T Nation

Relocating to San Diego


My family is relocating to San Diego this summer. My wife and I have 2 boys, nearly middle schoolers. My wife and I lived in San Diego nearly 14 years ago and know the area. However,much has changed. We now have kids and the area has changed as well. We know the cost of living is much higher than the Pacific NW so we get it.

I will work remotely and would like to be relatively close to the airport (30 min or less of a commute) I have a brutal commute now so looking to minimize this in SD. We are also looking for a good area with decent public schools and lots of kids. Lots depends on the mortgage payment obviously. I don't want to get into finances but just thoughts on neighborhoods.

Any thoughts on possible neighborhoods / areas to live? We plan to rent first and then get acclimated. Poway has a good school system but it's 50 min -60 min commute to airport. Carlsbad and driving 5 south seems to be a tough commute to the airport or downtown. Any area is open and I'd like to hear from you, especially Dads on their opinions. Tierrasanta, Claremont, Carmel Valley, La Mesa? We even are thinking of Point Loma but I remember traffic there is tough. Thanks


I'm a dad in San Diego, but of a five year old.

Living near the airport is going to be expensive: Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Banker's Hill, Downtown, Clairemont, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla and Del Mar all offer a variety of rental options, but with two middle schoolers I'd imagine you'd want a larger house which gets pricy real fast in these areas.

I live right on the edge of San Diego near La Mesa, in an area called Rolando Park and we love it. Bought our house for 315,000 in 2011, and now has risen to $420,000 in value. Rents in this area (92115) are generally $1800+ for a 3 bedroom, but you'll get a house and the commute to the airport is not bad at all, maybe +/- 20 minutes down the 94.

Driving from the northern county down the 5 will be brutal if it is during the normal commuting hours.

I'm not overly familiar with Mira Mesa, Clairemont Mesa, Kearny Mesa, University City, and Sorrento Valley. These communities are generally east of 5, south of 56, and west of 15. There might be something there that is more affordable.

Can't speak to schools as my kid is just about to start. You can apply to transfer to any school within the SDUSD, but there is no guarantee that a transfer will be granted.

Good luck and let me know if I can explain anything further.


That's ironic that you live in La Mesa! I've done a lot of research already and La Mesa has risen to one of our possible locations. Like you stated, reasonable home values and a reasonable commute to the airport. I used to visit La Mesa when I did some business in that area but don't remember much, since it was 20 years ago. I just remember the Grossmont area. Would like to know about the crime and demographics. You speak highly of the area and obviously enjoy living there, so that speaks volumes. I appreciate the response!


Just stay out of the downtown area of La Mesa. San Carlos is really nice and it is right next to La Mesa. There are a lot of nice houses in that area, especially off of Navajo Rd.


I second that. Lived a few years off Navajo, near Cowles mountain, and thought it was a great area.


It's also right next to Mission Trails part which has tons of cool hikes and trails to go explore if you are into that kind of thing. I take my dog there all the time.


That estimate sounds like worst-case scenario.

With normal traffic, Poway is more like 30-35 min from the airport.


Yeah i punched it in to a centrally located place in Poway and it said 40 minutes in non traffic time.