restaurant & Wine Bar, Jeune et Jolie
  • Best Beaches: Carlsbad State Beach, South Carlsbad State Beach, Tamarack Surf Beach
  • Median Home Price: $1.6 million (3) 

4. Encinitas

beach in encinitas, california

Encinitas, with its relaxed beach town vibe, is a shining example of mid-city San Diego’s relaxed yet vibrant lifestyle. Attracting residents with its world-class surf spots, organic food scene, and thriving arts community, Encinitas embodies the Southern California spirit. This suburb is part of the unique tapestry that makes up the neighborhoods in San Diego, offering a distinct blend of natural beauty, community, and culture.

  • Top High Schools: San Dieguito Academy, La Costa Canyon High School, Encinitas Country Day School
  • Best Restaurants: UNION Kitchen & Tap, Pacific Coast Grill, Herb & Sea
  • Best Beaches: Moonlight Beach, Swami’s Beach, Beacon’s Beach
  • Median Home Price: $2.4 million (4) 

5. Solana Beach

aerial view of solana beach, california

Solana Beach, though smaller in size, stands out among the suburbs of San Diego for its unique blend of community, natural beauty, and cultural amenities. This charming coastal suburb offers a small-town feel with easy access to big-city amenities, making it a perfect example of the best suburbs of San Diego for those seeking a quieter, yet enriching lifestyle.

  • Top High Schools: Santa Fe Christian Schools, Fusion Academy Solana Beach, Earl Warren Middle School
  • Best Restaurants: Claire’s on Cedros, Pamplemousse Grille, Crush
  • Best Beaches: Fletcher Cove, Tide Beach Park, Seaside Beach
  • Median Home Price: $1.9 million (5) 

6. Poway

Potato Chip Rock in Poway, California

Moving inland, Poway offers a different perspective on the suburb of San Diego living. Known for its “City in the Country” motto, Poway combines the spaciousness and tranquility of suburban life with a close-knit community atmosphere. It’s an ideal place for those looking for a more suburban feel while still being close to the vibrant city life.

  • Top High Schools: Poway High School, Rancho Bernardo High School, Del Norte High School
  • Best Restaurants: Mamma Teresa Ristorante Italiano, The Brigantine, Poway Sushi Lounge
  • Median Home Price: $1.5 million (6) 

In conclusion, whether you’re drawn to the coastal splendor of Del Mar and La Jolla or the family-friendly atmospheres of Carlsbad and Poway, there is a suburb in San Diego to suit every preference. These communities exemplify the best of Southern California living, from the beachfront to the suburbs. Start your search for your dream home in one of these best San Diego suburbs and embrace the Southern California lifestyle. If you’re considering moving to this vibrant area, remember that the cities near San Diego also offer a rich array of lifestyles and opportunities, extending your choices beyond the immediate suburbs. Whether you’re drawn to the quaint towns near San Diego or the bustling best neighborhoods San Diego has within its city limits, each area offers a unique blend of amenities, culture, and community. The Combs Group is here to guide you through the diverse neighborhoods, ensuring you find the perfect spot to call home. Contact us today to begin your journey to the ideal San Diego suburb that fits your lifestyle and dreams.

If you’re looking to relocate to San Diego, the Combs Group will work with you every step of the way to find your dream home. We understand the nuances of each suburb and can guide you in choosing the perfect neighborhood for your lifestyle. Contact us today!

Disclaimer: All information provided is based on current market trends and personal opinions and should be independently verified for accuracy.

  1. Del Mar, CA 2024 Housing Market:®
  2. La Jolla, CA 2024 Housing Market:®
  3. Carlsbad, CA 2024 Housing Market:®
  4. Encinitas, CA 2024 Housing Market:®
  5. Solana Beach, CA 2024 Housing Market:®
  6. Poway, CA 2024 Housing Market:®
Aerial image of a san diego beach

San Diego vs Los Angeles: Where Should You Live?

California is a land of dreams, featuring vibrant cities and stunning landscapes. Among these gems, Los Angeles and San Diego shine brightly, captivating residents and visitors alike. Both cities possess their unique charm, but when it comes to choosing a place to call home, which one is right for you? In this blog post, we’ll explore the factors that can help you make an informed decision between LA and San Diego. So, let’s dive in and uncover the secrets of these two remarkable California cities.

Cost of Living

One of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a city to live in is the cost of living. Let’s take a closer look at the economic aspects of LA and San Diego.

Housing Prices: Both LA and San Diego are known for their desirable real estate, but there are differences to be aware of.

As of February 2024, the median home price in Los Angeles is $960,000, and the median sold home price is $830,000 (1). The median home price in San Diego is slightly lower at $929,000, and the median sold home price is $840,000 (2). However, keep in mind that variations in neighborhoods and property types can significantly impact prices. 

Utilities and Amenities: When it comes to utilities like electricity, water, and internet, both cities offer similar costs. However, it’s important to research specific neighborhoods and service providers for more accurate information.

Transportation Expenses: LA is known for its sprawling nature and heavy traffic, leading to higher transportation expenses. San Diego, on the other hand, has a more manageable size, making commuting a bit easier and potentially more cost-effective.

When considering the cost of living San Diego vs LA, families particularly note that while San Diego can be expensive, it often offers a more laid-back lifestyle and community-centric living compared to the bustling environment of Los Angeles. This makes the choice of living in San Diego vs Los Angeles particularly poignant for those seeking a balance between urban amenities and a family-friendly environment.

aerial view of santa monica beach in los angeles

Job Opportunities

In comparing the job markets of Los Angeles and San Diego, it’s evident that both cities have unique offerings.

Los Angeles, known for its vast and diverse job market, is particularly appealing for those in the entertainment industry, boasting opportunities not just in front of the camera but also in production, digital media, and marketing sectors. The tech scene, often referred to as Silicon Beach, is rapidly growing, offering numerous positions in startups and established tech companies alike. This makes living in San Diego vs Los Angeles an important consideration for those in tech and digital fields.

San Diego, on the other hand, excels in the biotech and healthcare sectors, with the Torrey Pines Mesa area being a hub for research and development. The military and defense sectors are significant contributors to San Diego’s economy, providing a range of opportunities for engineers, cybersecurity experts, and logistics professionals. Moreover, San Diego’s growing start-up ecosystem is becoming a compelling factor for entrepreneurs and those in the tech industry, making the decision of San Diego vs LA for tech professionals a notable consideration.

aerial view of Mission Bay in San Diego

Climate and Weather

California is renowned for its pleasant climate, but there are differences between LA and San Diego worth considering.

Temperature and Weather Patterns: LA experiences a Mediterranean climate, characterized by warm summers, mild winters, and low rainfall. San Diego enjoys a similar climate, with slightly milder temperatures and more consistent year-round weather.

Beaches and Outdoor Activities: Both cities are blessed with stunning coastlines and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. From the iconic Santa Monica Pier in LA to the picturesque beaches of San Diego, you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice.

Culture and Entertainment

The cultural and entertainment scenes of a city contribute greatly to its allure. Let’s explore what LA and San Diego have to offer.

Arts and Music Scenes: Los Angeles is synonymous with the entertainment industry, hosting world-class theaters, music venues, and galleries. San Diego also has a vibrant arts and music scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and live music venues.

Nightlife and Dining Options: LA is a haven for nightlife enthusiasts, offering an array of trendy bars, clubs, and restaurants. San Diego has a more laid-back nightlife scene, with a focus on beachside bars and craft breweries.

Sports and Recreational Activities: Both cities have a deep love for sports. LA is home to major professional sports teams, including the Lakers, Dodgers, and Rams. San Diego boasts the Padres and a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, surfing, and biking.

los angeles skyline

Education and Schools

When considering living in San Diego vs Los Angeles, the quality and diversity of educational opportunities are paramount, especially for those with families or pursuing higher education themselves.

Los Angeles offers a wide spectrum of educational institutions, from prestigious private schools to well-regarded public schools, catering to a range of academic and extracurricular interests. The higher education landscape in LA is equally impressive, with institutions offering cutting-edge research opportunities and a broad array of programs.

San Diego is not to be outdone, with its own set of highly rated public and private schools. The city is particularly noted for its emphasis on science and technology education, reflecting its strong biotech industry. Higher education in San Diego is marked by excellence, especially in STEM fields, with UC San Diego consistently ranked among the top public universities in the nation. For families considering the best San Diego suburbs, areas like La Jolla and Del Mar/Carmel Valley are noted for their outstanding schools and family-friendly atmosphere.

aerial view of san diego suburb with ocean views

Family-Friendly Factors

When weighing the decision of LA vs San Diego, family-friendly factors often play a critical role.

Los Angeles offers a myriad of family-oriented activities, from educational museums like the Natural History Museum to outdoor spaces like Griffith Park. However, the city’s size and traffic can sometimes make access to these attractions more challenging.

San Diego is frequently lauded for its relaxed atmosphere and abundance of family-friendly attractions, such as the world-renowned San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park. The city’s numerous beaches provide endless outdoor entertainment for families, making it an attractive option for those prioritizing outdoor and leisure activities. Additionally, the best San Diego suburbs for families, such as Poway and Encinitas, offer safe neighborhoods, excellent schools, and community-oriented activities.

Choosing between LA and San Diego is no easy task, as both cities have their unique appeal and offer excellent opportunities for residents. Consider your preferences, lifestyle, and priorities as you make this decision. Remember, what matters most is finding a place that aligns with your values and provides a nurturing environment. Whether you choose the bustling streets of LA or the relaxed coastal vibe of San Diego, the Combs Group will work with you every step of the way to find your dream home.

1. Los Angeles County, CA 2024 Housing Market:®

2. San Diego County, CA 2024 Housing Market:® 

Q&A with Local Interior Designer, Brianna Blair Partridge

1. Trend Adaptation: How do you incorporate the latest design trends into existing spaces without a complete overhaul? And what is your approach to blending new trends with a client’s existing aesthetic?

I like to incorporate the latest trends in accessories, such as pillows, candles, vases and smaller furniture items like side tables. I find that these items are easy to change out to follow the latest trends and are the most cost effective. I also think a rug and art can really help blend an existing aesthetic with the latest trends.

2. Sustainable Design: In an era where sustainability is increasingly important, how do you incorporate eco-friendly practices and materials into your designs?

The biggest way I incorporate eco friendly practices is with vintage wood and furniture. I always mix new with old. I love to shop for vintage finds while incorporating new, more modern items. For example, a custom sofa with a vintage coffee table and rug, with new pillows and art.

3. Small Spaces: What are your top strategies for maximizing functionality and style in small spaces? How do you tackle common challenges such as limited storage or lack of natural light?

Bigger is always better in small spaces. Most people think the opposite, but bringing in large art work and lighting can help make the space seem even larger and more open. A larger area rug is key as well. Mirrors really help with lack of natural light. And of course adding more pendant lighting. For limited storage, my go-to is a bed with storage!

4. Client Collaboration: How do you balance your professional design expertise with a client’s personal taste and lifestyle needs during a project?

I simply listen to my clients wants and needs and how they live. I then implement my design style focusing on that. I feel like every job I take on is a collaboration with my clients because I really do listen to what they love and how they live. Then incorporate a beautiful design that is suited for them.

5. Technology in Design: With technology evolving rapidly, how has it impacted your design process? Are there any specific technologies or software that have transformed the way you approach interior design projects?

I am not a huge tech person, of course Instagram and Pinterest are huge platforms that help me show my clients design ideas and help my clients show me what they like. The biggest tool I love to use while working on a project is “Shared Albums”. This allows both myself and my clients to send what we like about something and comment on it.

Follow Brianna for more interior design advice and inspiration: @brianna_blair_interiors or check out her store front at Flower Hill Promenade |

2024 Mortgage Update: An Interview with Mohamed Tawy of Guaranteed Rate

Fed indicates that they will drop rates by the end of 2024, should I wait to buy? 

I understand the desire to wait for interest rates to drop; however, with the expectation of the interest rates decreasing this will only push the real estate market upwards.   If you are considering buying a home.  It’s likely that home prices will increase due to competitive offers such as over list price with no contingencies, similar to 2021(COVID times).   It makes more sense to buy your home at a lower purchase price and then refinance your home when the interest rate drops.  Like they say, Marry the House – Date the Rate.

Here are some estimated projections for 2024:

  • Current Interest Rate 6.5%       Purchase Price $2M      $10,113 (P&I with 20% down payment)
  • Projected Interest Rate 5.75% Purchase Price $2.2M  $10,271 (P&I with 20% down payment) 

We want to buy a new home before we sell our current home. We have the down payment for the new home; however, our income won’t qualify us for both loans. What can we do?

We have loan options that will exclude your current mortgage/housing payment, so we would just qualify you on the new housing/mortgage payment.

We don’t have the down payment, so we need to use the equity from our current home to buy the new home. What can we do?

We have loan programs that allow you to leverage the equity from your current home without selling your home first.  Some examples are:

  • Cross-Collateralization
  • Bridge-to-Sale
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit
  • Cash-Out Refinance

I want to buy a home now, but I need to wait to file my 2023 tax returns. I’m Self-Employed and my income in 2023 was substantially stronger than the previous years.

We don’t need to wait for you to file your 2023 returns. To expedite the home buying process and avoid increasing home prices, we have loan programs that will use your last twelve months of income without filed tax returns.  These programs use your business financials and/or bank statements to represent your current income position.

We want to buy our dream home now, but we don’t have a consistent monthly income as we are living off of our net worth. 

We offer loan programs that qualify you based on your net worth and do not require monthly earnings/current employment.   You qualify based on your asset & equity position.

We want to buy an investment property, but do not qualify based on our current income. 

We offer investor financing that qualifies you only based on the property’s rental (current or projected) income, regardless of your current liabilities and income.  Rental property is treated as its own separate entity.

Mohamed Tawy
Producing Branch Manager/SVP of Mortgage Lending
O: (619) 599-5643  C: (619) 599-5643

Rancho Santa Fe Market Update | An Interview with Adam Crecion of Amerihome Mortgage

Are we entering a housing bubble in San Diego?

While the media and other news outlets thrive on fear-based tactics, we don’t see a housing bubble in San Diego based on current and historical market data. Basic supply and demand principles (extremely low housing inventory) coupled with declining interest rate market in jumbo loans would forecast a strong Seller’s market as we move into 2023 and 2024.

What happens to the housing market in a Recession?

Based on data from S&P Case-Shiller, there has been only one instance of a declining housing market during a Recession since 1970. During the recession from 2006-2008 the housing market decline was purely driven by the excess housing inventory in the United States that was created by the sub-prime markets. Based on historical data and the today’s extremely low inventory, the housing market will continue to stay strong through the next recession.

I would like to purchase a new home, but I need to sell my current home first.

Good news….AmeriHome has a solution. A customer can purchase their dream home without having to obtain an expensive bridge loan or go through the painful process of a contingent home sale. At AmeriHome, we do not include the housing payment (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance, HOA) of the departure residence in the debt-to-income ratios if it is the intent of the customer to sell that home once they close on the new home. No other lender offers this program which often-times enables the client to purchase a new home prior to selling their existing home.

What tactics are you seeing in the market today to reduce interest rates?

Today, we are seeing a lot more “rate buy-downs” and it’s a great option. In some cases, Sellers are offering anywhere from a 1 to 2 Basis Points in Seller’s Credits that can be applied toward a rate buy-down as part of the listing, and in other situations we are seeing Buyers requesting the credit during the negotiation phase. There are two main types of rate buy-downs being utilized today…Permanent and Temporary. There are pros and cons to both options, and in general are great solutions to discuss with your team.

If I buy a home today, am I stuck with my current interest rate?

There was a popular saying in 2022 that said, “Marry the house, and date the rate” and is still applicable today. Institutional investors that purchase these mortgage-backed securities know that everyone buying a home today is going to refinance in the next 12 to 36 months so mortgage lenders are forced to add a premium just to sell these loans to those investors. If the investors know that rates are going to decline, you should understand that as well and realize it’s a great time to purchase because Sellers are more willing to negotiate unlike what happened in 2021 when homes were selling well over market value. Lastly, a homeowner can always refinance to a lower rate after purchasing the home if they meet the standard benefit-to-borrower requirements.