Moving to San Diego - Advice Needed

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 14, 2012 6:12 AM GMT
    (Yes, I did search and read through the other threads on similar topics, but my question is less "is it cool?" and more "what neighborhoods should I target?")

    Hey guys,
    Looking to learn from the people here about San Diego. I am thinking about moving there. Really hoping Ariodante sees this thread.

    Back story (skip if you want): I am originally from Southern California, moved up to the Bay Area for the dot com thing. Found a great job, got a career, blah blah, but I am tired of missing SoCal. The Bay was a great place to live (and to come out in), but i have had enough and am ready to get back home.

    I know about Hillcrest. Of course I have heard about Hillcrest. But what else should I look at? I hear about Hillcrest, North Park, Bankers Hill, Mission Hills and University Heights, but as I start my apartment hunting, I want to make sure I have the areas down.
    To answer that, obviously, you need to know what I am looking for: I do very much want to live in a downtown, urban(-ish) environment; I have been in San Jose for years now and it's just 100 square miles of suburbs, it seems. An actual downtown and somewhat walkable environment would be nice. Bars, sure, but mostly just people and events and stuff around me, not just miles of suburbs where everyone hides inside 24/7. Being near Balboa would be awesome too, of course.

    I am talking to some locals / people who have lived there, but they're not gay, and, well, that is kinda relevant data when it comes to picking a home. So, I am turning to RJ. I am starting my apartment hunting now, and I am not sure which neighborhoods to look at.

    Whatcha all got? TIA
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    Aug 14, 2012 6:37 AM GMT
    torrentprime said
    I know about Hillcrest. Of course I have heard about Hillcrest. But what else should I look at? I hear about Hillcrest, North Park, Bankers Hill, Mission Hills and University Heights, but as I start my apartment hunting, I want to make sure I have the areas down.
    To answer that, obviously, you need to know what I am looking for: I do very much want to live in a downtown, urban(-ish) environment; I have been in San Jose for years now and it's just 100 square miles of suburbs, it seems. An actual downtown and somewhat walkable environment would be nice. Bars, sure, but mostly just people and events and stuff around me, not just miles of suburbs where everyone hides inside 24/7. Being near Balboa would be awesome too, of course.


    You're a lot more well informed and aware of the areas than most people who aren't from SD wanting to move there would be. As far as central, urban locales I think you nailed them all. I actually live in Tijuana so I'm not that well informed as far as like, more micro-specific areas to zone in on.
  • SwimBIkeRun94...

    Posts: 480

    Aug 14, 2012 12:39 PM GMT
    This is my opinion based on my own views of the area, but one of the reasons I "put up with" SoCal is the weather and water. As such, I'd be in Mission Bay, PB, or LJ.
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    Aug 14, 2012 2:12 PM GMT
    That's Mission Bay, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla, right?
    Any reason? Why those places? Beach access?
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    Aug 14, 2012 2:27 PM GMT
    Go to Tin Fish about a block away from Petco Park and order the halibut fish taco. Best advice you'll ever get. I have dreams about those tacos, and its been over a year.
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    Aug 14, 2012 2:55 PM GMT
    ask a realtor.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Aug 14, 2012 3:09 PM GMT
    eightball saidask a realtor.

    realtors suck ... by law, they cannot tell you which is a good area and which is a bad area
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    Aug 14, 2012 4:30 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk said
    eightball saidask a realtor.

    realtors suck ... by law, they cannot tell you which is a good area and which is a bad area


    I am not buying jut yet; I am not looking for property but neighborhoods, so our foci might be a little different.
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    Aug 14, 2012 5:04 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk said
    eightball saidask a realtor.

    realtors suck


    And my mom is a realtor. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
  • TroyAthlete

    Posts: 4269

    Aug 14, 2012 5:10 PM GMT
    Great choice of city. I was in San Diego last weekend, and like every time I wondered "Why don't I live here again?"

    If I were moving there, I'd be torn between PB and South Park. My two favorite SD neighborhoods -- I'd lean towards South Park personally because I've already lived in Hermosa Beach and done the collegey beach surf thing. South Park is not as much of a hoot, but it is laid back and very peaceful. Love San Diego.
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Aug 14, 2012 5:18 PM GMT
    I've always liked Mission Hills and especially if you live on the higher lands and have the views ofcourse hah! Such a cool laid back area close to lots of things!
  • TrueNorth81

    Posts: 8

    Aug 14, 2012 5:25 PM GMT
    I've lived here in SD for about 3 years now and I've moved around different parts of town for various reasons.

    1) Downtown - had a penthouse in Little Italy, it was awesome because I could just walk down the block to the strip of italian restaurants (AWESOME food, but looking back, not great for the waistline). Also, it was just a $5 cab ride to the gaslamp, awesome bars/clubs and restaurants, as well as petco park for baseball games. However, there's not much "community," just as most downtown type of places, everyone just kinda stays in unless you've got a bunch of friends there.

    2) La Jolla area - awesome because things are more upscale, lots of college-age kids around, etc. More suburban, but close access to the beach.

    3)PB - again, if you like hitting up bars filled with mostly college kids and hitting up the beach every week, this would be a great locale. Can get trashy on weekends with drunk kids walking around everywhere, cops watching for drivers, etc. Avoid OB as it's full of drunks and homeless folks. Mission Beach is cool, but will cost you more. Its probably the middle ground for everything beachy - stay here if thats what you're looking for.

    4) Hillcrest. This is where I live now - I moved into an AWESOME penthouse at a 2yr old building here on 5th Ave. This is actually the cheapest place i've lived in since i've been here - about $3000 a month for an 1800sq ft pad. From my vantage point, I can see the bay, the downtown skyrise, even the mountains to the east. What I love about my part of town is that there's 3 different wine bars within a block of me, at least 10-15 restaurants, balboa park is only 2 blocks if I wanna go for a job or play vball on sundays. The noise from the ambulances can be a major nuisance (everyone who lives in Hillcrest puts up with this) - so if you get a place, get a newer place that has triple-paned windows/patio doors. Whats also great about Hillcrest is that depending on which part you live in, its only 8-10 bucks to cab downtown so you can get the benefit of both. One of the main reasons I moved here was not just the convenience to night life and good food, but also community events. Pride is held here, and just this weekend they had City Fest - they locked down my avenue and tons of vendors, music, food, sexy people were walking everywhere just outside my window. Really convenient.

    Just my own 2 personal cents. Goodluck with the move!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 14, 2012 5:30 PM GMT
    Anywhere buy Nasty City should do ya.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 14, 2012 5:37 PM GMT
    TrueNorth81 saidI've lived here in SD for about 3 years now and I've moved around different parts of town for various reasons.

    1) Downtown - had a penthouse in Little Italy, it was awesome because I could just walk down the block to the strip of italian restaurants (AWESOME food, but looking back, not great for the waistline). Also, it was just a $5 cab ride to the gaslamp, awesome bars/clubs and restaurants, as well as petco park for baseball games. However, there's not much "community," just as most downtown type of places, everyone just kinda stays in unless you've got a bunch of friends there.

    2) La Jolla area - awesome because things are more upscale, lots of college-age kids around, etc. More suburban, but close access to the beach.

    3)PB - again, if you like hitting up bars filled with mostly college kids and hitting up the beach every week, this would be a great locale. Can get trashy on weekends with drunk kids walking around everywhere, cops watching for drivers, etc. Avoid OB as it's full of drunks and homeless folks. Mission Beach is cool, but will cost you more. Its probably the middle ground for everything beachy - stay here if thats what you're looking for.

    4) Hillcrest. This is where I live now - I moved into an AWESOME penthouse at a 2yr old building here on 5th Ave. This is actually the cheapest place i've lived in since i've been here - about $3000 a month for an 1800sq ft pad. From my vantage point, I can see the bay, the downtown skyrise, even the mountains to the east. What I love about my part of town is that there's 3 different wine bars within a block of me, at least 10-15 restaurants, balboa park is only 2 blocks if I wanna go for a job or play vball on sundays. The noise from the ambulances can be a major nuisance (everyone who lives in Hillcrest puts up with this) - so if you get a place, get a newer place that has triple-paned windows/patio doors. Whats also great about Hillcrest is that depending on which part you live in, its only 8-10 bucks to cab downtown so you can get the benefit of both. One of the main reasons I moved here was not just the convenience to night life and good food, but also community events. Pride is held here, and just this weekend they had City Fest - they locked down my avenue and tons of vendors, music, food, sexy people were walking everywhere just outside my window. Really convenient.
    Just my own 2 personal cents. Goodluck with the move!

    Can I move in? I can clean icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 14, 2012 5:42 PM GMT
    ohboy said
    TrueNorth81 saidI've lived here in SD for about 3 years now and I've moved around different parts of town for various reasons.
    4) Hillcrest. This is where I live now - I moved into an AWESOME penthouse at a 2yr old building here on 5th Ave. This is actually the cheapest place i've lived in since i've been here - about $3000 a month for an 1800sq ft pad....
    Just my own 2 personal cents. Goodluck with the move!

    Can I move in? I can clean icon_biggrin.gif


    Right? I do pretty well, but it ain't no $3k/month-just-for-rent kinda well.
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    Aug 14, 2012 5:44 PM GMT
    TrueNorth81 saidI've lived here in SD for about 3 years now and I've moved around different parts of town for various reasons.

    1) Downtown - had a penthouse in Little Italy

    2) La Jolla area - awesome because things are more upscale, lots of college-age kids around, etc. More suburban, but close access to the beach.

    3)PB - again, if you like hitting up bars filled with mostly college kids and hitting up the beach every week, this would be a great locale.

    4) Hillcrest. This is where I live now.

    Just my own 2 personal cents. Goodluck with the move!


    Thanks man. TONS to read and think about in your post. Got curl up to a map for awhile now. Really appreciate it!
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    Aug 14, 2012 5:50 PM GMT
    La Jolla!!

    It's on the expensive side but beautiful, close to the freeway, and only 5 minutes from the beach. Lived there for 4 years and loved every second of it.

    PB is good if you want to be around drunken college kids all day haha

  • TrueNorth81

    Posts: 8

    Aug 14, 2012 5:56 PM GMT
    ohboy saidCan I move in? I can clean icon_wink.gif


    Lol - I havent had a roommate since I left college, but i'm single and open to dating. Come down for a visit =D
  • TrueNorth81

    Posts: 8

    Aug 14, 2012 6:02 PM GMT
    torrentprime said
    Right? I do pretty well, but it ain't no $3k/month-just-for-rent kinda well.


    There's lots of cheaper places in Hillcrest - as with most places, you pay for location, view, amenities, etc. Easy enough to be further from the center of things, and pay much less.
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    Aug 14, 2012 6:24 PM GMT
    TrueNorth81 said
    torrentprime said
    Right? I do pretty well, but it ain't no $3k/month-just-for-rent kinda well.


    There's lots of cheaper places in Hillcrest - as with most places, you pay for location, view, amenities, etc. Easy enough to be further from the center of things, and pay much less.


    Yup - I think I will start my search there, and see how I can do.
  • SwimBIkeRun94...

    Posts: 480

    Aug 14, 2012 10:33 PM GMT
    La Jolla and Pacific Beach for the beach access. I'd take LJ over PB, though, for reasons pointed out above.

    I feel like since SD lacks a "real" downtown, all the areas are somewhat suburban, although I am probably comparing this to Chicago and New York which are both far more urban than any city in California.





  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 14, 2012 10:50 PM GMT
    SwimBIkeRun949 saidLa Jolla and Pacific Beach for the beach access. I'd take LJ over PB, though, for reasons pointed out above.

    I feel like since SD lacks a "real" downtown, all the areas are somewhat suburban, although I am probably comparing this to Chicago and New York which are both far more urban than any city in California.


    Yep. I want to try "city living", but I am being realistic: I am from California, and I am NOT READY for New York or anything like it. I'll try San Diego first. icon_smile.gif
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Aug 14, 2012 11:06 PM GMT
    I won't call San Diego 'city living' - it is my favourite city precisely because it offers some city living convenience without much of the drawbacks.

    I lived in UTC and LJ. avoided Hillcrest because it's a little bit pretentious. Was looking at OB/ Point Loma area but it could be a bit too 'rough' if you averse to that kind of stuff.

    I would dearly love to live in SD again, it's really one of the best places I lived.

    You hit the surf much?
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    Aug 14, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
    I live in la Jolla UTC, but have lived in hill crest, PB pacific beach, & downtown, etc... I would look for downtown, bankers hill, Cortez hill ( pretty cool actually ) even gas lamp, though that's more of a bar scene, but there are some cool places. Also little Italy is great! Good luck
  • joxguy

    Posts: 236

    Aug 14, 2012 11:51 PM GMT
    Lived in San Diego most of my life, currently in San Jose for my wife's career. Will move back after she retires. Anyway I think northern Cali is fascinating and fun, but the beaches (actually lack of beaches) sucks.

    All the areas you mentioned are nice-South Park is right outside down town and is very nice. If you are an apartment guy, Mission Valley has great places and you can jump on the trolley and get downtown easily.

    Downtown condos are great the prices are down right now but rising. Stay away from East County too redneck and parts of North County too. Have you considered the beach-South Mission or La Jolla.

    San Diego is a pretty open area and as most people know very laid back. Flip Flops, board shorts, T-shirts, and a smile. Smoke free everywhere haha and a very fit place to live.

    There you go.